Results 1 to 33 of 33

Thread: Which Machine?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Which Machine?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys,

    I currently have a Sunbeam Cafe Ristretto machine. It was a gift a couple of years ago, when I discovered I was lactose intollerant and I couldnt buy a lactose free latte (other than Soy - YUCK!) and we have outgrown it, as the kids are now joining us for coffees (not what you lot would call coffee, I am sure). Any way the main problem is that it takes too long to make 4 cappas/lattes. Im making seconds before I get my first.

    At this stage I want a machine that will steam enough milk for 4 cuppas in a reasonable time. Santa (AKA K. Rudd) can probably stretch to the Sunbeam 6910. Your posts and replies have put me off the Breville ES800, and made me a bit sus on the 6910. I Live in Gippsland and as far as I know there is no specialist coffee shop this side of Melbourne, so will have to rely on what the major retailers sell.

    I like the 6910 because of the steaming the dual thermoblock provides. I just want agood reliable machine, I dont think I want to get in to roasting and grinding beans, I can get fresh roasted and ground beans from a good deli close by.

    Is there anything other than the 6910 that I should have a look at?

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: Which Machine?

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs coffee mum.
    Weve been waiting for you.


    Ive used a 6910 for quite some time now and dont mind recommending it with caveats.
    When it works it can make a decent coffee and it will handle your capacity requirement.

    The potential problems with them are wearing of the collar and cicuit boards.
    I believe that another member, Anger Management has recently published a post with some good information on how to lessen the possibility of the collar wearing as fast as it did to me.

    Because there is a lot of computer circuitry in it theres a chance a circuit board could fry (steam and water arent friendly to computers).
    When I picked mine up recently from having the collar replaced the technician told me hed also replaced a circuit board and showed me where a solder joint had fried a little.
    That explained the burning smell from a few weeks before.

    I suppose thay are my main gripes.

    I believe that if you shop around you can find a new one now for less than $550.

    The matching grinders (0450 & 0480) are noisy and messy in my opinion.
    I quickly replaced my 0450 with a better grinder.

    You should consider spending a bit more on a grinder than the Sunbeam ones.
    The more you spend now, the longer the grinder will last, and save you money on replacement in the long run.

    Talk to some sponsors (listed on the left of the page).
    A Rocky or Ascaso mini (I think) might be the go.

    This deli you speak of....how sure are you of the freshness of the beans? Brand? Roasting dates?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    thanks, I will check out what Anger Management had to say. As for the deli, the roasting beans smell good as I walk past, I will investigate types, brands and freshness once I get my machine, but from what I have read on this site anything would be better than the pre-packages supermarket stuff I am currently using. But I dont want to get too fussy, at this stage Ill be happy with a faster machine, and try to avoid upgradeitis for as long as I can.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Armidale, NSW
    Posts
    618

    Re: Which Machine?

    Quote Originally Posted by coffee mum link=1228792765/0#0 date=1228792765
    Hi Guys,

    I currently have a Sunbeam Cafe Ristretto machine. It was a gift a couple of years ago, when I discovered I was lactose intollerant and I couldnt buy a lactose free latte (other than Soy - YUCK!) and we have outgrown it, as the kids are now joining us for coffees (not what you lot would call coffee, I am sure). Any way the main problem is that it takes too long to make 4 cappas/lattes. Im making seconds before I get my first.

    At this stage I want a machine that will steam enough milk for 4 cuppas in a reasonable time. Santa (AKA K. Rudd) can probably stretch to the Sunbeam 6910. Your posts and replies have put me off the Breville ES800, and made me a bit sus on the 6910. I Live in Gippsland and as far as I know there is no specialist coffee shop this side of Melbourne, so will have to rely on what the major retailers sell.

    I like the 6910 because of the steaming the dual thermoblock provides. I just want agood reliable machine, I dont think I want to get in to roasting and grinding beans, I can get fresh roasted and ground beans from a good deli close by.

    Is there anything other than the 6910 that I should have a look at?
    Hi coffee mum and welcome,

    Firstly, shame about the lactose intollerance. Its not as uncommon as some think but. My wife is also intollerant (to lactose that is ;D - she tolerates me more than I deserve sometimes) and she has gotten used to soy milk to the extent that she dislikes the smell or taste of cow milk. She will only have Bonsoy in her coffee but - costs a bit (lot) more, but worth it for her.

