There are plenty of espresso makers to choose from if you’re in the market for one. I had the opportunity to review the De’Longhi Stilosa Espresso and Cappuccino maker and was quite impressed. Not only do you get a great espresso with the coffee of your choosing, but you can also make coffee and milk beverages with the built-in cappuccino maker. Read on to see my thoughts on the De’Longhi Stilosa.
Inside the box
Once you’ve made your purchase and taken it home for use it’s time to see what’s inside the box.
You’ll find the Stilosa machine complete with a 15-bar pump for optimal pressure, the portafilter, tamper/measuring scoop, filters for both 1 and 2 shots, the instruction manual, warranty information and a registration card for exclusive benefits.
Getting started with the De’Longhi Stilosa
After unboxing get yourself familiar with the parts and control panel of the De’Longhi Stilosa. On the control panel you’ll see the on and ready pilot lights as well as the selector dial for choosing the steam, off, on or coffee/hot water options. Centered right underneath the dial is the boiler outlet where you insert the portafilter as well as a removeable drip trey at the bottom. On the right side of the machine is the adjustable cappuccino maker as well as the on/off for it’s use. Once you’re familiar with the workings of the machine it’s time to clean the machine, grab your favourite ground coffee and make yourself a lovely hot beverage.
Testing out the De’Longhi Stilosa
Before using the De’Longhi Stilosa for the first time, the machine needs to be run to clean it out. There are easy to follow “first use” instructions in the manual. The water tank needs to be filled first and inserted properly. There’s a small round black disc that looks like a filter that you’ll want to ensure is placed in the machine where the water tank inserts. Mine wasn’t and it was quickly obvious there was a problem when I started the machine and tried to discharge the tank for cleaning. After the water tank has been filled place a large bowl or Tupperware and place it under the portafilter. Turn the selector dial to the on position and wait for it to heat up, the lit “Ready” will tell you when the machine’s ready for use. Turn the selector to the coffee/hot water option, you’ll hear it start running and water will start dispensing from the portafilter. Once half the tank has been dispensed, turn the machine back to the on position. Reposition the bowl under the cappuccino maker and turn the selector dial over to the steam option. Wait to ensure the green ready light is on and then turn the steam/hot water delivery knob on the side to release the remainder of the water from the tank. The water will be very hot so please be careful when you’re cleaning the machine.
You are now ready to make your first espresso or cappuccino. Refill the water tank and choose your 1 or 2 shot filter and place it in the portafilter. Scoop in your coffee grounds, tamper them down and insert the portafilter into the boiler outlet by aligning the notches and tightening it. If you don’t have espresso cups, you’ll need to remove the drip tray from the bottom to fit a coffee mug underneath. If the green “ready” light is on, turn the selector dial over to the coffee/hot water delivery option and your coffee will start to drip almost immediately. This machine doesn’t have an automatic stop feature so you’ll need to manually turn the dial back to on or off once you’ve reached your desired cup of coffee.
To then make a cappuccino fill a mug with approximately 100 ml of your milk of choice and turn the selector dial over to the steam option. Make sure that the green ready light is still on, it may take a second to re-light. Lift your mug of milk inserting the cappuccino maker and turn the steam/hot water delivery knob to the on position. You’ll hear it start up and notice the volume of milk inside the cup start to increase. Bear in mind that the milk will double or triple in volume and once this has happened turn off the steam delivery knob, lower your mug of milk and wipe off the cappuccino maker so it doesn’t drip all over your counter. Next, pour the milk over the cup of espresso and add any sweetener if you’d like. Who knows, maybe over time you’ll learn some fancy foam art. I have yet to perfect it.
Cleaning up after use it quick and easy. Remove the portafilter and dump the used grounds into your compost and rinse out the portafilter and shot filter. For the cappuccino maker, place a mug underneath and release some hot water, then unscrew the cappuccino maker and remove the rubber nozzle. Wash the two pieces with warm water and replace them on the machine. The machine is now ready for next use.
The chrome and black colours of the De’Longhi Stilosa are modern and neutral, and it doesn’t take up too much counter space if that’s a concern for you. The machine feels well made, it heats up and is ready for use quickly. I wouldn’t say that it’s on the quieter side during use, but it won’t wake up the whole house either. The tamper is made of plastic and feels like it may not last long so I would recommend investing in a sturdier one. I also didn’t have a proper milk jug which made pouring the steamed milk into the espresso a little trickier. A proper milk jug for espresso makers would come in handy and be a worthy purchase if this will be your everyday machine. The temperature of both the espresso and steamed milk were spot on and I have been enjoying the cappuccinos. I love having this machine at home because I can use whichever ground coffee I prefer and in fact everyone in your home can use their own preferred coffee. Overall, a great little espresso/cappuccino maker for the home.
You can find the De’Longhi Stilosa Espresso and Cappuccino Maker at Best Buy online.