Do you take the taste of your coffee very seriously? But, you can’t get it from a coffee shop every day, right? That gets expensive. So, why not buy an Espresso machine that saves you money while providing you with great-tasting coffee whether it’s a latte, espresso, or cappuccino?
The De’longhi La Specialista espresso machine is a great choice for beginners. In fact, you will find out why it is the best very soon because its features will speak for themselves. There may be certain things that you don’t absolutely love but they may have no impact on your coffee.
Let’s check out the De’Longhi La Specialista review to see if this espresso machine will meet all your needs or not.
De’Longhi La Specialista Review: The Features
- Get precise, consistent grinding and the optimal dose of espresso every time with exclusive sensor grinding technology
- Enjoy a mess-free experience with the smart tamping station
- Achieve optimal coffee extraction and milk texturing with active temperature control and a dual heating system
- Get the perfect foam with an advanced latte system to express your creativity
- Save time with a 1-second quick start to brew authentic espresso in no time
What can this espresso machine provide you with? Its build, features, and nature will speak now.
The Sensor Grinding Technology
The coffee that is made from freshly ground beans tastes the best. This is why most people prefer a coffee machine that comes with its own grinder. Guess what? This De’longhi la Specialista comes with its own grinder as well. And, it’s not any grinder.
Apparently, this grinder comes with a sensor that ensures that the coffee beans are ground consistently. So, you will enjoy a consistent flavor that is close to the best. Apart from that, the bean sensor also notifies you when the grinder is empty and you need to put in more beans.
The problem with this grinder is that it is mainly suitable for beginners or people who are not too choosy about their coffee. Apparently, it does its job well, but it does not offer a lot of control over the grind. In other words, it can be quite difficult to adjust.
The Smart Tamping Station
After grinding the coffee beans perfectly, it all comes down to how you extract the coffee. Apparently, this espresso machine has quite a large station from which you collect your beverage. Furthermore, you just have to press the lever with the pressure you think you need.
The process is quite mess-free because you do not have to remove the porta-filter for this task.
An Advanced Latte System- Many Styles of Froth
You can keep your coffee flat or you can keep it foamy. The choice completely depends on you and the machine will just follow what you command. Apparently, this one comes with the options of micro-foam frothing for a latte and rich froth for a cappuccino.
While it does not offer you a lot of control over it all, it does offer you variety. You can have coffee in any form you want. And, you can have it quite easily.
1-Second Quick Start
With coffee machines, you often have to wait a while before they warm up and start working. But, with this espresso machine, you don’t have to wait at all. In fact, all you have to do is turn it on, let the grinder do its job and off you go brewing your cup!
The credit mainly goes to the second heating system that this espresso machine has. It also helps to keep ready beverages hot. So, this machine will not test your patience.
A hot water spout
If you want to have your coffee a bit differently or if you want to use the espresso machine for something else, you have the option to get hot water from it. In fact, it has a separate hot water spout. It’s separate because the brand did not want the hot water to have any lingering flavor of coffee because of the nature of the machine.
Package and Quality
This espresso machine comes with everything you may need. In fact, it includes itself and six borosilicate glasses with it. Each of the glasses is long-lasting. The whole machine has a robust build but it is quite tall. So, it may not fit really well in smaller apartments.
Apart from that, It is quite an easy machine to install. You will be happy with the 2-year warranty that comes with this espresso machine as well.
De’Longhi Specialista Review: Pros And Cons
- It is easy to assemble
- The package includes good-quality glasses
- It comes with a hot water spout for convenience
- It offers quite a variety of beverages for beginners
- The different frother settings and styles are helpful
- It is quite fast as it does not take much time to heat up
- The grinder has sensors that make its job easier and better
- The espresso machine is quite an easy-to-use machine for beginners
- You can collect the drinks quite easily from this machine just by applying the right pressure on the lever
- The frother and grinder settings do not offer a lot of control to the user
- It is a great choice for beginners but not an equally great choice for more advanced coffee makers
Technical Features Of La Specialista
Effortless Control Panel
La Specialista from De’Longhi comes with an effortless control panel. Anyone can operate this machine without feeling any trouble. It’s certain buttons and dials in order to make your preferred coffee with perfection. By rotating the left-sided dial, you can adjust the dose amount according to your taste.
