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Thread: Yeah im allowed a what do i buy!!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Yeah im allowed a what do i buy!!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    After many hours reading posts and research im more confused than when i started out. :-?

    After months of asking my hubby for one, today he walks me into Target any askes what one i want!! ;D no warning no pre-planning. >:( I had looked at the Sunbeam Cafe Crema thinking this was a good buy for under $200?? am i right or should i look at others. I then looked at the Sunbeam EM5800 and asked hubby what was my budget im allowed around $300. Hubby has conections with the appliance industry so what retail price is i may getting cheaper so i guess anything under $400 retail pricewould work.

    I recall reading that sunbeam won an italian coffee making award for their domestic machines last year??? does anyone know about this? Thats why i was looking at Sunbeam but now after looking at some posts i see that the Breville Ikon is also mentioned as an ok machine.

    I thought i just needed that machine but now with all this talk extras im really confused! I love a good coffee and i want to be able to make as great a coffee at home. Things im looking for are able to do great milk, can make a few coffees in a row for when friends are around. I dont mind if it takes a while to heatup to start with but i dont want to be waiting 15mins between coffees.

    any help would be great.

    thanks ;D

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Yeah im allowed a what do i buy

    Dont forget a grinder to go with your new machine!

    Grinder > machine

    With 400, I would spend at least 120-150 on a grinder

    The ikon is a boiler machine so i would think it steams milk a little better compared to the thermoblocks?

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Warwick, QLD

    Re: Yeah im allowed a what do i buy

    Gday mumma,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs....... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    I agree with Gavin, a decent grinder is an absolute must and the Breville Ikon (400ES I think) is probably one of the best entry level machines to go for. Id steer clear of any of the cheaper Sunbeams (Ristretto notwithstanding) as these are all constructed around a very cheap and nasty thermoblock system. Both the SB Ristretto and the Breville Ikon use a stainless steel boiler (the Ikons is a bit bigger) and this is to be much preferred over aluminium thermoblocks.

    However, in the overall scheme of things, the most important component in the mix..... is the quality and freshness of the coffee beans. You have no hope at all of achieving great coffee unless you start out with high quality, freshly roasted beans and then, only ground immediately prior to making your brew. Ground coffee goes stale awfully quickly, after three minutes of being ground you might as well throw it in the bin and start again. This brings you to the next most important item... The grinder. More important than the machinery used to brew the coffee by far. Unless you have a decent grinder that is capable of grinding the beans to a consistent particle size, day in and day out, you wont be able to extract the best out of the bean.

    The next most important item in the mix, is you, the Barista. Unless you have developed your technique to the point where you can consistently dose, distribute and tamp your coffee in the PF basket the same way each and every time, it will be very difficult to consistently extract excellent coffee. Last in the train of importance towards the realisation of consistently excellent coffee is the espresso machine itself. In fact, if you have all the previous items properly covered, the actual method of brewing isnt all that important just so long as you understand how to get the best from what ever method you use.

    As far as hardware is concerned, the Grinder is wwwaaayyy more important than the brewing hardware as without a good quality grinder youre always going to be behind the 8-Ball, regardless of which brew method you employ. So, if your budget limit is more or less fixed at around $300, then I would suggest that you use this to buy a grinder first (there are a couple that can be bought at this "entry level" budget) and then employ one of the cheaper methods of brewing such as Plunger, Moka Pot, AeroPress (these are great 8-)), etc etc. This may not be the advice you expected but it is honestly the best advice to give when you are first starting out. Anyway, hope this has been of some help to you. All the best :),


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Yeah im allowed a what do i buy

    I was faced with this question a little over a year ago (has time flown!) and after much consideration ended up with a Gaggia Carezza. I also had a Breville Bar Aroma grinder then which did the job, but only just. The grinder is more important than the machine itself so that really should be the first question. As for the machine itself, in hindsight, Id have to say the Gaggia Carezza was the ideal first machine. Unpressurised basket, commercial sized portafilter (58mm), boiler system not thermoblock, everything you need to make a decent coffee. If you can find one of them second hand, its well worth a look. But without a decent grinder, it wont make you good coffee. What grinder to get, you say?
    If youre on a tight budget, a Sunbeam EM0450 would be the minimum, but if youre willing to stretch that a little further, look at an Iberital Challenge. And welcome to the wonderful world of coffeesnobbery.

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