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on 9 June 2012
We're huge coffee drinkers and within less than 2 weeks already made more than 200 cups.

To summarise, this is a fantastic machine and well worth the price, competition with similar features is much more expensive.
This is first machine we have which makes excellent coffee and it's very easy to use/maintain.
We use to have other coffee makers but they always ended in the garage - as either coffee wasn't good or to much effort to make one & clean.

Pros:
Good looking, compact in size
Well solidly made, not noisy
Built-in frother adding milk/froth directly to the cup
Adjustable amount of froth
Adjustable strength/amount of coffee as well as how hot
Ability to program your drink - exact amount of milk/coffee
Low maintenance and mostly self cleaning
Very good coffee and crema - and that's tough since I compare it to Jura Giga X7 at work!
Versatile - espresso, cappuccino, cafe latte, latte machiato, hot water, hot milk, beans or ground
Built-in cup warmer

Cons:
Yet to find one - beside being now totally addicted to it!

UPDATE - 3 months later:
I'm happy to report it's the most used kitchen appliance we've ever had!
We've made > 900 coffees/cappuccinos (would have been more if it wasn't for holidays!) and machine is flawless.

Coffees are brilliant and that's not just from us - but every single guest we've had!
66 comments| 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 October 2011
I bought this for my husband's big birthday, he works from home and drinks nothing but coffee. I spent a longtime on line reviewing various coffee makers before deciding on this one. It is an expensive machine, but I especially liked the look of the attached milk jug. I knew if I had a seperate one I would forever be finding it unwashed. Well I have to say, so far this machine is worth every penny. It is totally fool proof, hubby can have a large stong cup, a press of the button and I can have a weaker smaller one. Its very simple to use, machine tells you what you need to do, fill the tank, empty the grains, descale, and you can't move on without doing what you have been told to do. Coffee tastes delicious, froth is great (and adjustable). Milk jug comes apart and goes into the dishwasher each evening. I have no negitives about this machine. If you are a coffee lover this machine is worth investing in.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For coffee fanatics this is a wonderful piece of kit but for occasional coffee drinkers the price would be hard to justify.

The machine itself looks impressive and would not be out of place in any kitchen but it is a tad on the large size and maybe too large for small kitchens or if you live in a bedsit.

Setting up is simplicity itself. Open the top lid (LHS) and add beans, pull out/fill/replace water jug and you are near enough ready to make espresso. The espresso delivered has a good crema and is very rich.

The espresso delivered straight out of the box with no adjustments was very good and I have still not had to alter any settings apart from the temperature. Initially it was not quite hot enough and now it is very hot.

The problem with this is that I do not drink espresso very often and I do not know many people that do but the De Longhi then comes into its own as it also makes cappuccino and latte with the ability to customise almost all aspects of the drink to any individual liking.

Go from big frothy cappuccino to less frothy latte, vary the amount of milk, vary the amount of coffee, change the coffee from extra mild to extra strong in five jumps and the really clever bit is that the milk is dispensed from a jug that just plugs into the machine and when you have finished making drinks there is a self clean button that cleans the milk jug and allows it to be unplugged and put straight into the fridge along with unused milk for next time.

The machine is for home use but the milk jug still holds a decent quantity, about 2 pints. So when you are ready for bed and coffee is not wanted just plug in the milk jug and get hot frothy (or not so frothy) milk for your cocoa. Self clean the jug and put back into the fridge with just the cocoa cup to wash. It will even dispense hot water if you like.

When switching the machine on or off it automatically goes through a rinse cycle which only takes a few seconds and then the machine is fit for use.

The main tasks are to empty the waste grounds container about every 20 coffees. Fill the water tank (slide out/slide in). Wash the milk jug (dishwasher), and empty the drip tray. All these tasks take about 20 seconds each.

This machine really does make coffee making a doddle and the coffees produced are very nice.
22 comments| 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 October 2013
I did a lot of research and read a lot of reviews before buying this machine. Although several reviews commented on the temperature of the coffee, there were enough that said it was hot enough.

I've had my machine for a week now. I've adjusted the settings and customised it to produce coffee how I want it, but I can't, under any circumstances, make a latte that is anything more than luke warm, with the milk at the bottom of the cup completely stone cold.

I have set the auto on function to turn the machine on 45 minutes before I come down in the morning. I use the rinse cycle to heat it up further. I leave the cups on the cup warmer and run the hot water through them before making my latte, but still it is barely warm enough to drink and is cold in 5 minutes. This morning, I dug out my cooking thermometer and took the temperature as the latte was pouring. The milk came out at 48C and the coffee around 60C. Overall, the drink was less than 55C.

I've emailed Delonghi, but have yet to receive a response. I'll give it another 2 days until the weekend, but if I don't manage to make a cup of coffee that is warm enough to last though breakfast, I'll be returning this and looking for something else. I'm glad I haven't got rid of my old machine yet.

UPDATE

I've had a reply from Delonghi. The machines are designed to make coffee in the Italian style, so at 40-45C, with no option to heat the milk to anything above that. As this effectively means barely above body temperature, there's no way my coffee is going to be warm enough for the "rest of the world's" coffee habits.

I am arranging to return this and am now looking for another machine that will make a latte that will sit for 3 minutes before turning stone cold.
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on 19 April 2012
I upgraded from another DeLonghi espresso machine to this all singing and dancing model and I am not dissapointed. It makes great coffee with ease. I like cappucino and this was the reason for my choice as this makes it automatically. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the quantities just right that you personally like but marvellously it automatically dispenses them once you have achieved this. Effortless coffee but of course at a price.
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on 13 November 2012
Our machine has just clocked up 500 cappuccinos, lattes or espressos, every one of them perfect.

I have to try exceptionally hard to criticise it:

1. The milk carafe is much larger than it needs to be, so there tends to be a little milk wastage each day. But if you put the carafe in the fridge this isn't really an issue.

2. You have to press the 'clean' button to flush the milk foamer after use. That tends to fill up the drip tray more quickly than I'd like. Um, and I'm lazy.

3. Er, that's it.

On the plus side, the machine is wonderfully simple to operate and keep running. You pop your beans in one bit, your water in another, and your milk in the carafe. You press the button and out comes your proper coffee. Espresso, cappuccino, latte, all lovely. The size of the beverage and the strength are all adjustable. You can specify foamed milk only, too. Cleaning is simple. Empty the drip tray, tip out the grinds, wash the milk carafe in the sink. That's it. Every now and again it needs de-calcifying, but even that's just a case of pressing a button.

Some of the reviewers here say it's difficult to get consistent results. It's possible that different settings, different beans or different milk might be the cause? Our results are consistent every time.

Definitely recommended.
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on 15 September 2012
I have owned most types of machine including rancillo silva, nespresso etc. Having tried grinding and tamping my own beans, buying temperature mod kits from America and generally trying everything to get a decent strong creamy cup (flat white being my personal choice) I gave up and went down the nespresso route. This served me well for a few years but my personal consumption and the fact our house may as well be a cafe for friends and visitors meant I was averaging a shocking £64 a month on nespresso coffee.

Having trawled reviews I got the impression that bean to cup machines need some initial investment and time to get the right settings and it would be easier to stick with nespresso as its as simple as it gets and consistently makes a nice cup that tastes pretty fresh.
If you don't use that much coffee I would therefore recommend nespresso kits as the machines are dirt cheap.

That said if you crave the smell and taste of freshly ground coffee and guzzle it like me then this bean to cup machine is a great choice. I read lots of reviews and the negatives are interesting as on this machine they tended to indicate frustration with the settings rather than the abilities of the machine. When it came up for sale at a great price elsewhere I picked it up and this is my experience :
I bought the machine with a 1 kg bag of 'Starbucks' arabica from Costco. My first few cups after following the instructions tasted horrendous. The machine has loads of settings around water temperature, length of coffee, strength and grind etc but no matter what I did it tasted burnt even when I got a great crema. I then went to asda and bought some different beans - tasted great. Turns out I had a bad batch but what it did do was teach me how to use the settings.

Since then I have ordered various batches from amazon all have tasted great. The moral to this story is read the reviews carefully and invest time in understanding the settings. I personally make a flat white with settings on short strong coffee, temp at 3 out of 4 with a fairly fine grind. I also normally 'abort' the draw about three quarters of the way down so it's stays as pure crema ( you cAn set the machine to do this but I am normally stood by it anyway). Cost wise it's been a great invest to save exercise as I spend about 15 quid a month now on coffee. And I drink A LOT.

Day to day use is very simple, and as per previous reviews the machine tells you what to do. I personally like to heat my milk or use a separate frother than the attached milk thingy but this is more habit than a fault - the temp was always fine when I used it for cappuccino etc I just think its a bit of a gimmick and one more component to clean.

