Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta Review: Real Deal or Pretender to the Throne?

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.

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You'd be forgiven for thinking that Breville is your only choice when it comes to hybrid semi-automatic espresso machines with built-in grinders. While the Australian manufacturer is undoubtedly the market leader, I'm thinking today's Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review will convince you that other brands produce exceptional hybrids too.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Breville is your only choice when it comes to hybrid semi-automatic espresso machines with built-in grinders. While the Australian manufacturer is undoubtedly the market leader, I’m thinking today’s Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review will convince you that other brands produce exceptional hybrids too.

Until now, the only Solis machine I’ve tested out for you is the beginner-friendly Barista Perfetta. However, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the newly released Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta could make its way onto the top 10 list in my best espresso machine guide 2024.

As it happens, the good folks at Solis sent me a machine to test out. Don’t worry, though – their generosity didn’t affect the way I evaluated the thing. As always, you can count on me to tell it like it is. A little later I’ll discuss my experiences using the Grind and Infuse Perfetta. But first, let’s take an initial look at this intriguing new machine. 

Affordable and powerful

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta

An awesome entry-level hybrid

Sleek and stylish design

Intuitive user interface

Zero Static grinder

Affordable asking price

Easy to clean

High-quality accessories

No dedicated hot water outlet

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta Review Overview

OK folks, let’s get this hands-on Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review started by addressing the elephant in the room. Namely, the fact that the Grind and Infuse bears more than a passing resemblance to the Breville Barista Express.

I mean, let’s face it; most people would have a hard time separating these two in a lineup.

So, what’s the deal? Is the Solis espresso machine little more than a Breville knockoff? Well, some of you might think so, but I’m of the opinion that the Solis espresso machine’s design language is simply on-trend.

Plus, Solis is an established Swiss manufacturer with a proven track record when it comes to releasing innovative appliances. Heck, Solis was even involved in the distribution of the very first super automatic espresso machine for home use in 1985.

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Vgl Schwarze Version

Long story short: These guys are legit.

Getting back on track, the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta is very much an entry-level semi-automatic espresso machine. Still, I’d say it has enough cool features to keep more experienced baristas engaged. I’ll go into more detail about what’s under the hood a little later.

As for first impressions, there’s no denying the Grind and Infuse Perfetta is a sweet piece of eye candy. Thanks to its curved edges and mid-century aesthetics, this beauty is going to shine brightly in your kitchen. I guess it’s no surprise that the Grind and Infuse Perfetta won a prestigious Red Dot Design Award for 2022.

Finally, this Solis espresso machine’s competitive $N/A asking price only makes it a more attractive proposition.

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✔ Easy-to-follow guide demystifying the espresso-making process

✔ Clear explanations of each step to avoid confusion and frustration

✔ Proven methods to consistently achieve a smooth, flavorful shot

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta Features

Let’s start digging a little deeper into this Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review. There are tons of cool features to talk about!

Size and Design

I touched on the machine’s design earlier in this Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review. Still, it’s worth taking a little more time to appreciate the sleek, classy vibe we’ve got going on here.

While I’m sure the Grind and Infuse Perfetta’s blend of retro and modern design features won’t appeal to everyone, there’s no denying this is an elegant appliance. Personally, I prefer the stainless steel Solis, even though it quickly gets covered in unsightly fingerprints.

Solis Grind & Infuse Perfetta in black

However, the black version is pretty striking, and looks even more contemporary. I’m thinking it’d look awesome in that Brooklyn loft apartment I hope to own someday!

In terms of size, the Solis Grind and Infuse isn’t exactly compact. Still, it’s not going to need its own room or anything. More importantly, the machine clocks in at 21 pounds (9.6 kilograms), and it felt really stable as I was using it. Crucially, the Solis didn’t move around as I was inserting the portafilter, which is always a huge bonus.

By the way, make sure to take measurements if you plan on putting the Solis in your kitchen. That goes double for those of you with overhead cabinets – the Grind and Infuse is almost 16 inches (41 centimeters) tall and you’re going to need to access the bean hopper and water tank. Just sayin’!

User Interface

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Dedienpanel

You’ve just gotta love a minimalist, intuitive user interface, which is exactly what the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta offers. It’s a win-win – newbies won’t feel intimidated, while experienced baristas will hit the ground running.

On the front of the machine you’ll find clearly labeled buttons for selecting basket size and shot size. There’s also a program button and a steam button.

So far, so simple.

It gets better, though; there’s an awesome digital micro-timer that displays both grinding and extraction time, as well as a large pressure gauge. Also called a manometer, the gauge is a valuable tool that’ll really help as you’re dialing in your shots. Trust me, this thing isn’t just for decoration!

