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specific hazards of breville dual boiler
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > specific hazards...  
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 5:29am
Subject: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

So if I could manage to be one of the lucky few who've bought a bdb and had no issues the machine would fit my budget and needs perfectly. I've read a couple of reviews which suggest that it is a very good machine but with specific problems. If I could compile a list of the specific known problems with the BDB I would feel more comfortable. Also keep in mind I'm an espresso newb!

I know misadjusted opv valves plagued the new machines but that this should be solved in the later production issues. How do you test for this?

I have also heard of electronic issues that breville simply solves by replacing it.

The biggest problem seems to be a lack of service network, and choosing to replace machines for what are often minor problems. I live right by idrinkcoffee.com so I could have them open it and test for any known issues if I know what to look for.

Given brevilles willingness to warranty the product I think I'm willing to take a leap of faith here. I would be willing to put up with the hassle of exchanging a machine or two until I got one that actually works
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 7:06am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Your money, good luck.

 
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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JohnLyn
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JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
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Location: Golden, BC, Canada
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Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
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Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 7:09am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

What I learned through owning the BDB is that I really value serviceability. That being said, you live near idrinkcoffee, which in my opinion has been an excellent shop. i was speaking with the owner last week and he was saying that he is trying to get recognized as a service centre. He sells a lot of BDB's but there are problems that Breville are not able to resolve due to having little focus on service. If he gets that authorization then Breville takes a big leap forward. Otherwise you buy a GREAT machine, but you hope for the best in the future.
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
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Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
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Drip: Bialetti Brikka/Bodum...
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 9:31am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

I like the idea of I Drink Coffee being a 20 minute drive away, if there are service issues. Then I can go in person.

I know you're looking at the BDB for $1000.00. But they also carry these two machines for only $100.00 more. I'm no expert, but these two both seem well regarded in the espresso community...from what I've seen and heard. Although, other people here are better qualified to comment on their virtues:

click here Quick Mill Silvano

click here Bezzera Unica
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Hmmm i dont know why i skipped over that bezzera.

So lets hear some opinions then. Realistically the bezzera unica would meet all of my needs. E61, small boiler for quick heat up, i might not even need to install a timer as i bet the water/group head would come up to temp within 20 minutes. I rarely make milk drinks, in fact i usually dont even keep milk in the house. That being said when i do make the odd milk drink i could see it becoming obnoxious not being able to brew and steam at the same time. How long does it take for a machine to switch to steam? and then after that its what close to a minute to steam milk?

On the flip side is the breville on paper is the better machine. The inside components from what i can gather seem top notch, the brew head has the same warming feature as an e61 and it has a pre infusion feature. If the electronics on the machine actually work it seems like a fantastic unit and i live five minutes from the place i'd be buying it from, although i guess that doesn't matter if you deal directly with breville for warranty claims.

With an e61 can you do preinfusion by cracking the handle for a second before brewing?

K people sway me one way or the other, i've got about 1200 dollars burning a hole in my pocket. (i think i've also ruled out HX machines. The espresso shots are my primary concern over steaming and i cant see how you would ever get descent temp stability out of an HX machine.)
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Hx Is industry standard. It can be very stable and easy to use. It is clear to me you do not understand how HX works.   You should understand before you write off a major class like that and spending 1k or more is worth research.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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boar_d_laze
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Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
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Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Breville is poised to replace the current BDB with an upgraded model some time in the next few months.  At a guess, the new machine will roll out in time for holiday shopping -- but that's just a guess.

From what I've read it seems you've already pegged the issues with the BDB.  

Perhaps the largest is that it's not a consumer type of machine, not made to be taken apart and serviced by a user -- as opposed to the prosumer machines which are typical of the $600 and up price range.  The BDB is built on a plastic (ballistic nylon, IIRC) subframe, skinned with a thin layer of stainless over plastic, has a lot of electronics jammed inside, and is mass produced in an Asian factory.  Up until recently (really, until introducing the BDB) Breville espresso machine design, quality, and customer service were typically lousy.  Since the BDB, the situation seems to have reversed itself and for the last few years Breville has been very responsive about upgrades, repair, replacement, and so forth.    

