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Thread: Breville BES920 Dual Boiler - Owners thread

  1. #101
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    Finally picked up my smart grinder today, gave up waiting and just took the display model.. done a fair bit of playing around but it's pouring way too fast.. now to wait for the shim kit xD
    Just ordered a roasted sample pack from BeanBay though so lots of fun ahead!

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by zingzing View Post
    Congrats on the purchase Pez and welcome to the forum. If black was available a month ago that would have been my choice. Would suit my black Compak K3 grinder.

    Not sure about a course in WA but there is a wealth of information on this site to get you going. Without knowing how proficient you are with espresso, at a super high level my approach with the Breville is.....

    1. Grind - 18g-19g in double basket. Use digital scales until you refine your method. Distribute grinds evenly across the basket and tap the basket to collapse the clumps and spaces.
    2. Tamp - between 10-15kg of pressure. You can gauge this by tamping onto bathroom scales to get consistent.
    3. Engage the PF and press the manual button. By default it will do 7 secs preinfusion then to full pressure. Press the manual button again to stop around 35-37 secs depending on flow and I usually get get about 35g of espresso goodness.

    To dial in the grind.... grind quite fine so the coffee just drips out and seems almost choked, then slowly back off your grind until you get your desired flow. Then enjoy playing around.
    Am curious - how do you know how much the grain weighs? Are you just weighing the portafilter and all and subtracting the weight of the portafilter?

    Also - when you wipe off the excess grain; do you press it down beforehand?

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenHeaphy View Post
    Am curious - how do you know how much the grain weighs? Are you just weighing the portafilter and all and subtracting the weight of the portafilter?

    Also - when you wipe off the excess grain; do you press it down beforehand?
    Most digital scales ales have a 'tare' weight button. You weigh the portafilter, press the tare button and the scales zero, then any extra weight can be easily read so you know exactly how much you've ground into your portafilter. They're only about $20 for a small set of good ones from a kitchen shop, worth their weight in good coffee! Weigh your grinds, if you have 19g, wipe excess grinds off before tamping unless you want to use that razor thing which I stopped using after probably two goes. They include some crappy aluminium thing and chuck that in the box but fail to include the 2 cent shim kit for the free grinder... Logic.

  4. #104
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    :-D Excellent, I must check that out, thanks for that.

    For everyone - what sort of cleaning routine do you have? After the beautiful latte I empty the puck, rinse and dry and wipe the steam wand. Beyond that I've not done anything else (except empty the drip tray now and again).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenHeaphy View Post
    :-D Excellent, I must check that out, thanks for that.

    For everyone - what sort of cleaning routine do you have? After the beautiful latte I empty the puck, rinse and dry and wipe the steam wand. Beyond that I've not done anything else (except empty the drip tray now and again).
    I do something similar to this after every session Backflush - YouTube
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky61 View Post
    I do something similar to this after every session Backflush - YouTube
    Ah cool, that's interesting, thanks

  7. #107
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    Do a bit of a search on this forum for cleaning and maintenance. The info generally applies to all machines, is quick and easy and will maximise your coffee flavour and machine longevity.

    Cheers
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  8. #108
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    Ok I've hit my first little speed bump with the 920. There seems to be a pump going all the time, it's not the one for the group as I can still make water come out of there. I think it's attached to the steam in some way as I can steam my milk and the pump stops after maybe 10 seconds. Then when I finish steaming it starts up again.

    *Edit* Hmm, don't worry people, I tried turning the machine off for 20 minutes and after turning it back on there is no problem anymore.
    Last edited by tanethomas; 23rd February 2014 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Problem solved

  9. #109
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    Hi. I'm interested in buying a 920. Does anyone know of any deals that retailers are running at the moment? What would be a good price both with and without the smart grinder? Thanks for your advice...

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by shmortz View Post
    Hi. I'm interested in buying a 920. Does anyone know of any deals that retailers are running at the moment? What would be a good price both with and without the smart grinder? Thanks for your advice...
    Don't know where your located.

