DeLonghi EC702: The Italian Espresso Machine for the Beginner

DeLonghi-EC702-15-Bar-Pump-Espresso-Stainless
The DeLonghi EC702 is a great starter espresso machine. Compact, quick and under $200

Ready to make the move and try your hand at making espresso but not sure where to start? Or, maybe, it’s time to save some money on the coffee shop habit.

$4 a day does add up awfully quickly and your time in line is valuable too.

Which ever decision you may be considering, the DeLonghi EC702 semi- automatic espresso maker might just be what you’re after.

Small, inexpensive and compact, it might even be the present you need for that away from home college student.

 

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delonghi ec702

What Is the DeLonghi EC702 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker?

The EC 702 is semi-automatic espresso maker. For the dedicated espresso drinker, it has two thermostats to control water and steam, self-priming operation and a pressurized portafilter that offers the flexibility of using either grounds or ESE pods.

What Comes in the Box?

  • The coffee maker
  • Measuring scoop
  • Bottle of descaler
  • Pressurized portafilter

An Overview of the DeLonghi EC702

  • 15 bar pump
  • Self-primes automatically
  • Stainless steel boiler
  • Patented dual function pressurized portafilter
  • Built-in steamer/frother so that you can make cappuccinos and lattes
  • A 44 oz. removable water tank with indicator light
  • Two separate thermostats to control water and steam
  • Cup warming tray on top

What Are Some of the Special Features of the EC 702?

One of the more notable features is the DeLonghi EC702 filter holder. It’s their patented pressurized portafilter. This is a big advantage for those times when you don’t want to use fresh ground coffee or you don’t have the time to be exact.

A pressurized portafilter will excuse a lot of mistakes. They help you out by taking a batch of variables out of the espresso making. Things like wrong grind, poor water flow and sloppy tamping.

You can make a single or double shot of espresso with ground coffee using either of the two SEMPRE crema filter baskets. A third basket takes E.S.E. pods for quick espresso making.

DeLonghi made the EC702 simple to use with just three buttons to contend with. Turn on, brew espresso and steam are all a one button push task.

Built-in Frother

The EC 702 also comes with a built-in frother. This is going to be handy and useful to the cappuccino or latte drinker and is easy to use.  A suggestion is to think about buying a separate steaming pitcher.

There’s not quite enough room between the wand and the main body. It’s reported to be an inconvenient task trying to do the steaming/frothing in the cup. A steaming pitcher is made of thinner material and will fit the wand better, giving you more control.

Need hot water for a non-coffee drink? No problem. Just press the brew button and turn the steam lever to the hot water position and you’re good to go.

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Self-priming Boiler

The EC702 is self-priming which means it’s going to get up to temperature faster. This equals less waiting around for you. Helping to cut that waiting time down even more are two thermostats. One each for water and steam. That means the latte or cappuccino fan isn’t going to be waiting to steam their milk,

A stainless steel case helps in the cleanup chores, just a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. The drip tray is a generous size and easily cleaned.

The water tank is on the right-hand side and in the back, right behind the steamer wand. It’s clear plastic so you can monitor the water level easily.

The DeLonghi has a cup warmer on top. It uses the radiated heat from the boiler for warming.

Any Tips or Tricks to Getting My Best Cup of Espresso?   

We’ve gathered some tips to help get the best out of your DeLonghi EC702:

1. How can I improve the crema of my coffee using my DeLonghi?

  1. Use fresh coffee that’s been ground to an espresso grind. We recommend you grind your own beans as this is the recognized single best way to improve your coffee or espresso.
  2. And, if you do grind, a tip we found was to start between a fine and extra fine setting. You can experiment from there. This should allow you to pull a shot in about 20 – 25 seconds.
  3. Don’t tamp the coffee too tightly. Aim for something like 5 to 7 pounds to start with. In the DeLonghi you want to make sure the water can flow through easily.
  4. Don’t overfill the porta filter. Use one measuring scoop per cup and level it off.

2. How do I keep the water temperature up? The best bean extraction needs water temperatures of 195 to 205°. Typically the DeLonghi will run about 179° or little over.

To raise the temperature to that range, run one cycle of water through the system without using any coffee grounds. This will help get the system up to a higher temperature.

It’s been noted that after several cycles, the resulting drink is quite hot. Use the water that runs out to warm up the cup.

Get in the habit of rinsing off the portafilter with hot water after every cup or before you make a new one. Keeping the portafilter warm will help keep the temperature up on your next espresso.

3. Is the built in tamper enough?

Tamping is critical to good espresso, it’s particularly important to be careful of your tamping on this machine. Users have reported that you shouldn’t use the typical 30 pounds of tamping pressure that you would on a more expensive machine.

Practice is key here. Your results may be different, but those users say to use between 5 to 7 pounds of tamping pressure.

We suggest buying a separate tamper. It makes it easier for you to get better espresso.

 

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What’s the DeLonghi EC702 Cleaning Routine?

The main point on any espresso machine is to keep it clean. Failure to keep the machine clean is one of the biggest things that causes them to fail. Cleanliness and maintenance are really important.

