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Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES900XL

SKU# ESE986A0060

Availability: No Longer Available

Regular Price: $1,199.95

Our Price: $999.99

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Quick Overview

Encompassing the strength of a commercial machine in the size of a home-friendly footprint, the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine uses its dual stainless steel boilers for precise temperature and pressure control every time.
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES900XL

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Encompassing the strength of a commercial machine in the size of a home-friendly footprint, the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine uses its dual stainless steel boilers for precise temperature and pressure control every time.

The electronic PID temperature control offers the ability to adjust the temperature for different bean roasts and origins separate from the steam boiler. This allows for the right temperature to extract your shot while simultaneously steaming your milk to a frothy, velvety texture with the three-hole, 360-degree swivel steam wand.

Features & Functionality of the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

  • Dual Stainless Steel Boilers: Dedicated boilers for simultaneous espresso extraction and milk steaming
  • Dual Italian Pumps: Dedicated espresso and steam pumps for optimal pressure
  • Regulated Extraction Pressure: Over-pressure & valve limits extraction pressure
  • Electronic PID Temperature & Control: For precise water temperature
  • Actively Heated Group Head: Maintains thermal stability throughout extraction
  • Programmable Extraction Temperature: 190 degrees - 205 degrees for different roasts and origins. Displays in either Fahrenheit of Celsius
  • Programmable Volumetric Control: Preset 1 and 2 cup volumes, manual over-ride or reprogrammable volumes
  • Programmable Pre-Infusion: Alter the pre-infusion duration and power to fine tune flavor profiles
  • Espresso Pressure Gauge: Monitors extraction pressure
  • Espresso Shot Clock: A guide to extraction consistency
  • Backlit LCD: Displays either extraction temperature, shot clock or clock
  • Auto Start: Preheats the machine at a programmed time
  • 360 degree Swivel Steam Wand: Three-hole tip for a silkier texture
  • Hot Water Outlet: For making an Americano or preheating cups
  • Drop Down Swivel Foot: Lifts the machine upwards for easy maneuverability around the countertop
Pros
  • Gold Standard - The Dual Boiler meets four key elements; limiting maximum extraction pressure; low pressure pre-infusion; consistent extraction temperature and simultaneous extraction and steam
  • Consistent Shots - A boiler just for espresso with electronic PID control delivers pre-heated water to the boiler, producing precise water temperature for an ideal extraction every time
Cons
  • Take It To The Pros - Unfortunately you won't be descaling this machine yourself. The closest you'll get to decalcifying from the comfort of your home is using filters. But if it's a real flush out that you want, you'll have to have it professionally descaled at a service center every few years
Ease of Use 4
Ease of Care and Maintenance 3
Overall Value for the Money 4
How Does it Compare?

The 900XL is a great entry point into the land of dual boilers. With the streamlined brushed stainless casing featured on all Breville machines, the temperature controlled boilers will have you steaming and brewing at the same time.

Model Number BES900XL
Manufacturer Breville
Width 13.5 inches
Depth 15 inches
Height 14.5 inches
Product Weight (lbs.) 36.5000
Watts 1700
Volts 110-120
Programmability Yes
Case Material Plastic with Metal Finish
Boiler Material Stainless Steel
Cup Clearance 3 inches
Boiler Volume Espresso Boiler: 0.3L (10 ounces) | Steam Boiler: 0.95L (32 ounces)
Reservoir Size 84 oz.
Solenoid Valve Yes
Steam Wand Type Traditional Only
Cup Warmer Yes
Available Portafilters Bottomless, Non-Pressurized
Warm Up: Brew Time 6 minutes
Warm Up: Steam Time 6 minutes
Boiler Design Double Boiler
Water Sources Reservoir/Internal Tank
Auto Shut Off Yes
Pre-Infusion/Aroma Yes
Material Stainless Steel

Submit a question directly to owners of this product and ask what they think about it!

 

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES900XL
Already Asked: 21 Questions, 99 Answers
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A shopper asked: Tempted to buy this machine. I have not been able to make good coffee with my Elektra MicroCasa a leva, for which I just don't have the skill... I would like to enjoy superb espresso, and be able to serve wife and guests the occasional cappuccino. Good choice, or should I go for an Italian like Alex Duetto II, for double the $$? Have Mazzer Mini grinder.
Thanks!
Jul 5, 2013
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Troy W: I purchased this machine because I could not make good espresso with a Krupps machine I'd had about two years. The Krupps was about $140 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Anything I made with it took a lot of effort, the milk would never froth right. The Krupps just didn't have the power to do it. I have had the Breville Dual Boiler for a little over a year. i use a Breville Smart Grinder. We make coffee every day, many times twice per day. I think it makes espresso every bit as good as any coffee house I have been. It textures and froths milk very nicely, creating a rich micro foam. I had to practice with it for about a week before I got proficient at it. For me it was between the Breville and I think the Rocket machine. Considering there is a return policy I would buy the Breville and try it. If you don't like then spend more, but if you do, you save yourself $1,000. Jul 6, 2013
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Ron M: I'm no caffinista, but as an amateur coffee lover who came back from Italy a couple of years ago realizing that what we are sold as "good" coffee doesn't come close, I treated myself to the Breville dual boiler after doing much research, and I've not been disappointed.

First, as you point out, it's easy to spend multiples of its' cost once you're in the dual boiler class.

Having read the posting on the Alex Duetto II, and it sounds like it's a heavier duty machine, and you've no option for a connected water supply on the Breville. That said, filling the breville couldn't be easier, and the cleverness of its' design features are all they're put up to being.

I will say this - while I haven't yet sent mine in to be descaled, I did experience one interaction with their service department. Well past the warranty period I thought I was having a problem with the unit, and they REPLACED it at no cost with a NEW ONE (and, as it turned out, the problem was my grinder, not the espresso machine)

Not knowing what you're used to, don't know if the breville will feel like a step up or down, but I'm a total fan.
Jul 6, 2013
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Christopher L: The dual boiler is an excellent unit and I believe the only espresso machine I would have been happy with after owning a LaMarzocco commercial unit. The temperature stability and customizability regarding preinfusion and more make is a solid choice for the home barista. Furthermore, we had a problem with the Breville somewhere around month 8-9 of ownership and Breville did an exchanged replacement - a level of service that sealed my respect and preference for the brand. Yet your question suggests this may not be the right machine for you.

A machine requiring manual grind and tamp is not optimal for one who uses the unit occasionally. Each bag of beans requires changing of grind to 'dial in' a good shot. For the 2-4 x week user, a solid super automatic in the same price range ($1100-$1500) is a very good choice and can provide a consistent b+ or better drink. If I misunderstood your usage and you desire the ability to obtain an A- or above (with some C- along the way), I could not recommend the Breville Dual Boiler more highly.
Jul 7, 2013
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jowil c: hi all 3 machines you mentioned can pull great shots. i cant be be too detailed with elektra or the duetto. but since you mentioned skills, the breville can help you out learn from starter to pro. it has features that makes things easier for you such as dual wall baskets. then after sometime you can then move to single wall. but i suggest start and learn the single wall right away (fresh beans important here). for cappuccino this machine can pull a shot while steaming or frothing so you can do both to save time, but since you mentioned skill, then you can concentrate pulling a shot first then doing the milk after. the steaming is not as intense as order pro machines which plays an advantage since its friendly to starters and you can experiement with technique because of the gradual phase. and the lever is ergonomic. Jul 6, 2013
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Sean L: I went from a GS/3 La Marzocco the BDB which is about 3 times more than the Duetto and I've had no regrets from a usability and shot quality perspective.

I've had one issue with the BDB. (A slightly leaky steam wand) and Breville's support is nothing short of outstanding. Breville sent a new machine out to me in a matter of days.

Where the Duetto shines is if you want to service your own machine like I did with the La Marzocco. The components are of high quality and easy to find. I replaced my own parts on the GS/3 and miss this aspect with the BDB. You simply will not be able to do that with this BDB.

My thought is in 5 or so years, there will be another machine that I want anyways. :) Hope that helps.
Jul 6, 2013
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Bruce B: When I first received the Breville Dual Boiler 900XL (and the Breville Smart Grinder), I purchased the coffee beans I use, then spent time practicing to get the brew just right - great taste and rich crema.

To achieve this I had to play with the grind (very, very fine), amount of coffee dispensed, tamp pressure, and amount of water. I was able to achieve great results after some playing.

The Breville Smart Grinder allows me to save the settings so I get the same grind and amount every time. The Dual Boiler machine lets me program in the water volume (and temp).

I have two water volumes programmed in: a double shot espresso (I use for cappuccino) and a double shot Americano which my wife prefers.
Jul 6, 2013
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David C: I do not have any experience with the Elektra or the Alex Duetto. However, I have enjoyed nothing but superb espresso drinks for over 18 months using the Breville Double Boiler. Shortly after buying it I experienced technical issues and Breville customer service fixed it quickly. On another occasion I struggled with different beans and the grind. A Breville CS rep spent a little time coaching me on the phone and I made another terrific shot while still on the phone.

The Breville is a solid machine producing great espresso, and the company understands the word "customer."
Jul 7, 2013
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R Scott L: My wife and I purchased the Breville Double Boiler several christmases ago and really enjoy it. We wanted to get a really good machine that had pro features, but still made good coffee for my amateur bistro skills. It took about 30 days of exploring and experimenting with the settings, grind, tamp, etc to get it all dialed into making great espressos, cappuccinos, and cafe lattes. As Prosumers (Professional + Consumer = Prosumer) we have been throughly thrilled with this machine. Jul 6, 2013
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Frances J: I just bought this machine last week and LOVE it! It took me a few tries to perfect the shot because my kitchenaid grinder on the finest setting was NOT working. As soon as I got my coffee ground by a barista- to espresso size grind- it has worked wonderfully! Tastes as good as your local coffee shop! Jul 7, 2013
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abigail k: I love mine. It makes perfect espresso every time. It took me a week or so to get the tamping right.. I have had mine 8 or 9 months, make espresso every morning for myself and my husband . We have lots of overnight company and they get morning lattes or mochas. it is a wonderful machine. Jul 6, 2013
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Pedro R: I've been using the Breville for over a year. Very consistent espresso such that it will depend on the grinder and tamp. The Duetto is awesome, but you will gain nothing for your situation. One key issue is that the Breville will heat up and be ready quicker than the Duetto. Jul 7, 2013
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saeed h: It is a great machine. Reliable, efficient. I use it daily. The quality of the espresso drinks produced depends entirely on how much effort you put into learning the art of making espresso drinks. I think this machine is as good as any Italian or better. Jul 7, 2013
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Kazuo S: This is the best bang for your bucks. It does everything that more expensive machine does. The brushed stainless steel surface is pretty, without being too shiny like Rockets. PID, shot timer, everything you want is built in. Go for it! Jul 6, 2013
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Cindy B: I love my Breville. I use it mostly for latte's but IF I get fresh roasted (but not too fresh) GOOD beans and the perfect grind and decent tamp, I can get a wonderfully silky almost sweet shot of heavenly goodness. Jul 15, 2013
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Brennan S: Definitely yes. The only real drawback I can think of with this machine is that you can't de-scale it yourself. Other than that, it's the most affordable truly "prosumer" machine on the market. Jul 6, 2013
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steve a: Really like the BES900XL. But machine is for those who enjoy tinkering and shining. The machine delivers. Espresso, milk foam (thin or thick) fast and consistent! Jul 6, 2013
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Thomas D: We love ours. Makes great coffee and super easy to use/maintain. Jul 8, 2013
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Timothy R: The breville I have works great I have a vario grinder Jul 6, 2013
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Sean. E. asked: Hey! From what I understand, this machine displays an offset temperature, can it also display the actual real-time boiler temperature? My concern is recovery time, how do I know if the machine is keeping up with me? Thanks!! Jan 21, 2014
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Jenny C: First you can set the temperature at a certain temp. I have mine set for 205 degrees. It will keep a constant temp during the time you use the machine. But after a period of time when the machine is not in use(maybe 30 minutes or more I never have timed it), it will turn itself off. You can set a timer so that it will turn on- think of it like a programmable coffee machine. I have it set to turn on about 15 minutes before I get up in the morning.
So, I use this machine more for chai (hot water to steep and steam wand for the milk) but my husband is the espresso user. Every morning we both use the machine close to the same time and have never experienced any "cool-down". Think of this machine like a on-demand water heater. I would say, yes it displays the actual real-time boiler temp. I haven't experienced any recovery time at all. I will fill my to-go mug with the hot water from the machine and then my husband will do his espresso immediately after me.
We have had this machine for over 6 months and have had absolutely no problems. You will not regret this purchase.
Jan 28, 2014
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Spencer M: I've had mine for a few months now. As far as I know, the display shows the real time boiler temp. I assume this, because when you wake it from power saver, you see the temp at 150 or so and watch it climb to your set boiler temp (200 for mine). From then on it seems to stay at 200, and I don't think I've ever depleted the boiler yet.

