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3.9 out of 5 stars350
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 22 September 2009
Never having an espresso machine before, I was bogged down with all the reviews and opinions of people who considered themselves "coffee experts".I wanted a simple machine that performed well, looked good at a reasonable price, and I think this model ticks all the boxes, (yes I know that I have little to compare it to).On my first attempt, the machine was extremely noisy, and no coffee appeared, having repositioned the water reservoir, I produced a decent espresso. I tried the Illy pods that came with it, not too bad,and great to use them at breakfast when your in a hurry. Got the hang of the frother the second time I used it, easy to dismantle and clean. In all very pleased with my purchase, and I'm sure I will improve with practise.So if your looking for good, simple machine that a novice can use, consider this one.
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I've taken up drinking coffee regularly after buying this machine to match the similar kettle and toaster. It's a lovely little device, and once you're used to it it's really easy to use.

It's basically a little low-pressure steam boiler. There's a large water container at the back, that you only need to fill every ten cups or so. There's a platform on top that you can use to keep your frothing jug and cups warm (neither are supplied). Note that the gap under the coffee filter is only 70mm, so you can't use British-size cups: you need to get at least one espresso cup.

The ritual to make a latte (I don't normally drink espresso) is:
1) Make sure the water container has enough water.
2) Turn on the maker (top button), and turn on the steam heater (bottom button).
3) Unclip the filter, empty out any used grounds - there's a clip on the handle to make this easier, but make sure you don't damage the filter.
4) Fill the filter with fresh ground coffee, and tamp it flat using the plastic plate at the side of the coffee maker.
5) Clip the filter onto the coffee maker - the handle must face forwards or water may leak around the edges.
6) Fill a frothing jug about a third full with full-fat milk.
7) When the green light comes on, use the steaming nozzle to froth the milk (round knob on the top) - be careful to keep the end of the nozzle under the milk!
8) Put an espresso cup under the filter.
9) Press the middle button to start making the coffee.
10) The cup should be about half-full in 30 seconds. Press the middle button again to stop (if you leave it running, your coffee gets watered down).
11) Pour the frothed milk into a large cup, and spoon the froth in on top.
12) Tip the espresso over the froth.
13) If you take suger, add to taste.
14) Wipe the frothing nozzle (easier to do it before the milk dries on)
15) If you're not making another cup, remember to turn the coffee maker off.

This little ritual gives me five minutes away from wotrking and allows me to gather my thoughts. There's something satisfying about the whole exercise that you couldn't posssibly get from instant coffee - and it tastes so much better! I use bottled water. Because I live in a hard-water area, I would need to use a descaler every week or so if I used tap water.

The matching kettle, by the way, shoots steam out at the top and bottom of the handle when you're pouring, and both it and the toaster get very hot on the outside in use. These devices have style, and as long as you don't have children who may be burned and as long as you accept that deLonghi reliability may not necessarily be all it might be, they are worth considering. By the way, despite the description, they are not scarlet - they are a deeper, retro-looking red.
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on 8 June 2010
This is the first pump espresso machine I've used so I can't make comparisons. I've previously used a Bialetti stove-top machine with Illy ground coffee and prefer the more mellow espresso (still using Illy) from the De'Longhi. It's quick to heat up and can deliver the coffee to two cups at a time. The cup warmer plate is ineffective but running hot water through the empty filter holder into the cup(s) works well and warms everything up quickly. You do have to wait for a short time for the green light to come back on, but by the time you've put the coffee into the filter it's ready to go again. I don't make big demands on it (one or two cups a day) so time will tell how robust it is. I don't find it too noisy and it doesn't move around on the worktop.
10 Nov 2015 Still working perfectly every day. Have increased to 5 stars
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on 20 May 2011
This is a great looking machine and will add a dash of style to any Kitchen. Beautifully designed in wonderful colours.
This is the second Espresso machine I have owned. The other being a Krups one which had all the quality and build you would expect from a piece of German kit but it looked like a World War Two pill box on one of the beaches in Normandy !.
This machine though has real style. It looks like it has oodles of chrome and enamaled steel but closer inspection reveals that it is mostly plastic. The first few uses of it were disconcerting because it rattled and shook like a rusty old Fiat...so much so that you had to hold the Espresso cup otherwise the cup would have fallen on the Kitchen floor. It has settled down a bit now but it still shudders disconcertingly but nothing as dramatic as the first few goes....but definitely more than my old Krups machine, which would be in the same price bracket. My old Krups machine didn't have any gadget to pat down the coffee in the coffee pod but this does which is a nice touch. The actual Pod for the coffee is removable, depending on whether you want one Espresso or two. This is a major design fault in my opinion. You risk scalding yourself if you need to make another individual shot of Espresso because if you hit the handle off your waste bin to remove the coffee (as the professionals would) you risk loosing the Coffee Pod into the Bin. If you use a spoon to scrape out the coffee you will need to fiddle with a retaining lug and also hold the hot metal Pod or Handle. You also at some stage risk loosing one of the recepticals as they come out and are interchangable. This is appallingly bad design. My old Krups had an adjustable level in the Pod Handle and nothing was removable other than by deliberatly unscrewing bits to clean it. Also because the handle is curved in this machine and heavy it is impossible to leave it resting stably anywhere. It constantly seems to slip and fall.
Probably the most important thing for people who buy Espresso machines is the taste and quality of the cup of coffee. Here the machine scores. The taste is great with the right pressure extracting all the flavour.
All in all this machine makes great coffee, looks great and is a real piece of art for your Kitchen it has style but for me it falls down on quality of build and robustness...even from a Health and Safety point of view. It will be interesting to see how long this machine lasts with usage.
In the end you have to ask yourself am I a BMW driver or an Alfa Romeo driver. It has lots of style and flair but I have my reservations about some of the design shortcuts and longevity may be an issue.
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on 3 May 2010
Works well, not any noisier than your average espresso machine (first run it will be noisy, filling the pump with water I guess). Espresso easy to make, milk steamer works well although a bit "wet" to begin with, run some of the hot water off first before steaming the milk. Easy controls, refill accessible. Just a bit more "plasticky"than it looks in the pictures... but fine for domestic use.
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on 25 January 2010
Milk frother very good, works best if you run the hot water through the machine once or twice before you make the coffee. Not particularly noisy considering how long you have it on for. Quick heat up. I found that ground coffee works best though and that the pods leave a little to be desired!
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on 26 April 2011
Have had a number of espresso-type coffee makers over the last 12 years, from Krups, Magimix, and Morphy Richards, and did not want to spend a fortune on one. This really does by far the best job yet. On the positive side, the coffee (using decent quality home-ground coffee) is excellent both for Espresso and Americano. It produces a good crema and full-flavoured coffee quickly and with little fuss. The coffee is hot, but it pays to warm the cups first.
It is however, noisy and vibrates badly, particularly when the reservoir is full. The instructions do not make it clear that the coffee is still coming through very hot, even when the green light goes out. You can get a large americano coffee out of this without the water running cool. For longer coffee, you can not get a mug underneath the dispenser. Large breakfast cups do fine, but if you only use mugs, this is not the coffee machine for you.
On balance, I have found that this makes one of the best cups of coffee that I have ever had, and I am fussy! You do need to use decent coffee, as with any machine. Other makes have produced coffee that is not warm enough, have lacked the pressure for a good crema and have been slow to use. This addresses all those problems but needs some refinement.
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on 2 May 2011
The problem with a lot of reviews is that they are written within weeks of purchase. I'd be interested to know how people got on with their machines 6 or 9 months down the road...

We were bought this coffee maker, from an Amazon Marketplace seller, by my mum back in July 2010. From the start there was a problem - the water tank sealing gasket was missing. I filled the tank and placed it on the machine, turned my back to read further instructions and when I turned back it had flooded the work surface. I phoned De'Longhi and was told that no, they won't send out a 20p part, return to seller. I explained what it would cost in terms of time and hassle but they didn't care and told me it wasn't their problem. In the end I got creative, bought another form a local store and returned the faulty one in its place (store staff had already told me it would get sent back to De'Longhi and store wouldn't lose out).

After about 2 months the boiler started to drip. The espresso cups would be half full of cold coffee by the time the temperature was up enough to operate. A few weeks after this started the frothing arm developed a leak and wouldn't shut off entirely. Again I contacted De'Longhi and again they didn't want to know. I was referred to Britcom UK which is our not-so-local repair and service centre. They were also incredibly helpful by never answering the phone and taking just over 9 weeks to respond to my email enquiring how to go about getting a repair carried out by them. By then it was January and I was fed up. Britcom UK expected me to take the machine to them and leave it for an indeterminable amount of time and then go and collect it if and when the repair was complete.

This weekend after a complete breakdown (cold milk for the umpteenth time!) we decided to go and upgrade to a 'proper' coffee maker. We went to see my good friend Kerry in Comet who persuaded us to go with the Magnifica ESAM 4200S bean to cup model ESAM4200.S Delonghi Espresso Cappuccino Maker ESAM4200.S 355.00 for £357.44. Initially I was narked that she suggested purchasing another De'Longhi after we told her about their non-existent customer service but she promised that in the event of breakdown Comet would take responsibility for repair/replacement. As Comet are only a 10 minute walk from our house we decided to go with this recommendation as any returns would be far simpler. (It IS a cracking machine but I'll wait a few months before reviewing it).

The upshot is the Icona is a waste of money. The only positive thing I could say about it is that it matched the kettle and toaster! Don't just take my word for it. My mum had a black one she bought in Sainsbury's before Christmas and surprise, surprise it developed identical faults. She's a disabled pensioner and even she couldn't get De'Longhi's customer service to be of any help. Luckily Sainsbury's have taken pity on her and refunded her, even after 6 months as, it was barely used. I would not recommend this product, even at this much lower price, unless you are just looking for something to decorate your bin with.
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on 21 October 2014
Like a lot of people on here - my wife and I bought the kettle and toaster then bought the coffee machine. We have the model in cream.

