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Thread: Bad coffee - EM7000

  1. #1
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    Bad coffee - EM7000

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys,

    I'm at my witts end with my EM7000. I had my original EM7000 for around 6 months before the coffee became really inconsistent and tasting chemical. I sent it off for repair under warranty and they sent me a new machine.
    Brand new machine and its having the same issues! I don't know how I have gone from making good coffee to unbearable coffee overnight!

    I have adjusted grinde several times and find I need to tether between anything from grinde 1 - 5. My grinder is an old sunbeam one that came with my PU6910 back in 2013.

    Pressure gauge reads in the middle of the orange but still produces the foulest tasting and smelling shot. Double basket seems easier to achieve an OK coffee, but not great.

    Beans are fresh, always.

    Is my old grinder letting me down? I feel like since my 'upgrade' I just cannot get a good consistent coffee.

    I have removed the anti-calc cylinder today with no improvement.

    Please help!!! I'm ready to throw this machine off the balcony!!

  2. #2
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    Sounds like your grinder. Try and borrow one and give it a crack, see if it helps

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owlee View Post
    Sounds like your grinder. Try and borrow one and give it a crack, see if it helps
    Yep, 90% it is the grinder. It probably needs a full blown clean out. It is unlikely to need new burrs, however 480's are notorious for being inconsistent "straight out of the box". Some are brilliant, some truly awful (just like the Breville Smartgrinder competition). They all need a major teardown at about the year point as the grounds get everywhere inside the beastie and screw the performance up.

    Also 90%: 7000 maintenance issues compounding it (the chemical taste is most unlikely to be the grinder). Your original machine probably just needed TLC.

    Now: the anti-calc cylinder is infamous for polluting the shot with a chemical flavouring at no extra cost. It will take at least a whole batch of decent filtered / rain water to purge that out. Alternatively (for others, or if you had not already replaced the machine) it needs a full descale using white vinegar solution (see 7000 manual).

    The other (probable) issue - I hope you are removing the showerscreens and keeping them clean. A No2 Phillips Head screwdriver is your friend... The 2007 and 2008 6910s owned by friends and myself are virtually bulletproof unless that simple step is omitted.
    IMG_1970.jpgIMG_1972.jpg
    Failure to clean the showerscreens means totally crap coffee in around a year to 18 months of "typical domestic use" (if there is any such thing). Cleaning them out then usually involves a full descale of the machine and a partial teardown. The photos were taken last year from a 6910 "maintenance fail". Believe it or not, they are not the worst I have seen, merely the first I photoed. After a full descale plus cleanup the machine worked perfectly - with the same collar (a bit worn because the grounds were forced into it under pressure, but still good for a year or so) and seal (perfect condition post cleanup) shown in the photo. That p/f is the original brass 6910 with the plastic insert (remove with needlenose pliers). If you can magnify the photo enough, the insert is utterly caked with old grounds. That machine was replaced by the hapless owner because the coffee tasted terrible... A grateful charity received a machine in perfect working order after about a week of cleaning, descaling, soaking etc which probably took me about an hour in total time (let your gear do the work). After I had soaked and brushed out the showerscreens I cleaned them with my "new toy" - an ultrasonic bath - and they still turned the water black for the first three or four goes. Shudder.

    Hope this helps.

    TampIt

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Yep, 90% it is the grinder. It probably needs a full blown clean out. It is unlikely to need new burrs, however 480's are notorious for being inconsistent "straight out of the box". Some are brilliant, some truly awful (just like the Breville Smartgrinder competition). They all need a major teardown at about the year point as the grounds get everywhere inside the beastie and screw the performance up.

    Also 90%: 7000 maintenance issues compounding it (the chemical taste is most unlikely to be the grinder). Your original machine probably just needed TLC.

    Now: the anti-calc cylinder is infamous for polluting the shot with a chemical flavouring at no extra cost. It will take at least a whole batch of decent filtered / rain water to purge that out. Alternatively (for others, or if you had not already replaced the machine) it needs a full descale using white vinegar solution (see 7000 manual).

