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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 496
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 10:10am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

JJC Said:

First line Jim,

Really, reading a few pages here doesn't get you the flavor of what has been happening.
Your defense of the cuadra owners and others posting here is tone-deaf to say the least, in my opinion.

How would you feel if every time someone posted a problem on the cuadra forum - real problems that are discussed there such as a leaky drain tray, steaming problems, or stinky boilers - several BDB owners jumped on to trash the cuadra for its antiquated design, higher price or whatever. It would make the cuadra forum much less useful for the cuadra owners. These sorts of machine "comparisons" by non owners have been endlessly repeated here on the BDB thread. That is a major reason this thread is so long. Fortunately for owners of other machines BDB owners are not aggressive believers/promoters of their own machines on other machine threads.

Thanks for the info on Breville's plans. Obviously they are looking at the bigger market.
"Real" espresso machines are a tiny fraction of the market. Superautos are huge in comparison.
If they can make a more automated machine that can make espresso that tastes as good as a traditional Italian machine, more power to them.
You may be attached to the mystique of coffee but at least some of us just want the coffee and find the Italian Coffee Ritual as meaningless as
the Japanese Tea Ritual. And that is way more so for the Significant Others.

Posted April 27, 2013 link

Jim,

I am not here to defend any Cuadra owners or others. However, when one mentions comparisons to other machines or speculation, the post invites others to participate. If there was another machine thread that mentioned the BDB, you and other BDB owners have every right to participate. I guess you overlooked my point about fair balance.

On a different point, if other posters broke no rules or policies, who is to judge these posters?

To the contrary of your thoughts, I do not mind when customers state real problems with a machine. In invites the community to learn problems, to help support their fellow owners, to foster learnings on preventative maintenance, and

a) to allow 1st-line to support our customers through our participation in the forums, and
b) to show the manufacturers where improvements are needed.

Finally, I respect your feedback. However, your response has indicated some speculative points....
Can you provide the data to support your claim that 'real' espresso machines are a 'tiny' fraction of the market?
Can you elaborate on 'bigger market' that Breville is trying to look at?

Again, I respect your feedback. I am just trying to connect the dots of how you came to these two conclusions as one can infer that

a) Breville is trying to gain traction into the speculative small market of 'real' espresso machines OR
b) Breville is trying to bring the 'real' espresso machine technology and results with easier to use features to the mass market OR
c) Breville is carving out a 'niche' market in between the mass market and the specialty market.

I can say that I do not not know the answer to this.

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
Twitter: http://twitter.com/1stline
Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/1stlineespresso
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 10:34am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

1stline Said:

We certainly appreciate what Breville is doing. They did their homework in design and delivering good value (features vs. price point). However, everyone needs to keep the following in perspective:

a) Innovation - there are different levels. They are not a true research leader in terms of research. They are not the Marzoccos, Rancilios, and Nuova Simonellis of the world that lead in research and development. Breville has some new things coming out (drainage feature, auto steaming, auto grind and tamp) in the machines to be rolled out in the future (two of these machines were at their booth and can be seen on our FB page). Personally, I would classify Breville as a fast follower of the commercial world to bring these innovations to the home user very quickly.
b) Marketing - their marketing plan has been very effective in developing the proper mix of features and their strategy looks like to incorporate the newest technologies researched by others. This is sometimes a very good strategy to follow. tehy also have a built up sales network of independent sales reps who visit key chain accounts. Their current largest problem is inventory.
c) Support - they are customer centric as BDB owners have shown here
d) Reliability, durability, and service - only time over the long term will determine these factors.

Again, everyone should appreciate what they are doing so far.

Posted April 29, 2013 link

I'm happy to agree with you, your points are clearly current and spot on.
I like the fact they have an inventory problem, it shows they'd somewhat under estimated demand. Yet - have the opportunity with their volume out in the market to observe durability projections, warranty dynamics, quality assurance, and this feedback can be integrated in versional upgrades during current and future production runs.

Toward innovation, you have noted they are not bleeding edge of the machina, and this really isn't their goal is it? Where Illy, Faema, and others have lead development of the product and production, Marzocco, NS, Rancilio have taken the baton and can be seen to continue the best practices of new development; again Breville is about a market penetration at nearly commodity level. They are laying the brand, spreading it wide, developing dialog and product history.  In the doing they are designing assemblies not currently on the shelf, observing the benefits and pitfalls of modern production techniques, and ekking out a profit.  If their goal is also to make coffee of a specific nature which competes with other manufacturers of the super auto functionality, they could become a competitor to the likes of Nuova in those market places... even though they're taking the initial steps in a consumer targeted marketplace.  Yes, I agree it takes time, which sounds like something they understand, and are taking advantage of.  

I also find it of interest they hold a marketing relationship with Phillips in the Australian market for home products they do not manufacture. Friendly relationships like these can bode well when all the other dynamics fall into order.
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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 Apr 29, 2013, 11:11am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

1stline Said:

They have heard this feedback, and they will have a drain feature for home descaling in the future. Timeline TBD and I am unsure which specific models.

Posted April 29, 2013 link

yep.  a few pages ago, phil mcknight in his report from SCAA boston, mentioned the same thing.  and he gave a timeline.  IIRC it was late '13-early '14 for breville to approve owner-descaling.

in the mean time, well over a year ago, phil also hinted (with a nudge and a wink), that descaling the existing the existing BDB's, once the internet pioneers figure it out and publish the technique, will be found to be as easy as adjusting the OPV.  my early model BDB is now nearly a year and half old, 100% problem-free,  and because of my faith in the hacker community, i haven't lost a second of sleep over descaling myself.  that said, if my BDB lasts the three years breville recommend for descaling interval, i'll likely follow whatever breville recommends at that time, and if it costs few shekels, no biggie.  my espresso has been so good for so cheap because of this machine, it almost feels like theft anyway.

at this point, as long as breville keeps up their customer-centric stance, i wouldn't trade my BDB for anything less than a GS/3 (or my dream machine, a fully outboarded Cyncra).  and at least one guy out there DID trade his GS/3 for a BDB, (he's probably a dedicated value shopper, blinder to coolness factors than the rest of us).  i could also be lured by that rotary pump BDB, if they ever decide to offer it.

1stline Said:

Innovation - there are different levels. They are not a true research leader in terms of research.

Posted April 29, 2013 link

i dunno jim.  breville is one of only two that i know of who has developed (and apparently patented), a means for digitally controlling the pressure output of the Ulka vibe pump.  i view that as leading research.  and i'll bet my dollar to you dime, others will follow with precision-controlling the pressure output of the Ulka too.  The other guy i know of, Bill Crossland, is an uber-engineer geek.

-peter
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 496
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 2:08pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

dagoat Said:

...

i dunno jim.  breville is one of only two that i know of who has developed (and apparently patented), a means for digitally controlling the pressure output of the Ulka vibe pump.  i view that as leading research.  and i'll bet my dollar to you dime, others will follow with precision-controlling the pressure output of the Ulka too.  The other guy i know of, Bill Crossland, is an uber-engineer geek.

-peter

Posted April 29, 2013 link

Peter,

Thanks for pointing that out. I assume you are referring to this patent application

MY opinion and with all due respect, I would not call this 'true' leading research. Again, this is my opinion. I do give Breville credit for their design. I will admit, I am NOT an engineer, nor do I want to be one. However, when we bring on a machine, I do ask a lot of questions and look at the design of machines.

My understanding.... The design they filed for patent uses a flowmeter on the inbound flow water to the pump and a second flowmeter on the outbound flow of the OPV, both of which are controlled by a microprocessor which controls the on/off voltage to determine resultant flow. As a devil's advocate (for which I do on currently manufacturers I deal with),  why not also directly measure the resultant flow as well, into the equation?

From a technical perspective, it looks like they are cycling the pump on and off to create pressure profiling and control pre-infusion. How many start/stop cycles will the pump endure (meaning add to premature wear and tear)? I do not think they are controlling the voltage to the pump. If they are, how low can they go? I do know at 55 volts, ULKA vibration pumps will not operate.

I had worked with a manufacturer (name withheld due to an agreement) on developing pump pressure profiles back in 2005. The design was a microprocessor to control water line pressure using a solenoid valve to open and close at different levels while at the same time incorporating the monitoring of temperature at the grouphead, boiler, and inbound water flow. The solenoid valve would be the OPV in this case and allow the user to program the pump pressure for each second during the espresso extraction. Unfortunately, the engineer I worked with had severe MS and the project ceased. Even this, I do not call 'true' leading research.

As for pump pressure profiles, I have experienced many different machines. I do have to say that I really enjoy the quality in the cup of a lever espresso machine. they do require a lot work, but I think one reason why the flavor profiles coming out of these machines is on top is because of the pump pressure profile created by the spring piston. In other words, the greatest pressure is at the beginning of the extraction while the least is at the end of extraction. As a devil's advocate, my taste buds, willingness to use a lever, and my music may be different than others.

As for Bill, let me share a little story. I have met him in Anaheim SCAA and I have a lot of respect for him. I received a sample Taiwanese machine from the manufacturer a year before he even knew about the company. I still have it. I asked the manufacturer to make improvements. The manufacturer refused, and he moved on and found Bill. A while back, Bill contacted us to resell his machine. I asked him if any of the improvements were made. From some of the posts I see in my little spare time, it looks like they finally got around to improving the machine. At least where I failed, Bill made progress.

Finally, I do appreciate the comments and feedback. Unfortunately, I do have to get back to the business of 1st-line and may not be able to participate as much. For those who own a BDB, I sincerely hope you are enjoying it. Life is a journey, and life with espresso, no matter which machine or coffee you use, is a better one! Again, thank you for allowing me to introduce myself and participate.

