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Just picked up a Breville BES860

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  • Just picked up a Breville BES860

    I have been looking at the local gumtree ads recently to find a machine for my office, and finally found a BES860 for a nice little price of $50

    the seller told me that it had a leaking problem, as whenever he fills up the reservoir, after leaving it on for awhile, it would slowly leak out from under the front tray area... he could not figure out where the leak was, and decided the easiest way to fix his problem was to go and buy a Jura superautomatic... so now he just wanted to get rid of the machine... his junk, my new project :P my SWMBO just rolled her eyes when I told her Im picking up another coffee machine (Not a grinder this time though)

    When I was picking it up last night, the seller was nice enough to plug it in first so I can test it out before I buy it... surprise, surprise, there was no leak! guess he wasn't expecting that.... I asked him if he was using the pressurised basket... he didn't know what I was talking about... I pulled the steam wand cover off, and the wand looks like it was covered in some layer of dried up brown scum... ok... looks like this guy doesn't know how to clean this thing..... check it pumps water... not yet leaking... grind some old stale beans left in there... seems to work fine... pulled a shot with the double wall filter... chocked the machine... but the pressure gauge shows that it was working and up to the "black zone"... so I paid my $50 and off I went...

    I tried to pull another shot when I got home (just for fun)... using the finest grind setting, and used some of my beans I roasted on Sunday.... it came out clumpy... tamp and pulled... choked... good sign I guess... took the PF off, and the basket was sucked on the group head... hmmm not good... now for the clean up bit...

    Upon closer inspection.... the inside of the PF was completely black, single wall baskets were brand new looking, and the rest of the machine cosmetically looked decently clean... few scratches here and there but nothing too bad.. soaked the PF head and baskets in cleaning solution and boiling water... came out nice and shiny... the inside of the PF is actually not all black (just the base) ewww... the guy made coffee in this?

    Did a quick descale of the machine with one of those descale solution you find in Hardly Normal, and run through the cycle... I realised that you can't pour hot water through the steam wand... so how do I descale the wand itself if there are any scales in there?

    Burr grinder was quickly cleaned and vacuum... pity I can't take the whole burr out to give it a better clean, but I guess I will need to run some sacrificial beans through it to clean them off... but would it be a good idea to use the uncooked instant rice as a cleaning substitute? I read some where it can be used but not sure if anyone here have tried it?

    here is the fun part... took the shower screen off... my goodness! the shower screen was covered in parts by a layer of black "stuff" I looked at the group head, and it was just a black mass of "stuff"... used a stiff brush and the black "stuff" just fell off in chunks! yuck.... I am not sure how long it was last backflushed or cleaned (if ever)..... so I am still soaking the shower screen at the moment, and hopefully the blocked holes will be clean by tonight when I get home... and then I will do some back flushing...

    next stop, the steam wand... with the brown dried scum on the wand, i took a towel, and used detergents to scrub it till it looked clean(er)... tried to use the breville tool to take the tip off, but it snapped right apart... so grab a pair of pliers, covered the steam tip with paper towel, and gave it a good turn... it came off, but I found out why it was hard to take it apart.... inside the steam wand was covered with white "stuff" that best described as the consistency of cottage cheese... yummy.... I took a tooth pick and scrap out most of the "cheese" inside it and the tip... soaked it over night with the cleaning powder and hot water... this morning did a quick spray out of it to clear the cleaning solution, but will still soak it in some of the milk cleaning solution the seller gave me (it looks brand new, never used, but the label instruction said to use it after everyday after steam use )

    Anyway. during all of this, there were still no sign of leakage... when pulling a shot, I dont see signs of water leaking out from the group head either (so gaskets still ok I guess) and the water level in the reservoir did not drop when it is idling, so the reservoir water hole and the connector is not leaking there.... are there any where else that could cause water leak for the Breville?
    Also, is there any where else I should concentrate on cleaning?

    Will be interesting to see what kind of shots it can pull out after I finish cleaning it tonight... (maybe need a few more descaling consider how little the rest of the machine was maintained)

    So far, it looks like a solid little machine... especially at $50

  • #2
    Sort of makes you wonder how many of these "home espresso " machines are out there in a similar state/condition still waiting to be hung on the "tree" or thrown on the "bay" eh?
    Unfortunately most of these consumers are not aware nor informed by the big store floor salespersons, of what "(regular) maintenance" and care, is necessary to get long term drinkable results from ANY machine.
    I don't know anything about Breville espresso machines, so can't advise where else to "clean" apart from wherever you can access!


    • #3
      So it was you who got it. I need to be faster with my gumtree activities!


      • #4
        Originally posted by MrJack View Post
        So it was you who got it. I need to be faster with my gumtree activities!
        hehe... you snooze you loose

        I was pretty surprised it wasn't picked up on Sunday when it was advertised, and when I called the guy was surprised he was happy to hold it for me till the evening to pick up... luck of the draw i guess


        • #5
          Yep. I saw it Sunday but didn't contact the seller until last night. I'm sure something else will come along - would have been an opportunity buy anyway.


          • #6

            Don’t use rice to clean the grinder use Grindz. I got some from Hardly Normal.

