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Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler - John Denham's Review
Posted: November 9, 2012, 11:24am
review rating: 7.5
feedback: (6) comments | read | write
Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
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Arrow The Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler has 10 Reviews
Arrow The Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler has been rated 8.02 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 6, 2012.
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Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Josh McGrath 9.00
Peter Russell 9.00
Mike Timmins 8.67
John Denham 7.50
Rick London 5.67

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.8
Manufacturer: Breville Australia Quality: 7
Average Price: $1,200.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,095.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Idrinkcoffee Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 6 months Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Great machine. I'll miss her as a first love that you discover that you are not cpmpatible with. If it works for you you will be blown away!
Positive Product Points

Excellent control over your coffee
Easy to use, great features
Excellent extraction, great cup and very repeatable
Excellent ability to produce microfoam
Relatively quiet for a Vibe pump
I really like the easy view of the water level in the tank
Breville customer service does not hesitate to replace the machine

Negative Product Points

Shot timer display disapears too quickly
Sloppe sided baskets
Breville Canada is not able to diagnose or fix problems
The electronics did not work in my household
It's still a new machine and although torture tested; it is not known how it will last and how it will be serviced post warrenty

Detailed Commentary

I absolutely loved this machine. This was my first major machine and it is fully capable of producing excellent espresso. I have used the DBD for 8 months.

With this machine you have a quick warm up and incredible temperature stability. Because of this It was very easy to play with flavour extraction through using different temperatures. Although I did not taste the bennifit of being able to vary the preinfusion time and pressure I definitely appreciated having a consistent and easy to use preinfusion. All this allowed me to produce consistent shots and have easy control to manipulate variables.

I like having the controls all in one place. turn on timer, shot timer etc... makes the BDB intuitive to use.

The steam is a tad slow.... but, the microfoam was excellent (and I love lattee art), so no complaints (that being said I was never steaming anything more that 8 onzes of milk using a 12 ounze pitcher). I also really like having a steamer arm as opposed to a nob. Again, it is a question of ease of use.

Easy to see and lit water reservoir!!! come on! For us non plummed coffee lovers this is by far the best system I have seen and it is even, IMO, the most attractive part of the machine from an asthetic perspective.

Minor issues (very minor), include:

The shot timer turns off about 3 secs after you have finnished your shot. It would be best if it stayed up longer to not feel in a hurry to check it.

I'm not a fan of the slopped baskets. They don't allow me to tamp if I use less that 18grms of coffee. This is too bad because they are obviousely a well built rival to the VST's. That being said, the machine accepts all standard 58 baskets so it is an easy fix for a personal preference. Straight sides do not change the cup quality IMHO, even compared to the VST's.  

IMO the BDB is not particularly attractive compared to others out there, but that is not terribly important to me. It does however have a very "kitchen applience" look that will will belnd in well in most kitchens.

The Major issue that I had:

My problem was that I ran into successive problems with Err1 and Err2 messages. This problem however is unique to me so I will not blame the machine. I was forced to conclude that the machine was not a good match for my house even after trying several thigns to correct the problem. But here is what I learned inthe process:

Although I bought the machine from Idrinkcoffee and their service is excellent, they are not allowed to service the BDB. Breville canada has customer representatives but they do not have techs or engineers that work on the machines. Their customer reps are excellent and they put up no barriers to warrenty issues.  I have used the DBD for 8 months and in that time the machine was replaced 3 times for a total of 4 machines. However, they are not able to diagnose problems and work towards solutions, therefore they are not able to fix the machine, they are only able to replace it. For example, they were not able to determine what the Err messages actully meant let alone determine what can trigger them. As a result I have developed an appreciation for buying from a company that can diagnose, provide parts, help you with fixing it and even have the machine sent to be fixed. To me, that bodes well in the long term especially after the warrenty period has passed. Why do you think so many people are happy with places like Chris Coffee Service (and many others).

Idinkcoffee is trying to become a Breville service rep. If this happens then this may solve the question of long term customer support in Canada.

In conclusion, I would recomend this machine even if I will not buy one again. For half the price of other DB's you are getting great bang for your buck, and most importantly, and excellent result in the cup. I do believe that this machine is a game changer that other companies will start trying to match up to featurewise. Otherwise, I no longer have faith that any problems that arise can be fixed by Brevile in the long run until they can allow experienced espreso machine techs to work on them by the dedicated espresso machine companies that sell them.

Buying Experience

Idrink coffee is an excellent canadian source. Friendly, great problem solving and easy to deal with. Their hands are tied with Breville though. This may change in the furture as they are applying to get the status of "Service center" for the Breville DBD (and other Breville machines I presume). That shows dedication to their customers IMO.

Previous Review  
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review rating: 7.5
Posted: November 9, 2012, 11:24am
feedback: (6) comments | read | write
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