Breville vs De’Longhi: Which’s Better for YOU?

Breville and De’Longhi are two of the top brand names in espresso machine production. Each lineup has its own assets, making it difficult to choose between them.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Read on for a brief overview of each brand plus a breakdown and comparison of their best machines.
More Like Bae-ville

Founded in 1932, Breville is a prominent household name, especially in its mother country, Australia. They’ve been on the espresso market since 2001, but they got their start with radios during the Second World War.
Now, they are based in Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the United States, though some of their machines are manufactured in China. They are also renowned for their superior customer service and top-notch quality.
In for the De’Long-haul

Originally a manufacturer of household appliances, De’Longhi is a family-owned Italian brand. Their presence in the realm of espresso machines started in 2008, and they produce a variety of semi-automatic to super-automatic machines.

Further, De’Longhi is most well known for its accessible product range and is one of the brands responsible for bringing espresso bar capabilities to the general public. Even with their budget-friendliness, their products’ designs are still sleek.
Top Picks Showdown

Our first category, semi-automatic espresso machines, tends to be our personal favorite. Semi-automatic machines are often a good indication of the versatility of a brand’s mechanics and design. They also give the user the best balance of flexibility and convenience.

Additionally, semi-automatic machines allow the barista to start and stop a shot with the push of a button but usually require him or her to manually tamp the grounds.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

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First, the Barista Express is one of our favorite espresso machines, period. This machine sleek semi-automatic puts a lot of the competition to shame with its user accessibility and brewing flexibility.

Like many semi-automatic machines, the Barista Express has automatic redundancy features. That means you get the programmability and personalization options that come with semi-automatic machines but can still take advantage of automatic conveniences on occasion.

With the more mid-range price the comes a plethora of improves and additional features as compared to the De’Longhi model. The water reservoir is considerably larger at 67 fl.oz (2L). It also includes a 1/2 pound sealed bean hopper and a stainless steel conical burr grinder, so you won’t need to purchase a stand-alone grinder to enjoy fresh espresso.

Other things to note are the clean-me light, 54 mm tamper, 360 degree swivel steam wand, and included frothing pitcher. Even with all the extras, this machine is still relatively compact, measuring 13.25 x 12.5 x 15.75 in. However, it still requires a sizable amount of counter space, so make sure you measure BEFORE you buy.

One of the only drawbacks we’ve found with this machine is the lack of a water-sensor. That means you’ll have to make sure you have enough water for the beverage you’re making before you set the machine to run. Otherwise, you may damage the internal mechanics as the machine tries to pull a shot without any water.
Overall, this machine is often at the top of at-home baristas’ wish lists and is likely worth the investment if you want a top-notch machine without completely draining your savings. That’s why you’ll find this machine at the top of most espresso machine rankings.
This super budget-friendly machine is perfect for beginner baristas, as it offers decent brewing at a reasonable price.

This semi-automatic machine is a single-boiler system that is compatible with both pre-ground coffee and coffee pods/capsules.

The water reservoir is a little on the small side with a maximum capacity of 35 fluid ounces. But this size is comparable to other machines in the price range. Plus, the smaller reservoir means less counter space you’ll have to sacrifice.

All things considered this machine is pretty compact, but that doesn’t mean you forfeit much functionality. The EC155 features a swivel jet frother, self-priming operation, and two independent thermostats. These let you for prepare specialty drinks, save startup time, and control water and steam temperatures respectively.

Plus, for such a budget friendly machine, this De’Longhi can pull an excellent shot. So you’ll likely be able to enjoy your caffeine fix without needing to dilute the drink too much with milk products or sweetners.

Because the EC155 doesn’t have a built-in grinder, you’ll need to get a separate coffee grinder if you really want to get the most out of this machine. Alternatively, you could use ready-ground coffee, but the flavor and freshness of your espresso will likely suffer.

