Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 with grinder and milk frother review: retro, chic, and full of beans

An excellent all-rounder

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 placed on a kitchen counter
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

If you’re looking for an all-rounder, look no further; the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 might be pricey, but it’s an ideal machine for a coffee lover who wants gorgeous design and delicious results if you’re willing to put the effort in. The included burr grinder and milk frother make for a consummate yet compact machine, and I simply adore its retro styling.


  • +

    Gorgeous, retro, and robust design

  • +

    Built-in burr grinder with 15 grind settings

  • +

    Integrated steam wand with two settings

  • +

    Large, removable water tank


  • -

    Requires lots of cleaning and maintenance

  • -


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Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03: One-minute review

Smeg is known for making a host of brilliant home appliances, including some of the best blenders and best juicers, but it’s not exactly synonymous with high-quality coffee machines in the way the likes of Breville, De’Longhi and Gaggia are. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 with grinder and milk frother to be such a great all-rounder, and easily a contender for a place on our list of the best espresso machines; although considering how much we liked the Smeg ECF01 in our review, I perhaps shouldn’t have been.

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 costs $899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299.00. It comes with a built-in grinder and milk frother, and it’s a fantastic coffee maker for those who value both design and performance. Clad in a vibrant retro casing, this chic machine is a bold statement for any kitchen countertop – too bold for some, perhaps, in some of its more vibrant colorways – but nonetheless a thing of beauty. 

The design is well thought out, from its detachable bean hopper to the round bevel on the top of the machine to house the tamper. Plus, some of its beginner-friendly inclusions, like the pressurized filters, make it an excellent choice if you’re upgrading from a bean-to-cup or pod machine to an espresso machine. 

My biggest (and only) criticism? It’s messy to use, and not suitable if you’re someone who needs to quickly grab a coffee and bolt out of the front door in the morning. The grounds tend to spill over slightly, and moving the portafilter from the grounds deposit chute to the brew head involves pulling it out of a grip, which can lead to further spillage. Add to that the necessity to clean the steam wand and drip tray after use, and you’ve got a fairly fiddly process on your hands.

Still, if you love your coffee, but not quite enough to splurge on a barista-grade machine, the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is an excellent choice for most caffeination stations. 

The top of the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03, housing the bean hopper and tamp

(Image credit: Future)

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03: Price

  • List price: $899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299.00

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is available for $899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299.00, and can be bought from Amazon as well as from regional third-party retailers such as John Lewis in the UK. 

As well as the main machine, the EGF03 comes with a detachable bean hopper, a portafilter and basket, and a tamper. It’s available in a host of bright and fun colors: cream, pastel blue, pastel green, red, white and black. 

It’s on the expensive side, especially compared to other espresso machines, but what you’re really paying that extra for with the EGF03 is its all-inclusive tool set and gorgeous design. That’s no bad thing, although it doesn’t soften the blow of the price too much. 

  • Value: 4.5 / 5

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03: Specs

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Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03
Type of coffee maker:Manual espresso machine
Skill level:Amateur
Programming:Stand-by, water hardness, coffee temperature, pre-brewing profiles
Brew time:30 seconds
Water tank capacity:2.5-quart / 2.4L
Coffee bean capacity:8.8oz / 250g
Pump pressure:20 bar
Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 13 inches / 44.3 x 44.3 x 34cm

Close-up of the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 console

(Image credit: Future)

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03: Design

  • Retro 50s chic
  • Built-in frother and detachable hopper
  • 2.5-quart / 2.4L water tank

If you haven’t already gathered, I’m a fan of Smeg’s iconic design, but in particular, I really appreciate the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 for its smooth blend of Italian coffee house and retro chic. 

My review unit was in the red colorway, making for a striking centerpiece that demands respect, but the more muted color options are very approachable, and would blend seamlessly into most kitchens regardless of the retro design.

It’s fairly large at 17 x 17 x 13 inches / 44.3 x 44.3 x 34cm (h x w x d), occupying a fair amount of kitchen counter real estate – as I’ve mentioned, this machine isn’t exactly one for the faint of heart, but rather those endeavoring to leap boldly forth into espresso making. It’s pretty hefty at 27.3lbs / 12.4kg too, so you’ll want somewhere to keep it on the counter – you won’t want to be moving it around too much.

The Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 with the portafilter in-situ

(Image credit: Future)

The main body of the unit is a sophisticated die-cast aluminum with stainless steel accents, and rounded in that classic 50s retro aesthetic we know and love from Smeg. The face of the machine features a pressure gauge and its four light-up main controls: buttons for grinding one or two servings of espresso, and buttons for brewing single or double espresso.

Just below this console is where the magic happens. From left to right, there’s a handy slot to slot the portafilter into ready for fresh grounds, a 58mm professional stainless steel filter holder, and a stainless steel steam wand. Just below is the removable drip tray, behind which is a neat little compartment providing storage for its four filters, a cleaning disc, and a cleaning brush for flicking away granules.

On top of the machine is a stainless steel surface to which you can attach the plastic bean hopper. There’s a raised circle that snugly houses the tamp, too, which is always a thoughtful inclusion.

The right-hand side features a petite stainless steel lever switch with three settings to control the steam wand: hot water, mild steam, and strong steam. On the left-hand side is a discrete on / off button (if you leave the machine on it’ll automatically switch to eco-mode after 10 minutes by default, and you can adjust this time).

Both the bean hopper and water tank offer copious space, meaning the Smeg espresso coffee machine EGF03 needs refilling a lot less often than other coffee machines I’ve tested.

  • Design: 5 / 5

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 making an espresso shot

(Image credit: Future)

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03: Performance

  • Easy to get great results
  • Grinder works well
  • Takes a lot of cleaning

After a slightly fiddly setup process, the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is wonderfully easy to use, offering solutions for experienced espresso makers and beginners alike. 

