Ranging in price from less than $100 (EC155) to over $1400 (Perfecta). But let’s take a look at the one I purchased just recently, the Delonghi EC702 coming in at about $200.
It fits under my cupboards
When it comes to finding the perfect home brewing machine for your coffee beverages, a few key features come to mind for most people. These features are affordability, ease of use, and quality.
If these are the top features you are looking for in your home brewing machine, you certainly will want to consider the Delonghi EC702 espresso machine as one of the top contenders for your upcoming espresso maker purchase.
So just what makes the Delonghi EC702 so wonderful? This is a truly versatile machine that packs in the benefits of a pump espresso maker with a cappuccino maker, too. You can choose to use either the convenient ESE pods or brew your own fresh espresso grounds too. This allows you to adjust the flavor of your drink in a simple and easy way.
However, I’ve found that I can’t get a decent brew from the pods. Not sure why – the espresso just seems to come out really thin.
The Delonghi EC702 espresso machine is completely fast and easy to use, and it is also fast and easy to clean up too. Many of the components are dishwasher-safe and it even has a removable 5.5-cup water tank, so when you are done using it in the morning, afternoon, or evening, you can easily clean it so it is ready to go again the next time you want one of your favorite coffee drinks at home.
This machine is loaded with some features that you will find in machines that are priced two, three or more times higher than this one, so this Delonghi model is truly an affordable yet completely functional machine that you will definitely want to consider.
At the end of the days, it fits on my kitchen counter, heats up quickly and makes a good espresso. Job done
There are several outstanding features on this super-automatic that, just by looking, you may think you are getting on another comparably priced maker when you are, in fact not. The first thing I like about the ESAM 5500 is the apparent ability to make a hot coffee drink.
That may sound a bit ridiculous unless you have been let down in the past by another, lesser performing machine. It’s actually a common complaint for the temp to be lacking, so when I find a maker that performs well in this area it’s definitely something I zero in on.
(Remember this isn’t a cheap machine! But you can get good deals on it. Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the sale price for this item right now by clicking here.)
Another area, in regards to temperature, that can be a letdown on other makers, is their cup warmer. This is less often reported to be a problem, I think because people just don’t care as much, but with the Perfecta the cup warmer is reported to be hot! Losing 10 or 15*F because of a cold cup is a bummer, so this is excellent news for those of us who like an extra hot drink.
Speaking of heat, the one place you don’t want a lot of it is in the attached milk carafe, if you are lucky enough to have a machine with this accessory to begin with that is. Why is this? Well put simply, cold milk is fresh milk. The ESAM 5500 can deliver the goods, clean the milk circuit, and all the while leave the remaining milk cold.
Once you’re done steaming and frothing just detach the milk accessory, then put it in the fridge for the next time you need it. I like it!
This super-automatic has a lot of other nice features. One thing I like in particular is the front loading water container. You simply pull out the water tank and fill it. This makes it easier to keep your water and beans separate. The last thing you want is water in your burr grinder, and it happens more often than you’d think.
On the top you’ll access the bean hopper, which includes the adjustment lever for thirteen levels of coarseness, and a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee. The cup warmer/ heated plate is on top too. Brew group removes like a printer cartridge for easy cleaning.
Controlling the ESAM 5500 looks to be pretty straightforward and comparable in features to others in its price range. All of the expected niceties are present and accounted for. Ability to choose things like strength, cup-size, and automatic shut-off time, clock, temp, water hardness, etc…, all via the unit’s digital screen appear to be thoughtfully laid out and intuitive.
For all of its opulence, I really only have one complaint when going over the Perfectas 5500 series’ laundry list of rather nice attributes. That would be the cabinet. Keep in mind that this is not a big glaring flaw by any stretch, and that many would not consider it a flaw of any sort.
There are plenty of excellent machines that feature a plastic cabinet, this being one of them. Some, me included feel that the bean counters (no pun intended) at their respective companies could pony-up for a nicer metallic case. The thing is, if the insides are pretty much the same, then what differentiates this maker from their more expensive units? Usually a fancier interface, a dash of programing, and a lot of stainless steel.
So, if this is true, in any capacity, then buying the maker with the plastic shell is not just economical but smart.
“What’s Everyone Else Saying?”
You know, I almost chuckle when I read about how this or that maker is loud. I have yet to find a quality burr grinder that is quiet! Chalk it up to quality perhaps? Personally, I want to know my machine is doing its business. This wasn’t a big complaint for the Perfecta anyway so let’s move on.
