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Breville Barista Express BES870 Q's and Tips

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  • Breville Barista Express BES870 Q's and Tips

    Been running this machine for around 6mths now.

    A few Q's:
    • Has anyone noticed the consistency of coffee changes the longer it's been turned on? I find coffees in the first 15mins taste better than everything after.
    • I read that you don't want any moisture trapped in the portafilter and basket as it can affect the coffee extraction (tunnelling). After an extraction, is it sufficient to just run water through the portafilter and then wipe with a damp cloth (followed by dry cloth)? Or will that cause potential tunnelling issues? Currently, I'm pulling the portafilter and basket apart after each shot and washing/drying thoroughly before prepping for the next coffee. Is that a bit excessive? I guess when you're making a number of coffees it can delay things a bit.
    • What is the water temperature on the default setting? Does this remain consistent if the machine is left on for 45-60mins?
    • Has anyone made good latte art with this machine? I peaked early and am getting worse.
    • Anyone use generic cleaning tablets, powder or water filters? Any recommendations?
    • Any truth to using lower temperature water for fresher beans and then increasing the water temperature as the beans age?
    • Anyone use the Eazytamp 5 Star Pro with this machine? Thoughts?

    A few tips:
    • Weigh each double-shot (21gm) prior to extraction.
    • My grind size is usually set to around 5. Adjustments can then be made depending on the flow of the extraction.
    • Dose manually until you hear that empty sound. There'll be a tall mountain of coffee above the basket. Use your fingers/hands to mould it into the basket and keep as much of it in there as possible before tamping.
    • If you can't tamp very level, try putting 50 cent coins under the portafilter spout and apply pressure from directly above.
    • Ignore that pressure Gauge. Just watch the quality/consistency of the extraction.
    • Weigh/measure the extracted coffee after each extraction. 45-50ml in 27-30sec makes really nice piccolo lattes/3qtr flat whites. For the first 9-10sec, there'll be no coffee coming out.
    • Clean grinder with provided brush (or toothbrush), toothpick (to dig around and loosen the ground coffee up) and vacuum cleaner after you're done for the day/session.
    • For most coffees, I've found they taste best around 6-12 days after roast date. Earlier than 6 days, the flavours generally aren't fully developed yet.
    • Coffees I've had luck with so far are: Clark St Mastermind, Darkhorse and Purple Haze.

    Here's my little onion and tailed heart piccolo artwork from a couple of months back. This is when I peaked.

  • #2
    Big improvements with Latte art on this machine just 1 week later: