DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Machine Review

delonghi-ec155-espresso-machine

delonghi-ec155-espresso-machine

Introduction

DeLonghi EC155 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine is an excellent entry level model for you to enjoy a cup of better-than Starbucks espresso in the comfort of your own home. No line, no insane price and no tip!

Compact in size and affordable in price, this machine is packed with features often found in a more expensive machine. No wonder it’s the number 1 bestseller on Amazon.

Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Features & Benefits
3. Brewing
4. Steaming
5. Display & Control
6. Additional Features
7. How to Clean
8. Accessories
9. Power & Cord
10. Dimensions & Weight
11. Warranty
12. Pros & Cons
13. Consumer Reviews
14. Price
15. Summary

 

Features & Benefits

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  • Dual Function Filter Holder: The EC155 is designed with a patented dual filter holder that allows you to pull a shot of espresso from either ground coffee or pods. By using ground coffee, you can adjust the grind and the force of tamping to customize your drink just the way you like it.

    If you were in a big hurry, then grab a pod to brew a shot without muss and fuss. This will save you time from the drive-through line at a coffee shop and a few pretty pennies.

  • 15 Bar Pump: At this price point, it’s very rare to get an espresso machine that’s pump-driven. Pump-driven is often contrasted to steam-driven. In a steam-driven machine, water gets heated to a boiling point at 212 F to produce steam. The steam is forced through the espresso grounds to brew espressos. On the other hand, a pump machine extracts coffee from the grounds through pressure measured by x number of bar generated by the pump.

    The advantage of a pump machine is that it produces more consistent and better tasting espresso. The flip side is that it is more expensive.

  • Two Thermostats: They are built in for you to control the water and steam temperature separately. The optimal temperature is designed into the Indicator Light on the Control Panel. When the “green” light is on, it’s ready to brew or to steam.
  • Removable Water Tank: It holds 35 oz. of water and is removable for refill. There is also a water level gauge in the front back of the machine to let you know when the water is too low.
  • Swivel Jet Frother: The frother wand can be swiveled around in different angles to make frothy latte and cappuccino.
  • Boiler: It’s made of stainless steel with plastic casing that’s durable and will last for a few years.
  • Removable Drip Tray: The tray can be removed for easy cleaning.
  • Built-in Tamper: This is a convenient feature to tamp loose grounds before making espressos.

Let’s look at how easy it is to use whether to brew a cup of espresso or make a creamy cappuccino.

Brewing

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One of the strong selling points is that it produces consistent shots with good amount of crema. This machine can make 1 or two cups of espresso. To make 1 cup, you’d need 0.25 ounce of espresso grounds or 0.42 ounce for two cups. The built-in tamper is not the best for the job. Many customers recommended getting a 50mm tamper to ensure the consistent density in the portafilter for best tasting espresso.

The User Manual says it requires 15 minutes for the machine to preheat before making espressos. The warm up time for brewing is 1 minute 45 seconds and the same for steaming is 42 seconds.

Since it’s not a fancy model, it’s very easy to use. Preheat, attach the filled and tamped portafilter to the machine and brew when the “OK” green light is on. The brewing process doesn’t stop automatically so you’ll have to stop the brewing cycle manually when the cup is filled.

The clearance between the brewing spout and the drip-tray is only 2.5 inches so it only allows for a short espresso cup or shot glass. Just keep that in mind when you consider this machine.

Steaming

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Frothing is simple as well. Turn the dial to the “steam” icon on the Control Panel and wait for the green light to come on. Fill a froth pitcher with 3.5 ounces of milk of your choice. Immerse the frother in the milk about 5 mm deep until the temperature reaches 140 F. Milk doubles or triples in volume after frothing. Make sure you have a pitcher that’s big enough for the expanded volume.

The frother wand has the same design flaw as the clearance that is so short (only 3-1/4 inch from the counter) to work with. You may have to buy a pitcher to fit under the height and practice a few times to get a hang of it.

