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  • Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

    I started to become interested in coffee machines when Aldi brought out the Espressi for $79 - but wasnt convinced enough to buy one, due to lack of control over what ended up in the cup. And its appearance wasnt too endearing, either.

    So, I started searching the Net for alternatives and considered the Breville Cafe Roma for around $158. But apparently they are so loud in operation, they can wake up a household.

    Then I discovered that Harvey Norman was advertising a Sunbeam Piccollo expresso machine for $98. I thought I had remembered the price (was late night). Sunbeams RRP is $119.

    Went next morning to Harveys & loved the look of the EM2800 machine. But, I wondered why the price was $98 and not $89 as I had remembered it. So, I asked why. They handed me a box and said $89! They indicated they would change the price in the afternoon. Right! Also bought the Sunbeam non burr coffee grinder for $32.

    So, this 15 bar, thermo block, Italian designed and made Crema device with swinging remarkable frother, removable tank, with other kit for $89. The group handle filter part is doubled wall for back pressusre purposes. And Sunbeam claim it was designed with the assistance of an expert coffee judging panel.

    I just keep looking at it and not believing the price. A barister who also had been a salesman for espresso machines awarded it 5 stars and described it as excellent in all respects. He believes its capability is 90% that of a professional machine.

    And, I agree, except the cappuccinos seem superior to me, not that I bought more than one a week.

    The machine is so simple to use and clean and it is quiet. It is built from stainless steel and plastic. Definitely not all plastic. The main brewing area, cup warmer, removable drip tray cover are all stainless steel.

    Large mugs can be used by removing the drip tray cover from the drip tray itself - which slides out like a drawer. The machine vents off unused steam into the drip tray as one switches between pour and frother functions.

    The frother is very efficient, - the barister felt close to a professional machine.

    I have been using Harris Premium beans (using my grinder) and Coles pre-ground Fair Trade medium roast. Love the latter, the amoung of Crema is amazing. And Nestles mint flavour drinking cholcolate on top of the froth, is divine.

    So glad I did spend hundreds or thousands on a machine that might well break down, or have frother pump problems as even expensive machines seem to develop.

    The barister commented that salesman are always urged to try and sell the most expensive machine they could, knowing full well, they were no better than machines such as the Sunbeam Piccolo. ;D

  • #2
    Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

    Hmmm, Im not so sure the EM2800 is all that good a machine, it certainly feels a lot flimsier then the next level up machines, and Im not sure that the baskets are the same as the other sunbeam/breville units, (those ones that we loooove to hate) that are easilly replaced with non-pressurised baskets

    Dont believe the Hype and advertising from the "barister" turned PR director, Hes selling a product to the masses who dont know better as a 90% close to commercial models unit

    Having said that, Its likely an effective machine. its certainly got the guts to make a darn good espresso or two, Provided you feed it the good beans, Stay away from the pre-ground coffee, its stale, Stay away from the supermarket coffee, its also stale (and has been stale for months) Coffee is best in its unground state within 1 week, to three weeks post roast period, after that, its gone off. Ground coffee lasts less then an hour.

    I hope the Sunny Piccollo works for you, Its certainly a good start to know how the world of coffee works, but if you want really good coffee, youre going to have to upgrade sooner rather then later (that goes double/triple for the grinder)

    (incidently, the Piccollo is sold in the US as the Jura Capresso EC100, for some reason, its RRP is like, the same level as the Breville cafe Roma )

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

      Originally posted by 5E7367757A7B7C75536654736677120 link=1325377068/1#1 date=1325396040
      Dont believe the Hype and advertising from the "barister" turned PR director, Hes selling a product to the masses who dont know better as a 90% close to commercial models unit

      Hmmmmmm, that is because the average barrister knows very little about coffee machines. Some baristas tend to know a bit more about coffee.

      Mind you even then there are a lot of not so good ones out there. Mind you, the Italian word Barista means no more than a bartender.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

        The important thing is you like the drinks you are making.

        When you want to go to the next level try and source a single walled basket and using freshly roasted beans that have been freshly ground.

        The double walled basket artificially creates crema from stale coffee and as such it wont work with fresh coffee that produces real crema.



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        • #5
          Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

          No offence Thaifan, but this sounds like advertising for Sunbeam...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

            Not intended to be, I just wanted folks to know what you could get for $98 or, in my case $89. And it seemed this machine had not been previously mentioned on this forum.

            However, I do think Sunbeam esspresso machines may be under rated. Though, I cant imagine paying up to $400 + for one, or any other machine for that matter.

            The perfect cup of cappuccino is not the holy grail I am pursuing. If an inexpensive machine can produce a passable cup that satisfies for the few minutes of consuming, that will do me.

            The EM2800 has a 12 month warranty, and I expect to get $89 worth of value out of it. After that, if it breaks down, I will buy another not too expensive machine, which again would likely be a Sunbeam or Breville, simply because they are affordable and not likely to cause too much anguish if they break down.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

              Originally posted by 7D4148404F4847290 link=1325377068/5#5 date=1325482851
              However, I do think Sunbeam esspresso machines may be under rated. Though, I cant imagine paying up to $400 + for one, or any other machine for that matter.
              That is just so cute! Its adorable!

              I suppose we all started that way. I remember, it was late in 2000. I thought, "Heck! $120 should be PLENTY for a machine that just makes coffee. A few weeks later I dropped about $800 on a machine, a grinder, and a roaster.

              That seems like a decade ago. it wasnt. It was eleven years. Today, my grinder is worth about double that first purchases invoice. The burrs for my grinder would cost more than the esspresso [sic] machine you are considering.

              Funny how times and priorities change. For me... Lifes too short to drink bad coffee, and that is what those department store, throw-away machines create- bad coffee. If your goal is great coffee there ware better ways to spend your $$. if it has to be espresso regardless of the quality of the beverage, enjoy.


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                Originally posted by 79454C444B4C432D0 link=1325377068/0#0 date=1325377068
                A barister who also had been a salesman for espresso machines awarded it 5 stars
                He clearly was no barrister then...Did he charge you by the minute?  ;D

                Originally posted by 79454C444B4C432D0 link=1325377068/0#0 date=1325377068
                The barister commented that salesman are always urged to try and sell the most expensive machine they could, knowing full well, they were no better than machines such as the Sunbeam Piccolo
                Back to flogging cheapo TVs for him I think. He clearly failed coffee #101.... :

                Originally posted by 7F434A424D4A452B0 link=1325377068/0#0 date=1325377068
                So, this 15 bar, thermo block, Italian designed and made
                Ahh....the Chinese prefecture of Italy....

                Part of me wonders if this was a bait post. If not Thai, why not hang around, learn from those who do actually know what theyre talking about (and are not paid by the minute) and then revisit your post in a couple of years.

                Enjoy the ride

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                  Reply to cjn

                  Yes it is made in China - like the Brevilles and no doubt many others.

                  But if the handbook states the Crema device was designed and made in Italy, why would I not believe those devices are not shipped to the assembly plant?

                  But it was not designed in China, and I have no qualms about the build quality of Chinese products or their capability of design either ... such as in my Hisense 47 inch LED TV - which was by no means cheap at $1500.

                  Incidentally, the EM2800 has exactly the same specifications as dearer Sunbeam machines. So why pay more?

                  Perhaps I am not coffee snobbish enough for this Forum! :-/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                    Ignore all the nay-sayers, Thaifan - we all started somewhere at one point in time.

                    I, too, started with a $98 Breville Bar-Aroma back at the beginning of my coffee journey, and worked my way up from there.  There is nothing wrong with a cheap machine if it suits your purposes, and that is precisely why we have a "Sub $300" Posting Section in CoffeeSnobs.

                    Stick around, search the site and ask as many questions as you want - there are many people willing to help you along your path.

                    My one piece of advice is not about your budget, but about your coffee beans, because that is something that you can control piece by piece:-

                    1.  Always search for as freshly a roasted bean as you can find.  Generally Supermarket beans are stale before you open the bag.  Your best bet is to either purchased roasted from Andy in the BeanBay area, source them from a Sponsor, or find a local Cafe that sells them.

                    2.  When you buy freshly roasted beans, always ask them what the roast date is, if it isnt on the bag, because not all cafes sell fresh beans and its a pretty good indicator if they cant telll you - unless the boss isnt around and its an unknowledgeable person behind the coffee machine.

                    3.  Store Coffee Beans in a cool, dark place, but preferably not the fridge or freezer.  In a cool cupboard is the best place.

                    4.  The 3 Bean Rule - coffee starts going stale 3 weeks after roasting and 3 minutes after grinding.  There is also an additional one, but pertains to green unroasted beans.

                    5.  Once you start sourcing freshly roasted coffee beans, modify your double-walled basket, or source a single-walled basket, for your machine because fresh beans will more than likely choke in a double-walled basket.  This can be fairly easily achieved if you do a site search on modifying a double-walled basket to a single-walled basket and usually involves a Dremel and a deft hand.

                    And, by all means, keep us posted as to your journey (Note:  Betcha, if you follow my advice, youll have dropped more money on a coffee machine, a good grinder and probably be roasting your own coffee within a couple of years...it happens to the best of us!!! ;D )

                    Cheers
                    Di

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                      Originally posted by 18242D252A2D224C0 link=1325377068/8#8 date=1325489942
                      Perhaps I am not coffee snobbish enough for this Forum!

                      not yet, but stick around

                      your enthusism is good but you have a lot to learn, do lots of reading, ask some questions and your coffee knowledge and "barista" skills will increase ten-fold, youll look back on this post in a couple of years time and realise how much you have learnt and developed. Thats a good thing 8-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                        Thanks Di & Trentski

                        The thing is I am simply delighted as it is with the cappuccinos I am making with this machine.

                        A short time ago I made another large cappuccino using the "stale" Coles Fair Trade medium roast I bought recently.

                        I swear, I have never bought a cappuccino as good, as creamy or as frothy, despite the grind possibly being 6 months old. And using lite milk.

                        That has been the case with the beans I ground myself, or the Grinders Crema.

                        So, despite the price and that it was made in China (what isnt?), the machine has great potential, and I will try fresh beans or at least a grind from Belaroma.

                        Look, I could afford hundreds of coffee makers at $1000 each. I have been work long enough to enable that. But, if I can find a machine for less than $100 that makes coffee better than take away coffee bars .... why would I pay more?

                        The thing is, I now think that take away cappuccinos from machines making assembly line coffee, isnt as good as coffee drinkers think.

                        I bought one of Aldis milk frothers for my Department at work, and whilst it makes impressive froth, the EM2800 using steam instead of a whisk/milk heater like the Aldi Espressi frother, makes even creamier and better froth. And for either machine, I use lite milk.

                        The Aldi frother by the one, is beautifully made (in China) and it is hard to believe it costs only $19. Other brands in Department stores cost around $73.

                        There will be lots of people who join this Forum, who buy low cost machines - probably to around $150, who simply want to know how to make a good cup of coffee, - not the ultimate cup of coffee.

                        And some will probably check this Forum out to see if anyone thinks a cheap machine (and what Brand & model it is) can make respectable coffee.

                        So, I suggest to them, yes they can! Technology is making it possible at cheaper prices. 

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                          Originally posted by 09353C343B3C335D0 link=1325377068/8#8 date=1325489942
                          Incidentally, the EM2800 has exactly the same specifications as dearer Sunbeam machines. So why pay more?
                          Okay, just on this point alone. For starters, Compared to the other $400+ sunbeam and breville models, I ask the question "how much does your group handle (the thing you put the basket thingy in) weigh?

                          The Piccilo has a very chinzy group handle compared to the upper range machines, it feels like its made out of plastic, and very flimsy (The one Ive actually picked up and had a look at, the handle slid off the group as I removed it from the machine , I wasnt even trying to pull it apart either!)

                          Compared to say, the Breville BES800 (which retails for around the $400 mark), which has a chromed brass group handle, it not only feels more solid, it also retains heat better.

                          Like I said in my previous post, The piccolo is a very worthwhile starting point, but it is built down to a low low cost. You can only go so far with the cheap machines. and they tend to stifle you earlier then more expensive machines.  I started off with an EM2300, and I feel it was a much better machine for the money then the replacement (the handle didnt fall off when I un-hooked the group head from the machine for one). for a few dollars more, you could have got an EM3600, with a more solid footprint and a full metal body, sure the portafilters not heavy brass, but its less likely to fall apart under normal use.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                            The group handle is quite heavy, as the basket holder is solid metal. And there is no way the quite solid handle part could separate from the metal basket holder.

                            It all seems perfectly satisfactory to me, a good weight. But, since when, does a heavy metal basket holder of a group handle make better coffee than a lighter metal alloy?

                            I am very happy with the build of the machine, if I felt it was shoddy, in any sense, I wouldnt have bought it.

                            If any others of you want to ridicule this machine - go for it and show of your snobbishness to full effect ... it will simply show you live up to the Forums name.

                            Any reader thinking about buying this machine, - buy the EM2800 with confidence. ;D



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sunbeam Piccollo EM2800

                              Originally posted by 665A535B54535C320 link=1325377068/13#13 date=1325499086
                              since when, does a heavy metal basket holder of a group handle make better coffee than a lighter metal alloy?

                              Since they started making espresso. Like I said in an earlier post addressed to you, do alot of reading. The temperature stability of your group handle is espresso making 101

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