Making the perfect espresso is not the easiest thing to do, and the first and most important thing you need is the right espresso machine. So you go to the store or search online and try to pick one, but what features do you look for? It can get complicated especially if you have a limited budget. The same thing happened to me not long ago, in my attempt to buy a good yet cheap espresso maker and I thought that sharing what I found could be helpful to some of you coffee lovers.
15 Bar Pump Pressure!
One of the most important factors in brewing tasteful, concentrated espresso shots is the pressure of the pump that pushes the almost boiling water through the coffee grounds. A minimum of 8 bars of pressure is necessary in order to prepare a good espresso. The DeLonghi EC702 is a pump driven espresso maker that gives a maximum output of 15 bars, which is more than good enough.
Coffee Pods or Coffee Grounds?
This espresso machine has a dual-function filter holder with two different attachments: one that can be used with two measures of ground coffee and one that can be used with E.S.E. (Easy Serving Espresso) coffee pods or one measure of ground coffee. This allows you to use the type of coffee that best suits you and to brew single shot or double shot espressos, by simply switching to the appropriate filter. The use of coffee pods (pre-measured amounts of ground coffee wrapped in paper filter) makes the brewing process easier, faster and less messier, but some people still prefer to use fresh ground coffee for a richer flavor. Therefore, the DeLonghi EC702 gives you the flexibility that not all espresso makers give.
For the Cappuccino Fans
If you are a cappuccino or latte lover, you will definitely be interested in the milk frother that comes with this espresso machine. The DeLonghi Espresso Machine has a steam-operated frother attached so you can turn your strong espresso into any kind of creamy milk coffee beverage you like. Some coffee makers have a special milk container incorporated, but this one only provides an adjustable frothing wand that you have to place inside your own milk jar for frothing. I wouldn’t consider this to be a problem because I wouldn’t have to worry about storing the container in the refrigerator and it would spare me the cleaning process.
The Technical Details
This espresso maker has a durable stainless-steel boiler that operates at 1100 watts and two separate thermostats. In case you don’t know what the thermostat does, here it is: it controls the boiler temperature by telling it when to turn on or off. Since the espresso maker has a frothing wand attached, it is necessary that it holds two thermostats: one that controls the temperature for brewing and one that controls the steaming temperature for the frothing wand, which must be higher than the brewing temperature.So the DeLonghi EC702 has all the components for making a hot and creamy froth that does not change the temperature of your freshly brewed espresso.
The DeLonghi EC702 is self-priming and this is something that most home espresso machines should be able to do. In the self-priming operation all the air is removed from the water pump in order for it to start working properly. This means that you won’t have to do any start-up preparation except for making sure the water tank is not running empty. An insufficient amount of water in the water tank can cause the self-priming to fail. You will rarely have to worry about this because the DeLonghi EC702 has a large, 44 ounces (1.3 liters) water tank with a water level indicator.The water tank is removable therefore you can easily refill it and clean it.
The Little Details Matter Too
The DeLonghi EC702 provides a cup storage tray, which is nothing more than a flat place on top of the espresso machine that is warm when the machine is turned on. It’s not a sophisticated detail, but you can benefit from it by placing your cups there to warm them up while the machine gets ready for brewing. Another thing that comes in handy is the large, removable drip tray that this espresso machine holds. It collects all the coffee that drips from the filter holder after brewing and it can be easily removed and cleaned.
And One More Thing…
All in all, the DeLonghi EC702 seems to be an excellent espresso machine at a convenient price (you should not pay more than $200 for this machine). There is though one thing that some users complained about: this espresso maker requires preheating in order to obtain coffee at the right temperature. The instruction manual of the DeLonghi EC702 says that „it is recommended to press the ON/OFF button at least 15 minutes before preparing the espresso”. If you find this inconvenient, you have an alternative: simply run a normal espresso cycle but with no coffee grounds, and you’ll have the machine ready for brewing in no time.
Where Can I Buy the DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Machine?
If you are interested in the DeLonghi EC702 espresso machine, you can check it out on Amazon. They usually have the best deals on the online market and they offer free shipping. Amazon is also the place where you can find many other reviews for this espresso maker.