Breville 800esxl shot time issue

DanD04325

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Apr 11, 2008
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Hey,

I just bought a refurbished breville 800esxl from woot. I can pull a reasonable shot with the double basket, but my only concern are the shots I'm pulling from the single basket. I get a watery 1-1.5 oz in around 10 seconds (it's like drip with crema on top). My doubles take around 21s. Do you think the problem lies in the basket, or do you think that changing the grind may resolve the issue? I'm currently using preground Illy and I plan to buy a capresso infinity in the near future. I was also wondering if anyone has had experience replacing the pressurized baskets with normal baskets.

Thanks!
-Dan
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
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Central North Carolina
Well the preground Illy is the FIRST problem you have. I did see a show on how serious Illy takes their coffee and they do care about what they are doing. BUT, once it's preground and makes it to the states it's really stale and you can get the best roasted beans in the US, grind them a few days in advance and they will give you the same troubles. I've tried grinding extra in the morning and then try to pull a shot with it some 6-8 hours later and it was crap. The taste and texture was gone and no crema to speak of.

And yes those pressurized baskets will give you false crema, eventually become stopped up and leave you pissed. Do a few searches at CoffeeGeek and there are a few threads regarding a standard basket that will fit your machine and give much better results. The Breville has a few shortcomings, one being the baskets and the other is that the heating system is a thermoblock. But with a little patience and trial and error you will be able to pull some tasty shots from it.

I totally agree 100% on the Capresso Infinity. I have had one for over 2 years and it works great. And it will grind fine enough for any pump espresso machine and will do so pretty consistently. You won't find any grinder under $200 that will grind as good IMO.

Next item of business would be to find fresh roasted beans. I mean fresh roasted, like within 1-3 days after roast. You can order them online and have them within 2-3 days of roast, which is perfect for espresso use. Later!
 

arpi

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Sep 29, 2008
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You problem is only the size of the grind. You need to grind finer. If you can choke the machine (+1000 seconds) and you can drain it quick (10 seconds), that means that there is a middle point that will give you 27". The coffee from a can will never work because the grind needs to be customize. Try to buy a stepless (infinite) grinder and a small graduated (in oz) glass from target or walmart. 20" to 30" makes coffee taste very different. You have to be careful with the tamper. Look in youtube for videos.

Standard measures:

fill up 1.5 oz (1 cup) or 3 oz (2 cup)
in 27" seconds (both one cup or two cup)
 
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DanD04325

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Apr 11, 2008
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Thanks for the responses! I think I'm going to order the capresso and an unpressurized basket. I'll try to get my hands on some freshly roasted coffee from gimme coffee (I go to school in Ithaca, so for me it's conveniently located). Do you have any favorite sites that you order beans from?
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
1,588
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Central North Carolina
arpi said:
You problem is only the size of the grind. You need to grind finer. If you can choke the machine (+1000 seconds) and you can drain it quick (10 seconds), that means that there is a middle point that will give you 27". The coffee from a can will never work because the grind needs to be customize. Try to buy a stepless (infinite) grinder and a small graduated (in oz) glass from target or walmart. 20" to 30" makes coffee taste very different. You have to be careful with the tamper. Look in youtube for videos.

Standard measures:

fill up 1.5 oz (1 cup) or 3 oz (2 cup)
in 27" seconds (both one cup or two cup)


This isn't the case with the Breville. If you're using the standard pressurized baskets you can only grind so fine before nothing happens. Been there done that... The grind particle size must be larger than that used with a non-pressurized basket.

Same things applies to tamping. The standard is 20-30 lbs. but this is too much with pressurized baskets.

My advice would be to get the Infinity grinder and try to find a non-pressurized double basket for your machine along with a properly sized tamper. You will see alot of difference with a little practice. Later!
 

arpi

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Sep 29, 2008
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Sorry shadow, but I do 30 seconds shots everyday and I've never had any of the troubles you mention. I use the pressurized basket. Do you use a stepless grinder?

shadow745 said:
This isn't the case with the Breville. If you're using the standard pressurized baskets you can only grind so fine before nothing happens. Been there done that... The grind particle size must be larger than that used with a non-pressurized basket.

Same things applies to tamping. The standard is 20-30 lbs. but this is too much with pressurized baskets.

My advice would be to get the Infinity grinder and try to find a non-pressurized double basket for your machine along with a properly sized tamper. You will see alot of difference with a little practice. Later!
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
Well by all accounts (lots of complaints) it's not a matter of "if" but "when" with this machine. Those pressurized baskets have alot of little holes for the first phase then that reduces down to one hole. Maybe those using this machine failed to clean the baskets properly. But I will tell you that it's 100% fact that these types of baskets will hold you back in terms of what you could be pulling.

Yes I use a KA Pro Line grinder that is highly modified (by me). But I don't use the machine that utilizes pressurized baskets anymore. Later!
 
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DanD04325

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Apr 11, 2008
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Hey Shadow,

Thought I'd give you an update. I bought the unpressurized basket and the Capresso. I also bought a nice bag of beans (Gimme Coffee - leftist espresso blend ... highly recommended btw). I'm pulling awesome double ristrettos. Temperature seems to hold fine and shot times are perfect. Thanks again for the advice.
 

jdthompson

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Jan 2, 2009
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Hey Dan, Where did you buy the basket? I have the same machine and I've only been able to pull a nice shot a few times. I've tried pre ground illy and Peet's, along with some freshly ground from a local coffee shop. It seemed like the machine requires the perfect amount of tampering. A little too much, or a little to weak and they shot was off.
 
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DanD04325

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Apr 11, 2008
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Hey JD,

I bought the basket from this site: http://buyitnow64.stores.yahoo.net/krcoesstbare.html
I also saw the same basket on amazon (a few dollars more): http://www.amazon.com/Krups-0907163-2-Cup-Filter/dp/B000PJ6R8A
I tried pre ground illy (twice) and lavazza. My shots were coming out so weak and sour that I was on the verge of giving the machine away. My advice, throw away the pre ground coffee and get a grinder. I've had excellent results with the capresso infinity. Good beans are of equal importance. I have been pulling shots of Gimme Coffee's "Leftist Blend" (http://www.gimmecoffee.com/Leftist-Espresso-Blend-P12C13.aspx). Gimme also gives you coupons to cut shipping costs if you sign up for their mailing list. I have nothing but good things to say about their coffee. I can also recommend through word of mouth (as per Shadow's earlier recommendation in this thread) Counter Culture Coffee's "Espresso Toscano." I bought a new tamper to replace the plastic one that came with the machine. My new tamper is 49mm, which is a bit too small for the 51mm portafilter. I plan on upgrading soon, but it's a huge improvement over the original tamper. If you need any advice on grinding and tamping feel free to drop me a message. The brevilles are pretty tricky but with some work you'll be pulling great shots.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
Great to hear your setup is working well for you. It does take time, practice and alot of patience. Once you find that groove it's just a matter of fine tuning each factor and maintaining it.

That Infinity is sweet for the $$$ isn't it? Later!
 

nuburrgrnd

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May 27, 2009
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Hello Dan, I've also bought this machine a few months ago. After reading your post was wondering how things are still going with you. I'm going to check out the links that you posted and try these also. Shadow thinks a lot about her Capresso, so I'm inclined to get one as well since you, having a Brevill are doning well with it. Maybe you can give me an update. I did notice that it was in 08 that you were on here, so you may not still be here. Hope so. Thanks Flo
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,588
2
Central North Carolina
nuburrgrnd said:
Hello Dan, I've also bought this machine a few months ago. After reading your post was wondering how things are still going with you. I'm going to check out the links that you posted and try these also. Shadow thinks a lot about her Capresso, so I'm inclined to get one as well since you, having a Brevill are doning well with it. Maybe you can give me an update. I did notice that it was in 08 that you were on here, so you may not still be here. Hope so. Thanks Flo


Shadow here and I'm sure as hell not a she/her.

Yeah the Infinity is a great grinder for the $$$ and will work well in most circumstances. Later!
 

nuburrgrnd

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May 27, 2009
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Sorry Shadow I meant no harm. Don't really know where I got the idea one way or another. It might just be one of those things, because i am a her. sorry. I've been talking with Rose earlier and just got things all mixed up. I thought she was Shadow. Anyway, sorry.
 
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