BREVILLE DUAL BOILER REVIEW - IS IT MORE THAN JUST AVERAGE?

11 min read FEB 16, 2024

The Breville Dual Boiler undoubtedly stands out in the dynamic realm of espresso machines. It has persistently been a beacon of innovation and excellence in this industry for over a decade. Yes, the crowning jewel of espresso technology, if you will.

Despite this, a peculiar sense of everydayness surrounds Breville's espresso machines. They're far from ordinary, yet they've become a common fixture in our kitchens. So, what's the real story here? That's exactly what this review aims to unravel.

I've spent more than six months brewing with the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine, and I'm eager to share my experiences. Let's dive deep into its merits and demerits, revealing the true nature of this intriguing innovation.

INTRODUCING BREVILLE, ALSO KNOWN AS SAGE


Originating from Australia Breville is a known brand that specializes in creating high quality kitchen appliances. Their extensive range of products includes coffee machines, juicers, bread makers, blenders, slow cookers, pizza ovens and much more. As one of the leading manufacturers of home espresso machines Breville showcases its expertise in this field.

To comply with trademark regulations, in the market Breville operates under the name Sage.

While there have been some claims about Breville producing lower quality products it is important to approach this matter with a balanced perspective.The product we are focusing on in this review The Dual Boiler truly exemplifies the brands ability to provide quality. It stands out among Brevilles range of coffee products.

That doesn't mean Breville hasn't faced some challenges, with customer experiences in the past. There were instances where spare parts were not available (like with the Breville Precision Brewer) or users found it difficult to repair their machines (which was a concern with the Breville Bambino Plus).

However the Dual Boiler is a departure from these issues. Many of its components, such as o-rings are standard sizes and thus making it convenient for most technicians and tech savvy homeowners to perform maintenance and repairs easily.

With proper care this espresso machine ensures durability and can potentially server its purpose, for a number of years.

As a proof of its lasting nature I acquired my Dual Boiler unit second hand. Despite being in use for 4-5 years I remain confident and unconcerned about its lifespan.

REASONS TO INVEST IN A DUAL BOILER ESPRESSO MACHINE

The dual boiler espresso machines are equipped with two distinct water boilers, each served by its own heating element: one specifically for brewing espresso and the other designed for steaming. This dual setup empowers your machine to maintain two different temperatures concurrently.

What does this mean for you? Well, it offers superior temperature control across the entire brewing process as it eliminates the need to purge water or endure time-consuming heating and cooling periods when transitioning from brewing to steaming or the other way around.

In fact, with a dual boiler, you can steam and brew simultaneously!

(That being said, it's not a feature I often use as I prefer to manually control my espresso ratio and closely monitor the pressure gauge and flow rate).

Anyone who has struggled with a single boiler machine can attest to the frustration it brings. Maintaining the optimal temperature on a single boiler can be a tedious task, especially when you're crafting multiple beverages. Investing in a dual boiler espresso machine takes the hassle out of the brewing process, ensuring you can always make the perfect espresso.

DESIGN & FEATURES


Why is there such a hum of excitement encircling the Breville Dual Boiler in coffee aficionado circles? The answer to that lies in its advanced features and unwavering consistency, which truly sets it apart, even when compared to high-end machines like the Decent espresso maker and specific commercial models.

When evaluating factors such as pre-infusion and temperature stability, the Breville Dual Boiler takes the lead with an incomparable level of precision. Traditional dual boilers often follow the Italian design, characterized by large, robust steel structures and the renowned E61 group head.

On the other hand, Breville takes a modern approach with its unique group head design. The Breville Dual Boiler integrates a PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) controller in the boiler and the brew head. This exceptional feature allows the temperature to consistently match the one you select on the LCD.

While this might seem like a standard feature, it's actually anything but. Many home espresso machines struggle with temperature instability, making achieving consistent shots challenging. The Breville Dual Boiler's temperature consistency is a game-changing feature that sets it head and shoulders above the competition.

PRE-INFUSION AT LOW PRESSURE


The Dual Boiler by Breville proudly presents its feature of low pressure pre infusion which sets it apart from semi automatic espresso machines. This intricate system offers flexibility and control allowing you to adjust your desired infusion pressure based on both duration (up to 60 seconds) and intensity (ranging from 60 to 90 percent).The great thing about this feature is that it opens up possibilities for experimentation.

For instance let's say you want to extract a 50 second espresso shot at 5 bars. Simply prolong the infusion period to that duration and adjust the amount of water accordingly. You can rely on the built in pressure gauge as your guide to achieving the levels you desire.

On the other hand if you prefer a traditional approach you can utilize the pre infusion feature to initiate a 3 10 second phase before increasing the pressure to 9 bars. This method has been proven effective in preventing issues like channeling and other common mistakes often encountered when brewing espresso ensuring shots.

THE BREVILLE DUAL BOILER'S STEAM WAND: A GAME CHANGER

It's impossible to deny the performance of the steam wand, on the Breville Dual Boiler. Precision and seamless control elevate the art of steaming to heights. The machine's exceptional power effortlessly creates a flawless vortex in your milk pitcher guaranteeing a delightful experience.

The tangible satisfaction of operating the steam lever conveniently positioned on the side of the machine further amplifies the pleasure it brings.The steam wand has a swivel range of 360 degrees allowing you to hold the pitcher in a position that feels most comfortable for you. This ensures ease of use and excellent results.

Additionally you have control over the steam output with settings that can reach upto 3 bars. This feature can be especially useful if you often steam a specific amount of milk or if you want more control over the pressure. While I haven't personally tried this setting the default factory option has been more than enough in my experience.

Overall the steaming process on the Breville Dual Boiler is absolutely delightful. Even though I'm not an expert latte artist this machine would definitely be my choice if I ever decide to explore milk based beverages.

EXCITING ADDITIONAL FEATURES!


This machine is not just packed with features but also comes with a plethora of additional ones that we're yet to explore!

For the DIY enthusiasts out there, did you know that the Breville Dual Boiler can be easily modified to function like a Slayer Espresso machine, complete with manual flow control? Yes, indeed!

The handy built-in timer sets the machine to wake up before you do, ensuring that it's preheated and ready to make your favorite brew when you rise.

And let's not forget the built-in shot, displayed right on the machine for convenience.

Cleaning your kitchen counter has never been easier! By simply turning a button located underneath the drip tray, you can extend the wheels beneath the machine, enabling you to effortlessly slide it across your counter and clean underneath.

THE CONS OF THE BREVILLE DUAL BOILER

While there's certainly a lot to appreciate about the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine, it wouldn't be fair to sing its praises without discussing potential drawbacks. Carefully considering the following points may be pivotal in your decision-making process:

Quality of Materials and Construction


Breville has focused heavily on integrating advanced technology into the Dual Boiler, which has resulted in certain compromises in the construction and materials used. The machine weighs in at a respectable 12 kilos, but this pales in comparison to the solid, hefty 20-30 kilos that are characteristic of traditional Italian espresso machines. This could make the Breville Dual Boiler feel more like an everyday kitchen gadget rather than a 'prosumer' coffee powerhouse.

Aesthetics


The aesthetic factor is another important consideration. Many espresso enthusiasts prefer traditional dual boilers' chrome-dominant, semi-professional appearance. The Breville Dual Boiler features a unique design that may come across as rather ordinary compared to Italian coffee makers' timeless elegance. Even among its Breville siblings, the Dual Boiler's design feels somewhat antiquated, adhering to a design philosophy introduced over a decade ago.

The more recent Bambino Plus and Barista Pro boast a modern and appealing design. An updated Dual Boiler sporting a contemporary, streamlined look could potentially be a bestseller. Nonetheless, it's worth noting that the black version of the Dual Boiler carries a certain sleek appeal.

