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Thread: Upgrading Machine Advice

  1. #1
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    Upgrading Machine Advice

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

    I've had a Sunbeam EM6910 for the past 5 years and has been a good machine to learn on however in serious need of an upgrade. Am looking for a machine preferably that I can plumb in and have a drain facility (as long as it's not blowing the budget too much) but overall just after something that I can produce a quality extraction with non-supermarket quality beans as well as steam milk at the same time. I have looked around and love the specs of the Nota Orchestrale but am a bit skeptical of jumping from a $500 machine to a $3000 machine. However I am also uncertain of getting another Sunbeam or Breville for fear that they will simply wear out again. Any suggestions would be very welcome!

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    What's your budget? How many coffees do you make a day? Do you every entertain large groups that would want coffee quickly?
    Dimal and Barge89 like this.

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    Budget would be between $1000-$2000 - I would make on a daily basis at least 2 coffees for my wife and I but then when we entertain, could bump that up to 5-10 coffees occasionally when we have guests. I became quite competent on the Sunbeam - a little so that I began to become frustrated with the performance of it - which is why I am hesitant on getting another of similar calibre.

  4. #4
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    What part of the performance of the 6910 bothered you? They are capable of producing excellent coffee on par with commercial machines if you change out the baskets.

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    I loved the machine over the years - for me the issues I had with the machine was due to the seal - I changed the seal over but have still had many issues with leaking overtop of the portafilter. I disposed of the dual floor baskets almost immediately 5 years ago and have been only using the 2 cup basket that came with the machine. Over time, I have taken the bottom off the portafilter to clean properly but could never get it to go back on properly - as it tightened up beyond square. And in addition to the seal, the portafilter now has issues going in the group head properly as the stainless steel has worn away at the die cast group head - which now means the portafilter tightens beyond where it should. All in all, I think the machine has had a good life, but is at its end. I'm not too sure about the pressure the machine has in order to extract well - as I have used a commercial Expobar at my old workplace which with similar coffee and tamp pressure could extract what my EM6910 at home would struggle to get anything through. I took it to a Sunbeam service centre a few years back - however there ability to service a coffee machine was next to useless.

  6. #6
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    David Jones has a special for like another week or two where you can get a Breville dual boiler for $900. No idea what's going on here; maybe there's a new model coming in or something and Breville wants to run the stock out. It's hard to believe that anything under $2k can compete with this in terms of features, coffee quality or useability. Sure there will be some machines with greater steam volume or the ability to plumb in and out, but to put it in perspective, you can probably make coffees on this thing that are pretty indistinguishable from a lot of commercial multi boiler machines. I had one for a short period of time and was impressed with a lot about it, save for the build quality and repair options, which were dreadful. But it's so cheap for what it delivers that it's kind of a compelling argument ... bizzarely. Because, kind of paradoxically, you can spend a lot more money and get something a lot simpler, more reliable and easier to repair, but it will probably be less capable and make worse coffee. So, yeah, let's say you spend $3k on a lovely, simple, e61 HX, sure you could keep repairing it and keep it going for 50 years, but it's never going to be as easy to dial in coffees at different temps and at that price ... you could have bought three brevilles and kept two around as spares. This is a very stupid situation.

  7. #7
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    You could put the Lelit Elizabeth on your shortlist. It's a dual boiler with PID control, programmable shot length, pre infusion and auto cleaning cycle. The brew group and boiler are one assembly which gives you great temperature stability => excellent shot quality. Steam runs at 3BAR which makes quick work of micro-foaming milk.

    charlie
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  8. #8
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luca View Post
    David Jones has a special for like another week or two where you can get a Breville dual boiler for $900.
    Best price on the Breville BES920 at the moment seems to be from Bing Lee on EvilBay at $820 delivered ($50 discount using current code PICK100 at checkout).
    Dimal likes this.

  9. #9
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    The Good Guys currently have the Breville Dual Boiler for $799.

  10. #10
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Barge89 View Post
    I loved the machine over the years - for me the issues I had with the machine was due to the seal - I changed the seal over but have still had many issues with leaking overtop of the portafilter. I disposed of the dual floor baskets almost immediately 5 years ago and have been only using the 2 cup basket that came with the machine. Over time, I have taken the bottom off the portafilter to clean properly but could never get it to go back on properly - as it tightened up beyond square. And in addition to the seal, the portafilter now has issues going in the group head properly as the stainless steel has worn away at the die cast group head - which now means the portafilter tightens beyond where it should. All in all, I think the machine has had a good life, but is at its end. I'm not too sure about the pressure the machine has in order to extract well - as I have used a commercial Expobar at my old workplace which with similar coffee and tamp pressure could extract what my EM6910 at home would struggle to get anything through. I took it to a Sunbeam service centre a few years back - however there ability to service a coffee machine was next to useless.
    G'day Barge89

    FYI, I bought my first 6910 in 2010, However it was an August 2008 model. Sometime in 2010 SB altered the basic design and the newer ones are not as powerful. Look at your drip tray and see the shape of the top of the red float. Early ones are round, later ones are a long rectangle with slightly rounded corners.

    Anyway, my is still on its first seal "post unneccesary warranty work / destruction attempt" in 2011. The only way to destroy a seal is to get coffee grounds into it. I also had a 2 group La Pavoni for over 15 years without needing to replace the seal...

    When a 6910 stops sealing correctly ("grounds wrecking seal" aside), the correct fix is to use one or more spacer(s) above the seal. They come in 0.5mm thickness. Once the machine seals properly, the shot pressure will restore to normal - unless the pump is too worn (unlikely, but possible). BTW, making you own spacer is simple - Weetbix packet and a pair of scissors.

    So FWIW, my take is you probably need a spacer above the seal more than a new machine. If you do want to go "upmarket" you will find most machines aren't much better than a 6910 anyway, whilst a number of them need more maintenance and also hit your power bill pretty hard. IMO, my only suggested upgrade options for you: go for a full blown manual lever (Electra "Eagle" or, if the budget can stand it, an Olympia Cremina - both require arcane rituals but make better coffee than most sub $10K machines - DE1 excepted) or to at least look at the "entirely new tech" Decent DE1 (I bought one a year ago and love it).

    If you are in Perth, I know one good repairer - unfortunately most repairers in WA are fairly useless. From the complaints / tales of woe & incompetance I read all too often, apart from noidle22 (Bathurst NSW) most interstate repairers must also be poor.

    I hope this helps


    TampIt



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