Before purchasing this product, I researched it at the DeLonghi website and I specifically looked at the model I was purchasing (EC140B). The website clearly said that its portafilter accepted E.S.E. pods. This was a mistake on the part of their web developer. It does NOT accept pods at all (it can be modified to accept them, read below). Dealing with DeLonghi was a nightmare. They refused to admit that their site ever had anything on it about the EC140B. Finally, I was able to pull up the actual page, that they thought they had deleted and much to the customer service reps surprise, he saw the exact thing that I had read.
If you click the link below, you'll be able to read, directly from their own website, the words "Pump Espresso/Cappuccino Maker - With Exclusive Pod System" right at the top of the page.
Click Here (www.delonghi.com)
They have never offered to send me the portafilter attachment for my machine even though I offered to pay for one. DeLonghi has since removed any links about the EC140B off of their site. (Smart Move DeLonghi) Although, as you can see, click the link above and the page in question is still accessable.
That being said, I still like this machine, but I had to modify it almost immediately after I purchased it. The steamer knob froze up and didnít want to turn off once it had reached high temp. This was a real safety hazard. My wife was able to turn the knob on, but as soon as the steam heated the parts of the knob, it became almost impossible to shut off. I came into the kitchen and it took a lot of strength for me to shut it off, and even then, it wasnít completely shut off until it was cooled down.
Solution: I drilled through the cheap plastic steamer knob and inserted a small screwdriver that I removed the head from. This screwdriver handle now gives me enough leverage on the steam knob to turn it on and off easily and quickly.
I was more than upset about this machine not accepting e.s.e. pods. While the machine was being shipped to me, I jumped the gun and ordered $70 worth of pods from http://podmerchant.com . I had egg on my face when I wasnít able to use them on this machine. I searched and searched the net for anything that would work. DeLonghi claimed to have a $40 attachment but couldnít tell me if it would fit in the EC140B. They said Iíd just have to risk it if I wanted to use pods.
Solution: I have a two year old that eats a lot of baby food. The lid from a baby food jar fits perfectly upside down inside my portafilter. I simply drilled a ľ hole in the center of the lid, removed any burrs, placed a pod inside the portafilter, placed the lid upside down on top of the pod, placed the portafilter in the machine, and turned it on and viola! A perfect cup of espressoÖ well, not perfect, but at least I can use pods now and I donít feel like an idiot for having spent $70 on pods before getting the machine. You can only use that baby food jar lid about 6 times before you should toss it and use another, theyíre made from steel, and they could rust if used too many times. I have so many lids saved up that I could make them a one time use item, but they do last at least 6 times.
Overall, I still like this product. Iím a beginner. I love coffee in any form. I can make a decent shot of espresso, a cappuccino, a latte and it even makes a nice hot chocolate.
Unlike other reviews about the frother tip, I have never had any issues with mine. I find that it works better with the tip attached than removed. I will admit however, that I didnít make micro foam until I read the how to article on Coffee Geek.
The tamper is another issue. Itís small, plastic and attached to the machine. This makes it really difficult to put any real pressure when tamping. I removed the tamper, went to the hardware store, and bought some all thread that matched the inside diameter of the tamper, drilled a small hole in a one inch diameter by 4 inch long wooden dowel and threaded the all thread into the tamper, then into the dowel. Now itís a real tamper!
The EC140B is an ok machine; you just have to ďMacGyverĒ it up.