If you're making 1-2 drinks at a time, I'm fairly certain you won't have to worry about recovery time. The brew boiler is 0.3L, and a double shot is about 0.06L. That means you should be able to make 4-5 double shots without depleting your boiler. The machine will refill the boiler as you go too, so it's doubtful you'll ever actually empty it. When it does refill the boiler, you can hear the water start to bubble, so perhaps you just wait until that stops before you pull another shot.

It's a fantastic machine though, and you won't be disappointed!
Jan 21, 2014
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Sean. E. : Hi Spencer, thanks for your reply. So from what I gather, there's no difference between the set temperature and the boiler temperature? (Meaning there's no offset, like say on a Rocket R58, the boiler can be set at 105C but by the time the water makes it through the E61 the extraction temperature is more like 91-92C) Jan 21, 2014
Spencer M: I guess I can't say for sure without measuring the water temp as it comes out of the group head. According to Breville's guru Phil, the temperature at the group head is guaranteed to be what the boiler temp is set at, within 1 or 2 degrees. He says that this temp should be available instantly without having to wait for the group head to heat up. There is a video on the Breville site that explains this better than I can. You may be right about how the boiler regenerates. I don't actually know at what point it pulls more water in, I just know that I don't always hear the boiler bubbling after each shot. I can pull a couple shots without hearing it heat again. Jan 21, 2014
Sean. E. : Ps, I don't think that's how the boiler works. It pulls in water from the reservoir through the heat exchanger as the shot is brewing. At least that's how it works on other machines. If it lets me do 4-5 doubles without pulling fresh water in, the heating element will be exposed and burn out. Jan 21, 2014
John N: not sure if it's an offset temp or otherwise but it wont let you pull a shot if the main boiler temp is below 200 - it will however let you use the frother when it is below 200. I haven't had any issues with it keeping up - it will make shots as fast as you can load the filter basket.

On another note, there are more than one version of this machine - my first one had a software error after about 3 months which they replaced with a new machine and it had a slightly different drip tray and software - make sure you get the latest when you buy - the newest one has a smaller tool tray behind the drip tray due to the larger drip tray.
Jan 22, 2014
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Christian J: From what I can tell there is no recovery time at all. Once the unit reaches the temp set to begin using the machine, it maintains the temperature continually. I have yet to encounter an issue where the machine is not ready, other than when I have not used it in quite a while (several hours), and go back to it to make a cup. I believe the machine does go to sleep after a certain period of dormancy (not sure what amount of time that is). In those cases, pressing the start button re-initiates the machine and it then heats to the pre-set temperature, which normally takes about 2-3 minutes. Jan 22, 2014
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Kirill K: I do not think real boiler temperature during recovery can be displayed, but I noticed the following. When you use hot water dispenser to pull a sizable amount of water (say, 1/2 cup for an americano), lights on start buttons begin to blink, and continue blinking for some time (about 20 seconds). Temperature reading on the display also blinks. Brewing cycle cannot be started during that time. My guess is that the machine is recovering boiler temperature, so this is how you would know it is keeping up with you. However, blinking figure on the display remains the set "200" during recovery. Jan 22, 2014
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Larry P: I'm not sure I know what you mean by "offset" temperature. It displays the water temperature used for hot water and for the group head (it comes from the same heater). It doesn't display temperature of the steam boiler. I'm rather sure, but I haven't tried to confirm it, that the display temperature is real time, and that if it was not keeping up with you, that the temperature display would drop. However, I think it would be difficult to get ahead of it as the heater seems to be strong. Jan 21, 2014
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Brian M: Sean. This is a dual boiler system so it takes awhile and with my daily experience using the machine, it will flash the set temperature, as soon as it detects a drop. It continues to flash until the temp is achieved again. How offten does this happen? Well I pull. Double shots each time, it takes 4 right in a row and then on the 5 double will it flash. To reheat & stop flashing takes about 30-40 seconds. Its a good machine! Jan 21, 2014
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Ryan W: If the temperature drops below the set temp the Power Light flashes until it has recovered. It does an excellent job at keeping up - either that or I am too slow ;)

The only time I had to wait a few secs is when I bled the water reservoir really dry before my fill. Wait was just a couple secs that the power flashed during the fill.
Jan 21, 2014
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Ajay G: Its never run out on me, however on switching on the machine displays boiler temperature and won't be 'ready' until the boiler get to 200F. I assume that if the temp were to drop during use, it would do the same (however that hasn't happened yet - we have never made more than 4 shots in a sequence)

Hope that's helpful!
Jan 25, 2014
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Matthew R: This machine will not run until it is at your preset temperature. Once the preset temperature is met, it has displayed to me, the ability to maintain temperature, even if I am just running water through it nonstop. I don't think you can be faster than a machine designed with zero recovery time. This is a great product! Jan 22, 2014
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Yarrow D: I haven't done any independent temp measurement, but if the temperature drops you will see the drop and it will prevent you from running the pump until it returns to the temperature you've set. So even if it's not perfectly accurate you should be able to calibrate it adjusting its setting... Jan 21, 2014
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William L: This product uses a PID to control the water temperature. As such, it has 'Set' and a real-time 'Read' temperature display so you always know what the actual measured temperature is relative to the set temperature. It has more than enough capacity to keep the water at temperature during use. Jan 21, 2014
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Sean. E. : Hi William, thanks for your reply. So what you are saying is you can read the temperature of the boiler and compare it to the set extraction temperature, and from the way you worded it, these two temperatures are the same? If so, is it safe to assume that this machine, because of it's actively heated brew head, that it does not even need an offset calculation, and that the boiler and extraction temperatures are the same!? Jan 21, 2014
William L: The LCD display (set and read temps) show the temp of the boiler only, not the group head. These are adjustable. Yes, there is a built-in offset amount to account for the expected loss at the group head. Nit sure how many degrees it is, but this is worked out when the system is designed.

Recovery time should not be an issue since the display shows real-time temp readings. If the temp were to drop, the display would show it. You can see this in real-time when you first turn the system on. It shows the temp climb to reach the set point. The actual temp is displayed right on the front panel so you will know if it changes at any time. Jan 22, 2014
Joseph S: Not sure what you mean. The PID controller keeps the boiler to the temp set, if not it blinks and will not brew. This has not been a problem. I am ver pleased so far with this machine. We have served about 6 per day since Aug. Jan 21, 2014
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Sean. E. : Hi Joseph, thanks for your reply. I'll ask you the same question I asked the others, if the boiler temperature falls below the set extraction temperature, does this mean that the boiler and extraction temperature is the same? Jan 21, 2014
Joseph S: Well, I can't really say. Basically the unit monitor's what I believe is the boiler temp on the screen during extraction. I extract at 202 deg. F and I have never seen it drop during extraction which means the PID controller is pretty good (ie. in mathematics terms it is critically damped no overshoots in either direction) or the software just locks in the temperature you have chosen for extraction and doesn't update the display. You could write to Breville and ask this question. However, I will say that it is pretty accurate as I have checked the temperature of the extraction water with a thermometer and it is dead on.
I think this is pretty good machine so far. As I write this I am enjoying a great cappuccino this morning. I was prepared to purchase a more expensive automatic machine but decided to go with this machine since the reviews were so positive and the automatic ones seemed like they could be more trouble over time. This one even I can fix and modify if necessary but I think that Breville is a pretty good company. Actually based on the quality of this machine I purchased a toaster oven over Christmas also by Breville. Probably the same PID controller for the temp. control!
Good Luck, Jan 22, 2014
Maureen S: Recovery time is fast enough for me. Your question is technical--ask Breville. They are good abut responding. Jan 21, 2014
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Brett R. asked: Hi. Do you have details on where the machine must be sent for descaling? What are the cost and how long is turn around?

This sounds like a high maintenance machine with the descaling and back flushing. It sounded in the video like back flushing is a little difficult. Can you give some details (I've never done this)? How often must it be done?

For reference, I have a Rancillio Silvia that I use everyday. Need better temp control and steam wand for lattes but I don't want to start wrenching on the Silvia for all of that.
Sep 29, 2013
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William L: You can easily clean the system using the automated cleaning cycle with regular cleaning tablets every few months (same as any other system). I rinse the portafilter and basket using the built-in hot water spigot after every shot (very handy). The group head is also quickly rinsed just by pushing one of the cup buttons on the front panel before the next shot. *Backflushing is very simple [Breville has a Backflushing video on You Tube]. Just insert the cleaning seal in the portafilter basket and pulse the system 'On' and 'Off' a few times as directed. This should only be needed after running several pounds of coffee through the system OR if the coffee tastes funny from coffee residue building up.

The system's composite water filters should be changed every 2 months.

The BDB has a built-in shot counter and when it reaches 6,000 shots a message will pop up on the LCD informing you to send the system back for professional descaling. If you pulled three shots a day, 365 days of the year, that would work out to about 5.5 years of elapsed time before you would need to send the unit in for descaling. For professional descaling, the BDB should be returned to the manufacturer (Here in the USA, that would be Torrance, CA). *I was provided with an estimate of around $60 plus shipping for this. Turnaround is reported to be a few days. Please check with Breville for more info.

Temp is spot-on (as verified with a calibrated Fluke Thermometer & Thermocouple) and the steam wand works great for foaming milk. I regularly steam milk and pull shots at the same time. Love the pressure gauge on front too. It really helps you to monitor each extraction for consistency. The only negative so far is that the initial system warm up time is anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, so best to turn it 'On' in advance of when you want an espresso/latte (or use the built-in timer to turn the system 'On' for you).
Sep 30, 2013
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Brett R.: Thanks William. If I'm not frothing and pulling shots at the same time, do I benefit from a double boiler or is it overkill for me?

I'm assuming you guys are authorized dealers (for warranty reasons). Sep 30, 2013
William L: Depends on how much control you want over the extraction process. The BDB will give you more control over a Silvia. Overkill? Maybe. In general, the double boiler and dual PID's will enable you to obtain better control of the extraction process in less time. No delay when switching from coffee to steam (no waiting, flushing or cooling down the line needed). The BDB is designed more like a commercial system. It is easier to adjust the settings to dial in your coffee. The answer depends on what your needs are. The Silvia is a very nice system for espresso, but IMHO is limited in how much adjustment or control of the extraction process is possible. *BTW: I am just a coffee lover who enjoys having the ability to easily tweak everything on the BDB to my delight for each bean. Not everyone needs or desires those options. Sep 30, 2013
Brett R.: Thanks William. The BDB would be of benefit for speed (not for pulling shots and frothing at the same time though).

