The Solis Barista Perfetta Review: Is It Worth It?

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

Our review process | Our team

I've been spending a lot of time exploring the world of compact espresso machines lately, hence this updated Solis Barista Prefetta review.

Solis Barista Perfetta Plus Espressomaschine Uebersicht Arne

I’ve been spending a lot of time exploring the world of compact espresso machines lately, hence this updated Solis Barista Prefetta review.

While you might be tempted to dismiss the Solis Barista Perfetta Plus as little more than a pretty kitchen decoration, I’m here to convince you otherwise. As it happens, this pint-sized marvel is one of a growing number of small espresso machines that can really pack a punch in terms of quality.

Don’t get me wrong – I was initially confused by what the manufacturer was going for with this home espresso machine. Is it aimed toward beginners or experienced baristas? Still, having put the Barista Perfetta through its paces I’m excited to share my (mostly) positive experiences. So, let’s get right to it!

way better than expected

Solis Barista Perfetta

On reflection, the price tag is completely justifiable

Very compact and high quality

Many useful settings

Very good espresso

Decent steam pressure

Useful accessories

Price and appearance contradiction

Solis Barista Perfetta Review Overview

When it comes to home espresso machines, I usually feel like the investment only really makes sense if you drop at least $500. Only then can you realistically expect sufficient performance for a perfect espresso. Anything less tends to be a bit ho-hum.

This rule of thumb was in the back of my mind the first time I looked at the Solis Barista Perfetta – because initially, I was suspicious of its $N/A price tag. But let’s get a few things out of the way right off the bat:

  • It’s definitely not a cheap, plastic machine.

  • The machine is very user-friendly and has plenty of adjustable settings.

  • It quickly gets you on your way to the perfect espresso with a high degree of accuracy.

Solis Barista Perfetta Overview

Appearance-wise, the Solis Barista Perfetta coffee machine features solid construction and plenty of stainless steel housing. This elevates the Barista Perfetta way above entry-level DeLonghi espresso machines.

If anything, I’d say the Swiss manufacturer is setting itself in direct competition with Breville here. I mean, to say the Barista Perfetta has a similar look to the Breville Bambino Plus would be a huge understatement.

With that said, we aren’t looking at a cheap Breville knockoff – far from it. In reality, the Solis Barista Perfetta can more than hold its own in comparison with much larger and more expensive home espresso machines. Still, the Barista Perfetta is, perhaps, priced a little too reasonably. That could lead experienced baristas to dismiss it out of hand, while newbies won’t necessarily take full advantage of what the machine is capable of.

By saying that, I’m talking about a pressure gauge that’s not just for decoration, adjustable temperature settings and sophisticated volumetric control. Don’t worry, though; I’ll discuss all that in detail later in my Solis Barista Perfetta review.

Stay Updated on Our Exclusive Espresso Beans!
Be the first to know when our perfectly roasted Brazilian coffee beans, optimized for Breville, DeLonghi, Gaggia, Solis, and more, become available. Enjoy a chocolatey, smooth taste with a hint of acidity. Enter your name and email below to get notified.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Solis Barista Perfetta Features

Before I go any further, I should point out that you’ll sometimes see this home espresso machine referred to as the Solis Barista Perfetta Plus. While that might seem confusing, there’s nothing to get worked up about – it’s the same machine. Anyway, now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s continue this Solis Barista Perfetta review by taking a closer look at the machine’s impressive collection of features.

Size and Design

Earlier I mentioned the impressive amount of stainless steel used in the Barista Perfetta’s construction. The machine certainly looks and feels well-made, although there is plenty of plastic lurking beneath the surface. Unfortunately, this extends to the group head, which has way too much plastic for my liking. That means the Solis Barista Perfetta can suffer from a loss of temperature stability due to the fact that plastic doesn’t conduct heat as well as metal.

In terms of size, the Barista Perfetta’s compact dimensions make it ideal for kitchens with limited counter space. Seriously, with a height of just 12.5 inches (31.8 centimeters), I doubt you’ll have issues finding a home for this thing. Of course, you will need extra space for a burr coffee grinder. That is, unless you’ll be using pre-ground coffee. But you’d never consider going that route, would you!

User Interface

Solis Barista Perfetta User Interface

Solis keeps things nice and simple with its user interface. There are four clearly marked buttons on the front of the machine, as well as a dial on the side for controlling the steam wand.

Don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of bells and whistles, though – the control panel allows you to adjust a bunch of settings by pressing buttons in the right order. I’ll leave it to the user manual to explain all that!

