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chungwu
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 10, 2014, 12:35pm
Subject: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Hi all!

I'm looking into purchasing an espresso machine for a small office (20-40 people).  My budget is $1500.  For now, I've settled on the Breville Dual Boiler and the Baratza Vario grinder.  Has anyone had experience using these machines in a slightly-higher-traffic setting than at home?  How will they hold up, and what are your recommendations?

One important requirement (besides making awesome coffee) is that the machines should be consistent and easy to use.  It doesn't need to be superautomatic (and I don't want that), but a relative coffee noob should be able to just punch buttons to grind and pull once everything is programmed, without thinking about it.  We'd also want it to last for at least two years without much trouble.

Any thoughts would be appreciated; thanks in advance!

Chung
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,766
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 Mon Feb 10, 2014, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Honestly, my personal view is unless you are going to make someone a Barista, you are better off with a SuperAuto. The quality will not be as good but it very likely will be better than the local "coffee shop" when you use fresh beans.

To get a machine / grinder setup to work, I think it will be more effort than most in the office will want to put into it. I do not advise to buy a Super Auto very often but an office situation is one place where they most often are the better choice.

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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mcknightp
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 84
Location: Sydney, Aus
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: LM 3 Grp
Grinder: Robur, Swift
Posted Mon Feb 10, 2014, 6:32pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Just putting this out there, I work for Breville. If I was you, I would try & spend a bit more & get a Breville Oracle. Taste benefits of a Dual Boiler, with the simplicity of an Auto. Ask anyone who saw it at SCAA Boston in April last year. Visit the Breville USA web site for details.

Cheers, Phil
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,766
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 Mon Feb 10, 2014, 6:47pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Phil, what other brand and model of machine would you put on a par with your advice?

 
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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mcknightp
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 84
Location: Sydney, Aus
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: LM 3 Grp
Grinder: Robur, Swift
Posted Mon Feb 10, 2014, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Wayne, nothing really compares. The reason I say this is, the Oracle has a Auto grinder that doses & tamps, very similar to a Swift, into a 22g basket in a regular 58mm PF. Temperature stability & repeatability of the Dual Boiler, then on the other side of the machine it has Auto milk. I don't mean milk like a traditional air injected bubble bath. It actually produces texture approaching that of an experienced barista, but it does it with the touch of a lever. You can set the level of texture & also the temp at switch the steam shuts off. I reckon it's a great solution to the small office situation. There are a few videos on the Breville USA site if you're interested.

Cheers, Phil
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,766
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 Feb 11, 2014, 6:48am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Wow, interesting. In the whole world of espresso, NOTHING compares to the Oracle! Truly, it is a wonder machine!

 
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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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,255
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 Feb 11, 2014, 7:44am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

You can't expect people in most offices to clean up after themselves, much less to perform the routine maintenance and cleaning most non fully super-automatics require after every shot and especially after steaming.  You'd have better luck with bonobos.  

From the little I know about the Breville Oracle, which is a not-quite super-auto, it's extremely user friendly, and will do a great job in many settings; but because it requires cleaning out the basket and pf, and cleaning the wand, it's not appropriate for your situation.    

I'm not sure if there's anything that delivers the ease of maintenance and flexibility to deal with an untrained (and let's face it -- uncaring) group of people and still deliver good espresso.  Lower your standards and you've got a chance.  

I've had espresso and espresso/milk drinks from expensive, chimp-proof super-autos made with high quality, appropriately fresh beans; and while I wouldn't call them good, they weren't horrible.  "Better than Starbucks" is a low bar to clear, but there you go -- and too bad about the money.  

The good news is that you can rent them.  The bad news about renting is that most of the outfits which rent are "coffee services" and require you to use their lousy beans.  You can probably get a machine AND good beans, but you'll have to call around.

The alternative to an uber super, is the sort of robust, push-button super-auto (you see them in car-dealerships, for instance) which uses (gag) instant powders to make a range of "coffee drinks," not to mention "cocoa."  

Good luck,
BDL
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chungwu
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

Thanks guys for the very helpful input!  Having worked at several places with communal espresso machines, I'm a little more optimistic.  It's true that some people do abuse the machines, and no one will take care of them better than I can, but if I have to be policing access to the machines and be the one cleaning them everyday, then it's a small price to pay for great coffee at work :-)  We do also have a Keurig machine (sigh) for those who don't want to bother with an espresso...

The Oracle does look like an attractive option, though I'm not sure we can bump our budget by $500...

Probably I am being a fool and overly optimistic, but perhaps some lessons need to be hard-learned :-)
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,255
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 Feb 11, 2014, 10:04am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

chungwu Said:

Probably I am being a fool and overly optimistic...

Posted February 11, 2014 link

And perhaps not.  Perhaps I'm a pessimistic fool.

Right by design, right by luck, or right by their happy combination, I wish you only the best for whatever decision you make.

BDL
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DaveS
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Roaster: I-Roast
Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler for a small office
 

mcknightp Said:

Wayne, nothing really compares. The reason I say this is, the Oracle has a Auto grinder that doses & tamps, very similar to a Swift, into a 22g basket in a regular 58mm PF. Temperature stability & repeatability of the Dual Boiler, then on the other side of the machine it has Auto milk. I don't mean milk like a traditional air injected bubble bath. It actually produces texture approaching that of an experienced barista, but it does it with the touch of a lever. You can set the level of texture & also the temp at switch the steam shuts off. I reckon it's a great solution to the small office situation. There are a few videos on the Breville USA site if you're interested.

Cheers, Phil

Posted February 10, 2014 link

I am keeping an open mind on the Oracle still - it looks like an interesting compromise for people already looking at a super auto - I do wonder however if Breville would stand behind their 2 year warranty for use in an office setting like this.
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