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Why all the Breville Bashing?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Why all the...  
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ericcomposer72
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2013
Posts: 56
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar, Silvia, Breville...
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 3:42pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

dingo1799 Said:

Granted once warranty is up I'll be scared to death of it, but maybe it'll break down before that so I can keep a fresh one here.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

This is probably the best-case scenario for anyone who owns a Breville...

dingo1799 Said:

And just an FYI, for my warranty exchange, they sent me a prepaid fedex label, once they seen mine was accepted by FedEx, they put the new one out for delivery, so I was only out of a machine for 2 days.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

I had the same experience. Seems they have machine replacements down to a science--which makes total sense, unfortunately.
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 349
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 3:52pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

I hope they do sell enough of them to make the other manufacturers take notice and upgrade their same price point machines that they have not bothered to redesign/change/upgrade in years.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

That's just plain silly thinking.  Have you forgotten my main point?  P-L-A-S-T-I-C.  

You make it sound like they don't want to compete. They can't.   Plastic is the biggest differentiator between the products offered.  You simply can't lower your prices and expect to make a profit if your competitor uses an inferior material to mass-produce the same product.   It's just silly to think this can be done.   BTW, I'm not knocking plastic.  It has its uses and plenty of high quality products use the material where it is appropriate.  But as long as it's relied upon as a cost cutting material, the product will always be inferior.
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DTJ
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Joined: 15 Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Infuser
Grinder: Bodum
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 6:12pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the quick responses. I especially appreciate those who wrote in with their experiences with Breville (boar_d_laze, ericcomposer72, and dingo1799). Interesting dingo1799 has actually been using the BI... you should write a review on the site for people to find while searching.

The posts have brought up some interesting points:

  1. Cost:
    I encourage you all to remember when you first got into espresso. Having a startup cost >$1000 can be a big barrier to trying a new hobby, especially for students and young professionals. There seems to be two schools of thought on this site, people who are willing to give advice on reasonable ways to enter the hobby and people who believe a person with a sub $1000 set up isn't worthy of the word espresso (of course I'm generalizing, but I'm sure you get my point).

In addition to a grinder would love to enter with a $1500-2000 machine, but that would be 4-5 BIs, or 12-25 years worth of espresso to use the argument GVdub made about his 20yr old Nuovo Simonelli. In addition, having a machine you can repair is great, but not free. Assuming you have to put ~$100 into your machine every 5 years, that would actually allow me to have another BI (or up to 30 years of espresso with the same cost as your machine).

Now a used high quality machine is likely the best compromise I will admit... unfortunately I live in squarseville Canada with very difficult access to good used espresso machines (I have been shopping for months).

  1. Reliability:
    The question of reliability is easily the largest deterrent for me... the whole point of cost is shot if I get a BI and it breaks down 1 month out of its warranty. The problem seems to be that the BI hasn't been around long enough for a true evaluation of this. Most of your posts are based upon speculation (perhaps well founded in Breville's history or the machines components, I'm still not sure).

The thermocoil: supposedly the past issue of leaking has been fixed with the new thermocoil. In terms of scale build up, I've seen cut downs of the thermocoil... its a long skinny tube I know, but I've seen the innards of your machines too. You don't think all those metal lines will be just as prone to scale buildup? Also, don't the really expensive machines use a "heat exchanger" which is a long skinny tube too? I agree there will have to be diligent care to prevent scale build up with the BI... but I would expect myself to be diligent with any other machine too.

  1. Quality of espresso (the true tie breaker):
    I am still unable to find a reliable source saying that the BI makes substandard espresso. Everything I've heard says it is great, right up there with those >$1000 machines. Please post if you have an experience that says otherwise.

The conclusion:
I think I have an understanding of the possible cost and reliability issues, and I might just be willing to take a chance. You should understand that, if I become obsessed with espresso like the rest of you, I will almost certainly want to upgrade anything I buy today in 5 years or so. This just the financial point I am at and I wish more of you remembered that time in your lives. The true decision will come if one of you with a real experienced taste for espresso can tell me that this machine makes bad espresso.

