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New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New Breville...  
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adrockwe
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Capresso Espresso Pro
Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 9:57am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

I'm a long-time forum lurker and coffee geek and new (as of yesterday) BES920 XL owner!....  I just upgraded from a Silvia after ~2 years of mastering that...before that I had a LeLit PL041ES.

I picked up my 920XL at a CRAZY price....  I paid about half of retail!

I can't give a thorough review yet as my girlfriend got terribly sick last night and therefore my only use so far has been limited to:
- a steamed almond milk for my girlfriend
- steamed milk for myself for a decaf London Fog
- one 8oz Latte for myself this morning


That said, I've already made a few observations:

- There are SO MANY bells and whistles on this machine its hard to know where to start!... even some of the basics like an auto-filling boiler are such a luxury compared to the Silvia (where I always turned on the machine and ran the pump)

- It looks great...not classy like the Italians, obviously, but its cool in a way that fits in when in a modern kitchen

- Steam is dry and plentiful, and much much more powerful than on a Silvia. I was worried it would be slow after seeing some youtube vids of people steaming on the BES900-A and even the -B; but my fears were unfounded....the lever control is awesome!  I was even able to get a good texture in almond milk and skim milk, which normally separate and can't easily be re-folded on the Silvia.  This morning I also had good luck with 2%, although USUALLY I use homogenized milk (3.25%)....maybe if this machine is that good I'll cut back to 2% again?

- Water gage and front-fill features are AWESOME!

- The stock basket looks nice but I'm unsure whether I'll stick with it or return to my trusty VST 18g.... this morning I used my normal 19g dose (although with a new Analog Coffee Single Origin - but its about as light as my usual blend so I expected it to behave similarly) and the puck touched the shower screen...as a result (I assume, I didn't have time to investigate) the shot was FAST.... about 19-20sec....  I might need a deeper basket like my VST....or I may have just ground too coarsely....tbd.

Looking forward to investigating more tonight! :)
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adrockwe
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Capresso Espresso Pro
Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 10:46am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

One Question.... whats up with the 'Razor' Dosing tool?....I just don't get it... won't it screw up any mass-measurement you've made??  For now I'm just putting mine in my drawer of coffee gadgets that I never use :P
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mcknightp
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 84
Location: Sydney, Aus
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: LM 3 Grp
Grinder: Robur, Swift
Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 5:15pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

adrockwe Said:

One Question.... whats up with the 'Razor' Dosing tool?....I just don't get it... won't it screw up any mass-measurement you've made??  For now I'm just putting mine in my drawer of coffee gadgets that I never use :P

Posted April 16, 2014 link

I might be slightly biased as I invented this & own the patent, but.......this is one of the easiest ways to set consistent dose. This is a "post tamp" dosing tool. Just slightly overdose the basket, distribute, then tamp with your normal tamp pressure. Insert the Razor into the basket until the shoulders touch the rim of the basket and the blade of the Razor penetrates the surface of the coffee. Then rotate in either direction to trim off the excess grinds. You can rotate & trim while holding the PF on an angle over the knock box. This sets dose height, volume & levels the surface of the puck. If you tamp relatively consistently then dose accuracy is +/-0.2g in a 19-20g dose. I used this in my espresso bar for 5 years, pulling 500+ shots per day & it gives you quick, simple, accurate, repeatable doses.

Phil
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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 Wed Apr 16, 2014, 7:42pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

any lurkers out there know when the chopped PF for the 920 might be released?

After a couple hundred shots on the machine I'm very happy, although I'm pretty sure I need a new grinder (which baratza is sending me) as shots have been pulling faster and faster.

I did a quick check up training session at the Joe pro shop in NYC to review my milk texturing technique and although the 920 doesn't steam nearly as powerful as the GB5, I'm increasingly happier with my purchase every day I use it.
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mcknightp
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 84
Location: Sydney, Aus
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: LM 3 Grp
Grinder: Robur, Swift
Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 9:24pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

voodoo11 Said:

any lurkers out there know when the chopped PF for the 920 might be released?

After a couple hundred shots on the machine I'm very happy, although I'm pretty sure I need a new grinder (which baratza is sending me) as shots have been pulling faster and faster.

I did a quick check up training session at the Joe pro shop in NYC to review my milk texturing technique and although the 920 doesn't steam nearly as powerful as the GB5, I'm increasingly happier with my purchase every day I use it.

Posted April 16, 2014 link

Sorry, but the Naked PF for the BES920 will not be available until the first week of July.

Cheers, Phil
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adrockwe
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Capresso Espresso Pro
Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014, 1:00pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

mcknightp Said:

I might be slightly biased as I invented this & own the patent, but.......this is one of the easiest ways to set consistent dose. This is a "post tamp" dosing tool. Just slightly overdose the basket, distribute, then tamp with your normal tamp pressure. Insert the Razor into the basket until the shoulders touch the rim of the basket and the blade of the Razor penetrates the surface of the coffee. Then rotate in either direction to trim off the excess grinds. You can rotate & trim while holding the PF on an angle over the knock box. This sets dose height, volume & levels the surface of the puck. If you tamp relatively consistently then dose accuracy is +/-0.2g in a 19-20g dose. I used this in my espresso bar for 5 years, pulling 500+ shots per day & it gives you quick, simple, accurate, repeatable doses.