    GTA, Toronto :

    Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL Canada

    920 on sale for $1199.

  11. #111
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    Sorry how silly. I'm located in Sydney Australia

  12. #112
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    If anybody is interested in the Breville business itself, their half year investor pressie is here: http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/2014022...b2lfg3h77g.pdf

    It makes quite interesting reading, particularly their growth plans in the UK including their hook up with Heston Blumenthal.

  13. #113
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    Hi Snobs,

    My experience;
    I bought the 920 & sg combo about 6 weeks ago. The grinder whilst being brilliantly clean and "smart" with its magnetic locking wasn't able to grind fine enough to pull a shot from the single basket.
    I assumed it was a one off grinder fault so returned the grinder to Myer who (excellent service) offered an immediate replacement with virtually no questions or hassle
    Took the new SG home and had exactly the same problem. I then researched the problem on this (excellent) forum and found I probably needed a shim kit. I contacted breville who were completely familiar with the problem and immediately offered to provide the shim kit.
    The shim kit arrived 2 weeks later and it pulled very good shots from the single basket but still couldn't get anything decent from the double basket.
    In frustration I contacted Myer who offered full refund of everything I bought or full rrp refund of the grinder even though I bought it in a package (excellent service).
    I took the grinder refund and ordered a Macap MTM which took about 3 weeks to arrive.
    In the interim I pulled out my old Sunbeam 480 grinder and was amazed at the improvement in shots I could pull (espresso drinker). To the point where I wondered if the Macap was even needed!
    The Macap arrived 3 days ago and OMG. I cannot believe the improvement. The difference is so great that I can't believe the disservice I would have done myself by sticking with the Sunbeam or the SG. The shots have a fuller flavour, can run for up to 45 secs without blonding and are easily repeatable.

    I've written this so that others who have settled for basic grinders in the belief that they're extracting the best they can from the machine are made aware that they're probably not. Dont fear that buying a better grinder wont produce better results!

    Rob.
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  14. #114
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    Welcome Rob,

    Thanks for the news on your grinder experience.

    Barry

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    Thank you everyone for this particular thread. It has given me great insight and now I want to go get this machine.

    My only question is right now I use a Baratza Virtuoso grinder and only do pour overs. Will it also be a suitable grinder for espresso on the BES920?


    Thanks again

  16. #116
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    Welcome Daze,

    I have not used a Baratza but from what I have read it is a good quality grinder and should work well with a BES920.

    Barry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    Welcome Daze,

    I have not used a Baratza but from what I have read it is a good quality grinder and should work well with a BES920.

    Barry

    Thanks Barry

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daze View Post
    Thank you everyone for this particular thread. It has given me great insight and now I want to go get this machine.

    My only question is right now I use a Baratza Virtuoso grinder and only do pour overs. Will it also be a suitable grinder for espresso on the BES920?


    Thanks again
    I use a precisio (virtuoso with added micro adjustments). It wouldn't grind fine enough for my E61 machine, i did a calibration (look on the baratza website for their videos that talk you through it) and it still wasn't fine enough. Baratza suggested upgrading to a gen 2 gearbox which cost about $35 shipped form the US. Once i installed that it grinds fine enough and beyond, very happy with it.

    If your lucky yours will already be a gen 2, if not get on the baratza website and check it out. I actually have a spare gen 2 upgrade kit, stupid me ordered 2 accidentally so if you find you need one let me know and we can probably come to an agreement about it and save you ordering form the US. Fingers crossed though yours already has the gen 2 kit in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swrd View Post
    The Macap arrived 3 days ago and OMG. I cannot believe the improvement. The difference is so great that I can't believe the disservice I would have done myself by sticking with the Sunbeam or the SG. The shots have a fuller flavour, can run for up to 45 secs without blonding and are easily repeatable.

