Last updated on April 2nd, 2023 by Jules Winnfield
Going to the coffee house for your daily cup of brew is soo passé. What’s in?
Brewing your own coffee espresso from home that taste like something a professional barista whipped up!
DeLonghi La Specialista Arte EC9155
Performance - 9.2/10
Ease of Use/Maintenance - 9.1/10
Build & Quality - 9/10
Design & Features - 8.4/10
User Satisfaction - 8.9/10
The DeLonghi La Specialista Arte combines the manual approach of grinding, tamping and pulling your own shots with the automation and convenience of a built in grinder and customizable temperature settings so you can pull the most delicious espresso flavors. It’s easy to use and maintain and looks great in your kitchen. And while it may take some time to get used to operating, if you’re looking for the coffee house experience of being your own barista at home, this semi-automatic with grinder is a great choice. Perfect for espresso enthusiasts who want to hone their skills and enjoy the experience of pulling the perfect shot.
If you’re looking to up your barista game and create whimsical coffee beverages but still want all the fancy tools and automation to do it, then the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte espresso machine could be the ideal addition to your coffee bar.
But is it right for you?
In this quick straight to the gist DeLonghi La Specialista Arte EC9155 review, we answer the question and give our overall rating to help you decide.
Last update on 2023-11-30
- DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Review and Rating
- Pros and Cons
- How Does it Compare?
- Final Verdict
DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Review and Rating
|What is it made of?||Stainless steel metal body; Has a sleek, stylish professional look; |
Definitely looks great on kitchen counter tops!
|How durable is it?||So far, most users have reported the La Specialista Arte is built really well. Sturdy and durable. This machine is fairly new to market. |
But like most DeLonghi machines, you can expect to get years of work out of it if you care for it properly.
|What brew modes does it have?||3 pre-programed recipes: Espresso, Americano, Hot Water; |
Can pick from single or double shot
|Strength control?||Yes, via single or double shot, amount of coffee grounds or volume settings|
|Temperature control?||Yes, 3 settings: min, med, max|
|How fast does it brew one cup or batch? Heat up time?||Heats up pretty fast; < 1 min. Can get hot water almost instantly. Brews espresso fast too. Pull time is manual so it’s up to you. Milk frothing takes about a min. |
So total a few minutes from grinding to brewing to frothing.
|How many cups does it make?||Can vary depending on what you make: |
Espresso: 15-180 ml (0.5-6 oz.)
Americano: 40-420 ml (1.35-14.2 oz.)
Hot water: 65-300 ml (2.2-10.1 oz.)
|Steam wand for frothing?||Yes, comes with the MyLatte Art steam wand to make silky smooth micro milk foam for cappuccinos or lattes.|
|How quiet is it?||The machine brews with an average amount of noise; |
the grinder is loud but not excessively.
|How is the taste and flavor?||Almost everyone agrees the full bodied, rich bold espressos with crema you get from the La Specialista Arte is worth every penny spent on it. It will bring out the true potential of your usual coffee bean blends!|
Ease of use/ Maintenance (9.1/10)
|How big is it?||Coming in at 14.3 in wide, 11.2 in deep, and 15.8 in high, the La Specialista Arte is a sizable machine, but compact for a machine with a built-in grinder. |
May be tough to get under the cabinet.
|How heavy? Portable?||Weighs 21.5 lbs., so it’s pretty heavy.|
|LCD display or push buttons or both?||Comes with push buttons and dial knobs that are easy to handle|
|How easy is it to use?||While finding the right settings to get the best tasting espresso for you is a bit of a chore (or pleasure!), using the La Specialista Arte is actually fairly simple and easy once you get the hang of it. |
Simply clean out the machine with water by following the manual instructions, fill your water reservoir, add in your coffee beans into the hopper, select your grind, select how much coffee you want, insert the porta filter to catch the ground coffee, move the portafilter over to the brew section, select your temp and recipe, pull your shot, steam your milk with the wand, pour milk into espresso shot and you now have a delicious espresso beverage in your hands!
|Maintenance reminders?||Comes with a “No water” and “Descale” indicator lights|
|How easy is it to clean?||Cleaning is pretty easy. Simple take apart the porta filter after your brew and wash with soap and water, clean out drip tray which is also dishwasher safe, and wipe down the steam wand.|
|Does it use pods or ground coffee or both?||Uses only coffee beans. Be sure its high quality espresso beans for the best results!|
|Built in grinder?||Yes, conical burr grinder with 8 settings ranging from course to medium to fine.|
|Programmable autostart?||No autostart. |
But you can preprogram your own custom settings (volume, strength, temperature) for brewing.
|Auto shut off, energy saving mode?||Yes, will conserve energy by shutting off automatically after predetermined time; Range of 9 min to 3 hours.|
|Any other notable tech features?||Pressure gauge – great for learning baristas looking to experiment and time their shots perfectly |
Programmable quantities – so you can have the perfect amount of coffee espresso with just a few buttons pressed.
Water hardness testing – nice because this customizes how often you should descale based on how hard your water is
|Removable water reservoir? How big?||Yes, 56 oz.|
|Come with carafe? Thermal or glass? Size?||No carafe, but does come with a nice stainless steel milk frothing pitcher!|
|Can it dispense hot water?||Yep, has a hot water spout; great for making oatmeal, hot cereal, and my favorite turmeric ginger tea!|
|Drip tray removable to accommodate larger mugs?||Yes, will work with cup up to 4.5″ tall|
|Any other unique features?||Comes with a barista kit with things like a tamp, tamping mat, milk pitcher, and cleaning brush|
|Come in different colors?||Stainless steel silver and black|
|Pricing||Retails at $699.95. Not cheap but very much worth the value and saving over the long term.|
User Satisfaction (8.9/10)
|Specific customer feedback, good AND bad||Most customers had nothing but positive feedback for the La Specialista Arte. The ease of use, built in grinder, customizable volume, strength and temperature and delicious flavors for a decent price is all anyone can talk about. |
Biggest drawback is it takes time to learn how to use and optimize your espresso.
Pros and Cons
Like all of DeLonghi’s espresso machines, high quality and performance is almost automatically expected. But each series has something to offer different coffee drinkers. This espresso cappuccino maker stands out to me for the following reasons:
Things I like
- Easy to set up, use and clean up afterwards
- The included tools make for a mess free, tidy dosing setup
- Built in burr grinder to get the freshest coffee espresso
- Grinds the right amount of beans for the amount of cups you want
- Great way to minimize the number of machines on your counter top
- Three infusion water temperatures to choose from depending on the roast of your beans
- Steam wand makes creating latte art a new addictive hobby!
- Looks high end, sleek on the counter top
- Great for impressing friends and family!
- Lots of features to assist young and experienced baristas like pressure gauge, temperature infusion settings, grind settings, plus lots of accessories in the barista kit
Things I don’t like
- Steep learning curve to learn to how to pull the best tasting espresso depending on the roast profile.
- Of course, if you’re looking at the La Specialista then you already know to expect this. Trial and error is part of the game!
- Steam frothing wand is a bit short and can be difficult to use
- Water tank at back makes for slightly difficult refilling
- Troubleshooting the grinder may be difficult in future since it can’t come apart
How Does it Compare?
DeLonghi La Specialista Arte vs Mueller Premium Espresso Machine
So is the La Specialista Arte truly la special? (See what I did there?!) And how does it compare to similar semi-automatic espresso machines with grinders on the market? We compared it to the Mueller Premium espresso machine to give you some context.
Initially we noticed that both machines:
- Have a stainless steel sleek look and will take about the same space on your countertops.
- Brew delicious coffee shop quality espressos with 15 bars of pressure.
- Come fully loaded with a barista kit full of tools like a tamp, filters for the portafilter, milk pitcher, and cleaning accessories.
But there are a few differences:
- The Mueller comes with a conical burr grinder with more settings (0-30) than the La Specialista Arte
- The Mueller comes with a cup warmer; the La Specialista Arte uses the same space to store accessories
- The Mueller water tank is larger, 101 oz, vs La Specialista Arte 56 oz.
- The Mueller is not as easy to use and maintain compared to the La Specialista Arte
- The Mueller is significantly cheaper (retails at ~$400) compared to the La Specialista Arte
- If you’re on a budget, just getting started as a beginner pulling espresso shots then I would say the Mueller makes a lot of sense for you.
- But if you value ease of use, quality build, and simpler maintenance, then the extra money for the La Specialista Arte is your best bet.
If you are the kind of espresso drinker who relishes in the “arte” of pulling fine quality espressos and geeking out on roasts, grind profiles, temperatures, strengths, timing of pulls, perfect milk foam and all that, then the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte is probably a great espresso machine to fit your needs.
The DeLonghi La Specialista Arte combines the hands on approach of grinding, tamping and pulling your own shots with the automation and convenience of a built in grinder and customizable temperature settings so you can pull the most delicious flavors for your own pallet.
It’s easy to use and maintain and looks great in your kitchen. And while it may take some time to get used to working it, if you’re looking for the coffee house experience of being your own barista at home, this semi-automatic with grinder is a great choice.
Last update on 2023-11-30
You may also consider the other models within the La Specialista series if you want more added features and perks.
But if you’re like me, and not looking to be so involved in the details but want barista like quality, then you should check out super automatic espresso machines like the Eletta.
Or the Dinamica and Magnifica espresso machines. These are fully automatics that provide a hands-off bean to cup experience but still give you the delicious coffee house aroma and taste you can’t live without.
- DeLonghi Dinamica
- DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
- DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300
- DeLonghi Magnifica XS
- DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart
- DeLonghi Magnifica Evo ECAM29084
If the La Specialista Arte is too complex for you, then check out the Dedica or ECP series. These machines are manual semi-automatics that are much simpler with no grinder built in.
Does the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte use pre ground coffee?
Technically you can’t put pre ground coffee into the grinder. And ideally you would want to use fresh ground dark roast beans for your espresso.
But if you have to, you can pour pre ground coffee straight into the porta filter, tamp it, and pull your shot from there.
Is the La Specialista Arte a dual boiler system?
No, the Arte has a single thermoblock heating system. It’s not until you get to the La Specialista Prestigio and Maestro do you find the dual boiler setup.
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- About the Author
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“Jules” is a pharmacist by day and investor, writer, and health nut by night. When he’s not sipping on some coffee laced with MCT oil during an 18 hour fast, he is writing about how to get your coffee grind on or playing Monopoly with his 2 boys and wife. Ahh…life is good!