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Breville 800ESXL - Kelvin Wong's Review
Posted: August 14, 2009, 10:50pm
review rating: 4.0
feedback: (11) comments | read | write
Breville Espresso 800ESXL
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Arrow The Breville 800ESXL has 66 Reviews
Arrow The Breville 800ESXL has been rated 7.95 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 2, 2006.
Arrow Breville 800ESXL reviews have been viewed 545,725 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Steve Koellhoffer 10.00
H H 10.00
Pat D'Arcy 9.50
Ben Moore 9.00
L Blumen 9.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.4
Product Reviewed: ESXL800
Manufacturer: Breville Quality: 9
Average Price: $499.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $300.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Macy Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 2 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: A little modification to the system (~$30) makes wonderful shots.
Positive Product Points

It makes good shots, not the best shots but really good shots.  Much better than *buck, or other chains, or 95% of cafe, period.

Negative Product Points

As anyone would know, pressurized filter is unnecessary and the plastic base is deceptive.  Both combined to make fake crema.

Detailed Commentary

Bought the system for 2 months already.  I must admit I didn't do any research before buying.  After I bought it, I'm stuck with it and the research began back then.  With a little bit of modifications, that anyone can do, it can make good shots and it's a tremendous improvement over the original setup.

First you should realize that this machine can make crema even for the worst bean (even pre-grind).  The trick being it is pressurized but the reality is actually the small hole in the pressurized basket, which shoots a jet stream of liquid to the plastic base that created microbubbles before it's flows to the cup.  You don't want any of them.

I took the advise from the web and venture to buy the krup unpressurized filter (double, MS-0907163).  It sort of works ok except the small grinds creep into your coffee, which is annoying.  So forget about it.  The correct filter basket is Millenium Model LaPavoni 51mm I.D. basket (53mm O.D.)  (http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/questions/425817).

Second, you'd need a good 51mm tamper.  I chose the rosewood stainless steel tamper as in the other post (http://www.coffeegeek.mobi/forums/espresso/machines/390654).

Third, actually the most important one, is a good burrs grinder. This is really depending on your preference. I used Baratza Virtuoso at setting 13-14.

Fourth, I took the plastic base inside the portafilter out such that you can time the shot more accurately.  Also, once you removed the plastic base, you'll discover how your pressurized filter makes "crema" as there's a thin jet stream shooting to your cup making a lot of microbubbles.  

Trick: The LaPavoni filter fits nicely to the portafilter.  But it's impossible to jam it into the head of the Breville machine (don't try to force it in).  Instead, there're 4 screws around the head that when you loose them a bit, you can screw in the portafilter with the LaPavoni filter.  Then you tighten the 4 screws such that it'll fit nicely with the system.

After all that, I can get good shots with good crema.  Pucks are dry and I can get 26 seconds shot. The variables that the system do not allow you to control are water temperature variability and pressure.  I can't find any temperature/pressure mod for this machine so I believe that's the best I can do.

Here's the shot I made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6csM0Njn_50

Buying Experience

I'd recommend buying the system.  It's definitely worth the money if you are not satisfy with the quality of your espresso drinks in *buck.

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review rating: 4.0
Posted: August 14, 2009, 10:50pm
feedback: (11) comments | read | write
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