I was working on my content calendar for the blog a few weeks ago and I realized I’ve never talked about my espresso machine here!
I’m not sure how it’s possible, other than perhaps it’s such an integral part of my life now that I don’t even think of it as conversation-worthy — ha!
But, I asked for an espresso machine for Christmas last year. I have never wanted a machine bad enough to get one for myself, but working from home and the pandemic lockdown made me re-evaluate so much about my home.
Why I wanted an espresso machine
I realized I could make so many different drinks other than coffee with an espresso machine!
Plus, I politely asked for not much “stuff” this year. For a few years, I’ve focused on asking for consumable items like snacks, coffee, skincare, etc.
I wanted a few token items instead of lots of small things — I think all of us learned a little something about how much “stuff” we have during the pandemic lockdown.
So, I asked for an espresso machine. But, I usually try and provide examples of what I would like (creating a Christmas list is a big deal around here).
What I was looking for in an espresso machine
When I started looking up espresso machines, I was really overwhelmed by how many options there were AND the price range! There were machines from $75-$1500, and I couldn’t believe it!
Of course, the price mostly depended on the features and the brand. At the time, I knew nothing about espresso or espresso machines. But, I had some criteria in mind:
- It had to have a built-in milk steamer
- It didn’t need a bean grinder (I have a separate one)
- It needed to be small enough for my kitchen counter (no bigger than my coffee maker)
- Preferred if it came in a bright color or white
There was also the option of an espresso pod, such as a Nespresso. I’d had Nespresso in the past and it was delicious, but purchasing the pods seemed limiting and how would I recycle the empty pods?
I wasn’t eliminating that option, but I kept my questions about it in mind.
Once I really started looking using my list, it was pretty easy to narrow things down. I didn’t want the machine to be too pricy, but the smaller machines I was looking at were in my price range.
The espresso machine I chose
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I narrowed it down to two machines, and my mom bought me the De’Longhi ECP3220 15 Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine.
Here are the features:
- Filter options for single shots, double shots and easy serving espresso pods (eco-friendly, cloth pods)
- Brew 1 or 2 shots at the same time
- The swivel jet frothier warms and steams milk for creamy drinks
- Always brew espresso or cappuccino at the perfect temperature with two separate thermostats
- Durable, high-quality stainless steel boiler
- Extract the most authentic flavor with the 15 bar brewing system
- Easy to clean with removable water tank (37-ounce) with indicator light and removable drip tray
- Easy-to-use turn dial control for all functions
It had really great reviews (trust me, I scoured the reviews!) and was at an affordable price. Bonus: it comes in white!
I believe you have to purchase the little metal pitcher for the milk separately. I was gifted that along with my machine and a bottle of the cleaner.
I will note that the machine does make noise — it’s louder than a regular coffee maker. However, I don’t think it’s too loud. I can’t compare it to other machines since this is my first.
Now that I’ve had an espresso machine for 6 months…
I love this espresso machine!
The size is perfect (I did pay attention to the measurements when I was looking) so it fits right next to my coffee maker.
I have used it (on average) once per week since I got it. At first, the instructions were a little intimidating, but after just a few uses, I got the hang of it.
Before getting the machine, I assumed I would only use it for making lattes and cappuccinos. But, I actually like just plain espresso, and it’s a really nice thing to be able to offer guests.
Over the course of the six months I’ve had the machine, I went from making the same drink to trying several different things.
I also never measured my espresso at first (!), and just used regular coffee mugs. But, I’ve since started using a measuring cup to get exactly two shots, and bought demitasse cups at a thrift shop!
I have been keeping my eye out for official espresso shot glasses.
I also have found that buying (and trying) espresso is an entirely new hobby. I like looking around town for different beans, and I always check local shops when I travel to see what I can bring home.
The other thing I didn’t think about when shopping for a machine is how easy the cleanup is. This machine doesn’t make much of a mess — I usually just wipe it down right after using it.
I wash everything every few uses to keep it looking nice and clean, and because so many of the parts are detachable, you can toss them in the dishwasher.
How I make a cappuccino at home
If I’m not drinking plain ole espresso, I usually make a cappuccino:
- Brew two shots of espresso (I like Dallmayr Espresso Monaco)
- Pour approximately 1/3 c oat milk* into carafe
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla into oat milk
- Steam milk until very frothy
- Add a splash of hot milk to espresso
- Spoon milk froth over espresso
- Sprinkle ground cinnamon over froth
*You can use any milk you like! Full-fat milk is best for a frothy cappuccino, but since I am plant-based, I tried all sorts of nut milks and did some research. Oat milk is the best non-dairy option!
As you can probably tell by now, I have really enjoyed having my espresso machine! I’m looking forward to trying even more types of beans and drinks. Espresso martini, anyone?
This review is not sponsored — nor are any of the reviews on this blog. I am always trying new things and I enjoy sharing the products I love right here! For more reviews and similar posts, please subscribe to the blog by clicking subscribe on the right side of your screen. Cheers!