JohnLyn Senior Member Joined: 15 Aug 2011 Posts: 243 Location: Golden, BC, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy Grinder: Vario Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 8:47am Subject: Swapping out the BDB
I really enjoyed my BDB but after two replacement machines I am taking the refund and will get a different machine. The problem as always, is choosing. I will spend a maximum of 3000$. I am happy with my Vario for now so grinder is not currently part of the equation.
My needs: I like value, which is what I believed I was getting from the DBD, and I would continue to think that if it wasn't for a strange and rare problem that I am experiencing.
I like stuff that works, the longer the better. I willing to get a machine that can become a family heirloom.
I make coffee every morning. 2-3 double shots. Half and half between espresso and milk based drinks. I love using the machine at dinner party's. It needs to be a reservoir machine because I live rurally with well water.
I have become a fan a double boilers, but i recognize that they are not better than Hx machines. So I am open to convincing. However, for now my considerations include the Duetto, Vibieme DD, rocket DB and the QM67. the QM67 seems to fall short of what I want/need whereas the others seem to exceed what I need by a lot. I have no preconceived favourite at this point.
I quite liked the DBD. I liked the temp stability, ease of use, built in features an excellent steaming ability. The machine was a good fit except for the the longevity question mark.
I have appreciated posts with other buyers in the past and I would appreciate some great discussion.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 6,839 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 9:49am Subject: Re: Swapping out the BDB
John. I'm sorry you have had issues bad enough to give up on that machine.
HX operates a bit differently than DB as you know. Is there some place oe a fellow geeks house that you could go to so that you might be able to try other machines?
That would be the best way to understand differences with the machines. There is no right or wrong here only personal preferences. If you can find a volumetric dosing machine that fits your needs and budget I advise you to buy it as the ease of use factor goes way up as well as running a plumb in machine on bottles, again much nicer in my opinion.
You have an advantage over a lot of people as you have used other than a SBDU machine and thus you have a better idea of what you like and don't like.
About the only thing I can say for sure is that you would NOT be happy going to a SBDU machine!
You like what you like and I am not trying to convience you into anything but really though, if the machine fits on your counter and you can make it work.... is there ever TOO much ability in a machine?
Just asking LOL!
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
Great quote that I will be sure to bring up with my wife!! that being said, I do already have good budget clearance. I enjoy cappuccino's and I LOVE latte art, so SBDU is out. Unfortunately, I live in a community where I don't know any other geeks.... i need to get into the city. I do know that I like control so that I can adjust various parameters as I need. I would like to spend some time with an Hx.
What do you mean by a "volumetric dosing machine"?
Question I will be asking: which machine steams milk the best (although no matter the system, the operator plays a big role). which is most efficient on electricity without giving up performance? which has the best control over pre infusion?
ONE way to classify espresso machines is by their method/mechanism/capabilities for producing the shot.
-- Manual machines do not have a pump. They rely on the operator to force the water through the puck by use of a lever. With some machines, the lever is controlled manually by the operator -- like with the La Pavoni Europicola, or the Olympia Cremina. The operator lifts the lever up and pulls it down, pushing the water through the puck. With other machines, the lever may be spring-operated, like with the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva, the Bezzera B2006AL, or the Rancilio Class 6 LE models, in which the lever is controlled by a spring -- the operator pulls the lever down, and then a spring draws the lever back to the "up" position, moving the piston and forcing the water through the puck.
-- Semi-automatic machines have a pump to force the water through the puck, but the operator turns the pump on-and-off. Examples would include the machines like Gaggia Classic, the Faema Legend (the original E61 machine, or the Izzo Alex Duetto II -- which are, respectively, an SDBU, an HX, and a DB machine -- all in semi-automatic formats.
-- Full-automatic machines, also known as volumetric dosing machines, have a pump to force the water through the puck, like a semi-auto, but after a certain volume of water is dispensed (programed by the operator), the pump will shut itself off automatically. HOWEVER, the pump can also be shut off manually, just as with a semi-automatic. Examples would include the Bezzera BZ07sde, the Elektra Sixties T1, and the La Marzocco Linea AV models. Each of these , by the way, is also produced as a semi-automatic -- the Bezzera BZ07spm, the Elektra Sixties A3 (now discontinued, although plenty of other semi-autos are still made by Elektra), and the La Marzocco Linea EE models.