You can turn the dial right or left if you ever feel that your coffee is under or over-extracted. The ‘x2’ button is used for selecting 2 espressos. Very next to the ‘x2’ button is the Rinse button. By pressing this button you can preheat and rinse the machine when you need to do one. The ‘OK’ button is what you need to press to start the flow of coffee into your cup.
After completing the grinding, tamping, and selecting the type of coffee, press this OK button. The next two buttons are respectively the ‘Hot Water’ button and the ‘MY’ button. Now, what is this ‘MY’ button? If you need to customize the length of your coffee, you can press this button and customize your coffee. Make sure to read the instructions manual in order to know a little bit more about the functionality of this particular button.
On the very right-hand side, you will see another dial. This one is used for selecting the type of beverage you want. You can select Coffee, Americano, and Espresso by turning the dial to the right or left. You can also turn the dial to the descaling icon when you need to run a descaling cycle. Moreover, you may see some icons ignited at the top of the selector dial.
When you see that the descaling light is on, it’s time to descale the machine. Similarly, if you see the bean container icon is on, you should check the bean hopper and refill it. There are some other icons available as well, such as the water filling icon, general alarm icon, machine heating icon, etc. Make sure to get a brief idea about all of these icons and what they mean from the instruction manual.
Two Separate Thermoblock
This machine is featured two separate thermoblock. One of them is responsible for extracting coffee at the right temperature and the other one is for texturing milk. As both thermoblocks are independent, you don’t have to wait between coffee and milk texturing.
Mess-less Tamping Technology
La Specialista comes with a nice smart tamping station. Now you don’t need to manually tamp the ground in order to make a flatbed of coffee for better extraction. The smart tamping station of this De’Longhi espresso machine ensures the right pressure amount for tamping coffee which a man might not be able to do for the first time.
All you need to do is place your portafilter under the built-in grinder and after finishing grinding coffee, simply turn the tamping lever all the way down. That’s it. Make sure that you are not using way too much coffee or too little coffee in order to avoid tasting any over or under-extracted coffee.
Great Milk Texturing
The milk system of La Specialista is pretty great in terms of functionality and output. You can make a standard cup of Latte or Cappuccino with this milk frother. FYI, the La Specialista comes with a milk pitcher.
So, when you are intending to make a Latte or Cappuccino, fill the pitcher halfway with cold milk. Now, grab the steam wand and immerse it into the milk pitcher. You may have noticed that the steam wand/milk frother has a flat and foam selector. Depending on the type of beverage you want to make, lift or drop the selector to the Flat or Foam position.
In order to make Latte, select the Flat option. It will give you some perfectly steamed milk that would be great for Latte. On the flip side, for Cappuccino, select the Foam option and you will get richly frothed milk that would be perfect for a delicious Cappuccino.
This whole machine is made with brushed stainless steel which gives it a premium look. Every single part of this machine has a stainless steel color except the shiny-black control panel. There’s an additional tray available for placing your espresso shot cups close to the group head. The water tank(2-liter capacity) of this machine, located on the backside of the machine, might be an issue for those who wanted to keep their espresso machine under the cabinet. Other than that, De’Longhi has successfully designed this machine pretty ergonomically.
Benefits Of Using La Specialista
La Specialista is De’Longhi’s one of the best and most popular espresso machines. Now we are going to see what those cool features deliver to a user. Yes, in this segment, we will see the benefits/advantages of using De’Longhi La Specialista. Let’s get started.
