Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Breville 800es
Coffee Kids
Help folks who help folks in coffee producing nations.
coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville 800es  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
coffeehounds
Senior Member
coffeehounds
Joined: 24 Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Location: texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Starbucks Barista Burr...
Vac Pot: Starbucks vac. pot
Drip: YUCK!!
Roaster: Soon
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2007, 12:31pm
Subject: Breville 800es
 

OK, I am considering the Breville espresso machine.  I have done extensive research and I really want the Gaggia classic however, I am married and wish to stay married (my wife has drawn the line at the Breville 800es).  I have read some mixed reviews on the Breville.  One of the things I am most concerned about is the "blow back" into the grinds.  I am under the impression that a good way to know you have pulled a good clean shot of espresso is that the grinds come out in a nice firm disc.  I heard that the Breville has some sort of pressure escape that goes back into the grinds and does not give that classic firm disc.  Can someone please tell me what they know about the Breville and what you know about turning out that firm disc after you pull your shot of espresso?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Beezer
Senior Member
Beezer
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 456
Location: Fresno, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita
Grinder: La Cimbali Max Hybrid
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2007, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

I bought a Breville 800 about a year and a half ago, and sent it back after a couple of days.  My impression was that it has a very nice looking exterior, which hides the fact that it is a very mediocre performer where it counts: making espresso and steaming milk.  I bought a Gaggia Classic after the Breville, and I was much happier with the results.  If I were you, I'd skip the Breville and go for a Gaggia, Silvia, or Solis SL-70.  

You are correct that the Breville will have a soupy puck.  One reason is because the Breville does not have a three-way pressure release valve, it will retain some water in the portafilter after a shot.  If you remove the portafilter too soon after the shot, it can blow coffee and water all over the place.  You can avoid the problem by waiting a minute before removing the PF, or at least releasing it slowly and carefully.  This is not necesssarily a huge problem in itself, but in the Breville's case it is a symptom of a more serious problem.  

The other reason the Breville retains water in the PF is because it has a so-called "crema enhancing" basket.  This is basically a restrictor with a small hole in the bottom that forces the espresso to get frothy as it leaves the spouts, thus producing a false "crema" in the shot.  This is not the same as real crema, which occurs when fresh coffee is finely ground and then brewed under high pressure.  Crema enhancing machines are designed to produce faux crema from stale or poorly ground beans.  However, they are not a substitute for fresh and properly ground coffee.  The flavor and texture will still be lacking.  

One reason I prefer the Gaggia and Silvia machines is that they don't rely on crema enhancer as a crutch to simulate a good shot.  The Gaggia portafilter is large and heavy, and it has a basket with proper holes in it so you can get an excellent, crema laden shot if you are using fresh beans and grinding them with a good grinder.  This is far preferable to anything the Breville will be able to make.

Another problem with the Breville is that it uses a small, thermoblock style heater instead of a proper boiler to heat the water for the coffee.  Thermoblocks do heat up quickly, but they contain so little water that there will be large temperature variations during the shot.  Basically, you want the water to stay at the same temperature during the shot - right around 200 degrees, give or take a couple of degrees.  All of the mid and low level machines have problems keeping their brew temperature stable, but it's worse in the thermoblock machines because there's so little water in the heater.  The Silvia has a much bigger boiler, and thus it's more stable.  Gaggias have smaller boilers, but they work OK because they heat the water very fast.  The Solis has a fairly large boiler, but not as large as the Silvia.

Thermoblocks are also weak steamers, again because the "boiler" is too small to generate a lot of steam, which is necessary for good milk frothing.  Gaggias are somewhat better in this regard, though their small boiler is a problem if you want to steam large amounts of milk, and they come with a gimmicky turbo frother device that makes proper frothing difficult to achieve.  The Silvia is probably the best in this class, because the large boiler makes it very powerful and it doesn't have a "turbo forther", which is just another crutch device that makes it difficult to produce good froth.  The Solis also has good frothing ability.

