First of all, this machine is physically superior to all other super-automatic brands I checked out. The top line Jura, Saeco, and Krups are all wrapped in plastic with steel accents in front while the Delonghi is fully encased in steel. The engineering is very solid and it has a gorgeous presence in the kitchen.
If you like Cappuccino, you will love this machine and its truly one touch operation. However, you must use proper sized Cappuccino cups to get the full experience. The machine is tuned to froth the milk and add the espresso shot so that froth extends about 1/4 inch above the edge of the cup. You can change these settings, but out-of-the-box it is perfect. I have never had a better Cappuccino anywhere – even Italy. (I use Illy medium roast beans). The milk container is incredibly convenient. I have placed the machine near my fridge so I simply store the milk container in the fridge after each use. It snaps in and out of place very easily.
The espresso shots are wonderful. It is important that you take note of the grind setting when you open the box before you change it. They set the grind setting at the factory for each machine and it is unlikely that you will find a better mark. People say that super-automatics can’t make a shot as good as the manual machines but think this machine defies that rule.
To really enjoy and understand this machine, you need to read the manual and take some simple extra steps before and after you use it each day. First of all, use the rinse feature often. It takes 1/2 second to push the button. If the machine has been sitting for a while, hit rinse before you use it so the infuser will heat up. After your last cup for the morning etc, hit rinse. It is a quick and simple way to keep the machine working well. Second, before and after you use the milk container, hold the CLEAN button for 5 seconds. It blasts steam through the internal parts that transport the milk. There is no other way to clean the milk that enters the machine. If you don’t do this, the milk will harden in the machine and cause problems. You do not need to CLEAN after every cup, just when you are finished for that period of the day. Again, it is quick and simple and makes a big difference. Finally, prep your machine based on your usage. Don’t let the machine tell you to empty the container, fill the beans, or fill the water. Get ahead of it so that your coffee making sessions are not interrupted by these messages. Once every day or so, depending on usage, just check everything before you start so you don’t waste time or coffee.
Here is an important point. If you are drinking alone, this super- automatic is as much work or more than a manual machine. You need to prep and clean it more than a manual machine. The super-automatic only pays off in terms of convenience when you make the second cup and beyond. With this machine, you can just hit CAPPUCCINO 10 times in a row and you will have 10 cups – it’s that simple. But after 14 cups you refill the water, empty the grounds container, top off the beans, clean the milk and rinse the infuser. To me, its all worth it because it makes a great cup of coffee and it is just so damn cool.
In summary, I am so pleased with this product that I was motivated to write this review. What else can I say?
- 1350-watt fully automatic 15-bar espresso machine
- Thermoblock technology for excellent heat distribution
- Integrated conical burr grinder; direct-brew system
- Digital programmable menu settings; dishwasher-safe parts
- Measures 16-1/2 by 11-1/4 by 15 inches