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Thread: EM7000 - After 7 years I just found out I'm a newb

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    EM7000 - After 7 years I just found out I'm a newb

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    I've been using sunbeam EM4800s for about seven years with results so pleasing I thought I knew what I was doing.
    I've got a Cuisinart burr grinder and I've been using Vittoria Nero beans from the supermarket - which have been great in the cheap machine.
    Today I realised the dream and upgraded to an EM7000 - Domayne were selling them can't ignore it cheap.
    I'm guessing my beans are way wrong for the new machine, but I am having heartbreaking failure so far.
    The pressure gauge is not even budging when I load up, although if I insert the cleaning disk it goes through the roof, so something is right...
    It doesnt move whether I tamp hard, soft, whether I underload or overload. With the one or two cup basket.
    I am getting coffee flavoured water and next to zero Crema. My puck is bone dry.
    Have I made a huge mistake? Am I way out of my depth? Is it me, the beans or my hardware?
    Any suggestions will help me sleep through the weekend, whilst I wait for a chance to call Sunbeam and cry into the phone.
    It feels like a really crappy coming of age drama.

  2. #2
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    Hi mate.
    There is a saying that the grinder is more important than the machine.
    To start I would get some fresh locally roasted beans from a cafe near you, instead if using old store coffee beans.
    Then if your grinder can be adjusted grind the beans finer and go again.
    You should also have two sets of baskets for your portafilter, if the above is not helping try using the pressurised baskets. It's the one with one hole at the bottom.
    If still no luck and for really great results, you may want to upgrade to the matching sunbeam conical burr grinder which will work great with your shiny new machine.
    For now worst case I think the pressurised baskets will get you off to a start though
    Good luck

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    Yep. I've just hit the learning wall.
    The 4800 came with pressurised baskets which got around the twin factors of the low-grade grinder and supermarket beans, resulting in pleasant coffee.
    I've got the DBM-8A, which makes great drip coffee grinds (turns out wifey was a bit cheap on that purchase). I am thinking about trying to install a few shims, as I'm already in trouble for spending on the machine upgrade.
    The advice on the pressurised basket was also very clarifying, unfortunately, they didn't come with the machine, so I think I'll try to track one down until I can get away with spending on a better grinder.
    Or I could just put some coffee on the bench and head butt it until I feel better, that might work too.

    Thanks very much for your advice as I am now in a place where I at least understand the problem and can put a plan together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoybers View Post
    Yep. I've just hit the learning wall.
    The 4800 came with pressurised baskets which got around the twin factors of the low-grade grinder and supermarket beans, resulting in pleasant coffee.
    I've got the DBM-8A, which makes great drip coffee grinds (turns out wifey was a bit cheap on that purchase). I am thinking about trying to install a few shims, as I'm already in trouble for spending on the machine upgrade.
    The advice on the pressurised basket was also very clarifying, unfortunately, they didn't come with the machine, so I think I'll try to track one down until I can get away with spending on a better grinder.
    Or I could just put some coffee on the bench and head butt it until I feel better, that might work too.

    Thanks very much for your advice as I am now in a place where I at least understand the problem and can put a plan together.
    Hi hoybers

    As stated: you need to grind a lot finer. Pressurised baskets allow you to use so-called "universal grind" which is really drip / plunger coarseness, about twice the diameter of espresso grind (i.e. under 1/8 the surface area to volume ratio, to be technical). Given the power of a 7000 I doubt they could work: the 7000 would probably just partially blast through them anyway and I would not wish to drink the result.

    If you want pressurised baskets, ask any 6910 owner: they will have an unused set in a drawer somewhere unless they are already binned. At best, that is a poor stopgap. If you live in the west, I have two unused sets from my 6910's you can have gratis.

    Grinder: Unless you have a freak of nature, your Cuisinart grinder cannot do anything remotely near espresso grind. RTFM and check if that is actually correct, as companies tend to rebadge their own gear every year or so rather than actually alter under the bonnet. Shimming it would be a waste of time UNLESS you have a perfectly matched set of burrs (looking up for pigs). Most likely result: trashed burrs as any play will be lethal. A better option may be to sell / gift it rather than break it.

    EM480 is probably your minimum for medium / long term use. I had two of them for years, just recently upgraded and sold them off (still working fine). The friends with "lower" SB grinders were lucky to see two years out. I see the 480 around from $100 to $200. A secondhand one may need shimming (being a conical, not a flat burr they respond well to shimming). CS instructions abound on this site.

    Another suggestion: check out the milk frothing area of this site. If you "whiten your cuppa", that may well be your next "easy to solve" issue: for nix other than the cost of milk...

    Hope this helps.

    TampIt

  5. #5
    Latte Lament
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    Hi mate
    Yeah give the mod a go as it's definitely worth a try as a potential $5 get out of jail card at home
    Try getting some heavy duty aluminium foil for the DIY shims as stated in this below step by step article:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Hack...esso/?ALLSTEPS

    I once put some shims in an old sunbeam em0480 grinder and it totally fixed the problem.
    The new ones have shims in now.
    If you do end up getting steel shims try and get stainless steel as I think that is food grade. But it appears in the article that the heavy duty aluminium foil will work fine.
    Then save up for a better grinder down the track. The sunbeams come up on eBay and gumtree often for good second hand prices

    Also if you bought your machine new try calling sunbeam to see if they were meant to come with pressurised baskets and do some research on tamping technique too. Good luck

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    Definitely no duel floor baskets with the 7000.
    I have a set from the 6910 if you want them.

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    Hi people,
    Sorry to leave the thread untended, I made a couple of coffees this morning and built four flat packs. Took extra long I was shaking so much.
    What a difference 24 hours can make. I thought it over and decided to buy the em0480. I am way to clumsy to pull of the handmade shim thing, I will just sell the old grinder as a job lot with the old machine.
    Of course, wifey had another idea and sent me to get some store ground coffee first, to make her happy. One quick trip to Campos later and I'm pumping in the orange zone and wow, there is such a big hit off the new machine when you get it halfway right. Anyway, proved myself and got the grinder too.

    TampIt, you were right about the milk, it is a whole new ball came with decent steam pressure.

    Thanks, Fard for the offer of the pressurised baskets, I no longer need them, it was definitely down to the grind quality and I love the stronger coffee this way.

    I have a lot still to learn over the coming weeks, but I've got the right platform now and we'll take it from there.
    Thanks again for everyone's suggestions, instructions and experience. I was close to writing it off before that.
    By the way - the EM 7000 was $398 from Domayne, they are having a fire sale on the red ones. So I am still in front by a couple of hundred dollars and I've got two new toys.

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    EM7000 for $398!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoybers View Post
    By the way - the EM 7000 was $398 from Domayne, they are having a fire sale on the red ones.
    Hi, wow that is cheap, I paid $799 about 5 weeks ago and that was the cheapest price around Adelaide at the time.
    Can you advise which Domayne store (location)? I looked up their website and that say $799. If in Sydney I'll see if a relative can pick one up for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoybers View Post
    So I am still in front by a couple of hundred dollars and I've got two new toys.
    Well done to you and enjoy the fruits of your labour. I went through a similar issue when I got the EM6910, a new matching grinder made all the difference.

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    Hi,
    I know, so cheap i had to buy it.
    it was advertised in the half yearly clearance catalogue (red model only). I too looked online, with the same results.
    I just called the nearest store and confirmed price and availability.
    It does appear to be a nationwide catalogue, but i got it from NSW.
    Sale ends 30/6
    it is now making great coffee with the right grind

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    Thanks
    We don't have Domayne in SA. I'll get a relative to check for one in Sydney.

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    One more tip. Forget the pressure gauge, it's only an indication anyway and (on my old 6910 at least) has very little bearing on what ends up in the cup.

  12. #12
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    Not only Domayne. I actually got mine from Hardly Normal for $399 2 weeks ago.

    Im also a noob but reading all these threads has got me making good coffee now. Ok, it took about 7 cups to get right.

    I have a Breville smart grinder, I use
    setting 3 (fine)
    12 seconds duration
    = 14g of ground coffee. It goes into the single basket
    I use the default setting for 1 cup, and I get about 35ml with great crema.

    Its a great machine.

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    Yep, I am loving it. Caught in the middle right now as. I had a couple of kg of the supermarket beans left and they are making an okay cup still... Meanwhile beanbay is grabbing my attention.
    It is funny, the stronger coffee is making me want it more than ever. The timing is great with a newborn coming home today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoybers View Post
    Yep, I am loving it. Caught in the middle right now as. I had a couple of kg of the supermarket beans left and they are making an okay cup still... Meanwhile beanbay is grabbing my attention.
    It is funny, the stronger coffee is making me want it more than ever. The timing is great with a newborn coming home today.
    Supermarket beans. *gag* Try BeanBay and you'll never drink that stuff again!

