Delonghi Magnifica S vs Breville Barista Express: Which One Brews Tastier Coffee?

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In the Delonghi Magnifica S vs Breville Barista Express debate, we have finally decided on the true winner. Suppose you are looking for an affordable espresso machine with low-pressure pre-infusion that brews rich and aromatic coffee with different bursts of flavor. In that case, Breville Barista Express is the one you should pick.

Breville Barista Express is a classic pick among the modern fully-automatic espresso machines for home use. It boasts PID temperature control that checks the water temperature each second it passes through the coffee grind. Also, it controls the noise better than Delonghi Magnifica S can. Barista Express’s performance will satisfy your love for good coffee, especially if you are a beginner with these machines.

Delonghi Magnifica S, despite being a decent model, isn’t my favorite. With the price that comes with this device, I expected its hands-on brewing technique and additional features to be impressive or at least stable. And the result? The flavor, noise control, stability in extraction, etc., are up to standard but unsuitable for the device’s price tag.

Delonghi Magnifica S Vs Breville Barista Express: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Delonghi ECAM22110B Super Automatic Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Machine, Black,50 ml
Model
Breville Barista Express
De'Longhi Magnifica S
Dimensions (WxDxH)
12.5" x 13.8" x 15.9"
9.0" x 16.9" x 13.4"
Weight
23.0 lbs / 10.4 kg
19.8 lbs / 9.0 kg
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Water Tank Capacity
67.0 oz / 2.0 l
60.9 oz / 1.8 l
Bean Container Capacity
250 grams
250 grams
Heating System
Thermocoil
Thermoblock
PID Temperature Control
Auto Purge
Adjustable Water Temperature
Grinder
Steel Conical Burrs
Steel Conical Burrs
Grinder Settings
16 settings
13 settings
Milk system
Frothing wand
Frothing wand
Cup Warmer
User Interface
Simple Button Control
Soft Touch Buttons
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$699.95
$899.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express
Dimensions (WxDxH)
12.5" x 13.8" x 15.9"
Weight
23.0 lbs / 10.4 kg
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Water Tank Capacity
67.0 oz / 2.0 l
Bean Container Capacity
250 grams
Heating System
Thermocoil
PID Temperature Control
Auto Purge
Adjustable Water Temperature
Grinder
Steel Conical Burrs
Grinder Settings
16 settings
Milk system
Frothing wand
Cup Warmer
User Interface
Simple Button Control
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$699.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Delonghi ECAM22110B Super Automatic Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Machine, Black,50 ml
Model
De'Longhi Magnifica S
Dimensions (WxDxH)
9.0" x 16.9" x 13.4"
Weight
19.8 lbs / 9.0 kg
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Water Tank Capacity
60.9 oz / 1.8 l
Bean Container Capacity
250 grams
Heating System
Thermoblock
PID Temperature Control
Auto Purge
Adjustable Water Temperature
Grinder
Steel Conical Burrs
Grinder Settings
13 settings
Milk system
Frothing wand
Cup Warmer
User Interface
Soft Touch Buttons
Low Pressure pre-infusion
What I Like
Price
$899.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Delonghi Magnifica S Vs Breville Barista Express: Differences

After putting the features on a scale for an accurate comparison, Breville Barista Express wins 3:1, and ties one against Delonghi Magnifica S! Barista Express boasts better value for the price with a more stable espresso extraction program and powerful adjustable conical burr grinder with various texture levels. Don’t miss my detailed review below!

Coffee flavor and brewing system

The winner: Breville Barista Express

Grinder

Regarding grinding, the Breville Barista Express and the Delonghi Magnifica S are all equipped with adjustable steel conical burr grinders. If you don’t know, conical burr grinders are highly regarded in the coffee world due to their ease of cleaning, consistent flavor, and minimal coffee ground waste. Compared to flat burr grinders, conical burrs generate less heat and operate with reduced noise levels, making them an excellent choice for home espresso machines.

With the Breville Barista Express, you can easily customize the size of your coffee grounds using a dial on the machine’s side. You can choose from 16 grinding settings to find the perfect one for your preferred brewing method. Another adjustment option is located under the bean hopper, which can be useful for fine-tuning the grinder’s performance over time.

The dial to adjust grinding settings on the Barista Express
The dial to adjust grinding settings on the Barista Express

Remember that the finer the grind, the more restricted it is for the water to go through that ground coffee. In my opinion, the grinder on the Breville Barista Express isn’t the best, but it’s still good enough. Here’s a helpful tip for you: To get the best results from your coffee grinder, feed the beans consistently. Spread them out evenly in the hopper and try tapping on the hopper while grinding for better performance.

The Delonghi Magnifica S has a grinder with a dial in the bean hopper that lets you adjust the grind’s coarseness. There are 13 grinding settings to personalize your coffee according to your preferences. The manufacturer warns that the grinding adjustment dial should only be turned when the coffee mill is operating.

