Coffee machines used to be reserved strictly for connoisseurs, cafe owners, and maybe the technicians who actually knew how to operate their complicated controls. There were just too many things to do and too many machine parts to tweak just to produce a decent cup of coffee. Trying to make coffee using an espresso machine just made you even more stressed than you were before you decided to make a quick cup. Enter DeLonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta, one of the much-talked about super automatic espresso machines today.
Although it is by no means cheap, it does bring what was once an elite piece of technology to us common mortals through the use of an extremely user-friendly interface and some intuitive features. We will be reviewing the Delonghi Perfecta 5500B today to show you why this is more than a worthy investment.
- Fully programmable
- Push-button frothing
- Waste-reducing separate milk reservoir
- The burr grinder is loud. However, all coffee machines tend to be noisy at times. Also, we do not think the noise offsets the fact that the Perfecta’s grinder is of a heavy-duty type that will last a long time.
- The machine’s mostly plastic exterior does not look too “premium.” The machine would look a lot better if there were more steel on its outer body than plastic but that is just a matter of personal preference. No way does it affect the performance of the machine at all.
- The milk is not as hot under the latte setting than under the cappuccino setting although they are set on the same temperature level. The adjustable temperature is an easy workaround, though.
Key Features of the Delonghi ESAM5500B Espresso Maker
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Behind DeLonghi’s Perfecta is a combination of technology and a good grasp of every coffee lover’s needs. It has some impressive patented features and a range of ease-of-use functionalities that work together to give you good quality coffee that used to be possible only in cafes, right in your own home.
Being a fully automatic espresso machine, the Perfecta 5500B can do more than just brew coffee. It can also produce lattes and cappuccinos based on fully programmable settings, which you can modify using its digital display and commands, which brings us to our next point.
Everything you can think about changing in the way the Perfecta makes your drink can be accessed via the LCD display monitor and the neat-looking buttons around it. Some of the things you can change are the cleaning cycle, water temperature and hardness, drink volume and strength, and hours of operation. The navigation panel is so user-friendly that you can easily get it to work even if you have not used a coffee machine like this before.
Single-Touch Hot Milk System
This patented feature comprises of a 25-oz. detachable milk reservoir that you can slide towards and away from the machine. Once it is attached, you can have it pour steamed or frothed milk into your cup by choosing either the “latte” or the “cappuccino” milk setting.
If you do not feel like having milk in your drink right now, simply detach the milk container and stick it in the fridge. Another good thing about this container is that it only heats the milk you need. Therefore, you do not need to froth a full cup if you only need a couple of ounces.
Another patented feature of the ESAM5500B, the direct-to-brew function allows the machine to grind beans per cup, instantly before brewing. This means you get to have the freshest cup of coffee any time of the day.
Professional-Grade Burr Grinder
The Perfecta makes use of a heavy-duty conical burr grinder that is guaranteed to produce fresh and aromatic coffee every single time. As expected, the DeLonghi esam5500b grind settings are adjustable as well.
Double Boiler System
The Delonghi Esam5500B Perfecta has two boilers which you can use to produce coffee and steam or froth milk at the same time. If you are preparing an espresso and a latte, you can do so simultaneously.
You ever notice those cup warmers on espresso machines in cafes? You may not fully appreciate the benefit of this feature until you have experienced what it can do. Only then will you realize that drinking a hot drink out of a cold cup is nearly equal to drinking coffee that is a few degrees less hot. Suddenly, you feel that a cup warmer is a necessity and not some frivolous extra.
Every part of the Delonghi Perfecta is easy to clean. Its detachable milk container is dishwasher-safe while the rest of the machine cleans itself at your command. Just press a button and the Perfecta will flush the milk system with hot water. The brewing system and the drip tray, on the other hand, are removable and can be cleaned separately.
Hot Water Dispenser
You can use this ESAM5500B espresso machine as a plain hot water dispenser using the hot water spout located in the area where the milk container stands. Use it for tea, hot chocolate, noodles, and more. Think of it as a kitchen hack.
Head to Head with the Delonghi Magnificent S
The Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta has mostly the same features as the relatively newer Magnificent S, also from De’Longhi. Both have the company’s patented cappuccino system frother or the single-touch hot milk system. They can both brew both whole beans or ground coffee using the patented direct-to-brew system that grinds evenly per cup. Both models have four cup size options and five coffee strength settings, which you can easily adjust using the controls. They also both have cup warmers and removable drip trays.
As far as differences as concerned, they are quite small ones that may create entirely different experiences for you. The Magnificent S boasts an energy-saving switch and a steam wand, which is something that some Perfecta owners would like to have. However, the Magnificent S has a single boiler system whereas the Perfecta has a dual boiler. Most importantly, the Magnificent S does not have the detachable milk container that we have come to love in the Perfecta Esam5500B.
Overall, it looks like there is not much difference between the two, which probably explains why they cost nearly the same despite that the Magnificent S is a much newer model.
User Opinion about Delonghi ESAM5500B Espresso Maker
User reviews of the Delonghi espresso machine Esam5500B are positive for the most part. A lot of owners seem to be very happy with the machine’s user-friendly and fully programmable controls. Their excitement is understandable because there is really no other way to react if you are able to make yourself a nice cup of coffee with a single button press.
The taste of the coffee is also appreciated, with many users saying that it tastes even better than what their local cafes make. The easy cleanup has not gone unnoticed, too.
The most persistent negative feedback we notice has something to do with the milk temperature. A number of owners complain that they are forced to work around it, defeating the purpose of buying a “super automatic” espresso machine. Aside from the temperature issue, we do not see any other prevalent problem.
Why You Should Invest in a Perfecta 5500B
Making coffee is easy but making a good cup of coffee is an entirely different matter. There is no reason you should keep making trips to your local Starbucks whenever you want tasty coffee when you can easily make one yourself at home.
De’Longhi’s Perfecta takes the work out of making premium-grade coffee and leaves just one job for you to do, which is pressing a button. It manages to work well while being super sophisticated without being complicated, which is what coffee is about.
All in all, we agreed the Esam5500B Perfecta will fit right in with any person or family. It lets you make good coffee easily while not requiring a lot of cleaning up after. We only hope that the issue with the milk’s temperature has been addressed by the company in their newer units. Although it is a small issue to some, it makes the Perfecta less of a super automatic espresso maker.