Good espresso needs a clean machine of good quality.
De Longhi offers a variety of espreso maker machines and there should be something for every life style.
De Longhi BAR32
The De Longhi BAR32 is a delight blend of old and new. Its retro look is combined with some of the most advanced features you’ll find on espresso makers anywhere.
Some espresso lovers will, of course, prefer the more contemporary design of so many coffee machines. Admittedly, the combination of polished metal and black plastic, coupled with an almost Swedish design in many cases, does make for a good looking machine. But we love the ’50s look of this unusual, rounded machine. Since coffee is a matter of taste, why shouldn’t the coffee maker design be?
There’s no subjective element when it comes to function, though. The BAR32 has features that are more often found only on professional-level units costing ten times as much.
The first of those is the pump-driven mechanism this espresso maker incorporates. Steam machines often do a fine job. But to make the finest cup you have to have the highest pressure and only a pump can do that. Still, don’t be misled. Why they called it the BAR32 is anybody’s guess. It does create a very respectable 15-bar, though.
The BAR32 also features self-priming, a very handy feature that lets you create your espresso very quickly and efficiently. The simple controls add nicely to the ease-of-use theme.
The portafilter adds to that simplicity, eliminating the need for a high-end grinder. That theme is continued by the ability to use ESE pods. Pop one in to brew, dump it out for easy clean up. Or use grounds, as you prefer. This model’s feature is actually easier to use than that of many professional units.
And, speaking of easy, you’ll like the clear 35-ounce removable water tank and the removable drip tray. Both those make for easy clean up. The water tank also ensures you can make plenty of fine espresso for the guests without undue waiting.
The stainless steel boiler heats up in a flash, so even those first cups will come out super fast without any sacrifice in quality. One reason is this stainless-steel model’s ability to maintain a stable temperature throughout the process, not something every steel model can claim.
Luckily, a very serviceable swivel jet frothing wand is on board to add a nice fluffy foam to each one. Cappuccino lovers will be very grateful that it requires minimal skill to top off your cup using this feature. And, thanks to the built-in Sempre Crema Filter, you can have a fine caramel-colored crema for your latte that doesn’t require you to have the skills of a professional barista.
The dual thermostats also help up your skill level with no effort on your part. There’s one for water and one for steam, ensuring that you know exactly what’s going on with your brew at all times. The many easy-view indicator lights are equally helpful.
It’s great to find an unusual-looking espresso maker with the unusual advantage of professional features at a modest price. How the company can do that may be a mystery, but the espresso from the DeLonghi BAR32 isn’t. Its quality is obvious without reading the last chapter.
De Longhi EC155
It’s odd. The De Longhi EC155 is usually considered a mid-level espresso maker, not top of the line. We can only imagine that view must be based on the low price alone because, when considering its list of features, it’s a stellar unit.
That list starts with the EC155’s outstanding professional appearance. True, those interested in a great shot are naturally most concerned with great function. But an espresso maker is also an appliance, so why not have something good looking in the kitchen?
The EC155 has a professional feature few low-price coffee makers offer: a pump-driven mechanism. Typically, less expensive machines are driven by steam. That limits the amount of pressure they can deliver. Professional baristas know that truly high pressure is a big help for making a truly superior brew. Creating 15-bar from the pump, this model will never fall short in that area.
Unlike many professional models, the boiler is stainless steel rather than brass. But that’s to be expected in a mid-level model. To get brass would raise the price considerably. No one will have any reason to be disappointed in the results, though. The EC155 makes an outstanding brew. Temperature control is not quite as uniform with stainless steel, but when the model is well-made the difference is minor.
One reason is the EC155’s dual-function filter holder. This ingenious mechanism lets air enter during the brewing process, resulting in a superior cream.
With a 1-liter (35 oz) removable water tank, you’ll be able to create plenty of it, too. Since it is removable, clean up is easier. Many espresso maker owners get a little lax about mineral buildup. It can be a pain to de-calcify some models. With a removable tank, there’s no reason to forego the effort. Pour on a little vinegar-baking soda mixture in the sink and voila! No more calcium carbonate.
The unit also holds ESE pods (Easy Serving Espresso) to make creating your first-rate brew a low-grade effort. Popping one in makes it simple to create a cup without spooning. Dumping it out afterward makes clean up simpler.
There are other convenience features on board here, such as the swivel jet frother. Adding a nice foamy touch to your cup is a breeze. For some, it might be a little close to the counter top. Ditto the spigot. That’s less than ideal, but easily solved. Place an attractive wooden or marble block on the counter, then the EC155 on the block. Beauty and function pleasantly combined. Of course, even that’s not necessary if you use standard-sized espresso and froth cups.
Those are minor limitations for a machine that makes such a fine brew at such a modest price. There’s nothing modest about its ambition: to make an espresso that is second to none every time. We’re happy to note that’s a goal at which this coffee maker succeeds with ease. Overall, the De Longhi EC155 is a great value.
De Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica
There’s something a little odd about presuming to offer a review of an espresso maker. After all, don’t you have to actually taste the coffee? And isn’t that ultimately a matter of taste? Sure, but the De Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica shows that a blend of objective attributes and enthusiastic espresso lovers offer something worth heeding.
Note, for example, the integrated burr-style coffee grinder. Baristas amateur and professional alike know that the freshest grounds are a must for the freshest, most delicious brew. Having a grinder on board, then, is more than just a convenience. It’s a must. And, with a 7-ounce bean container you can easily fill the tank, then remove and dispose of the grounds.
The goodness continues with two stainless steel boilers, providing you with stellar heat distribution. Why is that important? Because, again as the pros know and the espresso enthusiast soon discovers, hot spots spoil the brew. A mixture of burnt and underdone coffee can’t be good, right? With 1150 watt, you’ll never have to worry about creating the high heat needed to make that really zingy French Roast, either.
It’s equally good to keep the espresso at an even temperature after the initial brew. After all, unless you make only one cup at a time, you’ll have more to enjoy after the first. Those second, third, and fourth cups should – and could – be as good as the first provided the brew doesn’t sit too long, of course. With an instant reheat feature to keep the liquid at the ideal temperature while you enjoy your cup, the ESAM3300 Magnifica makes that effort, well, effortless.
An electronic thermostat ensures accuracy in the brew while giving you accurate readings. And, an adjustable spigot is just the thing for those varying sized cups you and your guests enjoy. You can use this unit just as easily with everything from the tiniest espresso cup to a tall travel mug. The Cappucino System rotates 180 degrees to accommodate any size milk container, too.
Naturally, you have many things to keep track of during your day and forgetting to shut off the espresso maker after you’ve finished your drink isn’t always uppermost in mind. So, thankfully, De Longhi has provided this unit with a 3-hour shut off function to ensure your safety, and the well being of your machine.
That convenience extends in other directions, as well.
Everyone finds caring for their espresso maker one of their least favorite things to do. De Longhi shrunk that effort from “horrible” to “not bad” by incorporating a 60-ounce removable water reservoir for easy maintenance. Build up of calcium need never occur here because you don’t want to slog through a cleaning session. The machine even tells you when you need to de-calcify. That attention to details to make your life easy extends even to the removable drip tray.
Is the De Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica objectively a superb piece of equipment? We don’t know how to make that assertion for everyone. But the facts suggest it is, and our experience says, “Yes, oh, yes.”