on 9 January 2010
I was in the market for one of these machines for a while and nearly bought the cheaper ESAM6600. I eventually opted for this model because it seemed to offer more flexibility for long coffee. It is the same physical size as the ESAM600 and despite the massive box it comes in, which is mainly packaging; it sits on the kitchen top very nicely.
Very easy to set up, switch on and select language, then fill with water and coffee beans. The default setting for long coffee is standard strength with a quantity of 175ml. This proved to be quite strong and just right for me. This is delivered with one press of the button, and the first cup tasted perfect even though the manual says it takes a few cups. The strength is easily altered from extra mild to extra strong in 5 grades and the volume from 125 to 250ml. Likewise the machine will make espresso coffee in the range 40 to 120ml. As for coffee with milk, this is also very easy to do, you simply attach the container full of milk and press your desired choice of cappuccino, latte, macchiato or just plain hot milk. The machine will also dispense hot water extending its flexibility. The Long black coffee it produces is excellent and I have also experimented with an espresso topped up with hot water (Americano style). Likewise my wife will on occasion add a further quantity of frothy milk to her drink, or add plain milk to an extra mild small long. The variations seem endless.
The main difference between this and the cheaper ESAM6600, as far as I can tell, is the pre-programmed quantity and strength settings for long coffee and espresso. On the ESAM6700 there are 5 pre-sets and a custom setting. On the ESAM6600 there is only a custom setting which you need to alter every time you want a different quantity.
All in all I am very pleased with my purchase and hopefully will not regret spending the money on this, rather than a new desktop PC as originally intended. Its also worth considering that I spent almost twice this sum on a new Plasma TV a couple of years ago which can be bought today for a fraction of the original price, whilst the coffee machines do not get any cheaper and retain there value.
on 4 February 2010
I had been looking at various bean to cup coffee machines for a while and had decided between two, the De Longhi ESAM5500 and the ESAM6600 as I liked the idea of one touch with a milk jug which can be kept in the fridge between coffee making, not to mention self grinding and cleaning. Then along comes the ESAM6700 with extra features to make my life easier. Only trouble was the price jumped quite considerably and I had to weigh up whether the extra features were worth the price tag. After much research and consideration I decided on the 6700 which still wasn't yet in the country in the few outlets that were selling them. Having placed it on my favourites list with Amazon priced around the standard £1295 I notice one day they were selling it for £945! A bargain considering the 6600 is retailing for around that.
My machine arrived promptly and was easy to use straight out of the box. It doesn't come with any beans or cups so make sure you have some in. After filling the water tank and setting it up for language, time, water hardness etc, all very easy using the touch screen, I was ready to go. The first couple of cups weren't brilliant but after that it was great. My husband drinks mostly long black with a nice crema which is programmable to the desired length and strength you want. We usually select "long" and press the two cup button which gives double strength. This machine grinds your beans with 7 variable settings or you can use the pre-ground compartment where you add one measure at a time.
I drink milky coffee and find the one touch facility OK but may need tweeking to your own tastes. There are a few problems with the milk side of things, nothing major. After a couple of months the milk jug doesn't slide in it's housing as smoothly as it did new. This I've read can be a common problem and can be solved by using a silicone lubricant which I have not yet tried, I just wiggle it about until it goes in. The 3 settings for milky coffee are Cappuccino (which I find to be a bit strong), Latte (a bit on the watery side as it uses more steam) and Macchiato (which gives you the distinctive layering effect but the foam is very bubbly and dry) I set the lever to between Macchiato and Latte and this allows for a slightly denser foam. No matter what setting you have the milk jug on you can select any of the milky coffees on the machine ie. Macchiato on the milk jug and make a Latte coffee.
One other thing I've noticed about the milk frothing is that the temperature of the milk on it's own is not very hot, so if you want to make a hot chocolate (this is one of the main reasons for choosing the 6700 over the 6600 as you have a seperate milk button for either hot chocolates or just topping up your coffee with a bit more milk) then you'd be wise to either use a setting that has more steam and is therefore hotter but not as creamy, or mix your chocolate powder with hot water and then add the frothed milk.
