Practicality is king with this budget-minded superautomatic from DeLonghi. Pretty sure the Caffe Venezia isn’t going to win any pretty design awards, but if you want a superauto for less than $600, its definitely worth considering. Gail takes us through its features and demonstrates whipping up a latte.
For the budget-conscious still looking to make a lovely latte at home, these lower end single boiler espresso machines from DeLonghi will give you the basic tools you need to get the job done. They’re not going to win any awards in the looks or longevity department, but if your pocketbook is leaner than your need for coffee, these will work in a pinch. Gail reviews both models in these videos, going over their features and demonstrating their functionality.
First up is the EC155:
And now onto the BAR32:
Roughly 80% of the machines that come into our repair center are having issues due to lack of regular maintenance, but keeping your machine tip-top also means your coffee will taste better as well. We know this and we hope you know this, but who really knows this (from a biased, albeit rather caring perspective) is coffee gear cleaning company Urnex, who manufacturers some of the best loved cleaning solutions on the market.
To promote their love of sparkly clean machines — and also make it easy for you to know exactly what to do to keep your machine in excellent shape — they have introduced the 1, 2, Brew Kit for Drip Coffee Makers that features the following accoutrement:
- Dezcal Espresso Machine Descaler
- Cleancaf Cleaning Detergent
- One Sample Pack of Grindz Burr Grinder Cleaner
- 1lb bag of Velton’s Coffee Beans — your choice of Treehouse, Twilight or Decaf blends
- Coffee Scoop with bag clip
We’re including this kit with our drip coffee makers now as a free item, but it’s also available for individual sale — great for yourself or a gift for someone else. And while this is specifically designed for drip coffee makers, we are working with them to develop one for espresso machines that will be released early next year…so stay tuned.
Gift hunting season is on! For those with caffeinated accoutrement in their sights — but who are not quite sure about their target — we’ve created a series of introductory Buyer’s Guides to give you some ideas.
Check ‘em out:
- Back to School Coffee Fix for Students: Next semester is going to be even better than the last! Right? Right. Make it so with these java preps which require very little equipment and can easily produce excellent coffee from the convenience of cramped quarters — like dorm rooms.
- Give your Student the Gift of Espresso: It will increase their focus and concentration. They will get a 4.0. There won’t be a grad school that won’t accept them. They’ll go on to be extremely successful in their field. They’ll build you a little retirement cottage on a river somewhere. You will both thank that little espresso machine for years to come. Live the dream.
- First Time Espresso Makers: 2011 is your time to shine. We’ve selected some excellent introductory espresso machines that will have you — and/or the lucky beneficiary — making your favorite espresso drinks at home with ease.
- Picking a Grinder for your Cup o’ Joe: If you know anything about us, you know we’re serious about picking a good grinder. There are several out there that work for a specific purpose or budget, and this guide is a great primer.
- Gadgets for the Espresso Enthusiast: Is buying coffee gear for someone in your life kind of like trying to buy Richard Branson something he doesn’t already have? Here are some options for items they may not have in their setup — although we make no promises here.
Look, we recognize that not everyone can (or wants to) drop a cool $2k on their home espresso machine, but pretty much everyone still wants to make a solid cup of coffee at home. DeLonghi’s petite ECO310BK is a simple single boiler, semi-automatic espresso machine designed for the budget-conscious.
Watch Gail give us the usual run down on features, pros and cons and whip us up a latte.
DeLonghi and Nespresso have coalesced yet again to offer an updated version of their Lattissima series of machines. Like their previous models, the Lattissima Premium takes Nespresso’s finely tuned capsule espresso and pairs it with DeLonghi’s one-touch automatic milk frothing so you can easily create a one-touch cappuccino or latte without muss or fuss. OK, maybe a little bit of fuss.
This time around, the Premium has a beautiful metal casing and increased programming options. We’ll be getting in a batch shortly, so check them out and sign up to get an email update once they’re in stock if you’re interested.
In the newly inaugurated War of Petite & Powerful Superautomatic Espresso Machines (okay, it starts now, actually), DeLonghi has proffered it’s champion: The Magnifica ECAM23210B Compact. If you needed more proof, this little dude and/or dudette furthers the case that highly cute and highly functional are not mutually exclusive.
Watch Gail give us her usual rundown on the ECAM23210B, including her trademark latte — sadly, artless.
What’s that looming on the horizon? Some fat guy in a red suit? No, it’s not your Uncle Larry staying past his welcome (again), it’s Santa! And maybe it’s still a couple months away, but the early bird almost definitely gets the caffeinated worm up in these parts. To help you find the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your family — even if that’s you — DeLonghi is offering a $10 – $100 rebate on several of their machines.
Here’s the rundown:
- Drip Coffee Makers: $10 off the DC514T, DCF212T and DCF210TTC models. Check out the full details & redemption form.
- Pump Espresso/Combo Machines: $20 off the BAR32, BCO130T, BCO264B, EC155, EC270, ECO310BK models. Check out the full details & redemption form.
- Superautomatic Espresso Machines: $100 off the ESAM 6700, ESAM 6600, ESAM5500M, ESAM3500 and ESAM 3300 models. Check out the full details & redemption form.
These rebates apply to purchases made from 10/01/2010 through 12/31/2010.
One of the primary considerations one must take into account when selecting an espresso machine is what’s more important to them: Convenience over flavor. Outside of budget, this is arguably the most important thing to think about when you’re determining what type of machine is right for you.
While superautomatics offer a lot of convenience — internal grinder, easy clean-up, automation and programming — the models available on the US market utilize plastic in their brew group design, which doesn’t regulate temperature quite as consistently as their metallic brew group counterparts. This results in a little bit of an underextraction that is fairly standard on superautomatics — generally giving a sour, weak flavor. However, you can tweak and program the shot to a certain extent to achieve a shot that is close to that you’d get off a semi-automatic (for which you grind, tamp and dial in your shot yourself), with a few limitations.
We asked Gail to walk us through the basic parameters of how to achieve the best shot possible on a Saeco superautomatic, using the Xelsis as a demo, and she also shared with us some of the commonalities between these machines and superautomatics produced by other manufacturers.