The DeLonghi EC152 does all that can be expected of a simple but capable espresso machine. Straightforward operation and the taste of home-brewed coffee, without too much strain on the budget.
What the manufacturers have achieved at this sort of price point is remarkable. If everything was judged on looks alone, there would be no question - anyone who owns one of these must be a real coffee expert! But is there more here than looks alone? What are the most important functions of the machine?
· 15 Bar pressure and 1100 Watts of heating power means that the machine is very fast to heat up and has plenty of power to filter through properly-ground coffee. The crema that results is café-quality (so long as you follow the instructions!)
· A conventional steam wand and milk frother for cappuccinos and lattes. As with all espresso/capuccino making, you may have to experiment to get the best results.
· Capacity in the coffee grounds holder for one or two cups of espresso. Alternatively, one large cup of cappuccino.
· Very compact size, so it won’t take up precious space on the worktop.
· Very competitively priced - the DeLonghi EC152 is available for under £60 (the US equivalent EC155 costs around $80). For such performance, this is good value indeed.
A few questions do arise however:-
· The machine will not tamp down the grounds itself - you will have to make certain that this is done correctly. There is a tamping plate built onto the casing, but this will not allow much force to be applied. You might need to tamp the grounds by hand if the grinding is not fine enough. It's worth mentioning that failure to tamp the coffee down firmly enough will almost certainly mean that you won't get the crema that is so much a mark of good espresso.
· Because it is a single boiler, the machine will take a moment or two to get up to steam temperature after brewing, and a similar time to cool down afterwards before you can make more espresso.
· There's not a lot of space between the filter head and the drainer - enough for espresso cups but not for anything much bigger. Some people advise just taking out the drainer grating.
These questions aside, reviewers of the EC152 are pretty encouraging in their opinions. The DeLonghi EC152 is without doubt, for the price, a top performing home espresso machine, and gives the chance for many people to get into home-brewed espresso without breaking the bank.
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You can read more about the DeLonghi EC152 and many more kitchen aids and appliances at Tern Kitchen Reviews
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