STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Espresso Maker: Professional-Grade Brewing On-The-Go

Published on Jan. 26, 2024, 9:49 a.m.

Coffee Culture: A Journey Through Espresso’s Rich Heritage

Espresso, the cornerstone of modern coffee culture, traces its roots back to 19th-century Italy, where it revolutionized the way coffee was consumed. This bold, concentrated beverage, born from the ingenuity of Luigi Pagani, quickly captivated the Italian palate, becoming an integral part of their daily lives.

Espresso’s popularity soared beyond Italy’s borders, captivating coffee enthusiasts worldwide. Its versatility as a base for countless coffee creations, from lattes and cappuccinos to macchiatos and affogatos, fueled its global appeal. Espresso bars and cafes sprang up, transforming into social hubs where people could gather, converse, and savor the rich aroma and intense flavor of this remarkable beverage.

Today, espresso remains at the heart of coffee culture, inspiring baristas to craft ever more innovative and delectable creations. From latte art masterpieces to experimental flavor infusions, espresso’s versatility knows no bounds. It has become a symbol of passion, creativity, and the art of savoring the finer things in life.

For coffee lovers who want to brew espresso-style coffee anywhere, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus is an excellent choice. This manual, handheld espresso maker delivers professional-level pressure and extraction for rich, authentic espresso taste. Keep reading for an in-depth review of the STARESSO Sp300 Plus and see why it’s ideal for travel and everyday use.

Overview

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker is a manually operated, pump-style espresso maker constructed primarily from food-grade stainless steel. Weighing only 1 lb, its lightweight and compact size make it ultra-portable. The ergonomic vertical pumping design allows easy pressurization up to 15-20 bars to extract a full-bodied espresso shot. With a 24g capacity, it can serve 1-2 people.

 STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker

Key Features

  • Compact and lightweight
  • 15-20 bar pressure extraction
  • 24g capacity
  • Detachable stand
  • Made of stainless steel and silicone

Design

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker has a sleek, minimalist design made primarily of stainless steel and silicone. It is compact and lightweight for maximum portability. The separate parts allow for easy disassembly and cleaning. It comes with a detachable stand for countertop use. The packaging is also streamlined for travel.

Types of Portable Espresso Makers

Portable espresso makers come in a variety of designs and operating principles. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common types:

  • Piston/Lever-Driven: Piston-style makers like the STARESSO Sp300 Plus rely on manual pressure from a lever or piston to generate the needed pressure for extraction. This method typically produces espresso with a rich, full-bodied flavor profile.
  • Pump-Driven: These makers require you to manually pump air to build up the necessary pressure for extraction. This method is less labor-intensive than lever-based models but may result in slightly less intense espresso.
  • Capsule/Pod: These primarily work with compatible coffee capsules or pods for the most convenient operation but offer limited choice in coffee flavors.

The key advantage of the STARESSO Sp300 Plus’s piston design over other portable types lies in its ability to replicate the pressure level of commercial espresso machines, making it capable of extracting richer, more complex espresso.

Ease of Use

As a fully manual espresso maker, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker requires hand grinding and dosing of coffee grounds, tamping, and manual pumping to generate pressure. The entire process to produce a double shot takes about 2-3 minutes and has a moderate learning curve. Automated features are limited given the manual operation.

Brewing Type and Compatibility

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker is designed for brewing ground coffee only. It does not support Nespresso or other coffee capsules. The manual piston style of brewing allows customization of grind size, dose, and tamping pressure.

 STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker

Coffee Types

This STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker is optimized for brewing short, concentrated coffee shots. It can produce drinks like espresso and Americano. The manual process also allows brewing finely tuned ristretto or lungo shots by adjusting the dose and yield.

 STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker

Coffee Quality

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker generates up to 20 bars of pressure for excellent extraction and full espresso flavor. The crema produced is thick and persistent. When used properly, the end product is a balanced, aromatic espresso with a velvety texture. However, grind quality and dosing impact results. The STARESSO Sp300 Plus produces a pressure of 15-20 bars for extraction, similar to the range used by commercial pump-driven espresso machines. Pressure is one of the most critical factors in espresso brewing. It ensures that hot water adequately extracts the aromatic compounds from the coffee grounds in a short period, resulting in the unique body and intense flavor characteristic of espresso. Typically, espresso shots with an extraction time of 20-30 seconds tend to have the most balanced flavor profile.

Coffee Grind and Tamping: Unveiling the Secrets of Espresso Perfection

Achieving the pinnacle of espresso brewing lies in mastering the art of coffee grinding and tamping. The STARESSO Sp300 Plus, designed specifically for espresso aficionados, empowers you to unlock the symphony of flavors hidden within your coffee beans.

The grind size of your coffee beans plays a pivotal role in determining the extraction time and the intensity of your espresso’s flavor profile. A finer grind, akin to confectioner’s sugar, yields a longer extraction, resulting in a more concentrated, full-bodied espresso. Conversely, a coarser grind, resembling coarse sea salt, produces a quicker extraction, leading to a lighter, more delicate espresso.

Tamping, the art of compacting the ground coffee in the filter basket, further enhances the espresso extraction process. By applying the appropriate pressure, you create resistance that slows the flow of hot water through the coffee grounds, ensuring optimal extraction and a rich, velvety crema.

The ideal grind size, tamping pressure, and coffee dose vary depending on the unique characteristics of your coffee beans, roast level, and personal preferences. Experimentation is key to discovering the perfect combination that unveils the true essence of your espresso.

Water Tank

As a manual piston espresso maker, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker does not contain an integrated water tank. Water is added directly into the brewing chamber before each shot.

Pressure

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker can generate 15-20 bars of pressure for extraction, similar to commercial pump espresso machines. Pressure is manually produced by pumping the lever.

Noise

There is no electric pump, so the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker produces minimal noise when brewing espresso. Only some quiet hissing sounds are heard when pumping the lever.

Safety

The stainless steel and silicone materials are durable and safe for food contact. Without any electrical components, there are no electrical hazards.

Power Source

No batteries or electrical connection are required. The espresso is extracted manually using arm power to pump the lever.

Cleaning

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker disassembles into separate parts for cleaning by hand in warm, soapy water. All parts are dishwasher safe as well for convenience.

Brand

STARESSO is a specialty coffee equipment company founded in 2016 and based in China. They focus on innovative, portable coffee makers.

 STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker

Use Cases

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker is ideal for:

  • Camping trips - Make barista-style coffee while enjoying the great outdoors
  • Hiking and backpacking - Add gourmet espresso to your adventures without the extra weight
  • Road trips - Brew the perfect cup no matter where your travels take you
  • Small kitchens - Excellent option for tiny home or RV living
  • Office coffee breaks - Impress your co-workers with your handcrafted creations
  • Backup manual brewer - Use when the power goes out

User Feedback Analysis

Overall, customers seem quite pleased with the performance and portability of the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker. In positive reviews, users rave about the rich, fragrant espresso produced by the 15-20 bar pressure extraction. They find the process of grinding, dosing, and pumping easy to master and love the compact size for travel. Satisfied owners highlight the velvety mouthfeel and thick crema from properly pulled shots.

However, some drawbacks are revealed in critical reviews. A common complaint is leakage and drips while brewing or cleaning. The small filter basket makes dosing and tamping tricky. Several users report grounds getting stuck and difficulty fully disassembling for cleaning. Others feel the espresso lacks sufficient heat compared to machine-brewed. Some criticize the number of parts and rubber seals.

Summary

In summary, feedback indicates the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker excels at delivering delicious, genuine espresso flavor reminiscent of a café. Consumers seeking an easy-to-use portable option are mostly very happy with the performance. But the manual operation requires practice and some design issues like the small basket can frustrate beginners. Overall, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker satisfies espresso aficionados who prioritize taste and don’t mind the hands-on process, making it one of the top picks for portable espresso makers.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Convenient handheld operation
  • No electricity required
  • Easy to use with practice
  • Produces thick crema
  • Strong espresso flavor
  • Higher pressure than similar models
  • Travel-friendly

Cons

  • Leakage reported
  • Difficult to fully clean
  • Small filter basket
  • Espresso not hot enough for some users
  • Tamping and grinding technique impacts results

Value

With a retail price around $130, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker is reasonably priced for its performance and quality. For an electric pump espresso machine that generates 15+ bar pressure, expect to pay at least twice as much. Given its portable design and solid brewing capabilities, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus Portable Coffee Maker offers good value for money.

From Espresso to Coffee Creations

Beyond its pure espresso form, the STARESSO Sp300 Plus opens up the world of milk-based coffee specialties. By steaming and texturing milk, you can elevate your espresso shots into cappuccinos, lattes, and other coffee delights. Advanced baristas might also want to explore tools like latte art pitchers and thermometers for creating intricate latte art designs.

Conclusion: Unleash Your Inner Barista with the STARESSO Sp300 Plus

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus redefines the boundaries of espresso brewing, empowering you to craft barista-quality espresso wherever life takes you. Its compact, lightweight design and intuitive operation make it the perfect companion for outdoor adventures, travel, or simply enjoying a delightful espresso at home.

With the STARESSO Sp300 Plus, you’re not just limited to espresso; transform your creations into lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or even refreshing cold brew coffee. The possibilities are endless, bound only by your imagination and passion for coffee.

Embrace the freedom to savor exquisite espresso anytime, anywhere with the STARESSO Sp300 Plus – your gateway to the boundless world of coffee artistry.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 180 ml
  • Material: Stainless steel, aluminum, silicone
  • Item Weight: 1 lb
  • Dimensions: 3.2” D x 4.3” W x 7.4” H
  • Special Feature: Manual operation
  • Coffee Maker Type: Espresso machine
  • Pressure: 15-20 bar
  • Filter Type: Reusable
  • Wattage: Unknown

Box Contents

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus portable espresso maker box includes:

  • Main espresso maker unit
  • Detachable base stand
  • Measuring scoop
  • Cleaning brushes
  • User manual
  • Warranty information

User Manual: Brewing Perfection with the STARESSO Sp300 Plus

Embrace the art of crafting barista-quality espresso anytime, anywhere with the STARESSO Sp300 Plus, your portable espresso companion. Follow these simple steps to transform your coffee beans into exquisite espresso masterpieces:

1. Gather Your Gear:

  • STARESSO Sp300 Plus espresso maker
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Grinder
  • Tamper
  • Cup
  • Hot water (90-96°C)

2. Prepare Your Coffee:

  • Grind your coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency.
  • Dose 18-21 grams of ground coffee into the filter basket.
  • Level and tamp the coffee grounds evenly.

3. Assemble the Espresso Maker:

  • Attach the filter basket and upper chamber to the base unit.
  • Fill the water tank with hot water.
  • Screw the water tank onto the upper chamber.

4. Extract Your Espresso:

  • Place the espresso maker over your cup.
  • Slowly and steadily pull up the pressure rod until it clicks.
  • Wait for approximately 25-30 seconds for your espresso to extract.

5. Savor Your Creation:

  • Enjoy your freshly brewed espresso, either solo or as the base for your favorite latte, cappuccino, or macchiato.

Tips for Optimal Extraction:

  • Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans for the best flavor.
  • Experiment with different grind sizes and tamping pressure to find your preferred taste.
  • Ensure the water temperature is within the recommended range.
  • Clean your espresso maker regularly to maintain optimal performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much coffee grounds and water does the STARESSO Sp300 Plus hold?

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus can hold up to 24g of coffee grounds and 180ml of hot water. This larger capacity is great for single or double shots, and convenient for sharing your espresso.

How much pressure does the STARESSO Sp300 Plus generate?

This portable espresso maker can consistently generate 15-20 bars of pressure, essential for proper extraction and achieving that desirable rich crema.

Is the STARESSO Sp300 Plus easy to clean?

Yes! The design emphasizes easy cleaning. Each component can be easily disassembled and rinsed thoroughly, ensuring no buildup of coffee residue.

Can I use both ground coffee and capsules with the STARESSO Sp300 Plus?

The STARESSO Sp300 Plus is primarily designed for ground coffee, giving you maximum flexibility in choosing your favorite roasts and blends. While adapters may exist to use capsules, the results can be less consistent than using freshly ground coffee.

Is this espresso maker suitable for travel and camping?

Absolutely! The STARESSO Sp300 Plus is compact, durable, and requires no electricity to operate. This makes it ideal for enjoying delicious espresso while traveling, camping, or even at the office.

Tips

  • Use freshly ground coffee: The quality of your espresso depends heavily on the freshness of the beans. Consider investing in a small burr grinder for the best results.
  • Experiment with grind size: Aim for a grind similar to what you’d use in a traditional espresso machine. Too coarse a grind results in weak espresso, while too fine a grind can make it difficult to press.
  • Tamp consistently (if desired): While not strictly necessary, using a tamper to evenly compress your grounds can improve extraction consistency.
  • Preheat the water: Using hot water (but not boiling) will help ensure optimal extraction temperature.
  • Clean regularly: Rinse thoroughly after each use to prevent residue buildup and keep your espresso tasting its best.