When it comes to choosing a home espresso machine, the De’Longhi Stilosa and the Breville Bambino are two popular options that often come to mind. Both machines are designed to provide a user-friendly espresso-making experience, with unique features and capabilities for the at-home barista.
Key Differences Between DeLonghi Stilosa and Breville Bambino DeLonghi Stilosa and Breville Bambino are not in the same class or range of espresso machines. Stilosa is a manual, low-budget espresso machine. While the Breville Bambino is a semi-automatic espresso machine for the range of $300 to $400. The De'Longhi Stilosa has established a reputation for its affordability and ease of use, making it a great choice for beginners who are just getting started with brewing espresso at home. With a price point of around $100 and an average rating of 4.5 stars, it's not hard to see why this machine is a popular choice for those entering the world of espresso. On the other hand, the Breville Bambino is known for its higher quality and professional steam wand, offering more versatility and control for the user compared to the De'Longhi Stilosa.
Below, I have compiled every difference you need to know about DeLonghi Stilosa vs Breville Bambino.
DeLonghi Stilosa vs Breville Bambino – Top Differences
When considering the DeLonghi Stilosa and the Breville Bambino, there are several key differences to take note of, including their design, features, and performance.
DeLonghi Stilosa is a manual espresso machine, while Breville Bambino is a semi-automatic one. This means that with the Stilosa, you have to manually switch a knob to start and stop the extraction of your espresso shot. Using the Bambino, you can press a button that will automatically extract and stop the correct shot volume, or you can use manual settings.
Design and Build Quality
De’Longhi Stilosa Design
The De’Longhi Stilosa features a classic design, with a build made mostly from plastic. The control panel is simple and easy to use, with button to power on the machine, and a single knob that allows you to switch between extraction or steaming. The Stilosa’s compact size makes it a suitable option for smaller kitchens or limited countertop spaces.
Breville Bambino Design
Unlike the De’Longhi Stilosa, the Breville Bambino has a higher quality design with full stainless steel housing. The Bambino boasts an easy-to-use control panel, featuring indicator lights and buttons that allow for quick and efficient operation. With its speedy startup and automated functions, it is highly regarded for its compact size and solid build quality.
Espresso Performance and Milk Frothing Capabilities
De’Longhi Stilosa Performance
The De’Longhi Stilosa delivers a decent espresso performance with its 15-bar pump, allowing the extraction of bold and aromatic flavors from the coffee grounds. The machine features a stainless steel boiler for consistent water temperature during the brewing process, ensuring a balanced and full-bodied espresso.
However, it is essential to note that the Stilosa lacks a built-in grinder; therefore, using fresh grounds or a separate grinder is necessary for optimal taste. Using the correct grind size is crucial for a great shot of espresso. If you don’t plan on grinding your own beans, make sure you buy finely ground coffee for espresso use.
Moreover, the manual steam wand provides control over milk frothing but might require some practice and skill to achieve the desired texture. However, don’t expect finely textured milk that you can create latte art with. Stilosa’s wand jets too much air, which created thick foamy milk for the cappuccino. Learning to control the size or density of your froth will depend on you.
Breville Bambino Performance
In comparison, the Breville Bambino excels in espresso performance. Due to its fast heat-up system, the machine is capable of reaching the ideal water temperature within three seconds, making it more time-efficient than the De’Longhi Stilosa. Additionally, the Bambino features a 54mm portafilter and a 19-gram dose capacity, allowing larger coffee grounds for a richer, more full-flavored espresso.
The Bambino also comes with a professional steam wand design. It’s a single-hole design that can create micro-foam milk texture. If you’re a fan of latte art, this type of steam wand allows you to create the right milk texture for such art. However, it will take a lot of practice on your end.
Portafilter Sizes and Capacity
DeLonghi Stilosa Portafilter
Like most DeLonghi espresso machines, the Stilosa includes a standard 51mm portafilter that can hold 7g of coffee grounds for the single shot basket, or 12 to 14 grams for the double shot basket. It also comes with an ESE pod adapter, so if you don’t want to use ground coffee but want to use packs of ESE pods, you can.
Breville Bambino Portafilter
As a company, Breville includes professional style tools with their espresso machines. With the Breville Bambino, you get a 54mm portafilter, which holds between 18g to 22g of coffee grounds and is more in line with specialty third-wave coffee requirements.
It comes with single or double-shot baskets, one set it pressurized and another non-pressurized set. Using non-pressurized baskets is tricky, though, and requires precisely ground coffee. If you don’t have a high-end grinder, or prefer to use pre-ground coffee, you’re better off using the pressurized baskets which are more ‘forgiving’ when it comes to grind fineness.
Related: Breville Portafilter Size Chart
Ease of Use
How To Use De’Longhi Stilosa
The De’Longhi Stilosa offers a basic user experience, making it suitable for beginners looking for an affordable espresso machine. The design is relatively straightforward, with easy-to-navigate controls and features.
Being a manual machine, everything falls back on what you do and how you time your shots. This leads to a lot of room for error, but as you get used to using the machine, you’ll reach your desired results.
One drawback noted by users is the smaller double shot basket size, which holds 13 to 14 grams compared to the standard 18 grams found in many other machines. Despite this limitation, the Stilosa is a good starting point for those new to making espresso at home.
How To Use Breville Bambino
The Breville Bambino offers an easy user experience for a semi-automatic espresso machine. Its intuitive controls make it simple for users to adjust settings and brew their preferred espresso drinks. Using the shot or double espresso shot buttons allows for automatic brewing with a preset volume. But you have the option of reprogramming those volumes to your liking by simply long pressing the brew buttons until the desired volume is dispensed.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning De’Longhi Stilosa
The De’Longhi Stilosa requires regular cleaning to ensure optimal performance and longevity. It is important to clean the drip tray, water tank, and filter baskets frequently.
You can remove the drip tray and water tank easily for cleaning, and they are dishwasher safe for convenience.
For maintaining the machine, it is recommended to descale it periodically, depending on the hardness of your water and usage. You can use a descaling solution specifically designed for espresso machines to remove any mineral buildup inside the machine.
Cleaning Breville Bambino
The Breville Bambino also necessitates regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it in good working order. Similar to the De’Longhi Stilosa, you should clean the drip tray, water tank, and filter baskets often. These components are removable and dishwasher safe, making the cleaning process easier.
Additionally, the Bambino features an automatic cleaning cycle for its steam wand to ensure proper milk frothing. You should also descale the machine periodically to remove mineral buildup. Breville provides specific instructions for descaling in their user manual, and it is crucial to follow these guidelines for optimal performance and longevity.
Price and Value
In this section, I will compare the price and value of the De’Longhi Stilosa and Breville Bambino espresso machines.
De’Longhi Stilosa Value
The De’Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine has always been recognized for its value. It is designed as an affordable option for espresso enthusiasts looking for an easy-to-use machine with solid performance without spending hundreds of dollars on their first espresso machine.
While it might not have advanced features, it is fully manual and requires that you do every thing yourself, it is still a great machine for its price. And with practice, you can get a great cup of cappuccino or latte out of it.
The Stilosa is the type of espresso machine that it bought because of its affordable price, and the decent value and longevity it gives for that price. It’s not something you’d pick up for the greatness of its features, and you will most likely want to upgrade after a while. It’s simply a budget-friendly pick for a beginner.
Breville Bambino Value
The Breville Bambino is a higher-priced option compared to DeLonghi Stilosa. And it’s worth it for that matter. It has better construction, and better quality parts (internal and external) and it’s the type of machine that will last you years to come.
Breville Bambino has several features that justify the higher price, including:
- Compact size and stainless steel housing
- Fast heat-up time thanks to its ThermoJet heater
- Programmable single and double shot buttons
- Professional style steam wand
DeLonghi Stilosa vs Breville Bambino – Which to Pick?
If you’re looking for a budget purchase that will help you dabble in the world of espresso making while still getting decent results, DeLonghi Stilosa is a great choice. But it’s also the type of machine you grow out of quickly.
Breville Bambino, on the other hand, is a machine that you grow into. It has automatic and manual features, it has a durable heating system and construction and will give you professional results due to it’s great accessories and professional steam wand that allows you to texture milk perfectly. If your budget allows it, I advise that you look into the Bambino Plus too for more advanced features.
In summary, the Breville Bambino and De’Longhi Stilosa offer different features and capabilities. The Bambino may be the better choice for those seeking cafe-quality espresso and milk steaming, while the Stilosa could be preferred by users who prioritize a more affordable option.
Overview of De’Longhi Stilosa
The De’Longhi Stilosa is a compact and budget-friendly espresso machine designed with beginners in mind. It has an elegant classic design, and it’s easy-to-use manual operation makes it an excellent choice for those new to home espresso brewing.
One of the key features of the De’Longhi Stilosa is its 15 bar pump pressure and durable stainless steel boiler, ensuring perfect extraction of espresso. The machine comes with a double-spout portafilter and two filter options, one for single shots and the other for double espresso shots. This allows users to customize their espresso experience to their preferences. In addition, the Stilosa includes a two-in-one tamper and measuring spoon, making espresso preparation simple and efficient. The only thing missing from its starter pack is a frothing pitcher.
Despite being an affordable alternative to many high-end espresso machines, the De’Longhi Stilosa does have some limitations. According to TechGearLab, the espresso and cappuccinos produced by the Stilosa can be somewhat thin, bitter, and have stiff steamed milk. However, for those on a budget and looking for an accessible espresso machine, these issues may be considered minor trade-offs.
Cleaning and maintenance of the De’Longhi Stilosa are relatively easy. Although it has a milk frother, the machine requires minimal upkeep, with a recommendation to descale the machine every few months and to give it a light clean after every use. This feature ensures that even those who are new to espresso machines can keep their Stilosa in good working condition with little effort.
Overview of Breville Bambino
The Breville Bambino is a beautiful espresso machine designed for users who are looking for cafe-quality results in their own home. Despite its smaller size, the Bambino packs a punch when it comes to producing great-tasting espresso.
One of the standout features of the Bambino is its quick heat-up time. In just a few seconds, the machine reaches the optimal temperature for brewing, allowing you to enjoy your espresso without a long wait. The Bambino also offers easy-to-use controls, with separate buttons for hot water and steam operation, providing a user-friendly experience.
In terms of frothing milk for lattes and cappuccinos, the Bambino falls slightly behind its counterpart, the Bambino Plus, which offers automatic texture and temperature control. But compared to the Stilosa, the Bambino has a high quality single-hole steam wand that provides professional results.