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Thread: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

  1. #1
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    Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well after reading through this website for a couple of hours I came to the conclusion:
    Most people here are obsessed about their coffee - bordering religious
    ...so I joined.

    So my wife bought me a coffee machine for Christmas (merry Xmas and happy new year by the way!)
    It was a Breville Professional 800. Now before you choke on your coffee - I have taken it back. Mainly because the steam didnt work. I turned the dial and steam started pouring out of every orifice except the spout. So I tried again and water sputted out in drips and drabs. So I tried again and got a mild jet of steam that took a few minutes and a big jug of watery milk later to get some frothy coffee (it started off being full cream milk and ended up HiLo - Im sure you get the picture). This happened every time I wanted steam and the spout was not blocked.

    Nevertheless, I need to get me a new coffee machine for my Christmas present (arent I lucky?!) and after much research boiled my decision down to a few potentials:

    The Sunbeam EM6910 - I like the fact that you can get steam and coffee at the same time ($600 or so?)
    The Gaggia Classic - Seems like a robust little unit from what I have read ($449 is the cheapest I have seen it)
    The Saeco Via Venezia ($440)
    or...
    possibly...
    (but REALLY stretching the budget...)
    a Rancilio Silvia - Seems like the holy grail of coffee machines on these forums (seen for $707 on 1 website)

    From what I gather though the Silvia and Classic are both very "manual" machines... which might be a bit of a bother in the morning when I have to go to work - will it mean that I need to wake up 30 mins earlier to kick start the thing?

    Any other suggestions for around the $500 mark?

  2. #2
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    Tons of info. is available in previous blogs. Just do a search.

    Around the marker you speak of...A classic or sunbeam or Rancilio would be great.

    There is nothing in that category that can compete with cup proven results.

    The Rancilio has a longer learning curve if your a newbie stay away. You will be

    unhappy for a long time and eventually you will learn how to dial it in.
    **if your willing to wait..its worth it.**

    THe gaggia is more forgiving. Both can be upgraded later once you get the hang of stuff with PIDs which are a must.

    THe Sunbeam i imagine does a fantastic job as well considering previous blogs.

    Visually its not my cup of tea.

    ps. the Classic was discontinued but all parts and support is there.
    the company decided to make cheap composite housings and buttons on the new lines
    **most likely for profit**
    no more simplicity in the design they all look like modern day stereos now.

    ;)


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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    You havent mentioned a grinder, do you have a proper espresso grinder (Sunbeam EM0450 or better)?

    If you dont, then you wont get the best out of any machine that you buy.

    A popular (and good) starter combo is the 6910 and EM0480 (or better if budget allows) grinder which will give you fantastic results. The Rancilio Rocky and Silvia are also a popular combo, but most probably a few hundred $ more than the Sunbeam combo but also arguably a longer term prospect.

    Sen

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    I do have a grinder... but its not a "good" one. Its only a couple of months old. Its an EM0415. It does churn the beans to a fine pulp... but from research I do see where this is a problem.

    Yeah, I am a bit of a newbie so a forgiving machine would be better. My wife used to do barrista work at a hotel so she is quite good... But I dare say that I will be using this machine mostly.
    I was leaning more towards the sunbeam, mainly because it was a little more automated. The drawback at this stage is that its a sunbeam and thus likely to be made in China in the same warehouse as Breville and all those other brands. In other words I cant imagine it lasting that long. Looking at reviews it seems to last the first year and a half fine then it develops problems. Then there are some nice italian machines which seem to last a very long time which is good. I did previously own a Kenwood coffee machine and I wasnt happy when it gave up the ghost.

    I didnt know they discontinued the Classic? Why is it still on Gaggias website then I wonder...?

    What are PIDs?

  5. #5
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    I doubt that the EM6910 is as bad as the Silvia owners make it out to be. ;-)

    If you dont abuse the machine (by overfilling, overtightening the portafilter or neglecting to clean/descale) it should be just fine for many years. Sunbeam have a 5 year pump warranty on the machine, so they certainly expect it to last at least that long. Sunbeam have an excellent reputation in terms of customer service - they really do stand behind the product.

    Sounds like a combination of EM6910 and EM0480 would work out pretty good for you.

    I used to turn up my nose at any non European coffee machine, but I am really happy with my EM6910.

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    Oh good.
    Thanks for that. Some reviews on other sites did have me a bit worried about the longevity of the machine. 1 website in particular had reviews for "Sunbeam Cafe Series Twin Thermoblock" - which I think bundled the EM6900 with the EM6910 - so the reviews were a mixed bag. Some people loved it. Others completely wrote it off. I hear the EM6900 had all sorts of problems.

    I must admit - some machines look real funky. Like that Giotto Domo Super Bar. But the price tag is way out of range!

    Nevertheless... I think my choice is leaning more and more towards the sunbeam.

