Buying an espresso machine can feel daunting if you have always relied on a coffee shop for your morning cup. Our De’Longhi EC702 Review can help simplify the process.
With thousands of espresso machine brands and models available, it is hard to even know where to begin when choosing your first espresso machine to purchase.
As a beginner espresso brewer you will want to ensure you find a machine that is trustworthy, easy to use as well as affordable.
The good news is we have taken the work out of finding the perfect lean mean espresso making machine. Today we will review one of our top picks for a novice espresso maker the De’Longhi EC702.
- 1 Who is De’Longhi?
- 2 De’Longhi EC702 Features
- 3 Alternatives to the De’Longhi EC702
- 4 Cozy’s Botttom Line
Who is De’Longhi?
De’Longhi is a popular Italian brand that is family owned. They have a reputation of being a well known and trusted brand that has been manufacturing reliable coffee appliances for years. De’Longhi produces a wide range of novice to expert level espresso machines.
The De’Longhi EC702 is a attractive espresso machine that comes equipped with many of the features you will need to be a successful beginnner espresso brewer all at an affordable price point.
Today we review the EC702’s features, pros and cons so you can decide if this De’Longhi is the machine for you. Read on to learn more!
De’Longhi EC702 Features
The De’Longhi EC702 is designed simplistically with the intention of not overwhelming you with features, buttons and programmable options.
It is a beginner-friendly 15-bar pump espresso machine that can easily pull one or two espresso shots at a time at the correct pressure while extracting all the goodness from your favorite coffee grounds.
It also stays hot, so you can pull a third or fourth shot as soon as the basket is emptied and refilled.
Just don’t expect it to do all the work for you. The lower price point means you will need to learn a little, and the more shots you pull, the better the result.
- Capable of brewing two shots at once.
- Can be used with grounds or Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods.
- No downtime between coffees, so you can make espresso for a crowd.
- The sleek stainless finish is attractive and makes it easy to clean
- Doesn’t have a built-in grinder
- The milk frother isn’t delicate enough for latte art
- Offers some customization but not enough for coffee lovers that want to set everything manually
Quality of the Coffee
One may think because of the low price point the De’Longhi EC702 may produce mediocre espresso and specialty drinks. But, the quality is better than comparably priced single-serve pod machines like the Nespresso.
The ability to use your grounds and the grind you want to use is also a significant benefit to a better cup.
It won’t make the same product as a thousand-dollar commercial machine, but the De’Longhi EC702 will introduce you to the world of espresso drinks and let you have some of the controls such as grounds, tamping, and type of water.
It just won’t let you have all the controls.
Combined with the temperature fluctuating a bit more than an expensive machine, you may find making a more sophisticated espresso shot more difficult.
This home espresso machine should cut down on time and give you a similar level of convenience as going to a coffee shop.
The most time consuming part of making espresso with this machine may be filling filters and tamping down the grounds. If that takes too much time, the EC702 allows for the use of ESE pods and pressurized portafilters to bring the speed and convenience of single-serve coffee to the espresso machine.
Of course, grinding beans fresh for each drink is vital for the best possible coffee. Even a beginner machine with a burr grinder (not included) makes a wonderful addition to this or any espresso machine setup.
Once you brew one or two shots with a press of a button, it takes no time at all to reset and pull a third or fourth or more. Thanks to the stainless steel boiler, the EC702 retains the heat built up from the initial boil and can dispense water when you need it.
Making specialty drinks for a crowd or group of friends will be quick and easy to do once you master the basics.
This quick reset does come at the expense of a longer start-up as it takes time to heat the boiler in the beginning.
If you like to make multiple shots, the shorter wait time may make this one of the best features. Numerous shots quickly are something even more expensive machines can’t do.
Unlike other machines, this De’Longhi doesn’t include an auto-off feature which is a shame since it’s a feature, so many other entry-level machines have.
Other than the machine, which weighs in at about 11 lbs, the De’Longhi includes a few extras with this machine. The De’Longhi EC702 comes equipped with a stainless steel cup warmer, which is a feature you don’t normally see included with beginner espresso machines.
In addition, a plastic tamper and measuring spoon combo also comes included with the EC702.
The De’Longhi EC702 offers you, the beginner espresso maker, all the tools you need to start brewing, including regulating the 15 bars of pressure and amount of water required for each shot. The pressure pushes the water through the grounds, and weaker or uneven pressure will result in a weak or watery drink.
One of the complicated parts of making espresso for a beginner is all the variables that the brewer must control to make a great shot. De’Longhi does an excellent job with the EC702 by handling some of those variables so you can focus on learning the process and getting better.
The pressurized portafilters also take away some control and set a default and even pressure throughout the grounds lessening the learning curve. By ensuring even pressure, you can make the machine more forgiving of cheaper bean grinders that may not grind the beans to a consistent size.
A vital part of the machine, the milk frothing abilities are an essential feature. Frothing or steaming requires you to put the Pannarello steam wand in the milk or dairy alternative you wish to steam and froth, then with a push of a button, you’re given foam or hot milk. This milk is then added to espresso to make a variety of specialty drinks like cappuccinos or lattes.
The foam it produces is pleasant to drink, but it’s not finely textured and doesn’t have the microbubbles necessary to make distinct lines on crema. So, if you’re hoping to make latte art with your newfound skills, you may find it challenging to work with.
If latte art is what you are after, choose a standalone milk steamer or a more expensive machine that can deliver microbubbles in the foam.
Love latte art? If you do, be sure to check out the Nespresso Creatista.
De’Longhi has added several little touches to make you feel like a professional barista, which helps to ensure a quality brewing experience minus the complexity of brewing with more advanced machines.
Alternatives to the De’Longhi EC702
One espresso machine can’t fit everyone’s lifestyles, and while this one is a great first espresso machine that won’t break your wallet, there are a few important qualities to a good espresso maker that could be improved.
Here are a few suggestions for comparably priced alternatives that address some of the issues the EC702 might have.
De’Longhi EC680M Espresso
At just under 6 inches wide, the De’Longhi EC680M occupies less counter space than other espresso machines and is almost half the width of the EC702.
It still pulls one or two tasty espresso shots with good crema and holds a one-liter-sized water reservoir at the back of the machine.
The drip tray is removable for further space-saving, allowing larger mugs for lattes and other coffee milk drinks.
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
The Bambino Plus has an automatic steam wand and milk frother that is self-cleaning and not only allows for custom milk texturing but gives you the same control of the temperature that a barista would have on a more expensive machine.
Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro
Another entry-level machine, the Gaggia, costs more than the De’Longhi. The higher ticket price offers a more durable machine, with more aluminum and stainless steel than plastic.
If solid metal construction is important and you’re willing to spend more, the Gaggia RI9380 is capable of giving a good espresso shot; it just has a higher learning curve than the EC702. Be prepared to read the instructions and try it a few times if you’re new to pulling shots.
Cozy’s Botttom Line
The steam wand and all the necessary features make the EC702 worthwhile for beginners. Its entry-level cost puts it in the same price bracket as single pod brewers and drip machines but gives you the ability to replace your coffee shop coffee with coffee at home at least a few times a week.
If you drink enough expensive drinks, the machine may even pay for itself or a better machine in the future. It’s necessary to find where you feel comfortable taking control of the brewing process and where you would prefer the espresso machine to take over.
For an affordable entry-point, the De’Longhi EC702 espresso maker is a great place to start. Cheers!