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
Twitter: http://twitter.com/1stline
Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/1stlineespresso
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selzoc
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 44
Location: RTP
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 2:28pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

I've had my BDB since 12/10/11, bought during the super 30% sale at Williams-Sonoma.  It has served me faithfully ever since - until yesterday :(.  No pressure, hardly any water coming out (75 seconds for 60ml without a portafilter).

One quick call to Breville, and I've got a new replacement machine on the way!  Kudos to them for awesome service.  It wasn't a dude reading off a script, he was actually in front of a machine telling me which buttons to press.

Great customer experience!  Sad to see my old machine go, but look at it this way - won't have to worry about descaling for another few years ;).
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

selzoc Said:

I've had my BDB since 12/10/11, bought during the super 30% sale at Williams-Sonoma.  It has served me faithfully ever since - until yesterday :(.  No pressure, hardly any water coming out (75 seconds for 60ml without a portafilter).

One quick call to Breville, and I've got a new replacement machine on the way!  Kudos to them for awesome service.  It wasn't a dude reading off a script, he was actually in front of a machine telling me which buttons to press.

Great customer experience!  Sad to see my old machine go, but look at it this way - won't have to worry about descaling for another few years ;).

Posted April 29, 2013 link

You may never have to worry about descaling if they keep replacing your machines!
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 521
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 Apr 29, 2013, 2:38pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

1stline Said:

My understanding.... The design they filed for patent uses a flowmeter on the inbound flow water to the pump and a second flowmeter on the outbound flow of the OPV, both of which are controlled by a microprocessor which controls the on/off voltage to determine resultant flow. As a devil's advocate (for which I do on currently manufacturers I deal with),  why not also directly measure the resultant flow as well, into the equation?

Posted April 29, 2013 link

The arithmetic is pretty simple: brew flow = flow in - diverted flow. It seems that a single flow meter on the tube to the group would do the trick, but perhaps they didn't want a flow meter on that tube for some reason. In any case, if there are three terms to the equation, you can infer any one if you know the other two. So they've developed a means of controlling pressure over time, it remains to be seen what they can do with that tool in future machines.

1stline Said:

As for pump pressure profiles, I have experienced many different machines. I do have to say that I really enjoy the quality in the cup of a lever espresso machine. they do require a lot work, but I think one reason why the flavor profiles coming out of these machines is on top is because of the pump pressure profile created by the spring piston. In other words, the greatest pressure is at the beginning of the extraction while the least is at the end of extraction. As a devil's advocate, my taste buds, willingness to use a lever, and my music may be different than others.

Posted April 29, 2013 link

Changing springs seems like a cumbersome way of altering pressure profiles roast-to-roast, but if you're handy with tools I suppose that could work. Whether they're "on top" seems a bit debatable; there have certainly been a number of attempts to give the user more control of the profile than a spring allows, of course.

 
"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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PrescottCR
Senior Member
PrescottCR
Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 115
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 4:43pm
Subject: VST 7g baskets
 

Has anyone else tried these? Finding a 40mm tamp for them was a little bit of work.

I just got mine, and am looking for advice on puck grooming/prep given their unique shape. Right now I'm using a 40mm tamp by rolling it on edge around the outside of the inner basket to gather the grounds, then setting & tamping as usual.

The shots taste great. I'm stopping them at 14g of liquid espresso weight in the early 20s.

My only complaint is the mess left in the basket when it comes time to eject the puck from the basket.

I thought this would be a good way for me to test roasts without overdosing on coffee. That's me overdosing, not overdosing the basket.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: VST 7g baskets
 

PrescottCR Said:

I thought this would be a good way for me to test roasts without overdosing on coffee. That's me overdosing, not overdosing the basket.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Posted April 29, 2013 link

I got nuthin on the basket... I thought it was great fun changing my grind and dose for the single Breville sent out; but I'm a double shooter by nature/character - or, read that... "lazy".

You need a coffee buddy in Yavapai.  Someone to keep you in the straight and narrow, but at the same time - cut the costs and dosage :)
Good luck with that!
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PrescottCR
Senior Member
PrescottCR
Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 115
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: VST 7g baskets
 

MerleApAmber Said:

I got nuthin on the basket... I thought it was great fun changing my grind and dose for the single Breville sent out; but I'm a double shooter by nature/character - or, read that... "lazy".

You need a coffee buddy in Yavapai.  Someone to keep you in the straight and narrow, but at the same time - cut the costs and dosage :)
Good luck with that!

Posted April 29, 2013 link

Well, I have a girlfriend who I spoil with coffee. I guess I have a co-pilot :)  But she has a job that she goes to almost everyday. Sheesh. So it's all me!

Just tried the 18gm basket (with 19.5gm) using the same grinder setting as I used for a 7gm shot and it was 36 seconds long, and beautiful. So we have a winner. i can go tall or small without wasting coffee.

I had some decent shots from the Breville single, with ~13gm in it but I had to back off the grind a LOT, and this resulted in spritzers. No, it's not my tamping.. I swear.
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