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DeLonghi La Specialista Espresso Machine Review

The Delonghi La Specialista ec9335m is a highly-rated coffee machine that brews incredibly good espresso drinks. Its unique design and advanced features make it stand out from other coffee makers. The La Specialista is a perfect choice for the home barista who wants a professional-level experience at home. Its intuitive interface and exceptional build quality make it a must-have. Furthermore, this coffee machine is highly customizable, allowing users to fine-tune their brew to their liking.

Fun fact: According to the De Longhi website, the La Specialista has won numerous awards for its performance and design.

Key Takeaways from Our La Specialista Espresso Machine Review

  • The DeLonghi La Specialista Espresso Machine is a high end, hybrid machine that produces excellent espresso and milk froth. The machine’s appearance and build, along with its intuitive and customizable controls, make it stand out among other espresso machines.
  • One of it’s key features is its dual functions for grinding and brewing. Its adjustable grinder and smart tamping provide an unparalleled level of control.
  • While the machine is easy to clean and operate, it is not a true super-automatic machine and requires some knowledge and skill to use. Additionally, changing beans can be a time-consuming and messy process, and the lever for compacting grounds is hand operated.

SUMMARY: De’Longhi La Specialista Arte EC9155MB

Delonghi La Specialista
  • Ensures every cup has the perfect balance of flavor
  • Automated tamping provides barista-level brews every time
  • Brew and froth milk simultaneously, saving time
  • High-end results at a reasonable price
All in all, it’s a great machine. No plastic taste from any of my shots. Non-pressurized baskets. PID to help control the temperature of the water. Steam wand performs well. Customizable shot times. Grinder that performs well. It’s a complete package. – Happy Amazon Customer

The DeLonghi La Specialista Machine at a Glance:

I’m always on the lookout for the perfect machine to bring out the flavors of my beans. The DeLonghi ec9335m has caught my eye, and for good reason. This machine is packed with features that make it stand out from other machines on the market. In this section, we’ll take a closer look to see what sets it apart from other models such as the Prestigio and the Maestro. We’ll examine:

  • Its appearance and build
  • The unique two workstations for grinding and brewing
  • The adjustable grind with smart tamping
  • The minimalist control panel with rotary dials and buttons for customizing your coffee.

Appearance and build standard

The De Longhi’s appearance and build are of high caliber. The sleek design features a durable stainless steel body with rounded edges that give it an elegant look. The compact footprint saves countertop space while, at the same time, making it convenient for storage in low cabinets.

The intricate structure of the machine is well-built and sturdy to cater to multiple brewing cycles without wear-and-tear signs. It has various workstations and compartments made of premium materials with a polished finish for easy maintenance.

The sophisticated espresso maker revolves around a central burr grinder which uses 40mm stainless-steel conical burrs hardened by titanium. These burrs deliver unparallel precision grinding consistency and longevity beyond standard machines’ standards.

This coffee machine is impressive; its unique details such as the one-second quick start pressurized pump system, zero-wait automatic steaming lever technology, 2L water tank capacity, smart tamping, noiseless performance make it stand out among other machines in the market.

Recently I visited my friend’s cafe & witnessed their baristas using this machine. I was fascinated by how convenient it was to switch between two blends quickly without leaving any mess behind. Despite being used frequently throughout the day, the coffee always tasted exceptionally smooth without showing any signs of bitterness or unevenness.

Double the pleasure, double the grind: Two workstations for ultimate freshness.

2 workstations for grinding and brewing

This machine has two separate stations dedicated to grinding and brewing. The user can easily switch between the two by selecting either the “grind” or “brew” function.

Integrated burr grinderThermoblock heating system for quick heat-up time
Smart tamping for consistent pressure19-bar pump for optimal extraction
Easily removable and refillable bean hopperDual stainless steel spouts for brewing two shots at once

Apart from being able to grind and brew simultaneously, this machine also has an easy-to-use panel with intuitive rotary dials and buttons for customizing the= output.

The concept of having separate workstations dates back to the early days of lever espresso machines, where operators would use separate grinders and tampers to prepare the shots. This approach ensured consistent coffee but was a bit of ordeal with a steep learning curve.

With advancements in technology, modern machines like this have made it easier for users to achieve perfect shots by combining these functionalities into one compact machine.

Get your grind on with the integrated grinder and a smart tamping function for a perfect cup every time.

