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Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

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  • Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

    Hi all.  Managed to get a "hands on" demonstration.  I was surprised at the good quality of the coffee, but the milk was a major disappointment !  I managed to get a better jug of foamed milk than the demonstrator  , but it was still hot milk with a foam top, not microfoam.  With only 4 bars for the steamer and what looks to be a largish single hole, I think it would be purely down to technique to get 15oz of microfoam, or is this an impossibility with this machine?  Harvey Norman in Auckland has a 15% off sale this weekend, so its the only "quality" machine within my budget.  (The Silvia is NZ$1000+)   I will be trying it again later this morning, so wondered if there were any tricks I could try.  Many thanks.  Cheers, CJ

  • #2
    Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

    smaller jug, less milk?

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    • #3
      Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

      Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, not such a good idea when you have 2-3 lattes to prepare.
      Cheers, CJ

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      • #4
        Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

        The 6900 has more than enough steam to get the milk swirling with a bit of practice faboulous microfoam is possible and easier than on a Silvia.

        Have the nozle just below the surface of the milk. If you are getting big bubbles then its to high in the milk raise the jug a tad higher. Remember to have you r hand on the side of the jug when you are steaming the milk. When its just to hot to keep you hand there its hot enough.

        Practice practice practise ...............also you can make wonderful hot chocolates by adding you favourite drinking chocolate to the cold milk then steaming it. If you get it right its like drinking a hot chocolate marshmellow. BUt remember to clean the steam wand imeditatly coz the the chocolate baked onto the wand goes like concrete.

        If you still have some bubbles when you done tap the jug on the bench a couple of times.

        You wont be disapointed with the 6900.

        BTW at over $1000 NZ for Silvia you could just about fly to Ausie buy one here from one of the sponsors then fly home with change to spare. They might even meet you at the airport with it if you asked nicely Here the Silvia is just about $ for $ with the US prices.

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        • #5
          Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

          Thanks for the info re steaming; guess I knew that it would all be down to technique !  Went ahead and ordered the EM6900 and EM480 coffee grinder.  Wont tell you the price I paid - even with the 15% sale, you would fall over laughing  :-[  Hope to have them by the end of the week.  I was checking through older posts this weekend and saw something there about an elbow joint for the grinder.  Note to self:  get more info !!!  Cheers, CJ

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          • #6
            Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

            We love our 6900 but the grinder is a messy beast tho we took the horse shoe shaped plastic clip off that hold the porta filter and hold it as low as possible so it will still operate the switch. Most of the coffee ends up in the filter basket.

            BTW we have our grinder set @ 5 with a firm (But not gorilla) tamp with the Ismali we have in it at the moment and the big basket.

            Cheers
            Rich

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            • #7
              Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

              Unfortunately, not such a good idea when you have 2-3 lattes to prepare.
              ... mmm ... I dont see that thats really true. Ideally you will be pouring your milk as soon as the espresso has finished extracting; thats one of the great selling points of the sunbeam. So at most youll want to prepare two at a time, which should only be about 10oz of milk, which should give the machine an easier time and should happen a lot faster.

              If you dont want to try a smaller jug, you might be open to the idea of finding a narrower one. Seems to help the milk fold over itself. In fact, Ill have to take my smaller diameter 600mL to work tomorrow to leave with the Synesso ...

              Originally posted by CJ link=1152302832/0#4 date=1152484032
              Went ahead and ordered the EM6900 and EM480 coffee grinder.
              Ok ... I know that this is going to be an unpopular comment, but Alan Frews review of the sunbeam grinder stated that the difference between the steps is monstrous ... twice that of the rocky, or something ... if thats true, I would think that the grinder is not really adequate for espresso. One of the problems with buying espresso equipment for the first time is that you wont have the experience and the skills to really be able to work out the limits of the equipment. Dosing consistently is actually damned hard, so variations in dose will make a huge difference in pour time ... so much so that it can be difficult to tell how good a grinders adjustment is. But a few years down the track, you will have greatly improved skills and will wish that you had a grinder with stepless adjustment. You might be able to compensate for needing to be between steps by changing the dose, but I dont really think that that is a very good solution; its amazing how different a slightly coarser grind and higher dose will taste from a slightly finer grind and lower dose, even though both give the same extraction time/volume. Just the other day, a local coffeegeek who had upgraded to a stepless grinder commented how much more syrupy his extractions were.

              ... like I said, just my $0.02. Take it or leave it.

              Cheers,

              Luca

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              • #8
                Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                I find that the steaming is great - I did a lot of research on technique and found a lot of good hints (try coffeegeek.com) and now I manager to make good thick foam and smooth air filled milk with my 6900.

