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Breville vs Delonghi

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Last updated: December 11, 2023

Quick Answer: If you want an espresso machine with a portafilter then go with a Breville. If you want a super-automatic espresso machine that makes coffee with one button press then go with Delonghi.

In this comparison between Breville vs Delonghi espresso machines, I’ll be telling you why:

  • You should go for Delonghi if you want a super-automatic espresso machine that allows you to make a coffee with one button press: (The Delonghi Eletta Explore is your best option).
  • You should go for Delonghi If your budget is $200 or less: (The Delonghi ECP3630 is your best option).
  • You should go for Breville if you have a limitless budget and just want the best possible espresso machine: (The Breville Oracle Touch is your best option).
  • You should go for Breville if you want a Nespresso machine that can froth milk: (The Nespresso Creatista Plus is your best option here)

How Does Delonghi Compare to Breville?

Delonghi espresso machines tend to be cheaper and have a lower build quality, than Breville machines. Whereas Delonghi manufactures all types of espresso machines, Breville only makes espresso machines with a portafilter.

The table below shows how these two manufacturers compare to each other:

Feature Breville Delonghi
Price range
$400 – $3,000
$150 – $2,500
Do they make semi automatic espresso machines?
Yes
Yes
Do they make automatic espresso machines
Yes
Yes
Do they make automatic machines with built in grinders
Yes
Yes
Do they make automatic machines with assisted tamping?
Yes
Yes
Do they make super automatic espresso machines?
No
Yes
Do they make Nespresso machines?
Yes
Yes
Free warranty length
1 year
1 year
Do they pick up returns?
Yes
No

The table below shows which manufacturer makes the better coffee machines according to certain categories. 

Please note that these are generalizations based on their range as a whole and are not true of every machine that these two companies make:

Point of Comparison Winner
Which makes better espresso?
Breville
Which makes better-steamed milk?
Breville
Which has a better built-in grinder?
Breville
Which has a higher build quality?
Breville
Which is more affordable?
Delonghi
Which is easier to use?
Delonghi
Which offers a wider range of drink options?
Delonghi
Which has better customer support?
Breville

I’m now going to compare Breville vs Delonghi espresso machines with five criteria:

Entry Level Espresso Machine (Under $250): Delonghi is Your Only Option

Delonghi is the only of these two manufacturers that sells coffee machines for less than $250.

The best espresso machine under $250 is the Delonghi ECP3630.

Best Espresso Machine Under $250
Delonghi ECP3630
$199.95 $146.99
The Delonghi ECP3630 is one of only a few espresso machines under $250 that can actually pull a decent shot of espresso.
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02/28/2024 02:37 am GMT
Specification Delonghi ECP3630
Espresso machine type
Semi-automatic espresso machine
Milk system type
Panarello steam wand with two settings
User interface
Dial operated
Heating system
Stainless steel boiler
Heat up time
180 seconds
PID
No
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
7.3” W x 12.0” D x 9.5” H

The Delonghi ECP3630 can make a decent espresso. This is a rarity among home espresso machines under $250.

Its espresso quality is limited by its lack of temperature control and brewing pressure. 

The Delonghi ECP3630 is designed to be used with pre-ground coffee. 

Pairing it with an expensive grinder is pointless as it cannot generate enough brewing pressure to work with super-fine coffee grounds.

The coolest thing about the Delonghi ECP3630 is that its steam wand has two settings, one for steaming milk and one for just heating milk. 

If you order a “coffee with hot milk” at a coffee shop you can make those at home.

Despite this cool feature, I still think that you’d get better value for money at the next price point up ($250 – $500). 

The Breville Bambino is less than $200 more than the Delonghi ECP3630 and it is a far better coffee machine in every single way.

Delonghi ECP3630 Pros

Makes the best espresso of all machines at its price point.

It can steam milk to multiple textures.

It has a small footprint.

Delonghi ECP3630 Cons

It cannot work with fine grinds.

Its steam wand is not powerful enough to steam a serving of milk in one go.

You get better value for money with more expensive machines.

Breville vs Delonghi Affordable Espresso Machines: Breville Bambino vs Delonghi Dedica Deluxe

The Breville Bambino is a FAR espresso machine than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe.