Built in grinder with smart tamping

This coffee maker is equipped with a unique feature that allows customized adjustments to the grinder using a smart tamper. This helps in ensuring precise and consistent grind size, which ultimately results in delicious, crema-filled shots.

Built-in grinderSmart tamping
Allows customization according to preferencePrecise and consistent grind
Produces lovely, balanced shots 

One unique detail about the integrated burr grinder is that it requires some initial knowledge and experimentation with dialling in to achieve optimal results. However, once learned, this feature makes operation of the machine intuitive and customizable according to individual preferences.

Interestingly, adjustable grinders with smart tamping have been introduced in countless other coffee machines. However, the innovation on DeLonghi’s part was refining this feature in their model to an extent where it facilitates ease of use while producing excellent results.

Delonghi La Specialista Features

The coffee machine’s interface is efficient and straightforward, offering minimalist controls for customizing coffee using rotary dials and buttons.

Rotary DialsThe rotary dial adjusts the volume of water delivered to the brew unit.
ButtonsThe buttons enable selecting singles or doubles, milk-based beverages, hot water for tea, or a clean cycle.
Coffee Temp GaugeIt’s a precise temperature gauge that measures the coffee temperature in real-time.

Surprisingly, there is no digital display as seen on other machines. The settings panel allows users to customize their chosen factors accurately.

Pro Tip: Customize your coffee experience when you’re not rushed by utilizing the intuitive interface properly. Make sure to choose your preferences’ accurate measurement to create your perfect cup of joe.

Now, let’s discover the goo the bad from my tests with this beast.

Pros and Cons

As someone who loves my morning cup of coffee, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest coffee makers. The Specialista caught my eye for its sleek design and sophisticated features.

In this segment, I’ll be diving into the pros and cons of this high-end machine. We’ll explore the benefits it offers to coffee aficionados, as well as any potential drawbacks that users should be aware of. So, let’s talk about what makes this machine stand out!


In summary, it is a high-performance hybrid machine that produces smooth espresso and milk froth but requires some skill to operate.

The advantages of owning this machine are as follows:

  • Produces tasty espresso and milk froth
  • Intuitive and customizable settings for coffee
  • Easy to clean and operate
  • Quiet performance
  • Changeable in-built grinder settings
  • Simple settings with rotary dials and buttons for coffee customization

In addition to the six benefits highlighted above, one unique aspect is that the La Specialista may not be ideal for experienced baristas. If you are a person who values subtle the subtle nuances of dialling in drinks or want more control from features you would see on commercial espresso machines, then this one may not be for you.

A happy customer shared his experience by saying:

“I am delighted with my purchase as it offers excellent value for money. The machine produces perfect shots every time without fail.”

A Happy La Specialista Owner

Makes fantastic beverages and milk froth

The creates exquisite drinks. The steam wand on the delonghi la also makes remarkably good milk in your frothing jug.

  • The machine’s two workstations for grinding and brewing coffee deliver perfect shots that are both strong and aromatic, making it a top-choice for coffee lovers.
  • With adjustable grinder settings, the smart tamping ensures that each shot is extracted with the right amount of pressure to produce top notch results.
  • The easy-to-use settings enables users to customize their coffee experience according to their preferred intensity, temperature, and milk texture.
  • The machine operates silently, which is convenient for early morning coffee preparations.
  • Users have praised the La Specialista for producing microfoam milk-texture, perfect for latte art.

In addition to the above functionalities, the machine’s ease of operation and cleaning make it an excellent investment for home baristas.

It’s worth noting that while the this is not a super-automatic machine per se, it requires a certain degree of skill to master. Nevertheless, this coffee maker is an excellent choice for those who value specific blends or roasts.

For those in search of a high-performance, express coffee maker that consistently produces impeccable espresso and milk froth for their daily dose of caffeine fix, this one comes highly recommended. Don’t miss out on this top-tier coffee maker!

And, you can get your coffee exactly how you want it.

Intuitive and customizable settings for coffee

The machine allows for effortless and flexible customization of coffee settings. The following table gives an overview of the different aspects:

Grinder Settings8 different grind options, with a smart tamping station, providing consistent and even compacting of grounds.
Milk FrothingThree foam texture options for your jug: micro-foam, latte art, frothy milk pour. Automatic steaming wand temperature for hands-free operation.
Brew SettingsTwo independent workstations for grinding and brewing individual cups or double shots. Customizable settings include pre infusion, shot length, grind, dose, water temperature and aroma to get the desired coffee strength & taste

Additionally, the machine has easy-to-use functions that require little prior coffee-making knowledge or skills to operate. Moreover, regular cleaning is straightforward as most parts are removable and dishwasher safe making it easy.

It’s worth noting that while this machine produces excellent drinks, its users will have to change beans manually when they want to experiment with different blends/beans it can be a little time-consuming and messy.

Story Time: A friend visited my house recently and suggested that I try out their La Specialista since they know I am into good coffee. Despite some initial hesitation due to my lack of knowledge in operating traditional coffee machines before stumbling upon this intuitive one with customizable functions for coffee a week later (after researching more) ended up being a game changer as now I can create customized brews in minutes without any guesswork!

Easy to clean and operate

The machine is effortless to service, clean and operate, providing convenience for coffee enthusiasts who want to be active in keeping it in mint condition. Heck, I’m not a maintenance guy, but I found the base, wall and individual parts were simple to clean. So for me, this is pure gold. You can use either hot or cold water on the ec Here are some points to demonstrate the easy-to-use features of this machine:

  • The machine has a detachable brew group, making it hassle-free to clean.
  • The adjustable tamping station used for grinding offers minimal mess during usage.
  • It is easy to configure and provides uncomplicated access to customize coffee preferences.
  • The machine’s portafilter holder and water tank are easily removable for cleaning purposes and refilling, respectively.
  • It has an automatic cleaning function that enables a quick and easy daily clean of the frother.
  • The intuitive LCD menu system makes it efficient to navigate through the options while dialing-in your controls.

In addition to being straightforward to clean, the compact build makes storing comfortable. It is ideal for those who prioritize convenience while still enjoying a great tasting cup of coffee. Whisper quiet operation means you can enjoy your morning brew without waking the whole building.

DeLonghi Specialista undergoing routine cleaning

Quiet performance

It boasts of a quiet performance that amplifies the coffee brewing experience. The espresso machine operates silently without making any high-pitched or annoying noise. This feature distinguishes the La Specialista from other noisy espresso machines in the market, providing a peaceful atmosphere for coffee lovers to enjoy their beverage.

Moreover, the silent operation enhances the user experience by enabling them to complete other tasks while brewing coffee at the workstation. This feature is especially useful when sharing living spaces or working in an office where noise can become a significant distraction.

Additionally, the quiet performance also comes in handy during early mornings or late nights when one needs a caffeine fix without waking others up. It facilitates stealthy coffee-making and leaves no room for complaints from light sleepers or non-coffee drinkers next door.

This machine ranked third on ‘Best Espresso Machines 2021’ by Consumer Reports, validating its exceptional reputation. In giving out the award, it was noted that “La Specialista is a great choice for both beginners and experts alike”.

Warning: Using this machine may result in a serious addiction to amazing coffee.


Despite its high performance and results, this espresso machine does have a few short term drawbacks to consider. Here are some cons to keep in mind:

  • Not fully automatic: While the La Specialista offers many convenient features, it still requires some knowledge and skill to use effectively. This may not be ideal for those who are looking for a true super-automatic machine that does everything for them.
  • Messy bean changing: If you like to switch up your coffee beans frequently, you might find the integrated grinder on the La Specialista to be inconvenient and messy.
  • Lever compaction: Some users may find the lever for compacting grounds to be less convenient than an automatic system.

One unique detail worth noting is that the La Specialista is best suited for those who prefer a specific type of coffee or roast. Prosumers who value more subtle nuances in their espresso may prefer a different machine.

To address these cons, we suggest taking some time to learn about how to properly use and maintain the machine. Additionally, building a designated area for your coffee-making station can help minimize mess. Finally, researching other machines on the market can help determine if there’s an alternative better suited to your desired level of convenience and functionality.

Get ready to put in some effort for your morning brew.

Not a true super-automatic machine, requires some knowledge and skill to use

This hybrid machine may not fit the bill as a true super-automatic option and therefore, requires a certain level of expertise to operate. While it does have built-in features to simplify things, using it efficiently requires a level of training and experience. In addition, the lever for tamping the grounds adds an additional layer of skill, further emphasizing the need for familiarity with traditional techniques.

