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Thread: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

  1. #1
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    Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have taken a giant step....sideways and gone from a Sunbeam single boiler EM2300(Ristretto) which Ive used for almost 3 years, to a new (used) single thermoblock Breville 800ES.

    The 800ES has had a thorough descale and clean and I have swapped the single wall double shot basket that I was using in the EM2300 to the 800ES (both have 51mm PF). (See image below)

    I use an EM0480 Grinder and have been struggling to find the right grind setting to give a consistent pour. I reckon Im either grinding too fine/course and/or applying too much tamper force. Sometimes the machine chokes, other times the pour is too quick (15 seconds). I try to be as consistent as I can be but Im not happy just yet.

    After 3 years with one machine you do get used to it so to seemingly go backwards is frustrating. The 800ES should have better temperature control than the EM2300 as well as the added bonus of preinfusion but the milk based drinks Ive been churning out taste weak or bitter.

    I use fresh beans bought from a local roaster (Croplines) which are no older than a week old and grind on demand. I also let the machine warm up for 20 to 30 minutes before use.

    Microfoaming milk is fine with the 800ES, I find the steam to be fairly dry (once I let it bleed for a few seconds) and the steam volume seems far greater than the EM2300 so heating to 65 degrees celcius is more rapid.

    Any tips from owners/users of this machine would be appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    hiho neighbourino!

    Strange that you find the 800ES harder than the EM2300 to get consistent, I would have guessed they would be about the same (to get consistency). Perhaps its just the newness of it?

    I find it touchy to get consistent shots on the 820ES. If Im not paying attention they will come out too fast or choke up. If I am paying attention I still get varying results, but usually between 20 - 40 seconds each.

    Its probably partly your grinder - at this point it may not have enough granularity on the notches to get in between the "too fast" and "too slow" pours. It may also be your dosing technique - how do you ensure you have the same dose each time? You can weigh it, or scrape it, or whatever suits you best. And finally the tamp - how do you make sure its the same?

    I personally dont like the tapered basket bottom on an already small basket - I would be trying to use the Breville single wall baskets since they have straight sides. IMHO if you funnell the pour into a small outlet youre amplifying changes in grind/dose/tamp.

    Hope that helps - good to see youre experimenting and not satisfied with drinking mud ;)

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    My new single wall baskets from Breville just came in this aftenoon, the double, on inspection seems to hold more grounds than the equivalent tapered basket and there are substantially more holes on the base for extraction (more bloody variables..).

    The instructions on the box indicate dosing to a level so that the tamped height is 1/8 inch (3mm) below the lip.

    I have also ordered a 51.5mm flat stainless steel tamper (from site sponsor Sorrentina Coffee) to replace the convex 49mm tamper I have now (it was meant to be 50mm but...). Itll be good to be able to experiment with this as well.

    In terms of dosing, I have tended to grind directly into the PF, tap gently to spread, grind more until a mound appears above the rim then level of with my fingers. I then tamp hoping that I apply similar pressure each time but Im sure I vary, some days I must be extra strong, others, Im just a mere mortal so Im sure this hasnt been helping.

    Anyway, Im enjoying the journey. I have attached images of the new baskets from Breville which are obviously back in stock.




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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    I like the breville ones because they have smaller holes than the krups.

    Some tips
    • ditch (in a drawer) the single basket and stick with the double - one variable at a time!
    • some people like tapping, some dont, if you tap, try tapping until it doesnt settle any more, that way you know youve settled the grinds the same amount as last time.
    • always dose a mound, and then scrape with a knife or ruler or something. If thats too much, then scrape with a curved object (yoghurt lid?). That way you know youve dosed the same each time
    • tamp with your fingers around the base of the tamper, and use your fingers to check the depth - same depth, same grinds, same dose = same pressure (I hope)

    sometimes I make a bunch of shots in a row just to get the hang of it all... Seems a shame to tip them down the drain, but the neighbours dogs havent slept in a week ;)

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Hi Iain, thanks for your advice.

    In terms of dosing, I grind into the PF, tap, lightly tamp, grind more, tap, lightly tamp, grind more until I have a mound, level off and tamp normally

    Ill have to try repositioning my fingers to the base instead of the stem.* I have been visually checking the depth but the convex tamper makes this hard to judge at times so the yet to arrive flat tamper may make this process a little easier.

    And I agree, the single shot filters are a waste of time.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by 796661796B0E0 link=1316496781/4#4 date=1316609798
    I grind into the PF, tap, lightly tamp, grind more, tap, lightly tamp, grind more until I have a mound, level off and tamp normally
    I hear this is frowned upon, although Ive never tried it. You create "layers" each with a different compression amount, and as the water moves from layer to layer it can fill the spots in the middle and take all sorts of weird flows.

