Great value. Reviewers say the DeLonghi EC155 offers a lot of value at a low price and produces a great-tasting espresso that rivals some coffee-shop brews. If you prefer a machine with higher-end features, experts say the Rancilio Silvia (*Est. $700) is a good bet.
Rich espresso, but crema gets mixed reviews. Editors of SingleServeEspresso.com say, "The value equation here is really incredible; great crema, I mean wonderful crema, a really good cup of espresso, and all this in a compact little good-looking machine for around $100." The DeLonghi can be used with either ground coffee or pods, so it's practical for both pod users and those who prefer to grind their own beans for the perfect consistency. This pump-driven model has 15 bars of pressure and a 35-ounce water tank for pulling eight to 10 consecutive shots.
In one professional roundup, the DeLonghi earns "excellent" scores for taste and a "very good" rating for its frothing ability. Good Housekeeping editors say it's "tops in our taste test, even though the crema on top was not as thick, or the temperature as hot as we would have liked." A few users complain at Amazon.com that this machine brews too quickly to produce the proper flavor and crema; editors at Good Housekeeping suggest using skim milk versus whole milk to achieve more foam.
Design flaws aren't deal-breakers. Although the EC155 has a few imperfections, users say they're minor, especially in this price range. The machine can't accommodate larger mugs for cappuccinos and lattes and the frothing wand is poorly positioned, owners say, making it difficult to fit a steaming pitcher underneath. However, most users find ways around these problems, saying you can't find a better machine at this price.
Both professional and owner reviews say the DeLonghi EC155 is easy to disassemble for cleaning thanks to a removable water tank. It's also simple to operate, with an intuitive dial for turning the machine on or off, and selecting between brew and steam functions.
Not as solid as other machines. The EC155 is well constructed, although its outer housing is made primarily of plastic instead of the stainless steel used in more expensive machines. The heating unit is made of stainless steel, however, and boasts 1,000 watts of power.
A handful of owners post comments about units that start to run slowly after about eight months of use, but most say at Amazon.com and Viewpoints.com that the DeLonghi performs well for the price and will last for years with proper care.
Stylish, modern look. The DeLonghi EC155's modern design looks stylish on a kitchen countertop. Editors of SingleServeEspresso.com say its metal accents make it look far more expensive than it is. This petite countertop machine won't take up too much space.
Review Credibility: Excellent More than 1,300 owners say the DeLonghi EC155 packs value for its price. Although it earns good marks for its powerful frothing wand, several users say the wand is poorly positioned, making it difficult to fit a cup underneath. Overall, the EC155 gets 3.9 stars out of 5.
Review: De'Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Excellent The DeLonghi EC155 is one of five espresso machines rated in the latest coffee-maker roundup at ConsumerReports.org. Editors rate each model on taste, convenience and frothing ability.
Review: Espresso Maker Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
3. Good Housekeeping
Review Credibility: Excellent The DeLonghi EC155 produces the best-tasting espresso in Good Housekeeping's test of inexpensive machines. Editors say the water isn't as hot as they would like, but praise the detachable water tank for being easy to fill and clean.
Review: Best Electric Pump Espresso Machines, Editors of Good Housekeeping, Sept. 15, 2009
Review Credibility: Good Nearly 65 owners weigh in with comments on the DeLonghi EC155, giving it an overall average rating of 87 out of 100. They say it's simple to use, makes great espresso and is a good value.
Review: DeLonghi Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC155 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Fair Editors say the DeLonghi EC155 has a "strong set of basic features," making it a great value. However, they point out that the machine can accommodate only a small demitasse cup, and positioning it under the portafilter can be tricky due to the machine's overhang. This review has not been updated.
Review: Review: DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Machine, Editors of SingleServeEspresso.com, Oct. 16, 2006