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  • SUNBEAM 6910

    Ok, so Ive done my barista basics course and am now looking for a domestic machine on a budget ($400 max!)... Im leaning towards a Sunbeam machine because from what I have read the worst problem comes from using the machine lots which makes the handle fly off - fixed by getting a new seal etc...

    Im kinda leaning towards the EM5800 - but would love to save a few bucks if there was a cheaper alternative...

    So this is where the questions start to fly....

    1. If I do buy a Sunbeam I want to buy a better basket to replace the "crema do-dad) as I think someone called it - Basically it sounds like an invention for people who havent had proper coffee training.... But I have heard that the Krups one that people recommend isnt available anymore? Is that true? Is there an alternative???

    2. I really want a programmable machine so I can get my 30ml shots everytime ( I figure by eliminating one of the variables of bad coffee like that I will get better results and can perfect my coffee by concentrating on things like the grind and tamp) but are there machines already programmed to give 30ml shots?

    3. Would love to know if anyone has any recommendations on other brands even that suit my needs... Which are basically a 30ml shot and enough space to fit a cappucino cup under

    I think thats it.... Please help!

  • #2
    Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat


    Im not going to recommend any machine for you. Im a Silvia snob and you need a bit more cash for one of those, unless youre willing to pay for secondhand. (I did but it was still more than your budget.)

    However, what I am going to recommend is that whatever machine you purchase, the coffee snobs here would tell you to make sure you purchase a decent grinder to go with it. A machine will make the end result for you to drink but a grinder will be the thing that really makes your coffee!

    Oh, I will say one thing about programmable machines too. I think that youll be hard pressed to find a programmable one for the amount that youre willing to spend. Manual machines will infact give you more consistent shots than a programmable one. Even at work I find myself making adjustments to the volumetric machine as humidity and weather conditions play a rather large part in how the coffee pours for the day. (along with my other adjustments to grind etc)


    • #3
      Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

      Gaggia Baby D programmable:

      $365 + $13-$24 shipping

      Cons: No cup warming tray. Must remove pannarello, but then the steam wand is a bit short. Is not a Silvia.

      Should tide you over for a couple of years while you save for a Silvia. :P

      Then dont forget you still need a grinder. The Sunbeam EM0450 would do, RRP $159 so it can be bought cheaper than that.

      Good luck!



      • #4
        Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

        Hi Ellie and welcome to CoffeeSnobs...

        To emphasise what Scoota said above.... A good grinder is very important. Ground coffee has a life of three minutes before it starts to deteriorate. Coffee from a supermarket- or even ground for you by a roaster- will be stale by the time you get home. You also need to adjust the grind to et good results (and you cant do that if somebody else is grinding the coffee for you).

        Do you have additional funds for a grinder- or is that part of the $400?

        If using pre ground you might as well stay with the "crema do-dad" as that will allow you to make passable coffee....

        And a programmable machine is probably outside your price range... And as Scoota said, you are better off without that function - my machine has it - but I dont use it.....


        • #5
          Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

          A coffee grinder is definately on my "to-do" list... I am just busting to buy a coffee machine first and have a play around with it, see what I can do etc... I learnt how to use the grinder at the barista course and about selecting the right grind depending on humidity etc so I definately want one! But being just out of school and not earning much money yet doesnt give me that luxury! lol

          The Sunbeam EM5800 is programmable and that is RRP$399 - I realise on a budget I wont be able to get the best machine, but I really cant wait and save up! lol
          It has the maual button as well so I can use it if I find the programmable one doesnt suit me... But I learned to make coffee on a comercial machine that had the buttons programmed already so I wanted to stick with what I knew...

          The gaggia has peaked my interest though. Is there much debate on whether a boiler is better than the thermoblock system???

          Thanks for your suggestions!


          • #6
            Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

            ellie, welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

            Id be a bit worried about the following quote from that Gaggia ad:
            We will replace your item if found to be Dead on Arrival (DOA) within 14 days of dispatch
            Usually items with this sort of warranty clause are of a "disposable" quality e.g. mobile phones.

            Do your research and be wary.
            Better to not waste $400 in the long term by buying a "bargain" in the short term.

            I too did my course before buying a machine.
            The course was also on a programmed commercial machine.
            However I decided on the manual control of a semi-automatic. Less electronics - less potential breakdown.

            Im fortunate enough in one way that being older when the good coffee bug bit me, that I was able to afford a bit better than the bare minimum.
            However, you have the determination and thats a big plus.

