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Thread: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there

    I found your site yesterday after looking at the Choice site for recommendations on a new coffee machine. I am from Singleton NSW. My husband is particular about his coffee (wouldnt say fanatic but heading that way). We have a Kruups (I think) which I somehow broke a plastic piece off on the weekend - bad mistake! Any way it is his birthday in a couple of weeks and I thought I would purchase a new machine. He has had the old one for a number of years so it is time to upgrade.

    We tend to make capuccinos in small quantities normally two but more when we have guests. We also take the machine with us to family functions - sounds fanatical really. I was wondering if coffee snobs has a best machine for up to $700 approximately.


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    Hi again

    Sorry I am going to take this back as I can now see that you guys get asked this question a lot and I think I may have the answer.

    Could you just confirm for me that the Sunbeam EM6910 with a grinder is probably the best option for the budget?


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    Hi Marg,

    And welcome to CS! *Where to begin...
    You will find plenty of useful information on this site. *You can read through the machine and grinder reviews for a start.

    The first piece of advice that you will likely hear over and over and over again is that you need to buy a quality coffee grinder. *This is essential. *As essential as fresh beans and good technique. *A machine will only perform if these factors are covered.

    If you dont already have one and $700 includes the grinder then youre looking at a Sunbeam 6910 espresso machine and a matching 0480 grinder. *You can pick up the combo for about 6-700. *The grinder is adequate but entry level. *The machine is adequate but it is not a long term investment.

    Otherwise spend a little more on the grinder if you can. *Ascaso I-mini; Iberital Challenge; Rancilio Rocky (250-450). *Check out the second hand options in the for sale section as well for both grinders and machines. *
    Second hand Silvias come up for about 500 from time to time and are great value if you are doing up to 4 milk drinks at a time. *If you need to do more the 6910 has a thermoblock which allows you to steam and pour shots simultaneously.

    good luck and welcome once again,


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    Welcome! First thing off the bat, dont take too much notice of choice magazine ;)
    Im fairly new at this myself, but having gone through a similar process recently on here (and eventually spending too much money!), the focus is always on the grinder, then the machine. As far as machines around that range, there seems to be 2 options.

    1) Buy a Sunbeam 6910, which is a nice looking thermoblock machine, that makes good milk drinks and decent espresso, and is user friendly. But dont expect it to last and plan to replace it within 3 years (seems any time over 2 years is a bonus). This can be matched with an EM0480 grinder and youll probably be able to get both for under $700.

    2) Buy a Rancilio Silvia. The machine will cost you about $800, but will survive a nuclear fallout (or thereabouts). Its not as pretty, but is a more powerful and sturdy machine. its not very user friendly though, and would be more suited to someone wanting to start on their snobby journey and is prepared to fiddle around for a while to get better results. It must also be matched with a grinder, and while the EM0480 works OK, it lacks the fine-tuning needed for a silvia (without some modifications) and youll probably need to look at more money for that in the near future.

    Hope this gives you a good start, and make sure you check out plenty of previous threads for some more info. Oh, and fresh beans are a must! NO SUPERMARKET ;D
    bcspark likes this.

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Marg.

    The most common answer youll get here is that you need a good grinder first.
    That way you can use freshly roasted beans ground just before use for the best coffee outcome.

    Do you have a grinder and if yes which one?

    If not, just to answer your question, the Sunbeam 6910 is coming down in price and if you shop around can be had for around $550.

    Do a search of this site and youll find plenty of feedback on the 6910s.
    Ive used one for over a year now and they are quite capable of making a good coffee and steam milk reasonably well without having to wait for them to heat up after making the coffee.
    One would easily cope with your stated usage.

    If you can pick up the 6910 cheaply enough youll have some spending money left for a grinder.

    The matching Sunbeam grinders (0450 or 0480) are the minimum standard for espresso grinding.
    They RRP is $149 & $199.
    The 0480 has the same internals but comes with a metal body and an extra switch for grinding into a container.
    I think it also comes with a longer warranty.

