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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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klund
Senior Member
klund
Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Southern MN, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 4:38pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

mariog7 Said:

Hello, All.

I am highly considering a BDB, but it looks like there are many quality issues.  Has anyone had their machine for more than 6 mos without problems?  And what is the warranty?

Thanks.

Posted February 24, 2013 link

I think saying "many quality issues" is a stretch. I've had mine for a year with zero issues. Other people have had issues. As a biased owner of the product, I am willing to admit that the bottom line is that there is no long-term (5+ years) data on  the machine.

I have had a year of amazing coffee with it. However, if it dies tomorrow, next month, or in the next year, I will consider it a disappointment.

I would have to say that my recommendation for the BDB comes down to this - How upset will you be if you get less than three years out of the machine? If the answer is "a lot", then probably look at something with a track record of reliability.

 
-- klund

Well then, you should see me without coffee.
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Metatron
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2011
Posts: 64
Location: Calgary, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: BDB900
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

mariog7 Said:

Hello, All.

I am highly considering a BDB, but it looks like there are many quality issues.  Has anyone had their machine for more than 6 mos without problems?  And what is the warranty?

Thanks.

Posted February 24, 2013 link

I got mine in Oct 2011. It was one of the first in North America. It is from the first production run. Except for adjusting the OVP ( a 15 minute job ), it has worker flawlessly. I think it is 15 or 16 months old and has more than 2000 shots. Standard Breville warranty is 1 year, just make sure you buy from a Breville accredited dealer.
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AlexKilpatrick
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 117
Location: Austin

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Bairtiza Vario
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 5:11pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

mariog7 Said:

Hello, All.

I am highly considering a BDB, but it looks like there are many quality issues.  Has anyone had their machine for more than 6 mos without problems?  And what is the warranty?

Thanks.

Posted February 24, 2013 link

If you are going to buy the "1.0" version of anything, there are going to be issues.  So far, Breville has been very good about fixing them.  As far as I know, the main issues were a miscalibrated OPV (easily fixed) and some seals that cracked after about a year (updated in the newer models).  You can see reports of plenty of people who have had them more than a year, especially if you look on the Australian coffeesnobs forum - Australia had the machine about a year before we got it in the US.  But bear in mind that people are much more likely to post problems than they are to post "had it for a year - no issues"  So the postings are kind of skewed in terms of that.

But here is the central issue:  If your goal is to minimize *potential* quality issues, you should get a well-established E61 machine.  That is a design that has not changed in 25 (?) years, so it is well understood.  But you will pay significantly more for a dual-boiler machine E-61 than you will pay for a BDB.

Fundamentally, I can see two possibilities:

1)  Breville leveraged their knowledge of mass production (plus cheaper labor) to make a machine that has similar features to machines costing 2-6X as much.
2)  Breville cut corners to build a machine that cost 2-6X less

I don't think we will know the answer to this for a few more years.  Personally, if I get 3 years out of it, I will be happy.  It MAY last for 5 years; I doubt it will last for 10 years.  But by then something cooler will be available.

Short version:  If you are comfortable with the pitfalls of being an early adopter, it is a good value and relative low risk.  If you aren't comfortable in that role, you should look for a different machine.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 5:27pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

mariog7 Said:

Hello, All.

I am highly considering a BDB, but it looks like there are many quality issues.  Has anyone had their machine for more than 6 mos without problems?  And what is the warranty?

Thanks.

Posted February 24, 2013 link

No problems here. I got it about a year ago and had the OPV issue because I got one of the original models. So they sent me a brand new machine, no questions asked, with two-day shipping. Since then, I have had absolutely nothing but exceptional experiences with it.

-Dave-
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occoffeefan
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Sep 2008
Posts: 55
Location: Orange County, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario W, Mazzer Mini...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:24pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Some tips and notes after owning the BDB for a year .....

First, I love the machine and have no desire to upgrade to another espresso machine.  In reference to prevous posts, it has had no mechanical or electrical issues and I use it almost every day.

I switched out the Breville spring for the Rancilio spring in both my regular and cut portafilter. (The springs are available from Seattle Coffee Gear)   I have 18 gram and 20 gram VST ridged filter baskets.  I use the Weiss distribution method (involving a cut yogurt cup and a biology probe)  I grind my shot using my Mazzer mini type E  directly into the filter basket ( with the cut yogurt cup in it) which is sitting in a small scale.  I  dial in the shot by using the  Mazzer grind setting  for the "course"  adjustment and the scale for the " fine"  adjustment by varying the weight by a tenth of a gram.
I stir the shot with my probe.
I finger the shot, tamp to 30 lbs using an Espro flat tamp, making sure the shot is even, and then snap the filter basket back into my portafilter using my tamp to push it in.  I do not do a full retamp or knock the shot.  The Breville has a silicone ring which tends to feel sticky when I twist the portafilter into the machine, so I put a little water on my finger and  wet the top ring of the filter basket which acts as lubrication when I twist the portafilter into the machine... Works great!.  

Sometimes puck suction might occur leaving the puck stuck in the machine. I grab a plastic bowl, put it close to the stuck puck and hit the manual shot button for a moment and the puck drops immediately.

