ECF01 Smeg Espresso Machine Review/Is It Worth The Price

a black Smeg espresso machine on a counter at coffee semantics during our review

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We wanted to do this espresso coffee machine review to see if it lived up to the hype.

We keep hearing that the Smeg ECF01 espresso coffee machine makes beautiful velvety coffee, making it a popular choice for coffee lovers.

We want to know if the coffee is as good as the machine looks.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the device’s features and providing our feedback on it. We also conducted a thorough review to see how it stacks up against other comparable devices!

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Are Smeg espresso machines worth it

The quality and durability make it a great machine; they didn’t pull any punches when picking the materials to make the Smeg ecf01 espresso coffee machine.

It produces an excellent cup every time with its unique thermoblock heating system that guarantees consistency no matter what brand or blend of coffee you use.

There have been very few reported malfunctions compared to competing brands – something we think deserves mention since there are many moving parts, and some manufacturers fail miserably at the quality they produce.

On top of all these benefits, the design is sleek and contemporary, so if aesthetics are important to you, this machine is certainly worth considering.

Who Makes The ECF01 Espresso Coffee Machine

It is made by an Italian company called Smeg (I’m sure you figured that out already). They have been around for over 120 years, and they specialize in creating high-quality Kitchen appliances, coffee makers, and espresso machines.

Design

You can’t find the retro style in any other model or brand. One of a kind in terms of aesthetics, this espresso machine has rounded edges, raised chrome lettering, polished below the three-button interface, polished chrome accents, and a simplistic design.

Four colors are available to choose from, including black, red, cream, and pink,

In addition to evoking a retro style of the 1950s, they also enhance the beauty of these machines.

The colors create an aesthetic that stands out in your kitchen, making it an immediate focal point.

Moreover, the Smeg ecf01 espresso coffee machine is also lightweight and slim. It is 11 pounds and measures 6 x 13 x 12 inches; it was easy to move and set up on our coffee bar.

Additionally, its 6-inch width made it easy to fit next to other kitchen appliances. This is great compared to the large footprint that other coffee machines have.

Below are the color options on Amazon; you can find a pastel blue and green at other vendors, but they often cost $100 to $150 more.

Performance

The espresso coffee machine comes with 3 filters for a single or double espresso and one for ESE pods.

In addition, the filter basket is compatible with disposable coffee pods instead of using ground coffee.

The coffee machine heats up quickly, and it has a hot water dispenser and milk frother for cappuccino and lattes. We were impressed with the Americanos that we prepared also.

Compared to other machines we’ve reviewed, this unit was ready to use in just a few minutes after being plugged in and turned on. In addition, we loved the simplicity of the design:

The machine has only three buttons on the front, a lever on the side, and a cup warmer on the top. As a result, we believe that this would be a great espresso machine for an introductory user. 

We didn’t like a couple of things about this machine, even though it is easy to use. First, plastic is used to make the tamper.

Second, you need a stainless steel tamper to receive a consistent tamp.

Please note: If you buy a new tamper, it needs to be a 51mm tamper to fit your 51mm portafilter.

As a result of the weak material, the grounds were difficult to pack tightly into the filter holder.

In addition, there isn’t a lot you can customize of the brewing process. However, you can stop the extraction at any time to control the flavor profile.

However, you don’t control the water temperature or flow rate. 

The quality of the espresso was impressive despite this. This isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re looking to work on your barista skills, you may need to invest in a more advanced model.

Regarding how it will froth milk, it produced delicious froth and was suitable for our purposes when making cappuccinos and lattes.  

4 ese coffee pods for the Smeg ECF01 espresso machine one is ripped open with the coffee grounds spilling out.

Does it only use ground coffee

No, you can use disposable coffee pods (AKA ESE pods) if you aren’t a big fan of pre-ground or grinding your own beans.

If you want the freshest cup possible when using the Smeg ecf01 espresso coffee machine, we recommend that you grind your coffee beans before preparing your drink. A good coffee grinder will dramatically raise the quality of your coffee.

Smeg also makes coffee grinders in the same color and design as their espresso a drip coffee makers.

Easy To Use

While it doesn’t give you a lot to customize, you have to set some things up.

For example, you can have the Smeg ECF01 remember the volume of your shot by double-tapping 2 of the control buttons simultaneously.

The three buttons on the machine can also make cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos once you get used to them (and sequences required for each).

In addition to dosing and tamping the coffee (tamper included), you will also be responsible for frothing milk.

There are just three buttons on it, and users can set the volume, strength, and temperature of their coffee and water hardness.

Thanks to the design of the lever, the steam wand is easy to use.

Capacity

As with any espresso machine, you can only make one shot at a time, but you can brew a single or double-shot while only waiting 40 seconds in between.

The water tank is 1.5-liters; you can say it is a little small, but Smeg wanted to make a machine with a smaller footprint.

Even with a smaller reservoir, you can still brew multiple cups before you have to refill it.

Cleanliness: Regular cleaning is required

A bit of maintenance is required for this machine. First, you should wipe everything down after every use.

It doesn’t have an auto-clean, but it does have a built-in indicator light that will tell you when to clean it.

The drip tray can be easily removed and cleaned, it also features a float that raises when it is time to empty it, and the filter baskets should be wiped down from time to time with running water. 

You should manually turn the steam wand on and off 5 times after each use to remove any residue inside it, and the water reservoir should be cleaned by hand about once a month.

It would help if you cleaned the group head after every use by hitting the brew button without the portafilter in it. You will need to descale once the orange button is illuminated.

Pricing and availability

This espresso machine is a great buy (it retails for around $570) for its high performance, attractive design, and ease of use.

When it comes to the price, you are paying for the design as much as the performance, but I disagree with some of the reviewers when they say it is a lot of money.

$590 for an espresso machine is not crazy when it is made with high-end materials and can consistently use the right pressure, temperature, and tamp control.

You will have a hard time finding an option for a lower price that is this well made.

A one-year limited warranty is included to enhance its value. This is not a top-of-the-line model (which can cost over $1,000), but it is a great middle-ground option for beginners.

It’s available in black, cream, white, blue, red, pink, and green.

Benefits of the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine

This is an easy-to-use machine with basic settings and an easy setup. The water pump creates 15 bars of pressure to maintain 9 bars of pressure throughout the brewing process.

The 1350 watts of power are paired with the 15 bar pump. You can reach optimal temperature in only forty seconds, thanks to its thermoblock system. For lattes, cappuccinos, and more, its steam wand produces a delicate, creamy milk foam.

Also, the Smeg ECF01 can make two cups simultaneously with its spouted portafilter making it ideal for entertaining and day mornings. Finally, this machine offers a variety of options.

The things we like

  • The aesthetic of the smeg ecf01 is gorgeous.
  • A slim and lightweight build perfect for a small kitchen
  • A simple and easy-to-use system
  • Flow stop function
  • Brews at the optimum temperature in just 40 seconds
  • It makes the perfect cup of latte or cappuccino
  • High-pressure water pump for professional use that senses water hardness
  • The milk frother produces creamy, rich texture
  • It can make two cups at once
  • You can use biodegradable pods or ground coffee
  • Water tank with a 1.5-liter capacity
  • One-year guarantee

Our Dislikes

  • Tamper is a little weak
  • Customization is lacking
  • There is a need for regular cleaning
  • There is no water filter

Who Should Buy It

  • People who like to participate in the brewing process.
  • Although it takes some getting used to, the Smeg espresso machine is well worth the effort. If you enjoy the ceremony of coffee and savoring a cup of joe every morning, then it is the right choice for you. 
  • You have a good eye for design.
  • It is a powerful machine with a design that is unmatched. The espresso is rich, silky, and has the characteristic caramel undertones.

Who shouldn’t Buy It

  • You want to wake up, hit a button, and brew your coffee without interacting with the brewing process.
  • The Smeg machine requires some practice, so if you don’t have the patience to learn it, you might be better off with a straightforward coffee pod machine.
  • If you don’t have the time to grind beans beforehand.
  • If you don’t want the additional cost of Investing in good espresso beans and a grinder to brew quality coffee.

Frequently asked questions about Smeg ecf01 coffee machines

Question: How much coffee do the filter baskets hold?

Answer: The single filter basket holds 5 to 7 grams of coffee, and the double basket holds 113 to 16 grams. This will all depend on your grind size and how hard or lightly you are tamping.

Question: Is it easy to steam milk with the ECF01?

Answer: Here are the steps to get the best results:

Wait until the light is no longer flashing, then drop the lever into your milk

Hold the milk jug at an angle to wisp air into the bottom, causing a whirlpool.

Then gently move the jug up and down to create a vacuum that will rotate the milk from the bottom to the top.

Always use chilled milk or almond milk; this will make it easier.

Question: Is this a single or double boiler machine?

Answer: It is a single boiler, so to steam milk again, you will need to cool down the boiler after steaming the milk. Empty a jug and place it below the steam wand.

Push the lever down and let the machine expel excess steam to cool down the boiler. You can make more coffee by lifting the lever again once it stops.

Question: What is the cleaning process for my smeg espresso machine

Answer: You need to wipe down the portafilter (filter holder), group head, drip tray, and filter baskets after every use. You should buy a descaling product meant for coffee machines to use when the machine tells you it is time to descale.

Question: How do I program the machine?

Answer: It is best to look through the manual and make any changes to the programming. That way, you will memorize the manufacturer’s instructions.

Specifications

  • Model Desc ECF01
  • Price
  • $570.00
  • Weight
  • 11 lbs.
  • Dimensions
  • 6″ Wide x 13″ High x 12″ Deep in.
  • Color Options
  • Pastel blue, pastel green, red, white, black, cream, and pink
  • Water Reservoir Capacity
  • 1 quart
  • Power output
  • Save energy with the 1,300 usage watts
  • Voltage
  • 120V
  • Warranty
  • 1 year

Conclusion

We had a lot of fun doing this espresso coffee machine review. The Smeg ecf01 retro looks are impossible to beat. In fact, we have replaced our De’ Longhi with the Smeg in our office because the look is amazing, especially with our other appliances.

It is perfect for when we want a caffeine hit, and this is why we recommend it for you knowing it will be a great compliment to your home.

You will enjoy the espresso-making process when you sit down to great coffee every morning, knowing that you had a part in it.