Cheap Easy to use Inspires confidence Satisfactory results Steaming wand pivots
Negative Product Points
Steaming wand sits a little low Resevoir small and hard to service Switches beg to be turned on when you need to turn them off and vice versa.
Anyone who has oggled all the fancy and expensive pump espresso machines and heard all the arguments about why you need to spend over 300$ on one might wonder why you would buy something like this cheap little DeLonghi. Except, if you've never owned an espresso machine, you might want to try one out to see what it is all about and this will do that job very handily. I was using a Krups 963 boiler before this and the change is rather dramatic. Using a pump machine is completely different and already there are things that I would like to see if I got another pump machine.
I do not yet understand completely what kind of coffee to expect from a pump machine, but I am satisfied so far with the coffee I am getting, At the very least, using a pump machine is a huge improvement over a boiler. You don't have to fill it up every time. The water is ready and waiting. You don't have to refill for steam, it's a push of the button and a slight wait away. Pump machines are not just idle snobbery, they are a vast improvement in utility.
This machine is not a piece of junk. The construction and fit is of obvious quality. It's not fancy, but not slapped together either. The aluminum portafilter has a nice feel to it. Greeting it in the morning on my way to breakfast is satisfying, if not inspiring. The resevoir seems a little small and you have to lift a lid to get at it and move some hoses too. It seems to hold enough water to make about 4 mornings worth of Double Shot Lattes for one The steaming gizmo is not as cheap as it looks. It is plastic but screws off and on easily and looks like it will do that as long as you like. And it works fine.
This was a Buy it Now purchase at eBay from tradingplusintl. Shipping was about 16$ from Florida to California and was nothing fancy.
Three Month Followup
I made the big plunge and bought a Rancilio Rocky/Silvia/Base combination and was happy for a couple weeks until suddenly the Silvia quit pumping. For the weeks that followed, my little DeLonghi kept me in espresso every morning. Now that I have a replacement Silvia, my little DeLonghi is tucked away for some other emergency. It is ready to steam quicker than the Silvia and the coffee is comparable so far. I like my Silvia better, but is the Silvia worth the extra $350? The DeLonghi is so cheap and so small, there is no reason why everyone shouldn't own one along with there super-Italian stainless steel construction project espresso machine.
One Year Followup
I still have this unit and even if I were to move up to a larger and more expensive heat exchanger machine, it would still take up the little space it does as a backup.