Primadonna indeed, the De’Longhi EVO is a bean to cup, stainless steel beauty. There’s nothing cheap about the finish and quality of this coffee maker. Whether you want a long black or a flat white the S EVO coffee machine can sort you out, it even connects to your phone for an ‘infinite range’ of flavour innovations.

Within the stainless steel box lies everything you need for a perfect cup of coffee; however it is you like your brew. There’s a bean canister, coffee grinder, reservoir for the water, a milk container and is controlled through an LCD display.

Design points on the S EVO

The De’Longhi S EVO looks almost like a coffee machine you’d encounter in a coffee shop. The stainless steel finish, the drainable cup tray, the milk carafe holder also functions as a manual steamer arm. But these features all obscure the fact that there is no manual tamper. All that is done within the S EVO.

On top of the EVO S is a wide corrugated stand for your cup, perfect for keeping them warm until you want a cuppa. Be warned though, there is no rail keeping your cups in place. Something which can lead you to think it doesn’t exist at all, until you touch it! This bit gets hot once you’re making a brew, so keep that in mind.

It has an LCD screen, and while the resolution certainly isn’t sophisticated, it gets the job done. Helped by the simple menu navigation and choices which are pushed through the buttons. It gets the job done effectively.

The screen gives you feedback on the total amount of water dispense, how many times milk-based coffees have been made, how many times the machine has run the descale function and how many times the water filter has been replaced.

I like the colour combination of a dark outer screen, home to the buttons, and a navy blue LCD colouring. It doesn’t glare odiously as those with white screens tend to do.

The Coffee Link App is certainly interesting, but whether it can really produce infinite coffee flavourings or merely enough to satisfy you when you’re bored is another matter. More importantly it contains manuals and how to videos. Although you might find it useful to view the web how-to before reading their how-to.

Sure, you can make a coffee at the touch of a button via the app. But the machine can’t pick up a mug and put it on the tray, so it’s slightly superfluous. What it is useful for is creating personalised coffees and saving them under the auspices of the MyMenu.

De’Longhi Primadonna Features

  • Coffee Link App allows for infinite flavour customisations
  • LatteCrema System to produce perfect creamy cappuccinos
  • Makes all the classics and traditional beverages; espresso, long black, doppio, cappuccino, macchiato
  • LCD display with control panel and easy feedback
  • 2 litres of capacity to keep everyone in the house a-buzz
  • 11.kg in weight
  • 24cm tall, 47cm deep, and 35cm wide

Using the De’Longhi S EVO

As we’ve discussed, the S EVO can make a whole host of your favourite coffees. The machine comes loaded with seven types. Espresso, ‘Coffee’, Long, Doppio+, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Caffelatte. You can also add more milk through its exclusive button.

Unfortunately you cannot re-programme these buttons to your own personal choice. You can add an extra functionality to four of them, but not any more than that. Given the ubiquity of computing memory these days, it seems like a bit of a duff function. As a mostly black coffee drinker, it would have been nice to add a few different ‘My’ drinks to these buttons, I’ve never had a Latte Macchiato for instance.

The whole set up is a bit arduous. For one thing, they ship the EVO S with a DVD. You can find the videos online, but really, a DVD, in this day and age. Furthermore, the first few brews shouldn’t be considered a true brew, I’d give it fix or six before you make a full judgement on the quality.

The bean container holds almost nine ounces of beans, or 250 grams. Which is around a dozen cups of coffee, according to my own usage. There are seven different settings for the grinder, which is where the S EVO starts to show its quality.

If you want to make a coffee to take out in a re-usable cup or thermal flask, the height allows for a 13cm high cup. Although you can always decant from a cup which does fit, should your flask be too big.

When you’re filling up your flask for the morning commute, everyone in the house share can be satisfied, as the reservoir is two-litres large. You can also make two espressos at the same time, which shows their knowledge of coffee drinking when you’re not a rush at 7am on a Tuesday. Bottoms up, cin-cin.

The reservoir also contains a water filter, not only does this remove impurities from tap water (anyone reading in London!) but reduces how often you need to descale the tap. The De’Longhi has an automated descaler and you’ll get reminded when to run this feature.

The LatteCrema system is barista-perfect. You can choose from three different settings, no froth, minimal or maximum. You can manually try to better it if you want. The milk carafe is double insulated, to keep milk at the right temperature for longer. It will also self-clean, which is useful and generally does the trick for me.

Although it has to be said I don’t drink dairy milk, if you do you might find it doesn’t live up to your cleanliness standards. The arm also functions as a manual steam dispenser, but you’ll need to provide your own jug.

The machine as a whole will self-clean, the only thing you need to do is remove the drip tray and pour away the remnants.

The De’Longhi S EVO Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Preset buttons for a variety of coffees at the push of a button
  • MyMenu for making your own coffee creations
  • Coffee shop quality ‘crema’ at home
  • Double insulated thermal carafe for milk
  • App functionality to make your own coffees from your smartphone

Cons:

  • No way to set the temperature of milk, always around 55 degrees celsius
  • Filter replacement not quite as long as the manufacturers stated length
  • The cup base can scratch quite easily

Conclusions on the De’Longhi S EVO

What sells it for me on the De’Longhi S EVO is the quality and efficiency. There’s a good cup coming out of all the pre-sets. There are plenty of ways to make new types and hone your favourites. Aside from taste, the benefits of buying a bean-based machine are environmental. Single pod machines, although useful to an extent, are a rather archaic way to make coffee.

Why would you buy such a professional coffee maker? Well some quick napkin based sums might convince you. A cup of coffee, in general, costs about £2.50, the S EVO, according to some reviewers, makes around 10,000 cups before it passes onto machine heaven. 10,000 cups is around 70kg of coffee beans.

I know its a slightly false logic, but follow me tentatively, £25,000 on 10,000 store bought coffees vs £525 on coffee beans and the cost of the machine, plus energy costs, plus milk, plus a few mugs. You’re looking at some dramatic savings. Over course this takes a lot of time to get a return, but worth considering.

And if you make that consideration, the De’Longhi S EVO is one of the most qualifying products out there. It has a strong build quality, plenty of features to keep your coffee tasting great. And, it if of course possible to get bean-to-cup machines serviced and repaired.

You’re paying a premium for this machine compared to some standard percolators for example, but you’ll get years of quality coffee out of it and the pride of having it in your kitchen.