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Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Looking to...  
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biochemgawd
Senior Member


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

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 7:31am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I have two BDBs, one for home and one for work that I purchased for $900 each. As far as usability, consistency and features goes, they are wonderful. Straightforward for a novice to use. Paired with a capable grinder, there is no limit on the quality of drinks you can achieve.

Long term reliability IS a concern, especially considering Breville's previous track record. I haven't had any problems after more than 2000 shots on each, but I have not been afraid to open up the machine to adjust the OPV, for instance. After 2 years, I am ready for a catastrophic failure at any time ;-)
Breville have been quick to replace any machine with the slightest problem and they seem to be motivated to keep buyers happy.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,396
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

First, check your BB&B discount coupon to see if Breville products are excluded.  They have been on the most recent coupons we've received.  

The Breville Double Boiler (aka BDB) is an excellent machine for the money.  For all sorts of reasons it's a little easier to learn and use than one of the entry level HXs.  Unless you're specifically making a "lifetime" investment, it would have been my recommendation.   However, Breville expects to have a NEW and IMPROVED version, which supposedly addresses nearly all of the current model's shortcomings, on the market very soon (some this fall, before the holidays) and it's certainly worth waiting to see what that's going to be like.    

The NS Oscar is a good entry-level HX; lots of bang for the buck.  

So too, the NE Cuadra (an E-61 type) which is a little more stable and a little easier to temp than the Oscar but not as solidly built.  

Although they're very good performers when they're working, and with similar functionality to other E-61 types, Expobar "Office" series machines seem to have a lot of reliability issues.  It might be prudent to avoid them.

The Silvana, a hybrid boiler/thermal-block machine is another very good choice.

So is the less expensive thermal-block Crossland CC1 since Crossland fixed the electronics.  The new version is enough different and better that a lot of people informally refer to it as the CC1 1.5.  

I haven't tried it but hear the new, $500, thermal-block Breville Infuser is HUGE bang for the buck.  

Given a good grinder, good beans and decent skills any of the machines we're talking about (and a few others as well) can make a fairly good espresso with fair consistency.  They're not quite equal though.  In that respect the BDB is the best of a good bunch.  

The best choice for you depends on a lot things including what you think about the various machines looks, whether you're willing to tolerate a lot of plastic, how important touch is, convenience, and... well... all sorts of other things.    

Whether she learns from you, someone else, or trial and error, your wife will not be able to make adequate espresso or steamed milk without working at it -- and neither will you.  If it's any consolation, my wife won't take lessons on coffee making from me either.  Her thinking is that I might start asking her to make it.    

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

BDL
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,455
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 8:29am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

boar_d_laze Said:

So is the less expensive thermal-block Crossland CC1 since Crossland fixed the electronics.  The new version is enough different and better that a lot of people informally refer to it as the CC1 1.5.  


BDL

Posted September 17, 2013 link

Ahh don't call my machine a thermo hehe. Boiler, largest one in its class actually. The thermoblock is seperate and for steam only.

If someone wants a m Brevile DB I'd wait for the new model coming soon as it'll allow descaling by the user vs sending off.
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Animosity
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Didn't realise there was a new BDB coming out soon, I have seen the Oracle that they are planning on releasing but that appears to be somewhere around $2500 and I'd much rather snag an E61 dual boiler for that price.  I did see a little bit on the Crossland CC1 and that looked somewhat appealing at a lower price point.  That and a used Mazzer right now might be nice and not hurt my ability to sell a E61 dual boiler to the wife when the time comes.  Meh, so many choices...

Does anyone have any info on the new BDB?  All I can find is info on the Oracle and some obscure reference to the 9' with a rotary pump that might go into production.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,949
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 Sep 17, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

As the goal is to pull and steam at or near the same itme, there are lots of machines to choose from in the HX class and for a better price and Valut to the BDB. Hpoefuly the new one fixes the issues the current one has. There is really no advantage to a DB vs a HX, they are simply two ways to get to the same end and due to the additional parts, the DB is more expensive and with prices equal a DB that sells for the same price as a HX, corners have to be cut, there is no way around thhis fact.

 
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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Metatron
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2011
Posts: 73
Location: Calgary, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: BDB900
Grinder: Vario
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Animosity Said:

Didn't realise there was a new BDB coming out soon, I have seen the Oracle that they are planning on releasing but that appears to be somewhere around $2500 and I'd much rather snag an E61 dual boiler for that price.  I did see a little bit on the Crossland CC1 and that looked somewhat appealing at a lower price point.  That and a used Mazzer right now might be nice and not hurt my ability to sell a E61 dual boiler to the wife when the time comes.  Meh, so many choices...

Does anyone have any info on the new BDB?  All I can find is info on the Oracle and some obscure reference to the 9' with a rotary pump that might go into production.

Posted September 17, 2013 link

Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)

This thread from Coffeesnobs lists the available details of the BDB 920. I suspect the North American version will be 1600 watts or so as we are 110 volts rather than 220 volts. It seems to fix most, if not all of the potential problems with the 900. Not only does Breville have great service, they listen to their customers and fix their mistakes.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,949
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 Sep 18, 2013, 5:06am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

The HOPE is that things will be better, no way to know until the early adopters either have issues or not. I offer the same advice I gave for the first BDB, wait and see, in this price point, there are many sound machines that have proven track records that you can have right now. YMMV!

 
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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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 5:52am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

features, price and longevity - pick two

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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greglepore
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Posts: 45
Location: se pa usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 5:32am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I've had a BDB for 14 months, 2-3 shots/day, zero issues. Came from an Oscar (8 yrs or so) and the BDB is much easier to obtain consistently excellent results from, much of which is due to the temp stability, but the preinfusion is a big deal as well, in terms of reducing chanelling. The Crossland does these as well, and is an excellent choice.

Volumetric dosing is meaningless for me in a home environment, I've never even used it.

What the BDB brings to the table is the steaming ability-since your wife makes milk drinks this may be of some significance. The draw of brew boiler water thru the steam boiler on the BDB helps with temp as well, as does the heated group. Whether that's worth the premium is up to you.

As far as the coupon goes, check with your local BB and B, as many have been honoring the coupon on Breville purchases regardless. There are a number of refurb BDB's on ebay now as well, even if not labeled as such.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,467
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 6:32am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

jwoodyu Said:

features, price and longevity - pick two

Posted September 18, 2013 link

Amen!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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