DeLonghi Magnifica vs Breville Barista Express are two espresso machines with built-in grinders and milk frothers. Both of the two products have received quite a lot of positive reviews in the market. Now, the question is, which one is better? We’ll compare their features, capabilities, and performance below to answer that question.
The discussion below will tell you further about:
- The design, appearance, and build quality of each espresso machine
- Which model that will require less frequent refilling
- The grinder of DeLonghi Magnifica Vs Breville Barista Express
- Which model that will allow you to develop brewing skills better
- The comparison of their coffee quality
- Which model that is generally better and more recommended for you
DeLonghi Magnifica: Design & Appearance
Featuring a coffee-shop style with a silver exterior, DeLonghi Magnifica sports a very different look compared to other models from the company, which are usually black and appearing futuristic. Although the appearance of other Delonghi models is really cool, DeLonghi Magnifica also deserves a praise. It looks stylish, and it can fit easily into pretty much any kitchen. See also: DeLonghi Magnifica Vs Perfecta
The control panel may look a bit intimidating at first, but it will quickly become self-explanatory some trial runs. The main dial is used to decrease or increase the coffee intensity, whereas the surrounding buttons are used to choose long or short coffee.
On the left side of DeLonghi Magnifica is the Cappuccino System, which is a special feature of DeLonghi Magnifica vs Breville Barista Express that won’t be found in cheaper models. The Cappuccino System will allow you to froth milk for latte or cappuccino with the manual steam arm. It is definitely useful, especially if you want to train your frothing skill.
The unit is equipped with two output dispensers for the coffee, so that you can brew two cups of coffee simultaneously from one brewing cycle. You can adjust the height of the dispensers to fit the particular cup size. The coffee spigots will accommodate cups of up to 5.5 inches tall. While that isn’t tall enough for giant coffee mugs, most coffee cups will fit just fine.
DeLonghi Magnifica: Features
DeLonghi Magnifica is equipped with a professional burr grinder featuring 13 selectable settings. The burr grinder is able to grind fresh coffee beans to ensure that you get the best coffee quality and freshness. However, you can also use pre-ground coffee by adding them into the second chamber instead of the bean hopper.
Despite the relatively compact size, DeLonghi Magnifica comes with a 60-oz water tank. This is not the biggest water tank in the market, but it is still a pleasant surprise due to the machine’s fairly small overall dimensions. The water tank is front-loading, so it is easy to access. The water tank can accept a water filter, so you may use one if necessary.
DeLonghi Magnifica utilizes a single boiler with a thermoblock for rapid heating. However, with just a single boiler, you won’t be able to simultaneously steam milk and brew coffee. You will need to wait for a moment so that the boiler can adjust its temperature. Fortunately, the delay is only in seconds, so the waiting is not really a huge deal.
Armed with a frothing wand, DeLonghi Magnifica vs Breville Barista Express will allow you to make any specialty coffee drink that you desire. The frothing wand also doubles as a hot water dispenser, which is very useful when you want to make hot chocolate or tea.
The cup warming tray is on the top of the machine. It is passively heated by the boiler. The bumpy surface helps to keep the cups in place while they are being warmed.
DeLonghi Magnifica: Performance
The performance of DeLonghi Magnifica is actually pretty fast. A brewing cycle only takes a few minutes. It only becomes slower when you want to brew after steaming milk, as the boiler will need to adjust the temperature first. Also, DeLonghi Magnifica is also a bit noisy when working.
Nevertheless, DeLonghi Magnifica is able to deliver excellent espresso with a strong flavor and scent. While the taste greatly depends on the quality of the beans that you use, the espresso machine is capable of getting the most out of the beans. The espresso comes out with a full body and a rich crema.
DeLonghi Magnifica is also easy to clean. Some manual cleaning and maintenance is required, but there are built-in automatic functions for rinsing and decalcification. The light indicator will remind you when the decalcification function is needed. This depends on how often you use the machine; usually once every a few months. Additionally, the machine actually self-rinses every time it is turned on and off.
Breville Barista Express: Design & Appearance
Breville Barista Express has a similar height to a conventional drip coffee maker, but it is about twice wider. If you compare it to other super espresso machines, Breville Barista Express is indeed larger, yet it is physically very robust.
Besides the girth, the appearance of Breville Barista Express alone is enough to give you the impression that it is a serious business. The stainless-steel construction is fitted with a hefty steel portafilter, and the large bean hopper along with the pressure gauge really seal the serious, professional appearance. Usually, such features are only available on premium models.
It is the pressure gauge that makes Breville Barista Express stands out from the competition in the class. Put in the front-center of the control panel, the pressure gauge will show you whether the internal pressure pump is pushing hot water through the ground coffee within the optimal range. This allows better control for the user.
To make life easier, you can use ground coffee by dropping them directly into the portafilter. From there, you can tamp the portafilter’s content and twist it into its position under the brew head.
Breville Barista Express: Features
At first, Breville Barista Express’ buttons and dials may look intimidating. But if you read the detailed manual, you won’t find a trouble in pulling some practice shots to get your grip around the machine and eventually find the best settings for your coffee.
Breville is well-known for their exceptional burr grinders. Breville Barista Express is given stainless steel conical burrs with 16 grind settings to choose from, hence allowing you to fine-tune your coffee and pull that perfect shot. Meanwhile, the water tank is the biggest of the models in the category with a maximum capacity of 67 oz.
A steam wand with a swivel mount and a hot water nozzle can be activated by a large knob on the right side of the machine. On the far left, there is the grind size selector that ranges from “coarse” to “fine”. Other nice touches are the removable and easily cleanable drip tray and water tank.
You will get 4 filter baskets from the box. There are pressurized and non-pressurized versions of the single and double filters. If you’re a beginner, using a pressurized basket will allow you to get decent shots without getting punished heavily upon small mistakes. However, if you are confident enough, you can use a non-pressurized basket which will require you to dial in the shot to get the best coffee quality.
There are also custom controls on Breville Barista Express that will give you a few ways to modify your shots. The Dose control allows you to adjust the grind amount between 19g and 22g for each cup. This will affect the coffee-to-water ratio. Meanwhile, the Grind Size control allows you to choose from 16 grind levels, which affects the extraction and hence the flavor of the espresso.
Breville Barista Express: Performance
If rich, creamy café-style latte is what you want, stop looking farther. This machine is all you need. The milk frother is truly amazing, and some people would even say that it is the best in the class. It can deliver the perfect steamed milk with a thin foam layer – taking your latte to the next level. It is also very good for cappuccino.
Breville Barista Express may require some patience if you are a beginner. But it will reward your patience with spectacular shots once you get the hang of it. A properly brewed coffee from Breville Barista Express tastes rich with complex flavors, yet the overall profile is balanced and very enjoyable. The crema is stout and thick with a nice golden brown color.
Of course, if you alter any of the brewing settings, the coffee quality will change significantly. For example, if you get too greedy and add too much ground coffee, or if you tamp the coffee too hard, the brewing pressure will be messed up and produce undrinkable coffee. Fortunately, you can salvage an extremely strong pull of espresso by adding some hot water. This will create a tasty cup of Americano, even if the initial shot wasn’t any good.
DeLonghi Magnifica vs Breville Barista Express
Both are good espresso machines, but Breville Barista Express is generally more recommended. It has a larger capacity, the burr grinder is better and offers more options, and the overall performance is very good. The pressure gauge is a very nice feature for controlling the brewing cycle. In addition, the box includes pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets, which are handy for beginners as well as experienced users.