- De’Longhi La Specialista has the ability to make multiple coffee drinks with a single press of a button. By turning a certain selector dial, you can make Americano, Coffee, or Espresso within a matter of minutes
- The water tank of this machine holds about 2 liters of water which is pretty great. You don’t have to refill the tank frequently
- Two separate thermoblock heating systems deliver superior output for both coffee and milk systems. No waiting is needed between the coffee extraction and milk texturing
- You can make tea with this machine, which is a definite plus. By using the separate hot water spout you can get on-demand hot water in no time
- The sensor grinding technology and stainless steel conical burr grinder has made the grinding system top-class in terms of output
- Its smart tamping station is great for tamping coffee grounds using precise amounts of pressure. You don’t have to manually tamp the grounds hence, there’s no chance to deliver more or less tamping pressure than what is needed
- With the advanced milk system of this machine, you can either steam milk or make rich froth for your favorite Latte, or Cappuccino. The milk frother has a selector for Flat and Foam. Make sure to select the right position before turning the dial to the steam position
- The control panel of this machine is pretty effortless for operating and maintaining the machine. If the machine needs any necessary maintenance it will ignite a relevant icon on the display so that the user can take action immediately
- There’s an additional stainless steel foldable tray under the group head. You can open it when you want to place your espresso shot cup a bit closer to the group head. Likewise, you can fold the tray in order to place a long glass under the coffee spout
- The complete housing of this machine is made of brushed stainless steel which ensures long-lasting durability
- A milk pitcher, cleaning brush, descaler is included with the packaging which saves some extra bucks
Who Should Buy It…
Those who have no such barista-level skill can give a try to this nice-looking espresso machine. This particular machine would be ideal for home use. As we have mentioned earlier, operating this machine is pretty effortless hence it shouldn’t be a troublesome task.
The smart tamping station is a great addition to this machine as some folks are not very good at anticipating the ideal tamping pressure for perfect coffee extraction. The large water tank of this machine is located at the back of the machine therefore removing it might be an issue if you place it under the cabinet. To avoid this hassle, we would recommend you place it in an open space. If you are a person who used to have coffee, espresso, americano, cappuccino, or latte without much effort then this particular machine would be a great match.
With a simple press of a button, you can make your preferred type of drink in under a minute. So, if you are a busy person who wants to get his coffee quickly and more importantly perfectly extracted then the De’Longhi La Specialista is for you.
Now, who shouldn’t buy this espresso machine? If you are just starting off in the brewing world we wouldn’t recommend you purchase such an advanced espresso machine. It would be better to strengthen your barista skills by using an entry-level machine.
However, if you want to get a similar featured machine at a comparatively lower price, then take a look at Breville Barista Express. Although you won’t get the smart tamping and sensor grinding technology features in that machine.
How To Clean The De’Longhi La Specialista
Needless to say, cleaning a La Specialista espresso machine is pretty effortless. If you care about your machine as much as the machine cares about the quality of coffee, you will enjoy its long-lasting durability. Make sure to run a blank brewing cycle using water at the end of the day. It will ensure that no residue is stuck inside the system of the machine.
Residues are not only bad for delivering unpleasant-tasting coffee but also will damage the machine slowly. Make sure to wipe the external part of the machine using a dry cloth. Also, don’t forget to clean the drip tray. A messy environment will definitely affect the taste of your final cup of joe.
Furthermore, make sure to wipe the steam wand and run a blank steam cycle after every single milk-texturing. It will force any milk residue to come out from inside the milk wand. These residues can add a stinky flavor to your favorite Latte or Cappuccino.
At least once a week, remove the milk frother/steam wand and detach every single part in order to rinse it well. It would be great to rinse the portafilter and filter basket at that time. If you find that the baskets are clogged because of coffee’s essential oil, grab a needle and pierce them to get a better result next time.
As we have mentioned earlier, a descaler is included with the packaging of De’Longhi La Specialista. When the machine needs to be descaled, pour the descaler into the water tank of your machine. Now, fill the water tank about halfway with some cool water.
It would be great to mix the solution well. Attach the water tank to its place and turn the drink selector dial to the descaling position. Place a large water container under the Group Head, Hot Water Spout, and Steam Wand, and press the OK button. That’s it. The machine will do the rest of the cleaning job on its own.