    Congrats on the new addition to the family. Now coffee is really needed for all those long nights and lack of sleep! Perfect timing!


    Java "Just don't give any to the baby!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Yep it's all in the beans....beanbay and grinder. Getting good Campos beans grinded for a non pressurised basket will serve well in the meantime.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by krz View Post
    Not only Domayne. I actually got mine from Hardly Normal for $399 2 weeks ago.

    Im also a noob but reading all these threads has got me making good coffee now. Ok, it took about 7 cups to get right.

    I have a Breville smart grinder, I use
    setting 3 (fine)
    12 seconds duration
    = 14g of ground coffee. It goes into the single basket
    I use the default setting for 1 cup, and I get about 35ml with great crema.

    Its a great machine.
    Wow, this is my exact set up, story and happy conclusion!

    1) Bought the Em7000 from Hardly Normals on sale (white);
    2) Thought something was wrong with my machine as my second hand $15 Breville Cafe Roma performed better under pressure (pun intended) and produced crema whereas the Sunbeam was creating expensive brown water;
    3) Got enlightened by this site - "get fresh beans and a finer grind";
    4) Breville Smart Grinder Pro on sale at $200 - score!
    5) Used grind setting 3 as a trial - pressure gauge moves - perfection achieved on the first cup! Much happiness ensured.
    6) Cafe Roma now listed on Gumtree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krz View Post
    Not only Domayne. I actually got mine from Hardly Normal for $399 2 weeks ago.

    Im also a noob but reading all these threads has got me making good coffee now. Ok, it took about 7 cups to get right.

    I have a Breville smart grinder, I use
    setting 3 (fine)
    12 seconds duration
    = 14g of ground coffee. It goes into the single basket
    I use the default setting for 1 cup, and I get about 35ml with great crema.

    Its a great machine.
    Thanks for posting your settings.

    What settings do you use with the double basket?

    Why do you use a single basket?

    I thought all "coffee snobs" used a double shot as it makes coffee stronger?

    EDIT: I tried those settings and it didn't put enough coffee in the grouphead, puck got stuck to the showerhead and coffee was weak even with a small cup of milk.

    EDIT2: 18 seconds grinding 2 shots setting and 9 fineness seems to have made a decent coffee, wont try anymore tweaking today.
    Last edited by noise36; 28th June 2014 at 11:31 AM.

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    So its been about a month and there have been some highs (caffeine) and lows. I am beginning to think there are issues with the machine as it seems to choke pretty routinely. As of right now, if the drip tray isn't bone dry, it won't even push water through the cleaning disk. The pressure gauge just goes all the way up and hangs there. Which, when applied to a basket of coffee, really sucks. From one dose to the next, I am varying nothing and the result is wildly different - I either get 70mls of delicious coffee or 35 mls of piles. I am grinding on only a 10 on the em480 and tamping very lightly, as this problem seems to persist. Then out of nowhere it pours just right.
    I haven't run a cleaning disk yet, will try that today, but it seems to me the thing is really struggling to push anything out, which doesn't seem right for what should be a fairly strong pump.
    In the meantime I think I have to call sunbeam, I just wonder if maybe its not all that into me?

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    If you're choking it regularly, then you're probably filling the shower screens with gunk.

    Back-flush the machine every couple of days
    and once a week with espresso clean.

    Also, do the 5cent test to make sure you're dosing correctly.

    And finally, clean out the burrs in the grinder once a week or so.
    Mine used to clog very easily and as such the grind would go much finer, choking the machine (have not had this issue with the Rocky at all.)

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    Thanks Robbks,
    At the very beginning I overdosed a couple of times, part of the adjustment to the new machine.
    These days, I'm dosing spot on or maybe a little under (for my wife) - tried out the 5c test as part of trouble shooting the inconsistencies I'm getting.
    I cleaned the grinder two days ago - the first time the machine started choking, cleaning the grinder seemed to make the difference, that was a bit over a week ago. Then things worked fine for a week, now I am finding I have to backflush after every pour to get anything out of it, then I have to empty the drip tray.
    The funny thing was the machine wasn't even able to push anything through the cleaning disk.
    I've taken off the shower screen and given it a good clean, it was fairly muddy. I'm now waiting for the toothpaste to wear off before giving it another go.
    I will give it a chemical flush later today, it may well have taken a beating in the first couple of weeks.
    Every time I think I've solved the problem, my solution stops working again.
    With the grinder, its a damned if you do, isnt it. Fresh beans are so oily it clogs almost overnight, but dry beans make bad coffee.

