Help Please: Breville Infuser (BES840XL/A) - Questions about the temperature

Danabw

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Jun 7, 2020
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Howdy, new member here, looking forward to learning from the coffee zen masters hereabouts.

New machine arrived today. Nothing really that interesting/sexy, just a Breville Infuser (BES840XL/A). I'm still getting used to it, of course, have practiced some steaming/frothing, proper dosing and tamping, etc. Of course I had been watching espresso machine videos for days in anticipation.

This is my first time w/a "real" espresso machine, coming from the famous/infamous Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista, the lazy person's (lazy is my middle name) quick and easy path to coffee and big bubble milk. That has obviously now all changed.

One thing I'm wondering about it is temperature...my wife and I both happen to like our hot drinks very hot. We don't want to endanger ourselves, but do want to start drinking when the temps only allow small sips and go from there.

So I've updated the temp setting on the Infuser to the max allowed (+4 degrees F over default). Just wanted to hear from others who many have tried this setting on a Breville (or an analogous setting on their machine) - any gotcha's, warnings (aside from the obvious "Look out - it's hot!), or learnings to share?

Would also love tips/tricks on keeping things as warm as possible while assembling a latte or cap. I've read about putting some hot water in the coffee cup in advance, keeping the cup on top of the machine to warm, and it appears the most common advice is to steam first, then pull the shot. Any other hot tips that work for you? I'd assume I should avoid microwaving the coffee, seems like that could have unexpected affects on a fresh cup, but maybe that's OK?

Thanks very much!
 
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Danabw

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100 views, no responses.

Now I'm curious if this is a really difficult question, or just so dumb it doesn't deserve an answer... ;-)
 

PinkRose

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100 views, no responses.

Now I'm curious if this is a really difficult question, or just so dumb it doesn't deserve an answer... ;-)


I changed the title. Hopefully someone who is familiar with that machine, will see it and be able to offer some suggestions.

~ Rose
 

topher

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How hot are you wanting your drink? The milk is going to cool your coffee a bit. Milk should be steamed to about 160 degrees for latte's and cappuccinos. If you are steaming your milk and you hear the pitch go from a high to a low growl you have burned your milk and it will not taste as nice. As for your infuser setting...I am pretty it will not go over 204 degrees. I could be wrong though. Also...you can temp the coffee as it comes out but it will be lower than when it hit the coffee. Not sure if this helps or makes it worse. ;)
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Yes - preheat your glasses, especially if they are ceramic / porcelain. No idea on the specific temp issue because I don't own one... but closest to 202 is best. As far as milk, topher is spot on... generally the stainless pitcher will be almost too hot to touch when it hits ideal temp.
 
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Danabw

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Thanks, @pinkrose, that seems to have unleashed the gates! :) Appreciate it.

How hot are you wanting your drink? The milk is going to cool your coffee a bit. Milk should be steamed to about 160 degrees for latte's and cappuccinos. If you are steaming your milk and you hear the pitch go from a high to a low growl you have burned your milk and it will not taste as nice. As for your infuser setting...I am pretty it will not go over 204 degrees. I could be wrong though. Also...you can temp the coffee as it comes out but it will be lower than when it hit the coffee. Not sure if this helps or makes it worse. ;)

Yes - preheat your glasses, especially if they are ceramic / porcelain. No idea on the specific temp issue because I don't own one... but closest to 202 is best. As far as milk, topher is spot on... generally the stainless pitcher will be almost too hot to touch when it hits ideal temp.

Thanks for the replies @topher and @musiphan!

I don't have a specific temp target (never measured w/the old machine), just want it hotter than I'm currently getting w/the Infuser. 204 does appear to be the top temp I can get on the pulled shot via machine settings. I am steaming until the pitcher gets too hot to hold my hand to the side for more than a few seconds, and am getting the "tearing paper" sound (while I'm still adding air to the milk, before I bury the tip) so that seems to be going well. I forgot to do it again today, but I'm going to put put a thermometer in the milk the next time and ensure I'm getting up as high as I can w/out burning. Definitely don't want that. Right now the milk tastes great, nice and sweet, so I know I'm not burning it yet.

My son said to "Stop futzing around and just hit it in the microwave for a few seconds to top up the heat." :) Since I'm already pre-heating, aside from getting the milk temp up as high as I can w/out burning it, I think the microwave option is the next thing I'll try after checking that I'm steaming up to, but not past the right point. Thanks, good to know I wasn't missing anything obvious.
 
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Danabw

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OK, just steamed using a ThermoPro thermometer, and found that I was steaming way too low! The temp where I would have stopped was below 140, using the thermometer I took it to 152 or so and the resulting latte temperature is about 142, pretty much exactly what I was hoping for! So lesson learned, measure temperature first, and then I can start using feel to judge it.
 
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