SMEG 50s Style Retro Espresso Machine Review

If you’re the type of person who collects vinyl records and prefers vintage cars, consider buying a manual espresso machine. Automatic machines are more convenient because you don’t need much prior espresso knowledge. You can brew with the touch of a button. But a manual espresso machine like SMEG 50s Style Retro Espresso Machine is for anyone who appreciates craftsmanship and old school design.

Becoming an espresso connoisseur can be a challenging but rewarding hobby. There’s a lot of equipment, parts and coffee shop lingo to get familiar with. Tamping. Grinding. Pulling. These are all terms you’re going to need to get very comfortable with to pull the best espresso shot. No espresso machine teaches you more about the art of brewing espresso than a manual model like this one.

Retro Chic Design

The SMEG ’50s Style Retro Espresso Machine is a manual lever model with a beautiful, chic design. Like all SMEG appliances it’s designed in traditional 50’s style with a few modern looking updates. You’ll love having this beautiful appliance out on your kitchen counter tops.

Control Over Your Brew

Instead of relying on a mechanical pump, you have to use a lever to force the water through the group head. This gives you the most control over the timing, grind size and tamping method, which are all important factors in pulling espresso that’s just your style.

Quality Manufacturing

SMEG is known to be one of the most reputable appliance manufacturers in the world. They’re also known for making products that are more works of art than just standard kitchen appliances. All SMEG products are made with the highest quality materials, smart technology, and stylish designs.


  • Beautiful vintage, retro design
  • Compact size
  • Available in four different colors
  • Gives you more control over your espresso strength
  • Brews great-tasting espresso
  • Steam wand for frothing milk
  • Can use both espresso grounds and paper pods
  • Removable cup tray


  • No automatic capabilities
  • No touchscreen settings
  • Needs frequent cleaning and maintenance

Product Stats

SMEG '50s Style Retro Espresso Machines


Brand: SMEG

Product Name: ’50s Style Retro Design Espresso Machine

Model: Manual lever

Model Number: ECF01

Color Options: Black, pastel blue, red, cream

Product Weight: 11 lbs

Product Height: 12 in.

Product Width: 13 in.

Product Depth: 6.5 in.

Cord Length: 24 in.

Wattage: 1300 watts

Construction: Aluminum

Capacity: 8 ounces

Adjustable Brew Strength: Yes

Adjustable Temperature Controls: Yes

Number of Cups: 1

Water Reservoir Size: 34 oz

Grinder Type: Burr grinder

Brewing Options: Coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, lattes

Control Type: Indicator light

Safety Features: Auto shut off, tip-over shut off

Cleaning Care: Wipe clean

Water Filtration: Descaling system

Warming: Adjustable temperature warming plate

Portafilter Size: 1 mm

Removable Reservoir: Yes

Bar Pressure: 15 bars

Other Notable Features:

  • 1950s style
  • Thermoblock heating system
  • Adjustable coffee temperature and water hardness
  • Attached steam wand
  • Single or double espresso shot brewing options
  • Adjustable cappuccino system
  • Can be used as a hot water dispenser
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

SMEG 50’s Style Retro Espresso Machine Features

There isn’t a better-looking espresso machine than the SMEG ’50s Style Retro Espresso Machine. This vintage-looking machine is made from durable aluminum from arguably the best Italian appliance manufacturer in the world. It also comes with a free one-year warranty. It’s compact, functional and sleek.

Thermoblock Heating Technology

SMEG 50s Style Retro Espresso Machine comes with a thermo block heating system and 15 bars of pressure. This helps your espresso machine get to prime brewing temperature quickly and switch seamlessly brewing espresso and steaming milk. It only takes about 40 seconds for this espresso machine to heat up once you’ve turned it on. You can adjust the coffee temperature and water hardness, control your own shot pull time and use both coffee grounds or paper pods.

Detachable Water Reservoir

Although this machine has no self-cleaning capabilities, it does have a few features that make cleaning up a breeze. The water reservoir has a 1 liter capacity and is detachable for easy cleanup. It also comes with a convenient lid so you can refill it while it’s still attached.

Another handy feature for cleaning up is the smart indicator on the drip tray that lets you know when it needs to be emptied. A red tab will pop out of the side of the tray to alert you. You can also remove the drip tray when you want to fit a full-sized mug under the porta filter.

If you’re looking for other SMEG appliances, check out the SMEG ’50s Retro Design Refrigerator.

Warranty and Returns

The SMEG ’50s Style Retro Espresso Machine includes a free one-year manufacturer’s warranty.  Also consider buying an extended warranty from one of the retailers below. With a good warranty that covers the cost of replacement parts, your manual espresso machine can keep humming for decades.


Warranty Features:

  • Power surge protection: fully covers your appliance for cost of parts and labor due to mechanical and electrical surges
  • Provides nationwide protection support
  • Replaces the appliance or reimburses for the full cost if it can’t be repaired
  • SquareTrade protection plans available

Warranty Options:

  • 4-year kitchen appliance protection plan
  • 3-year major home appliance protection plan

* Price of warranty is dependent on appliance cost and discounts applied

ABT Home Appliances

Warranty Features:

  • SquareTrade protection plans through Auto State
  • Covers failures from normal wear and tear: broken buttons, scratches, cord malfunctions and so on
  • Covers repairs due to drops and spills: protection from accidents caused by people
  • Five-day repair service guarantee: If your repair isn’t fixed within five days, your protection plan is free.
  • 100 percent of parts and labor are covered.
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Worldwide coverage

Warranty Options:

3-year protection plan with accidental coverage

3-year basic protection plan

* Includes free shipping

Best Buy

Warranty Features:

  • Product replacement: If it stops working, they’ll send you a brand new one.
  • Covers normal wear and tear, including materials and labor costs and repairs due to dust and internal heating
  • Power surge repair: covers full equipment failure for electrical repairs
  • Fully transferable: If you don’t use your warranty, transfer it to another person or appliance.
  • Convenient claims support

Warranty Options:

  • 2-year protection plan available

Final Verdict

SMEG 50s Style Retro Espresso Machine is a great choice for anyone looking for a stylish, old school machine. This espresso machine is a little pricier than other manual espresso machines, but with SMEG, you know you’re buying quality. When it comes to manual machines, you definitely don’t want to buy cheap.

While manual machines give you more control over the strength and flavor of your espresso, they also require more maintenance. If you’re going to invest in a manual model, make sure it’s one made with high-quality materials like the SMEG 50s Style Retro Espresso Machine. Buying from a reputable brand like SMEG will make it easier to find replacement parts when you need to troubleshoot repairs. With proper maintenance, this espresso machine can last a lifetime.

Manual pump and lever espresso machines do need to be cleaned often and maintained well in order to last though. SMEG covers the cost of replacement parts and labor for a full year, but consider buying a longer warranty to make sure your machine continues to run smoothly for years.


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