If you’ve been looking for a mid-range semi automatic espresso machine for home use, you’ve done right by considering La Specialista by DeLonghi. This machine comes as a direct competitor to the beloved Barista Express by Breville, and is the first of its kind by DeLonghi, a brand that usually excelled in making smaller Espresso machines (like the Dedica) or super automatic espresso machines.
In this post, you’ll read about the features of the DeLonghi La Specialista, how it compares to the Breville Barista Express as well as the more compact choice Dedica espresso machine.
Features of La Specialista Espresso Machine:
- Built-in coffee grinder with adjustable settings and smart sensor to deliver consistent grind and optimal dose every time.
- Built-in smart tamping station: just as your beans have been filled in the portafilter, pull a lever down for the built in tamper to tamp your coffee perfectly and evenly.
- Active temperature control helps keep your machine’s temperature optimal and stable for espresso extraction and steaming.
- Incredibly fast one second start up time.
- Dual heating system, so you don’t have to wait between coffee extraction and milk frothing.
- Pannarello steam wand style allows you to create professional textured milk for cappuccino or latte without any work on your part. Simply adjust the steam wand to the type of texture you want to create.
- Built-in hot water dispenser for Americanos or tea.
- Pre-set buttons for espresso, americano or coffee. You also have a ‘My’ button to program your own recipe.
- Rinse button rinses the group head and portafilter to heat it or clean it.
- Gauge allows you to see what temperature your machine is operating on and when it has reached optimal temperature.
- 2 liter water reservoir capacity.
- 250gr hopper capacity.
- Includes: 2 filter baskets, dual-wall single and dual-wall double baskets.
- Also includes a stainless steel frothing jug.
Video Review of DeLonghi La Specialista:
DeLonghi La Specialista vs. Breville Barista Express, How Are They Different?
As I already mentioned, the DeLonghi La Specialista comes as a direct competitor of the popular Barista Express. As the time I write this post, the DeLonghi La Specialista is higher in price than the Barista Express, so there’s a price difference to start with. But performance and features wise, which machine do you choose?
Now, both machines have quite similar features:
Built-in grinder, hot water on demand, temperature gauge, button controls, hands-free grinding directly into portafilter.
So at this point, it would be easier to see what differences these two machines have:
Grind Settings: the Barista Express has 18 grind settings giving you a variety of options when it comes to grinding different coffee beans and how it can turn out. The La Specialista only goes from 1 to 6 in grind settings, so it’s less options when it comes to coffee ground.
Included Filter Baskets: the La Specialista comes with two filter baskets, a single shot dual wall basket and a double shot dual basket. The Barista Express includes four baskets in total, a single and double shot baskets, single and dual walled. Dual wall baskets are usually a better choice for someone who is still not advanced in dosing and extracting espresso, as it controls pressure better.
Steaming Wands: DeLonghi has been known for its Cappuccino system on their espresso machines for a long time. They use pannarello wands that require no work on your part to get the right texture either for cappuccino or latte. You simply have to set a selector and let it do the work. This is a great choice for a beginner or anyone who is not keen on practicing the art of milk texturing. On the other hand, the Barista Express has a more traditional frothing wand, which will require some practice to get the milk to the right texture, so it’s not as straight forward as a pannarello wand, but it is a better choice for someone who wants to learn the professional way of texturing milk.
Built-in Tamper: The DeLonghi La Specialista has a smart tamper. The built-in tamper, smartly located inside the same head where the portafilter goes to collect the coffee grind from the grinder, requires one single pull of a level (located on the side of the machine) to tamp the coffee perfectly. You don’t have to worry about any mess or any uneven tamping, this built-in tamper does it just right, every single time! The Barista Express has a tamper that is magnetically attached to the machine, but tamping is done manually. And just like milk texturing, tamping is an acquired skill.
Pre-sets: La Specialista has three pre set drinks, espresso, coffee and americano. Upon selecting coffee or Americano, hot water is added to your espresso shot (in different volumes according to recipe). Water pours in automatically and you don’t have to even move your mug, as the hot water nozzle is conveniently located right by the portafilter. On the Barista Express, the hot water nozzle is slightly behind the portafilter, so you do have to relocate your mug slightly and you have to manually start the hot water.
Dimensions: La Specialista is slightly larger than the Barista Express. One noticeable difference is the height of the bean hopper on the La Specialista vs. the hopper on the Barista Express. This might be a problem for someone who is limited on space or cabinet height, so do check the dimensions and compare them to your available space.
Should You Buy the DeLonghi La Specialista or Breville Barista Express?
As you can see, there’s really not much difference in these two machines. However, one wins over the other in terms on advancement:
If you want the manual experience, but do not want to work on learning skills like milk texturing, playing with coffee grind or tamping, the La Specialista would make a better choice. Having less grind settings is not necessarily a bad thing, not everyone wants to get experimental with grind fineness. So, initially, you’ll need to try out from a limited number of settings to get your shot right, then you’ll be good to go. The automatic tamping is great, too. You don’t have to worry about an uneven tamp, which leads to a bad shot, or the mess that comes along with tamping. Last but not least, the Pannarello wand makes milk texturing such a breeze.
