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specific hazards of breville dual boiler
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > specific hazards...  
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

I am not saying an HX is for you, if you think you need a PID get one.  If you are sold on BDB get one.  It is your money and your choice.

But you clearly don't understand how to use a HX - it is VERY easy to change temps on the fly.  Please don't make statements about how to use a machine you have never used and don't understand.

 
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
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 7:26pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Markarian Said:

The BDB is a toy that will make decent coffee while it lasts.

Adjusting the temperature on a HX machine involves a bit of user-finesse in learning the "water dance" which is a silly way of saying you adjust your brew temp by how long you flush the group before pulling a shot. If you have your heart set on PID temp brewing, go for the CC1 until you can afford a high end dual boiler, like the Vibiemme Domobar or Izzo Alex Duetto.

Posted October 23, 2013 link


I dont know why but the nuova simonelli oscar is far more expensive in canada than the united states. I'm curious as to if anyone knows what if any duty is imposed at the canadian border on espresso machines (not taxes, or brokerage, thats a given).

That actually does sound finnicky beyond belief. I'm sure if you got good at your timing and exactly how long to flush for you could eventually learn how to pull great shots, but why would you want to? I'm all for having to put a bunch of effort into dialing in the perfect shot, both playing with my grind, temperatures and such but the more simple you make it the easier it seems it would be to pull consistent shots.

The one issue that struck me about HX machines with an e61 was raised in a video on wholelattelove about the expobar machine. In an hx e61 as far as i can tell you have no control over the temperature of the water running through the brew head, this is dictated by how much water flows through the head. This seems like something that would take a lot of experience to judge that your group head was running too hot or cold, and only adjusted by somehow changing the port that the water flows through the head. In the expobar machine they have a custom disc they install to reduce water flow.

In contrast one of the things that really stood out to me about the BDB machine is that the pid controls both brew temp water but also the temp of the water running through the group head to insure optimal temperature consistency. Seems like a cool bit of tech to me!
I'm only getting keen on that machine (in spite of their difficulties bringing it to market, all of which seem to have to do with execution not design) because the components at a glance appear to be extremely high quality. I'd be interested to hear why you feel it's a "toy" and wouldn't last. What specifically about it's design do you think would be prone to failure?

Everything i find to read talks about how high quality the actual components are, in spite of a low end housing for them. As best i can tell it seems to be by far the best bang for your buck, with minor issues that would all be bound to come up within the warranty period.
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 11:14pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

I will admit that the term "toy" may have been a bit of hyperbole, but the fact of the matter is that the BDB has a lot of plastic components and is not very user-friendly to service. Now, I suppose the same can be said for the Oscar with regard to plastic, but the Oscar is a much heavier duty machine.

I think the issue here is that most of us on here like to feel as if we are getting as close to the cafe experience as possible, and that's why we gravitate toward machines made in that vein. The BDB is basically Apple--Very pretty, very smartly-engineered, and very, very proprietary. My portafilter will work on most of the other Geeks' machines as well as on a La Marzocco. Yours will work on the Breville Dual Boiler. As far as being prone to failure, I think little things would get to me, like having to change the reservoir filters, or send it in to Breville every time it needs to be descaled (at least it CAN be descaled), or one of the little roller feet breaking. Stuff like that would get me down. Using the E61 group is really fun and very tactile, but it isn't for everyone. As long as it works normally, I think you will get excellent espresso from the BDB, so long as your grinder is decent.

I can definitely see why you're in this situation. I have no idea why the Oscar is $300 more in Canada than in the US. The BDB at $999 is really a hell of a deal. It's up to you, but rest assured we will all try to give you as much support and guidance as possible regardless of what machine you're using.
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,261
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
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Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 4:06am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Well the La Nuova Era Cuadra is now  $1349.00,, Jim at 1stLine had said the original price was only an introductory offer and that they would go up, they did.
I love mine I must say.

Markarian Said:

For the price of the BDB, you could get a Nuova Simonelli Oscar or the La Nuova Era Cuadra. These are both machines that are in a far higher class than the BDB in terms of build quality, durability, and serviceability. The fact that Breville's range stops with the BDB and it has no commercial heritage speaks volumes as to its relative late appearance in the world of specialty coffee.

Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, Bezzera, Quick Mill, ECM--they all make machines that are commercial-rated and designed to pull medium duty in a cafe or restaurant. The BDB is a toy that will make decent coffee while it lasts. Adjusting the temperature on a HX machine involves a bit of user-finesse in learning the "water dance" which is a silly way of saying you adjust your brew temp by how long you flush the group before pulling a shot. If you have your heart set on PID temp brewing, go for the CC1 until you can afford a high end dual boiler, like the Vibiemme Domobar or Izzo Alex Duetto.

Posted October 23, 2013 link

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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,866
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 4:54am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

canuckcoffeeguy Said:

I like the idea of I Drink Coffee being a 20 minute drive away, if there are service issues. Then I can go in person.

I know you're looking at the BDB for $1000.00. But they also carry these two machines for only $100.00 more. I'm no expert, but these two both seem well regarded in the espresso community...from what I've seen and heard. Although, other people here are better qualified to comment on their virtues:

click here Quick Mill Silvano

click here Bezzera Unica

Posted October 23, 2013 link

Bezzera Unica is single boiler dual use, not HX.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
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Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
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Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 5:09am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

If you're interested in the Oscar, Creative Coffee in Montreal has the pour over version cheaper than any other retailer in Canada. They also have an instant 5% off coupon on their site. click here
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 6:45am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

friendlyfoe Said:

That actually does sound finnicky beyond belief. I'm sure if you got good at your timing and exactly how long to flush for you could eventually learn how to pull great shots, but why would you want to? I'm all for having to put a bunch of effort into dialing in the perfect shot, both playing with my grind, temperatures and such but the more simple you make it the easier it seems it would be to pull consistent shots.

Posted October 23, 2013 link

Many HX don't have the E61 group head so you are making broad statements about a group of HX machines based on an idea about one small section of the group with one style of head.  I am not trying to sell you on HX, spend your money however you want, but I wish you would stop making statements when you do not understand what you are saying.  HX is very easy to use and works very predictably, and when you have a routine it takes you roughly the same time to grind and tamp every morning so it works out the same every day.  I can tell by the consistency in the cup and that matters more to me then a PID read out.

Why do race car drivers have cars with standard shift today when automatic is more consistent?  Why is my dream machine a hx commercial  lever?   (over much more expensive machines that have a lot of electronics to do the same thing, pressure profiling)  There are a lot of answers to both but the big ones for me is because of control of the process and ease of repairs.

 
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
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 11:45am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Friendlyfoe, I'm going to give you a bit of insight. Like you, I fall on the younger end of the CoffeeGeek spectrum at 30. It's got to be hard to come onto a forum where a bunch of opinionated 40-60 year olds are suddenly challenging your choice in technology. Indeed, the BDB seems like a modern marvel and the people on here are just being stubborn and traditionalist, right? Well I would gently advise you stop vehemently defending the Breville until you've actually owned one for a while. A little of this is is pride of ownership--When you own your own home and are passionate about something in the kitchen do you want the blue-LED, plasticky thing that you could get from Williams-Sonoma assembled in Asia or the gleaming silver box you specially ordered, put together by a guy who uttered a string of florid Italian curses when he dropped a nut into the boiler? The HX flush is not finicky when the thermosyphon is properly tuned in the factory, but you have to ask yourself how much precision and automatic help do you want? Helen (noobie) raised a good point in this regard.

What's going on here is that you found something that seems perfect in your price range and the rest of us are tearing it apart. I know that's frustrating, but there's a reason it's $999--build quality and design issues (which I won't belabor here) that necessitated a second revision that is about to be released. These people may not always respond to my image macros or think it's funny when I post Ponies, but they're good people who have a true sense of community. A good case in point is the Oscar mod video we did with Plindy and Coffeenoobie.

Also, I retract my earlier statement about us helping you if you get the BDB. This isn't out of spite or malice, but rather the simple fact the BDB is so proprietary and unconventional in design that we don't really have much insight to give. The BDB owners have formed their own, insular sub-community within this forum in the form of a thread that's become cancerous and TL;DR.
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GVDub
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Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

I'd like to toss another twig in the blaze here with an observation about HX, DB, and temperature change.

if, as you say, you want to be able to shift readily from one coffee to another and one temperature to another, you're actually far better off with an HX, unless you like waiting 15 or more minutes between shots, and here's why. When you push the buttons on the PID to change the temperature, it's not an instant change, just the illusion of one. The heater has to bring the boiler up (or worse, down, as there's no mechanism for removing energy from the boiler other than, ahem, flushing enough water out of the brew boiler to let cooler water come in and be heated) to temp, and that heat has to spread through the system to stabilize. That all takes time, even with the electric heating element in the group and all the other bells and whistles in the BDB. Just because your PID display says 96C doesn't mean that's the actual temperature until everything has had time to stabilize. It's all about how the energy moves around the system. All the blinky LEDs and fancy tech in the world can't change the laws of physics.

