De'Longhi Espresso Machines: a budget friendly option

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BEST OVERALL
De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, 15", Black

In researching and weighing up the key pros and cons of three De’Longhi 15-bar coffee makers - based on authentic, collective customer experience - The De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine comes out on top. It is a solid starter machine for the average coffee consumer who is happy with a couple of cups of their favourite bean-based beverage a day.

Compact yet powerful, it can be used to create a wide variety of hot drinks to cater to a range of drink preferences, whilst its ability to work well with non-dairy milk types even make it suitable for those with allergies and intolerances. Moreover, drinks can be made quickly with the swift warm up and built-in warmer plate, whilst the large water tank ensures refills are not required too frequently - and to top it off, cleanup with this model is a breeze.

Slimline or strong, tall or tiny, flavoured or frothy: whatever the whim, almost everyone has their firm favourite when it comes to their perfect cup of coffee. 

The generous urban sprinkling of coffee outlets in the modern era means that most of us are spoilt for choice – and the creamy cappuccinos, epic espressos, and luscious lattes on offer have left many of us keen to become a born-again barista by creating our own cafetiere coffee at home. Which leaves many of us with the tricky task of choosing the best coffee maker out of the colossal collection of home kitchen gadgets to craft our cup of caffeinated heaven. 

1. De'Longhi EC155 15 bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

DeLonghi EC155 15 Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
  • EVERY CUP TO YOUR LIKING: 15-bar professional pressure assures quality results every time, and adjustable controls allow you to make modifications for your personal taste preferences.
  • BREW LIKE A PRO: Whatever your preference – single or double espresso, cappuccino or latte – the machine brews authentic barista-quality beverages just like you enjoy at your favorite coffeehouse.
  • YOUR FOAM, YOUR WAY: A manual frother mixes steam and milk to create a rich, creamy froth for evenly textured drinks – just the way you like them.

Design & Features

The De’Longhi EC155 15 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker comes with a 1 litre water capacity and a swivel jet frother for lattes and cappuccinos. It also contains separate thermostats for the water and the steam pressure, allowing them to be controlled independently. 

In addition the EC155 includes a self priming option for faster start-up, plus a stainless steel boiler to maximize heating resilience, a dual action filter holder, and a steam dial.

Performance

The majority of those who have bought and used the EC155 model confirm that it prepares a pretty tasty espresso – and can whip up a good crema to boot. The speedy milk steaming also got a thumbs up for the time saved. 

However a common issue with many customers is that the coffee shots made by the EC155 are rather weak – plus, for many users, the steaming wand does not appear to work very well. 

Cleaning & Ease of Use 

The EC155 is noted for its lightweight and compact design, making storage and transportation of the coffee maker easy.  Coffee creators also welcomed the built-in tamper the machine comes with, plus the good holding capacity of the water tank.

However, buyer consensus is not at all fond of the small space for cups,  which reportedly does not accommodate ones of even a regular size. The machine is also assessed as having a distinct lack of auto functions, making it very manual to operate. Perhaps in part due to this basic function level, priming the pump can also be a problem – as can cleaning certain areas. 

Worth a Buy?  

For those who are primarily seeking a coffee experience centred around espressos who have a tighter budget to work with, this model is a viable option – so long as the buyer does not mind the largely manual operation. It is a decently priced, basic model which can provide good espresso shots. We have selected this model as the best value espresso machine currently on the market.

For those who prefer more diversity in their caffeine delights, however, the smaller cup space and awkward steaming wand would likely be an issue. In addition, the lack of automatic features could prove problematic for those who are pushed for time or have less manual dexterity.

2. De'Longhi EC702 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker

De'Longhi 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker, EC702, Metal
  • Pump driven and 15 bars
  • Automatically self-primes; Water level indicator: Yes
  • Use pods or ground coffee with the convenient patented filter holder. On/Off switch- Yes

Design & Features 

The De’Longhi  EC702 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker is a pump driven model with a dual capacity, allowing it to work with either pods or coffee grounds. It also has an automatic priming function, dispensing for the requirement to remember every time.  It also boasts the convenience of a removable water tank, plus a water level indicator for ease of use. 

Performance  

A sizable proportion of buyers attest to the machine’s ability to provide instantly workable results, with no learning curve to using it necessary. By most accounts, both the foam and the crema created by the EC702 are also very good – plus the cup warmer is a useful feature.

The main downside is that there can be inconsistencies in the water pressure, with the result that sometimes, the pressure is insufficient to properly process the coffee grounds through the filter. In addition, the steamer cannot be used without the frother – plus the overall end result espresso is rather average in taste. 

Cleaning & Ease of Use

This model has received virtually unanimous agreement on cleaning: it is both an easy and speedy process. The generous cup space also received a big thumbs up for the versatility it offers in regards to coffee choice – as does the option for using pods and the two different filter sizes.

What has not been such a hit has been the absence of an auto ‘off’ button for coffee making – making it necessary to guess when to shut it off.  Leakage from the coffee maker’s water tank also seems to be a fairly common occurrence, and many customers have also taken issue with the fragility of the machine’s plastic components.  

Worth a Buy?

With efficient foam and crema functions, plus enough space to accommodate larger cup sizes, this maker is a good option for buyers who like the milky and creamy coffee varieties such as cappuccinos and lattes – especially with its simple and speedy cleaning.

However, the issues with water pressure and leakage could prove to be a bugbear for those of us looking to make several cups of our favorite caffeine cuppa daily – and a sturdier, more resilient design is not an unreasonable expectation for what is the most expensive model in our line up.

3. De'Longhi ECP3420 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

BEST DeLonghi Espresso Machine
De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, 15", Black
  • 15 bar professional pressure assures quality results every time. Input power 1100 watts
  • Second tier drip tray to accommodate larger cups. Convenient filter storage: The machine has convenient storage for your filters
  • Removable 37 ounce water tank. Maximum cup height -3.5 - 5 inches. Always use 2% milk at refrigerator temperature

Design & Features 

The De’Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine comes with a 1100 watt output and a stainless steel boiler system. Its self-priming operation minimises start up time, whilst its double wall filter function facilitates smoother coffee results.  

This model also comes with a removable 37.5oz water tank, a second tier drip tray, and convenient filter storage for ease of use. At just 10.8 lbs, the ECP3420 is also a lightweight design. 

Performance

A healthy majority of those who have used this model report that it makes a lovely latte. Customers are also big fans of the frother, which they say works well with almost any type of milk. The versatility provided by the hot water option is also a hit, as is the metal-made portafilter.

A big sticking point with the ECP3420 is the unreliable water pressure, which can make it difficult to process the coffee well consistently. In addition the foamer can be problematic, often making too much foam in a single cup – plus there is a common consensus that this model is prone to technical issues after less than a year’s regular use. 

Cleaning & Ease of Use

Customers like the fast warm up time this model provides. Most also agree that the good sized water tank also minimises the number of refills needed –  whilst the visible water level makes it much easier to notice when one is required. Another plus point is that cleaning this coffee maker is a simple, quick process.

What coffee preppers have not enjoyed so much is the manual design of the machine, which leads to a learning curve being required in order to navigate it properly. Also, the spring feature of this model is quite an inconvenience  for most users – and though made of a solid material, the portafilter is small and difficult to install. The accessories which come with the machine are also rated as inadequate overall in terms of getting the most out of the machine. 

Worth a Buy?  

With a fab frother and convenient clean up, this model is a decent opinion to consider for latte lovers, as it makes a very competent cup. In addition the hot water option makes it possible to add Americanos, and even cups of tea, into the mix of hot drink choices – with a water level indicator to boot.

Unfortunately, this model does not appear to be one of the most reliable out there for long-term, regular usage – and improvements to overall workability ease of the maker (including the accessories it comes with) would improve the general buyer experience.

Final Verdict

As with almost all coffee machines, getting your cafetiere creations just right is likely to take a little practice. Complimenting your coffee maker with a couple of useful accessories – such as a burr grinder and milk pitcher, paired with decent coffee grounds and regular cleaning – will significantly speed up the process towards cloistered coffee utopia.

Sitting at the middle point in our line up in terms of price, the De’Longhi ECP3420 15 bar pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine strikes a good balance between cost and the key components of design, performance, and ease of use. Definitely an option worth considering for a fast, flexible fix of your favourite steaming cuppa without having to leave the comfort of your kitchen.

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