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Smeg EGF03 Espresso Coffee Machine review: retro, chic, and full of beans

SMEG ESPRESSO COFFEE MACHINE EGF03:

ONE-MINUTE REVIEW

Smeg is known for making a host of brilliant home appliances, including some of the best blenders and best juicers, but it’s not exactly synonymous with high-quality coffee machines in the way the likes of Breville, De’Longhi and Gaggia are. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 with grinder and milk frother to be such a great all-rounder, and easily a contender for a place on our list of the best espresso machines; although considering how much we liked the Smeg ECF01 in our review, I perhaps shouldn’t have been.

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 costs $899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299.00 and comes with a built-in grinder and milk frother. It’s a fantastic coffee maker for those who value both design and performance. Clad in a vibrant retro casing, this chic machine is a bold statement for any kitchen countertop.

The design is thoroughly thought out, from the detachable bean hopper to the round bevel on the machine’s top to accommodate the tamper. Furthermore, several of its user-friendly features, such as the pressurized filters, make it a good alternative for those transitioning from a bean-to-cup or pod machine to an espresso maker.

My main (and only) criticism? It’s messy to use and not ideal if you need to grab a coffee and rush out the door in the morning. The grounds tend to spill over little, and moving the portafilter from the grounds deposit chute to the brew head requires pulling it out of a grip, which can cause additional spilling. Add to that the necessity of cleaning

Still, if you enjoy coffee but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a barista-grade equipment, the Smeg Espresso Coffee equipment EGF03 is a great option for most coffee stations.

Smeg EGF03

PRICE

  • List price: $899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299.00

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 costs $899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299.00 and can be purchased from Amazon and regional third-party stores such as John Lewis in the United Kingdom.

Along with the main machine, the EGF03 has a detachable bean hopper, a portafilter and basket, and a tamper. It comes in a variety of colorful and exciting colors, including cream, pastel blue, pastel green, red, white, and black.

It’s pricey, especially when compared to other espresso machines, but what you’re truly paying for with the EGF03 is its all-inclusive tool set and stunning appearance. That’s not a negative thing, but it doesn’t ease the shock of the price significantly.

SPECS

 
Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03
Type of coffee maker:Manual espresso machine
Skill level:Amateur
Programming:Stand-by, water hardness, coffee temperature, pre-brewing profiles
Brew time:30 seconds
Water tank capacity:2.5-quart / 2.4L
Coffee bean capacity:8.8oz / 250g
Pump pressure:20 bar
Dimensions:17 x 17 x 13 inches / 44.3 x 44.3 x 34cm

 

Smeg EGF03

DESIGN

  • Retro 50s chic
  • Built-in frother and detachable hopper
  • 2.5-quart / 2.4L water tank

If you haven’t guessed, I’m a lover of Smeg’s classic design, and I really like the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 for its smooth balance of Italian coffee house and retro flair.

My evaluation unit was in the red colorway, which makes for a stunning centerpiece that commands attention; however, the more subdued color options are quite approachable and would flow effortlessly into most kitchens, regardless of the retro style.

It’s rather huge, measuring 17 x 17 x 13 inches / 44.3 x 44.3 x 34cm (h x w x d), and takes up a good bit of kitchen counter space – as I’ve indicated, this machine isn’t for the faint of heart, but rather those who want to take the plunge into espresso production. It’s pretty hefty at 27.3lbs / 12.4kg too, so you’ll want somewhere to keep it on the counter – you won’t want to be moving it around too much.

The unit’s main body is sophisticated die-cast aluminum with stainless steel accents, rounded in Smeg’s signature 50s vintage look. The machine’s face displays a pressure gauge and four light-up main controls: buttons for grinding one or two servings of espresso and buttons for brewing single or double espresso.

The magic happens right below this console. From left to right, there’s a convenient opening to insert the portafilter for new grounds, a 58mm professional stainless steel filter holder, and a stainless steel steam wand. The removable drip tray is just below, and behind it is a nice tiny compartment that stores its four filters, a cleaning disk, and cleaning brush for flicking away granules.

The top of the machine has a stainless steel surface to which you can attach the plastic bean hopper. There’s also a raised circle that snugly fits the tamp, which is always a clever addition.

The right side has a small stainless steel lever switch with three settings for controlling the steam wand: hot water, moderate steam, and powerful steam. On the left side, there is a discrete on/off button.

The Smeg espresso coffee machine EGF03 has a large bean hopper and water tank, thus it has to be refilled far less frequently than other coffee machines I’ve tested.

Smeg EGF03

PERFORMANCE

  • Easy to get great results
  • Grinder works well
  • Takes a lot of cleaning

After a slightly laborious setup process, the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is incredibly simple to use, providing options for both seasoned espresso producers and newbies.

This all-in-one system produces consistent results from bean to cup, yet there is plenty of flexibility for experimentation and customization.

Let’s start at the top: grinding your beans. There are 15 grind settings available by twisting the detachable bean hopper, and the grounds are expelled above the portafilter holder in the main console. Unfortunately, these are not deposited directly in the center of the portafilter, which is a design flaw that will likely only irritate the most perfectionist home baristas but is nonetheless worth noting. This machine uses steel conical burr grinders, which produce astonishingly consistent results by smashing the beans rather than slicing them, so improving quality.

Next, brew your espresso. The machine heats up rapidly thanks to its dual thermoblock heating technology, and you can customize the temperature settings and infusion profile to your preferences.

As with many manual and semi-automatic espresso machines, it takes some time to figure out how to achieve the desired pressure (on this Smeg machine, the pressure gauge needle reaches around halfway) depending on both the bean grind setting and how hard you tamp, but once you do, the results are fantastically consistent. Or, for a simpler road to superb coffee, try pressured filters, which are highly beginner-friendly and allow you to get wonderful crema with little effort. I discovered that using extremely fine, gently tamped grounds with my preferred coffee beans was required to really make the machine sing and get that all-important crema.

Smeg EGF03

Let’s discuss the steam wand last. Although there are two options, I rarely used the less frothy one, and I think the most of users would feel the same way. While there is a learning curve for milk frothing, as there is for many other facets of the art of coffee preparation, Smeg’s steam wand is remarkably user-friendly. However, if you don’t get the exact location, it makes a really loud screeching sound, which I occasionally find impossible to avoid due to my poor milk-frothing abilities.

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 works amazingly well overall; the amount of cleaning it needs is my only complaint. Any espresso machine needs to be cleaned to some extent, but it might wind up devouring a lot of time out of your morning routine.

SHOULD I BUY THE SMEG ESPRESSO COFFEE MACHINE EGF03?

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 report card
AttributeNotesScore
ValueIn terms of value for money, the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is almost spot-on, but it’s still slightly inflated on account of the gorgeous design and brand name.4.5 / 5
DesignFrom its gorgeous colorways to its beautiful form, the Smeg EGF03 isn’t just a coffee machine; it’s a work of art.5 / 5
PerformanceQuick to heat up, easy to use and consistent, the Smeg Esresso Coffee Machne EGF03 makes one mean espresso.5 / 5

 

Buy it if…

You run a finely curated aesthetic in your kitchen

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is a stunning addition to your kitchen counters, especially if you already own some of Smeg’s other goods.

You’re stepping up from a pod or automatic coffee maker

With two pressure filters and a wide variety of settings, the EGF03 is ideal for more customized coffee brewing.

You want one machine that does it all

The EGF03 includes a grinder and a milk frother, and despite its size, it will most likely save you countertop space compared to having three separate equipment.

Don’t buy it if…

You’re on a budget

While I believe the Smeg espresso coffee maker EGF03 offers outstanding value, there is no denying that it is expensive.

You hate cleanup

The Smeg espresso coffee maker EGF03 is not low maintenance, which is what I look for in a product.

SMEG ESPRESSO COFFEE MACHINE EGF03: ALSO CONSIDER

If the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is not for you, here a couple of options to consider.

 
Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03Breville the Barista Express ImpressDeLonghi Dedica Style EC685
Price:$899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299$899.95 / £729.95 / AU$1,199$349.95/ £199.99/ AU$399
Type of coffee maker:Manual espresso machineAssisted manual espresso machineManual espresso machine
Skill level:AmateurBeginnerBeginner
Programming:Stand-by, water hardness, coffee temperature, pre-brewing profiles25 precision grind settingsTemperature, water hardness, auto shut off time and dose time.
Brew time:30 secondsNot specified40 seconds
Reservoir size:2.5-quart / 2.4L2L0.24 gallon / 1.1-liter
Coffee bean capacity:8.8oz / 250g8.8oz / 250gN/A
Pump pressure:20 bar15 bar15 bar
Dimensions:17 x 17 x 13 inches / 44.3 x 44.3 x 34cm12.9 x 14.9 x 16.1 inches (327 x 378 x 409 mm)2 x 5.9 x 13 inches/ 30.4 x 14.9 x 33cm
Achraf Grini
Achraf Grini
Hello This is AG. I am a Tech lover and I have long been a promoter and editor for a shopping company, I have followed smartphones and headphones and others. I covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.
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