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Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 6:44pm
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

So, do I pick this unit up?  I can find a refurbished unit for about $100.  My other alternative with be the refurbished and slightly modified Saeco Sirena for about $250 from Seattle Coffee, but it will take a while to save up for it and I would like something now.

My problems with the Saeco Sirena is I really don't care for the way it looks and it can not be programmed for less than 1.5 ounces.
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat May 21, 2011, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

Well, never mind.  It sold out.  Maybe it was for the best.
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 692
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Modded Oscar
Grinder: Anfim Lusso, GM 875
Vac Pot: Air Pot
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, CC
Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 12:58am
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

psychobrew Said:

Well, never mind.  It sold out.  Maybe it was for the best.

Posted May 21, 2011 link

It's not a very good machine. Mine just keeps me from getting some char-bucks when I'm at work cause there's one about 20 yards away.

Good luck,
-James

 
Load and Lock.
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wizardofvoid
Senior Member
wizardofvoid
Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Boston,MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

Maybe it has something to do with the machine itself but really I won't complain about mine at all. Besides the fact that you CANNOT steam first and then pull a shot.

Even before I bought the breville single wall filter baskets and with a sub par grinder I was producing decent to good espresso.

Since getting the single wall filter/removing the bottom from my portafilter and lastly (and most importantly) spending some money on a GOOD grinder. I have found the shots have been good to great and they are improving with more experimentation.

It has it's faults... but the positives very much outweigh them and once you learn to work around them you can produce a FINE shot of espresso from this machine.

The steam element is good and doesn't cut you off of steam half way through a good "Froffing"
Espresso comes out at a perfect 200-202 degrees and cleanup is really a synch.

Sure if you're looking to spend $500+ on an entry level  machine then go for something else (there are tons of lists out there for top 10 entry level espresso machines) if you're looking for something a little more "Automatic" you are going to find yourself in the $1,000 ratio. and the pro stuff is usually gonna run you around $2,000 or so.

But, if you can get this machine for $100... buy it.
My friends have other machines in the $200-$500 price range and my machine constantly gets the better pull of espresso.
Remember a lot of it is the person pulling the shot. There is a lot of trial and error.

Grinder is VERY important... don't underestimate what a good, consistent burr grinder can do.. I did.. I spent $80 on a Cuisinart Grinder when I bought this machine and it just couldn't grind an espresso grind.

I just bought a Gaggia MDF and it makes a WORLD of difference..
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wizardofvoid
Senior Member
wizardofvoid
Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Boston,MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 2:27pm
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

BTW: If your machine isn't producing better shots than the automated Starbucks crap...
Call for a warranty repair immediately!
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 7:40am
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

Hey Wizard,

What kind of shot times are you getting?

Also, have you tried running water through the machine to cool it down when frothing milk first?  It's a common solution for a common problem (at least for lower end machines).

In any case, this machine is back on my radar.
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espressofilus
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Saskatchewan
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Faema MP
Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 7:54am
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

In my experience the shot times are all too short, BUT, with the right grind, it still makes surprisingly good shots.
I find the settings and quality of the grind is HUGE. I don't find the tamping pressure to be as important on this machine, because as soon as I tamp even close to a reasonable amount, it stalls the machine and the machine resets. My hunch is that this is related to the pressurized PF, and might be solved with a real basket. But as long as I get the grind right, even if the shot is too fast, I can get it so it doesn't blonde too much, and the espresso is rich, with good flavour, and even a decent crema. Too coarse and it blondes early and the crema is gone by steam time. Too much tamp pressure, and it seizes mid way through the extraction. But once you get it right for a particular bean, it's an awesome find for a $100, a great buy at $200, and as good as any of it's competition at full price, in my humble opinion.

As for the cool down process, it does a water/heat purge automatically after steaming, which is why the catch tray fills up after just two drinks. You have to keep on top of that cleanup issue. It does mean you can't steam 2 drinks in a row. You have to wait for it to heat up to steam again, unless you don't stop the steam between the two froths.
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

Are any pressurized porta filters capable of a 25 second shot?  I have yet to see one that is.  From what I understand, pressurized porta filters alows you to get better quality from non ideal sources and bad technique (stale coffee, poor tamping, wrong grind, etc.).

Also, I'm guessing not enough water is released during the purge process.  Most machines (at least the lower priced ones) need to run a cycle to cool down enough to pull a shot when steaming first.  I'm assuming pouring hot water through the wand would do the same trick.

Good info though.  I started eying some cheaper super automatics, but now I'm leaning toward this machine again.  At the very least, it should give me better results that your typical single serve coffee machine, right?
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 11:38am
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

Well, I found a refurbished unit on Newegg for $80 and pulled the trigger.  We'll see how it goes.  I was almost tempted to buy a cheap super automatic, but i didn't think it would last at work, and at the very least, I'm sure I will get some great Americanos from this unit.  The problem is, I'm probably going to want to take it home.

Now for the grinder.....
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 11:44am
Subject: Re: Need help with a Cuisinart EM 200
 

espressofilus Said:

Ya, that's the discussion at the beginning of this thread. I tried all kinds of ideas. Cutting the second layer with the dremel seems like my best option still.

Posted May 20, 2011 link

The discussion was on the Krups filter baskets at the beginning of the thread, not the entire portafilter.  It's supposedly the Krups portafilter that will fit this machine (and if you buy the Krups portafilter, you will need the Krups baskets as well).

That's the rumor anyway.
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