TrueBrew is what sets this machine from other fully automatic models. TrueBrew makes your iced coffee strong enough that it doesn’t take watered down once the ice starts melting.
What it does is it grinds a higher dosage of coffee, it pre-infuses the coffee for a longer time so you get a more concentrated cup, it brews a longer shot of espresso and it does it at a lower temperature.
DeLonghi Dinamica with Truebrew vs. Dinamica with LatteCrema:
The Dinamica with LatteCrema System has two major differences:
To start, this model has a built-in automatic milk frothing system. The milk container holds your cold milk and will automatically heat, froth and dispense the milk into your cup. You can use any type of milk or milk alternative you want. However, results will vary depending on the type of milk you use.
Thanks to the automatic frothing system, the machine comes with a full drink menu where you can prepare your favorite drink with a press of a button. On the control panel, you’ll find buttons for drinks like cappuccino, latte, iced coffee. You can also access additional recipes and customize them using the Drink Menu and My Menu buttons.
So, with the Dinamica, you’re manually measuring and frothing your milk. With the Dinamica LatteCrema, the machine will measure and froth milk for you according to each recipe, which you can customize to your liking.
Also, the milk frother is adjustable. So you can adjust the density of your froth and foam. The milk container is removable, so any leftover milk can be stored in the fridge for later use.
Can The LatteCrema System Be Purchased Separately?
If you already have a Dinamica and wondering if you can buy the LatteCrema system on its own, unfortunately, it cannot be done. It would not be compatible with the machine and will not work.
DeLonghi Dinamica vs. Magnifica, What’s The Difference?
Magnifica is one of DeLonghi’s most popular lines of automatic espresso machines. It’s hard to compare it to Dinamica as the Magnifica line has a lot of machines that vary greatly in features and price.
But I tried finding the most comparable Magnifica to the Dinamica, in price range at least, and the Magnifica Smart seems to be it. So here’s how they compare:
The biggest difference between these two machine are:
The Magnifica Smart does not have TrueBrew over-ice setting. Does that mean you can’t make iced coffee using it? No, of course not. You can make your iced coffee using any machine. The difference would be that you’ll have to balance a good shot that would still taste good even when your ice starts melting. And since the Magnifica does not have TrueBrew to use lower temperature for brewing over ice, your ice will probably start melting quicker if you choose to brew over ice using a regular brewing option.
If you drink a lot of iced coffee, I highly recommend you go for the Dinamica instead of Magnifica.
The second difference is the frother style. This model of Magnifica uses a built-in milk frothing dispenser, which means the machine will automatically froth and dispense the right amount of milk for your selected recipe. And since the machine does that, you’ll find a recipe button for milk based drinks like Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato. On the other hand, the Dinamica has a steam wand, so you’ll be frothing the milk manually.
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.
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:
Now you’ve learned the difference between La Specialista and Barista Express, you can now learn about how it compared to the upgraded version of the barista express, which is the Barista Touch. You can read about the difference between the Barista Express vs. Barista Touch here. But let’s compare it to the La Specialista…
The Barista Touch has a lot of features that the La Specialista lacks that makes it easier for a beginner to make an excellent cup at first try. It has a lot of automated settings that make it a breeze, but it also has many overrides to make you customize your drinks.
The Touch Screen:
This nice touch screen gives you access to so many options to customize your drinks. But to start, you’ll find a lot of preset recipes: espresso, latte, cappuccino, flat white and more. Click on the image of your preferred drink, and choose to either brew to current recipe or customize your own. Things you can customize are: coffee strength, milk temperature and texture as well as volumes.
La Specialista does have three presets: espresso, coffee and americano.
Save your Customization:
The Barista Touch also allows you to save up to 8 customized recipes and name them so you don’t have to play with the settings each time you brew.
Automatic milk temperature and texturing:
The Breville Touch has a great steam wand that does the work for you. It allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste. You can expect professional micro-foam quality that you can use to create beautiful latte art.
The Breville Barista Pro delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: With a single touch, the integrated precision conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor
OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds with the instantaneous transition from espresso to steam
PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at the right temperature + & - 2°C, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
Breville Barista Pro falls somewhere between the Barista Express and Barista Touch. Unlike the Barista Express, the Pro version has a screen that displays information and guides you through every step. However, the screen isn’t as sophisticated as the Breville Barista Touch’s.
The Breville Barista Pro does not have pre-sets and can’t save customized recipes. Also, it doesn’t have automatic milk heating and texturing. So it’s up to par with the La Specialista.
How do they compare, though?
