In this De’Longhi EC155 Manual Cappuccino Maker Review, we’ll take a look at exactly who this product is for and how it compares to other machines on the market. We’ll also look at what features the machine has and what that means for you.
De’Longhi began as a small appliance manufacturer in 1902 making portable heaters and air conditioners at their factory in Treviso, Italy. They’ve taken this experience to forge ahead in the world of home-coffee machines.
It’s no surprise that their precision for temperature-control has made them a household name for coffee drinkers around the world.
De’Longhi has a wide range of pump espresso makers, the EC series. The De’Longhi EC155 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a 15 bar pump espresso machine and the slightly beefed-up version of the EC150. It is more powerful than its older brother and also more appealing, with lots of stainless steel finishes.
It’s a great product for anyone looking to make a good espresso on a tight budget. If you’re looking for your first home espresso machine that doesn’t require years of expertise to operate, this is the one for you.
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Things to consider before buying the DeLonghi EC155
The EC155 is good at what it does. But does that mean it’s the best fit for you? There are some things you need to take into account before buying this, or any other similar device.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process of making an espresso, check out some online tutorials before you commit to buying this machine. It can take up to five minutes to correctly grind and pack your device. The machine is compatible with E.S.E pods, but you’ll want to use the espresso functionality if you want to get your money’s worth.
The De’Longhi EC155 is meant for people who enjoy the process of making espresso. If you’ve watched seasoned baristas do their thing and thought you could do it yourself, then this is a great place to start.
You should consider the following before committing to this, or any, espresso machine:
- Do you have access to a coffee grinder or ground coffee?
- Do you have the time required to operate the machine?
- Will you make use of all of the features, or are there other features you need more?
Features & Benefits of the DeLonghi EC155 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything you can expect to find on the De’Longhi EC155 15 bar pump espresso machine and what those features mean for the person using it.
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Compact & Budget-Friendly
The machine itself is barely taller than a school-ruler. It fits neatly into even the smallest kitchen. Despite its relatively small size, the designers have managed to fit all the necessary components onto it.
They’ve also managed to keep the machine under $100 without skimping on quality where it’s important. So you can get a good-tasting espresso without having to break the bank.
Combining its small size and cost-effectiveness, the EC155 is a great choice for anyone moving into their first apartment who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality.
Unlike commercial coffee machines that use a showerhead filter, the De’Longhi has a single-spout pressurized filter. This means that the water is poured over the coffee grounds and out of a single hole in the grouphead.
This is done to give you a more uniform result when extracting your coffee. If you’re using coffee from a pre-ground bag, or if you don’t want to spend too much time fussing over the grind of your coffee, the pressurized system controls for that.
This lets you use grounds that are either fine or coarse without getting a weak, soupy mess.
An unfortunate side-effect of this design is that you won’t get a neat, dry puck once you’re done.
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E.S.E Pod Friendly
If you’ve got a lot of K-cups or Nespresso pods lying around that you never get to use, the EC155 has got you covered.
E.S.E Pods are designed with convenience in mind, which is great for whipping up a quick cup of coffee in the morning. Simply remove the filter basket from the holder and slot in your favorite pod for something a little easier.
This gets rid of the hassle of having to grind and tamp your coffee first thing in the morning. The double-walled filter keeps the water at an even temperature to get the perfect extraction from your grounds or pods.
Panarello & Water Dispenser
Of course, if you’re buying an espresso maker you don’t want to be limited to just strong, black coffee. The art of getting a good, creamy cappuccino or latte lies in getting properly foamed milk.
The Panarello mixes steam and air through a series of holes in the steam wand. This results in a well-incorporated, rich foam.
Unlike using a steam-wand, the Panarello doesn’t need a whole lot of practice to get a decent foam. Simply bring the milk to the line indicated and the machine does all the hard work for you. It’s a bit stiffer than the foam from a commercial wand, but you can spoon the top off easily enough.
There’s also a useful function to dispense hot water. Just open the steam dial on the top of the machine and the Panarello will pour heated water perfect for brewing a cup of tea.
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Despite its size, the EC155 has a remarkably large water reservoir.
It holds up to 35oz (1 liter) of water and the tank can be easily removed to fill it up right at the faucet with no risk of spilling in the machine.
Behind the Panarello is a small window that shows you how much water you have remaining, so there’s little danger of it running dry if you keep an eye on it.
We found that the tank was more than big enough to keep you going throughout the day.
