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Breville es830XL - poor results
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville es830XL...  
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gordco
Senior Member
gordco
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Waterloo
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Starbuck Barrista
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 8:15pm
Subject: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

I just purchased the above captioned, and I am about to return it to the
store. I have a good Barrista grinder. I tried everything to pull a
quality shot, with no luck. The dial, on the front would never go beyond 1.5
(barely into the black). I tried my existing beans, I tried a brand new bag
of beans, with lots of oil. I tried a light tamp, heavy tamp, multiple
grinds, right up to the finest my grinder would do. The double filtered
basket would yield the smallest amount of crema. The regular filter would
just pour out very weak coffee. I tried single shots and double shots.

This is my 3rd manual/semi-automatic machine, so I am not a complete newbie.
To top it off, I watched a YouTube video by SeattleCoffeeGear, and they tried to showcase this machine. They tried everything they knew to pull a good shot, with no success. They were completely stumped. That totally did it for me.

I only wish Costco would stock some other machines. It's very hard for a Canadian to find a good deal, as most US outfits will not ship USPS. UPS and FedEx play their brokerage ripoff game.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 648
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 1:57am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

gordco Said:

I just purchased the above captioned,

Posted September 24, 2012 link

I'm sorry to hear that. A lot of members of the community here feel that Breville machines are of poor quality. However, you shouldn't
be in a situation where the machine won't pull any kind of shot, that sounds abnormal to me.

gordco Said:

I have a good Barrista grinder.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

Can you tell us exactly what make and model? The key to making good espresso is the grinder, not the machine. There are a lot of
grinders on the market which simply can't grind fine or consistently enough to make proper espresso.

gordco Said:

The dial, on the front would never go beyond 1.5

Posted September 24, 2012 link

I'm not sure what this means, but you've never been able to make a choker with the machine? That's a symptom of a poor grinder
or stale beans. What happens if you use a blind basket or a backflushing disc? You should be getting at least 9-11 bars with one.

gordco Said:

I tried a light tamp, heavy tamp

Posted September 24, 2012 link

Tamping does have some effect on the way the machine will make a shot. Realistically, you should be aiming for a 30 lb tamp and
a consistent tamp each time. Always just one variable at a time first to see if that is the cause of the symptom.

gordco Said:

multiple grinds,

Posted September 24, 2012 link

What do you mean by multiple grinds? You do realize you should never run already ground coffee through a grinder, right?

gordco Said:

right up to the finest my grinder would do.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

If you can't make a choker with your grinder and you are using fresh beans, it is the grinder which is at fault. At the finest setting,
the coffee grounds should have a consistency like flour.

gordco Said:

This is my 3rd manual/semi-automatic machine, so I am not a complete newbie.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

Bear with me, but how many different grinders have you tried?

gordco Said:

It's very hard for a Canadian to find a good deal, as most US outfits will not ship USPS. UPS and FedEx play their brokerage ripoff game.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

Perhaps I should start off with suggesting a few online places where you can find a decent machine and grinder:

http://www.idrinkcoffee.com/

http://zcafe.ca/

http://www.espressotec.com/

They'll provide for free shipping across Canada, depending on what you order. No customs fees, no Brokerage fees.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,662
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 6:12am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

Yes, Breville does not have the highest rep for quality.
If you can't grind fine enough to fully stop the flow of water through the espresso machine (choking) then you do not have an espresso able grinder. choking or not is not the deciding factor of an espresso able grinder and as mentioned above, which exact grinder do you have? You say "barrista grinder", I am thinking that this is a Starbucks branded grinder and if I am right, it is likely a Solis 166 which is a good grinder for drip and press pot but it is not able to grind for espresso, not going to happen.

Tamping is the LEAST IMPORTANT part of the process and has the least affect on the shot. If you just remain consistent, you will be fine but about 30 to 40 pounds is a place to start.

Beans with lots of oil ...... not really a good thing in the view of most here, by the time you get lots of oil on a fresh roast (less than two weeks from the day it was roasted) you are out of the good flavor of the beans and into the flavor of the roast, more charcoal than anything else, but if that is the flavor you like then who is to say?

Your comment " The double filtered
basket would yield the smallest amount of crema. The regular filter would
just pour out very weak coffee. I tried single shots and double shots.


leads me to think that your grinder is not able to grind for espresso. I am not sure what you are referring to when you say THE DOUBLE FILTERED BASKET but it may be the pressurized portafilter and if that is correct, you will have the best results with this using your less than able grinder but it is not able to do real espresso, just something sort of like espresso.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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gordco
Senior Member
gordco
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Waterloo
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Starbuck Barrista
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

qualin Said:

I'm sorry to hear that. A lot of members of the community here feel that Breville machines are of poor quality. However, you shouldn't
be in a situation where the machine won't pull any kind of shot, that sounds abnormal to me.
Answer: Sorry, the machine pulls shots, but just not with any amount of crema.


