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Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review

Smeg's latest coffee machine is perfect for the daily grind...

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Marc Chacksfield
29 February 2024

Let’s face it, we are now a world of coffee snobs. Gone are the days of chucking some freeze-dried instant granules into a cup and giving the murky mixture a quick stir. Now we want lattes, macchiatos, something skinny, oat based, tall what-nots… our coffee consumption has become some sort of grande statement.

Now, this is easy to get on the high street, with every other shop equipped with a barista ready and willing to give you your caffeine fix, complete with latte art. But if you want it made properly in your own home, then you need to invest in a decent espresso machine.

Enter the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03, one of the most stylish ways to make a cup of Joe in the home.

I’ve been using this machine for the last few weeks and have got the barista buzz - here are 5 things you need to know…

1. It's a statement for your kitchen

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Image Credit: Future

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is a retro delight. Its design will be familiar to all that bow to the alter of Smeg, it's got that brilliant vintage look that will have you thinking that you are making a coffee in a '50s Italian diner somewhere.

It's a chunky machine that's got a sizeable footprint so you better make sure you have a good-sized counter top for the thing. Official measurements are: 17x17x13in / 44.3x44.3x34cm (h x w x d). It weighs 12.4Kg, too, so bend those knees when you lift it into place. If you have the room, though, then you will want to make this something of a centrepiece, as it's a beautiful thing

While it may ooze retro chic, the tech on board, is thoroughly modern. Simple but modern. There are four main controls: these consist of two types of grind volume (for one or two servings) and brewing buttons for a single or double espresso. There's also a pressure gauge right in the middle.

2. It comes with added grinding... and frothing

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Image Credit: Future

On the side of the coffee machine, is a milk frother / steam wand and on the top of the machine is a bean grinder. Having a grinder is essential if you are a coffee fan. You really can't beat blending beans to your liking.

There are a number of grind styles to choose from, course to fine - all of these are chosen by ratcheting up or down the bean hopper. It's a fairly easy process and really puts you in control of how you want your coffee.

And with 15 grinds to choose from, you really are in control.

3. It's easy-ish to use

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Image Credit: Future

Let's get this up front: I loved making espressos with this Smeg coffee machine. The ability to choose the coarseness of the grind really helped figure out just how strong I wanted my espresso. There are 15 in total and you can bet that I tried every single one.

I did find that going for a double espresso did mean I had a little extra coffee granules but the accompanying tamper worked well - it's a heavy old thing.

Once ground, though, you press the desired single or double espresso and it takes around 15 seconds to warm up and get to the right temperature, then it offers up a superb pour, that ends with that all-important crema.

The machine is semi automatic, so you don't have to do too much and you know when the thing is ready as the pressure in the gauge is around the halfway point.

4. But it does get messy

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Image Credit: Future

I love that the drip tray doubles up as storage for the various filters, the cleaning disc and the like but it is this area that becomes a little bit messy.

I know that coffee is a messy business - those granules get EVERYWHERE. And this is a little bit of a downside to this machine. It looks fantastic but there are certain bits that are a little harder to use which means granules go where you don't want them to and the like.

Granted, the better you are at making the coffee, the less mess there is but in our first attempts at making an espresso, it took as long to clean up as it did to make the thing.

5. It's as close to a coffee shop experience as you will get

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Image Credit: Future

Confession time: before I was the EIC of ShortList I used to make coffee for a living. It was a long time ago, and before the expansion of Starbucks and the like but it was fun. I was trained in Australia (still the place where I had the best coffee ever) and have learned a lot of the milk frothing tricks and the like that a true barista needs to know.

Now, it's been a few year but having the Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine in my world for the last few weeks sparked that love I have for coffee making again.

Now, I'm not saying that I am going to be doing all that latte art nonsense but taking time to make a decent coffee in the morning really is one of the best ways to start the day, and Smeg has utterly nailed that professional coffee-making feel.

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine: final verdict

Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine review
Image Credit: Future

Pricey? Yes. Over priced? Hell, no. The Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine is a stunning coffee maker that has both style and substance. If you are a fan of Smeg then you probably have this one on order right now - and you won't be disappointed.

If you are looking at a number of machines, though, then I say wake up and smell the coffee: Smeg has created something special here and you will not be disappointed.

The Smeg EGF03 Espresso Machine is available now, from £849.95.