    Youve indicated you want a "good reliable machine". Well, TG has had the 6910 and knows the score there. To my mind, however, I wouldnt call it "reliable" based on posts on this site. A well priced machine with good features, but with possible (likely) Made in China quality control and cheap component problems.

    To make 4 milk based coffees in a row, you dont necessarily need a "dual thermoblock" machine (or HX / dual boiler machine - but thats another price bracket ;)). A good quality single boiler machine such as a Rancillio Silvia will do the job (as long as you do your bit) and is definitely in the "good reliable" category. You could also consider a Gaggia Classic or Nemox Fenice (or Nemox Dell Opera / Lelit Combi - with built in grinder).

    On that score, you may see it said here many times (and as indicated by TG), getting a good grinder (to freshly grind your fresh beans) is a more important decision than the type of machine. Something to consider.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    361

    Re: Which Machine?

    I also cant drink milk now (casein intolerance though, not so much lactose), but luckily I have always liked soy lattes (nutty flavour is good). Ive recently upgraded to the rancilio silvia, and would suit what you need. I tend to just make my coffee, but its a double shot and big so kinda like making two. The steam on this machine is powerful and makes short work of heating the milk. I was considering the 6910 as it was cheap at David Jones, but it seemed a bit hit-or-miss as to whether you got a good one, and wasnt likely to last beyond about 3 years. The silvia though, well Id be fairly certain that will be making good coffee 5-10 years from now. Some people say it takes time to get used to the silvia, but I started making decent coffees straight away and they are getting better. Just follow a routine when making the coffees and its a pretty easy process. Oh, and I upgraded from a Cafe Roma, which was pretty good to start with, but isnt even in the same league! no more thunk-thunk-thunk from the thermablock ;D

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the advice, I have now developed a severe case of I-want-it-now-itis, but still havent decided what I want. I think every post on this site has convinced me that I need a grinder, which I hadnt considered before.

    I have located "The Bean Scene" in Warragul, through a link to retailers from the Diamond C site, I can get there to check out the Silvia and the Gaggia, but I will have to make a trip to Melbourne to look at the Nemox, which I dont think I can do before Xmas, which is going to frustrate me no end!

    At the moment my thoughts are:

    Silvia, top of the class, more than need, probably best value in the long run.

    Sunbeam 6910, given my luck with intermittant faults with anything electrical, Ill get a bad one, so off the list.

    Gaggia, dont like what Ive read about aluminium boilers, and therefore will probably count it out.

    Nemox Dell Opera / Lelit Combi, closest to what hubby is willing for me to spend, less hassle in telling him I need the grinder as it is already attached.

    Grinders, still need to do a lot more reading, would love the Rocky, but know I wont win that battle at the moment, especially if I am going to spend $800 instead of my original $600 on the machine. May need to apply a bit of female cunning and buy a cheap and nasty plastic thing that will break down in a month, just to say "I told you so" (It has worked in the past)

    Once again thanks for the advice and suggestions, I am sure I will make a much better choice because of it. I will let you know what I end up with, even if it is January.

  7. #7
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Frenchs Forest NSW
    Posts
    751

    Re: Which Machine?

    Hi Coffee Mum,

    If you do decide to go the Rancilio route, consider putting a deposit down before 1st Jan - we have had word that the Silvia and Rocky are going to be 10 - 15% more expensive from 1st Jan. The exact date of the price rises will depend on stocks at suppliers.

    charlie

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Thanks Jet Black for the heads up, Ill have to make the time (anyone got a recipe? I need a day) for a trip to Melbourne to check out the Nemox.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    361

    Re: Which Machine?

    If you want a cheaper grinder, the sunbeam ones are OK. Nothing compared to rockys, and nowhere near mazzers, but the grind itself isnt too bad. Comes with 5yr warranty on the motor and replaceable burrs. Under $200 for the s/steel model, then you can spend a bit more and get the silvia. I know the grinder is more important than the machine, but better to get a machine that you dont need to upgrade for a while and a grinder to last you til next xmas when u can get a better grinder...

