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Thread: Breville BES920 Dual Boiler - Owners thread

  1. #1
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    Smile Breville BES920 Dual Boiler - Owners thread

    A thread for people who have purchased the machine and for people looking to find out user experiences to make a decision on purchasing one.

    I purchased mine yesterday and have just put my first home roasted beans [Brazil Yellow Bourbon Especial Reserve] through it. The best coffee I have ever made (and better than I have ever bought) straight out of the box. Exxxceelleent!!

    Super easy to setup. Great Instructions. Great machine Mr Breville.

    Only issue - our water hardness is 1 square on the test strip, and the 920's program didn't seem to give me enough time to change it from the default setting of three. (However, quick check of the manual - page 20 - Advanced menu - all fixed.)

    I'm also looking forward to the Breville Christmas promotion that came with the package - the bonus Toby Estates Barista course.

    So now I'm back into coffee.
    Last edited by IntaCoffee; 3rd December 2013 at 10:19 AM.

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    Congratulations on the great results! I am curious, is the BES920 your first serious espresso machine?

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    Yes ... it is the first dual boiler machine I have owned. I have used and sampled many higher level machines during my 40+ years of coffee enjoyment. I had been envious of friends with the previous model for whom I regularly roast beans, and drink quite a lot of coffee at their houses.

    For only $1,299 (on sale - and including the BCG800 Smart Grinder and a Barista course) - I finally gave in and bought one. After having it for a few days now I would be happy even if I had paid the RRP of $1,499+. The features that won me over -
    • 2400W Heating system,
    • descale access by the user,
    • adjustable steam boiler temp (pressure),
    • volumetrics - able to select either time based or volume based,
    • base that unlocks and allows easy movement of the machine, and
    • the Razor precision dosing tool.

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    Where did you get it at $1299 including the grinder? I just saw that Myer has it for $1199.20, but without the grinder.

  5. #5
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are enjoying the machine. What is the razor dosing tool? Any pics ?

    Cheers

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    Hey IntaCoffee, can you tell me how fast the steaming process is? If you don't mind i'd also like to hear your opinion on the adjustable steam temp (pressure).

    - mennamorato - I'm in the States so I can't buy one... YET!!!

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    Hey all,

    I upgraded to the BES920 and am loving it so far - I also managed to get it for $1299 including the grinder from Myer (the deal is the BES900 + BCG800 but they substituted the BES920).

    The Razor dosing tool is as seen at The Breville Razor- Precision Dose Trimming Tool - YouTube I'm not too sure about using it yet - according to it I have been overdosing by about 0.5-0.75cm and I'm yet to really experiment with it! It basically shaves off coffee AFTER you tamp as opposed to other dosing tools on the market.

    In terms of steaming process, I can steam enough milk for two 220mL cups in about 45-60 seconds if that helps mennamorato!

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    Thanks that really helps, does it feel slow? How do you like the machine itself? - Sorry for all the questions....

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    Not a Shoe Jimmytheboot's Avatar
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    Im also interested if you can increase the steam temperature to make steaming quicker

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    Steam Temperature adjustment

    Steam Temp.JPG

    Per the manual, the default Steam Temperature is 135 degrees C.

    Also, per the manual - I haven't tried this yet - the Steam Temp may be adjusted up or down. Click on the snippet above.

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    Could you try it out, if it doesn't work well then I might just buy a 900.

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    The steam temp adjustment is from 130 degrees Celcius to 140 degrees Celcius. 135 degrees C is the default setting.

    Seems quick enough to me. I'm not sure that the extra 5 degrees is going to be very noticeable.

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    Thanks for your help!

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    Hey all,

    Am really enjoying using the BES920 on the 'out of the box' settings without any changes. Have been getting some great cups of coffee! The only change I've made is changing the Breville basket to a 21g Synesso and then a 21g Espresso Parts Precision basket from Talk Coffee (super quick shipping as well!). Highly recommend this, especially if splitting the shots into two cups as I was finding that the standard Breville 18g wasn't enough. Also, it might be just all in my head but I found that it was easier to dial in with the EP precision basket versus the Synesso or Breville baskets - it was as though it was more sensitive to the grind adjustments and the reward was in the coffee!

    I was surprised at how quickly the machine heats up (two minutes from cold overnight) and it definitely is quieter than my old EM6910. Steam is no issue and it is really easy to steam enough milk for two cups in about a minute or so!

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    Hi Everyone,

    Just thought I'd jump in and say hi and brag about my new purchase.