The Silvia just doesn't produce great shots. Maybe having additional adjustments will allow me to do this. At least the potential will be there.

I have a Rancillio Rocky grinder. Do you see any need to upgrade it if I go with the BES900XL? Sep 30, 2013
William L: It is true what they say about grinders though... Having a quality grinder is critical to making good espresso. I learned this the hard way. The Rocky is an excellent grinder. You should be just fine. Sep 30, 2013
Christopher L: Brett:

Fair concerns. I have had the Dual Boiler for over a year now and have had to backflush only a few times. The process is simple:

1.) The unit tells you when it's time. Every few months or a time or two per YEAR.

2.) You put the supplied robber stopper into the portafilter.

3.) Drop supplied tablet into portafilter and put portafilter into machine.

4.) Hit the proper button and let it go through the process. <10 minutes.

5. ) Take out portafilter, rinse. DONE.

Descaling is done by shipping the unit to the service center in California (I think). They probably either clean it or change out a few parts for new. My experience with them regarding another minor issue was incredible. My guess is descaling is only every two years or so, but I'll admit I use the water from an under counter filter because I think it's better for the machine and helps with flavor.

Bottom line - I owned a coffee bar in KY and utilized a LaMarzocco Linea 3 group. It was not going to be easy to satisfy me with a 'normal' home unit. I am so glad I waited (and saved up) to buy this Breville; it's awesome.
Sep 30, 2013
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Jenny C: I spent months researching what machine to purchase and the Breville 900XL was what we wanted. This is the first espresso machine we have ever purchased.
I was also concerned about the descaling and back flushing. We have used it for over a month now and still working on perfecting our skills. Our water is very hard and have installed a water softner and a reverse osmosis for our drinking water so this should help with the descaling maintenance. As far as I know, there is no "descaling" businesses in the local area, so I know in the future I will be sending it somewhere. We are guessing that it would be about 5 years before we would need to worry about this. We used a coffee machine (Bunn) for 10-12 years everyday and never descaled it. I know there is a big difference but its worth the comparison. The backflushing might sound difficult in the video but once you get the machine and you can get your hands on it, it doesn't see to bad at all. We haven't had to do any maintenance as of yet and shouldn't for a month old machine. I would say we use it a lot. Every morning, my husband pulls 4 shots of espresso. I use it for my chai, so I get the hot water from the water spigot (very handy!) and use the steam to warm up my milk. I would say the temp control and steam wand, two features you mentioned, would out weigh any concern over the descaling and backflush concerns. And we are still perfecting the espresso part but we recently purchased the Rancillio Rocky grinder and that seems to be what we needed and haven't had any problems pulling perfect shots since that purchase.
I have nothing to compare this espresso machine to but being a first time owner, I have not come across any concerns and extremely happy with the purchase should count for something.
Oct 1, 2013
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David C: I have used a Breville Double Boiler for about three years. I use it daily but am the only coffee drinker in the home.

You must clean the machine ever 500 (?) shots. The control panel notifies you automatically when it is time. This is done with a small chemical tab that comes with the machine. (Additional tabs are available from SCG and other sellers.) The process is quick and simple requiring less than 15 minutes.

I had an earlier model that had difficulties with the pressure regulators. Breville shipped a new one to me and paid for the return of the defective unit. This was the smoothest warranty transaction I have had with any product - Ever! You will not have difficulty with the factory.

I have not yet reached the descaling point for the machine but, given my history, I do not expect difficulties or high costs with the process. I recommend you contact Breville's U.S. offices for information on descaling. You will find them helpful.

By the way, the machine makes damn good coffee as well.
Sep 30, 2013
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C R: Brett.

Back flushing is very easy. The machine lets you know when to do it.. I haven't had to have mine descaled yet. I take my machine to Kitchen Windows in the Uptown area. One year three months after taking delivery of the machine I had a problem with a bad gasket and had to have it repaired. Repairs were $30.00 and took about 3 weeks. The machined uses a vibratory pump. Mine is now starting to act up. I fear that I will have to have that replaced. Have no idea what the cost will be. The machine is less than 2 years old. I like the way the machine works but am not to happy with parts quality. I wonder if other brands have these issues. Good luck on your choice.
Oct 2, 2013
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Patrick S: I purchased this machine and started using 2 weeks ago so I have not had to descale or back flush yet. Per Seattle Coffee's video, back flushing needs to be done about every 200 uses. The machine alerts you that the machine needs to be flushed. Directions seem easy and materials are included. Per the video, the machine needs to be sent for descaling at the 4 year mark. Obviously, this will be somewhat of a hassle. So far, I have been very pleased with the machine. Pat S Sep 30, 2013
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Doug G: You must send ot back for descaling. But it has filters whihc might stave this off for some time.

I got the machine a few weeks ago. I do like, but the verdict is out on the upkeep.

I downloaded the manual and that helped in my decisionmaking process. I was replacing a double boiler, and this seemed the most reasonable.

Hope that helps.
Sep 30, 2013
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abigail k: Brett, I have had my machine for a year and use it daily. Back flushing is a easy process, and only necessary every few months. Descaling must be done through a Breville dealer and I've not had that issue yet. The machine is a dream. Oct 7, 2013
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Timothy R: The breville tells you when to clean or back flush . A message appears on the screen ,the process is automatic. There is a cycle program on the screen. Oct 1, 2013
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Brennan S: Try calling the one nearest you. Can include a link here, but if you google Breville service centers, you'll find a PDF with a listing by state. Oct 1, 2013
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Maureen S: seattle coffee gear descales tho machine as I understand. Sep 30, 2013
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A shopper asked: Hello,

I have Breville Smart Grinder and Breville Dual Boiler. I would be very thankful if anybody can recommend best setting for espresso grind that will pull a good shot with the Dual Boiler?

Thank you
Nov 28, 2012
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Christopher L: I'm hoping my answering a slightly different question will help you with what you're looking for.

I don't have the Breville grinder (using a Mini Mazzer from the coffee bar I once owned), but I was having trouble getting good shots and kept fiddling with the grind setting. First too slow (too fine), then way too fast (too course), but even very slight changes would throw me to extremes. What I realized was I was slightly under-dosing for a great shot. Therefore my tamps were too inconsistent and prompting most of my problems. Before I started the following process, I'd fill the portafilter up with loose grounds, shift them around to fill in holes, then do a straight scrape with my finger.

Now, I grind and fill the portafilter to 3/4 full (or so) with loose grounds. Then I tap/bounce the portafilter on the rubber mat (or a folded towel) 3 or 4 times to settle the grounds well; turning 3/4 full into about 1/2 full afterwards. I then finish filling the portafilter until theres a modest mound of coffee over the top and start moving the coffee around with my finger to make sure every nook and cranny (hmm...never used those words in an Email before) and the scrape off any excess leaving a very modest mound of untamped coffee. Then I tamp...fairly hard. I haven't checked by placing the p-filter on a bath scale and then tamping - but I'd guess I'm tamping with 30-40 lbs. If I dosed right, I can easily see the stainless steel of the tamper surface exposed when in the portafilter. If all you see is the black of the handle - you've under dosed.

When I got the dose correct, dialing into the best grind became very easy. Additionally, after running my shot, the used coffee was truly a solid "hockey puck", which implies the shot is being extracted better. So...I didn't answer your specific question, but I believe you may resolve the issue once dosing is proper and consistent.

There's a good little video about dosing on the Coffeegear website.
Nov 29, 2012
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R Scott L: There are two main variables to this question: how much coffee goes into the porta-filter, and what size of grind (course or fine) to use. For reference, I use the 2 shot non-pressurized insert for almost all of my shots. The amount of coffee that goes into the porta-filter is the tricky variable. If you don't get enough coffee then the pressure will be low, and if there is to much coffee then the pressure will be to high. A good guide is to insert the included tamp into the empty porta-filter and observe where it sits naturally. Breville's design is amazing and they have form fitted the tamp to the porta-filter at the proper fill level. I'll fill the porta-filter to the top with loose ground coffee, then tamp to the previous noted position.

For the Breville grinder, I have it set to 4 bars from the right side on the digital display. The shot selector is set to 2 and I usually have the strength (or amount) set to the 0 or middle position. I adjust the amount setting to compensate for the automatic grind cycle to fill the porta-filter.

Hope this helps! It took me about a month of experimenting to get everything dialed in and consistent.
Nov 28, 2012
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Mike M: Hello,

I don't have the same grinder that you have so this may or may not be helpful. I was disappointed in the shots at first and thought it might be I didn't have enough fine adjustments on my grinder. I still think that is true, but I discovered that the amount of coffee made a big difference. I use just a bit less than recommended. The tamp is just above where the portafilter starts to taper. I have been using the manual button to brew. I get the best shots when I get around 2.5 oz in 30 seconds. The other big variable is the roast of the coffee. I have been roasting my own and a darker roast with just a hint of brown on the beans tastes best to me. If the beans are brown the flavor intensity just isn't there.
Nov 29, 2012
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Troy W: It depends on the coffee beans you are using. Some beans require a finer grind and more or less volume. The density in the portafilter makes a big difference as well so you have to be careful how firmly you tamp it down. If you are using the Veltons Bonsai Blend from SCG try setting the grinder to around the "o" in espresso and -1 or -2 on the volume on the one shot portafilter. Tamp the espresso so that there is maybe a 1/4 inch space at the top. You want the pressure between 9 and 11 and espresso should be flowing after around 9 seconds on the shot clock regardless of the coffee you use. Any coffee can vary from one batch to the next. You will have to experiment. Nov 28, 2012
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Paul K: The proper grind setting depends on the bean, humidity, and probably the position of Venus. For the BDB, the supplied double-basket is designed for 18g of coffee, but I have found that underdosing (17g, or sometimes 16g) has helped in many cases.

In nearly every case the ground coffee mounds above the rim of the basket, which is never the case for machines and baskets I've used elsewhere. I think it might have something to do with my grinder, or the BDB basket's tapered sides. Dunno.
Nov 28, 2012
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Steven P: I just got this setup myself. It really depends on your beans. With one type of bean I had to use the finest setting. With Velton's Bonsai I went coarser by 5 dashes (The pointer is just under the O in ESPRESSO on the display). I would start around there, use a good firm tamp and adjust as necessary. Using the timer on the Dual Boiler helps a lot (look for 32-37 seconds with the default 7 second pre-infusion)! Good luck! Nov 28, 2012
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C J: i have both the grinder and dual boiler and love them both. i learned through practice that there is an art and a science to this. unless you use the same coffee beans all the time, it takes a few shots to get the setting right to get the right shot. i use a medium roast blend of a bean and my grind indicator is nearly directly below the "second e in espresso" with two bars in the amount of coffee indicator. hope this helps. Nov 28, 2012
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LINNEA B: I found Seattle Coffee Gear's YouTube video "How To: Dialing In A Coffee Grinder" to be extremely helpful. As the gals stated, there are numerous variables but I find that the setting of the following on my Breville Smart Grinder works for me:

For 2 Shots:
3 bars to the left of center on the amount setting
4 notches from right on the grind setting (fine/coarse)
Nov 29, 2012
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Nigel &: I have mine set to the 6th notch from the left on the espresso range. I only use the dual shot basket and have had no problems. Volume is set to one notch to the "Less" side. But I did try the single shot basket a few times and could never find the right settings. Nov 28, 2012
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abigail k: I have found the espresso setting on the grinder to be spot on for regular espresso beans. I have not found the same success for decaf but am still working on it. For whatever reason, the grind for decaf is a little more coarse than it should be. Nov 30, 2012
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Kristin R: I purchased the same set up in October. You need to use the grind setting that is either the most fine, or one-two notchs up from the most fine to get crema from the single wall portafilter. Nov 29, 2012
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Christoff X asked: Hi, This is Christoff. I may enter a terrain of experts, and I'm certainly no expert. I just buy the same cup of coffee every morning of my Life at Starbucks, and would like to venture into doing this at home. I always drink a "Grande Quad Decaf Americano with room for 1/2 & 1/2 creamer (NO sweeteners added). In other words, I buy a 16 oz drink with 4 shots of Espresso & then add only COLD 1/2 &1/2 cream. I want an aromatic, strong tasting coffee, and had numerous conversations with Starbucks Baristas about the INconsistency of the "quality" of Americanos they make. There appears to numerous reasons which (can) cause such.
The only other drink I may want to make at home is a blended cold coffee drink, which Starbucks calls Frappucinos, whle Peet's Coffee & Tea calls them Fredos. These are probably NOT made with this machine, so let's leave Frappucinos / Fredos out of the equation.
So, my question to you expert coffe makers is: Is this Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine, BES900XL the best maching to make my 4 shot 16 oz decaf Americano with CONSISTENT good quality coffee drink? And does "dual Boiler" imply that you can pull 2 shots of Espresso simultaneously? I will thus have to do this only twice to get my 4 shots per 16 oz drink?

