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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New Breville...  
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lparsons21
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2006
Posts: 310
Location: Herrin, IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Ascaso i2,...
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Behmor,...
Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

cgjamj Said:

The beans are shipped day after roasting and I get them within 2 days, so freshness isn't an issue. Plus, I was using the same beans with the 900 and wasn't having this issue. Obviously, I would have some days better than others, especially after the beans got close to the 2 week mark.

Posted March 26, 2014 link

Realizing each machine is slightly different, you might play with that Vario a bit.  I never could get 1 and anything to work right for me.  Went to 2Q with a relatively light tamp and things straightened right out.  It could be just the difference between the 900 and 920 or who knows what, that makes the difference.  Worst that happens if you try it is it doesn't work.

 
Lloyd
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
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 Wed Mar 26, 2014, 9:28pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

Thought I should throw in a couple of clarifications, since the same things are going around for the 920xl as for the 900xl:

1) I'm surprised BDL, whose advice is otherwise excellent, missed it.  The "18g" stated capacity of the stock a Breville basket is only very general.  The lighter the roast, the denser the bean, and the heavier mass you will need in the basket to fill it properly.  The lighter "third wavey" roasts that I like, typically require 19.5g to properly fill it.  On a dark oily bean (which makes awful espresso), I've had to go as light as 17g, when I've tried to experiment with making cubano's.

2) the dirty little secret about the stock Breville baskets?  They are EXCELLENT.  The holes are as perfectly round and evenly spaced as can be.  Microscopic photos comparing them with VST baskets show they are at least as perfect, maybe better than the VST.  Save your $30.

3) not that Phil should be doubted in any way now that he's spoken, but +1... The unmodified older portafilter does not fit right, even if it feels like it.  In my case, I ground in the notch and the result is excellent.  Proper fit with no leaking, handle clocks where it should and feels right.

4) the Vario grind settings being thrown about are nearly useless when comparing one Vario to another.  Add that to the variability induced with the age, roast and provenance of the bean, and talking about your specific setting is even more useless... Unless you are talking about a setting so extreme as to suggest grinder malfunction.

-Peter
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cgjamj
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Nov 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler 920
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 4:24am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

dagoat Said:

Thought I should throw in a couple of clarifications, since the same things are going around for the 920xl as for the 900xl:

1) I'm surprised BDL, whose advice is otherwise excellent, missed it.  The "18g" stated capacity of the stock a Breville basket is only very general.  The lighter the roast, the denser the bean, and the heavier mass you will need in the basket to fill it properly.  The lighter "third wavey" roasts that I like, typically require 19.5g to properly fill it.  On a dark oily bean (which makes awful espresso), I've had to go as light as 17g, when I've tried to experiment with making cubano's.

2) the dirty little secret about the stock Breville baskets?  They are EXCELLENT.  The holes are as perfectly round and evenly spaced as can be.  Microscopic photos comparing them with VST baskets show they are at least as perfect, maybe better than the VST.  Save your $30.

3) not that Phil should be doubted in any way now that he's spoken, but +1... The unmodified older portafilter does not fit right, even if it feels like it.  In my case, I ground in the notch and the result is excellent.  Proper fit with no leaking, handle clocks where it should and feels right.

4) the Vario grind settings being thrown about are nearly useless when comparing one Vario to another.  Add that to the variability induced with the age, roast and provenance of the bean, and talking about your specific setting is even more useless... Unless you are talking about a setting so extreme as to suggest grinder malfunction.

-Peter

Posted March 26, 2014 link

Thanks Peter. I'm going to try 19g today just to see what happens. And you're absolutely correct. The Tonx beans I'm using are a noticeably lighter roast. I wouldn't even experiment going lower on the macro side of the grinder as I know it would be too coarse and result in a quick, sour shot. For some reason, I was really reluctant to move up to 19g, but I'll give it a shot. I also read somewhere that higher temps are better with lighter roasts. I currently have it set at 202 degrees, but I'll try 203 and on up to 205 if needed. And I'll go back to keep a written log of the results like I did when I first got the 900.

Thanks again!
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voodoo11
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES920XL
Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario...
Drip: V60
Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 8:15am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

dagoat Said:

.... the dirty little secret about the stock Breville baskets?  They are EXCELLENT.  The holes are as perfectly round and evenly spaced as can be.  Microscopic photos comparing them with VST baskets show they are at least as perfect, maybe better than the VST.  Save your $30.

Posted March 26, 2014 link

Ok, I'm curious.  Bought new beans this am, perfect time to pop out the VST and try the stock basket.
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cgjamj
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Nov 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler 920
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

dagoat Said:

Thought I should throw in a couple of clarifications, since the same things are going around for the 920xl as for the 900xl:

1) I'm surprised BDL, whose advice is otherwise excellent, missed it.  The "18g" stated capacity of the stock a Breville basket is only very general.  The lighter the roast, the denser the bean, and the heavier mass you will need in the basket to fill it properly.  The lighter "third wavey" roasts that I like, typically require 19.5g to properly fill it.  On a dark oily bean (which makes awful espresso), I've had to go as light as 17g, when I've tried to experiment with making cubano's.

