Breville Barista Touch vs Delonghi La Specialista: Is The Barista Touch Worth The Extra Investment?

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In my comparison of Breville Barista Touch vs Delonghi La Specialista, I immediately agreed that Barista Touch was a superior option. The purpose of this article is to compare the features and review the details to help you choose the best option.

A lot of baristas and professionals highly recommend Breville Barista Touch. With just 3 seconds of heat, it can reach the optimum extraction temperature. It also offers automatic milk frothing, pre-programmed beverages, and an intuitive touch screen display. You will feel like you’re a professional barista, even if you are just starting out. Also, this home latte machine is a great option if you want to start making latte art.

Delonghi La Specialista is also an excellent runner-up, offering some incredible features. This coffee maker features a smart tamper that helps pack your grounds perfectly and an electronic pressure gauge that lets you monitor your coffee-brewing process. In addition, a steam wand on this machine lets you adjust the temperature of the milk to make it foamy or flat. Using two heating systems at the same time, this machine allows steaming and brewing of coffee to take place simultaneously. 

Breville Barista Touch vs Delonghi La Specialista: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
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 Touch BES880BSS
Delonghi La Specialista EC9335M
Dimensions (WxDxH)
12.7" x 15.5" x 16"
14.48" x 15" x 17.5"
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel.
Stainless steel
Weight
26.8 Pound
29.7 Pound
Pump pressure
15 bars
19 bars
Power / Voltage
1680 W/ 110–120 V
1450 W/ 110–120 V
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
84.5 oz
Bean Hopper Capacity
8 oz
8.8 oz
Interface
Swipe & Select, Touch Screen
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Pre-programmed beverages
5
3
Steam Wand
Traditional
Panarello
Heating System
Single boiler
Dual boilers
Grind Setting
30
6
Portafilter
Both non-pressurized and pressurized
Only pressurized
Customized Coffee Profiles
Yes, up to 8 customized drink profiles
Yes, cann’t save to profiles
Programmable Milk Temperature
What I Like
Price
$879.95
$699.95
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
Model
Breville Barista Touch BES880BSS
Dimensions (WxDxH)
12.7" x 15.5" x 16"
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel.
Weight
26.8 Pound
Pump pressure
15 bars
Power / Voltage
1680 W/ 110–120 V
Water Tank Capacity
67 oz
Bean Hopper Capacity
8 oz
Interface
Swipe & Select, Touch Screen
Pre-programmed beverages
5
Steam Wand
Traditional
Heating System
Single boiler
Grind Setting
30
Portafilter
Both non-pressurized and pressurized
Customized Coffee Profiles
Yes, up to 8 customized drink profiles
Programmable Milk Temperature
What I Like
Price
$879.95
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
Delonghi La Specialista EC9335M
Dimensions (WxDxH)
14.48" x 15" x 17.5"
Material
Stainless steel
Weight
29.7 Pound
Pump pressure
19 bars
Power / Voltage
1450 W/ 110–120 V
Water Tank Capacity
84.5 oz
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
Interface
Analog Gauge, Button Control
Pre-programmed beverages
3
Steam Wand
Panarello
Heating System
Dual boilers
Grind Setting
6
Portafilter
Only pressurized
Customized Coffee Profiles
Yes, cann’t save to profiles
Programmable Milk Temperature
What I Like
Price
$699.95
More Info

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Barista Touch vs Delonghi La Specialista: Differences

As a result of comparing the two machines, I found the Barista Touch to be the clear winner. With respect to flavor, ease of use, milk system, and value for money, it beats out the Delonghi La Specialista with a score of 4-0. Although Delonghi also brews coffee and froths milk well, Breville provides better results.  

FLAVOR

The winner: Breville Barista Touch

+ Portafilter

The Breville Barista Touch comes with not only non-pressurized but also pressurized baskets
The Breville Barista Touch comes with not only non-pressurized but also pressurized baskets

Delonghi La Specialista disappointed me since the espresso it extracted was inferior to what it advertised. Although their espresso maker has been marketed as “professionally-inspired”, it only comes with a 51mm pressurized filter basket, the same as the machines that are on the lower end or super-automatic ranges.

Pressurized baskets are beneficial because they make espresso easier and can be used with pre-ground coffee. Espressos made by them are usually thin, watery, lack body and are not velvety smooth. Upon my first pull, the flavor was incredibly weak and there was almost no cream to be found. The machine should offer a non-pressurized option if it is marketed as semi-professional.

In contrast, the Breville Barista Touch comes with its choice of not only non-pressurized but also pressurized baskets. As a result, you have the choice depending on your preference. With an unpressurized basket, you can get a true, high-quality, perfect espresso.

Compared to commercial machines, espresso extracted from the Breville has some limitations, but it is still superior to that extracted from the Delonghi. In the eyes of true coffee connoisseurs, espresso from Barista Touch doesn’t taste that exceptional. But considering the price, the Breville Barista Touch is an incredibly impressive espresso machine and I haven’t found anything better.

+ Grinder

The Breville Barista Touch allows us to customize the grind size in 30 steps
The Breville Barista Touch allows us to customize the grind size in 30 steps

A Breville coffee grinder has two primary settings: how long it grinds for (which determines how much coffee is ground) and the size of the grind. Adjusting the wheel that is located on the left side of the machine will allow us to customize the grind size in 30 steps. 

Meanwhile, there are only six settings available for the Delonghi, from fine to coarse. Furthermore, you have control over how much grinding is done with this machine.

If you use the same coffee every day, you may not need to bother about the number of settings. However, when you experiment with different coffees and different types of drinks, you may need to make slight adjustments. As a result, having more options will make it easier to adjust to different types of coffee.

+ Heating System

The first thing that struck me about the Delonghi was its dual boiler, something no other machine under $1,000 has, at least for now. It is beneficial to have a machine with two boilers because you can pull your shot and steam your milk at the same time. In other words, you do not have to wait between two processes. 

A dual boiler system, though, is unnecessary in my opinion. Despite having a single boiler, the Breville machine features a quick-heating System, which heats water super fast and enables it to pull a shot and steam milk extremely quickly. Therefore, to be quite honest, I never thought I would need two boilers.

+ Tamping 

Tamping is integrated into the La Specialista, which means that there are no messy steps
Tamping is integrated into the La Specialista, which means that there are no messy steps

On the La Specialista, the tamping system is integrated, so there are no messy steps. Tamping the coffee grounds takes only a quick pull of the lever on the machine’s side once we have inserted the portafilter. 

It can get messy if you use a Barista Express because it features a basic manual tamper. Nonetheless, this situation isn’t the machine’s fault, it’s just something that happens when making espresso. Beginners may find it challenging. You can get used to it with practice, however.

EASY TO USE 

The winner: Breville Barista Touch

+ Pre-programmable drinks

With The Barista Touch, you can consistently make barista-quality drinks without having to possess any skills. As a beginner, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to make a really good-quality espresso without knowing how to do it. 

This machine is perfect for beginners since it comes with 5 preprogrammed drinks, including espresso, flat white, cappuccino, latte, and Americano. In order to make excellent coffee, all you need to do is grind, brew, and milk as in this machine’s instructions.

You will be guided through each step by the machine and everything will be handled for you. Tamping down the ground coffee before brewing the espresso is the only manual step. But this process is straightforward. 

While this machine is highly automated, it can also be controlled manually. For this reason, it is suited for coffee drinkers of every level.

In the Delonghi La Specialista, there are just 3 pre-programmed beverages: espresso, coffee, and Americano.

+ Personalized coffees

Whenever you create drinks that you like, you can add them to the menu with the Breville Barista Touch. Because this machine lets you add up to eight customized drinks, you can easily recreate your favorite drinks whenever you want. Alternatively, if your family has several people, you can save each person’s favorite drink separately.

On the other hand, the Delonghi La Specialista has a “My” button that allows you to customize your favourite recipes. In contrast with the Breville Barista Touch, you cannot control how much coffee is extracted, how much beans are used, or how hot the milk is.  Once you press the button again, La Specialista will save this drink setting for all your future drinks. That way, you won’t have to specify a drink profile every time. 

BLENDING POWER – MILK SYSTEM

The winner: Breville Barista Touch

With the Barista Touch, automatic barista-quality frothing can be accomplished quickly and easily
With the Barista Touch, automatic barista-quality frothing can be accomplished quickly and easily

Usually, you need to practice a lot to get the right frothing, but with the Barista Touch, automatic barista-quality frothing can be accomplished quickly and easily. After choosing the temperature and froth level, you just need to push the button, then the machine will do the rest for you. By setting the automatic frother at a lower level, it creates amazing microfoam for creating latte art. 

On the Breville, you can choose between a manual and automatic steam wand. 

There are some customers who would like to do latte art with Delonghi’s Panarello wand, but it is a little difficult to accomplish. 

VALUE FOR MONEY

The winner: Breville Barista Touch

In spite of its higher price point compared to Delonghi La Specialista, Breville Barista Touch comes with many great features. I must say that these utilities work quite well, not just because brands want to add them to hype prices. They correspond pretty closely to what the brands have advertised.

In terms of features, the Delonghi has a few that I find intriguing: a smart tamper, dual boiling systems, an analog pressure gauge, a pump pressure of 19 bars, ect. In my experience, some of these features did not prove to be useful or necessary, so I feel that the brand added them just to make the machine seem high-end.

Breville Barista Touch vs Delonghi La Specialista: Similarities

There are similarities between these two espresso machines in their ability to brew excellent espresso, which is why they are recommended so often on coffee forums.

As far as design is concerned, they are both made from stainless steel, so they appear to be durable. There isn’t much difference in their size, either. The Breville Barista Touch measures 12.7x 15.5x 16 inches wide, long, and high. And the Delonghi La Specialista’s dimensions are 14.48 x 15 x 17.5 inches.

Additionally, since both feature built-in conical burrs, a separate grinder is not needed. As well as providing convenience, it prevents the counter from getting messy. Also, a separate hot water spout is provided for making Americanos and dispensing hot tea. 

When it comes to cleaning convenience, both espresso machines offer models with self-cleaning capabilities, replaceable reservoirs, and drip trays. They, moreover, have automatic rinsing machines. 

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Touch

Sale
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES880BSS
  • The Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine helps you create third wave specialty coffee with ease with intuitive touch screen display with pre-programmed cafe drinks in 3 easy steps Grind Brew and Milk; You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk texture and temperature to suit your taste.
  • Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital Temperature Control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • Faster Heat Up Time: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds; Ready to make your best coffee without the wait
  • Automatic Micro Foam Milk Texturing: Auto steam wand allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste; Delivering barista quality micro foam that enhances the flavor of the coffee and is essential for creating latte art
  • Integrated Coffee Grinder: With a single touch the integrated conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • An easy-to-use interface
  • Quick heating time
  • It can store eight coffee presets
  • Step-by-step instructions for beginners
Cons
  • Expensive

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 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Built-in tamper prevents mess and waste
  • Shorter wait times between processes with two heating systems
  • The grinder is equipped with a sensor
  • Very quiet
Cons
  • Grinders can clog sometimes
  • Not cost-efficient
  • Leak water

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