Black coffee wise, this machine is great and with the small issues with the milk side of things this is still a better option than the 6600 or less because having the "milk" and "long" buttons gives you more options to fine tune your drink.
As far as the maintenance goes it's all pretty straight forward. The machine comes with a descale solution but buy some more (easily available, Amazon sell them) as if, like me, you live in an area with very hard water you will need to carry this out fairly regularly and it's pretty easy to do aswell. The machine will tell you when to fill the water tank and add more beans, empty the grounds container and the overflow tray. It auto cleans when it switches on and off so there really is no hassle, making it very user friendly and easy to maintain, which at this price is essential.
It's never going to compare equally with a coffee made by a barista but for a one touch home option it's probably the next best thing. Above all, shop around. Well done Amazon for a very competitive price for mine!
on 6 November 2010
I read as many reviews as I could find before purchasing this item. The most useful being the ones here on Amazon.
We have long experience of espresso type machines - this was to be our first Bean to Cup. It was clear that our brand loyalty to Gaggia would have to end.
This machine does EVERYTHING it says it should do. My wife drinks the pre-programmed cappuccino, which means I have use of the My Coffee program. Switch it on, wait for it to heat up (15 seconds?!) cup in, milk jug in, press button, retrieve cup, switch off. Drink excellent coffee at the strength of your choice, with water at the temperature you want, with milk frothed in one of 3 ways. Virtually self cleaning - absolutely no mess.
It's not very often that you consider a white-goods purchase as an investment. But for us amateur coffee-connoisseurs - this is the one.
on 24 March 2012
Product was exactly as discribed and looked new and unused, The delivery came in about 3 days. (earlier then estimated) A beautiful machine is a nice addition to my newly modeled kitchen
After using the machine for a few weeks now ... I managed to recovered from the inital shock of the pricey tag (although i did save on the full RRP) It is a fantastic addition to my kitchen. It produces coffee as good as any Cafe Bar, much quicker and less mess from my old Gaggia. You can rattle a number of coffee's off in no time and with zero mess.
I appreciate it most in the morning, i switch it on, feed the cats. Select my coffee and it's done in no time. Like having my own private 'starbuck' in my kitchen
3.No mess or fuss
4.would fully recommend this product
Thanks Folks another succesful buy from Amazon.co.uk!
on 13 January 2015
I opted to go for this having been a Nespresso owner for some years.
One of the big concerns raised in discussion and reviews is whether the drinks are hot. I can say quite categorically that there is nothing wrong with the temperature of these drinks. I have not even changed the temperature setting from the default (so another two higher levels are available if I wanted) and I already find the drinks perfect. They're hot enough that you cannot neck them down, but not so hot that you can't enjoy them immediately. The whole point of fresh coffee is to brew them without burning the coffee. Want a "hot" tip? Just preheat the cups with hot water using the hot water function - give it a few seconds, pour it away, and make your coffee in the heated cup.
A second tip for retaining the heat for longer is to use flask-like insulated cups or glasses. I got some De Longhi glass ones (that show off the layered drinks nicely), though admittedly they're not cheap. Others are available though, and I also have some brilliant metal flask-type mugs from IKEA that cost about two quid each.
There is a passive cup-heater (like a "hot"plate on the top) - but it's somewhat pointless because it does not conduct enough heat to significantly warm up your cups. Since the machine auto-powers-off after 30 minutes anyway, it would have to be in constant use for the heater to stay on any length of time. And then if it was in constant use, presumably you would be using the cups off the heater faster than they would warm up...
There's an Energy-saving mode - but I'm not entirely sure what difference it makes when this is on or not. I didn't see any difference in the power-off time, heat up time, or anything else.
It takes exactly one minute from power on from cold, to being ready for action (time to create the drink itself then obviously depends on what you choose). You can even set it to come on at a certain time - for example in the morning when you get up.