A few known drawbacks for this machine include volume and demitasse clearance. This machine can get a little noisy as it vibrates quite a bit, and the max cup height is 2.5 inches, making larger drinks (like lungos) more difficult to brew.
However, for the price, a beginner barista still gets some serious bang for his or her buck, which is why this machine is consistently ranked as one of De’Longhi’s best.

Fully and super automatic machines give you the full extent of a brand’s functionality capabilities. These generally include “flowmeters” to monitor shot pulling for you. Super automatics will often also grind and tamp the beans for you.

This category is best for those who aren’t looking to contend with much of a learning curve and care more about efficiency and convenience than customization. Automatic machines also tend to be pricier than semi-automatics.
Breville Barista Touch BES880BSS Espresso Machine

If you’ve got a big budget and are on the market for a truly luxurious machine, then this Breville option might be for you.

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With a colorful, touch screen LCD display, users can make their perfect cup of java in just 3 steps: grind, brew, and milk. You can adjust just about everything from strength, to texture, to temperature. Plus, once you’ve figured out what you like, you can name and save up to 8 personalized coffees.

This machine also features a 1/2 lb bean hopper capacity and an integrated, stainless steel conical burr grinder. The water tank is located at the back of the machine with a capacity of 67 fl.oz.

The only bones we have to pick with this machine is the lack of auto-tamping and the location of the water reservoir. Everything else is pretty stunning, as should be expected at this price point.
De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM3300 Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

De’Longhi’s Magnifica is closer to their top of the line offerings, but it still comes at a pretty reasonable mid-range price.
This is a super-automatic machine with bean-to-cup capabilities thanks to the 8.8 ounce bean hopper and integrated burr grinder. Additionally, you can enjoy a sizable 60 ounce water reservoir.

The steam wand swivels 180 degrees and their patented frothing system produces a rich, creamy froth. Plus, as far a programmability, the rotary and push button control panel is easy to use and includes programmable menu settings. These specs let you get almost as much flexibility with this machine as a semi-automatic.

The main complaint this machine gets is about its volume. The grinder is on the loud side. However, with top-notch features and a mid-range price, it’s no surprise that this continues to be one of De’Longhi’s best sellers.
This machine is best for newer baristas, though anyone can enjoy the reliably great shot pulling.

The Verdict

Breville vs De’Longhi: Which’s Better for YOU?
When you get down to it, there’s a reason that both Breville and DeLonghi are such popular brands. They both make great espresso machines. So the best one is liable to be the one that meets your individual needs.

Go for Breville if:

You want the option of manual control.
You regularly drink milky drinks.
You enjoy the characteristic style of Breville machines.
You prefer a larger water reservoir.

Go for DeLonghi if:

You prefer “set it and forget it” style programming over manual control.
You have a small space and want to prioritize a compact machine.
You want a durable casing on an affordable model.

If you have a larger budget and more experience with at-home brewing, chances are you’ll be better off with a Breville.
On the other hand, if you’re new to the espresso scene or you’re wallet-capacity is a little more modest, you should probably be looking at De’Longhi.
Either way, you’re getting a quality, reliable espresso machine.

Why Breville Oracle Touch The Perfect Coffee Machine

Let’s think big here, with one of the more popular models in the prosumer price range. The Breville Oracle Touch is an all-rounder and one of the most attractive automatic coffee machines out there, known to attract five-star reviews and absolutely justifying the high price tag.


Whether you’re highly technical about your coffee, or really couldn’t give a damn about the details and care more about ease of use, it’s tough to argue against this being the single best super automatic espresso machine on the market.

it does a lot to try match the value, automating every stage of the coffee making process without compromising on quality.

You can do pretty much everything you’d want with the Breville Oracle Touch, and short of thinking even more expensive with a commercial-grade La Marzocco or Rocket, it’s the best for your home, even if you have no idea what you’re doing.

The super automatic coffee machine takes care of all the grinding (it’s a customisable burr grinder, so expect a fine, even extraction), tamping, and heating for you. And it’s consistent, so you get your ideal dose every time. The only real thing you have to worry about handling yourself is deciding on the coffee strength, and the texture worked up by the milk frother. Even if you’re brain is fried at 6am, good coffee from the Breville One Touch is often just a matter of pressing lightly on a LED screen.

