1,211 of 1,216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Machine and Value
After purchasing and returning a cheap Mr. Coffee steam espresso machine that produced nothing close to a real espresso, I decided to get serious about finding a solid "entry-level" espresso machine. I did an exhaustive (ie: ridiculous) amount of research, reading reviews at a myriad of sites, comparing prices, talking to friends who consider themselves "espresso...
Published on May 14, 2010 by Viewfinder
128 of 140 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Day One: 4 star | Day Six: 2 star
After a week or so here is a few things:
Steamer/froth shoots out more water than I would care for. The portafilter (metal handle with filter) is plastic and water can get trapped inside since it is not solid but two pieces of plastic together. If you make an espresso then use the steamer there is a large amount of pressure stuck inside the portafilter...
Published on January 27, 2010 by Rad
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1,211 of 1,216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Machine and Value,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)After purchasing and returning a cheap Mr. Coffee steam espresso machine that produced nothing close to a real espresso, I decided to get serious about finding a solid "entry-level" espresso machine. I did an exhaustive (ie: ridiculous) amount of research, reading reviews at a myriad of sites, comparing prices, talking to friends who consider themselves "espresso experts", etc. What I found first is that you will never find 100% agreement on a given machine. Second, you have to establish your price range. It does seem that with espresso machines, the more you're willing to pay, the more you get, either in features, design, longevity or performance. For me, despite my friend raving about his newest $700 "it does everything except read the paper to you" machine, as a first time home machine buyer, I wanted to limit my first expenditure. So I set a max budget at $250 and learned about every possible option.
I won't go through the reasons I didn't buy other machines and it is possible that many I chose not to buy would have been perfectly good. What I will tell you is that thus far, about 3 months and 100+ espressos later, I am extremely happy with my DeLonghi EC702. The bottom line is that it produces a perfect crema with a rich taste. The steaming wand, though not perfectly designed, works well and I can make excellent Lattes. I feel it is important to add that like any machine, it takes some practice to produce the perfect espresso. There are so many human variables that come into play - how long to let the pump run, proper warm-up time, type of coffee, the grind, how much you compact/tamp the coffee, etc. - that no two people will get the same results. However, the performance of this machine has been flawless. I have not experienced any leaks or problems. I have followed the instructions carefully from the first use, kept it properly cleaned and it has rewarded me with a great cup every day.
Some other positives:
- Very good clearance between the bottom of the filter holder and the base. I have a nice size cappuccino mug (in addition to standard espresso cups) and it fits perfectly. Apparently this is a problem with some other machines.
- Two size filters - one for single shot and one for double shot espressos.
- Filters also use the ESE pod system if you're into that. I don't use pods.
- Large, easily removable and cleanable water holder.
- It looks great. All silver, mostly metal. Doesn't have any of that cheap looking black plastic.
- Warming tray on top really works. I store my cups and filters on top and they are nice and warm after about 15 minutes, which is the recommended warm-up time. And BTW - this is not a problem. I get up, walk in the kitchen, turn it on. By the time I come back into the kitchen after getting the kids going, it is ready. Those people who complain because they have to wait a few minutes need to re-evaluate their addiction to coffee.
- Great price point. Under $200.
- Yes, it is somewhat noisy for the 15 seconds it produces the coffee - but it is a pump machine, which you must have. My kids running around in the morning make far more noise than the machine.
- Your first 5-6 cups will taste like battery acid. I was warned of this from an experienced friend. All new machines must be broken in to eliminate that metallic taste. So when you get it, after following the directions and running water through it a few times, then make several throw-away cups of coffee as well. I used a less expensive coffee for this instead of wasting my good stuff. Allowing the coffee flavor to permeate the filters will properly prep the machine.
- You must clean it at proper intervals. The machine even comes with a bottle of descaler.
- Buy an external tamper. It will make it much easier on you, help you be consistent in your tamping and will keep the machine cleaner. I bought the $8 Terry's Tamper on Amazon and it is the perfect size for the DeLonghi filter. Don't waste your money on expensive tampers.
- Make sure you use the proper very fine grinds meant for espresso machines. I took one bag of beans to a grinder at Trader Joe's and set it to the finest grind, which I thought was great. However, I later bought a can of Illy pre-ground for espresso (a fabulous coffee by-the-way) and learned that my public grinding was nowhere near as fine. So my espressos improved even further using a better grind.
