- Easily prepares latte, cappuccino, and Italian macchiato with the patented “Single Touch” hot milk system. Simply slide the milk tank onto front of the machine. Clean button makes it easy to maintain.
- Easy-to-use unique digital touch screen control panel with programmable menu settings: adjust start time, auto off, clock, temperature, coffee strength (5 settings) and cup size (4 settings).
- Grinds beans instantly for the freshest espresso with the patented “Direct-to-Brew” system. Brewing system is compact and removable for easy cleaning.
- Accommodates latte cups with the unique flip-up drip tray
- Replicates the taste of drip coffee by elongating the brewing process with the long coffee function
DeLonghi ESAM6700 Gran Dama Avant Touch-Screen Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Reviews
Great coffee drinks at the touch of a button (By Busy Executive)
After doing my own head-to-head comparison between the top DeLonghi, Saeco and Jura models, I ended up with the DeLonghi.
First and foremost, my biggest criteria was the taste of the coffee…there’s no value in having a high-end espresso machine if it doesn’t make coffee that’s at least as good as what you can make manually. Luckily, a shop near me happens to stock all three major brands, and I was able to bring a sample of the beans I usually like and compare side by side. In addition to the DeLonghi Gran Dama, I tested the Jura Z5 and the Saeco Primea. I made a simple shot and was actually amazed by the differences – I wasn’t expecting such a wide variation. Perhaps it’s possible to fine tune some of these differences out, but I found the DeLonghi to be closest to my taste, with the Jura a close second. To me, the Saeco tasted a bit “burnt” and was my least favorite. None were horrible, but the DeLonghi came closest to what I brew by hand. Based on this test, I eliminated the Saeco, although I would have liked to sample other Saeco models.
There are big differences in the milk handling between these units. The DeLonghi uses a self-contained milk carafe that simply snaps into the machine when you want a latte or cappuccino. It’s easy, and it has the advantage that you can keep it filled and stored in the refrigerator whenever you like. When you remove it, the machine spews some steam through the lines to help you keep it clean and free of milk residue. I also liked the Jura approach where you have an insulated thermos connected via a small tube to the machine. Jura makes a small refrigerated version, and it seems like a great solution, although it takes more counter space sitting next to the espresso machine.
I liked Saeco’s built-in milk drawer least, as it seemed like a chore to clean and store, plus it requires you to have plenty of space to the side of the unit, rather than being accessible from the front.
Another difference between the Jura and the DeLonghi is the intended use. I think of the DeLonghi as ideal for typical home use…you turn it on, plug in the milk pitcher if you want a latte/cappuccino, make a few coffees, put the milk back in the fridge, then go on with your day. The Jura would be better for an \”always ready\” setup, say in a small office where you’re brewing more or less constantly all day – it has a milk container you can leave connected indefinitely (if you purchase the add-on refrigerated one) and the water tank on the Jura holds much more. In the end, I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either unit, but since my usage pattern is more typical of a home user, I found the DeLonghi more to my style in this regard.
When it comes to the quality of the frothy milk put out by these units, I’d rate the Jura best by a small margin. The foam from the Jura seemed a bit hotter and more \”foamy\” or stiff. Still, I tend towards latte more than cappuccino, so this wasn’t a great factor for me. Instead, I opted for the DeLonghi’s super-easy carafe design that lets me go from espresso shots to latte in just a few seconds.
In terms of construction quality, I favored the mostly-metal DeLonghi over the Jura’s more plastic feel. Both are substantial – about 30 pounds – but still, neither reaches the level you might find in your local espresso shop. I suppose the DeLonghi seemed a little more professional to me, and I also like that all of the various containers can be accessed from the front or top of the unit, rather than the sides. Unlike another reviewer, I have no trouble getting to things like the grounds container by simply swinging the front of the unit open. Only gripe is that I would have liked room for taller cups – the limit is about 4.5 inches, and this seems to be about the limit on all of the high-end machines.
