The De’Longhi EC155 Espresso And Cappuccino Maker Review
If you’re new to espresso, your head is probably swimming.
From the host of features that each model comes with to the wild swing in pricing – these things can cost anywhere from dozens to thousands of dollars! – it’s hard to figure out where to start.
That’s why we’ve pulled together this review of the De’Longhi EC155 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. This affordable unit is the perfect launching point into a world of espresso, and here’s why…
SUMMARY: The De’Longhi EC155 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
“This is a compact machine…well-suited to someone who doesn’t want to put a fortune into their espresso making gear.”– Seattle Coffee Gear
Anyone who desires the convenience of having a very easy-to-use espresso and cappuccino machine at home must check this one out.
The De’Longhi EC155 is perfect for the beginner espresso aficionado with limited experience, or for anyone who has limited counter space – this thing is nice and compact!
However, if you want more options, rather than being limited to your stock standard espresso shot or cappuccino, or if you have a larger household of coffee drinkers, this may be not for you. To decide whether or not a De’Longhi EC155m should be part of your brew toolbox, let’s first go over what to consider when looking for an espresso/cappuccino maker.
Things to Consider Before Getting an Espresso Maker
The world of espresso makers is vast, and the type of features that each model sports should be a critical part of your calculations. Here are some major things worth keeping in mind as you choose the perfect brewer for your home setup.
Quantity: How Much Will You Brew?
The first question you should ask is how much coffee you’re going to need at a time.
Are you a lone drinker, or will you have a gaggle of guzzlers swarming this thing every morning?
Some machines take a while to heat up while others, like the Gaggia Baby Class, are known for heating up quickly. Some models come with a double boiler that allows steaming milk to be done simultaneously with a shot being pulled, keeping everything piping hot at the same time.
The quantity that a machine can handle is a serious consideration because things like the time needed to heat the water can make the difference between everyone with piping hot cups… or a line of grumpy sleep heads stretching from the coffee maker out the door.
Quality: The Deal of a Lifetime or a Machine for a Lifetime?
We’ve all heard the old adage, “you get what you pay for.” That doesn’t automatically mean you shouldn’t buy cheap things. However, it does mean that there’s typically a direct correlation between getting something “on the cheap” and it not lasting very long.
Make sure to take into consideration how much moolah you’re willing to spend on your machine, keeping in mind factors like the longevity of the equipment and the number of repairs or replacement machines you’ll need to get over the years.
In general: Delonghi espresso machines are built well, and will go the distance.
Another thing to keep in mind is the brand. Something like a De’Longhi or a Breville is going to be well made, even if you’re opting for a used one.
Pro Tip: If you choose to opt for quality, that doesn’t mean your machine isn’t going to require maintenance at some point. Even a Lamborghini needs new tires eventually. Just make sure to keep your manual with the De’Longhi EC155 cleaning instructions and De’Longhi parts at hand so that you aren’t ever left high and dry!
Automatic vs Manual: The Battle of Skill vs Convenience
Finally, how much control over the process do you want?
If pulling shots is old hat for you or you enjoy the brewing experience as much as the coffee itself, then you may want to consider a manual machine that gives you more control.
If, on the other hand, you like convenience, an automatic machine like this De’Longhi model can be just the answer.
While the EC155 is a great starter home espresso maker, it’s just one of several models that made it onto our ‘best budget picks’ for best espresso machines. Here’s that full list.
The DeLonghi EC155 Review
At long last, after endless trips to the local coffee shop, you can finally get rich, smooth espressos and cappuccinos in your kitchen every day with the De’Longhi EC155 espresso and cappuccino maker!
There’s no doubt about it, this machine is a crowd pleaser.
Brewing Capability – 3.5/5
As you well know, great espresso starts out as precisely heated water. The De’Longhi EC155 is equipped with a stainless steel boiler, which is monitored by an integrated thermostat separate from the thermostat that measures the temperature of milk when frothing. (1)
Perfect for lovers of espresso, americanos, and cappuccinos, the De’Longhi EC155 also creates two kinds of coffee beverages, brewing a straight espresso or a cappuccino, depending on what you’re in the mood for. This machine was designed for newcomers to the extraction game, so don’t expect much room for manual tweaks, this is a point-and-shoot model.
Espresso is extracted using the 15-bar pressure pump to get quality, balanced espresso every time you brew. Remember that this is a beginner’s espresso machine, and is limited in the quality of espresso it can produce. That being said, the coffee from the De’Longhi is acceptable and certainly cheaper and more fun to make than just going to your local cafe.
‘Make-Life-Easy’ Features – 3/5
Designed to be a convenient, no-fuss espresso and cappuccino machine, the De’Longhi EC155 is a “make-life-easy” type of brewer (unlike the Breville Infuser which has a steeper learning curve). Aside from the easy operation of the brew cycle, the self-priming system creates a smooth start-up without needing to prime manually, meaning the process is automatic, convenient, and hands-off. Just turn it on, start your brew, and stop it once you have the desired amount of espresso.
The De’Longhi is compatible with E.S.E. coffee pods as well as with normal ground coffee, so you can choose the coffee type that best suits your convenience. Of course, our personal preference is to use freshly ground coffee beans. Nothing can beat the quality of a cuppa brewed with fresh ground coffee. Fresh grounds means better coffee for you and for the planet, since they produce far less waste than pods.
Finally, we would be remiss not to mention the simple interface of the De’Longhi – everything is controlled via one small dial. You can forget worrying over a bunch of different controls, the EC155 has made it incredibly easy to turn on your machine, brew, froth, and repeat. In truth, this De’Longhi doesn’t have many extra features to speak of, given that it was designed with simplicity as a priority.
Milk Frothing – 4/5
No cappuccino machine would be complete without state-of-the-art milk frothing to create the microfoam of your dreams. The De’Longhi EC155 comes with a built-in swivel jet frother. The frother is connected to the cappuccino maker just next to the portafilter and designed with a natural angle for milk steaming and frothing.
When it comes to technique, you ought to start with simply measuring out the right amount of milk, instead of pouring it in willy-nilly. (2)
“[Measuring the milk] helps with [avoiding] waste, … expanding the right amount and improving latte art.”
As we mentioned before, milk temperature is measured by its own separate thermostat. Steaming and frothing are each controlled via the same dial by which brewing is turned on and off.
Cleaning – 4/5
Just as with the brewing process, cleaning the De’Longhi EC155 is no great feat. The brewer is equipped with a cleaning light to let you know when your machine is in need of descaling.
While descaling is still a manual process (the machine tells you when it is necessary, but doesn’t actually do it automatically), it is simplified by being able to remove the drip tray and water reservoir, both of which are dishwasher safe.
The dual function filter holder also makes cleaning out the portafilter easy. Keeping your portafilter and tamper clean is important to the longevity of the machine and the quality of your brew. Doing so makes sure no stale coffee gets mixed in with the fresh stuff and keeps your coffee from sticking to your brewing tools (3).
Three factors make grinds stick to surfaces: static electricity, moisture, and oils…Even a clean-looking tamper can harbor a thin film of coffee oils.
Finally, don’t forget to purge your steam wand before and after use, your machine will thank you!
Build Quality – 3/5
The DeLonghi EC155 is a budget espresso machine and is therefore built on a budget. While higher-end cappuccino makers, like the Gaggia Classic Pro, have stainless steel bodies, the body of the EC155 is made of plastic, with the exception of some metal parts like the drip tray and steam wand.
There is a plastic tamper attached to the brewer just next to the brew group, which we really don’t like. Aside from plastic being far from the ideal material for a tamper, it is very awkwardly placed which makes tamping a chore. Though these plastic parts are not our favorite, the EC155 does have a stainless steel boiler.
Do Not Buy the De’Longhi EC155 If…
The De’Longhi is a bargain for making simple espresso and cappuccino drinks at home. But it’s not for you if:
You want one-touch convenience – The De’Longhi has an on/off switch that requires you to stop brewing when the espresso nears the top of the cup. You have to watch the brewing cycle or you can end up with a mess. For one-touch brewing, try the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. This machine automates all the manual features of the De’Longhi, making espresso easier than you thought possible. Read our review round-up of all the best cappuccino machines to see how the Cafe Barista stacks up against other competitors.
You want espresso in a hurry – While the green “OK” light comes on in a few minutes, customers report poor results unless you wait about 15 minutes before brewing your espresso. If you want a machine that can heat and brew in no time, take a look at the Breville Barista Express, a sophisticated espresso and cappuccino maker that can get ready for brewing in under 1 minute. Read our full review of the Barista Express to learn more.
You are ready to take your espresso up a notch – The De’Longhi EC155 is a great espresso machine to learn on and will produce decent espresso at a very low cost. However, when you are looking to level up from novice to intermediate or even expert brewer status, you will need a different brewing companion. When you are ready to ditch the training wheels, we recommend trying either the Capresso 125.05 Cafe Pro Espresso Maker or the De’Longhi EC702, which reviewed here. Both of these machines are great intermediaries between the simplicity of the De’Longhi EC155 and the super-adjustable espresso machines that baristas rave about.
THE VERDICT – What Do WE Think of the De’Longhi EC155?
The De’Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker works well for anyone who wants the ease of making espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes at home but isn’t looking to make a big investment.
Listed at a great price, with standard features and a few extras, this espresso and cappuccino machine is a fantastic espresso tricycle, it will get you where you need to go as you get the feel of brewing. We hope you enjoyed our De’Longhi EC155 review. Have you tried this espresso and cappuccino maker? Let us know what you thought in the comments.
- Manual Espresso Machine – EC155. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.delonghi.com/en-us/products/coffee-and-espresso/coffee-makers/manual-espresso/ec-155-0132104089
- Espresso Advice from Scott Rao. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://decentespresso.com/scott_rao_espresso_advice
- Why do Coffee Grounds Stick to Tampers, Distribution Tools, and PuqPresses? (2018, December 14). Retrieved from https://baristahustle.com/blog/why-do-coffee-grounds-stick-to-tampers-distribution-tools-and-puqpresses/