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Thread: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After a weekends use of the new Sunbeam EM0480 I have come to the conclusion that it is an awesome grinder. Not only becuase of the fact that it is very cheap, but becuase of its design. In the Sunbeam "pro" series, this is definatly the standout contender.

    Gaggia Carezza and Sunbeam EM0480


    This is a doserless connical burr grinder with a $170 price tag! I got mine from the Good Guys - this was the price they offered it to me over the phone without haggling for cash. The RRP is $199, but Ive not heard anyone pay more than $180 even at Myer or DJs. Thats a lot less than the LUX and way less than the Rocky if youre looking for a doserless machine.

    So what are the downsides I hear you ask? Whats the step adjustment like? Whats the grind like... etc etc. Before this I owned a Saeco MC2002, which ground easily fine enough for the Carezza, but I wanted a doserless. So keep in mind that Ive only had it running for the weekend, so these are my initial thoughts. Also, just a note to say that I have no affiliation with Sunbeam in any way, I just brought their product.

    First of all - the things I like about the EM0480 (and there are a lot):
    - The grind is awesome. I find it much more "powderie" than the Saeco. Im not sure if its an illusion, or because Im grinding straight into the PF, but it seems that way.
    - The price is awesome - at this price, its definatly a "category killer" in my book.
    - The warrenty is awesome - 5 year engine replacement warrenty and a 12 month machine replacement guarantee. It amazes me nowadays how companies can back their stuff with this type of warrenty? They are certinly confident of this thing at the very least.
    - The grind speed is the same full or empty. This is good, because it means that the grinding speed is geared (like it says on the box) so that the machine runs at a slower speed than the motor is capable of - and thus less heat transference to the beans.
    - The hopper can be removed with beans in it. There are 2 small spring loaded catches that push together when you take the hopper off.
    - Very clear clicks between settings. So even thou its not stepless, there are very clear audible clicks between the settings, so if you want to go up one its easy to hear.
    - The grind setting for espresso is in the middle of the range. Im grinding on about 11, and there are more than 20 settings - this is great, instead of skirting with the finest grind available you have plenty of room to move. (or make turkish, or grind for a plunger too!)
    - VERY easy to remove/clean the burrs. The top is easily removable, with a push of a button and a twist. (thats it - really!) You can lift the burrs directly out at that point!
    - The switch on the machine is awesome - heavy duty, no messing about! And its on the side too so its not getting in the way!


    Suggestions I would make to Sunbeam if they were listening:
    - Id replace the plastic PF holder with a stainless one. I know they are looking at keeping the price down, but fabrication of a stainless or even chromed brass PF holder would be definatly the way to go. Such a cool steel switch and such a crappy plastic PF handle :( I may have to get down the local steel fab place with a tray of VB and see what I can come up with!
    - When you take the bean hopper off, you are very likely to move the grinder settings. Im not sure theres a way round this becuase you move the top section that the hopper is attached to when you change grind settings. I dont take the hopper off much anyhow, so thats no biggie.
    - The markings for the settings arent as well lined up with the arrow as they could be - the audible clicks are an easy way to tell a single grind movement up or down, but the arrow doesnt point directly at each setting. This could be improved, but mostly I guess its a guide, and then once youre close you test a few out by going up or down, and checking each pour.

    Thats it. Sunbeam - I think you have done a really good job on this.

    Oh.... I almost forgot. There is a problem with ALL doserless grinders I believe, where some stray grinds come flying out in different directions. Now, Im not sure that this would be everyones cup of tea - but I hate "bench wipedown", I got the doserless so thered be LESS messing about cleaning up after a grind. For me, its definatly not as much about the asthetics, more the practicality. The rubber base on the Sunbeam does come out easily for cleaning strays, and there is very little stray that goes on the bench anyhow, but very little is still too much for me!

    So, Ive applied all my design skills to this problem and stolen someone elses idea. Its based on Boriss "Rocky Grind Catcher" - top marks on that one mate! (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1136257294)

    Sunbeam EM0480 Loose Grind Solution


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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    This looks like a great grinder. *Most of the Sunbeam "cafe series" stuff has a good solid feel to it. The price is awesome as is the warranty. What does the "auto" setting on the switch do, Andy?
    This would appear to be an absolutely obvious point of reference for anyone wanting to buy a good grinder at any price. Doesnt seem to have the hideous plastic that one expects at this price and to my eye looks a damn sight better than many grinders costing 2, 3 and 4 times as much.

    I would be mighty peeved if Id spent $150 to $400 on a grinder the week before this came out, let me tell you. *In fact, I could imagine a few "unwanted prize" or "unwanted gift" de Longhis and Luxes (complete with grinds) turning up at DJs and Myers round about now 8-)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Ahhh ha! - I did forget the "AUTO" part.

    This is another TOP mark with the Sunbeam. If you look closely at the PF holder, you can see at the centre of it is a small silver button. When set to auto, if you put the PF into the holder you can push it forward and it depresses that small silver button and starts the machine! So it all becomes a one handed operation! (cant believe I missed that bit!)

    I agree with what you are saying about an "obvious point of reference", which is why I believe this is a "category killer" - it will pretty much wipe the floor with the competition. I would be VERY interested in a side by side comparison with the Rocky too? Perhaps this can be organised at some point soon.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    These grinders look nice. Alan Frew has just posted his review on his site
    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/...der.html<br />

    He rates it as a category killer. A bit disturbing about the plastic ears for the burr carrier engagement though. I guess you need some excuse to buy a Mazzer.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Do you find the adjustment steps are a bit large like Alan does? Too bad the design doesnt seem to allow for microstepping the way the Lux does because it seems the Sunbeam is better in every other way.

    As for the PF holder, that is the same one fitted to the Lux and doserless Iberital which have the same burr set as the Sunbeam so I guess they just bought those parts.

    Ive compared a Lux with a Rocky and Mazzers and the grind quality of all of them are the same (once the Rocky burrs have been tightened with some teflon tape) so i imagine the Sunbeam would be just as good too.

    I love the grinds catcher!!!

    Greg

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Wow - thats a great review from Alan (as per usual!) - Im now VERY happy about the purchase too!

    For me, I didnt find that big a deal with the grind settings? I have it dialed in, and Ive moved it once or twice when I changed blends, but I have always got a lovely shot so far.

    And Alans gonna start selling them too... well... Im sold.

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Great review, Andy. The machine does sound "awesome". I especially like the fact the hopper can be removed while still retaining its load of beans.

    And consistent speed irrespective of the weight of beans on the burrs is also good.

    Just a word in defence of the plastic portafilter holder. It has to be made from a flexible material to accommodate different size portafilters.

    Well done.

    Robusto

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    AndyCJ,
    Thanks for the review. Ive been an owner of a Lux for a year now and was looking at buying one for my sister (who Im slowly converting). Although happy with my Lux Ive been swayed towards the Sunbeam EM0480 for my sis. Thanks.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Nice work peak - I suspect a lot of people will be buying this instead of the LUX considering its got the exact same burrset and its $80 cheaper!

    I get what youre saying too Robusto about the plastic holder, they also supply 2 different ones, one for cheap-o (crappy) alloy PF machines and one for "commercial" ones.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Nice review Andy, Im sure a lot of people that need a grinder will appreciate it too.

    One question though... is the "auto" button a momentary or a timed switch?

    ie: when you pull the group handle back does it stop instantly?


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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    My first impression in the shop was that the EM0480 is very SOLID. I bought myself one from MYER today, they price matched Goodguys phone quote of $179, I was happy with that.. I wasnt ready to part with $400 + for a Rocky.

    Ill post up some thoughts once Ive used it.

    PaulE
    :P

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    No offence AndyCJ but that catcher thingo that youve made out of what looks to be an old 2Lt milk container isnt the most aesthetically pleasing piece of brewing equipment Ive ever seen. Sure it looks very effective but I dont know whether I can do that to my new grinder..

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    I know, Im late in on this thread, Andycj, that is a kick-arse piece of kit at any price and for 170 bucks its a steal!
    Well done and nice review also.
    Why would you plonk down money on a Mazzer (like I did 12 months ago) or a Rocky for that matter when there is this type of value out there?
    Some of these established manufacturers might start suffering a case of "Emperors new clothes"

    Tim

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Ok, fired up the Sunbeam last night and all is well.. grinds fine enough for Silvia.. JUST.

    AF, the "AUTO" function is GREAT! You press the portafilter into the plastic guide and up against the steel button, it grinds until you release the portafilter.. best option Ive seen on a grinder.. it give you complete 1 handed grind capability..

    Cheers to Sunbeam.. 8-)

    Paulie

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    OK Paulie - so my grind catcher aint the most attractive bit of kit out there.... Ill give you that.

    But it does its job, and Im a practical man.

    I also dig the one handed grinding - almost as much as the no-handed bench wipe-up ;)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    yeah, apart from the aesthetics, I love your catcher. Might have to make something similar myself...

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Andy, you wouldnt believe it but Ive had to go down the catcher road too.. the EM makes way too much mess to have to hoover loose coffee grind from the kitchen bench!!

    I have a little bit of a problem with my EM.. I have a Silvia machine and use the grind to overflow, level off and then tamp routine. I find myself using the absolute finest possible setting on the EM grinder..

    What settings are you guys using.. I wonder if I got a DUD??

    :-/

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Definatly doesnt sound right Paulie?

    Im using between 10 and 12 depending on the beans! Ive got heaps of leaway? Ive read that Alan Frew tested his on a Silvia which is notorious for needing super fine, and I believe he was at round 10?!?

    Check his review (think its in a recent newsletter on his site)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by paulie338 link=1138058473/0#13 date=1139526360
    Ok, fired up the Sunbeam last night and all is well.. grinds fine enough for Silvia.. JUST. *

    AF, the "AUTO" function is GREAT! *You press the portafilter into the plastic guide and up against the steel button, it grinds until you release the portafilter.. best option Ive seen on a grinder.. it give you complete 1 handed grind capability..

    Cheers to Sunbeam.. *8-)

    Paulie

    Solis Maestro Plus has offered that functionality for a number of years - and from all reports it actually grinds into the porta filter unlike the Sunbeam. ;)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Thanks for that Metreo.

    I didnt buy the Solis Maestro Plus for 2 reasons;

    1. It was $100 dearer than the Sunbeam
    and
    2. Its UGLY!

    ;D


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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by paulie338 link=1138058473/15#19 date=1141852597
    Thanks for that Metreo.

    I didnt buy the Solis Maestro Plus for 2 reasons;

    1. It was $100 dearer than the Sunbeam
    and
    2. Its UGLY!

    ;D
    Quote Originally Posted by paulie338 link=1138058473/15#16 date=1141698566
    I wonder if I got a DUD??

    :-/

    Lucky you didnt buy a DUD then.




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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Metreo link=1138058473/15#18 date=1141817543
    Quote Originally Posted by paulie338 link=1138058473/0#13 date=1139526360
    Ok, fired up the Sunbeam last night and all is well.. grinds fine enough for Silvia.. JUST. *

    AF, the "AUTO" function is GREAT! *You press the portafilter into the plastic guide and up against the steel button, it grinds until you release the portafilter.. best option Ive seen on a grinder.. it give you complete 1 handed grind capability..

    Cheers to Sunbeam.. *8-)

    Paulie

    Solis Maestro Plus has offered that functionality for a number of years - and from all reports it actually grinds into the porta filter unlike the Sunbeam. *;)
    By the way, the Sunbeam does grind into the portafilter and you can do it with one hand.

    I didnt INTEND to buy a DUD. If I got a DUD, like any consumer product, Id take it back. The quality of my espresso is not suffering, I am encountering no problems with the grinder whatsoever, I was simply curious what other peoples settings were.

    ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Hi Paulie,

    From the avatar piccie it would appear you have a Silvia partnered with your EM0480, should be a great partnership 8-) by the way.

    Something that you might like to try, is to reset your grind to a coarser setting and then gradually work your way in until you get the shot timing back into the ballpark of 25-30 seconds. The Over Pressure Valve on a Silvia is usually set to around 15 BAR to protect the pump, not control the pressure through the shot.

    However, if you start trying to setup your grind from the fine end of the scale and work up, you end up working against the setting of the OPV at 15 BAR and this is way too high to pour decent espressos. By starting at the coarse end of the scale and working your way in, you end up with the correct pressure of between 8-10 BAR as dictated by the resistance of the coffee puck, not the OPV..... and the coffee will be sooo much better too ;D,

    Mal.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Sounds like a plan to me.

    ...what Mal said!

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Now you are talking Mal.. I will do that tonight.. that sounds exactly like the problem.. now that you mention it, the extraction goes blond very early.. I was starting to think that my seeds werent fresh..

    Thanks!! Ill let you know how I go.

    Paulie
    ;)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Im using a Em0480 with a silvia and seem to be using a setting around 4 or 5. Gives a double shot in about 25 seconds using around 2 and 3/4 level scoops of coffee. Ive only had both a week so still experimenting, but happy at the moment.

    Matt

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Mattb, thats awesome that we have the same combo.. me Ive had my Silvia for a good 4 months or so now, most of which I survived (only just) by buying ground coffee from Mocopan.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    I have noticed with roasted coffee i got from the coffee company a week ago i need to use a grind around 2 or 3, but with fresh home roasted coffee im using 4 or 5 as stated above.

    Just ordered a PID and associated bits and pieces should have temp nice a stable very soon. Cant wait. :)

    Matt

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    well silly old me has gone back to the lowest setting possible on my EM grinder.. if I try extracting the coffee having used a grind setting of 10, I can fill the entire cup (120mls) in about 10 seconds.. plus I cant tamp that any harder or fit any more coffee in the basket..

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Yeah i think there is something strange going on with this grinder. I think is settles or some thing. Last night after cleaning it i was grinding on 1 and it was just fine enough, then this morning without changing anything (same coffee, dose, basket and grind setting) it choked my silvia. Take it back to 5 where i had been before the clean and it was all good again. Thats the second time ive seen this happen. Last time i hadnt cleaned anything, but i had moved it from one bench to another.

    doesnt matter as on 2 hours ago i now ive got a rocky 8-)
    I was always going to get one just using the sunbeam in the mean time.


    Matt

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Ive had a little inconsistency (need to adjust between ~5-10), but not enough that I couldnt rule out operator error (eg tamping/dosing) or other factors (eg beans/roast/age).

    eg last night:
    1) 10: 70ml in 18 seconds
    2) 9: 70ml in 20 seconds
    3) 7: choke
    4) 10: 40ml in 30 seconds

    and on a previous day/different bean, settings 4-5 were no problem...

    Last time I cleaned mine I noticed a fair amount of slop in the lower burr (it could be wiggled sideways more than I would have thought acceptable). Do other owners see this? Is it a concern, or does it essentially self-centre when loaded with beans?

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Gday all,
    Does anyone know if or when these grinders I have heard so much about will be on sale again in Australia.
    I have been looking for one since this discussion started.
    My old Saeco is getting tired.

    Thanks, Harrance

  33. #33
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by harrance link=1138058473/30#31 date=1143095728
    Gday all,
    Does anyone know if or when these grinders I have heard so much about will be on sale again in Australia.
    I have been looking for one since this discussion started.
    My old Saeco is getting tired.

    Thanks, Harrance

    I bought one last week at Myers, City. I really wasnt planning to buy one, I was on public transport. ;D I was just looking at it, the guy offered assistance. I told him that I would buy one, if he matched the $170 I could get it for from the Good Guys. He said. OK! Didnt even phone to check my claim!

    I am now using it, while waiting for my Rocky to come back from the doctors ::) The only complaint I have is that it is a very messy grinder! The grinder and the surranding benchtop needs a major clean after each grind. Knowing my son, I dont think hell even notice! :D

  34. #34
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    You may need one of those carved up plastic milk container modifications. Mine completely surrounds the portafilter except for an access cut out in the front.

    Very easy to fashion with a sharp blade.

    Or, collect the spills in a small tupperware type container on the base -- will collect some grounds, but not those that ricochet in all directions.

    Robusto

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1138058473/30#33 date=1143151800
    You may need one of those carved up plastic milk container modifications. Mine completely surrounds the portafilter except for an access cut out in the front.

    Very easy to fashion with a sharp blade.

    Or, collect the spills in a small tupperware type container on the base -- will collect some grounds, but not those that ricochet in all directions.

    Robusto
    Well, I was at Ikea the other day, and picked up (on sale) a stainless steel plate. Wasnt sure what it was meant for, or what I was going to do with it... Turns out it fits in the base perfectly, catching most of the spills.
    [img]C://Documents and Settings//Judy//My Documents//LapDumps//DSCF0213.jpg[/img]

    Ive inserted a picture here, but it didnt work. Done it before, now cant remember how? :(

    OK take two

    Still not happy though, would love to make the plastic milk container mod (for the Rocky as well) but dont quite get how it fits at the back where the portafilters plastic guide goes


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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Im sure you could make a cutout for the portafilter bracket, remove the bracket, slide the catcher tray into place, then reinstall the PF bracket to hold it all together...

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    The concave nature of the grinder body could be a problem unless you can--as suggested by MattKing--remove the bracket easily and put the container behind it without any interfereing to the switch.

    Milk containers are made of fairly thin plastic and bend well in most places.

    Robusto

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    well you could always cut out a portafilter bracket, and cut an extra slit so it opens on the side so u can slide it in from the side?

    just a thought

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Hiya,

    Long time reader - first time poster...

    Finnally made the decision to buy an EM0480, but alas... anyone have *any* ideas on where in Sydney might have one in stock???... * :-/ :-X

    As far as a shop back-ordering one from Sunbeam the best availability estimate Ive had so far was "May".

    Not happy jan!

    :-) Keep smiling.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Ill sell you mine if you are interested. Ive discovered there is no problem with it except that it wont grind as fine as I need it to.

    Let me know if you are interested. I bought it about 2 months ago at MYER for $179.

    Paulie

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    BeanBrain, I went looking the other day too, with no joy. never got around to asking them to call sunbeam for a specific ETA though. Perhaps thats the next step in the plan...... What part of Sydney are you from, Ill split the list of stores to ring with you ;)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    so, i have finally managed to buy a machine (minore1) to go with my em0480 that i picked up a month or so ago...
    i must say, it is all fantastic, except for the well documented mess that these grinders can make.
    i was doing a little reading online and found an article by abe carmalli (sp???) about the distribution method of grinding. it was pretty geeky, but the thing i found interesting was his suggestion to get a youghurt container, cut out the bottom, and wedge this into the portafilter when grinding. this gives it a catcher for all those grinds that go all over the place.

    i went last night to the supermarket, got myself some youghurt, and gave it a go this morning. must say, it is a revelation!!!! it may not look so good while you are grinding, and working out when to stop the grind will take some time, but with much less mess for the wife to clean up, its a winner!!!

  43. #43
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Glad its all going well. Curious if there is any reason you decided to go for a superseeded Expobar rather than wait for the updated model? There are a heap of updates/revisions.

    I guess its like buying a superseeded car....hope you got a huge discount as there will be a significant cost at the other end when you try and sell ;)..For example- the Giotto Classic on unowhereb*y....$1699 and not a bid....

    2mcm

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    ive been waiting for a while to get this machine, and waiting another 6-8-10-etc etc weeks wasnt what i wanted....
    looking at the updates, the minore2 doesnt seem to have anything so different that i need to wait....

    and im not planning to sell for about 15-20 years, by then they will all be outdated, and hopfully eboy not around any more!

  45. #45
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt King link=1138058473/30#35 date=1143337283
    Im sure you could make a cutout for the portafilter bracket, remove the bracket, slide the catcher tray into place, then reinstall the PF bracket to hold it all together...
    Well, I bought a 1litre milk just for this purpose (usually buy 2) cut it out. *It works, sort of, but *still manage to spill some grinds on the counter. *Too lazy to take a photo now *;) *I then tried putting the S/S plate under the plastic thingie, to help catch what it doesnt. *It wouldt *fit. *So I cut a bigger hole where the bracket is, so that I can slide it higher, it still isnt sitting very happily. *It also makes the PF bracket a very tight fit, not something Id feel like removing after each use *:-/

    Oh well. *Got my Rocky back today, so the Sunbeam is going to my sons. *I doubt hell care about *(or notice) a few coffee grinds on the counter *;D

    Now, to make a similar thing for my Rocky *;D *(This time using a 2litre square milk bottle


  46. #46
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    133

    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    I just grabbed one of these babies today for $175. Bargain ;D

    Considering I payed $169 for my DeLonghi KG100 less than a year ago.
    That one is now going off on permanent loan to my instant-swilling family in SA, in the hope of getting them drinking something a little nicer.
    Of course I still have to roast-and-post them beans, but one step at a time.


    Sure its not a Rocky or Mazzer but it will do me for a while as I dont have a fancy schmancy machine yet.

    Off to play with my new toy :)

  47. #47
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
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    16,875

    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Good one lochness,

    Wont be any stopping you now ;),

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  48. #48
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3

    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    lockness: I just grabbed one of these babies today for $175. *Bargain *


    Dude... whered you get it and do they have more stock!!?!?!
    :-)
    Still hunting for one ;-)

    -Cheers

  49. #49
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    67

    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Not sure if you saw my last post but Ill happily sell my EM0480 for $150 ONO..

  50. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    133

    Re: Sunbeam EM0480, Review

    Quote Originally Posted by BeanBrain link=1138058473/45#47 date=1144586955
    lockness: I just grabbed one of these babies today for $175. Bargain


    Dude... whered you get it and do they have more stock!!?!?!
    :-)
    Still hunting for one ;-)

    -Cheers
    Hi BeanBrain,

    Ive sent you a PM with the details.

    Cheers...



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