Bezzera Espresso Machines: 5 Top Picks and Reviews
So you’re shopping for a prosumer espresso machine. Bravo! Whether you’re a newbie or looking to upgrade, you must’ve considered an Italian brand Bezzera. They’re one of the best-established brands in the market. The founder of Bezzera had one of the first espresso machine patents. Pretty cool, right?
In this article, we’ll look at what to consider when choosing the right model for you. We’ll review 5 of the top picks for this year.
The 5 Best Bezzera Models in 2021
Whether you’re first dipping your toes into serious home espresso or you’re ready to invest in an end-game machine, there’s a Bezzera for you. Here are five of our favorites.
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Our overall favorite model this year is the Duo DE. It’s an advanced machine that may not be right for everyone, but its combination of features and functionality make it hard to find fault.
As you might guess from the name, this is a dual boiler machine. So you can pull a shot and steam milk at the same time. The copper boilers are PID-controlled and set up to 266℉ and 204℉ for steaming and brewing.
The Duo DE has two unique features that put it a cut above. First, it has a Bezzera designed electronically heated group head, with two heating elements controlled by a third PID. This feature substantially improves temperature stability versus a classic E61.
It requires no maintenance as there are no valves.
Second, it has four buttons allowing you to pre-program different shot sizes, along with a manual shot button. A flowmeter in the group head ensures that you get the precise volume each time. Essentially, this model has the flexibility to act as an automatic or semi-automatic machine.
The Bezzera Matrix DE or MN models are nearly identical to the Duo DE or MN on the inside but have an eye-catching exterior that we can’t help but deem the most stylish.
Both Matrix models feature LED-lit glass panels on the side that you can program to any color you desire using the stunning 3.5” touchscreen display. You can adjust the look of your espresso machine to suit your decor, or even your mood! This is paired with rich rosewood detailing and a mirror-finish stainless steel case for an overall gorgeous design.
Of course, the espresso is no less impressive. The Matrix MN is a dual boiler machine with PID temperature control and a classic E61 group head. Unlike the DE, the MN relies on a more traditional semi-automatic operation, with a lever on the side of the group head to start and stop the shot.
The Bezzera Strega is an espresso machine unlike any other. We love how it pairs modern and traditional elements to deliver something more than the sum of its parts.
The Strega is a manual lever machine (hence the massive lever atop its group head), but it also has a vibration pump. So you have two ways to manipulate pressure, both during pre-infusion and while pulling the shot. This extra level of control means you can really fine tune extractions, a particular boon for lovers of light roasts.
The Strega also has a 2-liter heat exchange boiler, so you can pull a shot and steam milk at the same time — and access some really impressive steam power. It only takes about 10 seconds to froth enough for a cappuccino, and the joystick control is very responsive.
If you’re considering buying the Strega, do take account of its size. With the lever fully extended, it measures a whopping 29 inches high, so be sure you have space in your kitchen.
The Bezzera BZ10 is an imposing heat exchanger espresso machine, and even more so given its relatively low price. It’s not the fanciest heat exchanger Bezzera offers, but we think it’s the best bang for your buck.
The standout feature is that it uses the same electronically heated brew group found on the higher-end models.
This gives the Bezzera BZ10 espresso machine improved temperature stability compared to most heat exchangers and means it can be hot and ready to brew in as little as 10 minutes.
The nickel-plated copper boiler measures 1.5 liters, which gives it ample steam pressure, which you can monitor via the pressure gauge. With the vibration pump, you won’t be able to plumb to a water line. But we’re happy to report that it is one of the quietest vibration pumps around.
The Bezzera BZ10 espresso machine is also known for its durability, thanks to its 3-in-1 Mater pressure stat and heavy-duty stainless steel casing. At this price, you’re getting your money’s worth.
The Bezzera New Hobby espresso machine is the smallest and least expensive model, but rest assured that it is still firmly a prosumer espresso machine. If you’re getting into home espresso, this is a fantastic entry point. According to Aurimas Vainauskas, the founder and CEO of Coffee Friend, you should use it for the sake of your coffee knowledge (1).
You can truly experiment, and it allows you to adjust and control so many parameters up close.
New Hobby is a single-boiler dual-use machine, which means that you can’t steam and brew simultaneously. But if you’re not a frequent latte drinker, this is only a minor inconvenience, and it comes with substantial cost savings.
Keeping it at prosumer quality are the stainless steel casing, chrome-plated brass group, a standard 58 mm portafilter, and a commercial-style steam wand. The 8.4-ounce brass boiler produces serious steam power, and conveniently, there’s a dedicated button for refilling the boiler after extended steaming.
All this is packed into a minimal footprint, making the New Hobby great for small kitchens or offices. And despite its small size, it still includes a larger-than-average 3-liter water tank, so you won’t need to refill constantly.
Choosing the Best Bezzera Espresso Machine
All the brand’s products are well designed and built. So the best one for you comes down to your needs (2). Do you make a lot of milky drinks? Do you have a small kitchen? How hands-on do you want to be? Keep reading for everything you need to consider.
All About Boilers
When buying the high-end espresso machines known as “prosumer”, the type of boiler is probably the most critical decision. If you don’t make many milk-based drinks, then a single boiler dual-use machine is your best bet: for example, the Bezzera Unica or New Hobby. With these espresso machines, you can’t brew and steam at the same time. But they are much smaller and far less expensive.
On the other hand, if you make many milky drinks, you’ll need either a heat exchanger boiler or a double boiler. Double boilers generally have better temperature accuracy and control between the two, especially with a PID, and they don’t require cooling flushes. According to Counter Culture Coffee’s Diego Castro, temperature control is a crucial factor in optimizing a shot (3).
The barista should never have to wonder whether the water delivered to their coffee is too hot or cold.
However, espresso machines with heat-exchange boilers are usually smaller and less expensive and tend to have better steaming power for the price.
Why Pump Type Matters
There are two types of pumps used in these machines: rotary or vibration. Both easily generate the pressure needed for espresso, but they have unique pros and cons.
- Vibration pumps are smaller, easier to repair, and less expensive.
- Rotary pumps are quieter and allow you to plumb your machine directly to a water line.
Style of Operation
Bezzera offers three styles of espresso maker: automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. Like the pumps, all are equally capable but have unique pros and cons.
- Manual machines use a lever to apply pressure when pulling the shot. This takes practice to master, but experts claim the resultant drink is unmatched.
- Semi-automatic machines use a pump for pressure, but the barista needs to time the shot and start and stop the pump.
- Automatic machines use a pump to apply pressure AND use a flowmeter to stop the shot automatically at a particular volume. They are the most hands-off style.
Size and Features
The final thing to take into account is the space available for your espresso maker. Prosumer machines tend to be big, especially the double boilers, and the more additional features you want, the more space you need.
If you intend to make many drinks, look for a model with a good size water tank and drip tray to avoid having to fill and empty all the time. This is especially true of heat exchangers because you use additional water doing cooling flushes.
One of the first features abandoned on more compact machines is separate wands for steam and hot water. So evaluate the importance of this if you’re shopping for a smaller model.
As one of the few companies to keep all their manufacturing in-house, you can trust every Bezzera espresso maker to be remarkably well made. So it’s all about finding the right combination of functionality and price to meet your needs. If you can afford it, our favorite this year is the top-of-the-line Duo DE, which is packed with exclusive features.
Bezzera espresso makers are made in Milan, Italy. Unlike most brands, they don’t outsource any of their manufacturing. This is why they’re known for impeccable quality control.
Yes, boiler material matters. Brass is inexpensive but has poor thermal properties. Copper has excellent thermal properties but is prone to limescale. Stainless steel can’t match the temperature consistency of a copper boiler, but it doesn’t develop scale and is less expensive.
No, Bezzera doesn’t make a super-automatic model. They’ve chosen to focus on more traditional semi-automatic and automatic designs. If you’re in the market for a bean-to-cup machine, look at brands like Gaggia, Jura, or Breville.
- Grant, T. (2020, October 2). Which Type of Home Coffee Machine is Right for You? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/10/which-type-of-home-coffee-machine-is-right-for-you/
- Meister. (2018, August 9). Coffee History: Luigi Bezzera, Inventor of the Espresso Machine. Retrieved from https://www.seriouseats.com/coffee-history-luigi-bezzera-inventor-of-the-espresso-machine
- Prinsloo, M. (2018, November 9). How Do Espresso Machines Work? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/11/how-do-espresso-machines-work/