Crew Review: DeLonghi EC860

As you know, it doesn’t take much to make us happy, but something we love more than anything is when a manufacturer gets a little bit crazy with its bad self and releases a piece of equipment unlike others we have tested. DeLonghi’s new EC860 is a sort of hybrid between traditional espresso machines and their robotic counterparts, featuring standard espresso extraction with the option to automatically froth the milk.

Watch as Gail talks to us about its features, then demonstrates shot extraction, frothing with the wand and making a one-touch (aside from all the touching involved with grinding and tamping, of course!) cappuccino with its automatic frothing option.


54 thoughts on “Crew Review: DeLonghi EC860”

  1. Hi Gail! Thanks for the great demo. I am considering this machine as there is a rebate. I was wondering if you could comment on how the milk foaming quality is. both the panarello wand and by the automated function. and i would like to know if i could use the panarello wand without the sleeve. i prefer frothing the milk myself without the adaptor. hate airy foam. would this be possible??

    1. Hi Karen,
      This is one of the hotter auto-froths, if you run the ‘clean’ function beforehand like we demonstrate in the video. The quality of the phone isn’t exceptional … but none of them are really 😉

      The panarello sleeve is removable for cleaning, but it is just a small nozzle underneath and it would be difficult to use it as a traditional wand — not long enough.

      Let us know if you have any other questions – thanks!

      1. Hi Kat & Gail- Thanks so much for all of your videos. You really helped me to figure out what was important to me in a new Espresso Machine and I finally selected the Delonghi 860 🙂 Now I could really use your advice. I am getting the hang of using the machine, but I notice that the cappuccino and lattes are still not as hot as I would like. I’ve followed all of the instructions, but don’t know if there’s a way to get hotter results? Thanks, J.

        1. The only tip that I really know if is to run that ‘cleaning’ cycle before you start so that you heat up all the metal components of the auto frother before hand. Otherwise, I’m not aware of any other way to get the milk hotter.

          Hope that helps!

          1. Thanks for your quick response. I am doing the cleaning button function, but it still isn’t as hot as I would like. Otherwise, the machine is fantastic…. I love it. Keep up the great work & say hi to Gail 🙂

  2. Thanks for the demo! it was a big help in deciding to purchase. we received the machine about a week ago and enjoy the coffee and latte/cappuccino option very much and the machine as a whole.
    during this past week we’ve used each filter to test the differences and each worked good. since we’ve received the machine each filter would snap tightly into the filter holder cup however today the single coffee and ese filter fit very loosely though still producing a good coffee. The double shot filter seems to now be warped and will not fit at all into the filter holder.
    We are not abusing the filters and have not dropped or misused them.
    are we doing something wrong or does it seem we have a faulty piece??
    based on other reviews on different websites we have not yet contacted delonghi customer service.
    thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Brian,

      Sorry to hear about this; I don’t think this should be an issue, you should be able to move the baskets around without them warping or changing. I’d definitely contact their warranty services to see about replacements, etc.


  3. Just purchased this model and Have not had an opportunity to use it yet but I am looking forward to trying it out. I noticed in the video yOu use a stainless steel cuP to froth milk. Is this an accessory as There wasnt one in the box. I just wondered if I was missing this part or if it is an accessory I need to purchase. Thanks

    1. The stainless steel pitcher that is often used to froth milk — you can chill it and your milk will start colder, which often aids in producing microfoam. These aren’t necessary, and home espresso folks will often steam in their actual mug; they’re not included with machines in general — it’s a separate accessory that you’d need to purchase if you want to try it out 🙂

      Hope that helps – let me know if you have any other questions,

  4. hI, (sorry if all of this is in caps lock… computer is not working right)

    i JUST RECIEVED THIS MACHINE AS A GIFT (WITH THE DELONGHI GRINDER) AND THIS is my first time trying to brew espresso. the video was very helpful and helped explain the little features. I had a few questions though about dosing and tamping with this machine. I noticed that you did a standard tamp with this machine even though it is a pressurized basket. I am trying to get the best results possible out of this machine and was wondering should i go ahead and tamp, and then adjust my grind from there?

    also, what dose range should i shoot for? i am filling and leveling and it is coming in at about 15-16 grams. i am looking at buying a better grinder because the cheap delonghi grinder just doesn’t seem to be consistant enough.

    I am also looking into the unpressurized mod so i have more control but i am trying to see if parts are available just in case so i don’t mess something up.

    1. I would experiment with tamping; this guy doesn’t have a technical self-tamping kind of function, so you might want to put a little bit of pressure on it. Depends on your coffee grind, really. I’d see how fine your DeLonghi grinder is going and dial it in based on flavor — for tips on dialing in a the shot with a pressurized PF, check out this video.