    I've written this so that others who have settled for basic grinders in the belief that they're extracting the best they can from the machine are made aware that they're probably not. Dont fear that buying a better grinder wont produce better results!

    Rob.
    Did you have issues with the puck sticking when you had the smart grinder? Has the Macap grinder helped in any way with the puck sticking issue?

    This is my #1 issue with this machine (and/or grinder) to an extent that I'm really not enjoying using this it.

  20. #120
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    With the SG I was overfilling the portafilter to offset the poor grind which resulted in constantly stuck pucks. Now I'm not overfilling the issue has resolved itself

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukemc View Post
    I use a precisio (virtuoso with added micro adjustments). It wouldn't grind fine enough for my E61 machine, i did a calibration (look on the baratza website for their videos that talk you through it) and it still wasn't fine enough. Baratza suggested upgrading to a gen 2 gearbox which cost about $35 shipped form the US. Once i installed that it grinds fine enough and beyond, very happy with it.

    If your lucky yours will already be a gen 2, if not get on the baratza website and check it out. I actually have a spare gen 2 upgrade kit, stupid me ordered 2 accidentally so if you find you need one let me know and we can probably come to an agreement about it and save you ordering form the US. Fingers crossed though yours already has the gen 2 kit in it.


    How can I tell if it us a Gen 2? I just bought it in december.

    Thanks for the info

  22. #122
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    Jump onto the baratza website and look at parts. The gen 2 gearbox looks totally different. Honestly though if it grinds fine enough I wouldn't worry!

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    Should I specifically be looking for a 920 vs 900?, I'm noticing a lot of retailers still listing the BE900 as their primary stock, with lots not even having the 920, unless a lot of them have just not updated their listings cause they did not noticed it got upgraded like a year ago now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by swrd View Post
    With the SG I was overfilling the portafilter to offset the poor grind which resulted in constantly stuck pucks. Now I'm not overfilling the issue has resolved itself
    What do you mean by poor grind? With the shim kit installed I can get the SG to grind fine enough to practically choke the machine, and this is far from maxing it out. If you have an option of uploading a video that would be awesome, I'm genuinely curious.

    The issue I found with the machine is that there is zero tolerance to filling the portability. Add a smidgen and the puck sticks, take a smidgen and the puck is completely wet.

  25. #125
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    I got a refund on my SG. After the shim kit it was better but still unable to pull a decent shot from the double shot basket

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    Apologies Rob, I meant if you have a video of a shot with the MACAP grinder.

    I like the convenience of the SM, in that it has dosage options for 1 and 2 cups. It frees me to do other things while it performs the grinding. I wish it was stepless, but it's not. That's why I'm curious to see what other grinders produce, if I had to lose the convenience of the SM.

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Should I specifically be looking for a 920 vs 900?, I'm noticing a lot of retailers still listing the BE900 as their primary stock, with lots not even having the 920, unless a lot of them have just not updated their listings cause they did not noticed it got upgraded like a year ago now?
    That's true. I saw the BES900 at Broadway HN yesterday among a lot of pod and super auto machines. No sign of the BES920. I got my 900-SG combo about a year and a half a go. I've been through the usual trouble: SG not grinding fine enough (solved with a couple of shims), portafilter fly-off (solved by improving my back flushing routine) and o-ring failure (solved by bringing the machine to Len). Pucks occasionally stick, but I wouldn't count that as a problem. I think they solved the portafilter and o-ring failures in the second batch of the BES900, the 900b, so you should be quite fine with one of these (but I would be aggressive on price negotiations telling them you know about the 920). The big advantage of the 920 seems to be the ability to do home descaling.

    Overall the BES900-SG combo was an excellent investment. I am able to make great coffee, on average better than at most coffee shops, play around with variable to experiment, all for a very decent price. I am not even too affected by upgradeitis.

  28. #128
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    The 920 doesn't appear on the shelves often, so I got the local HN to order it in. There are scanned receipts on the net if you look around, by far the best deal with a price match - I got my bes920bs + SG + 5y warranty for less than the 900's are being advertised for.

