DeLonghi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker Review

This is a review for the DeLonghi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Machine, which is one of the most popular semi-automatic espresso machines on the market. So I thought i’d take a look at it and compare it to some of the other semi-auto machines i’ve already looked at such as the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine. Now the comparison is not really a fair one since the Gaggia is twice the price, but it’s the nearest priced semi-auto espresso machine that I also happen to know inside out because I own one. The main differences are seldom espresso quality between machines, but more quality of parts and functionality.

Yes you can easily make quality espresso with the DeLonghi EC702 espresso maker, it all hinders on the expertise of the person making the drink, as well as quality of your beans. So if you’re new to making espressos then I also suggest you read my how to make perfect espresso at home guide.

Before we get down to business, you should see the machine we’re talking about right here at its lowest price!

What is the DeLonghi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker and how does it work?

The DeLonghi EC702 is a semi-automatic espresso machine, designed in Italy and manufactured in Italy which ensures its quality. It is one of DeLonghi’s most popular machines and possibly the most popular semi-auto espresso machine in this price range. It is an entry level machine, for those who are just getting interested in being home baristas, however many aficionados also swear by the DeLonghi EC702.

It works by placing espresso grounds into the portafilter and fixing it into the group head. One touch of the button will send water by means of the 15 bars of pressure (the optimum amount for espresso) through the filter and into your cup. The DeLonghi also accepts pods as well for those who fancy a change or have not progressed to grinding their own beans yet.

There are a few more things to it of course and I shall go into each of the machines features below:

DeLonghi EC702 Portafilter

The portafilter is of a good and sturdy design, it is also a nice heavy weight. It has a dual function filter holder, which basically means that there is an attachment that you place in the filter so that it can accommodate pods. When you remove the attachment then you can use grounds. Nice and easy!

You get a tamper with the machine, which is located on the underside of the front panel in a fixed position. Yes it works but my preference has always been to have a proper tamper that you can hold in your hand and apply the proper 30 pounds of pressure. So that is what I have been using, a proper tamper. I have read however that several people have detached the fixed tamper and have used that which is a very good idea.

DeLonghi EC702 Cappuccino Frother

Now the DeLonghi EC702 espresso maker uses a dual boiler system. This is always an advantage on semi-auto espresso machines because it means that you don’t have to wait for the boiler to reheat between frothing your milk and brewing the espresso. Trust me on this one, there are many espresso machines out there, even ones that cost hundreds of dollars extra that don’t have this feature. With the EC702, you’ll be able to froth your milk and brew your espresso simultaneously.

There have been a few reviewers on Amazon that have actually marked this machine down because apparently you can only froth for cappuccino and not for lattes. Well hello…guess what, lattes don’t use froth. Lattes are simply made with hot milk. To make a latte you simply aim your frother or steamer in this instance nearer the bottom of your milk jug so you’re not frothing anything. For cappuccino then raise it higher so you get bubbles.

Some people have also marked the machine down because there is not much clearance between the steamer nozzle and the surface. Yes this is true, and if you have an especially large milk jug then this may cause a problem for you. The solution is to use a smaller milk jug, or situate your DeLonghi EC702 so the steamer side is off the edge of your counter.

The frother or steamer works perfectly well, i’ve never had any problems with it that could not easily be solved.

DeLonghi EC702 Cup Warmer

This is a great feature to have and is something that yet again even the best Italian espresso machines don’t always have. As you can see in the picture above, the top of the machine doubles up as a cup warmer. All you do is place your espresso cups upside down on top of the machine. Why is it important to have warm cups? Because the amount of liquid generated for espresso is so small, that when it hits the cold cup, it can have a dramatic effect on temperature immediately which also impairs flavor. Now, it takes around 15 minutes for the cups to reach a nice warm temperature, but this is also the amount of time you should leave the machine after turning on to allow for the boiler to heat up sufficiently. The top of the machine just so happens to be a nice decorative place to store your cups too. I really can not fault this feature, it really works.

Cleaning The DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Maker

You must clean the machine frequently, you get a bottle of descaler with it. If you use filtered water to make your espressos which is something I always recommend then not only will your espressos taste better but the machine will not pick up limescale as fast either.

After every use of the frother you should fire some hot water through it to clean the tubes. Cleaning the surface is simple and just requires a mop down. It has a drip tray which is easily removed for emptying and cleaning. Every now and then you may want to take a hand held vacuum to work on the group head to clean out any rogue grounds or you could use a brush to brush them out also.

When you’re using the machine for the first time, it’s always recommended that you send hot water through it a few times to wash away the plastic taste. Be warned also about your first few espressos as they are not going to taste great, so i’d just throw them away.

That really is all the main points about the DoLonghi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker! The build is mainly of plastic which various people have complained about on Amazon. They say that because it is made from mainly plastic that the build is inferior. Well don’t forget that this is an entry level machine, probably the best entry level machine there is in fact and if it was made from all steel parts then they’d be complaining that the machine cost too much money. In practice, the only down side to the machine being made from plastic is that it is quite light. This means you need to use two hands to secure the portafilter into the group head, not a real problem.

What Others Are Saying About The DeLonghi EC702?

The machine has received an average of 3.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon by people that have actually bought the machine. As mentioned above, many people have either unfairly or even stupidly marked the machine down due to their own incompetence. There have also been many people who have rated the machine 1 or 2 stars due to late deliveries or parts arriving faulty. Again, I don’t feel this is actually to the detriment of the Delonghi EC702. Here are some of the positive comments to date:

- Brews excellent espresso with abundant crema, dual thermostats for brewing and steaming, two different sizes of filter holders, one of them allows you to use E.S.E. pods, good frothing, cup warmer, attractive look all at a good price.

- It DOES produce a FABULOUS Espresso shot, Cappuccino, Latte’s, it tastes MUCH better than Starbucks to me and it only took me two attempts to get my technique down to where it’s NOT a problem.

- So far, this has been a terrific espresso maker. The best of 3 or 4 I’ve had over many years. Very well designed.

- I’ve had this machine for over a year, and use it every day. Yes, you do have to take it apart once a year or so to clean it really well, but the maintenance is worth it because the machine is a workhorse.

- I bought it for my son and have one ourselves, great machine, just make sure you buy good coffee and grind it for espresso and not for a drip machine. By the way, the machine is MADE IN ITALY, not in China.

Where Can You Purchase The DeLonghi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker?

The answer is many places. You can get it from WholeLatteLove for $199.95. However this is the place i’ve found to be consistently the cheapest! You can also take advantage of used and refurbished machines to bring your price down lower still, not to mention free shipping. I hope you enjoy your espressos!

Why not see our reviews for the other DeLonghi espresso machines!

DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 Espresso Machine Review

Carrying on my search for the perfect automatic espresso machine for the home, my search brought me to the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 Espresso Machine. Having already reviewed the Gaggia 90951 Platinum Vision Automatic Espresso Machine which is in a similar price bracket, I thought i would be able to give a decent comparison of the two machines.

Expensive automatic espresso machines are fully capable of making quality espressos at the touch of a button, however you’ll always want to make sure you have quality beans. Without quality beans then it won’t matter how great your machine is, you simply can’t make great salad with rotten vegetables.

Yes, the best automatic machines are expensive, but depending on how often you use the machine, you’ll recoup your money from not having to visit Starbucks ever again. The cost per drink averages at around $0.20 compared to anywhere between $0.50 – $0.80 for a pod or capsule based semi-automatic machine. You also have the touch button convenience and low amount of cleaning which makes using almost any automatic espresso machine a total breeze. However, how will the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 match up to scrutiny from a guy who knows what he’s talking, or writing about. Carry on reading for my full DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 Espresso Machine Review.

