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Thread: BES920 or any suggestion for under $800 double boiler please

  1. #1
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    Smile BES920 or any suggestion for under $800 double boiler please

    Hi, I'm a newbie to Cofeesnoobs community I'd like to get some advice from experienced users. I have read threads in regards to entry level machines and narrowed my purchase view to BES920.

    I saw a lot of users recommending Silvia or Lelit for entry, but I need a double boiler to practice my skills, and I couldn't find any Italian machine under $800 for a double boiler until I saw a deal popped up for 679.15 for eBay deal from sometimes good guys. My budget is to get a double boiler machine plus a grinder for under a grand.

    Target: A double boiler machine
    Budget: $1000 including a grinder
    Target machine: BES920 = $679.15
    Target grinder: BCG820 smart grinder = $200 or a second-hand rancilio rocket grinder $319. (I've read a thread where people commented having a good grinder is ideal)
    Usage: to practice milk coffee skills

    I've learnt with Torino, but I've read a thread that people did not recommend getting a Torino so I lean towards to BES920.

    Before I make a final decision, I would like to ask experienced users opinion for suggestion.

    Regards,

    Antonio

  2. #2
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    You'll need to act quick! That code expires at midnight (as far as I know). For what it is worth, I have a Silvia at home - which works well. It hasn't stopped me from buying the BES920 as a spare. I suspect that the 'spare' will end up on the bench with the Silvia going away for a while.

    Note that the BES920 is pretty big - make sure you've got the space.

    My grinder is a Rancilio 'Rocky': Bomb proof - it has been going for nearly 7 years and there is a risk that it'll be going well after I start to malfunction!
    Crema_Lad and AntonioJ like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I would go the 920 over the torino, especially at that price, quite a bargain. with the left over $ you can pick up a higher spec used grinder here (k3, m2n or similar).

    Why do you need a dual boiler, a heat exchanger machine will give you the same endless steam as a DB and you will have more chance getting one (used) closer to your budget.

    Cheers
    AntonioJ and coolkiks like this.

  4. #4
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    haha, i like the last comment that the user will malfunction before the machine is solid.
    Size is okay for me got enough space for the machine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    I would go the 920 over the torino, especially at that price, quite a bargain. with the left over $ you can pick up a higher spec used grinder here (k3, m2n or similar).

    Why do you need a dual boiler, a heat exchanger machine will give you the same endless steam as a DB and you will have more chance getting one (used) closer to your budget.

    Cheers
    Main reason for choosing double over single boiler is due to practice making a coffee and improving speed. I haven't yet figured out if the HX mahcine can steam at the same time while brewing. if there is a HX machine for similar price I'd like to know please

  6. #6
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    If you are saying you can get a bes920 for $679 buy it quick
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  7. #7
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    HX machine will give steam and brew at the same time. No real different to DB in that regard.

    I doubt you will find anything new at the same price as the breville for 679. You can however often get used "traditional" machines for around that. Keep your eyes peeled here, they regularly pop up. A "traditional" machine will steam quicker than the Breville DB, and you will be able to get parts easily etc.

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    HX machine will give steam and brew at the same time. No real different to DB in that regard.

    I doubt you will find anything new at the same price as the breville for 679. You can however often get used "traditional" machines for around that. Keep your eyes peeled here, they regularly pop up. A "traditional" machine will steam quicker than the Breville DB, and you will be able to get parts easily etc.

    Cheers
    Thank you artman, I will keep in mind for a hx machine, just purchased as tonight might be the last day for a sale. Hence you mentioned, I'll save up for an upgrade. Time to find out what to buy for a bean in Hobart, I wonder if Hobart have Sensory lab here

  9. #9
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    That deal for the BDB is very good, you will be making ripper brews in no time, it is very easy to use.

    Dont forget you can get roasted beans right here in bean bay. Also green beans, start DIY roasting, you will never look back.

    Cheers
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    That deal for the BDB is very good, you will be making ripper brews in no time, it is very easy to use.

    Dont forget you can get roasted beans right here in bean bay. Also green beans, start DIY roasting, you will never look back.

    Cheers
    I see! once I get the machine going I will tryout the roasted beans from here

  11. #11
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    I am glad the deal is over, I'm not sure how much longer my determination to not but one could resist.