On the other hand, the Barista Express gives you more room to experiment and practice. If you’re new to semi automatic machines, you’ll most likely need to make a few shots before you get it right. Same goes for tamping and milk texturing. Since it’s somewhat manual, you’ll have to practice until you get things right. So if you feel like you want to acquire some barista skills, and don’t mind the practice and experimenting part of it, you’ll certainly enjoy using the Barista Express.
You can learn more about the Barista Express on the following links:
Breville espresso machines have been ahead of the competition for quite some time now. Apart from having one of the best design, Breville uses advanced technology to ensure that you end up with the most delicious brew. Its compact size and stainless steel surface are part of its appeal. It is just the right espresso machine to have in your home if you want barista style coffee without a lot of complication.
Features of Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine:
This machine comes with some incredible features that are designed to transform your beans to a delectable cup of coffee within minutes. Every single component functions optimally, and the result is nothing but a bold brew that is hot enough to welcome you to a new day. With the Barista Pro in your home, you will be enjoying every single cup of coffee just the way you like it and without compromise.
Here’s what makes the Barista Pro a great machine:
An interactive display:
You will no longer have to make your coffee blindly. This is because this machine has a nice LCD display. The display is designed to enable you to see the whole coffee making process. Through it, you can set and see the grind size, amount of coffee grounds and the temperature of the water you are using among many others. The details are boldly written and it also comes with backlight to amplify its visibility further. The display shows you all elements you need to pull the perfect shot of espresso.
Built-in Conical Burr Grinder:
Any coffee lover will tell you how important a burr grinder is when it comes to brewing coffee or espresso. Having a built-in grinder saves you from buying one separately. It allows you to choose the exact grind size you want as well as the dose of coffee. The correct choice of these two is significant and often determines the kind of brew you will end up with.
The consistency of the coffee you get is dependent on the kind of porta-filter incorporated in the machine. For absolute consistency and balanced coffee, Breville espresso maker comes with a 54mm porta-filter which will ensure that you get a smooth cup of full-flavored barista quality brew.
Digital temperature control (PID):
Most espresso machines fail to produce quality coffee due to the temperature of the water used. This is where Breville Barista Pro shines. Its digital temperature control feature allows you to get just the right temperature of water required to extract full flavor from the coffee grounds. When the water trickles through the coffee grounds, the machine makes sure it is hot enough to extract ever flavor from the coffee grounds, this makes your espresso shot bold, flavorful and with an incredible aroma.
A powerful steam wand:
The steam wand is a big part of the espresso machine you own. Its incredible functionality enables it to have micro-foam milk texturing capabilities which is what you need for creating latte art. This part will require some practice from you, especially if it’s your first time using an espresso machine. But once you get it right, you’ll love the delicious creamy coffee drinks you’ll be able to make.
Some other great features that you will find in the Barista Pro are: 2L capacity water reservoir, 250g bean hopper, and 1 and 2 cups volumetric control.
Your Barista Pro will include:
- Single and Dual filter basket
- The Razor Precision Dose Trimming Tool
- 480 ml stainless steel frothing jug
- Built-in magnetic tamper.
- Cleaning Kit
- Water filter
Breville Barista Pro vs. Barista Express, What’s The Difference?
The Breville Barista Express has been a best seller on our site for years now. It’s the most loved by our readers, and I can’t blame them! It is reasonably priced while packed with so many features that deliver a fantastic at home barista experience. But how does the Barista Pro compare to it? And should you go for the newer model or go for the Barista Express?
The Barista Pro and Barista Express are somewhat similar and can offer you similar results, but one sure offers a more intuitive experience than the other:
Starting with the controls, the Barista Pro has an LCD screen and the Barista Express doesn’t. The LCD display gives you precise measures of everything you’re doing: the grind size, shot timer, options for customizing your shot and other information you need to create your shot as you want it. On the Barista Express, you have the same options for setting your grind size, filter size, number fo shots and volumes, but you’ll have to do it sort of “blindly” without exact numbers but only using button controls. On the other hand, the Barista Express has an important feature on its control panel that the Barista Pro lacks, and that is the gauge. A lot of user find the gauge to be extremely useful in letting them know the temperature of the machine and the best time to switch between brewing and steaming.
Another difference is the machines heating systems. The Barista Pro has a ThermoJet heating system that heats up in as little as 3 seconds and can switch between espresso and steam almost instantly. The Barista Express has a Thermocoil heating system that takes about a minute or two to heat up and requires a bit of a wait to switch from brewing to steaming. And that’s why the gauge is needed on the Barista Express but not the Barista Pro.
Apart from that, both models have the same capacity in water reservoir and bean hopper. There are some difference in design, but nothing that affects the function of the machines.
Learn more about the Barista Express:
- Is the Barista Express Worth It?
- Breville Barista Express vs. The Infuser vs. Duo Temp Pro
- Breville Barista Express vs. Barista Touch
Breville Barista Pro vs. Barista Touch, What’s The Difference?
The Barista Touch is another great variation of the Barista Express, featuring similar functions but more upgrades that might or might not be useful to you. I would say that the Barista Touch ranks highest among these three models, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. If it has more features than you need, then go for something else. That’s the great thing about having similar models with some variations.
