Delonghi La Specialista: A Detailed Review (Read Before You Buy)

De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M










What I like

  • The sensor grinding technology detects the portafilter for perfect brewing
  • The grinder is efficient and grinds the beans quickly
  • The water temperature remains stable for even brewing
  • The machine tamps the dose, so no need to use a separate tamper
  • Dedicated boilers for steaming and brewing (dual heating system - two independent heating systems)

What I dont like

  • You cannot use it with ESE pods
  • It lacks a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) control
  • drip tray indicator doesn’t work sometimes

Ever wonder what so special about DeLonghi La Specialista? Well, it’s an amazing semi-automatic coffee machine you can use to brew delicious barista coffee quickly. 

Equipped with a burr grinder and smart sensor grinding technology, it is one of the best espresso machines under $1000. But does that make this La Specialista Espresso Machine worth buying? Why do coffee lovers prefer this machine over other options?

To help you know about this machine, I’m here with this definitive De’Longhi La Specialista review. From features to pros/cons and how to use the coffee maker, this review article covers everything you should know about De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M.

DeLonghi La specialista coffee maker on the table. Regular black coffee and latte standing next to the machine on the coffee table.

De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M: The Key Features 

DeLonghi La Specialista is a superb semi-automatic coffee maker that looks stylish and brews coffee perfectly. This is a fully stainless-steel machine that comes equipped with a grinder, smart tamper, and milk frothing wand to reward you with a cup of delicious joe. 

Using the machine is pretty easy so forget the hassles of juggling with the user manual or getting exhausted watching several YouTube videos.

From the design to the ease of use, this machine boasts everything a decent coffee maker should do.

Here are some features that make De’Longhi La Specialista a great coffee brewer for joe lovers.

Built-in Coffee Beans Grinder with Sensor Grinding Technology 

Blurred image of Delonghi la specialist with a focus on built-in coffee grinder

Smartly designed by DeLonghi, the La Specialista Espresso Machine features a big bean grinder, so you get aromatic coffee every time. There is no need to use pre-ground beans or an exhausting time using a burr grinder, as you can grind the beans with the coffee maker itself.

Inside the bean hopper, you will see big grinders ready to crush the beans to extract the flavor from them. The best part is that the grinder is completely adjustable, and you can choose from six settings to adjust the coarseness. 

At one time, the hopper can accommodate up to 250 grams of coffee beans, so you can have enough powder to brew multiple cups in one go. 

The first setting of the programmable grinder is perfect for grinding beans for Turkish coffee, while the 2,3 and 4 settings are perfect for making espresso. Depending on the type of coffee you need, you can adjust the grinders settings with a click.

Another impressive feature of the grinder is the built-in sensor. The grinder starts working automatically as you put the portafilter in place.

Every time the grinder doses the portafilter perfectly, and that’s what makes brewing coffee with De’Longhi La Specialista easy. 

You will never see the grinder working if there are no beans in the hopper. I guess De’Longhi has used a sensor in the bean compartment as well.

Active Temperature Control and Dual Heating System

In most semi-automatic coffee makers, the temperature doesn’t remain stable while brewing coffee, and that’s something that kills the flavor and smoothness. 

But this isn’t the case with the De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M. The espresso maker comes with smart boilers and uses active temperature control technology that keeps the temperature constant for perfect brewing that delivers precise outcomes every time.

There are two independent heating systems inside the machine, so there is no waiting for coffee and milk preparations. 

I was unaware that a steam wand works well when the espresso maker is brewing the coffee, and it was just an experiment that helped me figure out that you can actually froth the milk while brewing coffee.

Smart Tamper 

You will find several coffee makers that advertise their tampers, but their tampers don’t work as well as it works with the De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M. The semi-automatic coffee maker has a dedicated lever you can use to tamp the coffee.

Don’t worry about using any special techniques, as the tamper tamps the coffee dose evenly every time. An impressive thing about the tamper is that it leaves no mess at all. 