    I guess the EM0415 doesnt cut it as a grinder then...?

  7. #7
    A_M
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    Quote Originally Posted by peteru link=1231078093/0#4 date=1231119149
    I doubt that the EM6910 is as bad as the Silvia owners make it out to be. ;-)

    If you dont abuse the machine (by overfilling, overtightening the portafilter or neglecting to clean/descale) it should be just fine for many years. Sunbeam have a 5 year pump warranty on the machine, so they certainly expect it to last at least that long. Sunbeam have an excellent reputation in terms of customer service - they really do stand behind the product.

    Sounds like a combination of EM6910 and EM0480 would work out pretty good for you.

    I used to turn up my nose at any non European coffee machine, but I am really happy with my EM6910.
    I have had *3 ( one since sold on) and the oldest is now 2 years and NO problems..

    However, *they are not as forgiving if you abuse or do not look after them, see above UNDERLINED and BOLD.

    If you get one - look for the round nose steam tip and on the inside on the Black label there will be a 4 digit number pressed in - sometimes hard to read. * This is *the weak and then year. *1208 means *it was manufactured in the 12 week *or 2008.

    There is some significant differences between the *6910 and 6900 *and even the later 6910 units have had some extra mods to improve reliability.

    I would suggest the EM0415 is not going to do the 6910 justice and at the very least an EM0480 *and or better. *

    I have a Rocky and it does quite well and should also see me into my next upgrade.. *

    However you must remember... *The best grinder you can afford and Fresh beans (Not supermarket) *will make all the difference to your coffee. *Also do some training ... what ever you get *be it the 6910 or *something from one of the sponsors take up the training offer.

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    Thanks!

    I hear there is a freebie training session with the EM6910. Might have to take that up or get my better half to walk me through it...
    Hmmm...
    Alright! Im convinced! Ill get a Sunbeam then! I do tend to look after my things. So hopefully it will last. No kids yet to destroy it either :P

    So now I have to source a replacement grinder then... The grinder I have now seems to do ok for plunger coffee. It also grounded things up pretty fine for the Breville. What do you look for in your grinds? How can I tell if the grinder is doing its job?


  9. #9
    A_M
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    Quote Originally Posted by scrawny link=1231078093/0#7 date=1231125340
    Thanks!

    I hear there is a freebie training session with the EM6910. Might have to take that up or get my better half to walk me through it...

    So now I have to source a replacement grinder then... The grinder I have now seems to do ok for plunger coffee. It also grounded things up pretty fine for the Breville. What do you look for in your grinds? How can I tell if the grinder is doing its job?
    There is lots of chat in the Grinder section.. To put it simple....

    1: Consistency
    2: Ability to adjust

    Now within each of those two broad statements these is lots to consider.... Including maintenance and mess.

    Any one of the sponsors will be able to assist... You just need to let your fingers to the walking...

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic o

    Thanks. Im a slow reader so summarising is good.

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    And Ive bought one! Woohoo!
    And Ive had about 4 coffees today already!
    :o
    I like it! What a great little machine from Sunbeam. Whoever would have thought that plastic fantastic sunbeam would have come out with something this "solid"?

    I bought some great coffee from Merlo Coffee at the Orion Shopping complex in Springfield too. Need to put a good grinder on the shopping list now. Using the EM0415 as a backup for the time being.

    *;D

    Time to go read a book or two to try and calm down...

  12. #12
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Congratulatios Scrawny and welcome to the 69 Tenners club! I love my machine and am having a huge amount of fun with it.

    I second (third?) everyones recommendation to get yourself a burr grinder as soon as possible and you wont look back.

    Cheers
    Di

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Hey! Thanks. Need a bit of practice getting that milk right though. This morning the shot came out alright (as far as Im concerned anyway), but the milk was a bit of a let down. I spose using long life milk didnt help though... :-/

    I saw the guy in the DVD using a thermometer. Maybe I should get one of those. Do you have one of those Hoyks?
    Also, does you 6910 drip slightly out of the water spout when you are pulling a shot?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Yep, I definitely have a thermometer and use it religiously. The best way to get the milk is to let the steam shoot out of the wand for 20-30 seconds (get up to pressure), turn off the steam, put it in your milk just below the surface and turn it back on. Then pull your milk jug down until its just sitting on the surface and breaking it a bit (you hear a "shhhhllllrr sound) for about 5-10 seconds, and then put your steam tip back under the surface of the milk by about 1cm for the rest of the heating process, putting the jug on an angle so that it creates a whirlpool. This is all using the medium size (600ml) jug that came with the Sunbeam. You shouldnt heat the milk beyond 60-65 degrees or so or the milk burns, which is where the thermometer comes in handy.