    Interesting about the single basket vs double issues. I normally just use the double, but thought I'd experiment. Result - I can't get the single to work :S

    I've gone through a lot of coffee but no joy. Last attempt was 9 clicks courser than the double, normal tamp & razor'd dose (for consistency), three different beans. Still choked out the machine, could see the relief fluttering at just over 9bar. Grind is pretty darn course now (half scale, looks like pepper), not sure what else to try.

    Also after quite a bit of use I haven't had a stuck puck in ages.

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by pez View Post
    The 920 doesn't appear on the shelves often, so I got the local HN to order it in. There are scanned receipts on the net if you look around, by far the best deal with a price match - I got my bes920bs + SG + 5y warranty for less than the 900's are being advertised for.

    Interesting about the single basket vs double issues. I normally just use the double, but thought I'd experiment. Result - I can't get the single to work :S

    I've gone through a lot of coffee but no joy. Last attempt was 9 clicks courser than the double, normal tamp & razor'd dose (for consistency), three different beans. Still choked out the machine, could see the relief fluttering at just over 9bar. Grind is pretty darn course now (half scale, looks like pepper), not sure what else to try.

    Also after quite a bit of use I haven't had a stuck puck in ages.
    How long ago did you get your machine? I have been seriously interested in buying one of these but most places are advertising at around $1500-1600 now and I cant bring myself to pay that knowing I missed out on the $1200 combo deals at Christmas.

    Worst case I can wait around till EOFY sales and hope another good deal comes up or at the very least some sales people hungry for commissions are willing to haggle.

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by pez View Post
    Interesting about the single basket vs double issues. I normally just use the double, but thought I'd experiment. Result - I can't get the single to work :S

    I've gone through a lot of coffee but no joy. Last attempt was 9 clicks courser than the double, normal tamp & razor'd dose (for consistency), three different beans. Still choked out the machine, could see the relief fluttering at just over 9bar. Grind is pretty darn course now (half scale, looks like pepper), not sure what else to try.

    Also after quite a bit of use I haven't had a stuck puck in ages.
    I'm not sure, but the single baskets on most machines I think just give you a headache, I persisted with the single basket on my Lelit for like a year when I got it, in the end one week I figured I'd try the double for my singles, now I drink nothing but doubles, double basket on the Lelit gives more room for volume tweaking, better extraction, now I'm not sure why I wasted so much time with the single.


    With the 920, I think I have decided I want one, just got to ditch the Lelit, I looked at a few others, Oscar and the Lelit duel boiler, kind of hard to match the features for price on the Breville, there is a little more soul in the others perhaps, but it's hard to fight the tech factor.

    I am a cheap ass though, can't see myself paying more than $1200, not for something with that brand name, I suffered the same issue between a Sunbeam and a Lelit, the Lelit won, and even though I have a Sunbeam grinder, so much of that frustrates me, so that has to go as well.

    PS. I'm rocking the look of the black 920s, want that one. I had a laugh

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by pez View Post
    The 920 doesn't appear on the shelves often, so I got the local HN to order it in. There are scanned receipts on the net if you look around, by far the best deal with a price match - I got my bes920bs + SG + 5y warranty for less than the 900's are being advertised for.

    Interesting about the single basket vs double issues. I normally just use the double, but thought I'd experiment. Result - I can't get the single to work :S

    I've gone through a lot of coffee but no joy. Last attempt was 9 clicks courser than the double, normal tamp & razor'd dose (for consistency), three different beans. Still choked out the machine, could see the relief fluttering at just over 9bar. Grind is pretty darn course now (half scale, looks like pepper), not sure what else to try.

    Also after quite a bit of use I haven't had a stuck puck in ages.
    I am getting good results with the single by grinding 2/3 of the amount of coffee I load for the double and the same coarseness, same tamping.

  32. #132
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    Black is the way to go..

    Mine wasn't during the sales, just with a copy of another receipt and some firm negotiation You should be able to get a 920 for that..

  33. #133
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    Interesting.. I haven't tried cutting the dose right down.. Good avenue to explore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pez View Post
    Interesting.. I haven't tried cutting the dose right down.. Good avenue to explore.
    I don't weight beans anymore. I put three (two) heaped scoops of beans for a double (single) basket in the hopper. Grind, collapse the "hill" with a couple of knocks, distribute evenly (specially around the edge) and discard the excess (so the basket is full to the brim), tamp (the metal part of the BES900 stock tamper will be all inside the basket), make sure the tamping is flat (takes a bit of practice), take tamper out and clean excess around the edges, put the tamper in with no pressure (just give it a circular movement to arrange the puck beautifully), insert in group head and immediately press the manual button, watch the extraction (I aim for 37sec by the clock: 7 pre-infussion + 30 extraction), enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pez View Post
    Black is the way to go..

    Mine wasn't during the sales, just with a copy of another receipt and some firm negotiation You should be able to get a 920 for that..

    Good to know thanks, I was thinking of just heading in and pointing out that I knew the sales had been on for that price so if they want a sale from me today I will pay that price otherwise see you later. If it's within their allowable margin I don't know many salesman who would give up such an easy sale.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tupinamba View Post
    I don't weight beans anymore. I put three (two) heaped scoops of beans for a double (single) basket in the hopper. Grind, collapse the "hill" with a couple of knocks, distribute evenly (specially around the edge) and discard the excess (so the basket is full to the brim), tamp (the metal part of the BES900 stock tamper will be all inside the basket), make sure the tamping is flat (takes a bit of practice), take tamper out and clean excess around the edges, put the tamper in with no pressure (just give it a circular movement to arrange the puck beautifully), insert in group head and immediately press the manual button, watch the extraction (I aim for 37sec by the clock: 7 pre-infussion + 30 extraction), enjoy!
    Thanks for your tips. I was using a very similar process for the double. Today I went through a 500g bag of fresh beans trying out different things to optimize the double. Seems to blonde out at ~25sec or choke out, so might have to try different beans or find a local expert SOR Perth.

    Another weird thing, found a grind size that wouldn't build pressure - did it a couple of times to make sure. Proper dose, tamp, etc but would only build 4bar. Two notches either side was fine..

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    Hi all,

    Just purchased a 920 with SG after previously having a sunbeam ... I like my new machine! I've poured few few shots using single cup filter and using the 1 cup button option. Currently I'm getting slightly over 9 bars, pre infusion of approx 8-9 sec, but a 47sec shot! Is this adjustable, as I think that this may be a bit long?

    In terms of the grind, my beans are a couple of weeks old and I've got it set relatively course setting 9 notches from the finest setting. Any advice would be welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    PS. I'm rocking the look of the black 920s, want that one. I had a laugh
    I've got a black 900, looks awesome! Black is the way to go!

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson View Post
    Hi all,

    Just purchased a 920 with SG after previously having a sunbeam ... I like my new machine! I've poured few few shots using single cup filter and using the 1 cup button option. Currently I'm getting slightly over 9 bars, pre infusion of approx 8-9 sec, but a 47sec shot! Is this adjustable, as I think that this may be a bit long?

    In terms of the grind, my beans are a couple of weeks old and I've got it set relatively course setting 9 notches from the finest setting. Any advice would be welcome.
    I assume at 47sec you mean total time? That's only 38sec extraction so not massively too long on book values. How does the coffee taste?

    You can change between time and volume setting on your auto shots, if you put it on time you can program the button to whatever you like. Personally I just run on manual but I'm always fiddling.

  40. #140
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    I've got the Sage Dual Boiler at the moment (same as BES920) and at one stage, had a Breville BES900.

    I recently got a friend to bring over my naked handle from Sydney. Unfortunately, they changed the design of the machine meaning my portafilter wasn't able to lock/seal properly.

    Anyways, I've finally got around to doing something about it. All it took was a dremel (aluminum oxide grinder bit), steady hands and a little bit of time (about 1 hour).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson View Post
    Hi all,

    Just purchased a 920 with SG after previously having a sunbeam ... I like my new machine! I've poured few few shots using single cup filter and using the 1 cup button option. Currently I'm getting slightly over 9 bars, pre infusion of approx 8-9 sec, but a 47sec shot! Is this adjustable, as I think that this may be a bit long?

    In terms of the grind, my beans are a couple of weeks old and I've got it set relatively course setting 9 notches from the finest setting. Any advice would be welcome.
    Welcome Wilson,

    If you wish to make your coffee flow quicker, grind it coarser. Also you can adjust the brew length. Look as the instruction booklet. I always use the manual button. As the beans age you will have to grind them finer.

    Barry

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    Success! $1348 with 5yr warranty and smart grinder to match a receipt from ozbargain. Can sell the grinder as I already have one to make for a better deal. Now the tuning and learning begins

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    So first snag hit, Smart grinder has same problem as others and not fine enough. How long does the shim kit normally take to arrive?

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    Mine took 2 weeks

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    Disappointed.. Am I missing something

    I have recently purchased the BES 920 and the smart grinder from Breville. I am having a lot of trouble with consistency. My Hubby and I are both experienced in coffee making and have had a commercial grinder and Café series Sunbeam coffee machine for years. Also ran a Café. Could anyone please let me know there settings on both these machines. I have played with it for hours...felt it was spot on and then the next coffee a flop. Mainly bitter, or may run out too fast....every time different. Have rung Breville twice. They have gone through with it with me but to no avail because I don't seem to be doing anything wrong. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    karen, maybe run though in more detail what you are actually doing? if not i think it would be hard to give any advice... settings between grinders are quite different - especially with shims and all in grinders.

    FWIW, i'll ask a few... every time you change your settings how many shots do you brew in between? the smart grinder still does have some grind retention, so might be affecting your settings. also, are you dosing by weight, volume or level of the basket?

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    Thank you Tim. I brew probably thirty shots on the same grind setting. I have the setting on the level in the basket, which is probably also volume with the smart grinder? Thanks for the reply.

  48. #148
    UCC
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    I currently have the Breville BES800 (the one with the built in grinder). I have had it for 4 years now and have been very happy with it. I am considering upgrading to the 920. What I want to know is; will my coffee taste better with the 920 then that 800? I am keen for the convenience of a duel boiler, but, if the coffee is not going to be better I will just wait till mine dies and upgrade then.

    Thanks

  49. #149
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UCC View Post
    I currently have the Breville BES800 (the one with the built in grinder). I have had it for 4 years now and have been very happy with it. I am considering upgrading to the 920. What I want to know is; will my coffee taste better with the 920 then that 800? I am keen for the convenience of a duel boiler, but, if the coffee is not going to be better I will just wait till mine dies and upgrade then.

    Thanks
    That's a bit like asking if the food you cook on a newer and more expensive stove top will taste any better. If you were a mediocre cook to start with, your food ain't going to taste any better no matter what you cook on. The same goes with coffee... the quality of what ends up in the cup depends a lot more on you than the equipment you use.

    If in doubt of your own skills, my advice would be to get a bit of training so that you would be more likely to maximise the potential of whichever machine you happen to make coffee with. And... the 920 should be capable of cranking out more consistent coffees than the 800 and consistency is the foundation stone of quality. The quality part of the equation is up to you.

  50. #150
    UCC
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    Ok, to re-word my question - given that Breville make both of these machines - is there are difference in the internal workings, or are they identical, you are just paying for a duel boiler?

    Ie is the newer more expensive stove top actually got a better heat element or are you just paying for some better extra features?

    I find my 800 very consistent. I can pretty well hit whatever extraction time I'm after within a few goes of the bean that I'm using.

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