Also, you won’t have any hard time cleaning the smart tamper. The smart tamping stops automatically once the coffee maker detects that it has tamped the dose perfectly.

Internal Temperature Regulation 

This is another feature that I love when using De’Longhi La Specialista. The coffee maker has a smart dual heating system that maintains the optimum temperature required to brew coffee. 

The temperature range is around 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit which is suitable for preparing different types of coffee. 

There isn’t any temperature gauge, so it’s a bit challenging to figure out how much temperature the espresso maker is operating.

Pre-infusion Technology 

De’Longhi La Specialista comes with pre-infusion technology, which is essential for brewing delicious coffee. The machine does the pre-infusion both automatically and internally. The coffee maker pre-infuses the coffee beans automatically before brewing. 

It means that the coffee maker sprays the hot water on the puck to commence the brewing process. The pre-infusion helps the coffee beans expand, which reduces the channeling issue and curtails the chances of uneven extraction of coffee. 

When the pre-infusion process is going on, you will see the temperature gauge pointing to a low setting. But when you press the brew button, the temperature starts rising automatically.    

Dedicated Hot Water Spout 

You’ll see a dedicated hot water spout on the machine that’s great for getting some extra steamy-hot water whenever you need it. With other coffee makers, you get the milk taste of the coffee residue when getting hot water as they lack a separate hot water spout. 

You can add water to your Americano, hot chocolate, or to tea as per your preference. As the coffee maker has two independent heating systems, so you get hot water readily available when you need it.

Smart Dial for Choosing the Coffee 

Whether you need Americano or Espresso, you can have it with the La Specialista Espresso Machine. There is a huge dial on the control panel with three settings, i.e., Americano, Espresso, and Coffee. You can quickly rotate the dial to get the type of coffee you are craving.

I loved using this feature as it is fuss-free, and you don’t have to struggle a lot when brewing coffee. However, I missed the availability of a digital display that shows the coffee you have selected. There is no display at all, and that’s a downside to De’Longhi La Specialista.

The Group Head Cleans Itself 

One thing that has a huge impact on the coffee’s flavor is the group head. If you leave the group head unclean, don’t expect the coffee to taste good. 

Cleaning the group head after brewing is essential, but usually, folks forget it and store the coffee maker as it is. Fortunately, De’Longhi has paid attention to this and has upgraded this coffee maker with a self-cleaning group head.

After the brewing ends, the group head cleans itself quickly so that you can enjoy your coffee without worrying about the cleaning. 

Advanced Latte System 

With De’Longhi La Specialista, you can get barista-like coffee, thanks to the advanced latte system. The coffee maker comes with a bigger frothing wand resulting in rich froth that lets you prepare delicious lattes and cappuccinos. You get the freedom to choose between flat or foam.

Just move the wand up and down as per the instructions mentioned on it. This is the easiest way to play with foam, and making a delicious latte isn’t a struggle anymore with De’Longhi La Specialista.

Automatic Shutoff 

This was an expected feature from De’Longhi La Specialista, as it’s a premium semi-automatic coffee maker. Even if you forget to turn off the machine, it will shut down automatically within 2 hours of brewing the coffee.

The auto-shutoff feature safeguards the coffee maker from electrical damages, and that enhances the lifespan of the machine.

DeLonghi La Specialista Espresso Machine: Other Important Aspects 

In this section, I have highlighted the design, brewing capacity, and setup process of the coffee maker. Furthermore, I have also talked about the cleaning process later in this article so that you can quickly decide if you need this coffee machine or not.

The Aesthetics 

The modern appeal of this coffee maker is something that will make you fall in love with it. The entire body is stainless steel, and the coffee maker looks very premium. 

Furthermore, the plastic parts, including the knobs, and buttons also feel solid and are of good quality. You will see a big pressure gauge on the top that tells you the exact pressure built up inside the machine.

On the top, there is a big bean hopper with transparent walls. You can have a glimpse to find out how many beans are there without even opening the lid. 

There is also a cup warming plate on the top, but due to the huge bean hopper, you cannot put multiple cups on it. 

Even the portafilter is robust and made with stainless steel, so there’s no need to worry about durability. 

Talking about the drip tray, it is removable, and you can toss it into the dishwasher for easy cleaning. 

Overall, I liked the design, and it makes La Specialista Espresso Machine a showstopper in your kitchen. However, the coffee maker is bulky, and you may struggle when it comes to storage. Yes, the machine looks big, but it isn’t heavy. 

Setup and Use 

Setting up the machine is a quick task, and you can do it without any struggles. All you need to do is reattach the drip tray and the bean hopper, and you are good to go.

The frothing wand and the smart tamping unit come installed already, so you don’t have to worry about them. The machine comes cleaned from the manufacturer, but I suggest giving it a thorough cleanup before you start brewing coffee.

To start the coffee maker, simply click on the switch. You will find this switch on the lower back part of the machine. 

As you press the button, the tea, as well as the “no water” indicator, will turn on. Add the coffee beans to the hopper, and select the grinding setting.

It would be great to go through the instruction manual one time to know how good each grind setting grinds. 

Once the machine has ground the beans completely, place the portafilter under it to get a coffee dose. Now put the portafilter under the smart tamping unit to get the dose tamped so that there aren’t any air pockets at all.

Now the coffee is ready for brewing, add some water to the water tank, and put the portafilter in the group head. 

You can choose the type of coffee you need by using the adjustable dial. After selecting the settings, click on the ON button, and you will see the coffee maker brewing the coffee.

Place a mug below the dripper so that no drop of delicious coffee gets wasted. On the top, there is a cup warming tray ready to make the cups hot. 

Place a few cups on the top so that they get ready for serving luscious coffee brewed with De’Longhi La Specialista.

I didn’t find any difficulties when using this coffee maker. Yes, figuring out how the tamper works took some time, as I was unsure how to adjust it according to the portafilter. 

In a nutshell, De’Longhi La Specialista is an easy to operate coffee maker that’s perfect even for beginners. You can use this machine without any hassles, even if you haven’t used a coffee maker before.

Taste of the Coffee 

To be precise, the coffee tastes great with De’Longhi La Specialista. Every shot that the coffee maker extracts carry the flavor of the freshly ground coffee beans. 

The special active temperature control technology and dual heating system heat the steam boiler and brews separately so you can froth the milk while brewing coffee.

Every shot has the aroma and rich saturated taste, thanks to the 19-bar pressure pump. The first few cups will carry the metallic taste, so I suggest running water a few times through the coffee maker.

While brewing coffee, I missed the PID control, and there is no control knob to adjust the temperature. However, the machine adjusts the temperature automatically, giving you the feel of using a super-automatic coffee machine.

To sum up, the flavor of the coffee is great, and you won’t feel like driving to the nearest barista every day to have Americano or espresso. The coffee maker brews the coffee evenly without over-roasting the beans, and you can enjoy having delicious coffee within minutes.

Lastly, as the machine dispenses hot water on demand, you can use it for preparing tea and other drinks as well.

Brewing Capacity 

La Specialista Espresso Machine EC9335M is an amazing coffee maker that’s fit for home and office use. 

This isn’t a commercial-grade coffee maker meant for baristas. But it’s a great choice for small offices.

There is a big water tank that can carry almost 67.63 ounces of water. A typical shot of espresso uses 1 ounce of water, and if you go for a double shot, then the machine will use two ounces of water.

This way, you can brew 65 cups of coffee if you prefer one shot. And the number gets half if everyone likes double shots of espresso. 

The tank doesn’t need frequent refilling, so there is no need to worry about it. Also, the bean hopper is big and can accommodate a bag of beans (approximately 250 grams). 