    Best to fill once, perhaps tap and fill and tap and fill, but dont tamp in between. If youre having trouble getting the right amount in there, (or to eliminate the multiple tapping) you can cut out the bottom of a cup (yoghurt, glorias jeanie takeaway cup, etc) to give you a bit of extra height without the grounds spilling over.

    Make your tamp flat - each successive tamp you try on a different angle will compress different parts of the puck in different amounts, again causing the water to flow unevenly.

    I hope it helps you make a better cup of coffee :)

  7. #7
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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Generally if you lightly tamp (no pressure, just let the weight of the tamper do the work), just to get the grounds down a touch, you should be able to avoid any layering issues by knocking the side of the portafilter with the tamper a bit. This creates a sideways tap which shakes things up enough to prevent layering.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Yup, its just a very light tamp, I barely use the weight of the tamper to compact the grounds before adding a little more. The final tamp is the meaty one.

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Then it should just be fine mate. I cannot see any problem with this. Ive done the same myself with a little doserless grinder Ive got at the office. It tends to dump the grinds very loosely due to static and as such you cannot achieve a good fill of the basket without at least some compacting.

    Youd need a damn fine machine - grinder setup to be able to taste the difference between using this technique and other recommended techniques.


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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Well, Ive been using the 800ES for a couple of weeks now and have found the Krups style tapered single wall basket gives me a better pour and extraction (and taste) than the Breville single wall.* Ive found the Krups basket to be sensitive to grind size whereas with the Breville single wall, the pour is seemingly too fast and underextracted no matter what I try.

    The Krups basket has less holes when compared to the Breville due to the tapering of the base and I do wonder if the hole diameter between the 2 is quite different as well.* Whatever it is, Ive ditched the Breville basket for now.* Ive tried to be consistent with my dosing and tamping so the main variable would just be grind size.

    In terms of texturing milk, thats also been a bit of a challenge when compared to the old Sunbeam EM2300.* The Sunbeam single boiler was slower but I could achieve nicely textured milk, the Brevilles steam pressure appears to be greater so heating to 65 degrees is more rapid but I seem to develop too much foam.

    Anyway, at least things are on the improve.

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    I have 2 Breville 800es machines (one at work and one at home). I also have a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder. I have the Krups basket on both machines.

    I have found that the 13 setting on the grinder gives me an almost completely consistent 30 second (+- a few seconds) pour on a double shot. Grinding at 12 pours way too slow, 14 way too fast, therefore 13 is the only way to go. I have posted this before and at least one other snob agrees with me. I have used about 7 or 8 different beans since getting this grinder and 13 so far has always been the magic number.

    I dont do anything special with the tamping. Almost fill the basket at the beginning, lightly tamp and add more, repeat this 2 or 3 times until grind is about 3mm from the top. Once height is reached I do quite a hard tamp. I have a steel tamper, this is symmetrical unlike the Breville angled plastic one so the pressure should be more evenly applied across the grind than the plastic one would do.

    I hope this helps.

    Just as an aside one of the machines has great steam, the other one is not as good, no idea why, its always been this way, its not for lack of cleaning or descaling. House sat for someone who owned a Sunbeam em6910, the steam on my "good" 800es is better than that machine did! Although to be fair I dont know if that Sunbeam needed a clean and descale.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Im, having problems achieving any sort of consistency. I have been using the Krups (or Krups-like) basket for the past 2 weeks and have had reasonable tasting coffee at times (flat whites, milk can hide a bit I think), other times, weak and underextracted.* Ive been setting my EM0480 to 9 but I expect that not all EM0480s are the same. Wonder if I need to perform the shim modifcation...

    I try to be consistent in terms of dosing and tamping but I reckon I must be the problem at times.

    This morning I thought Id try the Breville single wall double shot basket again out of frustration. Last time I tried this basket the pours were extremely fast (which why I ditched it last time) and it was no different this morning with the grinder set to 5! 60ml came out in 17 seconds, taste however wasnt too bad which surpried me, then again, my palate probably isnt the best.

    I have bought a Breville Smartgrinder from a fellow CSer (thanks ROs) and expect to receive it shortly.* Not sure if this will make the difference but least itll be less messy than the EM0480.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Why dont you try the Breville basket again with the grinder set to 3?
    The numbers are irrelevant, there shouldnt be any reason to stop at 5
    MrJack likes this.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    I reckon Ill start at 1 to see if I can choke it. I just hate pouring shots down the sink, even bad shots...

    If its still too fast, Ill contact Sunbeam for some shims.* Grinding on 3 previously with my EM0480 has given me a very fine clumpy powder. I think I used to grind on 8 when I used the EM2300 (Ristretto) with good consistent results using the Krups basket.

    Anyway, if the Breville BCG800 gives me better espresso, Ill be flogging off the EM0480.

    Ill experiment with the machines tonight after basketball (very social..) and kids are in bed.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    I think youre right about the EM0480 being inconsistent for individual machines, Ive read quite a few of the various gripes in here and am pleased to say mine behaves extremely well.