So there it is. I actually purchased mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond as a 20% off coupon brought the price down to equal the generally better Amazon prices, but also allowed me an easy, walk-in no questions asked return policy if I wasn't happy.
I hope this helps people. I felt I owed a review as thanks to all those whose reviews I leaned on. My final thought is that once you get hooked on making your own espressos, even with a good machine like the DeLonghi, you do start to see the value in the really expensive machines that are fully automatic and even grind the beans like my friends $700 gizmo. But for the regular guy who doesn't mind a little manual labor and doesn't have $700 to drop, I highly recommend this machine.
348 of 355 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best espresso maker out of my last 4!!!!,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)I have been making espresso at home for 30 years and have gone through 3 machines prior to purchasing the DeLonghi. The first was purchased in Rome in 1978 when home-brewed espresso in the US was a rarity. That machine lasted 10 years before the pump blew out and looking back it just made 'acceptable' coffee. I next purchased a Krups (from Amazon) and ran that one to death in 10 more years. It was a fine machine but not surprisingly, it did wear out. A good value for the price and I got a lot of service from it. Then I got a Braun which was totally serviceable for yet another 10 years....do these things all last 10 years? I guess so. When it was time to purchase another espresso maker, I chose the DeLonghi EC702. What a nice surprise! It heats up really quickly, and despite the owner's manual that says let it warm up for 15 minutes before you brew the first cup, I find you can get a perfect cup after only about 3 minutes of warm-up. Then, hit the 'milk steamer' button and in just one more minute it's hot enough to do the milk for a great cappuccino. The steamer nozzle is the first I've seen that can be EASILY dismantled (two small pieces to pull off) and rinsed. Former models had to be scrubbed with a scouring pad occasionally to scape off the residue left on the nozzle. This DeLonghi setup is far better and the steamer nozzle is always clean and ready for your next cappuccino. The drip tray (plastic with a metal grid) pulls off for easy cleaning too. Being a coffee-hound, I use the double-filter basket to make a single cup, although the photo shows two demitasse cups being filled side-by-side. Really, I'd recommend this machine without reservation. It's good-looking, easily cleanable, warms up super fast, quickly steams the milk to a lovely froth, and filling the water reservoir is a snap because it pulls out like a small drawer so you can squirt more water in from the sink's dish sprayer without needing to remove the entire reservoir from the machine (at least that's how I do it). A full reservoir makes about 4 good-sized cappuccinos with frothed milk before needing refilling. All in all, a GREAT machine at a GREAT price. Buy it!
581 of 618 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine, great price, great crema, great steam - read instructions!,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)Basically all of the negative reviews they did not read the instructions well enough. This thing kicks ass for a 15 bar espresso/cappuccino machine for under (...). Perfect crema, nice steam, cleans easily. Sexy stainless. Of course it doesn't have auto on-off... IT IS AN ESPRESSO MACHINE! The timing is different every time as the water pumps through, and how will it know if you are making a short, a double or if you want to turn it off early? If you are too lazy to push a single button to start and stop the pump, get a "Mr. Coffee" and quit whining that your appliance doesn't tie your shoes for you... The steam nozzle only leaks if you don't close it. If you don't put the lever back to the closed position all the way, yes, then water sprays out. When it is not in steam mode and the valve is open it sprays water, thats what it is supposed to do (for tea, etc.). It is not that complicated a machine, but common sense is uncommon to most people. It heats up fast, makes a delicious cup of cappuccino or espresso and cleans up easily. The warming rack on the top is designed well also. It makes me happy to turn this thing on in the morning. It prefers finely ground espresso, not espresso ground for drip machines or stovetops. If you are a "pod" person, you should be ashamed and really don't need this machine. This machine is for brewing a real cup with fresh grounds.
If you can work simple machinery and like espresso/cappuccino from freshly ground beans, get this machine and enjoy.
If you are a bit lazy and prefer everything to be automatic and are the type to use "pods", do not get this machine.
105 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great machine for the price point!,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)I purchased this item 2 months ago and have been using it daily ever since. Previous posters were correct on the steamer wand (it IS a bit restrictive, I suggest purchasing one of the smaller frothing pitchers rather than a big one). Also, it *DOES* put out a lot of water through the steaming/frothing wand when you first turn it on, but you can get around that (more on that later).
It DOES produce a FABULOUS Espresso shot, Cappucino, Latte's, it tastes MUCH better than Starbucks to me and it only took me two attempts to get my technique down to where it's NOT a problem.
1. Loading coffee. I use half and half Lavazza in the can with the mark on it that has the Espresso picture and half any local bean ground to a #3 setting in the store - my preference is for Blue Jamaican. Put the local ground half in FIRST, then put the Lavazza in on top of that.
2. Tamping. This is NOT a "press as hard as you can" thing. I use the double size grind basket, and a full scoop looks just SLIGHTLY rounded ABOVE the top edge BEFORE I tamp it, using a light "tapping" force like I'd knock on a door lightly. Tamp it LEVEL with the top of the basket, then use your finger to wipe around the EDGE of the basket top to get rid of the grinds that are on the edges where it will seal. Keeping the seal clear of grinds will prevent leaking.
3. Turning on the machine for warmup: I put it on STEAM first. This is important. Don't open the steam knob yet, just let it warm up and give you the green light in the STEAM setting. Put a towel under the steamer wand. Once the light is green, open the steam valve and watch the water come out of the wand for 5-10 seconds until it's all STEAM. This will purge the tube of water AND give you a nice warm steam rag to clean the wand AFTER you're done. When it's STEAM coming out, turn the valve back off and switch the machine to Espresso and wait for the light to go green again.
4. Brew Espresso as directed. It will LOOK like it's foamy coming out. Once it SETTLES in the cups for a few seconds, you will see it is mostly espresso with a nice layer of Crema on top (assuming you have the glass tumblers that are available on Amazon pretty cheaply - worth it!) Don't worry that you have to manually turn it on and off, this takes about 30 seconds, just sit there and watch it, not a big deal.
5. Switch back to steam mode, wait for green light again. Put milk pitcher under frothing wand, froth your milk, then make your Lattte / Cappucino as desired. Hint: If you like a hot Latte like I do with a creamier taste, I microwave the milk first for a minute. This gets the milk up to temperature to where, by the time it's frothed LIGHTLY, with a minimum of water/steam added into the milk, it's hot.
All of the above takes me about 5-7 minutes.
All in all, I'm HIGHLY satisfied with this machine and would DEFINITELY recommend it. Heck, I bought one for my dad for Father's Day. :)
182 of 190 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product for the price,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)Pros: Brews excellent espresso with abundant crema, dual thermostats for brewing and steaming, two different sizes of filter holders, one of them allows you to use E.S.E. pods, good frothing, cup warmer, attractive look all at a good price.
Cons: Removable water tank not ease to reach in a tight counter space, I would have liked to see more flexibility in the frothing wand, the design leaves too little space both sideways and below to maneuver with the pitcher, cheap plastic, fragile looking bottom tray that contrast with an otherwise stainless steel solid body.
Although there are much better pump driven machines out there you may find out that the much higher price doesn't have much impact in the quality of the espresso and sometimes even in the quality or functionality of the machine. For a budget minded person, this is a good choice in its class.
Now a few words about the different espresso makers to help you make a choice. I have owned all three types.
The traditional stove top maker, pros: is cheap, last a lifetime with little care, keeps the coffee warmer longer, cons: it is messy, slower in comparison with steam driven machines and requires attention while brewing, doesn't make crema by itself and of course you need a separate frothing device for cappuccinos, size of the brew rigid you will need different sized machines to brew for just yourself or 3-4 people or you'd be wasting coffee. Still the most popular household machine in espresso loving countries and localities like Italy, Cuba and Miami.
Steam driven machines, pros: fast, inexpensive, durable, can be left unattended while brewing, integrated frothing wand, more flexibility in the size of the brew, cons: Espresso quality while similar to that of the stove top cannot match that of a pump driven machine, no crema, coffee gets cold fast.
Pump driven machines, pros: great tasting coffee with crema, integrated frothing wand and other convenient features, cons: always more expensive, lots of parts and electronics makes them pron to fail or wear much faster than the two other types, brewing requires full attention and some technique, the machine needs priming too so this are not machines for people on the run.
Finally, the quality of the espresso is in a good part a function of the quality of the coffee you use regardless of the machine, pump driven machines definitively give you a better tasting coffee all other things equal but requires you to learn some techniques and won't compensate for bad coffee.
However, I must say that taste varies. Some people here scoff at this or the other brand of coffee and recommend particularly expensive brands as a show of their taste and sophistication. Follow you own instincts and taste, experiment with different brands and techniques (grinds, degrees of roast, tamp strength) until you find the most satisfactory to you. Many will find out that good coffee doesn't necessarily have to be made and packed in Italy. I personally use inexpensive 30 cents an ounce or less Latin brands which suit my taste well for everyday use. When it fancies me I buy something more expensive for a gourmet experience. Bottom line, you don't have to break the bank to enjoy a good espresso just like you don't have to go every day to a gourmet restaurant to have a good meal.
Update April 14, 2012
I have owned this machine for more than two years of daily use and still running fine with all its original accessories. I have performed descaling with the recommended product twice. I notice a significant improvement in performance after each one even though I used filter water and in my area the water is not hard. In areas with harder water you may want to follow strictly the manufacturer recommended descaling schedule or do it more frequently. I also recommend to clean well the area outside and around the boiler removing the gasket as natural coffee grease accumulates and that may influence coffee taste as well as the boiler iteself. Same for the coffee holders.
128 of 140 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Day One: 4 star | Day Six: 2 star,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)Update:
After a week or so here is a few things:
Steamer/froth shoots out more water than I would care for. The portafilter (metal handle with filter) is plastic and water can get trapped inside since it is not solid but two pieces of plastic together. If you make an espresso then use the steamer there is a large amount of pressure stuck inside the portafilter and if you open it without waiting a few minutes coffee goes everywhere; this problem has been getting worse?
Also.... After this few days / week it seems as though the main center area where you connect the portafilter (porthead?) leaks steam/water every now and then if left ON.
Espresso itself... The espresso isn't that bad once you've used it a few days and figure out what this machine likes. For me it has been a full portafilter with ~15lbs of tamp on the finest ground coffee (burr conical grinder) you can get. This machine can produce a nice amount of crema with the various blends I've tried both freshly roasted with 36 hours of air out and from my local roaster.
Worth $200? I'd say maybe $150. I like that this uses a BOILER and not a thermoblock. However... The water dripping and the pressure problem is getting WORSE as time passes, so I am starting to believe the quality control on these units is sub par.
I got the machine yesterday and have already put around 30 or so espressos through it. The steamer does produce a little bit of water to begin with, but I haven't seen a machine that doesn't; cloth towel. I have yet to perfect my espresso with the proper tamp or bean, but I hope to within a week or two. I am using the Capresso Infinity 565 burr grinder at the highest fine setting without a problem. Also the terry tamper available through amazon is a few mm too small; just fyi.
Looks: Looks GREAT small footprint, very sturdy.
Function: The drip tray is GREAT! Please remember this is espresso... you will have drips of coffee no matter what. Cleans up very fast. the ENTIRE bottom comes off with a little lift for easy cleaning as does the drip tray.
ALSO: If you have questions feel free to ask, I have selected to receive email updates with comments to my post.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars delivers a wonderful cup,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)I read so many reviews of the DeLonghi 15 Bar pump espresso maker and they were so overwhelmingly great that I bought it. I've been using it for about a week and I love it. I went from a steam machine to this one, and the CREMA is such a thick and beautiful golden, and the coffee hot. I'll leave a couple of tips as I read from others that helped me the most.
1. Read and follow the brief and very clear directions in the booklet. Run clear water through to clean the inner workings.
2. Preheat that machine for 15 minutes, and put hot water in your cups while you're waiting. The heated top is not that hot, but is a little helpful, the heating with hot water from the tap is best.
3. Don't forget to use the tamper, to get the crema. When you do it, place the holder under the tamper and make a smooth motion to the right- sort of "swirling" the coffee into a smooth top.
4. I steam the milk for cappucino first, so set the steamer button, and do that so that your coffee is hot when you add the milk and foam. If you do it the other way, your coffee is cooling as you are frothing!
5. People have complained about the placement of the milk frothing device. Really no big deal- you can pull it out a bit, and once your frothing pot is in place, the device does the rest, very little need for moving it around- I was amazed.
6. Enjoy a delicious and hot cup of coffee. I know that ILLY is expensive, but I do think it makes a great cup. Lavazza is a reasonably priced alternative.
I hope my comments have helped.
PS If one other person complains about the plastic parts- like the drip tray or water holder I'll scream. If the whole thing was stainless steel the unit would be twice as expensive. The important parts are steel and that's what makes it affordable
Good luck and I hope this helps.
57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor reliability,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)March 2011, Ordered the EC702. Unit looked great, worked great...for less than 6 weeks.
April 2011, a loud "pop" told me something went wrong. Unit was dead. Contacted DeLonghi Warranty Service. Took them a WEEK to call me back. Unit was shipped to repair service center, where I was told the part I needed was back ordered. Part would be available in JULY!!!!!
July 2011, no part.......
August 2011, Part arrives! Unit shipped to me. Unit looked great, worked great...for 7 weeks this time.
September 2011, Unit will not produce a shot. Contacted DeLonghi and was told to descale the unit (required every 200 coffees). Hadn't actually had the chance to make that many coffees yet but I complied, and guess what...still not working. We'll see where we go from here.
In all, the unit has been in my possession only 13 weeks since I bought it March 2011.
I am unable to recommend a DeLonghi product
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)I purchased this on a whim in August to replace my tiny Mr Coffee espresso machine. My taste has become slightly more refined I guess. This is a great entry level machine. It's worked well for the past 6 months making 1-2 espresso shots every day. You do however have to get use to it. First use, make sure to use some cheep stuff and run it through a few times to get that metal/plastic taste out. I get the best results when I turn it on when I wake up, let it warm up for at least 20 mins. Also make sure to get a tamper and the frothing pitcher. After waiting the 20 or so mins, I use the Starbucks espresso roast, fine grind. Tamp with about 30 pounds and enjoy. If you are having problems frothing the milk, you are probably doing it wrong and should seek advice from a barista before blaming the machine. it get's 4 stars because it sounds like a tractor and takes too long to warm up. Otherwise, GREAT value for what I paid.
Dec 23 Update
Just like some others have said and described in detail, this machine is loosing its ability of make a good espresso after about 6 months of light usage. The pump really has dramatically lost power AND all the beloved crema disappeared.I also ran the descaling liquid through several times, but it doesn't seem to help.I am very disappointed and I hope amazon replaces the thing, what a waste.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for your money,
This review is from: DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless (Kitchen)Yes, you could spend thousands of dollars on the best grinder, tamper, and a kick-ass espresso machine. But this machine works very well, is easy to use, and produces a nice espresso with a good crema. The major plus of this machine is the quality of the product - the major con is the lack of flexibility / awkwardness of the design. Regarding the other reviews, I have not had problem with the steam wand leaking when it is turned fully off or of grinds getting stuck in the filter (I use preground beans, which work fine).
-nice, stainless steel appearance;
-easy to use (and a fairly good instruction manual);
-easy to clean;
-heats up fast (maybe 3 minutes for the light to come on, max, which is just enough time to tamp down your espresso and check the water level);
-makes a good, drinkable espresso and nice lattes.
-tamper not very good. "A few millimeters too small" might not seem like a big problem but it means that espresso gets on top of the tamper and falls on to the drip plate, etc, making clean up annoying. Since they are cheap enough just buy a separate one to spare yourself the trouble. OR just kind of pull the factory tamper down from the machine to detach it and use it like a separate handheld tamper :]
-is slightly loud when making espresso, but not enough to be bothersome
-there is very little clearance for anything larger than a standard espresso cup when making espresso --- but if you want to use a regular mug just remove the drip plate and you'll have enough room.
-the steam wand is rather awkward; it is rather close to the machine and doesn't have a lot of flexibility (you can turn it towards you but not side to side). That being said, I produce what (to me) is a good, frothy, creamy, hot milk for lattes - I just turn/manipulate the cup rather than the wand. You can also buy separate steam wands though if you want more flexibility. I usually only steam one portion of milk at a time (in a mug) so I'm not sure how easy it would be to steam a larger container of milk.
Still working great about a month in!
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