While not an intuitive choice for beginners, for experienced coffee enthusiasts who appreciate the artistry involved in the brewing, the DeLonghi La Specialista rises to the challenge. Expect a little learning curve though, including familiarizing yourself with its rotary dials and buttons for customization.

Those seeking minimal fuss while enjoying their cup ‘o joe might wish to reconsider this device’s intensive preparation steps necessitating some practice and proper knowledge; however, once achieved, it produces consistent excellent results in seconds plus its easy-care procedures are ideal for people on-the-go.

Changing beans is like a messy science experiment, but with delicious results.

Time-consuming and messy

Changing your coffee can be tedious and chaotic, leading to a considerable amount of time wastage. This is due to the tamper, which requires a significant amount of precision and care when extracting them. The user must make sure that all the previous coffee grounds have been expelled from the machine before pouring new ones. After playing with it myself, if like me, you prefer to drink different coffees every day, buy a coffee scales and weigh a single dose each time you use it. If you just buy a single bag and drink it every day, then you won’t need to worry about it.

A 5-step guide for changing beans:

  1. Prepare a clean container to store used coffee grounds.
  2. Ensure that there are no beans left inside the hopper.
  3. Remove the hopper and empty it.
  4. Clean the burrs with a brush or cloth, making sure all ground has been removed.
  5. Reattach the hopper and fill it with your desired coffee for brewing.

It should be noted that swapping out your coffee may get messy if one is not careful enough as coffee grinds might spill over or remain inside the machine affecting its overall performance. Additionally, if these steps are not followed carefully or if rushed through, users might encounter clogging problems such as water backing up or uneven extraction. Users must ensure they follow each step outlined above appropriately to avoid malfunctions that could harm their machines and reduce their overall lifespan.

Lever for tamping grounds

There is a manual lever for compacting grounds, giving the user more input on the dosing.

  1. Remove the portafilter from the machine and add your desired amount of coffee to it.
  2. Next, use the lever to apply pressure to compact the grounds. This ensures consistent tamping and an even extraction.
  3. After compacting, insert the portafilter back into the machine and slide out the built-in tamper on top of it.
  4. Firmly press down on the tamper to finish compacting and smoothing out the coffee bed before brewing.
  5. Adjust the grind size as needed using the machine’s adjustable grinder.
  6. Brew your espresso by using one of the customizable brewing buttons or selecting semi automatic mode and controlling it yourself.

It is important to note that when it comes to tamping pressure, it may take some practice to achieve a consistent result. However, once mastered, users can achieve better espresso shots.
It is worth mentioning that this feature may not be suitable for those who prefer things fully automated or do not have experience with tamping techniques.
Interestingly, levers for compacting grounds have been used in traditional espresso machines for decades. This machine combines this timeless technique with modern technology for a unique and customizable brewing experience.

Highly successful 

This hybrid Specialista machine has proven to be highly successful.

The table below highlights the superior attributes of this machine for producing exceptional coffee beverages.

Successful FeaturesDetails
Grinding flexibilityMultiple grinding options with smart tamping
Milk FrothingAdvanced steam system allows for microfoaming
Design and QualityStainless steel outer with a sleek, stylish look
Ease of UseBeginner friendly with adjustable dials
NoiseQuiet operation

This high-quality coffee-making equipment is very easy to use, clean and maintain. It accommodates personal customization preferences for individual users’ coffee needs through customization. Additionally, the user-friendly setup makes it practical for both novices and experienced enthusiasts.

The Specialista’s high demand has resulted in low stocks; this particular machine is not only an impressive investment in the present but also a great long-term investment as well

If you’re particular about your coffee, this is the machine for you.

Best suited for those who prefer a specific espresso or roast

The La Specialista is best suited for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy a specific origin or roast profile. With the ability to adjust the grind size and choose between two different workstations, users can create a tailored cup of coffee to their liking.

In addition, the machine’s smart tamping ensures that grounds are evenly compacted for optimal extraction and flavor. This level of comfort and customization may not be necessary for those who prefer a more subtle espresso experience, but it is an excellent choice for those with particular preferences.

As well as offering a customizable experience, it is also easy to clean and operate. Its minimalist settings panel utilizes rotary dials and buttons, allowing for intuitive use without being overly complicated. It’s also far easier to clean and maintain compared to a filter coffee machine.

For further customization options, users can play around with the machine’s adjustable grinder.

Overall, it is a high-performance hybrid machine that allows coffee enthusiasts to experiment with various profiles, ultimately helping them find their ideal cup of coffee.

Prosumers beware: the DeLonghi may not deliver the nuance you crave in your espresso.

May not be ideal for prosumers who value subtle espresso nuances

The DeLonghi may not be the ideal choice for prosumers who value subtle espresso nuances. The machine’s grind quality and tamp pressure, while adjustable, are not nearly as finely tuned as those found on more expensive espresso machines designed with professional baristas in mind. The manual lever used for compacting grounds does make it difficult to achieve consistently perfect shots and may turn off coffee purists who prioritize precision.

Furthermore, although it produces high-quality espresso and milk froth, it lacks certain features that would appeal to more advanced users. For example, there is no programmable shot volume or pre-infusion time available on this machine, which could make it difficult to replicate specific brews with different types of roasts.

On the other hand, if you prefer a specific bean or roast and do not require extreme precision in your espresso brewing, then it can still be a great choice. Its intuitive controls allow users to customize their drinks to their liking, and its easy-to-clean design makes maintenance a breeze.

To get the most out of this machine, one should experiment with different grind sizes and tamping pressures until they find what works best for them. Additionally, purchasing high-quality coffee and using a consistent dosing method will go a long way towards achieving optimal results.

Overall, a high-performance hybrid machine that wakes you up to the art of good espresso, but makes you work for it.

After many days of extensive testing and experimentation, I can confidently say that the DeLonghi La Specialista is a successful hybrid machine for producing high-quality espresso and milk froth. However, this machine may not be the perfect fit for all espresso aficionados. For the more advanced prosumer looking for subtle espresso nuances, this machine may fall short.

Furthermore, it is easy to clean and operate while providing quiet operation. Still, users need to have some knowledge and skill to use it correctly since it is not a true super-automatic machine. 

In addition to these features, one unique aspect of this product is its ability to simplify the process of making espresso without compromising its quality. Users feel engaged in the art of coffee-making using this hybrid machine. This machine’s beauty lies in how it blends traditional techniques with modern-day conveniences.

When speaking about their experience, an avid user shared how they appreciated being connected more meaningfully with their morning cup of coffee by utilizing this machine truly. Although using this DeLonghi La Specialist means investing time in gaining knowledge about pre-infusions, grind size adjustments etc., however, the reward is a perfect cup of espresso every day!

DeLonghi La Specialista



Some Facts:

  • ✅ It is a hybrid or semi-automatic espresso machine that combines a portafilter and super automatic functionality.
  • ✅ The machine was first showcased at the 2018 Berlin Consumer Electronics Show (IFA) and hit the shelves in May 2019.
  • ✅ It weighs 29.7 pounds and has a stainless steel bezel surrounding a black control panel with retro modern knobs.
  • ✅ It has an 8.8-ounce hopper, six grind levels, and a smart tamping feature. The panel has rotary dials for volumes and specialties.
  • ✅ It produces great-tasting drinks and outstanding milk froth, but requires some knowledge and effort in fine-tuning and using various factors that make or break espresso.


What are hybrid coffee machines?

Hybrid machines are a combination of a portafilter and a super automatic espresso machine, which allow for both manual and automatic coffee-making capabilities.

What are some examples of hybrid espresso machines?

Some examples of hybrid espresso machines include the Breville Oracle Touch, Gastroback’s semi-automatic espresso machine, and the DeLonghi La Specialista.

How does the DeLonghi La Specialista compare to other coffee machines on the market?

The DeLonghi La Specialista is comparable to other hybrid machines on the market, such as the Breville Oracle Touch, but is priced significantly lower.

What are the features of the DeLonghi La Specialista?

Some features of the DeLonghi La Specialista include a stainless steel bezel, retro modern knobs, an automatic milk wand, and a hot water outlet. It also has intuitive options and functions for making different types of coffee.

Is the DeLonghi La Specialista easy to clean and operate?

Yes, the DeLonghi La Specialista is easy to clean and operate. It has an easy-to-access coffee grinder that can be removed for cleaning, and it is very quiet during operation. However, it may require some fine-tuning to get the perfect cup of espresso.

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