The Espresso Machine One Food Network Editor Can't Stop Talking About
Espresso, lattes, Americanos and more right at your fingertips!
If you’re entertaining the thought of purchasing an espresso machine, odds are you’re already among the large set of people who appreciate (and c’mon let’s be honest, deeply rely on) a good cup of coffee in the morning. It also means we can probably skip the part where we explain how much finding the right brewing method for you matters when curating your morning routine. After all, you have probably done your research and have a reliable coffee machine you swear by. But even the most headstrong coffee purist knows that nothing beats a beverage crafted perfectly by your favorite barista at your favorite coffee shop. That is, until you are able to make that frothy cappuccino, silky latte or bold americano from the comfort of your own kitchen.
After doing some research and browsing through top models, my husband and I added the De'Longhi La Specialista Prestigio Espresso Machine to our wedding registry with the hopes that someone would so generously indulge us in our dream machine.
Luckily, our families did, and I’m here to express what a dream machine it truly is. The size is ideal for our smaller apartment kitchen without sacrificing the sturdy construction of a quality machine, and features include an attached burr grinder, 19 bars of pressure and a dual heating system and frothing wand — all of which were key to us when picking this model. This model also has a “Smart Tamping System” that allows you to tamp down your grounds after grinding without removing the portafilter. In short, there are no loose grounds spilling onto your countertop and virtually zero cleanup required — a huge pro in my book!
We’ve been using this machine for a few months now, and I’ve successfully experimented with iced lattes, flavored syrups and frothing multiple varieties of milk and milk-alternatives. The process is simple enough to do and requires no more time than my drip pot would, and the bit of concentration required has become a fun and almost therapeutic part of my day. Knowing the smooth purr of beans grinding, the smell of freshly pulled espresso and the whistle of the steam wand is waiting for me is almost enough to energize me each morning…almost.
On a less romantic but equally important note, the upkeep of the machine is actually not as intimidating as I expected. I recently tackled my first descaling process, which takes about 45 minutes and gives your machine a proper deep-clean. It required filling the water reservoir with an EcoDecalk descaling solution, rinsing and refilling it and gradually dumping out the residue from the steam wand and pump. It wasn’t hard, but I do recommend saving this for a weekend when you have some time. I haven’t had the machine long enough to know how often a deep cleaning is required, but the process has definitely made a case for keeping our drip pot around or making the infrequent trip to our local cafe.
Overall, I recommend this machine for anyone who wants to elevate their coffee game. The Americano setting is a great alternative to a classic cup of coffee if you’re looking for something simple, and the ability to quickly froth milk for a latte means you can indulge on a moment's notice. While it is an investment piece, the quick math of comparing the total price to my three-month, coffee-shop binge last year (whoops) has proven the product is well-worth the splurge.