If you are looking to add an espresso machine to your kitchen at home then I’m sure you’ve already started doing your research. If not, let me tell you right off the bat what the DeLonghi EC330 has to bring to the table that will send its competition running for the hills. For the cost, it is on the lowest end while still being able to make a cup of espresso. Though other brands or models might advertise as much without the high-pressure water pump they are pretty much all talk. If you haven’t found this in your research yet, let me save you some time and explain the difference between coffee and espresso. It has nothing to do with the beans or how fine a ground they are (though this will certainly affect the quality of any coffee based beverage you aim to enjoy).
The real difference comes down to how hot the water can get and how much pressure is used to push it through the grounds. With coffee no pressure is used to pump the water, it is simply heated, pumped, and passes through the grounds of coffee into the pot. Espresso is a much different drink. It is thicker than coffee and has a natural cream on the top (called crema) which naturally forms when the oils from the grounds mix properly with hot water. The only way for this to happen is with water pressure. Other models may say they can do this, though this is the most cost effective machine I have found that actually follows through on that promise.
* 15-bar pump.
* Made with stainless steel.
* Nozzle for frothing milk or cream.
* Single serving espresso shots.
Breakdown of the Features
Installed within this machine is a 15-bar pump, a stainless steel structure for durability, a nozzle for frothing milk and cream, as well as being able to product a single serving for espresso. It’s a basic machine that’s great for those on a budget, but offers a wide variety of features, despite the not-so-extensive list.
My First Impression
The first thing I noticed about this machine was the price and what it promised. After looking through the specifications and seeing it had a 15-bar water pump I believed it could follow through and I have not been disappointed. I’ll admit I have gone through my fair share of coffee makers & espresso machines, but this one has been my favorite and with the regular attention I give it has lasted three years. As a freshman in college I worked at a coffee shop until I was able to obtain a paid internship my junior year. Spending that much time around coffee and making cappuccinos from scratch has given me, not only knowledge of the product, but a great appreciation for it as well. I no longer work as a barista (insert joke about those with humanities majors, like myself) however an enduring love of espresso remains. Perhaps it is because I worked with similar machines before or my hyperactive attention to detail that has allowed mine to last as long as it has. I’m not sure, though the one thing I know is that this machine has paid for itself dozens of times over the years. When I decided to buy an espresso machine it was because I realized I was spending nearly a hundred dollars a month just by going to coffee shops. Not just on coffee, but the little impulse buys that seem to happen far too frequently.
So, I decided to stop wasting my time on crappy coffee makers and spending so much money by going to the coffee shops to get my fix, and invest in an espresso machine I could enjoy from home. The only problem was I didn’t have the type of money to drop a thousand dollars on a top of the line machine. So the trouble became finding one that I could afford that would actually do what it claimed. Like I said, I have gone through a few that could not deliver on that promise. In comes the DeLonghi EC330 and I have been happy with it since I bought it.
The Advantages of the Product
The number one advantage to this machine is the 15-bar water pump. The metric refers to how high the water pressure is and you need at least a 9-bar in order to make espresso. So, off the bat you know you are going to be able to make an actual espresso and not just a shot of coffee.
Another feature I really like is that this espresso machine is stainless steel. Maybe it’s just the old barista in me talking but stainless steel is ideal in kitchens because it is a non-porous metal, meaning things like bacteria or dirt can’t get in it which makes it easy to sanitize and longer lasting. Though plastic is also easy to clean and sanitize the oils used to make plastic will break down faster than stainless steel. If you want something that can withstand the harsh conditions of a humid coffee shop this is the way to go (though I suppose most household kitchens prove to be a less harsh environment).
The other feature I really like about this machine is the nozzle for frothing milk or cream in order to make cappuccinos or lattes. This way you can really spoil yourself from the comfort of your own home.
The Disadvantages of the Product
The only downsides I can think of for this machine is the level of maintenance it will require. Again, it is made of stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged or breaking, however you will need to worry about build up on the internal components. This is not a self-cleaning machine; it is entirely manual so you might have to use some elbow grease.
What’s in the Box?
It comes with three different filters. One for a single shot, one for a double shot, and a filter so you can use pods as well. You might want to buy a tamper for the filters.
The Final Verdict
Overall, I think this is a great little addition to a small kitchen for those on a budget but with a love of espresso. And truthfully, if you stop going to coffee shops for your morning fix it will pay for itself in no time.