Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, Ive been reading through the forums for a few days and have learnt so far that a decent grinder & fresh beans are super important, and also that unpressurised baskets make a difference too.

    Im looking for a basic machine because with bubba number 2 due in January I wont be working part time anymore and therefore wont be in the vicinity of a decent caffeine fix 3 days a week, so I reckon its time to look at a home setup.

    What Im looking at after doing a bit of research is a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder (found a 2nd hand one for $80) and a Sunbeam Cafe Espresso EM3800 machine.

    I know this is a fairly low end machine but I have read some good reviews (and not just from Choice, although I did read that thread :) ) and am hoping that the decent grinder will help.

    I have a few questions though - this whole modifying baskets thing sounds terribly techincal for a totally non-mechanically minded chicky - Im assuming this cheap-ish machine comes with a pressurised basket so does anyone know if its easy to buy a non-pressurised one to fit? Roughly how much are they? Are they easy to source?

    Also I usually drink a skim decaf (shame, shame... but Im pregnant so I have an excuse) cappuccino so froth is important but not nearly as important as temperature... I like my coffee scaldingly hot - do these machines have any kind of temperature control? Or is it mostly a matter of how hot I can get the milk without burning it.

    Also are these machines usually easy to clean? I know if they are fiddly to clean out I will end up not using it.

    thx for your help :D

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,767
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs Noni.

    Newbies are always welcome and its nice to see someone having a read before posting
    ;)

    Both the machine and grinder get a pretty good response here from the members so you should be fine on that front and yes, getting a good grinder is a great start!

    Modifying baskets is pretty straight forward and if you got stuck Im sure there is a CoffeeSnob member local to you who could lend a hand. Have a look though the threads at the method which can be as simple as a few extra drill holes in the underside of the basket.

    Skim decaf? Certainly not my drink of choice but as long as you like it...

    Quote Originally Posted by 46474641280 link=1255320702/0#0 date=1255320702
    I like my coffee scaldingly hot
    Any espresso machine will boil milk given long enough and it is a fine line between really hot and burnt... you will be the best judge of that.

    You might find that pouring an espresso shot, adding boiling water from the kettle and then just adding a splash of skim milk will make a suitable hot coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 46474641280 link=1255320702/0#0 date=1255320702
    Also are these machines usually easy to clean?
    Yeah, as long as you clean as you go its easy. If you leave steamed milk on the wand for a couple of minutes it will bake-on and be a bugger to get off but a quick wipe as you use it will make it painless.

    Add to your gear fresh coffee (or roast your own) and you will be well on your way to a new coffee discovery.

    Enjoy the journey!

    8-)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,520

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    HI Noni

    although i have never used one the emo0480 is considered a good grinder for the price, and the 1st choice for many just kicking off.

    $80 is an ok price if it has not been abused etc......

    all machines take a bit of cleaning and i reckon the cheaper ones can make an even bigger mess being pressurized in both the basket and the machine (not having *a 3 way solenoid) the "puck" can come out a bit sloppy making a bit of mess.

    and i can understand not wanting to "clean" up all the time, 2 kids (one baby) is enough cleaning up to start with....

    making coffee is a "labour" of love at home using a machine, but the reward is a good coffee while still in your PJs :). once you get a routine, just like kids :) it gets better.

    before you buy do any of your mates have a machine? You could go over and "try" using their machine and see if you think you will use it every day...... I reckon there are lots of machines sitting in cupboards not used :(. That said you have come to the bet place for advice and it iwll kick you off to a great start :)

    <---- check out Decaf WOW in the brown bean section, many say it is one of the best decaf around :)

    Good luck with both the coffee and the baby
    Leeham

    PS you could blow that baby bonus on some great coffee gear :)

  4. #4
    Caffeine Junky
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,103

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Hi Noni, easiest thing to do is to buy yourself a Krups unpressurised basket. See reply #50 in this thread for part numbers

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174477597/50#50

    Contact a Krups service agent to check for stock. Price is probably around $15 per basket. I would recommend only getting the double and not to bother with the single. Much easier to get decent coffee from a double basket (this is true of any espresso machine).



  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    thanks for your help guys :)

    cool, unpressurised baskets are perfectly affordable so Ill be getting one of those for sure.

    now i just want to get stuck in and go and buy some beans! maybe i should get the machine first :D

    @ Leeham - I had a laugh I wish - hubby already has the baby bonus earmarked as a plasma tv bonus

  6. #6
    Caffeine Junky
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,103

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Dont forget to allow a little extra money for a decent tamper too.