            Only you can decide in the end what your current and future requirements will be.
            If that means trying a basic machine for now and you derive pleasure and learn from it, then go for it.

            Your long term plan should include a good grinder and better than basic machine.

            Maybe you should consider the Sunbeam EM6910 - there are a few people here that like them and they might last you for a bit longer on your journey.
            There are quite a few threads on them for you to read.


            • #7
              Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

              Grinder, Grinder, Grinder!

              Even an expensive machine will produce average shots without freshly ground, fresh roasted beans.

              Did I mention the grinder?


              • #8
                Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat


                As you can see above.... there is a bit of a theme forming :

                Have you given any thought to buying a good grinder first and using it with plunger coffee (which tastes really good with freshly ground beans) whilst saving up for a machine? You could keep your eyes on the "for sale" area here for some excellent second hand buys.

                I know it means you wont be able to practise what you have learnt straight away- but that way you could get closer to your dream machine and still have great coffee.... You probably wont be that happy with a "cheap" machine and pre-ground coffee - certainly not for very long.


                • #9
                  Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat


                  I endorse the "buy the grinder first" theme too, but I also have the Sunbeam EM5800.

                  I only ever use the "manual" buttons. If I was buying a low end machine again, Id buy one of the cheaper Sunbeams in preference to the EM5800. Because youre standing by the machine anyway (addressing the handle flying off issue you mention), the automatic functions are superflous. I hold the handle with my left hand, keep an eye on my watch second hand and cut the pour at the 30second mark. Besides, IMHO the auto functions dont deliver the outcome that youre seeking of standardised shots. Thats down to grind and timing.

                  Save some money! Buy the grinder!

                  Best wishes, Russell


                  • #10
                    Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

                    Gday Ellie,

                    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs from me to ;D [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

                    I can only reinforce what the other members have already suggested.... I know its very tempting to want to just rush out and buy a nice shiny new espresso machine but the truth of the matter is, its the grinder that is the most important acquisition.

                    Ive been slowly restoring an old commercial machine over the past few months and right from the start, Ive been feeding my caffeine habit with freshly roasted and ground beans using the ubiquitous Plunger. The coffee from a Plunger is in no way diminished in quality from an espresso machine, it is just different. The key to all great coffee is freshness, and that applies not only to the freshness of the roast but also to the timing of the grind. To get the best out of a freshly roasted bean, it must be ground immediately prior to making the brew.... whatever brew method is employed.

                    So, as has already been stated many times, if your budget wont stretch to a good quality grinder with your machine purchase, then by far the best thing you can do is to buy the best grinder you can afford now (all of our sponsors can help you out there with great advice and great deals) and use a Plunger, Stovetop, etc until such time as you can afford to buy a decent espresso machine. I know its great to have that beautiful, shiny and interesting espresso machine sitting on your counter-top, but without a good grinder to go with it, thats about all it will be good for.... to look at. Cruel but true unfortunately. All the best with your coffee quest Ellie,



                    • #11
                      Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

                      Welcolm Ellie

                      even a saeco via venezia might be worth looking at - it served me well for 6 months at least and really came into its own when I bought a non-pressurised portafilter ($50) and a grinder (sunbeam)

                      still I must say I feel a bit cheated by spending firstly $280 on my gaggie carreza only to have it die in 12 months and then $350 on the via venezia (second hand) which lasted 6 months

                      I am off to silvia now


                      • #12
                        Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

                        Grinder it is!!!! ;D

                        Mum is a coffee drinker and loves a cappucino, so she is going to help me with a bit of moolah cos she is going to reap the benefits of having cafe style coffee at home...

                        So now I guess I better get my butt over to the grinder section of the forum and do some reading!

                        Thanks for all your input so far... Its been such a nice welcome to the forum!

                        Feel free to add any other advice, cos I am very wiling to listen...


                        • #13
                          Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

                          Anytime Ellie,

                          Always glad to help fellow snobs get started.... fire questions our way when ever youre not sure about something as theres bound to be someone who knows how to fix it... Let us know what you end up buying, and piccies if possible, we all love piccies of brand new shiny equipment around here ;D



                          • #14
                            Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

                            Doesnt have to be brand new and can be 2nd hand and shiny


                            • #15
                              Re: All sorts of help needed!(Mostly sunbeam relat

                              True Wushoes,

                              Although, Im not prepared to recommend a 2nd hand machine to an aspiring young coffeesnob though unless they have technical quals or have a relative with same