Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Looking to...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 5 last page next page
Author Messages
Animosity
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 2:00pm
Subject: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I'll start by saying that I am upgrading from a Gaggia Evolution and a Gaggia MDF grinder.  I had a higher budget but I've recently started enjoying the occasional scotch (nightly) so my budget has dwindled significantly, so the hard number is around $1200 - $1500.  I'm actually sitting on a 20% off coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond to take the BDB down to $960 before tax/shipping.  I would prefer to save a little bit extra as I plan to snag a better grinder the next time I see something good on craigslist again, I just missed a La San Marco SM 90 for ~$300.

I've read through quite a few threads and haven't managed to find anything that specifically addresses my concerns.  As things currently stand I make mostly milk drinks, normally at least 2 back to back.  I loathe the downtime between pulling  a shot and steaming milk, then waiting for things to cool down to do it all again.  This is my primary reason for looking into a dual boiler.  Is there anything in this price range that would fit my needs or is this pretty much my only option?

Thanks!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,467
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Welcome to CG, Chris . . . are you planning on upgrading your grinder, too? or just the machine?

(Please . . . say it's the grinder, too!)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I think it's good you're checking the ads for a used grinder.  If you can swing it a used super jolly is a good choice, and they seem to come up all the time.

The BDB gives superlative performance and customizability but there are viable alternatives.  The BDB steams more slowly than most other machines but steam quality is unusually high.  The main downside is, what happens when it breaks out of warranty.  Breville does I believe have post-warranty service centers, but if you wanted to fix it yourself it would be a challenge for more than one reason.

Another category of machine that will serve your needs is a "heat exchanger".  One boiler, at steam temperature, and the brew water is pumped through a tube that runs inside the boiler.  The tube flash heats the water.  These machines are more compact and more efficient and cheaper than most dual boilers, although I'd check the power consumption of the BDB, its boilers are small.  There is a learning curve to using HX machines and at the end of the day the BDB's overall performance is superior.  Still many people actually prefer them.

Examples in your price range... You should consider the Expobar Office Control or Pulser.  Spanish machines with knock-off E61 group.  There is the N.S. Oscar, Italian machine with pedigree.

You might do a package-deal price check with Seattle Coffee Gear.  You could pick a grinder and see what they want to offer.  They list the BDB at around $1000 last time I looked.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Animosity
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Welcome to CG, Chris . . . are you planning on upgrading your grinder, too? or just the machine?

(Please . . . say it's the grinder, too!)

Posted September 16, 2013 link

Thanks for the welcome!  I will replace the grinder eventually.  Right now the espresso machine is primary.  The group on the Evolution kept leaking and when putting the group head valve back in I apparently overtightened it and managed to break it.  Basically looking at $25 + 15 S&H for a part on a $175 machine.  If that isn't a sign that it's time for an upgrade, I don't know what is.  I'll likely do a stepless mod for the MDF until I can upgrade to a Mazzer.  After that the MDF should be more than adequate for Aeropress / French Press duty.

MWJ, thanks for the recommendations, I'll look into those.  I had heard of the heat exchanger before but was unsure if that would be suited for my needs.  The only issue I can see is the appearance of the machine.  I need to make the wife happy with this purchase also and something that looks worse than the Evolution might be a hard sale.

Edit:  I also didn't realise that Seattle Coffee Gear had the BDB down around $1,000.  I would much rather purchase from them than Bed Bath and Beyond even if it meant spending a little bit more.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Chris I neglected to mention the Quick Mill Silvano, which I tentatively recommend but Chris's Coffee Service I think says it should be used with correctly filtered water only.  Be careful with that if you get serious about that machine.  I think simultaneous steam & brew is possible on Silvano, just not 100% sure.

The HX machines do allow simultaneous steam & brew, all you provide is two extra hands...

I like the looks of the Pulser / Control.... but that doesn't mean your wife will!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Animosity
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I actually really like the looks of the Silvano, and it seems that it would do everything I would need. I'll research the machine a bit more, but the only thing that appears to be missing that the BDB has is pre-infusion and the auto-on. I'm not sure if the pre-infusion would make a difference, but the warm up time could.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,467
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Warm-up time is irrelevant in that you can always buy an appliance timer (as do most of us).

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Animosity
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 6:07pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Warm-up time is irrelevant in that you can always buy an appliance timer (as do most of us).

Posted September 16, 2013 link

Ahhh, never thought of that. Looks like it also has a 3 year warranty right now.  I'll look into it a bit more.

Edit:  After looking around quite a bit it seems like the Silvano does most everything I want, but there are a few concerns I would have with it.  The presets for the BDB would be nice because my wife does occasionally make lattes also and she doesn't really listen to anything I have to say about using a machine.  Simply being able to press a button and get what she wants would cause less headache for me.  I know the Silvano isn't able to do pre-infusion and I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes, but I am assuming the BDB will be more forgiving of an improper tamp.  Also it seems that while you can steam and pull shots at the same time with the Silvano, there seems to be more recovery time between pulls.  This could prove to be an annoyance when I am making our morning lattes... Half the time I was making drinks with my Evolution I would make mine, make my wife's, and have to make myself another because it mysteriously disappeared.

Now the pluses to the Quick Mill are that I actually like the appearance more than the BDB.  It looks like a better built machine and the high gloss stainless steel is much nicer than the brushed look.  It also seems like it is capable of producing superior espresso to the BDB.  I'm not sure how much this will matter as most of what I make are milk drinks but as I said, I am hoping that will change as my equipment improves.  I really wanted to find enough reasons to purchase this machine over the BDB but it seems like that won't happen.  

That being said, this is not where I see myself stopping.  My initial intention before my other recently acquired hobby was to go with a Rocket R58 and I can see that happening within the next few years.  I don't see myself trading in my wife for a GS/3 or single group Slayer so the R58 or similar and a Mazzer should be a decent stopping point.

Thanks for the help and recommendations, and if there is anything I overlooked, please let me know!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 10:13pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I think espresso quality is going to be equal, with any edge going to the BDB.  I don't think the preinfusion or heated group head is a big deal.

The volumetric buttons may creep up on you.  Once you have a coffee & grind down, it is very convenient, and accurate to push a button while you focus on something else.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 2:53am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Why not the La Nuova Era Cuadra? It's a decent little E61 HX and it's priced very reasonably. I can also vouch for the Oscar, though getting one used guarantees it will need work.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 5 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Looking to...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.407636880875)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+