I have a friend in California who recently purchased on. Patrick put himself through law school as a barista. He worked in good shops with real machines and turns his nose up at those who work the semi or full auto units. He absolutely loves Breville's BES900. His opinion is enough to make me want one. John
John, I've been looking at the Breville, too. I like that it has two boilers and already is PID'd. The thing has a dual PID plus pressurstat. That's three temperature controllers when most machines the same price only have one. One PID is used just to maintain constant temperatures in the grouphead with its own heating element.
The pump is a vibe, so I'd change it out for a small rotary pump.
My biggest concern is whether or not it comes in a plumbed version or can be easily converted to one.
I converted my Isomac Millenium without too much fuss. Removing the water tank left plenty of room for the small rotary pump.
Some people claim that the steadier the water flow the better the coffee since the puck isn't pulsating, which could lead to channeling. Also, vibe pumps develop up to 15 bar and usually don't have regulators, and some say anything over about 9 bar makes poor coffee. I don't think I could taste the difference.
What I do know is that, since converting, it is easier to get the right grind because uniform pressure removes one variable.
Vibe pumps are really "single diaphragm" pumps operating at about 60 pulses per second. Rotary vane pumps also pulsate, but not nearly as much. They have a more uniform pressure output.
I'll check out BB&B on my next errand across town. :)
Here's the manual http://www.brevilleusa.com/media/mediaappearance/12102/BES900XL_IB_C11_FA_LowRes.pdf
This is worth looking at since it shows features not mentioned in the reviews like a water filter, reminder to clean the machine after 200 shots with a cleaning cycle, Instructions on how to pull a shot, troubleshooting guide, drink recipes, pre-infusing programming, idiot lights, and power-save mode.
Merged on June 25 2012 13:33:28:
A few years ago I remodeled our kitchen, too and I put in a 4' counter just for coffee making. I added a 3/8" water line (from my R.O. unit in the basement), and a 5/8" drain line that went down into the catch drain for the water softener (also in the basement). It was all NSF polyethylene, so easy to run. It is SO nice to not have to deal with a pour-over and emptying that always-too-small catch tray under the PF.
Edited by Dan on 06/25/2012 12:33