DeLonghi - La Specialista Maestro Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine with Built-in Grinder - EC9665M

 
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Cal
Jun 13, 2022
I purchased this as a replacement for a nearly 20 year old Saeco Italia machine, and I couldn't be more pleased with my choice. The customer service from Espresso Planet is top notch, and my product arrived quickly and very well protected during shipping. As for the machine, Starbucks' loss, and my gain. Since buying the machine a little over a year go, we've run in excess of 600 beverages through it. My wife and I mostly consume lattes, and use both the automatic grinder and milk frother attachment. There are a wide variety of personalized settings you can apply, from brew strength, to volume, and temperature. You can also choose to manually steam and froth your milk if you like to perform latte art. I've only had the machine for a year, so time will tell how long it lasts, but I suspect that if properly maintained, we should have a long and happy relationship.

Advantages: Very quick to come up to temperature. Good sized bean hopper and water reservoir. Lots of beverage options to select from, and within each beverage, you can customize the settings to your own preference. As well, the preferences and customizations are retained after power disruptions. Cleaning is fairly simple, as is the descaling process. The machine tells you when you need to descale, and along with that I personally run a decalc cleaning on the machine each Sunday. You also have the option to perform more manual operations, such as using your own ground espresso, or hand steaming and frothing your milk. You can choose to be as hands on, or automatic, as you want and easily change back and forth between those choices.

Disadvantages: Several accessories mentioned in the owner manual either aren't produced or not available in Canada. Examples being a cleaning tool, and the ability to add a water filter to the tank. I have found Delonghi water filters that in theory should work with the machine, but they won't stay attached inside the tank and tend to pop loose when you refill the water chamber. The manual itself is also a bit confusing in the way that it's explanations are sometimes not as clear as they should be. But the machine itself is working like a charm. My only real beef with the machine, is with the dispensing wand on the milk steaming/frothing attachment. In it's fully elevated position, it pushes against the side of the porta filter and in turn, puts pressure on the plastic connection between the milk container and the spigot that comes out of the main espresso machine to which it connects. I do worry that eventually that may become a point of failure, but so far, no issues.
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