If you’re new to the world of coffee, choosing the right machine can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. One machine that often comes up in beginner coffee maker discussions is the DeLonghi Stilosa.
The DeLonghi Stilosa is a popular choice for beginners due to its ease of use and affordability. This machine is designed to be user-friendly, with simple controls and a compact size that makes it easy to store in small kitchens or apartments. But is the DeLonghi Stilosa really a good choice for someone just starting out in the world of espresso?
DeLonghi Stilosa EC230 Review
The DeLonghi Stilosa is a popular choice among beginners due to its user-friendly features. Here are some of the key features of this espresso machine:
- 15-bar pressure pump: The Stilosa comes with a 15-bar pressure pump, which ensures that the espresso is extracted at the perfect temperature and pressure, resulting in a rich and flavorful espresso shot.
- Manual milk frother: The machine has a manual milk frother that allows you to create creamy and frothy milk for cappuccinos and lattes. It gives you complete control over the frothing process, so you can customize the texture and consistency of the milk to your liking. This might be hard for a beginner, but it’s a skill that you can pick up quickly.
- Compact design: The Stilosa is designed to be compact and lightweight, making it a great choice for small kitchens or dorm rooms. It has a classic look that will complement any kitchen décor.
- Easy to use: The machine has a simple and intuitive control panel that makes it easy to use, even for beginners. It has a single button for brewing espresso and a separate dial for frothing milk.
- Removable water tank: The Stilosa has a removable water tank that makes it easy to refill and clean. The tank has a capacity of 37 ounces, which is enough for several cups of espresso.
Overall, the DeLonghi Stilosa is a great choice for beginners who want a reliable and user-friendly espresso machine. Its compact design, easy-to-use controls, and manual milk frother make it a versatile and convenient option for any coffee lover.
Ease of Use
The DeLonghi Stilosa is a straightforward machine that is easy to operate, even for those who have never used an espresso maker before. The control panel is simple and intuitive, with clearly labeled options that are easy to understand.
This espresso machine a manual one. Which means, you turn the knob for espresso extraction to start, then you turn the knob off to stop the flow of espresso. This gives you full control over your shot, which is fantastic, but also you’ll have to learn the ratios of espresso in order to get a proper shot out that is not over or under extracted. If that’s something that you wouldn’t enjoy, then you might be better off with a semi automatic machine like the Dedica which has automatic or manual flow.
The machine also has a steam wand milk frother to create frothed milk for lattes and cappuccinos. This is another manual part of the machine, which you’ll need to learn how to control. Milk steaming is usually the one thing that a beginner espresso machine user gets wrong, but with practice, you’ll be able to get decent results.
The DeLonghi Stilosa also has a removable water tank and drip tray, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. It also has an automatic shut-off feature, which turns the machine off after 9 minutes of inactivity, helping to conserve energy and prevent accidents.
Overall, the DeLonghi Stilosa is a user-friendly machine that is perfect for beginners who are looking for a simple and easy-to-use coffee maker. Being a manual machine might sound scary to someone who is using an espresso machine for the first time, but that’s just part of the fun! You get to learn the basics of espresso while getting some decent results for a budget friendly price.
Maintenance and Cleaning
One of the great things about the DeLonghi Stilosa is that it is easy to maintain and clean. Here are a few tips to keep your machine running smoothly:
- After each use, wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth to remove any spills or splatters.
- Regularly descale the machine to remove any mineral buildup. Follow the instructions in the user manual for the recommended descaling solution and frequency. This is usually done once every 3 to 6 months depending on how much you use your machine.
- Empty the drip tray after every use or several uses so it doesn’t overflow.
- After frothing milk, you’ll want to purge the wand by passing hot water through. Also, wipe out the exterior once before the excess milk dries.
- Inspect the machine’s water tank and refill as needed. The Stilosa has a transparent water tank, making it easy to see when it needs to be refilled.