  21. #21
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    A couple of things I had to learn...

    Grinder - adjust only when machine is running or when it is empty and the burrs are unblocked. Doing it when machine is topped but full of beans gives wildly different results - very confusing when trying to dial in.

    Tamping - I progressive tamp to get an even pressure profile through the depth of the puck. Less pressure in tamping means it is easier to be consistent (I think anyway) and I get more consistent results.

    Grinding - Temperature in the room makes a difference to what comes out the spout. I grind then tap on the bench a couple of times to remove air pockets, then lightly tamp. Then I grind some more and gently tap the side of the basket with my finger to distribute the grinds more evenly, then lightly tamp again. Don't tap on the bench after you tamp - it can break the integrity of the puck. I mostly do 3 tamps in both the VST and SB baskets. (the SB is used for the decaf for the missus)

    Dosing - I found the 5 cent test meant I am OVER dosing with both the EM6910 and the EM7000. This gave me issues with leaking/squirting around the seal as well as inconsistent pouring. I dose now to about 4 - 5mm from the rim - a 5 cent wouldn't register an impression at all, and I doubt a $2 would either. Weight-wise this means I have 15 - 16gm of grind in both the VST and the SB baskets. The 5 cent test gives me about 19gm or 20+ if I tamp hard and then I get water through the seal area.

    I've never used a cleaning disk so can't comment about that, but it seems to me you shouldn't be getting much out of the PF anyway - the rubber disk stops almost all of it and the idea is for the pressure to drive the cleaner back into the system to clean it. When I first got my 6910 I just used a cleaner called Cino Cleano from the local roaster and it goes in the tank to run through for the cleaning program - now I use vinegar.

    Alternatively, you could try grinding a basket-full then tapping it on the bench to settle it, (no tamping) then run a shot and see what happens. If the grind is right you should get a reasonable, but not good, shot. Do it again and tamp lightly and see the difference. Then again with slightly harder tamp and check. Eventually you will find the right pressure to use.

    I keep a satay skewer (not used, OK? ) beside my grinders. I use it up the spout to remove most of the retained grinds after each basket - it means I get way less old grinds in the next basket and also helps prevent blocking. I take the tops off and clean the grinders about monthly.

    Every few days, usually when I am getting low in the tank, I run the cleaning cycle without any cleaner in it and without removing the showerscreens - seems to work well as a couple of weeks back I stripped it for a clean ans the screens has a slight dusting of brown on them. With the EM6910 I used white vinegar through both the water path and the steam path on around a bi-monthly basis. Some time in the next day or so I plan to give my EM7000 its first full clean using the vinegar.

    Note it takes a couple of clean-water flushes to clean the vinegar smell after the clean.

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    After reading all of that, I now realise that upgradng away from the 0480 and 6910 has simplified my life.
    While it was a good machine and made nice shots most of the time, the combo was tempremental.

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    I have used vinegar to clean the old 6910 in the past. Don't recommend it. Took for ever to get the taste out. Far better to stick with the recognized brands.

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    Apple cider vinegar...
    That's how you get those fancy "fruity" flavours in your Macchiato
    Fard likes this.

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    Really? I had used white vinegar (diluted) to descale before as per the manual's instructions. Its going to need a good flush, but the vinegar won't stick around any longer than commercial descalers. Its pretty easy to smell when its out.

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    I'm guessing its one of those things where you want fermented white vinegar and not the dilute acid you get for $1.
    I've effectively been doing exactly that process for making the coffee, Journeyman, but damn if I didn't forget you weren't supposed to adjust the grinder while it wasn't running. Should I now go in and clean it again?
    Cleaning the mud off the inside of the shower screen seems to have helped, I am feeling much more heavily un-sedated this afternoon.
    There is a lot more waste involved in doing it the right way, isnt there? You lose a fair bit of coffee cleaning the grinder, and more again if you discard what sticks in the pipe. I normally just make my wife the first coffee, so she gets the old stuff
    With all the trial and error ups and downs, plain and simple, the coffee is worth it when it comes together, I wouldn't go back to the old machine, it would be depressing.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoybers View Post
    I'm guessing its one of those things where you want fermented white vinegar and not the dilute acid you get for $1.
    I've effectively been doing exactly that process for making the coffee, Journeyman, but damn if I didn't forget you weren't supposed to adjust the grinder while it wasn't running. Should I now go in and clean it again?
    Cleaning the mud off the inside of the shower screen seems to have helped, I am feeling much more heavily un-sedated this afternoon.
    There is a lot more waste involved in doing it the right way, isnt there? You lose a fair bit of coffee cleaning the grinder, and more again if you discard what sticks in the pipe. I normally just make my wife the first coffee, so she gets the old stuff
    With all the trial and error ups and downs, plain and simple, the coffee is worth it when it comes together, I wouldn't go back to the old machine, it would be depressing.
    Hi hoybers

    White vinegar is fine: lingers less than most "commercial cleaners". Should not be needed very often anyway (see below).

    Grinders: I am probably well over the 50 grinder mark by now. FYI, I sold off 17 "unloved" a few months back, mostly "brand name" commercial ones. I have never encountered any domestic grinder that would adjust the grind properly unless it was running. Most cheapies take ages to settle anyway, and take even more time if they are not running when you adjust them. For a 480, I would do a "clean and adjust from scratch" after getting non-oily beans. Then repeat if I felt the inconsistency may originate from the grinder.

    "There is a lot more waste involved in doing it the right way, isnt there? You lose a fair bit of coffee cleaning the grinder, and more again if you discard what sticks in the pipe."
    : not really. If you use oily dark roasts, ANY grinder will get excessive buildup of gunk far too quickly. In an extreme, every dose will be different as the grinder clogs and clears its way through the "beans". AFAIAC, I avoid oily beans like the plague: I find the flavour is suspect.

    Properly roasted and stored beans should be quite dry, and very little "stale" should be left in any decent grinder. Amongst (far too) many other grinders, I had 2 * 480's for years, now replaced with 2 * Mahlkonig Varios for most home usage. One "swirling swipe" with a correctly sized paintbrush and the 480's few retained grains came out easily. A hint: if you wish the "coffee finances" to remain viable, I suggest you reconsider your current approach: your current method has severe downsides as her tastes become more discerning... If the penny drops, your upgrade budget just got (permanently?) trashed.

    If you dose correctly, the machine stays pretty clean (6910 / 7000 / Linea or whatever). As soon as you overdose (most do), the cleaning need goes up exponentially. Considering it is easy to adjust the old "grind / dose / tamp" trio in many ways, overdosing is highly counterproductive, esp. at home. Just begging or borrowing scales (I don't recommend stealing) so you can weigh the dose into the basket once to get the correct quantity as a guide will fix a multitude of dosing evils... then you can adjust grind and / or tamp to "tune in" the desired shot time & volume.

    Just like magic, you will find your shots are far more consistent.

    Have fun with your new toy.


    Tampit

  28. #28
    Rbn
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoybers View Post
    I normally just make my wife the first coffee, so she gets the old stuff
    Oops! did you just say that.

    Loved reading the thread, reminds me of my own learning curve!

    Sadly my wife rarely has a coffee, so I am stuck with what was left in the 480 myself!
    If I forget to give it a tap to get most of the old grinds out.

    rbn

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    Hi,
    I was mostly joking about dosing wifey with stale coffee, she's breastfeeding atm, so one coffee a day (double shot of course) is actually enough to blow the limit on current W.H.O. caffeine recommendations. Its a habit that goes back to the old cafe crema days, where I had to make hers first, as mine would otherwise be an ice coffee by the time I finished making the second, you could boil an egg faster than that thing would steam milk.
    I am pretty sure I got a whack of some seriously oily coffee; that first bag from a local roastery gummed up everything. Even the basket was clogging up on every coffee. Insult to injury, although rated online that first roast was a thoroughly unremarkable flavour.

    I ran into an old friend recently who recommended another smaller outfit in town (Swell) and I am now getting consistency across the board. After giving everything a clean, I've not had another event like I was getting.
    To begin with I definitely overdosed the machine a few times as well, so it wasn't a bad thing to give it a good clean. Since then, if anything it was routinely under, as I got a lot of sticky pucks. I've now pretty much fine tuned things and am getting exactly what I want with 18g, give or take a skerrick, tamped progressively. I am only adjusting the grinder by one mark as the bag ages over the two weeks it takes to drink a kilo, and I guess I'm now only losing a couple of doses worth of grind over the course of that bag.
    Now I just have to wait until Christmas, when my wife promised me I could get a bag off bean bay.



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