Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine - An Italian Classic For Your Countertop

Published on Oct. 7, 2023, 3:14 p.m.


Espresso, a beloved Italian coffee beverage, is renowned for its rich flavor, intense aroma, and signature crema—a velvety layer of foam that crowns a perfectly pulled shot. The history of espresso dates back to the late 19th century when Italian inventor Angelo Moriondo patented the first known espresso machine. Since then, espresso has become a cultural icon, synonymous with Italian café culture and the art of coffee making.

Smeg, founded in 1948 in Guastalla, Italy, is a family-owned appliance manufacturer celebrated for its fusion of innovative technology and 50s retro-inspired aesthetics. Smeg appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, and small appliances, are recognized for their distinctive design and vibrant colors, making them statement pieces in kitchens worldwide. The Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine is a testament to the brand’s commitment to both style and functionality, bringing the essence of Italian espresso culture into the modern home.

 Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine


The Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine is a semi-automatic 1 liter espresso machine made by Italian manufacturer Smeg. Available in a variety of fun colors, this espresso machine features a retro mid-century appearance but don’t let its classic look fool you - it’s equipped with modern functionality.


Some standout features of the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine include:

  • Thermoblock heating system for faster warm up times
  • 15 bar pressure for optimum espresso extraction
  • Steam wand to froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes
  • Cup warming tray on top of the machine
  • Removable 1L water tank with water filter
  • Programmable serving sizes
  • Descaling alert system

 Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine


The Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine comes in a choice of colors like black, red, green, pink, blue and more. It has a cute retro look reminiscent of Smeg’s iconic fridge line. The machine is made of plastic but has stainless steel accents. With its rounded edges and compact size (12” W x 13” H x 6” D) and weighing 11 lbs, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine is an eye-catching yet space-saving addition to your countertop.

Ease of Use

With its simple 3-button interface, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine is very easy to operate. Even first-time users can easily make their favorite coffee drinks.

Here’s a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Fill the water tank: Remove the tank, fill it with fresh water, and reinsert it.
  2. Insert the filter basket: Choose the single or double shot filter basket and fill it with your desired amount of ground coffee.
  3. Tamp the coffee: Use the tamper to pack the coffee grounds evenly.
  4. Lock the portafilter: Insert the portafilter into the group head and turn it to lock it in place.
  5. Choose your drink: Press the button for a single shot, double shot, or steam.
  6. Enjoy! Once the coffee or steam is ready, remove the cup and enjoy your delicious beverage.

First-time users may need to experiment with grind size and dose to pull the best shots, but the process is greatly simplified by the Smeg’s automatic operation.

 Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine

Coffee Quality

Thanks to its 15 bar pressure pump and Thermoblock heater, the Smeg brews rich, intense espresso with a thick, long-lasting crema layer. The crema, a hallmark of a well-extracted espresso, is a rich, reddish-brown foam that traps the coffee’s aromas and flavors. The water reaches ideal extraction temperature quickly, ensuring that the coffee’s full flavor profile is captured in every cup. Owners consistently praise the full-bodied espresso flavor, noting hints of dark chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut, produced by the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine.

Programmable Settings and Alerts

The Smeg ECF01 offers programmable settings for coffee volume and water hardness. You can customize the amount of coffee dispensed for single and double shots to suit your preferences. The machine also has a descaling alert to remind you when it’s time to descale, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.


Reviews praise the Smeg for its ease of use, fast heat up time, and consistency in pulling great tasting espresso shots. The 15 bar pressure delivers the ideal extraction. The steam wand makes creamy cappuccinos and lattes a breeze. Owners love the programmable serving sizes that allow customization of shot volumes. While mostly plastic, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine appears well-made and owners are pleased with its performance and durability.

15 Bar Pressure

The Smeg ECF01 operates at 15 bars of pressure, the gold standard for espresso extraction. This high pressure forces water through the finely-ground coffee, extracting its full flavor and aroma. The result is a rich, bold espresso with a thick crema layer – the hallmark of a perfectly brewed shot.

Thermoblock Heating System

The Smeg ECF01 is equipped with a Thermoblock heating system, a modern technology that ensures rapid water heating and precise temperature control. Unlike traditional boiler systems, Thermoblock heaters only heat the water needed for each shot, resulting in faster warm-up times and energy efficiency. This means you can enjoy your espresso sooner without sacrificing quality.

