In my baratza forte you can dose by weight into a container within .2g. You can the convert to time automatically and repeat it into a portafilter.
Thanks for the reply.
I would hope the Baratza forte could do so, for close on $850 for a grinder only.
My point earlier being that the Breville 870 is a combination machine and costs $650.
I hope others reply so I can see a range of equipment.
Yes I am measuring out the beans. I don't have more than what I am using in the hopper for that particular serve. I too have gone to 18g standard but have found huge swings in dose between different beans whilst the weight is the same on minimum dose setting.
I don't expect the machine to serve up the perfect amount regardless of what bean I put through but I do think that the dose control should be calibrated better so your not at your minimum with so much extra still being served in atleast my experience most cases.
Yes that is the case. I guess the grind setting is the option but it would be nice not to have to use that. The dose dial would be better but as we know it doesn't work
Missed the comments from Yelta and Brevillista. I appreciate your input and my reply was very mild. I thought you were a bit tougher than that considering your seemingly condescending input. Then again a lot is lost when writing. If that was not how you intended to come across I apologise.
Personally I'm not going to bother measuring beans etc etc...
Who cares if a little grind spills out of the basket.
Find your ideal grind, tamp and make your coffee. Judge with your mouth not with measuring devices.
Also re: basket getting stuck it also happens to me so I wobble the handle just as I remove it.
I have the same machine. The timed doser is pointless. Instead i weigh what beans i need and then put them into the hopper and grind only those. I can get away with 16gms for a double using fresh beans, although as some have said the 17-18g mark is optimal. Love the machine - always get a decent espresso - but will soon be upgrading my grinder. Plan to run the bes870 into the ground and then upgrade to an Italian hx machine. As someone else previously said, you've got to learn the machine's pros and cons and develop ways to work with what you've got. Good luck, it's all part of the journey.
I've done just that and got the timed doser to deliver within 0.2 gram for over 10 shots as of this post for the bean I am currently using. Based on a highest of 17.51 and a lowest of 17.32 we are talking an accuracy of approx. 1% - not bad for an oft maligned doser. Even the high cost Baratza Forte which weighs delivery, states an accuracy of 0.2g is acceptable.
Sure, different bean, maybe more experimentation to "dial in the dose", but that's half the fun.
I'm new here so go easy.
Just had a few questions about the Breville 870 to improve my technique.
I will say that I'm very happy with the results from the 870. I drink lattes but taste after each pour. One shot for the latte, and one shot for quality control and improving my technique.
I'm using the double filter and weighing my beans at 18gm. I've adjust the grind between 6 and 7 with freshly roasted beans consumed within 1 to 2 weeks. I've been through different beans and the grind settings have remained within a tight range of 6 to 8.
I've purchased an eazytamp to eliminate variation in tamping pressure. Currently using 10kg spring.
So, my question is about the pre-infusion time and pour time. Does the 25-35 second time recommended by Breville include the pre-infusion time? Did see the question being asked of Breville, but not the official answer. I will say that my pours are about 30 secs total with the pressure gauge at 12 o'clock with good results on the palate. I may have answered my own question based on the results I'm getting. Just wanted confirmation I'm on target.
I have also noted a wide variation in grind settings, with some owners grinding at much finer settings than mine. Is this a result of variation in the grinder or beans, or a bit of both.
Lastly, is anyone back flushing their 870 and if so, how often. I have only had one cleaning cycle since purchase just after Xmas.
How often should I be descaling? I'm flushing often but only 1-2 double shots / day during the week and 3-4 on the weekends.
Thanks in advance,
Are you using the single wall or double wall filters? The single wall require a fine grind and the double wall a coarse grind. Breville said if you use the double wall with a fine grind suited for espresso, you will block the filters.
I'm surprised with your grind of 6 to 8 - I need a grind of 3 for 17 to 18gm in a double cup filter to get the delivery time of 25 to 30 secs and a pressure gauge reading at 12 o'clock These settings seem to work for two different beans I have tried. I haven't had to back flush yet and I bought mine at Christmas.
I'm using the double shot single wall filter. My 870 did not come with double wall filters. Has Breville stopped shipping double-walled filters?
I went through 500gm of beans the first night and did grind the full range of settings. 6 to 7 works best for my machine at 18gms with a total time of about 30secs.
I'm happy with the results. Espresso is well balanced and lattes are smooth and sweet.
I've been through one cleaning cycle. I do flush the group head and portafilter often.
Breville only ship the 870 with both single and double wall filters to the USA - BES870XL. You can buy them in Aust if you want to used pre-ground coffee. I bought a set as I like to sample various coffees that friends buy for their Mocha Pots (they don't grind).
Do do you only weigh and grind the beans for each shot?
I weigh my beans and grind to empty for each shot. 18gms of beans doesn't always give you 18 gms of ground coffee. So, I also now weigh coffee in the portafilter. The first pour each morning is not as good as the next.
There may be a number of factors at play. Firstly, getting everything up to temperature and then, there are always leftover grounds in the grinder that may be added to the first coffee of the day.
I upgraded to a Macap M4D grinder and the difference in cup is remarkable.
Breville has a great machine paired with a built in grinder that is not producing the best coffee the machine is capable of.
If you plan on eventually upgrading, I can recommend starting with getting a good grinder. Your coffee will improve even on the BES870 which is invaluable, particularly for those of us who home roast and want to do tasting notes.
Read more about my experience here:
Mazzer Vs Macap
I'll keep updating with my experiences, but so far I am quite surprised (and obviously delighted) by the outcome.
Another bes870 owner here, and new member
I don't use the machine regularly as my better half uses it more.
I don't have enough experience with the machine yet, but it tend not to look at the dosage settings as they are not very accurate.
I just start grinding move the portafilter around a bit for better distribution and stop manually when i reach the right amount.
This seems to be working for me :-)
Been reading threads/the forum generally for the last couple of weeks, and just bought tonight a BES870.
First cup made as of now, over extracted slightly, so will increase the size of my grind a bit and the grind amount was a bit low and had to top it up manually. That said however microfoam on my not-totally-fresh milk was dead easy. Took a bit to get the height figured out, but after that no problems at all.
Next cup i'll increase the grind size a bit, and see how the grind amount goes, adjust from there.
Cheers all for the insight on this machine.
Hi, you seem to have a great knowledge of the machine...I wondered if you have used anything other than the Breville cleaning tablets to clean the machine? we have a eco liquid descaler from a previous machine and wondered if we could use that whilst waiting for the arrival of more tablets!?
Hey everyone. Another newbie. I've been trolling here for awhile getting lots of useful information from this thread among others. I recieved my BES870XL today and began to brew right away. Currently on a grind setting of 4, using a dose at 1 o'clock on the dial. I'm getting fair results, however the beans I'm using are a couple of weeks old as I wasn't expecting the machine as it was a surprise gift. With these settings extractions are starting around 10-11 seconds and running to 29 total. Looking forward to getting some new beans through the machine in the next couple of days. I'm also considering buying a scale to ensure I'm getting proper dosing. I'll post results as I get them. Thanks again for all the advice ahead of time.
Thank you all for making me feel like I'm not alone.
I just spent an hour with Breville trying to figure out why the double-shot overdoses so much at the minimum setting. They basically acted like I didn't know what I was doing. They did confirm the minimum grinding on double should last 15 sec and it's about 5 seconds too long. Like someone said earlier, what is the use in dialing it up? Is there a 5 shot portafilter we are not aware of?
I came from 4 years with the 860 and upgraded without knowing about this issue. I like the machine but it is just annoying having to compensate by running the grinder on single cup setting with the dial at 6 o'clock.... I know that if someone other than me or my wife tries to use the machine they are going to hit the double button and grind the entire hopper! Not to mention you pay over $600 for a machine that has to have a workaround...
So thank you for posting your experiences, yet truly sorry this is a defect in design not manufacturing because a replacement will do nothing.
Must be your machine.
I use a variety of beans and find once I get the grind size right and set the grind amount dial correctly I don't grind too much regardless of whether one cup or two cup is selected, as long as I use the corresponding basket. No need to change grind amount dial between cup sizes.
I recently purchased the Breville Barista BES870 after having a DeLonghi semi automatic machine (in built grinder and auto tamping).
There was a big learning curve to get the pressure into the 'espresso range'. I was using Lavazza beans from Coles and the double cup single wall filter cup and ended up having to set the grind to '2'.
I was concerned that I needed to set the grind so fine with a brand new machine especially watching a few videos on You tube for this machine where the user had the grind setting at '5' with the same double cup single walled filter cup.