The downside is of course that you’ll need to be discerning about which coffee beans you’re using if you want to milk out the best this machine has to offer. Bad quality will still mean subpar results, even if the machine works wonders. It also requires much more regular cleaning than a pod coffee machine would, and the 280g hopper on the top (where the beans go into) makes it tough to fit the brushed stainless steel body under shelfing units.

Also note that parts of the Breville Oracle Touch are not dishwasher safe, so it’s not as quick to clean.

If those small annoyances don’t matter, and price isn’t an issue, it’s tough to recommend anything that’s strictly for home use other than this dependable super automatic espresso machine. Although as you’ll read below, there are more than a few espresso machines that can compare

What To Look For In A Coffee Machine

What you’re looking for in a coffee machine is entirely dependant on your preferences, but there are a few features to keep in mind if you want value for money, and want to zone in on the machines coffee drinkers love the most.

If you like your milk based espresso coffee, like a latte, flat white, or cappuccino, then one of the primary features you’ll want is a dual boiler. This enables you to brew coffee and steam milk at the same time, so you can better align the textures.

Compare this to a single boiler coffee machine, where you’ll usually need to do one after the other, which either means your espresso sits there waiting for you to steam your milk, or your steamed milk loses its texture while it waits for your espresso shot to be prepared.

Another important thing to look out for is what kind of pump your machines uses, and what kind of pressure it’s capable of. This is important as it will effect how much coffee is extracted into your final espresso or cup of coffee. In order to propel the water as evenly as possible through a dense bed of ground coffee, your machine’s electric pump needs at least 9 bar of pressure – 15 bar if you’re really serious.

This pressure can come from either a vibration pump or a rotary pump. The latter is seen as the more elegant and modern way, with rotary pumps much quieter, complex, longer lasting, and more consistent with their pressure. Consistency is the key to even extraction, so these are often preferred by those who like their espresso coffee as close to perfection as possible.

The problem with rotary pumps is that they require a bigger machine, and hence are typically found in the more expensive prosumer models. Vibration pumps are less expensive, easier to replace (due to their simplicity), but louder and not as long lasting.

Vibration pumps also built up pressure slowly, and while this can be ideal sometimes, this is nothing when you compare to a rotary pump which can reach 9 bar almost immediately and typically extracts so well that you’d get a darker, more consistent crema that’s thicker, richer, and more complex.

Why is extraction important? Simple. Under-extracted coffee from an espresso machine typically means the espresso will be sour and salty with a thin, barely-there finish. Conversely, an over-extracted coffee would be too bitter, too dry, and just all around unpleasant.

A perfectly extracted shot of espresso should be sweet with a lot of complex acidity, and build up a longer, linger finish which is where much of the flavours of your coffee bean and the terroir it represents comes through.

Or you can just stick to capsule machines (AKA pod coffee machines). They’ve become much more reliable in the past few years with Nespresso picking up their game, especially when it comes to the more barista friendly single original pod options.

What You’ll Need to Make an Espresso / Drip Coffee

Espresso is the base for many coffee drinks like latte and cappuccino. 
Drinks to Make with Espresso

    Flat White
    Most Popular Coffee Drinks

What You’ll Need to Make an Espresso / Drip Coffee
Espresso machine 
To make authentic espresso, you’ll need an espresso machine to get the proper amount of pressure. To get espresso-like coffee, you can use a Nespresso, Aeropress or a Moka pot.
Coffee grinder
If your espresso machine doesn’t have one, you’ll need to get one that can finely ground coffee for espresso.
Whole coffee beans
Use coffee beans you already have for your coffee machine, or one that’s recommended for espresso.
Filtered water
Always use good quality water to make any coffee drink.