At least a weekly cleaning of the frother and the insides of the machine to make sure that you don’t have any grounds or buildup going on. No parts are dishwasher safe, so do this by hand.

Purge the frothing wand before use to clear out any water condensation that would diminish the steam. Purge again after use to make sure the milk is cleaned out as it can sometimes get sucked back up into the wand and spoil.

Cover your hand with a cloth when purging, the steam can scald and burn. Run the steamer until the gurgling stops. The steamer nozzle can be removed and dismantled for cleaning.

Rinse out the portafilter handle after every shot to keep clean.

DeLonghi EC702 Descaling

Keep the machine descaled. DeLonghi recommends descaling every 2 to 3 months using Urnex DezCal. A couple of other recommendations are:

Make sure the portafilter is attached when you’re running the descaler. This keeps the water from spraying all over but also helps descale the basket.

When you descale, clean the group head – where the portafilter attaches – at the same time. Three signs that the group head might need cleaning:

  • The pump sounds like it’s working harder than usual
  • Water or coffee grounds are spilling over the filter where you attach it to the machine
  • Your coffee has taken on an bad or off taste

If these three things are happening it’s because there’s gunk blocking up the screen. For the first two, the pump can’t push the water past the blockage. Not cleaning the gunk out may be why there are some reported pump failures.

The taste issue is due to the residue spoiling the espresso flavor.

If you need to know how to clean the group ahead, you can search on YouTube for cleaning a group head filter.

WfC Lab Recommended Extras

  1. A good burr grinder to go along with this unit. Good choices would be the Gaggia MDF or the Baratza Preciso. You can also go to a Rocky Rancilio.
  2. A scale to measure your coffee.
  3. Cleaning brush.
  4. A good tamper because the plastic one is fairly inconvenient to use.
  5. A separate steaming pitcher to make using the foam wand easier.

Where Is the DeLonghi Made and What’s the Warranty?

It is an Italian designed machine that is made in China. DeLonghi supports the warranty and it is for one year. If you need service, you can contact them at:

800-322-3848

Hours of availability: 9am-8pm (ET) Monday through Friday

You can also reach the company via mail:

De’Longhi America, Inc.
2 Park Way & Route 17 South
Suite 3A
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Attn: Customer Service

What We Liked and, Well, Didn’t Like:

We suppose you could call the ability to use E.S.E. pods a good thing. You can use them when you don’t feel like you have the time to grind fresh beans. Honestly, we’re kind of iffy here. It’s just a minute or so more to grind some fresh coffee.

And it is going to make a difference. The pre-ground pods and what not don’t make the best drinks.

The EC702 is easy to use and clean. It has one button each for power on, brewing, and steam temperature. There is a lever to activate the steam when you’re ready and you can get hot water for non-coffee drinks.

The unit self-primes so it can heat the water in about 5 to 7 minutes and then get the steam up to temperature in about another minute more.

It has a stainless steel case that’s been upgraded from earlier models, but it’s not all metal. There are plastic parts like the drip tray, side panel and the cup warmer frame.

It’s a compact machine so it will fit in small spaces like small kitchens, RVs, campers, and other limited spaces.

A couple of things we’re not too keen on. . .

The pucks are messy. They’re wet and not firmly packed like you would find on higher-quality machines. Those machines will dry the puck out and compact it so it’s a solid, dry mass and easier to empty. Cleaner all around too.

This messiness causes a bit of a hitch with the portafilter. It has a lever that needs to fold forward to hold the baskets in place.

The problem occurs when you go to empty out the grounds. You have to hold on to the lever and twist the filter around so much that you run the risk of banging your knuckles on something.

Another thing to know, the EC702 portafilter head is smaller than most other units. If you buy a separate tamper, make sure to buy a smaller size to fit like this one on Amazon.

Where Can I Buy a DeLonghi EC702?

The EC 702 can be found here at Amazon where you can take advantage of free shipping and great customer service.

You may be able to purchase an extended warranty which could be a good idea. But don’t buy it blindly.

Check the price, some warranty prices are so high, they don’t make sense on lower priced products.

Our Take On the DeLonghi EC702?

Our final thought on the DeLonghi EC702 espresso maker is that it’s a good entry-level espresso machine. Nothing overly fancy, but it does deliver a nice espresso and makes a good latte and cappuccino. For the price, you really do get what you pay for which isn’t a knock.

When you start out getting into your own espresso making, you really don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. You want something that’s going to be easy to work with and play around with. Experimentation and practice are key.

The EC 702 fits the bill.

There are some quirks, but it’s all a part of the game. We haven’t reviewed a machine yet that wasn’t quirky in some way.

When or if it’s time to move up, the DeLonghi would be a good backup machine or hand me down.

Click this link to purchase or find out more about the DeLonghi EC702 espresso machine on Amazon.

 



The DeLonghi EC702 espresso machine is a great
beginner machine. Able to make a number of milk
based drinks thanks to the built in frothing wand,
the EC702 is pretty flexible. Check out the post
to see if it fits your lifestyle.

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