After finishing the flow of the descaling solution through the machine, fill the water tank up to the maximum point with some cool water. After that, run a descaling cycle again, but this time there’s no descaling solution in the water tank. It’s crucial to ensure that no descaling solution is trapped inside the machine. Now, the machine is ready for your regular brewing. Enjoy!
Alternatives To De’Longhi La Specialista
When it comes to the alternative of De’Longhi La Specialista it’s a must to mention Breville Barista Express. Some coffee connoisseurs think that De’Longhi designed their La Specialista by taking some inspiration from the famous Breville Barista Express. It’s true that you will notice lots of similarities between these two machines.
However, according to our research, De’Longhi La Specialista is a bit more effortless to operate compared to the Breville Barista Express. The button + dial-based control panel is pretty straightforward.
Lots of folks love Breville Barista Express for sturdy housing and affordable prices. You can get everything (same as La Specialista) from the Breville Barista Express except for the smart tamping station and sensor grinding technology. Both these machines are super cool and definitely worth the investment.
Can you use pods with de’Longhi specialista?
No, this machine is not compatible with pods.
Does De’longhi La Specialista Make Coffee?
Yes, it can make not only Coffee, but also you can make Espresso, Americano, Latte, Cappuccino, and Tea. According to your preferences, you can select the right type of drink by rotating a selector dial. After selecting the drink, press the OK button and the flow of the drink through the group head will automatically start shortly.
What Is The Required Voltage Of This Unit?
It works on 110 volts.
Can You Use Ground Coffee In Specialista?
Yes. You can use ground coffee in De’Longhi La Specialista. For that, first off, attach the filter to the portafilter and then add some ground coffee to that filter. After doing so, attach the portafilter under the grinder to tamp the ground coffee. Once the tamping is finished, attach the portafilter to the group head and make your desired type of drink.
How Do You Reach The Optimal Zone On La Specialista?
In order to reach the optimal zone of the pressure gauge on your La Specialista, we would recommend you not grind too much coffee that can cross the max dose line of the filter basket. Besides, if your coffee grounds are too fine, you may notice that the gauge dial is crossing the optimal zone.
Does De’longhi La Specialista Have A Water Filter?
Unfortunately, De’Longhi La Specialista doesn’t come with any water filter. You can buy a separate water softener filter if you feel a high water hardness level in your local’s water.
Does It Have A Filter That Purifies Water?
No, it does not have a filter for the water. If you were using tap water, you may be using hard water with many minerals in it. In this case, it’s best if you buy a separate filter or use filtered water.
How Do You Grind Coffee With A De’Longhi La Specialista?
Simply put some freshly roasted, less oily coffee beans into the beans hopper and insert the portafilter under the grinder. As soon as you insert the portafilter under the grinder, coffee bean grinding will start. You can adjust the finesse of the coffee by regulating the grind size adjustment.
How Long Do De’Longhi Water Filters Last?
It is recommended to replace the water filter once every 2 months. Therefore, we can say that depending on the water hardness level, De’Longhi Water Filter may last about 2 months.
How Do I Turn Off My De’Longhi Descaling Light?
For De’Longhi La Specialista, add the descaler to the water tank and fill the water halfway with water. Now, turn the drink selector dial to the descale position. Press the OK button to start the descaling cycle.
Can De’longhi Water Filters Be Recycled?
Yes, you can replace the water filter. It would be great to replace your water filter after every 2 months or so in order to get a better output.
The De’Longhi La Specialista espresso machine is quite a great choice for beginners for multiple reasons as you can see. It is really easy to use and it does not fall back on offering a variety of coffee either. Furthermore, it is fast in its task and the build quality is great too.
Yes, it’s not a great option for small houses as it is quite tall in its build. However, it offers quite a great value for the price you buy it at. It will last too. As long as you know that this will cater to your exact needs- you will not have many complaints.
Enjoy Your Coffee!!