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Thread: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    First post!

    I purchased a Sunbeam EM0490 last week, primarily as a result of the recent Choice review. I did a quick search and nothing really came up as bad on it so went ahead.

    Turned up, looks the goods. Wife happy to have on the bench.* Then I started grinding. I normally use an Aeropress so followed the suggestion of about 15 on the grind - way to course. Long story short - kept decreasing until 1 - still weak crap coffee.

    Thats when I started searching again and realised that its basically an EM480 and there about a million and one posts on issues with this device.

    So pulled the bugger apart. All looks fine, put back together. At this point found some old Lavazza coffee beans so I wasnt wasting more of my Coffeesnobs beans* >:(. Still too course.

    No shims or anything included in the box and none under the bottom burr. Thought - hmmm, Ill make my own out of an Aeropress filter folded over a few times.

    This worked but the grind even on 24 was way too fine. Kept removing filters until only one - still too fine. Removed all of them and now its super fine. Even on 24, its too fine for the Aeropress (although usuable with only 1 scoop). It also takes around 30 seconds to make one "scoop" of ground coffee!

    I seriously dont understand whats happened here. I read everything I could find on dismantling these before touching it and theyre not exactly complicated. Basically its gone from super course to super fine with no changes that I can see.

    One of the little door things on the bottom of the bean holder is also periodically staying open meaning beans going every where when I take it off.

    This all leads to my question. Should I just return this thing and get the Breville?* It didnt review too well in Choice for some reason but the consensus here seems to be its a great grinder for the price and a large step up from the 480/490.

    I suppose my main concern is that it grinds fine enough for the Aeropress.

    Im so frustrated by all this. Id just like some good coffee!

    Davo

  2. #2
    Senior Member DavidW1960's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    I find the things Choice considers important are rarely on my list. I dont trust their advice.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Ironically I find this the case with IT (in which I deal a lot). But I normally know enough to use their reviews as a guide. Not in the case though :(

    But should I return it? I think Ill be able to get a refund and only a bit more for the Breville, assuming its fine enough for the Aeropress.

    Davo

  4. #4
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Im not sure you need to return it... The EM0480 can definitely be used for espresso... I used one with my E61 machine for a while until I upgraded. So it will work. You might be happier with the smart grinder though, which is more than capable of espresso grind, and is a better grinder than the 480 (or 490 for this matter)... So before you added the filter paper shim it was too coarse, and after you added it, it was too fine? Id probably suggest trying to source a shim direct through sunbeam. How thick are the aeropress filters? Maybe its too thick? Because I didnt notice such a drastic difference when adding a shim from Sunbeam...

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Theres no shim or anything in there at the moment. It seems to be seated correctly but now too fine.

    Just worries me that its this much hastle to start with. And the coffee holder is definitely faulty so Ill probably need to return it anyway.

    My thinking is that if Im going to try and get a refund I should do it now rather than later.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    As a matter of interest this was the Choice criticism on the Breville:

    Poor grinding performance, not fine enough for making espresso.
    Readjusting the grinding mechanism is not particularly easy without the individual markings, and the detents are also faint.

    So its definitely fine enough for Espresso? I wonder if they got a faulty unit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 253E3F28353027510 link=1334277337/5#5 date=1334285825
    As a matter of interest this was the Choice criticism on the Breville:

    Poor grinding performance, not fine enough for making espresso.
    Readjusting the grinding mechanism is not particularly easy without the individual markings, and the detents are also faint.

    So its definitely fine enough for Espresso?* I wonder if they got a faulty unit.

    And here are a few reviews from snobbers:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1288871951 - see reply #5,
    Quote Originally Posted by 36030E093D210D04040707620 link=1288871951/5#5 date=1289534718
    This grinder is better than any other appliance grinder I have ever used and I reckon its better than a Rocky as well. It blows anything up to about $500 completely out of the water.
    Reply #7:
    Ive choked the LM using this grinder!
    The Breville smart grinder is more than capable of performing as an exceptional espresso grinder.

    There is a lot of info on this forum regarding this grinder if you search for it - top right corner. Breville smart grinder of BCG800.

    David

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Yep, done heaps of searching - in fact Ive been reading posts about the 480 and Breville for about 2 days before I posted this - no actual comments about using the Breville with the Aeropress which is what it will be used with (well none Ive seen).

    Ive just spoken to the retailer. Sending back this arve. Will get the Breville instead.

  9. #9
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 475C5D4A575245330 link=1334277337/7#7 date=1334287543
    Yep, done heaps of searching - in fact Ive been reading posts about the 480 and Breville for about 2 days before I posted this - no actual comments about using the Breville with the Aeropress which is what it will be used with (well none Ive seen).

    Ive just spoken to the retailer. Sending back this arve. Will get the Breville instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by 476E626D7A7D68636E7D0F0 link=1288871951/601#601 date=1314880952
    I still cant believe how much better the smart grinder/aeropress brew tastes. Man Im hanging out for the morning coffee!

  10. #10
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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Point taken. I didnt actually read all 17 pages of posts on the Breville, just about 5 of them.....

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    Re: Sunbeam EM0490 / Breville Smart Grinder

    Just to close this topic off:

    Sunbeam was sent off for a full refund. Breville arrived and painlessly setup. A few goes to get the right grind for the aeropress (in my case the third finest setting).

    Im super impressed with it. No mess at all (vs the sunbeams huge mess every grind). Grinds have been very consistent. Super easy to operate. I particularly like the less/more dial as I like my coffee stronger than my wife does and this makes it really easy to adjust.

    A definite winner and at only $10 more than the sunbeam a whole higher level of machine.

  12. #12
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    The EM0490 does have a fine adjustment

    I did not see a mention here of the fact that the grind can be adjusted internally by moving the small screw outside the rim of the "top burr". You pull it out by the handle (as seen on p.15 Figure 16). There is a tiny screw on the outside rim, screwed horizontally and holding the outside sleeve in place. Remove it, rotate the outside sleeve to a new desired position, then put the screw back. This is only required if you find the adjustment collar reaching either end without giving you the desired coarse/fine grind. This is very similar to what the Breville does. BTW, after using this grinder for two years, where it worked OK 95% of the time, I decided that I do not anymore have the patience to fight with it first thing in the morning every so often (it does do a good fine (Turkish) grind when it works (which is mostly)) and now use a Breville BCG820. So far so good.



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