Customer Reviews


407 Reviews
5 star:
 (179)
4 star:
 (112)
3 star:
 (47)
2 star:
 (26)
1 star:
 (43)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


137 of 139 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 on 29 Sep 2012 by Nobby

versus
17 of 18 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


‹ Previous | 1 241 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

137 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Art, 29 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red (Kitchen & Home)
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 the Icona I can report that those who say making a good cup of coffee is an art-form certainly speak truly. What the Icona does is make it possible for anyone to produce delicious coffee, with a little practice.

The machine is simple to use, with just three buttons - on/off, pump and steam. The steam volume is controlled by a nicely-placed round knob on the top. The water goes in a clear plastic reservoir at the rear, which can be removed if necessary, but is filled in place via a hinged lid. The portafilter is a reassuringly well-made heavy duty item and comes with two removable coffee filters - for one or two cups. They are fitted out to take those coffee pods used by people who value convenience over quality.

Here I must digress to point out that coffee made from a pod is not real espresso and limits the range of coffee brands and types that can be used. The Icona is an expresso machine, which means that boiling water is forced under pressure through ground coffee that has been pressed (espresso = 'pressed out' coffee).

And this is where the first bit of the art-form comes in - and it took me a while to realise it as I was so pleased with the coffee that I was making in the first weeks of using the machine. The instructions tell you to tamp the coffee, and there is a handy plastic tamper built-in. However, this is not up to doing the job properly and has one major drawback. Any coffee that sticks onto the built-in tamper - and some always does - gets shaken off when the pump is run and falls into the nearest cup and the kitchen work surface.

So, whatever machine you use please invest in a good quality hand held tamper made out of heavy steel. I bought one made by the Italian firm of Motta - available on Amazon and elsewhere. It has a beautiful ergonomic wooden handle and a precision machine polished tamping face. Most important, it measures exactly 52mm so fits the Icona basket perfectly. Using a decent tamper ensures that the coffee is pressed evenly and firmly into a cake with a smooth even surface. This means the pressurised water flows evenly through the coffee. Improper tamping leaves weak spots so the water rushes through, failing to draw the full flavour out of the coffee, resulting in a weak or even a bitter brew with a less than full 'crema' or head.

The next bit of the art-form is to use only coffee that is specifically ground for espresso. It is finer than coffee intended for filter machines and will usually be a blend that contains a high proportion of Arabica beans, which is the variety of coffee that gives the best crema.

The Icona can produce strong black espresso very reliably, time after time, but only in the smaller cups that are traditionally used for espresso. The space below the portafilter is not tall enough to take anything bigger. As the machine can be used to make cappuccino or latte coffee too, a certain amount of careful choice is needed in selecting the best cups. If you like a large mug, as seen in Starbucks, then you will have to make black espresso in a small cup (or two) and transfer it into your mug.

More artistry - warm the cups (or mugs) and the empty portafilter first. The Icona boasts a space on top where two cups can be placed to warm, but you would have to wait for about twenty minutes to see that happen, and if you are anything like me, that is far too long to wait for one's coffee. The Icona boils in little over a minute, so if you switch it on whilst getting the milk, sugar, cups, biscotti, etc. it is ready before you are. Getting the steam going takes around the same length of time, or perhaps a bit less.

Making a cappuchio is the final bit of the art-form that I am trying to master. You need to have a 'proper' milk frothing jug made out of stainless steel. You need a clip on thermometer so you know when the milk has reached exactly the right temperature - 70C. Too hot and it tastes boiled, too cold and it kills the coffee flavour. the steam wand on the Icona is pretty good. It sends out a well-distibuted blast of steady steam, and is easily removable for cleaning. The trick is to get the milk swirling as it heats and forms small bubbles. You don't want big bubbles. There are plenty of barista types on YouTube who demonstrate this skill - but emulating them takes a lot of practice. How do they make those patterns and pictures in poured milk?

For the money, the Icona is a great machine, capable of producing excellent espresso, cappuccino or latte coffee. It looks good, comes in a choice of colours and although fairly lightly made, seems robust enough to stand up to daily use. It does vibrate when the pump is on, as would be expected, but being a small machine there is nothing to dampen the vibrations. As a result, the water container lid can rattle, but a strategically-placed bit of cardboard will solve the problem - if you could call it that. For me, it is not an issue.

