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Sunbeam EM4300 Mini Barista - Temperature

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  • Sunbeam EM4300 Mini Barista - Temperature

    One month into my new machine and hard to fault for $200 cost. However, I am only achieving 75'c liquid temperature from group head flow with group handle installed even after a 15 minute warm up.

    Hot water dispenser via the steam wand is in 75' - 80'c range.

    Specification is 92'c at thermoblock using a PID controller but a 17' difference appears to much and not many of use like warm espresso...

    Faulty PID sensor maybe or is this temperature normal ? Any other owners or members, please chime in with your thoughts.

  • #2
    That's a normal temperature at the shower screen output under no resistance. The water cools rapidly once it hits the air along with measurement variances that the thermometer being in the water/air mix brings.

    To accurately measure intra-shot temperature you need a fast acting thermocouple embedded in the coffee puck during a shot.

    Your machine is likely working fine. That being said, the group head on this machine is entirely plastic and there is no direct group head temperature control so thermal stability is non existent. It will deliver water at the correct temperature to the coffee puck however it will be unable to maintain this accurately over the course of the shot.

    This is a problem nearly all domestic semi auto machines suffer from, more so now than a few years ago due to design changes and the use of more and more plastic in their machines.
    The only domestic machines that can maintain group temperature stability are the Sunbeam EM6910/EM7000/EM7100 as the metal group collar is attached directly to the thermocoil (however they do also suffer from a drop in shot temperature towards the end) or the Dual Boiler based Breville machines, the BES920 or the BES980/990. These have actively heated group heads along with a very stable brew boiler.


    • #3
      Removing the shower screen revealed the 'technologically advanced' cost cutting plastic group head which explains the loss of thermal activity. I wasn't expecting much from a $200 machine, but at the least hot shots !

      Pointless Sunbeam spruiking a PID controller and 92°C extraction temperature when the espresso shot turns out nearly 20°C cooler... ?

      Owners manual page 4.

      "The thermoblock heats the water so that the espresso extracts at 92°C (just below boiling point) for optimum extraction of oils from the coffee grinds. Temperatures above this will burn the grinds resulting in a bitter taste".


      • #4
        The espresso shots are always significantly cooler than the PID setting, no matter the machine. What temperature is the ground coffee you put into the basket? When the ~92°C water hits the room temperature coffee heat energy is transferred to the coffee leaving the liquid coming out of the portafilter approx 20°C cooler than it entered.


        • #5
          Using a laser thermometer, grounds inside the bag ranged from -12' to +5' as I store the grounds in the freezer. Transferring to a warmed basket and sitting for 2 minutes temperature ranged from 16'-35' with the centre around 23'. Room temperature was 23'.

          I now see all these small factors adding to the bigger picture...


          • #6
            After I sent Sunbeam an email with my concerns, I received the following response:

            "We are very sorry to hear about your experience with your product. Please be assured all customer feedback is taken seriously and your comments will be forwarded on to our development and technology teams.

            Based on the date of purchase you have provided, and if you have retained your proof of purchase, this model is still under warranty. Please return this to the place of purchase for a replacement.

            We will then endeavor to assist you further".

            Kind Regards,
            Sunbeam Customer Care

            Maybe it's easier and cheaper for corporations to simply replace the customers item in the hope it fixes the problem, than to muck around with staff spending time on issues that they already know exist ? Is this temperature problem common and a known design fault ?


            • #7
              Originally posted by offroad View Post
              Maybe it's easier and cheaper for corporations to simply replace the customers item in the hope it fixes the problem, than to muck around with staff spending time on issues that they already know exist ? Is this temperature problem common and a known design fault ?
              It's a generic response, chances are nobody read it and it was a computer that replied.

              Sunbeam don't offer repair service on any of their new line of machines. It's a direct replacement or refund.
              If I were you, I'd get my money back and buy a Breville BES840 if you want to stick with a similar machine, or, spend a bit more on a new EM7000 or ideally a BES920.


              • #8
                I decided to return the machine for a replacement at Hardly Normal. Out of the fry pan into the fire... New machine was same temperature wise, but now other issues. Pump appears more noisy and shots are coming out frothy and bubbly, instead of a solid stream like first machine, which was quite decent. I can hear some 'air suction' noise when the pump operates.

                Only other difference is the plastic bung in the bottom of the portafilter has a different design. First machine had circular channels which fed down to the two spouts. New unit has just one straight channel to each spout.

                Batch number on first machine was 2319. Second was 3719.

                Should of kept the first machine <GROAN>


                • #9
                  Return that one too and get an EM7000 or one of the Brevilles Noidle22 listed