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Thread: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

  1. #1
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    2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all
    I have read a few posts and reviews on these machines, but was wondering if anyone can provide a little more advice.
    Im new to coffee and want to make sure this isnt just a fad before spending a lot more on good gear.
    I have the Sunbeam EM0450, and want to spend about $150 on a machine. My thinking atm is to go 2nd hand, cause I figure Ill get more bang for my buck (feel free to tell me Im wrong).

    I have seen the following machines for around that price on ebay, and to a lesser extent here (at varying ages):
    - Breville 800ES
    - Breville Ikon BES400
    - Gaggia Classic
    - Sunbeam EM4800

    If I wanted new/refurb, I have seen the following:
    - Breville ESP8
    - Sunbeam EM3600/3800

    If you have advice on those machines, or suggestions on others, I would be appreciative!

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    As long as you keep in mid that the $150 is to see if its a fad or not, 2nd hand machines are good.
    The gaggia classic has a solid build, and uses many std parts used by other manufacturers.
    But if you can pick-up a sunbeam 6910 you can steam and make coffee, or a 6900 will still steam and make coffee. As always condition will play a big part.
    Factor in a descale (DIY), and group gasket if it is old.

    The biggest downside to entry level machines Ive found are aluminium parts, the gaggia will have the least amount of these on your list (at least I think so, I could be wrong).

    If you make 100 coffees, its paid for itself.

  3. #3
    Caffeine Junky
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    First I think itís important to understand the similarities/differences between these machines.

    The following are similar in that they all have a single thermoblock and unpressurised baskets:

    - Sunbeam EM4800
    - Breville ESP8
    - Sunbeam EM3600/3800
    - Breville 800ES

    The other two have boilers:

    - Breville Ikon BES400
    - Gaggia Classic

    The next most important point is that all but the Gaggia have pressurized baskets. These are useless unless you are using pre-ground & stale coffee (not recommend!). If you were to look at the bottom of one of these baskets youíll notice there is only one small hole which the coffee is forced through to make a fake crema.

    If you do a search youíll be able to find threads on how to convert pressurized baskets into unpressurised. Alternatively there are aftermarket unpressurised baskets you can buy. Again do a search to find out further details on these. I think one generous Adelaide member is even happy to convert pressurized baskets for the cost of postage.

    The Gaggia has a 58mm commercial-sized group. It would be the pick of the bunch but $150 is around a quarter of the new price so I would be wary of a machine going this cheaply. The boiler is aluminium so prone to pitting.

    The Breville is a great little machine IMO. I used one for a couple of days over Easter at my in-laws house. It comes with pressurized baskets but if you were to adapt these to unpressurised Iím sure you could get a decent brew out if it. I believe it has a copper boiler of around 200ml.

    All of the machines are capable of producing an acceptable coffee given that you have unpressurised baskets, use freshly roasted good quality beans and good technique.

    Many members on here, including myself, started on one of the above machines. If you become serious about your coffee you will soon discover how limited they are and will want to upgrade.

    Your current grinder is suitable to match with any of the above machines.

  4. #4
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    I owned a Sunbeam 4800 once and had a bad run. It leaked water on my benchtop constantly (poor drip tray design), occassionally the filter handle would blow right off spraying coffee everywhere. The drip tray was made of steel so went very rusty very quickly and looked and smelled awful (they now make the 4800C which has a plastic tray to avoid this but the drip design is the same so it should continue to leak). For some unknown reason about one in 10 coffees would get steamed to death. The dial on the front was very stiff to turn and the shape (low profile at the ends which is where you try and grip , duh!) made it even harder and was surprisingly frustrating.
    Amazingly I bought another Sunbeam, the 5900, the price was too good to pass up, and I can happily say it leaves the old 4800 for dead in every respect.
    Personally, Id give the 4800 a miss.
    A friend has the Breville 800es and has nothing bad to say, it appears a much better machine to me (similar to my Sunbeam 5900), and is a considerably higher model than the other Brevilles you mention. That would be my pick personally.
    I cant comment on the Gaggia, no experience with it, they certainly have a pedigree but I just cant come at boiler machines.

  5. #5
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by 090802110F0A10630 link=1303865149/2#2 date=1303867188
    The Breville is a great little machine IMO.* I used one for a couple of days over Easter at my in-laws house.* It comes with pressurized baskets but if you were to adapt these to unpressurised Iím sure you could get a decent brew out if it.* I believe it has a copper boiler of around 200ml.
    The Ikon also happens to have unpressurised baskets from Breville (ESP4s) as opposed to the Gaggia (correct me if Im wrong). Theres many threads around in regards to where to buy these baskets or if youre in Sydney, PM me.

    Edit:
    To the OP, have you considered saving up a bit first or spending a little bit more?
    IMHO $150 is a bit less for any machine.. especially if you are a starter because you wouldnt know if its the machine or you thats doing something wrong if anything does go wrong.
    Im not sure about the current market but I believe factory seconds (new but discontinued) Ikons can still be had for around $200-$250?

  6. #6
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by 272227262E234B0 link=1303865149/4#4 date=1303948734
    Im not sure about the current market but I believe factory seconds (new but discontinued) Ikons can still be had for around $200-$250?
    I just called the Breville factory outlet in Sydney to see if the had a BES400 Ikon, but unfortunately not. They told me they are selling the 800ES for $139 and the BES820 for $199.

    These seem like pretty sweet prices for these, considering youd pay as much if not more for second hand on ebay.

    What do you think? Worth it? Save up and buy something else? Find a 2nd hand Gaggia or 6910? Other thoughts?

  7. #7
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A414D455350424541534C4559200 link=1303865149/5#5 date=1304049398
    They told me they are selling the 800ES for $139 and the BES820 for $199.

    ...
    What do you think? Worth it? Save up and buy something else? Find a 2nd hand Gaggia or 6910? Other thoughts?
    No clue, I havent used the other ones although Ive used a Gaggia Classic. I like it but the difference in price between it and the Ikon was too steep with the functionality difference too small.

    As for the 800ES - personally I wouldnt buy it mainly because I dont trust technology (I work in IT) and like having a boiler. But this is a completely 100% personal choice that most people dont have a problem with ;)

  8. #8
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    I have a Gaggia Classic and have been using it for five-and-a-half years.

    Its a great machine to get you started and represents the cheapest of the serious espresso machines. Serious because it has a real, unpressurised, full-sized basket. Amongst other things.

    It does have a few downsides.

    1. The super-frother attachment is useless and it takes a while to figure out how to steam milk from cold to 65 degrees in one go.

    2. Its not like it isnt solid but it does to tend to be a bit light and can move around the bench-top until you work out how to handle it.

    3. The drip tray hides the water level when low so it is pretty easy to run out of water mid shot (not difficult to avoid I guess but it happens).

    4. Steam wand tends to spit water before steam comes out, be careful to purge the water before steaming.

    5. I found the angle of the steam wand made it very difficult to get the swirl needed for good milk texturing. I took a pair of pliers to mine and this has helped. I recommend not doing what I did and actually take the wand off the machine before attempting this.

  9. #9
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    I too have a gaggia classic and am generally happy.* A rancilio steam wand upgrade is not that expensive and makes a difference. You might have to pay a bit more to get a good one, but you might be lucky. Also, I think the newer gaggia classics are supplied with pressurised baskets, but I could be wrong.

    There is a breville Ikon in the hardware for sale section at $100 at the moment. Might be worth considering as these also seem to have a good reputation.


    Edit: Just looked and the Ikon is Melbourne pickup only, so may or may not be an option for you.

  10. #10
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    I might as well chime in. I have a Sunbeam EM6910 at home, which I enjoy.

    I recently wanted a cheap espresso machine for the office and scored a Gaggia Classic for a very low price (with a grinder). It was like new too, hardly used.

    With the advice of others on CS, Ive got the machine setup nicely, and have some more to do on it yet. (silvia steam arm arrived on Fri, so will bolt that up tomorrow and steam away).

    The Gaggia is a quality unit, very well built from what Ive seen inside, simple, easy. I actually love it. Im not saying I dont love my sunbeam, they are two different machines. Both can pull a good shot.

    So for your budget, I would seriously consider a Gaggia. I can serve up four milk drinks at work in the morning with fairly little effort. Mind you, its quicker on the sunbeam.

    You are in the right place anyway. I started my coffee journey right here on CS only about 3 years ago, now I own multiple machines and roast my own coffee :)

  11. #11
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    Re: 2nd hand coffee machine advice.

    Hey all
    Thanks for the advice and help.
    Since posting, I found the PU5900 pack (EM5900 and EM0450) at Target for $169... and couldnt pass it up at that price! Ive ordered the Breville unpressurized baskets for it and am eagerly anticipating their arrival!
    My coffee journey begins...



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