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DeLonghi EC9335 La Specialista Review. Semi-professional? Nope.

Comments: 62↓ specifications & manual ↓↓ EC9335 vs Breville Express ↓

De’Longhi La Specialista EC 9335 will be available on the global market since 2019. However, I had a chance to test this machine during the IFA 2018 Trade Show in Berlin this September. Thus my article is probably the first DeLonghi EC9335M review on the Web. I will add more information and thoughts later because DeLonghi is likely to make small modifications before launching serial production. Nevertheless, general facts and conclusions will not change.

La Specialista is presented by De’Longhi as the first semi-professional espresso machine in their model range.

However, it’s barely true. On the contrary, I believe it is perfect for any beginner who doesn’t want to dig deep into all the espresso ‘science’ but still wants to have a control (or illusion of it) over the process that fully automated machines (DeLonghi ECAM22110 as an example) rarely give. And it’s definitely not for any real home barista wannabe.

What you should know about Delonghi La Specialista, that it is, in fact, a well-known De’Longhi Dedica Deluxe espresso machine plus Delonghi KG520 grinder combined in one fancy Breville/Sage alike looking body. There are some new features (read below), but there is nothing that makes La Specialista a professional equipment.

Delonghi La Specialista s, in fact, De’Longhi Dedica Deluxe espresso machine plus Delonghi KG521 grinder combined in one fancy Breville/Sage alike looking body

1. Burr Grinder with an integrated tamper

The left part of these machine is a coffee grinder. It is a decent grinder with real burr set (see my article about types of coffee grinders), which is exactly the same as used in the stand alone KG520 and KG521 grinders by DeLonghi. It has numerous grind level settings with the finest one being fine enough for espresso.

The fact that the grinder is integrated into the espresso machine body doesn’t mean that process is automated. You will need to put the holder under the grinder, fill it with ground coffee (yes, you can grind directly into the filter basket) and then move the holder to the right.

Integrated coffee bean grinder of Delonghi EC9335 La Specialista

The new thing is an integrated tamper with pressure limiter. With DeLonghi EC9335 you don’t have to tamp coffee in the filter manually. Just use an arm on the left side of the machine while the portafilter is installed under the grinder. This arm will push down the cylinder, which will press the coffee.

No matter how much force you will use, the integrated tamper will limit the tamping force to approx. 19-20 kg, which is considered to be an ideal value for espresso brewing. Since the holder is fixed you will get an ideal 90-degree angle also.

Smart Tamping Delonghi La Specialista

The tamping is especially important for machines with unpressurized baskets (I described the difference in my Delonghi EC155M review). On the other hand, La Specialista comes with pressurized dual wall filter baskets that are used in any other modern espresso machine by Delonghi. This is the first fact why it is not a semi-professional machine by the way.

However, even with such filter type right tamping matters. Integrated tamper helps a user to avoid main tamping mistakes that beginners usually make: inconsistent tamping pressure and not perfectly flat coffee puck.

Another new feature of the grinder if compared to the stand-alone Dedica KG520/521 is the additional adjustment, which may be needed to tighten burrs when they will wear down – see §11.9 of the user manual below.

Delonghi also promises to introduce something that is described as “two sensors guarantee the optimum grinding settings and the perfect amount of espresso powder with every grind”. That’s the only moment I didn’t fully understand. Didn’t notice any sensors under the grinder. Let me know in comments below if you know something about that function!

I would also appreciate your starred review at the end of the article

2. The Espresso Machine

As I already mentioned above “the coffee part” is very similar to Delonghi Dedica Deluxe. I will briefly repeat key facts:

  • It has auto dosing functions with thermoblock as a heating element, which is not perfect for a professional machine (since the temperature is not super stable during brewing). However, it’s the best option for a home user, because:
    • It can give a bigger amount of hot water and steam (while the boiler is always limited by its capacity). In other words, boiler-based machines are designed to brew only one or double shot of espresso with right temperature. With thermoblock you can brew a big 150ml cup of cafe crema.
    • It’s faster. It needs only 30-40 seconds to heat up after you switch it on.
    • You can regulate temperature settings (three options: normal, a bit hotter and a bit colder)
    • The machine has a memory for drink volumes. That means that when you select espresso recipe on the rotary knob above, the machine will stop automatically when it will be 40ml in your cup. There are two more preset options: “Coffee” and “My” button. You can program and change the volume settings for all three recipes.
    • Unlike Delonghi Dedica, La Specialista has an independent heating element for milk frothing, which makes it easier to make several cappuccinos in a row (no need to wait when thermoblock will cool down from steam temperature to coffee temperature).

