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£250 John Lewis voucher... Duo Temp Pro + Separate Grinder or Barista Express?


-Tristan-
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Bambino more likely to be based on barista pro rather than BE - due to 3 second heat up.

Don’t assume you can just put BE/dtp baskets in to a bambino pf. The bambino pf plastic is not designed to be removed and is shaped to receive liquid from the centre only from the pressurised baskets.

And if you do manage to remove it like it did the metal is not shaped to flow liquid well eg the decline angle is low and it’s a sharp angle to the exit spouts. Short answer - not viable unless you make it bottomless yourself, not the for feint hearted


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53 minutes ago, kennyboy993 said:

Bambino more likely to be based on barista pro rather than BE - due to 3 second heat up.

Don’t assume you can just put BE/dtp baskets in to a bambino pf. The bambino pf plastic is not designed to be removed and is shaped to receive liquid from the centre only from the pressurised baskets.

And if you do manage to remove it like it did the metal is not shaped to flow liquid well eg the decline angle is low and it’s a sharp angle to the exit spouts. Short answer - not viable unless you make it bottomless yourself, not the for feint hearted


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I've read that the baskets are the same so if dual wall fit the single wall will as well. Also read that it's stainless as is the BE and DTP.  If some one can see and handle them the difference between plastic and stainless or aluminium would be obvious.

It's also not designed in either case to receive high pressure jets from a central hole in a pressurised basket. They are a bit brighter than gaggia and have offset the hole a bit. The plastic inside a BE/DTP may be needed for that. It isn't on the DB which hasn't got one. The plastic is also not that easy to get out. Why bother anyway? Portafilters should be swilled after they are used anyway or finish up like many Pavoni ones do.

The BE and DTP portafilters have a plastic insert - 2 reasons as far as I can see. Noise when a pressurised basket it used and to help prevent the portafilter from taking heat out of the coffee. NVG in respect to heat but probably helps a bit but makes a lot of difference to noise when pressurised are used. I tried using a pressurised basket to preheat the DB's portafilter. It's a rather disturbing noise.

The only downside to the machines for me was restricted sizes of basket. Just the 2 that Sage supply or modify ones intended for la spaz. The mod involves reducing the rim diameter. Not an easy thing for some to do and I wish people the best of luck if they try to do it with pliers.

John

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The baskets will fit though that does not mean it’s practical to use the standard bambino pf with be/dtp unpressurised baskets - it’s not, for the reasons stated.

I own a bambino and am using a Pullman naked pf and be unpressurised baskets.


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6 minutes ago, kennyboy993 said:

The baskets will fit though that does not mean it’s practical to use the standard bambino pf with be/dtp unpressurised baskets - it’s not, for the reasons stated.

I own a bambino and am using a Pullman naked pf and be unpressurised baskets.


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Which good reason? There doesn't seem to be one other than if people choose to remove any plastic and that in practice is a little detrimental on ones that use it. Or maybe Sage are making pressurised baskets with a hole in the centre specifically for the  bambino. In that case they would have to do what gaggia do or pulling a shot would make a mess.

There is one reason to change  - it looks like one of a some bean to cup machine however some wont be keen on spending their money change unless their really is a reason.

On choice I would probably choose a bambino over a dtp on the assumption that it has a 3 way valve and is volumetric. Not many seem to make much use of the volumetric aspect and don't even realise it's there. Not mentioned on the BE any more and it would be extremely simple for them to remove it. Doubt if they have but ... They may also have done something about OPV output going to the drip tray and used a flow meter that can take these machines max brew pressure, unlikely without other changes.

I wouldn't comment on thermojet against thermocoil as haven't used one with a jet. There has been complaints about water temperature on the jets but as usual tests haven't been done sensibly and may well be down to misunderstandings and cold mugs after using water straight out of a still boiling kettle. Good way of wrecking any way of making coffee even instant. :) Just putting the milk in first makes a difference.

If the baskets don't fit that would be a different matter but my recollection is that dual wall are a little deeper than single.

I can't stress enough how much getting the portafilter really hot changed taste on beans I use.

