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yet another EM6910 thread

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  • yet another EM6910 thread

    Hi guys,

    i'm fairly new to the whole 'make your own coffee at home' thing. i bought my 6910 around april i think so been going at it not quite 6 months. i have a couple of very good teachers in the family and have also been browsing around on here for a while picking up lots of useful tips.

    i currently have my machine paired with a breville smart grinder. i upgraded to that from the sunbeam 0480 about a month ago and the cleanliness alone made it well worth the expense.

    at the moment i'm using the espresso wow beans. i tried some local ones (i'm in adelaide) from a few different shops but i'm back with espresso wow now. great tasting coffee. also the consistency is very good which is testament to the quality of the beans (thanks andy).

    ok, so now to some things i need some confirmation on. not sure if they're problems as such.

    firstly, i dose according to the level in the basket. i don't get the whole 'weigh the beans' thing, as that will vary. i've done the 5c test and dose accordingly every time. the silver part on the sunbeam tamp sits about 1-2mm proud of the basket.

    as for the grind, i did the 'sweet spot' test which on my machine had the guage reading around the 10 o'clock mark. i'm aware these guages are all different in their calibration but its a reference point.


    if i grind so the pressure is at or above the 'sweet spot' the flow is too fast. i've found to get that 30ml in 30sec (give or take) type pour, i need to grind much finer and as a result, the guage is reading around 12 o'clock. this in itself isn't an issue but its quite a way above the 'sweet spot' but i can't see how i can adjust the grind coarser to decrease the pressure and have a good shot without updosing, and i don't really want to do that as i've read it just puts unneccessary pressure on the collar etc. the other thing i notice if i go coarser on the grind, is the shot will start pouring before the guage has even stopped moving.

    the other thing i have noticed, is the guage tends to decrease ever so slightly during the shot. is this normal? or is there a problem somewhere. i'm only talking 1, maybe 2mm back.

    just to complete the info, the 3rd element is tamping, and i've read numerous articles (including mr pullman who makes the darn things) that the pressure isn't ultra critical. the difference between 5 and 15kg is apparently very little. i would say i tamp somewhere between there. i basically just lean into it, probably around the 10kg mark. not sure. maybe i'll do it on some scales one day. anyway, i realise its another one of those topics that can be slightly controversial as there are lots of opinions out there. whats that saying about opinions......

    the puck is coming out nicely in one piece, and has a nice fine print of the showerscreen on top.

    the coffee tastes great.

    so in summary, am i right to disregard the 'sweet spot' and run it closer to 12 o'clock, and is it normal for the guage to ever so slightly fall away during the pour. also, should the guage have stopped moving before the shot starts, or is that not critical?

    thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    Hey Prydey,

    I too use the 6910 and in my experience, the 30mls in 30sec occurs at the end of the second edge of the shaded area, basically at 12 o'clock. With that being said, I drink ristrettos and a restricted shot so i like my pours at about 1 o'clock. During the shot, my gauge does start to fall near the end but it still tastes fine too me. A standard shot for me starts to pour just before the gauge settles, so I don't think it is crucial. For coming up with my technique and determining all these elements, I just went with what my taste buds told me.

    I hope this helps!


    • #3

      It's often been said that after you take the 'L' plates off, you could almost disregard the gauge. I tried valiantly for 12 months to get 30ml in 30 seconds at the sweet spot, but it just didn't materialise. Go forward 3 years, the machine (which was second hand to me) hasn't missed a beat, and I now routinely go well past the sweet spot to get my 30 in 30.

      For mine, I watch for 30 in 30, and the colour and consistency of a pour above anything else.

      On the drop in pressure, this is most likely due to some channelling happening part way through the pour - the water punches through a path of low resistance. This is a challenge for anyone to fix, but a good, consistent dosing technique and a decent tamper are good starting points.

      Let us know how you go!


      • #4
        thanks guys. it would seem i have nothing to be too worried about then at this stage. i'll just keep doing what i'm doing.


        • #5
          I've never believed in the "sweet spot" using the double walled baskets
          It would depend on Sunbeam making that hole diameter exactly the same every time, basket after basket, year after year etc......
          That is assuming they got the hole diameter right in the first place
          Mine flows way too fast at this pressure reading too
          My "sweet spot" is about 1 o'clock
          Sounds like you are doing pretty well


          • #6

            just a quick question. what do people use for a timer? do you just get to know after a while? i still set the microwave to about 25 sec. sometimes i stop the pour earlier, sometimes later but the beeps let me know when i'm around the mark. the single and double cup buttons on the 6910 are volumetric so they will automatically shut off at 30 and 60ml respectively, but most times i'm killing it after about 20-25ml in 25-30 sec, give or take.

            also, for those playing at home ;-), my smart grinder is set to the mark below the 'ss' in espresso, so no need for any shimming in mine, although it is new and apparently this issue got fixed a while back.


            • #7
              yet another EM6910 thread

              I just use the volumetric buttons and use my phone as a timer! Cheap and easy but I usually run the shot until the shot blondes which is usually before the 30ml mark



              • #8
                on my machine 30ml in 30sec and the right colour/ crema is found at 2-3 o'clock on my gauge. but i don't bother using it anymore
                I used to count the time it's elapsed by counting the steam pump pulses as i'm texturing the milk.
                i've timed 20 pulses of the steam pump = 30 seconds. but don;t worry about it now.

                i don't care for weights of beans or timing or tamping.
                it's all about feel, watching the shot and what the end product is like..


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robbks View Post
                  i've timed 20 pulses of the steam pump = 30 seconds. but don;t worry about it now.
                  I like that idea, but like you don't really get too worried about exact times now.
                  Much prefer to go by how the pour looks.