delonghi la specialista ec9335 espresso machine

  • The 360° rotational  panarello steam wand on the right, which is used for milk frothing, has a “Flat”/”Foam” regulator. Move the ring up to just warm up milk, making almost no bubbles, or move it down to make a rich foam for a classic cappuccino.
  • The portafilter has a slightly different design (if compared to the EC680/685), however, from the technical point of view, it is identical. The only difference that coffee outlets are now made like on professional machines (see photo below). La Specialista uses 51mm filter baskets, the same that is used on Dedica. There are no unpressurized baskets in the box, as I already mentioned in the beginning of the review, only two dual wall filter for 1 or 2 cups.

Holder/Portafilter of Delongi La Specialista EC9335


Cafe Americano for Misters and Tea for Sirs

Hot watwr outlet for AmricanoThe really new feature, which is introduced in the DeLonghi EC9335 espresso machine and which I really like, is a hot water outlet. The special tube is conveniently located near the portafilter, exactly above the cup.

Surely most of the at-home espresso machines with a steam wand can deliver hot water. If you will open the steam on the coffee mode (means – without heating the water up for the steam) than the hot water will come from the steam wand.

Many coffee lovers use this trick to dilute espresso or to make a tea. However, with a separate outlet, it becomes more comfortable to do (no need to move the cup). Moreover, since DeLonghi La Specialista is automated, it allowed them to make automated ‘americano’ and ‘tea’ recipes:

1. Americano/Long Black. This program is not only about the volume as others (‘espresso’ and ‘coffee’). It makes caffe americano in one touch and in the exactly the same way as it is made in European coffee shops. First, the machine will deliver hot water using this new outlet. Secondarily, it will add an espresso shot to the cup (40ml by default, but you can change the volume)

It’s not the same as making a super big espresso, e.g. pouring 200 ml of hot water through one coffee puck. Because of the fine grind level and high pressure, the taste will be spoiled due to over-extraction. After 50-70 ml the coffee powder will start giving away a bitter taste.

This means that if espresso is too strong for you and you prefer bigger cups of coffee, you have three options:

  • Throw away the espresso machine and buy a classic drip-machine for classic American coffee (espresso machines are for espresso after all)
  • If you still want to make something similar to American coffee on the espresso machine than you have two other options. New Delonghi La Specialista allows you to make both:
    • You can make cafe crema/Australian lungo. You use the same pressure as for espresso, but on a medium grind and using 120-160ml of water. Just change the grind settings on left, use 2-cup basket and choose ‘coffee’ recipe on the rotary knob of the coffee maker.
    • You can make cafe americano, as I already described above (add hot water to espresso).

I personally prefer so-called Scandinavian americano. They make it vice versa – add espresso to hot water. This helps to keep the crema (espresso foam) on top of the drink. It’s a pity, that La Specialista doesn’t allow to change the sequence. But you can make it manually in two steps: deliver hot water (the ‘tea’ button), then brew the double shot of espresso. Hooray! Delonghi changed that recipe in the final version of La Specialista and now it’s my favorite Scandinavian Americano (they called it ‘Long Black’). Does anybody from Delonghi read my reviews? 😉

2. Tea. Here we come to the tea recipe – another new feature, which Delonghi introduced in the new EC 9335 model. There is nothing to write about much, the button activates the hot water supply to make a tea. Yes, you can program the volume, and yes, the general temperature setting affects this recipe as well.

Other Less Important Features

  • The pressure gauge. It shows you a current pressure inside the system. The thing is barely useful if you use default pressurized filter baskets.
  • Solid metal body in the Breville style.
  • Second retractable cup stand for small espresso cups (to avoid splashes).
  • A big surface of the cup warming plate on the top of the machine.

Overall Conclusion of My Review

Update for the US market (July 2019). We now know the recommended retail price in the States, which is $749.95. Just for understanding – the Breville Barista Express, which is a main competitor for La Specialista, has a lower suggested price tag. It’s a surpise, because on other markets Delonghi sets the similar price. This means that for American customers I would rather recommend choosing Barista Express (read my comparison of these two models below). Unless Delonghi will drop the price (and it will in 2-3 monthes as it do with any new model).

