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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 474
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 6:13pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Iluvdabean Said:

Why would they put that in there anyways?

Posted January 27, 2013 link

So that a $12/hour salesguy working a summer job as a break from majoring in high school phys-ed can demonstrate the machine to a Starbucks drinking, trophy-wife idiot and produce some crema looking shifeces that will make her say "That's what espresso looks like" and make the sale.
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lowespresso
Senior Member
lowespresso
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: california
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

I have read a lot but not all of the 145 pages of this thread... Is there a single hole replacement tip for the steamer wand?

Second, I know the grinder I have, the Solis Maestro, isn't the best, but I'm getting pretty good shots with it. I've read of the paramount importance of the grinder in the espresso equation.  I'm considering getting a Baratza Vario.  Will the difference in shots likely be apparent to a relative novice?
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Contrabass_Bry
Senior Member
Contrabass_Bry
Joined: 3 Jan 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Thank you for the welcome, gents!

Now that I've had a full weekend with the unit, I fear it must go back to Breville (but only for replacement.) I've had the Err1 rear it's ugly head no less than 3 times. Once after a moderately choked shot, once after a "wake-up" from Power Save mode and one for no particular reason...

Crema has returned with freshly roasted beans (2 days post roast SM's New Classic Espresso from a 12 minute Poplite session.)

It still has wet, spitty steam (which the manual attributes to using distilled water.) My general area has a TDS of over 420 and I've only filtered though a near-worthless Brita pitcher.

But I like what I've seen so far. If I get a proper acting replacement, I'll be happy. Now the question still remains...how long will these last?!?


Cheers,

Bryan
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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 Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:21pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

lowespresso Said:

I have read a lot but not all of the 145 pages of this thread... Is there a single hole replacement tip for the steamer wand?

Posted January 27, 2013 link

mate, don't take this the wrong way, but your progress as a barista will go much much smoother and more quickly and surely if you quit obsessing over must-have fashion gadgetry, and take care of the basics first.  what you spent on a bottomless portafilter you barely need, and a VST basket that you positively do not need, would have put you a third of the way to a preciso or a quarter of the way to a vario.  in fact, as long as you don't yet have a good espresso grinder, the VST basket may be more than just a waste of money.  it may even be causing you to have worse espresso than you otherwise would.

lowespresso Said:

Second, I know the grinder I have, the Solis Maestro, isn't the best, but I'm getting pretty good shots with it. I've read of the paramount importance of the grinder in the espresso equation.  I'm considering getting a Baratza Vario.  Will the difference in shots likely be apparent to a relative novice?

Posted January 27, 2013 link

understatement of the century in bold.  get yourself a good grinder as soon as you can, then start making shots as carefully and meticulously as possible, precisely-dosed every time, and with the freshest beans you can get, (roast them yourself if you have to), and take notes.

-peter
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lowespresso
Senior Member
lowespresso
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: california
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 2:33pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Thanks for the advice Peter. I will go ahead and get a Baratza Vario.  I'm looking forward to tasting the difference, as I'm already enjoying the results with my subpar grinder.  

With regards to single hole steam tip... My thought to get one has nothing to do with trying to be fashionable.  I just want to improve my results.  I have viewed many videos on milk frothing, and practiced a lot.  No doubt due to my inexperience, I have not been able to get good microfoam with the three hole steamer wand tip, yet when I plug two of the three holes, I can easily get good microfoam.
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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 Mon Jan 28, 2013, 2:53pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

in fact, if anything, re fashionable accoutrements:  roasting yourself is easy and cheap and there is no reason a beginner can't jump right into it from the get-go with an air popper or a stainless dog bowl and a heat gun.  plus it's hard to beat for geek factor impressing your friends.  you don't have to tell them it's easy and cheap. ;)

as for the steam tip, i don't know what to say.  the reputation of the BDB is for weak steam (compared to commercial machines), but fabulous, idiot-proof microfoam.  i'm not much of a milk drinker, but the wife is, and i have little trouble making microfoam of suitable quality to do latte art, (which i suck at, but not for lack of good "art" foam).  in fact for me, i only steam 2-5 oz. at at time and the steaming power at those small doses is like greased lightning.  back to microfoam, and take this how you wish, but phil mcknight of breville posted in this thread a short little blurb about the trouble they went to, to make a good microfoamer.  it sounded like they tried all kinds of combinations hole patterns, with minute changes (and i mean really minute) to hole diameter and such until they got the best quality steaming performance (even if not the best steaming horsepower).  so don't take what i'm saying about the BDB steaming quality as gospel, but based on what i have read here and in other BDB threads, i'd say practice practice practice with the BDB as is.  try smaller quantities?  are you by chance trying to steam more than half the stock pitcher?  imho, to steam more than half of the stock pitcher at a time is asking a lot of the BDB.

-peter
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Park_Ridge_Dave
Senior Member
Park_Ridge_Dave
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 78
Location: Mundelein (Chicago)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BES900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario (NOT...
Vac Pot: N/A (French Press)
Drip: Technivorm MochaMaster
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 4:05pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

lowespresso Said:

Hi. Another new BDB owner. Thanks for all the info posted here on CG.  I'm enjoying my new espresso machine and am starting to get pretty good results. I got the Breville naked portafilter and a ridgeless VST 18 basket. I like this basket as I can tamp without the tamper hitting the tapered narrow diameters of the stock baskets.  I wasn't able to get good microfoam steaming milk until I tried plugging two of the three holes on the steaming wand as someone mentioned; now it's easy to get great microfoam for my cappuccinos. In case any new owners wonder how to get out the black plastic insert in the OEM portafilter... I used a screw extractor and was able to get it out without scratching the portafilter.

Posted January 26, 2013 link

Just looking at your Portafilter and I seem to think that you may have an "older" unit. I bought mine in mid-December and I didn't have the plastic part. ?????? Also, my OPV was set to just a shade over 10 bar.

I am wondering if anybody has info on when certain changes were made (linked to Serial Numbers???).

You also had a later post RE: Getting a Vario Grinder, I don't have any knowledge of the older grinder that you said that you had, however, I bought my new grinder then made up my mind on the espresso machine.

I brew french press and Technovorm, so, I got a Vario and have been very pleased. I needed the wide range of sizes so that was the deciding factor on the grinder.

I have been very pleased with both the grinder and the BDB, I am getting excellent shots. Indeed, it is like my golf clubs and my golf game. I will have much room for improvement before my equipment is the limiting factor! lmao

Best of luck!

Cheers,

Dave

 
Don't forget to stop and smell the coffee...... er flowers!
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lowespresso
Senior Member
lowespresso
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: california
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 6:42pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

dagoat Said:

in fact, if anything, re fashionable accoutrements:  roasting yourself is easy and cheap and there is no reason a beginner can't jump right into it from the get-go with an air popper or a stainless dog bowl and a heat gun.  plus it's hard to beat for geek factor impressing your friends.  you don't have to tell them it's easy and cheap. ;)

Posted January 28, 2013 link

I have been enjoying roasting my own coffee for about 7 years. It is nice having fresh roasted coffee all the time, and yes, my friends are impressed.  :)

I'll have to try some more then with the stock steam tip.  I rarely used the steamer on my prior espresso maker (Starbucks Barista), drinking Americano's mostly, so I am certainly a novice with regards to milk frothing.  Thanks.
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 513
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 6:45pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

lowespresso Said:

With regards to single hole steam tip... My thought to get one has nothing to do with trying to be fashionable.  I just want to improve my results.  I have viewed many videos on milk frothing, and practiced a lot.  No doubt due to my inexperience, I have not been able to get good microfoam with the three hole steamer wand tip, yet when I plug two of the three holes, I can easily get good microfoam.

Posted January 28, 2013 link

What specific difference do you see in the foam when you block two of the holes, less frothy top?

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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lowespresso
Senior Member
lowespresso
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: california
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Park_Ridge_Dave Said:

Just looking at your Portafilter and I seem to think that you may have an "older" unit. I bought mine in mid-December and I didn't have the plastic part. ?????? Also, my OPV was set to just a shade over 10 bar.

I am wondering if anybody has info on when certain changes were made (linked to Serial Numbers???).

Posted January 28, 2013 link

I just bought my BDB about two weeks ago at a local W&S. I have no idea how long they've had it.  The OPV seems to be good, about 10.25.  I too am curious about how to interpret serial numbers on these.

I have been very pleased with both the grinder and the BDB, I am getting excellent shots. Indeed, it is like my golf clubs and my golf game. I will have much room for improvement before my equipment is the limiting factor! lmao

I'm glad your combo is working well for you.  I'm actually enjoying mine even with substandard grinder.  I guess if one doesn't know any better, one can be happy with imperfection.  

Regarding golf, I long ago learned that new clubs won't improve my golf game! :)
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