Breville BES920XL "The Dual Boiler" - My Experience

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
Bak Ta Lo

#1: Post by Bak Ta Lo »

After years of only using levers, Strega, Cremina, ES1, etc. etc. I suddenly had an urge to get a pump machine. Just so happens my city has a department store that sells Breville machines. 90 minutes later I was pulling shots on a BES920. :D

I am impressed! What a clever little machine! I just pulled around 10 shots with two different blends with temp and preinfusion all at factory settings and they were brilliant.

Milk steaming is great, I bumped up the steam boiler to the max temp and it has a plenty of power. Super silky microfoam that is shiny with a nice wet paint consistency. My trademark modern art style latte art never looked more impressionistic. (I really need to practice more)

As long as it is reliable I think I am going to really enjoy this machine. I have never had a machine with PID, I can't wait to test some familiar blends while trying the PID different temps, and playing with pre-infusion times, pre-infusion pressures.

Now just waiting to try her with my new Monolith!

LMWDP #371

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#2: Post by wreckfish »

I really enjoy using my BDB 920. It has allowed me to explore coffee in a lot more depth than I had in the past. The design is very clever in terms of usablility -- front fill, drip tray/storage/3 way exhaust, wheel for easier movement, etc. Enjoy!


#3: Post by FirstBetta »

+1 for both above!


#4: Post by TheJavaCup77 »

I have the older brother and it's amazing..

Tried countless E61's like a Domobar HX.. and many more..

BDB is the winner out of all home spro machines that i've used..
It could be as complex or as simple as you want. It's the choice of the barista.

Bak Ta Lo (original poster)

#5: Post by Bak Ta Lo (original poster) »

Update after one week using the BDB, I have been impressed with the shots I am getting, and I am steaming great milk. The steaming is without a doubt slower than my Strega, but it is forgiving, I can really work to get the micro-foam perfect, and I am getting silky creamy milk every time.

I really wanted to keep things simple and play with one variable at time, but the bells and whistles are too fun to play with. I have not tried to alter the PI settings, but have tried changing the temp and different baskets.

First thing I found is that both of the current light roast blends I have on hand are much better at higher temps, going form 93c to 94c and then 95c degrees made shots that were more balanced and removed all sourness I was getting when I started at 93c.

The stock double basket is nice, upon a casual inspection the holes in the basket look similar in quality to my VST baskets. I have tried the stock double and alternated it with a 20g VST. The 20g VST does fit the stock portafilter, there is space for it to seat correctly and it does not bottom out.

I bought the naked portafilter today so I could see the pours finally, the 20g VST with 20g dose is pulling a nicer shot, visually. But, I like the taste of the stock double basket dosed at 19g. May just be this particular coffee pulls better this way. I am using the house blend espresso from "Yardstick" in Makati Manila that I hand carried back after a trip to The Philippines last week. The 19g gram shot pulled at around 32 grams I think tasted better than the shot pulled at Yardstick.

So far I am having lots of fun playing with the BDB, I have enjoyed the ease of use, looks, the auto-on/off settings, shot timer, tank fill door being in front. I have left my basket clipped in the PF and I am dosing directly into the basket, tapping the PF, tamping, locking and pullling. The most fussy part of my routine right now is the doser on my K10, cleaning the chute, brushing and sweeping the doser, when adjusting grind size.

I was most concerned about not liking the noise of the vibe pump, and in fact it is not my favorite sound. I asked my wife her thoughts, she said "I like it, it really sounds like the machine is working hard to make the espresso well.". :D
LMWDP #371


#6: Post by jonr »

I am curious if you miss the adjustable pressure profiles you can get with a direct lever.

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#7: Post by Hudson »

I just made the switch from a Pavoni to a double boiler (brewtus 4) as well. Made it mostly for temp stability and consistency. I don't really make milk drinks but love the steam power when I use it.

I was between one of the streitmen levers and a double boiler, and I'm happy with my decision.
LMWDP #534

Bak Ta Lo (original poster)

#8: Post by Bak Ta Lo (original poster) »

jonr wrote:I am curious if you miss the adjustable pressure profiles you can get with a direct lever.
Hi jonr,

Still pulling direct lever shots, I have my Cremina on the left side of my K10, the BDB in the right. Lets me try coffee from two very different style machines. Once I get my new longer work bench and ES1 stand finished I will have the Strega and ES1 next to the new Monolith I am waiting on.
LMWDP #371

Bak Ta Lo (original poster)

#9: Post by Bak Ta Lo (original poster) »

Having fun dialing the temp up and down to find the sweet spot on my shots.

What temperatures do other BDB owners prefer for your shots? I am surprised that I like some beans at 92c and also like a different flavored shot when dialed all the way up to 96c.

Do you find lighter roasts have their acidity tamed better at high temps? Do your dark roasted blends need lower temps?
LMWDP #371

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#10: Post by CoffeeBar »

Bak Ta Lo wrote:Having fun dialing the temp up and down to find the sweet spot on my shots.


I like your picture today ( Your Cappuccino ) :D