An advanced latte system that grinds coffee beans to perfection and brews you a perfect cup of coffee every time in the comfort of your own home. Sounds like a dream, right? The DeLonghi La Specialista espresso machine makes it all possible with state-of-the-art sensor grinding technology and a superior brew head design that delivers the great taste of coffee all year round. But, improving your quality of living starts with the small stuff. In this DeLonghi La Specialista review, we will be running you through why this espresso machine can make that dream a reality.
The purpose of this review is to provide you with some guidance about whether to purchase your own La Specialista. This means giving you the run-down, taking you through the specs, design, features, and benefits that come with using the La Specialista EC9335M model.
For the sake of visualization, we’ll also be taking you through the setup process and how to clean maintain your machine. With that said, we hope that this review can be something that owners of the product can come back to for additional help and be a source of pre-purchase information for new buyers.
What’s in the Box:
- De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M Espresso Machine, Stainless steel
- Sensor Grinder and Dual Heating System
- Hot water spout and steam wand
- Smart tamping station
- 8.8 oz coffee bean hopper
- 67.6 oz water tank
- Milk pitcher, descaling solution, cleaning brush
- User manual
- Brand: DeLonghi
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 15 x 17.5-inches
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Color: Silver and Black
- Weight: 29.7 lbs
- Warranty: 3-Year Limited Warranty
Overview of Delonghi La Specialista
The Delonghi La Specialista is made of quality stainless steel that adds to its lifespan and durability. Designed to look and operate like a real cafe-quality coffee machine, the La Specialista has a simple yet advanced control panel that straightforward the brewing process. From transforming the pre-ground coffee to delivering delicious hot coffee straight to your mug.
Advanced Latte System
A major selling point of the La Specialista espresso machine is its advanced latte system that allows you to customize the steam wand settings. This allows you to have full control over the milk frothing process. You can choose between flat hot milk for a smooth and consistent coffee or foam for a perfect frothy coffee with the potential for latte art.
The La Specialista comes with active temperature control, which comes in a thermal block for extracting coffee. In addition, there is an independent separate heating element for steaming milk and frothing. The advantage of this dual heating system is that you can brew your coffee and heat your milk simultaneously. It also eases the burden of any one of the heating elements for the sake of longevity.
A 67 oz water reservoir ensures you have enough capacity to brew as little as one cup of espresso or as much as a full carafe of coffee. Additionally, you can brew up many cups of coffee without needing to refill the water tank. Lower maintenance means higher satisfaction.
Speaking of container capacities, the La Specialista also comes with an 8.8 oz bean hopper. As a result, you can grind large amounts of coffee in a single cycle. This container also allows you to choose how fine or coarse you want your grounds to be. This gives you even more customizable power over your brewed coffee beverage.
Sensor Grinding Technology
If the capacity wasn’t impressive enough, this bean hopper also comes with La Specialista’s very own sensor grinding technology. This feature allows you to do precise, consistent grinding while applying the optimal level of coffee dosing for espresso. Furthermore, you can adjust the style of your coffee grounds based on how course or how smooth you would like them to be.
If you are unsure, refer to the brand of coffee beans’ instructions to better understand how you should grind them by your preference. To top it off, there is a sensor incorporated into the bean hopper that alerts you when your beans are running low. Once it does, you can refill them or stop grinding as needed.
Smart Tamp Station
Manual tamping is a thing of the past with the La Specialista espresso machine. Instead, simply leave your portafilter in the smart tamping station, where it will receive the coffee grounds. From there, rather than using an individual tamp to smoothen out your coffee grounds, all you do is turn the lever and then remove the portafilter from the station.
You will be left with a perfectly tamped portafilter of coffee grounds ready to be inserted into the main brewing compartment. The benefit is that you don’t need a separate tamp to get your portafilter ready. You also avoid making a mess on your kitchen counter space.
Another great benefit of the La Specialista coffee maker is its ability to turn on and fire up the machine in a quick manner. Built with a 1-second quick-start mechanism, the machine is ready to use when you press the power button. From there, you can start grinding your coffee beans and brewing your espresso with no additional heat up time required, as it’s all done from the moment the machine switches on.
As mentioned already, you also don’t lose any time heating your milk, as the separate heating mechanism enables you to heat your milk jug using the steam wand as your espresso is brewing up.
Hot Water Spout
Not only does this espresso machine come with a grinder, portafilter, and steam wand, but also a separate hot water spout that enables you to dispense hot water for a variety of purposes. However, it most commonly makes for a great tool to top up your espresso for a delicious Americano coffee, giving you that added variety to your coffee brewing arsenal.
Additionally, this feature allows you to make a nice cup of tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, or even a cup of noodles! The best part is that this spout uses a different pathway to the ground coffee route to enter your cup. As a result, you don’t need to worry about any residual coffee making its way to the hot water from the brewing unit and affecting the taste.
The La Specialista goes above and beyond when it comes to providing an exceptional drip tray to capture any coffee that spills out or misses your cup, keeping your kitchen counter space nice and clean. Far larger than the average drip tray, this one can capture plenty of liquid before cleaning is required, resulting in less maintenance and more coffee enjoyment.
Completely removable and dishwasher-friendly, this drip tray is an absolute breeze to clean. It also allows you to provide extra cup space for brewing up much a taller travel mug or equivalent.
Like many of DeLonghi’s espresso machines, the La Specialista comes with a reliable 3-year limited warranty. This allows you to repair or replace your product for free if you experience defects due to factory manufacturing or material-related issues with your machine. In addition, DeLonghi has an exceptional customer support system and is readily available to assist with your product.
- The advanced latte-making system allows you to customize your milk frothing results.
- Sensor grinding technology allows you to measure your coffee grounds accurately and receive alerts when the bean hopper is low on beans.
- Durable stainless steel material is long-lasting and looks stunning.
- The adjustable steam wand makes it easy to heat milk for a flat or foam finish.
- Separate heating elements mean you can brew coffee and heat milk simultaneously, allowing you to save time and lighten the burden on the machine.
- Active temperature stability and control ensure the optimal coffee temperature is reached for all your coffee drinks.
- Various sizes of portafilter baskets are included so you can adjust coffee ground levels.
- A separate hot water spout means you can top up your coffee for an Americano or use it to make tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, or cup noodles.
- 3-year limited warranty by DeLonghi.
- Not compatible with pods, capsules, or K-Cups.
- The bulky dimensions of the machine may be difficult to store and handle.
Set up and First Use
Setting up the DeLonghi La Specialista espresso machine may seem daunting at first because of its big, bulky size. However, you’ll soon learn that it’s much easier than it looks. To start things off, ensure your machine is placed in a spacious area on your kitchen table. Then, plug the power cord into a nearby socket.
Next, ensure you rinse out the critical components upon first use. For example, the water reservoir, bean hopper, and portafilter baskets. This will ensure any dust or other unwanted particles that may have built up during the shipping process are eliminated before you begin brewing.
The next step for first-time use is to clean out the machine’s interior by running a full tank of water through the brewing process. Do this by running the brew cycle without adding any coffee grounds to the brew head, and simply allow water to pass through the machine and out into an empty cup or container.
Additionally, you will need to run the steam wand to ensure the insides are nicely rinsed out. Finally, clean out the hot water dispenser by dispensing water into an empty cup or container as you did with the brewer.
Once your machine is plugged in and all cleaned up (inside and out), you are ready to start brewing! First, simply fill up the water reservoir to your desired levels by removing it from the machine and filling it up under a tap. Next, fill up the bean hopper with your choice of coffee beans and close the lid. That’s it!
The hard part is over, and now you simply connect the portafilter into the tamping station and get grinding! The next section will provide more detail on this.
How do you use the Delonghi La Specialista?
Once your La Specialista coffee machine is ready to go, you are already most of the way to the finish line towards brewing your first delicious cup of coffee. The following is a step-by-step guide to brewing a cup of espresso using the La Specialista espresso machine. (This should not be used as a detailed guide, for that refer to the instructor’s manual):
- Plugin your machine and turn on the power button.
- Fill up the water tank to your desired level (it doesn’t hurt to fill it all the way).
- Finally, fill up the bean hopper with your choice of fresh coffee beans.
