De’Longhi Prima Donna S – Coffee Machine Review

De’Longhi Prima Donna S – Coffee Machine Review

You’re an addicted coffee aficionado looking for something more than Vida and Mug n Bean, then De’Longhi says it has the answer. In this coffee machine review, can De’Longhi’s top of the range bean-to-cup offering, the Prima Donna S, really be that good?

Great easy, fresh coffee with plenty of choice options. Easy to use and relatively quick.

There could have been a refrigeration option on the milk carafe, but that costs an arm and a leg.

Design

The delonghi Prima Donna is quite large, but will easily sit on your kitchen counter looking very slick, impressing all your coffee lover friends. The self-contained unit only requires power. The large water reservoir is located on the side, and discarded water and coffee goes into an internal bin, easily accessible. On top there is a hopper for coffee beans, which you’ll open to load up and of course have a good palette cleansing sniff (and not in the middle of the night, right?).

Espresso

Turn the coffee machine on, then add beans to the top loading hopper and select espresso coffee, standard coffee, long coffee, extra long coffee, or “custom coffee”, and the strength you want – extra-mild, mild, standard, strong, extra-strong, or pre-ground, and you’re set.

The beans enter the coffee machine as it grinds them and a few seconds later, the coffee starts percolating out of the two adjustable nozzles at the front into a cup of your choice.

It only takes about 38 seconds, which is much shorter than boiling a kettle, which saves you valuable time. In addition, the plate warmer on top keeps your cups warm.

The used ground beans are discarded into the internal bin, for later removal. You just get your great tasting coffee and forget about the rest.

Latté and other Milk drinks

The Delonghi Prima Donna comes with a milk container located on the side of the central nozzle, but it doesn’t protrude or make the machine appear more bulky. However, this container isn’t chilled, so you’ll need to take it off after each use, but at least it’s easily detachable, so you can place it in the fridge in between drinks. Also, another quite handy feature, is that the machine sucks up and heats only the milk that it needs for the coffee you’ve requested and no more.

There are also three foaming settings to choose from: normal, extra and extra-extra. You just press a button to select your type of milky coffee you want – Caffé Latte, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, or simply frothing a glass of milk, there is also a steamer option. And like the espresso, creating a latte macchiato or cappuccino takes virtually no time at all.

Cleaning

Cleaning the Prima Donna S is assisted by cycles of auto-rinse and de-scale features. In addition to the ground coffee landing in the internal bin, which just needs to be thrown away, there is very little effort required to clean. There is also an auto-clean button to clean the milk carafe.

Verdict

At the price you pay, you really have to love your coffee and enjoy experimentation with different flavours, different beans, and different grinds of beans. However, once you’ve invested in buying the coffee machine, the overall running costs are relatively cheap. These days, coffee bean bags aren’t very expensive with a wide range available at any supermaket or artisanal roaster (some of your favourite coffee shops also sell you their roasted beans) – especially when compared to capsule machines that offer only a small selection of flavours.

This is the opposite model to that of the capsule market – coffee is sold like printer ink, keeping the machine cost down, while bleeding you dry on running costs.

The Prima Donna seals the deal on it’s overall ease of use. You just turn it on, press a button and you are drinking coffee within a minute. Wonderful.