      Double shots are around 14 – 18 grams, so try shooting somewhere in there.

      Let me know if you have any other questions – thank you!

      – Kat

      1. Thanks Kat for the help so far. I made the grinder go as fine as it could and gave it a light tamp and it plugged the machine. So I dialed it back a little and got decent results with a medium tamp, but it did seem to take a while (I did not time it though). I increased the temp to the max setting and that seemed to help a little, and I was able to pull two doubles that were about the same.

        I was able to get a used Super Jolly, which will be over kill, but it only cost $100 more than a Preciso so I will see if that will help me get more consistent results. Also I ordered the required basket to try the non-pressurized basket change with the DeLonghi’s. Fingers crossed that I will be able to have better control over my espresso and will have a better way to judge changes. I am not expecting amazing espresso out of this machine, but I will settle for good espresso :).

        Thanks again for all of your help and I will let you know how the new toys work, and my results.

        1. Thanks Chris! Yes, that Super Jolly is going to rock those shots! 🙂

          Please do keep me posted and let me know if you have any other questions.

          – Kat

        2. What basket did you get to make this non-pressurized? Is it sold on this site? I have been looking for something to do this forever. Any help you could provide would be appreciated.

          1. We actually have to have them manufactured as we were modifying small La Pavoni baskets and our supplier couldn’t import the quantity. So we’re working on it!


          2. Hi Greg,

            I bought a La Pavoni basket and flattened the rim myself carefully with a hammer. Just search for a replacement basket. Also, on this machine you will have to remove the inner plastic chute and seal it with a screw and nut. I used brass washers as well to help it seal.

  5. hi kat
    we were given this machine as a gift & unfortunately we’re having trouble with the automatic cappuccino. it won’t deliver any milk, we have sent the machine back once & it was replaced with a new one but still the same problem. is this a common fault? any ideas on what we may be doing wrong.
    thanks aimee

    1. Can you describe the problem that you’re having? Are you able to get the carafe seated in the machine so that it’s registering it there? That is the only issue I have seen — the machine failing to read the carafe or the wand and then not allowing steam functionality to engage. Otherwise, I haven’t heard of any other issues on it. If you can describe how you’re using it, maybe I can give you some tips …?

      – Kat

      1. Hi Kat
        Thank you for your reply. The machine recognises that the carafe is there as the buttons light up giving you the milk option. I have been in touch with DeLonghi and are awaiting a reply. Otherwise everything else seems to work fine. We can froth the milk manually but would love to be able to use the automatic function. I have done a full descale & cleaned the carafe every time but still haven’t had any luck. The milk doesn’t even seem to suck up the straw until it’s finished & even then it only appears to go half way up. Any tips would be great.

        Kind regards Aimee

        1. Hmmmmm…. I haven’t seen this happen before, unfortunately. Maybe try a ‘clean’ on it first — hold down the clean button for a bit to get the steam going and maybe that might influence the system to start sucking milk earlier? That’s all I can think of.

          – Kat

  6. Hi Kat,

    Just going to let you know I was easily able to de-pressurize the DeLonghi basket. I was able to get a La Pavoni Millenium 51mm basket and flattened the rim out so it would be able to lock into the grouphead. To get the basket to fit into the portafilter though you must take out the plastic insert and cover the hole that resulted. I just went to the hardware store and bought a #6 brass screw, a few brass washers, and a brass nut. They fit perfectly and I just tightened it down so it would not leak. Here is a link to a few pictures of it (hopefully it works)

    The Super Jolly grinder also helped a lot and now I am in the process of tweaking my shots and getting a feel for what tastes good to me. The one thing I have noticed is that this machine leaves the pucks very soupy at the top and I have tried to up dose to 17g to see if this would help, but it didn’t. The shots taste good so I am not too worried about it.

    My next two goals are to see if I can make a bottomless portafilter by having a handle machined down, and seeing if there is a way to alter the steam wand for a traditional one… This will get rid of the automatic milk dispenser, but I like steaming my own milk. I will keep you updated on any progress.


    1. Cool – yes, that’s what we have been doing for the DeLonghi and the Breville machines.

      Since that machine doesn’t have a brew pressure release valve, your pucks are always going to be a little bit soupy. If you let the portafilter hang out a little bit in the brew head, it will dry a bit more, but you’ll rarely get a solid puck like shape.

      Thanks for keeping us apprised if your progress! 🙂

      – Kat

  7. Hi…my delonghi ec 860 does not take water in for the double shot to work. Single shot works fine but when I use the souble shotbit only gives me s few drops of water and thats it. Do you know what the problem can be? I did the descaler and it did not help. Can It be clogged up? Please help. Thank you, paulina.

