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  • What should I downgrade to?

    Hi there.

    At the moment I have a Sunbeam EM5600 which Ive been making 2 cuppas/day for the last couple of years - but its dying.

    Im thinking of actually DOWNgrading to something else. While Im happy with what Ive got, Im finding that amongst the panic of making breakfast for kids and getting them off to school each morning, I just dont have the time to do carry on with making coffee the way I am - in particular the steaming milk part of things.

    So - Im looking at buying an electric steamer/frother thingo.

    I buy green beans from Coffeesnobs, roast em in my little popcorn machine and grind them each day, so what machine would give me a good cup of coffee under these circumstances?

    At the moment we like cappuccino, but flat whites would be fine.

    I just know whether I need to stick with an espresso machine, or would some other system suit us just as well?

  • #2
    Re: What should I downgrade to?

    Hmmm, Pretty much any machine takes approximately the same amount of time to produce a decent cup of coffee, whether it be siphon, french press, espresso, Moka, perculator, drip, instant, etc. give or take a minute or two

    Heck, for most of the non-espresso kinds of coffees, they take longer, as you need to not only heat up the water, but wait for the coffee to drip through the grounds/filter/what have you

    The only one that seems to be quicker then Espresso is Turkish, Or instant.

    The only suggestion I would have is "get yourself a machine that can do both steaming and extracting at the same time" Now, I know this isnt a downgrade, but if you can pour and steam at the same time, that usually cuts down the wait time between both. saving valuable time

    Short of that, Theres always a Super-auto or nesblech-o/other-capsule coffee which may cut down the time at the critical hour at the expense of things like taste, quality, etc.

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    • #3
      Re: What should I downgrade to?

      The main problem in the past was that steaming the milk took quite a while and I couldnt do anything else at the same time. If I go with an electric steamer, that will get rid of that problem.

      And since Im happy with an espresso machine, and dont mind the time it takes to pull a shot, I might just look for a machine without the milk steaming half of things - if such a thing exists.

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      • #4
        Re: What should I downgrade to?

        I know what you mean, the elapsed time of various methods may be similar, but they dont all require your exclusive attention.

        The best "espresso only" machines are good single boilers. The cheaper ones have nuances about them, the more expensive will be more forgiving. There are plenty of posts here about single boiler machines, of which I have little experience.

        What I would suggest you look into as well is a "manual" espresso machine that has a milk frothing attachment. I know Ive seen them, but Im on my phone at the moment so I cant look up the brand easily. Ill try and post it later. That way you may get the best of both worlds...

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        • #5
          Re: What should I downgrade to?

          Why not just keep your current machine and buy yourself an Aeroccino?

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          • #6
            Re: What should I downgrade to?

            Alas, Caffeine Junky, my current machine is in the process of dying - thats why Im looking at options replace it with something else so I can multitask.

            I will definitely have a look around at single boiler machines - as well as a manual espresso machine. But with the manual machine, wont I still have to stand there frothing the milk? I like the idea of pressing a button and letting a machine do its thing while I make breakfast.

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            • #7
              Re: What should I downgrade to?

              Originally posted by 1B382D2D2C0A3D2538480 link=1324526873/5#5 date=1324556936
              I like the idea of pressing a button and letting a machine do its thing while I make breakfast.
              As long as youre willing to give up quality for convenience then a super auto may be the right choice for you. Just keep in mind that any time gained for the coffee making process may be lost for the cleaning process.

              Originally posted by 1B382D2D2C0A3D2538480 link=1324526873/5#5 date=1324556936
              I will definitely have a look around at single boiler machines - as well as a manual espresso machine.
              Not sure what you mean by manual machine here. Generally manual refers to a machine that brews via an on/off switch or lever.
              I also dont understand why a single boiler is being recommended to you as a solution. It will be an improvement on what you have but will not speed things up very much.

              The options I would recommend are:

              1. Superauto.
              2. HX or Double Boiler machine which will allow you to brew and texture milk at the same time. Steam power will be far stronger than what youre using now. This is the best option in terms of results but means big dollars.
              3. Aeroccino. This could be combined with an espresso machine or something like an Aeropress.

              There are not too many brew only machines without steam on the market. In fact I cant think of any current models off the top of my head.

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              • #8
                Re: What should I downgrade to?

                Originally posted by 61606A796762780B0 link=1324526873/6#6 date=1324558302
                The options I would recommend are:

                1. Superauto.
                2. HX or Double Boiler machine which will allow you to brew and texture milk at the same time. Steam power will be far stronger than what youre using now. This is the best option in terms of results but means big dollars.
                3. Aeroccino. This could be combined with an espresso machine or something like an Aeropress.

                There are not too many brew only machines without steam on the market. In fact I cant think of any current models off the top of my head.
                Back to top
                Ah yes - I had an inkling I mightve been getting off track as far as my requirements go. If anything, Im wanting to DOWNgrade. My machines worth about $250 so Im hoping to stay around that mark (or less).

