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Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

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  • Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

    Hi all, a newbie here...

    Would appreciate any and all input on the Sunbeam EM0400 grinder, if anyone has had any experience with it. Im half a step away from chucking my wifes Sunbeam EM5800 auto machine off the roof and am considering buying her a Rancilio Silvia (best one that I can realistically afford, I think), as shes much more into it than I am (I love my coffee, but I love it more when someone else makes it haha). Anyway, we already have a Sunbeam EM0400 grinder and wasnt sure you kind people think I should tie it to the current EM5800 when it sinks to the bottom of the Brisbane River.

    All opinions/comments appreciated.

    Thanks heaps!

  • #2
    Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

    Hi coffeecanuck and welcome to CoffeeSnobs...

    If the EM400 is like the EM410.... then it is basically a spice grinder (has rotating blades)..... and in that case it is the anchor to pull the EM5800 down to the bottom of the river - not the other way around.

    Blade grinders wont make a grind of sufficient quality for any coffee machine.... so, yep, its a boat anchor! You need the best grinder you can afford (and that is more important than the coffee machine).

    Good luck with your journey


    • #3
      Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

      Hey CC

      I dont know the EM0400, but in the sunbeam range only the EM0480 and EM0450 would come close to working with a "real" espresso machine such as a Silvia.

      "Real" espresso machines rely on a quality grind to produce the right extraction.

      Cheap nasty machines incorporate "fudges" [such as creama enhancing/dual walled baskets etc] to enable them to "appear" to work with poor grinders or stale coursly ground supermarket coffee, but at best the shot will look ok, but taste thin and burnt.

      On this site we would consider the EM0450/0480 as the minimum required grinder for true espresso. [price sub $200]

      There are some quality issues and performance limitations to consider with the EM 0450/480, a better choice would be the next step up to something such as an Iberital challenge $300+

      I originally had a EM0480 paired with my Silvia and the combination is capable of producing great shots.

      I personally found limitations with the SILVIA/EM0480 combination:

      I found it difficult to get consistant shots due to the large step adjustment [grind setting] and it is messy.
      I also experienced some quality problems that resulted in two returns and then I upgraded to a better grinder.
      ALL this within a few months.
      There are some tweaks and workarounds you can do to fix the majority of these issues however.

      With the benefit of hindsight, My Advise is: If you can afford a better grinder, do it now.

      I would suggest you or your partner speak to one of the site sponsors [eg Talk Coffee] to get a professional well guided opinion.

      PS I am really happy with the SILVIA and wholeheartedly recommend it.


      • #4
        Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

        I used to have a 5800. With an 0480 grinder and de-pressurised filter, it made very respectable shots. The 0450 would be a cheaper alternative grinder, but thats as cheap as you should go.

        Note that the Silvia will be equally crap (if not more so due to the lack of pressurised filters) unless you get a good (burr) grinder.


        • #5
          Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

          Thanks JavaB & Reubster, youve been a great help. Ive managed to source an EM0480 for $159 at a shop near my house, so Im considering that. At this point, I cant justify >$200 for a grinder, consider the Silvia purchase forthcoming. Perhaps purchasing already-ground beans is another option? :-?

          Thanks again!


          • #6
            Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

            Oh, and thanks to MK as well; seems you posted at the same time I was. My 5800 has just been ongoing trouble -- died just outside of 12 months, but Sunbeam replaced it because many others had the same electrical fault in 2006, and now its just beyond the next set of 12 months warranty, and it started explosive revolts, shooting the PF off. Then, after a clean, it tried something new, which is pretty much just not doing anything. At least I didnt pay anywhere near RRP for this, and I still got a cashback in 2006, so Im not terribly out of pocket. It also served pretty well while it did work, so many enjoyable cups in the interim.


            • #7
              Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder


              Fresh beans ground in your EM0480 will be FAR better than anything you can purchase pre-ground.

              The Silvia is fairly fussy on the grind you feed it.... and with your own grinder you can get that correct where preground is "one size fits all".... and will generally be far from ideal. Also the life of ground coffee - no matter how it is stored - is about 3 minutes so it is stale as you walk out of the shop.

              480s are respectable espresso grinders... the steps might be a little larger than the optimum.... the only real issue is reliability and several have crept in their settings - eventually making them useless - but Sunbeam have a good warranty!!!


              • #8
                Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

                haha actually I had one 5800 fail just inside 12 months - electronics would shut off when you started to brew. Returned under warranty, then went elsewhere and bought another one for much less. Kept the PFs, filters and accessories though The second one was still working after about a year when I sold it.


                • #9
                  Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

                  coffeecanuck if its the 0480 not the 0450 for $159 thats a bargain.
                  I paid $149 for a 0450.

                  Definitely grind your own freshly roasted beans rather than buy pre-ground.


                  • #10
                    Re: Sunbeam EM0400 Grinder

                    I have recently upgraded to a Rocky for my Silvia but prior to that I had a Sunbeam 450 which did a reasonable sort of job, it was a bit inconsistent but it was still heaps better than buying pre-ground coffee. Rocky is a lot more consistent and not as messy as the Sunbeam. I have the Sunbeam in my garage for early morning grinding so as not to wake up the household!~!!!!!