How to Make Espresso at Home

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

Fill and tamp your portafilter with finely ground coffee.
Pull 1-2 shots of espresso.
Serve and drink immediately.

BARISTA’S TIP: Getting a great shot of espresso takes a lot of practice. What you want to look for is crema, the light brown froth that sits on top of the liquid. The crema gives espresso more flavor and indicates a good shot. Freshly roasted coffee beans will have lots of gas, so the crema will be very thicker than older coffee beans.
Expert Tips

Espressos are drinks meant to be served immediately. It’s advised to make them to order, not to make a batch at a time for a large group of people.

Some folks, especially in Italy, might not even say “espresso” but simply order a solo or doppio. This refers to a single or a double shot of espresso.
Most brewing devices for espresso purposely don’t have paper filters and that’s on purpose. Part of the flavor of espresso is the insoluble oils and compounds that are in coffee. They give espresso its mouthfeel and syrupiness.
It’s common to see home espresso machines boast how many bars of pressure their machine can achieve. 9 bars is optimal and more than that will pull out unfavorable flavors in the coffee.

Questions You May Have
Can you make an espresso without an espresso machine?

You can only make espresso-style coffee without an espresso machine.
An espresso machine uses 9 bars of pressure (about 130 pounds per square inch). Stovetop espresso makers (like the Moka pot) and Aeropresses use pressure to brew coffee but don’t use as much pressure as an espresso machine so while they make concentrated coffee drinks, the coffee produced isn’t authentic espresso.
Can you make espresso in a Nespresso machine?

Nespresso machines make espresso that’s similar to one made in an espresso machine but it’s technically not considered espresso. Nespresso also use pressure to extract coffee out of coffee grounds and most machines are designed to make espresso-based drinks. Nespresso machines have pre-portioned espresso pods that you can use to make espresso. The resulting espresso will look a lot like the espresso you’re used to seeing—highly concentrated with a crema on the top.
Can you make espresso in a Keurig?

Keurig can also make espresso-style coffee, but it’s not recommended. There are certain Keurig machines that are designed for espresso, but Keurig machines are much more tailored to drip coffee.
Can you make espresso in a French Press?

No. Espresso requires high pressure to be applied to the ground coffee which isn’t possible with a French press.
Is espresso stronger than coffee?

The strength of your drink depends on how much ground coffee you use. A 10 ounce cup of brewed coffee uses about 20 grams of coffee — that’s about the same amount of coffee you’d use for a double shot of espresso.
What is crema?

Crema is a frothy, light brown layer that sits on top of the espresso. The crema traps a lot of aromatic compounds, so it dissipates quickly. Drink the espresso while there’s still a layer of crema on top.
How do you drink espresso?

As the name implies, espresso is meant to be drunk quickly, in 2-3 sips. You can add sugar if you’d like and you can use a demitasse spoon to incorporate the crema and the espresso together.
What kind of coffee do you use for espresso?

You can use any kind of coffee you’d like! Traditionally, coffee for espresso is roasted a little darker than for drip coffee but that’s not a rule and you can try drinking espresso with any of your favorite coffee beans.
Can you eat espresso beans?

Yes! Chocolate-covered espresso beans are a common treat, and you’ll still get the caffeine benefits from eating espresso beans as you would drinking espresso. Although these are popular treats, that doesn’t mean you’ll like just grabbing espresso beans by the handful. Espresso beans can be hard to chew through and they generally don’t taste super pleasant—that’s why they’re often served dipped in something sweet like chocolate.
Why is making espresso called pulling a shot?

Older espresso machines applied pressure to coffee using a lever and a set of springs. Baristas would literally pull a lever down and activate a spring that would push water through espresso. That’s where the term comes from.

Espresso is the base for many coffee drinks like latte and cappuccino.

10 Steps How to Make the Perfect Espresso / Drip Coffee

What is Espresso?