I filled the bean hopper and the water reservoir to the top to check how many cups I can make with it. The grinding setting was on 1, and I brewed multiple shots of espresso and Americano coffee. 

De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M brewed around 64 cups, and it was pretty impressive. I gave it another try and made several double shots, and the machine provided me with 30 cups which is decent.

This coffee maker should be your choice if you aren’t looking to refill the ingredients every day. 

Ease of Use 

User-friendliness is what makes De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M a good coffee maker under $1000. The control panel is easy to understand, and there is nothing that can confuse you. 

The first thing you’ll see is the big pressure gauge that tells you the exact pressure built up inside the machine. Besides the gauge, there are multiple knobs and switches available to adjust the coffee’s strength and the type of coffee you need.

The dedicated button to get a double shot makes De’Longhi La Specialista even easier to use. Furthermore, using the smart tamper is also convenient, as the lever available on the left helps you tamp the coffee dose.

I found the Panarello wand to be a bit confusing when choosing between flat or foam. Fortunately, De’Longhi ships a detailed instruction manual with the machine so you can quickly figure out how to use it.

Cleaning and Maintenance 

Is De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M easy to clean? I have heard this question over a hundred times! Well, cleaning this coffee maker isn’t a task, thanks to its design.

In the box, you will find a cleaning brush and a descaling solution to clean the machine thoroughly. The brush is really helpful when cleaning the crevices.

Furthermore, the entire stainless-steel body requires less cleaning. It doesn’t attract any scratches easily, so the coffee maker looks clean all the time.

I can say De’Longhi La Specialista doesn’t require extensive cleaning. Most of its parts, including the drip tray, are dishwasher-safe, so you can toss them for quick cleanup.

DeLonghi La Specialista EC9335M: What’s Inside the Box 

De’Longhi ships everything with La Specialista EC9335M that you need to brew coffee quickly while cleaning the coffee maker. 

In the box, you will find:

  • Stainless steel milk pitcher
  • Portafilter with three baskets 
  • Cleaning brush
  • Main coffee unit
  • Bean hopper
  • Drip tray
  • Descaling solution

Frequently Asked Questions: DeLonghi La Specialista EC9335M

Is Delonghi better than Breville?

It depends on several factors like the coffee machine you are looking for. Not all models from De’Longhi are amazing, and it goes with Breville as well. 

If you are looking for a good semi-automatic coffee maker to make espresso, then I can say De’Longhi is a better option. Lastly, in terms of customer service, both perform well. 

How do you use a Delonghi La Specialista?

A: Using De’longhi La Specialista EC9335M is pretty easy. Here’s what you need to do:

Assemble the coffee maker by following the instruction manual. Add coffee beans to the bean hopper and water to the reservoir. Turn the coffee machine on by pressing the switch available on the lower back.

Click on the ON button after selecting the type of coffee you need. Press the X2 button if you need double shots. Use the Panarello wand to froth the milk if required.  Mix it with the coffee and enjoy. Don’t forget to clean the machine after brewing the coffee.

How good are Delonghi coffee espresso machines?

De’Longhi espresso machines are amazing in terms of performance. The coffee makers are highly durable and easy to use. I even loved the after-sales service that makes De’Longhi a reliable brand.

Related: Check all coffee makers reviews I did so far or have a look at other espresso machines at great prices

Final Thoughts 

So, this was everything you need to know about De’longhi La Specialista. Now, most folks might be wondering if it’s a value for money option!

Well, yes! It is a value for money option if you love coffee and are looking to brew several cups a day. As La Specialista is a premium machine with a robust body, so expect it to last longer on minimal maintenance.

If you are looking for a coffee maker to use at home or office, going for De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M will be a wise decision.

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Hi! My name is Luke. I’m a huge espresso fan, a dad, and a caffeine junkie (which helps a lot in being a dad to an early bird ;) ). Welcome to my blog, I hope you will enjoy every single second of being here