Thanks for all the attention you are giving this post. I am amazed by the community here, which makes me want to develop my interest even more!
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dingo1799
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Joined: 17 Jan 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Stlmo
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Couple of broken pavoni...
Grinder: Vario W
Vac Pot: Cory DRU/DRL
Drip: Nah
Roaster: Nah
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 6:31pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

DTJ Said:

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the quick responses. I especially appreciate those who wrote in with their experiences with Breville (boar_d_laze, ericcomposer72, and dingo1799). Interesting dingo1799 has actually been using the BI... you should write a review on the site for people to find while searching.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

I could, however this is my first actual pump driven machine, and the only thing I've to base a comparison off of is 3 cheap, crappy steam driven machines. And FWIW, the ensuing pissing match from all the anti-Breville-ites on here would be more detrimental than helpful to those reading the review.
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 855
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 7:09pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

A thermocoil "tube" is substantially skinnier than any HX tube I've ever seen, and, even in the worst case, descaling a copper HX tube is pretty simple, either in situ or removing the tube to soak. They only have plumbing connections.

Most thermocoils are made of metals that are not as amenable to batjomg acid solutions as copper is, so descaling a thermocoil is never as simple an issue, especially since, with internal electrical components, you can just dunk the thermocoil in a vat of hot citric acid and let it sit there for awhile. Many of the super-autos I've seen, all of which are thermocoil-based machines, recommend not descaling.
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acasabia
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acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 616
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

DTJ Said:

The conclusion:
I think I have an understanding of the possible cost and reliability issues, and I might just be willing to take a chance. You should understand that, if I become obsessed with espresso like the rest of you, I will almost certainly want to upgrade anything I buy today in 5 years or so. This just the financial point I am at and I wish more of you remembered that time in your lives. The true decision will come if one of you with a real experienced taste for espresso can tell me that this machine makes bad espresso.

Thanks for all the attention you are giving this post. I am amazed by the community here, which makes me want to develop my interest even more!

Posted February 16, 2014 link

I didn't realize you were looking to buy one. If this is your first machine, I would definitely say to stay away from it. I would even advise to go the simplest route possible. If you really want to buy a home-pro model machine buy a PID'd HX and a good grinder.

ugh this is gonna be a long response

The Infuser, really? There are so many true-PID machines out there you can buy that arent too much more than that, from brands with far greater reputations, not made in china. For just a tad more you can get into machines with dual heating elements enabling you to steam and pull at the same time on a single boiler. The infuser is pretty, but short of telling you what temp its at, theres no benifit to that over a silvia, le'lit, or lower model gaggia, For what it is, its way overpriced at $500.

  • If the infuser was something you were considering, don't. The Ascaso uno (with true PID), CC1, quickmill,  are better machines in the price tier are easier to clean/repair, and are worth the cash.

Were you also considering the BDB?

What kind of drinks do you like? How will this machine be used. You're coming from a Saeco Aroma, and these multi-boiler/HX machines are a big step away from that. Are you sure this is the best way to spend your cash?

I see that you are new to semi-auto's and to the obsession in general. This is then, not the time to drop $1k on a machine. This is the time to buy the best grinder you can afford. Simplify the machine you work with so that you are in control. Start off with something simple, with less variables to tune out. Master getting your grind and tamp adjusted for the results you want, learn how to temp surf, or stick to a simple PID. Take out the computer delivered shot times and pre-infusion and rely on your own tastes to adjust each shot individually. I have to say I feel more in control with my e-61, than I do with the breville, or even the NS aurelia. I've used these machines, as well as other programable semi-autos and really wouldn't recommend them outside of the commercial setting.

  • Example: When you push a button to deliver a preprogramed amount of water, but the humidity was low that day due to the heat being on, and your grounds are drier than usual, you are not going to get the same results. Being able to direct pre-infusion during the shot and flip the pump on and off is handy and gives you room to correct to some degree issues in starting material and preparation.


  • You will get better results from a mazzer SJ, your eyes and nose, and a krups xp4030 than you will with a Breville DB and smart grinder combo.

The one lesson these forums repeat over and over again is DO NOT SKIMP ON THE GRINDER! what grinder are you using now? It can probably stand to upgrade. You dont need a robur or a kold, but something with micro or stepless adjustment, 50-65mm burrs, and a solid motor will provide much greater results. It would be a shame to spend all of your cash on a new machine, but still be using a grinder meant for french-press and drip coffee. Take the global experience on this one, buy a grinder first.


There is no reason to spend $2k on an espresso machine you only plan on using for a morning shot for you and the spouse. Having all the features in the world wont make up for a bad grind, and a solid grinder will almost never need an upgrade. Most importantly, you will always want to upgrade your machine as new ones come out, why not get a machine with some longevity and resale value?

I hope this doesnt come off as breville bashing, I just dont think its the best option for someone just beginning to entertain the hobby. Especially when there are so many other, much more important factors at hand.

best of luck

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Gimme! Piccolo Mondo Espresso Blend
http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
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 Sun Feb 16, 2014, 9:44pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

I often come across as hating the brand but I really don't.

It is found in many kitchen stores and many department stores and the prices can climb quite high so there is a perception that high price equals quality but better built machines for the same or less can be purchased but you need to go to sellers who specialize in espresso gear, this takes a lot more effort on the buyers part and most don't even know where to look.

New people have no idea that better gear is available so when faults are brought up with the brand, it is perceived as bashing. If a person wants to buy one of these machines go right ahead, all I try to do is educate the buyer before they spend their money.

I do not feel that a new person needs to spend over $1K for a starting setup, not at all, a hand grinder and a starter machine or even a mypressi can make good espresso, and when the corner coffee shop is seen as the standard to beat then these machines can easily do it as that is a low bar to go over, esp when fresh beans are used.

The consumer appliance status is easy to see when side by side with quality machines but when other machines are not seen, then it is easy to think that all machines are built like these.

HX designs may not be a simple tube through the steam boiler, they can be a smaller chamber within the steam boiler like with my M32, there is no small passage at all to clog unlike the thermo coil. The mass of a thermocoil is low so the cold water can affect the stability much more than 2 or more L of water at temp.

To recap, if you understand what you are buying and still want to buy one, go right ahead, I will HELP you all I can to make the best espresso you can and much more than likely it will easily surpass the corner coffee shop.

I have used a LOT of machines from steam toys, thermoblocks, low cost pump machines, quality SBDUs, HX and DBs both single group and multi group. I KNOW the differences in them, l am not being spiteful by pointing out issues. I am not the only one here who has used lots of equipment, there are several so experienced members.

The BIGGEST thing you can do to improve your shots is to use a quality grinder designed for espresso and equally important is to use fresh, properly roasted beans, this is true regardless of who made your machine or how much you did or did not spend for it. The grinder quality is the hardest thing for new people to understand, why should I spend $400 plus for a grinder, my machine did not cost near that much, is a comment often heard and this point is the hardest to "sell"

 
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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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 10:51pm
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

z0mbie Said:

That's just plain silly thinking.  Have you forgotten my main point?  P-L-A-S-T-I-C.  

You make it sound like they don't want to compete. They can't.   Plastic is the biggest differentiator between the products offered.  You simply can't lower your prices and expect to make a profit if your competitor uses an inferior material to mass-produce the same product.   It's just silly to think this can be done.   BTW, I'm not knocking plastic.  It has its uses and plenty of high quality products use the material where it is appropriate.  But as long as it's relied upon as a cost cutting material, the product will always be inferior.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

You misunderstand my point.  I was saying that machines like my Oscar could be upgraded with very little cost in the factory with vacuum breaker and restrictors and a few other minor tweaks.  But they don't want to put even the few pennies it would cost them to upgrade it.  If they notice that their sales are being lost to breville they might just get off their collective a$$es and do something.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 349
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 12:19am
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

You misunderstand my point.  I was saying that machines like my Oscar could be upgraded with very little cost in the factory with vacuum breaker and restrictors and a few other minor tweaks.  But they don't want to put even the few pennies it would cost them to upgrade it.  If they notice that their sales are being lost to breville they might just get off their collective a$$es and do something.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

Got ya.. But minor tweaks don't add up to increased sales.   That's why they don't bother.  Little technical tweaks can't really be marketed without giving away the story that the product was previously plagued with issues.

Companies penny pinch on areas where people don't notice.. at least not until they break.. Breville wraps their plastic casing with a thin metal veneer and passes the product off as "Stainless Steel".  It's very misleading.  You spend $1200, get the thing home and find out it's all plastic underneath.  Sad.

But most people don't thinks about things like that when they buy.  And those who have been burned simply won't buy again it again so no they don't care about them either.
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,940
Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 5:46am
Subject: Re: Why all the Breville Bashing?
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Technically you're not supposed to criticize product in your first few posts

Posted February 16, 2014 link

Actually, the probationary period applies to unsolicited endorsements or criticisms.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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