Nothing quite kickstarts the morning like a good shot of espresso, which is why many all over the world have fallen in love with this particular indulgence. But let’s face it — here in Singapore, great espresso coffee can be difficult to find, much less obtain every morning before going about your duties and responsibilities for the day.
However, that bold taste free from overwhelming acidity and well-rounded, the full-bodied finish of espresso is something you can indeed get on a daily basis — with ease, no less — if you have the right equipment at home. In this regard, our pump espresso machines at De’Longhi stand as more-than-viable solutions, with our La Specialista line being all-time fan-favourites when it comes to their reliability in consistently great espresso coffee.
At De’Longhi Singapore, there are two options for you to choose from in our La Specialista line: the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte and the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio. While both espresso coffee machines can produce flawless cups of espresso, each has its own set of nuanced advantages that may make it a better-suited choice for you.
For ease of your comparison, we at De’Longhi have thus put together this piece on the La Specialista Arte and Prestigio espresso machines. As such, you can better view their similarities and differences to gauge which espresso maker best meets your needs:
Integrated Bean Grinder
Both De’Longhi La Specialista espresso machines come with an integrated bean grinder with eight different grinding regulations for you to adjust grind size more intricately, thereby facilitating expert processing of a large variety of coffee beans to perfectly match different personal taste palettes with the right flavours and aromas.
The integrated bean grinders on La Specialista espresso machines start automatically once your portafilter is locked in and can help you achieve an even distribution in your coffee grounds with little to no effort on your part. While both the La Specialista Arte and Prestigio feature integrated bean grinders that work great in all regards, the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio has an edge over its counterpart. With in-built Sensor Grinding Technology that actively adapts to the types of coffee beans you use, it allows for a more consistent dosage and slightly richer shots.
Tamping refers to turning loosely dosed coffee grounds into tightly compressed, evenly dispersed pucks within your portafilter to facilitate the extraction process, ensuring you get every last bit of deliciousness out of your coffee grounds.
The De’Longhi La Specialista Arte comes with a comprehensive barista kit in its box, inside which is a professional tamper and a tamping pad you can use for precise and mess-free tamping. The dosing funnel reduces the chance of any spillage occurring, while the tamping mat helps stabilise your portafilter as you tamp on the Arte.
On the other hand, the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio comes with an in-built Smart Tamping station designed for convenient, fuss-free tamping. All you need to do with the Prestigio espresso machine when tamping is simply pull the lever without having to remove your portafilter from the coffee machine. It’s in-built Smart Tamping station system will automatically apply the optimal pressure needed for an even tamp and improved extraction.
Temperature control is an important aspect of any espresso coffee machine. After all, the perfect espresso has to be brewed at just the right temperature with regards to how dark or light your roast is — even a few degrees of deviation from the ideal can make a huge difference in the taste of your espresso coffee. If brewed at too high a temperature, the espresso will end up over-extracted and bitter, whereas too low a temperature will result in under-extraction and sourness.
The De’Longhi La Specialista Arte is smartly equipped with three active infusion water temperature levels (92°C, 94°C, and 96°C) for you to easily adjust to the characteristics of your beans and roasting level to achieve textbook-perfect flavour extraction.
Likewise, the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio also comes with three temperature settings to cater to different roast levels. However, the Prestigio espresso coffee machine also features Active Temperature Control capabilities for added stability and consistency in water temperatures throughout the brewing process. Using independent systems for heating water and steaming milk separately, the Active Temperature Control technology in De’Longhi’s La Specialista Prestigio allows for customisation opportunities that can be useful in achieving personally ideal espresso brews that differ from textbook perfection.
Connoisseurs often argue that milk frothing is just as important a process as grinding and tamping when making coffee, for frothing milk the right way allows you to achieve the texture needed to add a creamy, airy mouthfeel to your espresso.
On the Arte espresso machine, you have a steam pipe you can use to froth milk yourself with the press of a button. The steam pipe on the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte froths and heats milk at a rapid pace, and you’ll quickly receive a ready milk jug for you to get started.
The Prestigio espresso machine is extremely similar in this department, but with the ability to switch immediately from brewing to steaming without having to wait for the steam wand to heat up, helping move the entire process a little more smoothly.
Both the La Specialista Arte and Prestigio espresso machines come with the De’Longhi My LatteArt Steam Wand that is cool to the touch and capable of creating velvety smooth milk froth for latte art.
Pre-Set Coffee Recipes
Pre-set coffee recipes on espresso machines can be extremely handy during rushed mornings. With just the touch of a button, you can have your coffee ready to go quickly and effortlessly, with no mess whatsoever.
There are two pre-set recipes available on the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte: espresso and americano, while the Prestigio features three: espresso, coffee, and americano. While both espresso coffee machines produce results that are sure to excite your senses and delight your taste buds, the La Specialista Prestigio takes it up a notch with its ‘my’ function that enables you to customise and save your preferred brewing configuration for pre-set recipes.
Another difference between the two De’Longhi La Specialista espresso machines lies in their respective drip trays. The drip tray of the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte is removable; when in use, it locks in right under the portafilter and won’t move once in place. On the flip side, the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio uses an attached drip tray instead of a removable one; the small drip tray can be folded down whenever you’re placing an espresso cup under the portafilter.
Size and Compactness
The De’Longhi La Specialista Arte is much more compact than the Prestigio, making it the more viable espresso machine for homes with little kitchen countertop space. The exact dimensions of the Arte espresso coffee machine are 275mm in width, 365mm in depth, and 400mm in height. In comparison, the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio is significantly larger, at 380mm in width, 369mm in depth, and 445mm in height.
The Arte weighs in at about 8.8kg, whereas the Prestigio weighs in at 13kg.
As the two La Specialista espresso machines sport different capabilities, it should come as no surprise that their price tags are substantially different — the La Specialista Prestigio has a slightly higher retail price than the La Specialista Arte. Any purchase of either Prestigio espresso machine will also come with access to De’Longhi’s Coffee Privilege programme.
Both espresso coffee machines are great buys as they provide a lot more value than their costs. Those in the earlier portions of their coffee-making journey may want to consider the Arte over the Prestigio with a price leaning towards being more entry-level-friendly.
Ease of Use
As evidenced by the aforementioned points, the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio allows for more customisable use and results than the La Specialista Arte. However, such variations entailed by personalisation also come with a degree of intricacy in machine use. Furthermore, the manual aspects of the Arte espresso machine — such as tamping and extracting — make for great opportunities to practise coffee-making fundamentals and set coffee-lovers on the path to becoming better self-made baristas.
All things considered, the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte is a much more friendly espresso machine for intermediate users, whereas the De’Longhi La Specialista Prestigio is more well-suited for advanced coffee enthusiasts with considerable experience and expertise.
Still Can’t Decide? Let Our Experts Help You!
At De’Longhi Singapore, we understand that choosing the right espresso machine for your home can be challenging, especially when you’re unsure where you stand or where to start your personal coffee-making journey.
If you find yourself in such a dilemma, feel free to reach out to our live coffee advisors at De’Longhi Singapore for a complimentary consultation. Our experts are trained to recommend suitable De’Longhi coffee machines that will best meet your specific needs and preferences, and can also provide guidance on anything and everything coffee related.
You can also check out our full range of coffee essentials at De’Longhi for more diverse coffee machine options — from fully automatic coffee machines to drip coffee machines and more; we’ve got it all.
As previously covered, the De’Longhi La Specialista Arte and Prestigio are meant for intermediate and advanced home baristas, respectively, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about those just starting out. Beginner baristas can sign up for our Coffee Home Trial program at De’Longhi to first experience what it’s like to make your own artisan coffee at home.
Shop De’Longhi today, and check out our ongoing and upcoming sales to get the best prices on our espresso machines and more.