The biggest difference here is the LCD display. This display shows you the progress of the grinding, extraction and all other precise information in animations. This helps you understand exactly what’s happening during the brewing process and makes it easier to take notes for your next brew.
Other than that, the La Specialista excels in features like the automatic tamping, the pre-set drinks and the Pannarello steam wand which makes a better choice for a beginner.
The Breville Oracle fully automatic delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula; It has a professional Dual Boiler construction that delivers unparalleled temperature control and simultaneous extraction and steaming
Dose Control Grinding: The integrated precision conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of freshly ground coffee, for maximum flavor
Optimal Water Pressure: The Over Pressure Valve limits the maximum pump pressure throughout extraction, helping prevent bitter flavors; Low pressure pre infusion gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
Precise Espresso Extraction: Dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head controlled by digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
Automatic Microfoam Milk Texturing: Self-cleaning steam wand, powered by a dedicated boiler, automatically textures milk to your liking and delivers barista quality microfoam that enhances flavor and is essential for creating latte art at home
We have already featured DeLonghi’s Dedica espresso maker on our site before. This espresso maker has been a favorite of ours, especially as a choice for beginners, since it packs a lot of great features without any of the complications.
DeLonghi has released an upgraded version of the Dedica, named the Dedica Deluxe EC685M. It looks identical to the Dedica, but it’s more expensive. So is there any new features that are worth the extra bucks? And if you already have a Dedica machine, is it worth it to upgrade?
Features of DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe EC685:
15-bar pressure espresso machine.
Automatic flow stop, choose from a single or double shot, and the machine will dispense the exact right amount.
Adjustable steam frother allows you to adjust the foam and steam level to create different milk styles for your desired coffee drink.
Double removable drip tray allows you to accommodate different and taller cup sizes by removing the tray.
Stainless steel housing.
35 oz removable water reservoir
Very sleek and narrow design makes the machine very convenient to keep in any counter space.
What Is The Difference Between DeLonghi Dedica and Dedica Deluxe?
There are two main differences that have been upgraded in the Dedica Deluxe:
The steam wand now has a switch that allows you to adjust the level of foam. You can also just heat the milk without foaming. This is a great option to have more control over your milk texture, even if you’re new to steaming milk.
The machine can now accommodate taller cup sizes, such as latte cups. This is thanks to the double drip tray, so you can remove two trays instead of one.
Should You Buy The Dedica Deluxe?
If this is going to be your first Dedica, then it is certainly worth your consideration. Do keep in mind that it is more expensive than the Dedica model, which lacks the two upgrades mentioned above. If those upgrades are not important to you, then you’ll be just as happy with the Dedica EC680M.
If you already own the Dedica EC680M, should you upgrade to the newer model? If your machine is still working and in great shape, we really don’t see the need for the upgrade. Your Dedica still has the best features of the machine, and you’re still getting the same drink quality, so it wouldn’t be worth it to upgrade.
DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe vs. Breville Bambino Plus – Which Is Best?
The Breville Bambino Plus delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Bambino Series that offers the faster way to professional results at home in a compact footprint: serious espresso, serious value
DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Achieve a consistent and balanced espresso using the right amount of ground coffee; The 54mm porta-filter with 19 grams is the key for full flavor and cafe quality coffee
OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds
PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
Breville’s Bambino Plus is quite a unique machine that solves the one task most home users struggle with, milk texturing. This machine has a steam wand that will automatically froth and texture your milk to perfection. You have the option of selecting from three milk temperatures and three levels of textures. Select your desired customization and leave the rest to the machine.
If you feel like milk texturing is something that you want to learn and practice, you can save some money and go for something more affordable like the DeLonghi Dedica. This is the biggest difference between the two machines that can affect your buying decision, whether you want automatic frothing or not. Other features are nearly the same.
Best DeLonghi Accessories To Buy With Your Espresso Machine:
DeLonghi Dedica Conical Burr Grinder:
We all know the perfect cup of coffee starts with the perfect grind. And Dedica Conical Burr Grinder was designed to make it as easy as possible for you to get the right grind for your cup of coffee. The Dedica grinder has 18 variable grind settings for different brew methods: espresso, drip coffee, pour over or french press, so it’s not just for your espresso needs. An LCD display makes it easy to adjust your settings and get the grind you need. And you have the option to grind right into a portafilter or the included jar.
Design wise, the grinder matches the Dedica espresso machine perfectly, so they’ll look beautiful setting on your counter top.