Before we go on however, why not check out the product here to get a full view of it in all its glory!

What is the DeLonghi 3500 Magnifica and how does it work?

It’s a top of the line automatic espresso machine for the home, it is designed in Italy but built in China. It has a built in burr grinder, which it should do for this price. So purchasing this machine will save you $500 on having to buy a decent grinder yourself. To work the machine, all you need to do is place your high quality beans in the bean hopper, ensure the water is topped up preferably with filtered water, then you need to adjust your preferences. You get to choose between the amount of drink you get and the strength which is determined by how much beans are used. Then it’s simply one button and the drink is made within about 30 seconds. The machine is very loud, as many have pointed out, but remember that it’s grinding coffee which is a loud business.

There is a little more to it of course, and i’ll go into each of the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500′s features, with a critical eye below:

Range of Drinks

There will be many who are solely interested in having espresso, in which case you won’t need to use the attached frother. The frother allows you to make lattes and cappuccinos with ease. The ability to make the extra drinks on the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 is easier and more convenient than on the Gaggia 90951 which has a milk island. The problem with the milk island is that it is detached from the machine, is messy and provides inconsistent results. The DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 clearly doesn’t have this problem as the frother is built in. It also has its own boiler, which makes two boilers in total. This is advantages because it means you don’t have a long wait between the milk heating up and the espresso being made for a latte.

Digital Programming

You use the buttons to set your strength which is determined by the amount of coffee the machine grinds and the amount of drink you will be served. You set the grind coarseness via a dial in the bean hopper, so this is separate to the control panel. The control panel also tells you when the machine needs cleaning and you use the buttons to send it through its internal cleaning cycle.

Built in Burr Grinder

This is really important, otherwise you’d be forking out a lot of extra money for one of these. Having said that, there is an extra bypass compartment where you can use grounds should you happen to have them, or if you want to use decaffeinated. You can adjust the grind coarseness via a dial on the inside of the bean flap. The further the setting to the left then the finer the beans will be ground down. This slows down the brewing process and ensures you have a stronger espresso with a thicker crema. Send the dial over to the right and your grind becomes a little more coarse which is used for a longer or weaker espresso.

Cup Warmer

This is a very important feature, especially if you’re drinking espressos. The tiny amount of liquid you get with and espresso can easily lose much of its heat the second it hits a cold cup. This can greatly impair the taste which is why I always recommend heating your cups with boiling water before you brew espressos. Thankfully, the top of the machines doubles up as a warming plate which saves you a job.

Attached Milk Container

This container slides on and off, so you can store it along with your milk in the fridge when you’re not using the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of the machines problems come into play as a lot of people have mentioned that the container is a little tricky to slide in and out of position. Let me say that if you’re using this machine simply for espresso then this will be irrelevant to you. There has also been mention of the o-rings which connect the two breaking. I’ll also say that these o-rings need an annual replacement anyway, which will be most of the maintenance you’ll ever need.

The container, as stated before has its own boiler which is a great idea. The heated or steamed milk depending on your drink comes straight from the milk container. You’ll want to ensure you turn the hot water dispenser knob to clean the tubes after every single use. This should be a regular part of your cleaning routine. Doing this will ensure better longevity as well as a higher drink quality.

There is also a steamer attachment that comes with the machine, should you happen to want boiled water.

60 oz Water Reservoir

This part is fairly simple to understand. I’ll just point out that you need to ensure its topped up before making a drink. Otherwise the machine will stop halfway through the process and it can’t restart after topping up, but will instead start again from scratch. This will be a waste of coffee grounds.

Cleaning

Cleaning is very easy as most of it is done via the buttons on the machine. There is a light that comes on when it needs decalcifying, however you would probably need to descale more often than when it suggests to maintain quality. As long as you’re using filtered water, you’re not going to get limescale buildups as fast anyway. Remember to clean the milk tubes after every use, this takes about 5 seconds. Other than that, i would give the machine a thorough clean two or three times a year. You should use a dustbuster to vacuum out stray grounds and get a little brush to clean everything away from the brew group. Nice and easy cleaning!