Thank you for all who may reply.

Christoff
Jul 30, 2014
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Dennis V: "Dual Boiler" implies that there is one boiler for brewing/pulling shots, and another boiler for the steam wand, making it possible to pull shots and froth milk at the same time. However, you are correct in saying that you can pull 2 shots at a time, and therefore only need to do it twice to get your 4 shots per 16 oz. drink.
Since you seem to always drink Americanos, I would say you don't need a dual boiler machine, since you will hardly ever use the steam wand. If I were you, and this is just my opinion of course, I would consider the model below this, like the Barista Express or Infuser, where the brew components are practically the same and you can pull just as good a shot, but pay roughly 40-50% less.
There are so many factors that go into shot consistency, like quality of beans, fineness and consistency of the grind, pressure and evenness of your tamp. A lot can go wrong even before you put the portafilter into the machine. The key for me is, if I can be consistent in how I prepare a shot, then the machine will be consistent in how it pulls the shot. Of course, you could always use the double-walled/pressurized filter and not worry about any of those factors, but how involved you are and how much in control you want to be in the making of your morning cup of Americano is up to you.
Jul 30, 2014
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Christopher L: Dual boiler denotes that the water pressed through the coffee grounds to create the espresso shots are heated in one boiler (@about 200F), while the water that is turned to steam is heated in a second boiler. Unlike most home espresso makers, there is not a thermal block or single boiler that has to heat water to one temperature and then heat or cool to a different temperature when you need to pull a shot and then steam milk or visa versa.

From what you have described, steaming milk is not a priority and therefore a much simpler and less expensive unit would suffice. If you are willing to learn how to properly adjust the grind of the coffee and tamp properly, then a unit like the Breville Express or similar Rancilio is a good choice. Seriously consider a Super Automatic as well. Your ability to pull a consistently great shot is less but will likely surpass Starbucks and is much easier to learn and use. Check out the many videos SeattleCoffeeGear has produced. Among the most important issues no McAteer the machine, is good filtered water and fresh beans. You will need to try many different coffee blends to find the flavor you like, but that's part of the fun.
Jul 31, 2014
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Mike M: Hi Christoff,

Yes, you would need to brew twice to get 2 double shots (4 oz) of coffee. It is not because of the dual boiler. Most machines will make a double shot. The dual boiler lets you brew and steam at the same time. If you are not steaming you probably don't need the double boiler. The $500 ( approximate) Breville will make you consistent coffee although consistency depends on many variables. Grind, tamp, time of the pull (brew time) coffee bean quality and roast. Change any one of these and you have a different tasting coffee. It takes a while to be consistent and even then you will get a great shot one day and an average one the next with no apparent difference in how you made it. I am getting better and the coffee is never bad. Buy a good grinder. I have a Baratza preciso with a scale to weigh the coffee as it is being ground. The Breville double boiler is a great machine for the money. There are some things you give up with the cheaper single boiler machine but it still has a PID. I don't think the coffee itself tastes much different. My son in law has the single boiler.
Jul 30, 2014
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Steven P: Dual Boiler means that you can simultaneously pull shots of espresso and steam milk, but yes, you can brew either single shots or double shots at once with the included filter baskets. You would pull two double shots, and then add hot water from the hot water spout on the machine to get your quad americano. If you are never planning on steaming milk, this machine might be a bit overkill, because you would be paying for the time saving capability of steaming and brewing at once. You could use a less expensive single boiler machine (which can also steam milk, but not at the same time). This is a great machine, I love mine, if you are considering machines in this price range you can't really go wrong by choosing it! Jul 30, 2014
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Melissa W: Hello Christoff,

It sounds like this espresso machine may be a bit much for your needs. The dual boiler means you can pull espresso shots AND steam milk without losing steam pressure. Most espresso machine baskets only let you pull 1-2 shots at a time, meaning that you would need to pull a double shot twice to get your quad Americano. I hate to say this here, but it sounds like you may be better off with a simple (cheap) espresso machine a la Mr. Coffee. Starbucks also has small espresso machines that will do most of the work for you. If you invest in a quality grinder for consistent results, you can leave the feature-heavy machines to the "experts" as you say. :) Good luck!
Jul 30, 2014
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James D: It's good; but not the best. you could spend 20,000 dollars or more trying to get the best. but it works great, consistent, and doesn't leave me wanting in any way for more features.
the dual boiler means that you can pull shots and steam milk simultaneously which cuts down on waiting, but if you dont ever steam milk, then you may get by just as well with a cheaper machine.

I drink small double americanos a lot. This machine delivers a good shot as long as I do my part (tamping and the purchasing of a proper grinder)

Have you spent money on a grinder yet? You need to spend a bunch on the grinder and it can help you make a more consistent and dialed-in shot.
Aug 7, 2014
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Joseph T: There are many machines that can give you 2 one ounce shots per pull. The"dual boiler" means a boiler for the coffee and a separate boiler to steam milk for a capuccino which can be done simultaneously. Consistent results are dependent upon a grinder giving a consistent grind and the barista using consistent technique. This given a good coffee roasted to your taste and good water. The Breville 900 is a great machine, but given what you're drinking, you don't necessarily need one. A less expensive machine with a good quality grinder and a little practice will give you what you want for less expense. Jul 30, 2014
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abigail k: Christoff, I don't know if the BES900XL is the best machine bit I can tell you it is a wonderful machine that gives consistent performance. I draw 2 shot increments every morning for my latte and my husband's mocha. Too, Breville gives outstanding service. Good luck in your quest. I am very happy with my Breville, Jul 30, 2014
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A shopper asked: I just returned the Infuser model of this machine, because I really like a strong foam for dry capuccinos (microfoam just creates too much milk and not enough foam compared to my other machines), and the Infuser only has an on/off lever for steam. I'm interested in upgrading to the Double Boiler.

Question is: Because there are three holes on the wand vs. the one on the infuser, and the fact you can modulate the steam, which I'm used to, is anyone able to make a stiff foam?

(please, no lectures on the proper foam--I've been to hundreds of cafes and the best ones are the stiff microfoams, I'm not talking big bubbles, but I AM talking a heavier foam)
Apr 19, 2013
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Mike M: I just visited my son in law who has an infuser. I definitely have more control with my double boiler. I usually make cappuccinos and with a small amount of milk the foam doesn't have enough time to become stiff before it reaches temperature. With mochas and lattes the micro foam sets up well and it will still be in the bottom of the cup when you are finished with the drink. You don't have to put that much air in it if you don't want it , but you do have control. Overall I'm really pleased with the double boiler. The steam is not super powerful, but I think that actually helps with controlling it. I usually have it on full with the tip just below the top of the milk. May 14, 2013
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jowil c: straight answer yes it does. lets not talk about technique but lets talk about technicalities, this is a dual boiler and unlike the infuser, this has a separate pump for the steamer. 1 hole 2 hole is still a debate. It is not a fast as commercial italian but due to this, it plays an advantage since you have more time texture milk as how you want it. May 3, 2013
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C R: My advice is to wait on purchasing the Breville dual boiler machine. I have owned mine for 1 year and 4 months and it is in the shop getting repaired. Posssibly a vacuum valve. However it did make decent foam. May 5, 2013
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Susan R: I have not accomplished stiff foam with this machine. The best foam I've made was with the nespresso froth machine - to be honest. May 3, 2013
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Sean M: Can make foam like whipped cream, very stiff Apr 25, 2013
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Jonathan B asked: I assume that the group head gasket (and shower screen) will need to be replaced eventually...I looked at Brevilles web site and they don't appear to sell a replacement gasket or screen. Where would I buy replacements? I have heard that E61 type groups need the gasket and shower screen replaced after a certain amount of usage...is that the case with the Dual Boiler as well? Jan 2, 2014
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Christopher L: The shower screen will need to be cleaned on occasion, but there is no basis for expecting breakdown or decomposition of the screen with regular usage. The gasket seems quite robust and I perceive some silicone properties instead of only rubber as used in my commercial LaMarzocco machines. After two years of use I do not anticipate needing to change the gasket any time soon, but I'm also pretty up tight about wiping the gasket off with a wet rag after each use. Coffee grounds clogging the area of the gasket could theoretically allow for loss of pressure and leaks requiring removal, cleaning and possible replacement of the gasket. Jan 6, 2014
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Sean M: I have one and I did not remember reading anything about that in the owners manual. Mine is one year old, looking at the screen I don't know when if ever it will need to be replaced it is a heavy duty stainless steel mesh, looks indestructible to me. I would contact Breville about replacement parts, check their web site.

I like machine a lot but then I've never had anything else to compare it to.
Jan 2, 2014
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Mike M: Hi Jonathan,

That's a good question and I don't know the answer. I have found Breville's customer service to be very good; I would ask them. I am really pleased with the machine overall. I think the only downside is having to send it in for cleaning in 4-5 years. Buy a good grinder to go with it. the coffee improved greatly once I upgraded to the Baratza precisso.
Jan 2, 2014
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Joseph T: After 3-4 years the 900 is to be sent back or taken to a service center for cleaning and I'm guessing that the gasket and filter are or can be replaced then. Call the Breville help line. Jan 2, 2014
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Ariel M asked: I would like to buy this machine tomorrow. The issue is that I want it to use abroad. This machine is 110-120 volts. How would I use it with a 220 volt outlet? Thank you for your help! Aug 6, 2013
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Mike M: Hi Ariel,
This is an answer Seattle coffee gear probably won't like. Internationally they do make a 220 volt version. I would buy it in the country you will be living in to ensure compatibility. Or call Breville and ask them. They sell direct and might be able to ship the right machine to your destination. Their customer service is quite helpful. When you come back you could either sell it, or have an electrician put in a 220 volt outlet. In a kitchen there are often two circuits they could take the hot wires from to make you a 220 circuit without running a dedicated wire from the box.