After about seven months use the Icona suddenly started to drip water from the portafilter holder head - copiously. I feared the worst and contacted DeLonghi customer service via email. I got a helpful reply that advised me to descale the machine, see if that cured the dripping, and if not, to get back to them. We live in a hard water area and regularly have to descale the kettle, so the Icona had received similar attention a few times - but obviously not frequently enough, or perhaps thoroughly enough. We gave it a very careful descaling and that did the trick - lesson learned. We now use cheap supermarket bottled water and descale once a month to be on the safe side. The portafilter head should also be cleaned by wiping round daily after use so as to remove any loose grounds.

So, to summarise: the Icona is a good-looking value-for-money coffee machine that will make excellent coffee if you learn the art-form and treat the machine with a little attention and consideration for its wellbeing.

--------
August 2014

It's great that folk have taken the trouble to post comments on this review - thanks to you all. I thought it might be timely to write an update. I'm surprised how nearly three years have passed so quickly. Nearly every day which has dawned during that time has been celebrated with a welcome cup of coffee from this super little machine.

I'm pleased to say that the Icona has never faltered. It just keeps on working, day in, day out. The only maintenance it needs is a wipe over, empty the drip tray, and a de-scale every now and then.

We have had some adventures though. I forgot to fill the water reservoir once and the Icona soon let me know by rattling and shaking as it pumped air. Scary. I keep the reservoir fully topped up each morning now, and find it damps the slight normal vibration of the pump down from an acceptable level to what I call busily soothing and full of promise.

Then another time I had a batch of espresso coffee from a very well known retailer and it was a little too finely ground - at least that is the theory I came up with. The dry coffee was tamped as usual but must have compacted too much to allow the water to easily flow through. The result was that the filter holder started to slowly undo itself. I could see the handle moving to the left and hot water beginning to escape from around the filter. OK, there are only three buttons on the machine, but in a panic could I remember which one was the 'Off' button? Could I heck. The situation was rescued without mishap after the old brain kicked in and told the hand to push the right button. (And don't worry, my day job is not airline pilot.) Actually, it's better to have the filter holder move and release pressure than it would be for a water pipe to blow inside the machine.

Has anyone tried experimenting with alternatives to frothy milk? I'm thinking there are a lot of lactose intolerant people who nevertheless would like a cappuccino. Incidentally, why does cappuccino sound so much more inviting than frothy milk topped coffee? Also, incidentally, my good friend Wikipedia tells me that cappuccino was named after the colour of the white habits worn by Capuchin friars. I've tried frothing almond 'milk', soya 'milk' and rice 'milk' but have not tried hemp, cashew, coconut, goat, sheep or buffalo. Sorry to say, but cow's milk, semi-skimmed and cold from the fridge makes the best froth so far. What say you?

Talking of Italian words, would the beautiful Maserati Quattroporte sound quite so exotic in English as the Maserati Four-door? However, my car may be a more mundanely-named 'people's car' and conveys me happily round rural Herefordshire, but my coffee maker daily transports me to the shores of the Amalfi coast. One can but dream.

And on that note, I think it is time for a cup of coffee.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy enough for everyday use!, 29 Jan 2010
I love this coffee machine (I have the red one). It's simple and quick to use. And best of all it's so simple to clean! Just wipe it down! I've heard some people say it's noisy when I read reviews when I was buying it but personally I don't think it's loud.. it's not silent but it's a coffee maker, what do you expect?! Sounds like a professional cafe! You can buy different types of coffee in the ESE pods which fit into this. These are great as you don't need any scoops or mucky ground beans to get rid of... just pop a pod in push the button and when your coffee's made just take the pod out and throw it away. It probably takes about the same amount of time as boiling the kettle. I've never had any problems with mine at all and would recommend it especially as someone looking to buy a first coffee machine which doesnt take up much worktop space. Looks brilliant too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


270 of 276 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars coffee mate, 30 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had considered buying an expresso machine for some time, being a Latte lover. Had purchased a Tassimo machine but could not get a decent hot cup of coffee out of the thing. although it produced other drinks, chocolate etc, the tea was, as my wife said, awfull. I returned it as faulty, drinks not hot.
I decided to go for a true ground coffee machine and chose the Delonghi Icona. Have not looked back, the ground coffee is really the only way to get good results. The coffee is hot and the milk frother makes all the difference, although the temperature of the milk can be judged by feeling the temperature of the jug, I have purchased a thermometer and it does make a difference. So now I enjoy excellent coffee at the right temperature.
The machine will also accept eeze pods and, although using the pods supplied with the machine gives a fair coffee, I will not be buying any more as the ground coffee is best.
An added bonus is that it looks good too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


127 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just value for money, 7 Sep 2010
Having deliberated over which coffee machine to purchase, my wife finally added the voice of reason and we opted for Icona at roughly £130 instead of some of its siblings at closer to a £1000.

APPEARANCE:
The machine fits very neatly against a wall and below our cupboards and is not out of place amongst other small kitchen appliances. It's relatively light so bringing it forward to to get to the water tank for topping up is not a problem. We have 4-6 coffees a day and the tank needs refilling only every few days, anyway.

OPERATION couldn't be simpler. There are three buttong and espresso takes 5 minutes for the first one (with cold machine) and 1 minute for subsequent ones). Instruction manual could be reduced to:
1. Switch on;
2. Choose single or double coffee holder and screw in the handle;
3. Wait for 2-4 minutes for the first-time-in-the-morning use, only about one minute for further ones, certainly not 15 minutes as suggested;
4. Press button when green light is on.
5. Press button again when green light is off.
And, to add milk froth for cappuccino (extra 1 minute):
6. Press another button (for steam)
7. Wait green until light is on.
8. Froth milk.

TASTE: Simply excellent. Crema is always perfect and my double espressos and wife's double cappuccinos are always thick and rich. We are currently on our fifth brand of coffee and are for the first time properly noticing the huge differences in taste. The Illy that comes with the machine is still the favourite, but as it's a bit more expensive than most others - we're still not committing.

FURTHER NOTES: Get yourself a metal milk froth container and possibly a thermometer. It will add £10 to the total, which is paid off with your first ten coffees, but will reduce spillage and ensure foam is at the right temperature. The coffee nozzles are a little bit too low and suit slightly shorter cappuccino cups. No problem at all with espresso cups.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive entry level pump espresso maker., 16 Aug 2009
By 
This review is from: De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red (Kitchen & Home)
<<<UPDATE AUGUST 2014>>>
I note that this product is still on the market many years after I purchased it. I still have this trusty machine and to my eye and tastebuds it works as well as the day I purchased it with almost daily use.

I have cleaned the machine annually with a descaler. The machine has also survived being moved across London and from London to Malawi in Africa and looks cosmetically great.

I stopped using the steam wand many years ago and upgraded (?) to a dedicated milk frother. After trying a few I settled for the Severin 700 ml 500 Watts Induction Electric Milk Frother with Variable Temperature Control, White and it's super duper fantastic.

If I were in the market for a espresso machine today I would consider this machine again - it's proven to be great value for money and by the looks of it a product that works for De'Longhi as it remains on the market and has not received a looks/feature upgrade. I would probably opt for a different colour as De'Longhi have flooded the market with so many attractive colours for the Icona range.

<<<ORIGINAL REVIEW>>>
Looking to upgrade my moka, I was on the market for a pump machine. However, aside from the very expensive KitchenAid Artisan 5KES100BER Espresso Maker Red, none caught my attention. When I laid eyes on this beauty I just had to have it - it's affordable, looks fantastic and it matches my De'Longhi Icona KBO3001.R Jug Kettle, 3kW (Scarlet Red). I couldn't resist buying the toaster while I was at it and the trio look fantastic!

I did a little research and the competition is the Dualit 84202 Espressivo Coffee Maker. I actually think it's the same machine but I prefer the design of the De'Longhi. However if I didn't already have the kettle I would have a hard time deciding between this machine and the Dualit. This machine has separate boilers for coffee and steam. I'm unsure whether this is the same thing as the thermobloc element in the Dualit. I haven't had any problems with speed - you switch on the machine and within seconds you can start pulling your espresso and seconds after that you can start to steam your milk.

