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  • EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

    Ok so Im new to posting here but Ive done a ton of reading over the last week or so.

    My current machine is an old sunbeam EM3500 Bar espresso and its on its last legs.

    I recently bought an EM0480 grinder and am mostly happy with it so far

    I have enough money saved to buy one of the new model sunbeam EM5900 which doesnt hit the shops till the middle of August.
    My concerns with buying this new model are if it develops teething bugs similar to those that plagued the EM6900, but which got mostly sorted out on the EM6910.
    But because its a new model and is untested Id be taking a punt and this makes me a little nervous, although Sunbeam has a pretty good rep with customer support. At least Ive found them to be very good.

    Another option is for me to save a few more $$ and get an EM6910 which from most of the reviews Ive read here and elsewhere seems to be a pretty good jigger apart from the odd machine here and there with some bugs.
    I dont really need to twin thermoblocks though as my Latte routine is pretty sorted on a single thermoblock, so Id be effectively paying more money for the extra TB when its not needed.

    Or do I save even more $$ and shoot for a Silvia which seem to be held in very high regard for reliability and build quality.
    A cuppla things put me off the Silvia though as I read it can be a finicky process to get consistent results and most reviews say a really good grinder is a must. Im not about to rush out and buy yet another grinder when my 0480 is barley a month old.

    I make 3 - 5 Lattes a day and that is pretty much all I need from a machine

    Im not really sure what my question is. Im basically just asking for some educated direction.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

    I would be steering clear of the EM5900 for now, just in case.

    Actually, I would probably hold off buying anything for a few months, on the off chance that Sunbeam are working on a successor to the EM6910 with dual steel thermoblocks - but thats just me

    The EM6910 and Silvia are both great machines, but very different - which would suit you better would depend on your requirements to a large degree.

    Re the comments regarding a good grinder being essential for the Silvia - this is true, but equally true of the EM6910 and any other espresso machine for that matter. The EM0480 is adequate for either - but only just...

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    • #3
      Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

      Originally posted by m@ link=1216816971/0#1 date=1216885778
      I would be steering clear of the EM5900 for now, just in case.
      Yes thats what my head is telling me.
      But I would also like to think that Sunbeam have been learning from past mistakes and using the knowledge to create better machines.
      Maybe thats just pipe dreaming though...


      Originally posted by m@ link=1216816971/0#1 date=1216885778
      The EM6910 and Silvia are both great machines, but very different - which would suit you better would depend on your requirements to a large degree.
      I may be a new member of Coffee snobs but I am in no way a snob when it comes to coffee. I absolutely hate instant now. Makes me gag. But Im perfectly happy drinking even average tasting lattes. I dont need to be constantly searching for the "perfect cup", although every now and then one comes along that makes me wish the cup was bottomless ;D

      Originally posted by m@ link=1216816971/0#1 date=1216885778
      Re the comments regarding a good grinder being essential for the Silvia - this is true, but equally true of the EM6910 and any other espresso machine for that matter. The EM0480 is adequate for either - but only just...
      Unfortunately I bought my grinder before I discovered this website. I used to use one of those crappy spinny blade jobbies which was pretty much useless. So it was a HUGE step up when I got the 0480
      Oh well, Im stuck with it now. Gotta make the best of it

      Thanks for your reply

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

        Had a longish chat to the local coffee boutique bloke today. He sells a few of the machines Ive read about here and has a cuppla Silvias in stock. One of the older styled ones, and a newer styled one.

        The older model he has on display in the window and uses it a s shop demo. He was happy to give me the rundown on its workings and even dismantled the top cover so I could see the boiler, plumbing and wiring inside. I gotta say Im VERY impressed with the build quality and its easy to see that it has been built to last.

        He told me the only problems hes had with them since he started his business a few years ago are burnt out heating coils due to operator error in letting the machine run out of water.

        So after seeing a Silvia in person and visually comparing build quality and components to the Sunbeam stuff I can honestly say it looks like I gotta save a few more pennies and go with the Silvia.

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        • #5
          Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

          Its quite a simple equation. The Silvia will without a doubt outlive the 6910. It is however a finicky beast and in the right hands can produce an awesome espresso shot and once you get the hang of it Im sure it wont be that hard to produce a great coffee time and time again. The 6910 is easier to get a good espresso on quicker ie less wasted coffee to begin with and a bit easier to master. Both need freshly ground coffee and so the 0480 is a must ! and as previously mentioned is good enough just ! Enjoy the ride.

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          • #6
            Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

            Gronk,

            My mates have a Silvia and an EM0480 (as well as an Iberital Challenge - good grinder). Id have to say that the EM0480 is perfectly good for the Silvia! At the moment it needs a washer taken out (search the site for this mod - you might need it) because were using it on a setting of 0 or 1 on the Silvia, but the grind quality is great, and I havent noticed it being inferior to the Challenge in terms of the resulting coffee flavour.

            Dont get too caught up in the Snobbery that goes on here (with no disrespect to anyone posting here! ), youll generally find that when someone describes a grinder-machine match - or the flavour of an espresso - as "only adequate", they mean "awesome, but could be improved even more".


            I have never found the Silvia to be finicky - but because we home roast, we end up using 2-4 different beans a day, which makes adjustment difficult anyway. I guess there are some "temp surfing" trick to learn, but its still easier than a Breville or Sunbeam. Once again, Id say that 95% of home baristas would find the Silvia a joy to work on - its only the REALLY experienced people (you can call them "snobs") who would notice problems.

            The other thing about Silvias is that they come up for sale on this site (and probably others) almost weekly - and youll pay much less than retail for a 2nd hand one. Hey, youll probably pay less for a 2nd hand Silvia than you would for a brand new 6910.


            Hope that helps.
            Forgive me for "keeping it real". :P
            Cheers
            Stuart.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

              Good advice from Stuart and Bennett, the Silvia build quality leaves the Sunbeam for dead, cared for Silvia should last for many many years, whereas the Sunbeams show wear and tear after a short period of time, they do a great job but I chose Silvia for longevity and build quality, also their resale value is excellent.
              As far as Silvia being finicky, its takes a little while to get all the variables in place but once you have a routine it produces consistently good espresso.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                Thankyou for your helpful advice.

                As I mentioned earlier in this thread I didnt have enough money for the more expensive machines....well at least not in my "general stuff" piggy bank.
                I have a second piggy bank that is set aside for funds to cover motorcycle tyres, chains and sprockets and servicing items like oil and filters.

                Well this morning that piggy bank got raided for the extra $$ I needed to make up the difference.

                Look what I now have! A brand spankin new Silvia, Pullman tamper and a bang bucket



                Ive made a few lattes and am a bit shaky from too much caffeine. Still adjusting my grind and tamping pressure. Not quite there yet.

                One problem I have though is the Pullman tamper does not fit the single shot basket. It wont got deep enough to tamp the coffee low enough to fit under the shower.
                It fits the double shot basket ok though. Ill have to take it back to the shop and either swap it for one that fits or try some different single baskets.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                  Well done Gronk, throw away the single basket, they dont work. Its too hard to get a good shot and very inconsistent, no-one with a Silvia uses a single basket!!
                  Have fun with your new machine, Im sure you will get great pleasure out of her!!
                  cheers gm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                    Congratulations, Silvia is a great machine, theres no doubt about that. Dont get too frustrated if you have a bit of a learning curve, the coffee you make in the end will be worth it. Just ask lots of questions here.

                    I did the same as you and bought the Sunbeam grinder before getting the espresso machine, I was happy with it for while. You may find, however, that as your shots get closer to "great", you wont have as much adjustability in your grinder as you would like. At that point raid every piggy bank you own and get a grinder in the same price bracket as the Silvia.

                    As far as the single basket is concerned, Im about to find a small saucer for mine and try to grow a plant in it. In terms of making coffee its next to useless. I use the double basket that came with as my single, and a larger double LM that I got with my Pullman tamper as the double. Ive played with other single baskets, but this works best for me.

                    In the meantime, its a Saturday afternoon, you probably dont have to wake up too early in the morning, so it doesnt matter if you dont sleep tonight - keep enjoying that coffee.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                      Man my hands are shakin like I have parkinsons and Ive lost my appetite. I think Ive had WAAAAAAAAAY too much caffeine for one day. My eyes are startin to look like this..



                      Yeah I tried the single basket and used the plastic tamper that was supplied with the machine. Filled with enough coffee so that the shower screen just cleared, it was a weak as wee pour. There just wasnt enough coffee in the basket to make a normal strength latte. So the single basket now resides in the back of a kitchen draw, never to see the light of day again

                      My shot times are currently about 20 seconds so Im homing in on the correct grind, dose and tamp. Doesnt really matter too much to me as I drown the shot in frothy milk, which brings me to my next observation. WOW!! How good does Silvia froth milk!! Absolutely amazingly easy to get perfect micro froth every time. And really quickly too!
                      It used to take me 2 or 3 times as long with my little sunbeam and the froth was never quite as good.

                      So anyway Ive spent all this money but its not over yet. Few more $$ this week to buy a milk thermometer and Ill also need to get a brush to clean the group area as my old toothbrush doesnt work on this machine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                        Awww -- dont be so mean about the single basket Mine lives on one of the cups on top of the machine, and every now and then, usually late at night when I really feel like a coffee, but I know I shouldnt because I wont be able to sleep, so Ill just have a *little* one -- so then I have yet another go with the single basket.

                        And just because Im as yet unable to claim any sort of success doesnt mean Im going to give up :P Its the challenge you know :

                        And congrats on your purchases too, Gronk -- too bad youre gunna be walking if the bike breaks down ;D but thems the breaks!

                        Yes youll need a proper grouphead brush -- for a while I cleaned mine with just a sponge, kept burning my fingers, ouch :P

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                          Hi gronk62

                          Welcome, you should be very happy with that combo.
                          Youll get plenty of good advise here so keep askin questions.

                          Soon youll be lurking in the home roasters section and scouring the markets for a breadmaker to convert into a HG.

                          Looks like weve got another one..........Mwwwwugh ha ha ha !

                          BTW I love the AGGH site.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                            Originally posted by greenman link=1216816971/0#8 date=1217044833
                            ... no-one with a Silvia uses a single basket!!
                            I use the single just about every day, and no problems here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: EM5900 or EM6910 or Silvia

                              Originally posted by reubster link=1216816971/0#12 date=1217122321

                              BTW I love the AGGH site.
                              Gday reubster, I just searched up your AGGH profile. Registered May 28, 2007.

                              Yeah its a fantastic little forum!

                              Comment

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