It was mainly a gift for me because I love my coffee but find high street cafe's like starbucks etc. too expensive.

Firstly the price - it wasn't expensive for what you get - bought from John Lewis because they give a two year warranty. Had the machine for about eight weeks now and have already recovered the cost at starbucks prices!!

Second ease of use. - I have read some of the negative comments and can only say:

Don't buy this machine if you want a fast easy cup of coffee. Stick with instant or buy one of the espresso pod things!!

Remember that coffee making is an art not a science and you must have a love of good coffee to appreciate what this machine is capable of after you have taken the time to learn. Read some of the extremely good reviews here which give excellent tips on perfecting the art and look at the videos on u tube - if all else fails - go on a course!

Easy to fill and clear reservoir means you can easily see how much water is left.

The wand is easily accessible if you use the correct metal jug - I bought two the 330 ml and the 660 ml. The smaller is excellent for a single latte or cappuccino. The larger for two.

The tamper is workable but I took a note of a recommendation in an excellent review on here and bought the Motta 52mm tamper. Expensive but built to last. Find the crema is even better than before and the finished article is more consistent. Whichever you buy make sure it is the 52mm as it fits the coffee filter exactly.

Can't get a decent sized cup under the outflow: What a load of rubbish!! An espresso cup fits beautifully. A wide teacup also fits beautifully. We bought some Denby Monsoon teacups which each hold half a pint yet are only 60mm high! A little expensive but wow they look the part and my wife swears her Latte tastes better out of them. To those who say 'can't fit a mug under' I say you should not be putting good coffee in a mug!! If you must be a Philistine then stick to your instant.

It's noisy: well yes it is noisy. Because it is so light weight and has such a strong pump anything which can rattle will. I either ignore it - not hard to do - or put the dogs' ceramic treat jar on the top of the reservoir - that reduces the noise to a pleasant hum. But don't let the dogs see me otherwise they think it's treat time.

It has faulty seals which drip: Well we live in a notoriously bad hard water area. Shower cubicle door constantly covered in limescale and constantly cleaning loo and sinks. So far I find that there is a little dripping just before the machine gets up to heat. This can be left to fall into the drip tray or sometimes I place a small cup under the outlet. I expect that I will have to descale more often than most but honestly do not feel that the performance warrants it yet after 8 weeks or so and an average of 6 or 7 cups per day. I tend to have double espresso and count those as two cups. When I notice a drop off I will descale - honest.

In summary - this machine is exquisite to behold, reasonable in price, can be noisy - but has a workaround, makes excellent coffee in the right hands but it is not the right choice for philistines who like their coffee quickly made and in mugs.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2013
Update February 2014: This machine broke down after just 11 months - a flash and bang, smell of burning and the switches are completely shot. De Longhi's customer care service proved hopeless. Their initial reply said that they would reply within 5 working days. 5 days later they replied to ask for a further 2 days because they were particularly busy. 2 days after that...nothing. I emailed them again, and eventually, more than two weeks after my initial enquiry to them they sent me a list of suppliers/repairers, but didn't reply to my request to confirm that the devise was under guarantee.

So, I'm unimpressed by De Longhi, to say the least!

This is what I wrote a year ago:

After ten years of faithful service, my "Starbucks Barista" - actually manufactured by Saeco - espresso maker's pump finally failed, and I had to go hunt a replacement. (Shame Saeco's service department was so unresponsive.)

I've had this De Longhi machine for a couple of weeks now, and there are many things I like about it. The water container at the back makes it easy to see how much water is left, and to top it up if you run out. Also, because the water is effectively gravity fed, there's no pump priming routine needed if it runs dry. It churns out espresso with lovely looking crema, and the frothing device makes brilliant milk for cappuccinos. And it does so while using less coffee - the coffee holder is small than the last one, and it takes less coffee (slightly less than two measures maximum, for a double shot) but the end result is just as good, so I must have been using too much coffee all these years.

Ironically, the only gripe I have is that the coffee frother is just too good, as I really prefer a latte to a cappuccino. While you can reduce the amount of foaming it does by putting the nozzle deep into the milk jug, even that is not completely effective, and means you have to hold the jug up - leave it on the drip tray while you do something else and the milk bubbles over in no time. It doesn't seem possible to remove the "shroud" device on the nozzle because without it the inner steam tube flies off. This also makes cleaning up a bit more of a labour that it used to be, when it was just a matter of wiping off the stainless steel nozzle while blowing some steam through it. Of course, if you want cappuccino, this may be a small price to pay and it's certainly a great machine for that.

The machine looks good, but I'm not expecting it to last for the ten years of its predecessor. This machine is made of aluminium rather than stainless steel, and generally lacks the feel of solid quality. There's no doubt however, that it represents good value, and if it lasts five years I'll feel perfectly happy.
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