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Thread: Elektra Micro Casa   vs   Sunbeam EM0480

  1. #1
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    Elektra Micro Casa   vs   Sunbeam EM0480

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Everyone,

    I just joined up and was hoping for some help setting up my new (and first) machine and grinder..

    I just got a Elektra Micro Casa a Leva machine and a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder, they look great but Im having trouble getting the perfect shot...

    I have used commercial coffee machines before and found the grind easy enough to set as the tamping is pretty standard, but from what I read the leaver machines are a bit different, ie much lower pressure.. so its hard to know if I should adjust the tamp or the grind...

    So I guess Im asking if anyone has this combination and if so what grind setting they use?

    currently I have the grinder set to 25 ( the highest "marked" setting) and Im basically not tamping, just the weight of the budget plastic (yeah, Ill get round to buying a proper one ;) tamp.

    This produces an ok shot, with reasonable crema... but I feel it could be better and it all just seems a little wrong, also, there are some youTube vids, and they seem to tamp properly. If I do that the shot takes minutes to extract, and of course is undrinkable.

    thanks
    ;)

    .j

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Elektra Micro Casa   vs   Sunbeam EM

    Hi mr homer :)

    All Ive got to go on is the reviews and info on the NET. They suggest your machine needs careful use to get good results and can be pretty intolerant if everything isnt just right. They also suggest that the EM0480 is a tad variable and what might be a "25" setting on yours might well be an "18" on someone elses so the numbers may not help.

    User reviews on the Elektra seem to suggest a coarser grind and lighter tamp but the machines specs do talk about 8 BAR of pressure through the spring / lever so Id be starting with only slightly coarser and only slightly less tamp. The more critical trick with your machine, it would seem, is more with managing the temperature of the shot...

    It might also be the amount of coffee your loading into the basket?

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Elektra Micro Casa * vs * Sunbeam EM0480

    Hi mr_homer,

    I dont know about the Elektra, but that 0480 may need a modification.

    Do a search, as Im not sure whether it may need a washer added or removed so that it works within the range it should.

    According to the instruction manual a setting of about 13 is what you should be looking at for espresso.

  4. #4
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    Re: Elektra Micro Casa   vs   Sunbeam EM

    thanks guys,

    Wrecker: thats very interesting. the courser setting of 25 does seem to produce a reasonably fine grind (I though)
    I read some very good advise on the temperature issue (not sure where) suggesting cooling the group with a cold wet cloth, so Im doing that between shots.
    the machine gets incredibly hot, its quite the hazard.. all part of its charm ;)
    Im loading to flush with the rim, without any shaking/settling then tamping puts it to about 3mm below the rim, as the manual suggest.
    btw, if I shake/tap it settles lower than that without tamp...

    Thundergod: thanks, will do as that sounds about right.. I did try the suggested range and it was grinding so fine and slow! I think it probably would have taken 2-3 minutes to grind 1 shot.

    .j

  5. #5
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    Re: Elektra Micro Casa * vs * Sunbeam EM0480

    Mr Homer...
    I have exactly the same set-up as you, an Elektra MicroCasa A Leva and Sunbeam EM0480...you are setting the grinder up way too high, I have mine set on five [5] the Casa A Leva needs a fine grind..your tamp needs to be reasonably heavy...hold your lever down until you first see coffee dripping and then let it go to rise on its own....mine usually takes about 20-25 seconds to reach the top...that should produce awesome goopy crema for you...[remember this machine needs fine grinds]...
    your temperature should rise until it reaches the middle to top of the green range on your gauge then it should switch off....unless it is rising higher there should be no need to cool down the grouphead with a towel..if you get the grind vs tamp right you will get great non-bitter coffee...I had problems when I first got mine but after a lot of swearing I worked out that the "fresh" beans I had were over-roasted and giving a burnt taste....I changed my bean supplier who has an expert come in and roast for him and since then my coffee is great.. I keep my beans airtight and only for 3 weeks.. ;)
    dont hesitate to ask more questions, I am definitely far from being an expert but will try to help..
    cheers :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Elektra Micro Casa * vs * Sunbeam EM0480

    Great advice,
    But dont get too worried about the grind settings, the EM0480s where made with inconsistencies as such that each one (that Iv heard of) has a perfect espresso range different to each other. Just find the ball park range of yours by looking at the grinds and work from there, I found this to be the easiest way to dial in the grinder when I first got it.

    hope it helps,
    Rancho.




  7. #7
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    Re: Elektra Micro Casa * vs * Sunbeam EM0480

    Hi Mr Homer

    Two unrelated (?) points from the above that I have gleaned from reading on the net and experience with my own Micro Casa a Leva: *
    1. *Lever machines such as ours dont produce as much Crema compared to conventional machines. *Ive read that several times, and yep, I dont get as much crema as I sometimes used to get with my old Faema Family. *If I get things right, however, the crema is a lot darker than anything I used to achieve. *And the coffee has much, much more body and intensity of flavour - so much so that Ive been able to discern a lot more about different beans than I ever could. *Heaps of pale crema counts for little.
    2. *Try smaller doses. * I go for ~ 6mm below the rim, although keep in mind that this advice goes with a grind/tamp combination that I cant descibe here beyond a vague "fine grind/medium tamp" - if you achieve 6mm by tamping a big dose of fine grind too hard youll ruin the shot. Ive read that our machine is sensitive to over dosing, and yes, if I go slightly over at the same grind the machine will "lock up". * I have a MACAP M4D which allows me to get consistent dosage. *If you want to improve dosage consistency, go to an electronics hobby shop and buy some little electronic scales that weigh in 0.1 g increments. * Mine cost me about $40. *Use them for a week or so to get a feel for what dosage works with the other variables of grind/tamp, and then decide if you need to keep measuring.

    Cheers

    Mark

    PS - Sorry if this is teaching you to "suck eggs", but if the thing locks up, you just have to wait till the lever rises all the way. *Dont remove the PF while its under pressure, or youll risk a coffee explosion.



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