Delonghi Lattissima Plus Espresso Machine Review

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delonghi-lattissima-plus

Introduction

When two powerhouse espresso manufacturers, Delonghi and Nespresso joined forces, you get an automatic single serve espresso machine, the Delonghi Lattissima Plus with an automated milk steaming system that produces great espresso and milk-based drinks in minutes. Operating the machine is no more than a push of a button. Cleaning is a snap as well.

With everyone’s hectic schedule and increasing demands, sipping a cup of espresso doesn’t have to be that labor-intensive and time-consuming. The EN520 was created to fit into the modern life style and fast pace.

 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

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Features & Benefits of Lattissima Plus

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  • 19 Bar Pump Pressure: It has a single boiler with thermoblock heating element that enables the machine to brew and steam at the optimal temperature without much down time at all. The ample pressure facilitates hot water penetrates the capsule first before extraction to get the best flavor and crema from each shot.
  • Volumetric Control: Two pre-set options allow you to brew an espresso or a lungo. If any of the two doesn’t please you, you can manually override the presettings to customize the intensity of coffee.
  • Single Touch Steaming/Frothing: Attach the milk carafe (12 oz. in size) to the unit and adjust the frothing knob from less to more foamy, you can get thick and creamy hot milk to make a cappuccino or latte hands-free. This saves you so much time and hassle than using a separate steaming wand. Plus it’s quieter that you don’t have to wake up your entire family early in the morning.
  • Removable 30 Oz Water Reservoir: This is a small water tank in the back of the unit. You may top fill with the tank attached and remove it for refill at the sink. No filter is available so you’d better use either filtered or spring water to cut down the mineral deposits and descaling frequency.
  • Nespresso Capsule Delivery System: No need to grind, measure and tamp loose grounds with the patented capsules. Drop a capsule of your favorite flavor in the slot and close the lever. You are in business to brew. After you are done, the used capsule will be ejected into the container. Empty it when it’s full, about 10 used capsules.
  • Energy Saving Timer: There is a timer built in to shut off the machine while it’s idle for 9 minutes. This helps save energy cost as well as to turn off the machine when you forget.
  • Adjustable Cup Clearance: Can accommodate an espresso cup or a tall mug by simply moving the drip tray. The cup clearance is from 3.5 to 6.7 inches.
  • Dishwasher Safe Parts: The milk carafe is dishwasher safe on the top rack after being taken apart.

Brewing

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Follow the instructions to clean and prime the espresso maker before the first use. Here is how to brew:

  1. Fill the water tank with preferably filtered water up to the max line
  2. Plug the unit into a wall outlet
  3. Turn the “power” on
  4. Lift the top lever and drop a capsule into the slot
  5. Place a cup under the brew head; adjust the drip tray if brewing a latte using a tall mug
  6. Press the Espresso or the Lungo button. The brewing will stop automatically upon delivery of 1.35 or 3.7 oz. for an espresso or lungo shot.
  7. Lift and close the lever to eject the used capsule into the user container

Steaming

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  1. Fill the milk container with fresh milk up to the max line and close the lid
  2. Slide the steam connector to the right and place the milk container onto the right
  3. Lift the lever and insert a capsule
  4. Close the lever and place a cappuccino or latte glass under the brew spigot. Make sure the milk spout points to the glass.
  5. Adjust the froth knob according to your desired froth level by turning oclockwise for more and counter-clockwise for less.
  6. Press the Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato button once. The milk will start delivering hot milk first followed by espresso. It will stop automatically after it’s done. Similar to the brew button, you may customize the amount of milk by pressing and holding on the Cappuccino or Latte Macchinato button until it delivers enough milk to your liking. The unit will store the your personalized volume setting until a change is made. You can store the milk container in the fridge.
  7. Lift the top lever and eject the used capsule into the used container
  8. Press the “Clean” button next to the steam knob to rinse the froth wand after each use to prevent dry milk build up to clog the steam holes

Display & Control

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There are four push buttons on top of the machine for Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino and Macchiato. Press a button once to use the programmed setting or press/hold to personalize the volume. The Power button is on the top back. A Steam knob lets you adjust the frothing level.

Additional Features

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One of the unique features is the color options from white, stainless steel, blue to red. So whether you’d like to match your existing kitchen color scheme or just add an accent color to the boring industrial design, you are in luck.

The EN520 comes with an energy saving feature set by default for 9 minutes of inactivity. However, you can reprogram it to be longer such as 30 minutes or 8 hours. This not only saves energy cost but also eliminates the worry in case you don’t remember turning it off or not in the morning.

The power cord can be tucked away under the base to keep the counter neat and tidy.

How to Clean

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Daily cleaning involved disassembling the Rapid Cappuccino System following the directions. Wash all parts in the top rack in the dishwasher twice a week and hand wash in the other time.

Descale when the alert light is illuminated on the Cappuccino button. Again, follow the detailed instructions on descaling. If using filtered water, this will extend the time for descaling.

Accessories

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Included Accessories

A welcome-pack of 16 Nespresso capsules is included along with the User Manual.

Optional Accessories

You don’t need to purchase anything else as this machine is so self-contained. The only thing you need to reorder is the capsules through either Nespresso’s website. The delivery from Nespresso is quite fast. For example, if you place your order before 4 p.m. today, you’d get the shipment by tomorrow. Alternatively you can also order them through Amazon. A few times a year, Nespresso will also introduce some new flavors to the market. So keep an eye on that if any of the special flavors appeal to you.

Power & Cord

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  • Input Power (W): 1200
  • Voltage/Frequency (V-Hz): 120/60

Dimensions & Weight

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  • Dimensions (W x D x H inches): 12.59 x 6.69 x 10.23 
  • Weight (lbs): 9.97

Warranty

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1-year limited warranty on parts and labor by Delonghi

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • The Delonghi Lattissma Plus is a fool-proof espresso maker that cranks up a cup of espresso or latte in a few short minutes.
  • The Rapid Cappuccino System makes it so effortless to make a latte, cappuccino or macchiato without messing around with a steam wand. The unit delivers hot milk first and then the espresso. You can adjust the froth and foam at the single turn on the dial. The froth is foamy and creamy as if you’d used whipped cream.
  • The 19-bar pressure pumps the hot water through the single boiler to ensure optimal temperature for both brewing and steaming.
  • The adjustable drip tray accommodates cups and glasses of different heights.
  • The Nespresso patented capsule delivery system saves you all the trouble from brewing espresso in a semi-automatic machine.
  • The self-illuminated control buttons make it so easy to operate the espresso maker. All parts snap in and out.
  • Self-cleaning cycle helps keep the milk wand clean after each froth.
  • The small and compact size fits into any living space and some people even buy one for the office or travel with it.
  • The customized volume control for the espresso and milk offer you full control if the default is not what you want.

Cons

  • You have no choice but sticking with using the Nespresso capsules. It costs more and doesn’t have the option for coffee grounds.
  • Some customers complained about the brew temperature is not hot enough but a few testers proved the milk-based drink was at 160F which is perfect for steamed milk.

Consumer Reviews

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4.4 out of 5.0

88% of the Amazon reviewers have rated this product 4-5 stars. They are very pleased with the Lattissma for its compact size, easy to use functionality and the Rapid Cappuccino System to make lattes, cappiccinos or macchiatos. The quick heat up time to brew temperature makes it so fast to brew a drink.

The common gripe is about the need to reorder the capsules and the waiting time for a day or two. You’ll have to plan ahead if you know you are going to run out of capsules. Some have talked about the lack of coffee intensity if using one capsule. It’s hard to please all no matter how great the product is, isn’t?

Price

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The Delonghi Lattissima Plus is just under $400. It’s not the cheapest espresso maker on the market but it offers so much convenience and time-saving.

Summary

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The Delonghi EN520 is designed specifically for those busy people who juggle so many balls between work and family. Spending half an hour fumbling with all the chores that come with making a great espresso is beyond comprehension when you have to wake up the kids, feed the dog and pack lunches for everyone before heading out to work. This petite unit lets you steal a couple of minutes to sip a delightful latte or cappuccino as a treat to yourself. Easy to use and breezy to clean.

It is not the machine for someone who likes to make espressos from scratch and to control every step of the way. If you like your espresso very strong, this may not meet your needs as you’d have to brew a few more shots to make it intense enough for your taste. The smart thing to do is to consider a quality semi-automatic machine that lets you show off the inner barista in you.

 

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