- Insert the portafilter into the smart tamp station and grind to your desired setting. Alternatively, fill up the portafilter directly with your choice of pre-ground coffee.
- Rotate the portafilter once the ground coffee is finished grinding for a nice tamped coffee.
- Remove the portafilter from the tamp station and insert it into the brew station.
- Finally, place your cup or mug ready on the drip tray and select your choice of single or double shot espresso, or otherwise select a regular coffee or Americano option. Enjoy!
How do you use the Milk Frother?
The milk frother is operated using a separate heating mechanism so that you can froth your milk as your coffee is brewing. First, fill up the provided stainless steel jug with your choice of milk and select between foam or flat finish for your milk. Once you’ve set your steam wand to the desired steaming setting, hold your jug of milk so that the wand interacts with the milk.
Ensure the wand is not too deep inside and shallow, as this can cause unwanted splashes and spills. Once you are happy with the temperature and texture of your milk, you can mix it with your espresso for a delicious latte, cappuccino, or flat white.
How do you use the Burr Grinder?
Using the burr grinder for the La Specialista is a little different from most coffee makers. This is because of the grind sensor technology that allows you to measure the levels of your pre-ground coffee accurately. Once measured, you can adjust the level of coarseness or fineness of your coffee grounds.
Simply pour your beans into the bean hopper and select the desired level for your coffee bean texture, i.e., fine or coarse. Then, select the amount you wish to grind. This can range from a small cup’s worth of ground coffee to as much as the whole bean hopper’s worth.
Who is the “La Specialista” meant for?
The DeLonghi La Specialista suits anyone willing to put in a little extra effort for a higher quality coffee beverage. While it’s not as convenient as a capsule coffee maker, the payoff for grinding your own beans is high.
I would recommend the La Specialista for coffee lovers that want more than an entry-level espresso machine. Its best for those looking to exercise greater control over their experience. From the grinding of the coffee beans to the selection of the brew sizes and right on through to the frothing of the milk. You are given complete control that you cannot get with other espresso machines.
Cleaning and maintenance
How do you clean?
Cleaning the La Specialista appropriately is essential for ensuring quality and safe coffee brewing, and more importantly, the coffee drinking experience. To clean the individual removable components, remove them from their stations and wash them individually. For instance, the water reservoir can be removed and rinsed under a sink or washed via a dishwasher as preferred.
Other items to wash in this manner include the portafilter baskets, bean hopper, and drip trays. The rest of the machine can be wiped down using a damp cloth and some soap if desired. Ensure the machine is properly dried before commencing with your next brew cycle.
How do you descale a Delonghi Specialista?
As part of the product purchase, you receive a bottle of DeLonghi descaling solution as well as a cleaning brush. To descale, fill up the water reservoir with descaling solution until it reaches the level marked on the water tank. Next, please fill-up the rest of the water tank with regular water until it is full.
Finally, close the lid and set the machine to descale mode by turning the dial on the right-hand side 45 degrees to the right or at “3’oclock.” From there, place a suitably large jug under the hot water spout, coffee dispenser, and steam wand. Then press the OK button and allow descaling to commence.
Once the outlets stop dispensing water, empty the jug and place it back underneath all three outlets. Then, fill up the water reservoir again, but this time with regular water without any descaling solution. Press the rinse button indicated by the droplets icon to run the descaling cycle one more time for a nice interior rinse.
Finally, remove the drip tray, empty the water, and return it to its position once it’s nice and dry. Finish up by filling up your water reservoir and turning the right-hand dial away from descaling mode. This ensures your machine is ready for the next brew.
Delonghi La Specialista FAQ
Is Delonghi Specialista worth it?
The La Specialista is a high-end coffee maker with a range of beneficial features that you won’t find in many espresso machines out there. It was rated 4.2-stars on Amazon reviews by over 1,000 global customers. It’s highly regarded for its value for money, great coffee flavor, and blending power.
Is Delonghi a good brand for coffee machines?
DeLonghi is a highly reputable brand of coffee machines related to home appliances such as toasters, blenders, and cookware. They provide a wide selection of coffee machines, including Nespresso machines, the La Specialista, and the Dinamica Plus. All of which are highly rated by users.