There’s nothing worse than pouring a steaming-hot espresso into an ice-cold demitasse cup. In fact, this rapid temperature change can harm the overall taste of your coffee.
The DeLonghi EC155 has a small metal plate at the top of the machine which is heated by the same boiler used to heat the water. If you leave a collection of cups on the machine, they will heat up while it makes your coffee.
Using a warm cup will keep all of the flavors and aromas that you worked so hard to get, as well as keeping it at a nice sipping-temperature while you drink.
Stainless Steel Boiler Unit
Starting as a company dedicated to heating and air-conditioning, De’Longhi has a long history of precision temperature manufacturing. The EC155 is no different.
Many machines will use copper or even aluminum boilers to flash-heat their brewing water. Steel units have a few distinct advantages over these.
Firstly, stainless steel is non-reactive. This makes it less likely to deteriorate as the unit picks up scale from harder water.
It’s also far more flexible than other, cheaper metals. This means that the unit can expand and contract as the water heats without chipping or cracking.
In the long run, this means a more durable machine, so it will spend more time in your kitchen making you coffee and less time in the shop getting repaired.
One of the tricks to getting a well-extracted and flavorful espresso is making sure that your coffee grounds are packed tightly into the portafilter before brewing. This is done with a tamper, which is essentially a flat spoon used to press the coffee grounds down into the head.
The De’Longhi’s tamper is attached to the side of the machine, so you don’t have to scratch around in your drawers to find the specialized tool every time you want a cup.
It’s a clever idea, but it doesn’t always work as intended.
You have to push down quite hard to get the grounds packed into a firm puck. To do this, you have to hold the top of the machine, which can get quite hot, while you push the portafilter up into the tamper.
It’s not ideal, but it’s easy and cheap enough to get a normal one if this bothers you.
There’s only so much you can learn about a machine in the limited amount of time we had to review it. So what do other people who’ve bought and used the DeLonghi EC155 think about it?
Across the board, users were mostly pleased with their purchase. The consensus around the machine is that it’s a great way to make a decent espresso. Many people have had their machines for years and say it keeps going strong.
Although, a few people did mention that the machine was louder than they would have liked, which could be a deal-breaker.
Other users have mentioned that there’s not enough clearance under the portafilter to get bigger mugs in. This is an understandable gripe, but if you’re using a proper espresso demitasse you’ll get it in with room to spare.
Best DeLonghi EC155 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Alternatives
Swan Retro Pump Espresso Machine
Swan has made a retro, art-deco style 15-Bar espresso maker that competes well with the one on offer from De’Longhi. It falls into a similar price-range and has many of the same core features.
While, for our money, it’s more aesthetically pleasing, it may not be to everyone’s taste.
It differs from the EC155 in a few key areas, one of which is the water tank. It’s quite a bit larger than De’Longhi’s reservoir which may prove useful if you’re a more frequent user. One downside of this is that the device isn’t as compact.
The front of the machine has a temperature gauge which doesn’t only add to the retro appearance but acts as a useful tool to see if your machine is up to temperature.
KRUPS Professional Coffee Maker
The KRUPS Pro is a fair bit pricier than the EC155, so you might want to give this one a skip if you haven’t owned espresso machines before.
It’s meant for more experienced users, and its design shows that. The KRUPS has a traditional steam-wand rather than a user-friendly Panarello. You will get a better quality of foam, but you have to know what you’re doing.
Unless you get the movement right, your milk will scald without getting any bubbles. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more time and money you’ll get a similarly sized machine that can pour an espresso just as well as the DeLonghi EC155.
Amazon Basics Espresso Maker
The online retail giant will never miss an opportunity to get in on the action when they see market trends. Their machine is one of the cheapest on the market, a tactic used frequently to try and undercut their competition.
The Amazon Basics Espresso Maker is a machine that has the biggest water tank of any others here, but that doesn’t make up for the bulky design and cheap plastic build. The machine itself is actually quite ugly in our opinion.
If you’re strapped for cash but still desperate for your brew, this may be for you. Otherwise, it’s definitely worth spending a few bucks more on a nicer machine.
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The DeLonghi EC155 15 bar pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker was designed to be affordable and compact without sacrificing quality. The bottom line is, it meets its goal with flying colors.
If you are looking to dip your toes into the deep, intimidating pool that is the world of espresso-making, it’s a great place to start.
It won’t hurt your wallet, but still has all the essentials that you need to make a high-quality, tasty espresso.
If you’ve tried and tested this machine, leave a comment below. Let us know your thoughts on our DeLonghi EC155 review.