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Thread: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

  1. #1
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    Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I almost dare not ask this question, on this site. I bought my wife a Breville 800 Class for Christmas (RRP$399.95). My wifes sister also bought us a Sunbeam Cafe Aromatic (RRP $449.95).
    I did do my research before purchasing and, if I had followed the consensus of opinion posted on this & other sites, I probably would have bought a Gaggio Classic or Rancilio Silvia - the problem being, I couldnt really justify spending $1,000 + for an espresso machine & other equipment, when there is a reasonable chance the machine will end up collecting dust in our kitchen cupboards.
    I really would be most grateful for some advice on what machine we should keep (returning both & getting a Classic or a Silvia probably isnt an option).

  2. #2
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    This is a difficult question for anyone without experience of these machines to answer satisfactorily for you.

    I dont (have experience with either) however I might approach it in this way.

    I dont like domestic machines with electronics or "touch pad" (rather than simple toggle switch) operation so if one if them is a touch pad machine then that is one I would consider not keeping.

    I dont like thermoblock machines so if one of them is a thermoblock machine, ditto to the above (ie I would not keep it).

    I dont like machines with crema enhancing devices in their group handles...so ditto...

    I dont like machines with flimsy, light (as in little weight) group handles so...ditto

    I dont like machines with steamer on LHS...so...ditto...

    I dont like machines with short steam pipes that only swivel around in a circular direction and therefore give little proper access for your milk jug so...ditto...

    I dont like machines with plastic in the body (other than say the drip tray) so...ditto... and lastly,

    I do not like machines that carry electrical appliance brand names instead of coffee machine brand names and therefore it might be said I may be a little biased.

    In any case this gives you an idea of what this respondent doesnt like in a domestic espresso coffee machine. These are legitimate dislikes and are based on my idea that the machine needs to be simple, user friendly, with little to go wrong or break over time, and that you should be able to get repaired for many many years to come without problem. Will this be the case with "appliance brand" machines?

    Ultimately and in an ideal situation the absolute best thing would be to get a simple demo of each and then you would also be able to see what they are capable of producing.

    I realise this is not what was asked but another alternative is to try & get your money back on both and go visit someone specialising in domestic coffee machines. As you mention that budget is a problem, let me assure you that you CAN buy a simple pump driven domestic, with proper boiler rather than a thermoblock, with no add on gismos to break down, that works well in both espresso and steaming departments, and is solidly built, for around $550.00. Mate it up to a "matching" Lux grinder for around $265 and whalla, for $815.00 you are on your way with a machine that works well, will last years, and will be repairable for years. The world does not only revolve around the two more expensive domestic machines you mentioned...

    Hope this helps.

    Regardez,
    FC.

  3. #3
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    The sunbeam got us started and makes an acceptable coffee.

    The Breville did rate very well in the NZ consumer mag test. They say best in class, Sub $400.

    Sister has one she says "makes better coffee than the Ariete that she had."

    We Enjoyed our Sunbeam my sister enjoys her Breville. Like I say it will get you started.

    They are NOT a Silvia but hey its a start just get a good grinder. The Delonghi (Solis 166) is a good option to start with. will cost ya about $169

    Just pack as much coffee in the porta filter as you can :)

    Im a fan of Sunbeam gear so Im biased on that plus the Sunbea,m will be all stainless on the out side and easy to clean. Ive never tried the Breville.

    Cheers
    Rich


  4. #4
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Just a note on the Solis 166 grinders. Im fairly sure Starbucks sells the same grinder rebadged for approx $120. That was the case about 4 months ago but it may well have changed. It would be worth your while to investigate if you decide to grab the 166.

  5. #5
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Sorry coffee novice, but both these machines are crap. Both of these machines feature a "thermoblock" heating system which will start to erode (disintegrate) from the first time you use it. The coffee is also terrible and the steam is watery. Return both machines for a refund and buy a "Imat Mokita" from coffe co http://www.coffeeco.com.au/default.htm or if there out of stock, lygon imports (a bit more expensive).These things cost $506 including gst and are good quality stainless steel over solid marine grade brass and the same pump and boiler as Silvia. The Silvia is a much better machine but in your situation, I wouldnt want to invest so much either. Remember you still need a grinder, and do buy one. If you are able to get a refund on both machines, you will be able to afford a grinder.
    A good tamper is essential, Stainless steel not plastic like they give you with the machines, you will be suprised how much difference $20 will make.
    Good luck, and and considder that $504 isnt really all that much.
    Cheers...
    Bruce...

  6. #6
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    You can also get the Imat machines from David Jones probably cheaper. The Chefs equipment store by South Melnbourne market also has them as does Cottles around the corner.




  7. #7
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Both Sunbeam and Breville will still make a vastly better coffee than any instant coffee on the planet. You just have to work the short commings as many as they are. Fitting as much coffee in the Filter is a start.

    But if you havent used them then taking them both back is still an option.

  8. #8
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Return both and stay with the plunger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Thanks to all for the advice. Neither coffee machine has been used at this stage, so I will see if I can return both & get an Imat. I did at least buy a Delonghi grinder ($135 at The Good Guys), so hopefully that will help, whatever the outcome.

  10. #10
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Take em back at least you have an ok grinder at least you dont have a wirley blade thing.

    The Nemox Caffè Fenice is the same machine as the Imat. beware tho some places are flogging them off at a higher price than what you can get a Silvia for.

    Rich

  11. #11
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Hello Coffe Novice (et al),

    I am only just a month or so out of where you are now...

    Just before Christmas, I convinced my wife that we should buy an espresso machine. As she loves Cappuccinos, there wasnt too much convincing - until she saw the price tags! Well, there the fun started. We looked at all of the major department and appliance stores, looking at automatic, semi and manual machines. And then, depending on the sales rep, just about every machine is fantastic, and every one should be classifed as a grave risk to public health!

    So I took to the internet (and finally came across Coffeesnobs and CoffeeCo). With the technical breakdown given of the internals of each machine on CoffeeCo, and the advice given by all here, my wife had a near breakdown and gave up :-/

    So where am I now? I bought the Breville Cafe Roma ESP6 (the black one, not the stainless one - easier to keep clean). The reason was simple. As my wife could not be convinced that the boiler type are better (except for the Gaggia as it has dissimilar metals internally - electrolosis erosion), I opted for the next and only remaining choice - a thermoblock machine ;D. Since I had to include four children (yes, four - and all girls at that), I needed something to give me a hot cup of espresso (or chocolate as the case may be), with a bit of frothed milk for the top, and away I go.

    The Breville ESP 6 is very good for the price ($127 at K-Mart, and now down to $114 at BigW) in that it makes a fair espresso (with the crema enhancement device), heats milk (as long as you run the steam first to make it less wet) and means that my family enjoys standing around waiting for their cup (only two at a time mind you). It takes about half an hour to make the six cappuccinos/chocaccinos, but it is fun.

    I have learnt a lot since then - mainly because I could get a machine that would make an espresso (and I know that it cheats at it - but it is close), that I could play with the grinds (I have a DeLonghi conical grinder - $135 at Clive Anthonys), and that I could enjoy a very nice tasting cup of coffee at a low starting price.

    Would I buy another one? No. I know now where I would like to go from here (boiler style with a better group assembly).

    Do I regret having bought it? No way. It has started us off when we were unsure whether we would like the taste, whether we could be bothered setting it up and later cleaning it up, and whether the novelty would wear off (e.g. someone is selling a Silvia and Rocky in the Brisbane Trading Post - as new!).

