Trying to decide between Breville Barista Touch vs Dual boiler, please help me

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yalag

#1: Post by yalag »

Hi I'm relatively new to the espresso world but so far 1 month in, I'm loving it. But I'm still within a return period of my Barista Touch machine, I really want to decide if I want to stick it out or just return it and buy the Dual boiler. Here are a few areas I need your advise on.

(1) Milk frothing

I felt I'm am completely lied to when it comes to the automatic feature. I've asked around online and pretty much everyone agrees that the automatic function will not just "automatically" give you latte art ready milk forth out of the box. I'm willing to pay money for it to do that, but it doesn't. I've tried different settings myself, and it never does. I'm using whole milk.

So in the absence of that, I'm thinking maybe just get the dual boiler without the auto feature. What's the point

(2) Startup time

I've done some research and have found that people say that the dual boiler needs 6 min or so to warm up to full temp (from Lance@youtube). Is this considered fast/slow? And also, how long does the BBT take to warm up? No info was found online.

(3) Readings

I'm rather frustrated that the BBT machine is technically a higher end machine than the BBP but it doesn't even have a pressure gauge. I'm still learning, I'd like to get as much readings/data as possible and this machine doesn't read things like that. Also for temperature, I have a +1/+2/+3 style of setting to control the temperature but it doesn't even tell me what the actual temperature is! I think the Dual Boiler gives me that info. That seems to be a win or am I missing something?

(4) Tinkering

I'm aware that the Dual Boiler has more things to tinker with. It can control the infusion time. It can control the temperature at the group head. It has OPV function to get better control of pressure (does the BBP have this? not sure). And I'm not even accounting for mods, I don't want to go there yet. It just seems the dual boiler is a long term more capable machine and I love to hone my craft over looonng period of time.

So bottom line, my budget is anything under $2000. Should I switch now? Or are the changes relatively minor and I should stick with the BBT? Or maybe BBT has some strength that I am missing?

Thank you and I really appreciate your help.

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Switch now, without hesitation. Buy a good grinder and enjoy.

I'm not sure if $2,000 is total budget or just the machine, but you've got plenty of significantly better options.

(A few minutes is very fast. Most E61-style machines take 40 minutes or more.)

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yalag (original poster)

#3: Post by yalag (original poster) » replying to Jeff »

2000 is for the machine. Separate budget for grinder. What are those options you have in mind? Maybe better than even the BDP?

Also, if a few minutes is very fast. Then what is the startup time for the BBT? I can't find any info and I can't test it myself. Some say it's just 3 seconds?

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

The Touch seems to be the innards from a Smart Grinder Pro and a Bambino or similar in a single box. Thermoblock machines don't have much of a warm-up time, but they tend to have terrible temperature control and require rituals to get at a roughly consistent temperature, from what I've read. (I can't confirm the espresso portion of the Touch due to Internet problems here.)

I'd take a Cafelat Robot and a good hand grinder over the Touch any day. Even with a DF64, you'd still be under the $999 list of the Touch.

Going up to $2,000 for the machine, there's a wide range. Some I'd look at in addition to the BDB include the Quick Mill Silvano Evo as a good, budget-friendly choice with steam, as well as the Lelit Elizabeth and MaraX. I'm not a big fan of HX machines, PID or not, now that there are direct-control machines of good quality available at comparable prices.

Ballpark on grinder would be, for me, $160-400 for a hand grinder, or a good electric grinder in the $400-800 range somewhere.

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by Nunas »

It's no contest. If you're staying with Breville switch to the BDB, if for no other reason than machines with integrated grinders are not something I recommend (I've had three and all were trouble) :oops:. Don't worry about modifications any time soon, get used to it first. BTW, if you search H-B, you'll find a tonne of info on the BDB, mostly good. However, I agree with Jeff, that the BDB isn't the only game in town. With your budget you should have a look at those he suggested.

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BaristaBoy E61

#6: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

yalag wrote:(1) Milk frothing

I felt I'm am completely lied to when it comes to the automatic feature. I've asked around online and pretty much everyone agrees that the automatic function will not just "automatically" give you latte art ready milk forth out of the box. I'm willing to pay money for it to do that, but it doesn't. I've tried different settings myself, and it never does. I'm using whole milk.

Welcome to HB Jack.

As I agree with Jeff & Nunas I'll only address your automatic steamed milk to produce latté art. Absent you learning how to manually steam milk proficiently, there is little else but one choice, the Victoria Arduino Eagle One Prima with the 'Perfect Milk' option.

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/on-sa ... so-machine


Watch the video starting at about 21-minutes in to see this function in action with a brief description. I understand that this is way above your stated budget. It's only to answer a technical question.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

klee11mtl

#7: Post by klee11mtl »

My opinion is the Barista Touch and Dual Boiler are intended for different user segments. The BBT will give you better than average drinks with little effort or expertise. It's more of a kitchen appliance. Adding some effort, experience, and tinkering, your drinks will get better but there will be a ceiling.

The BDB will produce results more directly related to your level of effort and experience. The more you put into it, the better your results and vice versa.

It sounds like you are willing to make the time investment and since you are already considering an upgrade based on that time investment, my guess is you will outgrow your BBT quickly. That being said, also consider if others in your house will use the machine and need the simplicity.

Other notes about your post, the startup time is 3 seconds (per https://www.breville.com/us/en/products ... es880.html). My Barista Pro uses the same thermojet so I can say it literally is seconds. It's interesting the BBT doesn't offer pre-infusion control whereas both the lower priced Barista Express and Barista Pro do; this goes back to the intended user segment.

I happen to be a fan of thermoblock/thermojet but that's a different discussion that you can research if you want. In that price range, Ascaso has the updated Steel Uno and Duo which are thermoblocks.

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Bluenoser
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by Bluenoser »

You first need to decide on a good grinder.. Other than beans, it is the next most important thing. Spend your money there.. There are lots of great hand grinders; Kinu, Lido, Commandante, 1ZPresso and others for about $200-300. If you go electric, look at the niche zero or equiv.. A good grinder should be something you only have to buy once in 10 years. You don't want a grinder in your espresso machine.

Today, once you have a grinder there are really good manual options, such as a Flair 58 or Robot that can be much cheaper and give you the option of pressure profiling.. From reading user experiences here on HB, it seems like the Dual Boiler is, hands down, Breville's best foray into a serious espresso machine. I'd use rpavis water as descaling seems to kill them. Good water and don't plan to descale.

I'm with Jeff on HX's.. There is no reason to go that design today.. temperature management on them, once you want more precision is difficult and can be elusive. For pure performance, you won't find anything cheaper than the BDB. If something like the Odyssey pans out, that'd be a great option but it might be a year out before wide-spread reviews are out.

If you want to make a lot of milk based drinks, I will admit a good steamer is important. Today I use a very good grinder, and a robot to make my espresso ... and my expensive HX machine to just steam milk.

yalag (original poster)

#9: Post by yalag (original poster) »

klee11mtl wrote:My opinion is the Barista Touch and Dual Boiler are intended for different user segments. The BBT will give you better than average drinks with little effort or expertise. It's more of a kitchen appliance. Adding some effort, experience, and tinkering, your drinks will get better but there will be a ceiling.

The BDB will produce results more directly related to your level of effort and experience. The more you put into it, the better your results and vice versa.

It sounds like you are willing to make the time investment and since you are already considering an upgrade based on that time investment, my guess is you will outgrow your BBT quickly. That being said, also consider if others in your house will use the machine and need the simplicity.

Other notes about your post, the startup time is 3 seconds (per https://www.breville.com/us/en/products ... es880.html). My Barista Pro uses the same thermojet so I can say it literally is seconds. It's interesting the BBT doesn't offer pre-infusion control whereas both the lower priced Barista Express and Barista Pro do; this goes back to the intended user segment.

I happen to be a fan of thermoblock/thermojet but that's a different discussion that you can research if you want. In that price range, Ascaso has the updated Steel Uno and Duo which are thermoblocks.
So I want to make sure I understand this correctly, by changing from my BBT to BDB, I will be downgrading my warm-up time. From 3 seconds, to 6 minutes. Is this correct?

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lancealot

#10: Post by lancealot »

Yes, you understand correctly. I don't know your life but 6 min is very quick. It is a choice between:
- a 30 second wait and mediocre espresso with very little control
OR
- a 10 minute wait for an beverage that is only limited by the quality of the beans and your skill.
Also, the BDB has an auto startup on a timer.

It took me 2 months to realize I outgrew my Barista Express and get a BDB.