Sunbeam Mini Barista Review (EM4300)

Are you someone who craves cafe-style coffee in the morning? While there’s nothing better than a barista-prepared cappuccino or flat white to start your day, the cost can become a burden over time. However, the high cost and machine size of many at-home espresso machines can be major roadblocks.

Sunbeam’s Mini Barista is a great alternative to a fully-fledged espresso machine (and it won’t break the bank). This compact, semi-automatic coffee machine keeps the brewing process simple, and curbs the cost of ordering specialty beverages.

In this review we take an in-depth look at the Sunbeam Mini Barista and how its affordability, features, and performance compare to other coffee makers on the market.

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Who is the Mini Barista for?

The Mini Barista espresso machine is the perfect entry-level option for coffee drinkers who want a more hands-on experience with their morning brew.

This semi-automatic espresso machine does require manual dosing and tamping of ground coffee prior to use, but once the portafilter is installed in the device, users can simply select single or double shot, and the machine does the rest.

This system also includes an attached manual steam wand to texture milk for lattes, flat whites, or cappuccinos.

The Mini Barista is a great selection for users with space constraints. Its smaller dimensions allow users the ability to brew quality espresso without taking over the kitchen. This coffee machine doesn’t come with a built-in burr grinder, so users looking for an all-encompassing device may want to consider coffee makers that come with the grinder included. We recommend pairing this machine with a quality burr grinder to ensure consistent grounds for optimal extraction. 

For users looking to upgrade their current espresso set up from a completely manual coffee device, but aren’t looking for a machine with all the bells and whistles, the Mini Barista espresso machine is a great fit.

This user-friendly coffeemaker strives to keep espresso brewing simple and efficient. For those looking for more specialized brew settings and more automated features, we recommend looking at automatic espresso options.

Getting Started with the Sunbeam Mini Barista

Designed in Australia, the Sunbeam Mini Barista espresso machine is compact and easy to store in a small kitchen. Measuring 330mm tall, 295mm wide, and 250mm deep, this coffee maker is smaller than most commercial-quality espresso machines.

Its sleek and modern design also complements most kitchen spaces! The product comes in black and silver colour options. Like all Sunbeam models, this machine comes with a 12-month replacement warranty.

Within the box, the Sunbeam Mini Barista includes a group handle, two dual-wall filters (in 30ml and 60ml sizes), a 350ml stainless steel milk jug, and a commercial-style coffee tamper. To assist with regular cleaning and machine maintenance, Sunbeam includes a cleaning pin with every device.

The Sunbeam Mini provides a built-in cup warming plate at the top of the machine to heat and store cups prior to use. Despite its compact dimensions, the Mini Barista has a water tank capacity of 2 litres. Users can easily fill the water tank and pull a few days of espresso shots before needing to refill it.

This Sunbeam coffee machine prioritises easy navigation with minimal controls on the machine’s interface. Aside from a power button on the left side of the device’s front, users have a central dial that controls single and double shot selection, milk steaming, and hot water. To the right of the group head, users can find a milk frother that extends further away from the machine’s centre. This ensures the steam wand doesn’t get in the way while brewing espresso. 

For a relatively little machine, the Mini Barista packs some impressive features. We’ll describe some of its most notable traits below.

Features

Auto Shot Cafe Extraction

For users looking for a sample of automated espresso brewing, the auto shot cafe extraction feature provides users with the ability to program the serving size of espresso prior to brewing. The Mini Barista espresso machine has two pre-set shot measurements users can select on the central dial. Upon selection, the coffee machine will automatically portion and brew the correct amount of espresso. 

In order for this setting to work properly, users need to insert the filter size that corresponds with the serving size they’re selecting. While the machine automatically calibrates the correct amount of water to use based on the controls, the correct filter size will ensure the proper amount of coffee grounds and the best extraction rate. The machine also includes an auto shut off after long periods of inactivity.

15 Bar Italian-Style Pump Pressure

The Mini Barista espresso machine uses a 15 bar pressure pump to create authentic, coffee shop quality espresso from the comfort of home. In surpassing the standard pressure gauge of 9 bars for authentic espresso, this espresso maker contends with professional-grade products. 

The Sunbeam Mini Barista uses a Thermoblock heating system, which allows for a fast heat-up time. The PID temperature control system also ensures the water is heated to the proper temperature for optimal espresso extraction. With features like these available on this compact coffee machine, the Sunbeam Mini Barista is great value for money.

RELATED: Sunbeam Cafe Series Review (EM7000)

58 MM Cafe-Sized Group Head

Inspired by commercial-grade espresso machines, the Mini Barista uses a 58mm group head. Constructed from materials like aluminium and phenolic, this larger size can accept more ground coffee and extracts more flavour than smaller sizes. Users can ensure a cup of coffee packed with prime flavours with each brew.

The Sunbeam Mini comes equipped with two dual-wall filter baskets that fit into the handle. Users can select between a single, 30 ml filter size or the larger 60ml size. These filters are removable for easy cleaning.

Powerful Milk Frother

One feature that sets this machine apart from the competition in its price range is the strength of the manual milk texturing system. This full-size steam wand produces a dry steam for creamy milk foam, and can even produce a dry milk froth for the perfect cappuccinos. This setting is versatile enough for users to create a wide range of specialty cafe drinks. 

The ease of use for this frother sets it apart from other coffee machines, too. Users can initiate the steam levels from the central dial. Simply turn the dial to the steam-setting, and texture your milk to the desired consistency.

What do users say about the Sunbeam Mini Barista?

With any espresso machine on the market, this product works well for some and isn’t a great fit for others. In general, we’ve found users have many positive things to say about the performance of the Sunbeam Mini Barista. However, there are a few quirks to consider as well.

Positives

The Sunbeam Mini Barista espresso machine is praised for having commercial-grade features despite its compact dimensions. The 58mm group head and full-size steam wand allow users to get the most out of their coffee for a great price. Reviewers across the board consider this machine to be a great value for money spent when comparing it to other coffee machines with similar features. Users feel the quality of materials used to make this machine as well as its ability to produce good coffee consistently sets it above other semi-automatic espresso machines available.

The ease of use and navigation on this machine is another point of praise for this Sunbeam espresso machine. Users love the minimalist approach to espresso brewing with two simple controls. For those who are easily overwhelmed by too many buttons, this machine does a great job of keeping coffee brewing easy. Users get the best of both worlds in having a sampling of automated features, while still participating in the coffee-making process each morning. The added descaling and cleaning programs allow this coffee machine to be as easy to clean as it is to use.

Finally, the longevity of this machine speaks for the machine’s quality. Many reviewers have accounted for their machine lasting between 5-9 years without skipping a beat. Even if something goes wrong with this coffee machine, users have nothing but praise for Sunbeam’s customer service.

Not only does this coffee machine have a 12-month replacement warranty, but users can easily contact Sunbeam with questions or problems with their machine, and even order replacement parts on their website. Sunbeam prides itself in providing good service as well as good coffee, and they make sure customers receive service that surpasses the price of their machines.

RELATED: Sunbeam Barista Max Review

Negatives

While the Sunbeam Mini Barista espresso machine has a lot of positive qualities, it is far from perfect. One of the primary quirks reviews have observed is its noise level while brewing. Users who like to brew coffee bright and early may wake up others sleeping in their household. Since the machine uses Thermoblock to heat the water, this causes the device to be noisier than machines with single or double boiler systems. For single household users, this may not be as big of a concern.

Another observation users have brought up in reviews is excess water leaking from the machine. This can be attributed to a number of things. If the drip tray is not regularly emptied, the machine will overflow onto the counter. Likewise, if the machine isn’t descaled regularly, foreign particles and blockage can create overflow or leaks in valves or connectors. With proper maintenance and regular cleaning, users can avoid problems like these.

While many users praise the Sunbeam Mini espresso machine for its ease of use with milk texturing, users have complained about the minimal control they have with the steamer. There is an initial delay when users turn the control dial to the steam icon. As the Thermoblock system heats water, the steam should emerge at a steadier rate. Since the dial only turns the steam setting on, users cannot adjust the intensity or rate of steam released on this machine. For users who would like more control over the frother on a machine, the Sunbeam may not be a good fit for you.

While no machine is flawless, the Sunbeam Mini offers users a sampling of features a professional espresso machine would have with a space-saving design. Built to last and easy to use, the Sunbeam Mini packs a powerful punch for its listed price.

RELATED: Sunbeam Cafe Barista Review

Is the Mini Barista right for you?

