Post By DaveD
Post By jh001
Post By JWILL
Post By jh001
Next Step up From Sunbeam EM6910 + EM450
I'm looking to upgrade my current setup - EM6910 + EM450 espresso machine and grinder.
While I'm making some very good coffee, I feel like there's some quality lacking, and I want to take the next step up, whether it means replacing the machine, grinder or both.
I usually make 15-20 coffees per week, half of which are milk-based, and I roast my own beans.
I'd ideally be looking at the sub $1500 mark for both, happy to go with used machines.
If you can only buy one thing, then start with the grinder! Something like the Compak K3 push or Macap M2M are great starter grinders and are about $500. You should really contact some of the site sponsors to see what they can offer you for your budget. You can use the quote form at the bottom of the page.
We were in exact same situation. I had a look at various machines + grinders, but for under $1500 nothing really comes close to a BES920 + Smart Grinder combo. It's definitely a step up from the EM6910. To go up another notch you're looking at well over $2000. For some people it might be worth it, but I couldn't justify spending that much. After a year we are still very happy with both, but I might look at upgrading to a better grinder in future.
get the right sale and you could get that combo for closer to $1200 or even a little less
Originally Posted by jh001
Thanks for the help guys!
So with the grinder, I've seen some odd great prices on ex-commercial ones (often under $300 for ones that retail for over $1000). Is it more of a usability improvement compared to the Sunbeam EM450, or is there a noticeable improvement in cup quality?
Both. I think the biggest factor is grind consistency - makes it so much easier to get a great cuppa every time.
Originally Posted by colonelfeline
Therese a 920in the fs right now
Originally Posted by colonelfeline
My coffee at home consumption is about the same as yours.
I would save half your budget and just upgrade your grinder. Any "6910 upwards" is capable of great espresso, it is just that the cheaper end of the market requires more experience, more work and a fair bit of sound maintenance. The 450's I have encountered have been quite poor (noticeably worse than the 480), so I would recommend baby steps so you can grow into the new gear easily. The world's best espresso machine cannot recover from the impact of a poor grinder, and an EK43 for home use is not only way over most budgets, it is overkill at home.
I would suggest a Mahlkonig Vario (EK43's little brother). Look up Baratza (US) or Mahlkonig (rest of world) reviews to see why. My older one has done well over 100Kgs (spent a few weeks in a cafe) and the ceramic burrs are still unmarked. Quiet, better particle spread than a 480 (and 90+% of other grinders out there IMO) and brilliant for home espresso use (especially into a 6910 / 7000 which are my main home(s) machines - or Linea / Strada which are the main two types I play with elsewhere). Downsides - around $700, not as good as the 480 (or most others) for coarser grinds. In the west Grand Central handle them, just avoid getting the parallel imported Baratza with no Oz warranty.
If the 6910 maintenence is getting you down, the 7000 is a lot easier to live with in that sense - I tend to resent my 6910 a little due to the extra noise and hassle. Worth an upgrade? probably not unless you are time limited. Going above the 7000 will not only cost you a lot more for the machine, but power consumption will get a massive hike. I also have a 2 group La Pavoni at home (rarely used unless the ravening hordes are arriving in bulk) and just getting it up to temp once is about 2 months of use for my 6910 or 7000. Ditto any reasonable sized boiler machine.
FWIW, if your are roasting your own beans, the Vario's fine adjustment is worth its weight in uranium - about "75 salesman / 50 real world" steps within espresso range. It can track even the first "4 days of hell period" quite easily.
Enjoy your cuppa
As usual, Tampit (and Journeyman) suggest a better grinder, and rate the EM6910 well for making good coffees.
I often think of a better machine, but then I think, all the feedback on here suggests going much higher than an EM6910, or its Breville equivalent might be just a waste of money for most people.
Inspite of my EM6910 having done in excess of 6000 shots, lost count really, it is very reliable.
It had a blocked steam thermobloc when I acquired it from my son.
Replaced that, and the magnet for the low water sensor, and that is all I have done to it.
Good going I reckon, it owes me nothing.
I was about to post the exact same thing. I have the exact same setup and looking to upgrade as well.
Thing is my em6910 was a hand-me-down from my mother who never really learnt how to use it properly and therefor never looked after it / cleaned it properly.
Since obtaining it I gave it a good manual clean myself as best as I could and de scaled a few times etc and got it running pretty well. But I've never been able to compare it to a brand new machine.... So although I "think" I'm pulling ok shots I have no idea if I'm getting the most out of the machine.
The main reason I think this is because no matter how many different beans I try I find "most" taste the same... Apart from obvious differences in dark and light beans. But I'm saying I've purchased premium $20+ 250g bags from well known roasters and I can't really taste the difference... Then again maybe it's just me and my taste hasn't developed enough yet?
Anyway I was looking at the Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silver v4 which are both around the $1k mark. There's something about my machine that makes me think it's old and tired and I need to update, and that no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get an amazing tasting espresso like I do from good coffee shops, even when using expensive fresh beans.
The other option is do I take the machine in for a proper service, and if so where in Adelaide would one do that ?
Cheers for reading my rant!
Edit whoops I have a 480 not 450.