The De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Peter Morrell test drives one of the latest automatic coffee making machines designed and made in Italy

I used to drink lots of coffee but now restrict myself to two cups a day. So I have replaced quantity with quality in terms of what I drink. I use a fairly standard expresso machine with a frothing wand and grind the beans (in a De’Longhi machine) for every brew.

In the past I’ve been on a Barista course so understand the basics of making a reasonable cup of coffee. I was intrigued to try a bean to cup machine as making a cup of coffee is a process that requires a number of quite skilled steps. For the test I used high roast beans from a single estate in Nicaragua supplied by the Algerian Coffee Store in London’s Soho.

The machine is attractive but quite heavy and with a large footprint for a working surface, but it does have a lot to do. Set up is simple, just fill the water tank, which can be fitted with a filter, put some beans into the hopper at the top, adjust how fine you want the coffee, then press one of the pre-set button, I chose the Doppio+ or double expresso and just left the machine to its own devices.

The coffee is ground, tamped into the brewing basket then pressurised water pumped through. It produced a very good large cup of expresso, topped with a well developed ‘crema’, the foam which indicates it’s a good brew. The puck of used grounds is ejected into a hopper and the machine is ready to use again.

My next cup was a cappuccino, for this I attached the milk container. Easily removeable so that it can be stored in the fridge. There are two settings on its dial to determine the amount of froth produced. A single press of the cappuccino button made a very good drink. The micro-bubbles in the foam created a thick and creamy head, if you see a Barista tapping the milk jug it’s being done to remove large bubbles.

There are a range of other setting to control the strength and amount of the coffee and a milk menu will deliver latte, macchiato (Italian for stained or spotted) and flat white variants. When you have got a formula you like it can be stored as ‘My Coffee’

At various times the machine will rinse itself, prompt you to clean the milk spout and to empty the used coffee grounds, rather than flush down the sink put them on your garden. The only drawback I found was the size of the water tank, which need to be re-filled every day

In all a clever and versatile machine giving the novice the capability of producing a range of drink styles to coffee shop standards.

The De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino Bean to Cup Coffee Machine is available exclusively from John Lewis with an RRP of £829

To view other bean to cup models in the De’Longhi range go to www.delonghi.com/en-gb/products/coffee/coffee-makers/automatic-coffee-makers

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