Another tip. Just repacked something from amazon for a return. ;) I really should take a photo of just how they were packed on some things.

John

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Bambino more likely to be based on barista pro rather than BE - due to 3 second heat up.

Don’t assume you can just put BE/dtp baskets in to a bambino pf. The bambino pf plastic is not designed to be removed and is shaped to receive liquid from the centre only from the pressurised baskets.

And if you do manage to remove it like it did the metal is not shaped to flow liquid well eg the decline angle is low and it’s a sharp angle to the exit spouts. Short answer - not viable unless you make it bottomless yourself, not the for feint hearted


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Since it's now shipping with unpressurized baskets (unless you get one that was built before Sage started including them), I'm sure it'll work fine.
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Not aware of them being shipped with unpressurised baskets - and if they were it would include different pf.

I am aware of Seattle coffee gear in the US opening the boxes and swapping the pf for a BE pf and including single wall baskets. They also include the be pf for the same reasons I mention


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6 minutes ago, kennyboy993 said:

Not aware of them being shipped with unpressurised baskets - and if they were it would include different pf.

I am aware of Seattle coffee gear in the US opening the boxes and swapping the pf for a BE pf and including single wall baskets. They also include the be pf for the same reasons I mention


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Love Seattle Coffee Gear. Could watch Gail review for hours!

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16 hours ago, AvidBean said:

Do you think as a beginner I'd be missing out on the benefit of the pressure gauge by going with the DTP rather than the BE? Just wondering how I will tell whether I'm pulling proper shots without it.

I have a BE and I've got to say I think the pressure gauge is a distraction at best. The whole machine seems to be designed around very long shots, so what is marked as the sweet spot is actually a pretty low pressure. There's loads online about how to dial in but you will probably end up with a formula like x grams of espresso from y grams of grinds in z seconds - you don't need to look at the pressure. As for the grinder, I find that it is only the last 3 stops that are any use and they're way too far apart, so I wouldn't rate that aspect either. With such large steps you have to adjust the amount of coffee to bridge the gap from one grinder setting to the next, which makes the included razor tool useless (it fixes the level of coffee in the portafilter). If you have space for a separate grinder then personally I think that's a better option. As others have said, you may find you want to upgrade sooner than you think. OTOH I don't find that the built-in grinder retains very much coffee (I think someone said above that it did). I'm not sure that comparing weight in and weight out really proves anything but I've tried stopping the grind after the first 5g or so comes out, and it doesn't smell at all stale even if the machine hasn't been used for 24 hours.

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2 minutes ago, Dodds25 said:

I have a BE and I've got to say I think the pressure gauge is a distraction at best. The whole machine seems to be designed around very long shots, so what is marked as the sweet spot is actually a pretty low pressure. There's loads online about how to dial in but you will probably end up with a formula like x grams of espresso from y grams of grinds in z seconds - you don't need to look at the pressure. As for the grinder, I find that it is only the last 3 stops that are any use and they're way too far apart, so I wouldn't rate that aspect either. With such large steps you have to adjust the amount of coffee to bridge the gap from one grinder setting to the next, which makes the included razor tool useless (it fixes the level of coffee in the portafilter). If you have space for a separate grinder then personally I think that's a better option. As others have said, you may find you want to upgrade sooner than you think. OTOH I don't find that the built-in grinder retains very much coffee (I think someone said above that it did). I'm not sure that comparing weight in and weight out really proves anything but I've tried stopping the grind after the first 5g or so comes out, and it doesn't smell at all stale even if the machine hasn't been used for 24 hours.

This is interesting. So taking away the integrated grinder and bearing in mind the pressure gauge isn't necessarily needed, that's kind of pushing me more towards the Duo Temp.

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26 minutes ago, AvidBean said:

This is interesting. So taking away the integrated grinder and bearing in mind the pressure gauge isn't necessarily needed, that's kind of pushing me more towards the Duo Temp.

I’d agree. I’m swapping my DTP for a BP only for the temp control, but that’s my DTP underheating. But to be honest I’m tempted to cancel my order and get another DTP. 
I have a la pavoni grinder so don’t need that 

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40 minutes ago, kennyboy993 said:

Not aware of them being shipped with unpressurised baskets - and if they were it would include different pf.

I am aware of Seattle coffee gear in the US opening the boxes and swapping the pf for a BE pf and including single wall baskets. They also include the be pf for the same reasons I mention


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You still haven't come up with a reason for changing the portafilter other than aesthetics and removing the plastic insert which actually is  a bad idea. It will help keep a shot hot. The reason I had an improvement preheating the portafilter is probably 2 fold. Less heat being taken out of the basket and probably more importantly the thermocoil getting to a temperature suitable for heating water that is actually flowing and the usual reason for flushing, heating up internals. I don't preheat at all using the DB. Tried it and it doesn't make any difference. This doesn't appear to be due to now using a bottomless portafilter.

As I've now put the new dog cage together a ;) and it fits in the car - baskets. A popular one for the smaller Sage baskets has been an IMS one for a La Spaziale machine. Not done that one but would assume it holds more coffee. One I have modified is intended for pods on the same machines and listed on ebay. It holds about 14g.  This saves using doses that are too low in the Sage double. That results in very wet soggy pucks and can even mess up extraction. It also holds significantly more grinds than the single. The problem with that for my 10oz americano is that many beans are not strong enough. Conversely some are too strong with a sensible dose in the Sage double. I drink out of tall 300ml mugs and like strong coffee. They need tilting a bit to get under the spouts of both Sage machines I have used. The rim on these baskets is bigger than Sage's so has to be reduced. They are stainless so not easy to file off but it can be done by marking them off the portafilter and using a file or maybe an off hand grinder. If they finish up too big they wont fit. Sage are stupid really not making more basket sizes. It's pretty common for more experienced people to buy VST baskets to obtain 2g or so steps in size or some specific size. :( They are rather expensive and of little use on a Sage DB as it uses an unusual fill height so may hold circa 2g or more than VST state. I've never found any need for a basket any larger on the double on the DB and it works well. Some beans benefit from a weaker drink as more flavours become noticeable.

I assume Gaggia use the larger 58mm size. :) More swings and roundabout for many but if so it has more scope in this respect. Many just use the baskets that come with the machines what ever they are. In all cases there is a need to find beans that suite the drinker and working on the best way to brew them. The instructions in Sage manuals are rather poor in that area and often cause people problems. What matters is time and grams in to grams out adjusted to obtain a balanced flavour.

John

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I actually have the same dilemma, my BE is faulty and I’m returning it back to the retailer. I had a good week and a half with it learning and watching lots of videos. It was painful because I thought it was me doing something wrong before I figured out that the machine had something wrong but I did enjoy learning the art of espresso - I’m still new to this. 

The issue I had was even at the machines’ finest setting. I even changed the inside grinder burr to the finest. I would get a very fast flow. I don’t know if it was the grinder or how the water comes out...

But now I don’t know if I should get the DTP or the BE again. If only they sold the infuser here. 
 

 

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2 minutes ago, Julien Rashti said:

I actually have the same dilemma, my BE is faulty and I’m returning it back to the retailer. I had a good week and a half with it learning and watching lots of videos. It was painful because I thought it was me doing something wrong before I figured out that the machine had something wrong but I did enjoy learning the art of espresso - I’m still new to this. 

The issue I had was even at the machines’ finest setting. I even changed the inside grinder burr to the finest. I would get a very fast flow. I don’t know if it was the grinder or how the water comes out...

But now I don’t know if I should get the DTP or the BE again. If only they sold the infuser here. 
 

Before I answer, which features are most important to you on your potential espresso machine?

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1 hour ago, -Tristan- said:

Before I answer, which features are most important to you on your potential espresso machine?

I keep thinking to myself, if the BE wasn’t faulty it would be a well suited machine for me just starting on my coffee journey. If it worked well, I think I would have kept it for some time. I’m not sure now I see why people want to upgrade. 
 

