Overall Score 9.0/10
Delonghi has long been associated with producing the best coffee machines on the market.
Over the last couple of decades they have firmly established themselves as the world leader, selling more coffee machines than any other brand by a significant margin.
Compared to their other products the DeLonghi ICM15210.1 filter coffee machine is a fraction of the prices but does it produce a quality beverage to rival the others?
This is literally the cheapest coffee machine that Delonghi sell and there are dozens of them so it is unsurprising that they have focussed on functionality rather than good looks.
At this price you would not expect anything else but nevertheless they have still managed to add a brushed matt silver chrome finish as a band on the front above the jug, another small chrome band on the jug and a chrome button to turn the machine on and off.
The rest of the machine is finished on black plastic and they have blended the black and silver together well to produce a coffee machine that looks worth more than the very low price point that it sells at.
It measures at 22.5cm deep x 20.5cm wide x 32.5cm tall. Very small and will sit inconspicuously pretty much anywhere in your kitchen
We like that this has a non-drip function which means that you can remove the jug mid brew and pour yourself a cup without coffee dripping all over the hotplate.
Also, be aware that the hotplate will turn itself off after 40 minutes. This is deliberate as coffee will start to lose its flavour after this amount of time.
The one annoying thing about all filter coffee machines is that the indicator of the number of cups of coffee that will be produced is always wrong. It always produces less than it says on the indicator.
This is probably because we like a bigger cup or even a mug compared to our European counterparts so the best advice is to ignore the indicators on the water tank.
What we always do is instead of filling the water tank up from a jug or the kettle we just fill up a mug of water and add it to the water tank. So, for 4 mugs of coffee add 4 mugs full of water to the water tank. Then add around half a mug more because some water does remain in the coffee grounds after brewing.
The water container holds up to 1.25 litres which will be good for about 5 mugs or 10 cups
This coffee machine uses paper filters which in our opinion is slightly better than the non-filter versions because it takes away the hassle of clearing out all the coffee grinds after each brew. Just remove the paper filter with the used coffee grounds and dispose of them. Done in one foul swoop.
There is no programable timer with this basic filter coffee machine from Delonghi so if you want to wake up to a pot of freshly brewed coffee then you can take a look at the Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham filter coffee machine which is selling at a similar price to the Delonghi machine but does have a timer.
From new it is advisable to run a couple of full tanks of water through the machine without adding any coffee.
Because it’s brand new you may get a bit of a plasticky taste or slightly unusual flavour to the coffee if you don’t run a couple of jugs of water through first.
Most filter coffee machines have a lid at the top which you open to add the coffee but we like that this one opens up towards you and it makes it slightly easier to add the paper filter and coffee before returning it to the closed position
Once you have added the water just press one button to turn it on and let it do its thing.
You will need to use a bit of trial and error to get to the strength of coffee that suits your palette best. The general rule of thumb is one heaped tablespoon of ground coffee for one cup. But it all depends on whether you use a cup or a mug and how big they are.
We have found that 2 heaped tablespoons of coffee is good for 1 mug of coffee.
Once the coffee and water are added this is one-touch operation and it brews pretty quickly as well. You’ll get a full pot in under 10 minutes.
This is a budget filter coffee machine at a very good price but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it is ok to put the cheap supermarket stuff into it.
Of course you can if you want but if you buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself just before brewing then you will definitely taste the difference
You may be surprised at how inexpensive a coffee grinder is. Blade coffee grinders are best value.
This loses one mark because it doesn’t have a programmable timer
If you are not bothered about pre-setting the time you want the machine to start making coffee and you are happy to brew as you go then this budget filter coffee machine form the market leader will certainly do what it says on the tin at a very reasonable price.