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Thread: Sunbeam EM2300

  1. #1
    emo
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    Sunbeam EM2300

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    First off - thanks Andy for such a great site!

    Just a bit of an introduction. (totally offtopic)

    Up until a few months ago I never really felt there was a difference between a good and a bad coffee. This all changed when I bought a coffee from a apparently famous coffee shop in Surry Hills. On drinking it I didnt think twice. However about 10 minutes later, I had finished all the paperwork I was doing, got up and thought to myself "actually that tasted pretty good..". An hour later I found myself still thinking about the coffee. This had never happened before and I was quite curious. Had I grown a liking to coffee? Ive never been a regular coffee drinker, but if I felt this satisfied after a coffee - why stop? So the next day I bought a coffee from the local coffee shop it was then I realised - theres a big difference between a good and a bad coffee.

    So a month later Im on this forum looking for a budget way to emulate what I had tasted but to do it from home. I never realised there was so much involved in making a good coffee. I now question if I know the difference between a burnt coffee and a full flavoured one!

    (back on topic)

    After reading through the forum I bought the Sunbeam EM2300 at Myer for 70 bucks about a month or so ago. The problem I have is I dont really know what I am doing and likewise am not sure if I have the right tools.

    If there is anyone out there whom has a lot of experience with this machine - I would appreciate a little (or a lot) of handholding.

    Ive got a lot of questions so this thread could almost be an EM2300 FAQ!

    1) Ive read that I should be changing to an single wall unpressurised basket. Why does unpreassured make a difference? Someone mentioned a Krupps unpressurised basket would fit - which part#? where to buy?

    2) I understand the tamper/scooper combo that comes with the machine is not sufficient, where can I find one that will fit and how much will it cost me? should I be buying custom?

    3) Ive read a good grinder with fresh beans is key - which grinder would you suggest that would compliment this machine? (budget is $400-$500, would prefer closer to $400 or willing to go to $500 if there will be a big difference in quality/convenience in cleaning) Ive read mixed reviews about the EM450/480 and was looking for something up a notch or two or are these quite good?

    4) Ive read a lot about the basics on this forum, but would appreciate a walkthru in what users would do step-by-step to make a good coffee from this machine. i.e what basket to use, how to temp surf, how ground the beans should be, how much grounded beans to use, how to tamper properly, how long for a pull etc.
    The ones ive made are inconsistant, and I cant seem to get my head around what I am doing wrong. FYI I put the head and basket in place and flush water through it for about 10 secs into my coffee mug to preheat everything. I always use the double basket and only drink milk coffees.

    5) Id also be interested to hear how often I need to descale/clean the machine etc. I live in sydney CBD and not sure about water quality.

    Thanks for reading all! And thanks in advance for anyone with the patience to reply!

    cheers
    Emo ;D

  2. #2
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300

    Hi Emo,

    I am not sure exactly how temperature stable the EM2300 is, but it can do a good coffee with unpressurized baskets and freshly ground fresh beans.
    Your questions approximately answered as;
    1; Pressurized baskets are designed to give an artifical crema *when using pre-ground coffee, particularly the vacuum packed varieties which are stale before they are packed.
    Unpressurized baskets will give better taste on any functional machine when used with freshly ground, as in just before you brew, and freshly roasted beans, as in within 3-4 weeks from roast typically.
    2; Regret can only advise you search the forum more for the suitable part numbers and a local supplier.
    3; Rocky is a great grinder for your machine that will last a long time, and might just fit into your budget. *Iberital Challenge is highly regarded on this site, a bit cheaper than Rocky, and has good grind quality, only limited by relatively slow adjustment of grind if you ever need to go to plunger grind and back to espresso for example. There may be one or two others listed in the Grinders section that are worth checking out. *The EMO 480/4450 grinders will do the job but unlikely to last as long, (they are more of an appliance than a precision machine).
    4; Firstly, ensure the machine is on, with PF installed loosely, to preheat for approx 30mins. *Briefly flush the grouphead to ensure it is clean of any leftover grinds, and that there is fresh water in the brew path, only if the water is hissing and/or steamy do you need longer flush, so you might be better preheating your mug with boiling water from the kettle or jug.
    Grind into basket till about half full, vigorously tap your hand against the the PF to help settle the grinds into the basket,
    continue grinding till basket is approx full, tap PF vertically onto bench top (you may wish to use a chopping board/mat to protect the bench top) to settle grinds into basket. You will need to experiment with how many times to do this, try once, twice and three times.
    After this you can top up the basket with more grinds, level off with suitable straight edge, I use a kitchen knife, (blunt side), tamp firmly with attention to tamping evenly. *If the tamp is a loose fit the *NSEW technique is worth trying, first in the centre, then move tamp as far as it will go towards one side, tamp again, then as far back the other way, tamp again then at 90 deg as far as it will go tamp again, then across to other side and tamp again.
    Lock PF into grouphead, and begin the brewing.
    Pour should start within approx 8-12 seconds, slowly even drippy at first, then thicker dark stream and will lighten up. *Aim to stop pour around 25 - 30 seconds, using a double basket, at first signs of light tan colour. *Anything around 30 - 40 mls is good enough at this stage.
    Change to steam temp, empty PF, you can briefly flush grouphead to dislodge loose grinds now or wait till after steaming.
    Blow out steam wand when steam temp achieved, but preferably before the heat cycle has finished, begin steaming with the steam heating on if possible, will give more powerful steaming.
    After steaming, pour milk into shot.
    Blow down boiler back to brew temp, refill with water, flush grouphead with blank basket in PF (can use any suitable rubber insert)
    wiggle PF around with brew water flowing through, this will help reduce buildup of oils in the brew path and shower screen.

    By some espresso machine cleaner from coffeparts, or similar, and use this to clean the showerscreen, GH, PF and associated parts about every 2 weeks. *Descaling can be done every 2nd or 3rd month if you dont use filtered water, or about 4-6 monthly if you use filtered water (if it is an aluminum boiler then go for the shorter interval, if Stainless go for the longer interval).

    Hope this is of some help.
    Bullitt

  3. #3
    emo
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300

    Hi Bullitt,

    I apreciate the walkthru.

    Its cleared up a lot of questions Ive had.

    Ill give it a go and try to source some new baskets.

    Cheers
    Emo ;D

  4. #4
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300

    Some people cut the wall off their baskets. I tried with the single as I never used it anyway and ended up without a single basket though. From then on if I only wanted one shot I would waste the other into the drip tray. If you are just drinking milk drinks it would probably be hard for you to tell the difference though by getting unpressurized. The fact of the matter is that even if you use preground supermarket coffee you will be making coffee from this machine that rivals 80% of the coffee shops out there. Enjoy your machine!!!! Mine served me well for 2 years until I upgraded.

  5. #5
    emo
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D4244435E596875584E5B52370 link=1245610587/3#3 date=1246322380
    Some people cut the wall off their baskets. *I tried with the single as I never used it anyway and ended up without a single basket though. *From then on if I only wanted one shot I would waste the other into the drip tray. *If you are just drinking milk drinks it would probably be hard for you to tell the difference though by getting unpressurized. *The fact of the matter is that even if you use preground supermarket coffee you will be making coffee from this machine that rivals 80% of the coffee shops out there. *Enjoy your machine!!!! *Mine served me well for 2 years until I upgraded.

    Hi Justin,

    Actually it was your few posts along with kaanage that convinced me to buy this entry level machine - so cheers!

    emo

  6. #6
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300

    One other thing I forgot, and JBs post reminded me,
    yes you can modify the original baskets, but it takes some care.
    One way is to drill the single hole out to a much larger diameter hole, the tricky bit is that there is not much space between the two pieces and most drill bits have more point on them than you have space available, and you must avoid drilling a big hole in the section that has lots of small holes in it.

    I think that you can taste improvements with unpressurised baskets on these machines even when making milk drinks, but ultimately it is up to your own taste buds.
    And yes with freshly ground, freshly roasted beans, you will make some great coffee.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300

    Quote Originally Posted by 566178787D6060140 link=1245610587/5#5 date=1246575693
    you must avoid drilling a big hole in the section that has lots of small holes in it.
    ........hahahahhaaa I think it ended up something like that for me



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