Product Type: DeLonghi Philips Saeco
Newest Review: ... describe it as a bit retro looking especially in the red colour. It measures 38cm high, 29cm wide and 34cm deep and weighs 4.1 kg so it ... more
Good coffee doesn't have to costa lot...
DeLonghi ECO310 Icona
Member Name: jeffjen
DeLonghi ECO310 Icona
Advantages: Makes gorgeous lattes
Disadvantages: A lot of instructions, jug/ cups/ thermometer not included.
For a long time I had wanted a coffee machine which could provide me with a latte coffee just like Costa or Starbucks, but unfortunately I couldn't justify the cost of paying over £100 for something which most certainly would be a luxury item for me and not a necessity. Therefore I simply just put it to the back of my mind and mentally added it to my "maybe one day" list.
Then my eldest daughter bought one of these Delonghi Icona coffee machines for herself and partner and when I went to visit, she proudly showed off her purchase and made me a lovely latte. I then wanted one of these machines more than ever before, having seen it and tasting the results, but still couldn't justify spending my money on one.
Imagine my surprise when on Christmas morning last year, I opened a large box and found my very own Delonghi coffee machine inside! My two lovely daughters had clubbed together to buy me one as a Christmas present. I had no idea they were going to do this and I was absolutely thrilled. My eldest daughter demonstrated how to use it and we all enjoyed our coffees on Christmas day.
The model they bought me was the exact same model as pictured here, but mine was a shiny black colour instead.
~~ Using the coffee machine ~~
Now I must admit I am not a fan of using anything complicated and when I first saw my daughter making coffee with her machine, although I was impressed with the results, I thought it was a fair bit to take in as she was demonstrating from start to finish. However, when she demonstrated on Christmas day again how to make a latte on my machine, I found I had remembered most of what she had done the last time.
Full instructions are included of course and are so comprehensive it can seem quite daunting, but it is simplified by also including picture instructions too which clearly show what you have to do. It is worth having a good read of these even if you are slightly impatient like me, as it is important you follow the right steps each time to make your coffee and take care of your machine at the same time.
My daughter bought me some ground coffee to use with my machine and my other daughter also bought me some coffee from Starbucks to use too. I must point out here that they also bought me a stainless steel milk jug, thermometer and two small espresso cups. These are not provided with the machine but are essential items you will also need and they can all be purchased reasonably priced from Amazon.
You must fill the water tank at the rear of the machine with fresh water. I don't use tap water, I would advise to use filtered or bottled water.
After turning on the machine you place the espresso cup(s) upside down on the hotplate on top of the machine to warm them, then prepare the coffee by inserting one of the two ground coffee filters provided into the filter holder. The smallest filter is ideal for one cup of coffee and the larger sized filter for two cups.
After filling the filter with coffee, you then tamper it down by pressing it under the tamper device on the machine. Once this is done you then attach the filter to the machine and turn it fully home to the right, just like you see them do in coffee shops. You then press the second button after placing an espresso cup underneath the filter and the coffee will begin to filter through.
If making a latte or cappuccino you will need to pour some milk (semi-skimmed is best and also it must be at fridge temperature) into the jug, bearing in mind the milk will treble in volume when frothed and when the coffee is finished filtering, you turn off that button then press the third button which will illuminate when the milk frother is ready to use.
I place the thermometer into the jug also and then place under the nozzle, before slowly opening the steam tap which is a knob on the top of the machine and the milk begins to froth. I keep an eye on the temperature until it reaches the 60oC recommended and then pour into my coffee cup with the filtered coffee and I have the perfect latte or cappuccino.
You can also use ESE pods with this machine, but this is something I haven't done or intend to do.
It may seem a little daunting a first, but it is quite simple to use and after a couple of practice runs you will soon be in the swing of things.
You must follow the instructions carefully however and some handy tips are given and reminders such as cleaning the frother right away after use. You are advised to clean the filter holder and ground coffee filters about every 200 coffees, but I do this after every use to try and minimise the need to take them fully apart to clean if becoming blocked, although you will still need to do this from time to time.
There are full instructions provided on cleaning the entire machine, including the boiler outlet which involves needing a screwdriver. Again this is advised to be done after 200 coffees but I haven't actually had to do this yet. It doesn't sound too complicated at all, but you would be forgiven for reading through all the instructions and thinking owning such a machine is a lot of hassle. Likewise, when reading the 'problem' page at the back of the booklet which lists a whole page of possible problems and causes with solutions, it can be quite off-putting, but I suppose it is really good that they do supply this information.
~~ Do I recommend this machine? ~~
Well yes I do.... but...
I do feel the need to share the problem I experienced with my coffee machine, in that after around half a dozen uses the milk frother stopped working.
I followed the solutions provided after ignoring the first one which suggested the milk was not cold enough, as it was. I was then advised to clean the holes in the milk frother as indicated by a diagram but to be honest I had already done this, so I wasn't hopeful it would work and unfortunately I was right. For some reason and despite repeated attempts my milk frother had stopped working.
My daughters had purchased the coffee machine via an Amazon Market place seller and therefore returning it wasn't as simple as it would have been if purchased directly from Amazon. I must point out though that Amazon were very helpful when my daughter experienced a few problems with the seller not getting back to her quickly and then having to pay to return the machine to the seller which was £15! The seller promised a refund but was not going to refund the postage, but thanks to Amazon intervening, this was rectified. I think this is an important point to note that it would have been far less hassle if purchasing direct from Amazon as they would have sent a replacement right away and my daughter would not have had to pay to return the machine or experience any delays as it did take a few weeks to resolve.
On receiving a refund, my daughter then ordered another machine, but directly from Amazon this time. She ordered a dark purple coloured machine which is really lovely and I have had my machine a few months now with no problems. I will also point out that my daughter has experienced no problems whatsoever with her machine which she has had quite a while longer than I have had mine.
I must admit I was a little hesitant about my new machine after the frother broke so quickly on the first one, but it seems fine. I did think on one occasion something was wrong, but this was down to me not realising it wasn't ready to use as the light had not illuminated. Once illuminated, it was fine. This wasn't what had happened previously however, the frother on that first machine was well and truly broken.
I am quite happy to recommend this coffee machine. The good outweighs the bad for me ( the bad being the cleaning procedures and amount of instructions you need to read to ensure you are using the machine correctly) and the lattes I make are identical to those I purchase in coffee shops.
I would also like to see Delonghi provide a jug, thermometer and espresso cups with these machines too as these are quite vital to have when using your machine.
The price of the Delonghi Icona coffee machine seems to vary depending on the colour it seems and prices seems to fluctuate a lot.
Right now the red machine is priced at £124.97 from Amazon, whilst the purple machine I own is £162.40 which is quite a difference in price just for a different colour!. There are also cream, black light blue and olive machines priced from £141 to a whopping £171 too. They are identical models but a different colour, so it definitely worth taking into consideration before purchasing just how much you are paying for the colour here.
I have tried to give a blanced review the way I see it from my own experience of the Delonghi Icona coffee machine and will finish by saying I am really happy I have one of these coffee machines at last and wouldn't really like to be without it now. You can make your own Starbucks/Costa style coffee at a fraction of the cost, so the machine does pay for itself eventually and keeps me away from the Starbucks Drive Thru!
Summary: I love my Delonghi.
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