DeLonghi Distinta ECI341BK Traditional Pump Espresso Machine

7.4 out of 10
7.4 out of 10

Delonghi are the world leaders in coffee machines. Millions of happy customers are making coffee shop quality coffee using a Delonghi coffee machine so they must be doing something right.

However, this particular machine falls a little short on the high standards that Delonghi set for themselves and it is interesting to look at the detailed breakdown of this machine to understand why and take a look at what you can get from them that delvers what you would expect from a premium brand at a similar price to this one

Overall Score 7.4/10

Design 8/10

The coffee machine itself actually looks pretty good. A nice combination of matte black and chrome finish stainless steel effect blend well together creating a smooth and warm feel to this pleasing on the eye small appliance.

The water tank is designed to fit neatly into the back of the machine but you will have to get your head right around the back to see if it is getting empty as it’s not really visible from either side.

This is one of Delonghi’s entry level machines in terms of price and specification so you would not expect anything other than the basics.

This pump espresso machine is about average size measuring in at 19.7cm wide, 31.0cm deep and 32.2cm tall. Will work well in a small to medium size kitchen.

Functionality 6/10

If you are looking for simplicity then this coffee machine may well appeal to you.

There is an ON/OFF switch that will activate the 2 lights on the front. One of them tells you it’s on and the other one will turn from red to green to let you know you are good to go.

No need to worry about turning it off after use as it will automatically shut down after around 30mins of non use

Once you have the green light it means that the boiler is up to the correct temperature for coffee delivery but it is recommended to push some water through the portafilter without any coffee in it and into the cup you will use to drink your beverage.

This way you heat everything up to the right temperature and avoid your coffee being cooled down by a cold cup.

Delonghi has taken into account the rise of easy espresso pods which are basically coffee in a bag like a tea bag but coffee instead.

Three filters are provided. One for a single shot, another for a double shot and a very shallow one to accommodate the easy espresso pods if that is your preference.

Our view is that if you are buying an espresso machine then you should stick to freshly ground coffee beans for the best possible flavour.

Once the coffee is in and the portafilter is in place, simply turn the dial on the front to the left and coffee delivery will begin. When you have enough coffee in your cup then turn the dial back and it’s ready.

Tip: Because this is a manual machine keep an eye on the colour of the coffee as it comes out. When the colour starts to become lighter, that’s when you need to stop otherwise you are just over extracting the coffee and the flavour will be impaired

 For steam to make a cappuccino or a latte, simply turn the dial on the front to the right and when the ok button lights up, turn the dial on top of the machine to get heat your milk into a creamy froth

Unfortunately, the size of cup or glass that you can place under the coffee outlet is a little restrictive so if you want a tall drink like a latte then you will have to use a small glass first and empty it into a bigger one.

The water tank is a little on the small side as well at 1 litre so you will find yourself filling it up a little more often than other machines.

This does have limited functionality but the 15 bar pump will deliver a decent cup of coffee and if you follow the tips above for pre warming your cup and checking on the colour of the coffee then this will produce a good cup of coffee.

Ease of use 8/10

No complaints here. Very simple operation for both coffee delivery and steaming.

It loses points for the small water tank.

Quality of coffee 9/10

Use freshly ground coffee beans if you can. Buy whole beans and grind them yourself.

Blade coffee bean grinders are cheaper than you think and definitely enhance the overall flavour if you grind the beans yourself just before brewing.

Pay a few pounds more than the average price that you find for some really good beans. Coffee beans are one area where the more you pay the much better the flavour you can expect.

Value For Money 6/10

This coffee machine is OK but there are better value for money options available in this price range.

We would recommend the Delonghi Dedica Style EC685BK which in our opinion is a better looking machine that is more sturdy and fit for purpose. It also sells at around the same price.