DeLonghi Espresso Maker EC140B
by La Donna Lokey
(Chandler, Arizona, USA)
DeLonghi EC140B Espresso
and Cappuccino Maker
The DeLonghi Espresso Maker - Pump Driven Machine is a very fine piece of equipment that produces consistent steamed milk and espresso on demand. I have used one for going on 3 years now and have been very pleased with it.
Having been a barista before, I know that a very important factor in making high quality espresso is the temperature of the water used to make that espresso. Most espresso makers simply boil the water and hope for the best, which while using the steam pressure for the 'pressing' action. This usually makes for a more bitter cup of espresso, since the water is heated to the temperature to steam milk, even if you just want to pull a few quick shots of espresso to start your day.
The DeLonghi Espresso Maker I bought at Target years ago stuck out right away for having a feature I quickly recognized the value of: an internal water pump. While making the DeLonghi a bit noisier than your usual steam-driven espresso maker, the water pump means that you don't need to try to boil the water to create the pressing action, the pump will handle that so you can have the water at a lower temperature for pulling espresso properly.
This particular model has several switches on the side, one to pull the espresso shot, another to heat the water even more for steaming milk,
and then the main power switch which turns the whole device on and off. It's fairly intuitive, however if you're not experienced with espresso makers you may accidentally turn the steaming switch on and then wonder why your espresso's not pouring out like it should.
Upkeep of this model however is a breeze. Not requiring a steam carafe means that you can actually remove the water tank from the machine and clean it out by hand or dishwasher as you see fit, and occasionally running vinegar through the machine does plenty to keep it well cleaned and running fine even after several years of hard use. The only hard part to maintaining this model is the 'filter holder' and how the filter can get clogged over time with tiny grains of espresso caught in it. I elected to take a needle and clean it out manually (the whole filter holder disassembles very quickly and easily for cleaning) though there may be other options as well.
The espresso you make from this model is of the best quality I've seen in any home model so far, and easily rivals the commercial-grade espresso machines for quality of both steamed milk and espresso and crema. I cannot recommend this model from DeLonghi enough to anyone who's interested in not just having an espresso maker, but having one that is consistent in every aspect of it's operation and is as reliable as it gets.