In contrast, with an HX, after you've spend a little time learning the flushing routines (which doesn't take very long), you just do an appropriate flush and pull the shot. This also makes it easier to find the right extraction temp for a particular coffee, as you can pull and taste a bunch of shots back to back at different temps without having to wait for the system to catch up (or down) to what you want.

But, as has been said, it's your money, they're your taste buds, and you'll do, in the end, what you want to do.
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 5:45pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Okay unlike some of you!!! i dont work at a computer and also work long days, so attempting to catch up on this thread i started.

To Markarian - How did you change your tune so quickly from one post to another when i havent even responded? lol.

I think just about all of this is pride of ownership. Trust me if i could afford a hand made machine, built by a craftsman that is rock solid i would love nothing more. Unfortunately on a scale of how important espresso is in my life at the moment the most i'm willing to spend is around 1000 dollars give or take. One day i will likely upgrade to something that will last for 25 years that i can be proud of, but for now i just want something that makes damn good espresso.

As you said earlier, you can see why i'm in this situation. Hell yeah, the BDB offers features and equipment only available on competing machines many thousands of dollars more. I would rather spend 1000 dollars on something that has the potential to make top notch espresso and maybe break 5 years down the road, than say a good single boiler that is rock solid, lasts for years but pisses me off every time i go to use it. I'm keen on the BDB because it has features i need, like a built in timer which i would have to install in a "professional" machine as i leave for work at 5am and dont have time to let it warm up after i wake up. To paraphrase a great comment, one of the fundamental mistakes we make as people is assuming everyone else sees the world just like us. Keep in mind what my needs are, and that different things may take priority for me.

What i started this thread it was to inquire about any build quality or design issues. I accept the machine for what it is, little stuff like the feet breaking off wouldn't bother me but it having mechanical failures to do with brewing would. The only shortcomings mechanically, to do with how it brews espresso that i can come across were out of adjustment OPVs which they warranteed (which is stupid when they're so easy to adjust) and electronic failures. I'm keen to believe that if the electronics are going to fail they are likely to do so within the first 2 years. After that if i got 5 years out of this machine i think i would be very happy, this is seeing once, at most twice a day use for just myself. **If there are other design issues that i'm not aware of that is the entire reason i started this thread.**

i also wasn't aware that the PF was entirely proprietary. The one review i read suggested that VST makes PF's for the machine but that the quality of the one that comes with the BDB is on par with that anyway, so dont waste your money. Again not concerned if i cant swap a dozen different PFs into the machine.

***what i have started to wonder is what cost of ownership would be on this machine. Depending how long it takes to descale the unit that might become pricey in a hurry, and make the machine less of a *deal*.  I cant imagine i'd be sending it back to breville to be descaled, maybe the first time if it was under warranty, but after that i would be bringing it to the guys at idrinkcoffee.com. Even if they're not a service center after its out of warranty there's no reason why they cant work on it.




Canuck - Thanks! That puts that machine back on my short list. Far more reasonable


To Noobie - That's actually a bit of a bad analogy because not one form of high level racing uses a true manual, they all use some form of electronic aided manual transmission. Formula one is full paddle shift, le mans GT class and rally cars both use a lever that you push or pull to shift gears and the rest is sorted out by the car, etc...

Keep in mind not everyone has the same desires that you do. I would actually prefer to rely on technology to do things for me like maintain brew temps, temperature at the head etc.

As for HX machines i'm not totally ruling them out at all. I do see HX machines with a warmed group head as having an inherent flaw in that you dont have control over the temperature of the water going through the head, is that accurate? If not i'd like to understand why.

The nuova oscar is the only other machine in my price range that i'm really considering (as the more i think about it i think a single boiler would make me unhappy). Does an HX machine such as that without a warmed group head fit my needs? I need first thing in the morning to be able to pull two good shots quickly and easily right off the bat, without having to spend time pouring out shots and dialing the machine in. If you think this might work well for me i'll invest some time in learning the pros/cons of this machine.
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