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A not so express espresso
DeLonghi EC152 Pump Coffee Machine
Member Name: Lools_24
DeLonghi EC152 Pump Coffee Machine
Date: 27/08/11, updated on 15/11/11 (255 review reads)
Advantages: Reasonably easy to use, compact, cheap
Disadvantages: Slightly fiddly to clean, requires small cups to fit under nozzle
I'm a big caffeine addict and coffee is one of my vices. I really like freshly ground coffee but previously I've settled for instant coffee. When Mr Lools and I moved house almost a year ago and gained a large kitchen with a lot of bench space we decided to invest in a coffee machine. After some browsing we were shocked to find that we could pay up to £300 for a coffee machine so decided to go for a slightly cheaper option and went for the Delonghi EC152 Pump Espresso Coffee Machine.
***Delonghi EC152 Pump Espresso Coffee Machine***
The Delonghi EC152 Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is a 15 bar pump pressure coffee machine which is built to accommodate a full size cappuccino or 2 espresso cups. The machine is black and stainless steel and reasonably compact. It is 29cm high, 24cm long and 19cm wide and 8kg in weight. The coffee machine is 1100 watts and has a traditional milk frother. The machine has a removable 1 litre water tank and a removable drip tray.
The Delonghi EC152 Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is available from a number of retailers including Argos, Tesco Direct, Amazon, Currys and Comet.
The price of the machine varies however prices average at around £60. We purchased this is September 2010 from Argos for £45 when the product was on offer.
The coffee machine comes with instructions which are advisable to read before using. These are very easy to understand and have a clear explanation of the steps in addition to diagrams.
The coffee machine does look very good and neat and compact on the kitchen bench. The matt black appearance and stainless steel also do not show up finger prints and smears like glossy black appliances do. The size of the machine is very neat width, height and depth wise. I do think because it is a neat cube shape and not as deep as many other coffee machines it would look particularly good in a smaller kitchen. The power cable is about 1.5cm in length therefore you should not be restricted too much as to having the machine located right next to a plug socket.
Using the machine is very simple. You fill the 1 litre water tank with water from the tap; you pace this inside the coffee maker and then put the lid down. You then turn on (by turning the dial right to the first setting) and wait for the water to heat up. During heating up time a green light is shown. I found this took around 90 seconds to wait until the water is at the correct temperature.
The filter where you put your coffee sits under the main section of the machine and clips on and off by clicking the filter into a clipped section then turning the handle to a lock position. There is a scoop which comes with the coffee maker to fill the filter with. This takes two large scoops or three small scoops to fill the filter. You do need to take care when filling the filter as it is quite fiddly and I often found myself spilling coffee on my bench.
After 90 seconds you simply turn the dial on the front of the coffee maker to the furthest right setting (the second point) to pour water through the filter making your coffee then into the cup. At this stage the coffee machine is very quiet and not at all messy as the water does not splash or spit as it leaves the machine. This makes enough coffee for two espressos or one cappuccino. Although if you have very large cappuccino cups this will not be filled fully. I did like that the filter was fully effective and the coffee never had any floating pieces of filter coffee in it like some coffee from machines does.
My main issue with the machine is you may find you need to go out and purchase some new espresso and cappuccino cups as the distance between the filter and the top of the drip tray is quite small. My M&S espresso and cappuccino cups did not fit in this space so we had to go out and buy new shorter ones (luckily we found some cheap ones in Matalan). Initially when we tried to make coffee with the original cups we found the only way to fit them under this section was at an angle which Mr Lools then discovered was dangerous as boiling hot coffee spilt out everywhere. Luckily the removable drip tray was large enough to catch most of this but did require some cleaning after.
To make cappuccinos and use the milk frothing arm you simple move the metal arm out from the side of the machine. This gives coffee a blast of steam to create the frothy milk effect. It is quite noisy but not the loudest noise I have heard from a coffee machine and certainly not to the level you hear in Starbucks or Costa Coffee. The arm of the machine does get hot so you need to take care when you come to use and then allow time to cool down when you clean.
Cleaning the machine is simple enough but the filter has a number of grooves around the rim so you do need to take care that you remove all traces of coffee and dry in these areas fully. The drip tray also has some fiddly areas to dry, although the water tank is very easy to clean and dry. The milk frothing arm is a simple case of wiping over but you do need to do this once it has cooled down so you do not burn yourself. In total it can take over 10 minutes to clean then put the coffee machine back together which isn't the longest of times but to go through 15 minutes of work to make two cups of espresso or one cappuccino does put you off slightly.
Perfecting the taste of the coffee is all about choosing the right brand. Mr Lools and I sampled many of the coffees available from Starbucks and found the Starbucks Columbian Coffee was perfect for our taste and made perfect espressos and cappuccinos without creating too strong or bitter of a taste for our palette.
I did enjoy the coffee I made from this coffee machine but I did feel there was a lot of effort put into making it and then cleaning it. Unlike the coffee maker I have recently bought which has a "pod" system and is very quick and easy to use I feel all the effort I went to make my cup of espresso or cappuccino then having to clean the machine and nozzle actually put me off from making a coffee with the machine. As a (busy) mum of twin toddlers I was often desperate for a cup of fresh coffee but I would find making the coffee with the Delonghi machine such a chore I would find myself reaching for the instant coffee for convenience.
This is not a "bad" coffee maker but it is probably more for someone who has more time (and patience) to make coffee. Mr Lools and I should have maybe read up on coffee makers a little more first to purchase one which was more suited to our needs rather than buying one because of its price. We have given this to my dad who is more of an espresso drinker and we have opted for a slightly more convenient (but more expensive) Krupps pod machine which I find is more versatile and quicker to make a variety of coffees.
The Delonghi EC152 Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is very easy to use and great for those that want to make two cups of espresso or one cappuccino but if you need to make more than this in one go you may want to opt for a larger machine. For £60 this is excellent value for money and the compact design makes it great for kitchens that do not have a lot of space.
Not a machine for us but not a bad coffee maker.
Summary: A good value compact coffee maker for those that are willing to wait
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