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.

Pros
  • Price
  • Attractive design
  • Small factor taking up little counter space
  • Easy to use – Easy clean up
  • Steam-pressurized safety cap
  • Simultaneous two-cup capacity
Cons
  • 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

P-Dawg,
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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