This is a great machine. With the right grinder you will make coffee as good or better than your local shop.
Aug 6, 2013
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jowil c: hi ariel you can get a transfer that converts 220volts to 110v. make sure to get a transformer that is twice the wattage of the bdb. heating elements using transformers is recommended and i recommend too to have twice the wattage it consumes. Aug 6, 2013
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steve a: At Breville's website, you can download the manual. Plus, I suspect you could call them at their corporate office. Plus, I suspect there is a converter you can purchase. Take me with you and I serve you espressos myself. Good luck to you. Aug 6, 2013
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Brennan S: You can buy adapters. Check out Amazon. Aug 8, 2013
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Brian B asked: I recently bought a Espresso dual boiler and pair with the smart grinder and used it for appox a month. I found the pressure gauge of the machine cannot reach to 8 bars of pressure. I tried to adjusted the dose(appox 16-20g for double shot basket) and use the finest setting from the smart grinder, it still does not exceed 8bars( it stays at 7 bars most of the time) I am wondering if this is something wrong with the machine? Apr 29, 2013
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Brennan S: Couple of things affect the pressure: fineness of the grind, firmness of the tamp, and the amount of coffee used. (Other things, such as air humidity, can play a role too) After tamping firmly the coffee should come up to about the rim minus the difference of the metal band on the tamper. This is also roughly equivalent to the double dose on the smart grinder. You probably don't want to get above 8.5 bars of pressure, or the coffee simply doesn't come out fast enough for a good shot.

Personally speaking, I can't adjust my grinder any finer than 4 ticks from the left of the espresso range before it clogs the grinder. But I used Peet's coffee, which is fairly oily.
May 3, 2013
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Jason B: Hi Brian,

Check your gasket to make sure it is not loose. I found after I performed a regular cleaning cycle, that I could not get above 3 bars. I took the allen wrench and removed the metal grate from the group head and cleaned the gasket and reseated and tightened the metal grate and all is back to normal. I believe my issue was a combination of the metal grate becoming loose from so many turns of the portafilter, and the clearing of coffee grinds during the cleaning cycle, making the problem evident.

Hope that helps.

Jason
May 5, 2013
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Melissa W: I don't know if this helps, but we had the same problem when we used the double-wall portafilters that came with the machine. Once we switched to the single wall portafilter, it worked just fine. Of course, making sure your grind is right, and tamping well will help as well. May 4, 2013
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Thomas D: Hey Brian, check your grind. Might be too coarse. May 6, 2013
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Jim D asked: Has anyone tried E.S.E. pods in this machine? Which portafilter basket would you recommend? Apr 2, 2013
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jowil c: hi jim, this machine is not designed for ese pods. my tip is that if want to taste the coffee in that pod (perhaps given to you and you cant tell them you want beans and you can grind them - so dont buy pods anymore for this machine) you can tear the pods and load it on the single dual wall, the dual is pressurized so no fuzz on the grind and dose, but since the basket was designed for 10g you can place 2 pods (not the pod but the grinds so tear the pod and get the grinds). from there you have now 14g, tweak to suit your taste May 3, 2013
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LINNEA B: I would not recommend using any type of pods in this machine. Along with this machine, I also purchased a Breville grinder. It takes some time and practice to get the coarseness and the amount of the grounds to achieve the correct pressures and time to brew a shot. I don't think you could get that sort of precision from a pod. Just my two cents... Apr 3, 2013
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vincent s: Forget about pods, you need a great grinder and high quality fresh whole beans otherwise you are wasting your time. I purchased a bottomless from Breville. I love my machine, but if you are not prepared to do it right get a pod machine. Happy to answer any coffee or grinder questions. Apr 2, 2013
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Jim D: Thanks. I don't particularly like pods. I am just trying to keep my wife away from a nespresso machine. She is intimidated by grinding and tamping. I wanted to see if there is an easy one-machine solution for both fresh grind coffee and easy serve. But apparently not in this case. May 4, 2013
Reply to Jim Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
Teri KStaff: Hey Jim,
You might want to look into a machine like the Saeco Via Venezia. Your wife can use ESE pods with the single shot basket and gasket on a machine like this, while you can use preground or grind fresh, even upgrading the portafilter to the non pressurized option. I'd also say to keep in mind if a machine like the Breville Dual Boiler is closer to your ideal option, then having the option of both sets of baskets will give your wife a bit of forgiveness in the shots as she gets more comfortable with grind and tamp. May 6, 2013
Marty R asked: When the machine is turned on from a cold start, how long does it take to warm up before it can start brewing?

When the SERVICE message appears that indicates the machine needs professional descaling, does the machine still function and allow usage? This is almost a deal breaker for me if the machine becomes disabled because of the unestablished maintenance network in the US and the unknown cost that would be involved.

Finally, I saw the puck sticking to the brew screen in the video, making a little bit of a mess. Some other reviewers have also noted this as an issue. Is this something uncommon and minor, or a design issue that would be an annoyance? (still, even with it, the machine is quiet impressive in features at it's price point).
Jun 16, 2012
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Kaylie KStaff: The Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine should be given roughly 20 minutes to warm up from a cold start.

Theoretically, yes, the machine will still function when the service message appears. However, if you use the included water filters, the BES900XL should only need descaled every few years, at which point the Breville service network should be established.

As for the puck sticking, this does occur sometime and can be a slight inconvenience.
Jul 6, 2012
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Bruce B: I solved the sticking puck issue by giving the portafilter a slight sideways move as I pull it out. You also want to dump the used puck right away - if you leave it in the portafilter it is hard to get out. Sep 9, 2013
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Alex K: The puck sticking is caused by vacuum. You can easily fix it if it happens by holding down the 1 cup button for just a second. That will break the vacuum and it will drop right out. Mar 3, 2013
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Michael V: It says 6 min on the specs? Is 20 min normal? Can I have it turn on at a specific time? Will it shut off if not being used? Oct 24, 2012
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Teri KStaff: Yes, you can program the Breville Dual Boiler to turn on and heat up for you via a built in timer. The machine will tell you it is ready in about 6 minutes, but giving the machine a full 20 or so allows the brewhead, portafilter, and basket to heat up along with the internal components, ensuring a better shot. Oct 30, 2012
judgejon asked: Finally ordered the BDB, and it truly lives up to all expectations. Glad to have made the purchase, and glad to deal with SCG too.

Question:
Is there an easy way to remove the filter basket from the portafilter?

The wire spring in there is pretty tight. I can do it, but when my spouse eventually will want to learn to make her own lattes I'd like to have an easier way to show her how to pull out the basket other than just with brute strength.

Thanks again to all. jl
Sep 14, 2013
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Teri KStaff: Glad you're enjoying that machine! The easiest way to remove that basket from your Breville Dual Boiler machine is to use the edge of something like a butter knife to carefully pry it up. We do offer a small wrench that is perfect for basket removal and can be found at the link below:

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/pallo-caffeine-wrench
Sep 16, 2013
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judgejon: Sold! Thanks, jl Sep 16, 2013
Andrew N: I took the spring out and bent it slightly so the basket is easier to remove. Sep 21, 2013
Reply to Andrew Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
judgejon: Thanks. I was going to try that, but my purest nature caused me to order the little tool Teri mentioned. Only thing I use it for is popping the filter. Too small for use as a "wrench" or anything else. At least it looks funky on the counter.
Next quest will be finding a better grinder.
Cheers, jl Sep 21, 2013
judgejon asked: Love the videos. I'm close to buying a BDB, and would only buy from SCG due to your most dedicated and instructive stuff.

Question after watching the "playing with temp" video. Gail goes for 205 degrees, but laughingly suggests higher. I believe the Breville only goes up to 205, so can I correctly assume Gail is joking a little bit?

And, I think I understand that it's best to use the single-wall filter when using home ground coffee. My current machine is the Cuisinart EM200, and it uses dual wall filters. I grind my own beans, and it seems to me that the dual wall filter works pretty well, but I have to be careful not to press with too much pressure or the portafilter will overflow and sputter. What actually is the difference? My spouse likes to keep things simple, so when I get the BDB, probably will order tomorrow, I'd like to continue with the KISS method. Question: will the flavor of my espresso be greatly affected if I'm grinding my own beans but still using a dual wall filter with the BDB? Your answer will likely be "just play around with it," but I thought I'd ask. Cheers to all...
Aug 30, 2013
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Bruce B: My Breville Dual Boiler has a max programmable head temperature of 205 degrees. I use 202 degrees.

I understand that the dual wall filters are more foolproof for those who don't want to worry about grind setting, amount of coffee, tamp pressure etc. I use the single wall but have made it quite simple by using the Breville Smart Grinder. I experimented for a while with the course/fine and dosage settings on the grinder until I found settings that gave me a good pull time/flow and nice crema. Once I found these settings, the Breville SmartGrinder ensure the same results every time. (The only remaining variable is tamp pressure.)

Note that I use the same beans every time, so my settings stay the same. I while back I tried a different bean/roaster and had to adjust the settings, using a slightly coarser (but still very fine) setting and several clicks more coffee/dosage. If you stick with the same beans you can keep everything very simple - much closer to automatic and foolproof.
Sep 9, 2013
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Larry P: Yes, you are correct. You can program the temperature from 190 to 205 degrees. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the boiling point of water depends on your elevation. Water boils at 212 degrees only at sea level. The boiling point of water in Denver is only 202.5 degrees, so you wouldn't want to program the temperature any higher than that! (actually, lower of course)

You may want to start out using dual-wall filters, which are included with the BDB. They are easier to get things dialed in, but they sort of generate artificial crema with the tiny exit hole. Most think single-wall filters are better, but they take more skill in getting things set up right. Getting the right tamp and dosage is more tricky, but supposedly worth it (I'm looking into that).
Sep 1, 2013
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A shopper asked: Does anybody know the dimensions of the shipping box for the BDB? I will be traveling to the US and would like to bring one of these babies to Brazil and would like to know how much excess baggage I'll be paying... :-) May 12, 2012
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Mary V: I no longer have the box but I would guess it was at least 26x26x26. it was packed very, very well. It should travel without a problem. You could call Breville directly, I would think, to get the packing dimensions and weight. Their customer service number in the U.S. is 1-866-273-8455. Good luck! May 17, 2012
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Arrian B: 21inx18inx18in Jun 28, 2012
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A shopper asked: I would like to know how loud machine is when hot water is being dispensed? Is it loud? Quiet? Sep 3, 2013
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Teri KStaff: On the Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL, it does get a little noisy when dispensing hot water but it isn't louder than brewing a shot. Sep 5, 2013
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A shopper asked: How much clearance is there between the bottom of the portafilter spouts and the drip tray? Wondering if I can fit a mug under! Mar 6, 2013
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Teri KStaff: We try to include the cup clearance for each espresso machine under the Specs tab on the item page. For the Breville Dual Boiler, the cup clearance is 3 inches. Mar 8, 2013
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Derek R asked: I was wondering if I can use Joe Glo when "Clean Me" pops up on the screen or do I have to continue buying the Breville tablets. Is there any real difference between the 2 products? Feb 25, 2013
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Teri KStaff: We always suggest using the manufacturer recommended cleaning products and following the user manual in order to properly maintain your machine and not risk voiding the warranty. Therefore I would recommend using the Breville cleaning tablets and not switching over to Joe Glo for your Dual Boiler machine. Feb 26, 2013
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A shopper asked: Maximum Amperage? May 19, 2012
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Kaylie KStaff: Breville states that the Amps for the Dual Boiler (BES900XL) is 15 Amps. Jun 1, 2012
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A shopper asked: Where do you have to send the machine for a descale when it's due? May 9, 2012
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Kaylie KStaff: Breville is working on building out a warranty service network around the US. While it won't be ready for awhile, the machine includes enough filters for 14 months and you can purchase more until the 3-ish year mark (recommended point of descale from Breville). By that time, the network should be developed and more info will be available on where the machine needs to be serviced. May 14, 2012
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A shopper asked: Can this machine be hooked up to the plumbing and can it be hooked tdirectly to a drain? Mar 9, 2012
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Kaylie KStaff: No, the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine is not plumbable. Mar 16, 2012
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CruzIan asked: OK I've had very good luck asking questions here so here goes... Any advice, suggestions appreciated. I'm looking to get set up with a grinder and machine for about $1000 but if I REALLY push it I could spend $1400 or so. I'd be doing 4-8 double shot lattes / week and an occasional espresso. I'm looking at the Crossland CC1 and a Vario grinder, a Silva and a Vario, or the Breville 900xl and Breville smart grinder (notice the drop(?) in grinder quality). I'm no expert, but I'm a very quick learner when it comes to things mechanical (I can be a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and enjoy the geek process). I like the build quality of the Silva but that's it's biggest draw for me. Should I be looking at other options like a Pasquini Livietta or Nuova Simonelli Oscar. I've mostly passed them up due to lack of a PID and price to some extent. Feb 7, 2014
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES900XL
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES900XL
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Looking for warranty, care information, or videos of this product? You're in the right place!

