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 your money while providing you with great tasting coffee whether it’s a latte, espresso, or cappuccino.
The Delonghi 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 it may have no impact on your coffee.
Let’s check out the Delonghi La Specialista review to see if this espresso machine will meet all your needs or not.
DeLonghi La Specialista Review: The Features
- Sensor grinding technology: Exclusive segsing technology delivers precise, consistent grinding and...
- The smart tamping station: Simply pull the lever to tamp the ground coffee with the right pressure...
- Active temperature control with dual heating system: The best temperature stability for optimal...
- Advanced latte system: Micro-foam frothing for Latte Art or rich froth for cappuccino. Just place...
- 1 second quick start: Power the machine on, grind and tamp your dose, then immediately brew...
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 Delonghi 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 the grinding of 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.
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 form 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.
DeLonghi La Specialista Review: Pros and Cons
- The espresso machine is quite an easy to use the machine for beginners.
- It offers quite a variety of beverages for beginners.
- You can collect the drinks quite easily from this machine just by applying the right pressure on the lever.
- It is easy to install.
- 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 package includes good quality glasses.
- It comes with a hot water spout for convenience.
- The different frother settings and styles are helpful.
- 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 ore advanced coffee makers.
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 ‘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 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 with 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 and 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 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.
Sensor Grinding Technology
The De’Longhi La Specialista has sensor grinding technology. It’s definitely a cutting-edge technology that you might not get from any ordinary espresso machine. So, what does it do? Depending on the shape, size, density of coffee beans, this cool technology can adjust the dose weight in order to deliver a cup of joe that you would love to have.
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 The Product
Enough talking about the technical features of De’Longhi La Specialista. 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 Coffee, Americano, 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 into the brewing world we wouldn’t recommend you to purchase such an advanced espresso machine. It would be better to strengthen up 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 Use The De’Longhi La Specialista
After unboxing and assembling the machine, it’s time to run the machine for the very first time. But before that, it’s crucial to flush water through each of the components of the machine. Make sure to connect the machine with the electric outlet and fill the water tank up to the Max level.
After filling the water tank with some cool water, you have to press certain buttons in order to flash water through different components. First off, press the Hot Water button and immediately you will see the flow of water. If the water flowing is finished, move to the Rinse button.
By pressing the Rinse button some plain water will come through the group head of the machine. Lastly, turn the right-sided dial to the steam position so that any steam that has been trapped while shipping the machine can come out easily. That’s pretty much it. Now your brand new De’Longhi La Specialista is ready for brewing.
So, you have done the initial task of getting your machine ready. Now, let’s take a look at how we can make Coffee, Americano, or Espresso using this machine. We will also look at how to make milk-based espresso beverages without any hassle.
How To Make Coffee, Americano, Or Espresso Using La Specialista
In order to make Coffee, Espresso, or Americano using the De’Longhi La Specialista Espresso machine, start off by adding some cool water to the water tank. Now, add some less oily medium roasted (recommended) coffee beans into the beans hopper.
You can adjust the grind size using the adjuster dial. Because of the sensor grinding technology, this machine can automatically regulate the best grind size no matter how small or big the coffee beans are.
Once the bean hopper is full of coffee beans, prepare the portafilter according to the amount of ground coffee you need to make your coffee. Both single and double baskets are included with the machine.
Insert the portafilter under the coffee grinder. You don’t need to press any button to start the grinding. As soon as you insert the portafilter, grinding will be started automatically. If you want to make double espresso, don’t forget to press the ‘X2’ button.
After finishing the grinding, turn the tamping lever all the way down for tamping the ground using the right amount of pressure. Make sure that you are not using more or fewer grounds by looking at the filter’s maximum ground line.
You can adjust the amounts of coffee grounds by rotating the dose amount dial. We would recommend you to start with a bit fewer dose amounts. If you find that particular amounts are very low, which causes your coffee to be under-extracted, then you can rotate the dial clockwise to increase the dose amounts.
So, you have ground coffee beans, tamping them precisely, now what? It’s time to detach the portafilter under the coffee grinder and attach it to the group head. According to your preferences, rotate the drink selector dial to Coffee, Espresso, or Americano position and hit the OK button. Shortly after pressing the OK button, the flow of coffee will start. You can unfold the additional tray to place espresso shot cups.
For making a milk-based Cappuccino or Latte, you have to use the steam wand after getting your espresso shot. Simply, immerse your milk pitcher under the steam wand and adjust the selector to Flat or Foam position. If you want steamed milk for making Latte, turn the selector to the Flat option. On the other hand, for getting rich foam to make delicious Cappuccinos, use the Foam option.
You can make your morning Tea with this machine as well. Add a Tea bag to your cup and press the Hot Water button from the control panel of La Specialista. That’s it, enjoy your tea. Moreover, the Hot Water spout can deliver On-Demand hot for if you want to make hot chocolate or Oatmeal.
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 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 the smart tamping station and sensor grinding technology. Both these machines are super cool and definitely worth the investment.
What Are Customers Saying
Quite a few buyers of De’Longhi La Specialista are pretty happy to have such an espresso machine. Some of them mentioned its ease-of-use condition. Even an entry-level espresso maker can make a superior espresso in no time with this machine.
However, some of them also mentioned some issues related to the water sensor and steam wand functioning. However, they got a solution from the manufacturer after contacting them. Because of some extra features, some folks prefer the De’Longhi La Specialista more than the Award-Winning Breville Barista Express.
De’Longhi La Specialista : Available Options
DeLonghi La Specialista Review: Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use pods with this machine?
No, this machine is not compatible with pods.
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.
What is the required voltage of this unit?
It works on 110 volts.
The Delonghi 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 in 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!!