Most aspects of the coffee making process can be programmed with these units, from temperatures, to how fine ground the coffee is, to amount of coffee produced per use. Still, I find the unit to be fairly easy to use…generally, fill with supplies, then push a button and you have everything from a shot of coffee to a frothy cappuccino. One oddity is that the DeLonghi goes through a rinse cycle when you first turn it on – you need to remember to have a cup under the dispenser, or you’ll be cleaning the drip tray often.
So far, cleaning has been easy, mostly just a matter of wiping and rinsing here and there. I usually clean the water tank and grounds container with every refill, and once in a while, I stick a small vacuum into the unit to suck out any stray grounds. The milk nozzles get a wipe with a damp cloth and blasted with steam from the unit when detaching the milk pitcher. Otherwise, it’s pretty simple to keep clean so far.
Operationally, all of these units are somewhat louder than I expected. I’m honestly a little surprised there’s not more sound insulation packed under the skins of these units. The grinder in my DeLonghi sounds about as loud as the typical burr grinder, and the various other pumps, milk frothing gear, etc adds to it.
In the end, I’m happy with the DeLonghi Gran Dama. I love my coffees and lattes, and this machine lets me make in a few moments what used to take twenty minutes to brew by hand. It has all the convenience of a pod maker, but it makes \”real\” coffee, exactly as I like it. Definitely recommended.
Delonghi ESAM6700 vs. Saeco Xelsis Digital ID (By LA Mao)
i purchased the delonghi 6700 16 months ago. in short, it is a great machine.
about two weeks ago, i decided to buy another super automatic for another location. i decided to try something different and purchase a saeco xelsis digital ID. this turns out to have been a mistake.
out of the box, the machine reported an “E5” error code. i called saeco and they instructed me to unplug the unit, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in. after two tries, the machine booted up. the biggest problem with the machine is that the milk and the coffee is lukewarm at best. specifically, i used a digital instant read thermometer to check, and the milk stream out of the automatic frothing unit was only 115 degrees. the coffee was only 135 degrees. i spoke to the girl at seattlecoffeegear and she told me that she has the same unit at home and that they are all like this. looking at some of the online reviews, it looks like this is a common issue.
other drawbacks of the saeco include that the drip tray fills up quickly (about every 2-6 lattes) and the water reservoir is on the small side.
on the positive side, the unit looks nice, it can support multiple users, and the manual frothing unit can be used to heat the milk to the desired temperature- it doesn’t have the low-temp problem of the automatic frother. but i’m returning the saeco and getting another delonghi.
in regards to the delonghi:
i took a home barista course at jones coffee company in los angeles (highly recommended). everyone brings in their own machine (manual to super automatic) and they teach you how to get the best out of the machines. i now make cappuccinos and lattes which are far better than anything i can get elsewhere. but you have to know how to ‘tune’ the machine.
Way too expensive to have so many issues (By Joe Egg)
I have been looking for the perfect automatic coffee/espresso machine for a long time. I have been to the big coffee websites. I’ve read all the reviews. And finally, with some trepidation, I laid down half my children’s inheritance to purchase this DeLonghi Gran Dama machine, based on the couple of reviews that I found that placed it in a positive light.
Was it worth it? Is it right for you? Well, read on and learn everything there is to know about it from a guy who has put this machine through its paces for two months.
– Automatic burr grinder built in that grinds from a pre-filled bean reservoir. This is very convenient and it makes a fresh and fragrant cup of stuff.
– Good temperature on the coffee, and it gets to that temperature very quickly. Never overly hot. Never tepid. Just right.
– The unit is surprisingly small and compact considering all that it is capable of. It fits perfectly into the slot that my old Capresso coffee pot occupied — a machine that only made coffee, nothing else.
– Does it make a good cup ‘o joe? Answer: Yes. It makes just as good a cup of regular coffee as what I get from the Peets store down the street. And this is what I was ultimately looking for. For the coffee alone, it is great. Far better than any machine I have ever owned previously (I have owned, I think, five machines from three manufacturers, at this point).
– Not really a very big deal, but the machine is pretty loud. It buzzes really, really abrasively when it is heating and grinding. I had seen this issue mentioned in other reviews, so I was prepared. But you should know that it is LOUD.
