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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2008
I decided to buy an Espresso machine after a friend at work bought one. I'm not an Espresso drinker but I love Cappuccino. I bought a £40 machine but found that the milk device was not a proper Pannarello system i.e. steam blowing through a pipe, but rather a heated plate with a daft spinning blade in the tube. Also the other parts seemed cheap. All my fault, I should have done some more research. I returned that item and bought the DeLonghi EC330. Now this is much more like it. Heavy and mostly stainless steel. The parts are much better quality and construction and the instructions are far more thorough. The whole thing is verging on the professional (from the point of view of a coffee novice anyway!)
Negatives - as listed below, the machine is quite noisey but I like that as it gives it a coffee shop atmosphere! The gap for the cups is quite small which is ok for espresso but you need low wide cups for Cappuccino. The steam spout is quite low so you need a small jug or have to place the machine at the edge of your work surface to get under it.
Positives - Clear and thorough instructions, professional quality feel to all the parts, easy to use (especially the included Illy pods). Makes lovely coffee and the milk steamer is so easy to use.
This machine looks impressive and gives great results and it feels like the real deal - don't be fooled by the cheaper imitations.
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on 7 June 2011
I had ummed and ahhed about getting a coffee machine for home, the wife wasn't that keen to have a hulking machine making mediocre coffee hanging around the kitchen. So when I turned 40 a month or so ago, I thought, I'm old enough now to make my own decisions (after checking that was ok!), and I set about doing some research to see what to get. I had a budget so wasn't going to go mad in case the wife was right, but having looked at the machines in an electrical superstore and read a number of reviews I ended up going for the EC330s. Firstly it's really quite small and looks good and not plastic like many others, so aesthetically it's a winner for me. Most importantly, for my taste, it makes great coffee. I prefer my milk slightly coffee flavoured and it makes as good a latte as I've had anywhere and the wife has taken to having a shot of espresso with a drop of cream. It took me a bit of fiddling to get going but we get really good coffee every time. We used to be regulars in the coffee chains in town, sometimes even going in just for a coffee, but since getting this machine we've only been once as we prefer our own. Now if I could only perfect the flat white...and some of that milk art....
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on 25 January 2009
I have had this machine for a month now, on the plus side it makes a fantastic coffee and the milk frother is simple and easy to use and gives a good frothy top to the coffee. There are however a(more than a) couple of downsides to it, I am not sure if these are general problems or if I have a dodgy machine.

When switching the machine on, water tends to drip from the milk frother and even if the nozzle is positioned over the drip tray, it does drip on to the work top.

When switching from coffee to milk frother, water drips from the boiler outlet (I removed the filter holder and the water was coming from the outlet rather than being the remaining water in the filter holder)At the moment I have a pint of liqiud a day in the drip tray - using the machine about 6 times a day, and the amount in the tray is increasing.

The filter holder tends to retain a great deal of water making it difficult to clean if needing to make more coffee.

The filter holder leakes when using pods

I recently changed from coffee from shop bought and used an espresso coffee bought and ground in a specialist coffee shop, and found the coffee took ages to come through with very little crema on top

I have spoken to the deLonghi help line who have said that some 'dripping' is normal but have advised me if it is excessive to return it.

I am reluctant to do this as this machine makes a great coffee, it is quick and easy to use, and it froths the milk as good as any coffee shop. Having had at least 4 coffee makers, this makes the best coffee by far.
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on 10 January 2009
I got this for Christmas and have used it every day since. The first espresso and cappuccino I made were well nigh perfect. Then I got complacent and started to make mistakes which resulted in many disasters before I learned to follow the instructions to the letter and now both espressos and cappuccinos are consistently good and getting better all the time.

I chose this model (which my wife then bought me) due to it being top of the list of Best Buys in the recent Which? report which has been mentioned by another reviewer. I certainly do not regret the choice - espressos have a good stable crema and the frother works like a dream quickly heating the milk and producing lots of very stable froth. Sure the pump is a little noisy but so what as it's only on for a few seconds. The vibration is certainly there but not enough to to move either espresso or cappuccino cups as others have found. Also yes, the stainless parts of the machine do mark quite easily but a quick wipe with a damp cloth soon sort that out.

