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Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville Infuser...  
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MochaJoe
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 66
Location: Omaha, NE
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 5:50pm
Subject: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

Hey all,

After watching SCG vids and reading accounts of both the Infuser and Grinder, this combo looks pretty enticing. Especially considering the price point, as a friend works at a location that sells both. I would be able to purchase both for $540.

As I returned my refurb Gaggia and Preciso, this duo new looks great. But has anyone here had any real world experience with the pair? I'm mostly concerned about steaming as I make lattes daily.

Thanks guys for your continued support!
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 6:37pm
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

Let me preface this by saying that I have the Breville Dual Boiler and have almost nothing but great things to say about it.

Why did you return your Gaggia and Preciso? The Breville SG would be a step down from the Preciso--a couple even--and not a competent espresso grinder. It's not awful, but it's just barely capable. I also watched the video for the Infuser, and I thought that their shots looked undrinkable. Granted, that has a lot to do with the way that they were pulling them. I think the Infuser has promise as a cheap, entry level machine, but I haven't seen enough of it yet. The major issue I see is that you said that steaming is important to you and the single hole tip and complete lack of steam power will make it an issue to get quality microfoam. Gale had trouble with it, and she works with all different machines all day.

The SG I would discourage you from, especially if you're coming from a Preciso. There are just better grinders in that price range, especially on the used market.

Good luck.

-Dave-
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,038
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 Jan 1, 2013, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

the only Breville espresso machine that I am using neutral about is the BDB, for the most part the rest of them are absolute garbage why in the world would you get rid of a baby Gaggia for that?

The same can be said for the grinder there must be a hidden story behind this because I really can't see why you would trade down to that when you had capable my quipment in your hands:-) :O

 
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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MochaJoe
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 66
Location: Omaha, NE
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 8:44pm
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

I purchased the Classic and Preciso as a refurb package from WLL, and something was wrong with the steam valve/wand from day one. Leaking from both the connection to the machine and out the wand tip. Also was giving me wet steam, so in hindsight, I could have also had an issue with the steam temp as well.... Anywho, I needed to return both as I bought it as a package.

Being completely honest, I wasnt able to play with the machines long enough to even have an opinion on them. I mean, I barely got the grinder dialed in before I sent it back so I have no frame of reference. The Brevilles not only look sleeker, but the Infuser seems to have a lot of options built in for the money compared to both the Silvia and the Classic. I was really interested in the thermocoil for consistent temps. But it seems that no one has used either the Infuser or the SG to give an actual real world opinion, which bothers me. Are people not buying them because of poor past experience, or the people who do buy them just not frequenting these boards?

I think that Im gun shy on the Classic because of the issue with the one I received.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,038
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 Wed Jan 2, 2013, 6:15am
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

MochaJoe Said:

I was really interested in the thermocoil for consistent temps. But it seems that no one has used either the Infuser or the SG to give an actual real world opinion, which bothers me. Are people not buying them because of poor past experience, or the people who do buy them just not frequenting these boards?

I think that Im gun shy on the Classic because of the issue with the one I received.

Posted January 1, 2013 link

Thermocoil, thermoblock, same thing - different shape, low quality machine in either case.
The answer to your question, YES, poor past history in a major way AND we are not low end consumers that shop at Sir la Talbe, Maceys or joes discount house of espresso machines.

As for the smart grinder, it has plastic mounted burrs, in a lift off / twist in mount (it is hard to see durability and consistence here) and it is only barely able to grind for espresso. On the SCG video, it, at it's finest setting was only able to pull a proper shot, it could not choke the machine thus you have no further adjustment in the grinder to go finer should you be in need of doing so.

The move is a decided down one on both items but if you like looks over performance, they do look nifty.

 
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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MochaJoe
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 66
Location: Omaha, NE
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:19am
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

Correct me if im wrong, but does the CC1 not use a thermoblock? This was another option I was looking at (in 6+ months after squirreling away money)
The Silvia is everywhere, and everybody seems to have started with a Silvia, but from I understand a PID is almost a necessity, and at that price point I can go looking at refurb HX machines.

My buddy had the idea of just getting a Mypressi, a bellman steamer, and another Preciso and calling it good. I like the concept (and the money involved), but dont think I want to spend that much time making a latte before class....
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,305
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

I think you're right about the CC1 being a thermoblock.  It traveled around for a year or more between the more experienced users here, but we're still waiting on the review.

yeah, lots of us started on a Silvia, so we know it's limitations, and having been around a while, we know what else is out there.  Me, well...I didn't come here looking for help before making that purchase, but back when I got mine, I paid under $500 for a brand new one, and it probably would have been the recommendation in that price range, at the time.  Had I come here first looking for advice, I probably would have ended up starting with a better machine in the prosumer range (but that's another story).  The Silvia hasn't changed much at all, but the price has certainly gone up.  The only real difference from what I had to what is brand new now is the steam wand, and if I can do the upgrade to the new valve and wand for under $75 bucks, imagine how little it costs Rancilio!  The rise in price is much more than would be expected by the "improvements" and inflation.  Frankly, there are other good machines out there in the same class for less money.  This is why no one is recommending new Silvias anymore.  So, yeah, you're better off buying a used HX if you can find one for the same money as a new Silvia...and with HX, PID is nearly useless.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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revolver1978
Senior Member
revolver1978
Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: --
Drip: --
Roaster: --
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

CC1 is a combination unit. It has a boiler, and runs steam through a small thermoblock by pulling hot water through the boiler, or at least that's how I understand it. The boiler is insulated. The temp does drop while steaming, because the machine is using the boiler to pre-heat the water for the thermoblock.

I bought the CC1 and really like it, and decided to keep it over a Gaggia Classic that I had tried out for a bit. Being new to non-pressurized basket machines, I like the temp control on the CC1. The Gaggia had a lot to like though, heated up realatively fast, and was priced right (I paid $250-ish for a used one.)

I think the Breville line of machines look great, but I'd rather have something a bit more robust, for lack of a better description.

If you're budget is around $500, I think I'd look for a used Gaggia Classic and maybe a used Rocky or refurb Preciso from Baratza.

My $0.02
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,038
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 Wed Jan 2, 2013, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

The others beat me to it, the CC1 uses a thermoblock for the steaming side of things while it has a built in PID and boiler for brewing, from the very best I understand about the machine.

A thermoblock or thermocoil is not a good thing for brewing then to that you add in the fact that according to the description of the machine, it uses the same thermocoil for both steaming and brewing so you are still waiting for it to cool after steaming or waiting to warm before steaming. I guess if there is any "good" side to a thermo (whatever) heating unit, it is that there is no boiler to go dry and then burn out the heat element. For me, that is a poor trade off.

You are on the edge for sure much over $500 for the machine and you are into used HX machines such as the Oscar, which by the way, will run mile long rings around any SBDU out there when doing both brewing and steaming. For shots only and no milk component you can buy an Alexia which is a great SBDU but when you add in steaming, you then are still waiting. For $1200 I can think of other machines I would rather have though. Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

 
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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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: Breville Infuser + smart grinder?
 

I'm inclined to agree with Cal. Breville machines are the siren song of cheap espresso machines, with the exception of the BDB, which is newer. Most of the entry level machines that are actually decent won't win any beauty contests--hell I think the Silvia and Lelit are ugly as sin. But the problem is that Breville makes very, very sexy-looking gear that feels solid at first blush and has blue LEDs in them, reminding the consumer they were at least designed after the Clinton Administration. But the fact remains that underneath that gleaming facade is a very limited SBDU machine that's uniquely priced between the bare-minimum (though surprisingly versatile) Saecos and the more half a mortgage payment options, like the Silvia and CC1.

As for the SG, I REALLY wanted to like it. It looked so sexy, compared to the offerings from Rancilio and Baratza. And it was priced great to boot! But the reviews constantly place it on the very lowest end of espresso grinders and again we see that it's what's inside that counts. I'm a huge fan of Baratza and I will say that if you go with one of their grinders, they'll really treat you right.
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