Phil

Posted April 16, 2014 link

Thanks Phil, you're likely right - my concerns may have been unfounded!  I'll give the Razor tool a 2nd chance!....I must say its beautifully executed!... BTW- I didn't realize that you posted on here!  I'd like to take a moment and say that I'm a big fan. I've been watching many of your videos before I bought my BES920 and as an engineer and coffee geek myself I'd love to have a job like yours! :)

The funny thing I've found thus far is that I dose to 19-20g tamp as I always have (which is about the depth of the metal part of the included tamper w/about 30lbs pressure or less), and the puck is always below the razor tool when I try to use it... maybe I tamp a millimeter or two too far?

Another oddity that I've noticed - despite the above being the case, it does seem that there is no headspace between the top of my pucks and the shower screen.  Every shot I've pulled on my BES920 so far has had the shower screen imprinted in the puck when I go to knock it out!  This just strikes me as odd as in my Silvia this only happened if I really over-dosed.  

All this said, I've pulled all of (only) 4 shots in 2 days on my BES920 with a tricky single-origin and the last two shots have been spectacular (the one before only slightly-less-so).  The adjustability of this machine is phenominal... I've already started experimenting with the temperature for this particular roast that I'm using now and I can really taste the variations with temperature!
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rtc872
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Sydney, Aus
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Apr 20, 2014, 3:04pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

adrockwe Said:

Another oddity that I've noticed - despite the above being the case, it does seem that there is no headspace between the top of my pucks and the shower screen.  Every shot I've pulled on my BES920 so far has had the shower screen imprinted in the puck when I go to knock it out!  This just strikes me as odd as in my Silvia this only happened if I really over-dosed.

Posted April 17, 2014 link

You may have already checked this but it could simply be the 3 way solenoid sucking the puck up and leaving the imprint. Because the basket is tapered it is easier for the back pressure to pick up the puck.

Hope that helps.

Rob
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greglepore
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Posts: 44
Location: se pa usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

Phil-Given that my experience has been that puck height is an excellent determinant of dosing at least with the BDB, I'd love to have a Razor-is there any plan to make them available to 900 owners?
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adrockwe
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Capresso Espresso Pro
Posted Mon Apr 21, 2014, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

Thanks Rob, You may be right on that... it could be the case!  I've switched to my ridgeless VST basket but it may actually still be the same affect.

rtc872 Said:

You may have already checked this but it could simply be the 3 way solenoid sucking the puck up and leaving the imprint. Because the basket is tapered it is easier for the back pressure to pick up the puck.

Hope that helps.

Rob

Posted April 20, 2014 link

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B747VET
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: SoCal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BES900XL/B
Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 6:10am
Subject: Re: New Breville Dual Boiler BES920XL
 

We recently got a BDB 920 to replace our BDB 900/B.  I thought that I'd try to point out the differences that we've discovered so far.

1st, the portafilter design and integration with the group head have been significantly changed and improved.  The lugs that lock it into the grouphead are thicker and less graduated.  Also, the channels in the grouphead that the lugs lock into are much tighter than on the 900/B.  Because of these changes, this portafilter exhibits no tendency to spin out like the ones on the 900 models.  Also, the exit hole at the bottom of the portafilter basket area has been reduced in diameter by about 50%.  I have no idea why or what benefit may be derived from that change.

2nd, the two dual wall baskets and the 1 cup single wall basket are unchanged.  However, the 2 cup single wall basket is no longer tapered.  Visually, it is a deep and wide straight wall basket, much more traditional in appearance.  As a result, it's capacity is probably 1 or 2 grams greater than the older tapered version.  So far, we haven't  encountered a stuck puck with this 2 cup single wall basket.

3rd, the Razor tool is very well made and seems to do what it was designed to do.  Generally,  one can use the tamper as a quantity guide.  But if it appears that the basket has been overloaded, the Razor fixes it quickly and easily.  Surprisingly, the Razor leaves a relatively smooth surface behind, but, if I do use it, I usually polish the surface lightly with a tamper and blow off any remaining loose coffee.

4th, the steamer wand output seems slightly more powerful at the default setting than the 900/B steamer.  The output power can be measurably increased further by raising the steamer temperature 10 to 20 degrees F.

5th, the water hardness settings seems to enable significant improvements in the useable life of the water tank filter if one has very soft water.

6th, there are obviously any number of more subtle improvements that have been made to the 920, but one would have to tear it apart to begin to understand what many of them are.  One example is that when one pushes a brew button, the LCD Display window automatically switches to the shot clock and starts the timer.  Just another nice touch.

For us, no more portafilter spinouts and no stuck pucks make for a greatly improved machine.  Overall quality is excellent and Breville continues to have what just might be the best warranty/consumer support in the industry.

Anyone who has had exposure to 900/A, the 900/B, and now the 920 can clearly see the continuing Breville commitment to listening to consumers and, via that input, constantly improving and upgrading their product.  .  People that continue to put their noses in the air and constantly knock Breville just need to get off their high horse and get some perspective on what this company has accomplished in just a few short years and where they are likely going in the future.  Have there been teething problems? Yes.  Do they often provide excellent support, even well beyond warranty periods?  Yes.

I only wish that our Lexus, our Jag, and our Corvette had 1/2 the manufacturer support that we have enjoyed from Breville.
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