Posted March 26, 2014 link

Peter - I tried 19g today and it seemed to make a big difference. The pressure still fluctuated a bit, but I believe that was due to channeling. It hit 9 bars, then dropped to about 7, but I got 2.06oz @ 30 secs. I didn't stop at the blonding as I'm still not sure how to recognize that. But it ended up being one of the better cups I've made in a while. Thanks!
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OliveOil
Senior Member
OliveOil
Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 65
Location: WI
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Fri Mar 28, 2014, 6:40am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

Sorry, just following the thread.
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mgk2031
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Tampa
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Mar 28, 2014, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

SpaceTime Said:

I had a detailed conversation the other day with Breville USA regarding the 920 - I was lucky enough to get a semi-knowledgeable supervisor on the phone that really understood the differences between the 900 and 920.

Bottom line - Breville will be selling the 920 directly to the public starting on 2/1 - but if you want to buy from a US retailer - you can only purchase it directly from Breville starting on that date.  They will not be distributing to Amazon, William Sonoma etc initially - they want to control distribution for the first month or two so they can see how the initial launch goes... half of me thinks that is a wise move, but the other half makes me wonder if they are doing that because they are themselves not sure if it is truly "ready"?  That kind of launch could be perceived as a double edged sword.  But, as stated above, there are Canadien retailers that will have availability (idrinkcoffee).

One thing that caught me off guard - I was told by the Breville CS rep in that conversation that there will be a TWO YEAR WARRANTY with the 920 in the US - to contrast the 900 had a one year as we all know.  

I was skeptical regarding the touted two year warranty in the US on introduction - recall the launch of the 900 where even our loyal site owner Mark Prince had in his initial 900 write up that it came with a two year warranty - only to be disappointed later on that the warranty was actually only one year.  But after asking the Breville CS rep multiple times if the two year warranty would magically transform into a one year warranty for the US after the 920 was released, the CS rep was firm that the 920 would have a two year warranty... for good.

Hmmm.... $100 more with the ability to descale, a two year warranty... a small step forward... or maybe a giant leap?

Posted February 1, 2014 link

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cgjamj
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Nov 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler 920
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Posted Sat Mar 29, 2014, 5:07am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

I'm not sure if you're questioning if it really has a 2 year warrant or not, but I can confirm it does since I recently got one. It even says it right on the box.
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mbros
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Apr 2014
Posts: 11
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:50am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

Just joined CG after buying a 920 a few days ago. This is my first high quality machine although I have spent years coaxing-out a lot of good shots from some old Swiss made Krups pump machines. The Breville DB is wonderful and has the quality feel and features I was was hoping for, especially the steam which makes fantastic microfoam and is easily adjustable for small amounts of milk. For those of you frustrated with achieving a consistent shot of great espresso, I have this advice: Get a good grinder, my Capresso is barely up to the task and will have to be upgraded. Get fresh coffee but it doesn't have to be ground yesterday. I've used Peet's coffee from Costco that has yielded great crema. And most important, use the dual-walled filter baskets in between your practice sessions with the single-walled baskets. A fairly fine grind and light tamp will give you a very nice shot that you can enjoy right away, and if you drink caps or lattes you won't taste a difference. My point is that achieving great espresso  takes a lot of study and practice dealing with a lot of variables. This can drive you crazy and ruin your hobby.  So enjoy your beautiful machine, use the dual-walled filters to treat yourself and friends to delicious coffee, and when you feel ambitious, work on your barista skills by playing with temps, doses, roasts, tamps, whatever. But in the end, don't give yourself OCD and high anxiety. Just drink some fantastic coffee from that beautiful machine you just paid a fortune for. More later...
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,218
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

Don't want to make this about me, but do like to acknowledge my mistakes; so, for the record:

If it was ever in controversy, I'm not an expert on every machine, on most machines, on many machines, possibly not on any machine, and certainly not on the 900 or 920 BDB.  When I posted the too low dose rate, I was being generic and not really thinking about the BDB in particular, and didn't look it up.  I was certainly mistaken when I said that 18g was on the high side for a BDB basket.  My bad.

However, I wasn't trying to convey a best recipe for best espresso, but just trying to help the OP get control of his machine so he could start moving the variables of grind, dose, and temp around in ways which will allow him to find their best combination for any given machine or coffee.

It's usually -- but not always easier -- to establish good puck building and flow rate with doses on the lower side of good.  So if someone can't beat the channeling problem, dosing smaller and grinding tighter may be a first step to developing consistent distribution, consolidation and tamping skills. Once those are in reasonable shape, the barista can begin increasing dose, and coarsening grind; then isolate any channeling problems which might occur.  

The BDB is a great machine.  I wish they were around in the early nineties when I bought my first prosumer, a Livia 90; and envy you guys retroactively.

Anyway thanks to Peter (dagoat) for the (other) nice words about me.  I appreciate you not mentioning blind squirrels and nuts.  We're close enough geographically that we ought to get together sometime.  We could meet somewhere neutral (is there good coffee in Ventura or Thousand Oaks?) or you could come over for one of our coffee Sundays.

Rich
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