Oh no! The next three weeks are going to be tough…about the only thing to make it a little easier for me to bear is the heatwave we are in the midst of. I know I will get through it of course, but…it will be tough. I don’t have too many vices anymore, except the occasional chocolate (and it is occasional nowadays as I want to share it more with my children) and my love of dry, hard Parmesan cheese. But my greatest vice of all is cappuccino.
I mean how could it not be? Not only do did we have a great machine that extracted a sweet shot but the steamer creates the most velvety, creamy, sweet milk, which forms the perfect cappuccino. Well, I suppose I should be honest and say that it only works that way when my own Personal Barista makes it for me…my own shot is not quite so sweet and I burn the burn, separating the sweetness of it resulting in a slightly bitter and burned taste.
But alas! my beautiful machine is not well. She needs a major over haul and some internal surgery. I could be without her for up to three weeks! 3 weeks!!! What am I to do? I shall have to find some way to cope, I suppose. The machines run best when using filtered water only but we don’t have a water filter. Our earthenware water filter was cracked in our last move and we haven’t gotten around to buying another one. We think that is what has caused the problem.
Lisa asked me awhile ago to recommend a good espresso machine that wouldn’t break the budget. Well, I had asked Miss A (the Barista) to write a post for me and she was happy to but tell me, how does one pin a 17 yo young lady, who is driving all over the place, down to write a blog post? It obviously just didn’t happen. So here I am instead…but I am armed with her recommendation.
Our machine is a Sunbeam EM6910 (pictured above).
Why do we like it and what makes it better than some of the other machines on the market?
Paul Bassett was an Australian Barista Champion and he helped develop this machine. However, that alone doesn’t make it any good. With espresso machines you largely get what you pay for- in what it delivers and life expectancy of the machine. The reason this machine is better than others in a similar price range is that it has a twin pump and thermoblock system. It also has an espresso gauge so you can see/test the quality of your extraction. (Users like me find this helpful but the more professional users, like Miss A, would not use an electrical gadget to measure the quality of their coffee) And much more. Suffice to say that the quality is that of commercial use but for the domestic home.
Appreciating a fine coffee, we didn’t want an automatic machine because…
1) There’s no fun in it and…
2) It is cookie-cutter mentality coffee- not individualised. There are some automatic machines available (e.g. the Nespresso) whereby you have to purchase the manufacturer’s brand of coffee, pre ground. Eww, pre ground coffee beans are gross!
This machine allows us to extract a shot of coffee and texture the milk at the same time, resulting in a fresher cappuccino. We’re able to regulate the temperature of the water, which is very handy in getting a good cup. The machine is strong and robust and quite easy to clean. However, it does need regular cleaning – it’s not a kettle. It works with ground coffee and milk so of course it needs thorough cleaning. Not everyone realises the amount of work needed to care for an espresso/cappuccino machine and some people are disappointed by this.
There are other very good machines on the market for home use, but there is no way that we could afford the $3000 to buy one. In our opinion, this is The Best machine at an affordable price. However, it will only produce as good a coffee as your bean and your milk texturing technique. If you don’t want to take time to learn of these things it might be best to stick to store-bought or buy an expensive automated machine. When you purchase this machine, you are also able to do the free Paul Bassett Coffee Appreciation Course, which not only teaches you a little about coffee but more importantly, how to care for your machine.
So there. That’s my thoughts on the Sunbeam…no doubt AbiGracewould do a much more thorough job of it but she didn’t…and I did. So there. 🙂