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Thread: Sunbeam EM0700

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    Sunbeam EM0700

    Sunbeam are bringing out a new grinder before Christmas. I'd be interested to know if it was less noisy and less prone to vibration/clumping than the previous designs.

    Too early to be asking for feedback. I wonder why they are giving away a EM0480 with the EM7000 though knowing that people are likely to not them purchase the EM0700 as well to go with their top of the line machine.

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    It may be they are positioning it? There is already an EM0500 that has gotten almost no air time. The EM0700 is listed by Sunbeam as
    Precise and consistent grinding is the secret to an ideal coffee. The Sunbeam Precision Grinder uses a belt drive and dual bearings to minimise any conical burr movement which increases grind precision and consistency.
    and it's priced at $300 - half again as much as the EM0480. The EM0500 is halfway between them in price and the description reads like a minor upgrade to the 480.

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    Got a free EM0480 coming in addition to existing 0450. Not sure what to do, I am very likely to want the EM0700 if it gets decent reviews.

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    Anybody tried one yet ?
    Sells for <$300

    Sunbeam Precision Grinder - EM0700




    • 30 adjustable grind settings
    • Tap & Go™ technology
    • Belt driven conical burrs
    • Advanced no-tool recalibration system
    • Illuminated cradle & anti-static chamber
    • Removable top burr cartridge
    • Stainless Steel finish
    • Colour: Stainless Steel
    • Construction/Finish: Stainless Steel
    • Additional Features: Tap & Go™, belt driven conical burrs, no-tool recalibration system
    • Design: Designed and Engineered in Australia
    • Grinding Mechanism: Conical Burr
    • Grind On Demand: Grind directly into the group handle
    • Grind Size Settings: 30
    • Hopper Capacity: 450g
    • Included Accessories: Domestic group handle adaptor, cleaning brush

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    Nope but wish I had the cash to buy one... Anyone know if belt-driven means much in terms of reliability or performance?

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    Well, compared to direct drive, it has to be one more thing to wear / fail / or maintain.
    But maybe it has enough benefits to offset that. ?
    Isolating the burrs ( mechanically) from the motor should have some advantage.. vibration, heat, etc.
    But really it all depends on the design and construction of the burr carriers, support bearings and adjustment mechanism.
    But , at the price , i suspect there will be plenty of plastic in there still. !

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    It does sound interesting. If the dual bearings are any good, this should improve the grind quality & consistency. I also like the way it can be re- calibrated. It's like being able to re-zero the settings depending on the brewing style you use.
    I wouldn't expect the belt drive to be a problem. I have a belt driven electric planer that has been going for many years, and so has my next door neighbor's Harley.

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    *grins* Your next door neighbour's Harley has a planer? To smooth out the road maybe?

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    *grins* Your next door neighbour's Harley has a planer? To smooth out the road maybe?
    Be careful Journeyman, or he might come around to your place to smooth you out !! :-)

    Sorry - - that sounds a little blunt even with a smiley face - just kidding of course.

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    It's still not out officially yet I think? The manual on the Sunbeam website is no longer corrupt.

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    Apparently available on Ebay ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by deegee View Post
    Be careful Journeyman, or he might come around to your place to smooth you out !! :-)

    Sorry - - that sounds a little blunt even with a smiley face - just kidding of course.
    No drama... I live along a bumpy road.

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    Well, I got my via redemption EM0480. Burrs are identical to my EM0450. Grind setting of 12 is about equivalent to 15 on my old one. 11 was a choker, 14 a gusher, so nothing there has changed - about 2 notches of usability. 15 was practically plunger coarse (tried that first, was worried I might end up needing spacers). 11 might work with a lighter dose and tamp. It's somewhat quieter though and feels more sturdy, and obviously looks much nicer. No nice rubbery area to bang it on the back to dislodge stuck grinds though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfalz View Post
    Got a free EM0480 coming in addition to existing 0450. Not sure what to do, I am very likely to want the EM0700 if it gets decent reviews.
    To other CS'rs, I do not know how to load a photo in a PM. Darkfalz asked about the difference between new & old type EM480's.

    This was taken today just after I cleaned the internals with my airgun. It is the old one which I described as looking like cogs when you take the hopper off. The new one is much flatter using that view, it is more like houndstooth.

    If you are unsure, when I next clean the other one I will take a photo so you can see the difference.

    Cheers

    Tampit
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Yes TampIt, that's the same weird picture on the Sunbeam website and on the box. I think those must be LONG out of production though, as my EM0450 which I've had for 3 years now has the "new" style upper burr. I always get a bit wary in these giveaway promotions that they are cleaning old stock after an improvement or a revision, but I'm happy with the this grinder and probably won't buy the EM0700. The only other change is the hopper is dark (maybe some "UV filter) but I wouldn't leave beans in the hopper anyway.

    As postulated, 11 with a light tamp produced a nice pour (tasted not bad too!) - I might get the wife to use this setting because she has difficultly with a firm tamp. So 11-13 on this machine is 14-16 on my other grinder - not surprising as they say one shim's width is 7 grind settings, so you're going to fall in between somewhere depending on how many shims are put on at the factory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfalz View Post
    Yes TampIt, that's the same weird picture on the Sunbeam website and on the box. I think those must be LONG out of production though, as my EM0450 which I've had for 3 years now has the "new" style upper burr. I always get a bit wary in these giveaway promotions that they are cleaning old stock after an improvement or a revision, but I'm happy with the this grinder and probably won't buy the EM0700. The only other change is the hopper is dark (maybe some "UV filter) but I wouldn't leave beans in the hopper anyway.

    As postulated, 11 with a light tamp produced a nice pour (tasted not bad too!) - I might get the wife to use this setting because she has difficultly with a firm tamp. So 11-13 on this machine is 14-16 on my other grinder - not surprising as they say one shim's width is 7 grind settings, so you're going to fall in between somewhere depending on how many shims are put on at the factory.
    Hi Darkfalz

    Then they should give a good consistent grind.

    I suggest you get your wife to try a progressive tamp. It is less physical, and often reveals more detail within the cup (esp, for light to medium roasts). The extreme version is to do it every mm, which is how I was taught (boot camp style) to tamp accurately. My short version:
    Fill about 3mm of coffee and tamp about at 5lbs (2.3kg) downforce. Fill a bit more and tamp again at 5lbs (2.3kg). Fill a bit more and tamp a bit harder, (say 7lbs / 3kg) then top up to just above desired final level and tamp (again at about 7lbs / 3kg). Optional: after that, take all downforce off the tamper and spin it at least 1/4 turn to polish the puck. Whether it helps by removing most grinds from a "static prone" tamper or does something else is still a debate within the trade.

    FYI, the initial tamp is the most critical: use a smaller, flat bottomed tamper to fit (preferably to fit exactly 2mm of compressed coffee above the bottom of the basket) and ensure the result is level and even. If done correctly, even using a naked it will not spray. The hassle of using two different tampers on every coffee is (in my view) balanced by the pickup in consistency.

    The photo has my slightly smaller double basket "initial tamper" Pullman 316 barista / Aust Oak handle on the left, my single basket "initial tamper" in the middle (special prototype in 316 polished stainless w a Pullman Jarrah handle) and my "final tamper" Pullman 316 barista with a Wenge handle on the right. The only reason for the different woods is colour coding plus the fact that I have never liked plastic or metal tamper handles. Probably overkill, however they are nice to use.


    IMG_1663 2.5 Pullmans.jpg

    Have fun experimenting


    Tampit
    PS: you can guess which cup unwanted guests get.

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    Just did my first proper clean out of the grinder and 12 has become 11... 12 produced a gusher. I know it takes some time to "break in" a grinder but grrr. From memory my old grinder started in 12-13 and contrary to all logic ended up 15-16. Still waiting for a review of the EM0700.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Fill about 3mm of coffee and tamp about at 5lbs (2.3kg) downforce. Fill a bit more and tamp again at 5lbs (2.3kg). Fill a bit more and tamp a bit harder, (say 7lbs / 3kg) then top up to just above desired final level and tamp (again at about 7lbs / 3kg). Optional: after that, take all downforce off the tamper and spin it at least 1/4 turn to polish the puck. Whether it helps by removing most grinds from a "static prone" tamper or does something else is still a debate within the trade.

    FYI, the initial tamp is the most critical: use a smaller, flat bottomed tamper to fit (preferably to fit exactly 2mm of compressed coffee above the bottom of the basket) and ensure the result is level and even. If done correctly, even using a naked it will not spray. The hassle of using two different tampers on every coffee is (in my view) balanced by the pickup in consistency..
    This has to be a joke ! ??
    I have drunk a fair bit of coffee in a few different places around the world, but i have never seen or heard of any barista, pro or home, doing anything like that. !
    I believe , from my experience, if you get the grind and dose correct, the tamp has minimal effect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    This has to be a joke ! ??
    ...and then some...

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi Darkfalz

    Then they should give a good consistent grind.

    I suggest you get your wife to try a progressive tamp. It is less physical, and often reveals more detail within the cup (esp, for light to medium roasts). The extreme version is to do it every mm, which is how I was taught (boot camp style) to tamp accurately. My short version:
    Fill about 3mm of coffee and tamp about at 5lbs (2.3kg) downforce. Fill a bit more and tamp again at 5lbs (2.3kg). Fill a bit more and tamp a bit harder, (say 7lbs / 3kg) then top up to just above desired final level and tamp (again at about 7lbs / 3kg). Optional: after that, take all downforce off the tamper and spin it at least 1/4 turn to polish the puck. Whether it helps by removing most grinds from a "static prone" tamper or does something else is still a debate within the trade.

    FYI, the initial tamp is the most critical: use a smaller, flat bottomed tamper to fit (preferably to fit exactly 2mm of compressed coffee above the bottom of the basket) and ensure the result is level and even. If done correctly, even using a naked it will not spray. The hassle of using two different tampers on every coffee is (in my view) balanced by the pickup in consistency.

    The photo has my slightly smaller double basket "initial tamper" Pullman 316 barista / Aust Oak handle on the left, my single basket "initial tamper" in the middle (special prototype in 316 polished stainless w a Pullman Jarrah handle) and my "final tamper" Pullman 316 barista with a Wenge handle on the right. The only reason for the different woods is colour coding plus the fact that I have never liked plastic or metal tamper handles. Probably overkill, however they are nice to use.


    .
    Do you first need to earth one of the tampers, and charge the other with as much static electricity that you can get into the blighter by rubbing on the fur of a neutered cat?
    TC and mwcalder05 like this.

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    I broke out my old click mat because I wanted to do some experiments and eliminate everything but grind as a variable. I don't have any scales so I "calibrated" it with the help of a 10kg bag of rice and a large saucepan full of water. Turns out my "light tamp" is a 30lbs tamp (maybe even 35). My regular tamp was probably more like 55lbs. Using a strict 30lbs tamp, I found 3 usable settings 11-13. I controlled dose with my standard grind, tap tap tap, grind, tap tap tap etc. and then levelling out with my custom made coffee sweep (a stiff piece of cardboard. straight). 11 had a ristretto like pour, maybe 25mL in 30 seconds from a double. 12 was about 40mL in 30 seconds but I let it run about 45 seconds to give 60mL, and 13 gave me a textbook 60mL in 30 seconds. The shot looked amazing in the glass. The taste? Sort of sour, but a pleasant sour, almost fruity. The ristretto was less sour but more bitter So with a heavy tamp you can get more variables, maybe due to different levels of / uneven puck expansion. I had a gusher from a heavy tamp with the same grind, and a slower pour from a lighter controlled tamp. Strange but true! Just don't tell the site owner I used 200g of his beans just for experimenting

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    If you guys on about multiple dosing and tamping? If you have a look on youtube instructional video for sunbeam 6910 the guy does do multiple tamp and dose.