– The machine is not well designed.
It is very difficult to get into in order to empty the grounds, fill the water tank and to clean. You have to really go through quite a bit of shenanigans to get inside. To dump the grounds, you have to remove the drip tray (which doesn’t just slide out simply as one would expect, you kind of have to wiggle it to get it to come loose). Then, you can’t actually pry the door open with your hands, it just kind of flops open when you pull out the tray, which feels ungainly and incorrectly seated, somehow. But that’s how it works. Then, you continue to pull the drip tray toward you and the ground container tries to come out, but gets stuck on one corner. You have to reach in, grab the grounds container and maneuver it out of the compartment. At this point, you’ve pulled out the drip tray (which has a floppy piece that has probably come loose at this point, more on that later), the door is open exposing the entire inner portion of the machine and all it’s mechanical stuff, and then there’s the very hard to get to grounds container. Assuming you can hold all this stuff in place or have the counter space for it all, you can go and dump the grounds and then just muscle everything back into place again. It’s really, really inconvenient and ungainly. And if you have the milk container installed, you have to first remove that in order to access the door — and that is a whole other issue as I will detail next.
– The milk frothing container is very flimsy and feels cheap. Mine hasn’t broken yet, but I am absolutely convinced it won’t make it through another two months, and here’s why. It’s made of a lot of plastic pieces that sort of don’t really fit together well. It is rickety. All in all, it works pretty well at making hot and frothy milk (I stress pretty well, because it is kind of hit and miss as to whether it decides to behave each time — mine isn’t working at the moment which I will also address shortly). But it is really, really hard to push the container into its little valve connection on the front of the machine, and even harder to pull out, again. In fact, my wife refuses to install and uninstall because it takes so much muscle. She just can’t do it. It should just slide easily in and out. Instead, you really have to push hard to wedge it into place, and unless your machine is up against a wall, it will be pushed right along with it. And when you pull the milk container out, you have to seriously jerk the container to get it to come out — I’m not kidding here, it’s rough. And the flimsy handle on this container is going to break off, I just know it. And I almost feel that this is by design so that I will have to buy a new one from DeLonghi at forty or fifty bucks, or whatever they charge. I know I’m being snarky, but why else would they stick such a crappy attachment onto such an outrageously expensive machine? Up sales, I think they call it in the business. Anyway, when you jerk the container out, if there is any amount of milk left in it, it is going to slurp out onto the floor. The top of the container is not sealed well. And many a mess has ensued. And lastly, this container three times out of ten does not register on the machine as being properly seated. And then you have to jerk it out and shove it back in sometimes three times before it beeps to say you have put it in properly. The funny thing is, there is only one way to put it in. So for the machine to say it is not installed properly is absolutely incorrect. It is aggravating, believe me.
– After only two months, the milk container (which has two settings, hot milk and hot frothed milk) only registers one of the settings. I can no longer make frothed milk, only hot milk. The microwave does this same task in a much easier fashion, so unless I can get the company to replace or fix it, I will probably just stop using the milk jug entirely — which will make my wife happy. I imagine this is all due to the constant hard shoving in and out of the container. Frankly, I am surprised it lasted this long. Again, at this cost, I shouldn’t be having problems after two months of use.
– Okay, enough about the friggin’ milk jug. My biggest overall complaint with this machine is that it has all kinds of sensors on it (hard water detector, milk container detector, etc.), but it isn’t smart enough to tell you when it is low on water, when the grounds container needs emptying or when it doesn’t have enough beans. And this creates a most frustrating scenario. It seems that every other morning, I forget to check all three of those things (and remember, it is REALLY hard to get to the grounds container, so there is no way to check its fullness without a major surgical entry.) The machine will actually STOP right in the middle of preparing a cup of coffee to tell me to fill the water tank, empty the grounds, put more beans in or to descale the device. Are you kidding me? With all those sensors that are already there they couldn’t figure a way for one of them to show you before you start brewing that there is a work stoppage impending? And then, after filling the beans or dumping the grounds or whatever, the machine doesn’t even start the coffee where it left off. You have to throw away your half cup of whatever because it probably is not strong enough or properly brewed, yet. And then you have to start the whole process over. You just wasted coffee beans, water and, most importantly, time. This is beyond frustrating.
