As I quickly pointed out on the homepage, this is the favourite of all the bean to cup machines I’ve used, and therefore it should be no surprise to learn that it’s also the one that’s in my kitchen at home.
Let’s begin with a summary of what makes the Delonghi ECAM44.660.B Eletta stand out.
The big difference that this machine offers compared to most others in the same price range is that it comes with a milk carafe that works really well. It’s interchangable with a hot water nozzle (which you can use for making tea – but I’ve got a perfectly good kettle for that!) and can be attached and detached on demand. When its not in use, you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days, which is great as it means you dont need to be contiually wasting milk, or trying to pour it back into the milk carton.
The automation features also make this a really attractive machine. It means that even those that havent got a clue about how to make great coffee can get started right out of the box – there are default presets for cappuccino, latte, flat white and latte macchiato to choose from, as well as the option to dispense hot milk. As for the straight coffee options, you can choose from two sliding scales, with strength ranging from extra mild to extra strong, and length from short to extra long. On the length front, you can also choose a one or two cup option. As someone who drinks far too much coffee, I often just select the extra long option and press two cup for a really good sized mug. The two nozzles are close enough together to position a standard sized mug under both.
Back to the milk, the carafe has it’s own simple configuration option too – allowing you to really style your milk based coffees to your own tastes. The dial simply controls how much the machine froths your milk as it’s heated and dispensed. The low end will be great for the lattes, and the high end gives you a great option for the perfect cappuccino.
As with all bean to cup coffee machines, a lot of the learning that goes into finding your favourite coffee is in the beans. Personally, I love the Starbucks espresso beans in my Delonghi Eletta, but have also got some great results with Union beans too. They’re loaded into the machine on the top in the compartment you can see in the above image at the rear, and in that container you’ll also find a dial to adjust how fine or coarse you would like the beans to be ground.
While we’re on the subject of the anatomy of the machine – the water reservoir is locate on the right hand side, and the tank pulls forward to release it from the machine and fill from the tap. Every so often you’ll also add descaler liquid to the tank too to run a cleaning cycle, which is mainly automated, other than refilling the tank a couple of times with water to rinse the system through before it’s used for coffee again. Coffee grounds fall into a collection container that sits behind the nozzles and needs emptying into the bin fairly frequently, but it’s easily done by pulling forward the silver drip tray – it’s easy to empty out at the same time to keep maintenance tasks to a minimum.
All in all this is a great machine and is available at a very reasonable price too. The RRP is £829.99 , but Amazon often have this deeply discounted. You can see the latest price here: