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Thread: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

  1. #1
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    Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all!
    I have spent the last 3 days looking over reviews and visiting local retail stores and in my mind I am no more clearer on which unit to buy.

    Ok so I cuurently have a Sunbeam Cafe Expresso (EM3600) which has produced reasonable quality coffee for me over the past 4 years (euivalant to McCafe).

    I have a budget of no more than $400 and I would like to buy new.

    OK, so after todays efforts the best deals are:
    1. Sunbeam Cafe Crema II with Sunbeam 450 burr grinder for $285
    2. Breville Professional 800ES with BCG450 grinder for $331
    3. Breville BES820 (with no grinder) for $370
    4. Sunbeam Cafe Espresso Essential (Artista EM5900) with Sunbeam 450 grinder for $389

    Apart from pod machines, a Delonghi for $300 and some cheaper Sunbeams, there wasnt much more out there in the market place.

    All 4 models have received +ve and -ve reviews and people have complained of lemons in each of these.

    I know the Sunbeam Artista and Breville 820Es are discontinued models but the Breville warranty seems ok for 2yrs/5yrs(pump)

    I see from these forums that these are considered entry level machines and that the better grinder is the Sunbeam 450.

    So members, with all your collective knowledge, is there one of these machines that would be better than the others? If so, which one?

    I would love to go the EM6910 but unless there is a super sale or price drop I just cant convince the wife to spend the $599.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Hey theres a EM6900 for sale in the For Sale section for 250 I believe.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1338021146

    Its located in Sydney, however. Could save some cash and then look at grabbing a BCG800 (Brev Smart Grinder) for around 170 from memory if youre lucky. Some of the snobbier members will know the go with them* :P

    EDIT: Or keep your Em3600 (I have one and it goes ok) and get a really nice grinder for the cash. Grinder is going to help you more as opposed to the machine. Go this route and buy some unpressurised baskets and then tada, great coffee.

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Thanks Marcism,

    I going to try and stay with a new unit to have at least a couple of years warranty.

    After much debate over the dinner tabnle tonight with the wife I think we have decided to go with the Breville 800ES with the free Breville burr grinder.

    I know the burr grinder isnt the best but at the moment I am only using a Sunbeam blade grinder when I dont buy my coffee beans freshly ground.

    I can always buy a new Sunbeam Grinder in the future.

    So, that now bgs the question of buying a single wall Breville cup? Can anyone advise how much these cost to buy and also where from?

    I sure after a long week-end on the new machine under your collective guidance will have me making better coffees than from my old broken down Sunbeam EM3600.

    Cheers

    Peter


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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Hi Peter,

    I believe you are looking for the single wall filters? You can give the Breville service hotline a call and ask for the set (part number BSWF100). I think its still going for about $25 per set. Theres a pretty long thread on this forum too, you can try to use the site search for breville single wall filter. Or you can try to give the Breville factory outlet stores a call if youre near one, to avoid the shipping/handling cost.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Hi Peter.

    Are you using single walled filter with your sunbeam currently? I dont think this grinder (BCG450??) will be suitable (without modification) for the single walled baskets. It just doesnt go fine enough. There is a thread around here talking about modifying it to espresso grind if you willing to do that.

    David

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Honestly, from what Ive heard Id avoid that grinder at all costs. If you invested the money in a nice grinder you will find that youll be getting significantly better coffee out of any machine (within reason). Like David8 said, that grinder without modification is really not going to suit espresso coffee. With your budget just max out on a grinder. If your machine isnt broken, why fix it? Just get that nice drop with grinder/baskets!
    If you need a cheap place to order the baskets from, PM me and its about 20 delivered for fitting krups basket and seal.

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    Re: Help!!!! Which of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Thanks everyone.

    Unfortunately my Sumbeam EM3600 died so I had to buy a replacement machine. The grinder came free with the machine so I cant really complain. Maybe the best option is to save up and get the Sumbeam 450 and the single walled filter when I next see the grinder on sale.

    So based on your comments it wont be worth buying a single walled filter if I use the Breville grinder.

    Thanks for your comments everyone...much appreciated!

  8. #8
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Quote Originally Posted by 517A7F7C63766776130 link=1338612943/6#6 date=1338686254
    So based on your comments it wont be worth buying a single walled filter if I use the Breville grinder.
    Without modification, no.

    Here is the thread on modding it - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1204007644

    I havent looked into it at all as I dont have the grinder. But I would consider it. :) Otherwise, see how the double walled baskets go. And if youre happy with it, then thats great. :)

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Hi, I have a 800ES paired with a BCG800. I use a double shot single wall basket and Pullman Tamper, both purchased from Greg Pullman (he is a site sponsor).

    The BCG450 will only be useful if you use the dual wall baskets as they are much less sensitive to grind size. The pressure is created by the second wall and single outlet hole. You could still choke a dual wall basket if you ground fine enough.* The BCG450 in my experience doesnt grind fine enough for any single wall basket, even when set to "Turkish".

    I was lucky enough to pick up my 800ES on the free classified Gumtree website for $100!* The BCG800 was bought off a member of this site for ? $160ish.

    After a descale and cleanup the 800 has given good service on a daily basis for the past 8-9 months. This combination of the SmartGrinder and 800ES gives a reasonable result.* Im saving for the BES900 (Dual boiler).

    I have a friend who picked up the BES820 and the BCG450 combination from Harris Scarfe here in Tassie for about $450.* Shes quite happy but uses supermarket beans and the dual wall baskets.* She likes her coffee weak and milky, anything I make for her is too strong...

    I use fresh roasted beans, grind on demand and use about* 500 grams of beans in about 3 weeks.* This gives me my best results.

    From what I have seen of the new BES840, it looks like a decent single thermocoil (better temperature stabilty than the thermoblock in the 800 and 820) looks decent in this sub $500 price range.

    Seattle Coffee Gear has a video review of the US version;
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/embed/aCdhfNd5GK0[/media]

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Ok so I havent opened the Breville BCG450 based on everyones comments so far.

    It turns out that I may be able to get a 2nd hand Sunbeam EM0480 grinder for under $100.

    So given that both of these grinders are entry level only, should I expect better quality coffee using the Sunbeam grinder instead of the Breville BCG450?

    2nd Question...does the Sunbeam E0480 (without modding)produce a fine enough grind to warrant buying a single wall filter?

    At the end of the day I appreciate drinking good coffee and want to produce the best possible coffee with the equipment I have. Both my wife and I have noticed that our new 800ES makes a better coffee than my old Sunbeam 3600.

    Thanks for your comments to date everyone!

  11. #11
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Quote Originally Posted by 775C595A45504150350 link=1338612943/9#9 date=1338979178
    So given that both of these grinders are entry level only, should I expect better quality coffee using the Sunbeam grinder instead of the Breville BCG450?
    Yes.

    Edit: The Sunbeam is entry level to espresso. Id class the BCG450 as incapble of espresso. More of a plunger grinder.

    Quote Originally Posted by 775C595A45504150350 link=1338612943/9#9 date=1338979178
    2nd Question...does the Sunbeam E0480 (without modding)produce a fine enough grind to warrant buying a single wall filter?
    Maybe. If not. The only modification would be to add "shims" or washers to raise the bottom burr to produce a fine enough grind. These are SO easy to do. Unlike the BCG450. Sunbeam even sent them to me for free. :)

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Thanks David8, looks like ill proceed with buying the sunbeam grinder.

    cheers bilopete

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    Hi Bilopete

    I have the Sunbeam EM5900 and EM0450 combination (or perhaps the older model of grinder) and they work well. I picked mine up online 2nd hand but they have given me trouble free brewing for more than 6 months now. So much so that i delayed upgrading and instead bought a roaster. Until they stop working i see no reason to upgrade. I brew espresso/ristrettos as well as the occasional latte.

    The grinder happily grinds fine enough for espresso, i cant grind it as a fine as it is capable of though as it then blocks the espresso machine! Currently i have it set on 8, any finer and it takes a few minutes to drip out a shot. On this setting, with unpressurised baskets, i get a 25-30sec shot.

    If you wouldnt mind telling me where you saw this combination for $390 please as my inlaws are looking to buy a new machine/grinder and are on a similar budget. Might even convince them to buy 2 sets and leave 1 down at the holiday house so I dont have to lug mine there everytime!

    Cheers
    DrSmurto

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    I had the EM0480 paired with the 800ES for a couple of months.* It was more than capable of grinding for the single wall baskets.* I upgraded to the BCG800 which allows you to set both a particular grind and volume unlike the Sunbeam.
    The BCG800 is also far less messy with the magnetic internal tray which is a bonus.* The amount of mess produced by the EM0480 used to drive me nuts...

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    Re: Help!!!! Whicj of these cheapish four machines / combinations?

    [QUOTE=6C73746C7E1B0 link=1338612943/13#13 date=1339054170]I had the EM0480 paired with the 800ES for a couple of months.* It was more than capable of grinding for the single wall baskets."*

    Thanks MrBill, sounds like a goer then!



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