Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine Review

Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine Review

The Smeg ECF01 is an espresso machine. It's dripping with Smeg's signature style, but comes at a premium price. Is it worth it? Our experts put it to the test in another of our in-depth reviews. Read on to find out what they thought of it!

Related: Top 5 Best Coffee Machines of 2024

Design & build

With Smeg appliances, the design is really the key selling point. These are statement pieces more than anything, and the ECF01 is sure to take centre stage in your kitchen. While Smeg's filter coffee machine, the DCF02, has quite a large footprint, the ECF01 is much more streamlined. This means it will more easily fit on your kitchen countertop.

It comes in a wide range of colours, which is ideal if you've already got other Smeg small appliances in your kitchen, or if you're thinking of starting a collection. We were particularly enamoured with pastel blue version, but they all look fantastic, with a timeless While designed to look metal, they are actually made from plastic, although they still feel nice and solid. Each colour comes with a chrome trim and embossed Smeg logo on the front.

One advantage here is that there's no real setup involved- you just take it out the box and you're ready to go. That gives it the edge over espresso machines that are plumbed in- although you do need to fill the water tank manually. The tank is easy to fill, though, since you can take it out to fill under the tap. It sits neatly underneath a lid which also doubles up as an integrated cup warmer, so you can make two cups without the first one going cold.

It's also worth highlighting that the ECF01 comes with an integrated stream wand. You don't always get these with espresso machines, as they're more common on bean-to-cup models. That means this is a great choice for cappuccino lovers, as you can get perfect frothy coffee all from the one machine.

Performance

As we mentioned earlier, the ECF01 is an espresso machine- the name actually stands for "espresso coffee 01". As such, its designed for making espresso shots- although if you want a full mug of coffee, then there is an option to top up with hot water from the machine.

The ECF01 will only produce a shot of espresso once its Thermoblock technology has preheated. This means you're always guaranteed a perfect-quality shot of espresso when using the machine. Since this isn't a bean-to-cup coffee machine, you need to use ground coffee in the ECF01. You could always grind your own, but we simply used our favourite blend of pre-ground coffee and found the results to be delicious. The box also includes a filter that allows you to use coffee pods, too.

The interface only has three buttons, so you'd be forgiven for thinking it was pretty simple to use. If you just want an espresso shot, then it is simple, as you just choose whether you want one or two shots. However, when you get into it, there's a lot you can do with the ECF01- you just need to follow some often-complex button presses. This is where the manual really comes in handy, and we found ourselves referring back to it again and again during testing. For instance, there's the ability to programme the machine to suit your area's water hardness- handy if you live in a hard water area, as it will prevent your coffee from tasting acidic.

Smeg ECF01: The Verdict

The Smeg ECF01 is one of the nicest-looking espresso machines on the market. While the price will inevitably put it outside of some people's budgets, the premium build and fantastic-quality espresso it produces make it well worth the money.