Occasionally I hear about a company that maintains good customer service. You’d think it’d be the standard for companies that make high-end luxury devices, but sadly this is often not the case. So then, I am happy to report that DeLonghi has made the grade with more than one customer when the need arose for some one-on-one time with a human being. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s nice to know that they are there for you should it come to that.
The hardest part of sorting through what people have to say about a product is the contradictions. It’s really about trying to give you the best idea that I can about what to expect when you lay down your hard earned dollars, and open the box.
With this in mind I feel obligated to, somewhat, contradict what I said earlier about the heat that this maker produces. Some users thought that the ESAM 5500 could do better, but that’s where my research experience comes in. I believe that the Perfecta does a better job than most others.
I think sound advice is to read your users guide, watch the DVD, and use the cup warmer. There are tips, or even crucial steps that people sometimes miss because they don’t take the time to learn all of the nuances of their new makers. These are fairly complex, and sometimes even finicky machines.
I’ve read through countless comments, reviews, complaints and forum threads regarding all makes and models of coffee makers, and the DeLonghi ESAM 5500M has done pretty darn well. If I were in the market for a super-automatic in this price range, I would definitely consider the purchase of this maker.
Filling up the water tank
SPECIFICATIONS & CAPACITIES
60oz Water Tank
25oz Milk Carafe
15 Bar Pump
Conical Burr Grinder
Adjustable Height Spout
Push Button Cleaning Function
Hot Water Spout for Tea or Other
Made in Italy
HOW BIG IS IT?
H 14” x W 11” x D 15”
One Year Limited Warranty
Having had a long history, since 1902, in fact, DeLonghi has been in the business of research and development longer than most if not all of their rivals. Though they may not have been making coffee and espresso makers from the very beginning, they were making consumers happy with convenient appliances, and building a reputation as a premier Italian Design Company. Winning numerous awards over the years only confirmed DeLonghi as a powerhouse premium goods manufacturer.
Key words from their website:
“Innovative, style, performance, international…”
All of this “…through committed people who are passionate about driving the continuous success of the brand”
DeLonghi do not keep a complex four page mission that spirals into the obscure, kind of refreshing actually.
EXPLORING THE COMPANY WEBSITE
DeLonghi has a Flash heavy website here that contains information on all of their corporate products. The information available for the ESAM 5500M is pretty thin. One might wonder if DeLonghi is actually trying to sell their products, or just hoping someone else will. In the end, who cares if they market well? As long as they make a great product, we’ll forgive them.
“WHERE CAN I BUY THE PERFECTA AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY?”
I’ve seen some pretty high prices on this model. Amazon.com has a price of $1000.00 less than MSRP. Prices at Amazon start at around $1500.00
There a lot of super-automatic options for the consumer in this price range. Finding the perfect one for you may not be easy, but hopefully I have given you something to think about in terms of this particular model, and the company that makes it. DeLonghi is one of my favorite manufacturers, not simply for what they make, but for the way that they support what they make too.
Like I mentioned before, I hope you would never need to use their customer service, but the peace of mind that comes with great backing is worth a lot in my book. Middle man services, and warranties from an outfit like Amazon.com are great too.
I was passing through the local hospital the other day, and decided to stop in at the resident espresso stand. I figured I’d talk to the barista since it had been a while, and she had been a regular fixture for over 10 years. It will come as no shock to you, dear reader, that I talk to all of the local baristas, and since this one happened to use a business class DeLonghi machine it seemed to be fortunate timing.
My suspicions were confirmed as she explained that while traffic totaled only around 30 or so drinks per day on average, that still worked out to, well, a whole bunch of drinks! This island café doesn’t use a super-automatic, and perhaps it’s a stretch to correlate the two makers, but they do come from the same place, and are made by the same people, and she had nothing but good to say about her experience with the machine, and DeLonghi in general.
I’m a believer in trickle-down, and my guess is that they have enough experience to design and build a superior product.
I like the Perfecta ESAM 5500M. I think it represents an outstanding value in a sea of makers that you can easily over pay for. Getting more for your money when it comes to what many would consider a luxury item is rare. With the available discount, however, more is an acceptable concept when considering the ESAM 5500.
Depending on how you look at it, this maker can actually pay for itself over time. Factor in the daily cost of drinks purchased at your local café and the it won’t be long either.
“The Delonghi Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso Machine is One of the Best”
Coffee connoisseurs around the globe realize finding a truly good cup of coffee or espresso may be a bit of a daunting task. There are plenty of coffeehouses and coffee stands out there selling what they refer to as coffee and espresso, but in reality, many are simply not that good.
