Hands on: DeLonghi PrimaDonna Exclusive isn’t just a pretty face

DeLonghi PrimaDonna Exclusive coffee machineI may not be a coffee connoisseur, but believe me when I say this the best cappuccino I’ve ever tasted that came from an automated machine. In a demo with the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Exclusive coffee machine, we learned that you can put a price on a personal barista, and that tag is a pretty $3,500.

Before you leave this post baffled with the price, hear me out. The PrimaDonna Exclusive is a true thing of beauty. The steel body machine features a color touchscreen interface that lets you personalize your favorite coffee drink: Cappuccino, latte, espresso, and more. Bolder flavors? Done. More water in that Americano? Can do. Instead of using pre-packaged coffee pods like most automated machines, the PrimaDonna Exclusive lets you pick your favorite beans and pour them into a designated container. When you’re ready for a drink, the machine will freshly grind those beans and measure just the right amount depending on the drink of choice. You can use pre-ground coffee as well.

DeLonghi primadonna exclusive chocolateThe notable add-on for the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Exclusive is the chocolate drink maker attachment. Now, you can pour in a bit of milk, your favorite chocolate drink mix, and select how rich you want your drink to be and the machine will heat up the drink, mix, and dispense in a matter of seconds. Mocha lovers should find this attachment a dream come true, especially when the machine can program up to six profiles for personalized recipes. When it’s time to clean, you can also open the machine up to its sides to detach parts for manual rinsing – no need to flip the machine on its back to disassemble. The PrimaDonna Exclusive is a lot of parts compared to the Krups EA9000 we reviewed earlier this spring, so it’s best suited for someone who likes options.

But back to the cappuccino. The cool thing about the PrimaDonna Exclusive is the machine’s flexibility. The milk frothing attachment can heat the milk automatically if you have no idea how to do so – but the attachment also comes off and lets you manually froth milk if you have some barista experience. The milk container is detachable, so you can take it off the machine and put it back in the fridge when it’s no longer needed. Since all the heating happens in the container lid, the milk stays fresh. You can also flavor the milk with spices or leftover coffee cake like our demo chef did, concocting the most delicious cup at home without forcing you to get your name destroyed by Starbucks employees.

If price is no obstacle between you and the most beautiful cup of coffee you can get with minimal effort, the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Exclusive should stand high on your Christmas wish list. The machine will be available in January 2014 for $3,500. You get what you pay for, honestly, and you can’t put a price on avoiding hipster baristas.

Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Smart Home

Miele stuns with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and other new products

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Nespresso coffee and espresso machines

Amazon has dropped prices on Nespresso coffee machines and a milk frother in an Easter week sale. Nespresso's coffee appliances use single-serve capsules and one-button selection to produce barista-quality espresso and coffee at home.
Smart Home

Power through your afternoon slump with the best espresso machines

Brew professional-style espresso drinks and become the envy of your neighborhood with one of the best espresso machines on the planet. We have options across a range of price points, perfect for any budget.
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Deals

Shark, Ecovacs, and Roomba robot vacuums get price cuts for spring

The weather's getting nice again, and we're all emerging from our winter-long hibernation. So it's time once again to also start on that spring cleaning you've been putting off. But who really wants to clean when you'd rather be outside? We…
Smart Home

Echo Plus (1st-gen) vs. Echo Plus (2nd-gen): How exactly do they compare?

Which Echo Plus should you buy? This guide compares the first-generation Echo Plus its latest successor, allowing you to get a better idea regarding the ins and outs of each device.
Smart Home

Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

With the help of science or some kitchen gadgets, making hard-boiled eggs can be a little easier. It may not be the hardest task in the world, but a few of these methods are foolproof.
Deals

Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Get baked while you bake with these clever cannabis cooking gadgets

Ready to step up your edibles game? Here are the best cannabis cooking gadgets for your kitchen, from an "Instant Pot" for your cannabutter to the best grinders and decarbing devices on the market. Check out the full list for more.
News

This hybrid tiny home sauna gives hotbox a whole new meaning

Tiny homes seem to come in all shapes and forms these days, and Igluhuts are no exception. While the homes look more like a hobbit might come out of one on the outside, inside, there's a modern and sleek look aimed at relaxation and…
Smart Home

Can new laws protect you from smart home security breaches?

To help combat smart home data breaches, state and federal lawmakers are exploring ways to protect consumers. California, Oregon, and members of the U.S. Senate all have proposals to protect people's data.