De'Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine : The Powerful Home Barista

Published on Jan. 25, 2024, 7:47 p.m.

Espresso is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans under high pressure. It is characterized by its intense flavor, rich aroma, and thick crema. Espresso originated in Italy in the late 19th century, invented by Angelo Moriondo, and was initially used to prepare coffee drinks quickly. Espresso quickly gained popularity in Italy and spread to the rest of the world, becoming an essential part of modern coffee culture.

Espresso is not only a delicious beverage on its own but also serves as the base for various coffee drinks, such as cappuccino, latte, and macchiato. It is also commonly used in desserts and ice cream.

For coffee lovers looking to bring cafe-quality drinks home, the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta is an enticing option. This fully automatic espresso machine packs professional power into a countertop appliance. But does it live up to the hype? After extensive hands-on testing, we believe it does. Keep reading for the full scoop on this home barista helper.

Overview

The Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine is a super-automatic espresso maker from leading brand De’Longhi. Key specs include a 120V plastic body in black weighing 25.88 lbs. Notable features are the patented milk frother, dual boiler system, and 15-bar professional pump. This programmable machine brews from both ground coffee and whole beans for fresh customized drinks.

Design - Sleek and Compact

Encased in black plastic with stainless steel accents, the contemporarily styled Perfecta has a smaller footprint than many competitors. The control panel is neatly arranged with two dials, illuminated buttons, and an LED display. The water tank and drip tray are easily accessible from the front. Overall, it has an understated yet elegant look perfect for modern kitchens.

Features - Fully Loaded Functionality

With its extensive capabilities, the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine eliminates much of the guesswork from crafting espresso-based drinks. Key highlights include:

  • Single Touch Milk Frother - Auto-froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes at the touch of a button. Easy to attach and detach milk container.

  • Dual Boiler System - Separate boilers for brewing and steaming simultaneously. No downtime between espresso and milk drinks.

  • 15 Bar Pump - Delivers the optimal 9-15 bars of pressure for rich creamy espresso.

  • Built-In Burr Grinder - Grinds whole beans instantly for optimum freshness.

  • Programmable Menu - Customize drink strength, size, auto-on, and other settings.

Ease of Use - Fully Automatic Operation

As a super automatic machine, the Perfecta simplifies espresso preparation. Users only need to add water, coffee beans, and milk. Then use the one-touch buttons to select drink type and size. The grinder, brewer, and milk frother operate automatically with no need to tamp grounds or steam milk manually.

Brewing Types - Ground Coffee and Whole Beans

The built-in burr grinder allows brewing from whole coffee beans for optimal freshness. Pre-ground coffee can also be used with the bypass doser. No coffee pods are supported.

Suitable Coffee Types - Espresso Drinks

The 15 bars of pressure extract bold, aromatic espresso shots perfect for cappuccinos and lattes. The Perfecta is less ideal for regular brewed coffee.

Coffee Quality - Rich Crema and Texture

Thanks to the stainless steel burr grinder and 15 bar pump, the espresso pulls have an excellent crema layer and viscous texture indicative of high quality.

What kind of coffee beans should I use with the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine?

The machine works best with medium to dark roast whole coffee beans. However, different types of coffee beans produce different flavors and profiles.

  • Arabica beans typically have a more delicate and complex flavor, with fruity, floral, or chocolate notes.
  • Robusta beans typically have a more bold and nutty flavor, with earthy or caramel notes.

Here are some specific coffee bean recommendations for making different types of coffee drinks with this machine:

  • Espresso: Use an Arabica blend or a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans for a balanced flavor and intense body.
  • Cappuccino: Use medium-roasted Arabica beans for a smooth acidity and a silky texture.
  • Latte: Use dark-roasted Arabica beans or a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans for a rich flavor and a full-bodied mouthfeel.

It is recommended that readers choose coffee beans based on their own taste preferences and coffee-making needs. For example, those who prefer less acidity and a heavier body may choose dark roast beans, while those who prefer brighter acidity and a more complex flavor may choose light roast beans.

Temperature Control - Thermoblock Heater

Thermoblock heating system maintains optimal temperature for espresso extraction. Separate heater for steam wand.

Brewing Pressure - 15 bars

15 bars of pressure extract all the oils and aromas from the coffee grind for maximum flavor.

Innovations - One-Touch Milk Frothing

The patented milk container provides automated frothing with a single button press, eliminating the need for a separate frother.

Integrated Milk Frother - Auto Milk Texturing

The thermal carafe-style milk container allows for automated frothing with a single button touch. Capacity is unknown.

Integrated Grinder - Conical Burr

It has a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder for precision grinding and adjustable settings. Exact capacity is unknown.

Is the grinder on the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine adjustable?

Yes, the conical burr grinder has multiple settings. This allows you to fine-tune the grind size to match your preferred brewing method and coffee type.

Grind size affects coffee extraction and the final flavor. A coarser grind will result in under-extraction, producing sour and thin coffee. A finer grind will result in over-extraction, producing bitter and astringent coffee.

Here are some recommended grind size settings for making different types of coffee drinks:

Espresso: Use a medium grind, similar to the consistency of coarse sugar.
Cappuccino: Use a finer grind than espresso, similar to the consistency of granulated sugar.
Latte: Use a finer grind than cappuccino, similar to the consistency of flour.

Keep in mind that these are just general recommendations. The best grind size may vary depending on your coffee machine, coffee beans, and personal preferences. It is recommended to experiment to find the grind size that works best for your taste.

Water Tank - 60 oz

The removable 60 oz water tank allows brewing multiple drinks before needing a refill. Easy access from front of machine.

Additional Features - Programmable Menu, Cup Warmer

Customize brew strength, cup size, auto-on, and other settings. The metal cup warming tray preheats cups.

Cleaning - Removable Parts, No Dishwasher

Removable brew group, drip tray, and water tank allow for easy cleanup. Hand wash only recommended.

Noise Level - Average

It emits normal noise levels for a pump-driven espresso machine. Not distractingly loud.

Safety - UL Certified

Made of BPA-free plastic. UL safety certified for household use. Requires grounded outlet.

Power - 1060 watts

Rated at 1060 watts. The power cord is approximately 3 feet long.

Maintenance and Cost - Periodic Descaling

Requires periodic descaling every few months which is guided by the machine prompts. Uses replaceable water filters.

Brand:

De’Longhi - Founded in Italy in 1902, De’Longhi is a leading global manufacturer of small domestic appliances including coffee makers, air conditioners, and heaters. Known for innovation and style.

Use Cases:

The Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine is ideal for coffee enthusiasts looking to create cafe-quality drinks at home. It’s versatile enough for personal enjoyment, entertaining guests, or keeping an office caffeinated. The intuitive operation makes it easy for anyone to produce consistent results.

User Feedback Analysis:

Overall, customer reviews indicate high satisfaction with the performance and ease of use of the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine. The majority of users comment on the excellent espresso flavor produced by the 15 bar pump and built-in grinder. Many note the rich, aromatic crema and smooth, velvety mouthfeel of the espresso shots which rival specialty cafes.

The one-touch milk frothing system is repeatedly praised for producing creamy, microfoam texture perfect for topping cappuccinos and lattes. Users find it incredibly convenient to go from espresso to milk-based drinks with minimal effort. The automatic cleaning cycles and removable parts also make maintenance relatively simple.

While most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, a few users experienced mechanical issues related to the grinder or pump. However, they noted De’Longhi’s customer service team was very responsive in addressing problems under warranty. Some felt the milky drinks could be slightly hotter.

In terms of downsides, the major complaint is the high initial cost. But overall, customers recognize the value offered by the consistent performance, versatile brewing capabilities, and automated convenience features. Many consider the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine an worthwhile investment for coffee aficionados who regularly prepare espresso-based beverages at home. Many reviewers say they would happily purchase it again.

In summary, feedback indicates the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine consistently delivers high-end results that satisfy both taste and convenience expectations for a home super automatic espresso machine. De’Longhi’s reputation for quality shows in the overwhelmingly positive response. For those who desire delicious espresso drinks minus the hassle, the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine is a top contender.

Pros:

  • Makes high-quality espresso drinks
  • Milk frother works consistently
  • Compact footprint saves counter space
  • Programmable for customized beverages
  • Well-known and reliable brand

Cons:

  • Significant initial investment
  • Milk container needs refrigeration
  • Drip tray fills quickly if making several drinks

Value:

While priced higher than entry-level machines, the Delonghi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine delivers commercial-grade performance that justifies the cost for serious espresso lovers. Convenience features like the automated milk frothing and programmability provide added value.

Recommendation - At-Home Barista Hero

The De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine is a powerful and easy-to-use coffee machine that is perfect for home and small office use. It features:

Automatic grinding, brewing, and milk frothing capabilities for making a variety of coffee drinks with ease, including espresso, cappuccino, and latte.
Adjustable grinder and programmable settings to allow you to customize your coffee to your liking.
Automatic cleaning and descaling functions to save you time and effort.
Stylish modern design that complements any kitchen décor.

If you are looking for a high-quality coffee machine that can make delicious coffee, the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta is a great option.

Specifications:

Feature Specification
General
Type Super-automatic espresso machine
Dimensions (W x H x D) 10.6” x 14.2” x 17.7”
Weight 22.5 lbs
Water tank capacity 60 oz
Bean hopper capacity 12 oz
Milk container capacity 5 oz
Performance
Pump pressure 15 bar
Heating system Thermoblock
Maximum brewing temperature 195°F
Features
One-touch brewing Yes
Customizable settings Yes
Automatic milk frother Yes
Self-cleaning function Yes
Descaling function Yes
Additional features
Removable drip tray Yes
Adjustable cup height Yes
Energy saving mode Yes
Compatibility
Coffee bean types Whole beans
Milk types Cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk (with varying results)

Box Includes:

  • De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta espresso machine
  • Milk container
  • Water filtration
  • Coffee scoop
  • Cleaning tools
  • User manuals

User Manual for the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Before You Begin

  1. Please read the entire user manual carefully before using the machine.
  2. Make sure that the machine is properly installed and leveled on a stable surface.
  3. Fill the water tank with fresh, cold water.
  4. Add coffee beans to the bean hopper.
  5. Attach the milk container to the machine.

Making Espresso

  1. Turn on the machine.
  2. Select the “Espresso” option.
  3. Place your cup under the spout.
  4. The machine will automatically grind, brew, and dispense espresso into your cup.

Making Cappuccino

  1. Turn on the machine.
  2. Select the “Cappuccino” option.
  3. Place your cup under the spout.
  4. The machine will automatically grind, brew, and dispense espresso into your cup.
  5. The machine will then froth the milk and dispense it into your cup.

Making Latte

  1. Turn on the machine.
  2. Select the “Latte” option.
  3. Place your cup under the spout.
  4. The machine will automatically grind, brew, and dispense espresso into your cup.
  5. The machine will then froth the milk and dispense it into your cup.

Customizing Your Coffee

The De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine allows you to customize your coffee to your liking. You can adjust the:

  • Strength of the coffee: Choose from a mild, medium, or strong setting.
  • Amount of coffee: Choose from a single shot or a double shot.
  • Temperature of the coffee: Choose from a low, medium, or high setting.
  • Amount of milk: Choose from a small, medium, or large amount.
  • Texture of the milk: Choose from a frothy or smooth texture.

Cleaning and Maintenance

It is important to clean and maintain your De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine regularly to ensure that it continues to work properly and make delicious coffee.

  • Daily: Rinse the spout and milk container with hot water.
  • Weekly: Clean the brewing unit and drip tray.
  • Monthly: Descale the machine.

Troubleshooting

If you are having problems with your De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine, please refer to the troubleshooting section of the user manual.

Safety

  • Do not touch the hot surfaces of the machine.
  • Do not use the machine if it is damaged.
  • Do not leave the machine unattended while it is in use.
  • Keep the machine out of reach of children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine make other coffee drinks besides espresso, cappuccino, and latte?

Yes! While its primary focus is on those beverages, the machine offers a range of customization options. You can adjust coffee strength, cup size, and program your own preferences. This allows for creations like americanos, macchiatos, and more.

How easy is it to clean the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine?

The machine has several features that simplify cleaning:

  • Removable components: The brew unit, drip tray, and water tank are easily detached for cleaning.
  • Automatic rinsing: The machine has rinsing cycles to flush the system.
  • Descaling alerts: You’ll be notified when it’s time to descale the machine which helps maintain performance.

What kind of coffee beans should I use with the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine?

The machine works best with medium to dark roast whole coffee beans. Oilier beans may clog the grinder. Experiment to find your favorite roast and flavor profile.

Is the grinder on the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine adjustable?

Yes, the conical burr grinder has multiple settings. This allows you to fine-tune the grind size to match your preferred brewing method and coffee type.

How does the milk frother on the De’Longhi ESAM5500B Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine work?

The machine has a dedicated milk container that attaches to the front. Here’s the process:

  1. Fill the container with cold milk.
  2. Attach it to the machine.
  3. Select your drink type (cappuccino, latte).
  4. The machine automatically steams and froths the milk, dispensing it directly into your cup.

Tips

  • Use filtered water: This will improve the taste of your coffee and help prevent mineral buildup in the machine.
  • Clean the milk container after each use: Prevent milk residue from drying and affecting the frothing performance.
  • Store coffee beans properly: Use an airtight container to keep your beans fresh.
  • Experiment with grind settings: Find the grind size that produces the best flavor for your chosen beans.
  • Descale regularly: Follow the machine’s descaling instructions to ensure optimal function and longevity.