HomeBlogREVIEWSmeg ECF01 Espresso Espresso Machine overview: Too costly for what it's

Smeg ECF01 Espresso Espresso Machine overview: Too costly for what it’s

UPDATE: After reviewing the Smeg ECF01, it got here to our consideration that it was achingly much like DeLonghi’s far cheaper Dedica Model. Trying on the machines aspect by aspect, it is so comparable, the truth is, that it is nearly definitely a rebadged model of DeLonghi’s long-standing reasonably priced espresso machine, albeit with a barely extra bulbous plastic physique, a Smeg brand and some aesthetic design tweaks. Underneath the hood, although, it is vanishingly totally different. Our recommendation? Spend extra on a Gaggia Basic Professional (~£425 – learn our full overview right here) or purchase the DeLonghi as a substitute, which routinely retails for round £160

Unique overview from 2017 continues under

Smeg is well-known for its achingly fashionable retro house home equipment, however you’d be forgiven for questioning whether or not there was extra fashion than substance to its merchandise. Its Fifties fashion ECF01 falls into that class for me. It seems to be totally implausible with its pastel-shaded color, curved form, and chrome trim.

My first ideas upon prying it from its polystyrene packing body, nevertheless, involved whether or not or not it will be capable of brew an honest cup of espresso. There isn’t a lot level trying super-sleek in case your espresso tastes of water, in spite of everything.

Smeg ECF01 Espresso Espresso Machine overview: What you have to know

The ECF01 is important in that it’s Smeg’s first standalone espresso machine; it has different espresso machines within the vary, however they’re all totally automated machines designed to be constructed into high-end fitted kitchens.

It’s a guide espresso machine, which suggests you’ll want to produce your individual espresso espresso or grind your individual beans to the right consistency, after which tamp the espresso and steam and froth the milk your self (in the event you’re making a cappuccino or a latte). However, regardless of its simplicity, it additionally provides you loads of management over the temperature and quantity of your brew, so you may set issues simply so.

Smeg ECF01 Espresso Espresso Machine overview: Value and competitors

Costing £280, the Smeg ECF01 may be very costly for a guide machine and it will seem that you simply’re paying primarily for the title and design quite than something significantly particular.

Definitely, it doesn’t do something particular in contrast with present favorite guide espresso machines: the Gaggia Gran Status (£180) and the De’Longhi Scultura (£150). There’s nothing mistaken with the best way it makes espresso, although, so in the event you just like the look, it’d simply be the machine for you.

Smeg ECF01 overview: Options and design

Obtainable in shiny black, cream, child blue and lustrous pink and trimmed with chrome, there’s little question the ECF01 seems to be nice. It additionally feels solidly made all-round and its slim profile means even probably the most tightly packed kitchen worktops will be capable of accommodate it.

And, virtually talking, it has all of the options you have to make most espresso-based espresso drinks. There’s a cup hotter on high, a milk frothing wand that additionally delivers sizzling water on the aspect and a portafilter that comes with three inserts: one for single cups, one for 2 pictures of espresso and one other for ESE espresso pods.

You’re additionally equipped with a dual-purpose – and quite cheap-feeling – scoop and tamper, however disappointingly no water filter. Even if the machine’s one-litre water tank has the becoming for one, and regardless of the machine’s quite excessive worth, Smeg doesn’t even embrace one within the field.

Nonetheless, it’s fairly straightforward to arrange and run, and Smeg has stored the variety of buttons on the entrance to a merciful minimal. There are three buttons on the entrance: one for a single espresso, one for a double and a 3rd to toggle between steam and hot-water supply. Other than the steam/sizzling water lever on the right-hand aspect, that’s it for controls.

Cleansing and filling are simple as nicely. The steam button lights up orange when the machine wants descaling, the drip-tray disengages simply and has a float to indicate when it’s full, and you may both fill the water tank in place by merely eradicating its lid or take away it utterly from the machine, facilitating simpler cleansing.

You’ll want to recollect to run a little bit of steam via the milk wand each time you utilize it, although, to maintain it from clogging up.

Smeg ECF01 overview: Efficiency

To check the machine, we took it to Sq. Mile Espresso Roasters in London and used a batch of the agency’s freshly floor Crimson Brick mix, evaluating the standard of the ensuing espresso with one produced by an expert £14,000 machine.

The very first thing to notice is that, with the settings on default and utilizing the 7g of espresso for a single shot advisable within the person guide, I discovered the machine produced a quite watery espresso, missing the thick crema, the candy acidity and barely bitter afternotes produced by the skilled machine.

Add 5 extra grammes, nevertheless, and the outcomes are much more acceptable. You get a way more tasty brew, albeit nonetheless missing a bit on the crema entrance. The power of the Smeg, although, is in its customisability. A fast examination of the guide reveals it’s attainable to regulate a number of totally different parameters in pursuit of the right espresso. There’s a water hardness adjustment, naturally, however you can even change the water temperature (low, medium or excessive) and amount of espresso produced by the machine by the only shot and double shot buttons. Sq. Mile recommends a two-to-one weight ratio of floor espresso to last espresso for Crimson Brick and, with the even handed use of scales, it’s comparatively easy to attain this for a wonderfully balanced espresso.

The one factor I’d say is that accessing these settings and adjusting them is slightly fiddly. You must press and maintain the steam button for ten seconds after which comply with a reasonably obscure collection of button presses to get to the setting you want. It’s not one thing you’re going to recollect, so make sure to preserve the guide shut at hand.

Nonetheless, when you’ve set it up, you shouldn’t must tweak these settings an excessive amount of, and the milk frother works nicely, too. It’s slightly on the quick aspect, so that you would possibly must experiment to seek out the suitable dimension jug to your milk, nevertheless it generates steam rapidly and I discovered it straightforward and fast to provide totally froth milk for both a cappuccino or latte. With some machines, there’s a sure knack to getting the milk to the suitable consistency however with the Smeg, I achieved respectable outcomes instantly – not barista good, maybe, however not an awfully good distance away from it.

Smeg ECF01 overview: Verdict

So, is the Smeg a great purchase? Sure and no. On the optimistic aspect, it provides you all of the instruments you have to obtain the right espresso. It’s versatile, seems to be nice and is straightforward to keep up and function. Even the milk frother is easy to make use of.

On the adverse aspect it doesn’t come equipped with a water filter and, in the event you don’t wish to cheapen the look of your Fifties-style kitchen, you’re going to need to spend money on a stainless-steel espresso scoop and a correct tamper to finish the look.

Nonetheless, for many who worth the looks of their kitchen home equipment and in addition love espresso, the Smeg ECF01 does tick all of the bins – albeit at a excessive worth.



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