This all-in-one machine offers consistent results from bean to cup, but there’s still plenty of room for experimentation and customization. 

Let’s start from the top – grinding your beans. There are 15 grind settings, which can be selected by turning the detachable bean hopper, and the grounds are ejected above the portafilter holder in the main console. Annoyingly, these aren’t deposited directly in the middle of the portafilter – a design oversight that will likely only bother the most perfectionist home baristas, but which is nonetheless worth mentioning. This machine utilizes steel conical burr grinders, which offer impressively consistent results by crushing the beans rather than slicing them, which improves the quality.

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 grinding coffee beans

(Image credit: Future)

Next up, it’s time to brew your espresso. Thanks to its dual thermoblock heating system the machine heats up nice and quickly, and you can adjust the temperature settings of the machine to your liking, as well as the infusion profile. 

As with many manual and semi-automatic espresso machines, it takes a while to figure out how to reach the desired pressure (which on this Smeg machine sees the pressure gauge needle reach around the halfway point) depending on both the bean grind setting and how hard you tamp, but once you figure it out the results are wonderfully consistent. Or, for an easier route to quality coffee, you can try the pressurized filters – these are very beginner-friendly, enabling you to achieve wonderful crema with minimal effort. I found that I needed to have very fine, fairly gently tamped grounds with my coffee beans of choice to really make the machine sing and produce that all-important crema.

Frothy milk being poured into espresso made by the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03

(Image credit: Future)

Lastly, let’s talk about the steam wand. There are two settings, but I didn’t often find myself using the less frothy option, and I imagine the average user would be in the same camp. As with many aspects of the art of coffee making, there’s a learning curve when it comes to milk frothing, but Smeg’s steam wand is pretty intuitive. It makes one heck of a screeching sound if you don’t hit the spot just right, though, which I sometimes find unavoidable with my limited milk-frothing skills.

Overall the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 performs incredibly well; my main criticism is the amount of cleaning it requires. While a degree of cleaning is required with any espresso machine, it can end up eating a lot of time out of your morning routine.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03?

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 placed on a kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 report card
ValueIn terms of value for money, the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is almost spot-on, but it's still slightly inflated on account of the gorgeous design and brand name.4.5 / 5
DesignFrom its gorgeous colorways to its beautiful form, the Smeg EGF03 isn't just a coffee machine; it's a work of art.5 / 5
PerformanceQuick to heat up, easy to use and consistent, the Smeg Esresso Coffee Machne EGF03 makes one mean espresso.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You run a finely curated aesthetic in your kitchen

Especially if you own some of Smeg’s other products, the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is a beautiful addition to your kitchen countertops.

You’re stepping up from a pod or automatic coffee maker

With its two pressurized filters and its broad range of settings, the EGF03 is great if you want to venture into more specialized coffee brewing.

You want one machine that does it all

The EGF03 comes with an inbuilt grinder and milk frother, and while it’s fairly sizable, you’ll likely still end up saving countertop real estate versus having three separate devices.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget

While I’d say that value-wise the Smeg espresso coffee machine EGF03 is pretty good, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s pricey.

You hate cleanup

If there’s one thing I look for in a device, it’s for it to be low-maintenance; the Smeg espresso coffee machine EGF03 is not.

Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03: Also consider

If the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 is not for you, here a couple of options to consider.

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Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03Breville the Barista Express ImpressDeLonghi Dedica Style EC685
Price:$899.95 / £849.95 / AU$1,299$899.95 / £729.95 / AU$1,199$349.95/ £199.99/ AU$399
Type of coffee maker:Manual espresso machineAssisted manual espresso machineManual espresso machine
Skill level:Amateur BeginnerBeginner
Programming:Stand-by, water hardness, coffee temperature, pre-brewing profiles25 precision grind settingsTemperature, water hardness, auto shut off time and dose time.
Brew time:30 secondsNot specified40 seconds
Reservoir size:2.5-quart / 2.4L2L0.24 gallon / 1.1-liter
Coffee bean capacity:8.8oz / 250g8.8oz / 250gN/A
Pump pressure:20 bar15 bar15 bar
Dimensions:17 x 17 x 13 inches / 44.3 x 44.3 x 34cm12.9 x 14.9 x 16.1 inches (327 x 378 x 409 mm)2 x 5.9 x 13 inches/ 30.4 x 14.9 x 33cm

Breville the Barista Express Impress
Combining the ideal quantity of ground beans, the precise temperature, optimal water pressure and micro-foam, this makes it easy to achieve great-tasting coffee at home.

Read our full Breville the Barista Express Impress review


DeLonghi Dedica Style EC685

This espresso maker has long held its spot as the best budget espresso machine available in our eyes. For its price and small footprint, this espresso maker is excellent.

Read our full DeLonghi Dedica Style EC685 review

How I tested the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03

  • I used the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 for a month 
  • I used it to make espresso and froth milk almost every day
  • I tested its variety of settings and features 

I used the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine EGF03 over the course of the month, making at least one or two coffees every day and frothing milk at least once daily.

Comparing it to other coffee machines I’ve tested, as well as my experiences with other appliances I’ve used, I assessed the ease of use, flavor, and maintenance needs of the machine. I used both its pressurized and unpressurized filters, and tried grinding the beans to different coarseness levels.

I’ve been reviewing home appliances for two years, but I’ve been testing and using tech regularly for most of my adult life. I’m a huge coffee nerd (and my partner is an even bigger one!) so I’m pretty comfortable judging flavor profiles and technical aspects of coffee machines.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed December 2023
Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.