Is Delonghi La Specialista a dual boiler?
Yes, the DeLonghi La Specialista is a dual boiler machine built with two separate heating elements that perform different tasks. The brew station and water reservoir are connected to a heating mechanism. As a result, you can prepare the coffee brew and the adjustable steam wand as separate heating methods. This allows you to heat up and froth milk, allowing you to do both these tasks simultaneously.
Are Delonghi espresso machines any good?
DeLonghi espresso machines are a large line of products built for different purposes, such as pod and capsule coffee. La Specialista works with freshly brewed ground coffee. It boasts exceptionally high customer ratings across its product ranges and backs its machines with extensive user warranties. As a result, the brand has remained a successful giant on the market of coffee brewer manufacturing.
Does Delonghi La Specialista have a water filter?
The quick answer is no. Upon purchase, the La Specialista EC9335M model does not come with a water softener filter as it is not included in the initial bundle pack. However, DeLonghi offers a range of water filters that can be purchased separately at an affordable price and are quite easy to install, provided you follow the instructions as required.
Are Breville coffee machines better than DeLonghi?
Breville coffee machines tend to be great rivals to DeLonghi coffee machines and are essentially very similar by nature. For instance, the Breville Barista Express coffee machine performs just about everything the Specialista does, with a few minor exceptions. However, the differences are often minuscule and will ultimately come down to personal preference rather than the actual quality of performance.
Related: Delonghi La Specialista vs Breville Barista Express: Which is better?
Are DeLonghi espresso machines any good?
DeLonghi espresso machines like the La Specialista provide features that aren’t so common in other products. Such features include active temperature control, a steam wand, and a brew station that use separate heating elements. It also has customizable milk frothing options such as flat or foam finishes.
Is DeLonghi Specialista dual boiler?
Yes, the DeLonghi Specialista is a dual boiler because it includes two separate heating elements. These can be used to perform different tasks at the same time without burdening the machines too much. For example, this means you can brew a delicious espresso while frothing your milk with the steam wand simultaneously. This saves time and prevents any single heating element from overheating or damaging itself.
Should you buy the Delonghi La Specialista?
To sum it all up, the DeLonghi La Specialista is a well-built and well-designed espresso machine intended to give you more than just a delicious cup of espresso. In addition to making it super easy to use, you are also given so much more control over your brew. It has an abundance of customizable features.
Thus, whether it’s the sensor grinding technology, the smart tamp station, the adjustable steam wand, or the customizable milk frothing options, the DeLonghi La Specialista gives you all the power. Brew up your cup, your way!
The La Specialista espresso machine is rated a strong 4.2-stars on Amazon reviews by over a thousand global users of the product. In particular, it’s been given especially high scores for its value for money, its superior blending power, and above all, its delicious coffee flavor.
Built with durable stainless steel that can last an exceptionally long time if treated well, the La Specialista looks and operates professionally. Check out the Amazon review page for this product using the link below and see what customers are saying about the La Spcialista now:
Final Thoughts on our Delonghi La Specialista Review
Using this incredible machine reaps a ton of rewards for you. It is quite easy to use and will also prove to be a breeze to clean and maintain. All it takes is a simple wipe down with a damp cloth, and you’ll have your machine looking bright and shiny for weeks.
To make things even easier, you can toss the removable components such as the water tank, cup tray, portafilter, and bean hopper into your dishwasher. Descaling is even easier, as all it takes is a dose of DeLonghi descaling solution and some water.
On a final note, the DeLonghi La Specialista espresso machine is one of the best products in the line of coffee-making offered by the brand. As mentioned throughout the article, the machine comes with numerous rare features that enhance the brewing experience.
Giving its users added control over how they grind their beans can hit the precise amount to brew as a single and double shot. Even the style of hot milk they wish to add over their coffee can be chosen between flat or foam. These options allow the user to enjoy a more pleasurable coffee brewing and drinking experience every single time. So grab yours today from Amazon’s online store. Enjoy full control over your coffee as you embrace a quality of life that you’ll only appreciate once you’ve come aboard!