Espresso machines can cost quite a lot, but does that mean that you need to have a big budget if you want to drink a good espresso? Fortunately, it doesn’t. If you aren’t after a functional machine with programmable temperature and cup sizes, then you don’t need to spend that much money on an espresso machine.
And DeLonghi BAR32 Retro Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a living proof to that! It is an exceptionally affordable espresso machine, yet it can make pretty good drinks. BAR32 would especially be an interesting choice for entry-level espresso drinkers who would like to build a base for their espresso skills.
But what does BAR32 espresso and cappuccino maker has to offer? Make yourself comfortable, and let’s find out!
Delivers good espresso and cappuccino
No need to go very high up the price range if you want good espresso! The taste and quality of the drink will depend more on the coffee and its grind, and that’s up to you. As for the espresso-making capabilities of BAR32, it does quite well. It is equipped with separate thermostats for water and steam pressure to deliver the optimum temperature when making the drink. And in terms of pressure for brewing, this machine produces 15 bars, which is more than enough for a good espresso and cappuccino.
Two-in-one steam wand and hot water dispenser
DeLonghi BAR32 espresso machine features a steam wand, which also works as a hot water dispenser. When delivering steam, the wand is used to froth milk for espresso or cappuccino. And when set into hot water dispersion mode, the steam wand can be used for cup preheating, as well as for making Americanos. It is quite nice to see a steam wand at such a price point because many espresso machines from this price range don’t have them.
Due to the positioning of the steam wand, it may be uneasy for you to froth milk in larger jugs or mugs. An obvious solution to that would be using a smaller jug, but this would pose some inconvenience for you because if you don’t have one, you would need to buy it.
And another issue with the frothing function is that the machine runs out of steam pretty quickly, forcing you to pause frothing until the machine produces steam again. This can get quite annoying, especially if you don’t have that much time to make espresso or cappuccino.
Capacious water tank
BAR32 is equipped with a quite capacious 35oz water tank, so you won’t have to refill it that frequently. But when you do have to refill, you won’t have any problems because removing the water reservoir is no challenge.
Bear in mind that because the water tank doesn’t support water filters, you should use filtered water to make your drinks. Otherwise, you may soon discover that your machine works funny due to the mineral buildup on its components.
DeLonghi BAR32 comes with an inbuilt tamper. Most typically, espresso machines come with separate tampers. What’s the advantage of the inbuilt tamper? Well, you won’t have to worry about taking it out from the storage box and then putting it back in. On the other hand, you won’t be able to apply as much pressure on the coffee in the portafilter with such a tamper. Apart from that, you won’t have much control over the tamper when cleaning it. That’s a resolvable issue because you can always buy a tamper separately, but it will mean more money spent.
Coffee pod compatibility
DeLonghi BAR32 is compatible with coffee pods. The benefit of coffee pods is that their manufacturers make sure to incorporate the optimum quality and amount of coffee for your drink, so a quality coffee pod is a pretty good choice to consider instead of regular grinds. And alternatively, you could, of course, go with the old style and use ground coffee with the espresso machine.
Easy to clean
BAR32 espresso machine is exceptionally easy to clean thanks to its simple design and easy-to-access components. The drip tray could be easily taken apart for thorough cleaning, and so can the portafilter and the water tank. The steam wand can also be disassembled for cleaning. But, as we already mentioned, you can’t do the same with the inbuilt tamper.
Can you use any kind of coffee with this machine?
You can, but you shouldn’t go and buy whatever coffee you see first and use it to make espresso. The quality, freshness of the coffee, as well as its grind will determine how good the drink will be. Your personal preference is also very important. To make things simple, you could go for an espresso grind at the beginning, and see what you should tweak from there.
How much clearance for cups does this machine have?
About 3.5 inches. If you remove the bottom drip tray, it goes up to 4.5 inches.
Do you really need to buy a separate tamper for this machine?
You don’t need it necessarily, but a separate tamper provides you with more control over how much pressure you put on the coffee in the portafilter. With the inbuilt tamper, you can’t apply strong pressure. And a separate tamper is easier to clean.
DeLonghi BAR32 Retro Espresso and Cappuccino Maker has some minor issues. It isn’t the most convenient espresso maker in the world, but it makes good drinks, which is the most important thing. You just need to pick the right coffee and make sure that you are doing everything the proper way! For those who don’t need more and for those who are just starting their journey in the world of espresso, BAR32 would be quite a nice choice!