Breville 870XL second extraction pressure - Page 5

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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#41: Post by slipchuck »

escape wrote:You mean using a coarser grind to begin with, in hopes that this will make all subsequent shots extract properly, at the risk of the first shot flowing too fast?

No, I have not tried that yet. Thanks.
Exactly let us know how you make out!

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

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#42: Post by slipchuck »

Anything change?

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”


#43: Post by escape »

I'm still playing around with it... I did set a coarser grind, and the first shot came out way too fast (as expected). The second shot came out a bit slower, but also too fast.

I am still baffled by how much the flow changes from first shot to the second.

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#44: Post by slipchuck replying to escape »

In the end if you want better consistency you might have to bite the bullet and get a better grinder. Mine broke after a year and a half and it's the best thing that could have happen to me as far as consistency is concerned.
My work flow is as follows. I let the Barista 870xl heat up for at least 20 minutes. 40 is better. I steam the milk and then do a flush until the "flush dance" is over then pull a shot.

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”


#45: Post by escape »

Thanks. Which grinder did you get? Is it ghe bb005? What other grinders in this price range are worth considering?

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#46: Post by slipchuck replying to escape »

Yes the BB005. It isn't available in US but idrinkcoffee will deliver it for free to the states.$499 CAD last time I checked
As far as others worth considering, maybe the Sette but I am not a risk taker so maybe others have some options

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

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#47: Post by Jake_G »

While I don't have first hand experience with your machine, I can tell you from general experience that what you are experiencing is 99% caused by ground coffee stuck between your burrs and the dosing mechanism of your grinder.

I know you grind per dose, but the fact remains that even when the hopper is empty, a few grams of ground coffee hang out in the chute. On my side-by-side Estro Profi, I had to use a syrategically bent paperclip to get up in there and encourage the grinds to evacuate the chute. In my Mazzer Super Jolly, the chute contains roughly 3.5 grams. That may not sound like much, but I dose grind 14 gram shots, so we're talking about 25% of the dose coming from the last grind session in my grinder. In my experience, the central location of the bean hopper in built-in grinders results in more coffee being retained in a longer, less straight and more horizontal grinds chute. Your mileage may vary.

Solution? Carefully clean out all the grounds between the burrs and the doser and weight them. Then, grind and toss this weight before you pull your first shot every morning. Alternatively, grind a few grams of rice in your grinder and eyeball how much coffee comes out before you see rice and grind and toss this volume before you pull your first shot.

I can almost guarantee that either of these strategies will cure your inconsistencies between shots. Since my Mazzer has a wide open chute, I brush it clean every dose and use that coffee before it has a chance to go stale. Not sure if that is a viable option on your setup. If so, it is the least wasteful way to go!




I just realized I do have first hand experience with your machine (not super familiar with the model numbers, thought this was a BDB when I composed the reply). A good friend of mine has this same machine and while I was helping him dial it in, we got into a vicious grind cycle because grind settings were a full shot behind. I suspect you've got nearly a half a basket worth of grounds hanging out between the burrs and the doser...
LMWDP #704


#48: Post by zjarrett »

I had a second shot problem which started after a month or so with the machine. I was extremely bummed out thinking the machine was flawed. It's probably the same thing everyone who finds themselves on this forum feels. The machine seems great, you start to rabbit hole on making quality espresso and then most posts here say how the grinder is sh**, other set ups are easier/the same price, you'll never get consistent shots, and then your'e discouraged. I made an account just to write this post because 1) the second shot problem is easily solvable and 2) the machine is fine for most people for a while.

I'm a chef in LA, enjoy and appreciate coffee and we luckily have a surplus of good places to drink it and source beans. I always have fresh beans and by habit tend to buy a different bag each time. The coffee that has been easiest for me to get sold results on are light/medium roasts like De La Paz Red. I had great results with a honey process coffee from a high end roaster abroad and am having trouble with a super light roasted natural process coffee from another. The point is that there are so many inputs to espresso, which is part of the fun of it, that almost every 'problem' can be fixed by simplifying.

To fix the 2 shot issue. I read all the posts, there's so much good advice. I would pull one shot fine and the second would be extremely choked. Here's what I did to mitigate that.

1) turn the machine on and put the empty portafilter into the group head to warm up. Give it 10 minutes or so. Run a double shot through the portafilter so it's nice and warmed up. This also would mimic the conditions of the problematic second shot.
2) This was the big difference and funny how simple it was to fix. Dry everything well. That was it for me. The screen in the group head, the portafilter basket, and the area underneath. Proceed as normal. It doesn't take any time really and just that one move makes the 1st through however many coffees the same within 1g or so of output.

I'd also say that one should definitely get a scale and I bought a small AWS scale on amazon which works perfectly. The timing for a good coffee is basically 25-35 seconds without making it a more complicated thing so all your adjustments are just volume oriented to fit in that window. It's a ratio of coffee in:coffee out. So if you weigh your coffee before you make a shot and weigh what comes out the adjustments are fairly intuitive. If 17g go into the basket and the flow looks really fast and there's no crema and then you weigh the shot that comes out it's going to be 46g or something to indicate your brew ratio is off. Make adjustments to restrict the flow of coffee i.e make the grind finer. With each click of the grinder the output will decrease. Similarly the dose can be increased/reduced but at its MOST BASIC it's just an ideal ratio and that is generally 1:2. 17g in, 35g out. There is a specific volume ratio that is ideal (subjectively) for each coffee that is different than 1:2 but 1:2 is a standard good working number and to achieve that it'll take the ideal amount of time anyway.

I use the auto setting for the 2 shot and as you go deeper into the rabbit hole of espresso you may want to have more manual control but where the machine shines is easily making pretty good coffee.

What makes certain beans do well on the machine for me is when I can stick to the above ratio, keeping the dose the same and adjust grind to get it right. If just that produces a good taste then it's well suited for the basic set up the machine offers. I see others dosing about 17g with good results. I do 19g in to 41g out and that's been successful for me.

The natural process light roasted coffee has been a problem because to get full extraction requires a finer grind and a lot of pre infusion but the coffee is much much less soluble than other beans so the auto setting really isn't doing a good job for the conditions this coffee wants to taste best. It's not that I couldn't mess with the machine settings and achieve a good coffee...I plan to and it will be's that the problem is me using a coffee not really suited to be an espresso on this type of machine. would be great for chemex. also the problem could just be me not having enough experience to understand the inputs for this oddball bean.

Don't be discouraged or second guess if the breville was a good choice. It really works fine and once you fight through some learning curve it will do the thing it's meant to do which is make pretty good coffee easily. You can spend for a better grinder, spend for a lot of gear but remember that gear is never a substitute for technique and that taste is the most important quality not numbers. Felt the need to share and hope this post is helpful for anyone having issues enjoying their morning coffee routine.



#49: Post by wachuko »

Timely post...

I got everything to use the Rocket... timer so that it would automatically turn on in the morning and be ready to pull my shot before going to work... a good grinder... etc. And started to use it to prepare my espresso in the morning. Mind you, I drink one espresso in the morning and that is it... seldom do I drink another one when I get back from work...

Then I bought the filters to run a water line directly to the machine... at that moment, since I was going to work on it, I emptied the Rocket and started using the Breville again... well... I have not installed the filters and line and I am still using the Breville for my espressos. The ease of use, rapid start, easy of clean up, etc. is just great...

I still need to run the water line to the Rocket and also setup a drain (this is my main complaint, not having a drain line directly to the house drain... I will use a tank for now), but for now, very happy with my Breville 870XL
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654


#50: Post by kantai »

escape wrote:I'm still playing around with it... I did set a coarser grind, and the first shot came out way too fast (as expected). The second shot came out a bit slower, but also too fast.

I am still baffled by how much the flow changes from first shot to the second.
I'm not sure if this still an issue for you -- but I was having the exact same problem you described on my Infuser -- first shot dialed in and pretty good, second shot would struggle to get any water out at all. Anyways, I got to this thread -- read through it and found the advice about needing to dry things out between shots. Worked like a charm!

So basically, the routine is:

1. Make first shot.
2. Dump out portafilter and rinse it out
3. DRY the portafilter
4. Backflush the Infuser (i.e., run a single shot through without the portafilter on)
5. Dry the group head
6. Produce second shot.

I was going crazy over this before (I had thought it had something to do with the pressure taking time to build back up, so I'd wait like 10 minutes between shots, which would sometime work, I assume because it would give things time to dry out enough.)