Starting out your home coffee bar can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what you should buy. There are so many tools and equipment needed just to pull one perfect shot of espresso!
The most important purchase of your coffee adventure, however, is going to be an espresso machine. Now, if you have no interest in whipping up a nice latte, cappuccino, or americano, you don’t even need to worry about this!
But, if you’re like me, and you really enjoy the taste of some nice and strong espresso to start off your day, then you don’t want to miss out on this article because I’m going to be reviewing the espresso machine that I currently own.
With a complete rundown of the DeLonghi Stilosa EC260, you can decide if it’s the right fit for you!
Things to Consider Before Buying an Espresso Machine
As I mentioned before, an espresso machine is great for those wanting to craft a latte, cappuccino, americano, or even just sip on some plain shots. There are so many things you can do with espresso as your base, including latte art with some practice!
It’s important to note that the product I will be reviewing is a semi-automatic espresso machine. This means there is a lever that you turn on and off, controlling when the shot starts and stops. Because of this, it’s important that you weigh, tamp, and the time your espresso shot.
You also want to plan to have a grinder if your espresso machine doesn’t have one installed, and this one doesn’t. Either that or you can choose to purchase ground coffee instead of whole-bean. I will admit though, it always tastes better freshly grounded!
One final thing to consider before buying your espresso machine is the milk element. If you want to be able to have hot drinks, you have to make sure the appliance has a great steam wand!
DeLonghi Stilosa Review: Introducing the DeLonghi Stilosa EC260
The DeLonghi Stilosa is an espresso machine that’s perfect for people who are just starting out, are wanting a more inexpensive option, or don’t have much counter space to work with.
The product claims to have a 15 bar pump pressure, durable construction of a stainless steel boiler, and a manual milk frother and guarantees a perfect extraction of espresso.
The sleek, stainless steel design makes this machine a bit more stable than some other models seen in the DeLonghi brand, such as the DeLonghi EC155. Not only that but there are a few other features that make the Stilosa a better purchase for some.
|DeLonghi Stilosa EC260|
|Dimensions||11.2 x 8.0 x 13.5 in|
|Water Tank||34 oz, removable|
|Type of Machine||Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine|
|Pump Pressure||15 bars|
|Boiler||1 stainless steel boiler|
|Portafilter||Yes, with two fliters|
|Removable Drip Tray||Yes|
Features and Benefits of DeLonghi Stilosa EC260
When it comes to buying an espresso machine, it’s important to look at everything it comes with, what the actual appliance offers compared to others on the market, and how it can benefit your needs.
In the box of your machine, you’ll also see a few helpful accessories to get you started on your coffee-making journey. First, DeLonghi includes a double-spout portafilter and two filter options for it; one for a single shot and the other for a double espresso shot.
With the Stilosa, you also get a two-in-one tamper and measuring spoon to make the preparation of your espresso a little bit easier. The drip tray on the bottom of the machine is also removable, giving you room to hold a slightly taller cup under the spout.
Besides that, DeLonghi also provides a manual and a one-year warranty with your machine.
The water tank on the Stilosa is very handy, as it not only carries up to 34 oz of water and shows a level indicator for when it’s running low, but it’s also removable to make for an easier refill. You can’t say that about every machine!
One of the best things about this espresso machine is its size. As someone who hasn’t had a lot of counter space as of late, I find it fits easily into my kitchen and doesn’t take up too much room, even with my grinder at its side!
Even with it being a smaller machine, it definitely performs just great, delivering a great cup of coffee every time. The stainless steel boiler that reaches up to 15 bars of pressure allows for enough heat to not only pour a good shot but to also steam up some milk with the attached wand.
That being said, there are really only two knobs that control everything. The main one, on the front of the machine, has four options to choose from. It starts in the “Off” position, but you can turn it to the “On” selection so that the light will turn on and it will begin to heat up.
Once it’s ready for you, the light next to “Ready” will turn green. You can then turn the knob once more to the right to begin pouring your shot. This selection can also be used to pour hot water out of the steam wand.
The selection to the far left is for the steam wand when you actually want to heat up some milk. Once you turn it this way, you want to wait for that green light again before you turn your focus to the second knob, above the wand itself.
This one only turns once so that you can turn the wand on when you’re either steaming milk or getting some hot water from the appliance.
As someone who works at a coffee shop, I don’t really look forward to cleaning my machine at home. However, the Stilosa makes it super easy!
Despite the need for descaling every once in a while, all you really have to do is wipe down the machine, rinse out your portafilter, and clean your drip tray. Then, it’s ready for the next cup of joe!
DeLonghi Stilosa EC260 – Final Thoughts
All in all, the DeLonghi Stilosa EC260 is a great espresso machine for beginners, people on a tight budget, and those with limited counter space. As I mentioned before, I’m a barista, so I’m really used to much bigger and higher quality machines, but I also have a small amount of space to work with at home.
That’s why I have the DeLonghi Stilosa in my own kitchen. It has a compact design and is easy to work with and frankly gets the job done. It also has lower prices compared to most machines out there that can get you a decent espresso shot.
I will say that even with its 15 bars, it can sometimes take a minute or two longer to warm up, even though the “ready” light might be on. Of course, even so, you’re still getting a much quicker cup of coffee than some other machines.
That being said, I know this one might not be for everyone, and you might not even be worried about the money. If you’re looking for a good quality espresso machine and you’re more on the beginner side of coffee-making, there are other great options, such as the Jura A1.
The Jura A1 is definitely a luxury machine, in a higher price range, but it does include its own grinder and is an automatic espresso machine, allowing the brew to be done for you. You can even set a timer so that it brews your morning cup of coffee ahead of time!
However, it’s important to note that the Jura A1 doesn’t have a milk steam wand or just a plain hot water system. That means you’re a little more limited in the things that you can make with this alternative.
|DeLonghi Stilosa EC260||Jura A1|
|Dimensions||11.2 x 8.0 x 13.5 in||17.5 x 9 x 12.7 in|
|Weight||9.5 lb||20.3 lb|
|Type of Machine||Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine||Automatic Espresso Machine|
|Water Tank||34 oz, removable||36.8 oz|
So, if you’re looking for a compact, easy-to-use, semi-automatic espresso machine that can steam milk, provide hot water, already comes with some handy tools, and brews some delicious espresso, I would say go for the DeLonghi Stilosa.
In reality, all machines take a minute to get used to, and it’s lucky that this one makes it so much easier to do so, even for those who are just starting out in their coffee journey. Besides, it’s definitely budget-friendly!
DeLonghi Stilosa Review: A Compact and Budget-Friendly Espresso Maker
A DeLonghi Stilosa review that lists all the features and benefits of the compact espresso machine.