Breville BES800 / 800ES Modifications to improve pull
Hi everyone, long time no coffee forum posting.
I finally looked into getting a new (for me) coffee machine to replace an ageing Cafe Roma which has served me well but I was getting bored with it and started using an AeroPress instead of it (thanks to recommendations here) after deciding to spend previous funds on a Mazzer grinder rather than a new espresso machine.
So I have now have a Mazzer grinder, and tried to find a cheap used EM6910. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find one (I think it is ultimately the machine I want to get as a used one may be able to be found under $150 which is a great price point for my budget at the moment), but I did manage to pick up a BES800 for $50.
So my questions are (in no particular order):
- since purchase I read someone post here in the past that the BES800 is pretty much no different/better to the Cafe Roma, is that true??
- I managed to find an unpressurised double basket for an old Bar Vista which I was previously using with the Cafe Roma - it fits and seems to work with my BES800 and I presume this is one of the "modifications" that I use to make the BES800 results better?
- What other "modifications" are recommended for the BES800 to make results better?
- Tonight when I first tried the machine I made a very fine grind in the Mazzer and tamped it down (sadly using the stupid plastic tamper provided with the machine because I haven't invested in a proper tamper yet and am unsure if I can justify buying one at the moment given that I may change equipment in the near future and it might not fit the new machine). My double pull was approximately 60ml in 25 seconds or so. Tasted ok but my taste buds aren't sufficiently good to go into the finer details. The puck was somewhat damp but not sludge-like. And I noticed fine grinds at the bottom of my cup (is that normal/ok?).
- Any and all suggestions would be welcomed! I'll be slightly disappointed if this machine is essentially a repackaged Cafe Roma but oh well I guess it now fits under a bench in my kitchen (Cafe Roma didn't allow me access to water tank when put under shelving).
My two suggestions would be the Breville single walled baskets (you can use Krups, but I found the Breville double better), and chop the bottom off your portafilter "naked" style. The BES800 was aluminium from memory. I bought one from a repairer and used a 50mm holesaw. Rough, but functional.
Oops I meant Bar Italian not Bar Vista.
I think this is an ESP4 single wall basket that has a double capacity.
So your suggestion is for the espresso to run direct from the bottom of the basket into the cup?
Absolutely. I found a big difference in the cup (but I did switch both baskets and to the naked PF st the same time.
Apart from the better tasting coffee, it's also fun to look at, is good for identifying pour problems, and makes cleaning much easier!