    However, if you can stretch the budget a little more to say $3-400, you could get a grinder that grinds better and should last a lot longer.

    Try contacting some of the sponsors from the list on the left of the page to ask about grinders.

    The Ascaso mini and the Rocky come to mind.

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    snap. snap. :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Armidale, NSW

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    Hi Marg,

    You could also check out the Lelit Combi / Nemox Dell Opera, at apx $750-800 new (at present, but probably going up soon).

    Similar type single boiler machine to Silvia plus built-in conical burr grinder.

    Good value for money machines and make good coffee.


  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Warwick, QLD

    Re: First time on Coffee Snobs and looking to purchase a coffee machine!

    I support Gregs suggestion and recommendation....

    The Lelit/Nemox/Imat/Quaha range of machines are excellent value and very well made and a much better prospect than buying a Sunbeam of any description. Have a look at whats on offer from one of our sponsors over to the left and see how you go. I know that "(no free plug here)" stock them and will look after you as a fellow CoffeeSnob member. Of the units listed on this page, Id recommend either the "Nemox Fenice Espresso" and buy a separate Grinder or the combination espresso/grinder machine, the "Nemox Dell Opera".

    You wont be sorry and properly looked after they will last you a lifetime. All the best :)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Melbourne, Vic
    You wont go wrong with a Rancilio Silvia.
    Second hand from evil bay or the coffee hardware for sale section would be a good place to start.
    Go the V3 if you can.
    Paired with a Breville smart grinder and you will be very happy.
    What ever you do dont by a pod machine!!!

    Happy Shopping

  10. #10
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Thought I'd chime in... I bought a 2nd hand EM6910 almost a year back and have never regretted it. Many here think it is kinda below par as a machine but it just works. No need to run through a 10 minute steam&pour&refill&wait&steam&pour routine to get it suitable to make the first coffee, no issues with waiting for pressure to build again so you can steam the milk and you can make coffees pretty much till the water runs out.

    The thing is, unlike a boiler system where using the contents of the boiler changes the pressure profile and or temp, the thermoblock system just pumps water into a hot block of metal and with the Sunbeam 6910 and 7000 there are 2 blocks, one for the hot water and one for steam. You can use them together with no impact on either coffee or steam.

    Another unnoticed thing about the SB range is that, because you don't have the 'pray 3 times to the North and West but never the East' and 'make offerings to the coffee gods to make sure your machine is the same for this coffee as the last one,' you learn about making coffee. Get it wrong and you KNOW it is your technique that has changed, not because your machine is in Sagittarius with Saturn in opposition.

    The grinder advice is tops - don't scrimp on the grinder if you want good coffee. There are deals right now for a SB EM7000 coffee machine with a free SB EM0480 grinder - around your price range. I'd go either for that (apparently the new EM0480 grinders don't have the issues the earlier ones did - see for a tale of my grinder journey) or for an EM6910 and step up to the EM0500 grinder.

    The attractive thing about the EM0500 is the 40 settings for grinds - the one thing I find annoying about the EM0480 is the significant difference between grind steps on the scale - with more steps, the EM0500 should be more responsive to finding the correct grind setting for the type/roast/age etc. of your beans.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    WA, perth
    if you're going down the em480 path i'd be weary of the different editions of the 'same' model grinder see for more on the em480.
    also the 6910's are known to have problems with three-way valves - so you'll need to make sure your water is nice and soft and regularly cleaned (but you'll need to do that with any machine)
    i agree with journeyman that the 6910 is a really good machine if well looked after. mine is now 5 years old and still pulling great shots. the only point of frustration for me with the 6910 is temperature variations from time to time. but overall it just works well. =) any machine with a PID is out of price range anyway... i guess a racilio silvia has the potential to upgrade with a PID and would give it the advantage, but price-wise you'd have to get one 2nd hand

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