The manual is a little vague in places, especially for using pods and also refitting the steam nozzle after cleaning. When using pods it's essential that the paper border surrounding the pod is away from the filter seal - if not the filter holder will leak. When refitting the steam nozzle the offset portion of the nozzle should be toward the front or the nozzle shroud cannot be reseated properly. Despite these minor shortcomings I give this very good value machine 5 stars with no hesitation.

Having now used this machine for over 6 months I can still say it makes superb coffee but one niggle has become apparent which is a little annoying. When preparing frothed milk for only one (large) cappuccino it takes at least 2 if not 3 steam cycles to adequately heat up the milk in the frothing jug. In such a compact, and inexpensive, espresso machine you can't really expect a huge steam reservoir but a slightly larger steam capacity would have been appreciated. Still 5 stars though.
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on 1 November 2008
I brought this item from Argos (sorry Amazon!). I've used numerous espresso makers before, ranging from Krup machines costing over a thousand pounds to small Bialetti stove makers.

Quite simply this is not "the best ever" espresso maker I've used. But it is "the best for under £200"! If you dont believe me simply go to Which magazine online pay the £1 for the 30 day trial offer and look up the article in which they get the head buyer from Whittards to test these cheaper machines. Infact this machine is so good, its actually better than its more expensive bigger brother, the EC710, which makes rubbish espressos. Simply put, the other people who say this machine is crap are infact saying "I know more about decent machinary design than the worlds most prestigious consumer magazine, a magazine with more readers than any other consumer group! Not only that, I know more about coffee than the head honcho of one of the most exclusive coffee manaufacturers in the world!". But hey, if you're happy to believe those reviewers, who am I too call you a fool?

The good points:

1) Great tasting cofee.
2) Decent crema thats doesn't instantly disappear.
3) Relatively small footprint
4) Pretty looking machine
5) Takes ground coffee as well as ESE pods

The bad points:

1) Its not fully automated like the one grand machine we have in the office. With that machine you just put one scoop of ground coffee in the top and press a single button. The machine automatically preheats itself, tampers the granules into the right density, makes the coffee to the right volume and then cleans up after itself! Good luck trying to find something similar for less than £600!!

2) You need basic motor-neuron ability to use this machine, otherwise known as skill. You might screw up the first few cups, but dont be dishearted, I too messed up and I've used semi-automatic machines before.

3) It requires preheating for a decent cup. You dont actually +need+ to preheat the machine (letting some hot water run through it before making a cup), in the same way as you dont actually +need+ a decent cup of coffee. The machine still works without preheating, its just that the coffee tastes weaker and the crema isn't as thick.

4) It takes a bit of time to heat up before you can use it. But this isn't wasted time, you can be getting on with other things, like putting the grounds into the filter basket and tampering it down.

5) It wont clean up after itself >:( I have to say this is quite annoying. Cleaning up means getting a jay cloth and removing all the stuck ground bits from the machine (more hygenic than anything else), but it's still annoying. But unfortunately you're not going to find a self-cleaning espresso machine for anything close to this price, so live with it and keep that jay cloth handy!

6) Cup warmer is rubbish, but then again they all are, even on the expensive machines! Thats why you dont waste the hot water from the preheat, but use it to heat up your cup!

7) It make a lot of noise! Yes that is very true! There is no getting away from it, its noisy compared to other machines in the <£200 market.

8) The cup might vibrate when the machine is operating. This too, is very true! You'll have to resort to the motor-neuron skills you developed earlier.

9) Its not 100% made of steel, some sections are plastic and made to look like metal, but its still a very pretty looking machine!

10) It wont take big cups. But then again, I've never seen any espresso maker that does!! But thats why they're called frikkin' ESPRESSO makers and not coffee makers /percolators!!!! If you dont know what an espresso is then you should NOT be buying this machine! Let me repeat that: This is NOT A COFFEE MACHINE! Its for making 30ml shots of a highly caffeinated beverage as opposed to cup sized amounts of a weaker caffeinated drink. If you want a coffee machine/percolator then look out for something that comes with a kettle. Percolators have their uses, I'm not a snob, but this is not a percolator, mmm'kay?

Final words

Although there are many more bad points than good, its worth noting that you wont find a better machine in this price bracket! If you want a decent espresso and are willing to put the time into learning how to make one, then this is the machine for you. If you want to just put a scoop of ground coffee into the top of a machine a press a single button. Then get a better paid job!
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on 4 January 2009
I read a lot of good and bad reviews before deciding to purchase this product and I'm glad I bought it. You don't have to be a barista to get excellent crema, it isn't very noisy (the pump works with a purring hum) and I haven't experienced the vibration other users have described. The milk frother works well and consistently. It heats very quickly and produces lots of very hot water and steam, and it makes great coffee. It's simple to use and easy to keep clean, and the parts come apart for cleaning and go back together without any struggling.

Being new to espresso makers, I just follow the instructions for warming the machine up. Once it's reached temperature pour one or two cups through the filter before you put any coffee in and use this to warm your cup. This ensures it's hot enough to bring out the best from your coffee. Limit the pour to espresso measures (it won't automatically stop pouring and the coffee will therefore get weaker and weaker if you're trying to fill a mug). Always flush steam through the milk frother after use and wash it thoroughly to prevent the holes clogging. I use filtered water and empty the reservoir after use, using fresh water each time. The reservoir had quite a strong plastic smell when new and I'm sure it wouldn't improve the taste!

It is important to follow the maintenance routine (cleaning and descaling) for it to keep working well, but this is true of any appliance.

The main body of the machine is silver-coloured plastic, only the parts that matter are stainless steel. Overall it's a handsome machine which doesn't take up much space and is the best value for money product I've found. And if you don't want to mess around with ground coffee, it takes generic pods (ESE and Illy).
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on 4 October 2008
Just got the DeLonghi EC330S Espresso Maker today (4/10/2008). Just followed the instructions (very simple)and made 2 superb lattes, just like that! Espresso is creamy and rich. The milk frother is excellent. This machine puts the high street coffee shops to shame. Its the third coffee maker I have had but its the best by a long way. It is a bit loud and vibrates slightly when the pump starts, but its well built and easy to clean.
If it is will be the perfect home coffee maker.

Well! Its August 21st 2010, I still have the same machine....
It is reliable....and yes it is the perfect home coffee maker.
If you cant make great coffee with this product then may I suggest that:

Hello again, it's August 28th 2012 and this little coffee machine just keeps on making fantastic coffee! FANTASTIC!!
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on 14 February 2008
Sorry, but I have to disagree strongly with the previous reviewer. Having also recieved this as a gift (golly,thanks guys!), I was very impressed with its' ease of use & the quality of the coffee out of the box. Ease of use is amazing in comparison to some other machines I've tried. Espresso is pretty good at first attempts, & the 15 bar pressure surely helps here. The more I use it, the better my coffee gets. As for the free pods -they're Illy and pretty darn good for my first experience with pods, and an absolute boon for the non cafe-head...cough, my wife...yes, I do prefer to use ground coffee but it is nice to have the choice. This is a good-looking machine with a compact footprint: it makes good coffee which can only improve as you get used to the machine, and experiment with different blends/amounts etc...
The downside - the pump is noisy in operation, but at this price for a 15 bar machine w/ heated top plate plus consummate ease of use, the noise is inconsequential IMHO. Highly recommended!

Oh, and the cup size? Real coffee should be savoured in smaller cups! Who the heck drinks proper coffee out of mugs?! Oh yeah: people who think instant is best!
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on 23 March 2008
I got this yesterday, after comparing loads of different makes and models. I'm really impressed and it does exactly what it's suppose to.

Please ignore the ignorance of the first reviewer because if they think instant coffee is best they are clearly of the 'let's go to Mcdonalds for Sunday Lunch' crew.

It take a 'proper' Barista years to perfect the art of the perfect expresso. The expressos that I've produced are getting better every time and the steamer works a treat. I'd highly recommend this product. It's only £100!!

I've knocked a star off for the slightly noisy running of the machine, it'd be a 5 star product if it was heavier and quieter but don't let this put you off. It's great value.
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on 1 April 2009
I also got this machine as a present from my two sons. I was initially a bit dismissive as I had previously had a domestic Gaggia which made watery coffee badly and thought small machines were a rip off. . I therefore suspected I wouldn't use this de longhi. However it is great. It makes superb coffee, quickly and under control and the only problem is that I now drink too much coffee. I use it daily with ground coffee (too mean to buy pods) and it is superb. Only drawback it that it is a bit noisy - but then hey guys - so am I. Would thoroughly recommend this machine
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