            It looks like you have given the machine a well-deserved thorough clean.

            A great price. Perhaps it leaked if the previous owner didn’t install the water tank properly.

            Enjoy the coffee.



            • #7
              cheers for that... might go pick some Grindz up during my late lunch

              add: just realised there is a 3 way valve on the 860, and last night when I pulled the test shots, they all come out wet.... possible 3 way not working? but if it managed to suck the basket out maybe half working? hmmm...


              • #8
                Someone suggested cleaning a gunked up showerscreen with a gas burner, it apparently burns away those coffee oils.


                • #9
                  The little fella getting a nice clean again
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                  But this was what came out after the long soak with the descale solution. *yuck!*

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                  Another incentive to regularly keep my machine clean.

                  Can anyone tell me what is the black plastic cover thing inside the PF for? I took it off and found more goodies left under it. Is there a purpose for this black plastic in the PF or is it just another thing to hide more grimes.
                  Last edited by okitoki; 24 July 2013, 12:27 AM.


                  • #10

                    Frequent backflushing is needed to clean the three way valve. I backflush after each coffee session and clean with cleaning powder about once a week.

                    Did the grey rubber cleaning disc come with your machine? If so you can make it blind by blocking the hole with a thumb tack from below. Otherwise you can get a blind disc or blind filter from Coffeeparts or other suppliers.

                    If the valve is working it will go pfut when the flow ends when making coffee or when a blind filter or cleaning disc is used. If you remove the cover on the drip tray you will see the waste flowing in from the valve.

                    The plastic thingy is in the portafilter to collect gunk and add a mature flavour to your coffee ha ha. No, it was put there to prevent the coffee being cooled by an unheated PF. Chuck it out and make sure the PF is heated before making coffee.



                    • #11
                      Yes it came with the rubber disc. I ran the cleaning cycle using the coffee cleaning powder 8X before the water coming out doesn't have a tinge of brown colour on it.

                      Fortunately the 3 way does look like it is working. Maybe was leaking from there before?

                      Black plastic is gone. Machine seems clean. Didn't have time to try pulling a shot this morning though.

                      Will look forward to test it tonight so can bring to office next week


                      • #12
                        Ok. Had a go at the machine using my 3 days old Peru beans.


                        • #13
                          Opps. Posted by mistake.

                          Anyway. Started the grind at setting 14. Choked the machine. Continuously decrease the grind setting by 2.

                          I'm down to 8 now and it still on the high side with the pull at around 40sec. So a setting 6 should be good.

                          Surprised it came out so fine though.
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                          The steaming power is pretty weak compare to the Silvia and takes a little while to steam. But I do like the auto refill after steam though.

                          My poor attempt at a tulip
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                          • #14
                            Hi okitoko,

                            The BES80 is a great score for $50!!

                            I've had mine from new for just on 12 months now and aside from the steam wand taking longer to get up to pressure, I've been very happy with it. As others have said, it's amazing how horribly some people can treat these things and still expect to get a decent coffee out of them. I mean, how hard is it to flush the wand and purge the PF after every use, run the cleaning program whenever the machine tells you and swap over a charcoal filter every few months??? What do they think "automatic" means???

                            With cleaning the grinder, I'm an advocate for rice. After reading all the pros and cons I decided to give good old plain rice a go and the 3 or 4 times I've done so it has worked really well. I put a little through at 4 to begin with, then up to 8 so it comes out reasonably fine without taxing the burrs too much. Once all the rice has gone through I remove the top burr and give the whole lot a good brush out and everything by then is free of oils and looking good as new. The burrs still have a nice sharp edge to them. Then just sacrifice one double dose of beans to get rid of the rice "dandruff" and you're good to go.

                            My coffee of choice is the Ethiopian Sidamo from Gigante and I find on my machine that a grind setting of 9 is good with very fresh beans then up to about 11 or 12 once they are are a bit older.

                            I have a theory on your "leak" as well. The overflow tray is stupidly small and the float that indicates the level in the tray is a horrid design that I find gets stuck and doesn't roll around, so the first indication that the tray is full on my machine is usually a bit of water on the bench! Empty the tray and not surprisingly the "leak" goes away until next time the tray overflows. So if you haven't noticed any hint of the leak that the seller was on about then that could well be the cause.

                            I'm yet to do a descale and in fact I found this thread whilst searching for info on how to effectively clean the steaming wand as it's down on pressure a bit from when it was new. Any ideas?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by okitoki View Post
                              Can anyone tell me what is the black plastic cover thing inside the PF for? I took it off and found more goodies left under it. Is there a purpose for this black plastic in the PF or is it just another thing to hide more grimes.
                              Sorry just noticed this when reviewing the thread. I upgraded to this machine from a cheap and nasty Kambrook that had a similar "plastic thingy" in the PF so it's something I've never questioned. Maybe it helps liquid flow out the spouts?? I'd be interested to know if it makes any difference because if not then I'd try taking it out of mine as well.

                              Also, are they milk burn marks on the bottom of the jug?? No wonder there was cheese gunking up the wand when you took it apart - amazed they didn't get some sort of food poisoning from it!!!