Best for Beginners
Breville Bambino
$299.95 $284.99
The Breville Bambino’s PID heating system and over-pressure valve means it will make a fantastic espresso shot after shot. The Delonghi Dedica has nowhere near this level of consistency.
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02/27/2024 05:32 pm GMT
Specificiation Breville Bambino Delonghi Dedica Deluxe
Espresso machine type
Automatic espresso machine
Automatic espresso machine
Milk system type
Pinhole steam wand
Panarello steam wand
User interface
Button operated
Button operated
Heating system
Thermojet (3 second heat up time)
Thermoblock (30 second heat up time)
PID
Yes
No
Adjustable shot volume dosing
Yes
Yes
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
5.9” W x 13.0” D x 12.0” H
6.3” W x 13.7” D x 12.0” H

Espresso Quality

The Breville Bambino makes a better quality espresso than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe thanks to its superior temperature control

The Breville Bambino’s PID means that it always brews at the ideal espresso brewing temperature of 195 – 205 Fahrenheit (you can actually adjust its temperature settings within this range).

The Delonghi Dedica Deluxe does not have this, meaning that it generally brews below this ideal temperature.

Lower brewing temperature means that the soluble compounds in your coffee extract less efficiently in your brewing water.

The Breville Bambino will therefore make a richer, more complex, and better-bodied espresso than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe.

Espresso Quality Winner: Breville Bambino

Milk Steaming Performance

The Breville Bambino makes significantly better-steamed milk thanks to its pinhole steam wand compared to the Dedica’s manual steam wand.

The Breville Bambino uses a pinhole steam wand whereas the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe uses a panarello steam wand.

Pinhole steam wands allow you to make whatever milk texture you want (with a bit of practice). 

Panarellos restrict you to just large bubbled milk foam. You’ll struggle to make silky microfoam for latte art with the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe

You can see barista and coffee Youtuber James Hoffmann talking about the limitations of the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe’s steam wand below (watch from 15:55 – 16:12):

The Bambino has no such milk-frothing problems.

Steamed Milk Quality Winner: Breville Bambino (by a long way)

Ease of Use

Both machines are equally as easy to use as each other.

They are both buttons operated and have automatic shot volume dosing.

They both have manual steam wands that take around the same amount of effort to use.

If you want to reduce the effort involved with steaming milk then I’d recommend the Breville Bambino Plus – see my comparison of the Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus for more information about this machine.

Ease of Use Winner: Draw

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Bambino has a better heating mechanism and steam wand than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe.

This superior heating and steaming mean that:

  • The Breville Bambino heats up faster than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe
  • The Breville Bambino has better temperature control than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe
  • The Breville Bambino can steam milk faster and to a greater variety of textures than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Breville Bambino

Value for Money

The Breville Bambino is better value for money than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe, despite being marginally more expensive than it.

The Breville Bambino is typical $50 – $100 more expensive than the Delonghi Dedica Deluxe.

I think it’s worth paying this premium to get better-tasting espresso and better-quality milk foam.

Value for Money Winner: Breville Bambino

Espresso Machine With a Built-in Grinder: Breville Barista Express vs Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio

The Breville Barista Express is better than the Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio. The Barista Express makes better espresso than the La Specialista Prestigio due to its superior grinder.

Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express is the best espresso machine with a built-in grinder. I do NOT recommend Delonghi espresso machines with a built-in grinder because their grinders cannot grind finely enough for espresso.

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Specificiation Breville Barista Express Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio
Espresso machine type
Automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder
Automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder
Grinder type
Stainless steel conical burr grinder
Stainless steel conical burr grinder
Number of grind settings
Sixteen
Six
Assisted tamping
No
Yes
Milk system type
Pin hole steam wand
Pin hole steam wand
User interface
Button operated
Button operated
Heating system
Thermoblock (40 second heat up time
Thermoblock (30 second heat up time)
PID
Yes
Yes
Adjustable shot volume dosing
Yes
Yes
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
12.5″ W x 13.8″ D x 15.9″ H
15.0” W x 14.5” D x 17.5” H

Espresso Quality

The Breville Barista Express makes better espresso than the Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio because it can grind your coffee beans finer. 

The Delonghi La Specialista cannot grind your coffee beans fine enough to pull a good espresso shot with. 

It’s a fatally flawed coffee machine because of this grinder issue and is one of the few espresso machines that I flat-out wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

The Breville Barista Express can grind your coffee beans fine enough for espresso, so makes a far better-tasting espresso than the Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio.

Espresso Quality Winner: Breville Barista Express (by a long way)

Milk Steaming Performance

Both machines steam milk to the same standard.

The Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio steams milk slightly faster than the Breville Barista Express. Your milk’s actual texture and temperature will be the same from both machines.

Milk Steaming Performance: Draw

Ease of Use

The Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio’s assisted tamping makes it easier to use than the Breville Barista Express.

The Delonghi La Specialista Express has an automatic tamping system, you can see how this works in the video below (watch from 1:26-1:55):

The Breville Barista Express requires you to tamp your ground coffee manually. This is easy to mess up (even if you’re experienced in pulling shots) and you can spill coffee grounds on your kitchen counter if you make a mistake.

The two machines have similar workflows and user interfaces other than their tamping.

Ease of Use Winner: Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Barista Express is a better-designed machine than the Delonghi La Specialista.

The La Specialista’s terrible built-in grinder prevents it from making a good espresso.

This alone makes the Barista Express a better machine from a build-quality perspective. 

I’d take a grinder that actually works over an assisted tamping system and slightly faster heat-up time every day of the week.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Breville Barista Express

Value For Money

The Breville Barista Express offers much better value for money than the Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio.

The La Specialista Prestigio is typically more expensive than the Barista Express.

Do you want to pay more for a machine that makes worse espresso?

Value for Money Winner: Breville Barista Express

Breville vs Delonghi Best Super Automatic: Delonghi Eletta Explore

Delonghi is your only option if you want a super-automatic espresso machine. The best Delonghi espresso machine is the Delonghi Eletta Explore.

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Delonghi Eletta Explore
$1,950.00
The Delonghi Eletta Explore’s touch screen and ability to make cold milk foam make it the best Breville or Delonghi super automatic espresso machine.
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02/28/2024 01:36 am GMT

Best super automatic espresso machine

Buy if:

You want to be able to make any coffee drink you can think of with one button press.

You like ice lattes.

Don’t buy if:

You aren’t going to make full use of its menu.

Espresso Quality

The Delonghi Eletta Explore can make decent, but not amazing, espresso.

All super-automatic espresso machines have their espresso quality capped by the fact that you cannot manually tamp your coffee puck.

This means that they cannot work with super fine coffee grinds. So their espresso is a bit flat and dull tasting compared to what you can make with a high-quality portafilter machine.

Still, the Delonghi Eletta Explore can make a good espresso by super-automatic espresso machine standards. 

Delonghi super-automatic espresso machines make the second-best-tasting espresso after Jura machines

You’re paying twice as much for a Jura machine as you are for a Delonghi with equivalent functionality and I don’t think that there is that much difference between the two machine’s espresso taste.

Espresso Quality Rating: 8/10

Milk Steaming Performance

While the Delonghi Eletta Explore’s automatic milk frother cannot make microfoam for latte art, I’m very impressed with the fact that it can make cold foam.

Similar to its espresso, the Delonghi Eletta Explore’s milk system sacrifices a small amount of quality to make it as easy to use as possible.

The machine’s automatic milk frothing can steam your milk to three preset textures. It cannot, however, make the microfoam that you need for latte art (you can do this with any espresso machine with a pinhole steam wand).

The Eletta Explore also lets you make “cold foam”. Rather than being chilled this is slightly above room temperature, but it allows you to make an iced latte without all your ice melting.

Only the Delonghi Eletta Explore and the Delonghi Primadonna Elite (which I’ll talk about later) can make cold milk foam.

Milk Steaming Performance Rating: 8/10

Functionalities

The Delonghi Eletta Explore can make any espresso drink you can think of, and has lots of customizations of each drink.

The machine has over 40 menu items and can make a hot or cold version of each drink on its menu.

You can adjust the strength and size of each drink on its menu.

Functionalities Rating: 10/10

Ease of Use

The Delonghi Eletta Explore is completely controlled by a touch screen. This includes all its cleaning functions, as well as actually making your drinks.

You can see a video of someone making a drink with the Delonghi Eletta Explore below (watch from 1:55 – 4:22):

As the guy in the video points out, the Eletta Explore walks you through every part of the coffee-making process in plain English. 

This makes it far easier to use than machines that use lit-up and flashing symbols in their user interface (lots of cheaper Delonghi machines do this).

The Eletta Explore walks you through its cleaning and descaling process in the same way, making the machine as easy to use as possible.

Ease of Use Rating: 9/10

Design and Build Quality

The Delonghi Eletta Explore has a very high build quality.

The machine’s touch screen is highly responsive without being jumpy. 

I also love how its brewing unit can be removed for deep cleaning and lubrication – this can help you keep the machine in top condition and troubleshoot any brewing problems without the need for a technician.

Delonghi offers a three-year warranty on their products which emphasizes the confidence they have in Eletta Explore’s build quality.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 9/10

Value For Money

You need to be making full use of all the Eletta Explore’s features for it to offer good value for money.

This includes its cold milk foam feature. If you use all these features then the machine is a really good value purchase. 

Value for Money Rating: 8/10

Delonghi Eletta Explore Pros

Has over 40 menu items.

Incredibly easy to use touch screen user interface.

Its automatic milk frothing can make cold milk foam for iced lattes at the touch of a button.

Delonghi Eletta Explore Cons

It’s not the most cost-efficient if you don’t use all its menu items.

Best Premium Option: Breville Oracle Touch vs Delonghi Primadonna Elite

I’d recommend the Breville Oracle Touch over the Delonghi Primadonna Elite. While both machines are feature-rich, the Breville Oracle Touch does the basics (pulling espresso and steaming milk) to a higher standard than the Delonghi Primadonna Elite.

Best Regardless of Price
Breville Oracle Touch
$2,759.99

The Breville Oracle Touch is the only espresso machine that can make a coffee shop standard cappuccino with next to no work on your part.

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02/28/2024 03:50 am GMT
Specificiation Breville Oracle Touch Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite
Espresso machine type
Automatic/super automatic espresso machine hybrid
Super automatic espresso machine
Milk system type
Automatic pin hole steam wand
Automatic milk frother (with cold milk frother)
User interface
Touch screen
Touch screen
Heating system
Thermojet (3 second heat up time)
Thermoblock (20 second heat up time)
PID
Yes
Yes
Adjustable shot volume dosing
Yes
Yes
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
15.4” W x 14.7” D x 17.9” H
10.2” W x 18.5” D x 15.0” H

Espresso Quality

The Breville Oracle Touch makes a better espresso than the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite.

The Breville Oracle Touch can work with much finer coffee grinds than the Delonghi Primadonna Elite because of its portafilter.

As I said earlier, the super-automatic espresso machine’s internal tamp and brew unit limits the window of grind sizes that you can brew with.

The Oracle Touch uses separate tamp and brew units so you can brew with much finer freshly ground coffee.

This means that you will get a significantly tastier and better-bodied espresso with the Oracle Touch than the Delonghi Primadonna Elite.

Espresso Quality Winner: Breville Oracle Touch (by a long way)

Milk Steaming Performance

The Breville Oracle Touch can make better textured steamed milk than the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite. However, only the PrimaDonna Elite can make cold milk foam.

The Breville Oracle Touch uses an automatic steam wand whereas the PrimaDonna Elite uses a milk carafe with a built-in frother.

The Oracle Touch’s steam wand can steam milk to a thicker, silkier texture than the PrimaDonna Elite.

If you want barista standard lattes (complete with latte art) then you’re only going to get that with the Oracle Touch.

The PrimaDonna Elite can make cold milk foam, which the Oracle Touch cannot do. It’s therefore a better option for iced lattes.

Milk Steaming Performance Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

Functionalities

The Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite can make more coffee types than the Breville Oracle Touch.

However, the Oracle Touch lets you finely tune your espresso more than the PrimaDonna Elite.

I’d say that overall the PrimaDonna Elite can do more than the Oracle Touch as it can make cold versions of all its menu items. The Oracle Touch restricts you to hot drinks only.

However, the extra fine-tuning that the Oracle Touch allows you to make with your drinks means that it executes each drink better than PrimaDonna Elite.

Functionalities Winner: Delonghi Primadonna Elite

Ease of Use

The Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite is marginally easier to use than the Breville Oracle Touch because its brewing and steaming system is built into the machine.

Making a milk-based drink with the PrimaDonna Elite simply involves pressing a button.

To make the same drink with the Oracle Touch you need to load up your portafilter, lock it into the brew head and place your milk wand into your milk jug.

Don’t get me wrong, the Oracle Touch is still seriously easy to use (especially given the quality of its drinks), it’s just not quite a one-touch machine.

Ease of Use Winner: Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Oracle Touch is a more reliable machine than the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite.

Although both machines have a high build quality, I’d expect the Breville Oracle Touch to last longer, and break down less frequently, than the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite.

This is because the mechanism required to move your ground coffee from a tamp station to a brewing unit without any human intervention is a finickity one. Add heat (and its expanding effect on mechanical components) to this equation and you’ve got a mechanism that won’t last forever.

The Oracle Touch has you, the user, move your tamped coffee puck from the tamping station to the brew head, thereby removing this point of failure.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

Value For Money

The Breville Oracle Touch is better value for money than the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite.

I say this because the Breville Oracle Touch is a one-of-a-kind machine. No machine can make as good an espresso (or milk-based espresso drink) with as little work as the Oracle Touch.

The PrimaDonna Elite, on the other hand, isn’t much different from the aforementioned Delonghi Eletta Explore.

I think that the cheaper Eletta Explore offers better value for money than the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite.

Value for Money Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

Nespresso Machines: Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Gran Lattissima Touch

I’d recommend Breville’s Nespresso Creatista Plus over Delonghi’s Gran Lattissima Touch because the Creatista Plus can froth milk to a better texture than the Gran Lattissima Touch.

Best Nespresso Machine
Nespresso Creatista Plus
$642.45

The Nespresso Creatista Plus has a professional-grade steam wand to make lattes and cappuccinos with. It can even make latte art.

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02/28/2024 04:41 am GMT

Breville and Delonghi both manufacture three common Nespresso machines:

There are so few between the Breville vs Delonghi versions of these models that I am not going to go through them here. 

Breville and Delonghi’s two unique Nespresso machines are:

  • Breville’s Creatista range: These have a built-in automatic steam wand to steam milk.
  • Delonghi’s Gran Lattissima range: These have an automatic milk frothing system (similar to their super-automatic espresso machines).

These two Nespresso machine models are exactly the same in the following ways:

  • Espresso quality: Both machines brew espresso with Nespresso OriginalLine pods. These make an inferior espresso to both espresso machines with portafilters and super-automatic espresso machines.
  • Ease of Use: Both machines brew coffee and froth milk at the touch of a button. Even though their milk steaming systems are different, they are equally as easy to use.
  • Functionalities: Both can make all of Nespresso’s OriginalLine coffees and can steam milk to multiple textures (only one available milk temperature though).

I’d recommend the Breville Nespresso Creatista over the Delonghi Nespresso Gran Latissima.

A steam wand is always preferable to a built-in milk frothing system as you can get better quality milk texture with the former.

I particularly recommend the Nespresso Creatista Plus if you want a Nespresso machine with milk-frothing capabilities as it offers the best price/performance ratio of all these machines.

Best Nespresso Machine
Nespresso Creatista Plus
$642.45

The Nespresso Creatista Plus has a professional-grade steam wand to make lattes and cappuccinos with. It can even make latte art.

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02/28/2024 04:41 am GMT

Breville vs Delonghi: Final Verdict

I generally prefer Breville espresso machines over Delonghi machines.

Breville machines tend to make better-tasting espresso and have a higher build quality than Delonghis.

If you’d like to find out more about these manufacturers then please see my roundup of the best Breville espresso machines and the best Delonghi espresso machines.

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