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Our Recommended Best De’Longhi Coffee Machine Is The De’Longhi Eletta!
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Believe it or not, coffee is the third most traded commodity in the world after crude oil and gold. So Thomas Jefferson was absolutely correct when he uttered his immortal words.
The vast majority of the world, including the the once World’s largest grower and supplier of tea – India, wakes up every morning with a cup, mug or glass of coffee of some sort, before the onslaught of the day
With the coming of connoisseur coffee houses and shops, there has been an overwhelming explosion of coffee styles, tastes and flavours. In fact, gone is the phrase “coffee is coffee”.
“Coffee, the favourite drink of the civilized world.”
– Thomas Jefferson
It soon became apparent that people were not satisfied with either having instant or boiled percolated coffee any longer. They wanted to be able to have a proper esspresso or cappuccino at home. Thus the demand for a “home barista” coffee machine was born.
The italian company De’Lhonghi soon became one of the leading manufacturers of these “home barista” machines. It’s a position that the company still holds today.
De’Longhi has a comprehensive range of coffee machines on offer, and this review will be putting six of the most popular of De’Longhi’s range under the microscope to see which one can really be called the best “home barista” coffee machines of them all.
The De’Longhi Eletta Coffee Machine.
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The “Eletta” is a true “bean to cup” coffee machine with all mod-cons included. Aimed at those who are serious about their coffee.
The De’Longhi “Eletta” can make a range of 8 hot coffee drinks that are available in the leading coffee shops. “Just with one touch of a button” as De’Longhi claims.
Made from stainless steel, this 11kg coffee machine has an intergrated coffee bean hopper with a gravity feed to the internal bean grinder, which has 13 grinding settings. The coarseness of the ground allows for the customisation of aroma as well as the strength of the coffee produced.
The “bubble” button control panel with its relatively large and very easy read LCD display screen, sits atop the “Elletta” coffee machine, controlling very nearly everything, apart from the milk foaming setting and self cleaning function.
As De’Longhi claims, the “Eletta” coffee machine is easy to use, thanks to the clear messaging and prompts given by the control panel. Something that a couple of De’Longhi’s competitors could benefit from.
With a large 2 litre capacity water reservoir the De’Longhi “Eletta” is able to produce two coffee drinks at a time.
The adjustable pouring mechanism means that not only can a shot of espresso be prepared but also “longer” lattes and machiattoes too. All without extra pouring into seperate tall mugs.
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The “longer” lattes and machiattoes are able to be further customized with De’Longhi’ much hailed automatic milk menu, which can be operated by the twist of a dial situated on the top of the semi intergrated milk carafe.
Coupled with the milk menu is something called “Latte Crema Technology” that not only allows customization of the drink itself but also the texture of the heated milk froth. Ideal for those who like a certain type milk froth known as micro foam in their latte or cappuccino. Latte Crema Technology is a patented method exclusively used by De’Longhi.
As touched on a little earlier, the milk carafe is semi integrated. The lid to the carafe is where micro foaming settings can be dialled in and is where the carafe is quite literally “plugged” into the “Eletta” coffee maker.
Once the foam settings are made, milk is drawn from the carafe, heated by the machine and then automatically added to the brewed coffee base. Removing the need for manual frothing of the milk in a seperate jug.
The milk carafe can be stored away in a fridge ready for use again.
There is a hot water spout attachment which can be attached using the same socket used by the milk carafe to provide hot water for either “americano” coffee or for tea.
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As with any coffee machine, it is absolutely vital to clean the various parts to eliminate any form of mold or bacteria to form.
The De’Longhi “Eletta” coffee machine is set to auto clean when ever it is switched on and before any bean is ground or coffee is actually produced, allowing germ free coffee to be made and consumed.
The drainage tray, dispensing pipes, water reservoir and the lower part of the milk carafe are all dishwasher proof, removing the chore of needing to clean these parts by hand, a welcome relief to any owner!
From time to time the “Eletta” will display a message for additional self cleaning on its LCD display screen. Activation of this feature is somewhat strangely found amongst the foam level setting on the lid of the milk carafe.
De’Longhi strongly recommends that a water filter is used to minimise scaling and De’Longhi does include one with the “Eletta” coffee machine. However, there were quite a few “Eletta” owners who admitted to using bottled water, as replacement “Eletta” water filters needed frequent replacement, adding substantial costs over time.
While this DeLonghi coffee machine is primarily designed to be a “bean to cup” affair, it can also be used with ready ground coffee.
Perhaps regarded by some coffee fanatics as being nearly as serious a heresy as when Bob Dylan “went electric”, the ready ground option was included into the “Eletta” coffee machine to save time.
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Besides, with modern packaging technology, the difference between ready ground and whole coffee beans to many coffee lovers when asked, was found to be pretty minimal.