    You never get a chance to watch TV when you have young ones, better off investing in something like what Chris has on offer:

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163933911/6#6

    Oh and you can buy great quality beans from Bean Bay (see top left of page).

  7. #7
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,286

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Hi Noni, and welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

    Let me give you some information to add to your pile and the comments above.

    Re: scalding hot coffee

    The water for good tasting espresso is usually regulated to about 93°C. Since it passes through cold grounds the coffee will never exceed 80° in the cup. Heating it hotter will start to destroy the taste.

    Milk starts to make the coffee taste burnt above 70°, and loses its own sweetness at that temperature as well, so a good tasting milk coffee is limited to 70°, which is a long way from scalding. (Taste is of course relative, but these guidelines are fairly well agreed.)

    So, if "scalding hot" is really important, then I doubt there will be much difference in the cup between instant with microwaved milk and a skim latte made with a machine. Save your money.

    Have you ever had a really good coffee? If you dont know whether you have (and that wouldnt surprise me cause really good coffee is scarce) then either a Snob, or one of the Sponsors, or one of the cafés in the "Good Coffee Where" section will be happy to introduce you. You may well decide that taste trumps scalds. If it does then a starter machine and grinder as you have suggested is a good start.

    I hope this helps.

    Greg

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    thanks greg - interesting info about the temps. i am hoping to become a real snob one day and drink espresso instead of a wimpy girls drink, so I assume a black coffee will always be marginally warmer than a milk coffee? maybe I should quanitfy scalding hot though - what I basically mean is Im sick of having to ask for my coffee extra hot at cafes. Eg if im making tea at home Ill pour the water when the jug has only just clicked off the boil (and I know im probably opening another can of worms here because technically tea leaves are burnt at certain temps too) but its really just so I can sit and sip my drink and dont have to scoff it before it gets lukewarm.

    caffeinejunky - hmm... i think some of those machines are worth more than my house!

    cheers guys
    noni :)

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,771

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Welcome noni.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Which ever method of preparation you prefer, as alluded to above a few times, you need to have access to freshly roasted, high quality beans and only grind the amount you intend to use immediately before brewing/pulling a shot.

    Lots of our Site Sponsors sell excellent quality beans via mail order to anywhere in Oz, as does Andy Freeman via the Buy Brown link in the top L/H corner. Many of these freshly roasted beans have won nationally recognised awards for their Roast Masters, so are well worth a try.

    Andy actually sells a Brown Bean Sample Pack that contains 4 x 250g packs of currently available beans from different coffee growing regions around the world and may be a great way to get started, just to see what sorts of beans you really enjoy. I pretty well love all the beans that Andy manages to acquire but there are very distinctive differences between beans say, from N.E. Africa and South America and you may discover that you end up with a penchant for beans from particular regions as opposed to others. Its great discovering the differences though.... 8-)

    Anyway, youre well on the path to achieving coffee nirvana so enjoy the journey... ;D

    Mal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Werribee, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    737

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Hi noni.
    If you like tea then why not try syphon coffee. Just thought I would give you more to think about.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    78

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Hi Noni...I still consider myself very much a noob when it comes to coffee but I can make a surprisingly good latte from my modest set up...
    I went the Breville option but have the same grinder as you...I found the key to success and good taste was the great Pullman tamper and the naked/krups basket with fresh beans...
    I reckon you will do fine with all these guys advising you...grab a machine and some fresh beans and get ready to have fun brewing...

    The machine cleanup isnt too bad really...wipe of the steam wand, rinse out the handle thingy after every use and empty the drip tray at the end of the day...also flush/washout the machine every so often (monthly) with de-scale.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    hi all, well i came home from bing lee yesterday with a em3910 and the 4080 grinder will follow shortly, all up $670 - a good deal but a bit more than i wanted to spend! this is what happens when i take my husband shopping.

    i didnt realise at first that the free grinder deal was by redemption and that you have to send away for it, so we just stopped by gloria jeans on the way home to get some coffee to try out the new toy.

    my first attempt tasted a bit like the plunger stuff i used to make with stale supermarket beans but a few more tries the result is almost passable as something that could have come from a cafe (albeit a dodgy one). not much crema going on yet, possibly because i figured id just start off using the unpressurised baskets that came with it (handy!). no idea about the milk frothing technique either but i havent had a chance to watch the dvd yet and am looking forward to doing the free course too.

