De’Longhi EC860 Espresso Maker – Full Review
If you’re looking for an automatic latte maker that heats and froths milk for you, you might be considering the De’Longhi Dedica EC860 espresso maker. With its built-in milk carafe that goes from the refrigerator to the unit, plus its traditional steam wand that allows you to froth your own milk if you feel so inclined, this espresso machine takes quite a bit of the guesswork out of making coffeehouse-style drinks at home.
The unit has a control panel that can be pre-programmed to make four different types of drinks automatically, making it a convenient espresso maker for those who are often short on time, and it offers the flexibility to make your own recipes if you like. I like the fact that this machine works with ground espresso or with espresso pods, and the coffee it makes is delicious.
The De’Longhi EC860 is an attractive espresso maker with a stainless steel exterior that is easy to keep clean. It has a self-rinsing feature for the steam wand, which negates the necessity to use a brush to scrub the inside and helps to save time.
Despite the convenience this machine offers, there are some things I really don’t like about it, and there are several known performance issues to keep in mind when weighing your options concerning an automatic latte maker. To begin with, it accommodates short cups only. Cups 3 to 3 ½ inches tall fit underneath just fine, but a cup four inches tall barely fits. Anything taller and you’re out of luck. Second, the milk container has to be set just so in order to deliver the finished product correctly. One must be very careful not to bump into it or there’s a mess and no automatic latte.
In reading other reviews, I discovered that several purchasers have had horrible experiences with this machine, and I’d be remiss not to mention those. You’ll find a list of common problems in the detailed section that follows, along with more specifics about the unit’s features.
I was impressed when I opened the box containing the De’Longhi EC860 espresso maker. The unit has a solid feel and an attractive look, just like other products the company manufactures. So far, so good. The stainless steel exterior has a modern appearance that looks attractive on the countertop.
There’s something to be said for a machine that can be set up to make a latte or cappuccino with raw ingredients, left to its own devices for a minute or so, and cleaned up quickly. The functions on this machine are definitely innovative and they are designed to be convenient. There are four different options for making drinks including an option for lattes and one for cappuccinos. Press a button and decide what you want after setting up the espresso, the milk, and your cup, and you are finished. About a minute later, you’re enjoying a beverage.
Sturdy Self-cleaning Steam Wand
In the event you don’t want the machine to steam or froth your milk for you, you can use the steam wand to take care of the milk by hand. It’s a nice wand that doesn’t feel flimsy. In addition, it has a self-cleaning cycle that greatly reduces the amount of time and effort you have to put into taking care of cleanup after making drinks. Again, this is a nice, convenient touch. You’ll still need to wipe the exterior of the steam wand with a wet cloth to get all the milk off.
Instruction Book Included
An instruction book is included with this espresso maker, but I’m wondering whether I would have understood it well had I not already had experience with espresso machines. The instructions in the book are not well-written, and they’re fairly cryptic. A total beginner might have difficulty understanding how this machine works, even with the instructions.
Unfortunately, the De’Longhi EC860 espresso maker has a lot of known issues, and it’s the least impressive of the many De’Longhi appliances I’ve tried. I expected better from this company, and it seems that many other reviewers did as well. While I had an average experience with it and did not have some of the terrible problems others did, it’s important that I outline the most common issues.
- Poor quality for the money. There are less costly machines that deliver better espresso as well as better lattes and cappuccinos. Several reviewers complained that the machine didn’t work at all, died within two weeks of being opened, or stopped performing well within a few months of use.
- Bad customer service. Quite a few reviewers complain that De’Longhi’s customer service representatives were unhelpful, and that the company doesn’t provide repairs in the event the machine breaks down while under warranty. The users had to find their own repair place and make arrangements for the warranty work to be done, plus they had to pay to ship the machine back and forth to the shop to be worked on.
- Milk frother fails. The automatic milk frother stopped working for several customers, and would only spit out hot water.
- Inconsistent coffee quality. Some reviewers said that the amount and quality of espresso delivered varied. Sometimes it would be great-tasting, the perfect amount, and at other times there would be only a little bit of espresso or what would come out would be thin and bitter tasting.
- Finicky filters. Some customers said that the filters didn’t seem to work with various grinds of espresso, even though most espresso makers are pretty forgiving in this area and allow the user to customize the grind to get the desired flavor as well as the desired amount of crema.
Despite these known issues, there are consumers who report that the De’Longhi EC860 espresso maker works as advertised and performs well over time. I personally had a decent experience with it but it wasn’t the best machine I’ve used.
“How big is this espresso maker?”
The De’Longhi EC860 has a nice, small footprint. It measures 10.6 by 12.2 inches and is 12 inches high. It weighs just over 15 pounds.
“Can I use pods with this espresso maker?”
Yes, you can use espresso pods.
“How long does the machine take to preheat?”
Preheating doesn’t take long. The entire process, from starting the cycle to having a finished beverage, takes just about a minute.
“Does this espresso maker have a water filter?”
Yes, there’s a water filter that fits in the water container. The machine also comes with descaler for eliminating mineral buildup.
“Is a tamper included?”
Yes, there is a separate tamper. The machine also comes with a scoop for measuring ground espresso beans.
“Does the drip tray come out for cleaning?”
The drip tray is detachable and is very easy to rinse clean.
What People are Saying
In my experience, the De’Longhi EC860 espresso maker is a convenient machine that delivers tasty beverages. It looks nice, doesn’t take up much room on the countertop, and is pretty easy to use once you figure out how all the controls work.
My advice? If you decide to go with this espresso maker, be sure that you pay close attention to the warranty information and ensure that you have the ability to return it in the event you end up with a lemon. While I personally didn’t encounter any of the cringe-worthy problems that some other reviewers did, and while there are people who have enjoyed everything about it, there are enough users who have had issues that a little bit of caution is advised.
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