An Expert Guide to De'Longhi Espresso Machines

Published on 01/12/2024 · 11 min readCraving perfect espresso at home? Our expert guide to De'Longhi Espresso Machines breaks down models, features, and tips for barista-quality coffee.
Jason Gass, Coffee Expert
By Coffee Expert Jason Gass

Photo by Morumotto

TL;DR: De’Longhi offers coffee lovers a diverse product line. With products that fit a wide range of budgets, coffee brewing experience, and automation features, it is easy to find your perfect De’Longhi espresso machine.

When I was just getting into brewing espresso, a friend gifted me their De’Longhi espresso machine. They were upgrading, and I was on a budget, so getting a great espresso machine for free was a huge win. I loved that espresso machine and used it until I was ready for my own De’Longhi espresso machine upgrade.

You will find that De’Longhi is one of the more expensive brands of espresso machines here on Curated. However, this Italian brand of espresso machines delivers on quality and performance. In this article, I will walk you through the ins and outs of the De’Longhi espresso machine. Not only will the guide offer you information on what to look for when shopping for a De’Longhi machine, but I will also offer you some product suggestions that are popular with other Curated shoppers. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of our Curated Coffee & Espresso Experts.

Who is De'Longhi?

As the name suggests, De’Longhi is an Italian brand of coffee and espresso machines. They were founded in 1902 and manufacture a wide range of kitchen appliances, not just espresso machines. However, in the United States, they are most well known for their line of coffee and espresso machines.

While the original De’Longhi espresso maker was fairly simple, the options that you will find today range from that original simple espresso machine to complex, programable, full-automatic espresso machines. Though its product line has become more advanced, the brand retains its reputation for high-quality construction, elegant design, and reliability.

What to Consider When Buying a De'Longhi Espresso Machine

1. What level of automation do you prefer?

As I mentioned previously, the great thing about De’Longi is that they have a wide range of automation levels in their espresso machines. If you are looking for a machine that makes your perfect espresso drink, with fresh grounds and is ready when you walk out the door, you will love their super-automatic options.

However, if you find joy in customizing everything from the water temperature to the thickness of your milk foam, De’Longhi has an espresso machine for you.

2. How important is space and design to you?

As with any kitchen appliance, you will need to consider the amount of space you have in your kitchen for an espresso machine. De’Longhi has a wide range of espresso machines in a variety of sizes. You will want to carefully measure your space before shopping for an espresso machine to not overwhelm your kitchen space.

3. How often do you entertain guests or make multiple beverages?

One thing that I think is very important when purchasing an espresso machine is how many beverages you will need to make at one time. For instance, if you are only making espresso shots for yourself, you can indulge in a machine that requires a bit more time to set up and brew.

However, suppose you love to entertain and you need to make a variety of espresso drinks for your guests as quickly as possible. In that case, a De’Longhi super-automatic machine will win the day.

4. Do you want an integrated grinder?

Fresh ground beans are essential to a great shot of espresso. If you have a separate burr grinder that you love, you may not want or need a De’Longhi machine that has an integrated grinder. Fortunately, the brand offers similar models with and without the built-in grinder, so you do not get stuck with features that you may not use or need.

5. What type of milk frothing system do you prefer?

As with the level of automation for brewing, De’Longhi offers a few options when it comes to how you froth or steam milk. If you want push-button control, look for the De’Longhi LatteCrema system. If you are particular about your milk foam and prefer to do the work yourself, De’Longhi offers manual steamers as well.

6. How much should a De'Longhi espresso machine cost?

Though De’Longhi is sold as a high-end appliance brand, you can get a great machine for around $100. Of course, this De’Longhi espresso machine will be pretty simple, and you will have to do much of the work yourself. On the high-end of their pricing, you can expect to spend over $1,000 for one of the super-automatic espresso machines with all the features.

What Are the Different Types of De'Longhi Espresso Machines?

Photo by Tim St. Martin

1. Manual / Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

Manual or semi-automatic espresso machines offer you a hands-on experience in brewing espresso. If you love the details of brewing your espresso, a manual machine allows you to grind your beans, tamp the grounds in the porta-filter, and adjust pressure and temperature for the perfect espresso.

If you like some of the hands-on experience but are looking for a little more automation, a semi-automatic machine allows you to grind your beans, and fill and tamp the porta-filter, but temperature and pressure are electronically controlled. My first De’Longhi machine was a semi-automatic, and it made a consistent espresso every time I used it.

Benefits

  • You get to brew your espresso your way by controlling certain brewing parameters.
  • Manual and semi-automatic machines allow you to hone your skills and experiment with the brewing process.
  • You may find your espresso is better quality or better meets your preferences.

Keep in Mind

  • You won’t end up with a perfect espresso right away. These machines come with a learning curve and take a bit of practice.
  • These are not machines if you want your espresso quickly. They are time and effort-intensive.
  • Consistency of your results does not happen right away. You will have to practice.

Examples: DeLonghi Dedica Arte Espresso Machine, DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Espresso Machine

2. Automatic Espresso Machines

If you want a great espresso but do not want all the work, an automatic espresso machine is a great pick. These machines do the bulk of the work for you. They will grind, tamp, and extract your shots, often with just the push of a couple of buttons. These machines are great for beginners or those of us who are in a hurry most mornings.

Some automatic espresso machines will also steam and foam milk for your espresso drinks, but you will also find automatic machines that do not have this feature. If you like a cappuccino or latte in the morning, look for models that offer automatic milk frothing and delivery.

Benefits

  • You get a consistent espresso shot with minimal work.
  • Great for busy people who want an easy-to-use espresso machine.
  • Most have some level of personalization for custom espresso drinks.

Keep in Mind

  • If you like to be in control of your brewing process, automatic machines take away that control.
  • Automatic espresso machines tend to be a bit more expensive than semi-automatic or manual machines.
  • Brewing controls are not always very intuitive or user-friendly.

Examples: De'Longhi Eletta Explore Espresso Machine, DeLonghi Dinamica Plus

Features to Look for in De'Longhi Espresso Machines

One of the things that I love about the De’Longhi brand of espresso machines is the variety of options. They have features and price points for every coffee lover. However, this variety can make it challenging to find the right machine if you do not know what you are looking for. To reduce this challenge, I have put together a list of features you should consider or look for when shopping for a De’Longhi espresso machine.

  1. LatteCrema System: If you like to enjoy a cappuccino or latte, look for the De’Longhi LatteCrema system. This feature froths milk perfectly for your desired espresso drink. The LatteCrema system is customizable, so you can enjoy your espresso drink the same way every morning.
  2. Dual Boiler System: Some of the higher-end De’Longhi machines have a dual boiler system. Dual boilers allow you to brew your espresso and steam milk at the same time. This is a great feature for those mornings when everyone in your house needs a coffee to get the day started.
  3. Thermoblock Technology: One complaint that we hear from espresso lovers about other brands is that they take a long time to heat up. The De’Longhi Thermoblock Technology eliminates this complaint with a fast heat-up and precise temperature control. The resulting espresso from the Thermoblock system is perfectly extracted, flavorful, and at just the right temperature.
  4. Adjustable Grinding Settings: Depending on the qualities of your preferred espresso shot, easily adjusting the grind size of your beans is a must-have feature. Many of the models in the De’Longhi line of espresso machines come with integrated grinders with adjustable grind settings.
  5. Active Temperature Control: One of the easiest ways to get a flavorful and balanced shot of espresso is to maintain a constant temperature from start to finish in the extraction process. The Active Temperature Control available in most De’Longhi espresso machines gives you a smooth, bold, but rounded shot of espresso without having to constantly adjust your water temperature.
  6. Soft Infusion System: For those of us who want to get the best flavor in our espresso, the De’Longhi Soft Infusion System is a great feature to have. Available on some espresso machines, this feature wets the grounds before the high-pressure extraction begins. This step allows for more of the coffee flavors to pass from the beans to your espresso cup.
  7. Descale Indicator and Automatic Cleaning: If you want an espresso machine, but are not excited about the time it can take to clean and maintain one properly, look for the automatic cleaning feature. Most De’Longhi espresso machines offer some level of automatic cleaning. This will increase the life of your machine and keep your espresso tasting great.

How to Choose the Right De'Longhi Espresso Machine for You

Photo by Rob Wicks

So, you are ready to buy a De’Longhi espresso machine, but you still have a long list of potential models, and you need a bit of help narrowing it down to one. Below, I offer you the selections made by other Curated customers. Each customer example shares the needs of the customer based on their level of experience with brewing espresso.

Sara: The Espresso Newbie

Sara loves her morning espresso drink, but stopping by her local coffee shop every day is a hassle. Sara’s choice was the DeLonghi Dedica Arte Espresso machine. This option has a compact size and small footprint, making it a great complement to her drip coffee maker. It is easy to use, so she can easily enjoy her coffee house favorites from the comfort of her home.

Features Sara Should Look For:

  • Small countertop footprint
  • Easy-to-use milk steam wand

Product to consider: DeLonghi Dedica Arte Espresso Machine

Larry: The Aspiring Barista

When Larry entertains, it becomes obvious to friends and family that he loves to experiment with different espresso styles and drinks. A good selection for Larry is the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte espresso machine. This model is highly customizable, from the built-in conical burr grinder to the milk frother. Switching between brewing styles and drinks is quick and easy and perfect for Larry’s love of entertaining and espresso drinks.

Features Larry Should Look For:

  • Large capacity integrated grinder
  • Dual boilers

Product to consider: DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Espresso Machine

Thomas: The Espresso Fanatic

Thomas is one of those coffee lovers who is very particular about his espresso drinks. A programmable espresso machine that allows him to customize each detail of his espresso and brew that perfect shot at the touch of a button is what Thomas needs. His pick was the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus espresso maker. This option allows him to store his preferences and start brewing his espresso with a single button or from the DeLonghi smartphone app.

Features Thomas Should Look For:

  • One-touch customizable programming
  • Integrated grinder and milk steamer

Product to consider: DeLonghi Dinamica Plus

Find the Best De'Longhi Espresso Maker for You

Photo by Isabela Kronemberger

Though the De’Longhi line of espresso machines has traditionally been considered a high-end option, today, they offer a full range of espresso machines that fit every budget and brewing preference. Whether you are looking for a manual machine that allows you to tinker with every aspect of your espresso process or you are looking for an at-home replacement for your local coffee shop barista, there is a De’Longhi machine for you.

If you have questions about De’Longhi or would like to get more information on how a De’Longhi espresso machine fits your coffee brewing needs, send me or one of the other Curated Coffee Experts a message. We are all happy to help you find the perfect De’Longhi machine for your coffee brewing routine.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Shop Coffee & Espresso on Curated

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