On the other hand, the components are very high quality, and very comprehensive.  The BDB does things to make it more consistent and more user friendly than anything near its price range -- including but not limited to a well-designed and executed double boiler layout; preinfusion; and a thermocompensated brew group.  It allows as much in the way of fine tuning -- not coutning pressure or flow profiling -- as anyone could possibly want; and is very consistent.  Assuming you have the beans, skills and grinder, the BDB makes a very good cup of coffee, but it is only an adequate steamer.  If you expect to bang out latte after latte, you'll want something with a bigger and more powerful boiler.  

In terms of performance, it's one of very few espresso machines which actually punches well above its weight.  The only machines I know which provide similar value compared to price are the Crossland CC1 v1.5 and Bezzerra Strega.  From a user standpoint the BDB is a great deal friendlier and more versatile than either the Silvano or the Unica; both of which are good as far as they go, but neither of which is capable of the same sort of easily achieved consistency as the BDB.  To get near that in a prosumer, you're looking at prices starting at $2K and going north.  

I've been making commercial quality espresso at home since the eighties, don't own a BDB, and would not buy one for myself.   On the other hand, if I were buying a machine for one of my kids, the BDB would most likely be it.  As friendly as the BDB is, don't get confused.  You're still going to have to climb a substantial learning curve to make good coffee.  Most of learning to make coffee is not machine related at all -- but learning to taste.

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

At one point the Rocky was an excellent grinder for its price.  But times have moved on and there are much better.  If you're serious about espresso, don't get anything less than a Baratza Vario and reserve it for espresso only.  

Good luck,
BDL
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jonr
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Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 290
Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

In my well supported opinion, you are right to be concerned about getting temp consistency from a HX and the CC1 and the BDB would be good options to consider.
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 3:45pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Hx Is industry standard. It can be very stable and easy to use. It is clear to me you do not understand how HX works.   You should understand before you write off a major class like that and spending 1k or more is worth research.

Posted October 23, 2013 link

So from my limited understanding HX machines are very stable, at the temperature they are designed at. There is no adjustment for temp which as a home user doesn't suit my needs. I will likely be using a variety of different beans and being able to adjust temp and use a PID is important to me.


............................
Thanks for the great response boar...!

For my needs i could care less if the frame is made of plastic, and full well understand and accept that the skin is thin and easily damaged. For it's price i'm quite okay with that. What stands out to me from reading reviews is it's breville's manufacturing capability that basically makes this machine so cheap. The pro review on coffeegeek points out how to create a stainless boiler it's very difficult to do it by hand, but since they have the tooling to do so they can bang them out by the dozen. It's things like this that seem to allow them to offer such high quality components at a low price.

In terms of its cons an adequate steamer fits my needs perfectly. I will never ask my machine to bang out more than 2-4 lattes (and more often than not probably just 2, and even that rarely), but i would like to be able to steam and brew at the same time. For the rare occasion that i do make a latte i think a single boiler would drive me insane. Most importantly the BDB from what ive read can supply professional quality steam, just not quantity which is fine.

The cc1 would probably be my choice in that price range but i can afford better, and the strega is out of my price range. I think i can happily spend around 1000 plus tax give or take, but get up above 1300 and there are too many other things i'd rather be putting money towards at this point in my life.

I also own a k3 touch, probably should have prefaced with that!

Seems like the BDB is the perfect machine for my needs. For what it's worth i'm possibly close to the age of your kids at 27? while i'd love a professional quality home machine that can wait until i own a house to put it in! The fact that they might be coming out with an updated version is news to me and possibly worth waiting for, so thanks for that tip as well.
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
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Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 6:19pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

For the price of the BDB, you could get a Nuova Simonelli Oscar or the La Nuova Era Cuadra. These are both machines that are in a far higher class than the BDB in terms of build quality, durability, and serviceability. The fact that Breville's range stops with the BDB and it has no commercial heritage speaks volumes as to its relative late appearance in the world of specialty coffee.

Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, Bezzera, Quick Mill, ECM--they all make machines that are commercial-rated and designed to pull medium duty in a cafe or restaurant. The BDB is a toy that will make decent coffee while it lasts. Adjusting the temperature on a HX machine involves a bit of user-finesse in learning the "water dance" which is a silly way of saying you adjust your brew temp by how long you flush the group before pulling a shot. If you have your heart set on PID temp brewing, go for the CC1 until you can afford a high end dual boiler, like the Vibiemme Domobar or Izzo Alex Duetto.
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