Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:33pm Subject: Re: Breville BES900XL Best For Pricepoint
Okay, looks like about 1 yr since this Breville BES900XL discussion last post. What is the opinion now of that machine? Has it proven to "break the mold" of previous Breville machines (eg, reliability, value, etc)?
I'm looking at spending <$1K on a new machine (my Francis Fancis! X1 finally died on me after 12 yrs). One poster in this thread so far exhibits actual personal experience using the Breville machine, with good results, albeit some time ago, but am interested in hearing more about how this looks today and hoping more folks here have had a chance to use and compare.
I make on average 8 mugs of Americano per day (wife & I). Altho I rarely have the patience to steam milk for cappacinos, I do have to do that for dinner guests occasionally. In all instances, time is my biggest concern, ie I don't want to wait a second longer than I have to for the machine to be ready to use for any function (this was my fav point about the X1, as it was ready to brew <1 min after flipping the power on, during which time I was getting the bean container out, releasing the vacuum lid - I vacuum them with a FoodSaver - grind, and load/tamp the portafilter). Pull the double/triple, and shoot hot water wand with one hand while removing & dumping the portafilter with the other hand. I'm fortunate to have a good selection of local micro-roasters where I live to buy the extra-oily beans I prefer from (I live in the Seattle area). I'm also fortunate to have the best tasting water out of the tap here, non-chlorinated, 5000 yr old snow-melt from the Cascade Mtns I live in from an unusually large underground acquifer. However, the X1 had an "old-style" boiler that imparted a noticeable metallic taste from the water sitting in it from the previous brewing session (albeit not noticeable to my guests), so I conceptually find the "thermo-block" style boiler design appealing, since I typically make at most 2 cups at a time with hours in-between brewing sessions. I want either continued manual control over volume of water pumped, or ability to change programming for volume, as sometimes I want more "espresso" and less hot water in the blend (depends on the beans I buy) for my Americano. Sorry, I can't bring myself to see spending >$100 on a grinder, but more than willing to buy used/refurbished as I'm also a bargain hunter. I do want some durability, meaning I don't want to be paying somebody to repair the machine before 5 yrs is up (altho as a degreed engineer I do a lot of DIY repairs on my electronics/appliances/house), but don't mind buying another newer machine after that time.
Despite the OP question not being quite answered yet, I have enjoyed learning alot from the senior posters' info/links, so thanks for that. However, I am looking for some info on the OP question without pressure to "move up" to a lofty league of significantly more expensive, or time-consuming process, equipment. (BTW, I'm a "high-end audiophile" with $50K audio equipment investment, so I know a bit about that journey into a passion that sucks time, effort, money...and I have never really liked "the process", just the end-result product.)
Is there a $1K espresso solution that meets my needs in your respected opinion?
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