Just Starting Out


New member
Dec 29, 2011
Some may scoff that the Sunbeam Piccolo espresso machine for around $98 at many retailers would be capable of making a decent cappuccino. But it can - and frankly, I can't tell the difference between it's brew and that of most coffee outlets.

I think the machine is relatively new, but has the features of dearer Breville machines and other Sunbeam machines.

Italian designed and made Crema device, 15 bar pressure pump, very proficient frother, moveable steam wand/frother, thermo block, etc.

Any how, that is what I am starting out with, as I did not want to waste hundreds on something that I might use infrequently, or might break down.

Got it from Harvey Norman for $89 as that was the price I mistakenly thought I saw it advertised at, on their site. Also bought a Sunbeam coffee grinder, and, OK, it isn't a burr type. But from the fine setting, the Piccolo mad it's first amazing cappuccino.

The machine had a review from a barister, who rated it as excellent and suggested it had 90% the capability of a professional machine. He commented the retailers deliberately encourage buyers to pay hundreds more, for a machine that produces nothing better. He described the frother as being close to professional in use.

Well, I couldn't agree more ... It looks great, and it is great. Amazing what they can do now for such a low price.

So far I have used only Harris Premium beans (home ground) and Coles Medium roast ground beans. The machine is able to extract a very satisfying amount of Crema from either.

Have also been experimenting with different drinking chocolate sprinkle on top of the froth. Vittoria Coffee's plain, and Nestle's caramel and also mint.
I think I prefer the latter, as the mint taste is very subtle.

I note that many Breville, Sunbeam and De Longhi owners with more expensive machine have had problems - particularly with frothers. So, if the Piccolo's goes within months, .... I will be glad I didn't shell out hundreds of dollars. :-D