    Also, I think tampit might be suggesting different size tamper if the baskets are very narrow at the bottom? I think I have read on geek where people suggested to use the smaller side of the Silvia's plastic fantastic tamper first before flipping to the large size when basket is nearly full... This is just for getting the single basket to work.

    Mind you, I don't do these steps since my grinder and straight side baskets makes my life a little easier

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    I do a progressive tamp now at far less than the standard 15kg and my shots are far more regular, better flavoured and I can't remember the last time I had a gusher. I also tried a suggestion to go one step finer in the grind and let it run a bit longer - 60ml in 35 seconds was heavenly in taste - not a god shot but knocking on the Pearly Gates level. I'm using VST's and naked PF, my beans are coming up to 2 weeks old and apart from that shot, my lattés are rich in flavour, sweet even without the natvia and a lovely brown colour.

    I've also seen many, if not all, café baristas never do progressive tamp and I am on record here on site, right from the time I joined, as stating their coffees are less than impressive when compared to what can be produced at home - and that was with standard SB filters and prior to VST's or progressive tamping.

    Maybe it would pay some of the paid barista types to experiment a little and see what they can achieve?

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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    .....If you have a look on youtube instructional video for sunbeam 6910 the guy does do multiple tamp and dose.
    OK, .... maybe we should use the double wall pressurized basket also ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    OK, .... maybe we should use the double wall pressurized basket also ?
    haha... touché

    Some people may have seen those sorts of videos and may think that is the "right" way of doing it, specially if they are using the same brand of machines... (SB machines comes with these instruction DVDs?)...

    But what Im trying to say is that we all come to a forum to share ideas and experience, and just because you have not seen it or tried it yourself, doesn't mean that it's always stupid and doesnt exist... its like that Nutating tamping method that was mentioned in another thread... it might sound silly to some, but if it works for others, good for them....

    No need to be snarky about it...


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    I tried to purchase this today but no local retail (ACT) is stocking it yet. Reading the manual it's got 30 grind settings vs 24, or 25% more granularity. Should in theory change the apparently 9 seconds per notch difference do 6-7 seconds (hopefully it's better calibrated along the full range and is more like 4-5 seconds). It'd be interesting to see how well the anti-static chamber works. I've always thought clumping in your dose vs a more fluid dose probably leads to a 10% higher dose minimum. I think even having smooth polished SS as the passage for the grinds to move through instead of plastic would result in less clumping and less stuck grinds.

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    I'm waiting to see how this machine goes in public trial. I plan first to update my EM0480 and EM0450 via Ray_C's mods to get them spot on, and by then, hopefully, the EM0700 will be field tested and I can see if it is worth the money. *grins* Or I might just decide my stable and accurate 450 & 480 are better being kept. They're actually both doing OK right now and if I can improve them with the Mods, I might not have a reason to change. Save up for the EM7000 instead.

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    Still not in my local Myer yet. If I want them to get it in any sooner than probably around Christmas, I have to order it. I want to at least inspect it first (and confirm the grinds pathway is polished SS). Still seems bizarre to me Sunbeam would give away a decent grinder free with their top of the line machine, knowing that anal people like me would almost certainly want to match it with an EM0700 (obviously some stock to move I guess, as this grinder is also the basis for the failed EM0490 and EM0500).

    With the right dose I am getting more out of my EM0480 now so there's less of a rush to try something new. The EM0450 is at work so I have the luxury of truly fresh ground for my Aeropress.

    Having gone from a EM5900 and not a EM6910 the difference is obviously greater, but I couldn't be more impressed with the EM7000 in it's price category.

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    This is now on "sale" despite not being FOR sale in most Myer stores. Too bad.

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    Appliancesonline seem to have it - I've dealt with them and was impressed with service. Got a freezer and when it broke down they shipped a brand new one from Sydney within 2 days.

    Billy Guyats appear to have it as well - at $280. I'd check stock though.

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    I want to physically examine it before buying it. Especially as I am now 90% happy with my EM0480 (with correct dose, 1 notch of difference is not as big as when overdosing).

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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    If you guys on about multiple dosing and tamping? If you have a look on youtube instructional video for sunbeam 6910 the guy does do multiple tamp and dose.

