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Thread: Love my 6910

  1. #1
    Junior Member Shortie's Avatar
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    Smile Love my 6910

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After struggling for years with cheap supermarket ready-ground 'coffee's and worn-out old espresso machines we decided the Moka stove-top pot made the best shot. Lavazza Crema & Gusto was very satisfying. Eventually the combination of late middle-aged semi-affluence and lust for crema brought on the insatiable urge to once again make real espresso at home. We progressed from unthinkable excess of $200 expenditure on a new Sunbeam, through to several used 'real' Italian machines, until strenuous budget management allowed the purchase of a new VBM DS plumbed-in, with Mazzer grinder. We enjoyed espresso heaven for about 6 years, then changed circumstances required liquidation of the flash kit. We took a very noisy, awfully leaky 6910 with grinder as a trade-in, just to 'have a go' again.
    Thanks to all the accumulated wisdom offered on this site and others we have now learnt how to overcome (centuries?) of fastidious neglect and to rejuvenate the Sunbeam duo.
    Careful application of a die-grinder with tapered stone to relieve the burrs along the lips of the ring thing, much soaking and scrubbing of all accessible parts, back-flushing & de-scaling. Considerable flushing & test shotting until it is finally clear that Sunbeam triumphed utterly with this design and once any manufacturing limitations are sensibly dealt with it can produce a very fine ristretto. Adding frothed milk to it seems to be a good way to ruin a shot and produces drinks fit only for folk who are not yet weaned.
    Well-used 6910's still abound and many are given up for next to nothing because they 'have stopped working'. The owners are possibly the same folk who cannot drive at night because their vehicle headlights have become opaque due to the lack of application of regular elbow-grease and headlamp polish.
    We now delight in rejuvenating any available 6910 and teaching others how to enjoy their fine qualities.
    N.B. We are not and have never been employed by Sunbeam or any related company.

  2. #2
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    Casting my mind back to the last time I applied headlamp polish and elbow grease.

    Still casting.......

    Nope sorry never done it and didnít realise such a product even existed.

    Off to google it now!

    Cheers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post
    Nope sorry never done it and didnít realise such a product even existed.

    Off to google it now!
    Don't bother, it's a waste of time. It only lasts a few weeks to a couple of months before it needs to be done again.
    If the lights are badly yellowed or clouded, they'll need to be sanded back and resealed. There are a variety of coatings that can be applied that are long term solutions, detailing shops are the best to see about this. Sometimes you can find a headlight restoration specialist, I know we have one or two in our town.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortie View Post
    After struggling for years with cheap supermarket ready-ground 'coffee's and worn-out old espresso machines we decided the Moka stove-top pot made the best shot. Lavazza Crema & Gusto was very satisfying. Eventually the combination of late middle-aged semi-affluence and lust for crema brought on the insatiable urge to once again make real espresso at home. We progressed from unthinkable excess of $200 expenditure on a new Sunbeam, through to several used 'real' Italian machines, until strenuous budget management allowed the purchase of a new VBM DS plumbed-in, with Mazzer grinder. We enjoyed espresso heaven for about 6 years, then changed circumstances required liquidation of the flash kit. We took a very noisy, awfully leaky 6910 with grinder as a trade-in, just to 'have a go' again.
    Thanks to all the accumulated wisdom offered on this site and others we have now learnt how to overcome (centuries?) of fastidious neglect and to rejuvenate the Sunbeam duo.
    Careful application of a die-grinder with tapered stone to relieve the burrs along the lips of the ring thing, much soaking and scrubbing of all accessible parts, back-flushing & de-scaling. Considerable flushing & test shotting until it is finally clear that Sunbeam triumphed utterly with this design and once any manufacturing limitations are sensibly dealt with it can produce a very fine ristretto. Adding frothed milk to it seems to be a good way to ruin a shot and produces drinks fit only for folk who are not yet weaned.
    Well-used 6910's still abound and many are given up for next to nothing because they 'have stopped working'. The owners are possibly the same folk who cannot drive at night because their vehicle headlights have become opaque due to the lack of application of regular elbow-grease and headlamp polish.
    We now delight in rejuvenating any available 6910 and teaching others how to enjoy their fine qualities.
    N.B. We are not and have never been employed by Sunbeam or any related company.
    G'day Shortie

    I had a similar path into the 6910 - "rather broke" & "post vicious divorce" I left a manual lever Electra and a 220V GS3 behind in the US. The only new espresso combo I could afford in Oz was a 6910 / 480 with a set of VST baskets (probably the GS3's biggest advantage over the Electra - their baskets are "mindbogglingly mediocre").

    Much to my delight the flavour in the cup equalled virtually any "standard traditional machine" I had used (mainly big commercial stuff from La Cimbali and LM) as well as a variety of home machines (Miss S, 2 group La Pavoni). It even has three advantages over most commercial espresso machines - adjustable preinfusion, a 75 second warmup plus minimal power consumption. My La Pav pulls 18amps for 35 minutes before it can make a cuppa and even then it doesn't have preinfusion (the GS3 didn't have preinfusion back then either, perhaps newer ones do). I also found out that the 6910 can do 72 "shots & froths" an hour all day without breathing hard. No small boiler domestic machine can come close to that throughput (most clag out well before the tenth shot).

    The Electra always made better coffee than the GS3, (and the Linea and Strada for that matter) so when finances improved I seriously considered an Olympia Cremina (the best manual lever I know). Damn shame it wont take standard VST baskets.

    Then I heard about the Decent... I reckon the only way a manual lever can be taken on is if everything (flow, pressure, temperature) is able to be configured. I will find out if the Decent can handle the brief in a few days (its arrival is imminent).


    Meanwhile I still think the early (pre 2010) 6910s are the best value "genuine espresso maker" on the market.

    TampIt
    PS: For the record I currently have 2 6910s, a 7000 (inferior machine but a lot quieter - domestic peace is worth the trade off) and a seldom used 2 group La Pavoni. Grinders: 2 * gen2 and 1 * gen3 Mahlkoenig Varios.

  5. #5
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    Iím assuming your headlamps are pristine Tampit

    Sorry couldnít resist- not having a go at anyone just amusing myself!

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Junior Member Shortie's Avatar
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    Thanks Tamplt, your reference to VST baskets has caught my imagination. Are they a 'one size fits all' or is there one made specifically to fit the 6910? I am intrigued to find out just how good a shot the ole 6910 can produce and may be able to fund another basket to lift my game.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Shortie's Avatar
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    My reference to headlamps was based on my experience that careful maintenance will preserve many products we rely on so their working life can be extended for as long as possible. Once something is 'worn out' it may be beyond redemption. Cheers.
    Jackster likes this.

  8. #8
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortie View Post
    Thanks Tamplt, your reference to VST baskets has caught my imagination. Are they a 'one size fits all' or is there one made specifically to fit the 6910? I am intrigued to find out just how good a shot the ole 6910 can produce and may be able to fund another basket to lift my game.
    vsts are made to fit a standard 58mm portafilter.

  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortie View Post
    Thanks Tamplt, your reference to VST baskets has caught my imagination. Are they a 'one size fits all' or is there one made specifically to fit the 6910? I am intrigued to find out just how good a shot the ole 6910 can produce and may be able to fund another basket to lift my game.
    They're one size fits all 58mm portafilters. Make sure you get the ridgeless not the ridged. They're designed to be dosed within +/- 1g of the nominal weight. Start with a 15g, 18g, or 20g basket depending on your preference and dose them to 14-16g, 17-19g, 19-21g respectively.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    I have a 15g VST and a modded 6910. The combination is capable of producing espresso heaven with the main barrier being the bloke attached to the end of the PF.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Shortie's Avatar
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    Thanks LeroyC, what mods can you suggest to optimise the shot from the 6910? I'm keen to learn more.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortie View Post
    Thanks LeroyC, what mods can you suggest to optimise the shot from the 6910? I'm keen to learn more.
    My own personal opinion only, in order of importance
    1) Naked portafilter holder. Using the latest SB baskets (i.e. not the one with a round shoulder around the top, the ones with a fairly complex narrow ridge shape around the top) it revolutionised the 6910's pour.
    2) VST baskets - or equivalent if there are any. Perhaps Decent or Pullman baskets are equivalent, I haven't tried them at home yet. EQ/EP/HQ "precision" baskets are not in the hunt.

    Those two individually make quite a difference. Combined, the difference they make seems to multiply. VSTs seem to be wasted on spouted p/fs whilst naked p/fs work pretty well with standard SB baskets (which is why I put it first). The early 6910s (pre 2010) have a brass p/f, so a basic holesaw of the correct size will convert any standard SB p/f to a naked pretty easily. Later ones are stainless steel - ideally use a lathe and plenty of cutting oil.

    3) Any grinder with a more even particle spread at espresso grinding textures than the 480 will then take the 6910 to a level far beyond most cafes - even some of the good ones. I am biased in using 3 Mahlkoenig Varios (2 for Turkish & espresso, one with the optional steel burrs for pourovers, cold steep / drip and my modded stirrer plunger). No way would I have bought another 2 of them if the first one hadn't made a huge difference to my cuppa. Any other grinder at that level makes the same improvement (i.e. HG1, Ditting 7xx and 8xx).

    4) which probably should head the list - get better roasts...


    Enjoy your cuppa, and if it keeps improving savour the difference as you go.

    TampIt
    Last edited by TampIt; 7th February 2019 at 01:41 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortie View Post
    Thanks LeroyC, what mods can you suggest to optimise the shot from the 6910? I'm keen to learn more.
    If the aim is getting a better shot thereís not too much you can do to the machine itself, but there are a few things like TampIt mentioned above. I agree that a naked portafilter can be useful, at least to help you diagnose your technique and extractions even if you donít use it all the time. And Iíd also recommend an aftermarket filter basket. I have a 15g VST, an 18-22g IMS and a La Marzocco basket, all of which are better than the Sunbeam ones.
    The only other thing Iíd add is to make the most of the brew temp settings on the 6910. Even though it has a fairly big and decent quality thermoblock it still suffers from a little bit of temperature decline during a shot, especially as you get up around 30 seconds. Iíve found the factory setting is too low for most coffees so increased it by one spot (from 92 up to 94) and get much better results. Unless youíre using quite dark coffee Iíd recommend this, itís definitely worth a go anyway.



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