Companies are always coming up with ways to combine multiple functions into a single machine. More often than not, one of the functions is terribly lacking. If you’re anything like us, you might think, “Can’t they just make one really good product that works well?”
We’re happy to report the DeLonghi BC0430 All-In-One Cappuccino, Espresso, and Coffee Maker ($250) doesn’t suffer that fate. In fact, it’s the perfect answer for people who can never decide if they want a pot of coffee or something a bit more elevated.
A Reliable Duo
The first thing you’ll notice about the all-in-one coffee dynamo is that it isn’t particularly compact. Measuring 12.79 inches high by 11.02 wide 14.52 deep, the machine takes up a decent amount of space on your counter, however, it does still easily fit under a cabinet. We’re not knocking it for the space it occupies, though, because it’s essentially two separate machines in one and is easy on the eyes. With its silver and black casing and shiny buttons on your counter, just looking at it makes you feel like you’ve upped your coffee game. And you have.
Perhaps the reason this combo unit works so well performing both functions is because it’s actually two different machines in a single case. Both the coffee machine and espresso maker have dedicated water bins and power buttons. We found the controls to be extremely intuitive. Setting up the clock took just a minute, and setting up the auto feature was just as quick. There was never a need to refer to the manual for guidance. Those who prefer a stronger cup of joe will appreciate the 1-4 button on the drip coffee settings. The feature initiates a slightly different brewing process in which the machine saturates the grounds a little at a time to extract the best flavor from the beans. The 1-4 feature is only for making a half pot of coffee, which takes a little over six minutes to brew—just enough time to empty a full dishwasher. At first, we were a bit meh on the feature, but we could definitely taste a difference, and it works with the auto feature for those mornings when you need an extra pep in your step.
Step Up Your Coffee Game
For those times when you’re just really craving a cappuccino but don’t have time for the line at the coffee house, the DeLonghi BC0430 has got you covered. Overall, we were impressed with the quality of espressos and cappuccinos the machine delivers. We did have one minor quibble: it doesn’t automatically measure the amount of espresso that will end up in your cup, as is the case with other models like as the DeLonghi Dedica E680. The good news is that you can easily make two espressos in one shot, just use the included two-cup espresso coffee filter instead of the option for one cup or one pod. Yes, you can use easy serve espresso (E.S.E.) pods in this machine. These pods are different from the Keurig pods, which have a plastic casing. Conversely, E.S.E. pods are small, self-contained filter packets filled with espresso grounds.
If you want the option to brew a cup of coffee or make a cappuccino, you’ve met your match.
When making an espresso, cappuccino or frothing milk, you do need to wait for the machine to heat up. There is a separate on/off button, water container, and dedicated buttons on the machine for operating the espresso side of the equation. Additionally, there is a steam dial on the side of the machine that you use to control the steaming of the milk. In our tests, it took about two and a half minutes before the green light appeared on the front of the unit alerting us that it’s ready for use. Then it took about a minute longer before we had a piping hot espresso ready to sip. Best of all, you can make an espresso while your brewing a pot of coffee.
The DeLonghi machine comes with a one-year warranty.Our Take
We’ve rarely seen a combo unit that works so well and handles both functions with finesse. We were particularly enamored of how intuitive it was to use out of the box. That aside, it also makes a darn good pot of coffee and a delicious, frothy cappuccino.
Is there a better alternative?
There aren’t really any units that combine an espresso machine with a drip coffee maker. If it’s the duo you want, the DeLonghi BC0430 won’t disappoint. If you’re just in the market for an espresso/cappuccino maker then check out the Breville Barista Express, which is one of our favorites.
How long will it last?
With the proper care, which means descaling the espresso unit about every 200 coffees, the machine should last about five years. Basic coffee machines tend to last longer.
Should you buy it?
The DeLonghi BC0430 is the ideal purchase for someone who likes to have the option to brew a cup of coffee or make an espresso or cappuccino. While $250 might be expensive for a coffee maker, it’s a bit of a steal to get two such well-designed machines in one. That said, if you’re someone who just likes the occasional cappuccino, skip this model, save some space on your counter, and keep visiting your favorite barista for that special treat.