    Also, I think tampit might be suggesting different size tamper if the baskets are very narrow at the bottom? I think I have read on geek where people suggested to use the smaller side of the Silvia's plastic fantastic tamper first before flipping to the large size when basket is nearly full... This is just for getting the single basket to work.

    Mind you, I don't do these steps since my grinder and straight side baskets makes my life a little easier
    Hi okitoki

    Yes, TampIt does have separate tampers for the first stages as a precision fit tamper cannot reach the bottom of a VST (or any other basket unless you have truly perpendicular sides). Particularly noticeable when using a 7g VST, which has a small central section.

    I was actually taught about "progressive tamping" (not even given a name to me at the time) in 1979 on the basis that it can make a substantial difference to the time required to dial in a new setup (easier troubleshooting) plus the fact that a series of gentle tamps gives more consistent pressure than one hard final tamp. We did 1mm at a time, boot camp style with a guy that missed his vocation of army Sergeant Major. FYI, it was not regarded as a new technique new back then.

    Although I noticed a better end result, the difference with the current gear at that time was not worth the effort "on the front line". That is probably still true today unless you are running VST / naked*. FWIW, after the course I usually did a very precise initial tamp (about 2mm compressed) followed by a "packing tamp" (i.e. to get more coffee in the basket only) then a final light tamp. That always worked a lot better with light / medium roasts. Dark roasts seemed to work better with a first tamp followed by "Schomer's 30lb" (13Kg) heavy final tamp. No idea why (then or now).

    * Side note: Lots of "old school baristas" hate VST baskets & naked p/f's. IMHO, that is partly because the old methodologies often fail to give a good result with the "new kid on the block" combo. Another reason is probably the natural human resistance to change. I also suspect a third reason is that spraying coffee everywhere is not a good look...

    Much later, during the development of their Swift grinder, one of the LM papers showed that a mechanical 300lb(!) tamp had no effect on the coffee at the bottom of the basket (less than 1/4" down was the limit of grounds compression unless my memory is off). The obvious implication was that a single tamp only compresses the top of the puck.

    Later again, I went to a VST / naked. FWIW, I regard them as a pair because they are a brilliant combination, whilst individually they only sort out some of the traditional coffee flow path issues.

    The friends that tried them had bad spraying problems, whilst I did not even suspect the combo had that issue at first. Tamping was the difference. Revisiting "full on" progressive tamping again showed that the new combo of VST / naked actually had an old solution...

    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    But what Im trying to say is that we all come to a forum to share ideas and experience, and just because you have not seen it or tried it yourself, doesn't mean that it's always stupid and doesnt exist... its like that Nutating tamping method that was mentioned in another thread... it might sound silly to some, but if it works for others, good for them....
    I could not agree more.

    Have fun & as long as you are enjoying your brew it must be good.


    TampIt

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    I examined it today in DJ's but did not buy.

    Impressions:

    Hopper lid is rubberised for a more airtight fit. This and the bean slide at the bottom means you can get a reasonably air-tight storage, if you're game to leave them there. I wouldn't. You'd have to grind out what was under the slide before the start of next session (not a bad thing I guess, as it would move all the really stale grinds, but a bit of a waste of beans).

    The grinding "cartridge" comes off as once piece, with the upper burr in place (rather than the little separate upper burr "basket"). The lower burr and grind chamber is completely exposed, making for much easier cleaning of the lower burr and stuck grounds around its sweeping "arms", but trickier cleaning of the upper burr (except for the bottom part, which is usually where you get the most grinds accumulation).

    The grinds "chute" is still plastic, not SS. It's hard to look in there and see what would make it anti-static - the opening for the grinds to exit the grind chamber is very small. The arms attached to the burrs are metal instead of plastic though, there is quite a lot of clearance between them and the inner walls, meaning you'll always end up with a wall of coffee fine oily around. Otherwise the burrs themselves look identical to the other Sunbeam grinders.