– As mentioned a moment ago, the descaling feature is really annoying. It pops up unexpectedly and won’t let you do anything until the descaling is carried out. And you have to stay with the machine for the full thirty minutes that it descales because you have to fill and dump the water reservoir multiple times during the process. I walked away during the first descaling and the machine reset itself back to the very beginning of the process. I could not make a cup of coffee until I stood there for the full thirty minutes and let it go through its thing. And even more annoying, I only use distilled water, anyway. So, theoretically, I shouldn’t have to descale at all, or not as often as it wants me to. In my busy world, this standing down to watch over a machine for thirty minutes completely discredits the \”automatic\” moniker.
– Who at DeLonghi decided that two and a half ounces of coffee fills a coffee cup? They have five brew size settings, none of which fills my standard American sized coffee cup. Come on, sell us a machine in the USA that fills a cup in the USA! Granted, you can make one custom setting, referred to as ‘my coffee’ which allows you to fill a proper cup. And I use this setting solely in my world. All of the other settings are completely useless.
– There is a so-called two cup setting (which barely fills two thimbles — thimbles for six year old children, at that) and this procedure works fine UNLESS you want to use the milk jug in the drink preparation. You can’t fit two cups and the milk container on the base at the same time, despite what the directions insinuate. So you can’t actually prepare two cappuccinos or lattes. You can only make two thimbles of straight coffee with this configuration. Not a big deal for me. But beware. This really is a one cup at a time brewing device.
– The drip tray that your cup sits on is very close to the coffee dispenser nozzle. Therefore, you can only use smaller sized coffee cups with the machine. DeLonghi has built in a very oddly shaped and poorly configured \”trap door\” thingy that folds up with some difficulty and then allows another half inch of clearance for your cup. However, the width of the trap door is so minimal that any slightly taller cup that I have doesn’t fit into this depression. Basically, you can put a really tall demitasse type cup into there, but nothing else. It is nearly a useless scenario. They should have made it bigger. Not to mention, the trap door falls off and clatters onto the floor constantly when moving the drip tray, cleaning, etc. It is a poorly designed piece.
-The coffee grounds container only accepts, roughly, seven cups of coffee worth of grounds material. Then it asks to be emptied. Interestingly, this amount of grounds only fills the container up to about a third of its capacity. You should be able to pound out another seven to ten cups before it forces you to empty it. And why didn’t they provide secondary access to these grounds from a door on the side of the machine? It is such a ridiculous procedure to get to the container that this fact alone almost makes this machine not worth the purchase. I am trying to train myself to fill beans, fill water and check grounds with every two cups that I brew. But doesn’t this defeat the whole \”automatic\” scenario that we are looking for? My old Capresso coffee pot with built in grinder was so much easier. Too bad the coffee wasn’t robust. I’d go back to it in a sec.
– It is irrelevant to mention the price. If you are in the market and able to pay this kind of dough in the first place, at some point money is less the concern. But this is a LOT of money and I expect more in the device.
Here’s the bottom line. Although the machine itself is compact and sturdy and makes a really decent cup of coffee, it just feels like a proof of concept model. It’s almost as if the engineers brought this machine to the boardroom and said, \”here is our next idea for a great coffee machine. This device, although a bit rough around the edges, is our blueprint for what will be a really great device. We just need to fix some design issues and work out a couple of kinks. What do you think?\” The board members, being the clueless corporate wonks that one expects, mistakenly thought that this was the actual consumer device and put it on the market with no real world testing. Not to mention at a really high price.
This machine just isn’t ready for prime time. And it is way, way too expensive for a device with so many negative issues. I would wait for an upgrade in device or a serious downgrade in price. I feel that this machine, where it is now, is worth no more than $899.00, if that.
Sadly, I missed the return period for Amazon. So I am stuck with it. Therefore, let me be your guinea pig.