The De’Longhi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker Review
Finding the right espresso machine can be a challenge. Between all the fancy features, levels of adjustability, brewing capacities, and styles, there are almost too many options available.
If you are just starting in the world of espresso, the De’Longhi EC702 Semi-Automatic Espresso and Cappuccino Maker gives you plenty of room to grow as you learn the technique of brewing espresso at home.
Read our full review to get all the details and determine if this machine is right for you.
SUMMARY: The De’Longhi EC702 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
Enjoy delicious espresso for years to come with the durable, high-quality stainless steel boiler.– De’Longhi
The De’Longhi EC702 Espresso Machine Review
A good option for the budding espresso aficionado, the De’Longhi EC702 has several key qualities that make it worth the purchase.
Brewing Capability – 3/5
The De’Longhi EC702 is an easy-to-use espresso machine with good technical support for all the functions vital to tasty espresso. The machine has a self-priming operation, allowing the boiler to heat up and prepare for brewing on its own, so you don’t have to fuss with annoying start-up controls.
Though limited, the EC702 still offers some level of adjustability so brewers new to the game have room to learn and grow.
This espresso machine was designed to allow you the freedom to control things like pressure and water temperature, without the stress of having to mess around with the basic functions of the machine. The De’Longhi has a patented dual-thermostat system so you can monitor and set the temperatures for the steam wand and the water tank separately.
Similarly, you have control over the amount of coffee you want to brew at once with both single and double pressurized filter baskets. Thanks to the machine’s consistent thermoblock heating mechanism and optimization for brewing more than once with every use, you can count on good espresso cup after cup.
The quality of the coffee produced by this machine is about what you would expect for a machine of this class–we have seen better but we can’t argue with the price tag. Naturally, you can experiment with grind size, tamping, and dosage to get a more personalized cup of coffee. (1)
[However], make sure to change just one thing at a time. By keeping everything else consistent, you can be confident that this variable really is the cause of any differences…
Just think back to the scientific method from grade school–you can’t identify the real change-maker if every relevant factor is in flux.
Make-Life-Easy Features – 4/5
Though this machine does allow you to program a few of its features, including the pressure, you can rest easy with the default settings. The machine has been optimized to brew well without any expertise on your part, so there is no question about it–anyone can brew espresso with the De’Longhi EC702.
The De’Longhi EC702 is ESE pod compatible, so you can easily pop in an espresso pod if you don’t have time to grind your beans in the morning. That being said, we want to remind you that the best tasting java is always brewed with freshly ground coffee, so the extra two minutes you spend grinding will certainly be worth it.
This espresso machine by De’Longhi also lets you know when the water level in the tank is low so that you can refill it, rather than realizing you are out of water when you try to brew espresso and just a few drops come out.
Finally, we want to mention the machine’s “Rapid Cappuccino System” which allows you to brew your espresso, steam and froth milk, and then go immediately back to brewing to prepare yet another cappuccino or other frothy beverage of choice.
Many espresso machines, particularly around this price point, struggle to maintain the appropriate temperatures for this kind of rapid back-and-forth, so color us impressed with the De’Longhi EC702 for this achievement.
Milk Frothing – 2.5/5
The patented Panarello milk frother attached to the De’Longhi EC702 is a standard, efficient tool for steaming and frothing milk. While it does a decent job steaming the milk, the bubbles produced when frothing are too big for our taste–not the perfect milk velvet you want.
The patented dual thermostat system we discussed earlier maintains the correct steam temperature so your milk comes out right every time you use the steam wand.
The milk frother is great if you are upgrading from a DIY frothing method, but disappointing if you are expecting cafe-quality froth.
Remember to purge your steam wand before and after every use to clear it of any milk that may be trapped inside. Giving the steam wand this regular TLC will help it perform consistently over time.
Cleaning and Maintenance – 4/5
The De’Longhi EC702 is easy to keep clean provided you don’t neglect the daily maintenance that every espresso machine requires. By that we mean that you should be sure to knock out the coffee puck, clean out the filter basket, purge the steam wand, wipe off the drip tray, and brew a shot without coffee to keep the brew group clean. The automatic priming operation also helps to keep the machine in good shape between big cleans.
These super quick and easy maintenance measures will help your machine last longer and leave you less heavy-lifting when it is time to descale your machine. De’Longhi recommends descaling for a full cleaning every 200 coffees. Even if you only drink one coffee a day, it is a good idea to descale and clean your machine once every two months or so.
De’Longhi provides a descaling solution that you can run through your machine, or you can use a mixture of vinegar and hot water. See our complete how-to on cleaning your espresso machine for specifics.
It is worth mentioning that this particular machine has several removable, dishwasher-safe parts like the 35 oz. water tank and drip tray to make regular maintenance hassle-free. If you are someone who wants espresso at home without sacrificing mucho of your time to maintain the machine, the De’Longhi EC702 is perfect for you.
Build Quality – 4/5
Though the machine has an attractive, chrome-y finish, it is almost entirely made of plastic. Given how affordable the De’Longhi is, we understand that the materials used are limited.
However, it does include a stainless steel boiler that has the reputation for holding up quite well over time. Furthermore, the machine as a whole is known to really go the distance–to put it simply, this espresso maker pays for itself.
Do Not Buy The De’Longhi EC702 If…
You are looking for serious manual control – While the De’Longhi EC702 15 Bar Pressure Pump Espresso Machine offers some level of adjustability (pressure, shot type, water temperature), this is not the machine for you if you are looking to have your hand in every part of the brewing process. There are plenty of more programmable machines, so choosing one depends a lot on your style preferences and your budget. We recommend you check out the Breville Infuser, an excellent tool that will help you to step up your espresso game. With this espresso machine, you can program your brew to your exact specifications and get hot, cafe-quality espresso right in your kitchen.
You want an espresso machine that can do it all – Espresso machine, grinder, milk frother, cappuccino maker, all in one? While the De’Longhi EC702 certainly doesn’t satisfy all these categories, the Breville BES870XL certainly does. This machine has a ceramic burr grinder and an automatic milk frother to take care of your coffee from bean to cup. This machine allows users to customize the coffee strength and other brew factors.
You need an even more budget-friendly option – While the De’Longhi EC702 is a great low-cost option and certainly delivers on quality above its price point, we understand that the price may still seem a bit high for someone just getting started with espresso. For a truly bottom-dollar option, check out the De’Longhi EC155. While this machine does not allow you to program any custom flashy features, it still gets the job done and serves as a perfect starter machine for espresso novices.
None of these alternatives sound right? We review a whole slew of other top-notch espresso machines for every barista and budget here.
The De’Longhi EC702 is a great beginner-intermediate espresso maker that is both durable and consistent enough to be a bargain at its set price. While it does not offer the high-quality material build or flashy features of other machines, it’s patented design and technology still get the job done.
Let us know what you think about the De’Longhi EC702 in the comments below!
The De’Longhi EC702 comes with a one-year limited warranty. Should you have any trouble with the machine after that period, you can order replacement parts through the company website. (2)
We recommend that you use a dark roast to brew espresso, in order to extract that quintessential bittersweet espresso flavor. While dark roast is certainly not the only acceptable roast for espresso, it is a classic favorite. (3)
“Dark roasted coffees can definitely make great espresso and might bring out flavors of chocolate, burnt sugar, and tobacco” – Bean Box
Though this is a general industry recommendation, your favorite espresso will ultimately come down to your personal tastes, so experiment and let us know what you love!
Freshly ground coffee will always brew a more flavorful cup than pre-ground or pod coffee because the flavor notes in the coffee beans have not had time to escape or be damaged by air, humidity, and sunlight.
Once your coffee is roasted, it begins to release CO2 and undergo changes due to interaction with air, humidity, and sunlight. Once its ground, the speed of that interaction increases and you will find that your coffee goes stale after just a few days. If you are a lifetime drinker of pre-ground coffee, you might not notice because stale coffee is all you’ve ever known.
If you don’t believe us, read our full article on why grinding fresh is a best practice for brewing great coffee.
Still skeptical? Do your own tasting experiment at home! Take your beans to be ground at the grocery store or a locally roastery, or purchase a grinder of your own, and compare the brews you may with fresh coffee grounds to those you make with pre-ground coffee and pods. Review and rate each cup of coffee you taste, we guarantee you will see a difference.
- Petrich, I. (2017, December 18). Weighing, Grinding, Tamping: How to Pull a Great Espresso Shot. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/12/weighing-grinding-tamping-pull-great-espresso-shot/
- Manual Espresso Machine – EC702. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.delonghi.com/en-us/products/coffee-and-espresso/coffee-makers/manual-espresso/ec-702-0132154017
- Bean Box. (2019, March 11). The World’s Best Artisan Coffee: Bean Box. Retrieved from https://beanbox.com/blog/whats-the-best-coffee-for-espresso/