    You should be able to get one in a kitchenware store such as House if you have one handy or through any of the sponsors listed to the left (warning: go to these sites and you see 100 things you feel you need to go with the machine, like tamping mats, more expensive grinders, etc - its dazzling!)

    I dont get any water dripping out of my water wand unless I have used it and not turned it off all the way. I dont use it often though - its much quicker to use the kettle still!

    If you havent already, jump on the Sunbeam site and put your name down for one of the free Coffee School classes. They are well worth the trip into Brizzy for it and you get a couple of good hours practising with someone elses milk and coffee! :)

    Cheers
    Di

  15. #15
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D5D4C5F4950473E0 link=1231078093/12#12 date=1231888701
    Hey! Thanks. Need a bit of practice getting that milk right though. This morning the shot came out alright (as far as Im concerned anyway), but the milk was a bit of a let down. I spose using long life milk didnt help though... *:-/

    I saw the guy in the DVD using a thermometer. Maybe I should get one of those. Do you have one of those Hoyks?
    Also, does you 6910 drip slightly out of the water spout when you are pulling a shot?
    Ive owned a coffee machine of some sort for about 4 years and still use a thermometer even though I no longer need too. *I highly recommend getting one, *for a small outlay of about $12 its one less thing you need to worry about when learning. *

    There should be no dripping if it is all the way off.

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    You can get by without the thermometer if you need to, just heat the milk until the side of the pitcher is too hot to touch for more than about 1/2 a second, your milk should be about right.

    The dripping wand could be a sign of a problem, it may pay to ring sunbeam about it (if she is still there, try to get Poppy, apparantly she is the goddess of good customer service). If its not a sign of a problem, nothing lost.

    I 3rd/4th the grinder recommendation, minimum of Sunbeam EM0450 or better.

    Sen

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    I got a thermometer at Wheel and Barrow for $10

    it has 70 degrees marked in red.
    I usually heat milk up to low 70s as I like it on the hot side!

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Depends on what you mean by dripping ??

    On occasions I have seen mine let go an odd eye drop amount at times. *However I do use the Hot water and also on occasion have not closed off correctly.

    With no group in the system run some Hot water from the hot water spout and see what happens.... The run some steam .... Then do a Manual run .....

    *Let us know what happens in each case..

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Basically, it doesnt leak any water when I run manual or steam. However, when I have coffee grinds in the handle and am running a shot, a drop or three drips from the water spout. Its no big issue... just doesnt look right thats all. I thought it might have been back-pressure release of some sort... if that makes any sense.

    In Addition: I just went back to steam and another drop or two dripped from the spout. Still running manual with no coffee grinds doesnt produce any leakage from the spout.

    Would love to do the coffee class in Brisbane... only problem is getting the time. Would be great if I could.

    Saw one of my friends on the DVD as well! Meeghan. Used to coach her at basketball. Its a small world after all.

    The shopping list has been reviewed. Now if I werent flat broke from Christmas I would be out there now!
    8-)


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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    The reason I asked as to when running Hot Water (HW) via the spout.. Is that there is a one vay valve in the group head...

    I have experienced it where some gunk got in and when I ran hot water via the HW wand, lots would come out the group head..

    I understand this is a simple fix so was trying to ascertain if your issue might have been the same...

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Ah! Ok.
    Well the machine is brand new so Im not sure what junk would already be up there. I have actually ran the hot water out of the spout and it comes out fine. There was nothing that came out of the group head when I did that either. Can check again soon if you like?

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    I just sold my 6910 a week ago and took delivery today of the Silvia. And my first shot was enough to convince me Id done the right thing.
    The Sunbeam is a fantastic machine. No doubt about that at all. A great machine in fact.
    The Silvia is more fiddly and you need a fair bit of experience with that sort of machine (which Id gained with an ECM Botticelli) and need to do a fair bit of research on the internet about pulling the perfect shot (hardly needed with the Sunbeam)
    But when you know what youre doing, the espresso from the Silvia is a very sweet league ahead. And the froth is hugely superior too. And thats judged on just my very first effort!

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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    One day Ill reach that level... but for the time being Im quite happy with what I have.
    I did think about getting the Rancilio... but price and experience was a short-coming. I just wanted something that would just work.
    I dont really have time to fiddle with settings and the like. I saw a guy on YouTube pulling a shot and was surprised with the process from woe to go. Took ages!

    1 thing I do like about the EM6910 is the time it takes to warm up.


  24. #24
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    When it says its ready and when its at it best overall temp, I think are two different things.

    I used to turn it on in the morning at work as I walked to my desk so that it would be well and truly warmed up for my coffee a few hours later.

    (Other people would use it in the meantime before me.)

  25. #25
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    Re: Newbies decision - EM6910 or Gaggia Classic or...

    Ya!
    Well I turned it on as soon as I got up this morning and didnt actually use it until about 20 mins later.



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