De’Longhi, like almost every other quality appliance manufacturer has included energy saving features into their product range, and the “Eletta” coffee machine is no exception. With its auto clean and descaling features to increase water flow and heating efficiency, when in use, the De’Longhi “Eletta” also has an auto shut off feature, saving on electricity costs.
The De’Longhi “Eletta” coffee machine comes with a full 1 year warranty.
Not every product, and while DeLonghi have produced a high quality machine in the “Eletta”, there were a couple of little minus points about this coffee machine.
The “Eletta” is quite a heavy machine weighing in at 11kg. However, the need for mobility is minimal once set up. Its weight is due largely to its durable stainless steel build.
The ideal water temperature for coffee brewing is 96°C, and while that was the temperature of the water passing through the grounds, by the time the coffee was ready to serve the temperature was actually less. This was seen as a problem for some “Eletta” owners.
However, to try and drink a cappuccino at 96°C would cause scolding of the mouth and throat, so although not being “piping hot” to some, the dispensing temperature was deemed to be really quite sensible.
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The “Eletta’s” integrated coffee hopper’s design and position did make it quite difficult to empty, when trying to swap from whole beans to ready ground.
The quality of the “flat white” coffee was found to be somewhat disappointing.
The De’Longhi “Eletta” is by the most expensive of the De’Longhi coffee machines in this review.
Even with these very minor negative points, the De’Longhi “Eletta” is a high quality and very well designed appliance.
- Extremely well built with stainless steel.
- 8 pre-set coffee recipes, which can be customised.
- Integrated coffee hopper and grinder offering 13 grind settings to optimize flavour and aroma.
- Large 2 litre water reservoir, with water filter.
- Detachable milk carafe, ideal for fridge storage.
- All reservoirs, carafe, tray, grounds container and foam pipes are dishwasher proof.
- Automatic self cleaning feature.
- Patented micro foaming system, ideal for foaming and customised cappuccinos.
- Hot water attachment for making “Americano” coffee as well as tea infusions.
- Auto shut off for energy efficiency.
- A ready ground use option.
- The weight of the machine.
- Pre-set “flat white” coffee recipe disappointing.
- Dispensing temperature found to be a little too cool for some.
- The price.
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The De’Longhi “Magnifica S” Coffee Machine.
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Sleek with rounded edges, the De’Longhi “Magnifica S” is an almost silent coffee machine which fits discreetly into most kitchens.
A tidily designed and extremely simple to follow control panel sets everything from grind coarseness to water temperature, all with a single touch of a button.
De’Longhi have primarily designed the “Magnifica S” as a “bean to cup” coffee machine. With an easy-to-fill integrated coffee bean hopper and an almost silent coffee grinder, this De’Longhi coffee machine has 13 grinding settings catering for nearly all preferred taste and coffee aromas.
The “Magnifica S” has been designed to produce espresso or cappuccino coffee. However, other coffee and milk based drinks are very easily made, albeit by hand!
D’Langhi have included a manually operated milk frother, which to many purists will allow complete personalisation of a coffee. With a simple flick of a switch the milk frother becomes a hot water tap, ideal for making an “americano” or a “flat white” coffee, as well as tea infusions.
This De’Langhi coffee machine is able to produce drinks 2 at a time.
The “Magnifica S” coffee machine is equipped with a generous 1.8 litre water tank, ensuring, enough to make more than just a couple of drinks before refilling. While a waterfilter is supplied and its use strongly recommended by de’Longhi, many “Magnifica S” owners said that bottled water was ideal to use.
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This De’Langhi Coffee maker’s removeable trays, water tank, grounds container are all dishwasher proof, taking away the deadly chore of msnual cleaning. However, descaling and cleaning of internal parts has to be done manually and on a regular basis.
Just like its bigger brother, the “Eletta” the “Magnifica S” is also able to make coffee from ready ground coffee, much for the same reasons.
To ensure energy efficiency the De’Longhi “Magnifica S” includes an auto shut off feature, when not used.
The “Magnifica S” even though of a durable plastic build weighs in at a relatively heavy 9kg, but as mobility is not a serious concern it is of minor importance, except when unpacking.
The DeLanghi “Magnifica S” coffee machine is covered by the standard De’Langhi 1 year warranty.
While this coffee machine is a durable and well designed machine which does produce a “good coffee” in the De’Langhi tra dition there were some minor niggles that were a little disappointing to find.
The number one disappointment must be that great care must be taken when taking the cover plate off for its manual cleaning regime. Within the cover are two “O” ring seals which are liable to fall out and can be easily broken.
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Although reasonably easy to replace the replacement seals come in multipacks and can be quite expensive to replace.
The dispensing temperature is not 96°C, as discussed earlier the temperature of the coffee is quite adequate, if it was any hotter it would burn the inside of the mouth and throat.
In summary, the De’Langhi “Magnifica S” is a good solid performer that allows home barista skills to be explored.
