Where Style meets Functionality: A Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine Review

Meet the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine. It’s more than an espresso machine – it’s a lifestyle. This well-rounded and feature-strong espresso maker was added to the Smeg lineup in 2017 and quickly made a name for itself among espresso newbies and aficionados alike.

Smeg ECF01RDUS 50s Retro Style Espresso Machine - Pink
  • Thermoblock heating system and 15 bar pressure for espresso extraction
  • Three stainless steel filters to make one or two espressos at a time. Adjustable settings for coffee temperature...
  • Steam valve for frothing milk or dispensing hot water. 1-liter water tank and optional water filter
  • Coffee scoop and tamper included

This 1950s inspired design with a chic Italian twist is like nothing else on the market. If smart style is what you seek, then look no further.

However, if you clicked on this article, you may be the type who wants to take a look under the hood. Will this machine suit your needs and preferences? Let’s dive a little deeper.

What we love about the Smeg ECF01RDUS:

  • Gorgeous and Unique 1950’s Italian Design
  • Slim, Compact Size Great for Small Spaces (12x6x13 inches)
  • Lightweight and Simple to Set-up
  • Professional 15-bar Pressure
  • Thermoblock Heating System
  • Easy to Clean – Detachable Milk Frother and Drip Tray
  • Use Fresh Ground Coffee or Disposable Pods
  • Adjustable Temperature and Water Hardness
  • Single or Double Shot Brewing Option
  • Removable Cup Tray for Tall Mugs
Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-blue-italian-design

 Did you know  thermoblocks are embedded heating elements to heat water on-demand to the proper temperature just prior to it being used. Efficient and saving energy.

Components of Smeg ECF01RDUS: sum of beautiful parts.

1 Cup warmer shelf
2 Boiler outlet
3 Filter holder
4 Steel cup holder tray
5 Float
6 Stainless-steel drip tray
7 Hot water/steam nozzle and frothing
nozzle for cappuccino
8 Steam knob
9 ON/OFF switch
10 Water tank lid
Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-components
11 Water tank (1 liter)
12 Measuring/tamping scoop
13 Coffee soft pod filter
14 Ground coffee filter, 1 cup
15 Ground coffee filter, 2 cups
16 Water softener filter (optional)
17 One-cup coffee button (white light)
18 Two-cup coffee button (white light)
19 Steam button (white light)/Descale
button (orange light)
20 Non-slip feet

Design

Oh, so Aesthetic

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine. Its rounded edges, rich glossy color weighs, and shiny chrome and stainless-steel details, make it the star of anyone’s kitchen.

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-cream-color-rounded-edges-beautiful-on-the-countertop

This designer espresso machine is available in a variety of distinctive colors, hand selected by Smeg designers to complement any kitchen – from a beautiful holiday red to icy blue, mint, snow white, cream, black, and pink.

Smeg ECF01RDUS Holiday Red
Smeg ECF01RDUS Icy Blue
Smeg ECF01RDUS Mint
Smeg ECF01RDUS Cream
Smeg ECF01RDUS Black
Smeg ECF01RDUS Pink
Smeg ECF01RDUS Espresso Coffee Machine, One Size, Red
Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine
Smeg ECF01PGUS Espresso Machine, Pastel Green
Smeg ECF01CRUS Espresso Coffee Machine, One Size, Cream
Smeg Espresso Machine Black ECF01 BLUS
Smeg ECF01RDUS 50s Retro Style Espresso Machine - Pink
$514.95
$799.99
$514.95
$514.95
$514.95
$514.95
Smeg ECF01RDUS Holiday Red
Smeg ECF01RDUS Espresso Coffee Machine, One Size, Red
$514.95
Smeg ECF01RDUS Icy Blue
Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine
$799.99
Smeg ECF01RDUS Mint
Smeg ECF01PGUS Espresso Machine, Pastel Green
$514.95
Smeg ECF01RDUS Cream
Smeg ECF01CRUS Espresso Coffee Machine, One Size, Cream
$514.95
Smeg ECF01RDUS Black
Smeg Espresso Machine Black ECF01 BLUS
$514.95
Smeg ECF01RDUS Pink
Smeg ECF01RDUS 50s Retro Style Espresso Machine - Pink
$514.95

Thinking Pink? Lovers of pink have it tough, outfitting their kitchens with high quality appliances that also speak to their love of pink. If this is you, you’re in luck! In fact, if you search “pink espresso machine,” your one and only option is the iconic Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine.

Smeg’s unique retro style and quality execution on their designs, have even attracted coveted designer collaborations, such as Dolce & Gabbana.