In addition, given what most of these coffee merchants are asking per cup ($2.45 on average 2011 prices), one should expect a much higher quality of product than what they are being offered. For those folks, the end to that search may be reaching completion with the purchase of the Delonghi Magnifica.
You can check out the discount available at Amazon if you click here.
This wonderful machine from the good people at DeLonghi is a virtual gift from the coffee gods. Starting my morning out with a home-brewed cup of high-end coffee or espresso is merely a push of a button away with a good espresso machine. Featuring the ability to grind and brew freshly ground espresso or coffee, this machine offers a “Beans-to-Brew” system.
This allows the user to fill the machine with their bean of choice, add water, push a button, and almost instantly have a hot cup of coffee or espresso in hand. Additional features include a three hour automatic shutoff, electronic steam and coffee thermostat, adjustable-height spigots, heated cup tray, removable water tank, and an easy filling bean container for storage.
“What Else Can It Do?”
Overall, there are a variety of benefits to this DeLonghi Magnifica (the best selling one in the Magnifica range) including the ability to store fresh beans and then grind them for each use.
In addition to having an internal grinder it also utilizes a quieter burr grinder which can also be set to a specific grinding level from a coarse grind, to a much finer grind.
The adjustable-height spigots allow for espresso/coffee to be brewed into a number of different size coffee cups and mugs. Furthermore, the Magnifica’s patented cappuccino system also allows for the addition of any size milk container to be used when making cappuccinos, mochas or lattes.
Another great feature of this machine is its compact size. Measuring no more than 18” in any direction, the Magnifica can easily fit on most countertops without taking up a great deal of space, making it a great addition to just about any kitchen or office. However, make sure you measure your space before buying.
“What Are The Downsides?”
The downsides to this machine are honestly few. It is a bit heftier machine weighing in at just over 13 Kilograms. This might make the machine somewhat of a hassle to move around on a regular basis, but if it stands to be a permanent fixture, then once in place the weight of the machine may not be as much of an issue.
In addition the overall cost of the machine is a bit higher than a more hands-on model like the DeLonghi EC702. There is a lot of machine here for the money however, and with the going rate for a good cup of espresso or coffee these days, the Magnifica will more than pay for itself in short order. If you were to have a coffee everyday it would take you about 9 months to break even.
“Who Should Buy This Machine?”
When looking at who should buy this product as opposed to who should not, if you’re someone who enjoys a great espresso or cup of coffee with one push of a button, and will use this machine multiple times per week, if not daily, then this could be the machine for you.
If it happens that you only enjoy an espresso or coffee on a more limited schedule, then you may want to avoid purchasing the Magnifica. Given its costs and routine required maintenance, the Magnifica is geared more towards the heavier user more so than the every once in awhile espresso/coffee drinker.
That being said, if one finds themselves in the category of the former and you can afford a super-automatic, then the DeLonghi Magnifica is worth considering. Consistently brewing solid cup after cup of the best espressos and coffees out there, partnered with the savings from brewing said espressos and coffees at home at a fraction of the cost of buying them from a retailer, makes the Magnifica the best seller in it’s class today.
As previously mentioned, it is not the cheapest espresso machine on the market, however; it will quickly pay for itself and actually begin saving its owner money in the long run.
“What have Magnifica owners had to say about this machine?”
Here are a few quotes from customers who have bought the machine.
“Writing product reviews is not something I normally do, however this machine has earned each of the fantastic comments people have given it. For the past three and a half years I’ve owned mine, and it is working just as well today as it did when I brought it home.”
Another satisfied customer said this: “I researched a number of different machines, and the Magnifica kept showing up as one of the best. It is very user-friendly and easy to set up. The temperature of the coffee is extremely hot and the frother functions phenomenally well. We are all now highly addicted to this machine.”
“Where Can I Buy It?”
Our research found a good price at Amazon and their discounted prices change daily.
The other day my friend was asking me which Delonghi espresso machine was the best. Rather embarrassingly I couldn’t tell her so I started to do a bit of research.
I spent a good while on the web and in forums researching Delonghi products. It turns out the Delonghi EC702 is one of their best selling machines after the cheaper EC155 and the Bar32 Retro Pump.
One of the cool things about this espresso machine is that they’ve included a patented Sempre Crema Filter meaning you can use ground coffee, espresso coffee or coffee pods. (Although I’m not a huge fan of the pods)
It fits under my cupboards
(UPDATE: I bought this machine for my new kitchen and so far, I love it! Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the sale price for this item right now by clicking here)
What I Like About The Delonghi EC702
One of my main considerations was that the machine would fit under the cupboards on my kitchen counter. The Delonghi EC702 is short enough in height that it fits perfectly.
The water tank is accessible from the side of the machine so no need to access the top of the machine. This means it can sit under the cupboards in my kitchen and I don’t have to move it to fill it up with water.
I think it’s a pretty good looking machine even though it’s design might be not as modern as some other machines. I like the stainless steel look.
Easy to clean drainer. Easy to take apart, rinse and put back in under a minute.
The portafilter is nice and light compared to a Gaggia one, which are usually quite heavy.
It heats up really quickly and compared to using a stovetop espresso maker, I save about 5 minutes.
What I Don’t Like
There’s not enough room under the portafilter to put a normal sized mug. You have to use a wee espresso cup or shot glass. But these are readily available on Amazon and are a good investment anyway.
The steam wand is awkward to use in a mug. I keep thinking the milk is going to spill. The wand isn’t flexible enough and you have to use it at an angle. However, it’s fine if you use a proper milk jug which again, are cheaply available online.
I haven’t been able to get the pods supplied with it to produce a good espresso. But that’s ok because I prefer using freshly ground coffee anyway.
Height: 12-4/5 inches
Length: 8-1/5 inches
Depth: 12 inches
Let’s take a look at some of the features of the Delonghi EC702
Double function filter meaning you can use ground coffee or espresso pods
An adjustable frother for easy frothing
A double thermostat system for steaming and brewing
Easy to clean with a removable drip tray
Cup warmer meaning your coffee stays warm longer
The size is 12 by 8-1/5 by 12-4/5 inches; 1-year limited warranty
This is a comprehensive espresso machine at a surprisingly good price brewing proper espresso whilst remaining highly flexible. Despite the fact that you can get much better pump machines, the quality you get is excellent. And it’s within most people’s budget.
Here’s an in depth video about the Delonghi EC702
As you can see from the video this is a nice machine and works quickly and effectively. It gets some pretty rave reviews at online e-commerce sites and that’s exactly where I got mine.
Here’s What People Are Saying About It
“Outstanding crema, looks fantastic, super simple to use. The wand thing works perfectly. I’ve prefected the process of making excellent espresso with this machine, and with any type of milk I can make perfect microfoam.”
“This excellent machine makes it easy to steam milk, so there’s no hanging around waiting for the froth and holding up my espresso. Also, the tank is very simple to clean because you can remove it.”
This machine looks great too and it’s easy to clean. It warms up very quickly indeed and isn’t sluggish about frothing the milk. To clean it you don’t need to take out the complete reservoir. Rather you can simply pull out the little drawer and spray in more water.
It fits well under kitchen cupboards being not too tall.
A well priced espresso machine that will probably suit most espresso lovers just fine.
This DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Machine has the following features:
Removable water tank which makes changing the water very quick and easy.
Uses a self-priming pump
Has an espresso pod adapter
It is eleven 1/8 inches tall and is compact so that it can be stored on any counter or surface.
It can produce two cups of espresso at a time which is great for couples.
Uses ground coffee or ESE pods, which makes espresso making very easy and quick.
Two separate thermostats that control the espresso maker’s steam and water pressure.
One year warranty so that users are satisfied with their purchase.
1. The espresso maker heats up very quickly and there is no waiting time between frothing and brewing.
2. The espresso maker is very compact and can fit in any small space.
3. Water reservoir is of a good size and can produce about eight cups before needing to be refilled.
4. It can easily froth milk and cleanup is a breeze.
1. The steam wand is a little bit short which can be an issue.
2. There is no cup warmer provided with the product.
3. There needs to be more room between the output nozzle and where the cup rests.
Who Should Buy the DeLonghi EC155?
This product was designed for people that love espresso and want to make it at home. Caffeine lovers will adore this product because it is so easy to create great shots of espresso that can be taken on the go. The product is easy to maintain and clean up and does not obstruct kitchen counters.
Why You Should Buy This Product
This is an affordable, compact, durable, and easy to use espresso machine. If it is well maintained by cleaning often, then it can be used for years to come. It is a great investment and costs less than other pricey espresso makers that are currently on the market. It’s probably the best in this price range and certainly the most popular.
What Some Users Are Saying About the DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker:
“This espresso maker works well and makes a great cup of espresso. You will want to drink espresso every morning because of the high quality of espresso that this machine puts out.”
Jennifer (review re-written for uniqueness. Read the full review here).
“I have had the DeLonghi EC155 for about eight months, I got off to a slow start but it works well now. I have found that preheating the espresso maker and warming the cups beforehand really helps the process; I recommend this product to other consumers.“
Ohio Gardner (review re-written for uniqueness. Read the full review here).
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