Breville BES870XL vs De’Longhi ESAM 3300

This is a comparison review of the Breville BES870XL vs De’Longhi ESAM 3300. I’ve tested out both espresso machines thoroughly, to find out which one of these two is the better option. I’m sharing my findings in this review so you don’t have to go through the same process I went through. Before reading my full head-to-head review further down the page, take a quick look at the comparison table below to get an idea about the way these two compare to each other:

Product NameBreville BES870XLDe’Longhi ESAM 3300
Product ImageBreville Barista Express BES870XLDeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso and Coffee Machine
Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Type Semi-AutomaticSuper-Automatic
Weight23 lbs.28 lbs.
Dimensions13.2” x 12.5” x 15.8”15” x 11” x 14”
Water Tank Size67 oz.60 oz.
CladdingStainless Steel with ABS plastic topABS plastic
Bean Hopper Capacity8 oz.7 oz.
GrinderStainless steel, unlimited burr grinder (without steps)Stainless steel, seven settings burr grinder
Frothing FunctionSteam WandSteam Wand
BoilerStainless steel lined single boilerStainless steel lined double boiler
Temperature ControlExact temperature controlNone
Cup Warming TrayYesYes
Telescoping Coffee SpoutsNoYes, between 2.5 and 5 in.
Breville BES870XL vs De’Longhi ESAM3300 comparison table

Breville vs De’Longhi: Which one makes the better espresso machines?

Is Breville better than De’Longhi or is it the other way around? In this comparison review of the Breville BES870XL vs De’Longhi ESAM 3300, I decided to start right at the root. To tell you the truth, answering the question about which of these two manufacturers is superior needs a bit more complex answer than you might think at first. There are different aspects that have to be taken into account.

Besides the price range of these two models that we’re comparing, there are not many similarities than I can tell you about. They are simply built with different target audiences in mind. That being said, let’s find out how the two brands compare to each other.

De’Longhi and Breville – a history of award winning innovations

Since their beginnings, in the first decades of the 20th century, these two brands have gone through some evolution making a name for themselves with their cutting-edge kitchen appliances. They have received awards for various innovations in different home appliances, such as espresso machines.

Of the two, the older brand is De’Longhi. They started in 1902, compared to Breville, which started three decades later. De’Longhi produced at first air heaters and coolers, whereas Breville started with radio equipment, in aid of the war effort. After WWII, from the 1950’s onwards both brands steered towards the production of household appliances. They both were awarded for different innovations in the field, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that both brands started making espresso machines.

So, neither one of them has a historical advantage over the other, as both have about the same experience in making espresso machines. If you find yourself divided between these two brands, it’s perfectly understandable. You’re not the only one, it’s the by-product of a track record of elevated standards.

Breville BES870XL vs De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Comparison Review

breville bes870xl vs delonghi esam 3300

First of all, we have to consider the fact that these two espresso machines compare mainly because they are in the same price range, although one is a super automatic and one a semi automatic. Because Breville added some features that give its espresso machine added comforts, there is a larger basis of comparison than strictly the price.

Design

Both espresso machines are pretty compact, considering their functionalities, so they will easily find their place on most kitchen countertops.

The Breville Barista Express is a bit lighter than the De’Longhi Magnifica, although having a thin stainless steel exterior layer. This is because of the 2nd boiler the latter has built into its design. The De’Longhi has an outer body made of durable plastic.

In terms of durability, I tend to go with the Breville because of the stainless steel body. But I couldn’t imagine the De’Longhi lasting less, of course considering the fact that you would be taking care of them as recommended. Both are high quality espresso machines that are built to last.

Heating System

Do you enjoy multiple milk based drinks during the day? Then, you will be happy to find out that the De’Longhi ESAM3300 has a separate milk boiler. This is an extra convenience for those who like to have a latte or cappuccino but don’t want to wait around a lot for it to be served.

On the other hand, with the Breville BES870XL you have the ability to set the exact temperature of the beverages. This is a nice advantage for those who want more control over this part of the process. Although I must say that I like the temperature settings on the ESAM3300, Breville offers more customization capabilities, which might be more appealing to some coffee drinkers.

Brew System

The comparison here is between a semi-automatic and a super-automatic espresso machine. You can imagine that the latter is a lot easier to use. It’s a matter of installing it and, with the push of a button you can already enjoy your favorite hot drink. With a semi-automatic (in this case the Breville BES870XL) there are certain steps that you need to take before you can enjoy your coffee. This implies a certain learning curve that some people are not willing to go through.

breville bes870xl barista express

If you feel as if you’re up to honing your barista skills, then you’re probably going to love the Breville. If not, and it’s comfort and ease of use that is high on your list, then the De’Longhi is from this point of view the better choice.