One of the downsides of the Dedica machine is that it does not include a frothing pitcher. So it would be a good idea to purchase one with your machine. We recommend DeLonghi’s brushed stainless steel jug with 14 oz capacity, although, of course, any jug of your choice will do.
Coffee looks a lot better and enticing in double walled glasses and the floating effect they give your drink. Not only that, but double walled glasses hold the temperature of your drink, whether hot or cold, for a longer time. DeLonghi offers these beautiful glasses in many sizes for each coffee drink. Pictured above are the tall glasses for Lattes, sold in a set of 2.
You’ve decided you want a single-serve coffee maker, but you’re torn between two systems: Nespresso or Dolce Gusto? Which of these coffee makers should you buy?
In this post, we’ll highlight the features of each system to help you understand which of them is the right choice for you personally.
Nespresso Espresso Maker:
Nespresso has two lines of machines: Nespresso OriginalLine and Nespresso VertuoLine.
Nespresso OriginalLine makes espresso drinks: Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato and pretty much any specialty coffee drink. Only Nespresso OriginalLine capsules and Nespresso compatible brands work with these machines. OriginalLine machines are: Inissia, Pixie, CitiZ, Lattissima and Prodigio.
Nespresso VertuoLine is designed to brew espresso as well as coffee. So you can make espresso and espresso-based drinks as well as coffee. Only VertuoLine capsules are compatible with these machines, and they are different to OriginalLine capsules. Machines in this line are VertuoLine, Evoluo and Evoluo Deluxe.
Using Nespresso Capsules To Make Your Coffee Drink:
Using a Nespresso machine is as easy as pushing a button. Simply insert your capsule and push the button to brew your selected size.
Nespresso Capsules only contain pure coffee ground in them. No powdered milk, sugar or flavors.
If you want to create a milk-based drink like a Cappuccino, you can use a milk frother to heat and froth the milk. You can use your favorite kind of milk.
Depending on the Nespresso model you choose, some are bundled with a Nespresso Aeroccino and some have a built-in frother. Or you can always buy your own frother.
Nespresso’s capsules are made of aluminum and are recyclable.
Whether you choose an OrignalLine or VertuoLine machine, there’s a range of capsules to choose from (intensity and blends).
For OriginalLine machines, there are capsules from other brands. There are also some aftermarket refillable pods available so you can brew your own coffee ground.
Each Nespresso sleeve includes 10 capsules.
What Drinks To Make Using Nespresso:
You can make pretty much any type of coffee drink, including cappuccino, latte, macchiato, flavored lattes (you’ll have to buy the syrup separately). Nespresso does NOT make hot chocolate or tea drinks. So, it’s strictly coffee.
You can also make cold coffee drinks by creating cold froth, which is an option in Aeroccino and some other electric frothers. However, Nespresso only brews hot coffee.
Dolce Gusto has a range of coffee systems. For the most part, they all work the same way. The differences between them are in the size, capacity and design, but all make the same drinks.
These machines use Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules exclusively.
You can make a variety of coffee drinks using a Dolce Gusto machine, that includes coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, flavored coffee drinks. You can also make hot chocolate and tea drinks, as well as iced drinks.
Making Your Favorite Drinks Using Dolce Gusto Capsules:
If you’re making coffee or espresso (no-milk drink), then all you have to do is insert your capsule in its place, adjust water volume and hit the brew button.
For milk based drinks, Dolce Gusto capsule packs include two type of capsules: one is the coffee capsule and the second is the milk capsule. To brew your drink, you’ll have to brew your coffee capsule first, remove it, then brew the milk capsule.
None of Dolce Gusto’s machines include a milk frother. Of course, you have the choice to buy a frother from any brand, but for the most part, Dolce Gusto’s coffee drinks are made with the included powdered milk capsules.
Amount of capsules in each box range from 8 to 16 depending on the drink.
First thing to note is, we won’t comment on the taste here, as taste is a very subjective thing.
What we can comment on is freshness of the coffee. Let’s take making a Cappuccino as an example:
When making a Cappuccino using Nespresso, you’ll use an espresso capsule with your choice of fresh milk that you froth right before you drink.
Making a Cappuccino using Dolce Gusto, you’ll be using an espresso capsule and a milk capsule. This powdered milk capsule effects the taste of the drink. The milk capsule can also include sugar and artificial or natural flavors in it, if that’s something that might be of interest to you, check the ingredients before buying.
Second thing to note is, ease of use:
When using a Nespresso, there’s less steps to making a drink. You brew a shot of espresso or coffee with a touch of a button. Capsules are automatically ejected into a used capsule drawer, so it’s mess-free too.