So how is the Barista Touch different than the Barista Pro?
The Barista Touch is more automated, even easier to use and puts all popular coffee recipes at your finger tips. This model is equipped with an impressive colored touchscreen where all coffee recipes are already programmed and ready for you to enjoy. And of course, there’s always room for customization where you can control the volume of the coffee, the coffee strength and milk texture and temperature.
And how do you control milk texture and temperature? Well, that’s another automated step in the Barista Touch. The machine uses a special milk jug and automatic steam wand that will heat and texture your milk to your desired temperature and foam/texture level.
Another great thing about the Barista Touch is, since it allows you to customize your recipes, it also allows you to save them under unique names for later use. You can create and save up to 8 recipes.
The Barista Touch has the same ThermoJet boiler as the Barista Pro, so heat up time is just as quick.
When it comes to the built-in grinder, bean hopper and water reservoir capacity, all three models have the same capacities: 1/2 lbs bean hopper capacity, 67oz water reservoir and adjustable conical burr grinder.
Which One Do You Buy?
Now you’ve read everything you need to know about the Barista Pro, Barista Express and Barista Touch, it’s time to decide which one to buy.
First thing you need to know is that all of these models should give you similar results if used correctly. But here are some pointers to help you with your decision:
- Budget: these models are priced differently, and the price difference can affect your decision. So make sure to check the prices at your time you’re ready to purchase your machine as prices can vary from time to time.
- Controls and Automation: Like I previously mentioned, the difference between these machines should give you the same coffee results, but what will change is your experience in making these coffee drinks…
The Barista Express is a semi-automatic with nearly no guidance from the machine other than the steam gauge, which should help you know when the machine is to switch between extracting or steaming. The grind size is set by hand using a dial (with no numbers assigned) and your espresso shots are presets and can be reset either by pressing the buttons longer to going fully manual.
The Barista Pro offers you guidance using the LCD display where you can see everything that has to do with your shot. Grind size, shot timer, single/double and other customizations that help you in making a shot exactly how you want.
Last but certainly not least, the Barista Touch, which is fully automatic. If you don’t want to deal with all the details, this model has all recipes set and ready to go at your fingertips. Simply scroll through the recipes and pick what whichever drink you’re in the mood for. And if you’re feeling quite particular, you still have to option to customize your drink and save them as new recipes, too!
Breville is at it again with an espresso machine that is stunning as it is easy to use. We’re no strangers to espresso machines by Breville. An all time favorite is the Breville Barista Express followed closely by the Breville Infuser. So let’s have a look at the Breville Bambino, how it works and how it compares to its elder siblings.
Features of Breville Bambino Plus:
- Commercial-like quality while being compact in size and easy to use for the home user.
- Full brushed stainless steel body.
- Automatic microfoam milk texturing. The steam wand automatically froths milk to the temperature and texture you want.
- Fast heat up time: the machine is ready to work in 3 seconds.
- 54mm porta filter with 19 gram dose for the best coffee house quality drink.
- Pre-infusion setting saturates coffee ground with low pressure water to ensure full saturation before extraction.
- Digital temperature control delivers water at the exact right temperature for optimal espresso extraction.
- Auto purging ensures your machine is clean for the next use.
- 64 oz water reservoir.
Who Is The Breville Bambino Plus Right For?
We all know that semi-automatic espresso machines come with a learning curve. You take your time to get your milk texturing skills right, getting the temperature right and handling your machine correctly, overall. And milk texturing is where everyone usually goes wrong. That micro foam texture is the dream of every beginner’s!
Some at-home baristas though do not have the patience for all that. They want the flexibility of a semi-automatic, but do not want to spend a lot of time getting things right. That’s where a machine like the Bambino Plus comes in…
The Bambino Plus gives you room to adjust your coffee shot volume, temperature and texture and it will remember things for you. Also, there are pre-sets all ready for you to use. As for the hard part of milk texturing: the automatic steam wand does it all for you! Select your temperature and your texture (how much foam you want) and it will be done for you. Your coffee drink comes out perfectly right the first time.
How does the machine know the right milk temperature, though? It’s all thanks to the included milk jug, which contacts a sensor placed right under its place where the steam wand goes. The sensor works to measure the temperature of the milk as it heats up and will stop when it reaches your desired temperature.
Breville Bambino Plus vs. Breville The Infuser, What’s The Difference?
The Breville Infuser is also a semi-automatic espresso machine with some programmable features. But it does not have the automatic features that the Bambino Plus has:
- The frothing wand on the Infuser is not automatic. There’s no selection for temperature or texture like the Bambino Plus. So you’ll have to do your own tests til you get the temperature and texture you prefer.
- The Infuser features a gauge that should make it easy for you to see where your machine at, temperature wise.
- The Infuser has a built-in tamper and a built-in hot water dispenser. Bambino Plus has a tamper included as an accessory, but doesn’t have the hot water dispenser.
- Although The Infuser is physically bigger than the Bambino Plus, it has a slightly smaller water reservoir with 61 oz capacity ( vs. 64 oz for the Bambino Plus).
So, there are some trade-offs between the two machines. If you’re someone who does not want things done automatically and willing to learn, then go for the Infuser. However, keep in mind that it isn’t as compact as the Bambino Plus, if space is an issue for you.
Breville Bambino Plus vs. DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe:
When it comes to size and footprint, the DeLonghi Dedica is quite comparable to the Breville Bambino Plus. In fact, it’s even smaller. The Dedica Deluxe is only 6″ wide, while the Bambino Plus is about 7.6″ or so.
So, how else are they comparable?
- Both have a single or double shot buttons that can be programmed.
- The steam wand on the Dedica is not as advanced as the Bambino’s. There’s no temperature or texture settings. However, you can adjust the frother so it either foams or heats milk (without creating foam). But it’s quite hard to get the right texture or micro foam (which is what you need for latte art) with this kind of frother.
- Heat up time on the Dedica Deluxe is 35 seconds vs. only 3 seconds for the Bambino Plus.
- Water tank capacity is 35 oz on the Dedica Deluxe and 64 oz on the Bambino Plus, so that’s quite a difference.
- Cleaning wise, the Bambino Plus has auto purge which is purge out water to automatically clean the steam wand after each use. With the Dedica, you’ll have to manually clean your wand after use so it doesn’t clog up.
How do you choose between the Breville Bambino Plus and Dedica Deluxe?
There are some clear trade offs between the two machines. If you want automatic milk texture and temperature, as well as automatic cleaning, then Bambino is your choice. The Bambino produces better and more professional quality milk foam. The Dedica, even on its high foam setting, does not produce enough foam.
However, it’s important to note that there’s a big price difference (in the time of writing this post, at least) between the two machines. So you certainly get what you pay for here.
In this post:
- The Difference Between Nespresso Creatista vs. Creatista Plus.
- The Difference Between Nespresso Creatista vs. Creatista Uno.
- Comparison Between Creatista Plus vs. Lattissima Pro.
- Video Reviews.
We’ve talked about the release of the most versatile single-serve from Nespresso and Breville, the Creatista Plus. This exciting release from two powerhouses in espresso machines offers a lot for the home user, without the hard work and complications that other espresso machines come with.
The Breville Nespresso Creatista PLUS comes packed with a lot of great features:
- Personalized barista-style drinks with a touch of a button.
- Designed to work with Nespresso OriginalLine espresso capsules.
- Select from 8 programmed coffee drinks like espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Flat White and more.
- Adjustable milk temperature.
- Automatic milk frother creates professional coffee-house micro-foam froth that allows you to create latte art.
- Self-cleaning frothing wand.
- Color display screen allows you to easily program and control your Creatista PLUS machine.
What Is The Difference Between the Creatista and Creatista PLUS?
This beautiful Nespresso and Breville collaboration comes in two models: The Creatista and Creatista PLUS. But what’s the difference between these two?
The Creatista PLUS packs more features and customization options that the Creatisa. Also, there’s a small design difference. Let’s talk about this in details…
- The Creatista Plus has a full stainless steel body.
- The Creatista has stainless steel front panel with colored sides.
- Both models have a quick start up time of 3 seconds.
Milk Temperature Settings:
- The Creatista Plus has a great range of 11 milk temperature settings to select from.
- With the Creatista, you can choose from 5 milk temperature settings.
- Creatista Plus offers 8 milk textures.
- Creatista has a selection of 4 milk textures.
- Both models can prepare different coffee drinks automatically: Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino, Cafe Latte, Flat White, Latte Macchiato.
Nespresso Creatista vs. Creatista Uno, What’s The Difference?
Creatista UNO is another addition to Breville’s and Nespresso’ line of Creatista machines. It is more comparable to the Creatista model than Creatista Plus, so how are they different?
Creatista Uno has the same automatic milk texturing feature that both the Creatista and Creatista Plus have. But there’s one big difference:
- The Uno model does NOT have the colored display to program your settings. Instead, you use buttons. Press the buttons multiple times to program your settings.
- Uno has 3 levels of milk texture and 3 levels of milk temperature.
- It also has 3 programmable buttons for ristretto, espresso and lungo. As for other drinks, although they’re not programmed and available with a push of a button, you can still build you own coffee drinks manually.
It’s a great option if you want to get the same quality of drinks, but for less price. The only thing you’re giving up here is the convenience of the colored display.
Nespresso Creatista Plus vs. Lattissima Pro, What’s The Difference?
The Lattissima Pro is another Nespresso collaboration, but in this case with DeLonghi. The Lattissima Pro has some similarities to the Creatista Plus, but it isn’t nearly as powerful and versatile as the Creatisa.
- The Lattissima Pro has a detachable automatic milk frother. The machine will froth the milk using a whisk, pour it into the cup and brew the coffee, all automatically. The texture of the milk frothed in the Lattissima Pro doesn’t work for latte art.
- The Creatista Plus has automatic frothing wand that uses steam to froth milk. Like a professional espresso machine, this frothing wand (with the help of the sensor at the bottom of the jug) will create the perfect froth with micro-foam, with your selected texture and temperature. Then, you’ll pour the milk into the brewed coffee, and you can even get creative and create latte art.
