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Thread: New coffee machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member archheretic's Avatar
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    New coffee machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My apologies if this is in the wrong section, first time I've visited the site :-)

    Have a sunbeam cafe series e5800 which the circuit board has gone on. Have been unable to get it fixed.

    Any suggestions for a good, similar machine under 600 aud?

    I know this is very vague, but I've got no idea where to start! Are there any good machines from breville etc?

    Many thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    For most you will be looking at 2nd hand - offhand I can't think of any decent machines that would fit under $600 brand new. Depends on what you want it for though. Maybe a few more details about what coffee you like, how many a day etc. and we can give better advice.

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    Junior Member archheretic's Avatar
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    I see that a new cafe series is around 600..I'm not super hardcore in my tastes. I like my coffee relatively strong, normally 2 a day for me, and the same for my wife.

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Have a read of the Sunbeam EM7000 threads and see what people think of them. I have an EM6910 and it's been a good experience and I've learned a lot - apparently the 7000 resolves some issues people had with their 6910's and 6900's.

    You haven't mentioned what you grind with. The grinder is probably the most important piece of the fine coffee puzzle.

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    Junior Member archheretic's Avatar
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    I actually need to purchase a grinder too, I've been getting them ground in the cafe. Was looking at a breville from Myer. The 6910 was one I was looking at, what kind of issues have you had? Btw thanks so much for your help.

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    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archheretic View Post
    I actually need to purchase a grinder too, I've been getting them ground in the cafe. Was looking at a breville from Myer. The 6910 was one I was looking at, what kind of issues have you had? Btw thanks so much for your help.
    The Sunbeam EM6910 is going for $495 at The Good Guys. It also includes the EM0440 grinder, which does a pretty good job to be honest. I managed to get them down to $450 which also included an extended warranty.

    You really can't beat it for that price IMO.

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I concur! That setup sounds like it'll suit you pretty well.

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    I'd try to deal for an EM0480 rather than the 440, but I freely admit I haven't tried the 440.

    Most of my issues were with the grinder side of things - the newer 480's are reportedly better than the older one I got 2nd hand - I've got a thread in the about my experiences - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...w-machine.html. Most of the issues I had with the 6910 were learning to grind, dose and tamp to the machine performance. e.g. I was filling the basket to where I was seeing the shower head screw impression in the dry puck and getting squirts. Then I found if I dropped the level a bit I didn't have those problems. And more like that.

  9. #9
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    I'd try to deal for an EM0480 rather than the 440, but I freely admit I haven't tried the 440.

    Most of my issues were with the grinder side of things - the newer 480's are reportedly better than the older one I got 2nd hand - I've got a thread in the about my experiences - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...w-machine.html. Most of the issues I had with the 6910 were learning to grind, dose and tamp to the machine performance. e.g. I was filling the basket to where I was seeing the shower head screw impression in the dry puck and getting squirts. Then I found if I dropped the level a bit I didn't have those problems. And more like that.
    I don't like anyone's chances of getting a deal with the 0480 instead of the 0440, because it's actually packaged with the 6910 (very large box).. Marketed as PU6910 if I'm not mistaken. They aren't doing the redemption thing anymore.

    Also correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the 0440 come out after the original 0480's? (My 0440 works great and there is absolutely no need to 'shim' it to get it fine enough. Anything beyond '5' will choke the 6910, as it's getting extremely fine.

    The only differences between the 0440, 0450 and the newer 0480 that know of is mostly superficial to some extent. The 0440 is a dark grey/black matte finish plastic with a shaded hopper, and no manual switch. The 0450 is very similar but has a satin metal (look?) main body with dark grey/black matte features, and a clear hopper. The 0480 has the stainless body with satin metal look features, clear hopper (although I have seen them with the shaded one also!) and the manual toggle switch. Not sure if the newer 0480 has the removable bottom burr or not anymore? Basically though, they are one and the same. Although I must admit, the 0480 looks nicer next to the 6910, with its stainless body and metal look features. But that didn't worry me at all. Like I said... For $450 for the both, that was the least of my concerns!

    With a willingness to experiment alot with the possible variables with the two machines, like Journeyman said above... Grind setting, dose level, tamp pressure, possibly after market baskets also... You will get SUPERB coffee from them no doubt. With a good amount of trial and error I have managed to get a better cup than from my folks shop where they had a grinder, coffee machine etc upwards of $8,000! All because I took the time to REALLY get to know how the 6910 worked optimally. As opposed to a $8,000 combo that no one really took the time to go deep with, as it was quite user friendly from the beginning, so it was never needed.

