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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2012
I have previous professional barista experience. I learned how to make espresso on a manual machine and for a home machine with an affordable price tag, you need look no further.

Good espresso has a few requirements, this machine meets them all. It is PUMP driven and this little machine does that well. The cup for your grind produces a beautiful creama and is consistent. The frothing wand is excellent and brings milk to temp quickly. It looks nice and is easy to refill the reservoir.

I did read some negative reviews regarding this machine, however if you follow the basic rules you should be able to produce excellent espresso.

1. Keep it clean! This should be a no brainer, but somehow people don't always get this. Wipe off the boiler outlet after each brew, grinds get stuck up there and if you don't clean, it will clog. Clean the filters after each use. And clean the frothing wand. If you keep it clean you will be happier.

2. Use filtered or distilled water. I live in a high metal, calcium, chlorine filled water district. Espresso tastes like poo with all of that junk in it. Use fresh clean water and it will help keep your unit clean and produce better espresso.

3. Use the right beans. I buy preground espresso beans from Gevallia or any reputable Italian company. I buy preground because even though I have a grinder you can never get the microscopic, consistent grind you need for good espresso. I leave it to the pros. If your picky about "freshness" buy an expensive grinder that will give you the right grind.

4. Don't over fill the filters. One scoop (using the scoop provided) is plenty for a single, 1 1/2 scoops is great for a double.

5. Buy your own tamper. The one on the machine is not sufficient to get an even tamp and you may burn your finger on the boiler unit trying. I got a cheap metal one like the ones I used to use. BUT don't over tamp your grind, the water still needs to filter through. Overtamping leads to icky espresso.

6. Don't under-pull or over-pull your shot. Not sure how long? Go to an espresso shop and time how long they pull one. One good rule of thumb if your creama starts to disappear you've pulled too long.

Most of these do's and don'ts really pertain to your ability to create good espresso. PRACTICE. Run 5-6 junk shots through. Read up on the subject, follow the machines instructions and you will be in espresso bliss shortly.

This is a great machine!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
I was so desperate not to spend $600-$1,000 on a new espresso machine that I ignored the multiple negative reviews. I won't bother regurgitating what others have said, other than to urge you to heed the negative reviews. I purchased a new machine (seller listed as Amazon), but the one that arrived appeared to be used - had water in the hoses, marks on the exterior, and slight corrosion near the water reservoir. Despite multiple attempts to pull a shot, including experimenting with grind and tamping, the machine would not produce. Seemed to be too good to be true at this price point, and it was.

If you're a first time shopper for an espresso machine, keep shopping. Do a lot of research. Know what's important to you before you buy. Here are some of the main topics you'll want to research:

--level of automation [...]

--single or double boiler (i.e., do you care about pulling a shot and steaming milk or accessing hot water at the same time)

--temperature surfing on single boiler machines [...]

--aluminum v. stainless v. copper boiler (aluminum will corrode faster, copper is more temperature stable but more expensive)

--pressurized portafilter (do you have the energy and expertise to tamp? if not, get a pressurized portafilter. You'll have less control over the espresso quality, but less heartache if you don't care to be an artisan barista)

--ability to brew with both pods and grounds

--steaming/frothing wand - does it fully articulate, what side of the machine is it on, is it plastic or metal, etc.

--clearance b/w portafilter and drip tray (many machines will accommodate only a demitasse size cup unless you remove the drip tray)

--single wall v. dual wall filter

--footprint of the machine

--will you be able to make successive shots

--do you want a built in grinder (Many folks say no unless you're prepared to engage in some intense cleaning to purge rancid oils from your machine. Plus if the grinder goes out and you have to repair, then you lose the espresso maker as well)

--size of the water reservoir

--how important to you is a three-way solenoid valve

--backflushing and descaling

--return policy

--availability of replacement parts

--the company's reputation for customer service

Good luck.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2011
First disclaimer: I am not a Barista, nor do I pretend to be nor want to be. I am a person who likes coffee shop (Starbucks mostly) espresso or lates and I would prefer to nor fork over $5.00 every day. I am no expert at making shots or espresso either, nor an expert on the subject of coffee or espresso or machines. Now with that said.

This machine rocks. For the person who wants to do a little of their own work and NOT shell out thousands of dollars in the process, I am very pleasantly surprised at the convenience and the quality of the product and what it delivers.

I already own a coffee maker that will make steamed milk (CoffeeTEC), so I am a little familiar with that process. Warming the milk in the microwave for a minute (for 1 cup of milk) helps to speed the steaming process. Cold refrigerated milk to steamed foamy milk takes about a 2.5 minutes with this machine. My video is edited for time. I do not find the frother to be inconvenient any more so than having to make the coffee myself.

Tamping, I won't go into it in detail, as I said I am not here to get raging lunatic comments on the correct procedure, but it does influence the shots you pull out of this machine (or any so I have read). The tamper that comes with this machine is of no use. However no star deducted as I consider this to be part of the expense of making your own espresso. So far I have only used store bought GROUND Starbucks espresso roast and I think the grind is not fine enough. I have noticed a difference between shots depending on how firmly I tamp this particular grind. The shots in the video are not the best "pulls" I have done, but they will suffice for the purpose of demonstration. So a word to you out there, if you're going to use the built in tamper, remove it from the machine, it just pulls off. You will need to press down hard using this tamper if this is the granularity of your grind. (I found a great video on youtube describing how to tamp to 30 lbs of pressure with a bathroom scale. Pretty neat.) I can't wait to use a finer grind to see what I pull for shots then. I have read that this machine will use a 52MM tamper. I have ordered one and I will update this review in a few weeks when I get it.

The portafilter barely holds 2 level scoops (scoop supplied with EC702) of the coffee grind mentioned above. That is probably by design, but I do wish it was larger so I could pull larger shots.

The machine delivers very good espresso for the price given how little I know about the subject.
That in and of itself makes this machine worth the money.

The machine cleans very easily.

PROS: consistent easy shots. The machine will pay for itself in 40 days (without the purchase of coffee beans that is).
CONS: I now have to make my own coffee.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2010
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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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
I bought my first one in April 2010 after reading the reveiws: Starting leaking in November, followed the instructions for trouble shooting, still leaked, called the Customer care for a new gasket, because the one on the maker cracked and they told me it was backordered. I returned the Delongi for another one in November and started having the same problem in March. Called Customer Care at Delongi again and asked them out my order in November. They could not tell me what had happened to the backorder and I am still waiting for the gasket as of 4/2011. Now it is leaking from outside lip base where the coffee handle is attached.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2010
This is a fantastic machine. It makes delicious crema when done right, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I uploaded 3 pics of the espresso and crema from this machine, check them out!

I bought this based on the great reviews on Amazon and I LOVE my purchase. It makes espresso just as perfectly as the gourmet espresso shop down the street, I am thrilled that I don't have to travel there anymore in the morning for amazing espresso. Getting perfect crema might take a few practice tries, the key is grinding your beans just before you make your espresso, grinding them finely, and tamping with decent pressure. This machine is ready to go in under 1 minute once I turn it on, instructions say 15 but I have never waited that long. Perhaps the 15 is for the cup warmer, but what caffeine fiend has time for that when you can run the cup under hot water?

I highly recommend this machine!

---- UPDATE 4 Months Later ----

I just bought 2 more of these machines as holiday gifts, thats how much I love it. It has consistently made perfect coffee for me the last 4 months, a cinch to clean, and incredibly fast. One of the things I love most about it is how fast I can make coffee in the morning over all the other methods I have tried. I just used a stopwatch and timed how long it took to make 2 double shots from the moment I turned the machine on, this included grinding the beans in my Breville grinder. It took 90 seconds for the green 'ready' light to come on, and withing 90 more seconds I made 2 double shots! Espresso in about 3 minutes, not bad! It took just another minute to run some water through the filter and have the machine cleaned and off. Now that is FAST. I have tried every other method for making coffee, drip/cone/French-press/Moka espresso machines, none of them was this fast or delicious. Amazing the best coffee can be the fastest.

I have found cleaning is really easy. I only use bottled water and there has been no calcium buildup. Still, after a month or two I used the decalcifier as recommended. I think the most important points for cleaning is to run water through the emptied filter after each use for about 10-15 seconds, then rinse it out and leave the filter outside of the handle and let it dry. If you leave the filter basket in the handle and leave it locked into the machine, it never gets a chance to dry and coffee grinds can grow mold if your not careful. Also once a month I remove the rubber seal on the filter and clean it (I use a waterpik which works great to get all the coffee out) and once a month I unscrew the filter on the machine and clean the coffee buildup underneath. How to do this is included in the instructions. still 5 Stars....!
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
I got a great deal on this machine (refurbished unit) and it has significantly surpassed my expectations. I also have a Gaggia classic, which for those who don't know is one of the choice semi manual machines you can buy and three times the price of this one. I'm having an espresso party at a congress and need two machines, one to pull the shots and another to steam milk, thereby avoiding the switching warmup time between the steamer and the main. So I chose this machine primarily for temporary milk steaming, not expecting much else. Well, after hooking it up, foregoing the directions, it turns out the steamer is much better than my Gaggia ever was. It produces rich, frothy milk in less than a minute, with minimal bubbles that ruin the consistency. Impressed with the milk I decided why not try out an espresso and I have to say it was one of the better shots I've had in awhile, and the first try! I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable and skilled at espresso making. I've had 4 machines, I use fresh roasted coffee, a nice gaggia burr grinder and have lots of practice making good cappuccinos and espressos. Friends of mine will drop by at random times declaring that they need there fix, a cappuccino or latte of the quality that they just can't get at Starbucks. In my opinion this machine does a pretty decent job on all levels and when you factor in the price you can't go wrong here. I particularly recommend it as an entry level machine, easy to use, nice design and quality drinks. I was going to pass it on to my brother after the congress but I'm really going to miss it and I've only had it a week.

The specs are very similar to my gaggia, 15bar pump, etc. The only drawbacks I can see is that it has a wet puck (the leftover coffee grinds in the portafilter after the shot has been pulled). This isn't a big deal and is to be expected in this price range, unless you pay for a machine with a triple solenoid valve that sucks the water out post pull, of which my gaggia at 600 dollars is the cheapest machine that has this feature. This wet puck can be easily remedied by washing it down the sink (unless on septic), using a spoon or letting it dry for awhile in the portafilter by setting it on the drip tray. Also, the shots don't have as much crema as the gaggia, but the gaggia is known for crema, you just can't beat it. Crema doesn't necessarily translate to flavor or quality, though. That being said there is crema and plenty of it.

All in all this machine is an amazing choice and unless you want to come up with 600 to 800 for a Gaggia baby twin, Gaggia classic or Rancilio Silvia I would go with this machine. Just make sure you get a decent grinder (burr grinder) or get your coffee ground wherever you buy it. Its nice to have fresh ground coffee, it makes a difference. Pick a burr grinder up on craigslist if you live in a decent sized city or town. I love my 400 dollar gaggia grinder I got on craigslist for 50 bucks. I found the machine was warmed up nicely at about 3-5 minutes.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2010
This machine was a birthday present in June of 2010. While it seemed solid, and the cup warmer keeps the cups at a reliable temperature, I immediately noticed that the steamer leaked a lot of water into the milk. The unit was very low; hard to get a container under the portafilter, or under the steamer, for that matter. It seemed to work okay for four months (I cleaned it religiously). At that time, the steam pressure started to lessen considerably. Then it started leaking water from the wall in back of the portafilter, with brownish water with an odd metallic flavor coming directly from the machine (even with the portafilter removed). Then no water at all from the portafilter - a steady flow from the wall.

I think one of the problems is that it does not release pressure after use - leading to continuous pressure within the machine. Can't get in touch with customer service.

The good news - I have a classy stainless steel paperweight.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2014
A visit to Italy a couple of years ago ruined me since nothing else in the coffee shops in the area where I live compares to the heavenly taste of Italy's coffee bars. I bought the Delonghi about a year and a half ago.. The frother works good but it lets out a lot more water in the milk for my taste. The coffee I was making for the first few months was good but not great. I used different brands of coffee: I tried grinding my own beans, I tried different roasts of Lavazza; but Illy was my favorite brand ($15 a can at Stop and shop vs $5 for Lavazza) until I tried a brand my wife brought me from her trip to Italy that lived up to it's packaging promise: just like the the taste of the coffee at the bar. Here's the name of the brand and my method:
*I use bottled drinking water only,
* I turn the machine on for at least 30minutes to let it warm up to the maximum,
* When making lattee I warm up the milk on the stove to preserve the pressure for the espresso making,
* I fill the port-a-filterto the maximum without tampering too hard to avoid clogging the flow of the espresso,
* The coffee quality accounts for at least 50% of making a good espresso, after trying many brands, KIMBO ESPRESSO NAPOLETANO is the top of the top, I will try to provide a picture of the packaging
Enjoy your Expresso! if anybody tries this method and this brand of coffee please give me your feed back.. and I'll be more than happy to answer questions..
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2011
The pump on this product is extremely unreliable. There have been more and more cases arising where the pump is no longer able to keep pressure. The company that you are forced to send the unit to does not keep parts on stock and must order these pumps. You have to supply shipping cost to get the unit back to the manufacture, which isn't cheap! And the pump will take weeks to get in at the service center. While waiting for this unit to return to me, I have already purchased a new machine and ate the cost of this one. Do not buy this machine if you plan on using it daily or for more than 3 months.
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