In a Nutshell:

The De’Longhi La Specialista espresso machine is on the expensive side, but you are getting the high quality and reliability that this brand is known for delivering. This is an ideal choice for those interested in learning how to manually pull their own shots but like some automatic features for convenience.

Brew Quality
Customization options
Ease of Use

Overall Rating



  • Heats up quickly
  • Tamping system controls the mess
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Excellent milk frothing system
  • Large water reservoir
  • Strong stainless steel housing


  • Relatively expensive
  • Steep learning curve
De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Those interested in learning how to pull their own shots manually but like some automatic features for convenience.

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Are you the type that likes to manually finetune the brew settings of your morning espresso but also relishes the convenience of pushing a button so the machine cleans itself?

If so, there is a semi-automatic with cutting-edge coffee tech that will give you delicious coffee without fail—as long as you learn how to pull a shot from start to finish! We take an in-depth look at our Delonghi La Specialista review.

Delonghi Espresso Machine Specialista Design Overview

Entering the world of semi-automatics is like entering the Wild West of espresso making. But you’re here because a user-friendly, cushy superautomatic is too easy (and expensive) and your tastes are too refined for the classic one-pot coffee maker.

Semi-automatics require you to learn a thing or two before blessing you with a perfect espresso, but once you do taste that cup, it’s all worth it. The thing is, it does take time to master, and some people just don’t have that luxury. 

Luckily, the legendary De’Longhi brand came out with a semi-automatic that gives you enough automatic settings to breathe easy while still challenging you to find your inner barista.

The Delonghi La Specialista espresso machine features innovative new technology that makes the setup, brewing process, and cleaning more streamlined while you still have the knobs and levers to play around with your coffee preferences.

De'Longhi La Specialista with a top-loading bean hopper and stainless steel construction

One of the features we’ll be covering is their patent-pending Sensor Grinding Technology that improves the accuracy and consistency of the grind for the best dose possible.

The La Specialista espresso machine also has a Smart Tamping Station for flawless tamping and minimal mess. To top it off, you also get rapid heating between brewing and steaming, thanks to the cutting-edge dual boiler system.

La Specialista Delonghi looks like it stepped out of a commercial cafe, downsized, and made itself at home on your counter. The design is flattering for any kitchen and comes in red, black, or silver stainless steel.

The Delonghi La Specialista dimensions are 14.48″ D x 15″ W x 17.5″ H, and it weighs 29.7 lbs. While it looks nice, it is bulky and tall with protruding parts. If you have low-hanging cabinets over your counter, you may have to get creative with where to put your machine.

The drink menu is modest, and you can brew the basics, including coffee, Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and hot tea.

Delonghi Espresso La Specialista Features

Are you getting excited? You should be! We are about to get serious with the Delonghi espresso machine La Specialista and what it can really do.

67.6-oz Water Reservoir

We love the Delonghi ec9335m’s extra-large water tank, but we don’t like refilling it. That’s because it’s located on the back of the machine, so if you have it up against a wall, you’re going to have to pull it out every time you want to refill it.

But then again, you won’t be refilling it too often because it holds a massive amount of water. Touche, De’Longhi.

To keep refills at a minimum, we recommend the ec9335m for small to large households and office environments.

Bean Hopper

The robust 250-gram bean hopper is one of the reasons why this splendid machine might not fit underneath your cabinets. Then again, De’Longhi made it possible to not have to refill your bean hopper all of the time.

While some Delonghi Specialista reviews love the large size and say they can go a week making 3 or more cups per day, others were miffed that you can’t take the hopper off the machine once it’s full, so you can’t change out the beans until they have been used up.

Delonghi La Specialista Grinder

One of the big conveniences of the La Specialista coffee machine is that the grinder is built-in. Usually, you have to buy the grinder separately with other semi-automatics, adding $100+ to your at-home espresso-making bill. 

With this machine, it’s all done for you, and it’s a high-quality burr grinder to boot. But that’s not all! De’Longhi placed 2 sensors on the grinder to streamline the precision and consistency of grinding. This is new tech that other grinders don’t have, and the patent is pending.

While the grinder does produce a quality cup of coffee, so do many other espresso machines without sensors. It is nice not to have to think about how the dosing will turn out, though.

Delonghi La Specialista Espresso Machine with an almost-full clear glass of Americano under the hot water spout

There are 6 grind settings to choose from, which isn’t that impressive considering there are other semi-automatics that offer 8 or more. Some coffee aficionados prioritize the fineness of their grind and may tsk this detail.