    I spent all of 2013 looking for a machine to buy. In March my budget was $300, by August it was $500, and finally I realized that $900 would get me what I wanted. So glad I didn't rush in and buy something cheap.

    After looking at the EM7000s and Silvias, I was set on a BES900 and was waiting for a second hand one to pop up. Then the BES920 was released, same price as the 900 from Myer. I couldn't pass on $1210 and I already had picked a SmartGrinder up from Gumtree. I was really impressed with the presentation out of the box. Super easy to set up, clear, easy to follow instructions on getting it ready for the first use. So here is my first machine. The latte art needs some work, but I'm getting there.



    I'd used a friends 900 a few times, and was surprised at how quiet the 920 is in comparison. Out of the box settings weren't too bad. I snapped up some run of the mill beans from commercial link removed per site posting policy and poured a few shots, fiddled with some settings, like lowering the shot temp from 93C to 91C (it originally tasted a little woody, Brisbane summer heat maybe). Played with the basket weight. The steam was very user friendly, and achieved micro-foam on my first attempt. BAM. Really, Really Great Coffee.

    Here's a quick video of it pulling a single shot out of a double basket, feel free to leave any tips and advice as I'm super keen to learn more. Loving my new addiction, although I didn't sleep very well last night.

    Last edited by Javaphile; 16th December 2013 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tango View Post
    according to it I have been overdosing by about 0.5-0.75cm
    yeah, I played with mine this morning and lost a fair amount off the top of my tamped basket. re-tamped and afterwards the shot poured way too fast.

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    Got a deal on one of these from HN similar to the deals others have been getting (got the BES920 and a BCG800 grinder and a Beville knock box for $1322).

    Already have an Isomac Professionale grinder... not sure which one to keep now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzbouzanquet View Post
    yeah, I played with mine this morning and lost a fair amount off the top of my tamped basket. re-tamped and afterwards the shot poured way too fast.
    I overdosed until I managed to get my SmartGrinder to grind fine enough. I got a shim set from Breville to achieve that. Shot times are spot on since then.

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    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Got mine about 2 weeks ago. Feel free to comment.


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    I bought one today ( BES 920 and a smart ginder)and I need a set of shims because the ones I got don't quite do it, well they get me caffinated, but I need to play.

    RC
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    Nice camera work gusteaundarly! I like your mod for avoiding grains spilling from the grinder Am curious though; why did you poke the portafilter after filling it and what was the plastic circular disc for towards the end?

    Lovely looking latte at the end!

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    Thanks DarrenHeaphy. I was doing the Weiss Distribution Technique (WDT). The rubber cleaning disc is included in the BES920 package to act as a blind filter, it is cheaper and more convenient to use than* an actual blind filter, and work just as well too IMO.

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    Loved your vid gust.
    I got mine yesterday (did I mention that already ) and I am so excited. I just wish I could drink more coffee.

    I can't stop looking at it and playing. It makes me happy.

    RC

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    Get some decaf wow, that way you can just keep drinking and playing with it! It tastes great.

    Cheers
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    I have never thought about de-caf before.

    Maybe it does have a purpose afterall

    RC

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    Smile Recommendations for setting pls

    Hi everyone, Just purchased today a Breville BES920 at my local HN for $1049 plus some free De Longhi dbl walled cups as a bonus... Come from a Mokita Super Inox and Breville Smart Grinder set up previously.....
    Having some issues starting out on settings... Can someone pls share what Smart Grinder setting you are using. Getting way too long extraction also...

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    Hi Kaibeau, grats on your purchase! I have it at the finest, +3 strongness. I am able to get double shot around 30 seconds with medium-dark roast not-too-oily beans. Slightly longer, around 35-37 seconds for dark roasted oily beans.

    Interested to hear what everyone is using as well.
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    Well done kaibeau that's a great price! I asked at HN in Osborne Park WA and they said they only have stock of the BES900. Can I ask which HN?

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    The setting on the grinder is irrelevant when comparing different grinders, what is the finest setting on one, might be the equivalent of 8 notches away on another.

    Watch some of the Breville (or many other) decent youtube tutorials. Get your dose consistent, vary grind to get the right flow rate. Make sure you use fresh beans and enjoy!

    Cheers

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    Smile

    Thanks for the feedback gusteaundarly, will report in when we've fine tuned...

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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    The setting on the grinder is irrelevant when comparing different grinders, what is the finest setting on one, might be the equivalent of 8 notches away on another.

    Watch some of the Breville (or many other) decent youtube tutorials. Get your dose consistent, vary grind to get the right flow rate. Make sure you use fresh beans and enjoy!

    Cheers
    That's a given but identical settings on the same model wouldn't be way off right? Unless it's a crazy bad grinder? It's still worth knowing what others on forum with the same gear are doing and see if it helps improves your shot.

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    Wink

    In Townsville, Queensland. Guess maybe they had none of the 900's? They were price matching the local Joyce Mayne price on a 900. Yes I thought lucky me..
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    Smile

    Yes I was assuming just those with BSG's would reply. Just narrow it down a bit quicker as I'm going through my lovely beans quickly. My next bag I already have were a special order and so I haven't had these before. Rather tweak on the beans I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    Well done kaibeau that's a great price! I asked at HN in Osborne Park WA and they said they only have stock of the BES900. Can I ask which HN?
    I just picked up the BES920 + Smart Grinder for $1198 from Osborne Park HN. They had 3 left as of my purchase yesterday afternoon. Maybe just arrived? I believe Edgewater also had a few units. Best call and check!

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    Hi all
    This is my first post. I have just ordered the BES920 today as a replacement of my BES900 I have had for just over a week. I really love the 900, get a fantastic coffee but the one shot and two shot buttons don't hold their correct shot. It was fine until I accidentally reprogrammed them, but now I can't reset it or get any consistent shot from either button, after fastidious efforts to reprogram them. Perfect on manual. Breville 0800 here in NZ were really good after some consultation they said to ask the store I bought it from to replace it, which in a way is a bit of a shame as it seems a very small issue that if it could be reset would be fine. When I went to the store Noel Lemming(NZ) they said I can upgrade to the BES920 for $230, not sure if there is that much difference between the machines but do notice on feedback the shots are more consistent on Auto. Believe it or not, the BES900 was to replace a BES870 that I bought but was DOA the previous week, no steam out of the steam wand, Noel Lemming upgraded me no problems the first time too. I think the BES870 would have be fine for me, went for that after the awesome coffee from my friends one.
    I have had about 2 maybe 3 other Breville budget espresso machines in the past and have always felt they punched above their weight budget wise, but the BDB is in a very different league, it's awesome. Unfortunately when products are mass produced with even a very small (and acceptable) failure rate will seem a lot, but it does consumers a disservice if only the bad stuff is reported. I have no question about my BES900 being a good machine, I have enjoyed some of my best coffees ever in the last week and look froward to reporting back on my BES920 when it arrives.

    SmartGrinder BCG800 settings:
    I just got mine last week so imagine it is the latest configuration(no shims required), because if I grind on the finest it just chokes. For a double shot it is only three notches from the centre directly right of the number 2` and dialed back 4 less. I agree with gusteaundarly it's good to have a starting point, but with some shimmed and some fixed from the factory that could be difficult.
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    First time poster and machine owner here. Got my BES920 yesterday and did a trial run last night that wasn't so good but my wife got it perfect the first time this morning. Loving the machine! Also smart grinder seems to be good enough even at about 5 steps from the finest.

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    I have had mine for a couple of weeks now and it all works as it should.

    I found with the Smart grinder that I was on the finest setting so rang Breville about some shims.

    The guy said I didn't need them and said that I should let my home roasted coffee age longer.

    We had a nice little friendly chat about that as he really didn't know much about it, not that I am any sort of expert, but he sent me some shims which I haven't got around to installing yet.

    I really am enjoying this machine so far and getting some really tasty shots.

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    Bought the smart grinder and the BES920 today! Can't wait to try out some lovely coffee

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    BES900 vs BES920
    Well I got my BES920 today and thought I'd give you my first impression of the differences with my BES900/B. Firstly it:
    does heat up quicker and
    steam pressure/volume seems quite a bit more, awesome microfoam
    the portafilter fits in a bit smoother
    and the hot water tap has a nicer positive off position
    Basket in portafilter seems different, no sucked pucks seem to need firmer thump on box to get them out. Better I reckon.
    The "Razor" shot shaver, used but not for my liking, only time I had a shot not up to correct pressure.
    These are the noticeable differences so far. Playing for an hour.

    Things noticed that have changed that don't make an immediate tangible difference are:
    Water hardness setting
    Descaling ports
    Steam temp/pressure adjustment (not played with yet)
    Volume or time auto shot programs (not played with yet)

    I really liked my BES900 and understand it had already had some modifications from the earlier ones out there being a "B" version manufactured mid 2013. So you might notice more improvements if you have an earlier model.

