Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Talk me out of...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 4 of 5 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
biochemgawd
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 85
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 4:03pm
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

Here is my advice - don't make it too complicated the first few times. Try this approach:

  1. BEANS. Stay away from grocery store or Starbucks' beans. For real results, you will need beans that are maximum 2-3 weeks from their roast date, preferably from one of the favorite sources on this board. Independent coffee shops in your area might stock good beans or roast them.

  2. Use the single wall double shot filter. Make sure your machine has been warming up for at least 30 minutes and the portafilter is in the grouphead until you are ready to pull your shot.

  3. Start with a grind setting on the fine side - maybe 3/4. Grind into your portafilter until the grinds are at the lip of the basket. Use a needle to "mix" the grinds until they are even and clumps are gone. Tamp straight down (no twisting, etc) firmly but evenly (doesn't have to be 30lbs). Remove the tamper straight out. Treat the portafilter with care at this point - no tapping, etc.

  4. Before you put the portafilter in the group head, press and hold the double shot button for 5 seconds. This will clean the grinds from the screen and may help temperature consistency.

  5. Put the portafilter in the group head and press the double shot button once. You may want to play with this later but at this point, you want consistency. Watch the pressure gauge, once the shot starts (after pre-infusion) it should shoot up to 9-10 bar and stay there for the duration of the shot. If it doesn't get that high, repeat with a slightly finer grind. If it pegs at 9-10 bar and no espresso comes out for a few seconds, you need a coarser grind.

  6. You want to aim for a shot that pegs 9-10 bar but flows evenly. Once you have this, you can play with pre-infusion and shot timing. Obviously taste is the most important goal!

  7. Good luck!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
apinstein
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 840XL
Grinder: Breville 800XL
Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 4:16pm
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

Thanks! This is a nice, simple roadmap that gets rid of a lot of variables. I'll try this a few times and see where it gets me.
Alan

biochemgawd Said:

Here is my advice - don't make it too complicated the first few times. Try this approach:

BEANS. Stay away from grocery store or Starbucks' beans. For real results, you will need beans that are maximum 2-3 weeks from their roast date, preferably from one of the favorite sources on this board. Independent coffee shops in your area might stock good beans or roast them.

Use the single wall double shot filter. Make sure your machine has been warming up for at least 30 minutes and the portafilter is in the grouphead until you are ready to pull your shot.

Start with a grind setting on the fine side - maybe 3/4. Grind into your portafilter until the grinds are at the lip of the basket. Use a needle to "mix" the grinds until they are even and clumps are gone. Tamp straight down (no twisting, etc) firmly but evenly (doesn't have to be 30lbs). Remove the tamper straight out. Treat the portafilter with care at this point - no tapping, etc.

Before you put the portafilter in the group head, press and hold the double shot button for 5 seconds. This will clean the grinds from the screen and may help temperature consistency.

Put the portafilter in the group head and press the double shot button once. You may want to play with this later but at this point, you want consistency. Watch the pressure gauge, once the shot starts (after pre-infusion) it should shoot up to 9-10 bar and stay there for the duration of the shot. If it doesn't get that high, repeat with a slightly finer grind. If it pegs at 9-10 bar and no espresso comes out for a few seconds, you need a coarser grind.

You want to aim for a shot that pegs 9-10 bar but flows evenly. Once you have this, you can play with pre-infusion and shot timing. Obviously taste is the most important goal!

Good luck!

Posted December 2, 2012 link

back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

apinstein Said:

Thanks! This is a nice, simple roadmap that gets rid of a lot of variables. I'll try this a few times and see where it gets me.
Alan

Posted December 2, 2012 link

Hi Alan, how about an update on how you're doing?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
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 Thu Aug 22, 2013, 4:57am
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

Alan has not logged in since Dec 31, 2012 so I doubt he will see your post to answer, but he might, it would be interesting to hear how he is doing. For more information on a poster, click on their user name to go to their bio, all the current information on them is there.

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,048
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 9:15am
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

Write him directly and see if he can update us.  It might help someone else.

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
apinstein
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 840XL
Grinder: Breville 800XL
Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 9:25am
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

Hi all-

Sorry for not posting updates.

I switched to the single wall double-shot filter and that helped, but it was still a little sour at the front. I was able to hone in on the appropriate grind settings and over time across multiple types of roasts I have gotten pretty good at dialing in quickly on a decent pull (pressure, flow, crema, etc).

I was still getting shots that were a little sour, though. I ran across a tip saying to let the first 1-2s of the pull dump and then put the espresso cup in the stream. This has been working *great*.

With this technique I've been getting reproducible, delicious shots for nearly a year. I don't even need to let the machine warm up, just turn it on and go, so the convenience factor has been great.

I need to try pulling a whole shot not dumping anything and see how it tastes since my surrounding skills have improved. But I only let a tiny bit dump (basically until I see crema flowing) and it doesn't really seem at all wasteful.

Would love to hear comments on the "dump the front" technique...

Alan
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,048
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

After reading your post, I wonder if the cold machine is part of the sour taste at first in the shot. i.e. It improves as the water heats the group head.

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 2:59pm
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

Jim Schulman has called it start dumping.  Actually that's likely the tip you saw.  I've tried it too, but with less success.  I think it's great you've managed on your own to diagnose and fix a taste issue.  Thanks for the update!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 3:07pm
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

I too am curious about techniques for manipulating water temperatures on this machine, the 840.  I suspect there is not much of a group head but there is some metal in the path after the thermocoil, and maybe the mass or heat of the coil itself can be changed.  But with the computer trying to regulate everything it might be hard.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
apinstein
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 840XL
Grinder: Breville 800XL
Posted Fri Aug 23, 2013, 4:46am
Subject: Re: Talk me out of the Breville 860xl as an entry-level setup
 

MJW Said:

I too am curious about techniques for manipulating water temperatures on this machine, the 840.  I suspect there is not much of a group head but there is some metal in the path after the thermocoil, and maybe the mass or heat of the coil itself can be changed.  But with the computer trying to regulate everything it might be hard.

Posted August 22, 2013 link

FWIW if you leave the portafilter in while the machine is on, it all heats up *a lot*. The metal becomes untouchably hot.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 4 of 5 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Talk me out of...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Support Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a non profit charity working with farming communities around the world. Donate today!
www.coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.417845964432)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+