Which espresso machine is better, Breville or De’Longhi?
Breville and De’Longhi are prominent espresso machine manufacturers that make innovative, high-quality products for espresso lovers all over the world.
Breville is known for high-quality home espresso machines, generally tailored toward experienced users looking for a high-end product with more manual control over the final brew quality. De’Longhi offers a wide choice of affordable coffee makers, many with preset programs to make the morning routine easier when pulling a rich, creamy shot of espresso.
Both brands produce great-tasting espresso, and both companies offer similar machines at comparable prices. But some variations could influence your choice.
Breville espresso machines
An Australian company founded in 1932, Breville once manufactured radios but as the company grew it expanded into kitchen appliances. In the early 2000s, Breville gained attention for its home espresso makers, and today most coffee experts consider them to be among the best in the world.
Breville produces a complete line of espresso machines, from manual ones to fully automatic and even pod-based machines for Nespresso. They include ways to regulate grinding, pressure, temperature, milk foaming and more to create a delicious espresso with a silky crema layer on top. High-end models include digital temperature control and touchscreen displays that make programing easier.
Breville machines vary widely in price, with the Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker at about $250, the mid-priced Barista Express at $700 and the fully automatic Oracle Touch selling for just over $2,600.
Breville espresso machine pros
- More control over the brewing process: Coffee connoisseurs who like to experiment prefer Breville machines. On mid-priced models and higher, they can create up to eight personalized coffee programs that specify strength, milk texture and temperature.
- Precise water temperature: Digital temperature control delivers water at the best temperature for creating the optimal espresso extraction.
- Burr mill grinder: Any connoisseur knows a perfect brew starts with freshly ground coffee. Some Breville machines include a ceramic burr grinder with dose-control technology for accurate measurement.
- Pre-infusion system: This gradually increases pressure to ensure the entire surface of the coffee dose is evenly and gently wet for optimal extraction.
- Stylish: Breville designs its espresso machines with artistically aligned parts and offers a classy color palette. Many consider them more attractive than De’Longhi’s.
- Double boiler: This lets you steam milk simultaneously with brewing to keep preparation time short.
- Fast heat-up time: High-end machines heat up in three seconds, producing a precise espresso extraction in no time.
- Powerful steam wand: It produces hand-textured microfoam milk ideal for cappuccino, latte and artistic designs on milk-based drinks.
Breville espresso machine cons
- More difficult to use: Breville machines generally require more user input to achieve the perfect personalized espresso. You may need to experiment to determine the grind size and coffee settings that work best for you.
- Large size and volume: Well-known for their large size and volume, Breville espresso makers take up kitchen counter space.
- Expensive: Breville espresso machines are more expensive than De’Longhi models with comparable features.
Best Breville espresso machines
This attractive semiautomatic machine with brushed stainless steel dials offers the barista control over the water temperature and a pre-infusion system for a rich, creamy extraction. A built-in conical burr grinder, programmable settings, thermocoil heating system and manual steam wand all contribute to the ideal espresso or cappuccino.
The affordable semiautomatic machine includes Breville’s pre-infusion technology and features temperature control, a manual steam wand, and volumetric control. The absence of a built-in grinder saves space, resulting in a small footprint great for countertops, but it requires grinding the beans in a separate device.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
The super automatic Oracle Touch is the ideal machine for espresso lovers who demand the highest quality extractions but prefer to merely select one of five pre-programmed drink options. Users can change settings for coffee temperature, strength and milk texture and a conical burr grinder automatically doses and tamps the grinds for maximum flavor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
De’Longhi espresso machines
De’Longhi is an Italian company founded in 1902 as a manufacturer of small industrial parts. Over the years it gained a reputation as a reliable producer of portable heaters, air conditioners, and domestic cooking and food preparation appliances. By 2008, the company became well known for its espresso machines.
Today, De’Longhi makes a variety of coffee makers and espresso machines including manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic models. Like Breville, the company has also partnered with Nespresso to manufacture capsule-based espresso machines.
De’Longhi offers more low-end espresso machine models than Breville. Prices vary from the basic Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine at just under $100, the small-footprint semiautomatic Dedica Espresso Machine at about $335 and the high-end La Specialista, selling for about $790.
De’Longhi espresso machine pros
- Ease of use: Basic models provide intuitive controls.
- Built-in grinder: On high-end models, De’Longhi’s grinding technology delivers precise, consistent grinding and the ideal dose for an espresso, every time.
- Programmable: High-end models feature a programmable system that requires fewer barista skills, letting you rely entirely on the machine to produce a quality espresso drink.
- Sleeker with smaller footprint: Unlike Breville’s large, high-capacity machines, De’Longhi favors sleeker machines with a smaller footprint that take up less space on the kitchen counter.
- Temperature control: High-end models allow selecting among three temperature profiles to set the appropriate temperature for the coffee beans chosen.
- Double boiler: Available on some models, two boilers permit frothing milk while brewing providing faster beverage preparation.
- Dynamic pre-infusion: Available on high-end models, this wets the entire surface of the coffee dose evenly for the right extraction.
- Steam arm: Most models include a swivel-jet arm for producing frothy milk.
- Fast heat-up time: Some models provide a one-second startup time.
- Less expensive: Models with similar features are less expensive than their Breville counterparts, and De’Longhi offers basic espresso machines for under $100.
De’Longhi espresso machine cons
- Less control over the extraction: Coffee geeks who like to tweak every factor of the brewing process, such as dose control grinding, tamping pressure and water temperature, may be disappointed.
- Appearance: Most De’Longhi machines are modern, compact, functional designs and are considered by some to be less attractive than the Breville machines.
- Noisy: Some of the less-expensive models are noisy.
Best De’Longhi espresso machines
This stainless-steel machine features a built-in conical burr grinder with five grind size settings and a sensor to ensure consistent doses. The intelligent tamping system applies the same pressure for every dose and a consistent brew. An active temperature control system delivers ideal stability for three temperature profiles.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
A compact espresso machine that can be operated manually or in semiautomatic mode, the Dedica provides Thermoblock heating and adjustable controls, ensuring quality results for every shot of espresso. Ideal for kitchens with limited space, the machine takes up a mere six inches of counter space.
For the budget-minded barista, the Stilosa offers an easy-to-operate entry-level espresso machine with durable construction and a stainless-steel boiler built for years of trouble-free service. The contemporary design features a pump providing 15 bars of pressure, ideal for extracting a rich espresso, latte or cappuccino.
Should you get a Breville or a De’Longhi espresso machine?
Breville and De’Longhi are well-known brands with proven track records for making quality products using state-of-the-art technology. Breville’s machines are ideal for the coffee enthusiast who likes to fine-tune an extraction, but they’re more expensive and difficult to use. De’Longhi’s machines are slightly less expensive and require less user input, but sacrifice some customizability.
Your best choice will depend mostly on how much time you want to spend preparing a delicious espresso.
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Jeff Harper writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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