What’s most surprising about the Barista Perfetta’s user interface is the large pressure gauge sitting front-and-center. On most entry-level espresso machines, a pressure gauge like this is just a pretty gimmick – it doesn’t actually do much.

However, in this case, the gauge actively monitors pressure at the group head, and can really help in diagnosing problems with your espresso extraction. Whether or not casual users will take advantage of this feature is up for debate. But to me, it’s just one more reason for experts to take the Solis espresso machine seriously.

Volumetric Control

During the hands-on testing phase of my Solis Barista Perfetta review, I was happy to see that the machine allows you to easily program volume for both single and double shots. That means the machine will automatically stop the extraction once it’s dispensed your desired volume of espresso. This is a super cool feature to have, seeing as it’ll really help as you’re dialing in. The machine comes pre-programmed to dispense 2 ounces (60 milliliters) for a double shot and 1 ounce 30 milliliters) for a single shot.

PID Temperature Control

As with most espresso machines at this price point, the Solis Barista Perfetta is equipped with a thermoblock heating element. While espresso snobs will tell you that a single boiler machine is always going to be superior, there’s a lot to love about thermoblocks.

For starters, the Barista Perfetta will heat up really quickly – it’ll be ready to go in under a minute. Not only that, a thermoblock is much more energy efficient, which is always a plus.

Finally, the Solis thermoblock has active PID temperature control, so you’ll quickly be able to switch between espresso preparation and steaming milk.

Speaking of temperature, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Barista Perfetta offers adjustable temperature settings. Seriously, you never see this on entry-level espresso machines!

Pre-Infusion

By now, you will have cottoned on to the fact that there’s a lot more to the Solis Barista Perfaetta than meets the eye. So, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that the machine is equipped with an automatic pre-infusion function.

As with the initial blooming phase when you’re brewing with a pour-over coffee maker or French press, pre-infusion is essential to the development of complex aromas in espresso.

The machine dampens the coffee grounds in the portafilter under low pressure, allowing carbon dioxide to escape. After a few seconds, the Italian pump kicks up to 9 bars of pressure and extraction begins in earnest.

Steam Wand

Solis Barista Perfetta Steam Wand

The Solis Barista Perfetta has a professional steam wand that rotates 360 degrees on a ball joint. I can’t tell you how pleased I was about that – I’m always disappointed when manufacturers just slap a pannarello wand on their budget machines. Sure, a pannarello wand makes it easy to create pillowy foam for a cappuccino, but you’ll never get the silky microfoam that a commercial wand can create.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the steam power on offer here. In fact, it took me a while to get to grips with the steam wand, resulting in some embarrassingly bad results.

With that in mind, beginners will have to be patient as they’re honing their milk frothing skills.

Incidentally, one standout feature of this machine is the cooling flush it performs after you’ve used the steam wand. This quickly brings the thermoblock back to the correct temperature for espresso.

Portafilter

As with most Breville espresso machines, the Solis Barista Perfetta comes with a 54mm portafilter. To be honest, I’ve been able to get excellent results from this type of portafilter, and it’ll comfortably hold 18 grams of ground coffee.

You’ll also get a generous amount of filter basket options with this machine, including single-wall and pressurized versions. Heck, there’s even a filter basket for ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) pods, but the less said about those the better.

Anyway, I always recommend using single wall baskets, seeing as you’ll get the sweetest, most complex results. Still, pressurized filter baskets are very forgiving, making them ideal for preground coffee and those learning the espresso ropes.

Tamping

Solis Barista Perfetta Tamping

Lemme tell ya, the espresso tamper that comes with the Solis Barista Perfetta is light years beyond what I’d expect to see at this price. I mean, I’ve reviewed much more expensive and well-respected machines that come with plastic tampers that aren’t worth having. I’m looking right at you, Gaggia!

The Solis tamper is the real deal in that it’s made of metal, has good weight distribution and feels good in your hand. So, allow me to congratulate Solis on going above and beyond with its tamper!

Cup Height

Seeing as this isn’t a super automatic espresso machine, you won’t be able to adjust the spout height. While you’ll have no issues fitting espresso cups under the portafilter spouts, brewing into a travel mug might be a challenge.

Of course, you can always remove the drip tray for a little more headroom, but remember that this is a super compact espresso machine, so space will be tight.

Accessories

Whenever I review a Breville machine, I always make sure to congratulate the Australian manufacturer on its generosity in terms of what’s included with the purchase. At the same time, I usually implore other manufacturers to follow suit.