When I ran out of the Lavazza beans I used Vittoria beans (also from Coles) and even after setting the grind to the finest I could not get pressure more than in the 'pre infusion' area with weak coffee and no crema.
Believing the machine (grinder) to be faulty I contacted Breville who first advised that they would email me with instructions how to test the machine which after nearly 4 days of waiting never came.
I phoned them again and they 'walked me through' a test using the rubber cleaning disk with the single cup single walled filter cup. The pressure barely moved off the bottom but the chap said that indicated the pressure was ok (how I will never know).
Anyway he then asked if the beans had a 'roasted on date' and when I told him only a 'best before date' he told me that beans purchased from supermarkets could be very old and that I should be using beans from a roaster or coffee shop - has anyone else been told this?
I challenged him by asking him why doesn't the user manual state this (eg "for best results only use freshly roasted beans")- he did not answer.
I contacted the retailer who said that no one had ever told them this and later contacted Breville and was told by their contact that they would put in an internal complaint (within Breville) to have something done about it.
Has anyone else experienced this problem (need for very fine grind using supermarket beans)?
Using coffee beans from supermarkets. Any further posts dealing with the use of supermarket beans should be made in that thread.
Java "Keeping it organized" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
I recently ( a couple weeks ago ) bought the BES870 after having read multiple forum discussions and reviews on this machine and many others.
My experiences so far.
The over grind is true but of no real problem, a good setting for my beans is the second last notch (about 7 oclock) on single dose. I found alot of people on these forums saying to fill filter so that when tamping (15kg pressure) you can see the silver of the bottom of tamper sticking out, I found this was way to much, pressure was intense and flavour ended up very bitter. As far as grind amount goes I grind with setting of 4 till it almost fills filter flat but not quite. Then when tampered (about 5kg pressure) the entire silver part of tamper is in filter and just a smidge more. I use the double wall double shot filter.
I read many posts that people liked the pressure to go to 12 to 1 oclock on pressure dial. I have been unable to get a nice coffee with this type of pressure. If following my preferences above (grind size, amount and tamp pressure) the pressure should reach and hover around the 4th notch (10 oclock) which I estimate about 7 bars of pressure, I find this perfect for my tastes.
Beans, I started using the fresh beans from my favorite coffee shop with roasted date. I couldn't get it to taste anywhere near what they do, however I ran out of beans before perfecting my above settings and may try them again. I tried various beans, my wifes favorite coffee shop gave her a bag to try though they had a best before date, she loves them. I ended up trying some supermarket beans and ended up loving the grinders medium roast beans with a best before date.
My wife and I both use approximately the same grind size, amount and tamp, her beans are a dark roast.
Also the filter cup staying in the machine when portafilter is taken out does happen, when you get the touch for it you can get it out easily though.
Hope this helps someone, I found what others had posted and what I continued to try and use just didn't appeal to my taste until my wife had a go and found a good setting after having read nothing more than the instruction manual, go figure.
Breville BES 870 I have a question. Just starting out with the 870 and I notice that the Portfilter has a plastic insert covering the bottom of the Portafilter It doesn't seem to come out but I wonder should it be left there or removed and if removed how does it come out.
Unscrew the spout (not sure what it's called) on the bottom of the Portfilter. The insert is pushed through a hole and hooks on the outside of it. Just squeeze the sides of the insert together and push.
Is this now the unofficial BES870 owners thread? I just bought this machine and am after some pointers on how I should adjust the settings. Fresh beans from Sugar & Spice cafe in Brisbane CBD, grind at 6, firm tamp, single wall double shot basket. Coffee took about 8-9 seconds to start coming out and a total of about 27 seconds (including the 8-9 to start), with the gauge reading in the correct zone. And the result had a definite sour/astringent note that I didn't like. According to the quick start guide I seem to be overextracting, underextracting, and also getting it just right, so I'm not sure which part I should try adjusting. Reading back through some recently comments I will try weighing the next few to check how much dose I'm getting - is 18g about right for a double?
*edited to add* We just tried out the double walled basket and it made a much better coffee (as promised) but it was still really wet inside the basket afterwards. Is that normal for the pressurised basket?
Last edited by coffeebaby; 4th June 2016 at 12:37 PM.
i've just joined the forum and mainly only to access this thread- I picked up my Breville BES870BKS (Black) Barista Express 11/6/16. First up, I like the machine. I knew I wasn't buying top of the range but it's marketed with some great features & built in grinder etc so there's a lot to speak for it. I'm not new to the manual extraction scene, but haven't practiced in a while. I am having some issues however!