-- Super-automatic machines do everything for the user, who merely has to push a button, wait, and drink. These machines will grind the beans, tamp the puck, push the water through the grounds, froth the milk . . . everything. Examples include everything from a Gaggia Titanium, the Jura-Capresso Impressa S9, and the Faema X3 Prestige.
THEN you can classify machines by their boiler type (and please note, I am ignoring thermoblock units):
-- Open boiler machines are relatively rare, and date back many decades. These can heat the water for espresso, but cannot build up any pressure to steam milk. To the best of my knowledge, this are all manual lever machines, and include machines like the Arrarex Caravel and the FE-AR La Peppina.
-- Single Boiler Dual Use (SBDU) machines are the most popular machines for home use. These have one boiler and two thermostats; the boiler will either heat the water within to brewing temperature or to steaming temperature. The operator must wait for the boiler to move up/move down before continuing, i.e.: the machine can only brew or it can steam milk -- one or the other -- at a time. The best known example, at least here in the States, would be the Rancilio Silvia
-- Heat Exchanger (HX) machines also have one boiler, but it is permanently set to steaming temperature. Cool water, either from a built-in reservoir ("tank") or from a water line ("plumbed-in" or "direct connect"), is then flash heated to brew temp via the use of a heat exchanger. Examples would include machines like the Izzo Alex II, Quick Mill Anita, or the Vibiemme Domobar Super.
ALSO, machines can be classified by their components, if you will, and their target market.
-- Consumer machines are just that, designed for home use by the consumer.
-- Professional (or commercial) machines are designed for high-volume use in busy cafés, restaurants, etc. They use more robust parts than consumer models, able to withstand their heavy, constant usage.
-- "Prosumer" machines fill in the gap; they are actually low-volume commercial machines that can also by used in a home environment.
So you can have a commercial lever machine, or a consumer lever machine; a full-automatic HX prosumer model, as well as a full-auto HX commercial model, and so on and so on and so on . . . .
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 4:11pm Subject: Re: Swapping out the BDB
Spent a night in Golden on a motorcycle trip back in '85 iirc. Can you be more specific? Did you actually go through three BDB machines? Ouch... While it is a 500+ mile trip, do you ever get to Seattle? Seattle Coffee Gear has their offerings on display to try out and see demonstrated. For the kind of money you are spending it might be a worthwhile investment to take the trip there.
Other than that, to avoid over-spending and disappointment, the advice given by others above is all good.
Strange problem. my first BDB gave me an Err1 message one month later. Breville Canada consider that a computer problem and solved it by replacing the machine. Great, but then a month or so later with the replacement machine I again got the Err1 message. Again they replaced it. Then everything was rolling along just fine for close to three months and the yet again, the Err1 message. Breville Canada has not seen this happen often and never on consecutive machines. Phil MsKnight has said that they have only seen this problem 5-6 times globally. That being said, I have had it on three consecutive machines. Breville Canada has been awesome in immediate responses, but I seem to be stuck with a strange and unique problem. Other people seem to continue to be very happy with their machines and they continue to function just fine. Because it has happened three times now I can no longer feel secure with the longevity of the machine and will opt for the refund.
I have gone into Seattle coffee gear and clive coffee in portland. I tried out a few machines while I was shopping. I would love to go back but it is a 12 hour one way journey, unless I decide to do a trip there it is just not worth it. that's why the discussion on this forum is great for understanding the machines. I'm liking the Izzo, but have never seen or tried a vibieme DD.
And Jason, thanks for the description of Volumetric dosing machines, I had just not heard of that terminology. What is you opinion regarding power requirements of the different machines?
Bgosselin Senior Member Joined: 26 Jul 2012 Posts: 51 Location: Canada,quebec Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 5:19pm Subject: Re: Swapping out the BDB
If you want a very reliable machine I would look at the mini Vivaldi. It's one of the early double boilers. Design improve over the years. I have one and it has been trouble free for the last 5 years. It's not flashy but very well build. I have a Rocket R58 as well. It' similar to the izzo duetto 2. Some had problem with shipping so i would't recommand it if you can't pick it up yourself.
That's what I was thinking. Breville only had this happen less than a handful of times globally, yet John had it happen on 3 different machines. John didn't you mention in another post this was do too an electrical supply or issue like that, or something like that Breville said? Some of these other newer machines have similar digital control like the BDB, so would suck if you drop even more coin only to run into a similar error msg like that on another machine.
I know my friends BDB is used multiple multiple times daily since he got it new last year, hasn't skipped a beat. Sucks you have that weird error 3 times in a row.
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