As a Melburnian I take my coffee very seriously. There is nothing more satisfying than having a glorious sip of a well made coffee. So when De’Longhi offered me the opportunity to try their new La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew machine, I was intrigued. Could I make a similar barista style coffee at home with this machine? I’d tried previous coffee machines before and they never quite lived up to their marketing hype, so I have to say I was skeptical going into this trial…..
But when it arrived, the skepticism started to melt away. This looks like, and it turns out, it performs like, a serious coffee machine. The joy I’d get knowing I didn’t have to walk up to the local coffee shop to get my morning fix was priceless.
What is it?
The De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew is the latest incarnation of the La Specialista coffee machine from De’Longhi. What makes this version special is that you can say hello to delicious cold brew on demand and it can be made in under 5 minutes, all in the comfort of your own home. The innovative Cold Extraction Technology in the La Specialista Maestro optimises pressure to deliver a perfectly balanced extraction without heat, ideal for cold brew. This is in addition to the multitude of coffees you can make with this machine.
What makes it good?
Put simply, the coffee it makes is just as good as a barista made coffee from the cafe. The added bonus is that there isn’t much for you to do to achieve this. It is so easy to use because the steps are all there and easily executable, and the technology in the machine helps to create the right pressure and flow to give you the perfect coffee and crema on top. As the beans are ground fresh, it just adds an extra flavour hit to the coffee. I don’t think the machine will let you make a bad coffee, unless of course you buy dodgy beans!
The built in process means the effort expended to make the coffee really only extends to pulling the tamping lever and moving the coffee basket from the grinder to the part of the coffee machine where the elixir comes out.
I think having freshly ground coffee for each coffee you make, really makes a difference. The dials allow you to adjust the coarseness of the grind and you can adjust the dosage to provide the level of coffee you want. I like my coffee strong so I increased the dosage and the strength through a few adjustments.
Tamping is an important part of the coffee making process and a well tamped coffee basket is key to ensuring a smooth and consistent brew from the coffee grounds. The in-built tamping lever is genius and really helps to ensure the right tamping in the coffee basket and helps to minimise the effort required.
You select your preferred brew type using the lighted dial and press OK and in seconds your desired coffee is magically brewed into your cup.
The bonus of the Specialista Cold Brew machine is that the coffee selection includes two options for a cold brew. I can’t even begin to tell you how good this option is, especially during a warm Melbourne day. On days where it’s over 30 degrees do you really want a hot coffee? The cold brew provided the perfect option to enjoy coffee on a Summer day or days when you just don’t want a hot coffee!
The milk warmer was also super easy to use and the milk jug attachment also made it easy to make a larger quantity of milk if you’re making more than one coffee.
Obviously as part of the equation, you need to use good coffee beans and it’s worth taking the time at your roasters to talk to them about what you’re looking for.
To be honest, there aren’t many detractions with the machine – usage or output! Two issues that I would say that would make me think hard about purchasing one is the size and cost.
The machine is quite big so you do need a good amount of bench space to accommodate it. Probably the similar width of a microwave and taller than your average microwave, it is a hefty piece kitchen appliance. If you had a smaller kitchen like I do, you’d need to dedicate a big amount of bench space to it. Did I think about how I could accommodate it in my kitchen after my trial ended….yes I did. The second consideration that many people might have is cost. The machine is $1,500+ and that’s a pretty big investment. However, being the accountant that I am, if you do the maths, there is probably a cost saving after a period of time that you use this instead of heading up the street to the cafe.
I’m still on the fence but now that I have returned it, I’m thinking of how much bench space I really need!
The De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew is available from leading retailers. For more information on the machine visit the De’Longhi website here