DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Machine Review

delonghi-ec702-espresso-machine

delonghi-ec702-espresso-machine

Introduction

DeLonghi EC702 is a semi-automatic espresso machine for those who are new to making espressos at home.

Designed with a few key features to pull consistent shots and make tasty lattes or cappuccinos, this machine offers you an affordable solution to the costly drive-throughs at Starbucks every morning.

With a stainless boiler, two thermostats to control water and steam independently and ease-to-use buttons, making your own espressos is just a few simple steps away.

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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  • Pump Driven: This is a pump-driven machine that generates 15 bar pressure to enable you to extract espresso from the coffee grounds with good crema.
  • Patented Filter Holder: The dual function holder makes it possible to use either ground coffee or pods. Each has its own merit. Using a pod saves you time from grinding coffee, tamping and cleaning any mess from the portaholder. If you are not into being in control of how fine the coffee grinds have to be and what brands of espresso beans, this is a quick yet effective alternative.

    On the other hand, you can call the shot as far as what beans to use, how much force you can apply in tamping, and customize the grounds, by no means, be my guest. After all, making perfect espresso is also an art refined by many.

  • Cappuccino System Frother: It is for you to make cappuccinos in less than a minute.
  • Self-Priming Operation: No need to stand around and wait for the boiler to get to the right temperature before pulling the first shot. This features lets you sip the first espresso faster so you can get on with your life for the day.
  • 44 ounce Water Tank: The side water tank with a larger capacity is an upgrade feature comparing to the EC155. The larger the tank, the less frequently you’d need to fill and more time to do other things. The side location makes it easier to pull in and out without having to lift it up from the top. The nice touch is that it has an indicator to let you know when the level drops below the minimal.
  • Cup Warming Tray: This is another improvement over its predecessor as the warming tray is actively heated to allow you to warm cups before making espressos. The size of the tray accommodates 3 decent cups comfortably.
  • Water and Steam Thermostats: Whether to brew or to froth, you’ll get the perfect temperature each time.

Brewing

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With the self-priming functionality, all you need to do is to turn on the “Preheat” button. Fill the holder with ground coffee or a pod and attach it to the machine. When the “OK” light is green, push the “Brew” button to get the shot. To make one cup, you’d need about 0.24 ounces or 0.42 of ground coffee for two cups. This model is not equipped with auto on and off feature. So when the first shot is full, you’ll have to press the “Brew” button again to stop it. Then repeat the same process to make more.

Steaming

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Fill the pitcher with 3.5 ounces of milk, regular, 2% or skim, the choice is entirely yours. Turn on the “Steam” button and wait for the light to turn on. Place the pitcher under the frother. Turn the steam knob counter-clockwise for at least half a turn and dip the tip into the milk. Some people use a thermometer to get 140F while others just by experience of the heat on the bottom of the pitcher.

Display & Control

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It has a small but very efficient display panel on the front left of the machine. From the top to the bottom, there are: On/Off, Coffee/Hot Water and Steam. Next to each button, there is a corresponding light to indicate when each feature is ready. The steaming knob is on the right hand above the froth wand.

Additional Features

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As an enhancement to the EC155, this model has a built-in warming tray to warm up the cups before making an espresso. It’s recommended that you leave the cups for 15 to 20 minutes. Many people also resort to using hot water to warm up the cup. The tray is actively heated as opposed to passively warming.

This espresso maker has a built-in tamper right next to the group heads. While it’s a handy feature, many users have opted out on using a separate tamper as this one is made of plastic and doesn’t do the job right.

How to Clean

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Cleaning is just a snap. After each use, make sure you clean the group heads, the drip tray and the frothing wand. If you like to keep your machine shiny, you might want to wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth.

After about 200 espressos, you’ll need to clean the boiler outlet, the filter holder and do some descaling, especially if you live in an area with hard water. The instructions are provided in the User Manual with specific steps and what cleaning supplies to use.

Accessories

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Included Accessories

User Manual, a coffee scoop and a bottle of descaler

Optional Accessories

Some customers who bought this machine also purchased a stainless steel tamper with 50mm in size to do a better job with tamping. A 20-ounce milk pitcher is needed for frothing besides some short espresso cups (about 2.5 inches in height).

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): 11.25″ x 8.19 x 12.50
  • Weight (lbs): 11.10

Warranty

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1-year limited warranty

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • The stainless steel boiler is well-made and durable.
  • It’s pump-driven vs. steam to allow more consistent shots with proper extraction from the coffee.
  • The dual filter holder lets you make espressos from coffee or pods.
  • The 44-ounce water tank is removable and located on the side for easy access.
  • The drip tray is generous in size for a smaller espresso machine like this one.
  • It’s very easy to use with a few simple buttons and indicator lights.
  • The casing is made of stainless steel which makes it easier to clean and more stylish.
  • No start-up wait time with the self-priming function. It takes about 3 minutes or so before it’s ready to brew. Much shorter than the 15-minutes stated in the User Manual.
  • The clip in the froth wand holds the pitcher in place when frothing.
  • The cup warming tray on top is such an added bonus.

Cons

  • The built-in tamper is hard to reach and doesn’t do justice to proper tamping. It’s better to buy a separate tamper if you want to enjoy a better tasting espresso.
  • The 2.75” cup clearance doesn’t allow much room for taller cups.
  • The basket in the filter holder is not locked in place in the design. You’ll have to turn the lever up to hold the basket in place to dump the used coffee.
  • The delivery of espresso from the two group heads is somewhat inconsistent.

Consumer Reviews

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3.6 out of 5.0

The EC702 has received over 400 reviews on Amazon with an average 3.6 out of 5-star rating. The reviews are polarized between great satisfaction and disappointment. The happy customers loved it for producing consistent espressos with great crema. The ease of use and the affordability were among two things they raved about.

The other camp of unhappy customers was displeased with the inconsistent quality and longer and longer time to get a shot. Some even experienced poor customer service at DeLonghi.

Price

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Even though the price is doubled from the EC155, it’s still considered an entry level espresso machine at an affordable price. With so many high-end machines on the market, this is just a drop in the bucket.

Summary

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The EC702 Espresso Maker is an upgraded model from the EC155 with several enhanced features such as the cup warming tray, the larger and side-accessed water reservoir. If saving a few trips and a bundle of cash from frequenting your neighborhood Starbucks is your motivation, give this machine a try on your journey to become your own barista.  At this affordable price point, it allows you to brew tasty espressos and lattes without having to get a Ph.D to learn how to operate it.

It doesn’t come with all the fancy bells and whistles and full automation. It’s not made for making shot after shot for a big crowd.  I’ll let you be the final judge to see whether or not this is the right machine to suit your life style and needs.

 

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