Do you want café-quality coffee, but at the comforts of your own home?
Do you like lattes and macchiatos but don’t have the time to learn how to make one?
Do you want an all-in-one espresso machine?
Well, there’s an answer to that: super-automatic espresso machines.
Today, we compare two big players in the industry: De’Longhi vs Saeco.
Read our comprehensive guide to determine the similarities and differences between the two coffee makers: Saeco vs Delonghi.
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Saeco vs De’Longhi: At a Glance
Philips Saeco is an Italian brand known for its manual, capsule and super-automatic espresso machines since 1981.
In 1985, they became the first company to launch the “bean-to-cup,” an automatic espresso brewing system called Superautomatica.
They acquired competitor Gaggia in 1999. In May 2009, Saeco became a subsidiary of Dutch electronics manufacturer Philips.
Since then, Saeco has continued to produce state-of-the-art coffee makers. Today, they’ve become a global player in the automatic coffee machine industry.
De’Longhi is also an Italian brand that manufactures small appliances. They were founded in 1902 (over 119 years ago!) in Treviso, Italy.
They’re best known for their espresso machines. De’Longhi’s product line includes super-automatic, semi-automatic, manual, and Nespresso machines.
They also produce household products, including air fryers, gelato makers, heaters, and air conditioners.
In April 2012, De’Longhi acquired production rights to Braun-branded products from FMCG giant Procter & Gamble. Today, they continue to be the top leading brand in small domestic appliances.
To start, we compare two automatic espresso machines from each brand.
First up are the entry-level automatic machines: Vapore XSmall and ESAM3300.
Then, we move onto the mid-range models: the PicoBaristo and Magnifica ECAM23460SB.
- Pannarello steam wand
- Thermoblock heating system
- Double Cup function
- Auto-rinse method
The Saeco Vapore XSmall is a small but mighty machine. It’s a great choice if you’re starting out.
It features a strong and versatile ceramic grinder, which lets you adjust the fineness level. Combine that with a classic milk frother, and the sky’s the limit for the type of drinks you can make.
This model also learns how you like your beverages. It has a personal user profile and Gusto Perfetto technology to track the coffee beans you’ve used.
However, this model does require regular cleaning. Since it’s an entry-level model, it’s also slightly on the slower side.
- Height-adjustable coffee spout
- Double boiler system
- Customizable coffee strength
- Patented cappuccino system
The ESAM3300 is an entry-level espresso machine that won’t break the bank.
The model has 4 temperature settings and 13 grinder adjustment levels. This allows you to fine-tune and customize each drink you brew.
It features a cup warming tray and a double boiler system. This reduces the waiting time so you can enjoy your cup of coffee (or two!) faster.
Since the water tank is smaller than other models, it does use the water quickly, especially during rinsing cycles.
Plus, the espresso doesn’t come out piping-hot despite the adjustable temperature settings. This is a drawback for those who enjoy hot coffee.
De’Longhi offers much more features and capacity at a similar price point.
It has a cup-size option (good if you like Americano), a cup warmer, and 13-grind adjustment settings.
Plus, it has a bigger water tank at 1.8L, whereas Saeco only has 1L. Its bean container capacity is at 8.8oz, whereas Saeco’s is at 6.5oz.
- 11 Programmable beverages
- Integrated milk carafe
- Ceramic grinder with 10 adjustment levels
- One-Touch Cappuccino system
If you’re looking for variety in a compact machine, then the Saeco PicoBaristo is for you.
Preparing milk-based beverages have never been easier. With its fully automatic frother, all you need is just a touch of a button, and voila!
This model features a Quick Heat Boiler composed of aluminum and stainless steel. This reduces water heating time, which is great for busy bees.
However, this model doesn’t have user profiles. This can be a problem for those who prefer to customize their coffee according to their tastes.
Second, Saeco could improve the distance and height of the spout. It’s harder to move larger cups around.
- Auto-frothing LatteCrema System
- 15 bar pressure pump
- Customizable temperature and strength
- Stainless steel burr grinder with 13 adjustable settings
The De’Longhi Magnifica S is a no-frills, easy-to-use machine suitable for a home barista.
This model ensures every espresso is fresh. It uses its integrated burr grinder that can grind from coarse to fine.
It allows you to customize each brew. The model has a program that remembers all the small details: temperature, strength, and milk-to-espresso ratio.
This model’s main drawback is that it doesn’t handle oily beans very well. In particular, the grinder may struggle a bit under a fine grind setting.
Another is that the milk temperature isn’t adjustable. So users have to adjust the coffee/water temperature to compensate.
Both coffee machines are very similar.
They have the same water tank capacity (1.8L), bean hopper capacity (8.8oz), and coffee strength (5 levels).
Plus, they feature the convenient One-Touch Cappuccino system to make milk-based beverages faster and easier.
The only difference? The grinder adjustment settings: Saeco has 10, whereas De’Longhi has 13.
It’s not a big difference, so we’re declaring a tie.
Saeco vs De’Longhi: What’s the Difference?
Those were just two coffee machines from each brand.
So let’s take an in-depth comparison of their features.
We’ve compared the two brands using 6 categories:
- Programmable Drinks
- Milk Frothing
- Design & Controls
- Cleaning & Maintenance
In a hurry? De’Longhi won our caffeine-filled hearts.
If you’ve been window-shopping for some time, you might have noticed that both brands are very similar.
But why did we choose De’Longhi?
Read on to find out.
Let’s start with great news for coffee lovers. Both Saeco and De’Longhi coffee machines can produce a wide range of beverages.
This includes various coffee drinks (espresso, doppio) and milk-based espresso drinks (cappuccino, flat white, latte). Others include tea, chocolate milk, milk foam, etc.
These coffee makers allow you to customize each drink, with some models “remembering” your preferences.
For both brands, most of the coffee makers feature a dual spout. This allows users to prepare two cups of coffee at the same time.
De’Longhi coffee makers have two extra features that stand out.
First, De’Longhi’s machines produce hotter coffee. Their beverage temperature is about 166°F (74°C), whereas Saeco’s beverages are about 160°F (71°C) at most.
The extra temperature is useful if you like your coffee hot and enjoy longer drinks.
For those who prefer Americano, select De’Longhi models have a “Long” coffee option. This produces coffee that’s 3 times the length of an espresso.
To produce the same results on Saeco coffee makers, you will have to brew twice in a row.
Both Saeco and De’Longhi offer a manual and fully automatic milk frother.
For the manual option, they use a Pannarello steam wand. This is a stainless steel frother that steams and froths milk.
For the automatic milk frother, both brands use an integrated milk carafe. This allows you to brew milk-based beverages with just a touch of a button.
This built-in milk carafe is dishwasher-safe. Plus, it can be stored in a refrigerator after use to keep the milk fresh.
Both Saeco and De’Longhi have their own technology to brew the best possible milk-based coffee drinks.
For Saeco, this is called the Latte Perfetto Technology. Using a patented dual chamber carafe, it froths the milk twice to create a silkier foam.
For De’Longhi, they call it the LatteCrema System. It uses two hydraulic circuits and high-precision electronics. This results in a rich and long-lasting foam at the optimal density and temperature.
So what makes the two brands different?
De’Longhi’s machines with a fully automatic milk carafe allow you to personalize the amount of milk foam. Saeco only allows you to control the amount of milk used.
Saeco also has a semi-automatic milk frothing system for their mid-range models. It’s called the cappuccinatore.
The cappuccinatore is an external milk carafe connected to the coffee maker via a tube nozzle. Since it’s an external carafe, it’s easier to clean.
However, the downside is sacrificing the single-touch feature. You’ll have to brew the espresso for this type of frother first. Then, move the cup to top it off with milk foam.
Coffee lovers know the importance of proper, fresh grinds.
Both Saeco and De’Longhi provide the convenience of using freshly ground coffee every time with their built-in grinders.
Saeco uses a flat ceramic grinder, while De’Longhi uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder.
Ceramic grinders are low maintenance and retain very little heat. But they could break if a foreign object (e.g., a small stone) gets into the grinder.
Stainless steel grinders are sharper and more damage-resistant. But they heat up quicker, resulting in a burnt taste in the beans.
At the end of the day, it’s up to your preferences.
However, it’s worth noting that De’Longhi machines can grind a bit faster.
Plus, they have up to 13 grinder adjustment settings, whereas Saeco offers up to 10 settings.
Since different coffee drinks require a different grind size, a higher adjustment level will be more helpful.
Design & Controls
Both Saeco and De’Longhi feature an LCD/LED display with push buttons, making it easy to use.
Their premium models feature an advanced touchscreen display.
For the top-end coffee machines, there’s also a Bluetooth connectivity feature. This allows you to set, brew, and clean your machine from your smartphone or tablet.
This is included in the Saeco GranBaristo Avanti and De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite Experience models.
Another feature they share in common is the One-Touch Cappuccino system. This allows you to prepare milk-based drinks (lattes, macchiatos, you name it) with just a touch of a button.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Both Saeco and De’Longhi utilize an automatic rinsing and cleaning cycle on their automatic espresso machines. They also have a cleaning function for the milk carafe.
They also feature a removable drip tray and brew unit. The brewing group refers to the cleaning mechanism found inside the espresso machine.
A removable brew unit allows users to clean the machine more thoroughly for a longer lifespan.
Both brands use a water filter. This helps purify water and prevent limescale buildup.
It also filters out any impurities that may impact the taste of your coffee. This includes chlorine and heavy metals.
Plus, it will prompt you when it needs to be descaled.
There’s very little difference in the price range of the two brands.
For instance, Saeco’s price point is slightly higher than its subsidiary Gaggia.
Even then, the price range between Saeco and De’Longhi for their entry-level models has a difference of $50 to $150.
This makes Saeco’s entry-level machines a bit cheaper.
Take note that prices will depend on various market conditions.
Saeco vs Delonghi: Which Automatic Espresso Machine Brand Is Better?
Let’s end the debate: De’Longhi wins. Why?
De’Longhi machines offer more versatility and convenience.
Their machines feature more customizable settings to personalize each drink. This includes temperature, coffee strength, grind levels, and milk foam amount.
Many of their lower-end models feature the One-Touch Cappuccino system. However, Saeco reserve this for their premium models.
Plus, De’Longhi has been around longer. So if you’re looking for reliability, look no further.
Still unsure? On the fence?
Get Saeco If…
- You’re a new home barista looking for an easy-to-use machine
- You’re looking for a powerful but budget-friendly option
- You don’t mind having only a few adjustable settings
Get De’Longhi If…
- You want more customizable options
- You’re a seasoned barista who doesn’t mind a bit of fiddling to learn the machine
- You drink your coffee hot and/or like Americano
An automatic espresso machine is a good investment for coffee lovers.
Plus, it won’t overcharge you like your favorite coffee shop!
Saeco and De’Longhi are great coffee makers among many brands, whether you’re a beginner or a coffeeholic.
We hope this article helped you narrow down your choices. Happy brewing!