The De’longhi EC155 is a hugely popular manual espresso maker selling for around $60. It has been sold for decades and has not really changed very much. We first reviewed the De’longhi EC155 when it won our Best DeLonghi Espresso Machine Under $200 comparison back in 2019. We looked at whether you can get a great espresso, let alone a cappuccino or latte, with a machine that costs under $60.
Overview of the Delonghi EC155
The De’longhi EC155 brews good tasting espresso, especially considering the cost and technical limitations of the machine. Because the De’longhi EC155 doesn’t allow you to adjust the water temperature, the water is a little too hot for perfect steamed milk but not quite hot enough for perfect espresso.
So, our De’longhi EC155 found the espresso had surprisingly good crema (the chocolatey looking foam on espresso) but the aroma and flavor didn’t have the richness of higher end machines.
The De’longhi EC155 is a manual espresso maker. This means you start and stop the pump. Automatic espresso makers will stop after the single or double shot has been expressed. You also need to buy ground coffee or have a separate grinder, dose and tamp the grounds yourself, assemble and disassemble the portafilter with every use and so on.
Also, the milk wand and the espresso spouts are both pretty low. So, you have to use short glasses for both. This is a hassle.
Delonghi EC155 Quirks and Problems
It comes with a pretty simple single and double shot portafilter. The De’longhi EC155 has a simple clip that holds it down so you can flip it and bang out the grounds. The single shot filter is stored under a flip lid on the top. One-liter, removable water reservoir.
The De’longhi EC155 comes with a built-in tamper. But this is not really very good. Really you will want a 52mm manual tamper. There is a line inside the portafilter to help you with dosing. Manual tamping means you need to compress it correctly yourself. If you do it too much or too little in the De’longhi EC155 then your espresso will be affected.
You really cannot fit a milk jug under the wand or any cup much taller than an espresso cup under the espresso spout. This is a hassle because De’longhi EC155 invariable use cups to make espresso and steam milk and then a different mug or cup to drink it. The drip tray is removable and sometime people remove it and put larger cups in.
Our list of the Best Cappuccino Maker for 2020 has machines from $167 – $6000 and all of them make better milk based drinks than the EC155.
The 2020 Delonghi Dedica Cappuccino Machine Buyers Guide has some better choices for you.
De’longhi EC155 Espresso Brewing Technology
Technically called the De’longhi EC155 15 bar pump espresso and cappuccino maker, it is a classic, low priced espresso machine. Unlike other Delonghi machines, the De’longhi EC155 has no programmability or automation. It does have 15 bar pump and does some preinfusion of the grounds. 15 bar refers to the amount of pressure the pump uses to express the hot water through the pressed coffee grounds.
The pre-infusion feature lightly pre-wets and disturbs the grounds leading to a more complete and extraction of the espresso. It happens really fast, so you really don’t notice it happening. Many Delonghi EC 155 reviews will point to this as a sign the Delonghi EC155 is a more sophisticated espresso maker than it gets credit for. But, under the hood this preinfusion doesn’t work like it does on more expensive machines. Again, you get what you pay for and this is very basic. That shows up in the flavor.
The water itself doesn’t heat enough to get full, rich espresso that you can get for other machines. Expect your water to heat in the mid 190-degree range. Good coffee makers will brew around 195-205 and some espresso makers are hotter still. My guess is this is intentional because milk shouldn’t be heated as hot as water. The ideal temperature for steaming milk is about 155-165 degrees. The De’longhi EC155 doesn’t have a water temperature adjustment and the single boiler heats the water for both the espresso brewing and the milk wand. So, to avoid burning the milk, they don’t heat the water quite as hot as would be ideal.
De’longhi EC155 Milk Frothing and Steaming
If you love lattes or cappuccinos, then look at our Best Cappuccino Maker list for 2020 before buying any machine. The De’longhi EC155 has a basic milk frothing wand. So, you can make cappuccinos and lattes, at least in theory. Making great microfoam is really difficult, especially consistently and especially if you haven’t been trained. You need to get the temperature and froth texture just right. And you probably won’t. The steam valve dial is easy enough to turn and well designed.
The single boiler is really not enough to make a milk based double espresso drink. So, you are going to have to wait a little for the water to heat up enough to steam and froth the mil. Also, the wand is a little harder to clean on the De’longhi EC155 than it should be. There is something about the metal that makes the De’longhi EC155 hard to clean.
The Right Person for The Delonghi espresso EC155
The Delonghi EC155 manual espresso maker knows what it is, one of the cheapest manual coffee makers around. Its design is very simple and, if you like the coffee then the De’longhi EC155 is a great value. Our Delonghi EC155 review concludes that we can’t say if this is a good machine or a bad, one. Only you can say that.
To me, the Delonghi EC155 is a good machine if a few things are true about you. You really want to have just espressos or Americanos. This lacks the precision for Ristretto, and the De’longhi EC155 just doesn’t froth or steam milk well enough to even be comparable to a middle of the road coffee shop drink.
Also, people buying the Delonghi espresso EC155 are usually very sensitive to the cost of the machine they are buying. Frankly, if buying any home machine keeps you out of Starbucks, then you are saving enough that you can afford a machine that does a lot more. Again, unless you only drink espresso and are not that picky, then you will get more enjoyment upgrading a bit.
Delonghi EC 155 reviews
The Delonghi espresso EC 155 is a fine machine for what it is. It is not a substitute for more people who go to Starbucks. The De’longhi EC155 makes good espresso, with a surprisingly rich crema. But don’t buy a De’longhi EC155 15 bar pump espresso maker expecting great cappuccinos and lattes because the De’longhi EC155 is too manual and lacks the systems to produce high quality. Our Delonghi EC155 review rates this highly because, if it is right for you then the De’longhi EC155 is a great value, well made and durable. Just don’t buy a De’longhi EC155 used.
De’longhi EC155 Specifications
- Product Name: De’longhi EC155 15 bar pump espresso maker
- Measurements 12.2″ x 19.3″ x 15.0″
- Weight 6.7 lbs.
- Color: Black
- Integrated Coffee tamper
- Rated voltage/Frequency (V~Hz): 120~60
- Input power (W): 1100
- Espresso Brewing: Manual
- Pump pressure (bar): 15
- Removable drip tray: Yes
- Milk system: Manual
- Single and dual cups filters
- On/off switch: Yes
- Removable water reservoir: Yes
- Water Tank Capacity (gal): 1
- Body material: Plastic
- ESE pods: Yes
- Number of filters: 2 (single and double)
- EC155 Delonghi