De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro coffee machine review summary
In the most gratifying way, this De’Longhi demands that you make espresso over instant coffee every time. Its series of hands-on dials with digital displays wrapped up in a brushed stainless steel casing ooze class. The brand has brought the efficiency and style of its larger commercial machines into one compact bean-to-cup for proud display on the countertop.
- Read our full guide to the best bean-to-cup coffee machines
With just £1 change from £1o00, it’s a considerable investment, but the user experience combined with quality of components, the performance and classic style make it worth the money. If you’re looking to experiment with your coffees and enjoy the process of making them, the Maestro is packed with opportunity to personalise them.
Setting up the De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro
Unboxing this machine is made considerably easier by the handy addition of a lift-out cardboard insert. It may sound trivial to mention, but these machines are so tightly packed for their protection during transit that getting them out the box can be the biggest challenge of the set-up process.
The hopper is ready-attached, as is its drip tray, so once on the counter, the rest is simple. An accessories box contains the single and double espresso filter baskets, the portafilter, cleaning accessories and a quick-start guide.
The water tank lifts up and out from the back so isn’t practical if sat under low kitchen cupboards. Once this is full and the hopper is topped up with coffee beans, the quick start booklet runs you through the start up sequence. Make sure you have a jug handy for catching the water as the system flushes out the portafilter. The additional water spout sits close to the portafilter so you don’t need to use a particularly wide cup with Americanos.
How easy is it to use the De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro coffee machine?
There are eight grind settings to manually select. The ‘smart tamping station’ refers to a level-controlled process after the grinding and dosing is done. It’s a manual pull to compress and level the grinds and works very effectively. Be sure to return it fully back to the neutral position after use as the machine can get confused otherwise.
The milk froth wand offers excellent range of movement, twisting out parallel to the machine and back again over the latte drip tray. This model comes with a Lattecrema System in addition, which fits on top of the stainless steel milk jug to offer extra oomph for frothy coffees. The result was a good head, although we preferred the control the steam wand offered.
The button interface and coffee dosing level were the trickiest aspects to master. Keep the manual close to hand for your first few uses while you set your machine to get the best results from your chosen coffee beans and become familiar with its adjustable functions.
Results of the De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro
Six coffees are on offer for pre-set selection; Espresso, Cappuccino, Long Black, Coffee, Flat White and Latte. The grind level is adjustable from fine to coarse.
During brewing, there’s an eight second pause for a pre-infusion phase in which the machine wets the top of the coffee to ensure even extraction before the coffee starts to flow. The espresso we pulled flowed evenly in streams and had a thin layer of silky crema. A fold-down espresso cup holder is just one of a few functions that makes this machine so user friendly, ensuring no coffee splashed out.
Should you buy the De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro?
For anyone wanting a hands-on espresso machine, The Specialista Maestro helps you make a rich and satisfying cup, and it makes a statement on the countertop. Particularly great for milky coffees, or anyone wanting to build barista skills.
De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro EC9665.M Manual espresso maker specifications
Pump pressure: 19 bars
Materials: stainless steel
Water tank capacity: 2.5L
Functions: latte macchiato, hot milk, automatic cappuccino
Dimensions: 36 x 35 x 45cm (including hopper)
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This review was last updated in June 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@.