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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville Dual...  
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 12:58am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Well, I finally got to 'ave a go at my new BDB today, having ordered it from WS's big 30% off sale back on the 11'th.  it's too early for a full detailed report about its shot making, especially since I had it shipped to my mother's house, where we celebrated Christmas this year, and I don't have my good grinder there (Vario), or my scales (I weigh both dose and extraction).

I'll try to keep my observations so far from being too boilerplate:

1) a HUGE +1 previous observations on the quality of the microfoam.  Amazingly good!  Amazingly easy!  In fact up to the time I got this thing, I was not exactly sure what good microfoam even was.  Now there is no doubt whatsoever.

2) compared to my old single boiler Saeco, it is a DREAM to use.  Soo much more smooth, quiet and refined.  At times, you almost forget its a vibe pump.  Far fewer fiddly steps to using it, especially if you are doing milk (for wife and friends).  No more temperature surfing, woohoo!

3) while it's still consumer-grade construction, (thin stainless, plastic frame), it exudes a surprising quality feel.  In the world of modern automobiles, plastic is everywhere, and it is standard to judge the quality of its feel.  Well, that is the pleasant surprise... This plastic feels really high quality.  Not nearly as brittle feeling as some others.

4) wifey was a little angry at the cost (even at 30% off).  But that attitude softened substantially when I made a cappuccino right behind her back and she didn't even notice the noise of the steaming or the vibe pump... Both of which are boomy-explosive, and loud-clattery respectively on my old saecos.  She was impressed.

5) I think I have he opv-too-high, issue too.  Pretty consistent 11 bar.  This is with 11 seconds to first drop, followed by about 25 more seconds.

Easily fixed.  As far as I'm concerned the only worry left will be long term durability... Heres hoping on that one.

-Peter
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EvilCookie
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Apr 2011
Posts: 20
Location: Miramar, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 7:44am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Hi guys,

I've been catching up on this thread and a few more on other forums about this machine.  Been learning a ton about the machine and it certainly matches my criteria in features desired.  Now I'm just waiting for a great deal to spring up.  I'm bummed I missed the WS deal they had a few weeks back where the machine was on sale for about 840-890 depending on your taxes.  If anyone sees any great deals for this machine, I'd really appreciate a heads up!

I know wholelattelove has it now for 1079.95 but I think a better deal can be had with some patience.

Thanks!
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 9:42am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Oh yeah, meant to add... With careful dosing I haven't had anything but a solid, dry puck that does NOT stick to the shower screen.  We read in this thread, in 9bar's seminal review, that someting along the lines of 17g makes for solid, not-sticking pucks.  now recall, I'm still at my mother's place without access to my cheap digital scale.  So how have I been dosing?  

I merely use the double-wall basket I'm not using, as a scoop.  Fill it level with unground beans and grind only that exact amount.  I keep one of my old solis 166's at mom's house, tweaked to grind espresso-fine.  It comes out clumpy of course, so I wdt it as best I can, tamp 30# with the supplied tamper, it happens to go down to the exact depth Phil McKnight recommends, and pull the shot.  Always a nice, dry puck that doesn't stick.  

When I ordered this mo'cheen back on the 11th, I was already scheming to order a synesso or vst basket, but after 9bar's careful examination of the stock breville baskets revealed their high quality, combined with careful dosing, I'm not feeling the need to use anything but the breville baskets.

-Peter
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 2:13pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

just to be sure...

I think I have one with the OPV set too high.  l'll tell you what i see, and you tell me based on that whether my OPV is too tight:

1) a normal grind/dose/tamp that first drops espresso after 10sec, and finishes after around 35sec, extracts at about 11 bar

2) if I grind out a "choker", (way too fine), the gauge snaps straight to the end of the dial, 13+ bar, and stays there until the pump stops.

my understanding of how the OPV is meant to work is, it acts as a limiter... iow, if it's set right at 9 bar, pressure should never exceed that (except for transient spikes), and might well run below 9 bar, based on grind, dose, tamp or combination thereof.   is my belief on this matter correct?

-peter
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1atom12
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 133
Location: Atlanta Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder
Roaster: Zach and Dani's
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 2:36pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

dagoat Said:

just to be sure...

I think I have one with the OPV set too high.  l'll tell you what i see, and you tell me based on that whether my OPV is too tight:

1) a normal grind/dose/tamp that first drops espresso after 10sec, and finishes after around 35sec, extracts at about 11 bar

2) if I grind out a "choker", (way too fine), the gauge snaps straight to the end of the dial, 13+ bar, and stays there until the pump stops.

my understanding of how the OPV is meant to work is, it acts as a limiter... iow, if it's set right at 9 bar, pressure should never exceed that (except for transient spikes), and might well run below 9 bar, based on grind, dose, tamp or combination thereof.   is my belief on this matter correct?

-peter

Posted December 27, 2011 link


Hi Peter, you definitely have an uncalibrated machine...  Call Breville and they will send you out a brand new, calibrated replacement at no charge to you...
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 5:40pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

i should also add that my box does not have a sticker on it that says, "calibrated".  i think i read over on the closed thread, or on CS, that the ones that have been through the newer, proper calibration process, have a sticker somewhere on the box that says "calibrated" or such.

But I don't know if that is a true statement or not.

-Peter
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1atom12
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 133
Location: Atlanta Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder
Roaster: Zach and Dani's
Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011, 6:28pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

dagoat Said:

i should also add that my box does not have a sticker on it that says, "calibrated".  i think i read over on the closed thread, or on CS, that the ones that have been through the newer, proper calibration process, have a sticker somewhere on the box that says "calibrated" or such.

But I don't know if that is a true statement or not.

-Peter

Posted December 27, 2011 link

The calibrated unit I received from Breville had "Calibrated Unit" stickers on the box....
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ConductorPete
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Dec 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler, Gaggia...
Grinder: Vario, Maestro
Drip: Tim Horton's (Bunn)
Roaster: Behmor, popcorn pumper, HGDB
Posted Wed Dec 28, 2011, 6:56pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

If you don't want to wait for a new unit to be shipped to you, it is a really easy procedure...took me about 10 minutes. Here's the instructions I followed: http://nic.steve-tek.com/?page_id=180
Of course, do so at your own risk.
I gave mine a full turn CCW, and it lowered the pressure on the gauge from max of 12 or so to 10.5.

Peter
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GRishi
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Sun Jan 1, 2012, 4:01pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Received the 20g ridgeless VST basket to replace my 18g VST basket.  Just wanted to mention that it fits the portafilter great and is giving me a tastier shot with Red Bird @ 20g dose.
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TonyVan
Senior Member


Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 276
Location: Pacific Northwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni
Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky
Drip: Kone
Posted Sun Jan 1, 2012, 5:48pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

GRishi Said:

Received the 20g ridgeless VST basket to replace my 18g VST basket.  Just wanted to mention that it fits the portafilter great and is giving me a tastier shot with Red Bird @ 20g dose.

Posted January 1, 2012 link

This is a great basket to add to your batterie d'espresso.  I'm already finding it especially useful for coffees where the beans are "light" with low density and/or moisture, and an 18g dose would overfill a normal 18g basket.  

Also, for the aesthetes and espresso sensualists among us, these ridgeless VSTs have a particularly satisfying fit and precise feel when using the custom oversized 58+mm tampers.
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