Well, turns out Solis got the memo, because the Swiss manufacturer throws in a whole load of awesome accessories with the Barista Perfetta:

  • 5 x filter baskets

  • Stainless steel milk pitcher

  • Heavy duty tamper

  • Measuring spoon

  • Cleaning brush and cleaning tool

  • MAVEA Intenza water filter

  • Water hardness test strip

Breville, if you’re reading this, consider the gauntlet officially thrown down!

How to Use the Solis Barista Perfetta

Solis Barista Perfetta latte

As I’ve mentioned throughout my Solis Barista Perfetta review, this machine will appeal to baristas of all skill levels. While beginners might want to avoid fiddling with volume and temperature settings at first, espresso nerds will have a great time geeking out.

Either way, the first thing to take care of is rinsing all removable parts, including the filter baskets and the water tank. Once everything is dry, add fresh, cold water to the reservoir and install the water filter for best tasting results. Oh, and you won’t have to worry about descaling the machine as often with the water filter in action. The user manual has clear instructions on setting your water hardness, but I won’t bore you with those details here. Now you’re ready to pull a shot of espresso! If this is your first espresso machine, here’s a quick tutorial:

  1. Select your preferred filter basket and dose it with ground coffee. For a double shot basket, you should aim for around 18 grams.

  2. Tamp the coffee in the filter basket, then insert the portafilter into the group head.

  3. Grab a timer and start it as you press either the single or double shot button (depending on which filter basket you’re using).

  4. Now’s the time to keep an eye on that pressure gauge. During the automatic pre-infusion stage, the needle will move very little. However, once extraction begins it’ll shoot up, hopefully to around 9 bars.

  5. Your shot will stop automatically. If everything has gone well, a double shot should have taken around 25-30 seconds.

Solis Barista Perfetta Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning and descaling a semi-automatic espresso machine, there’s generally not much to worry about: rinse the portafilter and flush the group head after each use. Oh, and remove the shower screen and give it a good rinse every few days. As for the steam wand, keep a dedicated damp cloth handy and wipe the steam wand off after each use.  That’s about it for regular maintenance. Easy as pie.

On the other hand, I do think it’s important to be a little more picky about the water tank. At 57.5 ounces (1.7 liters), it’s quite sizable, especially when you consider consumption rates. Be careful, though, as this will tempt you to fill it up and let the water stand for a long time.

For a two-person household with an average daily requirement of four double shots, it’s perfectly sufficient. If you fill the water reservoir halfway, rinse it out properly after using the machine, let it dry well before the next day’s use, and you’ll be good to go.

Otherwise, you’ll promote the growth of algae in the long run and then pump tainted water through the fine hoses of your espresso machine. Nope, nobody wants that!

Solis Barista Perfetta Specifications

Solis Barista Perfetta
Manufacturer

Solis

Model number

1170

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Color options

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1550 W

Weight

19.1 lb / 8.7 kg

Dimensions

12.5 x 6.0 x 17.0 in
31.8 x 15.2 x 43.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 3 x Filter baskets, Cleaning brushes, Milk jug, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$359.00

All specifications

Solis Barista Perfetta vs Other Espresso Machines

I’ve already mentioned a couple of other manufacturers during my Solis Barista Perfetta review. Still, for the sake of completeness, let’s see how the Barista Perfetta measures up in comparison to a couple of its biggest competitors.

Solis Barista Perfetta vs Breville Bambino Plus

Arne posing next to the Breville Bambino Plus

At $498.90, the Breville Bambino Plus is substantially more expensive than the Barista Perfetta, but it’s in the same ballpark, price-wise. In fact, it’s in a similar ballpark performance-wise.

Another good espresso machine, the Breville Bambino Plus features low pressure pre-infusion, digital PID control and an awesome ThermoJet heating system. Essentially, it’s very similar to the Solis Barista Perfetta in just about every way apart from its milk frother.

Instead of a manual wand, the Breville has an automatic milk steaming frother with a temperature sensor. To be honest, it creates quite remarkable milk foam, especially considering you don’t have to lift a finger!

See Also: Breville Bambino Plus Review 2024

Solis Barista Perfetta vs Gaggia Classic Pro

Plano general de la cafetera espresso Gaggia Classic Pro

I’ve included the Gaggia Classic Pro here because at $449.00 it’s in the same price bracket as the Solis Barista Perfetta. However, this Italian Classic is a different animal altogether.

While the Gaggia doesn’t have modern conveniences like a PID and programmable volumetric control, it does have a commercial 58mm portafilter and a powerful boiler.

This espresso machine has earned a devoted following among home espresso enthusiasts thanks to its affordability and performance. Plus, the Classic Pro can be modified to kingdom come, essentially transforming it into a fully fledged prosumer espresso machine.

Ultimately, those looking to lose themselves in the wonderful world of espresso will fall head over heels for the Gaggia Classic Pro.

See Also: Gaggia Classic Pro Review 2024

Solis Barista Perfetta vs Others Comparison Chart

Solis Barista PerfettaBreville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
Manufacturer

Solis

Breville

Gaggia

Model number

1170

BES500BSS1BUS1

RI9380/46

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel with plastic parts

Stainless steel

Color options

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Brushed Stainless Steel

Black, Chrome, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

54 mm

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

71.0 fl oz / 2.1 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

3.3 in / 8.4 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1550 W

1560 W

1450 W

Weight

19.1 lb / 8.7 kg

3.1 lb / 1.4 kg

18.7 lb / 8.5 kg

Dimensions

12.5 x 6.0 x 17.0 in
31.8 x 15.2 x 43.2 cm

12.2 x 7.7 x 12.6 in
31.0 x 19.6 x 32.0 cm

14.2 x 9.5 x 8.0 in
36.1 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 3 x Filter baskets, Cleaning brushes, Milk jug, Instruction manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper, Dosing tool, Stainless steel milk jug, filter baskets, Cleaning supplies, User manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 4 x Filter baskets, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$359.00

$498.90

$449.00

Solis Barista PerfettaBreville Bambino PlusGaggia Classic Pro
Manufacturer

Solis

Breville

Gaggia

Model number

1170

BES500BSS1BUS1

RI9380/46

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel with plastic parts

Stainless steel

Color options

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Brushed Stainless Steel

Black, Chrome, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

54 mm

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

71.0 fl oz / 2.1 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

3.3 in / 8.4 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1550 W

1560 W

1450 W

Weight

19.1 lb / 8.7 kg

3.1 lb / 1.4 kg

18.7 lb / 8.5 kg

Dimensions

12.5 x 6.0 x 17.0 in
31.8 x 15.2 x 43.2 cm

12.2 x 7.7 x 12.6 in
31.0 x 19.6 x 32.0 cm

14.2 x 9.5 x 8.0 in
36.1 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 3 x Filter baskets, Cleaning brushes, Milk jug, Instruction manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper, Dosing tool, Stainless steel milk jug, filter baskets, Cleaning supplies, User manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 4 x Filter baskets, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$359.00

$498.90

$449.00

Verdict: Solis Barista Perfetta Review

way better than expected

Solis Barista Perfetta

On reflection, the price tag is completely justifiable

Very compact and high quality

Many useful settings

Very good espresso

Decent steam pressure

Useful accessories

Price and appearance contradiction

My view of the Solis espresso maker didn’t really change during my review. I still think that it looks like an entry-level ultramini espresso machine, though it costs as much as an ambitious entry-level model.

Yet, this reality is difficult to convey to an interested customer.

It seems logical to compare the Solis Barista Perfetta with competitors like the DeLonghi Dedica or the Breville Bambino Plus. However, this comparison is a bit misguided. The Barista Perfetta is much more ambitious, even if it tries to include novice users.

I actually think that Solis has shot itself in the foot with this machine. Neither newbies nor advanced users are immediately attracted to what it has to offer. The $N/A price tag deters beginners, while the machine’s diminutive style puts off advanced users.

Somehow, Solis should have managed to put more emphasis on the great functionality, excellent espresso and frothed milk the Barista Perfetta can deliver. After all, these factors are the ones that make it worth buying.

Testing and writing about the Solis Basista Perfetta was great fun for me, which is why it definitely has my stamp of approval. I can only hope that I’ve convinced a few of you to give it a whirl! Otherwise, check out my review of the Grind and Infuse Perfetta if you want to see what else Solis has up its sleeve.

I know you guys are very interested in this machine. That’s why I’m especially eager to hear your comments. Have at it. I’m on standby waiting to reply — well, after I’ve had my morning coffee!

Solis Barista Perfetta Review FAQ

The Solis Barista Perfetta is manufactured in China.

While Solis retains control of its products, the company is owned by Breville.

Programming the Solis Perfetta is very straightforward thanks to the simple user interface. Consult the user manual for in-depth instructions.

Your coffee expert
Team Image
Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

15 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments