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February 2006 Newsletter

Sunbeam  Australia have finally released their new grinder, the EM0480, and it's a beauty. So good, in fact, that I'll be selling it as soon as I can get supplies.

Excerpts from my review are below; the full text (with pictures) is up at

This grinder is Sunbeam's companion to the EM6900 Espresso Machine, see . It is based on the Lux conical burr set housed in plastic burr carriers.

How does the Sunbeam grinder perform? Very, very well indeed, given the price it's sold for. Recommended retail price is A$199.00, and it's already been available on sale for A$179.00. (Note that I can't buy a Lux grinder wholesale for that price.) Listed below in point form are what I believe to be the pros and cons of this grinder.


Grind Quality: Excellent, equal to a Lux or Rocky, at all settings from plunger to commercial espresso.

Grind Speed: Faster than a Lux by about 40%, faster than a Rocky by about 10%.

Coffee Retention: Very little ground coffee remains in the unit after grinding.

Adjustment Mechanism: Excellent, virtually foolproof for a home user.

Adjustment Repeatability: Excellent, plunger to espresso and back again.

Design and Build Quality: Excellent.

Noise Level: Less noisy than a Lux, noisier than a Rocky.

User Manual: Absolutely canes anything I've ever seen out of Italy.


Grind Speed: Coffee exiting the little spout is quite fluffy and prone to static in dry conditions.

Fluffy Grind: Makes it difficult to fill portafilter to the correct level by the overfill/sweep/tamp method. You need to fill, tamp lightly, then fill again and tamp.

Adjustment Mechanism: The distance between "clicks" represents about a 9 second difference in a 60ml 14g double shot pour time, similar to the Lux, and double that of the Rocky.

Adjustment Mechanism: The two little top burr "ears" will break at some stage. Fortunately a new burr carrier should be an inexpensive replacement.

Mess Level: The Sunbeam is no worse than the Lux or Rocky Doserless when it comes to the amount of coffee scattered about, but it is definitely messier than a doser grinder.


A major Australian appliance company has finally done it; they've produced a "Category Killer" grinder. I don't know of any other grinder in this price range worldwide that produces as good a grind and is as well constructed. I plan to start selling these grinders as soon as possible.

Finally, my policy is to always sell the best coffee I can find. This month's special coffee will become the "standard" from now on, replacing the New Guinea Keyup.


Incredible depth of aroma and flavour, more intense than even Keyup. Fruity, strawberry mid palate, medium acid and body, smooth complex sweet finish. This is probably the best PNG coffee I have ever tasted, which is saying a bit.