Best De'Longhi Coffee Makers

Updated September 2021
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Buying guide for best De’Longhi coffee makers

For many, the best way to start the day is with the enticing aroma and delicious taste of a fresh cup of coffee. Whether you enjoy hot coffee, cold brew, or a cup of espresso, the proper coffee maker is an essential partner in the kitchen.

De’Longhi is one of the most trusted names in quality coffee makers and espresso machines, known for high-end products that last a long time. The company’s products vary greatly in size, price, design, and operation, with offerings that cater to households of all sizes, practical needs, and coffee preferences. And perhaps due to its heritage as an Italian company, De’Longhi’s reputation has been burnished heavily by its espresso machines, which make up the bulk of its product lineup.

But no matter which format of coffee maker you’re considering, De’Longhi products offer many possibilities, and our guide will help you sort them out so you end up with the coffee drink you desire.

De Longhi coffeee makers
Purchasing an espresso machine is no small investment, but consider how often you opt for lattes at coffee shops. You may save money over time brewing at home.

Key considerations

Coffee vs. espresso

De’Longhi offers coffee makers, espresso machines, and combination products that make both. Here are the noteworthy differences between these formats.

  • Drip coffee: These machines are typically more popular and familiar in North American homes. Such machines use either pre-packaged pods or ground coffee that the user portions into paper or plastic filters. Hot water infuses the grounds, either manually or automatically, and coffee is made. A 12-ounce cup of coffee has around 120 milligrams of caffeine in it. Machines may brew just a single cup of coffee or up to 12 in a carafe. Currently, De’Longhi doesn’t have any pure drip-coffee machines, but it reserves this format for its combination units.
  • Espresso: Espresso is bolder and richer than your usual cup of coffee; it also packs more of a caffeinated punch. A serving, or “shot,” of espresso is typically either a single (1 ounce) or a double (2 ounces). While a double shot of espresso has about 120 mg of caffeine — roughly that a standard cup of coffee — the caffeine is much more concentrated. Espresso requires specific beans to be ground at a certain setting. However, like drip machines, espresso makers may use pods as well.
  • Combination: For those who go for different styles of coffee depending on the situation, De’Longhi produces machines that offer flexibility. Their “All-in-One” machines will make coffee as well as a range of espresso drinks, including cappuccinos and lattes. De’Longhi also offers what it calls a specialty machine that produces drip coffee, pour-over coffee, and coffee over ice.

Ground coffee vs. pods

Another decision to be made is whether you prefer to grind coffee beans and portion it out for your brew or to purchase pre-portioned coffee pods.

  • Ground coffee: Buying fresh beans and grinding them is still a popular way to enjoy coffee at home. It requires the use of a separately purchased grinder, and some care to properly preserve both the beans and not-yet-brewed grounds. Brewing ground coffee allows users to make a large batch at once. Espresso typically isn’t made in more than single or double shots, however.
  • Pods: Nespresso is a leading brand of coffee and espresso pods, and De’Longhi has created several machines that use this format. Pods are simple to use: pop one in a machine and start the brewing process. You can adjust the strength and the size of the coffee in most cases, and you’ll be drinking your cup in no more than a few minutes. This format is popular for those who might grab a cup on the way out the door, or for homes or offices where many different coffee preferences compete and brewing a pot may be wasteful. Pods will typically cost more than the equivalent coffee in bean form.

Manual vs. automatic espresso

De’Longhi offers both manual and automatic espresso machines. A manual espresso maker is similar to the ones you’ll find at most coffee shops. These machines require the user to tamp espresso ground into the so-called portafilter, lock it into the machine, and run the right amount of hot water through. Experienced baristas will be familiar with this process, but newbies should factor in a bit of coffee and milk waste while learning. Automatic espresso machines measure the coffee and hot water according to your desires and make the cup like a drip-coffee machine would. Many of these require the user to push just a single button to start the machine.

Output

Consider who’s drinking, how much coffee they consume at a time, and how frequently they want a cup. For larger households where many family members all opt for coffee in the morning, a drip machine that brews up to 10 or 12 cups may be wise. However, if the same household wants coffee at different times, or different flavors, a machine that uses pods may be more practical.

While drip-coffee machines can take five or ten minutes to get a pot ready, or even a few minutes for a pod to process, espresso machines don’t have the same issue. Since most people have just one espresso drink at a time, volume isn’t as big a concern. Even with a small espresso machine, you can brew two singles at a time; each brew from a manual machine only takes a few minutes.

Space

Machines that use pods are generally rather compact, which benefits those with limited counter space. They can even be moved around if need be. But larger models, particularly of manual espresso machines, can take up a lot of room. Note the size before making a purchase; consider your cabinet heights too, as many machines require adding beans, grounds, or water from the top.

A machine that features a frother and a milk jug offers exciting possibilities. You can combine the milk with cocoa, syrup, or matcha tea to make sweet alternatives to coffee-based drinks.

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Features

Milk frother

Many De’Longhi espresso machines come with a milk frother, which will allow you to make lattes, cappuccinos, or macchiatos. Some machines do this automatically, while manual machines require the user to. Automatic machines can save time, energy, and milk, but taste may be sacrificed, particularly if you prefer your specialty coffee drink a specific way.

Grinder

Some De’Longhi espresso machines come with their own burr grinder, which provides both space- and time-saving convenience. These machines have a variety of settings for their grinder, and allow you to store beans safely within and grind when you’re ready to make espresso.

LatteCrema System

This patented De’Longhi technology makes it easier for users to create drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, or macchiatos. The machine heats milk to the proper temperature, creates the right density foam, and the exact proportion to make your speciality coffee drink. This system is found in some of the company’s automatic espresso machines.

De Longhi coffee makers
DID YOU KNOW?
Non-dairy milk, like almond or soy milk, is a bit harder to create foam with. Automatic frothers may struggle to produce the ideal density with these.
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Accessories

Coffee: Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason Dark Roast
There are many choices when it comes to coffee beans, and it’s worth exploring various options. This dark roast from Peet’s Coffee is rich, flavorful, and reasonably priced.

Coffee grinder: Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Burr Mill
Having a good grinder can make all the difference. This Cuisinart model provides an even grind for better-tasting coffee.

Coffee mugs: Culver SLAT Ceramic Mugs
You’ll need the proper cup from which to drink your coffee. This set of four subtle and elegant ceramic mugs from Culver is available with different interior colors.

De’Longhi coffee makers prices

Inexpensive: For $200 or less, you can purchase a small combination machine that makes drip coffee or a pod-based espresso machine.

Mid-range: Between $200 and $600, you’ll find manual or automatic espresso machines, as well as all-in-one options that make both espresso and drip coffee.

Expensive: De’Longhi’s most advanced coffee machines sell for over $600. Some are manual espresso machines, but others are automatic units that make individual cups of drip coffee or espresso-based drinks, and include a milk frother and likely a grinder.

Drip coffee is mostly a North American preference. In many countries around the world, asking for coffee at a cafe is, in fact, ordering a shot of espresso.

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Tips

  • Securely store beans. Your high-end machine can’t compensate for stale beans. Keep beans sealed in a dark, cool place and avoid touching them. Grind only within a day or two of brewing.
  • Preheat your cup. This tip is more for enjoying espresso drinks, but you can better keep your beverage warm, and tasty, by rinsing the cup with hot water in preparation. Some machines will include a cup warmer as a feature.
  • Know your grind. Most drip coffee is made using coarse ground coffee, but espresso beans must be finely ground. If you opt for a multipurpose coffee maker, acquire a grinder with different options.
  • Try different beans. A quality coffee machine will yield tasty results, but it’s worth trying coffee from all over the world. Each region has subtle differences and flavors, not unlike wine.
De Longhi coffeee makers
For those who find espresso a bit too strong, consider adding hot water to the single or double shot. This is called an Americano, and it’s a tasty balance between espresso and drip coffee.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean my De’Longhi coffee machine?

A. Most machines are relatively easy to clean. They may have dishwasher-safe parts, like a carafe or drip tray, or removable pieces that are simple to clean by hand. Frothers and portafilters should be rinsed and wiped after use. Manual espresso machines often come with a cleaning brush as well to remove grounds from hard-to-reach places. Your purchase will come with a guide as to how to clean the specific product; you should expect to clean your machine once a week, and the process usually takes 10 to 30 minutes. Regular cleaning maintains the quality of the coffee and longevity of the machine.

Q. Does the coffee machine store beans and grounds?

A. Some automatic machines will store either beans or grounds, or in some cases both if the machine includes a grinder. The machine will securely preserve the grounds and beans so that they stay fresh.

Q. What is descaling? Do I have to descale my machine?

A. The water that passes through your coffee machine likely includes traces of minerals and sediment. Those little bits accumulate over time on some parts, resulting in a loss of quality and heat in your coffee. De’Longhi’s automatic machines have a descaling option to save you time and energy. Manual machines will require you to descale. De’Longhi offers tutorials online about descaling, but essentially it involves running the machine with hot water and a solution to break up clogs and cleanse the machine.

 

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