The De’Longhi EC702 is an excellent home espresso maker with authentic professional design plus a few beginner-friendly features to get you started.
We were giddy like school children at the prospect of fine-tuning this well-designed espresso machine to create just the right coffee for our tastes! Reviewing the EC702 Pump Espresso was a chance to get back to basics. Here’s how it went.
Features and Functionality
De’Longhi’s Pump Espresso EC702 is pretty close to the espresso maker you see in Starbucks, except it’s much smaller and a fraction of the cost. Inside the stainless-steel and plastic durable exterior, you’ll find:
- 15 bar high-pressure pump.
- 44oz removable water reservoir.
- Stainless-steel water boiler.
- Manual frothing arm.
- 2 separate thermostats for water and steam pressure.
- Self-priming function to alleviate start-up prep.
- No-drip design.
- Stainless-steel drip tray.
- 3-in-1 filter holder for a single espresso, double espresso, and pod espresso.
- Cup warming area on top.
- Dishwasher-safe components.
- 2-year warranty.
- Manuals for installing, using and cleaning the espresso maker.
The features here are all similar to the professional barista espresso maker, but with some added functions to make the process a little smoother. The most notable is the 3-in-1 filter holder, which is compatible with ESE (easy serving espresso) pods from De’Longhi or your own freshly ground coffee. There’s a single filter which holds enough for 1 espresso and a double, for making 2 at once.
Besides the coffee and milk needed to make an espresso beverages, you should also budget for a 51mm tamper, to evenly tamp the coffee in the filter, plus some espresso cups and milk jug as they aren’t included in the box.
DeLonghi EC702 Performance
This is one of those espresso machines where performance is subjective. As Coffee Dorks, it didn’t take us more than a few hours of testing out coffee grinds, pressure levels, and water volumes before we could make espresso just how we liked it. For a complete novice, it could take as long as 2 frustrating weeks.
You could also go through a vast amount of coffee in that time, which isn’t cheap either.
Luckily, once you get it right (please don’t give up like many of the online customer reviewers you’ll come across) you’ll find that you can pull an espresso in just a few minutes. Once switched on and heated, it takes just 3 to 4 minutes to get up to the right pressure.
It’s a little noisy to operate, but it’s not on chainsaw level. Your kids (or those pesky neighborhood kids) will be louder on some mornings, no doubt.
The steam wand works fine, there are no problems with the mechanisms. The design, however, isn’t the best. The foam isn’t as light and consistently micro-bubbled as we’d like.
Finally, we thought that an auto-off function, or some kind of cleaning light or descaling light, would be very useful and add to the overall performance. The De’Longhi EC702 is hovering between beginner-friendly and expert-adaptable. It has the high-performance features you need to make espresso how you like it… plus short cut options from pod-compatibility to the self-priming function. We thought they could have taken it a step further with cleaning/finishing functions without detracting from the professional vibes and expert features that people love.
The unit is 11 x 9.1 x 11.6 inches which is about the same size, if not a bit smaller, than most drip coffee makers from the likes of BUNN, Keurig, etc. The exterior is mostly stainless-steel with a few gray plastic panels.
It’s well designed and sturdy all-round, with a few notable areas. First, the clearance between the drip tray and filter (when attached) is perfect for espresso cups but don’t imagine you can fit a normal-sized mug in there.
The steam wand is also a bit short and hard to operate. Make sure there’s enough clearance around the espresso maker so you can pull it out at the right angle. It won’t make foam as good as your nearest coffee shop, but it’s not bad either. It’s just a little short, so don’t use a large milk jug.
We liked the removable water tank, although it can be a bit stubborn when you try to remove it. Unlike commercial espresso makers that need to be plumbed in, this one can be placed anywhere in your home with a power socket. The lead is short, so if you don’t have sockets located near the kitchen worktop for appliances, you’ll need to buy an extension lead.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Maintenance seems to be minimal. We consulted a few long-term users who’d been making espresso with the De’Longhi EC702 for almost a decade. With regular descaling and cleaning, there’s no reason this espresso maker can’t last you a lifetime.
The warranty from De’Longhi is 2 years but if you’re taking this into the office or using it commercially, you only get a 6-month warranty. They have a dedicated customer support line to help you install/troubleshoot the espresso maker, plus if you buy it through Amazon, you can get free tech support too.
Finding small replacement parts from De’Longhi and other brands is easy – there are no odd sizes or mechanisms to stop you using other branded tampers, filters, cups, etc. Just make sure you buy the right size.
The reservoir and drip tray are dishwasher safe. The filter holder can go in the dishwasher too, but the coating will wear off so it’s better to handwash it.
De’Longhi recommends you run a descaling program through the espresso maker every 200 espressos. If you don’t, any damage caused by scale is not covered by the warranty. Simply make a note to descale it every 6 months, which is roughly 200 espressos if you drink one daily plus a few extras now and then. Detailed instructions with illustrations are in the manual.
This is the kind of home espresso maker that real baristas use at home. Not only does it have the adjustable thermostats and filter holder that give you plenty of adjustability, but it also has some cheeky shortcuts for when you’re not in the mood to spend ages in the kitchen (aka pod espresso).
We believe it is most definitely worth the cost. With some espresso makers costing 5 times the price and not lasting nearly as long, you get your money’s worth with this one.
If you are serious about putting in the effort to learn about making perfect espresso (and the cleaning up that follows) then the De’Longhi EC702 Pump Espresso is just right.
Baratza Sette 270 Pros/Cons
Like anything else in this world, this grinder is not perfect.
- No tools needed. When it’s time to clean your grinder, removing the hopper and inner burr requires absolutely no tools, making this task easy and hassle-free. Just brush out any grounds left in the outer ring, brush out the inner burr, and then snap back everything back into place.
- Slim design: This grinder will fit easily in any kitchen and on any countertop. It’s only about five inches across, so you can squeeze it between other devices with ease.
- Speedy: Once you have your grind settings in place, grinding the amount of coffee you need literally only takes seconds. For reference, an 18gram dose of coffee will be done in 4.5-5 seconds.
- Excellent customer service: Between troubleshooting guides so you can fix any problems yourself, to an easy to use 1 year warranty on manufacturer defects, contacting Baratza customer service is a breeze.
- It is very loud. Unfortunately, what you get in speed and efficiency you lose in sound. This grinder is very loud, one of the loudest on the market.
- The price for the Sette 270 clocks in at just under $300, which can be a bit out of budget for most people. Still, it is also considered cheap among experienced home baristas, when compared to other coffee grinders.
Last Words of Wisdom
The Baratza Sette 270 offers a lot to consumers who fancy themselves the best home baristas in the world. It provides a unique design that won’t take up a lot of space in the kitchen, has almost zero retention, and grinds your coffee at blinding speeds.
No more do you have grounds leftover in the machine that will grow stale and make future batches taste stale, leaving you faced with the difficult task of disassembly and cleaning. The Sette not only leaves very little behind, but you don’t need any tools to take it apart.
Our verdict then, based on the evidence presented, is this is a highly efficient grinder for any coffee brewing aficionado. Beginners may balk at the price point, but it is actually very affordable when compared to similar grinders.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.