You’d be forgiven for confusing Saeco and DeLonghi, two Italian companies dominating the home espresso machine market. But there are essential differences between the two brands, and understanding them makes it easier to find your perfect espresso maker.
So keep reading as we delve deep into the pros and cons of each company.
Saeco vs DeLonghi: Who are they?
Let’s start with a quick company comparison. Saeco was founded in Italy in 1981 and is known for developing a complete bean-to-cup espresso machine. DeLonghi is another Italian company, founded in 1902 as a small appliance manufacturer. They got into the espresso machine game in 1990.
|Grinder||– Steel Conical Burrs|
|Flat ceramic Burrs|
|Coffee Temp||166° F||160° F|
|Design||Takes more places||– Easy to use|
– More compact models
|Value||Better forone touch brewing||better for entry level|
How do the two compare?
Both brands make some of our favorite espresso machines, including some of the best superautomatic machine models in the market, but each excels in certain respects.
Espresso enthusiasts, including the folks at Saeco and DeLonghi, know that a great grinder is a secret to a great espresso (1). Hear it from a pro:
Using the right grinder is probably one of the most important details that contributes to the making of that perfect shot of espresso
We talk about this in almost every article. Using the right grind is key to successful brewing.
Saeco machines use flat ceramic burr grinders, while Delonghi opts for steel conical burr grinders. Both are excellent options, though we’ve found DeLonghi’s grinders to be a touch faster. Steel burrs are sharper and more resistant to damage, but they dull more quickly than ceramic burrs and can heat up during use, which might add a burnt taste to your coffee beans.
Both brands are equally capable of producing delicious espresso, but a few differences between them might sway you to one or the other.
If you like your coffee hot, as do most North Americans, DeLonghi is the clear winner. Their drinks come out about 166 ℉, while Saeco’s are closer to 160 ℉.
This difference might not mean much for a shot of espresso, but if you prefer longer drinks, the higher temperature is nice.
Speaking of longer drinks, DeLonghi machines have a built-in double portafilter for brewing larger sizes. In contrast, Saeco tackles this by brewing twice in a row, which takes a little longer.
If you like your coffee strong, DeLonghi is again the favorite. DeLonghi machines have more options for customization and make naturally stronger brews. That said, if you play with the grind size and brewing options on a Saeco, you can still pull a powerfully strong shot.
For milk frothing, the two brands are similar. Both offer automatic milk frothing using a carafe rather than a steam wand.
Aesthetically, the two Italian companies both know how to craft beautiful machines. If you have a small kitchen, Saeco stands out for its excellent compact models.
Saeco machines are also easier to use, designed with novices in mind. DeLonghi machines aren’t complicated, but you may need to play around a bit to dial in your recipe.
Overall, Saeco machines are a little cheaper than DeLonghis. Saeco particularly excels at manufacturing inexpensive entry-level models that are still of high quality.
However, if you’re after the convenience of one-touch brewing, DeLonghi offers it on some lower-priced models while Saeco reserves it for their more expensive machines.
Which is for you?
If you’re looking for an affordable entry-level espresso machine that’s easy to use and won’t take up much space, buy a Saeco. That’s their specialty. For a higher-end machine, we prefer DeLonghi for their speedy grinders and more customization options.
An automatic espresso machine makes espresso using a motorized pump to generate the necessary pressure compared to a manual machine that must be pumped by hand. Automated machines are best for home or office use, whereas manual machines are perfect for outdoor activities or traveling.
A semi-automatic espresso machine is an automatic espresso machine in which the barista is in charge of shot timing. Those who like to control their coffee-making process usually go for this type of espresso machine. Others opt for super automatics for their convenience.
DeLonghi is made in Italy and China. Until several years ago, they were manufacturing all their products in home Italy. But, due to changes in global economy, DeLonghi joined other companies in outsourcing part of their production to China.
- Strand, O. (2012, December 31). A Good Grinder is the Key to Better Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/dining/better-coffee-depends-on-good-grinding.html