Share some tips & tricks for BDB (breville bes920xl)

Does anyone pull awesome espressos at home using BDB?

Can you share some of your tricks of pulling awesome shots with 3rd wave medium to medium-light beans, such as from 49th parallel, Heart Roasters etc.

What’s your preferred dose?
How many grams of yield?
leave PID at 200F?
do you fiddle with pressure? (To change pressure some people slightly open the water valve, or run a 20-30 second preinfsuion). My bes920xl usually is set to 10bars, I heard on BDB that means it is 9bars on the head)

I usually aim for 36-45g of yield.

I grind on Vario and play around with VSTs 18, 20, 23 baskets, but can’t zero in on a preferred dose that I want to stick to. Most of my shots are not up to par with the best coffee shops, such as Heart Roasters Cafe in Portland. In the coffee shop, their ethiopia was so nice, sweet, smooth, buttery. I even spooned the light colored crema to taste it, and it didn’t have any bitterness to it.

Have you figured out any tricks to replicate a great shot without a La Marzocco/Syneso or Slayer?

Playing and experimenting is half the fun, and you seem to be well on your way in doing so!

The 920 is an extremely capable machine for the price, and extremely temp stable, which is something to be said for a machine at that price point!

When it comes to comparing it to the big commercial machines :: different machines have different pressure curves and therefor vary slightly in their output. For example, an LM Linea has very quick pre infusion (typically 1 sec or quicker) and is full 9 bar until the shot ends, which is easily duplicated on the BDB. Other machines (LM Strada EP, Synesso Hydra, Slayer) either use multi-stage pressure profiling (typically with a line-pressure pre infusion, which you cannot accomplish with the 920 since it operate on a tank) or verrrrry slow prebrew (i.e. slayer and it’s <1 bar PI). If the cafes you visit use those machines to their full potential, you’ll never quite match their shots with a machine as simple as the 920.

That being said, you can get mighty close, and I think the one thing holding you back is your Vario. While it can pull some great shots for its price range, it simply cannot compete against the K30/Peak/Mythos/E10/Robur’s of the world when it comes to consistency + flavour profile. Those grinders all cost a heck of a lot for home use, but they all offer something over and above in terms of flavour separation, mouth feel, etc compared to the Vario.

Your setup is extremely capable, but if you want to take it to the next level (‘cafe’ quality if you will), look at a new grinder. :slight_smile:

Hey Lime, I’m using a BDB, with a mazzer mini. Usually using counter culture hologram. I’m having pretty good luck with it, I don’t mess around with settings much, shot temp,pre infusion time, but would like to start exp.with them.let me know if you come across a trick or two and I’ll do the same.thanks