The Delonghi Prima Donna Deluxe: A Coffee Machine For Those Who Know What They Want
If you’re the kind of person that takes their coffee seriously, you’ll want to invest in a coffee machine that is reliable and also brews the type of coffee-house style drinks you’ve gotten accustomed to. The decision to ditch your barista and take your coffee experience into your own hands is a big one, and not just any machine will do the job.
Many of these machines do appear to be expensive, but the combination of being incredibly simple to use and their ability to brew professional quality cappuccino, latte and espresso make them worth the price.
When it comes to coffee machines in the sub-2000 dollar price range, the Delonghi Prima Donna Deluxe Super Automatic Espresso Machine (Check on Amazon) is right at the cutting edge. It’s sleek, low-maintenance and has some features that make it perfect for the avid coffee enthusiast or even the occasional coffee drinker who just has a taste for high-quality.
Is It Worth Your Money?
The Delonghi Prima Donna Deluxe is made to ensure brewing your daily cup of joe is comfortable and refreshing. It’s unmistakably user-friendly, even at first glance, and has a modern stainless steel design. From the built-in grinder to the one-touch brewing function, this machine can undoubtedly deliver what it promises.
It’s worth noting that it doesn’t brew regular coffee. You’ll be able to make a variety of drinks like a latte, cappuccino, espresso, and macchiato, but if you’re more of a regular coffee drinker, you may want something even more versatile.
It’s on the expensive side when compared to similar machines on the market, so you’ll have to be honest with yourself about what your individual needs are when checking out this machine. That being said, if your primary concern is brewing espresso for yourself or small gatherings, this machine can not only get the job done with the very little hassle, but it will also produce coffee that rivals the kind you’d get at a coffee shop.
If you’re willing to spend little extra money and are particular about the strength and robustness of your coffee, the Delonghi Prima Donna is definitely worth the higher price tag.
#1 Autocappuccino System
The Delonghi Prima Donna Deluxe comes fitted with an Autocappuccino system with a removable milk carafe. You can store the carafe in the refrigerator to avoid wasting milk, and when brewing, the machine chooses the perfect amount of cream for your preferred drink.
You’ll be able to dispense steamed milk for a latte and thick frothed milk for a cappuccino with the built-in frothing nozzle. When attached to the machine, the carafe is also self-cleaning, so you won’t have to run it through the dishwasher.
#2 Direct-To-Brew and Thermoblock Technology
For added speed and convenience, the Delonghi Prima Donna has a direct-to-brew system that only grinds stored beans right before brewing. This ensures that your grinds are fresh and that the flavor is as rich and aromatic as possible.
There is also built-in bean hopper and adjustable burr grinder that does all of the work for you with just the push of a button. You can choose your preferred fineness for a brew that is customized to your liking.
#3 Intuitive Control Panel
The control panel is incredibly user-friendly and gives you many choices for how to brew your drinks. You’ll find clearly-labeled buttons for single or double shots, caffelatte, cappuccino, latte macchiato, milk, coffee volume, as well as flavor intensity.
To make things even easier there is an LCD screen that lets you know which settings you’re adjusting before you brew. Changing the machine and choosing the right settings couldn’t be any easier as a result of the control panel, and you can even store individual settings using the memory function.
Unlike some other machines that require a lot of steps to calibrate, the Delonghi Prima Donna was mostly self-explanatory.
#4 Decalcification System and Removable 2-Liter Water Tank
While some parts of the Delonghi Prima Donna require manual cleaning, the machine is effortless to maintain overall. A built-in alert will tell you when the device needs to be decalcified, and the removable 2-liter water tank is dishwasher safe so you can wash it with your dishes whenever you feel it might need a rinse.
Decalcification is extremely important for machines like this, mainly if you use them often. Minerals and debris from the water you use can build up inside the machine and affect its efficiency. You’ll find that the built-in decalcification alert is essential in preserving your machine’s integrity and will keep it working correctly over time.
• Automatic conical burr-grinder
• 2-liter water tank
• 25.4 pounds
• 17.4×9.4×13.6 inches
• Adjustable spout
• Stainless steel
• Energy saving switch
• Hot water spout for tea or hot chocolate
• Removable drip tray
• Fast-brewing time
• Decalcification Alert
• Adjustable grinder and spout
• Requires frequent descaling
• Wastes beans
• Takes up a lot of counter space
• Occasionally freezes and needs to be restarted
Overall we found the Delonghi Prima Donna Espresso machine to be a well-made espresso machine, that is sure to please just about anyone who loves a good cup of joe. It’s easy to start using, has enough pressure to create genuinely aromatic, tasty drinks and was also very easy to disassemble and clean.
That being said, we did notice a few things that we saw as minor downsides. While the machine does have a descaling alarm in the form of an indicator light, we noticed that it does need to be decalcified pretty frequently—about every two weeks. It wasn’t a major inconvenience, but descaling does require the purchase of specialized fluid or vinegar, adding to the overall maintenance cost of the machine.
We also didn’t find it to be particularly useful when it came to bean usage. Even with the bean hopper full, we noticed that we had to keep refilling it after only a few days. While the 15-bar pump is the standard for a machine this size, we felt that a lot ended up getting wasted, and the coffee we dispensed was disproportionate to amount of beans we used.
At nearly half the cost of the Delonghi Prima Donna Espresso machine is the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine. It’s a lot larger and bulkier than the Prima Donna, but it has a lot of the same features and brews coffee that is just as tasty.
You’ll get a similarly easy to use control panel, the Delonghi Direct-To-Brew system, and a conical low-pitch burr grinder. Despite its larger overall size, the milk carafe is smaller but is still removable. One downside we noticed about the Perfecta was that it didn’t heat drinks as efficiently as the Prima Donna, even with a double boiler.
Still, for half the price of the Prima Donna, the Delonghi Perfecta Digital Espresso is a worthy alternative.
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