The Sunbeam Barista Max used in this review was gifted to me. All opinions are my own.
When it comes to coffee we know what we are talking about at Kidgredients. We aren't just avid drinkers of the elixir of life, but my husband also roasts it (he has a number of different roasters). We also have a couple of coffee machines, one being a commercial 2 group (big enough for a cafe!). So we might just know what we are talking about.
When I was sent the Sunbeam Barista Max to try, I'll have to admit, I was skeptical. Was it going to actually produce good coffee? Was it really going to be as easy to use as the box suggested?
The Barista Max is Sunbeam’s latest coffee machine to hit the shelves this Xmas. An all-in-one one espresso machine with integrated grinder, it's as convenient as it is smart.
From waking up in the morning all dreary eyed to espresso in my veins within literally minutes, the fast heat up time is impressive and rivals that of machines double or more the cost. Forget capsules and milk frothers, nothing beats a fresh cup of coffee made with freshly ground beans and silky textured milk.
Using freshly roasted coffee is the key to any great tasting cup of coffee. The integrated burr grinder on Sunbeam’s Barista Max is fantastic and produces a perfect grind with little mess. Learning how to correctly tamp coffee for optimum extraction really isn’t hard and all it takes is a little practice to start producing coffee thats just as good (if not better) than your favourite cafe. The Barista Max also produces plenty of steam for milk based drinks and I found it more than capable of producing that silky textured milk you see at your local cafe.
One thing lacking in many domestic coffee machines is a decent sized water tank. I particularly liked the 2.8l water capacity on the Barista Max, it lasts a long time between refills and access to the tank is super easy with a multi direction lid. You can even remove the tank to refill it. I recommend using filtered water.
Cleanup is also a breeze with a removable drip tray that even notifies you via a red floating device in the tray when it’s time to empty. An added bonus is the hidden storage behind the tray allowing you to store all those accessories like the single basket, cleaning disc and cleaning brush.
The Sunbeam Barista Max also has a few features usually reserved for high end machines. A great example of this is the ability to tweak pre-infusion profiles (pre... what?!). My husband plays with these settings for different beans and a richer flavoured espresso, but I leave these alone! Similarly, extraction temperature can also be changed to 1 of 5 presets to further tweak the profiles and get the most from your coffee beans. While not for everyone, it’s good to know these features are there for the coffee geeks amongst us.
Sunbeam’s Barista Max really is a great coffee machine and I found very little to write against it. Perhaps once you really get into your coffee you might want to upgrade the included plastic tamper to a good quality stainless steel one but this will be easy since the Barista Max uses cafe-sized 58mm baskets (an industry standard).
While the water reservoir is large, I also found there’s no beep or warning when the machine is empty, instead the notice is obvious when water stops coming through the unit when you are trying to make a coffee.
Overall, a great espresso machine with lots of features at a very competitive price. Easy enough for anyone to use but enough added features for those who really like to experience making awesome coffee at home.
With a rrp of $699, you can et your own in home barista coffee here from catch.com.au. (affiliate link)