Delonghi Magnifica S Smart vs Breville Barista Express: Comparison Of 2 Very Distinctive Espresso Makers

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After putting these 2 very distinctive espresso machines to the test, I have found the winner of the debate Delonghi Magnifica S Smart vs Breville Barista Express. Thanks to its updated design and many one-touch recipes for quick cappuccino making, Delonghi Magnifica S Smart easily wins the round.

The winner Delonghi Magnifica S Smart is an expensive model that I believe is a good option for entry-level or intermediate coffee making in the comfort of your home. With one touch, we can make a delicious tall cup of cappuccino. It offers a 100% hand-free operation in which even non-expert at coffee can pull tasty shots of espresso. So, if you are OK with the price tag, I highly recommend going for this model.

Breville Barista Express has been a trusty favorite entry-level machine for coffee drinkers in the US. For classic espresso extraction, I always recommend this efficient and affordable model. But, compared to Magnifica S Smart, this model’s design is much more simplistic. It requires more manual brewing and milk frothing.

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart vs Breville Barista Express: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Delonghi" MAGNIFICA S CAPPUCCINO smart" ECAM23260SBN (BLACK × SILVER)【Japan Domestic genuine products】 【Ships from JAPAN】
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart ECAM23260SB
Breville Barista Express 870
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.37 x 16.93 x 13.78 Inches
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Water tank capacity
61oz
67oz
Color
Silver, black
Silver
Weight
19.8 Pounds
23 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel, plastic
Stainless steel
Power / Voltage
1450W/ 120V
1600W/ 110–120 V
Pump pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Cup warmer
Beans container capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
250g / 0.55 pounds
Heating element
Dual boiler
Thermocoil
One-touch latte
Hand-free brewing
Adjustable grinder
Heat up time
45s
30s
Milk frothing method
Milk carafe
Manual steam wand
What I Like
Price
$1,362.67
$599.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Delonghi" MAGNIFICA S CAPPUCCINO smart" ECAM23260SBN (BLACK × SILVER)【Japan Domestic genuine products】 【Ships from JAPAN】
Model
DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart ECAM23260SB
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.37 x 16.93 x 13.78 Inches
Water tank capacity
61oz
Color
Silver, black
Weight
19.8 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel, plastic
Power / Voltage
1450W/ 120V
Pump pressure
15 bars
Cup warmer
Beans container capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
Heating element
Dual boiler
One-touch latte
Hand-free brewing
Adjustable grinder
Heat up time
45s
Milk frothing method
Milk carafe
What I Like
Price
$1,362.67
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
Model
Breville Barista Express 870
Dimensions (LxWxH)
12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 Inches
Water tank capacity
67oz
Color
Silver
Weight
23 Pounds
Material
Stainless steel
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
Pump pressure
15 bars
Cup warmer
Beans container capacity
250g / 0.55 pounds
Heating element
Thermocoil
One-touch latte
Hand-free brewing
Adjustable grinder
Heat up time
30s
Milk frothing method
Manual steam wand
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart vs Breville Barista Express: Differences

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart wins 4-1 against Breville Barista Express. Being a super-automatic machine, it offers a better hand-free coffee brewing experience for users that Breville Barista Express isn’t designed to offer. Check out my full verdict below.

Heating element

Winner: Delonghi Magnifica S Smart

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart is designed with a dual boiler system that allows the machine to steam milk while extracting espresso. Knowing fully well the recipe of cappuccino, The S Smart knows the amount and order of milk and espresso pouring to deliver a delicious cup with the right aesthetic.

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart is designed with a dual boiler system
Delonghi Magnifica S Smart is designed with a dual boiler system

With the dual boiler, this model can extract cups after cups constantly without requiring a waiting time between brewing sessions.

In addition, despite being a boiler system, the actual heat-up time of this model impresses me a lot. It only takes a total of about 45 seconds to finish the prep cycle and enter brewing mode. As for espresso extraction or coffee making, it takes over 1 minute to get a cup of latte or cappuccino. So including heat-up time, it shouldn’t take you more than 2 minutes to get morning coffee.

One-touch recipes

Winner: Delonghi Magnifica S Smart

With Delonghi Magnifica S Smart, we can brew ristretto, espresso, low-pressure coffee, latte, and cappuccino with a touch of a button. For home use, I assure you that a machine with this much one-touch recipe is a much better option in the long run.

I have tested the flavor quality of each recipe, and I can confirm that this machine does a great job, especially with espresso, latte, and cappuccino. The flavor note definitely inclines to the stronger side. So if you aren’t fond of strong espresso, I suggest setting the grinder level at 4 only. In case you enjoy extra potent coffee, selecting the grinder at 6 should be enough.

Although Breville Barista Express is exceptionally good at making espresso, especially with its low price tag, busy coffee drinkers may not be satisfied with it in the long run. Why? It requires more hands-on intervention during the brewing process. But, if you are a fan of making your own cup of Joe, I 100% recommend Barista Express if you are looking for a good value entry-level machine.

Breville Barista Express requires more manual intervention
Breville Barista Express requires more manual intervention

Automation rating

Winner: Delonghi Magnifica S Smart

The Delonghi model is a super-automatic machine, which means that it offers a 100% hands-free experience. I don’t have to get my hands on anything from milk frothing to coffee grinding and espresso extraction. Just select the recipe, and we are good to go.

As for Breville Barista Express, this one is a fully-automatic, which means it will automatically dose for users, but it still requires some manual intervention. Since the machine has a detachable portafilter with a separate port for feeding coffee ground from the machine to the filter, I have to attach and remove it between the steps. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say that this is inconvenient. Most entry-level espresso machines have this design, and the operation is quick and easy.

Milk system

Winner: Delonghi Magnifica S Smart

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart is equipped with a milk carafe that can deliver microfoam, which is something we are looking for in a good cappuccino machine.

I have tested the latte and cappuccino recipes to see if there is much difference between the milk foam texture of the two. And I must say that they are quite similar. The latte recipe has slightly less foam, but the texture is pretty much the same.

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart can froth microfoam
Delonghi Magnifica S Smart can froth microfoam

As for Breville Barista, the machine is equipped with a classic Panarello wand. After testing it many times, I conclude that this model is more than ideal for making a latte or flat white, but not cappuccino. And although the milk foam layer is less significant than Magnifica S Smart, I can still do latte art with it.

Price

Winner: Breville Barista Express

Price-wise, Breville Barista Express is much more affordable than Delonghi Magnifica S Smart for the right reasons. I have owned Barista Express for years. I never question its espresso quality, not just because of its affordable price but because of its genuinely stable pressure work and balanced espresso flavor.

As for Delonghi Magnifica S Smart, its many convenient features are reflected in its price tag. But, I believe the price could have been better considering that the model is made of mostly plastic. Or it could have been made of stainless steel.

So what is my suggestion? These machines have very different price ranges, and there aren’t many similar features to compare them correctly. So, it boils down to your needs and budget. Delonghi is the better pick if you are ready to invest in a super-automatic machine that handles every step for you. On the other hand, if you want a simple espresso machine with a good milk system and an affordable price, Breville is the one.

Delonghi Magnifica S Smart vs Breville Barista Express: Similarities

Besides the indicator that tells user when to clean or descale the machines, I don’t think there are any other major similarities between these two machines. I appreciate the clean/descale indicator a lot because we can’t all keep up with the cleaning schedule wit the coffee machines, especially for me when I have so many products at hand to review.

Quick Rundown Of Delonghi Magnifica S Smart

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Durable design that takes up little space
  • Convenient milk carafe for quick frothing
  • Many one-touch recipes for milk-based coffee
  • Quick twin brewing cycle
  • Quiet steel burr grinder with 13 levels
  • No wait between brews, you can constantly pull cups after cups
Cons
  • Slightly noisy, but not too much

Quick Ruwndown Of Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
  • 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
  • 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 2022-11-27 / 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
  • Modern design and stainless steel finish
  • Fast Thermocoil heating system
Cons
  • Can only make espresso or double espresso
  • Steam wand isn’t designed for microfoam

Product Video

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