Additionally, the Stilosa has a self-cleaning function that can be activated by holding down the espresso button for five seconds. This will run water through the machine to clean the internal components. It is recommended to use this function every 200 cups of coffee or every three months, whichever comes first.
Overall, the DeLonghi Stilosa is a low-maintenance machine without the hassle of complicated cleaning procedures.
Price and Value
One of the main selling points of the DeLonghi Stilosa is its affordability. Its price is what makes it top of the best selling chart on Amazon for years. It is a budget-friendly option for beginners who are just starting to explore the world of espresso machines. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, the Stilosa offers a solid set of features that make it a great value for the price.
One of the key features of the Stilosa is its compact size. Measuring just 5.9 x 12.6 x 13 inches, it is small enough to fit on most countertops without taking up too much space. This makes it a great option for those who live in apartments or smaller homes.
DeLonghi Stilosa vs Dedica
The Dedica is another great machine by DeLonghi. Although more expensive than the Stilosa, it still is pretty high in demand. I have a dedicated post that details the difference between the Stilosa and Dedica, but here’s a quick note on how they’re different:
Stilosa, as mentioned, is a manual espresso machine where you manually control the flow of espresso. Dedica is a semi-automatic espresso machine, which means it has auto features like preset single or double espresso volumes, which you can also override and do your shots manually.
That’s the main difference between these two models. So if the manual operation of the Stilosa is intimidating to you and you prefer automated flow stop, the Dedica might be a better option for you.
DeLonghi Stilosa vs ECP3420, ECP 3120 and ECP3630
This is another comparison I have detailed in a separate post. I talked about the difference between Stilosa vs ECP3420 and it’s other variations the ECP3120 and ECP3630
If you don’t want to read the details of that comparison, here’s what you need to know:
The Stilosa and ECP3120, ECP3420 or ECP3630 are all the same! All of them are manual espresso machine, all of them are of about the same capacity and dimensions.
The difference is in the design and included accessories. The Stilosa is available in a single design of plastic housing and some metal accents, while the ECP3120, ECP3420 and ECP3630 are all design variations of the same model.
DeLonghi Stilosa vs Breville Bambino
Breville Bambino is more comparable to DeLonghi’s Dedica than to the Stilosa model, so the difference between Stilosa and Bambino is the same as Dedica… Bambino is a semi-automatic espresso machine, while the Stilosa is a manual espresso machine.
This is only the main difference. Click here to read the full comparison between Stilosa vs Bambino.
How To Use DeLonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine
Before you start brewing your espresso, you’ll need to make sure that you have the correct kind of coffee. You can brew ANY kind of coffee beans you want, as long as it’s fine ground coffee. It is CRUCIAL that you use fine ground, which is readily available in many stores. Using coarse or medium grounds won’t work.
Now we got that out of the way, you can start by filling the portafilter basket. You’ll see that the machine comes with a single shot or double shot basket. Pick whichever one you want to use.
Fill the basket with the coffee grounds. You can use the included scoop for guidance. One scoop for a single shot or two scoops for a double shot. Fill the portafilter and tamp down the grounds until it is leveled.
Attach your portafilter to the group head. Make sure it is correctly attached. You’ll want the handle to come to middle or close enough to the middle. Now it’s time to turn the knob to the espresso position and watch your coffee being extracted. When you feel like you have extracted enough coffee, turned the knob back off to stop the extraction process.
After thorough research and analysis, it can be concluded that the DeLonghi Stilosa espresso machine is a great option for beginners who are looking for an affordable and user-friendly machine.
The Stilosa offers a compact design that is easy to use and maintain, making it perfect for those who are just starting to experiment with espresso making. Its simple interface and straightforward settings allow for a hassle-free brewing experience without compromising on the quality of the coffee.
While the Stilosa may not have all the bells and whistles of more advanced machines, it certainly delivers in terms of taste and consistency, provided that you use the correct coffee grinds and follow steps correctly.