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Thread: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

  1. #1
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    David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

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

    I am in the market for a new machine (currently Breville 800ES) in the sub $900 zone. DJs are advertising their 15-20% off sale at the moment.

    DJ stock: Saeco, DeLonghi, Breville, Sunbeam, Jura and Gaggia.

    I have searched all of these machines and my findings are that I am priced out of DeLonghi, Saeco and Jura. Leaving Breville, sunbeam and Gaggia.

    So short list: Sunbeam EM6910, Breville BES820 and Gaggia baby twin or classic.

    Help please! what is the best of this bunch? The Breville BES820 seems to only be upgraded from the 800ES that I have at the moment by the extra automation and the addition of the dedicated water wand. Neither of these will get a look in at my place.

    My wants are: preferably no in-built grinder, user steam milk (not auto) and maybe non-pressurised basket.

    Am I stuck with the Sunbeam that seems to get a fair bit mechanical issues talk? Or is the Gaggia a better option?

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    The Sunbeam is probably the best of the "bunch" Id reckon...

    Perhaps with the discount, you could buy two as you will most likely need the spare to use whilst the other is in being repaired.... ::)

    I have always thought that 20% saved on something that was cheap rather than the right machine for your needs is much more likely to be 20% wasted....

    I reckon its much better to save and wait...

    Chris


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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    For toughness and simplicity of those the Gaggia to my way of thinking for ease of use and good results the Sunbeam while it stays working and forget the Breville for a start.

    As to which I would pick in that sort of budget range none of the above is the answer. In that end of the market to keep the longevity of the machine high you want simple reliable and tough to keep the ongoing costs down. The machines easiest to get in Oz at present are the Rancilio Silvia or the Nemox/Lelit machines (check out the current threads).

    Or as Chris mentioned keep saving a bit more and look at an Ex CS machine of a better quality.

  4. #4
    TC
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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Youre right bf,

    Id actually choose the Silvia as well ;D

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    I would love to have the Silvia, but the problem is that I am attempting to get the machine at the DJ sale on their 3yr interest free. I am fairly sure that they dont stock Rancilio. I like the Nemox also, would love a big copper boiler but do DJs stock them? I read a post on here a while ago about someone having trouble with one and returning it to DJs but unsure how old the post was... Rang DJs this morning about what they stocked but they were only answering yes to those I could list (although most werent available at the time) and I didnt mention Rancilio or Nemox.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Just called DJs again. No Rancilio, no Nemox and sold out of Gaggia Classic with no idea of when stock will be arriving.

    Makes for a very short, short list. Sunbeam or Breville. I am thinking a new group seal, an unpressurised basket and a lot of upgrade-itis suppression is in order.............

  7. #7
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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Just want to clarify something first...

    It looks like you are considering a very diverse ray of machines including superautomatics (machines with built-in grinders). When you say you donít want a machine with built-in grinder are you referring to superautomatic machines i.e. ones where you just push a button and it does the rest for you?

    The Lelit Combi & Nemox Dell Opera (the same machine sold under different names) are manual machines which have a built-in grinder. If you donít already have a grinder I would highly recommend these machines, they are much more reliable then those made by the appliance manufacturers you mentioned.

    Here are a couple of links from sponsors:

    http://talkcoffee.com.au/equipment/coffee-machine-lelit-combi.php
    http://(no free plug here)/nemox-fenice-espresso-machine-p-126.html?osCsid=d20b056cf4535758e084b709778ab062 (this is the same machine but with no grinder)

    From the list you mentioned I have heard the Gaggia Classic is pretty robust although it has a aluminium boiler so you want to be extra careful with water quality (but this is probably true of any coffee machine).

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 626069653E3E080 link=1275359703/5#5 date=1275364765
    I am thinking a new group seal, an unpressurised basket and a lot of upgrade-itis suppression is in order.............
    Sounds like a smart move, I would invest $600 in a Compak K3T grinder and a bit more in unpressurised basket and a good tamper (if you donít have one). Combine this with good quality, freshly roasted beans and good technique.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    I will detail my full kit how it stands at present: Breville 800ES, std Tamper, Sunbeam EM0480 grinder and a Breville knock-out bin (but that is unimportant).

    I have tampered with an old filter basket and drilled out the second wall of the dual wall, but I often just use the dual wall because my wife has issues with getting consistent results so I just leave the dounle wall in place. I usually get a decent crema from my modified basket, but my group head seal has been dying of late (squirt of water out the front).