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Thanks Doug81, I am intending to check out the cheaper grinders (later) today, and let santas helper know what I decide. (for under the tree)

    I think I have made up my mind and will go with the Silvia, just need to have a look on Tuesday, then convince the other half.

    That is going to be a bit easier now though, the Sunbeam Ristretto gave up steaming half way through his milk yesterday, so I zapped it a bit too much and he burnt his mouth. Santas helper (daddys little girl) and I just have to convince him that Silvia will be a good long term investment and will never NEED replacing, and she will be loved by all of us, not just me.

    Hopefully I can get her next week so that I can practice and impress the rellos on Christmas Day.

    Will keep you posted.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Hi to all,

    Once again thanks for all your opinions and advice, I saw the Silvia in the flesh (or S/S) for the first time today, and am now convinced that it is the machine for me, and we will be getting together very soon. I have lost all patience with the little Sunbeam, and just want it gone.

    The grinder on the other hand, is unfortunately going to have to wait a while. I have taken all your advice onboard, and understand what it is all about, but in the interests of domestic harmony I am not going to push it at the moment. There is no fun in drinking coffee alone.

    I know that I wont be getting the best coffee I can, but have decided that I will shop around for some fresh roasted beans, buy in small lots (expensive) have them ground and keep them in a vacuum container ($50), which I will be able to use to store beans once I do get a grinder.

    I have been reading so much info here on all sorts of topics, and you have me hooked, I really want to try roasting beans in a popcorn machine, it sounds soo easy and fun! But Ill need a grinder first.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4,512

    Re: Which Machine?

    Congratulations on your pending purchase cm.

    Can I suggest you forego the vacuum container as I doubt it will make a difference, and could even be a worse way of storage than a one-way valved bag. That way you can put the $50 you save toward your grinder fund.

    Cheers!


  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Thanks Dennis,

    I was taking the advise of the retailer, and hadnt considered that option, but will look into it, as it would be cheaper.

    Unfortunately the funds for the grinder arent the issue, its convincing the other half of the need.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4,512

    Re: Which Machine?

    Quote Originally Posted by coffee mum link=1228792765/0#12 date=1229409605
    Thanks Dennis,

    I was taking the advise of the retailer, and hadnt considered that option, but will look into it, as it would be cheaper.

    Unfortunately the funds for the grinder arent the issue, its convincing the other half of the need.

    Hmm, interesting advice. I dont believe a vac-container will extend the liveliness of freshly ground coffee anywhere beyond 3 minutes or so.

    If its a matter of convincing, perhaps you could tie your wicked, bad, other half to a chair in front of the computer screen and leave him with us for a while. ;D

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    306

    Re: Which Machine?

    I honestly think youll never get the desired result with pre-ground coffee - and it would be a waste of the Silvias cxapabilities. You may get one decent shot just after you get home from the roaster (if youre quick) , but beyond that ... forget it!

  16. #16
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    3,156

    Re: Which Machine?

    HI Coffeemum, good choice on Silvia.....but you will need a grinder, if you use pre-ground you wont get good shots, you need to dial in the grind with Silvia to get good shots. The Sunbeam EM450 does a good job and you should be able to pick one up for $130ish, tell hubby you need a grinder, it is the most important part of making good espresso, without it Silvia will not reach her full potontial and you will end up with gushers all the time.
    Good luck..............................

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    I am aware that Silvias talents will be wasted until I get my grinder, but hubby is still at the"dont want to know" stage, and therefore not willing to look at any infromation, held captive or not.

    Over the past 23 years I have learned how to get what I want, sometimes it takes a lilttle while, but I get there in the end, and I would rather wait and have him happy with the decision.

    Hubby and daughter may be stooging me and there might be a nice surprise under the Christmas tree. Daughter understands the need, knows what I want and where to get it, and has leant (from her mum) how to get around her father (I can hope).

    It will happen.


  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    145

    Re: Which Machine?

    You could make some bad coffees with the preground beans then that might convince him that with a grinder things will be much better. We find it difficult to go out and have coffee now because we can usually make better ones at home.
    Merry Christmas
    Crisp Image

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Hi Crisp Image, making bad coffee is just one of the many weapons I have up my sleeve, but it is probably going to be the most used, and it may not be intentional, but I will certainly be blaming the grounds, and letting him know (nag) that a grinder will definitely fix the problem.

    I am hoping to be able to produce a reasonable cup with some "just home" coffee, then make comment (pout) that the next brew doesnt taste as good, and the next even worse. Then, I can run out of ground coffee Saturday afternoon (of course) and buy some really cheap supermarket stuff for Sunday brunch, making sure that there is a nice fresh home-made fruit loaf to go with the crappy coffee (whinge). By that stage I am hoping for the "if you must " sigh, and Ill have my grinder as soon as I can get to the shop.

    In the meantime I need to do some more research, Rocky is my choice at the moment, but Im going to look at what is around that may be a little better. Also need to decide on doser or doserless. Looks may be important as well, at the moment any grinder will be living in the cupboard and only coming out for duty, but a good looking one may eventually be allowed to live on the bench.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    166

    Re: Which Machine?

    Dont forget to consider the second hand market - you can often find very well cared for equipment right here! The silvia/rocky combo goes for ~$800 which is exactly your budget as referred to a few posts back... I would never buy a plasticy thing 2nd hand but the rancilios are semi-industrial... as you have seen. I went a few months without a grinder when I first stumbled into the coffee world and honestly its better to think of the coffee machine and grinder as a single unit.. though yes, $800 is a rather large obstacle. But soy lattes are expensive... a coffee a day for three months and youre approaching it!

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    164

    Re: Which Machine?

    Hello CoffeeMum

    Love your work * :D * But PLEASE, dont give away too many tactical secrets *;) *
    Ive been trying to encourage my luvly man to read some of the threads here. *Its part of my plot to buy some equipment for home-roasting while retaining domestic harmony *::) * *
    But if he sees some of your posts.. hell be on to my evil plan in no time *;D *;D *;D

    - Carrie *:D

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,768

    Re: Which Machine?

    Sheesh..... :-?

    What hope have we mere males got against an onslaught of those proportions :o....

    Anyway, all power to you "coffee mum" and hope the grinder is sitting under your Xmas Tree ;D

    Mal.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    145

    Re: Which Machine?

    I would say a doserless grinder wold be better. Simply the doser can store gound beans which is good if you are constantly making coffees but if you make one or 2 a day then the grounds will go stale in the doser. This is my opinion and I will stand to be corrected if needed.
    Regards
    Crisp Image

  24. #24
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    4,079

    Re: Which Machine?

    Recommendations for the $500-$1000 machine normally fall into the choice of the Gaggia Classic, the Sunbeam EM6910 and the Rancilio Miss Silvia (without PID) which is always accompanied by the advice of getting a good grinder first.

    One brand that also falls into this price range is Nemox with the Dell Opera only getting the occasional mention. This is somewhat surprising as I havent really heard a bad word against it. It also has the bonus of a built-in grinder which reportedly does an adequate job. I realise that few CS sponsors sell this machine but it does appear to tick quite a few boxes.

    Theres even the Nemox Lux grinder at around $300. Looks like an Ascaso iMini style of grinder. If you couple that with a Nexox Fenice, you still have change from $1000.

    I have no experience of this brand so cant speak for or against it. Should it be avoided? Im not thinking of buying one, just wondering why it doesnt get much of a mention.

  25. #25
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: Which Machine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crisp image link=1228792765/20#22 date=1229505025
    I would say a doserless grinder wold be better. Simply the doser can store gound beans which is good if you are constantly making coffees but if you make one or 2 a day then the grounds will go stale in the doser. This is my opinion and I will stand to be corrected if needed.
    Regards
    Crisp Image
    You never need to leave grounds in the doser.
    You only need to grind enough for one cup if you want.
    If you dont have a doser and need to do more than a couple of coffees at a time youll wish you had a doser.
    If you have a doser you can grind for one or a few at a time.

  26. #26
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,768

    Re: Which Machine?

    Ill second "flynnauss" suggestion for the Nemox Fenice line of machinery...

    At east one of our site sponsors sells this range of machines which represent excellent bang for buck and are superior to both the Sunbeam EM6910 and the Gaggia Classic in my opinion (from an engineering standpoint).

    Heres a link to our sponsors page... (no free plug here)

    Mal.

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    145

    Re: Which Machine?

    You never need to leave grounds in the doser.
    You only need to grind enough for one cup if you want.
    If you dont have a doser and need to do more than a couple of coffees at a time youll wish you had a doser.
    If you have a doser you can grind for one or a few at a time.

    So I stand corrected however I think I would find that I grind too much (even on a doserless) and would be constantly be throwing out the surpluss. So How do you overcome this. I use to put just enough beans in the hopper but have changed my ways and put in enough for a day or 2.
    Regards
    Crisp Image

  28. #28
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: Which Machine?

    I used to be able to judge by eye how much to put in the hopper for one shoitbut it was a little inconsistant.

    Now I measure my beans into a spare basket and toss them in.
    Havent had any leftover grinds for many, many months since doing it this way.

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Hi All and hope you had a merry Christmas

    [smiley=smiley.gif] [smiley=smiley.gif] [smiley=smiley.gif]

    I"m Happy Happy Happy! Hubby has finally said yes to both Silvia and Rocky. So Im heading off Melbourne tomorrow *and will be bringing my new friends home.

    Im really looking forward to making a "real" coffee and have been looking at the roasting threads, might let the dust settle for a couple of weeks before I get some green beans and bring home a new popper. I think my coffee should have a dedicated popper, wouldnt want popcorn flavoured coffee or coffee flavoured popcorn :D :D

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Werribee, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    737

    Re: Which Machine?

    Congradulations! Coffee Mum,
    Thats a good purchase now all you have to do is get some fresh coffee and have a go at making great coffee

  31. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Silvia and Rocky have been in residence for a week now, I am happy with my results (poor technique and all) which are steadily improving, I cant get a good tamp with that silly plastic thing. Im getting very uneven - 30 & 50ml shots from the one pour, my solution - I have ordered a Pullman tamper, deep basket and some other goodies from Jetblack Espresso, so then I will know any deficiencies will be me. I cant get into a barrista course until Feb (my commitments)

    Silvia is steaming wonderfully, quick and strong, I am getting what I consider to be good microfoam from full cream milk, not so great from the low fat lactose free zymil, just another excuse for more practice [smiley=rolleyes.gif]

    Rocky is fine, but son doesnt like him as an alarm clock.

    I bought some beans from where I got my machine (unfortunatley not a site sponsor - long story) which are OK, and also some from a local Cafe who roast their own, which are awful down the sink shots, after doing some reading I think they are under roasted, they are about a 4 on the CS card (computer view) and seem to have a lot of chaff still on them. Which has lead me to buy a popper, a couple of large seives and place an order for a green bean starter pack.

    Now I am impatiently waiting for my orders to arrive, so that I can have even more fun, and learn even more about this wonderful "hobby" (my excuse for aquiring bits and pieces of bench top bling) [smiley=smiley.gif]

    Just for a practice run, I am going to put those yucky beans in the popper this afternoon, they are a week old and are destined for the bin anyway, I am hoping I might get a second crack out of them, so that I know what it sounds like. I will cremate one batch of greens to get a feel for the process, but I want to play now!

    Once again I really want to say "Thank You" [smiley=thumbsup.gif] to all who have replied to my questions and those who have contribruted to the many, many theads I have been reading, you have all helped me make what I consider to be the right choice for my circumstances and justifiable $$ outlay. I hope that with practice and time I will be a worthy Coffee Snob, but for now the "L" plates are firmly in place.

    Caryn

  32. #32
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    3,156

    Re: Which Machine?

    Good work Caryn, you will really notice a difference with the deeper basket and Pullman tamper, you will enter a new phase in your coffee journey.
    Glad to see you getting into home roasting, a Corretto is just around the corner I feel!!!

  33. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Traralgon, Vic
    Posts
    238

    Re: Which Machine?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Note to self :o Keep doors & windows to house closed when cremating beans outside. I wouldnt recommend burnt bean as an air freshener. [smiley=cheesy.gif]



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •