DeLonghi EC5 Review and Specs

DeLonghi EC5 Review by Joshia Neelon

My Overall Rating:

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DeLonghi EC5 The DeLonghi EC5 Steam Driven 4-Cup Espresso Maker may have a modest price, but it has big ambitions. It longs to be a professional-level espresso maker that produces a great cup.

It may not have many of the features of professional-level machines costing ten times as much, but it still manages to achieve many of those ambitions.

DeLonghi didn’t short change anyone on the looks. The EC5 is an attractive model. Its combination of sturdy black plastic exterior and quality metal interior parts mean its beautiful outside and in.

Sure, the brew is the most important aspect. But an espresso maker is also an appliance and it never hurts to have something stylish sitting on the counter.

DeLonghi managed to make this unit easy to clean. The exterior requires only a simple wipe. The 8.5 ounce glass carafe needs only a rinse and the occasional de-calcifying.

The company also showed their thoughtfulness by incorporating a fine safety feature. They provided a screw cap that’s easy to put on or remove. But you can’t remove it until the interior pressure subsides. That avoids any accidental scalding. Just turning the machine off isn’t enough. If steam is still built up inside the cap stays locked until the pressure subsides.

Measuring 11-1/4 by 11 by 8-1/4 inches, the EC5 is on the smaller scale, as espresso makers go. The small form factor not only takes up little counter space but also makes for a much lighter machine you can move around the kitchen.

The DeLonghi EC5 has a 4-cup capacity. The 2-cup adapter lets you make two cups at a time. That’s a rare feature in such a modestly-priced machine. When your friend comes over to share a fine espresso, no one will have to wait.

Like any espresso maker – even the professional models that carry the highest price tag – the EC5 has a few small compromises.

Espresso makers on the lower end of the price scale are invariably steam driven; they don’t have the pump that allows professional units to produce ultra-high pressures. That higher pressure helps produce the awe-inspiring brews that the most refined coffee lovers love so much. Yet, for most of us mere mortals, a steam machine can create a brew we love, too.

There is one feature we’re not entirely thrilled with. The wand is a bit short for our taste. That’s a pretty minor compromise for such an otherwise fine unit.

The DeLonghi EC5 offers a superb blend of low price and high-end features. That’s a worthy ambition, well realized. For someone looking for that first espresso maker who’s a little shocked at some of the high prices they can fetch, the DeLonghi EC5 can be the ideal unit.

  • Price
  • Attractive design
  • Small factor taking up little counter space
  • Easy to use – Easy clean up
  • Steam-pressurized safety cap
  • Simultaneous two-cup capacity
  • Steam wand awkwardly positioned too close to the body of the machine

Read what other users of the the DeLonghi EC5 have to say about it:

Mary R.,
This Espresso machine is great for people who love good espresso but can’t afford fancy machines. In fact, I think I like this machine better than the fancy machine my mom has. It’s super easy to use and quick- I make a latte every morning before work. And in fact you CAN froth milk with the wand- it takes a little finagling but the trick is to rotate the mug around the wand. It may take a couple of tries to get a routine down but by the third time you’ll get the hang of it. And may I suggest- if you’re making lattes, make only one at a time to get good foam…Read full review

Randell H.,
This is my first experience with an Espresso machine but this little gadget has been well worth the modest price I spent for it. Critics are right that the frothing arm is a little short…but investing in a small 20 oz. stainless steel frothing pitcher seems to do the trick. Add a stainless steel coffee tamper, some Espresso and Cappuccino cups and you are in business. I have impressed even some of my “coffee snob friends”. I’d recommend this unit especially to novices like me…then you can decide if you really need a $1,000+ machine…Read full review

Darin T.,
This is a simple no frills espresso machine. if your going to wine about the wand not being long enough to steam the milk you should have bought a better one. For me the only thing I wanted was a machine to pour shots. So if thats what your looking for its a good machine. As to a machine that will steam the lattes and cappuccinos I would look else where, about the only thing I think this machine was really made for is making shots which its ok at. And its all about the price if you want a good espresso machine that will compare to the things Starbucks espresso machines do shell out a couple hundred bucks…Read full review

Susan G.,
Delivers tasty espresso at a reasonable price. It is also equipped with a steam outlet for foaming milk to make cappuccino; however, and this is its only drawback, the nozzle for steam is a bit awkwardly positioned too close to the body of the coffeemaker. With practice one can get a container in position. This appliance is well worth the counter space it occupies…Read full review

Makes pretty decent espresso really quickly, and the milk frother works very well. I would definitely recommend this machine to anyone who is looking for a decent machine for cheap. My only problem is that the milk frother is a little too close to the espresso dispenser/filter and it makes it a little difficult to navigate the carafe and a mug to froth milk at the same time. Absolutely not a fatal flaw, it just requires a little ingenuity…Read full review

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DeLonghi BAR32 Review and Specs

DeLonghi BAR32 Review by Joshia Neelon

My Overall Rating:

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DeLonghi BAR32 The DeLonghi BAR32 Retro Pump-Driven Espresso Maker is a delight blend :) – pardon the pun – of old and new. Its retro look is combined with some of the most advanced features you’ll find on espresso makers anywhere.

Some may prefer the more contemporary design of so many coffee machines. But we love the ’50s look of this unusual, rounded machine. The combination of polished metal and black plastic, coupled with an almost Swedish design in many cases, does make for a good looking machine. Since coffee is a matter of taste, why shouldn’t the coffee maker design be?

There’s no subjective element when it comes to function, though. The BAR32 has features that are more often found only on professional-level units costing ten times as much.

The first of those is the pump-driven mechanism this espresso maker incorporates. Steam machines often do a fine job. But to make the finest cup you have to have the highest pressure and only a pump can do that. Still, don’t be misled. Why Delonghi called this machine the BAR32 is anybody’s guess. It does create a very respectable 15-bar, though.

The BAR32 also features self-priming, a very handy feature that lets you create your espresso very quickly and efficiently. The simple dial controls add nicely to the ease-of-use theme.

The portafilter adds to that simplicity, eliminating the need for a high-end grinder. That theme is continued by the ability to use ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods. Pop one in to brew, dump it out for easy clean up. Or use grounds, as you prefer. This model’s feature is actually easier to use than that of many professional units.

And, speaking of easy, you’ll like the removable water tank and drip tray. Both those make for easy clean up. The medium sized water tank (35-ounce) also ensures you can make plenty of fine espressos for the guests without undue waiting.

The stainless steel boiler heats up in a flash, so even those first cups will come out super fast without any sacrifice in quality. One reason is this stainless-steel model’s ability to maintain a stable temperature throughout the process, not something every steel model can claim.

Luckily, a very serviceable swivel jet frothing wand is onboard to add a nice fluffy foam to each one. Cappuccino lovers will be very grateful that it requires minimal skill to top off your cup using this feature. And, thanks to the built-in Sempre Crema Filter, you can have a fine caramel-colored crema for your latte that doesn’t require you to have the skills of a professional barista.

The dual thermostats also help up your skill level with no effort on your part. There’s one for water and one for steam, ensuring that you know exactly what’s going on with your brew at all times. The many easy-view indicator lights are equally helpful.

It’s great to find an unusual-looking espresso maker with the unusual advantage of professional features at a modest price. How the company can do that may be a mystery, but the espresso from the DeLonghi BAR32 isn’t. Its quality is obvious without reading the last chapter.

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Great looks and size
  • Pump-driven machine
  • Easy to operate
  • 35-ounce water tank – Big enough for most uses
  • Removable water tank and drip tray – Easy cleanup
  • Brews from either ground espresso or ESE pods
  • Dual thermostats – Heats quickly between cycles including steam
  • Excellent working steam wand
  • Consistently produces high quality espresso + crema
  • No cup warming plate
  • You may want to buy smaller frothing pitcher as larger ones don’t fit well or you can raise the machine a bit by getting something to set the machine on or move the unit to the edge of the counter
  • Plastic piece on frother makes cleaning difficult. Can lead to clogged steam wand. You may want to take plastic part off and only use the metal wand
  • Built-in tamper is a little difficult to get good pressure on. You may want to buy a separate one

Read what other users of the the DeLonghi BAR32 have to say about it:

This espresso machine is wonderful. Easy to use and it makes a great espresso once you get the hang of it. put the recommended amount of coffee in, pack it down, and go! A good way to tell when the espresso is done is by looking at the color of the coffee as it comes out- if you like it super dense and rich like me, stop the flow when the color gets white/much lighter than the beginning. This is a great machine and you can’t beat the price!!…Read full review

Steve C.,
Awesome machine. The expresso it makes is great, the machine is excellent quality, and it only takes about 15 seconds to actually make the expresso once you’ve prepared the grinds. It takes about 30 – 45 seconds to warm up for the first one, and then you can pretty much make a second and third with no warm up time. I bought this for work to share with a co-worker, we use it 3 or 4 times a day and it has worked perfectly so far – we’ve had it for about 3 months. Needless to say, work morale is way up!…Read full review

Lisa O.,
This machine is easy to operate, has removable parts which makes it so easy to clean and brews perfect, savory, aromatic, espresso coffee with just the right amount of creamy foan on top, that is an absolute delight. My guests are always impressed with the robust, flavorful coffee I am able to serve from this machine. The frother works beautifully, bringing the milk to a creamy, foam at just the right temperature producing excellent capuccino as well…Read full review

S. Chaney,
This machine makes decent expressos, and great lattes and capachinos. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, or yuppie appeal of some of the high end machines, but if you just want a good shot, or cup of coffee, this machine will do just fine. It has been nearly two years, and over a thousand shots, with no problems at all…Read full review

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