I’ll also say that you get a DVD with the machine to take you through everything, but operating the system really is very simple.

What others are saying about the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 Espresso Machine?

It has received an average review of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon. It has been marked down by people due to the o-rings breaking, however there is no other espresso machine manufacturer that has more official dealers and repairers in the US than does DeLonghi. You can also order the o-rings easily on Amazon. It has also been marked down due to people complaining that the drinks aren’t always hot. If you’re having simply espresso then remember to use the cup warmer, or otherwise pour boiling water into your cup. I would also say the same about making a latte. If the latte temperature still bothers you then you should stop using milk straight from the fridge, perhaps you could heat it up in the microwave prior to putting it in the milk container.

Here are a few positive comments from other reviewers:

- Amazing tasting coffee; freshly ground at the touch of a button. Several people have told me that it tastes better than Starbucks coffee.

- I am very happy with this machine. Very easily it produces very good cappuccinos or espresso style coffees. The milk container is handy and there is a clever mechanism to clean the frothing spout without having to empty and wash the milk container, allowing me to return the container back to the refrigerator for the next use.

- It’s so EASY. You don’t have to do anything other than put your cup under the spout & hit buttons. You don’t even have to hold the milk container when frothing!

- This is really a great machine. It makes the best coffee I have ever tasted. It is completely automatic so you have nothing to do but fill it and empty it.

- Although I was initially hesitant about the price of the machine, I decided to try it. The result is exactly what I was looking for… restaurant-quality espresso & cappuccino at the push of a button!

Where can you buy the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 Espresso Machine?

There are many places you can buy it from online, however here is the cheapest place i’ve found it to be. Don’t forget you can also get free delivery as well and the customer service is arguably the best anywhere. I hope you enjoy your espressos!

DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima EN670 Review

delonghi en670 nespresso lattissima small

For those of you who are interested in buying a high quality pod based espresso machine, I thought i’d take the time to review one of the best on the market and point out its pros and cons. The DeLonghi EN670 Nespresso Lattissima Single Serve Espresso Maker is the only pod based system that the famous DeLonghi have made and they have teamed up with Nespresso who manufacture the pods. You can see the machine in more detail here! What is the Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima EN670 and how does it work? It is a pod based, automatic espresso maker for the home. However it can also whip up lattes too. It is designed in Italy much like all DeLonghi products, however it is actually manufactured in China. You can purchase the pods from a range of online retailers including Amazon and they come in a range of varieties, 13 at the moment and this may expand in the future. Working the machine is simple! All you do is place the pod of choice in the top of the machine, snap the lid closed and wait for the red light to stop flashing, which will indicate the water is heated. If all you fancy is an espresso then all you need to do is press the start button when the light turns solid. The espresso will then start to brew and will shortly emerge in your cup. If you’re making latte for example then there is an extra stage. There is another button to start the milk frother, which you press, allow the frothed milk to appear then after that begin the espresso cycle. There are a few more things to the whole process, which i shall now point out below: Nespresso Delonghi Lattissima EN670 – Build Quality The quality of [...] Read more »

