Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Pro: Which Is Better Purchase?

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Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Pro are two choices that many people consider among the mid-range espresso machines on the market. So I have searched and aggregated information about these two machines to be able to give you the right advice.

If you are busy and do not want to read a long article, then hen the quick answer is Breville Barista Pro is exactly my priority. It deserves to be the winner due to its barista-quality performance and outstanding features such as 30 grind settings, ThermoJet heating system, and digital temperature control. 

However, given what the runner-up – La Specialista is able to do, it has all the right features to be a real competitor to other mid-end pressurized machines. With some salient features like dual heating system, smart tamping station and advanced latte system, this machine is really ideal for people who are busy and want the automatic.

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 Bambino Plus vs Barista Pro: Comparison For Espresso Drinkers
  4. Breville Barista Express vs Pro Review: What You Need To Know

Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Pro: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro 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 Pro
De'Longhi La Specialista
Dimensions (LxWxH)
13 x 12 x 13 inches
14.48 x 15 x 17.5 inches
Color
Brushed Stainless Stee
Metal
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
20 pounds
29.7 Pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8 oz
8.8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1680 W/ 120 V
1450W/ 110–120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
19 bars
Interface
LCD Display, Button Control
Buttons
Temperature Control
Low pressure pre-infusion
Smart Tamping
Grinder Type
Integrated conical burr grinder
Sensor Grinding
Heating System
ThermoJet heating system
Thermoblock, Dual heating system
Grind settings
30 different settings.
5 different settings.
What I Like
Price
$799.95
$849.95
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Pro
Dimensions (LxWxH)
13 x 12 x 13 inches
Color
Brushed Stainless Stee
Material
Brushed Stainless Steel
Weight
20 pounds
Bean Hopper Capacity
8 oz
Water Tank Capacity
2 Liters
Power / Voltage
1680 W/ 120 V
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Interface
LCD Display, Button Control
Temperature Control
Low pressure pre-infusion
Smart Tamping
Grinder Type
Integrated conical burr grinder
Heating System
ThermoJet heating system
Grind settings
30 different settings.
What I Like
Price
$799.95
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)
14.48 x 15 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
Buttons
Temperature Control
Low pressure pre-infusion
Smart Tamping
Grinder Type
Sensor Grinding
Heating System
Thermoblock, Dual heating system
Grind settings
5 different settings.
What I Like
Price
$849.95
More Info

Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Pro: Differences

The Breville Barista Pro wins 4-2 against its predecessor, the Delonghi La Specialista, for its professional-looking design, more intuitive display, more grind settings, and precise temperature control.

1. Build Quality 

The Winner: Breville Barista Pro

As soon as I opened the La Specialista package, I had noticed that the build quality was significantly lower compared to that of the Breville. My first impression was that there was far more hard, brittle, cheap-feeling plastic, particularly on parts that you are going to be using quite frequently like the portafilter handle, the bean hopper, the tamper, even the way the filter basket snaps in.

The Barista, on the other hand, feels much more well built. Having a sleek and professional-looking design, the Breville Barista Pro espresso machine makes a great addition to your kitchen counter.

That is rather disappointing since the La Specialista actually costs slightly more than the La Specialista.

2. Interface

The Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro's Interface
Breville Barista Pro’s Interface

The LCD screen on the Barista Pro makes it very easy to use. On the machine’s LCD display, you will be able to see all of the information you need as well as the progress of the coffee-making process. The LCD display also serves as a guide during the grinding and extracting processes. 

It is also possible to check the size and number of shots from this screen. Thus, making coffee with this machine is easy, giving you clear instructions

The user interface on the La Specialista was not as intuitive as that on the Breville. There are dials and buttons, some labelled with vague symbols and words, such as the ‘OK’ button in the middle. Once you read the manual, it’s fine, but I much prefer the more simple layout of the Breville. 

3. Grind Settings

The Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Barista Pro espresso machines feature a conical burr grinder that offers 30 settings. This is another feature of the Barista Pro that leaves the DeLonghi La Specialista trailing, as the former machine only has 5 grind steps. 

With the Breville Barista Pro, then, you can dial in your espresso shots more accurately and efficiently.

4. Tamping

The Winner: Delonghi La Specialista

 Smart tamping station on the La Specialista
Smart tamping station on the La Specialista

In terms of grinding workflow, I prefer the La Specialista. It’s great how the grinding is self-contained, and it begins right away when you lock in the portafilter. I really like the Smart tamping station on the La Specialista.  When the coffee has been ground in the filter basket, all you need to do is press the lever on the side of the machine for the coffee in the filter basket to be pressed.

In my opinion, this is a great way to ensure that a new user will get a consistent and level tamp. The portafilter doesn’t need to be removed, so you get to enjoy a mess-free experience.

The Barista is more traditional, with a basic manual tamper. Once you have your grinds, you have to remove the portafilter, and you need to use the provided tamper to tamp your grinds. It can quite messy sometimes.

5. Heating system

The Winner: Delonghi La Specialista

Using Breville’s unique heating system, ThermoJet, the Barista Pro has a highly effective heating system. The water will only take 3 seconds to heat up to make espresso. The Breville single heater, however, is used both for extracting coffee and steaming milk.

The De’Longhi machine is equipped with two independent heating systems: one thermoblock for extracting coffee, and an independent heating system for steaming milk or frothing. With this configuration, frothing or steaming milk-based drinks can be prepared immediately.

The advantage of having two heaters is that once the coffee is ready, steaming your milk for beverages like latte and macchiato doesn’t require additional heating time.

To me, Delonghi is the more appealing option in this respect.

6. Temperature Control

The Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Extraction of coffee is affected by water temperature. During the brewing process, you should have the right temperature if you want your coffee to have a rich and full flavor.

This machine by De’Longhi allows you to adjust the water temperature to either “Alta” (high temperature) or “Normale” (normal temperature).  In terms of PID technology, it does not have any.

The Barista Pro uses PID technology to regulate the espresso extraction temperature just like high-end commercial machines, and this works beautifully every time. You will always get consistent and delicious tasting extraction results thanks to this feature..

Quick Rundown of Breville Barista Pro

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
995 Reviews
Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Barista Pro 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: With a single touch, the integrated precision conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavor
  • 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
  • FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds with the instantaneous transition from espresso to steam
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at the right temperature plus & minus 2°C, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Fast with 3-second start up
  • Strong heating system (ThermoJet) & consistency (PID)
  • Features a separate hot water dispenser.
  • High pressure steam wand
Cons
  • The grinder makes a lound noise
  • The shared drip tray can be messy
  • No pressure gauge

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
1,006 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 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Quick start
  • Fuss-free, fantastic milk froth
  • Automates grinding and tamping
  • Very quiet
Cons
  • Aesthetics slightly cluttered
  • No integrated PID control

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