Milk Frothing

The steam wand on the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine delivers silky microfoam perfect for topping drinks. Turning the knob activates fast, powerful steam to froth and heat milk.

Here are a few tips for frothing milk with the Smeg ECF01:

  • Use cold, fresh milk for the best results.
  • Start with the steam wand submerged in the milk, then gradually raise it as the milk expands.
  • Keep the tip of the steam wand just below the surface of the milk to create a whirlpool effect.
  • Stop steaming when the milk reaches your desired temperature and consistency.

With a bit of practice, latte art quality foam can be achieved to create gorgeous cappuccinos.

1L Removable Water Tank

The Smeg ECF01 has a 1L removable water tank, making it easy to refill and clean. The tank is conveniently located at the back of the machine and has a clear window so you can easily monitor the water level. It also includes an optional water filter to ensure that your espresso is brewed with the purest water possible.

Cup Warmer

The top of the Smeg ECF01 doubles as a cup warmer, a thoughtful feature that ensures your espresso stays hot. Pre-warming your cups helps maintain the optimal temperature of your espresso, enhancing its flavor and aroma.

Removable Drip Tray

The Smeg ECF01 features a removable drip tray that makes cleaning up spills and drips a breeze. This thoughtful design element not only simplifies maintenance but also allows you to use larger cups for your espresso drinks.

Anti-Slip Feet

The Smeg ECF01 is equipped with anti-slip feet to ensure stability during operation. This thoughtful design element prevents the machine from sliding or moving on your countertop, even when the steam wand is in use.

Descaling Alert System

To maintain optimal performance, the Smeg ECF01 has a descaling alert system. This handy feature reminds you when it’s time to descale the machine, a process that removes mineral buildup and ensures consistent brewing quality. Regular descaling prolongs the life of your espresso machine and keeps your espresso tasting its best.


While not self-cleaning, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine is pretty straightforward to clean. The removable drip tray, portafilter and water tank can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. Backflushing the group head periodically is recommended along with descaling when needed.


The pump and heating elements produce some noise when pulling shots, but owners report the sound level is typical for home espresso machines and not excessively loud or distracting.

Safety Features

The auto-off function prevents overheating or fires if you leave the machine on.


With a 1300W power rating, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine delivers adequate power for home use.

Smeg Brand History and Design Philosophy

Smeg, an Italian manufacturer known for its stylish kitchen appliances, combines modern technology with retro aesthetics to create products that are both functional and artistic. Founded in 1948, Smeg is renowned for incorporating the elegance and culture of Italian design into its products, making them iconic pieces in households around the world.

Use Cases

The Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine is ideal for the home kitchen. It has the power and features needed for daily personal use by coffee aficionados who want to skip the coffee shop line and enjoy barista drinks at home. With its compact size, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine can fit conveniently on the countertop without taking up too much precious real estate. For larger households that entertain frequently, the Smeg may also be suitable for light commercial use such as in a home office, rec room or bed & breakfast establishment.

User Feedback Analysis

Overall, customer reviews heavily favor this retro-chic machine that brews coffee with Italian passion. Many aficionados applaud how the Smeg transports them straight to the cobblestone streets of Rome or Venice with each sip of smooth, rich espresso. They rave about the quintessentially European experience it brings to their kitchen.

The majority of users find operating the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine an utterly breezy affair. They love how the tactile buttons and switches allow them to channel their inner barista and dial in the perfect shot. Simply pop in the filter, choose between one or two shots, and savor vibrant espresso complete with a lush, tiger-striped layer of crema sparkling on top. For milk-based coffees, users comment that the steam wand “froths like a charm,” expertly aerating milk into a light, creamy foam worthy of any cafe.

When it comes to flavor and aroma, reviews proclaim the Smeg churns out espresso packing a serious punch. Notes of dark chocolate, caramel sweetness, and hazelnut envelop the senses with every sip. Yet the machine also earns praise for its versatility in extracting balanced, nuanced flavor from lighter roasts. Users find the consistency and quality rivaling far pricier machines.

On the downside, some quicker to criticize comment that the plastic exterior feels less durable and premium than a metal build. There are also a few complaints about finicky reliability from those who received defective units. However, the majority agree the performance and quality craftsmanship shine through for the reasonable price point. For espresso devotees craving authentic drinks without breaking the budget, the overwhelming consensus is that the Smeg delivers crema-topped perfection.


  • Produces authentic cafe-style espresso
  • Intuitive controls and steaming wand
  • Stylish, colorful design elevates your kitchen
  • Compact size great for small spaces
  • Excellent value for the price


  • Exterior is plastic rather than metal
  • Water tank is on the smaller side
  • Long-term reliability concerns for some users


With a price tag around $500, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine resides in the upper mid-range segment for home semi-automatic espresso machines. Given its attractive design, above average performance and durable construction, it presents a solid value for the money. The Smeg costs considerably less than prosumer brands yet offers features found on pricier models. For those seeking decent value along with stylish design, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine hits a sweet spot.


If you’re seeking a capable, attractive and relatively affordable automatic espresso machine for home use, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine deserves your consideration. With typical Smeg flair and pizazz, this little machine can craft café-quality espresso drinks once you’ve mastered its operation. Caffeine lovers who value aesthetics and authentic Italian design will be delighted by the Smeg.


  • Machine Type: Semi-automatic espresso machine
  • Pump Pressure: 15 bar
  • Boiler System: Thermoblock heating element
  • Capacity: 1 liter removable water tank
  • Housing Material: Plastic body, stainless steel accents
  • Dimensions: 12” W x 13” H x 6” D
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Colors Available: Black, cream, pastel green, pastel blue, red, pink
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Box Includes

  • Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine
  • Plastic tamper
  • Single & double shot filter baskets
  • Instructions manual

Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine User Manual

Important Safety Instructions

  • Electrical Safety: Always plug the machine into a grounded outlet. Never operate with a damaged cord or plug.
  • Water Tank: Do not operate the machine without water in the tank. Use only cold, fresh water.
  • Hot Surfaces: Be cautious of hot surfaces during and after use, especially the cup warmer and steam wand.
  • Cleaning: Always unplug the machine and allow it to cool before cleaning.

Getting Started

  1. Unboxing: Carefully unpack your Smeg ECF01 and remove all packaging materials.
  2. Cleaning: Wash the removable parts (water tank, drip tray, filter holder, etc.) with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  3. First Use: Fill the water tank and run a few cycles without coffee to rinse the system.

Brewing Espresso

  1. Fill and Tamp: Fill the filter basket with your desired amount of finely ground espresso. Use the tamper to press the grounds evenly.
  2. Insert and Lock: Insert the filter holder into the group head and turn it to lock it in place.
  3. Brew: Place your cup under the spout and press the single or double shot button.
  4. Stop: Press the button again to stop the flow when your cup is full.

Steaming Milk

  1. Purge: Briefly turn the steam knob to release any water from the steam wand.
  2. Position: Fill a pitcher with cold milk and submerge the steam wand tip just below the surface.
  3. Steam: Turn the steam knob to the open position and create a whirlpool effect in the milk.
  4. Stop: Turn off the steam when the milk reaches your desired temperature and frothiness.


  • Daily: Empty and rinse the drip tray and filter holder. Wipe down the machine exterior.
  • Weekly: Clean the steam wand thoroughly.
  • Monthly: Clean the water tank.
  • As Needed: Descale the machine according to the alert system or when you notice a decrease in performance.


  • No Coffee Flow: Check for clogs in the filter holder or group head. Ensure the water tank is full.
  • Weak Steam: Descale the machine. Ensure the steam knob is fully open.
  • Leaking: Check for loose connections or worn seals.


  • Coffee Temperature: Adjust the brewing temperature to your preference.
  • Coffee Volume: Program the volume for single and double shots.
  • Water Hardness: Set the water hardness level for accurate descaling alerts.
  • Auto Shut-Off: Adjust the automatic shut-off time to save energy.

For detailed instructions on accessing and adjusting these settings, please refer to the full user manual.

Enjoy Your Smeg ECF01!

We hope this manual helps you get the most out of your Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine. With a little practice, you’ll be brewing barista-quality espresso drinks in the comfort of your own home!