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Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Looking to...  
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DansCoffeePhase
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2009
Posts: 31
Location: OK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia mod (PID+OPV+3way)
Grinder: Cunill Brasil
Roaster: TC/CO
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

A higher price does not guarantee a longer trouble-free life.  Just look at the pictures in the thread on HB titled "Exploding Expobar Brewtus IV-R".  That's a $2000+ machine with all the plastic inside melted.  I've never seen any reported BDB problem as bad as that.

Is there any BDB issue that isn't utterly trivial like these:
  1.  early machines had OPV calibrated for pods (12 bar) instead of plain basket (9 bar)
  2.  one bad batch of temperature probes caused an intermittent display of an error message
  3.  one o-ring in an OPV fitting was too soft and caused a leak (new machines use different material)
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

No a higher price is not a GUARANTEE but it is a great indicator. It can not be denied that design considerations were made in the BDB and in it's construction. To add "features" yet be at half the price of the next machine in the market place, something has to go, metal, user serviceability and durability were the things to "go" on the BDB.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,416
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 Thu Sep 19, 2013, 10:03am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

DansCoffeePhase Said:

A higher price does not guarantee a longer trouble-free life.

Posted September 19, 2013 link

Agreed.  There ARE no guarantees in life . . .

DansCoffeePhase Said:

Just look at the pictures in the thread on HB titled "Exploding Expobar Brewtus IV-R".  That's a $2000+ machine with all the plastic inside melted.

Posted September 19, 2013 link

Yes, well, I have long posted (here and on HB) that I am nervous, based upon personal experience with QC issues, when it comes to Expobar, but that the Berwtus line has lots of very satisfied customers.

But one machine is irrelevant.  There is a "famous" picture of an Elektra boiler exploding in (IIRC) a London café.  Do I want to get rid of my Elektra?  No.  Am i nervous about my Elektra?  No.  Do I perform proper maintenance on my Elektra (just as I always have):?  Absolutely!

When it comes to espresso machines, Breville has a past history of poor customer service and shoddy construction.  All this seems to have changed for the better with the introduction of the BDB, and more power to them!  Their hard work seems to be paying off.  Those who have been around for a while and remember Breville's past problems range from being wary to cautiously recommending the BDB.  Newcomers who have no previous or personal experience with the "Breville of the Past" and its past reputation are their most enthusiastic supporters.  

Personally, I remain skeptical of Breville generally, but certainly acknowledge that their BDB a) marks a turn-around for the company, and b) has a ever-increasing pool of satisfied customers.  I still wonder about the overall longevity of the machine, maintenance, and service.  It still seems (to me) that this is more of a "household appliance," rather than a "serious" (whatever the hell that means!) espresso machine, but -- who knows?

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 5:40am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

DansCoffeePhase Said:

A higher price does not guarantee a longer trouble-free life.

Posted September 19, 2013 link

However a lower price in retail experience with consumer products nearly always precludes it.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 6:05am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

I think you intended to say precedes not precludes, a autocorrect error?

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Animosity
Senior Member


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

Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Well, I appreciate all the responses.  I ended up picking up the Breville Infuser as a temporary solution and I absolutely hated it at first.  Just seemed a little too automated for my tastes.  After using it for a bit I've actually been able to pull a decent shot with it and it's growing on me a little.  I don't like how you don't actually get a pressure readout other than preinfusion / espresso / about to explode, or the all digital controls, but it would probably be good for the average consumer.  I might actually give this to my parents when I'm done instead of selling it.

So the plan now stands, get a good used grinder in the next few weeks, then snag a 920xl when they hit the market.
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MJW
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

DansCoffeePhase Said:

Is there any BDB issue that isn't utterly trivial like these:
early machines had OPV calibrated for pods (12 bar) instead of plain basket (9 bar)
one bad batch of temperature probes caused an intermittent display of an error message
one o-ring in an OPV fitting was too soft and caused a leak (new machines use different material)

Posted September 19, 2013 link

Yes, the 900's reliability in the U.S. territory has been as good or better than any other machine in its price range.  And the problems are all the kind of problems that require little tweaks here and there.  So far Breville have been going above and beyond and gracefully exchanging machines out of warranty for even the smallest issues.

The great thing about Silvia for example is that they are bulletproof, nothing can go wrong and if something does in fact go wrong, diagnosis is simple and you can get the parts and repair it yourself.  it's sort of like open source code, you truly own the machine whereas with Breville you are in a strange way leasing it.
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MJW
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 6:02pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

Animosity Said:

Well, I appreciate all the responses.  I ended up picking up the Breville Infuser as a temporary solution and I absolutely hated it at first.  Just seemed a little too automated for my tastes.

Posted September 20, 2013 link

Sounds reasonable.  There's an 840 owners' thread and another owners' thread for the 900, where you can get questions answered.
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,277
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 Fri Sep 20, 2013, 7:26pm
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

114 months is 9.5 years ....was the BDB around then? Houston we have a problem! Rerun those numbers and/or please advise.


greglepore Said:

I've had a BDB for 114 months, 2-3 shots/day, zero issues. Came from an Oscar (8 yrs or so) and the BDB is much easier to obtain consistently excellent results from, much of which is due to the temp stability, but the preinfusion is a big deal as well, in terms of reducing chanelling. The Crossland does these as well, and is an excellent choice.

Volumetric dosing is meaningless for me in a home environment, I've never even used it.

What the BDB brings to the table is the steaming ability-since your wife makes milk drinks this may be of some significance. The draw of brew boiler water thru the steam boiler on the BDB helps with temp as well, as does the heated group. Whether that's worth the premium is up to you.

As far as the coupon goes, check with your local BB and B, as many have been honoring the coupon on Breville purchases regardless. There are a number of refurb BDB's on ebay now as well, even if not labeled as such.

Posted September 19, 2013 link

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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sat Sep 21, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Looking to purchase BDB, wondering if there are any viable alternatives.
 

If you like to gamble, buy a Breville, they have a long history of poor quality. Better machines are available for the money. DO AVOID A THERMOBLOCK /COIL (SAME THING) POOR PERFORMANCE IS ASSURED.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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