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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 522
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

I think it comes down to convenience since the internals are the same.

What's more important to you, the ability to grind directly into your basket, or having a precise weight at the press of a button? I bought my plain Vario just before the W was introduced, but I would go for the plain Jane model today if I did have a choice.

Because of the shape of the BDB's basket, you actually need to grind for volume rather than weight. Different roasts have different densities, so a consistent weight won't give you a consistent volume from bean to bean.

Speaking of the BDB, my replacement machine is working great, and seems a bit tighter than the old one. Coffee tastes the same.

 
"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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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 321
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 3:30pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

What's more important to you, the ability to grind directly into your basket, or having a precise weight at the press of a button? I bought my plain Vario just before the W was introduced, but I would go for the plain Jane model today if I did have a choice.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

+1 the bolded part.  Since I also weigh my extractions, I need a scale for that anyway.  The extra $100+ for a built-in scale does not seem like the most bang for the buck to me.  If my regular Vario ever craps out, I'd still get another regular Vario and not look back.  

As for Varios in general (no matter which version), the only thing I'd replace mine with is a titan-class conical, and there's only a couple of those that i know of that are a realistic consideration for single-dose-types like me.

-Peter
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AlexKilpatrick
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 117
Location: Austin

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Bairtiza Vario
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 3:47pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

Because of the shape of the BDB's basket, you actually need to grind for volume rather than weight. Different roasts have different densities, so a consistent weight won't give you a consistent volume from bean to bean.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

What does the shape of the basket have to do with it?  It seems like you either need to weigh, or you need to use volume.  But I can't see why the shape of a basket makes any difference in choosing whether to use volume or weight.

I don't know the right answer myself.  But a lot of people here seem to swear by weighing.  

From my personal limited experience, the time for the shot (in effect, the fineness of the grind) seems to dominate almost everything else.  I can't taste any real difference in a few grams.
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

AlexKilpatrick Said:

What does the shape of the basket have to do with it?  It seems like you either need to weigh, or you need to use volume.  But I can't see why the shape of a basket makes any difference in choosing whether to use volume or weight.

I don't know the right answer myself.  But a lot of people here seem to swear by weighing.  

From my personal limited experience, the time for the shot (in effect, the fineness of the grind) seems to dominate almost everything else.  I can't taste any real difference in a few grams.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

While adjusting temperature allows for dealing with bitter or sour to get to the flavor of the shot from the bean adjusting grind and dose allows to adjust the flavor balance of the shot from a bean. A small weight adjustment may go unnoticed but paired with a grind adjustment can make a big difference, from sink shot to great shot.  Everyday I circle around the bulls eye for the shot of the days tuning in to get to the center. This is when the Vario-W saves time, adjust, grind, pour in basket, no more fine tuning a PF on a scale to get the dose I am after.
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 522
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

AlexKilpatrick Said:

What does the shape of the basket have to do with it?

Posted March 2, 2013 link

The slope of the Breville basket prevents tamping a low dose. With some roasts, even 19 grams is untampable.

 
"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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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,892
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 8:55pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

The slope of the Breville basket prevents tamping a low dose. With some roasts, even 19 grams is untampable.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

Wow. Without having to read backwards, did Breville explain why they went with the sloped baskets? I did read that most folks are very happy with the OEM baskets. Just curious.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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AlexKilpatrick
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 117
Location: Austin

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Bairtiza Vario
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Wow. Without having to read backwards, did Breville explain why they went with the sloped baskets? I did read that most folks are very happy with the OEM baskets. Just curious.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

I wonder if it helps with side channeling?  Maybe a sloped basket allows the grinds to be more distributed to the sides when tamping?  Not sure if that would work, but it seems plausible.  Or it helps with water flow?

They did a lot of research on the machine's design.  I suspect they had a good reason for it.
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JohnLyn
Senior Member
JohnLyn
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 Sat Mar 2, 2013, 10:55pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

AlexKilpatrick Said:

I wonder if it helps with side channeling?  Maybe a sloped basket allows the grinds to be more distributed to the sides when tamping?  Not sure if that would work, but it seems plausible.  Or it helps with water flow?

They did a lot of research on the machine's design.  I suspect they had a good reason for it.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

I'd asked that question a while back and this was phil's response:

mcknightp Said:

Well the baskets were already "off-tool" when I started with the company 2 years ago, so there was no plan to re-tool those. If I'd been able to choose a design back then, I would have gone with a Synesso style ridgeless design. But there may be something in the skunk-works, but that's more than 6 months away.

The current stock baskets don't need any precise dose to work. I set dose where the coffee tastes the best. I have to say I don't weigh it, but it would be in the range of 18-21g. Fresher coffee needs a bit more head space & older coffee needs less. I think some users are trying to hold dose at a certain weight (more likely height in the basket) cause they see this as to curing pucks sticking to the dispersion screen. Frankly I don't care about the puck sticking, I'm far more concerned about the taste of the espresso.

Cheers, Phil

Posted April 24, 2012 link

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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 522
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:11pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

AlexKilpatrick Said:

I wonder if it helps with side channeling?  Maybe a sloped basket allows the grinds to be more distributed to the sides when tamping?  Not sure if that would work, but it seems plausible.  Or it helps with water flow?

They did a lot of research on the machine's design.  I suspect they had a good reason for it.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

This is just a guess, but it's probably easier to change the sloped basket than one with straight sides. The machine ships with four baskets so they must think you're going to change them all the time. Since the spring in the PF is so aggressive, it's a chore to push a straight basket (like a VST) into the PF.

This is my least-favorite feature of the BDB.

 
"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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AlexKilpatrick
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 117
Location: Austin

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Bairtiza Vario
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:36pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

This is just a guess, but it's probably easier to change the sloped basket than one with straight sides. The machine ships with four baskets so they must think you're going to change them all the time. Since the spring in the PF is so aggressive, it's a chore to push a straight basket (like a VST) into the PF.

This is my least-favorite feature of the BDB.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

I can't imagine anyone is switching back and forth from pressurized to non-pressurized baskets.  :-)  And I find the spring incredibly tight.  I always have to hunt for something to pry out the basket with.

My least-favorite is the #%^#* auto-on timer.  It is just all wrong.  First, it doesn't stay on long enough.  I think the default is an hour?  My morning schedule can vary by as much as 2 hours. Second, I don't even want it.  I would love it if it just turned on and warmed up automatically when plugged in.  Then, I could use my own external timer to set up multiple schedules - morning, afternoon, different schedules on weekends, etc.  

When my warranty runs out I am going to definitely spend some time hacking this.  I bet you could hack an external timer into the on/off switch pretty easily.
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