Breville vs Delonghi: Which One Should You Choose?

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Breville vs Delonghi

Breville and DeLonghi are both leading coffee-machines manufacturers and have become a household name for espresso lovers all over the world. Both companies have reliable top-rated coffee-makers, but at some point, you have to choose between the two of them. This in-depth look at Breville and DeLonghi is meant to help you decide which is best for your needs.

The Contestants

DeLonghi is an Italian company with a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. The company is a big name in the world of home appliances and, over the last few decades, has built a solid reputation and gained an important share in the coffee-makers market. Although they had been making coffee makers for quite some time, the company started getting noticed in 2008, the year that their espresso machines really became popular.

DeLonghi now makes almost all kinds of coffee and espresso makers from the manual types to the semi-automatic and fully automatic models. And they have also partnered with other companies like Nespresso to manufacture capsule-based espresso machines.

Breville is an Australian company founded in 1932 by Harry Norville and Bill O’Brien as a home appliance manufacturer. The two founders combined their names to come up with the company name Breville.

Breville is credited for making the original sandwich toaster which was a huge success when it was launched in 1974. Bet you didn’t know that. They later went on to make several other home appliances, like vacuum cleaners. In the early 2000s, the company started to get some attention with its line of home espresso makers, which are now considered among the best in the world.

Today they produce everything from manual espresso makers to automatic espresso machines, as well as pod-based machines for Nespresso.

A barista’s dream

Espresso lovers often compare DeLonghi and Breville as both have outstanding machines with top-notch technology that come with great features and have the capability to produce great-tasting espresso.

If you love everything espresso you can easily become a barista yourself, at the touch of a button. Coffee machine companies know you all dream of a coffee-shop experience in your kitchen and the products they offer come with the promise you will be able to enjoy the most delicious espresso-based drinks in the world.

For instance, Breville has an automatic espresso maker called Barista Touch, while DeLonghi counterattacks with La Specialista. Let’s see how the two machines compare.

What do you need for the perfect espresso?

Any coffee lover knows that the secret to a perfect brew is freshly-ground coffee. If you want to make the most of all the flavors in your beans you have to grind just before brewing. You might find this annoying, but both Breville Barista Touch and DeLonghi La Specialista come with built-in conical burr grinders, which are the best grinders on the market.

The Barista allows you to choose the grind size, but the DeLonghi machine uses a sensor-based technology to ensure the optimal dose every time. 

Another important factor when it comes to making good espresso is the pressure the machine uses to extract the coffee. 

Breville’s Barista Touch used a 15-bar pressure pump, but DeLonghi is more powerful, with 19 bars. However, most experts say 15 bar is a good enough pressure for a rich espresso with a velvety layer of crema on top of it.

What do you need for a perfect cappuccino?

Well, since you have the espresso all you’ll need for your cappuccino is a thick layer of milk foam.

Many say DeLonghi is best for special espresso-based drinks. First of all, La Specialista comes with two boilers, a feature that guarantees the ideal temperature so you can have an optimal coffee extraction and milk frothing at the same time. Oh, and their Pannarello milk-frothing wand is the perfect tool for latte art.

Both types of machines offer the automatic milk frothing feature, but you can also play with the settings. In this respect, the Barista Touch offers you more control. You can set the milk temperature between and 110 and 170 ℉ and choose between 8 levels of froth density, from dense steamed milk to airy foam.

Brewing Time

All Delonghi coffee machines, including the Barista Touch model, have a strong capacity and a quick heating system, so you can get an espresso quickly. On average, a DeLonghi machine takes 20 seconds to produce a shot of espresso and roughly 40 seconds for one cappuccino.

Breville coffee makers have the same brewing time, 20 seconds for a single shot of espresso and maybe 25 seconds for an espresso doppio, or a double shot.

It’s an amazingly short time, but that only refers to the actual brewing, namely from the moment you start the pump till your coffee is ready to serve. Yet, all coffee makers need some time to warm up and, if you know what’s good for you, you will want to give your machine enough time to heat up. 

If the parts of the machine are cold, this will affect the flavor of your coffee – and this applies to both DeLonghi and Breville.

Tip: Turn the espresso machine as soon as you get up in the morning, take a quick shower, and come back to the kitchen in 10-15 minutes when the coffee maker is all warmed. Now you can press the button and have that smooth espresso ready in 20 seconds. Better yet, run a cycle of hot water to also warm up your cup, dump the water and then press the button.

Skills required

Both DeLonghi and Breville coffee makers are very user-friendly which large and intuitive button displays. If you buy super-automatic coffee makers from either of the companies, you are likely to get a machine with a color touch display that should be super easy to use. For the other models, you will have to go through a trial and error phase to decide which grind size and what coffee settings make your cup perfect. 

However, DeLonghi requires fewer skills and you can pretty much use the programmable system that allows the machine to do its part. Simply put, they’re best suited for people who do not have inclinations of a barista.

Breville machines are favored by coffee enthusiasts who like to experiment. Their button interfaces allow the user more control over their espresso.

Water reservoirs

Nobody wants a coffee machine that requires a lot of attention, particularly if you buy an automatic coffee maker that is supposed to do everything on its own. Still, if you don’t put water in it you won’t get any coffee, therefore people want machines with big reservoirs you don’t have to refill too often,

The water reservoir size for both Breville and DeLonghi machines will depend on the particular model you are buying given that both companies have different capacity coffee makers.

If you look at some of their most popular models that fall within the same price range you will notice that the Breville coffee machines have a slightly larger water tank. For instance, DeLonghi ESAM3300 has a 60 oz water reservoir, while a Breville BES870XL has a reservoir with a 67 oz capacity, basically one extra cup of coffee.

Counter space

Usually, this is not an issue when you compare coffee machines, but in this case, the difference in size is quite notable.

Breville’s espresso makers are known for their size and bulk, so they will take up more space on your kitchen counter.

For their part, De’Longhi machines are the slimmest on the espresso machine market so they are suitable for a small kitchen or a college room.

On the other hand, Breville machines are generally considered to look better and for many people this matters, too. Breville always gives their machines an impressive touch of art, with their artistically aligned parts and the classy choice of colors.

Cleaning and maintenance

Taking good care of your coffee machine and cleaning it regularly is essential for the quality of your brew

  • For both DeLonghi and Breville, most models come with self-cleaning options, especially the full and super-automatic types. At the same time, they have removable water reservoirs, which make it easy for you to clean them.
     
  • Both types of machines will rinses themselves automatically when you select the auto-cleaning function. 

  • DeLonghi machines also have an auto-cleaning system for the milk carafe. 

  • However, many users complain that Breville machines are harder to clean, at least on the outside because of their more complex design, exactly the feature that makes them more elegant. You can’t have it all, can you? If you want a piece of art on your counter you will have to work more to clean it. 

  • Most Breville models are equipped with a water filter which means descaling is rarely required. That’s very important as regular descaling is crucial if you want your machine to last longer. 

  • Both types of machines have a special button to alert you when it’s time for descaling, but as a rule, you should do this at three months interval, at the very least. This depends on the water hardness in your area. If the water you use is very hard, you should do it every month to make sure your machine runs smoothly. 

  • All coffee machine makers recommend using special descaling liquid, but if you forgot to order it you can safely use a water and vinegar solution for this operation. Keep in mind that on some models the process takes some 30 minutes, so do it after you’ve prepared your morning coffee!

Breville vs DeLonghi - Price comparison

The price is always an important feature when you need to choose between two not very different espresso makers. Breville and DeLonghi are in the same class after all and come with similar features. 

Overall, DeLonghi machines are a bit more affordable and you can find a very good espresso maker with a 15-bar pump for $100.

As for Breville, the cheapest model with the same 15-bar pump will cost you around $200. 

But you can spend a lot more on the most sophisticated models. DeLonghi has espresso makers that go up to $3,000, while the most expensive Breville super-automatic machine is around $3,500. Definitely not cheap, but on the other hand, if you add up all the money you spend at the coffee shop per year, owning your own barista-grade espresso maker is the wiser choice.

Quick recap:

To make the choice easier for you, here are the most important things you should take away from this guide:

Choose a Breville coffee machine if:

  • You want more control over the quality of your brew
  • You’re a fan of espresso-based drinks (the dual boiler is a big plus!)
  • You want a larger water reservoir
  • You want an impressive coffee machine on your kitchen counter

Choose a DeLonghi espresso maker if:

  • You are more comfortable with using preset programs to make your morning routine easier
  • You have little space in your kitchen and a compact machine would fit better
    and want to prioritize a compact machine.
  • You want a durable casing on an affordable model.

The Verdict

Breville and DeLonghi are both reputable companies that genuinely care for the quality of their products and offer you the latest technology. Each brand has an impressive lineup of topnotch espresso machines, which makes choosing the right one for you a challenging task.

Whether you go for a Breville or DeLonghi coffee maker, you can be sure that you will have a high-quality machine that will help you prepare some amazing coffee every day.

Both brands have easy to use machines and allow you to also prepare excellent cappuccino or latte.

Bottom line, if you’re a beginner and don’t care about fiddling too much with controls you’re better off with a DeLonghi coffee machine, which is also a bit more budget-friendly.

On the other hand, if you consider coffee making is an art and consider yourself a barista at heart you should choose a Breville espresso maker. These machines are pricier, though not by much, and you can experiment all you want.

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