That means that Delonghi lowered the price – initially La Specialista was expected to be more expensive than Barista Express (at least on European market). That also means that Delonghi gets a few more points in the comparison with Breville (read below).

The main feature, which I really like is the new integrated hot water outlet, which allowed to make semi-automatic recipes for the ‘right americano’ and for the tea. The machine is not solely focused on espresso and allows to make almost all kind of hot beverages.

What I don’t like is marketing. It is not even a semi-professional machine. It’s a perfect equipment for an experienced amateur for at-home practices, not more. Moreover, since it’s combined device (grinder+espresso maker in one body) it will be hard to upgrade if you will decide to a buy more professional grinder, for example.

Delonghi La Specialista is like a fitness instructor. It gives you a possibility to make every step from bean to the espresso by yourself. On the other hand, each step is controlled. La Specialista gives you almost no chance to make mistake and spoil your coffee. It helps to correctly tamp the coffee, watches for the right temperature and pressure (due to pressurized baskets) and on default settings every recipe (espresso, long coffee or Americano) has ideal proportions of coffee and water.

The only problem is that there are too many alternative options in this price range:

  1. For the expected price tag of Delonghi EC 9335, you can afford a fully automated machine like Delonghi ECAM22.110 (see my review). For a person who seeks automatisation, it will be more preferable, the result will be similar with less manual operations.
  2. A real ‘barista-wanna-be’ would choose a better machine (really semi-professional) with bigger filter diameters, unpressurized baskets, PID control, solenoid valve and boiler as a heating element. The best option for the grinder, in that case, would be a stand-alone model, that will give you a possibility to upgrade later.
  3. An ordinary amateur will be definetely satisfied with this machine. On the other hand, he will have a chance to save by buying separately Delonghi Dedica Deluxe Espresso Machine and Delonghi Dedica Grinder. The only important thing he will miss in this setup (EC685+KG521 or EC685+KG520) is the automated recipe for Americano (diluted espresso).

Delonghi La Specialista vs. Barista Express by Breville and Sage

Moreover, entering the ‘semi-professional’ segment of the espresso machine market, Delonghi meets  Breville (in the States) and Sage (UK). These brands focus on similar devices for years and succeed. By ‘similar’ I mean semi-automated combined coffee stations (grinder+machine) in one fancy brushed stainless steel body.

As you may know from my Breville Duo-Temp Review I personally don’t like Breville (or Sage) much because of its value for money (if we put the design apart).

However, even I should admit, that it would be hard for Delonghi La Specialista to compete with Breville’s Barista Express model. Delonghi’s new model is expected to be more expensive (hope they will change their mind and reduce the retail price), while Barista Express offers a bit more professional features. To name few it’s both pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets with more professional diameter, more grind settings, 3-Way Solenoid Valve and the similar hot water outlet…

A few advantages of the Delonghi in this comparison (La Specialista vs Barista Express) is automated tamping system and automated americano program. Plus the fact that all Delonghi parts are compatible with other Delonghi machines and there would be no problem to buy replacement parts in any country of the world even in several years after. Breville/Sage is known for a habit to stop supporting older models soon and many parts from newer models don’t fit older ones.

P. S. In my humble opinion a simple update of the Delonghi Dedica with an added hot water supply and automated americano recipe would have a greater success.

Update (29 Jan 2019). La Specialista starts to appear on first online shops under ‘coming soon’ status (the first one was Australian’s The Good Guys). Highly likely that already in February we will find out the final retail price and I will be able to update my review. So far I can add that EC9335 will come with the welcome set, which will include milk jug (pitcher), brush and cloth for cleaning. Breville’s style again 😉

I NEED your opinion. Please rate my review:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (36 votes, average: 3.39 out of 5)


Delonghi EC9335.M Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Pump espresso machine with integrated grinder
Width х Deep х Height: 32 x 37 x 45 cm
Coffee used: Beans, ground coffee or E. S. E. pods
Grinder: Steel burr set, 6 steps adjustable
Brewing group: Metal filters with double floor
Heater: Thermoblock 1850 W
Max pressure: 19 bar
Water container: 1.8 litres / 1.9 quarts
Bean container: 250 g
Waste container: No
Cappuccinatore: Manual 'pannerello'
Max cup height: 12 cm
Controlling: Temperature adjustment (3 levels), automatic dosing with coffee volume adjustment, symbolic display, pressure gauge, burr adjustment
Peculiar properties: Hot water output
Colors: Metal with black parts

Author: Artem Sukhoroslov


Have any questions? Please ask in comments below!

Have you bought this coffee machine? Leave a review!


  1. Delonghi La Specialista vs. Barista Express by Breville or in germany the label is “SAGE”

    Kann es sein das beide Maschhinen sich im Prinzip nur durch das Label unterscheiden? Die Bilder sehen ähnlich aus.

    Can it be the machines are nearly the same, only by the label is different? The pictures looks like similar.

    Andreas - Uwe

    3 Dec 18 at 11:38 am


    • Who?

      Breville and Sage? Sure, it’s the same machine under different brands, both belongs to Newell Brands. Moreover, the same machine is likely to be sold as Bork in Russia, Riviera & Bar in France or Gastroback.

      Delonghi and Sage/Breville/…? No. The outlooks may be similar, however, Delonghi use its own engineering solutions.


      3 Dec 18 at 1:52 pm


      • Danke für die Aufklärung

        Thanks for explanation

        Andreas - Uwe

        4 Dec 18 at 11:47 am


  2. supplement / Ergänzung

    Die De’Longhi Espressomaschine La Specialista ist ab dem 1. Quartal 2019 zum Preis von 799,00 € (UVP) im Handel erhältlich.

    The De’Longhi espresso machine La Specialista will be available in Germany from the beginning of 2019 for the price of 799 €

    Andreas - Uwe

    3 Dec 18 at 12:17 pm


  3. Hi — can I also ask, how fast is the switching from coffee mode to steam mode? is it also a long wait, i remember you said also Dedica doesn’t have the removal of water to drip tray, does this machine have this, so I can more easily switch from espresso to steam mode and back?


    26 Dec 18 at 4:38 am


    • Good question, Greg, but I didn’t test this moment. Hope to get back to La Specialista as soon as it will be in shops to update the review.


      26 Dec 18 at 5:14 pm


    • Based on the recently published Delonghi’s video with characteristic sound after after turning off the steam supply (see here ) and based on the user manual – yes, La Specialista either has a drainage or has two thermoblocls. Anyway, it surely can quickly switch between coffee and steam and BACK. Another improvement if compared to Dedica.


      19 Feb 19 at 11:31 am



    shukran coffee tz.

    20 Feb 19 at 10:03 am


    • I’m not selling them, man. So far it is sold only at Australia for 949 australian dollars which is 680 USD. I believe they are planning to market it for the same price as the Breville/Sage Barista Express. +/-.


      20 Feb 19 at 2:39 pm


      • Thenks(shukran in swahili word)

        shukran coffee tz.

        24 Feb 19 at 11:06 am


  5. thanks

    shukran coffee tz.

    24 Feb 19 at 11:07 am


  6. I still wonder about how many cups per hours or per day which EC9335 can make a coffee ?

    Thank you


    27 Feb 19 at 2:02 am


    • Technically if you have fast hands it can make you one espresso per minute. But it won’t last long in such mode.

      I assume that your question is about installing the EC9335 in the coffee shop or somwthing like that? No, the answer is no. It’s typical home machine, not a professional unit.


      28 Feb 19 at 11:58 am


  7. Hi, I went through the review. Very nice work I must say. However you are mistaken with one topic – the semi-professional thing. I run a B2B magazine for resellers in the Czech Republic and De’Longhi has been working with us for past 10 years. When they say “semi-professional” they don’t mean that the product is “semi-profesional”, they mean that the result in the cup is like from a professional machine but actually made by consumer product. Ergo “semi-professional”, they even sometime say “professional result” or “professional machine” without the “semi” but they mean the quality of the coffee beverage. I wouldn’t react on a marketing topic under article like this but from reading your text it seemed quite important to you.


    8 Mar 19 at 5:29 am


    • Ahoj, Lubor! Thanks for your comment. Usually marketing topics are not important for me. But in this case Delonghi uses these words to distance La Specialista from other espresso machines (like Dedica). I think it misleads (as if Dedica is less professional than new EC9335) and therefore I focus on that professionalism/non-professionalism stuff.

      By the way, since you work with De’Longhi maybe you could reveal the mistery of two sensors in the grinder – where they are and how they work?


      12 Mar 19 at 7:46 am


  8. This machine is complete garbage. The grinder on mine is broken after 3 days and about 10 cups of coffee… What a disgrace. Will be returning tomorrow morning. Good riddance.


    23 Mar 19 at 8:38 am


    • Hi Adam, I was looking at buying this machine instead of the Breville Oracle. What happened with your machine, did you return it? did you get a replacement? just trying to make a decision on what machine to buy, any info you can give me would be great 🙂


      2 Apr 19 at 6:46 am


      • We got a breville oracle touch wouldn’t heat past 70, so no brew, took it back asked they test the new one same problem, they rang Breville they said they had problems turn it off wait half hour turn back on yeh right no luck so after two fails gave up got our money back


        1 May 19 at 6:25 am


  9. Hi,
    very interessing review !
    Nice work but to conclude, Delonghi La Specialista vs. Barista Express, which I should choose ?

    I’m a big fan of the Breville Barista Express and I just discovered this news coffe machine from DeLonghi…

    If we remove the price criterion.
    Which model gives a better quality of coffee?
    And in terms of durability?


    27 Mar 19 at 7:46 am


    • I chose in favour of La Specialista based on multiple sources of criticism about lack of longevity/reliability in Breville’s machines. Delonghi apparears to have a better reputation on that. Also I chose La Specialista over Barista Express due to the IMO better tamping approach and apparent dual heating elements, allowing for quick switching both ways between brew and steam.

      Ilia B

      6 Jan 20 at 3:28 am


  10. I have tried everything and am finding this Delonghi model wont leave the pre-infusion stage. Ive done everything from using small to bigger baskets, grind settings from 1-6 and purchased different beans…it just wont go past pre-infusion. Any tips would be appreciated.


    26 Apr 19 at 12:26 pm


    • Mani, could you please explain what exactly do you mean by ‘leave the pre-infusion stage’?


      27 Apr 19 at 9:07 am


  11. Hi,
    I’ve got a same problem with Mani.
    Never gets to the optimal pressure zone for the apparent perfect coffee.
    Does anyone know about solutions?
    I tried a different type of coffee bean and changed grinding the level and so on.
    Please anyone give any idea?
    Is Anybody reaching optimal pressure level??


    29 Apr 19 at 12:43 am


    • Hi, Isabel. Thanks for complementing Mani’s comment. Now I get it, you were writing about the manometer/pressure gauge.

      Have you tried the following?
      1) The finest possible grind level and make several cups before testing (the grind setting doesn’t change immediately)
      2) 2-cup filter basket
      3) The knob that regulates amount of ground coffee is on the position, where you particular coffee beans after grinding and tamping will cover the level mark inside the filter (in other words, use fill the basket full)


      29 Apr 19 at 1:57 pm


      • Hi Dmitriyi, Isabel and Mani,

        even after having followed Dmitriy hints the pressure gauge never leaves the pre-infusion level.

        Any other ideas and/or experiences?

        Best regards – Mick


        23 Aug 19 at 11:46 am


        • I have the same problem. The grind is fine and of an appropriate quantity, but the expresso is poor and the pressure never comes close to the correct/optimal level.

          How do you fix this, or is it a fault??


          22 Apr 20 at 6:20 am


  12. Mine works perfect after grinding about 1kg of coffee beans. No problems at all. That is by far the best semi professional coffeemaker until now. I used the Delonghi 5500 before and you can’t compare it with full automatic, this is a different level. Never hat such a good coffee at home before.