In summary this is a superb machine and whilst I can't speak for the others on the market I would always buy one with plenty of settings so you can make the coffee you want - just take the time to learn them ! It does make all the difference. As a footnote my brother and sister in law who a also nespresso devotees drank a cup this morning and love it. They are now weighing up their options as one year at 64/month = a bean to cup machine !
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on 13 June 2012
It's a superb looking machine and easy to use, but my machine seemed to do everything but make coffee.

The first problem was that the infuser - the bit that makes the espresso - decided to park itself at the bottom of the inside of the machine and refused to budge. The machine displayed a "General Error" which necessitated returning the machine to DeLonghi for repair (amid dire warnings that if it something that you have done, such as not cleaning or descaling properly they will charge you).

After 2 weeks the machine returned and once agin made great coffee. Today it decided that the milk frother would fail. Another call to DeLonghi, another set of return labels in the post and another couple of weeks without coffee.

It kind of reminds me of an Italian sportscar, 1 week on the road, one week in the garage for a rebuild. Unfortunately I just wanted a coffee every morning.
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on 11 August 2012
I deliberated about this purchase for quite some time due to the not inconsiderable cost for my first foray into the world of bean to cup machines and also the large range of not dissimilar models in the range. I eventually came to the conclusion that this is the sweet spot in their range taking into account the cost to feature ratio. This is the first machine in the bean to cup range to offer the auto frothed milk delivery and it seems to have most of the features of the more expensive models that cost up to three times the amount that only seem to offer more fancy LCD displays and stainless steel chassis' for the extra cost.

The 'golden rule' with any sort of kitchen appliance like this is that if they are fiddly or too involved to use, or if they require a lot of cleaning, then you probably won't use them that much after the novelty wears off. This is why I thought that the auto frothed milk delivery feature was important as if I had to faff around with tricky frothing wands then I would likely not bother to use it. Also, the milk carafe has an auto steam clean feature so it couldn't be much easier. With regards to some of the comments made in other reviews about the amount of emptying required of the grounds container and the drip tray, seeing as it only takes about 20 seconds to empty both, I really can't see what the problem is. Some people seem to have unrealistic expectations of machines like these. The grounds have to be collected somewhere, and as the machine flushes itself to maintain the quality of coffee production when it powers up and shuts down to save power, the water used in the flushing processes must go somewhere. This isn't an issue, ignore these silly comments.

This machine can make excellent coffee once you have established what settings you need to meet your preferences and provided you use decent beans. I would think that the easiest way to ensure you are dissatisfied with the coffee this machines produces is to use poor quality beans. I say beans as I can't really see the point in buying a machine like this and then using ground coffee. It is a bit like buying a Ferrari and putting remould tyres on it! Having said that, ground coffee produces passable results if you have run out of beans.

After trying a few types of bean my favourite brand to date is Illy. Their decaffeinated beans are particularly good compared to others. They also come in a nice tin!

One last thing, if you are are used to huge mugs of instant coffee, you might be initially disappointed with the quantity of coffee produced by machines like this. Drinking espresso based coffee is a shorter more intense 'taste experience' than drinking instant coffee. The exception to this is the longer milk based drinks such as lattes that people drink in this country, which Italians only drink in the mornings incidentally.

*** UPDATE ***
About six months after purchase this machine developed a fault. I returned the machine to Delonghi for repair which went well. I received an engineers report when it was returned and it transpires that I hadn't been descaling the machine often enough. This is despite the fact that I only filled it with Brita filtered water which normally significantly reduces scaling. Since i have have the machine back, I have been descaling it more frequently than the machine prompts which seems to have stopped the problem reoccurring. So my recommendation is to buy loads of the Delonghi descaler and use it at least every 1-2 months even if you are using filtered water. I would think that if you are using tap water you would need to do it monthly at the very least.

Don't let this put you off though, it is still a great machine, it just needs looking after!
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on 4 June 2013
I bought this bean to cup machine from Amazon in the New Year after reading good reviews, mostly from Amazon customers, some of which were very comprehensive. It has taken me a while to familiarise myself with the machine and to customise the amount of water and milk to my taste, but now that I have done this, and purchased a better grade of coffee beans than initially, it makes excellent espresso, cappuccino and latte. This machine is programmable to dispense the quantity and strength of coffee to each individual taste, and the quantity and frothiness of the milk. When making cappuccino and latte these settings are combined, after pressing the cappuccino button, to produce your preferred coffee under the "My Coffee" setting. As other reviewers have said, pressing the hot water circulatory button and warming the cups before dispensing produces a much hotter cup of coffee. An excellent machine, and if the factory settings, although very acceptable, are not to your taste, then try experimenting with quantities and strengths.
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