Money-saving experts advise you to cut out the coffee. But if you need a really good espresso or cappuccino to start the day, chances are that’s one habit you won’t kick to save some green. Good news: You can have the best of both worlds with the De’Longhi EC680 Espresso Maker.
This home espresso machine can make a delicious coffee beverage in no time at all. While it’s not the most affordable model, it’s certainly not the most expensive. Investing in the De’Longhi EC680 is a bit like buying a SodaStream: It will pay for itself in just a couple of months and you’ll be well on your way to saving some dough.
Add Style to Any Countertop
The De’Longhi Espresso maker is an attractive machine, available in red or silver. We reviewed the red model, which added a nice pop of color amidst our countertop of mostly silver small appliances. While you wouldn’t know it to look at it, the machine is constructed mostly of plastic and is lightweight at 9.3 pounds.
Measuring 15.8 by 6 by 15.0 inches (L by W by H) the EC680 doesn’t take up much room on a counter. The back of the machine houses a removable container for water that when full can make eight espressos. The steam spout is on the right side of the machine with a dial to adjust the froth; partially submerge the spout in a half-filled cup of milk and select the setting of how much foam you want on the steam dial. Once you get the hang of it, the froth comes out perfect every time. While the spout can be hot to touch, you shouldn’t end up with a burn if you accidentally graze it.
The front of the espresso maker has the metal filter holder, which looks just like a professional-grade filter. The machine includes three filter inserts to help you determine how much grounds to add when making a cup of java. Turn over the filter insert to see how many cups it will make (one, two, or a pod filter). If you’d like a large cappuccino, use the 2-cup filter. As noted, the De’Longhi EC680 can make two espressos simultaneously. However, the spouts are fairly close together, so you’ll need to use actual espresso cups (two standard coffee cups won’t fit).
Tasty Beverages in Less than a Minute
When it comes to coffee machines we really only care about how quickly it can make a delicious coffee drink. De’Longhi didn’t disappoint on both beverages we brewed. We’ve tested many espresso machines we’ve tested, and we found the java from this model to be a standout. We used basic coffee, and just imagining the quality from gourmet beans had us drooling.
Making an espresso is straightforward, and the pre-measured filters help to ensure you’ll use the right amount of grounds for one or two cups. We did feel a bit like a barista, making espressos with ease — and dumping out the filter grounds that formed a perfectly round shape just added to the experience. Making a cappuccino was a bit more difficult. Don’t get us wrong, we love the built-in steam spout, but it takes a bit of trial and error to get the settings correct.
|Brew||Temperature (Fahrenheit)||Brew time||Sound (decibels)||Output||Taste|
|Espresso||146.3 degrees||48 secs||65db||1 cup||Strong|
|Cappuccino||141.1 degrees||1 min, 6 secs||71db||2 cups||Balanced/perfect foam|
The DeLonghi EC680 Espresso Maker comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.Our Take
The DT Accessory Pack
The De’Longhi EC680 may not be the most affordable home espresso maker, but it sure makes strong joe that could rival more expensive models.
Is there a better alternative?
There are hundreds of options when it comes to espresso machines, ranging from around $50 all the way up to 100 times that amount. If you’re looking for something that’s under $100, De’Longhi makes the EC155. You lose some of the functionality, and gain a larger footprint, but it is more affordable. If you want to go the other direction and pick something more professional-looking, the $588 Breville BES870XL does the grinding for you.
How long will it last?
Since making espressos hasn’t changed much in over a hundred years, you won’t be needing to upgrade this version for a newer model anytime soon. If you really love your espresso and would enjoy making the occasional cappuccino for guests, this machine won’t disappoint. Though it’s made of plastic, it doesn’t feel flimsy and should be fairly durable.
Should you buy it?
The EC680 is a solid addition to any gourmet kitchen or a coffee aficionado’s home counter. But if you just like the occasional espresso, it’s not worth the money.