    The other (probable) issue - I hope you are removing the showerscreens and keeping them clean. A No2 Phillips Head screwdriver is your friend... The 2007 and 2008 6910s owned by friends and myself are virtually bulletproof unless that simple step is omitted.
    IMG_1970.jpgIMG_1972.jpg
    Failure to clean the showerscreens means totally crap coffee in around a year to 18 months of "typical domestic use" (if there is any such thing). Cleaning them out then usually involves a full descale of the machine and a partial teardown. The photos were taken last year from a 6910 "maintenance fail". Believe it or not, they are not the worst I have seen, merely the first I photoed. After a full descale plus cleanup the machine worked perfectly - with the same collar (a bit worn because the grounds were forced into it under pressure, but still good for a year or so) and seal (perfect condition post cleanup) shown in the photo. That p/f is the original brass 6910 with the plastic insert (remove with needlenose pliers). If you can magnify the photo enough, the insert is utterly caked with old grounds. That machine was replaced by the hapless owner because the coffee tasted terrible... A grateful charity received a machine in perfect working order after about a week of cleaning, descaling, soaking etc which probably took me about an hour in total time (let your gear do the work). After I had soaked and brushed out the showerscreens I cleaned them with my "new toy" - an ultrasonic bath - and they still turned the water black for the first three or four goes. Shudder.

    Hope this helps.

    TampIt
    Thanks for your reply TampIt

    I had a feeling my grider wasnt cutting the mustard for this machine. It seemed to grinde to perfection for the 6910 but every coffee lacks flavour no matter what bean i use.

    That is reassuring about the anticalc. I have only made 2 cinos since removing it and i have seen no improvement. I'll keep it out and hope for improvement soon!

    As for my old 7000 that was replaced. It had been sent in for a clean and was completely taken apart and was fine. I had done several vinegar descales at home before sending it in and alas, no improvement. It tasted as though the coffee was being burnt. It was so terribly bitter and undrinkable. The same is still happeneing.

    This machine is brand new, only a few weeks old and has made about 50 cinos. I have made cino after cino trying to perfect the basket fill, tamp & grinde. Despite it being a perfect pressure, it still comes out dark looking initially and then a blondy, watery look half way through the preset single/double pour.

    What grinder would you recommend? Mid range, to high range if you have two to recommend please 🙏

  5. #5
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    I freely admit to "grinder bias", so feel free to get other opinions from elsewhere in CS. FWIW, I regard the grinder as a lot more important than the espresso machine - if the grinder kills the beans, nothing can revive them...

    My preference is simple -

    I have three "around $700 each when I bought them" Mahlkonig (NOT the Baratza - it is a parallel import, and the gen2 is different) Varios 2 * gen2 and 1 * gen 3. Two are used for espresso and the third has the ($30!) optional steel burrs for cold steep and my "modded stirrer plunger" (i.e. mainly iced coffee for summer). Varios are small, quiet, add little heat to the grinds, have no clumping, static or any other issues and have virtually no grind retention - a gen1 measured at 0.2g, the gen2 / 3 would be similar (although the gen1 has a very different grinding module not recommended by me - get a Sette - it is almost the same performance). Varios have the most even particle spread of any of the 50+ grinders I have lived with over the years (1970 starting point) until you get to stratospheric pricing (i.e. $3500 and upwards, and even some of those are not as good). The Vario has half a dozen settings within the Turkish range and about 50 in the espresso range - so fine tuning a roast both initially and as it ages is a doddle. Like all grinders, the Vario has a lag (of about 15g, which is on the low side of normal) when adjusting the grind - and it is so precise that you can really pick it.

    Varios standard burrs are ceramic that will probably outlast me - my older Vario has done over 200Kgs and the burrs are unmarked. The burrs only con: they are tuned for a fairly narrow grinding range, so the ceramic burrs are not really suitable outside the Turkish to espresso grinding range - hence the optional steel burrs.

    Reliability:
    Good news: Varios have a brilliant Swiss made Ditting commercial module "under the bonnet". Apart from being a plug in replacement, it is unlikely to fail - most Dittings last for decades.
    Quirk: That module is wrapped in a compact domestic package which means that the adjusters must not be moved finer unless the motor is running (and even then slow is preferable). If someone does manage to pop an adjuster it is a five minute fix with a Phillips head no2 screwdriver (they are actually designed to pop out if "Conan's cousin" forces them). None of mine have ever done that, however I have "fixed" 5 or 6 of them that friend's have brought in (including two from CS'r's interstate before I worked out how to do them via phone).
    The only other potential issue I have run into - the hopper is set to trip a microswitch to turn the Vario on. Across all the Varios I know on rare occasions the hopper has not triggered the switch properly. Usually you just try again, however one of them actually had a dicky microswitch (one of the interstate ones - the guy probably popped the adjusters trying to get it to work..). That switch "mostly worked", which was incredibly frustrating. Around $2 for a replacement switch.