La Pavoni PA-1200 Napolitana Stainless Steel Automatic Espresso Machine Review

la pavoni pa-1200 napolitana stainless steel automatic espresso machine small

If you’ve read much of this site then you’ll be aware of just what I think about La Pavoni’s manual espresso machines, and that my favorite espresso machine in the world is still the La Pavoni PBB-16 Espresso Machine! I would go as far as to say that La Pavoni are in fact the masters of the lever handled manual espresso machine. I was curious then when i’d read positive reviews of the La Pavoni PA-1200 Napolitana Stainless Steel Automatic Espresso Machine, which of course is supposedly an automatic machine. Looking around the web, there really is not that much information on this fantastic Italian espresso machine so i thought i’d go and check the machine out for myself. Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning! The title is a little misleading as it really is not an automatic espresso machine but is instead semi-automatic.  You’ll still need to tamp your espresso grinds in the portafilter, and experiment a little bit to get that sweet spot for instance. I don’t know why it’s called ‘automatic’ in the title when it really isn’t, as automatic machines refer to a push button system. Anyway, you can see the machine right here! As you can see, La Pavoni love the ornamental style, classic look and beautiful machines, nobody can make a beautiful espresso machine like La Pavoni can, but how is it at making espresso? Well read on for the answers! What is the La Pavoni PA-1200 and how does it work? It’s a semi-automatic espresso machine, like all La Pavoni espresso machines, it is made in Milan, Italy! As I stated above, and as with all manual or semi-automatic espresso machines, there is a learning curve involved. Having tested the La Pavoni PA-1200 I would say the learning curve is a [...] Read more »

Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Grinder Review

Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Grinder

After having reviewed the iconic and highly favored Rancilio Rocky Doserless Burr Grinder, it is now time to review another highly favored and well loved espresso burr grinder, the Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Grinder, which you can see here! If you’re still in the deciding what to buy stage, then i’ve reviewed most of the best burr espresso grinders already. The Gaggia 8002 MDF certainly falls into that category. If you’re a large fan of espresso making at home for yourself or for entertaining purposes then you’ll most likely already know the importance of owning a good burr grinder. Most experts put the importance of having a high quality grinder above that of owning a high quality Italian espresso machine, i would find it hard to disagree with that statement. The reason for that is that it’s quite easy to make quality espresso with a good grinder and any old espresso machine, however it’s not so easy to make great espresso with a good espresso machine but a low quality grinder. It’s all in the grind, as they say! Well read on for my Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Grinder review, i shall try to be as honest as possible and list it’s pros and cons. What Is The Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Grinder And How Does It Work? It is Gaggia’s most popular and showcase grinder. It is actually one of the cheaper mid range espresso grinders for the home. It’s not entry level, but for those wanting quality espresso, it can certainly do the job. I would place it below the Rancilio Rocky for quality, but of course it does cost a lot less. Yes, it does produce a quality grind with a good consistency and it does so without heating up the grinds which is a major benefit, [...] Read more »

How To Tamp Espresso Grinds

how to tamp espresso grounds small

Of all the things you need to get right in order to make the perfect espresso at home, the tamping part is actually the easiest yet can have the most positive or negative effect on your final espresso. Tamping the espresso grounds into the portafilter is in order to compress the grounds so the water will flow through the grounds in an even way in order to extract the maximum amount of flavor. It’s very easy to get wrong in which case you end up with a bad espresso. If you tamp too hard, the water will struggle to flow round the portafilter, eventually it will find the path of least resistance, leaving most of the grounds untouched. The result will be a bitter espresso. If you don’t tamp with enough pressure then you’ll end up with too much of an easy flow of water around the grounds, with the espresso arriving in the cup far too quickly. The result will be a weak and bitter espresso. However, by using the correct pressure, with firm and even tamping then the water will easily make contact with all the grounds in the portafilter and the maximum and full flavor will be extracted. The result will be a delicious espresso! The good thing is that learning how to tamp espresso grounds correctly is fairly easy and once you have the technique, you won’t forget it! You’ll also be able to watch how the professionals in your coffee shop do it and you’ll know you’re better at it than them! Tamping Espresso Grounds Simply follow the steps below to acquire the perfect tamping technique: Step 1 – Using your burr grinder to dose your portafilter, use your finger to even out the dose. By not ensuring the dose is level within the portafilter, [...] Read more »