                Im liking the look of the Aeroccino, coupled with an Aeropress (or similar). People who have them seem to rate them and the process seems quick and easy. Id have to buy an electric jug, as well, I guess.

                Other option, I spose, would be to go with the Aeroccino and a cheaper Sunbeam espresso machine, such as the EM2800 RRP $119 and just not use the steamer. Have to have a look at what features or quality I lose by dropping to a machine $130 cheaper....?

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                • #9
                  Re: What should I downgrade to?

                  LBDCM ?
                  long black dash cold milk - my preferred breakfast coffee

                  That way you can replace your dying setup with something similar and still enjoy your caps and other steamed milk based coffees when time permits.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What should I downgrade to?

                    Originally posted by 41444747494057250 link=1324526873/8#8 date=1324597957
                    LBDCM ?
                    long black dash cold milk - my preferred breakfast coffee

                    That way you can replace your dying setup with something similar and still enjoy your caps and other steamed milk based coffees when time permits.
                    Ahh - if it was just me, thats exactly the way I would go. But, spoke to the missus this morning and she LOVES her cappuccino. So cappuccino it is each day. Which is fine by me.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What should I downgrade to?

                      Originally posted by 012237373610273F22520 link=1324526873/9#9 date=1324601519
                      Ahh - if it was just me, thats exactly the way I would go. But, spoke to the missus this morning and she LOVES her cappuccino. So cappuccino it is each day. Which is fine by me. 
                      I know the issues when there are two parties each with their own preferences only too well. My solution is to make mine and let my Other Half do her thing. When really pushed for time its tea using an infuser for her. (Tea infusers make good stocking stuffers too.)

                      Our one and only kid is old enough to fend for herself and is not a regular coffee drinker yet, so our morning routines are easier than yours. They get worse then get better btw! Then worse again for a while.

                      Back to your query, weve done the pod thing. Done various standalone steamers. Done stirrers, bubblers/heaters and frothers costing lots and little amounts. None gave truly unattended functionality and none produced a truly good cappucino compared to the sunbeams, brevilles and now silvia weve owned. (Other Half *only* drinks caps and has high standards I suppose.)

                      Just as important, we found all those that didnt use steam can also be difficult to clean thoroughly in a hurry esp. those that employ some sort of wire coil aerator.[edit]FWIW: After use, the aerocinos stirrer arm and coil can be dropped in a cup of water for later cleaning. But its still crap.[/edit]

                      dabbler

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                      • #12
                        Re: What should I downgrade to?

                        Perhaps my user name will give a clue to how I make my coffee.

                        You dont seem to be short of time, rather you are limited in time right when you most need a cup of coffee.

                        An aeropress might work. It doesnt make espresso, but the coffee it makes is strong enough that you can dilute with frothed milk to make something like a cappucino. Cleanup is easy.

                        My method is to use extra strong cold processed coffee from the fridge and dilute with water straight from the kettle for a long black. Approximately 15 seconds all up (kettle boils while I am doing other things). I make the cold process coffee when time is not so tight at weekends.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What should I downgrade to?

                          Just glanced through the posts, sorry if I missed something. But shouldnt a more expensive machine steam the milk faster? For example a Dual Boiler or even 6910 should let you start the milk while you pull your shot, and they have greater steam pressure, which means faster steaming.

                          Therefore, upgrade to a better machine to get your time down further?

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                          • #14
                            Re: What should I downgrade to?

                            Originally posted by 69404F5A2E0 link=1324526873/12#12 date=1324628764
                            Just glanced through the posts, sorry if I missed something. But shouldnt a more expensive machine steam the milk faster? For example a Dual Boiler or even 6910 should let you start the milk while you pull your shot, and they have greater steam pressure, which means faster steaming.

                            Therefore, upgrade to a better machine to get your time down further?
                            Youre no doubt correct, Gnat, but Im retricted by a bit of a budget. Im really just looking around for a more efficient system timewise at no more that what a replacement Sunbeam EM5600 would cost. The Aeropress + steamers lookin good! 

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                            • #15
                              Re: What should I downgrade to?

                              Well, my missus likes flat whites, but is not too particular about the coffee (providing its not too bitter) or the froth. I love a strong fresh espresso. Were poles apart.

                              So, what I do for her is
                              • every few days I make a few espressi and stick them in a small sealed jug in the fridge
                              • when she wants a coffee I make a mix of cold espresso and milk
                              • zap it in the microwave for 2 mins (while doing something else)
                              • froth it using a mechanical device (battery-powered whisk, shake maker, presso-supplied frother)
                              • pour it into her cup, and add chocolate if cappuccino is required.

                              This is a fast process, completely separate to the espresso machine, and it involves little cleaning. However, the best thing is that, if pushed, she can do it herself....

                              Me, I use the pneu-presso to make great hot fresh espresso.

                              Gonzo

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