DeLonghi EC155 Pump Espresso Machine
The DeLonghi EC155 is basically the minimum machine you should really consider. That said, it gets the job done. The only real drawback is the frother design with the big plastic cowbell. Hard(er) to clean. Doesn’t work any better. Not sure I like it. BUT IT WORKS. Never forget that quality when discussing the minimum entry point.
- 15 bars of pressure
- Self priming operation
- Brews from ground espresso or from pods
- Water and steam controlled separately
- Swivel jet frother
The entry level machines get the job done, and as an introductory or less frequently used machine, I actually prefer the DeLonghi EC155 as it is a perfectly good espresso maker, and it’s the cheapest.
In general these entry level machines are not flawless. Some claim they don’t make good enough espresso. Some claim they aren’t made sturdy enough, or they don’t last. And they are probably right. But they’re probably good enough for a starter, with the understanding that in a year or two you might be either wanting to move up to a better machine, or you might be replacing it because it just quit working. Either way, the entry machines get you in the game, and I can recommend any of them, so long as you accept the caveats.
My preference is the DeLonghi EC155, but the Cuisinart or the Saeco Poemia might be more available in your area, or might be more stylish, or might match your other appliances or grinder… and to be fair the only reason I find the DeLonghi to be better is because it’s cheaper. There. I said it.
This biggest caveat is that you can’t expect these to last forever. Maybe they will, but probably they won’t. However, at the $100 to $150 price point, if it drops dead in a year or two, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not saying it will. I had a $60 machine that lasted a long time. 4 years. But I’ve also tossed a far more expensive machine that died less than a month after the 1 year warranty expired. And it’s not one machine vs another. They’re all just prone to failure.
But with all that said… the DeLonghi EC155 is easy to recommend.