    Would I recommend someone else to buy one? Definately yes - if they are in the same shoes as I was. At the price, you can give it a go, and check whether your family could and would join in (my kids love to take turns grinding the coffee, and they are learning how to steam the milk without burning it or making it too cold). And, if after a couple of months of making six plus cups of coffee a day for a family, and you still enjoy yourself, you can pass it on to someone else who is in the same shoes as you once were and buy the machine of your dreams.

    Each machine has its place - mine has found it, and I have found my love of daily coffees. The only way now is up.

    Hooroo all, and thanks for all of your advice to us newbies :P

  12. #12
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Cool thats what we are here for. :o)

    The low end machine definatly have a place, like you say great for testing the waters.

    To all those who say they dont make a decent espresso ............. no mattter how you look at it its better than instant coffee by a long shot.

    Rich

  13. #13
    tim
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    I bought a Sunbeam Cafe Aromatic about a year ago thinking I was getting a real coffee machine. (crikey!) I started buying Lavazza supermarket bricks at extortionate prices and was content ... until I was introduced to roasting by a friend.
    I still use the Sunbeam at the moment but I now roast my own and Ive got a good grinder. Despite the fact that it is a crappy thermoblock machine with a pressurised PF, I still reckon with the decent grinder and my own fresh-roasted, I get a better coffee than 95% of the cafes I have been to.
    (which is not to say Im great but that 95% of cafes Ive been to are crap).
    Eventually I will get a better machine (most likely a Silvia, they look like the best bang-for-buck).
    Of course it would be lovely to have an elite piece of jewellry like an ECM or LaMarzocco or Isomac on my counter to impress my friends. Id also like an Audi RS6, but I certainly dont regret moving from my Bialetti and Lavazza to the Sunbeam beasty, cause Ive had a great time with it! (despite my ignorance and the learning curve). :-)

  14. #14
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Ive been using my housemates Sunbeam cafe crema for about six month. That was a good introduction to home espresso for me - an ok little machine. With fresh beans, freash milk, good grinder, and decent technique, good coffee can be had at home. But, well, my housemate is leaving, so I have decided to buy Rancilio combo and am very happy with that decision given that I dont have enough budget for Diadema machine saw at FCs shop.

  15. #15
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    My folks have just aquired (through my persuading) a Breville Cafe Roma. Nowdays they kind of respect my coffee input. I quite often make them a weekday latte.

    Never used one before. I set it up for them and got it firing. Its not a bad little machine. Silvia to a Roma is like going from a V8 to a 1.5 Litre 4 cylinder in terms of performance but at the end of the day the results wind up pretty much the same (Milk drink-wise). ;)

    I like the quick warm up time of the Breville. However P/F basket holds virtually no coffee and the machine feels like a toy. It steams milk like a 1.5 litre 4 cylinder car going up a hill. However seems to create a nice whirlpool in the jug and makes microfoam easier (to the novice than Siliva). That said it takes twice as long to do enough milk for 2 lattes and your shots more or less go cold waiting. :-/

    If you were only going to constantly make 2 coffees the little thermoblock steam toy would most certainly get you there with a cheaper grinder than what the Silvia would demand. Though straight espresso without milk to hide behind would be another matter altogether. The crux of the whole operation really relies on fresh beans. This gives results far better than most cafes can provide.

    Warren
    (Have a great new year CSnobbers) :) :) :)

  16. #16
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Over the Christmas break, I got to use my sisters Sunbeam machine. All I can say is that I am so glad I researched enough not to buy a thermoblock machine. I know why my sister keeps this machine in the cupboard......it is completely hopeless!! The pressurised portafilter is a joke and the steaming is totally weak with the pump pulsating away.

    If you are like me and find it hard enough to have time for a coffee in the morning, you WILL grow tired of a thermoblock machine. It takes so much more effort that you will end up dumping it.

  17. #17
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    Re: Breville v Sunbeam (not Classic v Silvia)??

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Franjae I suppose you have a point but we must remeber that not all people look for machines of the calabre of what most of us have.

    You do appreciate a decent machine though dont you?

    Cheers

    FB :)



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