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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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michaelgo
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 105
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 10:03am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

yaacov Said:

thanks for the video link above - i really hate the idea of doing this myself; not because i don't think i can do it, but it's kinda bs that these things are being shipped at this point without them working properly.

Posted October 6, 2013 link

When these first came out, many had incorrectly set pressure on the OPV. I sent mine back to get one that was properly adjusted.  If you don't want to do it yourself, call Breville support and have it swapped out.

But I'm also hearing that the newer machines are set higher so don't know if this is the new pressure recommendation or not.

As for the puck sticking, I've heard a couple of different explanations but the one that makes sense to me is that when the basket is under dosed, there's some back pressure that actually sucks the puck up and sticks it to the screen.  Personally, my pucks stick all the time and I dose about 19g on average and purchase beans from a local roaster.  No big deal, just double tap the double button and it pops right off.

Michael
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PrescottCR
Senior Member
PrescottCR
Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 11:15am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

LJSquishy Said:

Hi everyone,

I'm new to CG and in the process of choosing a new espresso machine. I'm really trying to decide between the BDB and the Crossland CC1 but I'm currently leaning toward the BDB.

The best price I've found currently is on Overstock (using a 1st time purchase coupon) but they have two units listed with the same model number with two different prices. Neither of them says it's a refurb. One is priced at $1193.39, and the other listing is at $1062.99 Click Here (www.overstock.com)

I can't seem to find any differences between the two listings but wondered if one might be a newer version.

I'm also wondering if it's possible to temporarily have coffee ground at a local espresso shop & use the double wall portafilters just to get by until I can save up enough (and find) a good grinder. I may be going with a used Mazzer Mini or something along that sort. It would probably be a month or so. I wouldn't expect anything amazing, just is it doable? We were using a Mr. Coffee ECMP50 and using the coffee grinders at Costco w/ a double wall portafilter so I know what that tastes like (at least on the machine we were using). Our ECMP50 couldn't even handle very finely ground beans. If so, is there a specific range we should ask for or will pretty much any espresso setting work okay? I would prefer to have them ground fresh vs buying preground in a bag if possible.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

I can't say about the machines, there is a /b model out now, maybe that's it? As for the price, you might do better with a 20% off from Bed, Bath & Beyond. You'll have to go to a store and get one, or have them order it for you because online the 20% off has restrictions and you can't use it for Breville (or any other worthwhile) products it seems. If you sign up for their texts or emails they will send you a 20% off almost immediately after you use the last one. I hear others have had luck with Williams Sonoma and some other places that do this kind of thing.

As for the grinder- Seriously, get the grinder first. Seriously. You'll be disappointed and frustrated if you try to use pre-ground coffee. Look for something with a step-less adjustment meant for espresso. The exception to that is the Baratza grinders which have two sets of steps giving you near infinite adjustment. The Compak K3 (I think that's the right model) is highly recommended. I liked my LeLit 053 and I really like my Baratza Varios. A Preciso by Baratza is a solid buy too, check out Baratza's web site and look for refurbished models.

Whatever you do, buy a good grinder. Buying a BES900XL is like getting a race car engine, buying the grinder is like buying a race car transmission, tires and suspension. Hmm, maybe that's backwards, but you get the point.

So to recap- seriously, get a good grinder first and save up to get your machine. The price on the BES900 isn't going to go up while you're saving money for it.

Did I mention get a good grinder? Good....
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michaelgo
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 105
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 11:21am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

PrescottCR Said:

Did I mention get a good grinder? Good....

Posted October 7, 2013 link

I second PrescottCRs post.  I picked up a Vario about six months back to replace the really cool Breville Smartgrinder.  While the SG looks great sitting next to the BDB, it's grind wasn't consistent and the jump between steps was too big to get it just right.  Frustrating to have that Ferrari engine (now don't jump on my you Itallian snobs LOL) and listening to the engine ping because I filled it with regular.  I had my doubts but having a great grinder really makes the BDB shine and brewing much more rewarding.

Michael
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 11:54am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

PrescottCR Said:

I can't say about the machines, there is a /b model out now, maybe that's it? As for the price, you might do better with a 20% off from Bed, Bath & Beyond. You'll have to go to a store and get one, or have them order it for you because online the 20% off has restrictions and you can't use it for Breville (or any other worthwhile) products it seems. If you sign up for their texts or emails they will send you a 20% off almost immediately after you use the last one. I hear others have had luck with Williams Sonoma and some other places that do this kind of thing.

As for the grinder- Seriously, get the grinder first. Seriously. You'll be disappointed and frustrated if you try to use pre-ground coffee. Look for something with a step-less adjustment meant for espresso. The exception to that is the Baratza grinders which have two sets of steps giving you near infinite adjustment. The Compak K3 (I think that's the right model) is highly recommended. I liked my LeLit 053 and I really like my Baratza Varios. A Preciso by Baratza is a solid buy too, check out Baratza's web site and look for refurbished models.

Whatever you do, buy a good grinder. Buying a BES900XL is like getting a race car engine, buying the grinder is like buying a race car transmission, tires and suspension. Hmm, maybe that's backwards, but you get the point.

So to recap- seriously, get a good grinder first and save up to get your machine. The price on the BES900 isn't going to go up while you're saving money for it.

Did I mention get a good grinder? Good....

Posted October 7, 2013 link

BBB is a lot more expensive even with the 20% off coupon. After tax, it would be $1048 or so compared to $908 from Overstock. I have a BBB 20% off in-store coupon but it excludes Breville anyway (and my store doesn't carry it in stock). I had considered Williams-Sonoma but even if I had a 30% Friends & Family coupon (which I remember getting in my email last year), after tax it would be $938...still more than Overstock again. It's having to pay sales tax almost everywhere that eats up the savings. If I get the CC1 I will have to pay sales tax from SCG because I'm in WA. It stinks!

I know I need the grinder, I just wanted to know if preground coffee (either ground in-store or from a bag) would even work at all...not whether or not it would produce top quality shots.
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 522
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 12:13pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

LJSquishy Said:

The best price I've found currently is on Overstock (using a 1st time purchase coupon) but they have two units listed with the same model number with two different prices. Neither of them says it's a refurb. One is priced at $1193.39, and the other listing is at $1062.99

Posted October 7, 2013 link

Make sure it's from an authorized dealer with a full one-year warranty. You're likely to need some support somewhere down the line, and that warranty will come in handy even if you have to pay a couple hundred bucks more for it. The Overstocks are probably obsolete /A models.

And get your grinder first.

 
"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: 127
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 12:56pm
Subject: It'll work..
 

The single wall baskets will work, of course. I played with them for grins, never got anything spectacular out of them, more on the lines of a K-cup or Vue cup coffee which is good enough for a lot of people. I forget which grind works for the single wall, that is definitely something you want to know before you commit to grinding a pound! It's not that fine

I'd second the opinion to get one from a authorized reseller, just in case. Unless you're the kind of person who feels confident in tinkering with the innards. I don't mind myself, but that's just me. I think Onecall had some for a while as well. If you have time you can check the Breville site and see who's authorized.

Some of the /a models *might* have things fixed, like porta filter slip, some gaskets that failed years ago, and OPV settings. Unfortunately I'm not sure you can really know if those will be issues for you until you get your machine. If you get one from Breville online (no tax or shipping, but full price) or another reputable outlet you will either get a /b model or a /a with all the changes made. So you do have to weigh all that and decide. I wish Breville had refurbs online like Baratza. There's a company out of Canada that sell's refurb'd Brevilles, don't know if that's worth trying or not.

Good luck either way, and like I said- The grinder makes the machine. I guess I didn't SAY that, but it was heavily implied.
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 321
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 Oct 7, 2013, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

LJSquishy Said:

Hi everyone,

I'm new to CG and in the process of choosing a new espresso machine. I'm really trying to decide between the BDB and the Crossland CC1 but I'm currently leaning toward the BDB.
...snip...
I may be going with a used Mazzer Mini or something along that sort.

Posted October 7, 2013 link


hopefully the unsatisfactory idea of pre-ground coffee has been covered properly by this point, so i won't belabor it.

There is a very very large difference between the BDB and the Crossland CC1.  I like Bill Crossland a lot.  He is a smart, classy guy and a top-notch engineer. Bill was one of the lead engineers in the development of La Marzocco's seminal, built-like-a-commercial-machine-for-home, $6500 GS/3.   I like his vision for espresso going forward, whereby inexpensive and precise microcontrollers replace heavy and expensive copper and brass that will never be as precise as a computer.  Just be aware that you lose the romance aspect as well as possibly lifetime durability.  The BDB is a also a computer/microcontroller machine, but it operates and behaves much more like a commercial machine than the CC1, even though it most certainly is NOT built like one.  The CC1 is not a dual boiler machine.  The BDB is.  If I were 100% sure I didn't need or want a dual boiler, I would get the CC1.  Otherwise, the BDB.  My wife likes milk drinks.  I like playing with microfoam.  I got the BDB.

"Mazzer Mini or something along that sort"

Ironic quote, that... Because there IS nothing else "along that sort" that grinds quite so poorly as the Mini, for so very much money.  It's not that it's an awful grinder.  It's ok'ish.  Better than the $125 Bodum or De Longhi in the Kitchen stores.  But it's cost-to-grind-quality ratio is about as bad as it gets.  The fact that it is built like a pro grinder and looks like one is sadly, very very misleading.  If you think like an engineer, you learn to look for "nodes", or points on a graph where one value is optimum with respect to another.  In the grind-quality-per cost graph, there is none better than the Baratza Vario.  And the good news is you can get one brand new for the cost of a lightly used Mazzer Mini.  Or if you are seriously drawn to commercial grade construction, you can get a used Mazzer Super Jolly for the price of a Vario.  They both grind about the same.  But be prepared for "spousal resistance" if you are married.  They are a BIG commercial grinder.  No chance whatsoever of fitting underneath standard kitchen cabinets.  If I were single, I'd have a Super Jolly.  But I'm not, and live in a small house, so I have a Vario, which grinds as well as a Super Jolly at half the size.

-Peter
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 4:57pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BBB is a lot more expensive even with the 20% off coupon. After tax, it would be $1048 or so compared to $908 from Overstock. I have a BBB 20% off in-store coupon but it excludes Breville anyway (and my store doesn't carry it in stock). I had considered Williams-Sonoma but even if I had a 30% Friends & Family coupon (which I remember getting in my email last year), after tax it would be $938...still more than Overstock again. It's having to pay sales tax almost everywhere that eats up the savings. If I get the CC1 I will have to pay sales tax from SCG because I'm in WA. It stinks!

Just want to help clarify something, even if it doesn't help with the end price in comparison with Overstock.  I'm in the same general boat on choosing the right espresso machine for me.  The CC1 and BDB have both been machines that have been in consideration.  In ALMOST choosing the BDB, I did a lot of calling, especially with Bed Bath & Beyond.  Specifically, I got confirmation, both from the corporate 800 number as well as talking with in-store people that the 20% off coupon WILL BE ACCEPTED in-store.  The corporate person told me specifically to use the coupon in-store, and the in-store people said they NEVER look at any exclusions...they'll just honor the coupon.  If the product isn't in stock, they will call in the order for you, and have it shipped to your door.

I can't say about the machines, there is a /b model out now, maybe that's it?

I bet PrescottCR is correct on this.  If you look at the item numbers of the two BDBs, the cheaper one has a lower number.  Might just be batch shipments received got different item numbers, but the shipping boxes apparently have the /B designation on the newer versions, which might require a new item number.

Did I mention get a good grinder? Good....

That's exactly what happened with me.  My Vario should be arriving at my door today, and it's going to be aching for a machine, as I still haven't decided on one... *sigh*
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 7:35pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

I pulled the trigger and ordered the BDB and new Vario grinder through Overstock. After discounts & Ebates, I got both for $1328. I couldn't even come close to that price anywhere else. I'm going to also buy a 3yr Squaretrade warranty once it arrives. I don't really care either way if my machine is a /B model or not...if it has any issues, they will repair or replace it so no worries on my end. I mean, I'd prefer the newest model but it really shouldn't make much of a difference either way since it's under warranty. I'll try and remember to update on the one I receive.

I'm excited now to play with the BDB.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 9:33pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

LJSquishy Said:

I pulled the trigger and ordered the BDB and new Vario grinder through Overstock. After discounts & Ebates, I got both for $1328. I couldn't even come close to that price anywhere else. I'm going to also buy a 3yr Squaretrade warranty once it arrives. I don't really care either way if my machine is a /B model or not...if it has any issues, they will repair or replace it so no worries on my end. I mean, I'd prefer the newest model but it really shouldn't make much of a difference either way since it's under warranty. I'll try and remember to update on the one I receive.

I'm excited now to play with the BDB.

Posted October 8, 2013 link

You can give Baratza the serial # of the Vario to check and make sure it's a new updated model and not an older one that had been sitting around. If it's an older one, knowing Baratza, they'll make it right. You just never know with Overstock lol... snagged some killer non coffee deals there though.
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