    29 Apr 19 at 6:00 am


  13. yes I know why I use my breville grinder pro setting is 11 secs 2 shots grinder setting is 19. And then use the tamp on the specialist then you will get perfect brew. that’s how I do it the grinder on is not so great and buy your beans from a local roaster nothing like fresh beans

    Daniel McNamara

    21 May 19 at 7:16 am


  14. Hi,

    Since a few weeks, the machine is available in Germany.
    Unfortunately, my machine doesn’t work as expected when programming/changing the recipe for the americano.
    I’ve found that the amount of coffee doesn’t match the amount at programming.
    By example:
    If i program the “americano 2x” and choose 21 sec. for the espresso and an overall time of 60 sec. i get 250ml Americano while programming it.
    If i choose the programmed americano afterwards, it tooks 33 sec. for the espresso and 74 sec. overall time. This results in 310ml americano. This is reproducible also with the single americano (but with smaller differences).
    The programming of the espresso doesn’t show this failure.
    I tried that multiple times (with an empty filter basket not to waste the good coffee ;o) )

    Did you noticed that too? (I wonder, if my machine is defect, or if there is a systematic failure)


    21 Jun 19 at 5:32 am


  15. Hello! Do you know if its possible to buy some compatible non pressurized baskets?


    18 Jul 19 at 7:10 am


  16. Hi!

    For a while I was sure I would purchase a Breville Barista Express as my next espresso machine – I have a Dedica EC685 but a lower quality Delonghi grinder (KG89) and I’m thinking to upgrade to a better ‘combo’. I was tempted by the integrated grinder of the Barista Express, and it’s single wall filters.

    However, another important thing for me would be the dual boiler system, which the Barista express lacks. I do steam a lot of milk for my coffess and I usually do between two and four coffees in a single session, so with the Dedica I have either to prepare all coffees and then steam the milk while all the coffees wait on the side, or switch and purge the hot water for the next coffee after steaming the milk.

    I see in your review that the La Specialista has indeed a dual boiler system, while I’ve read that the Barista Express doesn’t… so here goes my question:

    If budget is not a problem, and for a coffee aficionado trying to level up a bit, would you prioritize the non-pressurized filter basket of the Breville Barista Express, or the dual boiler system of the La Specialista? thanks a lot! 🙂


    19 Jul 19 at 12:28 pm


    • Hi, Manuel! And sorry for my late reply.

      Barista Express has a drainage (it flushs water after you turn off the steam, so it cools down fast). So it will take less time if you switch between coffee and steam mode on it. Backside of the medal – it consumes more water.

      On the other hand, there is no problem too buy single wall unpressurized baskets for Delonghi. Or modify original ones.

      So… Quite a hard choice. Despite the fact that I prefer Delonghi brand more, I would probably recommend the Breville in this case if you are from US (better service, better prices for Breville).


      28 Jul 19 at 2:28 pm


      • Hi Dmitriy and thanks for your reply and your awesome work in this page! 🙂

        I’m from Spain but living in Poland, so I would actually have to get the Sage version of the Breville Barista Express (I understand it’s the exact same machine, just the distributor brand is different here in Europe). Anyway, I guess my final decision will be based on the availability of sinble wall baskets to get here (modifying the original ones is less of an option as I’m not good at that handcraft stuff and I’m not sure I’d find a place that would do it for me), and the final price when the La Specialista will be released in Poland (so far, no news).

        Thank you so much again for your input!! 🙂


        1 Aug 19 at 11:12 am


      • Hi, just wondering if you can explain a single pressurised basket? I’m not 100 percent clear on what it is, there seems to be quite a bit of critism over the Delonghi Specialista only coming with a dual walled basket? what is the difference? (we only use beans – not pre-ground coffee)
        also – where can you get single pressurised baskets from? I am in New Zealand, Kind regards, Jo

        Jo Ross

        7 Mar 20 at 2:17 am


  17. Hi,

    Thanks for your review. Is it possible to compare De’Longhi La Specialista EC 9335 and Breville The Oracle BES980XL? I know that you don’t like Breville and you wrote many times about it. Both of these espresso machines have similar functionals, but the first one is cheeper then the other almost 3 times.

    Thank you.


    4 Aug 19 at 7:06 pm


    • The BES980XL has wider finctionality, for sure. But the price, as you mentioned, is much higher. So it’s hard to comare 🙂


      5 Aug 19 at 8:19 am


  18. Hey! Great review and thanks for the detailed report. I have a few questions:

    A) Do you know how fine the grind is on the La Specialista vs the Barista Express?
    B) It seems like the guts of this machine is totally different then Dedica – especially with the secondary heating system for milk frothing… What’s with the photo at the top? I found it totally misleading?


