Price (RRP): $3599
DeLonghi’s latest machine may have a name deserving of people who fancy themselves over the top, but its quality speaks volumes enough that its actually deserved.
Features and performance
Coffee at home is one of those areas that generally straddles three categories: the “so easy that it can only be terrible”, the “easy enough to use and good enough for every day consumption”, and the “so complicated that you may need a degree to use it but the coffee is amazing”.
Instant and beverage machines like the Dolce Gusto generally fit in the first one, so let’s ignore that, while Nespresso — which we like — sits in the second. It’s not that Nespresso and the other coffee pods system is a form of instant, because it’s not, and far better than that. Rather, we call it “inspresso” because it’s as close to an instant good coffee as you get, even though it lacks personality.
The third category is where you find coffee with pizazz, with nice roasts, great beans, flexibility in grinds, and the ability to bring coffee with a bit of playfulness to the cup and table (and eventually to your lips).
Making it, however, is something that often requires an understanding of coffee, with education and patience part of the package, and if you love coffee and love making it this way — the art and craft of the cup, so to speak — we totally salute and respect you.
But that’s not what everyone wants. Some people go to a coffee shop for that, and allow the barista to take care of it for them.
Appliance maker DeLonghi has a different approach for this, taking the training a barista goes through and finding a way to inject it into one of its machines, building what it basically infers is the best of the best machines: the PrimaDonna Elite.
Two versions of the PrimaDonna Elite exist, and for the most part are identical with the exception of one model (ECAM65075MS) includes a 4.3 inch touchscreen and can produce chocolate milk, while the second model (ECAM65055MS) uses a 3.5 inch standard display with soft buttons and cannot handle chocolate milk.
Outside of the chocolate milk, though, it’s pretty much the same system, with around two litres of water being accepted in the removable tank, 400 grams of beans in the container up top, support for ground coffee, with a detachable milk frother found on the unit, allowing you to refrigerate the milk if need be, as well as a 15 bar pressure pump.
Bluetooth is also built into the models, and each is app supported, handy if you’re keen to embrace the future and see what software can do with a coffee machine.
Pricing between each model chimes in at $3599 for the 4.3 inch touchscreen-enabled ECAM65075MS, while the touch-less ECAM65055MS sits at $3199. The model in this review is the 4.3 inch touchscreen model.