Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialista: Which Is The Better Investment Espresso Machine For Beginners?

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Our comparison of the Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialista will help you decide which of these espresso machines is the more worthy option. This is the answer for those who don’t have time to read an article in its entirety.

While both machines are great, after using them for quite a while, I personally think that the Breville Barista Express is a slightly better choice than the Delonghi. The Breville Barista Express’s durable design, adjustable grind settings, and high-quality espresso make it an easy pick as a winner.

Although, if you are looking for something stunning and unique, then the Delonghi La Specialista may be the perfect choice as it has some additional features, except for some of those found in the Breville. Besides two independent heating systems, the machine features automatic tamping and selections for three types of coffee. This makes it ideal for beginners and those who prefer automatic machines.

Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialista: Comparison Chart 

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
The Runner-up (#2)
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Stainless Steel, EC9335M
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
De'Longhi La Specialista EC9335M
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11 x 12 x 13.5 inches
15 x 14.48 x 17.5 inches
Color
Metal
Metal
Material
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 pounds
29.7 Pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
1450W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
19 bars
Interface
Dials and buttons
Dials and buttons
Tamping
Manual
Built-in Tamper
Grind settings
18 grind settings
6 grind settings
Programming customized settings
Coffee type selections
Hot Water Spout
Can use non-pressurized filter
What I Like
Price
$699.95
$849.00
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express BES870XL
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11 x 12 x 13.5 inches
Color
Metal
Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Interface
Dials and buttons
Tamping
Manual
Grind settings
18 grind settings
Programming customized settings
Coffee type selections
Hot Water Spout
Can use non-pressurized filter
What I Like
Price
$699.95
More Info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Stainless Steel, EC9335M
Model
De'Longhi La Specialista EC9335M
Dimensions (LxWxH)
15 x 14.48 x 17.5 inches
Color
Metal
Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
29.7 Pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1450W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
19 bars
Interface
Dials and buttons
Tamping
Built-in Tamper
Grind settings
6 grind settings
Programming customized settings
Coffee type selections
Hot Water Spout
Can use non-pressurized filter
What I Like
Price
$849.00
More Info

Last update on 2022-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialista: Differences

Both Delonghi La Specialista and Breville Barista Express have several distinctive features that make them stand out from the crowd. Based on our experience with both espresso machines, we can conclude that Breville Barista Express won 3-2 against La Specialista.

 BUILD QUALITY AND AESTHETIC DESIGN

The Winner:  Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express's construction
The Breville Barista Express’s construction

If you put these two machines side by side, you won’t see too much difference in their appearance. There are a number of features common to both espresso machines, including a removable water tank, bean hopper and cup warmer positioned on top, pressure gauge, hot water dispenser for americanos and tea. Additionally, both have a single steam wand, a single group head… 

Nevertheless, one of the great conveniences of Breville that Delonghi lacks is the specially designed tool compartment cleverly hidden inside, behind the drip tray. This way you don’t have to worry about where your filters are every time you need them and your kitchen won’t get cluttered.

In terms of size, the La Specialista is an inch or two longer and wider, but none of these factors should be a major concern.

A machine’s durability is a key determining factor when it comes to its quality. I am therefore confident that Breville Barista is a significantly better alternative to La Specialista in this instance

Portafilter handles, bean hoppers, and tampers are frequently used parts in a coffee machine. In Delonghi La Specialista, however, they appear to be partially made from hard, cheap plastic. In spite of these minor details, they are enough to reduce Delonghi La Specialista’s reputation with buyers. Meanwhile, I think the Barista Express is quite reliable since most of its parts are made of tough, durable stainless steel.

GRINDING

The Winner:  Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express is equipped with a precision conical burr grinder
The Breville Barista Express is equipped with a precision conical burr grinder

Breville Barista Express and Delonghi La Specialista are both equipped with a precision conical burr grinder. Grinding is made easier by this device, which provides freshly and consistent ground in a short amount of time.

Nevertheless, Breville Barista Express still offers a better coffee grinding experience overall with 18 grind options versus Delonghi La Specialista with only 6.

The more grinding levels available, the more options we will have for grinding coffee finely or coarsely for a variety of beverages. 