    6 Sep 19 at 11:13 pm


  19. Currently on sale for $599 at all major retailers. This pushed me over to purchase the Delonghi over the Breville.


    24 Sep 19 at 9:31 pm


    • Thank you for the alert! What’s your first impression of the machine?


      25 Sep 19 at 9:08 am


      • I’ve been using a Jura ENA3 for the past 10 years. The built in grinder for the Delonghi has a much finer setting than the ENA3. Compared to ENA3, the Delonghi pulls a much more desirable shot. In fact, now the espresso from my ENA3 tastes under extracted when doing a side by side with the Delonghi. The steamer from the Delonghi is also much more powerful as the time to heat up milk has significantly decreased compared to the ENA3. Overall, I’m very impressed with the machine.


        5 Oct 19 at 6:58 pm


    • Sale is over and is back to $749


      7 Oct 19 at 11:52 pm


      • Thanks again, removed the announcement.


        9 Oct 19 at 2:23 pm


  20. Good morning,

    I would like to know what is the normal pressure to do a COFFEE and in which zone the should be the manometer needlea.

    Thank YOU.

    Nafornita Sebastian

    13 Oct 19 at 6:11 am


    • Morgning. In my opinion on Coffee recipe, which is 70ml for one cup basket by default, one shuold target the lower part of Optimal zone. Maybe even on the edge with a Pre-Infusion. And choose a bit coarser grind than for espresso.

      However, it’s only my opinion based on my tastes. Since the machine allows you to vary all the parameters, you can experiment to get the coffee _you_ like.


      13 Oct 19 at 10:25 am


    • My wife and me, we get the best Coffee Taste with the Americano program.
      As I mentioned some months ago (but no one seems to be interested) it seems, that all Specialista machines have a failure while programming the americano recipe.
      Meanwhile I know four machines and all four have the same failure.

      But with a little playing around, you’ll get an satisfying adjustment at some point.
      The pressure is always at the lower end of the optimal zone (as mentioned also by Dmitry) with grinding level 2.


      13 Oct 19 at 2:14 pm


  21. Hi Dmitriy,

    First, this is an incredible website for espresso machine research. Right now I’m leaning toward this DeLonghi Specialista to replace my Magnifica; I couldn’t even tell you the model, as it was purchased in 2007 (*hangs head in shame* a Starbucks demo that was significantly discounted because I was a frequent “gold card” customer).

    My local roaster swears by Jura, but it appears to get everything I want that La Specialista does, it would cost a couple grand.

    The concerns I’m hoping La Specialista will allay:

    1) My current Magnifica is does tend to clog with fresh/oily beans.
    2) It leaks all over my counter, has for years, but I’ve put up with it because I’m stubborn. And cheap.
    3) The Americano isn’t always very hot (so I pre-warm the mugs with hot water from the kettle)
    4) The steam lever is plastic and it’s been broken (& re-glued several times)

    What I’m looking for that this review convinces me I’ll get from La Specialista:

    1) Versatility – amateur-proof espresso, a good hot cup of Americano, etc.
    2) The upgrade to the steam arm to make a flat white
    3) The steam knob/vs plastic lever
    4) The ability to get parts and sustain the lifespan of this machine
    5) The ability to maintain/descale easily (which it is with my Magnifica)

    So with versatility, a consistently decent cup of coffee without barista know-how, and a solid machine with a decent grinder & steam arm, am I missing something from Jura before I purchase this La Specialista?

    Many thanks for these reviews!


    1 Nov 19 at 4:38 pm


    • Hello, Val. And sorry for my late reply, hope it’s not too late.

      No matter which Magnifica you had (Magnifica of ESAM series or Magnifica S of ECAM series) they all doesn’t have a special long mode for americano (so no surpise the americano is bad on it) and they all were super-automatic.

      However, the two machines, among which you are choosing now, are completely different:

      1) Any Jura except Ena and Micro series, will get better, more full-bodied taste of espresso. However, it’s pricey and none of the budget Juras has a special recipe for americano (but you can make it in two steps: espresso + hot water).

      2) Delonghi La Specialista is a manual machine, which requires more daily cleanings and manipulations. And the steam wand is not much better than on Magnifica, it is still a panarello, not a professional steamer. And the ability to upgrade to Rancilio’s wand, which I mentioned somewhere in comments, is only my assumption.

