DeLonghi Eletta Cappuccino Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

by Whole Latte Love September 27, 2018 6 min read

Today an in-depth look at the Delonghi Eletta. We’ll take you up close, show you the drinks it makes and go over features so you can make an informed purchase decision. The Eletta is a one-touch super-automatic bean to cup espresso machine. That one-touch designation is given to machines that make milk based espresso beverages at the touch of a button without moving your cup.

So you can make drinks like a cappuccino, cafe latte and latte macchiato from dedicated buttons. Press the Milk Menu button for additional drinks like espresso macchiato and the very popular Flat white. Now all the milk-based drinks are easily programmable to deliver the amount of milk and espresso you want. And you can do the same for espresso and long coffees as well. When making a long coffee, the Eletta uses lower pressure pulse brewing to make a drip style coffee.

For Milk Drinks

The Eletta uses a milk carafe. So just pull it from the fridge, attach it to the machine and you’re ready to go. A couple of nice features with the carafe. First, a dial that lets you adjust how frothy the milk is. It ranges from just heating the milk without froth, to a medium froth which is good for a latte macchiato or flat white up to an airier froth for cappuccino and espresso macchiato. And the Eletta is fast. It starts dispensing milk while grinding the beans. On most other machines you’ll wait until beans are ground and for the machine to get up to steaming temperature.

Now adjustable froth really lets you make drinks the way you like them. With many competing machines, it’s one froth style fits all with no ability to control milk-foam density. Another useful feature, the carafe cleaning function. When finished making drinks, turn the dial to the clean position and steam and hot water are run through the milk carrying components. After that return the carafe to the fridge and it’s ready to go for next time.

For Coffee and Espresso

For making espresso and long coffee, beans are ground fresh for each cup. Up top in the bean hopper you can adjust the grinder to one of 13 grind settings. With that control you’re able to fine-tune the extraction based on your personal preference and the type of coffee you are making. We suggest using a fine setting when making espresso and a coarser setting for making longer cups including more of a drip style coffee. In my testing, the Eletta produced a nice crema rich espresso and it seems to be capable of grinding finer than most other super-automatics. At it’s finest setting and full coffee strength, I was able to get a very slow drip of espresso - something I can rarely do on most other super-automatics. 

Coffee strength is adjusted by pushing the beans button. From there, you can choose from 5 strengths running from extra-mild up to extra-strong. That setting determines how much coffee is ground for each cup. You can also use pre-ground coffee. Just select pre-ground and add a scoop of coffee to the bypass doser up top. That’s a handy feature say for those who like to make a decaf coffee in the evening.

Along with grind and strength settings, the Eletta has 4 temperature settings for coffee.

On top of the machine in front of the bean hopper and bypass doser is a heated metallic cup warming surface. And it does a really good job - subjectively, it’s one of the warmest I’ve come across. With that, and the ability to set a turn on time you can always have very warm cups waiting for you in the morning. And you don’t have to worry about leaving the machine on or wasting power. You can set it to automatically shut-off from 15 minutes to 3 hours after turn on. And it has an energy saving mode which when enabled reduces energy consumption in compliance with strict European standards.

Aesthetic Choices

Looking at the overall design off the machine, I like the display panel which is angled up for easy viewing. The touch sensitive buttons use no moving parts and are all metal for extra durability. The dual coffee and milk carafe spouts are height adjustable with a maximum clearance of 5.5 inches to accommodate taller cups.

The drip tray and grounds bin pull out of the front of the machine for easy emptying. The 2 liter water reservoir pulls out of the front of the Eletta as well. The machine comes with a water filter and a water hardness test strip. Using a water filter improves coffee flavor and reduces descaling frequency. Based on filter use and source water hardness the machine will alert you when it’s time to descale.

In the display, you’ll get alerts when the machine needs your attention for things like filling the water tank, emptying the grounds container, adding beans and more.

On the side of the machine behind the water reservoir a door opens to reveal a removable brew group. Delonghi recommends rinsing that piece with cool water at least once a month.

The Eletta is somewhat unique in super-automatics in that along with the carafe it comes with an auto frothing steam wand that doubles as a dispenser for hot water for things like Americanos, tea and more. I was pleasantly surprised by the microfoam the wand produced. It was finer than most auto-frothing wands I’ve used to the point of being usable for latte art. Now not as fine as a commercial machine but pretty darn good. Now if you like your milk drinks really hot, you can get it there using the auto frothing wand. For sweetest flavor we like the milk temperature the carafe produces. As milk gets hotter it loses apparent sweetness. But some like it really hot anyway. If that’s you the auto frothing wand is your friend.

Conclusion

To recap let’s go over the standout features of the Eletta and why you might consider this machine for your home or in a small office setting. For coffee and espresso we like the 13 grind settings, 5 strength settings and 4 coffee temperatures. With those, you can really dial things in to match your preference. In our tests, it seems to grind finer than most super-automatics and makes a crema rich espresso. It produces milk drinks quickly and at a temperature that is right for best flavor. But if you like milk hot you can go as far as you want with the auto frothing wand.

We also like the actively heated cup warming surface and the ability to have the machine turn on automatically. It can be waiting and ready to go for you with pre-heated cups. The milk carafe makes milk based drinks easy - and with adjustable froth they are customizable so you get the right level of froth for the drink you are making. We also like the milk circuit cleaning after use - just turn the dial and hot water and steam are sent through milk carrying components.

Rounding it out we like the up-angle on the screen and control panel for ease of use and the height adjustable spouts which can accommodate larger cups up to 5.5 inches tall.

That’s the Delonghi Eletta, it’s available now at whole latte love dot com. If you have more questions on this machine or anything coffee ask in the comments - and i’ll get you the answers. Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll come back soon for more of the good stuff on everything coffee.

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