Display & Control

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The Control Panel is very simple and the dials from left to right are: Steam, Off, Preheat, Brew and OK. On top of the machine, there is also a  knob to turn the steam on or off.

Additional Features

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The EC155 comes with a drip tray to catch any drips and drops of espresso and water. A cup warmer is also available on top of the machine. The warmer is so-called “passive” from the heat generated from the machine, not a deliberate design feature. If you like to warm up the cup properly, you can warm it up with hot water or stick it to the microwave with some water for 30 seconds.

How to Clean

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You’d have to do some basic cleaning after each use such as wiping the drip tray and the steaming wand, and empty the spent coffee grounds from the portafilter. Moreover, you’ll also have to do some periodic cleaning/maintenance. For example:

  • After 200 espressos, clean the filter holder by hand.
  • With each 300 espressos, clean the boiler outlet.
  • Descaling is recommended after every 200 espressos.

The good news is that the User Manual provides very clear and detailed instructions on how to clean, what to use and how to disassemble or reassemble the parts if needed.

Accessories

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Included Accessories

User Manual

Optional Accessories

As I mentioned earlier, a few optional accessories might enhance your enjoyment of espressos such as:

  • A 50mm tamper
  • A 20 ounce milk pitcher
  • And some short espresso cups to fit under the brewing area (less than 2.5 inches tall)
  • A stand to place the machine on top for easier operation while having some extra storage space underneath for your supplies

Power & Cord

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  • Input Power (W): 1100
  • Voltage/Frequency (V-Hz): 120 – 60
  • Short cord

Dimensions & Weight

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  • Dimensions (W x D x H inches): 7.50″ x 13.25 x 11.50
  • Weight (lbs): 7.15

Warranty

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1-year limited warranty

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • A great entry-level espresso machine that lets you try your hand in becoming your own barista.
  • The pump-driven mechanism ensures better tasting and more consistent espressos day after day with decent crema.
  • The removable water tank makes it so easy to fill water and to tell when the level is too low by the indicator.
  • The dual filter makes it possible to brew from loose grounds or pods.
  • The removable drip-tray is easy to clean and is used by some customers for extra storage.
  • The Display Panel is easy to see and to operate with a few simple dials.
  • The compact size doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.
  • The dual thermostats let you control the temperature for water and steam separately.

Cons

  • The clearance between the spout and the drip tray is only 2.5 inches in height which makes it hard to use a tall cup.
  • The short frothing wand is hard to maneuver and you’d have to get a pitcher to fit for steaming.
  • The built-in temper is not fit for the job. A separate dual temper is highly recommended.

Consumer Reviews

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3.9 out of 5.0

The De’Longhi EC155 is rated as 3.9 by over 1400 reviewers at this review. 74% of the reviewers gave it between 4 to 5 stars while the other 26% from 1 to 3. The collective feedback is that it consistently makes great espresso with crema. The pump-driven feature is really hard to come by at this price range. There are a few quirks already addressed in the Cons section. The good news is that there are inexpensive work-around solutions to deal with the limited clearance space and the shorter frothing wand.

Price

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One of the main reasons this has been the bestseller is due to the price. It was under $100. It’s hard to get any cheaper than this for a pump-driven espresso machine.

Summary

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If you are tired of paying exuberant price for a Starbucks espresso and wasting precious time in the long line, the De’Longhi EC155 Espresso Machine and Cappuccino Maker offers a better and more affordable option. With some practice, you will be able to pull perfect shots of espresso just the way you want it.

This is an ideal espresso maker for newbies as you don’t have to spend a fortune without knowing if you like it or not. Some customers bought this model and then upgraded to a more sophisticated model.

If you’d like to make espressos for a group of people, this is not a good choice as it’s designed to produce a shot or two at a time. Head over to Amazon to read some of the actual customer reviews and find out more what they liked and disliked.

 

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