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DeLonghi La Specialista Arte vs Breville Barista Express – Top Differences You Need to Know

Breville Espresso Machines, DeLonghi Mar 19, 2023
La Specialista Arte vs Barista Express - Top Differences You Need to Know

If you’re looking for a high-quality espresso machine to make cafe-style drinks at home, then look no further than the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte and Breville Barista Express. Both machines have been designed with precision engineering and intuitive features that will help you craft delicious beverages every time. They were designed to give you everything you need in one machine: built-in grinder, easy controls, programmability and all.

Barista Express has the lead as its been around for at least 10 years now, while the La Specialista Arte is a newcomer and comes as a direct comparison to the Barista Express.

This post is a full comparison between the Barista Express and La Specialista Arte, to help you decide between the two models.

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte EC9155MB vs Breville Barista Express BES870XL – Top Differences

Both Barista Express and La Specialista Arte are the entry-level machines in their range, so it only makes sense that we compare them head to head.


Barista Express has metal housing that is more durable, while the La Specialista Arte is now available in two models: plastic housing (model name EC9155MB) or metal housing (model name EC9155MB). The metal housing model will cost you more.

La Specialista Arte vs Barista Express Grinders

Built in Grinders

Barista Express has 16 grind settings on the machine, but has additional micro-step adjustments on the grinder itself, which gives you a lot more adjustment than La Specialista Arte, which has only 8 grind settings.

These additional adjustments can be quite intimidating for a beginner, but they usually mean that you can micro adjust according to your bean type or roast, which can lead to better results.

The bean hopper on the Barista Express is removable, which is useful if you ever need to clean the burrs or wash the hopper. La Specialista’s hopper is not removable, but can be taken apart which is a more complicated process than just picking up the hopper or putting back in place.

Water Reservoir

Other than capacities, the Barista Express does not have a water sensor to let you know that you’re low on water, so you have to check for your water level before you start your brew cycle. La Specialista Arte has a sensor and will alert you once you are low on water.

Breville Barista Express Portafilter Size

Breville is known of including commercial style or semi-commercial tools with their machines. This goes for their 54mm portafilter size, which can hold up to 20 grams of coffee grounds.

DeLonghi La Specialista Portafilter Size

La Specialista, like most DeLonghi Espresso machines, uses a 51mm portafilter, which can hold up between 16 to 18 grams of coffee for a double shot.

Both machines include pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets, which is great.

Steam Wands

Both machines have professional style, single hole steam wands. Barista Express’s wand has more range and movement than La Specialista Arte’s, however, it gets pretty hot and you should be careful not to touch while while steaming.

Arte’s steam wand still has some good range of motion, but most importantly, it’s made of non-burn material so it won’t burn you if you accidentally touch it.

As both Barista Express and La Specialista Arte are single-boiler machines, you’ll need some time to switch between espresso extraction and steaming. Arte is much faster in getting the steam ready in as little as 15 seconds, while it can take Barista Express up to 30 seconds to be ready.

Control Panel

La Specialista Arte vs Barista Express Controls

Both machines have similar button controls as well as a pressure gauge to show you were your machine is at, temperature wise.

I do like La Specialista Arte’s interface better as it has some clean options like temperature levels, dose level and it actually has a few brew options: espresso, Americano and coffee. Americano will pull a shot or two of espersso, as you choose, then automatically add hot water to it using the dedicated hot water spout. Coffee, is not your average drip coffee but a long black, which is a longer shot of espresso.

Barista Express does not have any preset drinks, other than the single or double shot buttons. But it does have a dedicated hot water spout, so you can make an Americano but you’ll have to press the hot water button manually after espresso extraction.

Included Accessories

Barista Express Accessories
DeLonghi’s Barista Kit

You pretty much get similar accessories with both machines: a stainless steel frothing jug, a tamper, portafilter with single or double shot baskets. La Specialista also includes a tamping mat and a funnel, which is a nice addition, too.

Should You Buy the Barista Express or La Specialista Arte

Usually, price plays a big part in which machine you should buy, provided that you are on a strict budget. In the case of Barista Express and La Specialista Arte, they are usually sold for the same price.

Price aside, though, the winner in this comparison is the Barista Express, for several reasons:

  • It has more stable temperature than La Specialista, which will provide you with better quality coffee.
  • It has more grind settings, which is something that you need to dial in different coffee beans and roasts and get the best results. It will be messy at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll get perfect espresso every time.
  • It has better housing and materials for the price.
  • You get a larger portafilter with the Barista Express. More coffee grounds means more flavor.

Unless the La Specilasta Arte is available at a discounted price and you can give up on some of these features, Barista Express should be your first pick.

DeLonghi vs Breville Espresso Machines – Which Is Best?

This is a never ending comparison between Breville and DeLonghi, especially when it comes to espresso machines. With some espresso machines, Breville has the lead and innovation, but DeLonghi is a more established company that knows exactly what their consumers need and want.

I can’t give you a clear answer on which is best, because each brand has its own advantages and disadvantages. What I can tell you is, don’t compare brands, but specific espresso machine models so you can buy the exact features you need at the price you can afford. Both of these brands have proven to be excellent in what they do and provide, so I wouldn’t worry about them. I’d pay more attention on getting the right model, from either brand, that is suited for my needs.

Related Comparisons

Breville Barista Express Specs

Included Accessories

  • Razor Dose Trimming Tool (remove excess grounds)
  • 54mm Stainless Steel Portafilter
  • 1 & 2 cup Single & Dual Wall Filter Baskets
  • Coffee Scoop
  • Tamper
  • Stainless Steel Milk Jug
  • Cleaning Disc
  • Brush Tool & Allen Key
  • Water Filter & Filter Holder
  • Tablets

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Specs

Included Accessories

  • Professional tamper
  • tamping mat
  • dosing funnel
  • Total Hardness Test
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Descaler 100mL
  • Single coffee filter, Double coffee Filter
  • Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Jug
  • Cleaning needle for steam nozzle

The Wrap Up

When it comes to deciding between the Breville Barista Express and DeLonghi La Specialista Arte, the clear winner is the Barista Express. It offers more features and options for a similar price and delivers better quality espresso. The La Specialista Arte does have some unique features, such as preset drink options, but in the end, these are not necessary for great espresso.

If you’re looking for a good mid-range espresso machine that will provide you with consistent quality coffee each time, then the Breville Barista Express is an excellent choice. You’ll have plenty of features to help you dial in the perfect espresso and make a variety of coffee drinks with ease. The machine may require some work at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have no problem making great espresso every time.