Solis Grind & Infuse Perfetta grind timer micro-timer

Getting back to the program button I mentioned above, it gives you access to adjustable settings for brewing temperature, shot volumes and more. I don’t want your eyes to start glazing over, so I’ll leave it to the user manual to explain all that!

Water Tank

The Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta is equipped with an 88 ounce (2.6 liter) water tank that lifts out from the rear of the machine. Thanks to its sturdy carrying handle, removing the reservoir for filling should be fairly straightforward. Still, you’ll need to be careful not to slosh water onto the grinder as you’re putting it back.

Solis Water Tank with Brita water filter

I’m happy to report that you can install a water filter in the reservoir. In fact, the manufacturer even throws one in for free. That’s good news, seeing as using fresh, filtered water is super important if you want to achieve a tasty, well-balanced espresso shot.

One thing that stood out during my testing was the water tank’s large opening, which means you can get your hand all the way inside during cleaning. While that might not sound like a big deal, it’s actually a very thoughtful design feature. After all, things can get really nasty inside a water reservoir if you’re not careful!

Grinder

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Mahlwerk
Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Mahlgrad

To be honest, a built-in grinder can either be a great success or end up as the machine’s achilles heel. Unsurprisingly, a more expensive machine like the Breville Barista Touch Impress includes a grinder that’s ideally suited for espresso. However, I quickly became frustrated by the limitations of the Barista Express’ grinder.

With that in mind, I paid particular attention to how the Grind and Infuse Perfetta’s built-in grinder performed during my testing.

On paper it sounds pretty good – Solis wants us to know the grinder is silent, belt driven and includes ZERO STATIC (that’s trademarked, by the way) technology. Plus, there are 25 grinder adjustment settings to choose from.

Fortunately, the Solis grinder really does deliver. Not only does it do well in terms of grind uniformity and precision, I noticed much less clumping than I’d experienced with Breville espresso machines.

What’s more, as hybrid machines go, the Solis grinder is pleasantly quiet in operation. I measured a maximum of 75.8 decibels during my testing, which is pretty darn impressive!

Automatic Dosing

Earlier in this Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review I mentioned the machine’s timed dosing function. This is actually really cool; you’re able to adjust the grinding time to the tenth of a second, which is incredibly precise. And once you’ve started brewing the digital display becomes a shot timer, which comes in very handy.

Timed dosing is all well and good, but in order to achieve the desired consistency for espresso preparation you’re going to need a coffee scale. Once you’ve figured out how the grinding time correlates to the weight of the dose you’ll be all set. At least until you adjust the grind, that is.

Pre-Infusion

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Espressobezug

There’s just no getting around it, pre-infusion is absolutely vital to a successful espresso shot. Pre-infusion results in a more even extraction by minimizing channeling and allowing the coffee to de-gas a little before the pressure ramps up. It’s the same as when you allow coffee to “bloom” when you’re making pour-over or French press.

Anyway, the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta has a soft pre-infusion function, meaning the pump engages to slightly dampen the coffee puck before turning off while the water soaks the coffee grounds. Then, the pump kicks in again and the pressure increases for extraction.

As far as I could tell, you aren’t able to fiddle with the pre-infusion duration. While that’s not a deal-breaker, I would like to have the option. Then again, I’m a total espresso nerd. Interestingly enough, you are able to skip the pre-infusion stage altogether by pressing the brew button twice in quick succession. Still, I wouldn’t recommend going down that road unless you want to compare a bad shot with a good shot!

Thermoblock and PID

This semi-automatic espresso machine is fitted with a single thermoblock that’ll be good to go in under a minute. In fact, I pulled out a timer and can report that the machine was ready to brew in 34 seconds! That sure beats waiting 20 minutes for a traditional single boiler machine to come up to temperature.

However, in my experience thermoblock machines like this aren’t actually ready to brew as quickly as advertised. The group head and portafilter will still be cold, so you’ll need to flush the group head and hold the portafilter underneath until it’s hot enough. Otherwise the quality of your espresso extraction will be compromised.

While a digital PID controller is common on a home espresso machine like this, it’s still worth mentioning. Essentially, the PID constantly monitors temperature, keeping it stable and adjusting when you switch between brewing and milk frothing. The result? More consistency of course!

Personally, I was very pleased to see that Solis gives you the option to adjust the brewing temperature up or down. While novice baristas won’t need to concern themselves with this functionality, it’ll be a real boon for espresso geeks who like to experiment with different roast profiles and single-origin coffee beans.

Milk Foam

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Milchschaum

If milk-based specialties are your thing, you’ll be happy to hear that the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta is fitted with a commercial-style steam wand. The wand rotates 360-degrees on a ball joint, which makes it pretty versatile.

