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Thread: BrevilleBES878 vs Breville BES920 vs Sunbeam EM7000

  1. #1
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    BrevilleBES878 vs Breville BES920 vs Sunbeam EM7000

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello everyone,

    Have recently attended latte art class and asked the trainer on how to get better at making latte art (currently looking for a barista job & all shops require latte art). Therefore, I am currently looking into mid range espresso machine such as Brevilles BES878, BES 920 and Sunbeam EM7000.

    I have several things I want:
    1.Fastest warm-up time
    2.Enough steam to create good milk texture for latte art
    3.require least space as possible
    4.Consistent espresso shot as possible

    I've had a look in the forum but I am not able to determine which is the best of those 3. Would like to hear what everyone has to say and I believe someone may have a better idea on an alternative machine that does those better than the machines I suggested.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    BES920 is the only dual boiler machine in that list and likely the best for strong consistent steam that can be used while simultaneously making coffee. It will require a separate grinder though which adds to the space requirements. Personally I'm a fan of external grinders as they can be upgraded or fixed easily if there are issues (e.g. a rock in your coffee beans....)
    Dimal likes this.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jebus. It's the most expensive of them all I'd assume. I heard Sunbeam EM7000 takes the shortest time to heat up and can perform just as good on both pulling shots and stretching milk for latte art. I've searched around for 2nd hand BES920 and I noticed there aren't much available, especially at a reasonable price.

    So between BES878 vs Sunbeam EM7000, which one do you think is of better value?

    And yes, totally agree on external grinders. Currently rocking a Breville Smart Grinder Pro for V60. I've been doing V60 at home for almost a year but most cafe do not recognise that as any sort of experience until I can make exceptional latte art :/

  4. #4
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The EM7000 has a weird thing it does with the steam wand to try and make it easier for amateurs that will not give you an easy transition to a commercial machine steam wand, I would suggest you avoid it. The BES920 having a steam boiler is probably most like a commercial machine and can make great microfoam, but it is still a jump to a commercial steam wand. A second hand EM6910 would suit you nicely in pretty much all areas including warm up time and cost. The BES878 is very new and I have heard no user reports on it. It appears1 to be either a sightly higher model or successor to the BES870, I currently have a friend's one on the bench giving it a service. The 870 is ok, I find it very hard to get decent extraction at the moment. Given that it doesn't have an OPV, if you overdo the dose or fineness of the grind it chokes the pump, trips the pump thermal cutout and the pump won't work for a while. I believe to avoid this they make it impossible to grind fine enough and suggest overdosing to compensate (whilst making the basket almost impossible to fit enough of the coarsely ground coffee into to choke it). Having recalibrated the grind setting on it the first thing I did was to trip the pump thermal cutout. I'm still playing with it. The steam seems ok but I think it requires a bit of a different technique to a commercial machine.

    A second hand EM6910 in good condition (try removing the shower screen on inspection) will serve your purposes very well. They can often be picked up relatively cheap too. You can even still buy them new if you so desire.

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    Thanks level3ninja. How do these 3 compared to a Rancilio Silvia? I've noticed there are several second hand Rancilio Silvia available on Gumtree so I would like to hear what everyone has to say about Rancilio Silvia comparing those 3 machines.

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    I dont have much experience with coffee machines.
    Had an em6910 that died. The aptly named thermoblock, blocked. Through lack of maintenance.
    We now have a Breville 920. As far as steam goes there is no comparison between the 2. The 920 produces far more steam.
    I'd say for texturing milk efficiently the 920 would be better. I cannot produce coffee art to save myself no matter what you give me to work with however.

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    I see. Thanks. I just found a 2 year old BES920 for sale at $450 but I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea as I'm unsure how long do these machines typically last for.

    What should I look out for when buying 2nd hand machines? eg tips on which part to check

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The Silvie is a bit of a different beast to the others as it is a single boiler, it will be more finicky to get the shots right due to having to temperature surf etc, and the steam may not be super consistent because it's controlled by a pressurestat. In some ways it's similar to the 920 in that it has an actual boiler and not a thermo block/coil like the other two, and it's also slightly similar to the 878 as it is using one heating component to heat brew water and steam to different temperatures.