Can you tell us exactly what make and model? The key to making good espresso is the grinder, not the machine. There are a lot of
grinders on the market which simply can't grind fine or consistently enough to make proper espresso.

Answer: I have a Starbucks Barrista, which is made by Barazta, I believe. It's a reasonably decent grinder, so I hope folks don't start saying that anything less than a $300 grinder is not espresso worthy. BTW, the manual for the Breville states that grinds should be the consistency of salt, and not flour.


I'm not sure what this means, but you've never been able to make a choker with the machine? That's a symptom of a poor grinder or stale beans. What happens if you use a blind basket or a backflushing disc? You should be getting at least 9-11 bars with one.

Answer: At first, I used beans that did not have visible oil on them (dry), and tried the finest grind. This did not yield a "choker". Then I opened new Starbucks beans, that you could visibly see oil on (in other words they were not dry). I didn't run the finest grind, but very close to one. I then tried multiple tamping pressures.

Sorry, I mean the double portafilter, which is the one that only has a small exit hole.



Tamping does have some effect on the way the machine will make a shot. Realistically, you should be aiming for a 30 lb tamp and
a consistent tamp each time. Always just one variable at a time first to see if that is the cause of the symptom.



What do you mean by multiple grinds? You do realize you should never run already ground coffee through a grinder, right?

Answer: By multiple grinds, I meant trying different settings on my grinder. Started in the middle range for espresso, and when that didn't work, I then tried the next finer setting, with new beans, and tried again. I kept trying right down to the finest setting.



If you can't make a choker with your grinder and you are using fresh beans, it is the grinder which is at fault. At the finest setting,
the coffee grounds should have a consistency like flour.



Bear with me, but how many different grinders have you tried?



Perhaps I should start off with suggesting a few online places where you can find a decent machine and grinder:

http://www.idrinkcoffee.com/

http://zcafe.ca/

http://www.espressotec.com/

They'll provide for free shipping across Canada, depending on what you order. No customs fees, no Brokerage fees.

Posted September 25, 2012 link

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gordco
Senior Member
gordco
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Waterloo
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Starbuck Barrista
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:02am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

Answer: Sorry, the machine pulls shots, but just not with any amount of crema.


Answer: I have a Starbucks Barrista, which is made by Barazta, I believe. It's a reasonably decent grinder, so I hope folks don't start saying that anything less than a $300 grinder is not espresso worthy. BTW, the manual for the Breville states that grinds should be the consistency of salt, and not flour.

Answer: At first, I used beans that did not have visible oil on them (dry), and tried the finest grind. This did not yield a "choker". Then I opened new Starbucks beans, that you could visibly see oil on (in other words they were not dry). I didn't run the finest grind, but very close to one. I then tried multiple tamping pressures.

Sorry, I meant the double portafilter, which is the one that only has a small exit hole.


Answer: By multiple grinds, I meant trying different settings on my grinder. Started in the middle range for espresso, and when that didn't work, I then tried the next finer setting, with new beans, and tried again. I kept trying right down to the finest setting.
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gordco
Senior Member
gordco
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Waterloo
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Starbuck Barrista
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:13am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

Just to confirm, my Starbucks Barista looks exactly like the Solis Maestro and is made by Barazta. A detailed review by this website, said the following:

The Final Word
In its class, this is the best grinder you can get as of this writing. Does a fantastic job at coffee grinding, and is suitable for espresso.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,008
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

The sales pitch sometimes not true.  I believe part of your problem is the grinder and the rest is the beans.  After you get that sorted you might look at a better machine.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,353
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

I've used that machine and had no problem pulling decent shots, pressurized PF if I remember, so yeah what Breville said is true in that you want a slightly coarser setting vs a non-pressurized basket as your forcing the coffee through a tiny hole (fake crema). You can get a real basket for it.

Otherwise you have two issues, that grinder is nowhere near suitable for espresso, more like for drip and coarse grinds. It may work OK in a pressurized basket which is pry whomever wrote that review meant. Which leads to your other problem, poor beans, Starbucks beans are long stale by the time you get them which staleness can still cause gushing shots in a pressurized PF and not taste good at all.

You need fresh roasted beans period, w/o that no machine will pull a good shot.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,353
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:46am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

double post....
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:07am
Subject: Re: Breville es830XL - poor results
 

If I recall, the Barista grinder was a rebadged Solis. Despite their claims, it's not capable of espresso grind. At least not without serious customization. The burrs are more designed to crush, rather than grind.

Unfortunately, there are no inexpensive electric grinders that do even a passable job at espresso. Baratza Virtuoso is probably the least expensive, and even then some folks find it not sufficient. The LeLit PL53, at $269 is the most affordable non-stepped burr grinder out there.

Of course, with hand grinders, you can get something that'll do espresso for quite a bit less money, at the cost of having to use your own muscle power.
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