      So, my main idea is that you probably should decide first which type of machine you need.

      If manual one, I would better go with Breville. If super-automatic, then Jura is a good choice. However, probably the new Philips EP3221/44 is a better choice in terms of balance of prices, ability to make americano automatically and the coffee taste characteristics.


      8 Nov 19 at 10:38 am


      • Thank you, Dmitriy! I can see I still have some more homework to do. I appreciate all the time you put into your research – I’m learning a lot. Cheers ~


        12 Nov 19 at 12:20 am


  22. Do not recommend this machine. It has a defective water tank-to-machine coupling problem and leaks water. Company well aware and recommends sending it back. After 2 days and two tanks of water seaping out its a design flaw imo. It is also a royal pain in the butt to experiment various controls for delish coffee. Not impressed for $750.00 and onto something else


    13 Nov 19 at 12:23 am


  23. Hi Dmitriy, your comparisons relate to the
    La Specialista EC9335M and Breville Barista Express, however have you experienced the Breville Barista Pro at all, and are you able to compare that to the Specialista please?
    Here in Queensland (Australia), there is about $50AUD difference between the two models (the Breville being the cheaper of the two), but I would be very interested to hear your comments please?

    Many thanks

    Mike Lewis

    18 Nov 19 at 6:51 am


    • Hello, Mike and sorry for the late reply.

      I haven’t tested the Barista Pro, but general observations are the same as in case with EC9335 vs Express. Barista Pro has faster thermoblock, lcd screen and more intuitive controls… And if it still costs less than La Specialista, I see no reason to choose La Specialista.

      On the other hand, “faster” thermoblock usually(!) means that thermostability during shots will be even worse (but it’s not critical for an entry-level espresso machine, if you want a semi-professional equipment in this budget – it’s better to look for a Gaggia Classic for black coffees or nuova simonelli oscar ii for both cappuccinos and espressos). And the speed of heating isn’t critical in that class as well (you still need time to grind your beans).

      So if in comparison of Specialista and Pro we will leave only screen/controls in pros, the Breville still seems to me to be the better purchase.


      25 Nov 19 at 1:58 pm


  24. Since the moment when i bought EC9335.M i’ve got problems with the grinder for 2 weeks. Each time i get more coffee than the filter could have. There is GRIND position on MIN. I can’t reduce the count of coffee and i can’t stop grinding. Delonghi says that i could get a service repair


    11 Dec 19 at 8:45 am


    • Have you returened it eventually?


      12 Dec 19 at 4:47 pm


  25. Great review. I am still interested in buying the us version of the specialista, but could anyone see if it supports both us and euro power voltage?


    1 Feb 20 at 6:42 pm


  26. How can you take this machine seriously. Only comes with a 51mm pressurized basket that holds 13 grams of coffee for a double shot. On average a double shot should be 18 grams which is why it only comes with a pressurized basket. How about do a taste comparison with a breville barista express.


    18 Feb 20 at 9:07 am


    • I’m not advocate for La Specialista (as you may see from my review I am quite sceptical about it), however:
      – 14 grams is Italian espresso standard, and many classic machines like La Pavoni uses 51mm baskets
      – Breville is still a toy, if you want to “go hard” then there are other machines: starting from Gaggia Classic and endinf with Oscar II


      18 Feb 20 at 9:27 am


  27. Great post!

    breville vs delonghi

    21 Feb 20 at 5:34 pm


  28. Can it be used for a small coffee cart project ?


    7 Jun 20 at 9:15 pm


    • Better not. It’s still a home espresso machine. Moreover, you may find a better manual espresso machine for the same price, which will show better results, or even fully-automatic with the same results but less mess around.


      9 Jun 20 at 7:52 pm


      • Great review! When it comes to durability which is better? I have read some reviews on breville’s the barrista express that it doesn’t last a year even though it’s well taken care of. For the la specialista I haven’t seen much reviews with regard to its durability. What are your thoughts? Is there any other brand that you can recommend for it’s durability?


        11 Jul 20 at 6:50 am


        • I think that both machines are likely to have no problems for a year or two. However, I believe that Delonghi is more durable, and have many parts available. While Breville often stop to support older model and less “maintainable” outside US.


          15 Jul 20 at 11:04 am


Have some doubts which model to choose? Ask me!