    Anyway, I apologise for the novel! I hope you are making great coffee with whatever choice you make!

    Cheers,
    Matt. :-)
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    Hi archheretic

    I have seen the 7000 with a 480 recently as a deal for $700. I own two 6910's, and two 480's and I would suggest you go for either the 440 / 6910 as above or the 7000 if the budget stretches. The 7000 is a lot easier for "set and forget" users, has more grunt (never a bad thing), has a milk frothing system that verges on idiot proof and is well regarded by Perth's top two repairers (and not just of SB's) on the basis of correcting most 6910 foibles.

    If I had to make the personal call today, I would find the extra $100.

    TampIt

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    The 440 has a different upper burr carrier system to the 450/480. Whether this is good or bad, I can't comment on, but at least you can't reassemble it backwards.
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  12. #12
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    The 440 has a different upper burr carrier system to the 450/480. Whether this is good or bad, I can't comment on, but at least you can't reassemble it backwards.
    Thank you Hildy, you are correct. The 0440 DOES have the fixed upper burr. Which actually makes it basically fool proof during reassembly. As it can go back in either way. I think I muddled myself up in such a large post before! In regards to performance I don't think it hinders the 0440 as I very happy with the grind quality.

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    I found that I put it in backwards the other way, which tightens it by about 15 notches, and that saved me from having to install shims. It complicates the reassembly a little, though, because you have to put it into the adjustment collar and then tighten it all at once.

    so fool proof is good, hack-proof is bad.

  14. #14
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    I found that I put it in backwards the other way, which tightens it by about 15 notches, and that saved me from having to install shims. It complicates the reassembly a little, though, because you have to put it into the adjustment collar and then tighten it all at once.

    so fool proof is good, hack-proof is bad.
    That's a helpful point to make about the 0480, if others weren't aware, that by reassembling the upper burr backwards, it negated the need to shim it.

    If you had issues with the 0440, you would just have to add the shim instead. Which isn't a real issue, considering SB now supply instructions to do so. But in saying this, I have yet to hear about a 0440 that needed to be shimmed. (Maybe SB sorted it out with the newer models/versions?).

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    The 440 has a different upper burr carrier system to the 450/480. Whether this is good or bad, I can't comment on, but at least you can't reassemble it backwards.
    *grins* I had that problem - there were no marks on my burr or the holder - wasn't till someone showed me a photo I noticed the flat spot on the bottom of the lower burr and found how to make sure I was putting it in right way around. That was frustrating.

    For me it didn't seem to negate the shim issue, it just made it almost random as to what grind I got out. Went through a lot of coffee with 2 consecutive pours giving radically different results. IIRC I also had problems getting it fine enough. (was a while back)

  16. #16
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    *grins* I had that problem - there were no marks on my burr or the holder - wasn't till someone showed me a photo I noticed the flat spot on the bottom of the lower burr and found how to make sure I was putting it in right way around. That was frustrating.

    For me it didn't seem to negate the shim issue, it just made it almost random as to what grind I got out. Went through a lot of coffee with 2 consecutive pours giving radically different results. IIRC I also had problems getting it fine enough. (was a while back)
    Somewhere on this forum a member mentioned that the salesperson said not to buy the 0440 because they kept getting returned due to the difficulty in getting them back together. I'd be inclined to think that the salesperson had confused the 0440 with the (earlier?) 0480, which has no markings like you stated. Because there is absolutely no difficulty in getting the 0440 back together! It's all too simple!

    A friend of mine has the 0480 and between the two, the grind quality seems to be relatively identical. Which makes the 0440 a decent little grinder, considering it's user-friendliness, and a very cheap price vs quality of grind. If you can look the other way about its colour, then for $450 with the EM6910, it's a fairly attractive bundle. I know I'm happy! :-)

    But like TampIt said, for $700 you can have the EM7000 and the 0480. I guess you just need to weigh these things up, and go with what suits you personally.

  17. #17
    Junior Member archheretic's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help guys, ended up getting the em6910 bundle. Definitely a step up from my old 5800. One question though, on the instructional dvd, the espresso is nice and thick, almost syrupy. However I can't seem to get anywhere near that consistency, almost comes out watery, not in flavor though. Any suggestions? Using a fine grind as is.

  18. #18
    Junior Member MrSoulSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archheretic View Post
    Thanks for all your help guys, ended up getting the em6910 bundle. Definitely a step up from my old 5800. One question though, on the instructional dvd, the espresso is nice and thick, almost syrupy. However I can't seem to get anywhere near that consistency, almost comes out watery, not in flavor though. Any suggestions? Using a fine grind as is.
    Congrats on your purchase. Bloody good deal if you ask me!