Espresso is a method of making concentrated coffee. An espresso machine forces hot water through finely ground coffee using pressure (around nine bars). The espresso coffee drink that’s produced is called an espresso shot and the process of making the drink is called “pulling a shot.”
Coffee made in a French press, Moka pot, and Aeropress is NOT espresso since it isn’t made using nine bars of pressure. The French press uses the immersion method, not pressure. The Moka pot uses the percolation method and the Aeropress use the pressure method but not enough pressure to call the drink espresso.
A single espresso shot can be ordered at Starbucks but most coffee shops make the drink with two shots.

Making great espresso is difficult. It requires at least delicious coffee beans, excellent brewing recipe, good and clean espresso machine and grinder. Also you need to know the best practices on how to actually pull an espresso. Here are my tips about the practices and my routine how I make espresso.

I have been studying espresso for years. First as a barista and coffee lover then later even more profoundly as a barista trainer and a roaster. I feel that after tens of thousands espresso shots made and consumed I have great insight for the topic. With this blog post I want to share some of the things I have discovered. So here are best tips from me, enjoy! If you prefer watching a video on how to make espresso, see this!

  1. Clean your portafilter

Before dosing the coffee to your portafilter, make sure that the portafilter is clean and tidy. Both moisture and leftover grounds might (and most likely will) make your future espresso taste over-extracted = astringent and bitter.
Use a cloth to clean your portafilter

  1. Dose correctly

This should be pretty easy. With on-demand grinders you just need to push a button with your portafilter or hand and the grinder will dose your pre-set dose. If you want to be a really professional and geeky barista, check your dose on a scale before distributing and tamping. This way you can be quite sure that your extraction will be correct because your dose won’t be too much or little.
dosing espresso

  1. Distribute your grounds in the portafilter

Most likely your grinder will dose the grounds to the portafilter’s basket to a mountain or a pyramid shape. This means that you have uneven distribution of the grounds so some parts of the basket will have more coffee and some parts less if you don’t distribute them before tamping. Bad distribution of the grounds might lead to channelling.

You can also use distribution tools if you want to get geeky. Distribution tools are really great way to enhance the consistency of your espressos and their extractions.
espresso distribution

  1. Tamp evenly and consistently

I had my first barista training in 2012 when I was taught that I should tamp with 20 kilos of pressure. After “a few” tamps and several years, I still don’t know how much is 20 kilos of pressure. So let’s kill that popular myth.

So let’s tamp in a more modern way. The aim of tamping is to remove any air pockets in the coffee puck and do this so that the puck is completely leveled. Tamp so long and “hard” that you feel that the puck is compressed (in other words it doesn’t go down anymore). Pay attention that the puck is horizontally leveled so that you avoid channelling and over, under or uneven extraction.
tamping when brewing espresso

  1. Rinse your group head

Before inserting the portafilter to the group head, you might want to rinse the group head to remove any old coffee from it. Easy way to keep your espresso machine clean. Rinsing will also make sure that your group head is properly heated and this way you might be able to extract more your coffee.

6. Insert the portafilter and start brewing immediately

After rinsing, insert the portafilter to the group head and start brewing IMMEDIATELY! If you don’t start brewing immediately, the heat from the group head might “burn” the surface of your coffee which leads to bitter notes in the cup.
Fun fact: in World Barista Championships you will lose a point if you don’t start the brewing immediately

  1. Be aware of the yield & brew time

Now you are brewing your espresso. If you are using a volumetric machine, be aware of you brew time. In the case of too short extraction time (under-extraction) or too long extraction time (over-extraction) you might want to make a new espresso and/or check your grind size and dose. If you are using a manual espresso machine, be aware of your yield e.g. if your espresso is running a bit too fast, you are just diluting (making it milder) your espresso and possibly also over-extracting at the same time.
brewing espresso

  1. Serve with a smile

If you followed these steps and you’re using a good brewing recipe, most likely you will have a tasty espresso in the cup. It is important to remember that we baristas are in the hospitality business so be sure to serve your customers well. Tell them a little about the coffee you’re using and what kind of flavours should they be expecting from the espresso. And most important of all; SMILE. With a tasty espresso served with smile you can make someone’s day.

