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401 Reviews
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125 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Art
We have owned this coffee maker now for nearly a year. I'm pleased to say that I am actually more pleased with it now than when it first emerged all shiny and new from its box. It certainly looked stylish then, as it still does, and we had our first cups of coffee before much time had passed - and very good it was too.

Now I have had time to experience using...
Published 24 months ago by Nobby

versus
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine at first but quickly goes downhill...
Got this machine as a wedding present in the middle of December 2010. Now, just two months later, having serious problems. I have followed all the usage and cleaning recommendations in the instruction manual.

The machine is noisy and shakes when in use - it even chucked a cup off the top warming plate and broke it.

Water drips from the frother spout...
Published on 15 Feb 2011 by AliBunn


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Coffee Machine, 30 Jan 2010
By 
V. Alemi (warwick, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Great Coffee machine, whether with a pod or with fresh ground coffee, we get great coffee. It warms up quickly, and we get really good crema on the espresso. Simple to use too.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic but go in with your eyes open, 18 Aug 2013
...allow me to lend you my glasses.

I've waited nearly two years to review this as several people had problems after a couple of months. These are the things I've found out for myself over the course of that time.
My Qualifications: I care about food quality and flavour. I drink fresh coffee. I'm absolutely not a guru.

There are two things I had to get used to: the coffee machine and the coffee making. It's a case of getting the combinations right.

The coffee making:
I've had to find the right blend and roast for flavour - some coffees taste quite unpleasant, some lovely. Nice ones for a cafetière do not always translate well to espresso machines. I particularly like the chocolatey hint to one of the popular coffees in the UK and have been working on finding a similar flavour.
The cup size will affect intensity - a larger a cup will give a more watered down coffee if you fill it.
Then there's the right grind for the machine - if you get too fine a grind and pack it in too tightly the pressure will almost never drop enough for the green light to go out but you will get no crema and it will take you 20 minutes to fill a mug. The result, however will be relatively intense. I experimented with very gently tamping very finely ground coffee; this gives good body and intensity and good crema. An adequately tamped medium to fine grind rich roast also gives good crema and decent intensity.

The coffee machine:
To my knowledge, nobody ever bought an Alfa Romeo for its faultless record on electrics.
This stylish machine appears to have some quality problems according to the reviews. That said, I own two De'Longhi products including this one and neither have failed. Therefore they have a 100% record with me. Of course, the size of my sample data set makes for perfectly sound statistics.

So to address some of the build quality observations on the other reviews:
1/ the noisiness you can mitigate with the gentle application of a finger to the top of the water tank. A wheat massage bag has a similar result. I also found keeping the water level high helped.
2/ The green light going on and off as the pressure drops you can also navigate with the gentle application of a finger - to switch the pump on and off as required.
Neither of these bother me. If I wanted a cup of coffee without ritual and charm, I would use instant or the utter waste of resources that is the coffee pod system.
3/ The lack of crema complained about could well be down to the grind or over-enthusiastic tamping. Or, yes, problems with the product, absolutely. I just don't think so in my particular case.
4/ The steam coming from the handle. Eleven out of the twelve times I remembered to take a note, it was in fact steam coming from the cup. The one occasion it was leaking from the machine was where I had too many grounds on the rim of the filter. In fairness you are told not to do that. That's not to say the others didn't have genuine problems.
5/ The space available for cups is a little on the small side - anything over 7.5 cm tall and you will find yourself rearranging the furniture to get the cup back out afterwards. Again, this is all part of the Alfa Romeo Charm Experience.

A full on espresso connoisseur may dismiss these observations as amateurish, semi-informed bunk. I am just an interested Joe Public. But when it comes to coffee I guess you are a similar Joe Public, as you're reading the reviews on a hundred odd quid espresso machine not a thousand odd quid behemoth. Are there better machines for the money? Dunno - haven't bought them. Am I happy with this one? Absolutely. And it looks a lot less flimsy (and a lot more pretty) than others for similar money.

Oh and don't get any single filter espresso machine out for posh coffee at the end of an eight person dinner party. Stick to the large cafetière, otherwise if you go for more than three cups your children will have finished school, grown up and left home before you come back in with the goods.

Cheers then,
Olaf.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought one and like it!, 16 Oct 2009
By 
I bought this coffee machine as a gift to my girlfriend, who got to using it straight away. Apart from a small scratch on the cup heating plate when it arrived, it has performed faultlessly producing hot drinks every time.

On the build quality front it would have been nice for the milk frothing nozzle to have been metal instead of plastic, and the cup heater plate onto of the machine looks to be chrome metal but instead its chrome plastic otherwise thats about it. A nice looking machine that does the job at the right price.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars De'Longhi Icona Pump Expresso (black)., 22 Sep 2009
By 
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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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Italian looks but build quality is also Italian, 20 May 2011
By 
Anthony McEvoy (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Espressissimo!, 14 Dec 2009
By 
S. J. Cuthbertson (Corbridge, Northumberland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As long as you use good quality coffee, this machine makes a delicious espresso with a good crema on top. You can make two single espressos at the same time, or one double espresso. It also makes great frothy cappuccino. Beautiful to look at and easy to clean. What more do you want? Well, maybe a bean-to-cup model in the same stylish design.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous, constantly leaking, 31 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a terrible coffee maker! The water container constantly leaked, but not only that it leaked into the bottom of the machine onto the electrical connections (I love my coffee, but dont want to be electrocuted in the process thank you very much!)
Within 20 minutes of having switched it on, all of water had leaked out onto my worktop and had pooled all over my kitched floor. It did this all the time and is a terrible design fault!
The filter holder did not fit into the machine properly so everytime it was switched on the coffee would leak out all over the place. With the machine being so lightweight and unstable, the only way you could get the filter holder to connect tightly was by putting your spare hand on top of the machine (which was now hot!) and scalding myself in the process.
An absolute waste of money, looks good on the photo and on the box, but once you get it out you will see its a very cheap and nasty design and not even worth a third of what is charged anywhere on the internet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early days, 2 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had my delonghi for a few weeks and have been pleased with it, generally. It's good value for money but has a few niggles. It makes good coffee, it's easy to use & clean and doesn't take long to warm up. However, the milk frother drips water when the coffee maker is switched on (leaving a pool of water on the worktop) and, on the odd occasion, water runs down the arm of the filter holder. Also, it's hard to make a decent sized coffee because the space between the filter holder and the tray is limited.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice machine, good creamy espresso, 3 May 2010
By 
S. Kay (Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst coffee maker yet!!!, 2 May 2011
By 
Emma Roids (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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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De'Longhi Icona ECO310.BK Pump Espresso Machine, Onyx Black
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