My cousin who got me into it has had a La Marzocco mini for a while and that was his 1st machine with a separate grinder. 
 

It’s just the separate grinder bit which I’m having the dilemma about. I mean it would be the entry level SGP with an entry level machine vs the BE. 
 

my cousin said not to bother about the pressure gauge which I’ve heard on this forum also
 

 

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2 minutes ago, Julien Rashti said:

I keep thinking to myself, if the BE wasn’t faulty it would be a well suited machine for me just starting on my coffee journey. If it worked well, I think I would have kept it for some time. I’m not sure now I see why people want to upgrade. 
 

My cousin who got me into it has had a La Marzocco mini for a while and that was his 1st machine with a separate grinder. 
 

It’s just the separate grinder bit which I’m having the dilemma about. I mean it would be the entry level SGP with an entry level machine vs the BE. 
 

my cousin said not to bother about the pressure gauge which I’ve heard on this forum also
 

 

I've been thinking the same thing. I started with a Gaggia classic. I moved to a sage DTP which produced a much better coffee than the Gaggia (mostly because back then I liked a dark roast and the lower temp of the sage (which was actually a fault) helped not over-extract the darker roast. 

As my palate grew and I felt I wanted to branch out I started looking around, but I didn't really see anything I wanted. Then I went and stayed with a friend who had a BE. He also roasted his own beans (after seeing me do it!) a lovely kenyan peaberry, he's an absolute perfectionist so had spent many hours perfecting his technique and microfoam. He served me a wonderful cup of coffee. I immediately felt like I needed to in some way replicate it. 

I went lighter on my roasts to retain more acidity, but I didn't really have any beans suitable, the peaberry is ideal for this, which is why he ended up sticking with it. 

In addition the water where he was from is perfect for that kind of roast. It's got an odd hardness, lots of calcium and magnesium which are known to give the coffee more creamy and sweet notes whilst dulling the bitterness, albeit at the risk of the machine. 

Anyway, I did end up upgrading. To a sage barista pro. So far I'm really happy. The grinder is surprisingly good and easily matches my la Pavoni Zip with its 60mm burrs (albeit as a much slower speed and some clumpiness which can be sorted with a bit of a stir)

Long story short I have realised from my experiments that the machine is only one part of the whole equation, and actually maybe a small part of it, unless you are a serious espresso connoisseur!

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1 hour ago, Julien Rashti said:

I actually have the same dilemma, my BE is faulty and I’m returning it back to the retailer. I had a good week and a half with it learning and watching lots of videos. It was painful because I thought it was me doing something wrong before I figured out that the machine had something wrong but I did enjoy learning the art of espresso - I’m still new to this. 

The issue I had was even at the machines’ finest setting. I even changed the inside grinder burr to the finest. I would get a very fast flow. I don’t know if it was the grinder or how the water comes out...

But now I don’t know if I should get the DTP or the BE again. If only they sold the infuser here. 
 

 

The Infuser is sold in the UK. Just use google. Not much cheaper though so total will cost more. Curious thing about the BE is they sell a fair few of them and some people get on with them and we hear from a few on here who haven't. I suspect that part of the problem is people see espresso being brewed commercially. It isn't as simple as that brewing at home and often when people see espresso machines being used they are highly unlikely have seen one being set up. These sorts of places don't change beans very often either. Also if there is a selection of beans available each one is likely to be in a separate grinder. In some ways grinders are more of a needle in the haystack than the machine.

Another not obvious factor is typical fresh roasted beans. They are exotic types and picked and blended for tastes not directly related to what people assume coffee should taste like. Taste descriptions also often need some imagination when they are drunk.

