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how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
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grumpybarista
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grumpybarista
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 220
Location: Detroit
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LP Pub1
Grinder: Mazzer Mini w/ doser, NS...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: French Press, aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Mar 28, 2007, 8:42pm
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

Thank goodness for this thread and all the great info from you all. I've also got one of them derned Breville's (yep, a x-mas gift, too) and I've also been wondering about the second layer in the baskets. I've already taken a tamper to a machinist at my office to get it to the right size, so I don't think it'll be a big issue to take the pressure layer off the baskets, too. Maybe I'll get him to nudify the PF, too...

Phil

 
Phil

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Noonievut
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Joined: 9 Sep 2006
Posts: 472
Location: Toronto. Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Rocky DL
Vac Pot: Other - Aeropress, Clever,...
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2007, 7:22am
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

grumpybarista Said:

Thank goodness for this thread and all the great info from you all. I've also got one of them derned Breville's (yep, a x-mas gift, too) and I've also been wondering about the second layer in the baskets. I've already taken a tamper to a machinist at my office to get it to the right size, so I don't think it'll be a big issue to take the pressure layer off the baskets, too. Maybe I'll get him to nudify the PF, too...

Phil

Posted March 28, 2007 link

I've used the Krups basket for a while now and it is an improvement.  The taste is better, shots are more consistent, and it's easy to pull multiple shots as you don't have to worry about any grinds trapped between the layers, just rinse and wipe and you can quicky pull another shot.

Not sure about the naked PF though, it's quite flimsy and in removing the bottom portion you may weaken it...so I would have a spare handy.
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rmeyerhoff
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Joined: 7 Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Raleigh, NC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancillio Silvia
Grinder: Rancillio Rocky Doserless
Drip: French Press
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2007, 9:45am
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

Just want to say thank you to everyone for the information about the Krups filter basket - it was truly a great improvement, although not the fix that I had been hoping for.  After experimenting for about a month with different beans and grind settings and tamping pressures with the Krups basket, I decided to buy a Rancilio Rocky doserless - it came in yesterday and wow, what a huge difference.  I used the Espresso Toscano blend from Coffee Culture on #17 grind setting (the burrs seem to be touching around #14 so this number might be different for others), but got a 25 second 1.5 oz double ristretto with 17.5 grams of coffee giving almost all crema when I turned off the machine with no blonding.  I also am applying the temperature surfing method analagous to what people do with the Silvia.  It wasn't as thick as I would have liked (I'll still have to experiment a lot more) but comparable to some of my favorite espresso bars in town.  

Thought many of you would like to know that there is still some hope with this machine!
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Noonievut
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Joined: 9 Sep 2006
Posts: 472
Location: Toronto. Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Rocky DL
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Posted Sat Jul 7, 2007, 6:31pm
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

rmeyerhoff Said:

Just want to say thank you to everyone for the information about the Krups filter basket - it was truly a great improvement, although not the fix that I had been hoping for.  After experimenting for about a month with different beans and grind settings and tamping pressures with the Krups basket, I decided to buy a Rancilio Rocky doserless - it came in yesterday and wow, what a huge difference.  I used the Espresso Toscano blend from Coffee Culture on #17 grind setting (the burrs seem to be touching around #14 so this number might be different for others), but got a 25 second 1.5 oz double ristretto with 17.5 grams of coffee giving almost all crema when I turned off the machine with no blonding.  I also am applying the temperature surfing method analagous to what people do with the Silvia.  It wasn't as thick as I would have liked (I'll still have to experiment a lot more) but comparable to some of my favorite espresso bars in town.  

Thought many of you would like to know that there is still some hope with this machine!

Posted July 7, 2007 link

When I had this machine I also upgraded the grinder at one point, also to a Rocky DL, and it was a huge improvement.  I have since bought a used machine (Brasilia Club), comparible to a Sylvia, and the main difference has been consistency when compared to the Breville.  The quality of the shot is also better (I think due to temp stability, larger pf/basket size (58mm) and improved skills over time.  I  I almost never have a bad shot, which I still had from time to time with the Breville.

Another thing you can do with your set-up is try the WDT (search the threads on home barista), you use a yogurt cup with the bottom cut out as a funnel, grind right into there and then stir the grinds with a needle or something similar (fluffs up the grinds, removes clumps, etc.).
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Patsquini
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Joined: 20 Jun 2007
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Location: Woodland Hills, CA
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Espresso: La Vibiemme Domobar Super...
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless
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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2007, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

Hi Everyone,

I have tried all of the above on the Breville Die Cast 800esxl. Don't buy the Krups basket. It will fit the PF but the holes are too big thus allowing coffe to pass through if your grind is fine enough - which it needs to be now to cause resistence, create crema and a preper length extraction.

I bought a LaPavoni basket supposed to be 51mm but it was 49mm - I am currently exchanging it with espressoparts.com for the right sized one. I'll be back with a report.

The best results I've achieved are with the bottom cut off the pressurized basket. Only do it to the double basket as the single doesn't hold enough coffee to create enough pressure resistence. I have to load up the basket, tamp heavily, fill the rest of the way and tamp again. The results are quite good and enough to keep me going until I get my VBM :)

Pat.
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kaanage
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Espresso: Bezerra BZ99, Gaggia...
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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2007, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

Patsquini Said:

. Don't buy the Krups basket. It will fit the PF but the holes are too big thus allowing coffe to pass through if your grind is fine enough - which it needs to be now to cause resistence, create crema and a preper length extraction.

Posted August 20, 2007 link

That could be due to your grinder. The BCG450XL (if it's the same as the BCG450 sold down here) has a similar lower burr mount to that used in the Solis 166 style grinder and this is known to be inadequate for the grind fineness needed for espresso. The high loading causes the mounts to rock and the grinds are inconsistent so you get "fines" which make for bitterness in the espresso + the problem gets worse over time as the mounts wear. For drip/press, this burr mount is perfectly adequate and gives consistent results.

That said, I agree that the cut PF base is the best option as it costs nothing

The Australasian forum has had quite a lot of discussion about the Breville thermoblock machines as they have been sold downunder (along with their Sunbeam clones) for a long time.

Tip: leave a little metal around the edge to fold back against the inner base as it is only pressed in and can blow out if all the lower support is removed.

 
do'in it on the cheap
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Patsquini
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Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Vibiemme Domobar Super...
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless
Roaster: Fresh Roast Plus 8
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2007, 11:20am
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

kaanage Said:

That could be due to your grinder. The BCG450XL (if it's the same as the BCG450 sold down here) has a similar lower burr mount to that used in the Solis 166 style grinder and this is known to be inadequate for the grind fineness needed for espresso. The high loading causes the mounts to rock and the grinds are inconsistent so you get "fines" which make for bitterness in the espresso + the problem gets worse over time as the mounts wear. For drip/press, this burr mount is perfectly adequate and gives consistent results.

That said, I agree that the cut PF base is the best option as it costs nothing

The Australasian forum has had quite a lot of discussion about the Breville thermoblock machines as they have been sold downunder (along with their Sunbeam clones) for a long time.

Tip: leave a little metal around the edge to fold back against the inner base as it is only pressed in and can blow out if all the lower support is removed.

Posted August 20, 2007 link

Hi kaanage, how're ya goin'?

Yes that's my grinder alright. The grind that this grinder gives is even too fine for the Krups basket, the perforations in it are really huge. It's fine for the Breville basket though. I have gotten to a point with it that between tamping, overdosing, and keeping an eye on the heater light that the coffee turns out pretty good. It's not top o' the espresso but it's fine for now. Once I convince the wife that we need a new one then the VBM will be on it's way to me with a Macap MC4... we'll see, we'll see, we'll see :)

I took the bottom off mine just using my wood lathe and a parting tool. It did the job well. I left enough material around the base to hold the perforated insert. I cut about 0.5mm in from the outside edge, holds it well.

Do you know of a mod/hack for the grinder to get it a bit finer?

Cheers,

Pat.
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Patsquini
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Vibiemme Domobar Super...
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless
Roaster: Fresh Roast Plus 8
Posted Thu Aug 30, 2007, 9:19am
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

Thought I'd let you other Breville owners know that I ordered a La Pavoni MP68 porta filter basket from Espresso Parts last week and it arrived yesterday. It is a massive improvement. I have my Breville grinder set all the way over to the finest grind possible (on this grinder) and am getting decent results. I used to have to double tamp but now just a regular tamp works best. The top / rim of the basket is rounded, as it is on the high end baskets I've seen. I needed to flatten that so I did so using a hammer and the anvil section on my vise. I highly recommend this upgrade!

La Pavoni MP68 Basket at EspressoParts.com: http://www.espressoparts.com/product/MP68

Here's a picture of my breville double basket with the bottom cut off on my lathe: http://tinyurl.com/25pgp5

I am moving on from the Breville but I feel I have gotten all I can from the machine and grinder. It's making much better coffee than it did when it first arrived.

I have this Breville gear for sale now as I am upgrading to pro grade equipment. Check the Buy & Sell section for details "SOLD: FS: Breville 800ESXL Machine & BCG450XL Grinder PLUS Extras - AS NEW!"

Best of luck,

Pat.
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BikerGeek
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Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Cafe Roma
Grinder: Krups
Drip: French press (Bodum x2)
Posted Sun Nov 11, 2007, 10:27pm
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

Wow, this has been a spirited discussion.  Well, I bought a Cafe Roma of my own free will, after doing a bit of research - and knowing that the store has a liberal return policy.  :-)  This is replacing my Krups 880 (Gusto), which was on a decline (after seven years) but finally suffered a quick death (the brew switch failed).  The Krups had been a gift and, while I enjoyed it for my daily dose, I knew I wanted to move up a notch or two.  Long story short, after reading a bunch of different reviews I felt the Breville was the right balance between expense and value.  

The discussion of pressurized vs. non-pressurized portafilters really puzzled me at first.  The folks who've posted their mods helped me understand the question.  My eyes widened a bit when someone mentioned that a certain model of Krups basket would fit in the Roma, since it was a Krups that had just gone to its maker... and sure enough, the basket from my dead Gusto fits perfectly.  

But does it make a difference?  Well, it's evening as I type this, and I do need to get some sleep tonight - so I only pulled one (double) shot.  OK, I'm comparing that to what I drank this morning, not exactly a side by side test, but wow!  The shot this evening was powerful and smooth and smoky (a locally roasted Sumatra).  The same coffee in the pressurized basket, which was my morning cup, was a shadow of what I'm still tasting from a half hour ago.  With the stock PF, it was good; with the Krups basket, it's fantastic.  I really want another one - but I really have to get some sleep tonight!  

So if you know someone who has a dead Gusto....  

And despite all of the putdowns, I'm keeping my Breville for now.  It seems well built and I'm happy with what's coming out of it, at least so far.  

Cheers -- Ian
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Aubnormal
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Aubnormal
Joined: 4 Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Putnam
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Anreja Premium
Grinder: Compak
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Nov 28, 2008, 12:58pm
Subject: Re: how to subvert my Breville Cafe Roma's evil intentions?
 

I had tried a similar ( Frankenstein) move on a Krups pressurized basket a couple years ago. I quickly found out ( after I cut the bottom pin hole layer off of the basket) that these machines are designed with a pump that is usually around 14 bars. This much pressure is not going to give you pleasing results and will almost always lead to channeling. My recommendation to you is this. Accept the machine for what it is without asking it to give you something it cannot. In the meantime, begin doing your homework for your next purchase. If you can stand it, try and skip the $500 to $1000 price point and wait for the $1000 and up. It took me two years to buy my Andreja Premium, but I knew that a sylvia would only have been a patch on the band-aide. Of course I would love a Single group Synesso, but that may take some time......Good luck with the Beville and enjoy the journey!

Norm
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