So the bottom line is that I'd avoid the Breville unless you really don't care much about the flavor of your espresso or the quality of your milk.  It looks nice on the counter, and that's about it.  For the $400 + price tag, you can get a much nicer machine that actually produces good espresso.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,268
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2007, 5:30pm
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

I bought one and after two weeks I returned it and that was the best thing I could have done. I then called WLL and orderd a Gaggia Classic.The pressureized portafilter on mine got plugged so bad I couldnt get it cleaned out. I soaked it over night in vinegar,espresso cleaner,used the special tool they give you and then tried the garden hose under full thumb pressure. I agree with the above poster and I would have to suggest another make.

http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/july2002.html
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
Dooglas
Senior Member
Dooglas
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 719
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme Junior
Grinder: Ascaso, Baratza
Drip: Bonavita, Bodum press
Roaster: GeneCafe, Behmor
Posted Tue Dec 25, 2007, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

coffeehounds Said:

OK, I am considering the Breville espresso machine.  I have done extensive research and I really want the Gaggia classic however, I am married and wish to stay married (my wife has drawn the line at the Breville 800es).

Posted December 24, 2007 link

Spending hundreds of bucks on a machine that won't make a decent coffee will not endear you to your wife either. The SL70 is a good budget machine and I urge you to give it a close look. You have probably read that the Gaggia Coffee and the Gaggia Espresso share most of the same internals with the Classic for less money. Gaggia Classics and Rancillio Sylvias are also available used for those closely minding their budget. The Sylvia with its large brass boiler is a good choice used if you can find one that has been well cared for.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,245
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Tue Dec 25, 2007, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

Dooglas Said:

The Sylvia with its large brass boiler is a good choice used if you can find one that has been well cared for.

Posted December 25, 2007 link

There's been at least 4 or 5 right here on the Buy, Sell & Trade forum in the last month to 5 weeks.

 
http://twitter.com/CoffeegeekCraig
http://www.facebook.com/craig.andrews.169

Excellent coffee doesn't just happen!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Contact via ICQ Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
psaigh
Senior Member
psaigh
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 129
Location: Adelaide, Aus
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Z9 (lever piston),...
Grinder: Roburr E, K10, KR1203, Mini,...
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-2, 3
Drip: Kona, aeropress, melitta,...
Roaster: 5 Senses
Posted Tue Dec 25, 2007, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

Just a tip if you MUST go ahead with your purchase of the breville 800, while there are no unpressurised fortafilter baskets for the 800 series you can order either the krups non pressurised baskets (part number for the double is MS0907163) or the brevil bar italia baskets fit well too.  Both of these will give you a MUCH better tasting result and are very cheap (should keep the wife happy!).
The machine does still suffer from the same problems as all thermablock based machines, but with non-presurised baskets, decent technique and a good grinder you should be able to get a decent morning cuppa out of the breville

 
...Ian

Http://www.bar9.com.au
Http://BarNine.Blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/BarNine
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,268
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Dec 25, 2007, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

Or you could buy a Gaggia Espresso de Luxe for 300 dollars and save 100 dollars so the wife would really be stoked and you would still have a real espresso maker instead of a Chinese made Breville...or even go to WLL and get a refurbished machine..whicn really means it was returned for whatever reason under the 30 day return policy and looked over completely by them and given thier ok and sold with 25 % off.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
coffeehounds
Senior Member
coffeehounds
Joined: 24 Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Location: texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Starbucks Barista Burr...
Vac Pot: Starbucks vac. pot
Drip: YUCK!!
Roaster: Soon
Posted Tue Dec 25, 2007, 10:32pm
Subject: Re: Breville 800es
 

OK so you all are really telling me something I knew deep down in my hart...that the Breville in spite of its great looks and nifty blue lights really is just a bunch of bells and whistles.  The reason why I am looking at these two machine (Breville or the Gaggia) is that I have a credit with Williams Sonoma and have to choose from their stock otherwise I would go to that web site and buy the refurb (I LOVE refurbs, great way to save $$$).  Anyways, I think I have been able to convince my wife that the Gaggia is the way to go.  I have been doing research and found that what everyone is saying here is right on.  I told her I would rather have nothing than get that Breville (who wants crappy espresso in the morning?)  I would rather save up for the Gaggia or just get nothing for the time being than to buy a problem machine that takes shortcuts to produce a substandard shot of espresso.  Thanks for keeping me on track....friends dont let friends drink crappy espresso.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville 800es  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.42424082756)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+