 

Warranty Information for the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

 

What it Covers:

Breville espresso machines, grinders and blenders

Length:

1 Year on New Equipment

6 month Manufacturer Warranty on Refurbished Models

Who Supports the Warranty: Breville USA
Warranty Contact Information: 866-273-8455
Notes: Please register your product with Breville for warranty support.
Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty? Yes (Excludes YouBrew)
Can SCG Repair? Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.


Caring for your Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

For detailed care instructions, please refer to your machine's user manual.


User Manuals for your Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine


Videos Featuring the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Compare Dual Boiler Home Espresso Machines

Playing with Pre-Infusion on the Breville Dual Boiler

Ask the Experts: How Much Time to Make 4 Lattes? Breville Dual Boiler edition

Crew Review: Breville Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets
Crew Review: Breville Charcoal/Resin Water Filters for Espresso Machines

Avoid the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES900XL

Review by
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Ignore the reviews from individuals who have had this thing for a couple of months.
I've have had this machine for a year. It needed a new gasket to replace the one above the portafilter. I bought a new gasket, and tried to install it. The screw broke off. SeattleCoffee recommended I drill it out. I tried that too, but the screw is welded into the brewhead. The machine is now a hunk of junk, completely worthless. I spent a lot of money on this thing for less than a year's use. It was packed during a five month kitchen renovation. I could have it repaired, but my hunch is that this is hint that other things will be other parts will fail. I will never purchase another Breville product. Seattle Coffee Gear is an excellent company, but they should drop Breville from their product line. Don't make the same mistake I did.

(Posted on 8/14/14)

Great when it works. Poor reliabilty.

Review by
3.33333333333335
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I bought the first machine in December of 2011. The first one had too much pressure, which was corrected with an adjustment. Then it stopped pumping all together after about 6 months. It was replaced, and the second one stopped pumping after 9 months. The third unit started producing error codes after a few months. I am now on my 4th unit which has been working fine for 6 months.

Each time I have had a problem, Breville has been great and shipped me a new on, and had me ship the old one back at there cost.

(Posted on 4/24/14)

Great machine - fun to use

Review by
4.33333333333335
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I am totally in love with this machine. I have had it for a little over two months and, other than a few days when I was out of town, I think I have used it every day (and two or three times, some days). I just did its first cleaning yesterday and it was very simple -- everything about this machine is very user friendly.

The first few days I had it, I used the pressurized filter basket (double shot) and got pretty good shots with it. Once I felt comfortable with the machine, I switched to the standard (non-pressurized) basket and, after some experimenting with grind and tamp, I am getting some very good shots now.

The double boiler feature is amazing -- it is great to essentially be able to finish with the milk before the espresso is finished. Both are hot and neither has to wait for the other. The milk steamer is a little slower than on some other models (less powerful, I assume) but I still get great micro foam and, because it is slower, I think I have more control. Some of those commercial ones are so fast that I don't think I'd be able to handle it.

The only downside for me is that I am not very happy with the tamper it came with. I bought another one that fits perfectly and feels much better in my hand, but that was an expense I hoped not to have. Otherwise, I am super happy with the machine -- hope to have it for a lot of years.

(Posted on 4/9/14)

Two times the charm

Review by
4.66666666666675
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Received the first BDB and although it made a fine shot of espresso the manometer on the front was improperly calibrated. SCG was helpful with suggestions to try and resolve the problem but when it could not, they were responsive and immediately shipped a replacement. The new machine has worked flawlessly. The BDB is very well engineered to provide a large number of features at a reasonable entry price point. I could have purchased the BDB from a closer retailer but am very pleased with my decision to work with SCG. Would definitely recommend the BDB and SCG. Recommend not to scrimp on the grinder.

(Posted on 3/4/14)

Looks like another defective model

Review by
2.66666666666675
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Had to return two of these units to Breville for replacement due to being defective and might have to do it again The first time it had to be returned was due to lack of pressure despite trouble shooting. The second time it had to do with an error code that customer service said meant it had to be returned. Now, machine's motor keeps running as long as machine is turned on. I am leaving it off until I can call customer service tomorrow. Works fairly well between problems. If had to do it again, I would not get this machine.

(Posted on 2/22/14)

works like a champ

Review by
55
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I've had the BDB for 2 years now, finally got around to reviewing it. you won't be disappointed if you buy one, still works great 2 years later. Originally bought this because my husband was spending $80 a week at starbucks...2 years later we are making better coffee than them at a fraction of the cost.

A word on Breville: I was unlucky and bought my BDB during the time when Breville was having pressure issues with a whole batch of the machines they made..but Breville is such a great company; they shipped me a new one and had me ship my old one back for free once I received the new one (they sent me the shipping labels). I doubt they have any more defective units in stock as that was 2 years ago. SGC led me to the BDB, thanks for all the great reviews!

(Posted on 2/13/14)

Well Worth It

Review by
55
Quality
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Value

I have had a refurbished version of this machine for about a month and am very satisfied. There is a small flaw on the control for the steam handle, and a small flaw on the tray, but it otherwise still looks new. It is a major upgrade from my prior assortments of Braun and Krups home machines, and I have much to learn. The machine seems forgiving of my inadequacies, and I am noticing steady improvement in my brewing. It is bigger in person than I pictured in my mind but it is nicely designed and handsome to look at. Lots of fun and well worth it

(Posted on 2/5/14)

Happy BDB owner

Review by
55
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Quality

I've been using the BES900XL for about two weeks now. It's probably a little soon to give a fully knowledgable review, but thus far I've been really pleased with the machine. This was an upgrade from my modded Gaggia Coffee Deluxe (PID for brew and steam, OPV, Sylvia wand) which actually made a very good coffee. I found the Breville to be easy to use right out of the box. My Vario was almost perfectly dialed in by coincidence and gave a great tasting shot even before refining the grind. Dose and tamp and OPV adjustment must be on the mark because I hit 9 bars +/- a fraction every time. The BDB's steamer is more robust that I was accustomed to on the Gaggia. It produces great microfoam, but I still have to learn to finesse it to keep it less dry. The electronic features are great, in particular the wake-up timer. I already have a very good tamper, but I find I use the included tamper more often, which does a perfectly adequate job and is very convenient. The portafilter and baskets are top notch. The reservoir is easy to fill and is super easy to check the level. In contrast to what I had on my little Gaggia, I am very happy to have quick-dried "solenoid pucks," the ability to pull multiple shots without delay, and no waiting for steam. I have not discovered one thing that dissatisfied me. My only concern is what will happen when it is time to descale. I had a regular descaling routine with my Gaggia so this is unknown territory for me. I guess I'll have to see how the machine performs as it approaches its descale notification. SCG was very good to work with, by the way. It was easy to research my purchase and compare with other products, both online and in correspondence with staff. Kudos to a great company. I live across the country from the store but will continue to do business via mail order.

(Posted on 12/28/13)

Fan-freaking-tastic! Exactly what I've been searching for.

Review by
55
Price
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I'm brand new to espresso, but I wanted something I could learn on and have complete control over the coffee. So far, this has been an excellent choice. I have wasted a lot of coffee so far trying to get my shots right, and they aren't always where I want them to be. But I am getting better, and I think the machine itself is excellent. I paired it with the Baratza Vario because I didn't want the grinder to be a bottleneck, and I've read a lot saying that the Breville Smart Grinder doesn't cut it. For the price I think this machine is an excellent value. My shots always pull with a thick crema, and the steaming wand does a great job. I don't know if it's as powerful as professional competitors, but it textures well enough for home use. I have only used the single wall double basket, and I don't think you'll want to use the pressurized ones. What's the point if you're spending this much? I'm also running bottled drinking water through it to keep it clean. Buy it, you won't be sorry!

(Posted on 12/6/13)

Excellent machine for the price; a more powerful pump would help produce a slightly better extraction.

Review by
55
Value
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Price

Pros: 1. Nicley packaged, excellent directions, easy to get going on making espresso. 2. Water reservoir adequate volume, easily monitored and filled. 3. Warm-up time reasonable. 4. Foamer works well in 12oz. container. 4. Machine has attractive lines; easy to wipe off when finished using.

Cons: 1. Getting a syrupy, crema-rich extraction (1.5oz in 22 seconds) difficult - with grind fine enough to achieve the above on a GS3, the Breville pump can barely squeeze out a thimble full. (That said, I can still get a decent extraction to get my day going). 2. Cups stored on top are only minimally warmed. 3. The machine is so light that to twist the portafilter into position you have to hold the machine to keep it from moving (again, this is not an insurmountable problem and I wouldn't expect a 60lb machine for $1k). 4. Foamer works fine with 12oz pitcher but wand too small and steam pressure too low for large volume foaming. (I don't really feel this is a major issue - this machine is to make some decent espresso for me and my wife each morning - I don't expect to create foam for ten guests)

(Posted on 11/7/13)

Excellent Value and so easy to use

Review by
4.66666666666675
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I purchased the now current, upgraded '-B' version of the BDB unit and this machine provides great value for the money. It is so easy to use! The pressure gauge and shot clock are a huge help when trying to dial in the best conditions for a new bean. Steaming milk is easy and quick as the system has plenty of power. The manufacturer has really put a lot of thought into the design of this system and you can see why it gets such great reviews from newbies to experienced baristas. After just an hour of experimenting with different settings (grind, dose...) I was pulling fantastic quality shots with this machine.

(Posted on 9/27/13)

Breville BDB lives up to expectations

Review by
55
Value
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Price

I posted an earlier review that hasn't showed up yet on the website, so here is another quickie.
This machine lives up to all expectations. The videos by Gail and Kat are great. The service from SCG is simply outstanding. I ordered my BDB on-line after much research, and it arrived way before I expected it. Hoo-rah! Then I ordered a thermometer and a knock box, and, voila, they arrived just a few days later.
In short, the machine is great, the videos are great, and I can recommend the BDB and SCG without hesitation or reservation.

(Posted on 9/14/13)

Very happy with the BDB

Review by
55
Quality
Price
Value

After much research on the SCG website, I decided to buy the BDB.
The machine arrived very promptly, and I had to wait a few days to open the box. The machine was very well packaged for shipping.
I'd previously downloaded the manual, so when I opened the box last night I pretty much knew what to do.
The machine is big, yes, but we did find a place for it on the counter. Helped to have made up a template first. My wife and I had a minor difference over location in the kitchen, but her choice of locations was a fair trade off for my getting this cool machine in the first place.
It is well designed and looks great just sitting there.
Thick, frothy, crema on my second shot!
Now I'm having lots of fun figuring out grind, temp, and tamp variations.
The BDB is just great. Glad I got it. Glad I got it from SCG.