Baratza Vario Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder Review

baratza vario ceramic burr coffee grinder

Following on from my review of the Rancilio Rocky Doserless Burr Grinder which is a huge favorite amongst espresso purists and is probably the most popular espresso burr grinder for the home that there is, i’m now going to take a look at what is arguably the best espresso burr grinder for the home and see if there are any faults or shortcomings with the machine. The burr grinder i’m referring to is of course the Baratza Vario Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder and you can see this impressive machine here! If you’re a big fan of espresso then i’m sure you’ll know that many enthusiasts including myself strongly recommend investing in a high quality burr grinder and we put more importance on that than having a high quality Italian espresso machine! The reason for this is that you can have delicious espresso with a high quality grinder and a cheap espresso machine, but creating drinkable espresso with an expensive espresso machine and a cheap grinder is next to impossible. The grinder should come first and then you can upgrade to a better espresso machine later on when your tastes advance. For now, let’s take a look at the Baratza Vario Grinder and see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be! What is the Baratza Vario Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder and how does it work? It’s a high end for the home ceramic burr coffee grinder! The Baratza Vario is German designed and German built and uses a belt attached to the motor to turn the burrs. This gives it a slightly more silent operation over the Rancilio Rocky which has its burrs attached directly to the motor. I shall now go into each of the Baratza Vario grinder’s features and give the pros and cons of each: Adjusting the [...] Read more »

Rancilio Rocky Doserless Burr Grinder Review

rancilio rocky espresso burr grinder

If you’ve been reading much about espresso burr grinders then i’m sure you’ll already know just how important owning a quality grinder is to getting quality espresso. Many experts place more emphasis on having the right burr grinder over having the right espresso machine. Why is this? Because you can have an expensive espresso machine and still make terrible espresso because your grinder grinds the beans too coarse, whereas if you have a quality burr grinder you can still make quality espresso even with a very average or even a poor espresso machine. This just goes to highlight the importance of starting out with a good espresso burr grinder and then if you need to upgrade to one of the best Italian espresso machines later on then you’ll already have a wonderful grinder to start you off. A quick note on the difference between a blade and a burr grinder before we get into the Rancilio Rocky Doserless Burr Grinder review. A blade grinder would be fine if you’re intending on making coffee, the grinds come out more uneven with blade grinders. However, for making quality espresso, you really need a consistency with the grinds where every little piece is the same minuscule size, allowing for more contact with the hot water and therefore greater flavor extraction. For espresso, nearly everybody recommends a high quality burr grinder, such as the Rancilio Rocky which i’m going to review below. What is the Rancilio Rocky Doserless Burr Grinder and how does it work? It is probably the most popular mid-range espresso burr grinder there is! It is simple to operate, all you do is stick the coffee beans in the hopper at the top, flick the switch on a the side and press the grind button at the bottom whilst holding your [...] Read more »

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine Review

rancilio silvia espresso machine small

This review is for the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine v3. This machine has a huge following around the world, a fanatical following even with many websites and forums dedicated simply to this machine. If you’re ever in need of any trouble shooting or user tips to get the most from this machine, then there’s no shortage of qualified people to offer you advise. The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is a genuine Italian espresso machine! They are all hand built in Milan, Italy and Rancilio have been making espresso machines since 1927. You will not find a much better pedigree than that! As with all semi-automatic espresso machines, there is a learning curve to getting perfect espressos every time! However, for the Rancilio Silvia v3 there are no shortage of tips and guides in written and video format online. You should also read my guide to making perfect espressos at home to shorten your learning curve that little bit. Once you have mastered your technique, and this machine is not difficult to master, then as i’m sure the vast majority of people that have used this machine would agree, you’ll be pulling immaculate espressos nearly every time. I shall now go into each of the Rancilio Silvia’s product features, offering the pros and cons of them all! The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machines Features Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine – Boiler The single boiler is made from brass which is superior to a stainless steel boiler found in many other espresso machines. Firstly, brass does not need descaling as often as stainless steel would need. Secondly, brass retains heat far better. This also leads to a far heavier and sturdier machine in general. However, having a brass boiler has meant there is also one major negative to this machine, a negative which many [...] Read more »