    yay! im sure ill be on here more often with lots of new questions!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    1,756

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Sorry noni, but those beans you have from Gloria jeans are far from fresh :(! The only way to aquire fresh beans is through a local roaster, one of the site sponsors, through brown bay on the left or roast ya own.....dont worry though, fresh beans are no more expensive than the stale stuff ya get in the supermarket/Gloria jeans/coffee club! :)
    Cheers
    Warren

  14. #14
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Quote Originally Posted by 717071761F0 link=1255320702/11#11 date=1255863635
    hi all, well i came home from bing lee yesterday with a em3910 and the 4080 grinder will follow shortly, all up $670 - a good deal but a bit more than i wanted to spend! this is what happens when i take my husband shopping.

    i didnt realise at first that the free grinder deal was by redemption and that you have to send away for it, so we just stopped by gloria jeans on the way home to get some coffee to try out the new toy.

    my first attempt tasted a bit like the plunger stuff i used to make with stale supermarket beans but a few more tries the result is almost passable as something that could have come from a cafe (albeit a dodgy one). not much crema going on yet, possibly because i figured id just start off using the unpressurised baskets that came with it (handy!). no idea about the milk frothing technique either but i havent had a chance to watch the dvd yet and am looking forward to doing the free course too.

    yay! im sure ill be on here more often with lots of new questions!
    There the only ones to use....

    See here http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1238585788/18#18
    and lots of other posts on CS as to how to get the best from your SB6910..

    But stay away from GJ, CC etc etc and Supermarkets...

    AM

  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,771

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E6F6E69000 link=1255320702/11#11 date=1255863635
    hi all, well i came home from bing lee yesterday with a em3910 and the 4080 grinder will follow shortly, all up $670
    Is this meant to be a EM6910 machine Noni?

    Mal.

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5875717D701C0 link=1255320702/14#14 date=1255874329
    Quote Originally Posted by 6E6F6E69000 link=1255320702/11#11 date=1255863635
    hi all, well i came home from bing lee yesterday with a em3910 and the 4080 grinder will follow shortly, all up $670
    Is this meant to be a EM6910 machine Noni?

    Mal.

    Er yes, oops. EM6910 :)

    And I know the GJ beans would have been crappy but it was a matter of getting anything on the way home from the shop to try it out. As soon as I get the grinder Ill be on bean bay! I havent even sent the form off yet though, the sales guy at bing lee didnt have any left so said hed have to ring and get more and would post me one so it will be delayed a little more than usual.

    EDIT - just realised i can buy ground off bean bay. i was thinking it was just beans, der. Ok I will go order some shortly!

    Speaking of which, I have noticed the pressure gauge on my machine hardly moves at all so Im thinking the grind I have been using so far is too coarse (although Im sure it could be a dozen other things as well). Will post an update once Ive tried some decent beans.

    noni

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Werribee, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    737

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3E3F38510 link=1255320702/15#15 date=1256033243
    Speaking of which, I have noticed the pressure gauge on my machine hardly moves at all so Im thinking the grind I have been using so far is too coarse (although Im sure it could be a dozen other things as well). Will post an update once Ive tried some decent beans.

    noni
    Yeah the grind was probably to course or you tamped to lightly or you underdosed.
    When you get the grinder you will get better results than preground.

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Got my beanbay beans today and wow what a difference they made. Thank you Andy!
    The pressure gauge actually moved to where it was supposed to go and I got a lovely shot instead of a burst of brown water.
    Still a lot to learn but was very impressed at the difference the beans made, thanks :)

  19. #19
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Now you have to spread the word.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    20

    Re: OMG im a noob... information overload... can you help?

    Thanks so much - I am also very much a newbie and have been trawling the threads. This one was full of excellent hints and ideas!!

    I cant wait to start my own upgrading... :)



Similar Threads

  1. HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!
    By bormongeo in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 23rd December 2011, 04:42 PM
  2. Choice overload
    By recurve_boy in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 4th October 2007, 09:23 PM
  3. Information Overload - please help
    By troifrog in forum Grinders
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 6th December 2006, 05:50 PM
  4. Forum overload
    By robusto in forum General News
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 13th March 2006, 10:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •