My coffee education continues…
After much thought and deliberation we have upgraded our coffee making implements from a great little second hand stovetop and $15.00 Coles grinder to a Sunbeam EM6910 and a matching grinder EM0480. It was a big call as we have been very happy with the coffee from the stovetop, but recently we began pondering whether – as developing connoisseurs – we should consider spending a bit more on a good machine. If it were $600.00 for machine and $200.00 for grinder I doubt we would have bothered. It just seems like a looottt of money for coffee!
However while away in Denmark I spotted a Sunbeam EM 6910 Espresso machine for sale in the Quokka for $250.00 – used once and forgotten about – so I rang Grendel free who am i movie download and dispatched him in the direction of the machine to make a purchase! These sell for around $400.00 on ebay so it seemed like a decent buy.
They have been rated the pick of the crop among lower end machines and after 2 weeks of using it I have to say I am very impressed indeed. Admittedly it was clogged with mould when Grendel picked it up and he did give it a very serious clean, but it is now working brilliantly.
After getting the machine I went out and got a burr grinder from K Mart…
The next day I took it back.
It was also a Sunbeam, but a cheap model ($55.00) and couldn’t grind fine enough for espresso. On that first night we all had dodgy coffees and I wondered if we had wasted money. It was time to push on and find a better grinder. This is where the EM 0480 came into play.
I had often heard people say ‘a good grinder is more important than a good machine’, but I hadn’t realised what they meant. Basically, as I understand it, if you can’t get the grind right then you’re stuffed. You won’t be able to get the best out of your machine.
So we got the grind right and started getting coffee that looked like it was supposed to (fresh beans are never a problem) so the next hurdle was texturing milk. I had no idea how to use a steam wand. I figured you stick it in and let it rip… not so. After a few visits to youtube I began to understand the concept and about 10 coffees later was doing a creditable job.
Now 10 days later I reckon I can compete with anyone when it comes to knocking out a great coffee.
Today we had Darryn & Corry Altclass for lunch and we had some brilliant coffee. The real problem with producing great coffee at home is that you are almost always disappointed when you go out for dinner.
A few months ago we went out for dinner with Geoff and Sherry at the Coffee Deck, a local cafe at the Mindarie Marina. The food was excellent, but I told the guys very confidently that we ‘shouldn’t have a coffee here as we can do much better at home’.
As I finished my announcement I looked around to see the cafe manageress standing behind me… I don’t know who felt more awkward!
However the reality is that unless your baristas really know what they are doing that is a true statement.
I am becoming such a snob…
As far as the negatives go for both machines
Whoops I didn’t finish this post!
I haven’t found many negatives, but then I don’t have much to compare to. I wonder if the build quality of the EM6910 will be sturdy enough… but so far it seems fine. Grendel reckons the steam power isn’t huge, but again I have found it more than adequate. The grinder seems to have plenty of settings and my only gripe is that it sprays grinds everywhere, but then I think that’s just par for the course with coffee!
I was non-coffee drinker which meant being the odd one out at a lot of gatherings but every now and again I’d try some to be polite and such. One day an extra coffee was ordered by mistake and it was offered to me so I took it. WOW – it turned out all this time I was not a non-coffee drinker I was a Non-Bad-Coffee drinker. It took 26 years for some one to give me a well made coffee. It’s not snobbery – as they say life is too short to drink bad coffee.
That is how many restaurants and cafes serve poorly made coffee. The 5% that serve good coffee does not include any franchise outfit.
Fortunately here in Perth there is a growing understanding of the importance of ensuring fresh bean and good technique – I reckon soon we’ll be 90/10 here.
Hamo – did you have more to write?
“As far as the negatives go for both machines”
or was it that you had nothing negative to say?
I got me a Saeco Odea Giro (ebay) for christmas finally upgrading the ol Brevile block pump that I brought here with me running off a transformer. I must say – the fully auto function saves a lot of hassle.
been following for awhile here…first comment however.
i am continually amazed at how inept most of the baristas i’ve come across are. the best cup i’ve had stateside was at ‘the fresh pot’ on missippi street in portland, oregon. the barista took 3rd place in the world barista competition.
i have been able to convince 2 of the 3 coffee shops in town (think super small town that shouldn’t be able to support 1 let alone 3 coffee shops) to send a barista to be trained.
anyways…cheers to being a coffee snob. may it be the only thing you’re known for being a snob for.
i like coke. it comes in several varieties. 300ml, 330ml, 375ml, 600ml, 1250ml, 1500ml, 2000ml and even 3000ml.
fortunately, it’s hard for a cafe to bugger it up, unless of course they only serve pepsi….
“fortunately, it’s hard for a cafe to bugger it up, unless of course they only serve pepsi….”
And to make matters even funnier, with the growing trend of ‘coffee snobbery’ as someone put it, I feel like I need to be a snob and not like all coffee…even though I tend to like anything (even what you would call a HORRIBLE coffee!)
Hows that for image issues:D
love the post title and first line…
you had Mr X ROFLOL
as fellow coffee snobs, we can only agree with the comment that you get better coffee at home
I can only read this and weep for my loss of desire for coffee after a bout of illness six months back. It’s gone I tell you and I can’t rekindle it! I have gone from ten cups a day to one as a start-me-up. Can this be cured?