Post By blend52
Upgrading from Breville BCG450 to Breville BCG800 "Smart Grinder"
I only got an espresso machine last week (800ES), and I got the grinder the week before, along with another of the same model grinder chucked in for free with the espresso machine... I spotted a Breville Smart Grinder on our local auction site for $60 and decided to grab it....
I modded one of the 450's so I could go finer than factory setting, and am one or two clicks off it making nasty noises and I haven't managed to clog up my 800ES yet (using fresh roasted beans), I'm getting approx 11 second pours in the double shot single wall basket with 16 grams of coffee.... Can the 450BCG choke the 800 series machines??? I might go to the final click sometime between now and the smart grinder arriving to see what happens....
Being new to espresso I'm not entirely sure how my espresso shots are stacking up taste wise.... I'm a sugar with my coffee person, I think that my espresso tastes ok, and as I'm not running a cafe I suppose that's all that matters.... I'm getting an ok crema etc.. I'm just not sure if the sugar is making a bad drink palatable... The espresso I've had at cafes that are supposed to do good espresso I would drink with sugar too...
I guess what I'm really wondering is will the upgrade to the smart grinder help improve my shots - pour time, taste etc?? I know the grinder won't magically make everything fall into place but I'm hoping it will help! I'm not really experienced enough to know if the grind is right by site or feel yet which probably doesn't help much either!
Originally Posted by gtstcactus
you have two 450 grinders, and one smart grinder ?
Why dont you simply try the Smart grinder to see if it improves the shot ?
Without doubt it will improve things.
I have a modded 450 and although it grinds finer than the off the shelf model, it still doesn't grind fine enough for a decent espresso machine.
I have a fairly recent model of the Smart grinder and the 450 doesn't come near it re fine grinding. ( although the older model Smart Grinder may need shims)
I still have the 450 and keep it solely for requests for decaf when I have visitors.
I had a laugh I got 1 x 450 to grind coffee for moka / plunger... a week later I picked up a 2nd hand Breville 800ES and the seller gave me his 450BCG with it for no extra cost.... So I've ended up with 2.... Then I picked up an 800BCG (with 1 x shim kit) which has just arrived today, I've got to unpack it still.. So I was wondering prior to getting it, now it's arrived I will be able to try it and see if it does..... fingers crossed!
On the 450BCGs finest modified setting it's choked the 800ES to a dribble once or twice on a couple of different SO's, but generally speaking it can't go fine enough...
I was thinking of getting rid of one of the 450BCG's and keeping the other incase of a breakdown with the smart grinder...
Originally Posted by blend52
Ok I'm still playing but so far it definitely seems worth it, from the 1st shot I pulled with beans ground in the smart grinder things have been better. Getting much slower pours now, haven't quite got things totally under control but am well on the way, and I can go about 5 more full clicks finer...
After a few days of playing with the Breville Smart Grinder I to say the upgrade rocks in terms of in the cup results.... I am getting more 25-30 second pours (60ml) than not now, and when I don't I think it's down to my tamping or when I've used a different bean and not quite selected the correct grind size;. I now have a better idea of how espresso should taste! I now know what the bad bitter taste is... tho I tend to have sugar with my coffee (even short black) that's just how I like it, I've found the shots that pour in the right amount are quite drinkable without