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Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler - Josh McGrath's Review
Posted: May 21, 2013, 8:03am
review rating: 9.0
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler has 10 Reviews
Arrow The Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler has been rated 8.02 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 6, 2012.
Arrow Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler reviews have been viewed 80,643 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Josh McGrath 9.00
Peter Russell 9.00
Mike Timmins 8.67
John Denham 7.50
Rick London 5.67

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.6
Manufacturer: Breville USA Quality: 7
Average Price: $1,200.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $900.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Williams Sonoma Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: none
Bottom Line: The cheapest cure to upgrade-itis on the market
Positive Product Points

Extremely easy to use
Very high quality basket
Temperature stability
Steaming wand is really nice to use (good swivel and rotate)
Reservoir easy to fill, large capacity, and easy view level
Beautiful looking
High level of customization

Negative Product Points

Plastic drip tray

Detailed Commentary

When I bought the Breville Dual Boiler I was initially very hesitant based on the "saga" of the OPV issues and the other problems the machine ran into during its initial production run.  But, when I had the opportunity to buy it at 20% off at william sonoma I jumped on it and decided to take the leap.  

Upon unboxing I immediately noticed that my portafilter had a black plastic insert; making it one of the early edition models.  Upon plugging it in and pegging it I also found that it had an unadjusted OPV; which was very disappointing and at first very worrying.

I immediately sent an email to the breville support and instantly my worries were relieved.  I received a very quick response from a person, not an automated machine, and spent a good 10 minutes on the phone with a person, they called me not the other way around.  

After the brief troubleshooting session Matt (the breville rep who absolutely knew what he was talking about) said they would replace it.  He offered me the option of allowing a 400 dollar hold on my credit card and they would send the unit out with 2nd day air right away and I could send back my defective unit in the same box.  I was amazed at how quickly I had a new machine sitting in front of me.  This new machine did not have the plastic insert and was part of the later production run and ever since then I haven't looked back.

My BDB now has 650 shots through it without a single hiccup; I'm drinking some of the most amazing coffee I've ever had on a daily basis.

In terms of the day to day use of the machine I have it set to come on in the morning about 15 minutes before I get out of bed so by the time I come downstairs it's on and heated up.  Because of the PID in the grouphead I don't worry about the machine needing hours to warm up to have thermal stability.  I have a bottomless portafilter as well so no worries about thermal mass there either.  I usually run a quick flush to make sure everything is up to temp and use that to preheat my cups as well.  

I use the manual button which will run pre-infusion as you hold it down, then ramp up to fell pressure when you let go.  I do this because it allows me to experiment with different pressures without having to go into any menus to change anything.

Other features that come in handy are obviously brew and steam at the same time.  I can say from experience I'm able to steam about 6 oz of milk in the same amount of time it takes for me to pull my shot which is very nice when I have guests over. I don't have to spend the whole evening manning the machine.

Now one last thing I want to mention and this comes with a huge YMMV warning; but I am able to crack the hot water tap a tiny bit during the shot which allows me to adjust the pressure at the puck which helps bring out some very interesting flavors in the cup.

At the end of the day I love my BDB and I haven't regretted the purchase for an instant.  I plan on writing another review when I've put over 1000 shots on the machine to check up on its durability.

Buying Experience

Williams Sonoma; pretty standard service, but the service you receive from Breville USA is unparalleled

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: May 21, 2013, 8:03am
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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