DansCoffeePhase Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2009 Posts: 31 Location: OK Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia mod (PID+OPV+3way) Grinder: Cunill Brasil Roaster: TC/CO
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 7:03am Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
A higher price does not guarantee a longer trouble-free life. Just look at the pictures in the thread on HB titled "Exploding Expobar Brewtus IV-R". That's a $2000+ machine with all the plastic inside melted. I've never seen any reported BDB problem as bad as that.
Is there any BDB issue that isn't utterly trivial like these:
early machines had OPV calibrated for pods (12 bar) instead of plain basket (9 bar)
one bad batch of temperature probes caused an intermittent display of an error message
one o-ring in an OPV fitting was too soft and caused a leak (new machines use different material)
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,153 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 Sep 19, 2013, 7:12am Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
No a higher price is not a GUARANTEE but it is a great indicator. It can not be denied that design considerations were made in the BDB and in it's construction. To add "features" yet be at half the price of the next machine in the market place, something has to go, metal, user serviceability and durability were the things to "go" on the BDB.
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!
Yes, well, I have long posted (here and on HB) that I am nervous, based upon personal experience with QC issues, when it comes to Expobar, but that the Berwtus line has lots of very satisfied customers.
But one machine is irrelevant. There is a "famous" picture of an Elektra boiler exploding in (IIRC) a London café. Do I want to get rid of my Elektra? No. Am i nervous about my Elektra? No. Do I perform proper maintenance on my Elektra (just as I always have):? Absolutely!
When it comes to espresso machines, Breville has a past history of poor customer service and shoddy construction. All this seems to have changed for the better with the introduction of the BDB, and more power to them! Their hard work seems to be paying off. Those who have been around for a while and remember Breville's past problems range from being wary to cautiously recommending the BDB. Newcomers who have no previous or personal experience with the "Breville of the Past" and its past reputation are their most enthusiastic supporters.
Personally, I remain skeptical of Breville generally, but certainly acknowledge that their BDB a) marks a turn-around for the company, and b) has a ever-increasing pool of satisfied customers. I still wonder about the overall longevity of the machine, maintenance, and service. It still seems (to me) that this is more of a "household appliance," rather than a "serious" (whatever the hell that means!) espresso machine, but -- who knows?
Animosity Senior Member Joined: 16 Sep 2013 Posts: 9 Location: Sacramento, CA Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 4:06pm Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
Well, I appreciate all the responses. I ended up picking up the Breville Infuser as a temporary solution and I absolutely hated it at first. Just seemed a little too automated for my tastes. After using it for a bit I've actually been able to pull a decent shot with it and it's growing on me a little. I don't like how you don't actually get a pressure readout other than preinfusion / espresso / about to explode, or the all digital controls, but it would probably be good for the average consumer. I might actually give this to my parents when I'm done instead of selling it.
So the plan now stands, get a good used grinder in the next few weeks, then snag a 920xl when they hit the market.
MJW Senior Member Joined: 25 Jul 2012 Posts: 179 Location: Silicon Valley Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 4:46pm Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
Is there any BDB issue that isn't utterly trivial like these: early machines had OPV calibrated for pods (12 bar) instead of plain basket (9 bar) one bad batch of temperature probes caused an intermittent display of an error message one o-ring in an OPV fitting was too soft and caused a leak (new machines use different material)
Yes, the 900's reliability in the U.S. territory has been as good or better than any other machine in its price range. And the problems are all the kind of problems that require little tweaks here and there. So far Breville have been going above and beyond and gracefully exchanging machines out of warranty for even the smallest issues.
The great thing about Silvia for example is that they are bulletproof, nothing can go wrong and if something does in fact go wrong, diagnosis is simple and you can get the parts and repair it yourself. it's sort of like open source code, you truly own the machine whereas with Breville you are in a strange way leasing it.
Iluvdabean Senior Member Joined: 7 Mar 2005 Posts: 1,321 Location: Kentucky Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia... Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro... Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 6:26pm Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
114 months is 9.5 years ....was the BDB around then? Houston we have a problem! Rerun those numbers and/or please advise.
I've had a BDB for 114 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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