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Thread: Bezzera Bz99s

  1. #1

  2. #2
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    Supermini,
    I don't think you'll get many replies,everyone is so miffed that you could end up with such a good deal,grinder as well!!!
    Looking at the examples produced by your machine,we should be the ones asking the questions! You don't need any help!
    How lucky you are,and to think I had to pay for my old Bezzera and still more work to get it looking "spiffy" again.
    No one will speak to you with all that good fortune.
    Cheers,
    Mick.
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  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Not true mate...

    Reckon this was a great pick-up, we would all love to grab such great machines for these sorts of prices. I agree though, doesn't look as though there is too much wrong with your technique 'Supermini'. How does the coffee taste? That's the only arbiter/measure worth worrying about....

    Mal.
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  4. #4
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    Hey thanks for your reply! I notice i have to tamp quite deep into the basket or i can't get the handle into the group head. Will keep messing around with it and see what i can learn
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  5. #5
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Great score!! Do a search for the 5 cent test ad do that to get the ball park tamped level to aim for, then adjust grind accordingly to get the flow you want.

    Cheers
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  6. #6
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    The shower screen is apparently quite low in these; requiring a lower puck height than other machines (I own one, but haven't owned other machines for comparison, but this is what I've read). I typically dose around 18g into my triple basket.
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  7. #7
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    Yes on the bz99 I settle / tamp to 8mm clearance from top of basket - as an example.
    Strongly urge artman reco' s - 5c test / A_M.

    I've used instead of the 5c, a sheet metal holepunch discard piece - think 5c but half the thickness !
    So then I transpose this level back to my tamper for the final tamp weight / puck height as required.

    This level shows up post shot as just expanding (finely) into the shower screen. So I then use this as a base level
    Setup for my bz99.

    I find under dosing with a finer grind can work as well. However I don't personally believe that overdosing past the level
    I described works, with this machine.

    Fwiw I experimented with a number of basket (s) sizes / brands etc
    The HQ dble is a favourite and my go to gasket when I change beans / roast /blend etc blah blah blah.
    The 14g basket doses to around 16-17g in my case.
    Note I only weigh my new baskets once as a reference so don't rely on this indication as I go by tamp level / grind combo
    Only on a day to day basis. And home scales / uncalibrated / different brands will vary widely.

    I also really luv my single synesso basket which sets up at just over 10g.


    Oh and I prefer a flat unradiused tamper ( Pullman fitted - to each basket) to any convex or radiused edge tamper I have or tried -
    Due to the interference of aforementioned puck surface.
    Good luck
    Pls post back your findings to help us all on this caffeine adventure ! EA
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for your responses, all i have is a crappy kitchen scale which i have started using, i don't trust it very much but it is giving me an idea of how much grind is in the basket. I am using this eazytamp i picked up for free with the grinder, it is set at 15kg

  9. #9
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    the portafilter handle was cracked so i replaced it. I had to heat it up to break the threadlocker but that was the hardest part. I didnt need a 14/15mm hex as i was able to loosen it by hand once it was warmed up. And the newer style handle fits the older bz portafilter perfectly.

    I replaced the steam wand with a ball joint kit, that too was very easy, takes a few minutes with a couple of spanners.

    Got some nice thick cappuccino cups too which i am looking forward to trying.

    The best thing i have done so far is measure the beans before grinding, and only grind that amount.

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  10. #10
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    Which ball joint kit did you use? Notice much difference?

  11. #11
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    Looks like the one sold by DiBartoli.

    I had one on mine and it was great.

    Super jealous of all the free stuff you managed to score Supermini. The best coffee freebie I've been able to get is a Nemox I found discarded on a lawn which was also fine after a serious clean. I'm surprised that you find the machine finicky - you may need to change to a larger basket to allow for the lower showerscreen.

  12. #12
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    That's correct mate, from DiBartoli. It's not a huge difference for me, it's nice to adjust the steam arm wherever you like, but it wasn't hard to get used to the old fixed steam arm either.
    the portafilter handle isn't as heavy or solid as the original one.
    I think there is always plenty of old cafe stuff floating around second hand if you are prepared to look.
    I found a great coffee shop near me called La crema, so i've got some nice beans to work with, I'll take the advice and try a bigger basket next.



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  13. #13
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    Hi Supermini, I'm keen to know how your BZ99s is going a year on from your last post?

    I've just joined the club having acquired one yesterday via that well-known online auction/trade website, and as I had to pick it up from Bondi I decided to drop it into Di Bartoli to give it a good once-over and descale etc. I'm getting them to fit a new steam arm with ball joint too. In the meantime I'm going to test my water hardness in order to set up a water softener at home.

    This HX machine is a step up from my Sunbeam EM7000 which is becoming a little fragile now its 2+ years old and I'm not prepared to pour any dollars into its upkeep.

    I'd be interested to see any additional mods that you or any other Snobbers have done to this machine. I saw in another thread someone recommend the precision baskets from Talk Coffee. With the lower shower screen is it possible to effectively use a triple basket in the BZ99?

  14. #14
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    I finally got the chance to fire up my BZ99s this weekend, being time-poor and waiting for a chance to install my Brita C150 filtration system (which is still giving me issues...).

    First impressions pulling espressos are that there's a noticeable improvement in flavour over my EM7000 (I will admit that I haven't been as vigilant with my cleaning regime on the Sunbeam over the last few months due to its imminent retirement). It's also noisy, basic, hot & steamy in comparison but I hope this more reliable & dependable. The only real negative I've found so far is how deep the shower screen protrudes into the basket - it looks like a pretty empty basket once packed! I think I'll have to look into getting a triple basket...

    The steam wand too packs a lot more punch! My wand has a three-hole tip - the first milk I steamed wasn't too bad but later on when I had another go it was a bit out of control... I guess it's all about getting the right angle with the tip?
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  15. #15
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    I'm guessing the BZ99 is similar to by BZ40 in that there is a sold brass perforated puck in the grouphead with the screen and puck held on with a SS screw? If so it is a brilliant design and better than my current E61 Wega machine where the screen can be very hard to get off to clean.

    I am a fan of these machines. I got an E61 as I hadn't had one before but the simplicity of the Bezzera design on the BZ40 is pretty convincing.

  16. #16
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    Yep. Solid brass spacer with 5 or 6 holes, which comes off with one screw.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    better than my current E61 Wega machine where the screen can be very hard to get off to clean.
    Use 2 teaspoons to lever off the screen from the e61 head. Just work out gently and it comes off quite smoothly.
    Almost all non e61 groups have a screw or bolt in the middle of the screen.

    I had a BZ99 and have gone to an e61 head Expobar (only because it was cheap on eBay). Both great machines but they make slightly different espresso.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage View Post
    Use 2 teaspoons to lever off the screen from the e61 head. Just work out gently and it comes off quite smoothly.
    Almost all non e61 groups have a screw or bolt in the middle of the screen.

    I had a BZ99 and have gone to an e61 head Expobar (only because it was cheap on eBay). Both great machines but they make slightly different espresso.
    Thanks. I will give that a try. It is time for a clean and maybe a descale as well.

    I'm not sure I can tell the difference between the BZ40P which I sold several months back and the Wega E61 Mini Nova Classic. They are similar enough that it would be hard to tell them apart except by side by side comparison. My initial recollection was I was surprised with the Wega in that it pulled nearly perfect shots from the first shot although some of that was luck except the grind must have been exactly the same. I had more trouble when I changed grinders getting it right than changing espresso machines.

    I do appreciate the simplicity of the conductive head/brass boiler arrangement of the Bezzera. A timeless, classic design but then the E61 is too. I love the lack of technology in these machines. I work in I.T. and it is nice to have simple stuff, well built that you don't feel compelled to update...probably ever. I like that. As few electronics and things to go wrong as possible. The main enemy in any espresso machine is scale so make sure you descale as often as possible, at least a few times a year.

  19. #19
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    You sound like my doppelganger!

    The simplicity of the non-e61 group is why I sold the bz99 to a friend and kept the expobar.

    I found that the e61 group tends to give a slightly fuller mouth feel while the normal hx group gives slightly more complexity. But that was after a LOT of side by side testing. Normal shot variation is greater than the difference.
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  20. #20
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    Putting the call out to any fellow BZ99s owners - I appear to have lost one of the front rubber feet of my machine. I dropped it off for a routine check in case it needed a descale (my lack of electronics skillz means I'm not opening the case up), and upon its return home it is now a tripod. It's possible that I lost the foot somewhere between taking it out of the shop to my car, and whilst I believe it's possibly more likely that it went missing in the shop the fact is they can't find the foot and I'm left with a temporary prop holding up the front-left corner.

    I've looked up the part online and it appears there's two type of feet, a flanged push-in style (which my machine has) that is no longer available, or a screw-in style (appears to be available). Accordingly, does anyone know whether the screw-in style fits into the same hole in the chassis as the one for the push-in feet?

    On the off chance, does anyone have a spare foot I could possibly purchase?

  21. #21
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    Hi there. I would get into contact with barazi. They were always very helpful ahen i had any issues. They will sort your issue and can send parts in the post.

    Good luck

    Cheers chris

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Agree with Chris.
    Barazi are good people...

    Mal.
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  23. #23
    BLW
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    Fully agree on the comments about Barazi. They are very helpful and should be able to help you with parts.

    If you get something from them, consider adding the current BZ10 double basket which fits 18g (5471035 - 16g) and makes nice espresso.
    They can also help you with a 2 hole steam tip that fits the BZ99.
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  24. #24
    Member CoffeeHack's Avatar
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    Okay, so reading between the lines it appears that contacting Barazi may be helpful? I think that's the message yet?


    Quote Originally Posted by BLW View Post
    If you get something from them, consider adding the current BZ10 double basket which fits 18g (5471035 - 16g) and makes nice espresso.
    They can also help you with a 2 hole steam tip that fits the BZ99.
    Thanks for the tips! i ended up getting a couple of Espresso Parts precision baskets from a previous site sponsor, and acquired a new steam wand with a ball-arm when I initially had the machine serviced by Di Bartoli. I'm not afraid to look at adding other bits & bobs though!

  25. #25
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    So I took the overwhelming advice and contacted Barazi - unfortunately they don't stock the old feet (as their website clearly states) and the new style screw-in feet are for a newer chassis with a much smaller hole than the one on my machine. They advised I try to obtain a rubber door stop or similar that is of similar height to my existing foot, which seems like a good idea.

    If someone does stumble across this thread in the future who happens to be decommissioning an unserviceable BZ99 then if you've got a spare foot to sell please let me know!

  26. #26
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    A while ago I replaced all 4 on my BX99dm with these from Coffee Parts: rubber machine leg 40x52mm M10x25 thread , 632404 but there a lot of others available and anything with an M10 thread should do.

    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/machi...s-machine-legs

    I'll have a look for the old ones, from memory only one was damaged.


    Gary
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  27. #27
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    Thanks for that! I've just checked the size of the hole in my machine and it's about 22mm so I think I'll be needing something bigger than M10.

  28. #28
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    So my beloved BZ99 has developed an intermittent rattle inside the case when operating the group-head pump, occurring usually when under load (i.e. group handle on, pulling a shot).

    I have taken it to my local repairer and the diagnosis is that the pump is cactus and the steam tap is leaking, and repairs to replace these components might be around the $400 mark (though there is always risk of this costing more).

    Given that I bought the machine second-hand without a good idea of its history, I'm not sure if it's worth paying for these repairs with the risk of other components failing or worse still the boiler reaching the end of its lifespan. From what I've read on here the opinion is that Bezzeras are built to last so it may be worth keeping this machine, otherwise I will have to look at getting a replacement...

    I welcome any opinions on whether to repair & keep this one, or if I should bite the bullet and get a new bit of kit. For the latter my preference would be to find something second-hand to keep the costs down (yeah I know, there's a downside to that as I'm experiencing with this machine!), so maybe around the $1,000 mark. A HX suits my needs fine, and whilst I'd be happy to try an E61 I do like the quick heat-up time of my BZ99. Also preferable but less important would be a quieter machine (I assume a rotary pump would help with this?).

    Fire away snobbers!

  29. #29
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    Both of these items are easy to source online and fit yourself. Parts would be less than $100 I would guess. I would fix it they are build to last that's for sure.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisj1984 View Post
    Both of these items are easy to source online and fit yourself. Parts would be less than $100 I would guess. I would fix it they are build to last that's for sure.
    Agreed. $400 must include a lot of labour...
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  31. #31
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    Yeah, I thought the ballpark quote was a bit dubious... To be fair it was more of a worst-case-scenario however not surprising considering the price of labour these days.

    'm pretty comfortable having a go at repairs myself, however if there are any electricals beyond simply plugging/unplugging wires from terminals I'd rather not muck around in that space.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeHack View Post
    Yeah, I thought the ballpark quote was a bit dubious... To be fair it was more of a worst-case-scenario however not surprising considering the price of labour these days.

    'm pretty comfortable having a go at repairs myself, however if there are any electricals beyond simply plugging/unplugging wires from terminals I'd rather not muck around in that space.
    Maybe just ask them precisely how the final charge will be calculated. The parts seem to cost $90 or so for the pair (or a touch more if it pre-2006). So see what fixed charges they apply and what the hourly labour rate is.
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  33. #33
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Steam tap is just O ring and seal regular maintenance. The pump is just plug and play. If you like the machine, and there's no reason not to, just fix it yourself. Of course there's nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of upgrade-itis.

    Edit; you're being quoted $400 to replace a plug and pay $50 pump and a few dollars worth of seals.
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  34. #34
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    If it's still pumping fine when it rattles, the mounts are probably the issue; not the pump itself. They may just be a bit loose.

    Some food grade grease on the seal may be enough to stop the steam wand leak.
    This is all stuff you can have a look at before forking out big $$$

    As for heat up time vs E61, I don't find my Expobar Leva much different from my old BZ99. Shot quality and consistency aren't much different either but the flavor profile and mouth feel are a bit different. The BZ99 is little more complex and Leva is a little fuller in the mouth when you get everything just right but normal operator variation would make this unnoticeable without the machines side by side (which I did for a week before deciding to sell the BZ99)
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