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Thread: Sunbeam EM2300, EM4800C or EM5600?

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam EM2300, EM4800C or EM5600?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there,
    Im looking for a very cheap entry-level machine. Im looking in particular at the Sunbeams EM2300 (Ristretto), 4800C (Crema) and 5600 (Latte). Im the sterotypical poor student, but Im hoping to pick up a grinder as well and hopefully a non-pressurised basket (if its possible for these machines). As far as I can see the pros and cons of each machine (in my situation) are as follows:
    Ristretto:
    - Pros: Cheap. Allows me to get a grinder and leaves me with leftover cash to modify it a little.
    - Cons: Cheap. Lacking in features, the lack of a cup warming tray worries me.
    - Other: Someone on this forum has said it makes a decent espresso, true or false?

    Crema:
    - Pros: Allows me to (just) get a grinder, which Ive read is essential to making a good coffee. Has a cup warming tray.
    - Cons: Havent heard anything about the espresso quality. It reminds me of a digital camera I once bought: not bad, but not good.

    Latte:
    - Pros: Programming and temperature LCD - good for a newbie like me who has no idea about these things.
    - Cons: The fatal con of being too expensive to allow for purchase of a grinder (for a while at least).

    Now, this may seem strange coming from someone whos looking to buy a coffee machine - but I dont drink much coffee. I probably drink one espresso per day, when its readily available. While I dont drink much coffee, I want a good one when I do. I realise that Im choosing from three very low end machines here, but its very important that I dont break the bank.

    So why am I getting a coffee machine? I love making coffee.
    I will be getting a lot of use out of the steam wand - for hot chocolates and such, so that part of the machine in very important.

    I dont really know much about coffee machines and cant really find in-depth techincal specifications of the above machines or Id research them. If there are any comprably priced machines that are better technically (Id prefer around $200 for the machine, so I can get a decent grinder) feel free to inform me :) I may also be recieving additional funding which would allow for the purchase of a more expensive machine (Im looking at the EM5900, but open to suggestions again) but Im really not counting on it.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, but please bear in mind that I have very little room to move on the budget at the moment.

    Thanks,
    Evan.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300, EM4800C or EM5600?

    I have a Ristretto at work, still going fine after almost 1 year making 3-4 coffees a day.

    A decent budget starter setup could be the Ristretto and a Sunbeam EM0480/EM0450 grinder with unpressurised baskets. That would set you back about $300 I guess.

    I wouldnt be too worried about a cup warming tray, I just pour a shot of water through it first into the cup and that warms the machine and the cup up enough.

    Also the Ristretto has a boiler, not a thermoblock. This I believe is an advantage as you have more control over the steaming.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300, EM4800C or EM5600?

    Yep,

    Agree with knaff David 8-)..... The little Ristretto packs a lot of bang for buck and coupled with one of the aforementioned SB grinders, standard basket and freshly roasted, high quality beans only ground immediately prior to pulling a shot, you will end up with a very satisfying cup of coffee so long as you do your part. Something not mentioned above, and especially important when using a standard basket(single-walled, not double-walled) is the acquisition of a decent quality, properly fitted Tamper. You could either have a go at making one yourself or grab one of the beauties available from one or several of our site sponsors listed on the top L/H side of the page.

    All the best :),
    Mal.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300, EM4800C or EM5600?

    Thanks alot guys :) Looks like Ill go with a Ristretto then - should allow me to upgrade sooner than the others, too.

    On the tamper: at work I use one thats built into the grinder. Are there any entry-level grinders with similar setups?

    EDIT: When I say "built in" to the grinder, I mean that its attached securely to it.

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM2300, EM4800C or EM5600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidovic link=1206794292/0#3 date=1206872159
    On the tamper: at work I use one thats built into the grinder. Are there any entry-level grinders with similar setups?

    EDIT: When I say "built in" to the grinder, I mean that its attached securely to it.
    Gday again mate,

    Usually, grinders with Tampers attached to them are more a commercial or prosumer type of machine and worth quite a bit of money..... $750 and up. Quite apart from that though, this type of Tamper will never allow you to properly and consistently tamp your coffee into the basket. To get the best from your coffee, you need a separate and properly designed Tamper coupled with a consistent technique. Im not really sure whether decent Tampers are available off the shelf for SB and Breville style machines.

    When I had a SB machine many moons ago, I asked one of our site sponsors Greg Pullman, to make a Custom Fitted Tamper for me with a beautiful Jarrah handle and this simple device made it very easy for me to develop a technique that was effective and repeatable..... Very important when consistency is the hallmark of being able to produce excellent espresso day in and day out.

    Cheers David :),
    Mal.



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