Water Tank

The size of the water tank can never be too big for most people. If you have the habit of drinking several coffee cups a day or live in a house with multiple coffee drinkers, then the size of the water reservoir is surely important for you.

Although both of these espresso machines have large, comparable in size, water tanks, the Breville BES870XL wins this point too, but not by much. So as far as the water container is concerned you would get approximately the same thing whichever model you decide on ultimately.

Frothing System

If you like to enjoy cappuccinos and other coffee and milk drinks, then the milk frothing system of an espresso machine is of high interest to you as well.

You will probably be surprised to learn about this, but the milk frothing system on the Breville Barista Express is superior to that on the De’Longhi Magnifica. Both use the same technology, a steam wand, but the one on the Breville is a better design. Although De’Longhi has equipped the ESAM3300 with a dedicated boiler for the steam wand, thus cutting the waiting time significantly, the steam wand of the BES870XL renders a better result. So, I tend to give this point to the Breville Barista Express as well.

Further features worth mentioning

One of the features that offers much convenience and has an influence on the crema are the coffee spigots. In the case of the ESAM 3300 we have telescoping coffee spigots, a feature that we can’t find on the BES870XL.

By giving you the liberty of adjusting the coffee spigots exactly where you want them, you can also optimize the amount of crema you get in your cup. And crema, as every espresso lover knows, is a big part of the equation.

delonghi esam 3300 magnifica

Another feature that is connected to the brewing system is the cup warming tray. This is a very helpful feature with espresso machines in general. The espresso can keep its optimal temperature for a longer time when served with a heated cup. Both models have this feature. But, when thinking that you can set the exact temperature of the beverage with the Breville, even if it didn’t have a passive cup heating element, it wouldn’t be less convenient.

Usability and Cleaning

This is a chapter where super-automatic espresso machines, like the ESAM 3300, have the upper hand. As their name suggests, they are designed to be as hands off as possible. The processes work automatically, and so does the cleaning and maintenance. There are only minor inputs you have to give the machine in order for it to make coffee or clean itself. You will find the instructions to be fairly easy. So this point goes clearly to the De’Longhi ESAM 3300.

But the Breville Barista Express BES870XL, although it needs slightly more steps on your part to make coffee and clean, it’s also pretty easy to complete these actions. There’s that slight learning curve at the beginning I talked about. But it’s very manageable.

PROS

Breville BES870XL

  • Stepless grinder;
  • Exact temperature control;
  • High quality steam wand;
  • Stainless steel exterior layer.

De’Longhi ESAM 3300

  • Double aluminum boiler system;
  • Fast and easy to use;
  • Telescoping coffee spigots;
  • Cup warming tray.

CONS

Breville BES870XL

  • Definitely needs a learning curve to master;

De’Longhi ESAM 3300

  • Lack of exact temperature control;
  • Lack of ceramic coffee grinder;

Which is right for you?

So, we reached this section, where we discuss which machine is better for what type of coffee drinker.

Right from the start, I would say that both espresso machined are high quality items that are designed to accommodate most households. They’re both designed for home use, but are more than enough for the heavy coffee drinker or for households with multiple moderate drinkers. They are also similarly compact, considering their features.

The one big difference between De’Longhi ESAM 3300 vs Breville BES870XL is that the former is easier to use and thus probably has a wider appeal that the latter which offers more fine tuning and may seem more appealing for purists and connoisseurs.

Conclusion

That said, we reached the final part of our Breville BES870XL vs De’Longhi ESAM 3300 comparison review. I hope you found my presentation of these two espresso machines worthwhile reading. Hopefully you’re going to be able to reach an easier decision on which one of these two is better suited for your kitchen.

As far as my opinion is concerned, I tend towards the De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Magnifica, because of the ease of use. But I also like the Breville BES870XL Barista Express for the appealing design and barista grade customization capabilities.

In the end, it really gets down to your specific needs and expectations you have from your future espresso machine.

If it’s convenience you look for and ease of use, go for the De’Longhi. If you rather prefer heightened fine-tuning capabilities at an advantageous price, then the Breville is the better choice for you. Considering the similar price they sell for, it’s ultimately the features that will steer your decision towards one or the other.

You don’t need to concern about which of these two is better. Both are high quality, great value for money espresso machines. What you need to do is identify your expectations exactly, and then make a choice according to those expectations.

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