Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi Magnifica XS: An Honest Review Of My Real Experience With These Machines

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Looking for an entry-level espresso machine? Check out my verdict on the debate between Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi Magnifica XS. After testing the espresso quality and the stability of their many technical features like grinder and milk wand, I believe Breville Barista Express is the better model one should pick for good value and money.

Among the latest fully-automatic espresso machines for home usage, the Breville Barista Express is a classic choice. It has PID temperature control, which maintains the water temperature stable as it travels through the coffee grind. I also dread long waiting times for a machine to heat up, so the 30s warm-up time of Barista Express is assuring. I recommend this mode for daily brews of 2-3 users max.

As for Delonghi Magnifica XS, I enjoy its more elaborate set of one-touch recipes for espresso and espresso lungo. The milk foam quality also is another major plus point for this model as it’s great for lattes and cappuccinos. Unfortunately, the whole bean hopper+grinder ensemble doesn’t function smoothly due to beans not being fed properly into the grinding well.

Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi Magnifica XS: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
De'Longhi ECAM22110SB Espresso Machine, 13.8", Silver
Model
Breville Barista Express
Delonghi Magnifica XS
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
17 x 9.4 x 13.8 Inches
Capacity
67oz
61oz
Color
Silver
Silver
Weight
23 Pounds
20.1 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel
Stainless Steel, Plastic
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
1450W/ 110V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Beans Container Capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
0.55 pounds
Heating Element
Thermocoil
Single boiler
Grinder settings
16
13
Heat up time
30s
60s
Milk Frothing Method
Manual steam wand
Manual steam wand
Suitable For Ground Coffee
Cup Warmer
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$929.99
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
Breville Barista Express
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Capacity
67oz
Color
Silver
Weight
23 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Beans Container Capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
Heating Element
Thermocoil
Grinder settings
16
Heat up time
30s
Milk Frothing Method
Manual steam wand
Suitable For Ground Coffee
Cup Warmer
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
De'Longhi ECAM22110SB Espresso Machine, 13.8", Silver
Model
Delonghi Magnifica XS
Dimensions (LxWxH)
17 x 9.4 x 13.8 Inches
Capacity
61oz
Color
Silver
Weight
20.1 Pounds
Material
Stainless Steel, Plastic
Power / Voltage
1450W/ 110V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Beans Container Capacity
0.55 pounds
Heating Element
Single boiler
Grinder settings
13
Heat up time
60s
Milk Frothing Method
Manual steam wand
Suitable For Ground Coffee
Cup Warmer
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$929.99
More Info

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi Magnifica XS: Differences

Breville Barista Express wins 3-2 agaisnt Delonghi Magnifica XS. The truth is I really like both product lines. They can extract exquisite espresso flavor, especially for their price points. It’s unfortunate that the grinder on Magnifica XS doesn’t turn out stable enough for my comfortable experience. You can learn more about it right below!

Grinder settings and stability

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Both models are designed with a conical burr grinder, but the way they perform is so distinctive to me. On the Magnifica XS, the bean hopper guards the coffee beans and doesn’t feed them into the grinder well, making the dose’s strength and flavor unstable for me while Breville Barista Express doesn’t struggle with the beans at all.

Barista Express has a more stable grinder with 16 settings
Barista Express has a more stable grinder with 16 settings

The grinder usually works well and delivers even coffee ground according to the coarse level that I hand-pick. But sometimes, I will just turn on the machine, choose a random one-touch button for espresso, and get a watered-down shot with very poor flavor due to the machine not grinding and dosing enough coffee grams for me. Then, I will have to send it back to Delonghi for a closer inspection.

As for the number of settings, Breville Barista Express allows 16 levels of coffee ground texture while Delonghi Magnifica XS offers 13. Despite the latter offering fewer options, I don’t think the difference is significant enough to be a deciding factor. 13 or 16 settings are both sufficient for standard home use.

Heating system

Winner: Breville Barista Express

The Breville model is equipped with a Thermocoil heating element and PID temperature control technology, allowing it to brew coffee at precisely 200 degrees F. (give or take). After putting the theory to the test, I can declare that the model’s real-world functionality is consistent with its advertising. I draw at a temperature of 195-200°F, which is great for espresso extraction.

The Delonghi Magnifica XS heats up somewhat slower than the Barista Express. The former requires roughly 60 seconds to complete the start-up cycle due to its single boiler setup, while the latter only takes up to 30 seconds. In this round of Delonghi Magnifica XS vs Breville Barista Express, the latter fully triumphs.

