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Quick look at Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine - Page 2

Postby cpreston on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:13 pm

I would be curious about a couple of things-

How forgiving is the group with 18+ gram doses? (I know you used that dose in your test drive already, but generally as compared to other machines?) Does the pre infusion mode work well?

How would you see the group in terms of consistency of good taste compared to some other benchmarks like, say, the Elektras?

Glad you're doing this. It's a very interesting machine. I hope HB will fully review one.
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Postby boar_d_laze on Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:48 pm

How much can you really get for $1200?

The informal comparo to the Strada begs some questions. Just as an "off the cuff," how would you compare the Breville's quality in the cup, to more expensive DBs, like current La Spaz, VBMDD, and/or Brewtus? What about a top of the line DB like the GS/3?

How about an excellent but home-size HX like your Elektra or my La Cimbali Casa?

A snap shot impression is all I and a million others ask. We understand that anything you say is qualified as subject to change and based on scant data. "Waiting to do more testing" would be an understandable and responsible cop-out; but a cop-out (cup out?), nonetheless.

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Postby Beezer on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:32 pm

Thanks for the first look.

Just curious, where did you find a naked portafilter for this machine? They're so new to the market, I was surprised to see there's one available already. Did you have it custom made?

Also, did you happen to notice whether the brew pressure was in the 9 bar range? A lot of people have been reporting getting 11 - 13 bar readings when they pull shots, with adverse results in the cup. The picture of your shot looks like a nice ristretto though, so maybe your machine is properly calibrated. Considering that Breville apparently doesn't want customers adjusting the OPV themselves, this could be a deal breaker for many people.
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Postby edsweed on Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:46 pm

compare to Silvano

I own a 12 yr old Starbucks Barista and want to upgrade before it fails. A comparison between the steam power of the Breville and the Silvano would help. Silvano appears better built (comment). Can you tweak the Breville to increase steam power?

Thanks,

Ed
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Postby cpreston on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:52 pm

Beezer wrote:A lot of people have been reporting getting 11 - 13 bar readings when they pull shots, with adverse results in the cup.

I have read through the commentary on coffesnobs.au. Apparently some of the first batch of machines were incorrectly calibrated. The problem is said to be fixed now. Not sure how that affects USA machines. Also, it's my understanding that the OPV is not hard to adjust, but for warranty reasons Breville wants only authorized service centers to readjust them.
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Postby Beezer on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:57 pm

I have read through the commentary on coffesnobs.au. Apparently some of the first batch of machines were incorrectly calibrated. The problem is said to be fixed now. Not sure how that affects USA machines. Also, it's my understanding that the OPV is not hard to adjust, but for warranty reasons Breville wants only authorized service centers to readjust them.


The Breville dual boiler thread on Coffeegeek has posts from people in America who are having problems with their OPV set too high. So apparently the problem has not been entirely eliminated, nor is it limited to only early Australian machines.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/m...806#549806

However, it does sound like it is possible for the consumer to adjust the OPV, provided they are mildly competent with tools and know how to do it. This may alleviate the problem, though I can also imagine consumers breaking something while adjusting the machine, and then having their warranty denied because they opened the machine and messed with the innards.

It would be preferable if it was set properly to begin with, so people don't have to resort to opening up the machine and monkeying around inside, since the machine is apparently not designed with that kind of user adjustment in mind.
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Postby mwills on Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:29 pm

On a whim, i stopped at Williams & Sonoma on my way home from work. I have been trying to gather info on this machine and while there is plenty out there on the many features and the OPV issue, detailed reviews of what ends up in the cup are few and far between.

I won't spend time on what has already been discussed, but it does have many user friendly features and the overall design is outstanding. My OPV was pegged at 13 with a blind filter. I adjusted this back to 10 with a blind filter and shows 9.5 when extracting a shot.

I have it on the counter next to my La Cimbali M31. I am using the same 16g basket and Cimbali Max hybrid grinder. Both machines are set to 9-9.5 bar pump pressure. I am using Stumptown Hairbender for beans. I have no problem on my current machine. However, the BDB has me stumped and I have not been able to pull a decent shot.

I have tried 196-200deg on the BDB, adjusted pre-infusion from 4-9s, down-dosed, up-dosed, etc. No luck. At the moment I've been jumping all over the place thinking at some point I would figure out the 'quirks' but I've just about went through my beans and still no luck. I was expecting this machine to be more forgiving than my current vibe/hx machine but it is proving otherwise. As for the shots, they are thin with no mouth feel. Also, the lack of a naked portafilter is frustrating.

At the moment I feel 'lost' on this machine so anyone else out there have some ideas?
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Postby Randy G. on Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:44 pm

The 9-9.5 BAR - How did you set that? Do you have a separate PF pressure gauge? Maybe one of the panel gauges is inaccurate? Same with the temperature gauge of the BDB- maybe it is inaccurate. Try 201-204..? The thin, no mouth-feel might indicate that the pressure is low and you are having to grind too coarse for that machine.
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Postby mwills on Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:02 pm

i am using the gauge on the front of the machine to adjust the OPV.

Ok, I did a few things:

- i took out the plastic piece from the bottom of the PF that was very close (or touching) the bottom of the basket. no change.

- i bumped up the pump pressure to 10 or 10.5 no change.

i noticed the pucks were pretty dry and seemed to be expanding and hitting the shower screen so i adjusted the grind finer and lowered the dose more. leaving the temp at 204, this was the best shot to date. it was 33s (w/6s preinfusion). it looked good with nice dark flecking in the cup. however, the taste was much different than i am getting out of my cimbali. much brighter, still thin, and tasted almost metallic. while it looked good in the cup, i still much prefer what i'm getting from my cimbali. i'm will get more beans as i thought this batch of hairbender was much brighter than usual (and already 11days old).

is it out of the realm of possibility given most (all?) of the metal that contacts the water/espresso in this machine is stainless steel (boiler/PF) as opposed to brass, that it would result in such a different taste?
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Postby another_jim on Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:38 pm

mwills wrote: ... I have tried 196-200deg on the BDB, adjusted pre-infusion from 4-9s, down-dosed, up-dosed, etc. No luck. ... At the moment I feel 'lost' on this machine so anyone else out there have some ideas?


Thanks for the report. I can't help you with the BDB specifically; but I've done taste comparisons on lots of machines and can give a general technique:

  • Make the best shot possible on your usual grinder and machine, using your favorite coffee. Note the grind setting and the brew ratio (dose weight/shot weight)
  • For the test, the coffee, grind setting, and brew ratio are sacrosanct (trust me on this and save yourself the time, if you can't get up to snuff with them, you won't get anywhere using other grinds or brew ratios)
  • Your goal is to get a shot as good or better than you old gear, keeping the coffee, brew ratio and grind the same and varying dose, baskets, temperature and pressure. If you do get close or better, you will know how to set up the machine, which baskets to use, and how to dose them.
  • This method of comparing has, over the last seven years, given me moral certainty, if not scientific proof, about which machines make the cut, and which do not. YMMV
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