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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little espresso machine
I ordered this machine off amazon.com after reading the very positive reviews on-line about it. The best part was that amazon had it available for just $72 plus shipping (for a refurbished machine). Initially, I was going to order the EC155 (which is very similar), but then noticed that the EC330 was much nicer looking (more stainless) and only cost a few bucks more...
Published on March 8, 2010 by R. Johns

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Died after 3 years
Was happy with it until it suddenly stopped working. Had it for 3 years with little problems and one day the pressure pump just stopped working and stopped pushing it out. Wish there was an easy fix. Used it everyday at least once a day and sometimes more when friends were occasionally over. Guess it's time to upgrade. Will try a different espresso machine, most likely...
Published 7 months ago by TJ


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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little espresso machine, March 8, 2010
By 
R. Johns (Monterey, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
I ordered this machine off amazon.com after reading the very positive reviews on-line about it. The best part was that amazon had it available for just $72 plus shipping (for a refurbished machine). Initially, I was going to order the EC155 (which is very similar), but then noticed that the EC330 was much nicer looking (more stainless) and only cost a few bucks more. Both the EC155, as well as the EC330, received very good reviews.

The basic consensus was that the EC330 was one of the best espresso pump machines around for under $200. This machine has a 15 BAR pump, just like much more costly machines. Pump machines are generally considered better, since they use a pump to produce their pressure. Not only do they provide more consistent pressure throughout the extraction process, but they don't burn the coffee (which produces a more bitter taste) as "steam only" machines do. Steam only machines rely on the pressure from stem in the boiler, which means the water has to be closer to 212 degrees. This is really above the ideal temperature (more like 200 to 203 degrees) for making espresso. Also, steam driven machines generally only produce 4 or 5 bar of pressure, while pump machines produce the full 15 bar needed to make true espresso (well, technically only 10 to 12 bar are needed I believe). In any case, a 15 bar pump machine is considered a much better machine for making espresso.

I ordered this machine in order to play around with making espresso vs. using a french press. With the french press, I brew the coffee on the stove for 5 or 6 minutes, then press it. I use a Bodum manual milk frother to froth the milk (see my review on the Bodum frother, btw) and this system produces a wonderful latte/mocha - easily blowing away anything you find at coffee chop shops like Starbucks, etc.

Anyway, prior to plunking down $1200 for a La Pavoni or something, I wanted to see if using a 15 bar pump type espresso machine would make any major differences over the French press method. I also liked the idea of being able to make an espresso vs. just strong black coffee as the foundation for my caffe latte or caffe mochas.

Anyway, the EC330 arrived today. If I'm not mistaken, this machine is mainly sold to the European market. However, it's available as a refurbished unit on amazon.com - which is great. As mentioned, it's much nicer than the EC155 and only a few dollars more. Our unit arrived in the factory box, with the factory manual. After taking it out and checking it over, you would be hard pressed to tell it wasn't brand new. It included a factory manual and also a printed sheet with some additional instructions. The sheet said the unit had been tested before leaving and I did see some water around the water tank fitting that tended to support this.

My first impression of the unit was very good. The machine is high quality and well made. While it's not all metal, it does have a nice stainless drip tray and some satin looking metal on the front, etc. The push buttons that control everything have a very nice and smooth feel. There is a warming tray on top and then a removable plastic water tank on the back with a little flip up lid. The overall design and layout of the machine is quite nice. I especially liked how you can take out (and take apart) the drip tray. It removes so you can wash it off quickly. Clean up on this machine is very easy.

There is a steam knob on top. The steam knob feels a little cheap (it's plastic), but certainly not enough to detract from the overall quality feel of the machine (especially given the cost). There is also a steam nozzle on the side for frothing milk. I've used it a few times and it seems to get the job done. I think I need some more practice on steaming milk however. I also need a pitcher like they use in the coffee shops. BTW, the unit does not come with any shot glasses, so you will need to supply your own. I ended up walking across the street and buying some from the brewing company around the corner.

The portafilter is aluminum and plastic. It's fine, but certainly not as heavy duty as a higher quality pro machine. It has two plastic drip spouts on the bottom. The filter basket (the machine comes with a 1 shot and 2 shot size, as well as a little coffee scoop) is nice and can be taken apart for cleaning. Construction seems pretty good. Again, for the money, you can't really complain - especially when you consider you can almost spend as much for just a naked portafilter as this entire machine costs :-)

The unit has a little plastic tamper on the under side. I am planning to get a separate tamper to use. The diameter of the filter basket (which inserts into the portafilter) is about 53 mm across from what I can see. I measured it and it's a little under 2 1/8th inches - so I'm guessing a 52 or 53 mm tamper would be just about right (don't quote me on that however).

I've pulled a couple of shots with this unit. I got some decent crema by using the finest setting on my coffee grinder and by tamping as hard as I could with the little plastic fitting on the underside of the machine. I'll upload some pictures showing my results in the user photos. As far as taste, the espresso seemed pretty decent (good flavor, a little bitter/sweet taste as you'd expect). I'm no espresso expert, but it seemed pretty good to me.

As far as operation, they directions suggest allowing the machine to warm up for 15 to 30 minutes. However, they say you can pre-heat things faster by running a couple of "water shots" through the unit. The functioning is pretty straight forward. You turn the unit on with the top button, then when it's ready, a light goes on. Each time you pull a shot, the light goes off. Then the unit warms back up and is ready to go again (just takes a few seconds). The machine is more or less manual as far as the time to run the shot goes. In other words, you push the button, the pump turns on, pressure builds up, the shot comes - then it's up to you to turn it off. If you don't turn it off, you can run water through the portafilter for pretty much as long as you wish. Also, when you turn the button off, the residual pressure keeps the water flowing for maybe 4 or 5 additional seconds. Clearly it will take a little fiddling around to get that perfect 25 to 30 seconds shot. With that said, I think I like the manual on/off approach over a preset time. I like having the control over how long the pump runs frankly. Kudos to Delonghi for not forcing me into some pre-programmed time limit.

As far as the steaming wand, it's all right. Again, I'm no expert when it comes to frothing milk, but I've seen it done a few times. With a little practice, I was able to get a pretty nice combo of steamed/frothed milk; made a couple of lattes in short order with no problem at all. One thing to note is that because this unit has only one boiler for both making both the espresso as well as making the steam, you do have to take into consideration the difference in temps that result. In other words, if you push the "steam" button, then the unit heats up the water a little more. When it's ready, the "ok" LED goes on and you can turn the knob on top to force steam out the wand. Once you are done, then you turn off the steam button and it takes a minute to cool back down to the proper temperature for making coffee. Of course, you could probably just pull a "water shot" (i.e. with no coffee in the basket) to drop the temp more quickly. The result is that if you heat up the boiler to make steam, then decide you want to quickly make more coffee, the water in the boiler is going to be a few degrees too hot (and this could cause you to burn the coffee during the subsequent extraction if you don't allow things to cool back down a bit). Myself, I didn't find this to be any problem however. And, as mentioned, running some water through to cool things down (and clean things up) is easy enough.

All in all, it's a great little machine. Maybe it doesn't produce the crema that a $2000 machine would, or a lever operated La Pavoni will, but I was actually pretty impressed with how the first couple of shots turned out. As mentioned, I plan to buy a separate hand tamper so I can press the coffee down a bit harder. I don't think Delonghi suggests that, but I'm still gonna do it :-) Also, I think using a slightly finer grind might increase the flavor a bit further as well.

I was happy to see that, after pulling the shot, the grinds in the filter basket are pretty dry. You aren't going to drop out a totally dry puck, but it's close. The grinds are certainly not floating around in a liquid or anything. Just be careful getting them out, because there is a rubber washer in the filter basket. Knocking the portafilter on the side of a trash can worked fine as far as getting the grounds out.

I rated the machine 5 stars. I think for $72 plus a few bucks for shipping, you just can't go wrong here. As far as appearance, I think it stacks up to some of the nearly $500 Breville machines I have seen in the stores. At the end of the day, 15 bar is 15 bar in my opinion. Can you spend more on an espresso machine? Of course... however, for under $100 including shipping, I think this machine will fit the bill for most people. It looks great on the counter and is obviously very well thought out. It produces quite a tasty little cup of espresso without any complaints.

What more can you ask for? I can't think of much.

I'm very pleased with my purchase - and I'm not always easy to please ;-) This machine really hits the mark.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the price, great, but not without it's flaws., May 23, 2010
By 
B. M Sullivan (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
For those not wanting to read the long and dull version, here is a quick rundown of the pro's and con's in my humble opinion:

PRO:
1. Price. This thing is a steal at around the $70 to $90 that it costs.
2. Aesthetics. Stainless steel on most of the front is a nice touch.
3. Ease of Use. In 10 to 15 minutes you can bust out a nice cappuccino or whatever your heart desires.
4. Reservoir. Nice size reservoir, lasts me almost a week before topping it off.

CON:
1. Heat. Heating unit takes a minimum of 30 minutes to fully heat up, unless you do the quicky flush.
2. Steam Wand. The thing is tiny and cramped. Not to mention it drips off the drip tray.
3. Steam Knob. It's cheap plastic and gets HOT when the steam is pouring. You can still touch it, but it's not a great feeling.
4. Plastic. Yes, there is stainless steel on much of the front, but there is also plastic in the base and on part of the top.

This unit doesn't seem to have ever officially made it to the US retail chain for some unknown reason. However, with a little searching these units can be had as refurbished or open box units. My open boxed unit set me back about $89 which included shipping and it was in perfect condition. Although on the UK amazon site it's listed for about twice that, a price point which might be a lot harder to swallow.

Unboxing the unit is pretty straightforward and the appearance is very nice. The stainless steel is a very nice effect, I just wish it covered the entire facade of the device. The base tray is plastic, the water reservoir is all plastic and parts of the top cover are plastic. It still looks good on any kitchen counter, but if people can't tell from the picture, plastic is still used extensively in the construction.

During the unboxing the manufacturer has a very urgent warning to read the instructions, which I did, multiple times. Once you go through them a few times they are pretty easy to follow. The instructions start off by saying that the unit has to warm for about 30 minutes or a quick flush can be done by just running the espresso maker twice, minus the coffee obviously. I am fine with the wait/flush option, but the sensor really needs to reflect this. The only indicator is a green light when the device hits temperature, but it turns green when it's not ready and when it is ready. I'd rather it just turn green after the flush or after the 30 minutes. Either way, don't try to pull a shot of espresso when it isn't ready or the green light will turn off prematurely before a full shot is released. All other espresso features are generally ok. Just order your own tamper, as the built in one is useless. It's cheap plastic built right next to the dispensing area, and actually applying pressure is difficult. I'd rather see it done away with entirely and not take up room on the machine.

Steam generally hits temperature fairly quickly and I was satisfied with the amount of steam produced. I was not satisfied with the steam nozzle itself though. It is very cheap plastic and has an extremely limited range of motion. Putting a cup, glass, whatever under it is awkward. Also the thing tends to drip since this does double duty as a hot water dispenser. Dripping wouldn't be an issue if it actually hit the drip tray, but it doesn't! They really should have made a rectangular extension on the drip tray to capture anything coming off the steam nozzle. It should also be noted that when it hits temperature the plastic control knob gets very hot. It won't burn you, but it's a little bit disconcerting and it's not something you would want to keep your hand on. But the plastic hasn't melted yet, so no worries so far.

As for making a decent espresso, I have yet to succeed. I first used grounds that were too course and now I'm pretty sure that my grounds are too fine. I have no doubt though that it is possible to have a good shot of espresso using this machine once you tweak all the variables. Thankfully my drink of choice is cafe au lait and this machine performs that duty very admirably and cheaply.