    1. Paulina –

      Does water come out at all when you press the double shot and don’t have the coffee filter in place? If not, it could be that you accidentally reprogrammed the button to deliver little to no water …. try reprogramming the dosage. If it does come out when the portafilter isn’t in place but not when the portafilter is in place, check out your coffee grind, tamp and the basket to make sure that it is clean and not plugged up.

      Hope that helps!


  8. Can anyone offer suggestions of how to de-pressurize this machine (ex. what parts to buy on this site)? The machine is wonderful but I am guessing it would offer even more control if I could figure out how to de-pressurize it.


    1. While the other Delonghis are easy to depressurize as you can just put a non-pressurized 51mm basket in there, the EC860 has a plastic insert that doesn’t allow for that. When we removed it, we realized we’d have to find a way to plug up the screw hole and haven’t looked into it again. But it really is that simple if you can work it out.

  9. Hi Kat– If I purchase a la pavoni portafilter basket 51mm can I alter to make it work with my EC860?

    As always, appreciate your expertise!


    1. The 860 was the only one that wasn’t workable without more customization. You have to remove the plastic insert in there for the basket to actually rest evenly and we found that doing so opened up a third hole in the bottom of the filter. You’d need to put a screw / nut in there to seal it and then it would likely work.


  10. Dear Kat,
    I just ordered one of those new slim Delonghi EC 680 machines which apparently use the same portafilter as the EC 860.

    I’d like to swap the default baskets with unpressurized ones so i came accross this great website. I would have loved to purchase your modified pavoni baskets but as they don’t seem to be available at the moment, i’m looking for alternatives.
    Is there any reason not to buy Delonghi’s own unpressurized baskets, which seem to be 607706 for the double shot and 606348 for the single?,640993

    A reviewer mentions that he successfully popped it into a EC 155 portafilter. If it fits the EC 155, shouldn’t it fit the EC 860/680 as well (after removing the plastic and sealing the screw hole of cause)?

    thanks and regards, Simon

    1. Simon –

      If it fits the EC155, it will fit the EC860, save for the modifications that you mention (the plastic insert needs to be removed and the hole sealed with a screw/nut combo.

      Let me know how it goes!


  11. Hello Kat:
    Your video is very nice and it makes me jealous since I have the EC860 too but it never worked.
    I bought the machine during boxing week here in Vancouver but has not worked at all since it was put on power. When pressing the power button it does not self-test at all and when pushing the water button, it does nothing either. No sound of water supply and no heating or boiling sound at all. I did fill the water tank and put the steam knob on but nothing happens when I press the button once or push for 10 seconds.

    Please help me, I just want a simple cup of cappuccino.


    1. Hi Lee,

      I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble with your EC860. Do any of the lights on the machine come on when you try to power on the machine? You can also try pushing the brew button and see if any water comes out of the machine. If you still can’t the machine to work, I would call DeLonghi’s customer service line at 1-800-322-3848 or our customer service team at 1-866-372-4734 so they can help you troubleshoot the machine over the phone.

      1. Hi Kat:
        Thanks for the help. I couldn’t find any help since Delonghi customer service told me that its warranty has already expired but I just bought it brand new, wow. I then took it back to Future shop and the sales person got me a new one, still not functioning. He took an hour to figure out how to clean the machine’s inside. Some dirty water came out and it finally worked. For the one I first got, I think it just didn’t recognize the steam wand when it’s plugged in. Therefore not able to clean itself.
        The second one works perfectly now. ThX!!

  12. Hi Kat – I love my EC 860 but have only used it for about 4 months and it just stopped working. The coffee was tasting funny so I did the descaling. The cycle went through fine, but at the very last step, the water light came on & started blinking. (Owner’s Manual indicates light will come on & then you simply press that button to finish the descale cycle.) Nothing I do will stop the water light from blinking. I’ve done all normal troubleshooting. The machine doesn’t even turn off after several hours (or days!) – the light just continues to blink… mocking me.

    Any ideas?? Is there a way to do a hard reset?


    1. Hi Lani,

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your EC860!The EC860 is nice in that it has a water tank sensor. Probably, this is no longer floating, even if the water tank is full, and has become water logged. There are a couple ways around this. The first would be to get a replacement water tank sensor (it’s a red float inside the water tank) from Delonghi, and then replace it in the water tank. The second option would be to lift up the water tank sensor (possibly by putting something underneath the sensor like a sponge or toothpick) that lifts the sensor up slightly so that the machine registers that it has water all the time. Only caution is that with the second option, be careful not to accidentally run your machine out of water, as you could burn out the boiler.

      Unfortunately we don’t carry the water tank sensor, as Delonghi is currently the only one that can sell their machine parts. would contact them and see if you can get the part. I hope that helps!