Breville Barista Express uses thermocoil and heats water in 30s
Breville Barista Express uses thermocoil and heats water in 30s

One-touch recipes

Winner: Delonghi Magnifica XS

  • One-touch recipes of Delonghi Magnifica XS: single and double espresso and single and double espresso lungo.
  • One-touch recipes of Breville Barista Express: single and double espresso.

With the one-touch buttons on the Delonghi, I feel like having more control and options over the recipes that I want to brew. Sometimes I want to make macchiato, and the espresso lungo option makes it easier and quicker. I don’t have to drown the drink in steamed milk, which is hard to achieve the right texture if you are new to the coffee machine world. Instead, I could just add just a bit of milk and milk foam (quicker to froth in smaller amounts) for it to be a delicious cup.

Espresso flavor

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express clearly wins in terms of taste control for me. The machine includes a low-pressure pre-infusion technology that gradually increases the pump pressure so that hot water may drink through the coffee ground evenly, extracting all flavor notes with balance.

Also, with the way that the grinder of Magnifica XS works, it can’t win against Barista Express in the battle of taste. However, with a stable grinder, the Breville one can deliver the exact 18 to 22g dose amount for a full-flavored cup with all the sweet, robust, and bitter notes that espresso should have. For me, the flavor lives up to my expectations with this model.

Milk foam/ Milk wand

Winner: Delonghi Magnifica XS

The Delonghi Magnifica XS has a superior micro-foam texture, and you can manually adjust it to get dry or creamy milk. This will allow you to prepare your preferred latte, latte macchiato, and especially cappuccino. Latte and cappuccino art isn’t a problem with this potent milk wand.

Delonghi Magnifica XS has a superior micro-foam texture
Delonghi Magnifica XS has a superior micro-foam texture

The milk texture in the Breville Barista Express is less dry. It tends toward the creamy side, indicating that the machine is largely meant to prepare a latte, flat white, or mocha with steamed milk rather than milk foam. But, the device can still froth milk foam to a certain level. I can even do latte art with it.

Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi Magnifica XS: Similarities

Find out the 2 similar points that I find interesting and most functional between these two espresso makers.

Cup warming tray

While Breville has a slightly larger cup warming tray, the fact that the manufacturers keep in mind this minor but reasonable necessity for users impresses me. With the cup warming tray, you can preheat the cups/containers to ensure they don’t cool down the espresso from the very first minute.

Programmable dosing

A 30ml espresso shot tastes different for one user compared to another. Some prefer strong coffee, while others prefer more diluted drinks. That’s how programmable dosing comes in handy. You can tell the machines when to stop when they dose a single espresso or any other recipe, and they will remember it for the next brewing sessions.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
  • Get up to 24 bags of coffee beans with the purchase of this machine from September 19, 2022 to October 3, 2022. Visit beanz.com/us/en/promotions/coffee-day-2022.html to redeem. T&C apply.
  • 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. Grind Settings: 16 precision grind settings
  • Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a lot of control over your coffee
  • Fast heat up time that only takes 30s
  • Precise espresso extraction through a digital temperature control system
  • Manual and potent milk wand
  • Modern design and stainless steel finish
  • Fast Thermocoil heating system
Cons
  • Can only make espresso or double espresso

Quick Rundown Of Delonghi Magnifica XS

De'Longhi ECAM22110SB Espresso Machine, 13.8", Silver
  • This compact machine has a professional burr grinder with 13 adjustable settings grinds fresh beans every time to ensure maximum freshness. You can also use pre-ground in the second chamber. Your choice of regular, specialty or decaf.
  • The adjustable manual cappuccino system mixes steam and milk to create the thickest, longest-lasting foam for your cappuccino. And it’s easy to adjust the levels to prepare a creamy latte, macchiato or flat white. Height adjustable Coffee spout
  • Simply adjust the menu settings for temperature, coffee strength and cup size according to your preferences. The machine takes care of the rest.
  • Maintenance: de’longhi machines require half the cleaning time of other brands, unlike competitor machines, which require chemical cleaning tablets monthly.
  • Warranties may not apply to purchases from an unauthorized retailer.

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Accessible and intuitive menu for quick settings
  • You can make espresso, double espresso, espresso lungo, double espresso lungo with this model
  • Proper indicators for cleaning & maintenance
  • No problem brewing cup after cup
Cons
  • Takes longer to heat up
  • Doesn’t feed beans into the grinder well

Product Video

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