Overall, despite the obvious shortcomings, I am happy with this machine, especially at the price point. For under $100 I think this machine is a great value and I have no regrets. Once you get above the $100 range though, the listed retail, I might start to think the machine is overpriced for what you get.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine for the price, April 29, 2012
By 
Tammy Ferris (Plymouth, MN, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
I had read some reviews on this machine and was a little hesitant to purchase it based on some of the reviews by folks that were not able to get it to work like they wanted. After making some espresso and some cappuccino with it now, I have to say, this is a very good machine and easy to use. It makes very good espresso with a nice froth on it. It's possible the folks having some problems with it are not letting it heat up long enough. The manual says it needs to heat up for 30 minutes, so that's what I did and it works great.

I was very impressed with how quickly and easily this machine steamed milk compared to my old (steam-driven) machine. My old machine required some practice to get the steam wand at the right depth for steaming the milk. This machine was just some much easier. The milk started to immediately froth up. No problem at all.

I would definitely recommend this machine to anyone looking for a reasonably priced pump driven machine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great entry level espresso machine, "Crema" all the way!, November 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
I really like this entry level espresso maker. If you want an automatic pump driven easy to use machine with moderate effort this might be the machine for you.

The Look: Sleek, stainless steel and plastic parts. I was unsure how the plastic would look, but it actually blends in seamlessly. It takes up minimal counter space on my breakfast table in the kitchen. A keurig K70 (on the kitchen counter) actually takes up more space.

The product: I use espresso ground coffee I discovered in the dominican republic a few years ago and have been buying from amazon ever since. I don't have a grinder, nor do I want the chaos that will ensue if I wake up my two minions at 6am to grind my coffee. I get a perfect 2 ounce espresso with crema about 95% of the time with 25-30 second brews. I usually turn it on as soon as I wake up in the morning but don't make my espresso until 45 minutes later when I'm dressed for work so I've not had any problems with temperature. I find that running once and interrupting the brew actually heats up a bit faster when I'm in a rush. If I had to find something to complain about, its the frothing wand. It could be longer and more angled, but I don't make a lot of cappuccinos any way. It froths well in about 60 seconds but you will need a small container because of the length I think...not a big deal.

The Price: I think for a STEEL boiler (This is important, brass is too expensive and run from aluminium) 15 bar automatic espresso machine this is well well priced. I got an open box one because this was my second foray into owning an espresso machine (boo nespresso) and I didn't want to waste money or time returning a product. It was a display model and not previously used. I ended up paying $89. Considering that I used to regularly order large dark roast, "double turbo" from dunkin 5 days a week, I think I am saving $25 a week.

Overall: This machine is excellent. I would give it a 4.5/5. For an entry level machine, it is non-snobbish, well priced and delivers an excellent product. You might have to practice a few times to get your crema right, but thats what google, youtube and your local coffee shop is for. It took me about two days to get it right and I'm loving it.

Cheers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product great price, April 23, 2013
By 
Jerrydaz (Sun City West, AZ.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
Excellent value for a well constructed espresso machine.
One of the better entry level machines.
Easy to use, espresso was hot and flavorful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Died after 3 years, November 27, 2013
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This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
Was happy with it until it suddenly stopped working. Had it for 3 years with little problems and one day the pressure pump just stopped working and stopped pushing it out. Wish there was an easy fix. Used it everyday at least once a day and sometimes more when friends were occasionally over. Guess it's time to upgrade. Will try a different espresso machine, most likely from a different brand which will hopefully last longer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delomghi EC330-s, March 14, 2014
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This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
Love the quality of the espresso that this machine produces. Creamy & smooth. It even froths the milk better than my previous model.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Coffee Machine, February 18, 2014
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This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
One of the best affordable coffee machines out there.
if you have any barista experience you can remove the outer part of the steamer
to allow real milk fostering.

Definitely recommended.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great, February 5, 2011
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This review is from: Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker (Kitchen)
Difficult to steam milk...doesn't produce very hot coffee either. Disappointed after reading other reviews. Might be good if you only like the espresso.
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Delonghi EC330-s Pump Espresso Maker
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