TAMPING

The Winner: Delonghi La Specialista

A large part of the reason I like the La Specialista is the built-in tamping system. It makes brewing espresso a lot easier. Simply press the lever at the side of the machine after the coffee is ground into the filter basket, and you will get a perfectly pressed coffee in the filter basket. Therefore, the portafilter or tamper does not need to be removed by you, and no mess will be created.

However, tamping can be a little bit messy with Barista Express, because it relies on the traditional hand tamper. Beginners may find this challenging. However, it is very easy to adapt to.

ESPRESSO QUALITY

The Winner:  Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express creates a rich, high-quality espresso by using 2 types of filters
The Barista Express creates a rich, high-quality espresso by using 2 types of filters

From my point of view, these two machines differ most significantly in terms of the quality of coffee they can produce.

La Specailista’s espresso isn’t as good as advertised, even though it’s marketed as “professional”. The reason is that La Specialista is only be used with 51mm pressurized baskets, the same as on the lower end of the market, or super-automatic machines with spouts of this size. 

It is actually easier to get an espresso with the pressurized basket, and we can use pre-ground coffee as well. But you cannot call it “professional”. Their method produces a thin, watery cream that lacks body, sheen, and velvety smoothness. 

Barista Express, on the other hand, creates a rich, high-quality espresso by using the non-pressurized basket.

While Delonghi La Specialista uses pressurized baskets only, Barista Express offers both types of filters for you to choose from.

EASE OF USE

The winner: Delonghi La Specialista

La Specialista is an easy-to-use machine for beginners
La Specialista is an easy-to-use machine for beginners

The De’Longhi machine offers three preprogrammed coffee drinks: Espresso, Coffee, and Americano. Likewise, the Breville machine does not offer any pre-programmed coffee options; it simply makes good espresso. 

Nevertheless, this does not indicate that the Breville machines are limited to producing only one type of coffee. Due to the fact that, in both machines, you can adjust the grind amounts, coffee extraction volumes, and make coffee using the hot water and steam spouts to suit your preference.

But in conclusion, La Specialista still wins when it comes to ease of use, especially for beginners.

Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialista: Similarities

There are many similarities between Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express, both in terms of functionality and appearance. Among them are:

  • Both espresso machines have a 2-liter water tank.
  • Both the Delonghi La Specialista vs the Breville Barista Express have a pressure gauge that allows the user to adjust the pressure according to their specifications.
  • You can prepare different types of coffee by using the hot water spout on both espresso machines.
  • The amounts of coffee produced can be customized for both espresso machines. The Delonghi machine allows you to do this by pressing the “My” button. And on the Breville machine, to do so, you need to press the “PROGRAM” button.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Barista Express 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: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
  • 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
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: The powerful steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art

Last update on 2022-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Gets good espresso extraction
  • Great milk froth
  • Can be used with either a pressurized or non-pressurized filter basket
  • Easy-to-follow instructions include troubleshooting tips
  • Less cleaning required than other espresso machines
Cons
  • No adjustment for water hardness
  • Water leakage has been reported by some users, especially after regular use
  • Beans can sometimes become stuck in the grinder

Quick Rundown Of Delonghi La Specialista

Sale
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Stainless Steel, EC9335M
  • Sensor grinding technology: Exclusive segsing technology delivers precise, consistent grinding and the optimal dose for espresso, every time. Plus, the bean sensor ensures you’ll never run out of beans while grindin
  • The smart tamping station: Simply pull the lever to tamp the ground coffee with the right pressure for perfect results. There’s no need to remove the portafilter, so you get to enjoy a mess-free experience, for Espresso Made Right(TM)
  • Active temperature control with dual heating system: The best temperature stability for optimal coffee extraction and milk texturing. One thermoblock for extracting coffee and an independent heating system for steaming milk or frothing
  • Advanced latte system: Micro-foam frothing for Latte Art or rich froth for cappuccino. Just place your cup under the spout and select flat or foam. Now, you can enjoy your flat hot milk, or the perfect foam to express your latte art creativity
  • 1 second quick start: Power the machine on, grind and tamp your dose, then immediately brew authentic espresso – no additional heat up time necessary

Last update on 2022-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • A simple process for setting up and using
  • The integrated tamper eliminates mess and waste
  • Very quiet
  • Heats up quickly
  • The American can be made with one button press
Cons
  • Only use pressurized portafilters
  • No water softener filter
  • The grinder has only 6 settings
  • When the hopper is full of beans, it cannot be removed

Product Videos

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References

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