The Sunbeam Mini espresso machine gives entry-level espresso users a taste of some automated features. For users looking to upgrade from manual brewing options, this coffee machine still allows them to have control of the brewing process while lightening the load. If you like to keep your morning coffee routine simple, this machine prioritizes efficiency over extravagance. Most importantly, this machine is the perfect fit for users with space and/or budget constraints.

Pros:

  • 2 Litre water tank capacity
  • Commercial-sized steam wand and group head
  • Great value for money
  • 12-month warranty

Cons:

  • Known to leak water during and after brewing
  • Noisy during use
  • Lack of control with milk wand

If you have fewer restrictions when it comes to budget and available space, you may consider other models to invest in. Likewise, if you’re interested in more advanced brew settings or a more automated experience, other espresso machines may be a better fit.

Alternatives to the Mini Barista Espresso Machine

How does this semi-automatic espresso machine compare to its competition? We’ve provided a list of other popular machines on the market to contrast the Sunbeam Mini Barista.

Breville Bambino

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The Breville Bambino espresso machine is a great upgrade alternative to the Sunbeam Mini Barista. While more expensive, The Bambino comes with additional brewing options for the user to experiment with. This device includes a built-in grinder that has a dose control feature. The Bambino also includes upgrades in the temperature control department with a thermojet heating system. This machine also comes equipped with automated foam texturing options, which gives users more control over the steam wand. 

The Bambino is a great upgrade machine for users looking for access to professional brew settings. Users with smaller kitchens or space constraints may rule out this device because of its larger dimensions.

RELATED: Bambino Plus Review

Delonghi Dedica Espresso Machine

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The Delonghi Dedica is similar in size and expense to the Sunbeam Mini espresso machine. While it is more narrow in appearance, it offers users similar firepower with its pressure pump and similar features in terms of temperature control and navigation. One unique element the Dedica offers users that the Sunbeam Mini doesn’t is ESE coffee pod compatibility. Users are able to interchange ground coffee in removable filters with coffee pods easily, while the Sunbeam is restricted to just ground coffee. 

For those looking for a comparable coffee machine with some extra added convenience, the Delonghi Dedica is a great model to consider! While the added versatility of the ESE pods can be helpful during a busy morning, those who want to brew with ground coffee only may prefer the Sunbeam Mini.

RELATED: Delonghi Dedica Review

Breville Duo Temp Pro

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For users looking for the ultimate upgrade, the Breville Duo Temp Pro espresso machine provides a top-of-the-line brewing experience. While this machine costs more than the Mini, it provides a few upgraded features that set it apart from other espresso machines available for purchase.

The Breville Duo Temp Pro includes an auto-purge feature that clears out the heating system after steaming. This ensures the next espresso is extracted at the right temperature every time. A low-pressure pre-infusion process also helps make sure the flavours in the coffee are drawn out evenly for a balanced brew.

Likewise, this machine includes programmed alerts for when the drip tray needs to be cleaned or users need to descale the device. Breville espresso models rival Sunbeam when it comes to quality customer service, too. 

To wrap up

Whether you’re in need of an upgrade espresso machine from an entry-level one, or you’re looking for a quality coffee machine to fit into the tight quarters of your kitchen, the Sunbeam Mini Barista is a great contender to consider. This semi-automatic machine packs a powerful punch and will last users for years if it’s properly taken care of.

FAQ

Why does the steam wand stop working?

While there is a short delay for the steam setting on this coffee machine, it is common for the steam wand to clog with milk residue or scale build-up. One way to resolve this when the steam wand stops working is to soak the wand in soapy warm water to soften the residue. After soaking for a period of time, follow Sunbeam’s instructions to properly clean and descale the device.

What is the best way to clean my machine?

Outside of going through a full descaling process every 1-3 months, the easiest way to keep your Sunbeam Mini espresso machine clean is to run water through both the group head and steam wand before and after making each coffee. This prevents extreme amounts of residue from building up. With regular maintenance like this, users will not have to descale their machine as often.

Review Summary

Mini Barista

Whether you’re in need of an upgrade espresso machine from an entry-level one, or you’re looking for a quality coffee machine to fit into the tight quarters of your kitchen, the Sunbeam Mini Barista is a great contender to consider. This semi-automatic machine packs a powerful punch and will last users for years if it’s properly taken care of.

Product SKU: EM4300S, EM4300B

Product Brand: Sunbeam

Product Currency: AUD

Product Price: 269.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.8