I have been using the machine for four days now and I am very impressed. The unit is compact and looks fantastic on the counter. My first try was with the supplied Iley ESE pods - YUCK! I would recommend you throw them away. I ground up some beans and tried again - what a difference. Every pull since has been perfect, never burnt. I was a bit concerned when the filter arm, with the filter fitted, would not turn all the way to the right, but this does not seem to be a problem as it still seals tight. Just turn it as much as you can. I was under the impression that you had to spend a lot of money to get great espresso at home so on the espresso side I'm very impressed. No complaints.

My only gripe with the machine is the steam wand. I purchased a 500ml pitcher but find the steam wand too short. Coffeegeek recommend that you 'surf the hole' to get great steamed milk on these types of home machines, however you won't be able to do that on this machine (unless you get a really tiny pitcher). My first few attempts at frothing the milk were useless. But keep going, you can get pretty good. I don't think you can get latte art quality milk. I don't think the pressure is strong enough ... maybe with practice? The instructions say insert only a few mm of the wand in to the milk - you must follow that or your milk won't froth. It would have been nice to get a pitcher and thermometer but at this price maybe I'm asking for too much.

The cup warmer is useless. The instructions advise that you leave the espresso cups on the warmer for 15-20 minutes before use. I'm not waiting that long for my espresso! It's quicker to run them under the hot tap. It's still a nice place to show off your stylish cups ;-) The Dualit has an accessory holder and it would have been nice to have a place to store the filters. There is a built in tamper which is fine for me.

The green light that indicates when the machine is ready to use switches on and off but the instructions do not indicate that you need to stop pulling your espresso if the light switches off. The manual recommends that you run the espresso for no longer than 45secs and the steam for 60s. It would be really handy for the light to switch off when that time had elapsed. Or to have another light to indicate when the time was up.

Overall the niggles are minor. I would wholeheartedly recommend this machine. It has excedeed my expectations because I thought good home espresso machines were expensive. I'm glad I finally took my first steps in to the coffee geekdom. It ticks all the boxes and I can now have perfect espresso whenever I want. It's actually quicker to use this machine from start to clean up than it is to wait for my moka and, in the mornings, that's a huge bonus! I'll be drinking a lot more coffee!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine at first but quickly goes downhill..., 15 Feb 2011
This review is from: De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red (Kitchen & Home)
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 after use until the machine is completely cooled down.

Water drips from the boiler outlet from the moment the machine is turned on. The coffee grains are very wet and don't come out easily - lots of mess!

The gap between outlet and drip tray is nowhere near big enough to put even a large cup, let alone a mug.

Coffee occasionally comes out cold.

Green light seems to stay on for completely random amounts of time.

Thinking of sending it back to be honest. Very sad as we also got the matching kettle and toaster. Hrmmmmm.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice espresso machine for the price, 15 Nov 2009
Nice product, well built and nicely presented. Looks lively in our kitchen!

The Icona is a good, middle-of-road espresso machine which warms up quickly, has a big reservoir and good steam capacity too for frothing milk. The filters in the group set (the bit that holds the coffee) are delognhi's cream-enhancing design; that means espresso with a good crema. They can be dismantled for cleaning every couple of weeks or so.

It whistled and squeaked a bit for the first week, but seems to have settled down nicely now.

Used it with everything from shop-ground coffee to pods and not been disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money, 16 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red (Kitchen & Home)
After buying this machine it made fantastic coffee was happy with then a the instructions say clean after x amount of coffee, I did as described but when put back together it has never stopped leaking where the plate screws back in to the machine an the rubber seal.

It is still under warranty but not having much luck with the help line.

Any advice appreciated ,,,,,,,,
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the dripping., 18 May 2011
By 
S. Hume "Steve" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red (Kitchen & Home)
Lovely looking machine.
Great coffee.
BUT... 2nd machine in 4 months and this one going back as well.
Both machines performed brilliantly for a couple of weeks, great coffee, superb milk steamer and then both machine started dripping significant amounts of water both through the filter holder AND the milk nozzle.
Shame 'cos it should be a fantastic product (especially for the price!).
Amazon have been brilliant, both times instant response and a returns label to send them back.
Now the problem is choosing another machine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic but go in with your eyes open, 18 Aug 2013
This review is from: De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red (Kitchen & Home)
...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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 241 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine, Scarlet Red
£160.51
Usually dispatched within 3 to 4 days
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews