I bought a Delonghi Magnifica six years ago and I used it at least once a day. Not to thread jack my own thread but it has been a workhorse and has consistently delivered a latte which has been superior to a Starbucks drink in many ways. Fast forward to three years ago when I was introduced to a REAL latte. I felt cheated. I still used the Delonghi but I also sneaked in some real lattes on a weekly basis. Fast forward to a year ago when I discovered an awesome “craft” coffee shop near work. I have been drinking their lattes every day at lunch. My taste is now so spoiled that my home lattes will not do. Moreover, I really need to cut down on those lunch lattes.
So about two years ago I searched around for a machine which could produce a great latte. The closest I could find without venturing into expensive or “esoteric”, pretentious Italian-ish brands was the Breville Dual Boiler. A PID temperature control was now a must-have feature. Unfortunately the price was a little steep at just over $1200. It also required a separate grinder and apparently it would have to be an expensive one. So I waited for a couple years and made the most of the Delonghi which was still producing a decent latte.
I use this machine daily and have had no troubles with it. At all. It lights up with a “clean me” light when it needs to be cleaned, the tools come with it. You can buy powder cleaner or tablets to clean the portafilter just about anywhere. The grinder does a pretty decent job and is adjustable. I clean the grinder and the hopper 1x a month or whenever I use an entire bag of espresso up. Just brush out the grinds, wipe it all down, and be sure not to put the hopper back into the grinder with any water left n it. Most likely this was the best espresso maker I have ever bought and has saved me hundreds (I kid you not) of dollars by not going to coffee houses every day for my fix. Being a former barista I can tell you what comes out of this machine tastes exactly like the drinks you would get at the place with the mermaid logo. It just takes practice getting to know your grind and make sure your using a good espresso. The one drawback is it does get a little messy when grinding but not enough for me to take it down a star. Hope you enjoyed my review, check out other espresso machine reviews as well before you buy!