Also, note that if you want to change the grind setting, you’ll need to brew at least 5 espressos before doing so.

Milk Frothing System

We think that De’Longhi did an excellent job with the milk frothing system on the Delonghi Specialista espresso machine. It boasts the Advanced Latte System, with the convenience of pushing either the FOAM or FLAT functions to select your level of creamy froth.

It’s easy to use and hands-free, and if you do want to express your creativity, you can choose to manually froth for latte art. The wand is powerful and works well to give you a top-notch crema for your latte or cappuccino.

And if you desire an Americano or hot tea? The Delonghi Espresso La Specialista comes with a hot water spout to switch out with the steam wand. This is clever because you won’t have that coffee residue taste that occurs when espresso and water dispense through the same tube. 

Dual Boiler Brewing Capabilities

La Specialista Espresso Machine on a white kitchen counter with espresso pouring in a clear shot glass

The Delonghi La Specialista espresso maker is equipped with a superb brewing system that gives you everything needed to pull a professional-grade shot.

It all starts with the dual boiler system, consisting of a Thermoblock for extraction and an independent heat source for steaming milk. 

This is better than a single boiler because you have to heat the boiler to a specific temperature for brewing, cool it down, then heat it again for steaming. It’s a time-consuming endeavor. And the dual boiler eliminates the wait time. 

Delonghi La Specialista Accessories

The Delonghi La Specialista ec9335m includes several useful maintenance accessories that you won’t have to buy separately, although we’re disappointed not to see a water filter in the package. 

The milk pitcher is a nice touch as many semi-automatics and superautomatics don’t include this.

One note on the portafilters: the setup comes with the pressurized variety, which doesn’t offer as much control as nonpressurized. This is great news for beginners, as it leaves less room for error.

It would’ve been nice to see a nonpressurized portafilter included, so there’s something for newbies and seasoned pros, like the Breville BES870XL.

  • Portafilter
  • Single & Double Filter Basket
  • Milk Pitcher
  • Delonghi La Specialista descaling solution
  • Cleaning Brush

Delonghi ec9335m La Specialista Warranty

De’Longhi offers a 2 Year Warranty + 1 additional year if you register your product.

Delonghi Coffee Machine La Specialista Setup & Operation

Practice makes perfect with the Delonghi coffee machine Specialista, but once you get your groove down, you’ll be enjoying a delicious espresso at home and waving adios to your local cafe.

Start by filling the water reservoir, using filtered water if possible. This not only cuts down on mineral build-up that requires regular descaling but by using pure, fresh water, you get the best-tasting coffee possible. 

Unfortunately, the Delonghi La Specialista doesn’t come with its own filter (this is something many other machines will have as an add-on), so you’ll have to buy it separately.

How do you know when to refill your water tank? You don’t. Your Delonghi Specialista coffee machine will remind you!

Next, power up the machine and set the grind settings to your preferred level of fineness. 

There is a dial that you can turn to choose pre-ground coffee, and it also lets you adjust the amount of coffee you want to grind. Use the Mode Selector function to choose the type of coffee you want to brew.

In true semi-automatic fashion, there are a few settings that you have more freedom to adjust, including:

  • Water hardness level
  • Coffee temperature
  • Energy-saving
  • Auto-off

After you’ve adjusted your settings, place a mug on the cup warming tray so it’s ready to catch your espresso and keep it nice and toasty.

De'Longhi La Specialista EC9335M's parts & accessories, water in the tank, & beans in the hopper

Choose either the 1-cup filter (35 ml) or the 2-cup filter (70 ml). Place the filter inside the portafilter and secure it with a click. Check the coffee dial to ensure you have the right amount of coffee, then it’s time to tamp.

De’Longhi includes the Smart Tamping System, which lets you pull the tamper lever without worrying about the right pressure. It ensures the pressure is correct for the amount of coffee you’re brewing. Even better, you don’t have to remove the portafilter, so there’s no mess to clean up after tamping!

Place the filter basket into the brew unit and press the OK button. Make sure your mug is underneath the dispensing spout, and in minutes, your kitchen is filled with the rich aroma of espresso.

If you’re whipping up a milk-based coffee drink, all you have to do is submerge the tip of the wand into the milk container. Choose FLAT for steamed milk or FOAM if you want froth.

If you want to experiment with foaming techniques and learn how to make latte art, this machine gives you a manual option to practice your little heart out.