    I do buy good beans, but we are guilty of storing them too long. I often order 2 x 1kg which will take us a month to use. I will be buying from DiBella this week, but only 1kg because it wont need postage.

    Funny thing is, I have enjoyed the Breville! I have been getting good results, just the finish on the machine is average and probably unhygenic. The brushed stainless look is peeling in places to reveal its true heart...... plastic!!

    Oh, and we usually only drink milk drinks. I have the occasional short black and macchiato, but usually a flat white for me and a cappuccino for my wife.

  10. #10
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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 37363C2F31342E5D0 link=1275359703/7#7 date=1275365157
    jham66 wrote on Today at 1:59pm:

    I am thinking a new group seal, an unpressurised basket and a lot of upgrade-itis suppression is in order.............
    Sounds like a smart move, I would invest $600 in a Compak K3T grinder and a bit more in unpressurised basket and a good tamper (if you donít have one).Combine this with good quality, freshly roasted beans and good technique.
    Completely agree. No point spending this sort of money (even interest free defered payments) to step sideways. Go play with some sponsors machines so that you know what to save for. You also dont want a bill for $600 in three years for a machine that has been dead (or you wish would die!) for the past two...

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    I started with the Breville 820, was reasonably happy with the coffee, thought the steam was terrible but worst of all I couldnt solve the wet puck problem. This was after using an unpressurised basket and even flattened out the concave and ridged shower screen. (I even modified it so that I could change the water temp)

    So after a month or two I bought the Sunbeam 6910 and have had it for about 14 months. The coffee was better straight away, the steam is better but not great (and you can steam and extract at the same time) and hard dry pucks are pretty easy.

    I take the 820 away on holidays with me and mainly notice that with the wet puck problem the machine seems dirtier to use.

    I am very happy with the 6910 but saying that I dont expect it to last beyond 3 years but you never know.

  12. #12
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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Ya get what ya pay for in most cases..

    However coffee machines all require Fresh coffee (That is roasted and ground AS required) and a level of user understanding and input.

    Thus if done right a cheep machine can give good coffee... But the ease and functionality of making that and stretched milk.. Can add to teh stress levels... And worse if more than two wanting it.

    While many bag teh EM6910.. The latest model does have some smarter improvements.. But nothing to manage less than smart users.. Just like a Silvia... Manage its little issues and the machine will serve you well... FOR THE DOLLARS...

    PS. GJ are running a promo.. Em6910 and EM0480 for cups of coffee...

    I walked pass... Wanted the machine; but thats a bit of a steep ask...

    JG Coffee ?

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C474E585B562F0 link=1275359703/10#10 date=1275370377
    I am very happy with the 6910 but saying that I dont expect it to last beyond 3 years but you never know.

    See, I dont even think that longevity is that big a problem. If it produces a good cup of coffee for 2 years I would be very happy. It will most probably be looking very second hand and I will be happy to upgrade or step to the side again.
    Our current machine is just now peering into its third year of use, with zero malfunctions, zero service.
    The steam is (and always has been) a bit slow, but.... if you plug the steam wand with the provided cleaner for a second or two, the pressure backs up and there you have decent steam!

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 66646D613A3A0C0 link=1275359703/12#12 date=1275372133
    Our current machine is just now peering into its third year of use, with zero malfunctions, zero service.
    Zero service eh? certainly sounds like a good time to replace, "The End is Nigh" ;)

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B69606C3737010 link=1275359703/12#12 date=1275372133
    See, I dont even think that longevity is that big a problem. If it produces a good cup of coffee for 2 years I would be very happy
    If you consider you this statement then you are considering potentially writing off $2-300 per year over 3 years. Over this time the Silvia will have lost at most $300 Total from new and still be good for years to come. Still doesnt add up over the longer term to me unless you were only planning to make coffee for the next 3 years then take up drinking tea :D

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    For less than $1 per day I can have a machine to make myself a great cup of coffee. Seems good value to me! As a per cup rate it would seem an absolute steal!!

    But......yes, I would love it to last longer! sadly at the end of the market I am buying its unlikely event (although a welcome event).

    I would really like the Silvia(!!!!), but cannot afford to buy it outright at present. Maybe at tax return time if I dont get a bill.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A08010D5656600 link=1275359703/15#15 date=1275375934
    For less than $1 per day I can have a machine to make myself a great cup of coffee. Seems good value to me! As a per cup rate it would seem an absolute steal!!

    But......yes, I would love it to last longer! sadly at the end of the market I am buying its unlikely event (although a welcome event).

    I would really like the Silvia(!!!!), but cannot afford to buy it outright at present. Maybe at tax return time if I dont get a bill.
    I bought a Silvia in 2001 and sold it recently for $350, yep they do hold their value, 9 years of service and worked out to about 5 cents a day, still performing like new. ;)

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 494B424E1515230 link=1275359703/15#15 date=1275375934
    Maybe at tax return time if I dont get a bill.

    Tax return time isnt far away. For the dollars you are looking at you could buy a nemox/lelit with an inbuilt grinder. It is the same burr set as your sunbeam grinder. You could even sell your grinder on here for $100 and put that towards a machine.

    BTW a propper machine will still look as good as new in 3 years. Theyre built to last.

    One thing to keep in mind is that unpressurised filters require care(and fresh beans) as you know to get a good shot. You will want to be sure that your wife is willing to learn the extra processes to perfect that shot with unpressurised. Sunbeam comes with both filters so that may still be your best option.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    That is pretty cool!

    I am investigating seals for my current Breville to keep her going until tax return time, see if I can get enough back..... and the Breville is performing like new (apart from group seal) but looks her age!!!

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    I would echo the "save and buy better" option. If I had my time again, I would have bought a second hand awesome machine, rather than a brand new Breville.

    FYI I have the BES820, and while it looks fine (its not plated plastic), Im not happy with the pressure. It cant push enough to get 30ml in 30s. The best I can do is about 15-20s. Any finer grind / harder tamp means the pressure guage goes red, and the machine sounds very very sick! I believe your 800ES has most of the same internals as my 820, so you wouldnt gain much by "upgrading", IMHO.

    shawty complains about his wet puck, which I dont have a problem with (krups basket), so that possibly points to manufacturing differences.

    Im currently keeping my eye out for a second hand quality machine to replace it.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    If you can keep the Breville alive, do so.
    I echo the "keep saving" sentiments.
    Ive used a Sunbeam 6910 on/off over the last 4 years and have been lucky that it only needed one major service (group head and circuit board) just before its 12 month warranty expired.

    That machine was at work, not mine.

    I have an Expobar Leva and was in the fortunate position at the time to buy it as my first machine.

    Ive asked fellow Snobs that have started cheap and worked their way up to where I am now if Ive missed anything by jumping straight into the deep end.
    The answer was "only the bad things".

    If you can wait, youll save money in the long run and end up with a machine that will last longer.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 373F37303A3C5E0 link=1275359703/19#19 date=1275528270
    FYI I have the BES820, and while it looks fine (its not plated plastic), Im not happy with the pressure. *It cant push enough to get 30ml in 30s. *The best I can do is about 15-20s. *Any finer grind / harder tamp means the pressure guage goes red, and the machine sounds very very sick! *I believe your 800ES has most of the same internals as my 820, so you wouldnt gain much by "upgrading", IMHO.
    Yeah the 800 and 820 are nearly identical. Just get a few extra functions. I would say it too has the coated SS finish, and you are right it isnt plastic, but a corrodible metal instead. Looked after properly it will serve you well. I must add here that I have no major issues with the Breville, we are just moving on and I am trying to refine my coffee. This by large just wanting a new toy!

    If you want to increase the speed of the shot you need to grind the coffee less fine(more coarse) or tamp less hard. It is a 16 Barr pressure pump (give or take) and you can overload almost any machine out there with too fine a grind.

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 232128247F7F490 link=1275359703/21#21 date=1275546871
    If you want to increase the speed of the shot
    nooo, I want to DECREASE the speed of my shot - 15-20s is too fast! And I cant grind finer and tamp harder because the Breville will go "pop" one of these days :)

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    Re: David Jones sale... best of the bad bunch

    Quote Originally Posted by 4840484F4543210 link=1275359703/22#22 date=1275547730
    Quote Originally Posted by 232128247F7F490 link=1275359703/21#21 date=1275546871
    If you want to increase the speed of the shot
    nooo, I want to DECREASE the speed of my shot - 15-20s is too fast! *And I cant grind finer and tamp harder because the Breville will go "pop" one of these days :)
    Ha sorry, doing two things at once..... Still trying to sort out the old coffee machine!



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