- Generous 1.8 litre watertank.
- Ability to make 2 coffee drinks at a time.
- Intergrated coffee hopper and grinder with 13 grinding settings.
- Reservoir, grounds container and tray are all dishwasher proof.
- Ready ground as well as whole coffee beens can be used.
- Extremely quiet grinder, almost solent.
- Simple to use and well designed control panel.
- Milk foamer converts to hot water dispenser by the flick of a switch.
- The weight.
- No self cleaning function.
- Fragile “O” ring seals that are exposed when manual cleaning has to be done.
- Does not produce truly piping hot coffee. This is a very, very minor point.
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The De’Longhi “Magnifica” Coffee Machine.
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With a Silver finish the “Magnifica” is a coffee machine that is hard to miss. Although it has a similar name to the “Magnifica S”, this particular De’Longhi model does have significant differences.
The De’Longhi “Magnifica” is again, primarily a “bean to cup” coffee maker with the option of using either whole beans or ready ground for exactly the same reasons touched upon before in this review.
With a large integrated coffee hopper and vertical feed grinder offering 7 grinding settings this coffee machine is extremely easy to use, thanks to the simple and clearly laid out control panel.
Designed to automatically produce either espresso or cappuccino coffees, the De’Longhi “Magnifica” is quite capable to produce a wide range of additional hot drinks by hand, with its milk frothing arm.
In addition to the frother being used for heating milk and producing froth for cappuccinos, by the flick of a switch it doubles as a hot water dispenser for “americanos” as well as tea.
Whether making Cappuccinos or espressos this coffee maker is able to dispense hot coffee in batches of 2 to save time.
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The De’Langhi “Magnifica” has a large 1.8 litre water tank with additional filtering, so that a succession of coffees can be made before refilling.
Unlike the “Magnifica S”, the “Magnifica” has a self cleaning feature which is activated via the front mounted control panel, making cleaning and clearing of water pipes etc stress free.
It must be added that the spill tray, reservoir and grounds container are all dishwasher proof, taking the drudge out of the very necessary maintenance regime.
With the need for energy efficiency these days the De’Longhi “Magnifica” has an auto shut-off feature built in.
As with all De’Longhi coffee machines the “Magnifica” is covered by a 1 year warranty.
Although made from durable plastic, the “Magnifica is certainly not a lightweight machine.Weighing in at a hefty 10.52kg it may be cumbersome to move from surface to surface.
While the De’Longhi ” Magnifica” is highly thought of one real problem that the machine has is its slowness. From grinding, through brewing to actual dispensing, the whole process can take up to 10 minutes or so. Making the coffee tepid at best.
The drip tray was also found to be a little too flimsy and could be easily broken.
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What does seem to be a common thread with De’Longhi coffee machines is the awkwardness of swapping beans to ready ground coffee when it comes to the coffee hopper, and unfortunately the De’Longhi “Magnifica “proved to be no exception.
Although the “Magnifica” being one of the older models in the De’Longhi range, it can still hold its own against the more modern machines, producing good italian style coffees.
- Integrated coffee hopper with gravity feed grinder.
- 7 settings of grinding coarseness.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Self cleaning feature.
- Milk frother and hot water dispenser for “americanos” and tea.
- Large 1.8 litre water tank.
- Auto shut-off when not in use.
- Water tank, drip tray and grounds container are all dishwasher proof.
- Its weight. Weighs in at a very heavy 10.52kg.
- Awkwardness in changing beans to ready ground in the coffee hopper.
- Drip tray extremely flimsy and could break very easily.
- Coffee production is extremely slow, taking up to 10 minutes to produce a cappuccino. Making the coffee at best, tepid.
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The De’Longhi Vintage “Icona” Traditional Espresso Pump Machine.
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The “Icona” is very much a retro design traditional espresso machine. Where hot water is pumped through the coffee at a pressure at 15 bar, making sure that it not only looks traditional but sounds it too.
It must be said that the “Icona” can only use pre ground coffee or ESE pods, and is not a “bean to cup” machine.
The De’Langhi “Icona” has a minimalist but easy to use control panel which lets the machine make its coffee drinks of double or single espresso.
However, with the use of the steam arm the usual range of popular coffees; while “americanos” and tea can be made without difficulty using the added hot water spout
Like the traditional espresso pumps, the “Icona” has a removeable handled filter where the ESE pod or grounds are put and then automatically tamped before water is pumped through. With 2 filter elements for coffee strength, the resulting espresso has the flavour and reminiscent sound of any continental cafeterìa.
With 2 seperate thermostats to control water temperature and steam temperature, the De’Longhi “Icona” will produce piping hot coffee everytime, with its ability to produce 2 capuccinnos at once thanks to its 1.7 litre water tank.
The “Icona” is a comparatively light coffee machine, weghing just 4.1kg it is highly portable and can be discreetly placed on any kitchen surface.
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The De’Longhi “Icona” espresso pump is covered by a 1 year warranty.
Despite its obvious retro styling and vintage charm, the De’Longhi “Icona” does have its drawbacks.
One major drawback is that the “Icona” is remarkabley slow in pumping water through the tamped coffee, taking well over 10 minutes to produce 2 espressos.
While some may say this is quaint and reflects vintage baristarism, it does however lead to very tepid, almost cold coffee.
The De’Longhi “Icona” espresso pump is extremely loud at every stage of producing coffee.
All aspects of cleaning, from descaling to cleaning the water tank must be done by hand, making the it very much of a chore to make coffee.
While being charming and traditional, the De’Longhi “Icona” is more of a novelty than true coffee maker, more suitable for occasional use than anything else.
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- Pleasing retro design.
- Able to use ESE pods as well as ready ground coffee.
- 2 thermostats to control steam and water temperaturres.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Large 1.7 litre watertank.
- Dual filters and self tamping coffee holder.
- Excruciatingly slow to produce espresso coffee.
- Extremely loud operation.
- Coffee produced is almost cold due to slow pumping time.
- Need to completely clean by hand. A real chore.
- Suitable for only occasional use.
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The De’Longhi ECP31.21 Barista Pump.
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Compact and with a stainless steel construct this traditional style barista pump is designed to only designed to use either ESE capsules or ready ground coffee.
The handled filter comes with three filters which are changed manually. A coffee scooper and tamper is also included with the ECP31.21.
A 1.1 litre water tank holds enough water for about 4 coffee drinks to be made, while this De’Longhi coffee machine can produce 2 coffees at a time.
Refilling the water tank was found to be a little fiddley, and the water level indicater is quite hard to see.
With its steam arm the De’Longhi ECP31.21 is able to provide cappuccinos, Lattes and most of the popular coffee based drinks, but without “programmes”.
So home barista skills are either learnt very fast, or perfected, as all drinks apart from espresso are made by hand.
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To make an “americano” or to infuse tea De’Longhi have included a hot water dispenser, which provides hot water that is not quite hot enough, due in part to thete being only one thermostat for steam and hot water.
It must be said that the De’Longhi ECP31.21 is a very basic traditional style barista pump, and as such does not self clean, nor is there a built in grounds container.
It is vital to clean and descale a coffee machine to keep it in working order, as well as to prevent the build up of potentially harmful germs. So while the water tank and filters are removeable, nothing in the DeLonghi ECP31.21 is dishwasher proof. So be prepared for manual cleaning and descaling!
As with all De’Longhi coffee makers, the ECP31.21 is covered by a 1 year warranty.
The De’Longhi ECP31.21 is a basic coffee machine is a basic barista style espresso pump, which unfortunately does not live up to the tradition that it tries to portray.
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- Good stainless steel construct and surprising light.
- 3 filters included with handled filter holder.
- Able to produce 2 coffees at a time.
- Only one thermostat to control both steam and water temperature. Unable to produce either pipinig hot water or steam.
- The water tank is only 1.1 litres.
- All cleaning and descaling must be done by hand.
- No grounds container included.
- Removeable parts are not dishwasher proof.
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De’Longhi EDG155.BG Mini -Me.
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The EDG155.BG, although very popular, is purely a coffee dispenser. Made by De’Longhi exclusively for Nescafé, the EDG155.BG can only use “Dolce Gusto” ESE pods.
With a very small 800ml watertank, and one pod holder, this De’Longhi machine can only produce one cup of coffee at a time. However, it only takes a minute to do so.
With no steam arm or hot water spout, the EDG 155.BG can really only produce “americano” and then only to a pre-set style: Nescafé’s.
If different drinks like cappuccino or latte are needed, or different strengths required then, if Nescafé does not produce its recipe for it in a pod, then it’s impossible to have.
However, the EDG155.BG is a machine that is quick, needs little cleaning and provides bog standard “americano” and espresso coffee without the bother of coffee grounds.
The De’Longhi EDG 155.BG is covered by the standard De’Longhi 1 year warranty.
The EDG155.BG is not a real coffee maker, but a coffee dispenser. There are no coffee customising features and will only provide coffee from Nescafé. Very disappointing.
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- Very compact and lightweight at only 2.8kg
- Extremely quick. Will take 1 minute to produce a cup of coffee
- Very little cleaning or descaling needed.
- Only uses Nescafé ESE pods. Therefore it’s no more than a coffee dispenser.
- Very small 800ml water tank.
- Will only provide Nescafé bog standard espresso or “americano” coffee.
- No steam arm for milk frothing or hot water provision.
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…And The Best?
While each coffee machine does have its merits, the best De’Longhi coffee machine for the true “coffee lover” is undoubtedly the “Eletta”.