    Each type of machine will have different parts that tend to fall earlier than others. Silvia's for example often get rust in the chassis below the drip tray. It would be a good idea to remove the shower screen of any machine you look at, see if there is any visible brown coffee gunk on the back of the shower screen. Also remove the basket from the portafilter and see what it looks like inside, clean or cashed on brown gunk? If you can remove the cover and check out the internals look for any water/steam leaks or corrosion. Check out the steam wand for cakes on milk residue. A little bit of white residue isn't good but isn't the end of the world, golden brown or darker indicates it has been there for a while and heated several times. Nothing kills coffee machines faster than lack of maintenance so if it hasn't been looked after you may be getting a ticking time bomb. Decide if that's something you're willing to deal with and if so adjust your offer accordingly.

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    BrevilleBES878 vs Breville BES920 vs Sunbeam EM7000

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaysian View Post
    I see. Thanks. I just found a 2 year old BES920 for sale at $450 but I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea as I'm unsure how long do these machines typically last for.

    What should I look out for when buying 2nd hand machines? eg tips on which part to check
    2 years old should be fine. I had the original BES900 for over 6 years and probably could've kept it going longer if I wanted to. Most parts are replaceable and easy and cheap to get hold of.

    Check for leaking steam arm (when not being used), check for metallic noise when pulling spots - you should just hear the pump.
    Last edited by dischucker; 23rd April 2019 at 09:03 AM.

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    Thanks. Seems like I'm able to get it for $400 which IMO could be a good deal (assuming everything is still in good condition).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malaysian View Post
    Thanks. Seems like I'm able to get it for $400 which IMO could be a good deal (assuming everything is still in good condition).
    Keep in mind that they often go on sale like this one recently. $400 is a good price for a 2 year old BES920 though if you can confirm it's age.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malaysian View Post
    Hello everyone,

    Have recently attended latte art class and asked the trainer on how to get better at making latte art (currently looking for a barista job & all shops require latte art). Therefore, I am currently looking into mid range espresso machine such as Brevilles BES878, BES 920 and Sunbeam EM7000.

    I have several things I want:
    1.Fastest warm-up time
    2.Enough steam to create good milk texture for latte art
    3.require least space as possible
    4.Consistent espresso shot as possible

    I've had a look in the forum but I am not able to determine which is the best of those 3. Would like to hear what everyone has to say and I believe someone may have a better idea on an alternative machine that does those better than the machines I suggested.

    Thank you!
    G;day Malaysian


    I just spotted a much better alternative at a bargain price:-

    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...6910-myer.html

    Even the newer 6910's are (IMO) better than the 7000. Yep, I have two 6910s and a 7000 and every time I go "back" to the 6910 I prefer it. My older ones are more powerful than than my 7000, do milk in a way closer to the generic commercial machines.

    The 7000 is only on my bench because the 6910 is a lot noisier and actually gives my frail mother a headache. I just bought a DE1, and the 7000 is now just used as a steamer so I will probably replace it with one of my 6910s in the next few days (the 6910 steaming is not as noisy as its coffee shots).

    Considering secondhand 6910s are around $200, the Myer $150 online with a grinder is a no brainer - even if you have to freight it somewhere.


    TampIt

  13. #13
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    I recommend finding a job waiting tables at a cafe, and letting them know that you’re interested in learning how to make coffee. that way you can ease yourself into learning to make and pour coffees, rather than face a high-pressure learning curve. otherwise, i recommend looking up dritan alsela’s latte art practice videos which you can do with a French press. i recommend against a cheap home machine.

  14. #14
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    Pulled the trigger on BES920. Will test it out in the coming days to see how it is. And Thanks Woodhouse, I've indeed finding jobs as a FOH in cafes saying my goal is to grow within the cafe but so far hasn't been able to attract any interest from them. Will try harder!
    Jebus likes this.

  15. #15
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    Update : Milk froth was excellent. Bought some cheap pre-grounded beans from Aldi Lazzio (medium). Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 10.39.48 am.jpg Taken off from aldiunpacked.

    When I opened the bag the first thing I noticed was the grind size, didn't look fine enough for me to be espresso grind. Either way, gave it a try. Started off using a single wall 2 cup filter basket but the bar pressure didn't go any higher than 3. So I had to use a dual wall 2 cup filter basket to see if it made a difference, and it did.

    However, when the shots were coming out, it did some squirting. Could this possibly be caused by the grind size of the coffee?

    *Reason I bought pre-ground coffee is because I wanted to test out the machine. Will be getting a grinder soon and will move on to specialty grade beans once that happens.*



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