    When I first got it and tried it on 10 my poor 800es was totally choked, got about 10ml in 2 minutes. Stupidly kept the machine going and it overheated quite badly and it wouldnt do anything. Fortunately when I tried it again 30 minutes later it was ok again, it must have some sort of safety cutoff.

    If I put my grinder on 1 it would produce insanely fine grinds and the machine is not modified, that is, exactly as it came from the Sunbeam 2nds shop. My only complaint is that plenty of grinds get stuck in the "spout" and I have to tap and tap and tap to get them out.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4358534E4F40554E53210 link=1316496781/14#14 date=1318235879
    My only complaint is that plenty of grinds get stuck in the "spout" and I have to tap and tap and tap to get them out.
    Its amazing what comes out when you gives the machine a good smack...

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by 746F64797877627964160 link=1316496781/14#14 date=1318235879
    My only complaint is that plenty of grinds get stuck in the "spout" and I have to tap and tap and tap to get them out.
    My routine after a grind on the EM0480 is to lift and close the lid a couple of times to try to use air to push out the remaining grounds followed by a few taps on the lid and a final quick grind. Ive had really good performance out of the EM0480 so far.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by 57454B5D41240 link=1316496781/16#16 date=1318244046
    My routine after a grind on the EM0480 is to lift and close the lid a couple of times to try to use air to push out the remaining grounds
    I hadnt thought of that, Ill give it a try.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4259524F4E41544F52200 link=1316496781/14#14 date=1318235879
    I think youre right about the EM0480 being inconsistent for individual machines, Ive read quite a few of the various gripes in here and am pleased to say mine behaves extremely well.

    When I first got it and tried it on 10 my poor 800es was totally choked, got about 10ml in 2 minutes. Stupidly kept the machine going and it overheated quite badly and it wouldnt do anything. Fortunately when I tried it again 30 minutes later it was ok again, it must have some sort of safety cutoff.

    If I put my grinder on 1 it would produce insanely fine grinds and the machine is not modified, that is, exactly as it came from the Sunbeam 2nds shop. My only complaint is that plenty of grinds get stuck in the "spout" and I have to tap and tap and tap to get them out.
    Well, I dialled in the grinder last night with the Krups basket and found on my EM0480 setting 9 was best.* 1 choked it, as did 2 and even 5, 6 dribbled out, 7 small volume and overextracted, 8 better but 9 seemed to be right.

    I got a good consistent pour of around 25 seconds, lovely darkish crema and to my immature palate, a decent tasting espresso. Not bitter or sour with a hint of chocolate, I cant really describe any other flavours...

    This mornings flat whites were good.

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B54534B593C0 link=1316496781/18#18 date=1318292087
    Not bitter or sour with a hint of chocolate
    thats starting to sound quite good actually! Do your lattes have a slight sweet flavour with no sugar? If so then youre doing it better than the majority of cafes. I think Ill go make one now...!

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    Re: Advice from other Breville 800ES owners...

    I went home at lunchtime (can do that here in Tassie...) and fired up the 800ES, made another 2 lattes, no sugar,tasted terrific. The 800ES is growing on me...


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    Anyone know what is the easiest way to measure pressure with this machine as it does not have a built in gauge? Some filter holders have a 3/8 thread to attach one. Any options with this one?

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    Is there some particular interest in the pressure? I had a gauge on my bes820, which eventually failed. I never missed it.

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    Nice just to check if the OPV is set correctly. That was all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky View Post
    Nice just to check if the OPV is set correctly. That was all.
    This machine doesn't have an OPV. It has a plastic "safety" valve at the pump output but this doesn't act like an OPV.

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    Ok sorry I just assumed there would be. How can you regulate the pressure then? Can you buy after market OPV to replace the safety valve? It is just i want to get single wall filter baskets and modify my bar aroma grinder I got with the machine and try to improve the system I have. I have heard having the right pressure out of the machine is a good place to start.

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    Someone here has done it, but most just live with it as is. I would start with the unpressurised baskets and a naked portafilter. It makes a big difference!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Someone here has done it, but most just live with it as is. I would start with the unpressurised baskets and a naked portafilter. It makes a big difference!
    Yea I did it on my BES820.

    OP, the BES800 has the same pump setup so if you follow the method I used you can install an OPV. It improves quality and reliability to no end. Along with single walled baskets and a good qualiy tamper and grinder you can make some impressive coffee with it.
    Check on my profile for the link to my thread, can't get it at the moment.

  29. #29
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    Has anyone else had the problem of nothing happening when you turn the dial over for steam and pulling a shot on the 800es

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    You can't pull a shot and steam at the same time, if that is what you mean.

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    No, after the machine finishes heating up, i will turn the dial to pull a shot and nothing happens. So i turn the dial to steam and the same thing, the heating light just blinks and nothing happens. Also just noticed today the light I'n the water tank goes out??



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