(Posted on 9/9/13)

It's very easy, just read the instructions and watch you videos

Review by
55
Price
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Quality

Hi
I am so glad I purchased the Breville BES900XL, especially from Seattle Coffee Gear. I did some research (I'm an engineer) and this was my first real Espresso Machine. I was prepared to spend a lot more money for an automated machine but was advised against it from some of my Italian Engineer friends at work who are espresso nuts. I am so glad I listened to their advice. It only took a couple of tries to get the tamping pressure right. The Breville really makes it easy. After a couple tries I was pulling terrific shots.
I was also worried about the warranty of the machine but Seattle Coffee Gear basically doubled it making it a great deal. They also threw in many nice free gifts (coffee beans).
I also splurged for a Baratza Vario grinder which works great as well. I have had this machine now for three weeks and my wife and I are pulling 6 shots per day since we received the machine. Our coffee use is more efficient (not throwing out 1/4 pots of coffee anymore), I am off cream and on steamed milk which is probably healthier, I no longer use sugar since the taste is so rich.
I know this coffee stuff is expensive but I think it is worth it if you like
Espresso drinks. Breville really thought about the features. Love the automatic turn on feature in the morning. I was worried that the time I spent in the morning making breakfast would change my morning routine but it is actually faster despite cleaning up the machine before I go to work which by the way is very easy.
Get this machine you will not regret your decision.

(Posted on 8/26/13)

Terrific machine, great set of features at an affordable price

Review by
4.66666666666675
Value
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Price

I did a ton of research and came down to choosing between a ROCKET and the BREVILLE dual boiler. We decided to go with the Breville for some of the 'convenience' features (auto switch on, programmable temp/volume) since we use it first thing every morning. The machine has been great ... a night & day diff. from our JURA ENA. We weren't sure about the dual boiler at first (do we need it vs. a heat exchanger ?), however looking back are super glad we bought it - even for new baristas, the ability to simultaneously pull a shot & froth milk has been terrific.

PS. Our first machine had a software glitch and needed to be replaced. Breville support was terrific - knew about the issue and wasted no time shipping us a replacement.

(Posted on 7/26/13)

Yes, it's better by design!

Review by
55
Value
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Price

I've had mine about 1.5 years.I didn't like the Smart Grinder so I returned and purchased a Baratza Vario. That, and the Breville, make a perfect combo! The designed in convenience is what sets this machine apart, no matter what the price. This truly makes the espresso machine a household appliance. As to the quality of the espresso from this machine. I simply cannot ask for more! I suggest using a more medium grind for best results and buy your beans from a good coffee house. My only gripe is leakage at the water spigot. The only design issue l don't like. I've had very expensive machines and grinders and they just don't match up to the Breville......... not at all.

(Posted on 7/20/13)

Im in love

Review by
55
Price
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I am completely satisfied with my machine!
Although a novice to espresso machines, I knew I had to have this machine after watching numberous videos by Kat and Gail. They are great, thanks to them I was able to even make the jump to learning what great espresso is really about....... I've achieved a pretty good shot thanks all the numerous videos on perfecting shots on this website as well. Overall a beautiful sleek looking machine that stands up to any cafe I've been to.

(Posted on 7/6/13)

Great Machine Great Price

Review by
55
Price
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Quality

Gail and Kat are international video stars. They have done more to promote espresso machines than any of the manufacturers' marketing programs. I live in Brisbane australia and viewed all of Gail and Kat's videos on the Breville double boiler including all the comparrisons with other machine.before deciding to buy the BDB. I am extremely pleased with my purchase and can produce some very nice coffee without a great deal of effort. In Australia the Breville double boiler comes in three colours, silver, black and cranberry. The smart grinder is available in matching colours. I chose the cranberry colour together with a matching cranberry smart grinder.Keep up the good work Gail and Kat.

(Posted on 7/2/13)

Feature-packed Quality Machine at An Unmatched Price

Review by
55
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Value
Quality

I just received the Breville BES900XL from SCG last night (nicely packaged w/ dual boxing, unlike the one I received from Amazon which was shipped Only in it's already-opened & untaped model box(!!) ).

As such, I've only pulled a dozen shots - all imperfect due ONLY to my extreme novice status with using a machine of this caliber. But this is exactly why this model is much more desirable than the Breville 840 Infuser. While the 900XL is packed with numerous unmatched attributes for its price point, the built-in LCD shot clock is immediately & especially supremely useful for a novice. One can precisely track shot time (pre-infusion and full-pressure brewing) versus shot volume. Even without a bottomless portafilter (which is on order!), this feature provides immediate feedback on how well - or poorly in my case last night - the grind and or tamp operations were executed. {As a novice, having to remember to start & stop the iPhone timer while keeping it out of potential drip range while tweaking each & every shot is a huge distractor which in itself made me start leaning toward the 900XL over the solidly competent 840XL).

Add in other key factors such as extreme and adjustable temperature control that stays locked in via the dedicated brew-only boiler & PID-controlled group-head heating; programmable pre-infusion strength & duration, programmable single & dual shot durations in addition to a separate & dedicated manual shot button; and a very smooth lever-operated variable pressure steam wand fed by its own dedicated boiler & pump; not to forget the brew extraction pressure gauge, these features combine to create a solid platform that especially allows a novice to focus fully on becoming a better barista, and on a machine most home non-extreme-hardcore users will probably not outgrow.

Due to all the above-mentioned features, the 900XL is much easier and more pleasurable to use than its 840XL sibling, both of which are feature-packed & well designed for their respective price points. Also a great 900XL-over-840XL feature for novice & master baristas alike is the ability to visually monitor and front-top fill the water reservoir. With the 900's increased volume, one can pull a whole lot of shots and do milk steamings before needing to replenish the reservoir.

Oh yes, the retractable base roller is immediately useful for those with limited counter space: it makes it very easy for me to roll the unit forward for use and move back against the counter baseboard once done for a session. This real-world home use feature is much appreciated over pricier and less expensive models. Such a simple but hugely effective design item. Nice job, Breville.

Add the the 900XL comes up to stable temperatures at comparative light speed over what I've reviewed of pricier and less feature-packed heat exchanger espresso machines, this Breville model seems a worthy investment (having read users early production model reliability & calibration concerns).

And if one is considering the 840XL versus the 900XL, if budget will allow: spring for the 900. (My $***bucks major reduction of visits -- especially as Gold Card discounts have been eliminated -- are funding the upgrade to the 900! )

Hooked after only one evening of use! And looking forward to fearlessly exploring a variety of espresso blends which can be tweaked to taste like never before. (If I outgrow this machine, I'll have likely have won a super lottery, caught up on years worth of photo & video editing, and thus have So much free time on my hands that I can grow & roast my own coffee beans and spend vast hours micro-fussing over the most esoteric details of pulling the Perfect Shot of a Lifetime. I'll be sure an update this review if that happens...)

(Posted on 6/20/13)

Great Machine for the home!

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

I'm a Barista in a Cafe in Melbourne Victoria Australia. Melbourne is the heart and soul and coffee capital of Australia like Seattle is to the US. We had a Saeco Xelsis and while it is a superb machine, being a bit of a coffee ponce, the coffee is average. What you get is incredible convenience.

However... I wanted to get a commercial type machine with 2 boilers, good steam with the ability to make cafe grade coffee and concurrent steam to make great textured milk. This machine does it in spades. I also got the Breville Smart Grinder and it does beautiful grinds and doses for the Breville Dual Boiler and also for the Chemex filters.

The Breville Dual Boiler is terrific and I cant recommend it highyl enough. 5 stars all around.

(Posted on 5/26/13)

Terrific Machine

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

We've owned this machine and a new Breville Smart Grinder for 3 months and we are really enjoying them. We "downgraded" from a fully automatic Jura Capresso machine in order to have more control over the process, and the difference is like night and day. Amazing coffee. It took a few days to get the hang of becoming an active barista but the process now is really enjoyable and second nature. We love Americanos in the morning (these have replaced our use of a drip maker) -- a single espresso with maybe 5 or 6 ounces of hot water from the boiler -- it's an amazing cup of coffee. We are experimenting with both dark espresso beans, but also some lighter beans, which also make a great cup of coffee espresso style. (This came as a surprise as I assumed you could only make espresso coffee with dark roasted beans, but actually the espresso technique brings out the quality in all of the beans we've sampled. The steamer works great, feels much more like a professional machine than any prior machines we've used. The one thing I will say is to make sure you realize the footprint size of the machine, it will take up some counter real estate, particularly when you add a larger grinder, knock box, cups, etc.

(Posted on 5/12/13)

Having fun and enjoying the lattes

Review by
4.33333333333335
Quality
Price
Value

This Breville is faster than most super automatics for steaming milk. I like the auto start timer; it's ready to go when I come down stairs on my way to work. I am beginning to enjoy straight espresso shots; was a straight latte man when I bought it. The portafilter pressure is tough to get just right but I am new at this manual stuff. And, as they say, "It cleans up real nice."

(Posted on 2/27/13)

Good coffee, well engineered

Review by
4.33333333333335
Price
Value
Quality

Pros:
* Really thoughtful, well-engineered design
* Beautiful aesthetics
* Produces very good espresso

Cons:
* Professional descaling
* Grinds after extraction not quite "hockey puck"

I had my heart set on a real prosumer machine, the Rocket Espresso, but the "bargain" shopper in me took over and I went for the Breville instead--so from my POV it's much more affordable than what I was expecting. I bought it in spite of the fact that it needs professional scaling because I was able to find a Breville service center not too far away from where I live. I've only just begun to play around with the machine, so these are really only my first impressions. I am also not that experienced with higher-end espresso machines; my best point of reference is a Rancilio that we have in the kitchen at work.

I am currently trying out the machine with pre-ground Peet's Espresso Forte (so I'm using the double-walled filter). With the settings OOTB this combination produces good espresso (very faint bitterness). I have a good feeling that using a good grinder with freshly ground beans will produce a superior result, but I haven't gotten there yet. The machine is really beautifully engineered with all kinds of small touches that really impress you with the thoughtfulness of the design. It also looks quite stunning just sitting in your kitchen.

The only real negative I could find is the puck after the extraction. It's dry and relatively solid, but not quite the firm "hockey puck" that I consistently see with the Rancilio. This tells me that the extraction at the point of the brewhead isn't getting quite as much pressure. Time will tell if this is really an issue or not. Maybe a finer grind and a firmer tamp will fix that. The good news though is that this doesn't seem to negatively affect the quality of the espresso shot: still very good body and excellent crema.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my purchase. It's an excellent machine that's really well designed. And the price--well, that just comes with the territory if you want really good espresso. If it's too expensive for you, you probably should consider the Rancilio which has less features but is still a solid machine. In either case, you'll still need to pair it with a really good (i.e., expensive) grinder to get the best results.

(Posted on 12/27/12)

A great investment in a great start to the day

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

It took us several days of learning how to use the machine and grinder but we are now pulling perfect shots, both caffienated and decaf, to start the day. I don't even want to go out for a latte when they are so good at home.

(Posted on 11/8/12)

Needing to adjust my view.

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

Now we have had this machine for approximately 5 months and it is still going strong. The shots are still excellent and taste wonderful. The heat up time is still fantastic. We are still so happy we made the decision to purchase this machine. By now we have had to do the cleaning with the tablet and changed the water filter twice. No big deal. While I still the think the price of this machine is enormous I now believe it is reasonable for what you get and that is a well built machine with no headaches and issues or fuss. I am telling anyone that is considering this machine to bite the bullet and just purchase it and I know you will not be disappointed. If you figure what you would pay at a coffee shop daily (and my husband and I were spending about $7.50 daily plus our drive time and gas to the coffee shop) you will pay for your machine in no time. It literally takes about 5-6 minutes to make your drink including the warm up time for the machine!
Also wanted to mention that I have never had the problem with the puck sticking to the machine after the shot like the other reviewer mentioned. I would look at the adjusting the grind of the coffee as that is what it sounds like and not the machine.

(Posted on 9/13/12)

Coffee shop quality at home.

Review by
55
Quality
Price
Value

I have had this item for about a month and it is an excellent machine. I highly recommend the Breville Dual Boiler. We use our daily.

Prior to the Breville we had a $200 Krups espresso machine. The Krups would actually make a decent cup of espresso but it was a lot of work. The shots were inconsistent and the portafilter too small. The most difficult aspect of using the Krups was steaming milk for cappuccinos. Don't get me wrong, for it's price the Krups does a good job and stacks up well against its competition, but it was not meant for daily use. I'm writing this to say that we were ready for a machine that would consistently make good espresso and steam milk easily and quickly. This Breville fits the bill.

The build quality of the Breville is very impressive. Nothing on this machine is flimsy or cheaply made. The machine takes about 3 minutes to heat when I first turn it on. The led panel shows when the boiler has reached the right temperature. After heating I can pour as many espressos, cappuccinos or lattes as desired without waiting for reheating. The steam for the milk is always ready and it takes about 30 sec to steam a pitcher of milk. The foam it produces is very rich, smooth micro-foam. I can make 4 lattes in as many minutes.

This machine is a good value. The price may seem high, but you have to consider what goes into this machine. The Breville dual boiler is a bargain and similar machines, which are no better than this one are $1800 to $2200.

You need to invest in a good grinder and I recommend the Breville Smart Grinder. After experimenting with the grain and amount the smart grinder remembers the settings you want.

The only issues that I see with this machine are that it has to be professionally cleaned. We only use distiller water in ours, which I hope will help with that issue. You do tend to get the puck sticking after brewing sometimes, but this is not a problem. Run a little water through and it comes right off.

(Posted on 8/20/12)

Have Had For 3 Months

Review by
4.33333333333335
Value
Quality
Price

I purchased this Breville Double Boiler Espresso machine 3 months ago for my husbands birthday. Two years ago he bought me a Saeco for my birthday and well....it just did not last. I think in Espresso machines you get what you pay for. So after much research (and watching Seattle's Product Video's) I spent a lot more money, but bought the Breville Double Boiler along with the Breville Grinder. I managed a coffee shop for years and used the commercial machines and knew I would not be happy with the performance of a lower end machine. There is just a small learning curve with this machine...but do not let that intimidate you. It is excellent in every way. You can tell that Breville put a lot of thought into the machine and its features. Love...love the dual boiler and no wait time. I love that the the water fills from the front. I love the design of the no drip porta-fill after the shot is done. And well the knob that allows the machine to be moved easily is just genius. To be honest....my shots have been consistenly "out of this world" with this machine. I have only made one "not so good" and that was the first week of using of the machine. Now they have surpassed the quality of the commercial machine we used at the shop. A must for anyone of thinking of buying this machine is to purchase a higher end grinder also. That makes a huge difference. The Breville Grinder has worked perfectly for us too. Pricey machine (almost had to take out a 2nd on the house to purchase it) lol.

(Posted on 7/19/12)

Wow.

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

After trying a good espresso at a friends house I was motivated to run out and pick up my own machine. After a little research and speaking with some more knowledgeable friends I settled on the BES900XL. I dragged it home and set everything up, confident my freshly calibrated KitchenAid Proline grinder would be a sharp fit for my new counter-bound BFF...

I must have ground a pound of somewhat ok beans that late afternoon. Grind, extract, taste, adjust grinder, repeat.. The coffee was bitter in the beginning but worked out after a while with the right grind, pressure, tamping and extraction. It got to be really good but it wasn't consistently good.

3 days later when I finally got some sleep I did some more research and realized the KitchenAid flat-plate burr grinder was my problem. It was messy; even calibrated it was inconsistent enough to vary the grind between dosing (and dosing was totally manual too). It also held enough left-over grind in the burr chamber that i was getting days-old grinds mixed in with the fresh grind. So out I went for a Breville IQ grinder.

After some adjusting I was pulling shots (with the SAME beans) which were pretty amazing. I had NO IDEA a grinder could make that much of a difference- i was totally shocked. Best $200 I ever spent. I now pull doubles every morning that are better and more consistently incredible than I knew was possible.

Worth.Every.Penny.

(Posted on 6/21/12)

excellent, some unusual characteristics

Review by
45
Quality
Value
Price

The machine I received had to be exchanged by Breville because of a programming glitch. Breville customer service was very responsive and helpful. It took me several days to discover the machine's 'sweet spot,' because it requires a slightly larger dose of coffee and a finer grind than the machine I had been using. Once I got there, though, the shots were consistently good--with good crema of the right color, and flavor that was more complex and interesting than my Saeco Via Venezia produced.
The Breville folks were willing to replace my machine a second time if I had difficulty -- but at this point I'm quite happy with the Dual Boiler. All its functions, including steam, work very well indeed.

Pros:
Great Taste,Easy To Use,Easy To Clean,Quiet,Large Water Container,Commercial Grade

Cons:

(Posted on 6/4/12)

A new standard for performance and price

Review by
55
Quality
Value
Price

This machine has features way beyond its price point. Dual PID, dual boiler, variable pre-infusion, etc. But also lots of little things that no other machine at any price has. A great deal of thought went into this machine. Its easy to work with and get great results.

Adding water to almost any of the serious Italian machines is ridiculously inconvenient, while adding it to the BDB which is effortless. Trust me, if the water addition is inconvenient and you make coffee everyday you will learn to hate the machine. The water addition on the BDB is so easy that it eliminates any desire to have a plumbed-in machine. This machine is extremely well thought out and easy to use. If I dial in the grind, I can teach anyone to do a decent shot in 10 minutes. It comes with great baskets, a pitcher and cleaning products. It has a very solid feel to it. If you don't demand steampunk, then its modern design is outstanding.

And it easily makes terrific espresso.

The only downside I've encountered has been the lack of respect for it on the sites such as coffeegeek and homebarista. On any scale relating features and performance to price it stands out as being a best buy.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Onoff timer, Large Water Container, Shot clock, Easy To Clean, Great Taste, Easiest to add water, Great milk foamingtextur, Modern Design, Comes with everything

Cons:
Gets no respect

(Posted on 5/10/12)

We're addicted

Review by
45
Quality
Value
Price

I thought I was treating myself to this machine but my whole family luvs it. We make several americanos and lattes every morn, an occasional hot chocolate, and iced lattes in the afternoon. This machine has handled our heavy usage quite well. It is easy to use and makes great tasting beverages.I especially love the ability to micro foam milk- so creamy. Yum! And the milk is hot- not like w/ the cheapie machines. Plus it's been fun learning to do latte art.
Now as to straight espresso shots, I've been able to get some good ones- maybe not as easily as with the My Pressi Twist but then I can't steam milk with that lil device. Customer service is EXCELLENT. Any questions/issues (I had the pressure gauge recalibrated) were quickly resolved. One last thing to mention is the size. It's big but not as big as the semipro machines I had considered purchasing and not nearly as heavy. I can easily relocate this machine if I need more counter space for parties. Lol, it often comes back out from hiding so my friends can play with it.

Pros:
Great customer service, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Quick Brewing, Can make latte art, Easy To Use, Easy To Clean, User Friendly, Commercial Grade

Cons:
Puck often sticks

(Posted on 3/18/12)

Coffee Appreciation

Review by
45
Quality
Value
Price

Great item. Easy to use. Larger than regular type of espresso machine but worth it. We replaced our regular drip coffeemaker with this one - no comparison. Coffee tastes like coffee should.

Pros:
Looks Great, Commercial Grade, Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Great Taste

Cons:
No cons so far

(Posted on 1/31/12)

Great machine and even better service

Review by
55
Quality
Value
Price

I had a question for Breville and their phone service was terrific. We walked through the issue quickly and they treated me with courtesy and professionalism.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste, Nice controls

Cons:
Noisy, Factory must clean

(Posted on 1/29/12)

Breville makes me look like a PRO

Review by
55
Quality
Value
Price

Lauren and I got this for each other's Christmas gift - WOW what a winner. As rookies we love experimenting with the Breville to perfect our new found trade as a Barista. We are extremely impressed with the build quality, super easy cleanup and yes Gail and Kat are right, Breville does think of everything. Did you know, if you overflow the main tank, it spills into the drip tray below - Nice touch!!!
Cheers
Scotty & Lauren

Pros:
Great Taste, Stylish, Easy To Clean, Pulls shots like a PRO, Large Water Container, Easy To Use

Cons:
None so far

(Posted on 1/19/12)

Best Expresso Machine for the price Ever

Review by
45
Quality
Value
Price

it takes awhile to dial in the correct grind for the coffee beans But once you're there the machine works like an expensive commercial production machine. Perfect for the amateur home barasta.

Pros:
Quick Brewing, Easy To Use, Commercial Grade, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Great for the price point, Easy To Clean

Cons:

(Posted on 12/21/11)

Excellent product & customer support

Review by
55
Quality
Value
Price

I'll start with two disclaimers - I don't normally write product reviews and I don't consider myself to be an expert barista.

I purchased the Breville Dual Boiler when my DeLonghi ESAM 3300 died after 6 years of press-a-button-and-get-espresso ease. The cappucinos and Americanos I made each morning with the DeLonghi were decent and it was absolutely simple, but I wanted more "creative control" and hoped to make even better drinks. I also think the DeLonghi didn't make the espresso hot enough. (I would heat the cup with water in the microwave before making espresso and even stick the cappucino in the microwave right after brewing.)

I did a lot of research and was impressed with the Breville Dual Boiler engineering and design. I liked the fact that I could steam/froth milk while extracting the espresso so neither would get cold. I like the easy programmability of shot volume and exact brew head temperature - nice and hot! I have plenty of counter space, so the one obvious down-size of the combination Breville Smart Grinder and Breville Dual Boiler (size) wasn't an issue.

So, how is the espresso and cappucino? Noticeably better than with the DeLonghi! The crema is a deep, dark, rich brown that coats the cup. The taste is rich and not at all bitter. The Breville Smart Grinder is great - putting the right amount of grinds at the right consistency directly into my portafilter. The Breville Dual Boiler makes a super tasting espresso. The steam wand doesn't have an air hole to inject air for froth, and I'm still perfecting the technique to make micro-foam, but the technique learning is part of what I wanted out of this machine.

Everything about the design is extremely well thought out. You can read about all the nice touches in the product description.

I did have two problems with my unit: 1) the Over Pressure Valve isn't calibrated correctly - I can actually peg the pressure meter at 13 bar if I tamp the grinds too hard. 2) the 3-way solenoid wasn't leaving me with a dry puck - the grinds are sometimes sticking to the machine when I remove the portafilter.

I called Breville this morning to let them know. They are apparently aware of these issues on some early production units. Their customer support attitude was astoundingly good. They really want to be sure that they have happy customers and get a reputation for a great product. They are immediately shipping me a new, properly calibrated Dual Boiler unit. I can continue using the one I have (which makes great espresso) and ship it back when I get the new one. They stressed that they want me to call immediately if I have any problems or questions. You can't ask for a better attitude than that.

I rated this product 5 stars even with the manufacturing issues because it makes GREAT espresso and the customer service was up there with the best I've experienced anywhere. I am confident that Breville with iron out the production issues and will build a great product with great service.

Pros:
Programmable, Quiet, Great Taste, Large Water Container, Attractive, Easy To Use

Cons:
Professional descaling, Expensive

(Posted on 12/13/11)

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