There's enough room in the coffee bean hopper to fit a 250g bag of beans. The question is really how quickly you will get through this, because if the beans have been there for weeks they'll obviously be less fresh. I prefer to part-fill the hopper, keep the rest in the freezer, and just add some every few days - enjoying a fresher brew.
The various drinks are all great, and though I usually drink mine black, I also like a macchiato on occasion. The missus loves the latte and has bought some vanilla syrup to recreate her coffeeshop favourite. The milk jug is well designed and easily attached/detached, allowing you to store it in the fridge - but to be honest the milk doesn't stay fresh in there for longer than a few days so we don't keep it full. The froth regulator creates a good frothy milk with minimum mess (and includes a self clean button to be used afterwards). You can tweak the sizes of both milk and coffee for each preset to suit your tastes (and cup sizes).
On the subject of cleaning, the startup includes a pre-rinse, and the shutdown includes an after-rinse. At least every few weeks, you'll want to give the machine a proper clean on the inside as well, but it's maybe a 5 minute job - just a case of brushing out the loose coffee grains, taking out the thermoblock to clean it, and giving the insides a wipe down.
There are a few niggles. The 1.8 litre water tank seems to need refilling more often than you might expect. Some of that capacity is displaced by the water filter, if you have opted to fit one. The grounds container (where the used coffee is collected until you empty it) has an annoying little partition in the middle, the purpose of which escapes me... other than to hinder the capacity of the container.
The drip tray being flat and wide means a balancing act to get to the sink without spilling if you let it get too full. The indicator is a rudimentary red plastic float that pops up the more liquid is in the tray - not a sensor. So you do have to keep an eye out for that getting full.
The only thing I miss about my Nespresso is the ability to choose a completely different flavour coffee each time, I quite liked that level of variety. But it's not the end of the world, and of course you can still vary the beans - albeit to a slightly lesser extent. And it's worth pointing out that I now pay a fraction of the cost per cup.
The negatives are far outweighed by the positives, and this really is a smart coffee machine both in looks and results. Highly recommended if you like your coffee.
on 20 May 2011
This is indeed the best piece of Kitchen machinery I have ever bought.
The ability to create better coffee at home than you can buy at any of the usual outlets is really something and great fun especially if you take the time to drive the coffee maker manually .
Good, freshly roasted, Coffee beans are a must and worth every penny - well pound if I'm honest.
The machine is easy to clean and appears to be very well made.
Soya works as well for my Wife as real semi-skimmed milk does for me but we should prehaps invest in out own Jugs in order to avoid the odd domestic !
Word of warning - not all our friends seem to appreciate the full lecture on the source of the beans and the precise techniques the machine uses in the production of their choosen Coffee - get over it I say ! enjoy.
Fantastic toy - just buy one !
on 25 November 2012
First off very expensive-I spent a lot of time contemplating the purchase. If you drink coffee most days from outlets then you will SAVE money in the long term. Since I bought this I have not had the need to buy outside coffee. Buy some takeaway cups and lids and you can take out. Also but some Monin syrup shots and you have your own private coffeshop at home.
The good: very very easy and mess free to make espresso shots to the exact strength and taste. Milk frother is removable which is excellent to put in fridge-and the main reason I bought it. The froth is good, don't expect dense micro bubbles but on the whole for lattes, cappuccinos this is perfect. Totally mess free and automated is the biggest seller, along with fully customisable settings. The taste is better than the big chain coffees and that is no exaggeration-and this obviously will depend on the beans so don't skimp.
The bad: whatever anyone says the milk just isn't hot enough in lattes, cappuccinos etc. Its hot enough to drink immediately, but never scalding, so gets cold too quickly. However a 25 second zap in the microwave does the trick, but some people would say this is ridiculous, which it is, and to a certain degree this also ruins the froth. So if you fancy boiling hot lattes, don't buy it because you won't get them.
General alarm message came up on the first coffee I made on this machine. After switching on and off a few times it was fine. I had lots of people over, made approx 50 coffees in one day, no problem, all turned out perfect. However the next day, general alarm message again on screen and nothing happens. Tried cleaning and all the suggestions in the manuals and nothing works. Looks like it will be going back. Did I get unlucky and just get a dudd machine or is that a common theme in this machine, I don't know-but the fact it was is displaying an error message straight out the box, I guess makes me think it was just this machine and not a common fault.
I am still giving it 4 stars overall. I am getting a new replacement from Amazon, if that messes up too, then I will update this review and will probably not recommend this at all. However despite the lack of scalding hot drinks and the breakdown within 2 weeks of purchase I still really like the machine, it looks great, it will impress friends and family, and I am giving it another chance. An extended warranty is a must I bought a square trade 2 year on top of the 1 year with the machine for £100. Good for peace of mind-as I feel all coffee machines of this complexity if used frequently are prone to breaking down, so worth protecting the investment.
Replacement machine arrived. This is the ESAM 6700 Ex3 model, as opposed to the Ex2 model I had previously. They have obviously sorted out the problems in the new update. It seems much quicker making coffees, the lattes are much hotter, enough to burn your tongue (finally!). No problems so far, the display and the front of the machine is slightly different to the old model. Also you get included a water filter in the box, and the water tank is shaped to accomodate the filter easier. I am now giving this 5 stars, as they seem to have sorted out most of the problems that plagued the last model. Overall I would recommend the machine, it is worth it, but make sure you have the Ex3 model and not the older Ex2 model you will not regret it.
on 7 September 2010
Edited in 2012: My husband and I have been owners of the prima donna ESAM6700 for more than 2 years now. The coffee is great and when the machine is ready and clean and full of water and what not, the drink comes with a simple push of the button.
The machine has been in service about 4 times during warranty period and once since. Main problems were the milk container, water leaks underneath the machine and various other times when no coffee would come out. The milk container has been replaced (the lid) twice for free, I suppose they understood the issue with it popping out and the new machines probably have the new lid now.
I did the programmed descaling religiously every time the machine asks for it, which was every 2 weeks in London and every 4 weeks after we moved abroad where we have a central descaler in the house. Luckily the service centre is only a 15 minute drive from our home and they are very friendly and the warranty is international. Today I learned for the first time, after asking them each time if there was something that we did wrong, that we need to descale inside the brew unit as well. The descaling program sends the acid only through the tea water spout and not through the coffee spout. The "rinsing" function does, however. So, while it says in the manual that the brew unit should only be soaked in water every month, the service centre now tells us after 2 years that we should descale through the unit as well. Wow, thanks for letting us know finally.
I expect no more trouble from now on...
The coffee still tastes great.
on 24 September 2013
I was concerned by some of the negative reviews about this machine however I had no need to worry. Easy to use and set up make great tasting hot coffee, the milk system is first class delivering a perfect cappuccino or latte. Just make sure you use a quality freshly roasted coffee and you will love the result. Why not 5 stars? well it comes with a water filter that fits into the water tank but no details of how to purchase a replacement, no part number or any information. I emailed DeLongi customer support but have not received any reply it seems they cant be bothered to help. Not a deal breaker as it will work without a filter it will just need descaling more often.
A big well done to Amazon who have this machine at an amazingly low price one dealer, who claimed to offer a price match said they were unable to in this case as they could not buy it in for that price.
on 21 August 2013
The De'Longhi Prima Donna Avant ESAM6700 arrived this morning and I love it. I'm wired from all the coffee, but it had to be done.
The build of the machine is very solid and what you'd expect in a restaurant. Very hard wearing stainless steel - everything feels well made.
I was initially disappointed by the temperature of the Latte but then made a Cappuccino (which is very similar) and that is very hot - I am very fussy about hot coffee. One cool feature is that it turns itself on when you want it to in the morning so that its all ready to go!
I've had it literally hours, so I'm sure I will follow up on this review. It is expensive but worth it - this is my 40th Birthday present from my partner so I am so happy with it. Some people like nice watches, I like good coffee!