Still, if you’ve never steamed milk manually before, it’ll take a little practice before you’re whipping up silky microfoam. Fortunately, the manufacturer includes a stainless steel milk pitcher, so you won’t have to make a separate purchase.

I didn’t expect the Solis to have the steaming power of a single boiler machine like the Rancilio Silvia. However, I found that it had good enough pressure to create nice milk foam for a cappuccino or espresso macchiato.

The only downside is that once I’d pressed the steam button I had to wait for just under 30 seconds before the machine was ready. With that in mind, I’d recommend frothing milk before pulling shots so your espresso doesn’t sit around getting cold.

I was also slightly disappointed to see that the Solis Grind and Infuse doesn’t have a dedicated hot water outlet. Instead, the steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser. That’s far from ideal in my opinion, so I’d recommend using your gooseneck kettle if you plan on making an americano.

Portafilter

With its elegant, tapered design, I just love the way the Solis portafilter looks. So, I was relieved to find the manufacturer didn’t sacrifice comfort and weight distribution to achieve a sleek silhouette.

The Grind and Infuse Perfetta’s portafilter has a 54mm diameter, which is fairly standard for a machine like this. And don’t listen to espresso snobs who tell you that a 58mm portafilter is the only way to go – that’s simply not true.

What’s more important is the filter basket itself and whether or not it’s pressurized. Fortunately, Solis only includes single-wall, non-pressurized baskets with this machine. Without getting into the specifics, that means you’ll be able to get the very best out of your favorite coffee beans. It also means that Solis is confident that its grinder is up to the task in terms of precision and consistency.

Tamping

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Kaffeepulver
Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Tampen

I remember congratulating Solis on its espresso tamper during my Barista Perfetta review. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gazed in disgust at crappy plastic tampers and then just thrown them in the trash. And that’s often when I’ve been unboxing espresso machines that cost much more than the Grind and Infuse Perfetta.

Before testing this new Solis machine, I had my fingers crossed that it’d come with the same high-quality tamper as its sibling. Well, I’m happy to report that it’s good news – the thing is heavy, solid and felt really good in my hand. In fact, the Solis tamper is more than three times heavier than the tamper included with Breville espresso machines.

Solis Tamper

Cup Height

The Solis Grind and Infuse is no super automatic, so you can’t adjust the spout height. Suire, you’ll have no problems fitting an espresso cup under there, but 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) of clearance means you’ll have to remove the drip tray if you want to brew into a travel mug.

Speaking of the drip tray, it has a neat red floater that’ll pop up when the tray needs to be emptied. That’s a nice touch, seeing as the last thing you want is dirty water flooding your workspace.

How to Use the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta

If you’ve used an espresso machine before, getting started with the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta won’t be very taxing. Still, before you get to play you’ll need to wash and dry all removable parts. I’d recommend being particularly thorough with the bean hopper and water tank.

Solis Barista Perfetta Grind Infuse Kaffee Mahlen mit Funnel

Once that’s done, install the water filter and fill the reservoir. Oh, and you’ll want to add beans to the hopper, too.

After turning on the machine, it’ll be ready to go in around 35 seconds. However, I’d wait for five minutes or so to give the machine time to really come up to brewing temperature.

To pull a shot of espresso, select your preferred basket and pop it in the portafilter. Then, press the corresponding filter basket button on the machine.

I’d recommend leaving the grinder set at 12 for your first shot. You can adjust the grind size coarser or finer after you’ve seen the results.

Now it’s time to insert the portafilter into the grinding cradle. Oh, and there’s a handy contact switch there, so when you want to start grinding just push the portafilter forward slightly.

First though, use the grind time knob to adjust the grinding time. You’re aiming for around 16-19 grams of coffee in the portafilter, so now would be a good time to bust out that coffee scale.

Once you’re satisfied with your dose, tamp the coffee grounds firmly and evenly before inserting the portafilter into the group head and locking it into position. Now it’s just a case of pressing either the single or double shot button and monitoring your shot.

My Observations

Latte Macchiato from the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta

As I mentioned earlier, the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta is very approachable for beginners. Still, I’m pleased to report that it’s got enough going on to satisfy experienced baristas.

During my testing I used natural-process beans from Ethiopia, sourced and roasted by Backyard Coffee in Frankfurt. The Solis espresso machine did a fantastic job of highlighting the fruity and chocolate notes I love about this single-origin coffee.

It took me a little while to dial in my shots – the digital timer requires around four grind cycles before it settles into consistency. However, once I’d figured that out, the dosing timer was remarkably accurate to within 0.1 grams.

I got the best results dosing the portafilter with 19 grams of coffee grounds and increasing the brewing temperature to 203 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius). And by the time it was in full swing, the machine consistently produced 42-gram double shots in around 32 seconds.

Incidentally, the Solis portafilter has one of those annoying plastic inserts under the filter basket. Do yourself a favor and remove it right away! Trust me, you’ll achieve much better thermal stability, resulting in more consistent shots.

My only other complaint is that the metal grinder cradle scratches easily when you place the portafilter on there. It quickly starts looking a little rough around the edges – literally!

For the more meticulous among you, I’d recommend picking up a dosing funnel. While you’re at it, get hold of a WDT tool. Those will both help you achieve better distribution of coffee in the portafilter, resulting in a more even extraction with minimal channeling.

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta Cleaning

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It’s always the case that cleaning and descaling is much more straightforward for an espresso machine than for a super automatic. Still, there are a few things to take care of to keep the Solis Grind and Infuse in good working order. 

After every shot you should get into the habit of flushing the group head and rinsing the portafilter. Oh, and if you’re using the steam wand, wipe it off with a damp cloth after every use. Trust me, milk residue builds up quickly and gets really hard to remove once it’s dried.

Every so often you should backflush the machine to clean the coffee circuit. But I’m not about to bore you with the details here – It’s all in the user manual. Same goes for instructions for descaling.

Lastly, don’t neglect the grinder! Take a couple of minutes to remove the hopper and brush off the burrs every couple of weeks. Oh, and the top burr is fully removable, making that job even easier. Once a month you can use Grindz cleaning tablets to really do a number on the burrs. It might seem like a hassle, but the quality of your espresso will take a nose dive if the grinder isn’t performing at its best.

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta Specifications

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta
Manufacturer

Solis

Model number

98036

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Color options

Black, Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Text display with buttons

App

User profiles

1

Portafilter size

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

87.9 fl oz / 2.6 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

16 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

25

Bean hopper capacity

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

Specialty drinks

0

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

1640 W

Weight

21.1 lb / 9.6 kg

Dimensions

15.8 x 11.8 x 15.0 in
40.1 x 30.0 x 38.1 cm

Warranty

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, Stainless steel milk pitcher, 2 x filter baskets, Tamper, Cleaning brush, Backflushing insert, Water filter, Water hardness test strip

Current price on Amazon

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All specifications

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta vs Other Espresso Machines

I’ve made it pretty clear during this Solis Grind and Infuse Prefetta review that the machine is in direct competition with the Breville Barista Express. Still, in the ultra-competitive hybrid segment, there are a couple of other strong contenders worth considering.

Grind and Infuse Perfetta vs Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro Overview

For $849.95, the Breville Barista Pro is a good deal pricier than the Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta. Still, for those who’d prefer a digital screen and more adjustable settings, the Barista Pro might be the way to go.

During my Breville Barista Pro review I was really impressed by the machine’s performance, although it suffers from substantial static issues in the grinder chute. Plus, the absence of a dosing funnel really colored my experience of using the thing.

Still, I was able to get excellent results from this overlooked Breville machine, and it represents great value for what you get.

See Also: Breville Barista Pro Review 2024

Grind and Infuse Perfetta vs DeLonghi La Specialista Prestigio

DeLonghi Specialista Test

I’ve been consistently impressed by the DeLonghi La Specialista series. These hybrid machines are capable of producing spectacular results, although you’ll be faced with a steeper learning curve.

The DeLonghi La Specialista Prestigio differs from the Grind and Infuse Perfetta in that it offers an assisted tamping function. What’s more, there are two independent heating systems on board – one for espresso and the other for milk frothing.

As you can imagine, this makes the La Specialista Prestigio a more powerful and versatile machine. However, you’ll have to pay $599.95 for all that extra functionality.

Related: DeLonghi La Specialista Review 2024

Verdict: Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta

Affordable and powerful

Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta

An awesome entry-level hybrid

Sleek and stylish design

Intuitive user interface

Zero Static grinder

Affordable asking price

Easy to clean

High-quality accessories

No dedicated hot water outlet

As I mentioned near the beginning of my Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review, this is no pretender to the Breville-occupied throne. Instead, we’re dealing with a legitimate entry-level hybrid that can easily compete with the Breville Barista Express.

Ultimately, I think this Solis espresso machine might just knock the Barista Express off its “best entry-level hybrid” perch in my home espresso machine guide. Still, I’d recommend the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte for total newbies before the Grind and Infuse Perfetta.

However, for beginners looking to experiment with espresso preparation on a machine offering enough to keep things interesting in the long term, the Solis is a real winner. Having put the Grind and Infuse Perfetta through its paces I can say it represents incredible value for money. The grinder performs like a champ, the dosing function is awesome and the machine is sturdy and well-designed. Really, what more could you ask for?

That’s it for my hands-on Solis Grind and Infuse Perfetta review. Have any of you bought this espresso machine? I’d love to hear about your experiences, so the comments section is all yours!

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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

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