Delonghi La Specialista Cleaning Process

La Specialista espresso machine reviewers say that cleaning is straightforward, especially since it can grind and tamp without coffee grounds flying everywhere. 

The water tank, bean hopper, and drip tray can all be removed for a quick rinse under the faucet, and the milk steam valve opens up so you can remove the rubber steam connector and gently scrub it with a small cleaning tool.

Our favorite function is the rinse cycle. It automatically flushes the entire system, including the brew unit, with hot water after brewing.

Delonghi La Specialista vs. Sage Barista Pro

Accessories of the La Specialista Delonghi include a tamper, cleaning brush, descaling solution, & milk frothing jug

Both of these semi-automatics offer users convenience and manual satisfaction, but which one is better for your needs? Here’s how they stack up against each other.

The Sage Barista Pro looks similar to the Specialista with its stainless steel casing and commercial coffee shop design.  

While the Specialista touts their savvy new Smart Tamping System where all you have to do is toggle a lever, the Sage features a separate tamper to do it the old-fashioned way. You also have full control over the size, temperature, and coffee strength settings.

Another big difference is that the Specialista offers more variety in terms of drink options. With the Sage Barista Pro, you can only make a single or double shot.

Now while the Delonghi seems like the clear winner here, know that the Sage Barista Pro is considerably cheaper. 

With that being said, this is an ideal machine for passionate coffee drinkers who want to learn the alchemy behind pulling a shot manually and want an affordable machine to practice on.

De’longhi La Specialista vs. Delonghi La Specialista Maestro

The Delonghi La Specialista Maestro is an upgrade of the Delonghi ec9335m La Specialista espresso machine, with fresh patented technology to finetune your brewing capabilities. 

It comes in the same stainless steel housing and features the Sensor Grinding Technology coupled with the Smart Tamping Station. That means more precision with dosing and less mess to clean up from tamping.

Delonghi EC9335M with stainless steel exterior and two full espresso shot glasses under the spout

With the Maestro though, De’Longhi added a Dynamic Pre-Infusion to make the density of the coffee more accurate and even with the dose.

It also comes with the LatteCrema System, which mixes steam, air, and milk proportionately to ensure the best consistency for frothing. To satisfy the microfoam crowd, there’s even a special My Latte Art steam wand specifically for microfoam.

The drink menu is slightly more robust than the Delonghi coffee machine ec9335m, with the option of 6 specialty drinks, but it’s not a big deal.

What is a big deal is the price difference. 

The Maestro costs much higher—as high as some superautomatics. You could consider it to be top-of-the-line as far as semi-automatics go, with the latest cutting-edge tech. This is ideal for those who can afford it, honestly, but you can get the same performance with a little more manual maneuvering for much less with the Specialista.

La Specialista Manual coffee machine Pros vs. Cons


  • Heats up quickly
  • The tamping system controls the mess
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Excellent milk frothing system
  • Large water reservoir
  • Strong stainless steel housing
  • Dual boiler system


  • Expensive compared to other semi-automatics
  • The learning curve for pulling a good shot of espresso

There’s no doubt about it, the Delonghi La Specialista espresso machine with sensor grinder is a beautiful addition to any household—if you want to learn how to brew manually with a handful of automatic functions to give some breathing room.

The integrated burr grinder is equipped with two sensors to improve the consistency of dosing, while the easy milk frothing system gives you both convenience and the option to froth manually if you so desire.

We love the clever Smart Tamping, which keeps the mess at a minimum. It’s also one of those neat functions that let you do the tamping, but the technology ensures it comes out right every time.

As with any semi-automatic, there is going to be a steep learning curve. That’s just part of the game, and no one goes for this type of machine unless they have an interest in the science behind the brew.

This also isn’t the most affordable semi-automatic on the market, but you can rest assured that you’re getting a reliable machine that will produce delicious coffee for years to come.

We recommend the Delonghi espresso machine ec9335m for…

  • Residential and commercial environments due to the large water tank and bean hopper, which may require less frequent refills.
  • Espresso enthusiasts who want some light manual adjusting without sacrificing convenience.

Delonghi La Specialista Review Conclusion

Fast, efficient, and full of choices, the Delonghi La Specialista espresso coffee machine is a winner if you want to learn a thing or two about espresso-making while enjoying simple pleasures like a fast heat-up time, effortless milk frothing, and a one-touch cleaning process.

To conclude this Delonghi La Specialista review, this may be a pricier espresso maker, but you get an integrated high-tech grinder that you won’t have to buy separately, not to mention your daily cafe costs will go down.

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