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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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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 Thu Jan 10, 2013, 7:59pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

cuznvin Said:

Did anyone call Breville to ask with the plastic insert is for?  I am looking into purchasing this machine or some other dual boilers. Do the owners of this machine find the steaming power adequate? Are you able to prepare 4 or 5 lattes in a row without issue?? Would you buy this machine again?

Posted January 10, 2013 link

No idea what the insert was for, ripped mine out the day I got it. The steam power was adequate, but not overly so. You can certainly produce nice, thick microfoam, but it's not close to commercial steam. But the answer is yes, it is adequate.

As far as the stability of the machine while preparing several drinks in a row: I did an espresso station at my sister's vow renewal as a gift to them and therefore catered about a hundred people with various ratios of milk to espresso with the BDB. It never skipped a beat. I had no issues with pressure at the group or the steam wand, I had no issues with temperature stability, and intermittent tasting proved that it was delicious all the way through.

I think the BDB put a rest to all the concerns I had that night. Except maybe the question of whether or not she would last 5-10 years. But right now, there is absolutely no question of value in my mind.

-Dave-
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wjordan
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 20
Location: London, ON, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Breville BEX900XL
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Precise
Roaster: Local - Hasbeans, London, ON
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

So another, definitely noob, question....

My wife (a tea drinker) laughs when she watches me make my coffee.....grind, weigh, load the PF, tamp, weigh the shot...

Looking at the baristas in many coffee shops the procedure seems effortless, and I wonder how they do it, while managing to pull an awesome shot....will it ever become a smooth process where I grind, load, lock in and deliver without the need to weigh?

Wayne

PS - not that I mind....I'm an engineer, and this is like an experiment to me....just curious as to what it would take to just 'know' I've got it right.
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des16
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Location: ithaca, ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:35pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

Start with 19g, the right lever all the way to the top and the left lever 75% of the way to the top and when work the left lever up or down to get a 36g shot in 35 seconds on the timer. Then adjust to taste, where raising the lever or increasing the shot volume is more toward the bitter side and going the other way is more toward the sour side. In the end, the weight should remain constant and you'll adjust the other factors to get the most good stuff out of the beans.

Posted January 10, 2013 link

I am curious why 19g when I thought the filter was for 18. Also, when I set the right lever (Fine) to 1 and the left lever (Finer) to even the courser end (the bottom), it was very powdery and the shot took around 50 seconds and pressure around 11. Is that likely a result of the bean. I'm finding that the right setting to around 3 gives a reasonable shot time and pressure.
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Contrabass_Bry
Senior Member
Contrabass_Bry
Joined: 3 Jan 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:59pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Wayne,

It becomes a very natural thing (after you pull hundreds of shots day after day!) Most don't experience this level in the home environment.

I developed my "touch" during the big coffee bar boom of the early 90's in NYC. You get the feel for the correct dose, you watch and time your pulls to see if any adjustments need to be made in the grind along with "quality contol" tastings thoughout the day.

You may be able to get close without the scales and such, but why risk it when you have the time and want the best?

Just smirk back as you sip your black ambrosia...
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 521
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 Fri Jan 11, 2013, 1:19pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

des16 Said:

I am curious why 19g when I thought the filter was for 18. Also, when I set the right lever (Fine) to 1 and the left lever (Finer) to even the courser end (the bottom), it was very powdery and the shot took around 50 seconds and pressure around 11. Is that likely a result of the bean. I'm finding that the right setting to around 3 gives a reasonable shot time and pressure.

Posted January 11, 2013 link

The reason to go with 19g is that the basket has sloped sides that prevent you from pressing the grounds in firmly if it's under-filled. You can try whatever you like, but for most of us the ideal quantity is 19g +/- 0.5.

Each Vario grinder comes from the factory with a little different space between the two burrs, so YMMV depending on the adjustment of the grinder. That's why they include the Allen wrench to adjust the spacing.

 
"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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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 521
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 Fri Jan 11, 2013, 1:23pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Contrabass_Bry Said:

Wayne,

It becomes a very natural thing (after you pull hundreds of shots day after day!) Most don't experience this level in the home environment.

I developed my "touch" during the big coffee bar boom of the early 90's in NYC. You get the feel for the correct dose, you watch and time your pulls to see if any adjustments need to be made in the grind along with "quality contol" tastings thoughout the day.

You may be able to get close without the scales and such, but why risk it when you have the time and want the best?

Just smirk back as you sip your black ambrosia...

Posted January 11, 2013 link

Those barista guys are also pulling hundreds of shots a day with the same bean, so they've got their gear dialed-in before you even come into the shop. Add in the fact that most of what they sell is milky drinks with so much candy that none of their customers can even taste the coffee and you appreciate that quality control for espresso pulled at home is more stringent than for mass-produced fancy drinks in a commercial setting.

In the Bay Area, many shops do weigh their grinds when pulling straight espresso these days; the last three I've been to did that, in fact. But they know I'm a geek, so they don't try to get too fancy with me.

 
"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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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 Fri Jan 11, 2013, 9:04pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

wjordan Said:

So another, definitely noob, question....

My wife (a tea drinker) laughs when she watches me make my coffee.....grind, weigh, load the PF, tamp, weigh the shot...

Looking at the baristas in many coffee shops the procedure seems effortless, and I wonder how they do it, while managing to pull an awesome shot....will it ever become a smooth process where I grind, load, lock in and deliver without the need to weigh?

Wayne

PS - not that I mind....I'm an engineer, and this is like an experiment to me....just curious as to what it would take to just 'know' I've got it right.

Posted January 11, 2013 link

Like others have said, you pull so many shots in a day with the same coffee, same equipment, in such back-to-back fashion (in a very busy cafe), and you just get a feel for it. In a shop where you're not relying on timers and you're focusing on the shots themselves (their blonding, flow rate, volume, etc.) and just using a timer to double check what you're feeling, you know when you need to make an adjustment to the dose or tweak the grind. It's not going to be perfect every single time, but the good baristas are pretty darn close every time or they won't serve the shot.

Look at it this way: If you pull yourself shots every single day, let's say 3 double pulls on average (leaving room for dialing in), you're pulling about 1000 doubles a year. A barista at a high volume shop can do that in less than a week. Think about pulling a couple hundred shots a day, 5 days a week. It gets in your head. You know how your dose should look and feel, you know how your shots should look, how quickly they should flow, and how long they should pull. You know how it looks in the bottom of a demitasse. It becomes innate.

-Dave-
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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 Sat Jan 12, 2013, 5:33am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

Start with 19g, the right lever all the way to the top and the left lever 75% of the way to the top and when work the left lever up or down to get a 36g shot in 35 seconds on the timer. Then adjust to taste, where raising the lever or increasing the shot volume is more toward the bitter side and going the other way is more toward the sour side. In the end, the weight should remain constant and you'll adjust the other factors to get the most good stuff out of the beans.

Posted January 10, 2013 link

BubbaDude,

I am curious about your time of 35 seconds. I looked back several pages to do a quick check so excuse me if you have answered this question before.

My question:

Does your 35 Seconds include any "Pre-Infusion" time?

And if it does, what is the time setting and the "Pre-Infusion" pressure setting?

If it doesn't include "Pre-Infusion" Why not?

The reason that I ask is, My pulls including a 7 sec. Pre-infusion @ 60% are closer to 28 seconds (7sec pre and 21 seconds @ 9 bar) +/- 2 seconds. (And I do realize that ymmv holds true here)

This nets me about a 2 oz smoooooth tasting shot, including crema in my graduated shot glass ( I am Going to weigh today to see what that shot actually is).

I realize that this hobby (nay OBSESSION!!! lmao) has a very large component of art in it and is open to interpretation, I am seeking more ways to "play" searching for that "Perfect Shot".

I would be most interested in your views as they pertain to the BDB.

That having been said, I do love the current results from my BDB, but I am always seeking ways to improve my techniques.

Until the warrantee is up the cover stays on and I only play with the grind, basket(s), tamp, time and temp. I am sure that will keep me occupied for quite some time!


Thanks,

Dave

 
Don't forget to stop and smell the coffee...... er flowers!
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des16
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Location: ithaca, ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

The reason to go with 19g is that the basket has sloped sides that prevent you from pressing the grounds in firmly if it's under-filled. You can try whatever you like, but for most of us the ideal quantity is 19g +/- 0.5.

Each Vario grinder comes from the factory with a little different space between the two burrs, so YMMV depending on the adjustment of the grinder. That's why they include the Allen wrench to adjust the spacing.

Posted January 11, 2013 link

I have tried 19g and various settings. Even at the macro setting of 3, the coffee is still very powdery. When I tamp it compresses far below the silver ring on the tamper. And I am still getting 55 seconds. I have tried different beans, and basically the same story. So, do you think there is something strange with the vario-W
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compaddict
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2011
Posts: 72
Location: Auburn, CA USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Proline W/Mazzer burrs
Drip: Capresso MT600
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:13am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

I hated my vario. It would get stuck and not change settings when I told it to. Not good for a beginner.

des16 Said:

I have tried 19g and various settings. Even at the macro setting of 3, the coffee is still very powdery. When I tamp it compresses far below the silver ring on the tamper. And I am still getting 55 seconds. I have tried different beans, and basically the same story. So, do you think there is something strange with the vario-W

Posted January 12, 2013 link

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