Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Good points and bad points ...
on 22 July 2010
I ordered this machine to replace a Gaggia Titanium (actually, I think it was my third of fourth Gaggia Titanium following numerous repairs and replacements!).
The De'Longhi provides a more sophisticated 'experience' than the Gaggia. Access to the water reservoir is excellent and far less hassle than the Gaggia. The bean hopper works well and, unlike the Gaggia, beans don't get require manual 'encouragement' to drop into the grinder when the supply is running low. Good range of coffee options but I didn't manage to configure all of these to my personal preference prior to returning the machine ....
The 5500 only allows you to get your hot/foamed milk using the milk carafe (in the photos it looks like there's a traditional steam pipe alongside the carafe). Unfortunately the temperature of the milk is far from acceptable. According to De'Longhi the milk should be at around 60 degrees - my machine only managed around 40 to 45 degrees, although after using the function several times in a row it would creep up to around 55 degrees but then that's a big waste of milk! De'Longhi told me that the machine was faulty but, havign subsequently read other reviews, it seems that this is an inherent problem. Even with the coffee at its hottest temperature the end result was a moderately hot cappuccino or latte.
As a replacement I've ordered the ESAM 5400 which has a traditional steam pipe - and paid a lot less for it than the 5500 so saved some money along the way!
There is no option to adjust the temperature of the milk (unlike the coffee) so if you want to be in control of your milk ... don't buy the 5500!!