Smeg built-in coffee machines Review

Smeg built-in coffee machines
Smeg built-in coffee machines

The Italian Smeg (Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla) company was founded in 1948 by Vittorio Bertazzoni for enameling and metalworking. In the 1950s Smeg began to design and manufacture cooking appliances. In the sixties, Smeg introduced its first ‘Leda’ washer, and in 1970s – ‘Niagara’ dishwasher. During these years, the company focused its efforts on the segment of built-in hobs and ovens.

Today Smeg is positioned as a manufacturer of luxury home appliances. It designs and manufactures a wide range of appliances in four factories based in Northern Italy, each specializing in the specific devices. In addition, Smeg has subsidiaries worldwide, overseas offices and an extensive sales network. Probably, today it’s one of the few European companies that continues to successfully compete with energetic Asian giants in the segment of household appliances.

Smeg coffee machines

Built-in coffee machines, espresso coffee makers and drip filter coffee makers is one of its main areas. Smeg coffee makers compete quite successfully in the market, but no more due to the huge competition in this segment. Indeed, competition with premium Jura coffee machines, super popular DeLonghi coffee makers, very good budget/mid-budget Philips / Saeco series, including Philips 1200, 2200 and 3200 and recent Philips 4300 & 5400 series, reliable Siemens EQ series, etc requires huge effort without warranty success.

Perhaps many people know Smeg coffee makers because of their original retro style.

Smeg coffee makers
Smeg coffee makers

Smeg built-in coffee machines are more popular in the market. The management may have used the company’s vast experience in developing built-in appliances very effectively. Maybe, the relatively low level of competition has become an additional factor. But Smeg built-in coffee machines have been in the top lists of many experts for several decades.

The Smeg built-in coffee machines range includes the Linea and Classic series. Last summer, the company expanded the Linea series with the introduction of the new 24-inch built-in Linea CMSU4104S. In fact, it replaced the CMSCU451S, which has been on sale since 2017 and now costs $ 2,250. But the new CMSU4104S is significantly more expensive and costs $ 3,360. Smeg also expanded the Classic series in April this year with the introduction of the new CMSU4303X priced at $ 3,150. It replaces the previous CMSU6451X, which has been on sale since summer 2016.

Smeg built-in coffee machines Classic series

Both models are the compact automatic coffee machines. CMSU4303X has 4.3″ color SoftTouch display and height-adjustable coffee dispenser (3 3/8″ – 5 5/8″).

Smeg CMSU4303X
Smeg CMSU4303X

Key features:

– auto switch-on;

– beverage settings – 13 (espresso, doppio+, coffee, long, 2x espresso, americano + milk-based drinks – cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte, hot milk, cappuccino+, espresso macchiato, flat white and cappuccino mix);

– pre-heat infuser function;

– single & double coffee;

– separate milk tank for cappuccino;

– hot-water function;

– pre-ground coffee option;

– adjustable coffee intensity – 5 levels;

– variable coffee size – 5 levels;

– variable coffee temperature – 3 levels;

– adjustable coffee grinder – 13 levels;

– adjustable cappuccino foam – 3 levels;

– auto descaling;

– automatic rinse at every switch on/off;

– water level & hardness, and child lock.

CMSU6451X

Smeg CMSU6451X
Smeg CMSU6451X

CMSU6451X have almost identical design and specs, with the exception of:

– white LCD display vs 4.3″ color SoftTouch display;

– shallower depth (14 15/16″ vs 18 ½”);

– coffee bean container capacity: 7.1 oz vs 12.3 oz;

– coffee dispenser is not adjustable in height;

– beverage settings: 4 vs 13;

– adjustable coffee intensity: 3 vs 5 levels;

– variable coffee size : 3 vs 5 levels;

– variable coffee temperature: 2 vs 3 levels.

Today the CMSU6451X is about $ 900 cheaper ($ 2,250 vs $ 3,150).

Linea vs Classic series

Linea uses fully touch controls and lacks two knobs on the sides of the display.

Smeg CMSU4104S
Smeg CMSU4104S

In fact, this is the only difference between the new CMSU4104S Linea and CMSU4303X Classic. Otherwise, the design, functionality and specifications of the models are completely identical. But the CMSU4104S is marginally more expensive ($ 3,360 vs $ 3,150).

A similar situation is true for the CMSCU451S Linea and CMSU6451X Classic pair. But unlike the new CMSU4104S with fully touch controls, this Linea model uses knobs / buttons, so its design is identical to the CMSU6451X Classic.

Smeg CMSCU451S
Smeg CMSCU451S

Conclusions

In terms of competition, the segment of built-in coffee machines has a key feature. In fact, Siemens / Neff / Miele / Gaggenau / Bosch coffee machines are manufactured in the same plant by a separate OEM-Eugster / Frismag manufacturer. Therefore, many components are almost identical to Bosch coffee machines.

The situation is similar for Smeg / Asko / Teka / Whirlpool / Hotpoint-Ariston / Electrolux / AEG / Gorenje / Kuppersbusch / Bauknecht / Delonghi. Almost all models under these brands are manufactured at the Delonghi factory, and brewing units, coffee grinders, pumps, boilers, electronics, cappuccino makers are often identical to freestanding Delonghi coffee machines.

Of course, models under different brands differ in form factor, functionality and pricing strategy. But they all have the same high quality components and workmanship.

For many years, Smeg coffee machines successfully compete in the list of these famous contenders.

In fact, today its line of built-in coffee machines includes:

– Smeg CMSCU451S / CMSU6451X (2016/2017) – $ 2,250;

– new CMSU4303X Classic (2021) – $ 3,150;

– CMSU4104S Linea (2020) – $ 3,360.

The latest models of both series use a 4.3″ color SoftTouch display and height-adjustable coffee dispenser. In addition, they provide significantly more functionality (13 vs 4 beverage settings, including all popular milk-based drinks) and a higher customization level (coffee size, intensity and temperature). But they are about $ 1,000 more expensive. Cheaper CMSCU451S / CMSU6451X of yesteryear are perfect for classic espresso lovers.

This video demonstrates the new Smeg Classic built-in coffee machine.

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