Smeg-ECF01DGUS-dolce-gabbana-sicily-is-my-love

It’s no secret that Smeg is a certified embodiment of aesthetic. But luckily, you won’t have to want for high-quality espresso with this machine – it’s not only beautiful, but also functional.

Smeg’s designers managed to create an eye-catching machine that’s just 6 inches wide, measuring 12 x 6 x 13 inches, and only 11 pounds.

Our pink espresso machine sits on a small sliver of counter in between our fridge and pantry. In contrast to past bulky espresso machines we’ve previously owned, this one is a breeze to move around and set up. Plus, it’s non-slip feet and balanced weight keep it in place once you find a home for it on your counter.

Features & Performance:

It’s amazing to see the set of useful features packed into this compact-size product. This Smeg saves spaces without compromising on features. Check out these most helpful functions:

Simplifying the Manual Espresso Game

Get all the control you need with a manual machine that keeps it simple and automates where it can. This Smeg is so user-intuitive, you may not even need to look at the instruction manual.

It has just three perfectly sized, evenly spaced buttons on the top of the machine for one shot, two shot, and steam.

The buttons will begin blinking when you press the low-profile power button towards the back of the right-hand side of the machine, and once they’re solid white, you’re ready to go.

The decalcification system alarm changes the steam button to orange, so you know it’s time to clean up.

 Tip:  you can even use the three simple buttons to access a programming menu where you can adjust the water hardness and coffee temperature.

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-black-user-intuitive

To conserve energy, the machine automatically shuts off, which you can also adjust in said menu.

The large 1-liter water reservoir at the back, saves on time as well, allowing you to make many cups before having to refill. The Smeg design team thought of everything!

Manual Milk Frother

Speaking of control, the Smeg comes with an easy to clean, detachable manual milk frother.

This manual milk frother allows for a high level of control as you can manipulate the steam wand as your frothing to create whatever texture of milk necessary for your coffee beverage.

Just press the steam icon and wait but a few seconds for it to heat up, then you’re ready to move down the lever and begin creating either steamed milk, light fluffy foam, or dense creamy foam.

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-black-detachable-milk-frother

Heated Top for Cup Storage

The top of this unit has a beveled stainless-steel platform with a passive heating system in place.

This is the perfect place to store your mugs, so they’re ready for a warm coffee beverage to fill them.

Scooper/Tamper Combo Included

Included with the machine is a plastic scooper for ground espresso with a tamper on the end (also plastic).

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-pastel-green-heated-top-for-cup-storage

While a plastic tamper isn’t ideal, it’s not bad for beginners just learning how to pull their first shot. And, it shouldn’t faze the aficionado as they’ll likely already have a weighted tamper in their coffee-making accessory drawer.

Easy Serving Espresso Pods

A stainless-steel filter holder is included, so that you can use paper pods (single or double shot) for an even easier espresso experience.

Make authentic Italian espresso to drink alone or in a creamy cappuccino, latte, or macchiato, just like you’d get in a fancy coffee bar, from the comfort of your own home.

Maintenance

Like with any coffee or espresso machine, you’ll want to keep your Smeg operating in top condition by routinely descaling it.

Smeg takes the work out of remembering when to descale, by turning the steam button orange to alert you.

The descaling process is simple, and you can use any solution you want, following the instructions for said solution.

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-cream-color-easy-descaling

However, the process does take about 30 minutes to complete, and requires you to switch between the steam wand and main lines manually throughout the process, so keep that in mind.

Things to Think About

The Smeg espresso maker is perfect for all types of coffee lovers, especially those wanting a stylish machine. However, there are two points we think could be a drawback for some.

The first point is that the machine tends to need decalcification more often compared to previous espresso machines we’ve owned. For example, you would expect to need to descale every 1-3 months, depending on how frequently you use the machine, but the Smeg errs on the side of 1 month for us where other machines could go 3. The decalcification process can be time consuming, so this is less than ideal.

The second point of contention would be with the included scooper/tamper combo. It’s quite flimsy and does not match the style and quality of the machine. This carries less weight though, as it’s only an accessory. You can always use your own scooper and tamper.

Setup Process:

The setup process for the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine is easy and fast.

  • Step 0: Before first use, wash and dry the water tank by hand, then fill with filtered water.
  • Step 1: Press the steam button, once it’s done blinking, turn the steam lever and use a cup to catch about ½ cups worth of water from the steam wand to clear it out.
  • Step 2: Place a cup on the tray and run the single and/or double shot button 4-5 times to clear it out.
  • Step 3: You’re ready to start pulling espresso shots now!
Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-pink-detachable-water-tank-easy-set-up

Comparable Models: Smeg ECF01RDUS vs. DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe vs. illy X1 Espresso Maker:

Smeg ECF01RDUS espresso maker RED
DeLonghi EC685R Dedica Deluxe
illy X1 Espresso Maker RED
Smeg ECF01RDUS Espresso Coffee Machine, One Size, Red
DeLonghi America, Inc EC685R Dedica Deluxe 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Red
illy X1 Espresso Machine, 13 x 9.8 x 10.60, Red
6" W x 13" D x 12" H
5.87" W x 12.99" D x 11.93" H
10. 6" W x 9. 8" D x 13" H
11 pounds
9.26 pounds
20.3 pounds
15 bar pressure
15 bar pressure
15 bar pressure
Ground coffee or coffee pods
Ground coffee or coffee pods
iper coffee capsules
Milk frother & steam wand
Milk frother & steam wand
Milk frother & steam wand
$514.95
$402.00
$549.00
Smeg ECF01RDUS espresso maker RED
Smeg ECF01RDUS Espresso Coffee Machine, One Size, Red
6" W x 13" D x 12" H
11 pounds
15 bar pressure
Ground coffee or coffee pods
Milk frother & steam wand
$514.95
DeLonghi EC685R Dedica Deluxe
DeLonghi America, Inc EC685R Dedica Deluxe 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Red
5.87" W x 12.99" D x 11.93" H
9.26 pounds
15 bar pressure
Ground coffee or coffee pods
Milk frother & steam wand
$402.00
illy X1 Espresso Maker RED
illy X1 Espresso Machine, 13 x 9.8 x 10.60, Red
10. 6" W x 9. 8" D x 13" H
20.3 pounds
15 bar pressure
iper coffee capsules
Milk frother & steam wand
$549.00

Design Comparison

The Smeg has a rounded 50s inspired design with a clean finish and that perfect Christmas red.

In comparison, the illy X1 Espresso maker goes for a more garish red and more distinctly vintage design with the front dial. The illy machine has a Meet the Robinsons future-retro vibe.

On the other hand, the De’Longhi Dedica Deluxe goes for a muted maroon with a design that feels like it was inspired by the Smeg itself rather than the 50s era.

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-christmas-red

Weight comparison

The De’Longhi Dedica is the lightest weight at just over 9 lbs., while the illy X1 is the heaviest at more than 20 lbs.

The Dedica may be a bit too lightweight lending to a cheaper feeling, while the Smeg comes in at a perfect weight of 11 lbs., striking a balance between easy to move and luxury-feeling.

DeLonghi-EC685R-dedica-deluxe-affordable-retro-style

Function Comparison

Some might say the illy machine over automates, as you can’t adjust the temperature or volume. However, the automatic descaling is a huge plus of the illy in comparison to the other machines. Further automating the process, the illy is a capsule machine.

It is not marketed to take any kind of ground coffee, but rather to exclusively use their iper coffee capsules. However, it’s still technically possible to use your own coffee by creating a make-shift capsule.

Check out our full review of the illy X1 espresso and coffee machine.

illy-X1-espresso-machine-use-iper-capsule

On the other hand, the De’Longhi and Smeg machines are truer to form manual machines with some automated conveniences.

The De’Longhi Dedica appears to be Smeg knock-off, having the same line-up of features and even the exact same button placement, but for a fraction of the price. The Dedica is less expensive than the Smeg, but unfortunately that shows in the design.

Still, if all you care about is the features of a machine and not the look, than the De’Longhi just might be what you need. It has the steam wand, the heated top, the ability to pull two shots at once, the same small width as the Smeg, and more.

Which model should you get?

It depends on what you want. Are you simply looking for a cool vintage machine with not too much fuss or customization? In that case you’d want the illy.

Are you looking for a manual machine that looks decent enough and is decently priced? The De’Longhi might be for you.

However, if you like manual and you’re looking for a great-looking vintage espresso machine that would be a showpiece in your kitchen – then surely, the Smeg comes out on top.

Final Thoughts:

The Smeg ECF01RDUS Espresso Coffee Machine (view on Amazon) is worth the hype. There’s a reason it’s well-loved by a wide range of coffee lovers and even those who just want a good-looking machine in their home for guests to use.

Smeg-ECF01RDUS-espresso-machine-pink-color-chic-italian-style

The Smeg makes authentic Italian espresso with a beautiful layer of crema. The design offers multiple convenience features that make it

a top choice for those who want to make a great coffee beverage and look good doing it.