Delonghi ECP3630 Review
The ECP3630 by DeLonghi is reasonably priced and will serve you well if you take the time to maintain it. Priced at just under $150, this machine is not made for artisan espresso makers, but for average users.
- Not expensive
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and compact size
- Slow to warm up
- Espresso shot is watery
Specs & Features
|Input power (W):||1100|
|MAXIMUM CUP HEIGHT (cm):||90+130 cm|
|Number of filters:||3|
|Boiler material:||Stainless Steel|
|Water reservoir:||37 oz|
|Pressure gauges:||Brew Circuit|
|Pods & Capsules:||Ground Coffee, E.S.E. Pod|
The DeLonghi ECP3630 is for you if you are tired of waiting in endless queues at Starbucks for a half-way decent cup of coffee. It combines simple elegance and great functionality so that you can make espresso comparable to what you can buy in your own home.
It makes the process of getting the perfect cup of coffee a lot simpler. And, being semi-automatic, it makes it possible for you to brew your coffee precisely as you like it, at a fraction of the cost of a bought coffee.
ECP3630 also offers a completely customizable experience by having a separate thermostat for the water and the steam.
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This machine does work nicely. The pressure is maintained well and, once you get used to operating it, you will find that you get pretty good results each time.
The machine is well-made and solidly built and, just as importantly, easy to clean. One of the best things about it is that it is relatively simple to use – you don’t need to read the manual or have a degree from MIT to get it to work.
That said, brace yourself – you might need to put up with some horrible coffee while you are getting a feel for how it operates. When you see the barista at Starbucks working, it all seems simple and straightforward.
In practice, it is a simple process, but so much can influence the taste of the coffee. If you don’t grind the beans finely enough, the flavor is affected. If you tamp the grinds too hard, the coffee might turn out bitter.
That’s the same with any semi-automatic coffee maker, though.
Like most Delonghi products, the design is simple and elegant. The stainless-steel casing gives it an upmarket feel and also makes it extremely easy to clean. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a professional machine – it would fit in well in a trendy coffee shop.
The Delonghi ECP3630 espresso machine is pump driven so that you can wring the most flavor from your coffee beans. It exerts a 15-bar pressure evenly to produce the perfect crema.
Not keen on using grounds? The filter holder can be used with either pods of grinds. So, if you are running late for work, or cannot be bothered to deal with coffee grinds, just toss in a pod.
If, on the other hand, you want more control over the end result, you can grind the beans as fine as you like and tamp the grounds until they are perfect for you.
A frother is included so that you are able to make the perfect cappuccino as well.
The machine primes itself, so you don’t need to worry about it reaching the correct temperature or wasting the first shot of espresso.
A large water tank that is capable of carrying 44-ounces is a definite plus because you don’t have to fill it as often.
This machine also has a feature that is more commonly seem on premium models – a warming tray to keep your cup warm. You can fit up to three standard cups on this tray.
With a separate thermostat for the steam and water, you are able to get the perfect temperature for the coffee and the milk. No more scalding the milk to within an inch of its life!
There is an auto-tamper accessory as well, but you might prefer to do this manually. The accessory, in this case, is made of plastic and some users don’t feel that it does the job properly.
Ease of Use
The self-primer here does save a bit of time and effort. You just need to set it to preheat and then put the coffee, pods or grinds, into the holder. You clip it in place, put your cup underneath and then hit “Brew.” When you have the right amount of espresso, you just hit “Brew” again.
Brewing coffee is pretty easy, but it would have been nice if the brew function turned off automatically when the right amount of espresso had been dispensed.
Steaming the milk is just as easy. Just place the pitcher of milk under the nozzle and hit the Steam button. When the light turns on, you just turn the knob and place the tip in the milk. Keep the pitcher at a slight angle and heat the milk until you get the desired temperature.
Cleaning is pretty simple – the outer casing can be wiped down whenever necessary. You will need to remove and descale the water tank from time to time if you live in hard water area but this is not a difficult task.
This makes a decent cup of coffee but you do need to practice with it to get it right. The machine maintains optimal pressure for a smooth result, but the auto-tamping feature does not always hit the right note.
Users have commented that it is far better to buy a stainless steel tamper and use that instead.
If you don’t like the hassle of having to grind the beans every time you want a cup of coffee, this is a good option. The flavor produced by the pods is comparable to that from freshly ground beans and, for most coffee drinkers, the difference in flavor is barely noticeable.
That makes this a very convenient option, especially if you are in a hurry or want a no-fuss option with minimal cleanup. For those starting out, pods can help you get into the hang of using the machine before you need to start measuring out coffee beans and grinding them yourself.
Price-wise this is a reasonable option, especially compared to fully automatic machines. You get to let your inner-barista out to play and enjoy coffee made exactly as you like it.
It’s a good option for the cost-conscious coffee connoisseur. You can make the process of making your morning coffee as simple or as complicated as you like. By giving you a choice between grounds or pods, Delonghi lets you decide how much heavy lifting you want to do.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.
Is it possible to make good espresso on a cheaper Delonghi?
Good is a rather relative term that can be twisted. If you want good espresso, start by getting a high-quality grinder and good beans. If the machine you are looking at can maintain brewing temperature and has the required 15 bar pump, it should be able to produce tasty and aroma rich espresso shots.