    The other cheaper grinder I like is the Baratza Sette (around $400 to $500 last time I looked) IF you can cope with the noise - they are really loud, and I personally find their noise very irritating - YMMV. They have one advantage over the Varios - they will do a wide range of grinds pretty well. On the other hand, the Vario is significantly better in the Turkish to espresso range I mostly use. Adding the steel burrs to a Vario means it also comfortably outperforms the Sette in the coarser range. You pays your money and takes your choice.

    On the dearer end (be prepared for sticker shock) any of the commercial Dittings or the Mahlkonig EK43 and upwards have a really even particle spread. IMO they are not all that suitable for home use as they are huge, noisy beasts designed for high volumes (think cafes or commercial roasters depending upon the model). The EK43 also has very low grind retention - almost unheard of in a commercial grinder.

    Hope this helps.
    inorog likes this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    I freely admit to "grinder bias", so feel free to get other opinions from elsewhere in CS. FWIW, I regard the grinder as a lot more important than the espresso machine - if the grinder kills the beans, nothing can revive them...

    My preference is simple -

    I have three "around $700 each when I bought them" Mahlkonig (NOT the Baratza - it is a parallel import, and the gen2 is different) Varios 2 * gen2 and 1 * gen 3. Two are used for espresso and the third has the ($30!) optional steel burrs for cold steep and my "modded stirrer plunger" (i.e. mainly iced coffee for summer). Varios are small, quiet, add little heat to the grinds, have no clumping, static or any other issues and have virtually no grind retention - a gen1 measured at 0.2g, the gen2 / 3 would be similar (although the gen1 has a very different grinding module not recommended by me - get a Sette - it is almost the same performance). Varios have the most even particle spread of any of the 50+ grinders I have lived with over the years (1970 starting point) until you get to stratospheric pricing (i.e. $3500 and upwards, and even some of those are not as good). The Vario has half a dozen settings within the Turkish range and about 50 in the espresso range - so fine tuning a roast both initially and as it ages is a doddle. Like all grinders, the Vario has a lag (of about 15g, which is on the low side of normal) when adjusting the grind - and it is so precise that you can really pick it.

    Varios standard burrs are ceramic that will probably outlast me - my older Vario has done over 200Kgs and the burrs are unmarked. The burrs only con: they are tuned for a fairly narrow grinding range, so the ceramic burrs are not really suitable outside the Turkish to espresso grinding range - hence the optional steel burrs.

    Reliability:
    Good news: Varios have a brilliant Swiss made Ditting commercial module "under the bonnet". Apart from being a plug in replacement, it is unlikely to fail - most Dittings last for decades.
    Quirk: That module is wrapped in a compact domestic package which means that the adjusters must not be moved finer unless the motor is running (and even then slow is preferable). If someone does manage to pop an adjuster it is a five minute fix with a Phillips head no2 screwdriver (they are actually designed to pop out if "Conan's cousin" forces them). None of mine have ever done that, however I have "fixed" 5 or 6 of them that friend's have brought in (including two from CS'r's interstate before I worked out how to do them via phone).
    The only other potential issue I have run into - the hopper is set to trip a microswitch to turn the Vario on. Across all the Varios I know on rare occasions the hopper has not triggered the switch properly. Usually you just try again, however one of them actually had a dicky microswitch (one of the interstate ones - the guy probably popped the adjusters trying to get it to work..). That switch "mostly worked", which was incredibly frustrating. Around $2 for a replacement switch.

    The other cheaper grinder I like is the Baratza Sette (around $400 to $500 last time I looked) IF you can cope with the noise - they are really loud, and I personally find their noise very irritating - YMMV. They have one advantage over the Varios - they will do a wide range of grinds pretty well. On the other hand, the Vario is significantly better in the Turkish to espresso range I mostly use. Adding the steel burrs to a Vario means it also comfortably outperforms the Sette in the coarser range. You pays your money and takes your choice.

    On the dearer end (be prepared for sticker shock) any of the commercial Dittings or the Mahlkonig EK43 and upwards have a really even particle spread. IMO they are not all that suitable for home use as they are huge, noisy beasts designed for high volumes (think cafes or commercial roasters depending upon the model). The EK43 also has very low grind retention - almost unheard of in a commercial grinder.

    Hope this helps.
    Holy moley! Thanks for all the info TampIt! Sounds like you know your grinders (and machines!) So i'm happy to go off your recommendations. Ithink I will hunt down a Varios gen 2 or 3 pending price. My sunbeam grinder is quite loud and I often make coffee early in the morning when the household are asleep or when my babies are sleeping so a quiet grinder is highly appealing!

    Thank you so much for your help. I am so disappointed with this machine so I am greatful to be on the road to good coffee again! 🙄



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