You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a good quality espresso in the comfort of your own home. There are enough decent machines out there that only cost a few hundred pounds. However, if you want to dip your toe in the water without spending that kind of money, the DeLonghi EC152 looks like a tempting option. But does it really make good enough espresso?
At just under £50, this is certainly one of the cheapest espresso makers on the market. It’s affordable enough that anyone can enjoy proper espresso at home. Despite its cheap price, the machine still boasts a 15 bar pump pressure.
Its pump is as powerful as much more expensive machines; a crucial element for a nice thick crema on top of your coffee.
The EC152 is basically a small professional espresso maker. It’s got a professional style filter holder and tamper for holding and compacting your coffee grounds. You’ll also find a proper frother arm too, for steaming and frothing up your milk.
There’s only one boiler inside, but it can be switched between espresso and steaming in order to save time.
The 1 litre water tank is removable for easy filling and cleaning, and the machine can make a full sized cappuccino or 2 espressos at a time.
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DeLonghi EC152 Features and Specifications
- 15 Bar Pump Pressure – powerful enough to produce a great crema on top of your coffee
- Professional filter holder and tamper
- Frothing arm – heat and froth your milk for lattes and cappuccinos
- Removable 1 litre water tank – easy to fill and clean
- Makes a full sized cappuccino or 2 espressos at a time
Customer Feedback and Reviews
We can’t deny that this is a very popular little espresso maker! We’ve collected together several hundred customer reviews and found that 87% of people were happy that they bought it. 82% gave it 4 or 5 stars, which is a very good score for a budget espresso machine like this.
The EC152 is a very compact little machine. This is something that a lot of people appreciated. Professional espresso machines are great, but they do tend to rob you of your kitchen worktop space! However this device is only slightly bigger than a kettle, so even those with small kitchens should have no trouble squeezing it in!
So what did people make of the coffee?
The vast majority loved it. The machine is capable of making 2 espresso shots at a time, and people found it does a good job and produces a nice thick crema on the top (the sign of a good quality coffee).
Customers also said that the frothing arm worked very well considering it’s a budget machine. You’ll probably need a bit of practice with this though, before you can get nice thick froth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, but there is an art to it!
There were some complaints about the strength of the coffee though. Whilst most people loved it, some felt that the filter for holding the coffee grounds was too small to give them the strong coffee that they love. This might not be the machine to go for if you like your coffee strong.
Whilst it does make a great coffee, there are some pitfalls that you need to be aware of.
The most common complaint was the amount of space between the drip tray and the nozzle. Due to the compact size of the machine, it’s really only big enough for an espresso cup, or a very small coffee cup.
When you’re making a latte or cappuccino, you’re supposed to make the coffee in a small espresso cup and then decant it into your larger cup with the milk. This is fine for the people who work at Starbucks or Costa, but we feel it’s a bit inconvenient to expect people at home to do this.
If you’re prepared to do this, and you love lattes or cappuccinos then this isn’t a problem. However, people who don’t like milky coffees may find this machine is a bit too impractical for them.
Unfortunately, the same problem is true of the frothing arm. It’s set rather low, so you might find it difficult to find a suitably small milk container to use with it. If you try to use a bigger one, you‘ll find that the arm won’t reach far enough down since it’s rather short too.
These are all practical considerations, but there’s an odd flaw in the machine which quite a lot of people reported. It seems that if you leave water in the tank for any amount of time, some leaks out into the container underneath the tank.
The strange thing is that the instruction manual acknowledges this, and says that’s it’s “normal”! The advice it gives is to simply wipe up any leakage with a sponge. This is odd, but since the manual mentions it we don’t think it’s anything to worry about too much.
A bit of a mixed bag then. The vast majority of people loved it, but we can’t ignore the impractical nature of the machine and its odd tendency to leak a little (it’s losing marks for that). Still if you want an espresso at home without spending a lot of money, the DeLonghi EC152 does make a great coffee and is available for under £50.