Then comes Sage grinders. They are essentially the same where ever they are used even in the Oracle. Some experianced people have bought those and been impressed by the drinks it makes. One person messed them up and bought replacements and was surprised they were for the BE. The parts inside that get turned are the same in all of them, a sizeable worm wheel. Only the adjustment mechanism varies between types. If have put a lot of beans through both an SGP and the grinder in a BE. I'd be inclined to say that their isn't that much difference between the step size. The SGP has far more but rather a lot of them are not intended for espresso. Neither of them caused me problems once I had the basics sorted out. It seems some come from manufacture that haven't been set up correctly. Easily fixed if people check or report the fault and some one will come along and fix it. On the other hand I am serious about this I'm 90% sure we get some posts on the Sage subject that are from trolls that have never been near the machines or maybe use something else. Some see getting loads of replies as a big plus and give themselves 5 stars and go some where else and do the same. Another favourite that I have not seen here is bringing up old threads that have been answered years ago.

People eventually hear about micro / stepless grinders. Much to their surprise when they get there they are likely to find that making a 5sec flow change isn't as easy as they thought it would be also no setting aids that allow easy changes between a number of settings for different beans. Mostly /all one way or the other are not made for regular adjustment. Stepped grinders can be rather useful in this respect. Lots are also too big for a typical kitchen. Some people weigh beans in them knowing that this will cause taste changes. Some are more suitable for that than others. All cost a lot more than a Sage bought new and may cost more even when they are used.

There are also a few similarly priced grinders about. One I tried was sent back. Others I am aware of are IMHO not likely to give significant improvements.

There are some issues with all Sage machines. There ways of curing them and in real terms for what they cost I feel people will have a hard time beating them. Unfortunately I'm out of time. Other makes, similar prices no issues - afraid I don't think so even if people spend more.

John

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On 03/01/2020 at 08:21, THR_Crema said:

Firstly what an amazing position to be in - buying your first espresso machine; such fun.

So I’m 3 years into owning a Barista Express and had the DTP before this (It was upgraded by Sage after the casing started to rust due to a one off fault). Great customer service.

Personally as a beginner machine and something that can provide you decent espresso and milk the BE is a great all in one package. It depends how serious you think this hobby will go?

I was kindly bought the DTP as a present and it was a concern of mine (& the good ladies) that it would be another kitchen gadget I wouldn’t use. Thankfully I took to it and keep enjoying learning and tweaking things.
 

Ive thought about the Bambino but not sure I like the auto frothing function - I feel it might not be as good as manual steaming for Latté art - but then I’be not used one but I know @joey24dirt has one so might be able to help with this?

The BE is a great all in one and the difference between the two Sage grinders won’t be noticeable. Buy decent freshly ground coffee - I buy mine on a subscription basis from 200 Degrees and get it posted directly.

After 3 years with the BE I now feel ready to upgrade to a new setup - probably won’t happen for another year but starting to enjoy researching what I’ll upgrade to next.

Loving every time I use my BE and can’t rate it enough.

Yeah it’s a pretty exciting time! 

Damn. That’s first-class customer service isn’t it. Where did the rust appear and after how long into owning it?

I think this is going to get pretty serious. Update though, since this post I purchased the DTP and SGP ;)

Interesting story as I definitely think the is a great beginner machine for me to start learning and tweaking with and actually. Very good machine for experienced baristas with a decent grinder too, for the money.

I didn't get the BE in the end as I did not hear terrific things about the grinder and heard stories of the beans getting hot. Most people steered me away from it and said I would be better off getting the DTP and separate grinder and I'm yet to regret it! 

That being said, they may have been isolated incidents. I'm not sure. I have seen posts of people who have had their BE for over a year and are still pleased with it, but I won't be getting one. I was successfully scared off :D 

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On 03/01/2020 at 17:39, TomHughes said:

I’d agree. I’m swapping my DTP for a BP only for the temp control, but that’s my DTP underheating. But to be honest I’m tempted to cancel my order and get another DTP. 
I have a la pavoni grinder so don’t need that 

Any update on this yet? Curious.

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6 hours ago, -Tristan- said:

Any update on this yet? Curious.

I kept the pro.

After learning how the thermojet functioned and the need to generate a certain pressure/resistance to get the temp right it is now spot on.

I have been pleased with the grinder performance. It’s mega slow compared to my la pavoni but I can live with that.

i now have my la pavoni set up for my current light roast and the pro grinder set up for a dark one. 
 

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