With Dolce Gusto, there are more steps to making a drink. If you’re making black coffee or espresso, it’s a straight forward process. But if you’re making a specialty coffee drink, it’s a multiple step process:
Insert the milk capsule, adjust the bars to dispense the required amount of water then brew. Manually remove the capsule.
Insert the coffee capsule, adjust the bars, then brew.
There’s no drawer to collect used capsules, although some Dolce Gusto models include a bin for used capsule, but you still have to take out the capsule out of the machine manually.
We prefer Nespresso over Dolce Gusto for its ease of use, mess-free process and the freshness of its coffee. The capsules for Nespresso are slightly more expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for. With Nespresso, you also can control what ingredients go into your coffee, which makes a better choice for someone who is calorie or sugar conscious.
A Cappuccino is a popular coffee drink that is made up of espresso, milk and foam. A traditional Cappuccino is made of 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam.
To make a Cappuccino as authentic as an Italian one, the milk has to be steamed. But using an electric foamer makes good foam and makes a great alternative to make a Cappuccino at home.
Does a Cappuccino Have Caffeine In It?
Yes, it does. Cappuccino has a shot of espresso in it, and a shot of 2 oz espresso has about 80 ml of caffeine in it.
What Is The Difference Between a Cappuccino and a Latte?
When it comes to coffee drinks, the main difference is the amount of milk and how it compares to the amount of milk and foam in it.
In a Cappuccino, you have 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam.
In a Latte, has a shot of espresso, milk and only a little bit of foam on top. The amount of milk here is more than the espresso and foam.
Wet vs. Dry vs. Bone-Dry Cappuccino, What’s The Difference?
As general rule, when it a coffee drink is referred to as ‘wet’ then it probably has a more of a creamier texture than a ‘dry’ drink, which will most likely have less milk.
In a traditional Cappuccino, you have equal parts of espresso, milk and foam.
A wet Cappuccino has less foam and more steamed milk.
A dry Cappuccino is the opposite, it has less steamed milk and more foam.
a bone-dry Cappuccino is espresso with foam only, no steamed milk.
Is a Bone Dry Cappuccino The Same as an Espresso Macchiato?
No it’s not. While a Dry Cappuccino has espresso and foam only, an Espresso Macchiato has espresso and a dollop of lightly foamed milk, similar of the foam of a latte.
Now we’ve explained all kinds of possible Cappuccino drinks, the question is, how can you make all these delicious coffee drinks at home?
How To Make a Cappuccino at Home:
Can I Make a Cappuccino Without a Machine?
This is the most common question we get. Is it possible to make a Cappuccino without a machine? Because the base of every Cappuccino is espresso, and it’s impossible to have espresso without a machine, then you need an espresso machine for making Cappuccino and other coffee drinks.
What’s The Best Way To Make a Cappuccino at Home?
We’ve already established the fact that to make an authentic cup of Cappuccino you’d need an espresso machine. Luckily, espresso machines are available for every budget, so you shouldn’t be worried about breaking the bank for a cup of Cappuccino at home.
When it comes to espresso machines, you have two choice:
An automatic single-serve espresso machine
A traditional style, manual or semi-automatic espresso machine.
A single-serve espresso machine is the easiest option to use. It uses pre-measured coffee pods and makes your desired drink with a touch of a button, so there’s no work on your part.
A manual or semi-automatic espresso machine is what you’d see at a coffee shop, but on a smaller scale for the home user. It uses ground coffee and you have to manually brew your shot and froth your milk.
Here are our favorite machines to make a Cappuccino at home:
The most affordable and compact Nespresso machine. The Inissia is a very popular choice right now. The machine uses Nespresso capsules to brew a single serve of an Espresso or Lungo automatically. The bundled Aeroccino milk frother heats and froths milk automatically, either for a Cappuccino (with more froth) or Latte (less froth and creamier texture). It can also make cold froth for iced drinks, all with a touch of a button.
The DeLonghi Dedica is a very slim semi-automatic espresso maker. You can create your shot manually (manual start and stop of the shot) or automatically as the machine is pre-set to the perfect dose. The steam wand allows you to manually heat and froth your milk. The Dedica makes an excellent choice for a beginner user.
This espresso maker by Mr. Coffee combines the best of both worlds. It has the classic protafilter and uses coffee ground, but it also has automatic brewing and milk frothing. It has a dedicated button for each coffee drink, a detachable milk reservoir and it includes all accessories for you to get started right away: portafilter with both single and double shot filters, coffee measuring scoop and a tamper.