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  • Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

    Gday,

    I was wondering if anyone here has the same kind of Sunbeam (Cafe Espresso) like I have? I have of late found the little machine, a bit temperamental.

    I have no problem making/steaming milk, ok. I have found sometimes when I have made my shots. The process goes: I hear the infusion process, but have the water spurt out around the sides! I have a Sunbeam Conial burr grinder. One weekend away, I found that it worked find for a few double shots, then finding the water going out and over the side of the group head.

    I called Sunbeam last Friday, and the guy I spoke to asked was I grinding my own, or was it preground? I grind my own. Then he asked, where was the group head handle point? I said straight out. He said (and to my surprise), it needs to be around 5 degress to the right, from that position! His point was not enough pressure would have been created?

    So I bought, some cheaper coffee, not think the machine was working. I worked by way back from a grind setting of 15, and it worked!   Then I stepped down to 14, 13.5 and now 13 or so. So now it seems to be working fine on that grind setting, attempting to tamp consistently, locking in the handle to the position recommend.

    So, any advise or pointers? Or is this a case of, you get what you pay for?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • #2
    Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

    The Sunbeam seals are like that. Theyre quite soft (silicone?) and need a good amount of compression to seal at full espresso pressure. Dont be afraid to wind the handle up tighter as necessary. On my 5800 I used to have it probably 15-20° past 6 oclock. Just heave on it til it stops turning. New seals are cheap to come by.

    Oh, and keep your eyes on it in case it decides to untwist and blow off mid-shot...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

      Thanks Matt. I wont be afraid to muscle it around, tight!

      I will keep by eyes on it. Must have given you a shock/suprise seeing the handle come off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

        Originally posted by Christop link=1188126493/0#2 date=1188185794
        Thanks Matt. I wont be afraid to muscle it around, tight!

        I will keep by eyes on it. Must have given you a shock/suprise seeing the handle come off.
        We have all had it happen at some stage.. Fright = Mess in kitchen and Pants.

        The question I have to ask is, What basket are you using ?

        I have one of these units as a back up and use a standard basket (not the pressurised) and I get good coffee from it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

          I use the standard single, but manly the double short basket supplied with the machine.

          I now no longer have any problems with my machine. I turn the handle a few centre metres around to the right. So I assume it is now able to created the needed pressure.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

            Originally posted by Christop link=1188126493/0#2 date=1188185794
            Thanks Matt. I wont be afraid to muscle it around, tight!

            I will keep by eyes on it. Must have given you a shock/suprise seeing the handle come off.
            Hi Chris,
            Just to let you know that with Sunbeams, the group handle can be on so tight it eventually cracks to plastic surround that holds the group handle on.  It happened to us at work with our EM3600 (a plain enamel version of the EM3800).
            So, tight but not extremely so
            Phil

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

              Hi Phil,
              Thanks for that! With my second Sunbeam, the electrician said that there looked to be a crack in the plastic around the group head. I believe because I tightened it too much. After that I backed off and didnt make it so tight.

              So, I will keep that in mind, and aim to have the group handle tight, but not overly tight

              Thanks
              Chris

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                Is it possible to get a 20-25sec double shot from this machine ? I am looking to buy a grinder (sunbeam conical burr) soon but at the moment I buy pre-ground and it seems that no matter how I tamp I cant get it to spit out an espresso in more than 10 seconds.

                I have tried tamping and filling and tamping, tamping just a full basket to varying degrees (up to 30kg), ive tried filling tapping on counter to settle refillign and tamping to varying forces.

                Does anyone have a reccomendation for what is general best practice for an espresso grind from a reputable store ? Im buying my grinds from Epic and Mooba in Perth so theyre not generic coffee shops

                thanks guys

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                  Every machine and beans require different grind settings. There is no "espresso" grind which is universal. No matter how hard you tamp, the "espresso" ground coffee will usually yield a 10 second shot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                    Originally posted by Gavin1 link=1188126493/0#8 date=1212763154
                    Every machine and beans require different grind settings. There is no "espresso" grind which is universal. No matter how hard you tamp, the "espresso" ground coffee will usually yield a 10 second shot.
                    Thanks, I sort of thought as much... garbage in - garbage out and all that (not saying it started out crap, just that its generically ground and already too old).

                    Grinder it is then... and soon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                      Originally posted by Gavin1 link=1188126493/0#8 date=1212763154
                      Every machine and beans require different grind settings. There is no "espresso" grind which is universal. No matter how hard you tamp, the "espresso" ground coffee will usually yield a 10 second shot.
                      I opened a bag of new pre-ground Id bought about a week prior and kept as best as I could in the vacuum bag. This grind is noticeably finer and so my tamping is having much more effect.

                      I made a few shots on the weekend to try and get things right with this coffee and found that I could indeed get 20+ second pours with different methods. Yey!

                      You do have to crank the group handle on quite a bit though, mine has had a workout over the last couple of years and Id say Im well past 5 degrees. More like 20.

                      So I need to get that grinder now, it has finally been demonstrated to me how important it is!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                        I get 25 odd second double shots if I get the dose / tamp / bean combination right (plus random luck), so long as the group head seal holds on my EM4800C with non-pressurised basket.

                        Thats on the finest setting of my Breville burr grinder though, Im sorely tempted to just go for a Silvia / Rocky combination and be done with getting baskets, modifying portafilters and replacing seals.

                        I do have to turn make sure the PF is really tight, else water leaks out the sides and the extraction is no good.

                        Edit: Heres a pic of the results ... a tasty long black from a freshly roasted African blend from the Jindebah cafe. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...8&id=737864676

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                          I have an Em4800C and a Mini Mazzer (looking to upgrade the machine in the near future). You get better shots with the mazzer than you will with the Sunbeam grinder (which I also used for several months). The difference in the taste is remarkable even with a low end machine it improved the quality and consistency. Aint upgraditis a bitch [smiley=evil.gif]

                          But that is life as a CoffeeSnob. It can be addictive.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                            Originally posted by Stan link=1188126493/0#12 date=1212996297
                            I have an Em4800C and a Mini Mazzer (looking to upgrade the machine in the near future).  You get better shots with the mazzer than you will with the Sunbeam grinder (which I also used for several months).  The difference in the taste is remarkable even with a low end machine it improved the quality and consistency.  Aint upgraditis a bitch  [smiley=evil.gif]

                            But that is life as a CoffeeSnob.    It can be addictive.
                            As an IT, camera and cooking nerd I completely understand upgraiditis... I wish my wallet got some sort of infection that caused it to swell with money at random times

                            After goign to the WA Barista Jam (as a non-barista) on the weekend I definitely am dreading the amount of money Ill likely be spending on this hobby soon ..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Challenges with Sunbeam EM3800

                              It is only money - let the bank worry about it. ;D

                              I am lucky that the wife is also into coffee so I only have to convince me if I want to upgrade 8-)

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