  1. Discard the puck, clean the basket and rinse the group head.

After serving keep the places neat and tidy. Clean the basket from any old coffee and moisture, rinse the group head and insert the portafilter back to the group head. It is much easier, faster and nicer to make the next espresso when places are in order.

  1. To become a great barista one has to have a combination of mechanical skill set and service attitude. You must know how to handle your equipment and coffee as a compound but also to be a great service person for your customers.

With time and experience – and let’s not forget the fancy barista tools – your steps may change. They will become more advanced, evolving with you as a barista. There is always more to learn in this industry (which is what makes it so fun!) However, if you begin with this process, you’re off to a very good start.

How to Make Espresso / Drip Coffee at Home

The morning trauma of being stuck between instant coffee at home and overpriced barista joe on the way to the office should be a distant memory by now. The financially literate coffee lovers amongst us have long invested in a good, long-lasting coffee machine to save money, cut time, and pump out consistent, satisfying brews so the working day starts off on the right foot. Problem is, the market is stacked right now, with coffee machines for just about every budget, taste, and preference, whether its bean to cup, espresso, capsule, pour-over, or filter coffee fused with the glory-giving grace of technology. To cut through the noise, we’ve rounded up the best coffee machines you can buy in Australia right now, from brands like DeLonghi, Breville, Rocket, Sunbeam, and Gaggia.

To make true Italian espresso at home that rivals what you’d get in a coffee shop, you need an espresso machine. These range from manual machines (where you tamp and brew everything yourself) to automatic and capsule machines (where you press a button and the machine does the rest). While coffee experts generally prefer manual machines for the level of control they grant them over their espresso, we found in testing that automatic, super-automatic and capsule machines like the Nespresso VertuoPlus and Breville Barista Pro are the easiest to use for beginners and give consistent results.
If you’re not working with capsules or a machine with a built-in grinder, here’s what you’ll need:

A good coffee grinder to get a fine espresso grind. We like the Breville Smart Grinder Pro for espresso because the finest setting produces fine, even results that don’t clump together. Make sure to use quality, dark roast coffee. A milk frother, if you want to make a latte or other specialty drink with milk. A kitchen scale. You'll want to consider having one on hand to weigh your grounds if you’re serious about learning to dial in the perfect shot of espresso.

How to make espresso with an espresso machine

Grind and measure your beans. Using dark roast coffee beans and a quality grinder, grind enough beans to make one or two espresso shots. An average single espresso shot will require between 6 and 8 grams of coffee grounds, although this can be adjusted up or down. For a double shot, about 15 grams. Your grounds should be powdery and fine, so go ahead and use the finest setting on your grinder. If you want to be sure you measured correctly, you can weigh your grounds on a kitchen scale — just make sure to tare out the portafilter first.
Distribute and tamp down your shot. Once you have an amount of grounds in your portafilter that you’re happy with, distribute the grounds evenly with a finger, place the portafilter on the countertop or other flat surface, and then use the tamper to tamp down on the grounds. You’ll then have a compact disk of espresso in the portafilter.
Pull your shot. Before you start, run the machine briefly without a portafilter in place to clear the ground head. Then, lock the portafilter into the machine, position your demitasse glass or other vessel underneath, and start your shot. The espresso should be ready after 25 to 30 seconds, but it will take practice with your specific machine and lots of taste tests to achieve shots to your liking. (Some machines require you to time it manually, while others offer different settings.) The final product shouldn’t be too light or dark in color, shouldn’t taste too acidic or too bitter, and should have a fine layer of caramel-colored crema on top.
Prepare milk if using and enjoy your espresso. If you’re trying to make a latte or other drink with milk, you’ll then need to steam your milk (we’ve included step-by-step milk steaming instructions in our latte how-to). If not, enjoy your espresso as is! Make sure to clean and dry the portafilter, as well as purge and wipe down the milk frothing wand, when you’re done.