In our evaluation of the best espresso makers, the DeLonghi EC-685 earned above average marks. It’s quite easy to use, makes decent tasting coffee and has a great frother that makes art out of your cappuccino. It has an average-sized water reservoir, an auto-shutoff feature and three portafilter baskets. It lacks some features we look for, however, such as an included milk jug and programmable buttons. It also has the shortest warranty period of all the espresso machines we looked at.
The first thing you notice about the DeLonghi EC-685 is its sleek design. Other espresso machines we reviewed, especially ones that use a portafilter, are big and bulky and take up a lot of real estate on a kitchen counter. This model, however, is trim and compact and will fit nicely in any kitchen regardless of its size.
It’s also very easy to use, scoring 9 out of ten points in our ease-of-use tests. If you’ve had any experience using an espresso maker before, you’ll be able to immediately run the DeLonghi EC-685 properly, right out of the box. If you haven’t any prior experience, the machine’s instructions are very simple and easy to follow, and it should take you no more than one or two times through the process to start feeling confident about it.
In our tests for the actual taste of the espresso the DeLonghi EC-685 produces, our reviewing team and a hired barista gave it an espresso quality score of 7 out of 10, just above the average score of 6.5 So while it might not be the best choice if you’re only focus is the taste, this DeLonghi model is worth consideration for its various other strengths, however.
This espresso maker excelled in the frothing test, earning an 8 out of 10 – significantly higher than the 6.3 average. Our barista noted that the froth created by this machine was superior for drawing art on a cappuccino or latte – on the level of the art rendered by the pros in coffee shops. However, the machine doesn’t come with a milk jug included. So you’ll have to spend some extra cash to get one.
This DeLonghi EC-685 has an average-sized water tank that holds 1.1 liters of fluid. It also comes with three portafilter baskets, which is one more than you usually get with an at-home espresso maker. But the included tamper is flimsy and made of plastic. Our barista informed us that if you want a proper tamp, you should invest in a weighty metal one.
This espresso machine an auto-shutoff – a feature most models don’t have. This increases the safety of your machine because you don’t have to remember to turn it off with every use.
A final thing worth noting about the DeLonghi EC-685 is its very short warranty period, only six months. Most other similar products, like the Breville Infuser, have at least a one-year warranty, and some even go up to three years.
Though the Delonghi EC-685 isn’t the best all-around espresso maker we tested, it’s still worth considering. The machine is very easy to use, and it makes tasty coffee. Above all, it produces outstanding froth. The drawback, in sum, is that you’ll need to spend some extra cash to get the most out of it as possible.
Contributing Reviewer: Danny Chadwick