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  • Which Machine?

    Hi Guys,

    I currently have a Sunbeam Cafe Ristretto machine. It was a gift a couple of years ago, when I discovered I was lactose intollerant and I couldnt buy a lactose free latte (other than Soy - YUCK!) and we have outgrown it, as the kids are now joining us for coffees (not what you lot would call coffee, I am sure). Any way the main problem is that it takes too long to make 4 cappas/lattes. Im making seconds before I get my first.

    At this stage I want a machine that will steam enough milk for 4 cuppas in a reasonable time. Santa (AKA K. Rudd) can probably stretch to the Sunbeam 6910. Your posts and replies have put me off the Breville ES800, and made me a bit sus on the 6910. I Live in Gippsland and as far as I know there is no specialist coffee shop this side of Melbourne, so will have to rely on what the major retailers sell.

    I like the 6910 because of the steaming the dual thermoblock provides. I just want agood reliable machine, I dont think I want to get in to roasting and grinding beans, I can get fresh roasted and ground beans from a good deli close by.

    Is there anything other than the 6910 that I should have a look at?

  • #2
    Re: Which Machine?

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs coffee mum.
    Weve been waiting for you.


    Ive used a 6910 for quite some time now and dont mind recommending it with caveats.
    When it works it can make a decent coffee and it will handle your capacity requirement.

    The potential problems with them are wearing of the collar and cicuit boards.
    I believe that another member, Anger Management has recently published a post with some good information on how to lessen the possibility of the collar wearing as fast as it did to me.

    Because there is a lot of computer circuitry in it theres a chance a circuit board could fry (steam and water arent friendly to computers).
    When I picked mine up recently from having the collar replaced the technician told me hed also replaced a circuit board and showed me where a solder joint had fried a little.
    That explained the burning smell from a few weeks before.

    I suppose thay are my main gripes.

    I believe that if you shop around you can find a new one now for less than $550.

    The matching grinders (0450 & 0480) are noisy and messy in my opinion.
    I quickly replaced my 0450 with a better grinder.

    You should consider spending a bit more on a grinder than the Sunbeam ones.
    The more you spend now, the longer the grinder will last, and save you money on replacement in the long run.

    Talk to some sponsors (listed on the left of the page).
    A Rocky or Ascaso mini (I think) might be the go.

    This deli you speak of....how sure are you of the freshness of the beans? Brand? Roasting dates?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Which Machine?

      thanks, I will check out what Anger Management had to say. As for the deli, the roasting beans smell good as I walk past, I will investigate types, brands and freshness once I get my machine, but from what I have read on this site anything would be better than the pre-packages supermarket stuff I am currently using. But I dont want to get too fussy, at this stage Ill be happy with a faster machine, and try to avoid upgradeitis for as long as I can.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Which Machine?

        Originally posted by coffee mum link=1228792765/0#0 date=1228792765
        Hi Guys,

        I currently have a Sunbeam Cafe Ristretto machine. It was a gift a couple of years ago, when I discovered I was lactose intollerant and I couldnt buy a lactose free latte (other than Soy - YUCK!) and we have outgrown it, as the kids are now joining us for coffees (not what you lot would call coffee, I am sure). Any way the main problem is that it takes too long to make 4 cappas/lattes. Im making seconds before I get my first.

        At this stage I want a machine that will steam enough milk for 4 cuppas in a reasonable time. Santa (AKA K. Rudd) can probably stretch to the Sunbeam 6910. Your posts and replies have put me off the Breville ES800, and made me a bit sus on the 6910. I Live in Gippsland and as far as I know there is no specialist coffee shop this side of Melbourne, so will have to rely on what the major retailers sell.

        I like the 6910 because of the steaming the dual thermoblock provides. I just want agood reliable machine, I dont think I want to get in to roasting and grinding beans, I can get fresh roasted and ground beans from a good deli close by.

        Is there anything other than the 6910 that I should have a look at?
        Hi coffee mum and welcome,

        Firstly, shame about the lactose intollerance. Its not as uncommon as some think but. My wife is also intollerant (to lactose that is ;D - she tolerates me more than I deserve sometimes) and she has gotten used to soy milk to the extent that she dislikes the smell or taste of cow milk. She will only have Bonsoy in her coffee but - costs a bit (lot) more, but worth it for her.

        Youve indicated you want a "good reliable machine". Well, TG has had the 6910 and knows the score there. To my mind, however, I wouldnt call it "reliable" based on posts on this site. A well priced machine with good features, but with possible (likely) Made in China quality control and cheap component problems.

        To make 4 milk based coffees in a row, you dont necessarily need a "dual thermoblock" machine (or HX / dual boiler machine - but thats another price bracket ). A good quality single boiler machine such as a Rancillio Silvia will do the job (as long as you do your bit) and is definitely in the "good reliable" category. You could also consider a Gaggia Classic or Nemox Fenice (or Nemox Dell Opera / Lelit Combi - with built in grinder).

        On that score, you may see it said here many times (and as indicated by TG), getting a good grinder (to freshly grind your fresh beans) is a more important decision than the type of machine. Something to consider.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Which Machine?

          I also cant drink milk now (casein intolerance though, not so much lactose), but luckily I have always liked soy lattes (nutty flavour is good). Ive recently upgraded to the rancilio silvia, and would suit what you need. I tend to just make my coffee, but its a double shot and big so kinda like making two. The steam on this machine is powerful and makes short work of heating the milk. I was considering the 6910 as it was cheap at David Jones, but it seemed a bit hit-or-miss as to whether you got a good one, and wasnt likely to last beyond about 3 years. The silvia though, well Id be fairly certain that will be making good coffee 5-10 years from now. Some people say it takes time to get used to the silvia, but I started making decent coffees straight away and they are getting better. Just follow a routine when making the coffees and its a pretty easy process. Oh, and I upgraded from a Cafe Roma, which was pretty good to start with, but isnt even in the same league! no more thunk-thunk-thunk from the thermablock ;D

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Which Machine?

            Hi Guys,

            Thanks for all the advice, I have now developed a severe case of I-want-it-now-itis, but still havent decided what I want. I think every post on this site has convinced me that I need a grinder, which I hadnt considered before.

            I have located "The Bean Scene" in Warragul, through a link to retailers from the Diamond C site, I can get there to check out the Silvia and the Gaggia, but I will have to make a trip to Melbourne to look at the Nemox, which I dont think I can do before Xmas, which is going to frustrate me no end!

            At the moment my thoughts are:

            Silvia, top of the class, more than need, probably best value in the long run.

            Sunbeam 6910, given my luck with intermittant faults with anything electrical, Ill get a bad one, so off the list.

            Gaggia, dont like what Ive read about aluminium boilers, and therefore will probably count it out.

            Nemox Dell Opera / Lelit Combi, closest to what hubby is willing for me to spend, less hassle in telling him I need the grinder as it is already attached.

            Grinders, still need to do a lot more reading, would love the Rocky, but know I wont win that battle at the moment, especially if I am going to spend $800 instead of my original $600 on the machine. May need to apply a bit of female cunning and buy a cheap and nasty plastic thing that will break down in a month, just to say "I told you so" (It has worked in the past)

            Once again thanks for the advice and suggestions, I am sure I will make a much better choice because of it. I will let you know what I end up with, even if it is January.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Which Machine?

              Hi Coffee Mum,

              If you do decide to go the Rancilio route, consider putting a deposit down before 1st Jan - we have had word that the Silvia and Rocky are going to be 10 - 15% more expensive from 1st Jan. The exact date of the price rises will depend on stocks at suppliers.

              charlie

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Which Machine?

                Thanks Jet Black for the heads up, Ill have to make the time (anyone got a recipe? I need a day) for a trip to Melbourne to check out the Nemox.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Which Machine?

                  If you want a cheaper grinder, the sunbeam ones are OK. Nothing compared to rockys, and nowhere near mazzers, but the grind itself isnt too bad. Comes with 5yr warranty on the motor and replaceable burrs. Under $200 for the s/steel model, then you can spend a bit more and get the silvia. I know the grinder is more important than the machine, but better to get a machine that you dont need to upgrade for a while and a grinder to last you til next xmas when u can get a better grinder...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Which Machine?

                    Thanks Doug81, I am intending to check out the cheaper grinders (later) today, and let santas helper know what I decide. (for under the tree)

                    I think I have made up my mind and will go with the Silvia, just need to have a look on Tuesday, then convince the other half.

                    That is going to be a bit easier now though, the Sunbeam Ristretto gave up steaming half way through his milk yesterday, so I zapped it a bit too much and he burnt his mouth. Santas helper (daddys little girl) and I just have to convince him that Silvia will be a good long term investment and will never NEED replacing, and she will be loved by all of us, not just me.

                    Hopefully I can get her next week so that I can practice and impress the rellos on Christmas Day.

                    Will keep you posted.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Which Machine?

                      Hi to all,

                      Once again thanks for all your opinions and advice, I saw the Silvia in the flesh (or S/S) for the first time today, and am now convinced that it is the machine for me, and we will be getting together very soon. I have lost all patience with the little Sunbeam, and just want it gone.

                      The grinder on the other hand, is unfortunately going to have to wait a while. I have taken all your advice onboard, and understand what it is all about, but in the interests of domestic harmony I am not going to push it at the moment. There is no fun in drinking coffee alone.

                      I know that I wont be getting the best coffee I can, but have decided that I will shop around for some fresh roasted beans, buy in small lots (expensive) have them ground and keep them in a vacuum container ($50), which I will be able to use to store beans once I do get a grinder.

                      I have been reading so much info here on all sorts of topics, and you have me hooked, I really want to try roasting beans in a popcorn machine, it sounds soo easy and fun! But Ill need a grinder first.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Which Machine?

                        Congratulations on your pending purchase cm.

                        Can I suggest you forego the vacuum container as I doubt it will make a difference, and could even be a worse way of storage than a one-way valved bag. That way you can put the $50 you save toward your grinder fund.

                        Cheers!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Which Machine?

                          Thanks Dennis,

                          I was taking the advise of the retailer, and hadnt considered that option, but will look into it, as it would be cheaper.

                          Unfortunately the funds for the grinder arent the issue, its convincing the other half of the need.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Which Machine?

                            Originally posted by coffee mum link=1228792765/0#12 date=1229409605
                            Thanks Dennis,

                            I was taking the advise of the retailer, and hadnt considered that option, but will look into it, as it would be cheaper.

                            Unfortunately the funds for the grinder arent the issue, its convincing the other half of the need.

                            Hmm, interesting advice. I dont believe a vac-container will extend the liveliness of freshly ground coffee anywhere beyond 3 minutes or so.

                            If its a matter of convincing, perhaps you could tie your wicked, bad, other half to a chair in front of the computer screen and leave him with us for a while. ;D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Which Machine?

                              I honestly think youll never get the desired result with pre-ground coffee - and it would be a waste of the Silvias cxapabilities. You may get one decent shot just after you get home from the roaster (if youre quick) , but beyond that ... forget it!

                              Comment

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