To get the best results from your coffee, I recommend you try out different grinding settings when using the grinders on these espresso machines. It may take a few cups of coffee at first to fine-tune the settings and achieve the desired flavor profile.

Heating system

When it comes to heating systems, the Breville Barista Express and the Delonghi Magnifica S show many obvious differences.

The Breville Barista Express has a Thermocoil heating system and digital temperature control, also known as PID technology. This PID technology detects and minimizes temperature fluctuations while extracting, ensuring that the water temperature stays consistently within the optimal range of 197–202 degrees Fahrenheit.

In fact, the machine is ready quickly, but if you really want everything to be heated up too, I suggest turning on the machine for at least 20 minutes before using it. This ensures that the engine, the portafilter, and the brew head reach the desired temperature. As a result, you can also achieve optimal extraction and avoid the risk of cold shots and potentially sour-tasting coffee.

The Barista Express does not have a double boiler system
The Barista Express does not have a double boiler system

Additionally, the Barista Express does have a single heating element system, so you cannot steam milk simultaneously while pulling a shot. For a more efficient workflow, you should steam the milk right before pulling the shot. This ensures that the espresso doesn’t sit and cool while waiting.

On the other hand, the Delonghi Magnifica S employs a Thermoblock heating system, which offers a slightly quicker heating time compared to the Barista Express. This system allows you to switch rapidly between steaming and brewing without requiring a lengthy wait time. Moreover, the Magnifica S provides the flexibility to adjust the coffee temperature according to your preference, allowing you to tailor the brewing parameters to achieve the desired taste profile.

As you may likely know, each of the Thermocoil and Thermoblock systems has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of performance and characteristics. Thermoblock systems are more affordable and heat up faster, while Thermocoil systems are more durable and reliable, with reduced risks of leakage often associated with Thermoblocks. Therefore, it’s up to your demand to decide which heating system is best for you.

Espresso flavor

You can expect a consistently delicious and well-balanced cup whenever you use the Breville Barista Express to make espresso. To maintain a consistent flavor profile, the coffee bean used to make coffee should not be too old.

I attempted to adjust the grind size to setting five and allowed the machine to warm up fully. Then the Barista Express extracted the full sweetness from the beans while minimizing any potential bitterness or sourness. The espresso produced has a good amount of crema, which enhances the coffee’s appearance and gives it a luxurious feel.

With the Delonghi Magnifica S, the first few cups of espresso may have a slightly watered-down texture. However, after gradually adjusting the grinder settings and experimenting with different coffee beans, I finally got the desired coffee taste.

Therefore, the main point is that you should take the time to fine-tune the grind size and explore various coffee options. This allows the Magnifica S to produce espresso with a beautiful crema and a well-balanced flavor profile. The result is a satisfying cup of coffee that offers a harmonious combination of taste, aroma, and visual appeal.

Milk system

Tie

These two espresso machines offer traditional milk frothing options to complement your espresso experience.

The Breville Barista Express is better at making lattes
The Breville Barista Express is better at making lattes

The Breville Barista Express features a convenient 360-degree swivel-action steam wand that makes frothing and steaming milk a breeze. The handle made of rubber loops is comfortable to hold and prevents your fingers from getting burned. This system will take a little time to heat the milk to the desired temperature.

I have tried using almond milk to make a latte, and it delivered a perfect texture and microfoam. This milk frother also performs well with traditional whole milk or 2% milk. With a bit of practice, you can achieve creamy and delicious frothed milk for lattes and cappuccinos, adding a delightful touch to their coffee creations.

As for the Delonghi Magnifica S, this one offers a milk steamer wand suitable for occasional use when preparing lattes or cappuccinos. Compared to the Barista Express, this machine is better for making cappuccino since its milk frother can generate airier foam. In my experience, cappuccinos made with the Delonghi Magnifica S came out with thick foam and a creamy texture, providing a pleasurable experience for milk-based coffee lovers.

Design and convenience

The winner: Breville Barista Express

Build quality

The Breville Barista Express stands out in its design, with exceptional attention to detail and craftsmanship. Right from the moment you unbox it, you can appreciate the thought and care that Breville has put into every aspect of the machine.

The infront of the Breville Barista Express
The in front of the Breville Barista Express

The controls on the front of the machine are intuitive and well-executed, allowing for easy operation and customization. Breville has put in a lot of effort and investment to develop a top-notch product that radiates refinement and grace. Besides, the materials used are of premium quality, and the machine has a reassuring heft that adds to its overall durability.

The Delonghi Magnifica S features a plastic finish, which differs from the stainless steel exterior of the Breville Barista Express. However, it still exhibits durability and robustness. DeLonghi has designed its fully automatic coffee machine to endure daily use, ensuring that it is a dependable and durable appliance.

Personally, I prefer the stainless steel finish of the Breville Barista Express. Its polished appearance adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen countertop.

Capacity

The Breville Barista Express and the Delonghi Magnifica S share the same bean hopper capacity of approximately 250 grams. This capacity allows for a substantial amount of coffee beans to be loaded, ensuring convenience and minimizing the need for frequent refills.

Regarding their water tank capacity, the Barista Express offers a slight advantage over the Magnifica S. The Breville model has a larger water tank capacity of 67 ounces compared to the Delonghi machine, which has a slightly smaller 61-ounce water tank.

Some of you may find the Barista Express water tank size sufficient for your needs. However, in my opinion, its water tank capacity is a bit small since I had to refill it around every 3–4 coffees. Therefore, if you also drink a lot of coffee daily like me, you’ll need to refill the tank of these machines frequently.

Ease of use

The Breville Barista Express and Delonghi Magnifica S are both easy to use, making them great options for both experienced and novice coffee lovers. The user manuals that come with the product offer clear and comprehensive instructions. I am especially impressed with the Breville Barista Express’s manual since it’s really detailed.

With these espresso machines, even if you are a complete novice, you’ll easily become a pro at making lattes and other popular coffee drinks. Also, the controls on both devices are designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate.

For newbies, the milk frothing system may be initially intimidating. Still, it’s a consistent and predictable process and surprisingly easy to achieve with some practice once you give it one or two tries.

Cleaning and maintenance

The winner: Delonghi Magnifica S

Keeping the Breville Barista Express and Delonghi Magnifica S clean and maintained is not a big deal.

With the Breville Barista Express, the cleaning process is efficient and convenient. You generally have to press the single and double espresso buttons simultaneously with the power button for 5 seconds to trigger the cleaning process. Then, all you need to do is follow the cleaning instructions from Breville.

The Delonghi's drip tray can be pulled out easily
The Delonghi’s drip tray can be pulled out easily.

The bottom drip tray can be easily removed like a drawer, allowing you to quickly empty any excess water and thoroughly clean it with soap and water. As for the steam wand, you can easily clean it using a microfiber cloth and the water that comes out of the unit during the cleaning process. It just took me around three minutes to clean after each use.

The Delonghi Magnifica S, on the other hand, has an auto-clean feature that makes cleaning even more convenient. Pressing the descaling button will start the cleaning process, just without descale solution. However, regular cleaning tasks such as emptying the drip tray and grounds container, refilling water, and cleaning the milk frother still require attention.

Additional feature

The winner: Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express provides users with both pressurized and non-pressurized baskets. The pressurized baskets are designed to be user-friendly, allowing for a more forgiving brewing process. Even if the grind size is imperfect, these baskets compensate and still produce a layer of crema on top of the espresso.

Pressurized baskets may be a convenient option if you’re looking for a simpler approach to making crema and are not too concerned about grind consistency. Although it may not be as authentic as non-pressurized baskets, it still offers reliable and consistent results, making it ideal for beginners or casual coffee drinkers.

Some filter baskets of the Breville Barista Express
Some filter baskets of the Breville Barista Express

Meanwhile, the non-pressurized baskets provide a more sophisticated brewing experience for those looking to enhance their coffee brewing skills.

As for the Delonghi Magnifica S, it offers double espresso and double-long coffee buttons. However, these buttons simply double the amount of hot water passed through a single dosage of ground coffee. Thus, I think it may be necessary to have a coffee power dial to adjust the coffee strength.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Earn up to $200 cashback with a Beanz coffee subscription when you purchase a selected Breville espresso machine. Visit earn-cashback.breville.com purchase to claim. Valid Aug 1, 2023 until Jun 30, 2024
  • 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, helping you make the perfect cup of Cappuccino or Latte
  • 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

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a lot of control over your coffee
  • Uses a Thermocoil heating system
  • Precise espresso extraction through a digital temperature control system
  • Manual and potent milk wand
  • Modern design and stainless steel finish
Cons
  • Simple features and doesn’t offer modern recipes like latte or cappuccino

Quick Rundown Of Delonghi Magnifica S

Delonghi ECAM22110B Super Automatic Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Machine, Black,50 ml
  • Compact size yet maintains all the features of our full-size automatic machines
  • No waiting between making espresso and frothing milk with the rapid cappuccino system
  • Professional quality, stainless steel low pitch conical burr grinder
  • MAINTENANCE: De’Longhi machines require half the cleaning time of other brands, unlike competitor machines, which require chemical cleaning tablets monthly.

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Large water capacity that is easy to refill
  • The descaling /cleaning indicator is very helpful
  • It brews in two small cups at the same time
  • Smooth and delicious espresso taste and aroma
Cons
  • Small cup warmer
  • Noisy grinder and the bean hopper doesn’t feed beans into it well

Product Video

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