- Grinder definitely overdoses. Beans being fresh roasted or store bought (I've read those threads too) I get that the grinds can be nice & fluffy & I've seen th you tube vids recommending the shake to reduce spill. It's a shame the adjustment doesn't remedy this issue. 17-18g is gettable but rarely ever without intervention to stop/restart the grind. Holding the grind button in for a manual adjustment is a great tip I saw on one video. Still not perfect as a feature.
- adjusting the shot volume - this machine will run the tank dry on a single shot. Just keeeeeps going. I've set it reset it set it again, no success. Any similar experiences or advice here? It beeps as it should but fails to take notice of the setting. This for me is a real downer on a brand new machine. Shakes my confidence in quality.
- the portafilter sometimes leaves the basket in the machine because it gets stuck in the group head. Hot or cold this happens. Using the tamper to the line after the 'razor' with the right coffee amount & grind it sometimes also leaves the used puck up there stuck to the group head, without the basket. I've heard this can be related to heat but just the basket alone is unusual in my view.
Keen to hear your thoughts folks as this is a new machine I'd rather ask for a refund early than let it go!
great thread too some really useful info so far!
I picked up this machine recently and have enjoyed it a lot so far. However, my unit came with two tiny dents on the stainless steel panel that's behind the grinder chute and grouphead. I took it back to get it exchanged but the new one has it too Is everyone else's like this too? Are they just made like this? Here's a video of what I'm talking about:
Another new owner, from the Breville outlet in Smith St, Fitzroy (Melbourne) for a bargain price of $330! Mine is red and although this would offend the purists it being red was a big part of my coffee machine choice. It looks great! Apart from arriving without the top burr set in the grinder (no idea why) , quickly sorted by a return trip to the outlet, it seems in perfect order thus far, did not seem to have had any evidence of previous use and works well. It comes with the same one year repair warranty as the retail outlets, though I used my credit card so I will get an extra year. a pretty good deal for $330 I thought. FYI they had several more in the silver but no more red ones, and also had several of the 'precision duo" bundles (Duo Temp Pro not dual boiler). They get new stock regularly so it would be a case of calling or popping in to see what they had. Nice staff and good pricing.
I followed the same learning curve as everyone else and drank far too much coffee in the process. So far I have found that grind 7, single wall single basket, 12 o'clock on dosing dial, reasonable tamp, gets me just into the broken area around 1 o'clock on pressure gauge and gives the best flavour and good crema. I found the "ideal" grey area seemed to under extract.
I came from a Moka pot and Porlex hand grinder or when I was in a rush a handed-down Lavazza pod machine and stove top milk frother.
Have settled on piccolo lattes as the favourite, mainly because I want to practise latte art and don't want a huge milk dose. The piccolo latte seems an ideal balance of powerful coffee and some smoothness and sweetness from the milk, and it looks so stylish too I use a smaller jug than the one that came with it, was wasting too much milk with the large one.
I have been using Lavazza beans but I have Lao beans to move onto from last week's trip to Vientiane, Lao Mountain coffee....gourmet, I'm pretty sure freshly roasted, they were a gift from a colleague. After that will have freshly roasted Timor coffee soon enough.
I'm returning mine and hoping for a replacement that works in the way the manual says. I've gone through many combinations of tamping and grind but I've never managed to get more than 20ml out of the single wall single shot even though the manual says it should be 30ml. And 20ml is not a lot of coffee. Has anyone else had this problem?
You press the "Program" button then the single or double shot button, let it prepare as much espresso as you want it to then press the shot button again. It will then program this amount.
I am having trouble adjusting the temperature (PID) with my newly purchased Barista 870. I am following the directions in the manual.
I have a BES870 and from memory you need to hold down some buttons while pressing the power button on for a few seconds.
The lights should flash into a mode where you can choose -2, -1, default, +1 or +2 degree difference. Once you press a button it should switch to 'on' mode where you can continue making a shot.
Just after some help if you all could. Recently bought this machine and after experimenting and getting a good shot to come out, after steaming milk all I can taste is the milk! Not sure if its the beans or not(they are fresh) or if there is a technique of pouring the milk in. Full cream milk is being used.