My machine blinds at 9.5 bar which is perfect for me.  I do hope the next version of the BDB  has an external OPV valve so owners can easily play with the pressure.

I have set my preinfusion time to 4 seconds with 60% pressure Temperature is set at 200 F

I removed the tool tray since it grabs the drip tray when I pull it out for cleaning.

I roast my own beans using a Behmor roaster . . I seal them in airtight bags using a foodsaver and freeze them.  When I need the coffee, I pull out the bag a day early and when I open it the coffee is room temperature and fresh. I reaseal the bag of beans everytime I use it and keep it at room temp until the beans are used up.

I also go to a local water store with 4 x 3  gallon reusable bottles and fill them with fresh water ( 3 bucks for 12 gallons) and use that water in the machine.

Things I love about it.. my kitchen lighting is recessed, and therefore the cabinets are only 16 inches from the countertop. The Breville sits 15 inches high and rolls in and out the the corner on my counter where  I store it.  No other machine can do that! Being able to refill the water reservoir from the front of the machine is also a great feature..

Conveniences such as a built in turn on timer, built in pressure guage, great temperature control, dual boiler for pulling your shot while you steam, an easy lever for steam control, and an attractive modern look at a price that is 1/2 of comparable machines make this machine a game changer.

I still can't get the same consistent high quality oily shots as the baristas at nearby Kean coffee with their La Marzocco, Mazzer Roburs and great skills,  but my freshly roasted coffee is quite good on day 2 and 3 after I roast it.

Latte art has been a little tricky, I am still getting used to it.  2% Milk produces great art, but I tend to like my capuccinos with soy milk (no lactose) which is harder to get the "wet paint" you need for art. The steamer could be stronger like the heavy duty machines, but it still produces good microfoam (at least from cows milk).

Regarding quality, yes it is not as sturdy as the more expensive ("built for a lifetime") double boiler Italian machines, but those would not fit under my cabinets anyway or roll on my countertop.  This machine fits my lifestyle.   I purchased it from Sur La Table using an internet price match with Amazon (10% off). My AMEX card doubles the warrranty.  Good enough for me!
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hotwasabipeas
Senior Member
hotwasabipeas
Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 180
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: KitchenAid ProLine
Drip: Keurig Vue, B70,Tassimo T65,...
Roaster: Wear Ever Popcorn Pumper...
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 9:47am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Did BubbaDude get his replacement machine yet?

 
Please visit my website!

www.planetwasabi.com
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Park_Ridge_Dave
Senior Member
Park_Ridge_Dave
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 78
Location: Mundelein (Chicago)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BES900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario (NOT...
Vac Pot: N/A (French Press)
Drip: Technivorm MochaMaster
Roaster: None
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:11am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

occoffeefan Said:

Some tips and notes after owning the BDB for a year .....

Sometimes puck suction might occur leaving the puck stuck in the machine. I grab a plastic bowl, put it close to the stuck puck and hit the manual shot button for a moment and the puck drops immediately.

Posted February 25, 2013 link

FWIW If I get a "stuck puck" I put the PF back on and hit the double shot button for 1-2 secs. that loosens the puck and then I just put it in the knock box. Indeed, now, I always move my cup out from under the PF (so no more water goes into it) and then hit the button. I never get a stuck puck that way and I don't have another piece of gear to mess with. Anyway, that's my way of dealing with it.

All of your other points are "dittoed" by me! At the price point this is an exceptional machine. And I am starting to see "mods" on the Aussie boards that look interesting (Metal OPV etc.). I am waiting for the warranty period to be over before I "open 'er up". Bubba Dude how are you making out with your "issues"?

Cheers,

Dave

 
Don't forget to stop and smell the coffee...... er flowers!
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 510
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

hotwasabipeas Said:

Did BubbaDude get his replacement machine yet?

Posted February 27, 2013 link

It came yesterday morning, just before I had to leave for a business trip. I'm looking forward to trying it out when I get back tomorrow.

Thanks for asking.

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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Park_Ridge_Dave
Senior Member
Park_Ridge_Dave
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 78
Location: Mundelein (Chicago)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BES900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario (NOT...
Vac Pot: N/A (French Press)
Drip: Technivorm MochaMaster
Roaster: None
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:53am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

It came yesterday morning, just before I had to leave for a business trip. I'm looking forward to trying it out when I get back tomorrow.

Thanks for asking.

Posted February 27, 2013 link

Great News BD! Sri you had to leave your new BDB (Brevilly II ??) and go on that business trip.

Best of luck and keep us posted! I "go to school" on your posts as we have the same equipment.

Cheers,

Dave

 
Don't forget to stop and smell the coffee...... er flowers!
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,217
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Knowing like they do that it is going to you and the results will be reported on here, I wonder if they inspected ,tested and rechecked this machine to insure its
performance? That would seem the logical thing to do.


BubbaDude Said:

It came yesterday morning, just before I had to leave for a business trip. I'm looking forward to trying it out when I get back tomorrow.

Thanks for asking.

Posted February 27, 2013 link

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