How Does the Solis Barista Perfetta Compare to Other Espresso Machines?
You’ve heard us talk at length about the Solis Barista Perfetta across various content platforms for a while now. But there’s one question we get a lot that we hope to answer today: How does this espresso machine compare to other options both at its price point and above?
Entry Level Machines
If you’re just getting started with espresso you can go one of a few routes. You could start with something very affordable, such as the DeLonghi Stilosa, for example. This machine is very basic, and doesn’t offer much control. The flavor profile of shots will be quite different from higher end machines. The benefit is the low cost will help you decide if you enjoy the workflow of making espresso.
On the other hand, you could jump right in with something higher end from Rocket Espresso, Diletta, Rancilio, or other brands. This gives you some immediate future proofing of your setup by eliminating the need for an upgrade if you decide you like the espresso making process.
Then there’s the range that the Perfetta falls into. The $300-600 range generally features machines like the Perfetta, the DeLonghi Dedica, and the Breville Bambino. The Dedica and the Bambino are both designed with ease of use in mind. You can get up to speed on these machines quickly, and they’re a great option if you want home espresso and milk frothing.
The Perfetta is something of a unique entry into this price range because it is more focused on helping you learn to pull better shots. It does offer the option of brewing with an unpressurized portafilter basket, and it provides more direct feedback for your brewing. These two elements help you to really focus on dialing in that perfect shot. By comparison, the Dedica and the Bambino use pressurized portafilter baskets, which require less precision, but also offer a little less control of your shot flavor.
One major piece of the puzzle that we haven’t yet touched on is your grinder. You need an espresso grinder with all of the above options. A standard coffee grinder that you’d use for drip or pour over will work with pressurized portafilter baskets but you’ll need a finer grind to use an unpressurized basket. An option you might consider when starting out is an all-in-one machine like the Breville Barista Express, or the Breville Barista Pro. While the Barista Express vs. the Barista Pro is its own conversation, they related very similarly to the Solis Barista Perfetta.
The biggest benefit to a machine like the Perfetta is that you’ll be able to upgrade your machine and grinder independently. You may even find that the Perfetta is all you ever need, but you want a little more precision from your grinder. This isn’t an option on an all-in-one. While you could purchase an additional grinder, it can be unwieldy to manage the size of the Barista Express with a whole additional grinder.
However, the Barista Express and Barista Pro are convenient options if you know they’re as far as you want to take the home espresso hobby, so they definitely have their place in the conversation.
Is the Perfetta the One?
Whether the Barista Perfetta is the right fit for your kitchen really depends on what you want out of your machine. It can be a great entry level machine, but more than that, we think it’s a great compact, quick heating machine for developing your espresso brewing. If you are someone who wants shots with as little work or learning curve as possible, and you don’t need precise, developed flavor profiles, then other options in the price range may be a better fit for you.