    When assembled there's a lot of wiggle/give in the upper part (grind "cartridge" and hopper) - probably about 1/2 a cm. This could make it tricky to figure out where the grind is actually set to (except I guess you could go on whatever setting is always locked left or right of that wiggle room). This give shouldn't matter to grind though, because the upper burr is contained in the top assembly so is not affected by the rotation of it (the mechanism for raising/lowering upper burr is contained completely in the upper grind cartridge).

    There's 30 grind settings and it continues clicking left and right of 0 and 30 - so it could be much easier calibrated for a desirable range (no space/need for shims under the lower burr). How granular each notch is though, would obviously require testing. I'd suspect (or hope!) it'd be at least 2x finer notch to notch considering the tool-less calibration you can do.

    The bottom part is not rubbery, but hard plastic. It won't double as a tamping pad obviously but I suspect this and the different shape of the spout means it would be less messy. The brush and 52mm attachment sits under it. The brush is improved but the bristles are still not as fine as most would like.

    The group handle can literally lock in and sit in the grinding handle, which I suppose is kind of cool. You need a little more pressure to push it down to activate the grind on demand than with the button on the last gen.

    I wasn't able to get it turned on to assess the apparent noise reduction. It's a sturdy unit over all.

    It would be an improvement over the EM0480 in most areas but not a $299 improvement if you already own the former. The on/off/auto knob is in the style of the dials on the EM7000, but I kind of like the sturdy switch on the EM0480.

  34. #34
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    Not sure I like the idea of all that play in the system - for that money I'd want a better fitting system. I already make sure I always adjust grind by going coarser and then dialling to finer so I standardise the play in the EM0480. I was hoping SB might have produced a better quality product and not just a new badge with similar issues to what we got in the 480.

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    The "play" doesn't affect the grind, because it's just a movement of the whole assembly containing the upper burr and grind collar, which has all the adjustment of the upper burr depth, unlike the previous design where the upper burr screwed into the lower burr assembly to determine the burr height. It's still unfortunate just because it requires fiddling to accurately reflect the setting you are on (likely on grind though, it might lock one way or another).

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    Thought I'd post what I think of this grinder having recently bought it. Obviously I cant post a long term review on it as I've only had it for such a short time but so far it has been an improvement over the em0480. For one it doesn't clump like how the em0480 does while grinding, and it grinds much faster as well. Not sure if the burrs are bigger in the em0700 but it does look like it is. Secondly the anti static camber works wonders, coffee grind finally does not stick to every part of the machine body. Thirdly, I like how we are now able to calibrate the burrs without having the need to buy shims. It almost like you need not worry about the preset grind numbers. All you need to do it remove the grind indicator and just keep turning the top burr carrier until you achieve the correct grind. Seems to be consistant enough as well unlike the em0480 which can sometimes produce larger grinds within fine grinds. Fouthly, it is quiet!! Not Mazzer quiet, but close. During operation all you can hear is the grinding and not the motor at work.

    So far so good! I'm happy. = ). Now my em0480 is used as a spare grinder for shitty beans.

  37. #37
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    Interesting. May become a Christmas present for myself. Are you keeping the hopper full or just grinding what you need?

    Edit: Posts: 1. Hmm.

  38. #38
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    I'm curious about the 'grinds faster' comment - not sure I want my grinder to be faster, given the heat-the-beans issues involved.

    Hopefully we will see more of Coffeenoobz so we can know if this is just schmooz from Sunbeam or not.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    I'm curious about the 'grinds faster' comment - not sure I want my grinder to be faster, given the heat-the-beans issues involved.

    Hopefully we will see more of Coffeenoobz so we can know if this is just schmooz from Sunbeam or not.
    If the grinds didn't get stuck and need banging out, the EM0480 would grind plenty fast.. maybe this is the difference?

    Hey, maybe Coffeenoobz searched the web just to see if anyone needed feedback on the grinder he just bought?

  40. #40
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    Nar I aint a schomooz from Sunbeam. I had a laugh

    Maybe i need to rephrase. I guess what i'm saying is the grounded beans comes out in a more consistent flow. Not like the em0480 where the coffee would almost stop coming out followed by a large clump of coffee being deposited on the pf.