  12. #12
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    Its still $799

  13. #13
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Hi Antonio

    I assume you bought the Breville? I too just got one using that Ebay deal, quite a good price! I've had it up and running for a few days now - still waiting on my new grinder (which yes some will say its worths spending more on the grinder than the machine!) so not been able to 'dial in' a great cup yet but overall very impressed with the styling, ease of use and customisation available. If you haven't already check out the BES920 owners thread - lots of info there (and overall positive reviews!) particularly on dosage/tamping etc to get a great shot!

    Good Luck and Enjoy!

  14. #14
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crema_Lad View Post
    still waiting on my new grinder (which yes some will say its worths spending more on the grinder than the machine!)
    What grinder are you getting?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioJ View Post
    Thank you artman, I will keep in mind for a hx machine, just purchased as tonight might be the last day for a sale. Hence you mentioned, I'll save up for an upgrade. Time to find out what to buy for a bean in Hobart, I wonder if Hobart have Sensory lab here
    You're spoiled for choice - Zimmah and Villino just to name a couple. 👍

  16. #16
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    What grinder are you getting?
    You had to ask!!

    I had purchased the Breville Pro (820ss?) which is arriving tomorrow, but since I ordered I came across reviews for the Barazza Sette 270. I like the feature it has around accurate dosing by time (or weight for the W model) amongst other neat features. So am on the fence that the extra $$ might be worth it for an improved grind quality and control of same than what the Breville can offer....

    And call me mad but I'm actually downsizing from a Macap M3 I have but hardly used as found difficult to dial in and generally too big and overkill for my needs. I think I had boys need toys syndrome at the time I originally bought it :-) !

  17. #17
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    BES920 or any suggestion for under $800 double boiler please

    Just to follow up on above post , I ended up getting the Barazza Sette 270W today and am already in love with the improved shots I've been able to pull since. It grinds a lovely fluffy dose and whilst the weight scale function is a bit niggly I can see it being a huge benefit in controlling my dosing. Pulled a beautiful thick honey shot after only a few changes to the default recommended grind settings, still some tweaking to do but already in a good place!

    TBH I wasn't confident that the 920 was going to give me as great a shot as it did!! Combined with a great grinder so excited to be proved wrong and still on mostly default settings!

    FWIW the Sette 270W is a lot heavier and solid than the Breville Pro grinder, which also arrived today but remains unboxed as will be returned for refund!
    AntonioJ likes this.

  18. #18
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    Great info! Iv been looking at this grinder too after picking up the 920 at a great price. Think I better go check one out.
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiebenga View Post
    Great info! Iv been looking at this grinder too after picking up the 920 at a great price. Think I better go check one out.
    Can recommend Paul @ K Bean Coffee (site sponsor) in Melbourne ... has some great beans also!
    Magic_Matt likes this.

  20. #20
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    Thanks and good luck to you too @Crema_Lad!

    Smart grinder just arrived and picked up some cheap beans to practice and went to Zimmah this morning. I'm very curious about how another owner has set their machine and the grinder. Surfing through the thread is taking a bit of time. haha
    Crema_Lad likes this.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    You're spoiled for choice - Zimmah and Villino just to name a couple. 
    True, I found Pilgrim had a bag of sensory lab but only one choice. I went to Zimmah this morning and will try Villino on my next trip!
    Magic_Matt likes this.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioJ View Post
    Thanks and good luck to you too @Crema_Lad!

    Smart grinder just arrived and picked up some cheap beans to practice and went to Zimmah this morning. I'm very curious about how another owner has set their machine and the grinder. Surfing through the thread is taking a bit of time. haha
    Thanks Antonio!

    I'm sure enjoying the journey so far! There's a lot of info about dosage and grinder settings - but it can vary a lot based on beans and preference. One piece of advise I've worked with has (for my little mind at least!) made it easy to understand the variables and establish baseline for my setup. Its quite simple but will need some scales (preferably 0.1g measurement, but 1.0g minimum).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Just my view (and you'll get plenty!) - forget the blonding thing. One of the most misleading things in coffee extraction. Try the easy way. Weigh 20g of coffee in, weigh 40g of extracted coffee out. And just adjust your grind so that takes around 30 to 35 secs. Don't change anything except the grind until you get that. Don't press anything twice, don't touch anything. When you get it that's your start point. Taste and take a note.

    Let us know what you get.
    Once you get your 40gms shot you can then play around with other variables..one at a time!..to get a perfect shot (i.e. personal taste!)

    Cheers!
    AntonioJ likes this.

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