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Thread: Just bought a Breville 800ES

  1. #1
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    Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have never owned a coffee machine before, but I love a great coffee. My friend has a Gaggia Deluxe which makes fairly decent coffee with a boiler. I really should have done my research because I thought that spending 400 bux on a coffee machine would get me something decent. The Breville 800es looked sturdy and solid. Not flimsy like some of the other cheaper ones. For the coffee connosieur it said. Well I have made about 20 coffees on it so far and all of them taste brown water. Im extremely dissapointed. It makes a fair crema and all of that but it just doesnt seem to be extracting all the good oils and stuff. I hate this!! I get so damn cranky when my cafe bought coffee isnt right. So you can imagine how I feel right now, being unable to make 1 proper coffee. TO be honest the Nescafe Cappuccino sachets with fake froth hit the spot in a way thats so much more satisfying than the coffee this stupid machine is making. The reviews I read said it was a great product etc etc but Im peeved majorly.

    I know there are heaps of factors in pulling a good coffee but I hope this thermoblock versus boiler issue is not the main culprit.

    Ive tried vittoria espresso blend of beans with a blade grinder and vittoria cafe blend oro pregrind. The puck is always wet unlike my perculator pucks which are always dry and firm. Its all been rather dissapointing to me. I want to throw it through the window.

    what do I try guys Im at the end of my tether. My friend with the gaggia thinks the vittoria beans are worthless.

    I might just drink some short blacks for a while. see how I go.

  2. #2
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    I sympathise refsta,

    It is frustrating when you outlay the cash and are unable to produce a decent coffee.

    Most of us here use fresh roasted coffee to make our espresso. Your local roaster can help there. Where abouts are you? There are a couple of fantastic roasters that can help with your bean.

    Most CoffeeSnobs use burr grinders to get the best from their beans once they are roasted.

    Checkout the threads through out this forum, there are lots of helpful tips. You may even be tempted to get into roasting your own once you see the only specialist equipment you need is a secondhand pop corn popper.

    Once you are getting some good quality beans, roasted fresh, ground less then 3min before you use them, tamped firmly into your hot Portafilter you will notice a huge difference, even on your Breville!

    Dont dispair! Help is at hand. Keep experimenting and keep posting here, we will work it out together.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Gday refsta and welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Everything Presso mentioned is spot-on advice, cant beat really freshly roasted coffee, whether from a reputable artisan roaster or do it yourself at home ;D.

    The importance of having a quality burr grinder on hand cant be overstated either as once the coffee beans have been ground, they start to go stale within three minutes so you can see the synergy required here. Theres a really good summary of grinders suitable for espresso to be found here and its worth a look.

    Something else that will make a huge difference to the quality of shots you pull, is non-pressurised PF Baskets. Several members have acquired these for their Sunbeam and Breville machines and are very happy they did. Info about these can be found here. Theres a bit of other useful info in here too that you might find helpful.

    And last but not least, you need to have a quality Tamper to get the best out of your machine on a consistent basis.... One of our Site Sponsors, Greg Pullman, makes a world class quality Tamper that is custom fitted to your machines baskets. Heaps of members own them and can swear to their effect of improving the quality of shots produced.... only a simple device but a really important asset on the road to achieving that elusive God Shot you hear so much about 8-).

    Hope this helps you out mate.... All the best,

    Mal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Mate - I have learned a lot from this site. You simply must have fresh coffee (with plenty of oils in the beans) and a good quality grinder - the new Sunbeam Cafe one would the the minimum and if the budget stetches, then get a Rancilio Rocky.

    Cheers

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    thanks so much for the feedback guys.

    i will look into one of the cafe series burr grinders and popcorn poppers. see if that helps any.

    the thing that intrigues me is my friend with the gaggia uses a blade grinder and one of those little flimsy little tampers that look like u would get with a pack of coffee for free or something using store bought beans and can many times pull a superb coffee.

    are boiler machines all that over the thermoblock or what?

    the way i can explain my coffee at the moment is when mixed with milk it lacks the coffeeness. when i drink without milk(30ml shot) i taste bitterness and acidity but no coffee taste. its really like drinking useless brown water. it doesnt even have aroma. i mean the shot pulls fine with a nice crema layer and i can get a latte looking half decent and it will sate thirst until you get to actually tasting it and realising it just lacks any character. anyway anyway. I had a laugh i hope theres a way thru to that great coffee that just makes you go ahhhhhh after a sip. i never thought id be so anal about my coffee, but i guess once you have experienced that god shot coffee a few times your an instant connosieur. i demand satisfaction! I had a laugh

  6. #6
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    well sut up are good, but so is a well set up thermoblock - for taste quality and consistency of shot time after time, quick shots, its hard to go past the Sunbeam EM6910 stainless steel lined thermo. Having said that even cheaper boilers such as the Sunbeam Ristretto make good shots (but that machine does not produce the shot that the EMs make).

    The only way to make good coffee, even with a $10,000 commercial machine is to have fresh coffee properly ground, dosed and tamped - you will taste the difference guaranteed.

    Ohh...does your breville have crema enhancing baskets ?

  7. #7
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    mate...just found the reason for your coffee not having the fullness of taste that you want:

    "Features
    • 15 bar thermoblock pump system
    • Advanced dual wall crema system ..."

    ....from the Breville web site - its got crema enhancing baskets...you need to get rid of those and insert normal single walled baskets if the machine will work with those (it claims to have a 15 bar pump so hopefully it will). The crema enhancers make impressive looking crema but with bitter and thin taste - they percolate the coffee rather than espressing through it...my Sunbeam Ristetto employes the same system. Frankly I think the RRP for an crema enhaning machine is a bit steep. You can pick up a 15 bar, big (relatively) boiler Ristretto for about $90 - does not look as flash as the Brev but I bet it performs as well. I got that Brev for a mates wedding a year of so ago before I knew anything much about good home made coffee!!


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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Refsta,

    Yep ozscott is right on the money - loose those "crema enhancing baskets"...

    If they are 53mm baskets go to your local saeco service agent.... they sell normal baskets which should fit - take your PF with you to check....

    And fresh beans with a good grinder are a must.

  9. #9
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    hehe awesome! so thats the deal hey. even if i get a thin or insignificant crema it dont matter to me as much as a full tasting shot DAMN IT! ok i will have to do this. i tried pulling the dual wall plastic thing out of the basket but the actual basket filter part has a tiny hole in the bottom of it that just pisses out a jet of frothy coffee. it has only made the coffee worse. i think the whole perculating the coffee theory is spot on. what sort of price am i looking at for a saeco basket/filters ?

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    oh hang on im starting to taste the coffee a bit now I had a laugh. but yer definately have to move on to a saeco basket. there is hope still

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Quote Originally Posted by refsta link=1171219646/0#8 date=1171284174
    what sort of price am i looking at for a saeco basket/filters ?
    Yep, need to replace those baskets..... replacements are about $12 each - so not too bad!

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    i made an affogatto. seems to bring out the taste a bit better using a creamy vanilla ice cream.

    i got in touch with the local saeco guy today and am waiting on reply.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    ...hehehe..I like your thinking refsta...stick in some icecream!

    Good luck with it....please let us know how you go with the new baskets. You will need a good tamp and nice fresh coffee ground right down - otherwise the water will pour through way to fast, without giving the benefit of perking and no crema or much sweetness at all.

    Cheers

  14. #14
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    heheh is that cheating is it :)

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    i just ordered the krups filter baskets both single and double. $34 including postage. next on the list will be a EMO burr grinder :)

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    sounds like things are going to turn around quite nicely....do you have a tamper?

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    no! ive got the standard issue tamper. its a black scoop and tamper in one. i dont want to seem rude but isnt the whole expense of special tampers a bit extravagant. as long as you are getting it in, in a uniform way. thats all that matters isnt it. it would just take getting used to what you have as to good or bad results right? im most probably wrong but i am open to an explanation or a link to one.

  18. #18
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    refsta...

    A good tamper is essential. Why?

    You need to exert 13.5 KG of force to compress the grinds, it must be flat (not tilted to one side) and the puck must be compressed right to the edge (or as near as damn it)....

    If the puck isnt compacted properly you will get what is called channelling - water being lazy takes the easiest (and shortest) route through the puck.... so you can end up with all the water flowing through 10% or less of the coffee- resulting in a gusher with a nasty bitter taste... and most of the good taste left in the puck.

    With pressurised or crema enhancing baskets - tamping isnt very important- neither is the size of the coffee grounds - and an el cheapo plastic tamper is fine. But with a "real" basket both become very important.... and unless you get them right you wont get coffee which is any better than from the pressurised baskets.

    Its not hard to do - but you do need the correct tools. A grinder which can produce uniform coffee grounds... and the size of these can be adjusted by small amounts. A coffee tamper (not a piece of plastic which doesnt fit properly and bends all over the place) - but a solid metal tamper which fits the basket properly.

    I noticed a significant difference going from a Reg Barber craftsman made 58mm standard tamper to a Greg Pullman - also craftsman made but an exact fit to my basket - nominally 58mm but actually 58.4 mm..... and we are talking high quality tampers in both cases... (Gregs being $20 less in price ;))

    So, yes, tampers do make a difference!!

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    i received the filter baskets. the single doesnt fit well. too loose but the double fits perfect. i notice the shots are now fuller. as in no thin bitteriness anymore. im playing around with the tamping pressure. i find that i really have to push down with all my weight for it to really penetrate the grounds and come out at a reasonable rate with a nice thin layer of multi shaded golden crema. the spent grounds now come out in a much drier and formed puck rather than a slosh. this is better. now i will go and get some freshly roasted beans to play with. the other factors i have to play with are tamp and grind now. ill save my beans :)

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Quote Originally Posted by refsta link=1171219646/0#8 date=1171284174
    i tried pulling the dual wall plastic thing out of the basket but the actual basket filter part has a tiny hole in the bottom of it that just pisses out a jet of frothy coffee.
    refsta,

    glad to hear the baskets are improving things.
    The plastic thing in the bottom of the pf is pretty useless, eh? I had exactly the same problem as you - coffee poured out of the screw hole. If you can get a small nut & bolt, thatll take care of it.

    (I had a broken pf, so I just took the plastic bit out, hacked off the screw thread from the plastic, and stuck that back in with the original screw. No more hole, no more coffee gushers)

  21. #21
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Quote Originally Posted by refsta link=1171219646/15#18 date=1171632788
    now i will go and get some freshly roasted beans to play with. the other factors i have to play with are tamp and grind now. ill save my beans :)
    Something else to try when you get your fresh beans..... Is to play around with the brew water temperature a bit. Quite often with this style of machine (my son has one) you need to throw the switch into Steam mode for about 30 seconds or so prior to pulling a shot, flush a small amount of water through the Group, then lock-in the PF and pull the shot. Sounds like a lot of mucking around but it soon becomes second nature and the water temperature increases to near the ideal of 93-94C on top of the puck with the result that excellent brews result.

    Might be worth a try :)

    Mal.

  22. #22
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Well, I have this machine too. Sorry it took me a while to find this thread, but here goes.
    I made a post with photos elsewhere, where I modified my double basket to get rid of the pinhole pissy wall thing. Why they bother in the first place is beyond me, never succeeded with that and agree entirely with the sloppy puck syndrome.
    The machine is capable of pulling reasonable shots (he says, with the dregs of one beside me now...).
    I bought the Rancilio Rocky grinder, with doser. I am Really with a capital R happy with it.
    The only problem with it is that the pf doesnt fit properly in the gap under the doser opening, so it can lead to a mess... I always keep a dish under that. It seems the gap there is designed for a standard (commercial or Silvia) sized pf.
    Grinding the right amount of coffee for the day is guess work. What looks about right, and you can always do a little more... I dont use it to dose, I always fill my basket then tamp, add a bit more if needed (half a pull on the doser) so that when I am tamped, the shot is about 5mm below the lip of the basket. I like strong coffee.
    I havent yet purchased a good tamping tool, but plan to. In the mean time, I take great care in tamping as best I can... I was pushing down against it on the bench but then noticed all these little circles on the wooden benchtop (OOPS!!!!!!) so now I press down against a hotplate on the stove.
    Trying to use the same tamp pressure and experimenting with the grind to get the flow right is what I do to get a good shot. The Rocky is usually between 10 and 12, depending on freshness of beans. If they are really freshly roasted, I have to open it up to 12 because they pack so tight that I get no extraction at all, drip, drip, thats about it. Thats wasteful.
    Once the beans are a little older, I can reduce the grind. I have had this current kg of beans for a couple of weeks and nearing the end of it, the grinder is currently on 10.
    I get great shots, good crema though not "Italy" quality (my benchmark), and the flavour is fine.
    If it extracts too quick I know I either didnt tamp it tight enough or the grind is too course.

    As for the black plastic thingy in the base of the pf, I left mine in, all it does is direct the coffee. I could take it out and modify it by filing off the channel grooves, but there is nothing about this bit of plastic that will adversely affect the coffee extraction, except perhaps the ability of it to collect rancid dregs thus affecting taste, so I keep it clean.
    It does allow the shot to get to the cup without cooling too greatly if the machine hasnt been on for long and the pf hasnt been primed (heated) for long.

    As for the machine itself, the point of your original post, well it is capable of producing a good shot, just not in its manufactured form - you simply HAVE to get rid of the basket that has the dual wall crap. And see if you can find the idiot who invented it and put in a kick from me.

    As has been said, the points are no dual wall, good beans, freshly roasted, ground properly (a friend has a basic grinder on its finest setting and its about right for plunger...), tamp pressure, well, experiment, but it takes a fair bit. I havent got the scales out to practice 13.5 kgs yey as suggested, but will worry about that when I get a pullman tamper.

    I was, for more than a month, in the mind that I would not be happy with this machine, and would have to get rid of it and get a Silvia or something. Now, its not that I am "entirely" happy with it, but I put up with it and can get a result that is acceptable, indeed better than most bought coffees you get around here, so it stays for now.

    The instructions say brew your shots then steam your milk. I do it the other way because it takes so long to steam milk for 2 cups (mugs really) that the shots would be cold... Dont forget to get the steam up to steaming pressure then quickly turn off, apply jug to steamer, then on again before it releases the pressure into the drip tray with the bog TSSSSSHHHHHHHHHH that it makes, causing bystanders to nervously take a step back...
    If you just stick your jug under then turn the steam on, you may end up with a fair bit of water in with the milk. What do you expect? Its a Breville...

    Enjoy your coffee and I hope this helps.
    PS I have never used my Froth Enhancing pipe either.

    Now I am off to buy a popcorn popper... Fresh green beans on the way!

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Hello refsta. After reading this thread and everyones suggestion I wonder, did those non-pressurised filters work? I too have a new Breville 800 and HATE the pressurized, crema enahncing, filters. I miss the "dry pucks" that I get out of our machine (ok, it is a pretty hefty industrial grade machine) at work...Im hoping that a replacement of the filters will do the trick, even with the thremablock

  24. #24
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    I should go into business modifying Breville baskets...

    Much better to get one that fits straight off, though.

    I will agree about the dry pucks, its great - one tap and a shake and out it comes, not hard to learn why its called a puck once you see what they are supposed to come out like.

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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Go into buisness ehh? Is that an offer? I had a laugh Better be careful, or there may be a line of people taking you up on it. Seriously though, I am now looking to buy baskets myself-I have heard Krups fits. Is that the correct way to go? I have also heard that a few others (Sunbeam and Solis?) may also fit.


  26. #26
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    I live in Tassie so short of sending my PF away for a while at added expense and inconvenience, there is no way of guaranteeing any basket I get is a perfect fit... So I am happy to mod my baskets. So far the only basket I modded was the double but I am going to mod my single basket sometime soon...
    To save your searching, my post on modifying the basket, complete with instructions and photos is here.
    If anyone really does want to send their Breville basket to me to get modded, I will do one batch so get *together on this, all care but no responsibility and all that... The only cost is what the spot welder will charge for a batch of them which shouldnt be much. And freight of course. I will get a batch together, including my single basket.

    PM me. Let me know your location (suburb / state) so if people are in the same area, postage down and back can be combined.
    And have a read of the thread above so you know what will be involved, including my update on the bottom of the first page.

    I can only speak for Breville (as thats what this thread is about) so if someone wants
    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1168768543/0#2 date=1168775630
    "To boldly go where no man has gone before."
    with another machine/basket type, they are welcome to follow my lead.

    Cheers!
    Adam.

  27. #27
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    Hi Tasadam
    Planning on opening up the little bressure hole on my cafe roma basket, probably just grind it bigger, enough to depressurise but still keep enough strength not to blow out. But the inner filter looks to be a thinner gauge and I am a bit concerned it will bow under the full pressure until it rests against the outer basket floor. Since you have been modding yours what are your thoughts.

  28. #28
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Breville 800ES

    I have responded to this line of conversation in my original thread of modding baskets so that we dont completely hijack this thread.



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