If you are thinking about going for the indulgence of a fully automatic bean to cup coffee machine but are put off by some of the very high price tags out there then you could give consideration to the Delonghi Caffe Corso ESAM2800.
This is the starter model for Delonghi within their bean to cup range so if you have never had one before then you could certainly do worse than having a think about getting one from the market leader in home coffee machines
Delonghi own the market in coffee machines with a huge share and it’s for a reason. Millions of people own and love what they produce.
But should you go for this basic and less expensive model or is it worth trading up to something a little better?
We know it’s not expensive for a bean to cup but we still think that Delonghi could have done a bit more on this from a design perspective.
There is nothing terrible about it but the mixture of black plastic and matt silver is more black plastic and the grey buttons and dials don’t really blend in with the rest of the colour scheme
The buttons, dials and lever to activate the steam wand do look a little of the cheap and plasticky side
The price is very competitive so they clearly had to cut back to hit the price point and the look, feel and design has suffered a little as a result
At 28.5cm wide, 37.5cm deep and 36cm tall this compact machine will be fine for most worktops
If it’s simple and straight forward that you are looking for then this is where this coffee machine excels.
The buttons on the front allow you to select one or two cups.
Then there are a couple of dials below the buttons where you can adjust the amount of water that gets delivered into the cup and the other dial allows you to control the amount of coffee that gets ground.
This is great from a simplicity point of view but you need to be careful not to create a coffee that tastes completely wrong due to not enough coffee and lots of water.
Further explanation is required. For a really good cup of coffee you need around 9 grams of coffee for a single espresso and up to 18 for a double and then you should be pushing around 50ml of water through the coffee for a double espresso or 25ml for a single.
Some of the more expensive machines will do that for you but as this machine has manual controls you need to kind of work it out yourself.
It can be done with a bit of playing around but just be careful not to set the water dial to maximum and the amount of coffee to minimum because you will get a watery weak coffee that has been hugely over-extracted.
In our opinion Delonghi should not really offer that kind of range because in our opinion the example above does not produce a proper cup of coffee so why offer it on the machine.
If you keep the coffee intensity dial above halfway and the water dial below half way then you should be fine.
The hopper that holds the beans is a little small at 200g but this is ok because you should only really keep the number of beans you need at any one time in the machine and store the rest in a cool dry place to maintain freshness.
The water tank holds up to 1.8 litres which is fine.
The grinder has 13 settings for level of fineness but for espresso, there is no real need to change from the default
If your drink of choice is a Cappuccino or a Latte then the steam wand is there for you to froth up the milk. Always use cold fresh full fat or semi-skimmed milk.
Hit the steam button and the machine will tell you when it’s ready for steaming. Turn the steam lever and away you go. Nice and easy. We prefer heating our own rather than a fully integrated milk delivery machine as it gives you more control over the milk so this is a plus for this coffee machine.
The beauty of this coffee machine is that you are getting a very fresh cup of coffee with the press of just one button.
Bean to cup certainly has an advantage over other types of coffee machine because the whole beans retain maximum freshness and are then brewed immediately after grinding.
If digital controls and finessing everything down to the nth degree is not for you then this coffee machine for its pure simplicity is worth considering.
It’s all about the coffee. Don’t buy a decent coffee machine like this and put cheap supermarket coffee in it.
Go into your favourite high street coffee shop and ask them for the whole beans they put into the cappuccino’s they serve up. I promise you it’ll be worth it.
There are better bean to cup coffee machine on the market but it is well worth remembering that it is highly competitive for the price that you are paying for the type of coffee that it delivers.
If you get the settings right then it will deliver you a good cup of coffee at a very good price for a bean to cup.
However, if you can stretch your budget just a little further then you should take a look at the Delonghi Autentica ETAM 29.510.B. For not much more you get a lot more choice and control.