Breville ESP8XL vs DeLonghi EC702 are available in the same price range. These espresso makers are suitable for coffee enthusiasts who want to brew quality coffee at the comfort of their home. So, which one is better? Read the comparison between these two espresso makers below to determine which model that can give you the best value for the money!
What we will discuss in this article includes:
- The design and build quality of each espresso maker
- The comparison of their features and ease of use
- The performance of Breville ESP8XL vs DeLonghi EC702
- Why Breville ESP8XL can be more versatile than DeLonghi EC702
- Which espresso maker that is generally more recommended for you
Breville ESP8XL: Design
Breville ESP8XL is meant to be a budget-friendly alternative of the higher-end espresso makers from the company. But, despite the affordable price, this model already comes with a nice 15-bar pump, a dual water filtration system, a stainless steel body, and a cup warming tray. It is quite impressive. See also: DeLonghi EC702 Vs ECP3630
The design is quite simple, really. On the front panel, there is a power button with two light indicators to indicate whether the unit is turned on or not and whether the unit is currently heating water. Then, there is a large knob for selecting the operation for brewing and steaming.
A panarello-style steam wand is angled to the side so that it won’t get in your way while you are brewing espresso. Unfortunately, the end of the steam wand is slightly outside the drip tray coverage, so a few drops of water may fall on your countertop after using the steam wand.
Nevertheless, the overall build quality of Breville ESP8XL is very good. The stainless steel construction is really robust and durable. The steam wand is made of stainless steel, too. The water tank is on the side, and there is a transparent window which will enable you to monitor the water level without opening the lid.
One important difference between Breville ESP8XL vs DeLonghi EC702 is the portafilter design. Breville ESP8XL is one of those espresso makers which work with a pressurized portafilter. It can be a great choice for beginners and coffee drinkers who don’t want to deal with the technical aspect of tamping. However, the pressure is actually applied in the basket instead of the portafilter, so the coffee won’t need to pass through too many springs or pieces before hitting the cup.
The portafilter has a standard size, so you should be able to find a non-pressurized basket that fits properly when you want to upgrade. That said, Breville ESP8XL is actually more versatile with its pressurized portafilter, as you’ll see below. By the way, there are three baskets that are included in the box for 1-cup serving, 2-cup serving, and coffee pods.
Breville ESP8XL: Features
Breville ESP8XL comes with pretty much everything that you need to brew an espresso-based drink, excluding the grinder. The box even includes two stainless steel cups and a frother jug, so you can really put it to use right away.
When you want to brew some espresso, you can put the cup on the top of the unit before filling the water tank. This will give some time for the warming tray to warm up the cup. Then, once the light indicators tell you that the unit is ready for brewing, you can put the ground coffee into the portafilter and snap it to its place, and turn the large dial. The unit will start brewing right away.
The frother is definitely an excellent addition to this impressive espresso maker. It will allow you to froth milk for latte and cappuccino drinks. It even works well for preparing milk for latte art. The dual water filtration system ensures that the frothing or steaming won’t interfere with the brewing process.
The drip tray on the front of the unit is removable for easy cleaning. The only slight downside, as mentioned above, is that the drip tray isn’t wide enough to catch drips from the steam wand as well. Meanwhile, the water tank has a 40.6-oz capacity.
Breville ESP8XL: Performance & Coffee Quality
Breville ESP8XL vs DeLonghi EC702 use different heating elements. In the case of Breville ESP8XL, the heating element is a thermoblock. The main advantage of a thermoblock is that it heats up faster, so you won’t need to wait too long to get your coffee.
The coffee quality of Breville ESP8XL is excellent, and the portafilter is surprisingly very versatile. Pressurized portafilters typically can’t work with fine grinds because they can get clogged easily. However, the pressurized portafilter on Breville ESP8XL can handle pretty much any kind of grind between fine to coarse. When using a fine grind, the machine is still able to deliver excellent quality coffee without any choking. When using a coarse grind, the performance is just as smooth.
Because of this, using the pressurized portafilter is generally a better idea than ‘upgrading’ to a non-pressurized one. The pressurized portafilter will allow you to use a wide range of coffee, from commercial pre-ground packs that you can find in local stores to high-grade whole beans that are sold by espresso boutiques.
Breville ESP8XL produces rich and dark coffee. The crema is really nice. It is quite frothy and creamy, with a light color. The flavor of the coffee is more on the bitter side. As promised, running a brewing cycle right after using the steam wand doesn’t affect the performance and coffee quality.
DeLonghi EC702: Design
Now, let’s continue with DeLonghi EC702. It is standing in the same price range as Breville ESP8XL, and it is also designed to be a home espresso machine. Furthermore, DeLonghi EC702 is also equipped with a 15-bar pressure pump, an integrated frother, a cup warming tray, and a durable stainless steel body.
The overall appearance is beautiful. It somehow looks more professional, and it can easily fit in a coffeehouse. Both Breville ESP8XL vs DeLonghi EC702 have stainless steel construction, but DeLonghi EC702 is notably larger and bulkier.
The frother is placed on the side, completely out of the way when you are brewing espresso. Unfortunately, this also means that the frother is outside the drip tray coverage, so some drips may fall onto your countertop from the frother.
The warming tray on the top is very useful for preparing your cups. It is equipped with a pair of rails, which help to secure the cups in place so that they won’t fall when they get bumped accidentally.
DeLonghi EC702: Features
DeLonghi EC702 comes with a special non-pressurized portafilter. It has a three-in-one filter holder which can be configured for 1-cup serving, 2-cup serving, or coffee pods. Then, this model has a self-priming function so that beginners and casual users won’t need to deal with time-consuming start-up preparation. You only need to turn on the unit, and it will be ready for brewing in no time.
A small difference is found on the water tank capacity. DeLonghi EC702 has a water tank that is slightly bigger than that of Breville ESP8XL, with a capacity of 44 oz. It is detachable for easy refilling and cleaning.
On the front side, there is the removable drip tray that is made of stainless steel. It will prevent espresso drips from messing up your countertop, but it is not wide enough to catch drips from the frother as well.
DeLonghi EC702 comes with an automatic stand-by function. This will ensure that the unit won’t consume electricity needlessly whenever you forget to turn it off. When the machine has been left idle for several minutes, it will go into the stand-by mode automatically.
DeLonghi EC702: Performance & Coffee Quality
The overall performance of DeLonghi EC702 is amazing. It runs with a high-quality stainless steel boiler with two separate thermostats for controlling brewing and steaming separately. Compared to Breville ESP98XL, it is a little bit slower to heat up. However, the consistency is really great. This machine can brew multiple espresso shots continuously with excellent and consistent flavor.
The coffee tends to be dark and strong. It has a nice layer of crema which isn’t too thick but quite creamy and delicious. Meanwhile, the manual frother is also effective for making rich froth and microfoam.
Note that DeLonghi EC702 works best with fine grinds. You need to tamp the coffee on the portafilter properly for the best result. You should avoid using coarse grinds because it will cause clogging and sub-optimum brewing.
By the way, before your initial use, you need to “break in” the machine first. This can be done by using low-quality coffee and running the brewing cycle three or four times. This is to get rid of the initial metallic taste that can degrade your coffee. After breaking in the machine, the performance is good and the coffee quality is rich without any metallic taste.
Breville ESP8XL vs DeLonghi EC702
All in all, Breville ESP8XL is generally more recommended. The pressurized portafilter on this model is amazing, as it can work with fine grinds as well as coarse grinds to produce great results. The coffee has a rich flavor with a frothy crema. The overall operation is simpler and easier.