    The first thing I did with mine was to change the programmed settings. I changed the 'Espresso Thermoblock Temperature' to +2C (Single button). Then the 'Steam Thermoblock Temperature' to its highest, at +10C (Double button). Then finally I changed the 'Steam Wetness/Steam Pump Rate' to -0.2sec. (Program button).

    I think the steam pump rate outweighs the fact that the steam will be wetter. It's much faster at texturing milk this way for me, and gives me the best results. But that could come down to the milk you use also.

    My Espresso comes out exactly like on the DVD. I'll explain what I do...

    I grind on 5-6. For the 0440 I've found this the 'sweet zone'. Tamping pressure is very important I've found on the 6910. I do the progressive tamp method in thirds. The first two tamps are at a light pressure. I'll spin the tamp very lightly at first to help distribute the grounds evenly, then I will tamp down at pressure that's just over firm enough to create a light puck. This is performed twice for the first 2/3's. The final tamp will take awhile to get used to the correct level/dose. Like on the DVD, lock the end of the PF on the side of the bench and then 'lean' on the tamp. My feet are just over a foot out from the bench and together, and my elbow bent about 1/4 of the way. I finish of with a light pressure polish of 180. Then blow off the excess grounds. (Not when it's for others!)

    This for ME gives very consistent results. Bang on everytime! The 6910 can be a bit finicky to begin with, but you'll quickly master it.

    Can I ask, are you using fresh roasted beans? Makes a bit of a difference. I first started with some Jamaicablue beans (Gift from bro for Xmas) and they were ok I guess. But the best results I have achieved were from a fresh locally roasted blend. Crema, over all consistency, and taste were greatly improved!

    Look forward to hearing about your experiences with the combo. I hope my experiences may help you even in the slightest!

    Good luck!
    Matt.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that I only use the double basket!
    Last edited by MrSoulSong; 31st January 2014 at 02:31 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Ditto on most of that, with the addition of dose level. Since I first started with my 6910 and EM0480 I have dropped the standard dose about 2mm, particularly with the VST baskets but also with the standard basket I use for the missus' decaf.

    By dropping the dose a bit I can grind 1 or even 2 steps finer and still not choke the pour. My pressure gauge sits pretty much on the top of the upper 'good' zone for both and if I vary my tamp even slightly I tend to get dripples rather than a stream. ((dripple = fairly steady stream of drops - with the naked PF they come from all around the centre of the basket)

    My steam is as above, but I think I went the extra on the water temp (4+ IIRC)

    When it all goes right with fresh beans I can pour a double espresso and have well over 1cm of crema, and from doing one for the missus' triple-choc-espresso brownies, that crema is pretty much still there (albeit darker) about an hour later.

    Try using the pre-programmed shots. Get your process as regular as you can then try the double shot button and time the pour - you should get approx 60ml in about 25 - 30 seconds.

    Mind you I have also had a smooth and lovely double shot that took more than the timeout of the pour to arrive - but that's another story for when you can get repeatable good shots whenever you want.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Ditto fresh beans - and that doesn't mean supermarket beans which are before the use by date. You need fresh roasted which you will finish by the time they're about 3 weeks old.

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    Junior Member archheretic's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, will try tomorrow. I'm using freshly roasted proud Mary beans at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archheretic View Post
    Thanks for the replies, will try tomorrow. I'm using freshly roasted proud Mary beans at the moment.
    Hi archheretic

    I have two 6910's. Once they are correctly calibrated, the 6910 works best at (or very near to) the factory settings. Unfortunately, my newer 6910 was miles out and really needed to be set up properly "from scratch" on the main board. A few friends newer 6910's ditto.

    In your case, I would recommend you sort everything else out before you vary too far from the factory settings, or, if you have the skills, check what the settings of your 6910 actually are before you tinker. It is almost impossible to recover from scalding the milk* or overheating the espresso shot. FWIW, all the older 6910's I have seen are close, the newer ones are quite random.

    *MrSoulSong steam setting: If I did that to my older 6910 or "post calibrated newer 6910", it would be almost impossible to avoid scalding the milk in a less than a one litre jug. Your newer 6910: who knows?

    Your beans: as suggested, try dosing 3 to 4 mm below the top of the 15g basket then grinding them finer until the shot time is circa 22 to 30 seconds "from the start of the coffee flow" (i.e after pre-infusion). After that, tamping more often (every 1mm is the extreme) or at least three times and harder on the first one can be used to help fine tune the flow a little slower. After that, adjust away to your precise taste.

    Hope this helps


    TampIt



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