Repair and Warranty Concerns


Given the delicate nature of espresso machines, it's wise to have a contingency plan for potential breakdowns. Breville seems to lean more toward replacing defective products rather than repairing them - a policy that can benefit owners while their machine is still under warranty. But what happens when the warranty period expires? Potentially expensive repairs could be on the horizon. This policy can vary by country, so make sure to verify it with your local retailer.

However, a silver lining for the Dual Boiler is the possibility of conducting minor repairs at home. A detailed thread about maintaining and repairing the Dual Boiler is available on the Home-Barista forum and is a helpful resource for current or prospective owners.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE BREVILLE / SAGE DUAL BOILER?

Are you in the market for a state-of-the-art espresso machine that can simultaneously brew and steam with the best of them? Let's explore what alternatives are available to you.

The renowned E61-type machines, predominantly manufactured in Italy and other parts of Europe, certainly hold their own. These machines have stood the test of time and will likely continue to be a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts. However, it's worth noting that they can't quite match the advanced features of the Dual Boiler.

The No Products Found machine is gradually gaining attention and traction, although it has its particular pros and cons.

While certainly a worthy espresso machine, it's worth noting that the Dual Boiler doesn't necessarily offer a seamless transition into the Decent ecosystem. To truly embrace what Decent has to offer, one should be ready to dive into a more geek/scientist approach to coffee making.

CONCLUSION


Known affectionately among enthusiasts as BDB, the Dual Boiler presents itself as a one-of-a-kind espresso machine. A decade post-launch, it continues to secure a position of prominence in the realm of espresso machines. If you're on the hunt for a model that offers both consistency and high-quality performance, the Dual Boiler is your perfect match.

If you've had your fill of dealing with the limitations of a single boiler or thermo-coil machine, the Dual Boiler offers a superior alternative to eliminate those frustrations. However, the one potent drawback of the Breville Dual Boiler is worth noting.

Owing to its top-tier performance, most consider it a "final destination" when it comes to espresso machines. Its price tag reflects this status, leading many to view it as an investment. Yet, it's not uncommon for coffee enthusiasts to be plagued by that lingering thought: "Could I find something better in a traditional Italian brass and steel model?"

Truthfully, your choice of espresso maker often reflects your identity.

While many may opt for the sensible choice when purchasing a vehicle, the same doesn't necessarily apply in the world of coffee. Here, the allure of a little risk can be quite appealing. After all, if you're in the market for a statement piece, the monetary justification becomes a tad simpler.

But for the assured coffee aficionado who isn't quite prepared to splurge on the likes of a Decent, rest assured that you won't find a better espresso from a domestic machine within this price range - or even a notch above it.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are some potential drawbacks of the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine?


Some drawbacks include concerns about the quality of materials and construction, its aesthetic design and potential issues with repairs and warranty. The machine is relatively lightweight. May not feel as sturdy as espresso machines.

The Breville Dual Boiler may appear outdated when compared to models. There might be concerns about the repair policy that favors replacement rather than fixing once the warranty expires.


How does the Breville Dual Boiler compare to its competitors?


The Breville Dual Boiler stands out for its technology and ability to consistently deliver top notch espresso. However it might not have the appeal as traditional Italian espresso machines or the advanced features found in modern competitors like the Descent.


Is the Breville Dual Boiler a worthwhile investment?


Many coffee enthusiasts consider the Dual Boiler as their choice for an espresso machine due to its performance and high quality output. Nonetheless some people might still be tempted by the charm of a machine or a more upscale model.


Can minor repairs be done at home for the Breville Dual Boiler?


Certainly! There are forums and resources available that can provide guidance on how to handle minor repairs and maintenance tasks in the comfort of your own home.


How does the design of the Breville Dual Boiler compare to other Breville models?


When it comes to the design of the Breville Dual Boiler it embodies a design philosophy that has been around for over a decade. While some may view it as fashioned when compared to sleeker models, like the Bambino Plus or Barista Pro it still holds its own in terms of functionality and performance.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Autopour Automatic Pour Over Coffee Machine.

Drop a Comment

All comments are moderated before being published