    1. You will get a bit of steam and also hear a little release when the machine steams because it is essentially purging the thermoblock for you. This is good maintenance for the machine to cool it so it doesn’t stay at that more heated steam temperature, and you will probably even see a little bit of water into the drip tray. But not to worry, it’s normal!

      1. When steaming milk after few seconds my wand will pop out with a burst of steam I then have to push back in to continue steam and repeat until milk is ready (else hold wand in so doesn’t pop out under pressure). Is this normal or is something faulty?

        1. It doesn’t sound normal! I would check to make sure all of the connections are clean and clear of any residue or build up. If there is a potential clog, it could be building up pressure and popping the steam wand off of the machine. If it continues after that, they should probably contact Delonghi.

  13. Hi
    I’m looking at getting the EC680 which is (I think) a slimline version of the same machine.

    However, I already have a Vario grinder so I’m already looking to get an unpressurized portafilter to use with it to give the coffee that extra ooph! and richness.

    Can you tell me which portafilter would fit the DeLonghi (or at least which filters I could use to replace the single/double baskets?)


    1. Thanks for checking! We don’t carry an EC680 machine, but we do have the EC860. The EC860 does use pressurized baskets and, to my knowledge, they don’t make a non-pressurized version of their baskets. As such, I’m not sure where to refer you to in order to potentially find you one. Sorry we can’t be of more help!

  14. Hi,

    I got a brand new delonghi ec860 but haven’t managed to make it work. When using the filter in the water tank, it seems that there is not enough water for making coffee, steaming etc. and both power and hot water lights are flashing. When NOT using the filter in the water tank, water is coming out from the bottom of the machine at the back. Then if you press the coffee button, you get steam coming out from the bottom right front but no coffee. Again the power and hot water lights are flashing. Am I doing anything wrong? Please help!

    Thanks in advance.

    1. It sounds like you haven’t been able to prime the machine fully yet. Be sure to seat the water tank in fully (if it’s slightly out of the machine then you can get leaking out of the back of the machine because part of the water is going into the machine and part is leaking out). I would suggest trying to get a steady stream of water through the panarello (put the steam wand/panarello into the machine instead of the milk carafe) by pushing the water droplet button while the machine is on. It may take several times of pushing this button for water to eventually become a steady stream of water. Once that happens, you should also be able to install the filter, then again repeat to make sure that you can get a steady stream through the panarello. After getting water through the panarello, you should be able to pull water through the brew head and allow the machine to heat for a bit so you can use it! Just keep in mind that you may have several rounds of needing to push the water droplet while the machine tries to prime, so you may get the power and hot water lights flashing while it’s trying to process. Typically the machine will try to pull water through the steam wand, but will then give the flashing lights, so after several times of doing that, you’ll start to hear a change in the sound, and water starting to be pulled through the panarello.

  15. Someone suggested using a 50mm Breville bottomless portafilter to depressurize this machine? Would this work and what basket should I use if I purchase the 50mm Breville bottomless portafilter (I am guessing 50 or 51mm basket?

    1. Hi, Greg!

      To our knowledge, the Breville and Delonghi portafilters are not interchangeable. Non-pressurized filter baskets are generally brand specific too, and the only Breville filter baskets that we are familiar with are the 54mm ones for the Infuser, Barista Express, etc.  Since they are larger, we can’t even try fitting one in there as it’s just too big. The only suggestion that we can make is to contact Delonghi and see if they have a non-pressurized basket that you can get from them.

      I hope that helps!

  16. Hi I was wondering if you could help me. I have a ec860 and the hot water light is flashing yellow and isn’t let me do anything. Would appreciate your help


    1. Hi, Andy!

      Sorry to hear that! That usually sounds like the water tank is either empty or not connected; however, that can be in place but something is blocked. We consulted the DeLonghi’s manual ( and they had a couple of troubleshooting ideas. The easiest one to try to fix yourself would be the water filter. If you have one, try removing and putting it back in or replace it if it’s older. If that doesn’t solve it, DeLonghi suggests a couple of cleaning cycles such as “cleaning the boiler outlet” or “cleaning the coffee filter.”

      Let us know if you need any more help! If you’ve attempted all those, our customer service can troubleshoot it with you.
      toll free – 866-372-4734 | Seattle – 206-774-3164


  17. Great review, this machine is great. I’ve been wondering if I can make it even better by Depressurizing it. What is the cleanest way to go about getting an unpressurized brew? I’d really like to keep the current setup functional, and add another setup to experiment with.

    1. We’re glad you liked the review! Unfortunately, DeLonghi doesn’t have a non-pressurized portafilter for the EC860 and the brew head is designed for the portafilter DeLonghi provides.


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