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  • My New Machine

    I've just got back from Melbourne, the owner of a 2nd hand Sunbeam EM6910 bought via Gumtree. The owner bought it when living in outback areas of NSW where she couldn't get a decent coffee, but then moved to Carlton, where it is hard NOT to get a decent coffee. It had been sitting in the cup[board for months.

    I could have got the Breville ES480 for $200 less but I wanted something similar in function to a professional machine and the twin blocks and two pumps for this one sold me on it. I am trying to be retired and working on starting a business but I figure some part time work as a barista could supplement income nicely - while I make nice coffees (did some work as that in a local pub and even started to build a following) being able to push through coffees AND make them look nice will take practice.

    I paid the princely sum of $350 for the machine, a coffeeparts bang-box, all the bits including both size double-wall filters and 2 single walls - the manual makes it clear they come with the machine and recommends the singles walls for anything except prepackaged ground coffee (pressure bricks etc.) I also got a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder that looks in very good nick although she said she was grinding Vittoria beans at about 6 so if my reading hasn't let me down I might need washers or something to use higher numbers?

    I did some basic service - it was cleaned but she hadn't wiped it properly so cloth came away dirty - but otherwise nice and shiny. Ran some water through it and made Chai Latte for the missus and the milk came out perfect. I took out the Calc filter - looked like it needed to go anyway - dirty brown inside - as I use only water from a reverse osmosis system. Tomorrow before I get started I will do a descale through it - we have some white vinegar so will use that. Country water in NSW tends to be hard and mineral rich...

    I got a reasonable coffee from it - I like long macchiato and I've paid for worse than I got from this, and almost everything that could be wrong, was wrong.

    The ground coffee was bought for an el-cheapo machine I tried out about 4 years ago. It has sat in a sealed container in the fridge ever since.

    The coffee was a pressure pack variety.

    It was bought on price, not brand or quality.

    It was originally labelled for plungers.

    I was trying out a machine for the first time - the very first double shot was watery so I swapped to the double wall version. I got good crema and nice colour as well as a reasonable aroma. Taste was a little watery but I have had the same from people who put hot water into a double shot macchiato to make the cup fuller.

    Tomorrow I go to the local roasters and look for some beans.

  • #2
    6 is reasonable - 4 was fine enough to choke a giotto.

    the grind steps are fairly coarse, though.

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    • #3
      Cool, thanks for the tip. I'll have a chat with the local roasters and see what I have available for beans but I might just get some cheapies to get my eye in on the grinding process. Previously have only used professional setups and they were maintained by external agents - I wasn't allowed to touch the adjustment even if the boss did believe the weather could change what was needed.

      Comment


      • #4
        The ground coffee was bought for an el-cheapo machine I tried out about 4 years ago. It has sat in a sealed container in the fridge ever since.

        The coffee was a pressure pack variety.

        It was bought on price, not brand or quality.

        It was originally labelled for plungers.

        I was trying out a machine for the first time - the very first double shot was watery so I swapped to the double wall version. I got good crema and nice colour as well as a reasonable aroma. Taste was a little watery but I have had the same from people who put hot water into a double shot macchiato to make the cup fuller.

        Tomorrow I go to the local roasters and look for some beans.
        Ask the roasters if they have anything a couple of years old, maybe something that fell down the back of the shelf in 2011?

        Going from 4 year old plunger ground coffee to fresh roasted will be too big a shock to your system, you are going to have to catch-up gradually.


        Enjoy the journey.

        Comment


        • #5
          All those comedians out of work and YOU'RE looking for a job!!!

          I made a (barely) drinkable latté this morning with it. Bit clumsy on the use so far but won't be long... Off to get beans...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Journeyman View Post
            The ground coffee was bought for an el-cheapo machine I tried out about 4 years ago. It has sat in a sealed container in the fridge ever since.

            The coffee was a pressure pack variety.

            It was bought on price, not brand or quality....
            I have a lot of used pucks i could send you.. a few weeks old , only used once fresh roast SO !!

            Im sure they would still make a better coffee than that old pressure pack you tried !

            Get those beans and get grinding !!!

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            • #7
              Currently running a descale - the roaster recommended NOT to use white vinegar - said it would taint the system. I got some liquid from them, Cino Cleano. I figure they weren't just trying to sell as I had already paid for my coffees and we were gasbagging.

              I got 3 x 250gm - roasted last week - he said they let them rest a week to 'de-gas' ???

              Symphony - Full, rich, chocolate characters, that are sweet, and well balanced from front to back palate. An exceptional espresso incorporating refined flavours in a silky, thick body, and just a little bite from the high roast aromatics.

              Divina - Divina is a big coffee, with satisfying depth from a high roast style, strong aromatics, and a velvet texture. Winey, chocolate, characters with a hint of vanilla up front, and a touch of smoke & spice in the nose.

              Bombora - Full bodied, and very full flavour. Bombora is a deep, rich & smooth Mocha style with a caramel aroma. The slightly untamed, wild coffee characters from hand picked African arabicas, and a full roast make this blend highly satisfying.

              I described my preferences in coffee (other than 4yo sewage grounds - SOOO many comedians, so few bullets... ) and these were the recommends... $11 per 250gm, $20 for 500gm, $33 for 1kg - are those prices OK?

              Waiting, waiting...

              Oh... I've downloaded the manual for the EM0480 so I'm about to take apart my grinder while I wait for the descale etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My New Machine

                Good prices, if the coffee is good.

                Whats wrong with the grinder? Just cleaning it?

                I always grind between 2 and 5 on mine. Cant see what shimming it would achieve (grinding between 9 and 11 maybe )

                Comment


                • #9
                  The saga begins... and hopefully ends right here!!!

                  I descaled the 6910 and rinsed with normal water then again with pure water. Filled and ready to run.

                  I decided to clean the grinder simply because I could smell, and when I took the hopper off, see the residues. I did the clean as per the manual and reassembled.

                  Ready to run my first coffee, and grinder doesn't deliver. Makes grinding noise but very little coming out - if I leave it running much longer the beans will be getting a second roast, so I stop, empty into jar and settle in to find out why.

                  I took it apart down to the point just before dropping the motor out. I evicted the resident cockroach and set to to clean every part I could touch, get a cloth to or scrub with a wet toothbrush.

                  Reassemble - him motor, he no go! *thinks* Hm... microswitch, maybe it moved as I put the cover back on. Disassemble. Very carefully reassemble. Him motor, he no go. Disassemble... *thinks* *light bulb moment* Microswitch installed upside down - little peg is meant to poke through the cover to be tripped by the Settings mechanism.

                  Reassemble. Check switch. Finish reassemble. Try grinding. Minimal grounds coming out. Disassemble hopper, almost put back out diving for little spring heading for plug hole in sink. Clean, reassemble. Grinds. Express Espresso.

                  Goddamn lovely latte!!! (didn't want to try my mach yet till I get it all right.

                  Pour was about a 3 or 4 second delay to begin flow, nice level of flow, meter on machine says a touch over extracted. Definitely not filter too full, and grind is on about 10 so next time I will try 11 or 12.

                  Succ-Bloody-Cess!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a question about the EM0480 grinder. I don't want to waste my coffee yet 18gm of beans barely makes it to the dome cover above the burrs. The manual says to make sure there is plenty of beans because the even pressure makes it grind better. The problem with that is it leaves a choice of old beans in the grinder, along with partial grinds etc in the burr area, or a complex procedure to empty the grind leftovers back into a container.

                    Can I simply use just the required amount of beans?

                    And if I do, does anyone have hints on how to get the entire 18gm through into the filter?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My New Machine

                      Complex? Turn anti clockwise, lift, pour into bag. Reattach. Purge grinder.

                      Ive taken to pouring only enough beans in to clear the grinder and fill the basket. Works fine for me.

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                      • #12
                        Hey Journeyman!

                        I have a 6910 and running 2 480's (one for a blend, one for a single :P) and I only ever fill to the same level of the bottom of the dome when I need to make a coffee as I'm using a 22g VST. When I come to make a coffee, I just grind out some beans for 2 sec or so to get rid of yesterday's grind and then just go ahead and grind. The only time I fill my hoppers up is when I have guests over so I don't have to keep going back to the cupboard and bag for more beans! The shots that I get are delicious so I'm not too fussed on getting rid of the left over beans that are in the hopper as long as I give it a flush with new grinds to get the stale ones out.

                        Hope this helps!
                        Michael

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                        • #13
                          Turn anti clockwise, lift, pour into bag. Clean out burrs, turn machine upside down to get beans out of interior, clean up spillage from spout and burrs. Reattach. Purge grinder. - complex.

                          I guess I am trying to hard to avoid wastage... le sigh...

                          I'll see how i goes - main concern was the manual claiming I need to have plenty of beans in there...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My New Machine

                            Yes you are.

                            I hear you though - I was roasting 90g batches for a while, so every bean was precious. I used to dig them out of the burrs...

                            Now I just empty the hopper, purge the grinder a few times (changing to the coarsest setting and rocking the grinder around a bit). Anything more just detracts from the experience!

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                            • #15
                              Apparently the secret to grinding beans with a Sunbeam EM0480 is to strip it down and clean everything, reassemble and get ONE coffee. I got up today and tried to make a coffee and the grinding took 30 minutes to get just barely enough to make a double cup filters worth - and that's with me poking beans into the maw of the beast with a spoon!

                              And THEN the water would not go through it!

                              I don't know what gives but I think it's beyond me - I strip the hopper and grind mechanism and press the pressure switch and everything works fine. I put the upper burrs back in place, turn the grind mechanism and press THAT switch and everything spins just fine.

                              But the coffee is clearly blocking up inside the channel under the lower burr. I get one coffee's worth and the next one just fills the channel.

                              I think it is time to get a Pro to look at the grinder.

                              On a brighter note (I need one right now) the EM6910 seems flawless... The 2 coffees I HAVE had (in 2 days) have been very good. I can believe it is possible to get excellent coffee from this machine - if only I can GRIND BLOODY COFFEE!

                              /rant

                              Anyone know of a service centre in Bendigo - preferably a CS member, but if none of them, someone not shonky nor going to charge me the cost of a new grinder to do a service? Cos other than that I'm looking for a new grinder.

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