- In the Latttisima Pro allows you to customize the volume of your coffee in the 6 pre-programmed drink settings.
- Creatista Plus has milk temperature settings, milk froth texture settings and volume customization.
- Lattissima Pro has an LED touchscreen.
- The Creatista Plus has a colored display that can be controlled with a rotating selector.
Unboxing and Review of the Nespresso Creatista Plus:
How To Do Latte Art with Nespresso Creatista Plus:
How To Use Nespresso Creatista Uno:
Features of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II:
- Heat Exchange copper steam boiler provides high heat for a hot espresso and best steaming/frothing experience.
- A newly designed, extra-long articulated steam wand.
- Water reservoir with a sensor lets you know when the water level is low.
- Touch buttons for a single shot or a double shot, both can be reprogrammed to your preferred volume.
- Commercial size 58-mm non-pressurized portafilter.
- Stainless steel housing.
- Water reservoir capacity: 2.8 liters.
- Heat exchange boiler allows you to brew and froth at the same time.
Features of the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine:
- Dual Stainless steel boilers and dual Italian pumps allow you to extract espresso and steam/froth milk at the same time.
- Electronic PID temperature control offers optimized water temperature.
- OPV (Over Pressure Valve) limits the extraction pressure for the perfect shot every time.
- Backlit LCD display shows you temperature, shot timer or a clock
- Two programmable buttons for single shot and double shot. Another button for manual brew.
- Pressure gauge shows you exactly when your machine is ready.
- 58mm portafilter size.
- Built-in tamper and hot water dispenser.
- Water reservoir capacity: 2.5 Liter
- Stainless steel articulated steam wand.
- Full stainless steel housing.
- Available in colors: Stainless steel, Black or Cranberry red.
What Is The Difference Between the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II vs. Breville Dual Boiler?
If there’s one thing that these two espresso makers have in common is the fact that both use dual boilers, which means a boiler for espresso extraction and another for milk frothing. So, while single boiler espresso makers require that you wait a few minutes between extraction and steaming/frothing, a dual boiler machine allows you to do both at the same time.
Other than that, here are the differences:
- The Oscar II has copper steam boiler which offers incredible heat for steaming and frothing.
- The Breville Dual Boiler has two stainless steel boilers.
- On the Oscar II, you’ll find two buttons for a single and double shot. These buttons can be reprogrammed to your desired volumes. However, there’s no option for a manual shot. Also, there’s no LCD display for any additional information.
- The Breville Dual Boiler has three buttons, a single shot, double shots and a manual shot button. The single and double shot buttons can be reprogrammed. You’ll find an LCD display that displays the temperature, shot timer as well as a clock when not in use. There’s also a gauge on the front panel that shows you the level of the steam pressure and when the machine is ready to use.
The Steam Wand:
- The most notable thing about the Oscar II its extra long steam wand. It is extremely powerful and gives great milk texture in less time.
- The steam wand on the Breville Dual Boiler is the standard length.
- The Oscar II has a 2.8L water reservoir with a sensor that notifies you when the water level is low.
- The Breville Dual Boiler has 2.5L water reservoir and a front facing window where you can see the level of the water.
- The Breville has a built-in tamper as well as a dedicated hot water dispenser. Both of which the Oscar II doesn’t have.
- The Oscar II housing has stainless steel sides and front, while the top and back are plastic.
- The Breville Dual Boiler has a full stainless steel body and plastic top.
Which One Should You Buy?
It’s a tough call between these two, however, we do like the Breville Dual Boiler more than the Oscar II for these reasons:
- If you need to manually extract espresso, then only Breville’s Dual Boiler can offer you this.
- Also, if you need a bit of guidance, you’ll like that the Breville Dual Boiler has a pressure gauge, LCD display as well as light indicators. It also has a timer which can pre-heat your machine for you.
- The Breville Dual Boiler has self-cleaning cycle which is quite helpful when it’s time to clean the machine.
- You get a built-in tamper and a hot water dispenser as well as a razor dosing tool for precise dosing.
The one thing we find the Oscar II is better at than the Breville Dual Boiler is the steam wand. On the Oscar II, the steam is definitely more powerful and will give you the perfect texturized milk in no time.
Watch The Machines in Action:
Review of the Breville Dual Boiler:
Review of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II:
When comparing the Breville Milk Frother to other frothers on the market, it’s is the most high end, even compared to Nespresso’s Aeroccino. And that is reflected in its price, it is the most expensive among them.
So you wonder, is the Breville Milk Frother worth the extra money, if yes, then why?
Here are out top reasons why the Breville Milk Frother is worth every penny…
- While other electric frothers have the options of hot froth or cold froth, Breville’s frother gives you the extra option to set the temperature you want. You can go from Warm, 120F, 140F or 160F. You can also do a cold stir for cold drinks.
- It uses induction heating, which is the secret to its percise temperature and consistency. It is also quicker to heat up.
- Unlike the other frothers, the interior of Breville’s milk frother jug is stainless steel, and not non-stick coated steel which could peel after a while.
- With the Breville frother, you can make hot chocolate by adding your chocolate mix or shavings into the frother as its warming and frothing the milk, giving you a much richer drink.
- It has a large capacity, up to 16 oz when frother for latte or cappuccino and up to 25 oz for hot chocolate.
Watch How It Works:
Breville Milk Cafe Demo:
Drink Recipes Made with Breville Milk Cafe:
Common Questions About the Breville Milk Frother:
– What’s Included with the Breville Milk Frother?
You get the frother, 2 frothing discs with onboard storage, a lid with a measuring cup.
– Can It Be Use To Heat Milk Without Frother?
Yes, it can heat milk only.
– Can I Use The Breville Milk Frother For Iced Drinks?
Yes, simply choose the the cold stir option which will lightly froth your milk without heating it.
– What Is The Best Milk To Froth with The Breville Frother?
With any frother, the rule is, the less fat in the milk the better froth you’ll get. So skimmed, 2% will get you the best froth, full-fat milk works great too. Then we have the alternatives, Soy works, but doesn’t give the best froth, while Almond milk should work better.
– What Are The Frother Discs Made of ?
They’re made of BPA-free plastic.
Breville’s Barista Express espresso machine has been one of the best selling espresso maker through our website for a while. In this post, we’ll give our thoughts on the machine, why it’s worth your money and if you should buy it or not.
In this post:
- What Is The Barista Express
- Comparison Between Barista Express Models
- Is The Barista Express Worth The Money?
- Should You Buy the Barista Express?
What Is The Breville Barista Express and How Does It Work?
The Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine that has an integrated conical burr grinder. The grinder grinds only the amount of coffee you need right into the portafilter, so your coffee is extracted only seconds after grinding, giving you a truly aromatic shot of espresso.
The Barista Express has the ability to work automatically with pre-set shot volumes, as well as manually. All pre-sets can be reprogrammed to your preference.
The grinder on the Barista Express has a dial where you can adjust your grind and a Grind Amount dial dose the amount of grind to suit the grind size.
Other Features of the Barista Express:
- 1600 watts thermocoil heating system.
- Electronic water temperature control for temperature stability.
- Purge function automatically adjusts water temperature after steam use for the best results.
- Pre-infusion function applies low pressure water to coffee ground at the start to allow for an even espresso extraction.
- Portafilter includes stainless steel baskets for a single or double shot.
- Removable 67 oz water reservoir.
- Hands-free cradle holds the portafilter when grinding directly into it.
- Bean hopper capacity: Half a pound.
- Breville’s patented Razor dose trimming tool
- 54mm stainless steel portafilter.
- single shot basket (1 cup and 2 cup)
- Double shot basket (1 cup and 2 cup)
- Coffee scoop and tamper.
- Stainless steel frothing jug.
- Cleaning tablets, cleaning brush.
- Water filter and water filter holder.
Comparisons Between Models of the Breville Barista Express:
The Barista Express is available under two model names: BES870XL and BES860XL. It is also available under variations BES870CBXL and BES870BSXL. Wondering what’s the difference between them?
We’ve done full comparisons between all these models in previous posts, which you can read by clicking here. But here’s a quick recap:
- The BES860XL is an older version, therefor slightly less expensive, where the BES870XL is the latest version of the Barista Express.
- The BES870XL has more power, 1600 watts compared to BES860XL’s 1450 watts.
- It has a redesigned bean hopper.
- The BES870XL has a hot water dispenser and it has an auto-off option that the BES860XL lacks.
- Lastly, the BES870XL gives you better control of coffee and water temperature.
As for the names BES870CBXL and BES870BSXL, these simply refer to the colors the BES870XL available in. The added CB refers to Cranberry, which is the deep red version and the BS refers to Black Sesame which is the Black version. The Barista Express BES860XL is only available in Stainless Steel.
Is The Barista Express Worth the Money?
As the Barista Express is at a range of $500 to $600, some might wonder if it’s worth your price.
If you’re keen on creating a coffee bar at your home that will last you a long time, you’ll have to buy:
- a high quality, nicely built espresso maker.
- a high quality conical burr grinder.
- All necessary accessories like a frothing jug, tamper and more.
If you do the math, you’ll find that the Barista Express is a cost-efficient purchase that includes everything you need in one unit.
The Barista Express is made of high-quality parts, stainless steel housing that is easy to maintain and clean, and it has storage within it for all its accessories like portafilter, cleaning tools and such. So for what’s included with the machine, as well as the machine itself, it is absolutely worth the price.
Who Should Buy The Barista Express?
This machine is perfect for beginners as well as intermediate at-home baristas. For a beginner, it could be tricky to use at first, but it’s a great learning tool and you should be able to get it right in no time. And there’s always the automatic option where the machine can do it for you if you can’t.
While some might advice beginners to start with a small and easy to use espresso maker, we advice against this. It’s better that you pay more for something that will last you for a long time than spend less money on a machine that you will outgrow soon enough. So why not invest in a proper espresso maker that you won’t get bored of or have to replace soon after.
The Saeco Via Venezia is a compact and easy to use manual espresso machine that is also affordable in price. This always makes it a great beginner’s choice, but is it the best? In this post, we’ll be comparing the Via Venezia to other popular manual espresso makers to help you with your decision. This will include comparisons to Breville’s Cafe Roma ESP8XL and Gaggia Classic 14101.
First, let’s start by looking at the features of each machine…
Features of Philips Saeco Via Venezia:
- Espresso machine with 15 bar of pump pressure.
- Pressurized portafilter always ensures you have the best coffee extraction.
- Includes a filter for using e.s.e pods.
- Two control panel buttons for extraction and steaming.
- Steam wand for milk frothing.
- Cup warming plate on the top surface of the machine holds up to 6 espresso cups.
- 68 oz removable water tank.
Features of Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma:
- 15 bar espresso machine.
- Full stainless steel commercial grade housing.
- 68 oz removable water tank.
- Steam wand for milk frothing.
- Easy to use dial control.
- Dual-filter portafilter for the perfect crema.
- Cup warming plate.
- Includes a set of stainless steel espresso cups and a frothing jug.
Features of the Gaggia Classic 14101:
- espresso maker with 17 1/2 bar of pump pressure.
- 72 oz removable water tank.
- Steam wand also doubles as a hot water dispenser.
- Stainless steel housing.
- Brass portafilter and grouphead ensure temperature stability for the best shot extraction.
- Includes a single and double shot basket filter, tamper and measuring scoop.
Saeco Via Venezia vs. Breville Cafe Roma vs. Gaggia Classic, What Is The Difference?
- The Gaggia Classic has the highest pump pressure at 17 1/2 bars.
- The Via Venezia and Cafe Roma are both 15 bars.
- The Gaggia Classic and Breville Cafe Roma have commercial-grade stainless steel housing.
- The Via Venezia has plastic housing.
- The Gaggia Classic has brass portafilter and grouphead, offering the best temperature stability when it comes to espresso extraction. This is the best one of all machines.
- Next is Breville’s Cafe Roma, which is stainless steel with dual filter for creating excellent crema.
- Via Venezia’s portafilter is pressurized, which helps create a great extraction especially for a beginner but can be quite messy after use.
- The Breville Cafe Roma has the best set of accessories included: a set of 2 stainless steel espresso cups and a stainless steel milk frothing jug.
- The Gaggia Classic includes a measuring scoop and a tamper.
- The Via Venezia includes a measuring scoop only.
Which Of These Espresso Makers Is Best To Buy?
- Our first recommendation will be, hands down, the Gaggia Classic. It is truly a classic machine, built to last. It’s got the best portafilter, durable housing and like all Gaggia machines, it is made in Italy. So you can expect nothing but quality here. As it’s a manual machine, as a beginner, you’ll need some practice before you can make your drinks perfectly. But once you got the hang of it, you’ll be all set to make your favorite coffee drinks like a true barista.
- Next, we’ll recommend the Breville Cafe Roma. It has a beautiful classic design, durable stainless steel housing and it includes everything you need to get started.
- We recommend the Saeco Via Venezia last not because it’s a bad espresso maker, but we do believe that it is high in price for what it has to offer. The Cafe Roma by Breville is nearly half in price and can offer you double in value thanks to its high quality housing and included accessories.
More To Read:
Pulling the perfect shot of espresso at home can be an intimidating thing, especially if you’re just starting out. But like everything else in life, practice makes perfect, and you can certainly turn into a home barista in no time!
Espresso makers range from small, easy to use machines, to complicated machines that can be hard to control. As a beginner, you’ll want just the right machine to practice on. In our opinion, here’s what makes the best beginner’s espresso machine:
- A quality espresso maker that is easy to use, but has enough features for you to develop your skills.
- A durable machine that will last you for a long time
- A machine that you won’t find dispensable even after you’ve developed your espresso making skills.
A beginner’s espresso maker isn’t necessarily the cheapest, many people fall into the trap of buying a cheap espresso maker to learn with and then find themselves in the need of a new one shortly after. That is definitely a waste of money. There are a number of affordable yet durable espresso machines that you can learn on and keep for the long run.
Best Espresso Machines For Beginners:
DeLonghi Dedica EC680 Espresso Machine:
Why we like it – Simple to use, compact in size:
- It has automatic as well as manual flow, which means you can either use the pre-set shots or create your own. The machine will remember your last shot preference.
- It’s very compact in size, it will not take much counter space.
- A swivel steam frother will allow you to practice your milk frothing and try your latte art skills.
- Thermoblock technology allows the machine to heat up in less than 40 seconds.
- Beautiful Italian design. Stainless steel exterior.
Breville BES840XL The Infuser Espresso Machine:
Why we like it – it’s almost impossible to pull a bad espresso shot with The Infuser:
- It has a mixture of automatic and manual functions. Use either one to create your espresso shots.
- Pre-fusion function makes sure the coffee ground is saturated with low pressure water before brewing. This ensures a great shot every time.
- Auto-purse function automatically adjusts water pressure for you after steam use for the best espresso extraction temperature.
- The steam gauge on the front panel guides you on when and what task the machine is ready to perform.
- Also features a hot water dispenser, perfect for Americano or any other beverage preparation.
DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Machine:
Why we like it:
- Simple to use, with manual operation.
- Quick start-up.
- A more affordable option, if you’re on a budget.
- Stainless steel exterior makes it a durable machine to have.
DeLonghi Dedica vs. Breville Infuser:
We listed both these espresso makers as a great choice for beginners, however, the Breville Infuser actually has way more features than the Dedica, that it will still make a suitable machine even when your skills have evolved.
- The Breville Infuser is bigger in size, therefore has a larger water reservoir. It has a PID technology that regulates the temperature, so you can expect more consistent results. It has a gauge that allows you to easily monitor the pressure of the machine so you know when to extract your espresso or steam your milk. And one of the greatest features of the Infuser is its pre-infusion which saturates the coffee ground before extraction, which ensures an evenly extracted coffee.
- The Dedica’s biggest feature is its small size. With only 6″ width, it’s a great choice for anyone with little counter-space to spare. It has 1300 Watts power, which is less than the Breville’s Infuser 1600 Watts, but it’s a great wattage for its size. Dedica’s portafilter is 51mm, which is smaller than Breville’s 54mm portafilter.
So, overall, you’ll pretty much be able to do the same using both espresso makers. But the Breville Infuser regulates heat better, pre-infuses coffee ground which results in better tasting coffee and with its auto-purge function that brings down the temperature of the boiler after using the steamer to ensure your espresso is extracted at an optimal temperature.
DeLonghi Dedica vs. Gaggia Classic, Which One To Choose?
The Gaggia Classic isn’t necessarily a beginner’s espresso maker, but if you have the patience, you’ll enjoy using and developing your barista skills using it. How does it compare to the DeLonghi Dedica though..
- It is 17 1/2 pressure bar, stronger than the Dedica’s 15 bars.
- It is fully manual, so you’ll have to know when to start and stop pulling your shot.
- It has a generous 72-oz water reservoir and a hot water dispenser.
The biggest difference here is that the Gaggia Classic is a manual machine with no programmability at all. This is important to keep in mind, as it will take a lot of practice until you’re able to produce a great shot of espresso.
- Should You Buy DeLonghi EC702 or DeLonghi EC680?
- Comparison Between Breville The Infuser BES840XL vs. 800ESXL
- Comparison between Cuisinart EM-100 and DeLonghi EC702
Watch How They Work:
DeLonghi Dedica Review:
Review of the Breville Infuser:
If you’ve browsed our site long enough, you’ll know we’re big fan of the Breville Barista Express. We’ve compared it to its little sister, the Infuser, we’ve also compared it to the Gaggia Classic. This time, we’ll be comparing in to another classic espresso machine, the Rancilio Silvia. But before we do that, visit the following pages for information on each espresso machine:
Breville Barista Express vs. Rancilio Silvia, What’s The Difference?
To be fair, we must say that the two machines fall under two different categories:
- The Barista Express is a semi-automatic that features a built-in conical burr grinder for a great bean to cup experience.
- The Silvia is a traditional manual espresso maker with classic commercial design, with NO built-in grinder.
But let’s dig deep in each machine’s feature to see which has the qualities you’re looking for:
Whether you’re just starting your at home coffee experience, or you’re already experienced in the coffee making, you’ll love the following features of the Barista Express:
- The built-in grinder automatically doses and grinds the exact amount you need for the perfect shot of espresso.
- A cradle holds the portafilter for you, for hands-free grinding.
- a steam gauge shows you exactly when your machine is ready for steam or extraction.
- The machine is fully pre-set for the perfect espresso extraction, but you can override all presets and create your own.
- a dedicated hot water dispenser perfect for making tea, soup or basically anything that requires hot water, right away.
With the Barista Express, you’re ready to extract a delicious and aromatic shot of espresso out of the box! The machine makes sure all setting are set in a way that you’ll make great coffee every time. And as you start to learn the difference between settings, you have complete freedom to change them and tweak them as you like. It also comes with everything you need included: filters for a single or double shot, coffee scoop, stainless steel frothing jug and cleaning discs.
The Rancilio Silvia, on the other hand, is suited for an advanced user. It has incredible Italian craftsmanship all over it, sleek and classic…
- You’ll notice it features a lot of switches, everything in the machine is operated manually.
- You’ll need to start and end your shot manually.
- Since there’s no steam gauge, you’ll also have to know when to switch between extraction and frothing.
- Included with the machine: filters, coffee scoop and tamper.
In our opinion, the Silvia requires a lot of knowledge to start with. If you’re new at this, you’ll need to expect a few bad shots until you finally perfect it. And since a great espresso shot starts with great coffee ground, you’ll need a top notch conical burr grinder, which should add $100 to $200 to your budget. Also, you’ll need to get your own frothing jug, but since those don’t cost over $10, it’s nothing to worry about.
Which Is Best To Buy?
We highly believe that the Barista Express holds a lot value for the money than the Rancilio Silvia. It is less expensive than the Silvia, yet it packs everything you need for your at-home coffee experience: the espresso maker, the grinder and the accessories. It is also easier to use, gives you the freedom to program it as you like, or let it work automatically. For that, the Barista Express is an easy winner.
Making Cappuccino with the Barista Express:
How To Use the Barista Express: