Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express: Which Is The Best Entry-level Espresso Machine For The Money?

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Read more

This article will compare Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express to find out which espresso machine is worth your money. If you don’t have time to read a long article, here is the answer.

After using both for quite a long time, although they are all great, honestly, I think the Barista Express stands out a little bit more than the Delonghi to be the winner. Breville Barista Express has some remarkable features that make it a convincing winner: durable build quality, many grind settings, and good espresso quality.

However, the perfect one may vary for you as the Delonghi La Specialista has some other unique, attractive features, in addition to some of the same features found in the Breville. It has two independent heating systems, automatic tamping, three coffee type selections that make it ideal for those who are beginners and prefer the automatic.

Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
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 Express
De'Longhi La Specialista
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11 x 12 x 13.5 inches
15 x 14.48 x 17.5 inches
Color
Metal
Metal
Material
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 pounds
29.7 Pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
1450W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
19 bars
Interface
Dials and buttons
Dials and buttons
Tamping
Manual
Built-in Tamper
Grind settings
18 grind settings
6 grind settings
Programming customized settings
Coffee type selections
Hot Water Spout
Can use non-pressurized filter
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$849.00
The Winner (#1)
Image
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Express
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11 x 12 x 13.5 inches
Color
Metal
Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
23 pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1600W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Interface
Dials and buttons
Tamping
Manual
Grind settings
18 grind settings
Programming customized settings
Coffee type selections
Hot Water Spout
Can use non-pressurized filter
What I Like
Price
$599.95
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
De'Longhi La Specialista
Dimensions (LxWxH)
15 x 14.48 x 17.5 inches
Color
Metal
Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
29.7 Pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1450W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
19 bars
Interface
Dials and buttons
Tamping
Built-in Tamper
Grind settings
6 grind settings
Programming customized settings
Coffee type selections
Hot Water Spout
Can use non-pressurized filter
What I Like
Price
$849.00
More Info

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

See also:

  1. Delonghi La Specialista vs Dinamica: Comparison Review & Top Features
  2. Delonghi La Specialista vs Magnifica Comparison Review: What’s Hot Right Now?
  3. Breville Oracle Touch vs DeLonghi La Specialista: Find Out Which One Is Great for Americanos and Lattes AND for the Money!
  4. Breville Oracle Touch vs Barista Express – Best Comparison Review For Espresso
  5. Breville Bambino Plus vs Barista Express: The Ultimate Comparison Review
  6. Breville Barista Express vs Pro Review: What You Need To Know

Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express: Similarities

Delonghi La Specialista and Breville Barista Express share a lot of similarities in their functionality as well as their physical appearance. Some of the key similarities between these two machines include:

  • The water tank capacity of both espresso machines is the same (2 litres)
  • Bruville Barista Express and Delonghi La Specialista both come with a pressure gauge that allows the user to match the right pressure in order to get the best results.
  • There is a hot water spout on both espresso machines that can be used to prepare different types of coffee.
  • Both espresso machines has customized settings to adjust the amount of coffee to be produced. In the Delonghi machine, this can be accomplished by pressing first the “My” button. With the Breville machine, this is achieved by pressing the “PROGRAM” button

Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express: Differences

Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express have several remarkable features that mark their uniqueness. When using both these espresso machines we can declare that Beville Barista Express won against Delonghi with a score of 3-2 compellingly.

1. Build Quality And Aesthetic Design

The Winner:  Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express's Design
Breville Barista Express’s Design

Putting these two machines side by side, they do not seem to differ in appearance too much. These two espresso machines offer the same features including removable water reservoirs, a bean hopper and cup warmer that are mounted on top, pressure gauges, hot water spout for americanos and tea, and they both have a single group head, single steam wand,… 

However, a great convenience of Breville that Delonghi does not have is a handy tool compartment cleverly hidden inside, behind the drip tray. You can place your filters here so that you do not have to hassle with thinking where they are every time you need them or cluttering up the kitchen.

As for size, the La Specialista is an inch or two larger in both length and width, but neither of those should be a big problem.

Durability is an important factor when considering the quality of an espresso machine. As such, I can assure you that Breville Barista is much better than La Specialista in this case

The portafilter handle, the bean hopper, the tamper are the parts that we use frequently. However, on Delonghi La Specialista,  they are made partly from plastic whose quality seems very cheap, hard, brittle. Although these are very small details, it is enough to make Delonghi La Specialista lose points in users’ eyes. On the other hand, I’m quite satisfied with Barista Express, since most of its parts are made from heavy stainless steel, which is tough and durable.

2. Grinding

The Winner:  Breville Barista Express

 Breville Barista Express has18 grind settings
Breville Barista Express has18 grind settings

Both of these coffee machines have a built-in precision conical burr grinder, which assists in grinding and delivers the right amount of freshly ground, consistent ground in a short time.

Even so, the coffee grinding experience on Breville Barista express is still better with 18 grind settings while Delonghi La Specialista comes with only 6 different settings.

When there are more choices of grinding levels, it is clear that we will be able to grind coffee with fineness or coarseness suitable for more beverages. 

3. Tamping

The Winner: Delonghi La Specialista

Smart Tamping Station on Delonghi La Specialista
Smart Tamping Station on Delonghi La Specialista

I really like the integrated tamping system on the La Specialista that helps make a cup of espresso easier. After the coffee has been ground into the filter-basket, all you have to do is press the lever on the side of the machine and the coffee press in the filter basket will be done perfectly. There is no need to remove the portafilter and tamper by yourself, so you don’t have to worry about mess.

However, Barista Express can get a little messy because tamping is more traditional, with a basic manual tamper. This can be difficult for beginners. But it’s also easy to get used to.

4. Espresso Quality

The Winner:  Breville Barista Express

Filter basket of these two machines
Filter basket of these two machines

I believe that the most significant difference between these two machines is the quality of the coffee they’re able to make.

Espresso extracted from La Specailista is not as “professional-inspired”, good as advertised. This is because the La Specialista system only comes with 51mm pressurized filter basket, the same as on the lower end, or super-automatic machines with these spouts. 

It is true that the pressurized basket makes it easier for us to get an espresso, and they also allow us to use pre-ground coffee. However, it is not “professional”. The way they work tends to create a thin, watery and lack the body and velvety smooth crema. 

In contrast, the Barista Express uses the non-pressurized basket so it can produce true, high-quality, perfect espresso.

Barista Express goes with both types of filters above to meet your preference while Delonghi La Specialista only uses pressurized filter baskets.

5. Ease Of Use

The winner: Delonghi La Specialista

The De’Longhi machine has three pre-set coffee drinks recipes to choose between, including Espresso, Americano, and Coffee. Meanwhile, the Breville machine doesn’t have any pre-set coffee selections, it simply produces good Espresso coffee. 

However, this does not mean that we cannot produce other types of coffee with Breville machines. Because this machine allows you to adjust grind quantities, coffee extraction volumes, as well as use the hot water and steam spouts to prepare the type of coffee you like (in both machines).

However, in terms of ease of use, especially for beginners, the La Specialista still wins.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
15,455 Reviews
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • 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
  • 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 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Good espresso extraction
  • Great milk froth
  • Can use both pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets.
  • Included user-friendly instructions with troubleshooting section
  • Require less cleaning than other espresso machine
Cons
  • Has no water hardness adjustment
  • Some users have complained about water leakage, especially after regular use.
  • Sometimes the beans get stuck in the grinder

Quick Rundown Of Delonghi La Specialista

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
1,048 Reviews
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 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • No mess and waste using the built-in tamper
  • Very quiet
  • Heats up quickly
  • Make the americano with one press of a button.
Cons
  • Only pressurized portafilters
  • Don’t have water softener filter
  • Only 6 grinder settings
  • Cannot take the hopper off when it is full of beans.

Product Videos

References

Breville Barista Express from Breville: https://www.breville.com/us/en/products/espresso/bes870.html

Delonghi La Specialista from Delonghi: https://www.delonghi.com/en-int/products/coffee/la-specialista

Related Articles

  1. Breville Barista Express vs Touch Espresso Maker: What To Buy?
  2. Breville Cafe Roma vs Barista Express – What Is The Best?
  3. Breville Dual Boiler vs Barista Express: A Detailed Comparison
  4. Breville Duo Temp Pro vs Barista Express: What To Buy Right Now?
  5. Breville Infuser vs Barista Express: Which Is The Better Espresso Machine?
  6. Breville Oracle vs Barista Express Espresso Maker Review: Finding The Right Fit For Home Brewers & Espresso Drinkers
  7. Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Breville Barista Express Review: Single-Serve Coffee Maker or Semi-Automatic – What Is The Right Pick For You?
  8. Breville Barista Express vs Bambino Review: What You Need To Know About Their Programmability & Ease of Use For Daily Brewing
  9. Breville Barista Express vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Which Is Better Innovation?
  10. Gaggia Anima vs Breville Barista Express: Which More Friendly To Home-Barista?
  11. Gaggia Brera vs Breville Barista Express: 2 Advanced Choices For Beginners And Experienced Barista
  12. Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Touch: Which Is Better?
5/5 - (1 vote)