    I would suggest it is worth an extra $200 between the 2 models but wouldn't necessarily be upgrading an existing BES900 as they are still really nice machine, I only went that way because of some minor issues with mine under warranty that Breville almost insisted I replaced it for my own peace of mind. Nice one Breville, thanks.

    So if the BES900 could be any better at making coffee, I would have to say the BES920 is just a bit better to uneducated palate, the steam blast when you clean the wand is really quite noticeable too.

    So along with my Smart Grinder I am enjoying some awesome coffees straight out of the box!

  40. #40
    bxp
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    The majority of my pucks get stuck to the machine. Any suggestions on what to tweak in my process top fix it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bxp View Post
    The majority of my pucks get stuck to the machine. Any suggestions on what to tweak in my process top fix it?
    The right dose, right tamp works for me. Also try removing portafilter at an angle. I clear water flush at least once every session until the residual in head is relatively gone. Don't know if that'll help.

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    I heard stuck pucks are more to do with the basket on the Breville being too tapered and releasing too easy, nothing wrong with the shot per sec. It shouldn't affect your shot, just a bit annoying I suppose. I hear after market baskets can eliminate or at least reduce it.

  43. #43
    bxp
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    I used the blade to help me adjust the dose with the grinder and now I don't use it. I've tamped hard and soft and I can't seem to find the point where the puck drops. It happens pretty rarely so when it does I can't really tell what I did differently.

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    One thing I forgot to mention was that with the 900 I got a years supply(7) water filters. Only one came with the 920 it was a sealed box too.

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    Got my BES920 and smart grinder at Myer in the sale and very pleased with it so far. I did the Toby Estate home barista course recently which I found very helpful and am making really excellent coffee since doing that. They use the BES900 and BSG for training, which is very helpful to be learning on the same machine (or close to it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oggie View Post
    One thing I forgot to mention was that with the 900 I got a years supply(7) water filters. Only one came with the 920 it was a sealed box too.
    My understanding is that the 900 came with so many water softening filters because it couldn't be descaled by the user, and now the 920 can be. Unless you have decent water filtering with softening at home I'd stick with the Breville filters.
    Last edited by zingzing; 12th January 2014 at 09:24 AM.

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    After a good few years with filter style methods (Hario V60, Chemex, Syphon, Aeropress, Cold Press) I decided my coffee journey continues with the never ending pursuit of decent home espresso so I recently picked up one of these bad boys with the smart grinder. So far I'm getting some good results with my K3P grinder (The Breville is still in the box and may end up in the FS section or I may keep as filter grinder).

    I've used a fair few different home machines and some serious commercial machines (my favourite being the LM Strada EP!) and am looking forward to the journey with my shiny new BES920 and learning and sharing with you all.

    zz.

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    Got the BES920 up and running today. Made 2 quick lattes and was impressed, the steamer is fantastic and the espresso was OK (my bad though). Couple of questions:

    Inserting the portafilter into the group head is hard, I have to put a lot of effort to get the handle sticking out in the locked position; and this is when it's empty! Is that normal? The videos make it look effortless.
    On the water hardness test - what should happen on that strip? I dipped into the dotted line, waited for a few minutes and the paper looked the same albeit wetter!

    Really looking forward to mastering this and the grinder. It's a gorgeous looking machine too

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenHeaphy View Post
    I have to put a lot of effort to get the handle sticking out in the locked position; and this is when it's empty! Is that normal? The videos make it look effortless.
    Hi Darren, it's difficult to know exactly how much effort you're needing but it should be fairly tight and should get a little easier after a bit of use. Have you used similar machines before?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenHeaphy View Post
    On the water hardness test - what should happen on that strip? I dipped into the dotted line, waited for a few minutes and the paper looked the same albeit wetter!
    Are you using filtered water? If so it probably means the water is fairly soft and didn't really register a reading on the test strip. In this case (like me) you'd set the hardness setting on the machine to 1.

    zz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenHeaphy View Post
    Inserting the portafilter into the group head is hard, I have to put a lot of effort to get the handle sticking out in the locked position; and this is when it's empty! Is that normal? The videos make it look effortless.
    Hey Darren. Have the same issue with my portafilter being really tight. I played around with the other machines on display at HN and felt nice and smooth but I think ours will get better with time and use. I tighten mine with mod effort and don't push it all the way to 90' as I'm worried I'll break something

    boon

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