    Yeah I was searching the net for any kind of review before I bought it but there was none. So when i decided to take the plunge and pay Binglee my money I thought I'll definitely let the coffee community know how this machine goes.

  41. #41
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    What price did you get? Lowest I have seen is 280.

  42. #42
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    Got it from Binglee Carlingford for $225. Was on sale for $249. Managed to twist the manager's arm a little. =)

  43. #43
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    About to pick one up from DJ's for $239. Will post my review of it later today.

  44. #44
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    Back with a mini-first impression review... Sheesh, that was a marathon session, went through 400g of the 500g I bought this morning just dialling it in. The grinder is much quieter with no coffee in it (the motor is nearly silent) but I realised when grinding, the much louder grinding sound drowns out the motor on the EM0480 more or less so the in-use noise is on slightly reduced. The recalibration collar would be brilliant, but I had major problems.

    When I first unpacked it, I noticed I couldn't turn the dial all the way to the left. No problem, I recalibrated the collar 20 notches to the right or so and turned it on. Metal on metal chafing sound, not good... after further investigating, it appears the flat bottom of the lower burr is contacting at least one of the metal sweeping arms. So I adjusted the recalibration collar such that the finest setting was the point at which I could hear no more chafing, thinking this is the absolute lowest setting the burr should be designed to go. Then I tested a grind out at 12. Huge, sand like grounds of coffee came out. Hmm. So I dialled it down to 6. Again, sand. Down to 1, and yes, again sand.

    So I changed the recalibration collar many times over and filled the hopper, and set it back to 12 and ground. There may well have been chafing, but the sound of the coffee grinding completely overpowered it. The coffee came out in little mini clumps, but consistently. The clumping in the grind chamber is gone - so is the static flying grounds problem. It all comes out nicely into the middle of the basket. So, 12 was a choker. I should have suspected as much when I dosed and it weighed in at 24g or something - it was very finely ground.

    I then proceeded to go coarser two notches at a time. Next few were chokers but getting towards ristretto. I continued. This was looking promisingbecause it was a good ten settings between a drippy ristretto and when I finally got my first good 60mL in ~27 second pour.

    Here's where things went a bit crazy. Now I can't for the life of me figure out why, because the collar seems to merely move the zero/middle point, but when I had dialled in a good pour at 24, I then recalibrated the collar back to 14, which should not have changed the burr height at all as the cartridge wasn't adjusted.

    I then did another shot, and got a gusher. Two notches finer, gusher again! Two notches finer, still too fast. WHAT - THE - HELL. It was Twilight Zone stuff.

    Anyway, I recalibrated for 10 notches or so finer, and pulled roughly 3 equal shots at setting 13. So went through almost my entire bag just to dial in a consistent shot around the setting it should be for espresso. The grounds do come out nicely (the mini-clumps I mentioned earlier are only when you are grinding too fine). They are tighter packed than with the EM0480 so judging the heaped level in the basket will be not be comparable. Glad for my dosing tools here. This means though, I believe, less air pockets, varying density and such. The spent pucks showed no signs of channelling.

    When I activate it empty on this final setting, I can just hear the chafing sound. One notch coarser and it goes, one notch finer and it becomes more obvious. So the 13 is a -1 or -2 on how I originally calibrated it you might say.

    I don't think it should be making this sound. I wonder if one of the arms is slightly higher than the others or something. Looking at the lower burr assembly it appears the solution might be... wait for it... shims. Because a shim would lift the lower burr slightly higher above the sweeping arms which the upper burr is contacting. So I should be able to get the same grind setting without it contacting the arms.

    I do like the cradle. You can sit the PF in there and turn it to the on position without holding the handle. The thing is much less messy (largely due to the lack of "flyaway" grounds). Most of the grinds end up in the little tub bin which is easy to pick up and empty - and due to the tighter packing of the grinds, you don't need to overfill as much. There's no banging of things required to dislodge grinds - if you grind empty, if you just keep it running, the grinds seem to come out. Not all though, because I opened it up and there was a fair bit stuck around the arms. Forget the brush, easy to get in here with the vacuum and pick it all up. It's much less finicky to clean.

    Will update with further use. Until I get some feedback from Sunbeam on this chafing sound (considering just going back to DJ's tomorrow and exchanging it) I'm a bit mixed in my feelings.

  45. #45
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    The shims didn't help (actually made the sound at coarser settings). So it is some part of the burrs touching. Likely a flat part of them not the "teeth" but still. This is a worry, right? With coffee in, it's unlikely they touch at least at the same grind settings because there's something in there to push the grind cartridge up and to sit between the burrs. Even if I hold the hopper up slightly, it stops contacting.

    It's possible my old grinder made contact on fine settings, but it couldn't be heard over the motor. I don't know. I don't know whether to exchange it tomorrow or wait and contact Sunbeam. I suppose if a second one made the same noise it would mean it was normal enough and that I shouldn't run the grinder empty. But then I am guilty of exchanging a working product...

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfalz View Post
    Back with a mini-first impression review...

    Will update with further use. Until I get some feedback from Sunbeam on this chafing sound (considering just going back to DJ's tomorrow and exchanging it) I'm a bit mixed in my feelings.
    Hi Darkfalz

    I would recommend you do not bother with your 700. A repairer here already has a few of them with faulty mechanisms: he is fairly unimpressed. Appealing as the price may be, what comes out in terms of particle spread is not better than a semi-stepless 480. FYI, mine is a similar mod to "Ray C on CS", although he made his 480 fully stepless. A very quick mod to add to the useful range for espresso for a 480.

    It appears to be quite unlike its partner, the 7000. He and another local repairer love it: "like a 6910 with a lot of the annoying faults removed" one told me. FWIW, one of them is so impressed, I have an as yet unfulfilled challenge to try and choke it with a standard grind and tamp (i.e. unlimited dose! That is confidence.). I hope he is right.

    Back to grinders, I bought a Mahlkonig Vario "gen1" (not the official moniker) a few months age: impressive. A friend in need broke their 480 on the morning of their plane flight NW (6 months stint) after deciding to buy one, so I gave sold mine at cost to them (it only did 5kg flawlessly). I felt having two 480's & a Bo-ema RR45 I could cope for a few days... until a replacment rocked up. The next bit was a nice surprise, as I did not know there was a new Vario version in the wild.

    The Vario gen2 is a far bigger improvement than I would have believed. Even less grind retention (from the domestic leader at the time!), more consistent particle size spread on finer grinds and, just possibly, slightly redesigned ceramic burrs. Quiet, compact and no mess on the bench (not even one grind yet after a month or so, a grinder first for me). AFAIAC, if you want an easy espresso upgrade for a 480, that has got to be it. About $650 to $700, and worth every cent.

    Hope this helps, and enjoy your 7000 (assuming I remember correctly)


    TampIt
    Last edited by TampIt; 21st December 2013 at 11:01 PM.

  47. #47
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    Darkfalz, seems like sunbeam has poor quality control of the products coming out of their factory. Mine has no such chaffing noises. Regarding the troubles you has with the grind collar and the settings, maybe you could just remove the grind collar and use the bottom gear looking ring as the adjuster and not worry about the numbers on the body.

    Also perhaps you should exchange yours for a new one if you'd like to continue using this grinder because I really dont think its meant to be doing that. But just goes to say how much sunbeam puts into making sure each of their products work exactly the same as the next. Quite shameful. Give it another shot...mine seems to be workingfine

  48. #48
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    Of course a more expensive grinder would solve most of these problems, but oh well. You really do get what you pay for. Btw aapologize for not passing you a copy of the receipt. Had a busy busy Saturday. Didn't get to read the post till now.

  49. #49
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    its gonna be on my shopping list, any reasons not to buy it?

  50. #50
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    Yes, I'll exchange it. It's likely one of the burrs is slightly off centre. If I have same issue with second one I'll return it and go back to the EM0480. When the hopper is full of beans, not likely to be an issue, but I don't want to lose the ability to grind only what I need.

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