                As for the grinder I opted for the Rocky. Love it. Small incriments make for small changes in grind which allows experimenting between say 3 settings and different doses and tamps.

                Cheers

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                • #9
                  Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                  Originally posted by luca link=1152302832/0#6 date=1152528097
                  Ok ... I know that this is going to be an unpopular comment, but Alan Frews review of the sunbeam grinder stated that the difference between the steps is monstrous ... twice that of the rocky, or something ...
                  certainly is true however at least with mine  I have found much less than a setting of 5 tends to over extract the coffee and at least you do have some variation left all be it in bigger steps than a rocky but then again its better than a Solis and the Rocky is more than twice the price
                  Ill still probably upgrade to a Rocky at some stage but in the mean time what i have will do as the coffees are amaisingly consistantly good.

                  Id be worried about the grinder if it were still a fast pour and it was set on 1 you can also compensate with a heavier tamp too, to a certain extent.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                    Picked up the 6900 and 480 on Saturday .  Still working on the grind/tamp mix, but Im nearly there, I hope !  Not so sure about steaming though.  At this stage Im still getting meringue at the top and hot milk underneath <sigh>  I let it run for a good 8-10 sec before steaming, but it looks as if its a hair short of true steam - or is it my poor eyesight?  Read somewhere about a replacement steam tip which may help.  Anyone come across this ?  Also thinking about getting the regular baskets from Coffeeparts.  Also, should I think about removing the plastic coating from the PF?   If so, how?  P.S.  Have tried 2% milk (preferred), full fat milk and a mix of 2% with skim milk powder added.   Thanks for any info/help.  Cheers

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                      Just takes a while to get silk milk. I put the steamer into about the middle and lower it all the way momentarily and then raise it to just under the surface so that air is drawn in - slurping noises, but not enough to create large surface bubbles. The best thing I can reccomend is coffeegeeks.com s write ups on milk.

                      Get a blunt screw of slightly larger diameter than the exit hole in the plastic insert, screw it in a couple of turns and then pull platic straight out..easy once you do it.

                      I have the proper baskets - they fit well. I still use the quod one on occasions for big fat mugs for an extra hit!

                      Good luck.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                        Originally posted by CJ link=1152302832/0#9 date=1153169826
                        Picked up the 6900 and 480 on Saturday . Still working on the grind/tamp mix, but Im nearly there, I hope ! Not so sure about steaming though. At this stage Im still getting meringue at the top and hot milk underneath <sigh> I let it run for a good 8-10 sec before steaming, but it looks as if its a hair short of true steam - or is it my poor eyesight? Read somewhere about a replacement steam tip which may help. Anyone come across this ? Also thinking about getting the regular baskets from Coffeeparts. Also, should I think about removing the plastic coating from the PF? If so, how? P.S. Have tried 2% milk (preferred), full fat milk and a mix of 2% with skim milk powder added. Thanks for any info/help. Cheers
                        Practice makes perfect... I have found that Pura Tone (Yellow Lable), Light White work well with the EM6900... Im using Wollies Lite Milk... not quite as good but good enough.. price difference is large enough for me to compromise. I find, if you can cream up Soy really well.. you have mastered foaming.

                        ozscott has given you a good tip... else, I work all sorts of methods so I can constantly learn. Currently pushing the steam arm to the side and tilting the jug to obtain the swirlig motion and then achieve the hissing sound. It really is an artform.

                        Just keep practicing..youll get it

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?


                          Practice makes perfect... I have found that Pura Tone (Yellow Lable), Light White work well with the EM6900... Im using Wollies Lite Milk... not quite as good but good enough..  price difference is large enough for me to compromise. I find, if you can cream up Soy really well.. you have mastered foaming.

                          Im in Auckland, NZ    Since I prefer our 2% milk, Ive had to tinker.  The closest I can get is to use some non-fat milk powder with my 2%.  Still chugging away, but Im getting there :-)  Still need a lot of practice on the hot chocolate though. I read somewhere that there is another steam tip available for the 6900.  Maybe a slightly smaller hole or perhaps two small?  Any thoughts?  Also, on "another" list, there was a post about the new updated 6900.  Sounds amazing !  Ive hesitated to post the URL as Im not too sure about etiquette  :-?  My favourite bit is about the new PF - polished; no plastic ! Wonder if there will be an exchange program or similar ???

                          BTW, for some reason my 480 grinder is way down to 6-7.  Is that normal ?  
                          Cheers, CJ

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                            ..I dont see why you couldnt

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sunbeam EM6900 - Poor Steamer ?

                              .....come on CJ...been searching with no success....whats the link?

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