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De’Longhi BAR32 Retro Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Review

 
De'Longhi BAR32 Retro 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
De'Longhi BAR32 Retro 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
De'Longhi BAR32 Retro 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

 
Overview
 

Machine Type:
 
Espresso Type: ,
 
Capacity: 1 liter (35 ounces)
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Appearance
 
 
 
 
 


 
User-friendliness
 
 
 
 
 


 
Value for Money
 
 
 
 
 


 
Taste
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


 

Product Features


  • Two separate thermostats for controlling water and steam pressure.
  • Self-priming operation.
  • Stainless steel boiler.
  • Swivel jet frother.
  • Dual function filter holder.
  • 15-bar pump.


  • Brief Summary

    The De’Longhi BAR32 Retro espresso and cappuccino maker is a fairly simple yet efficient appliance which comes with a number of interesting and useful features, including self-priming operation as well as two different thermostats which allow the steam and water pressure to be controlled separately. This espresso and cappuccino machine is definitely worth looking into for those who want a new one for their home or even the office. With a variety of convenient features, this is certainly a viable option for anyone who is looking for one of these appliances.

    Posted May 30, 2014 by

     
    Review
     
     
    T

    he De’Longhi BAR32 Retro is nice and compact espresso and cappuccino maker that will fit nicely on any kitchen counter. With measures of only 10.6 x 8.7 x 12.6 inches and a weight of 9 pounds makes this a fairly small machine that everyone will be able to fit in their kitchen with no problem at all.

    There are numerous things about this De’Longhi BAR32 Retro I liked, starting with its sleek black and silver design, making for a great aesthetic in the kitchen. Although all the plastic makes it maybe look a bit cheapish, but it still have some features that only espresso machines in a completely other price range can boost about. For example, the machine’s boiler is made entirely of stainless steel, making it incredibly durable and eliminating the need to worry about plastic being involved in the espresso-making process. This machine is of course made in China, as everything else these days.

    How it Works

    Pretty much everything about this machine is very straightforward and simple, so it doesn’t take much time to figure out how to use it. I only needed to refer to the instructions a couple times and quickly got the hang of how it worked. Although it took a little bit longer than I would have liked to make my first shot of espresso, around 35 minutes, I had absolutely no complaints when it came to how it tasted.

    The water reservoir which is located on the back-side of the machine is removable so you can easily fill it up under the tap or with bottled water. It holds up to 35 ounces which will make 3 to 4 cappuccinos or 6 to 8 espresso shots before you need to refill it.

    Self-Priming Operation

    The first thing you want to do when making either cappuccino or espresso, turn on the machine. The machine will then start heating water in its stainless steel boiler and it is impressively efficient, taking only 2-3 minutes for the water to heat up for the first shot. I usually prepare that portafilter while I wait for the green OK light to illuminate which indicate the machine is ready.

    De'Longhi BAR32 Retro 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Control Panel

    User friendly control panel

    The reheating cycle is even faster, you won’t have enough time to prepare the second portafilter before the green OK light illuminates. The fact that this machine can make two cups at once was definitely a selling point for me, as it saves quite a bit of time when making one for yourself and another for someone else.

    Ground coffee or E.S.E. pods

    The patented dual function portafilter holder that the De’Longhi Bar32 Retro offers makes it easy for you to use normal ground coffee or even E.S.E. pods (Easy Serving Espresso), which really cuts down on preparation time. If you are like me and want your cappuccino as quickly as possible, this is definitely a feature which you will appreciate it. However, I have to buy my E.S.E. pods online since my local supermarket doesn’t sell them.

    The portafilter is made of stainless steel and works great, at least with a single shot. Take one level scoop of ground coffee and use the tamper located on the left side of the machine to press the coffee hard. A good tip is to use the E.S.E. pods to compare how tightly you need to pack the grounds in the filter. If you think it is easier to use a separate tamper than the fixed one, you can always buy any 2” tamper.

    When it comes to pulling a double, I have found it to be a bit trickier. I have basically found out that it needs to not be pressed as hard as a single shot. If you love crema I would recommend you to do single shots only. When you pull a single shot espresso the machine makes excellent crema, while when pulling a double shot the crema is just alright.

    15 bar pump

    This machine has a 15 bar pump that pressurize the system which was one of the biggest selling points for me. A pump-driven espresso machine generally will be ready to brew the next cup or switch between brewing and steaming faster than a steam-driven machine. Another benefit is that it will not scald the coffee while brewing which some steam machine unfortunately have a tendency to do.

    When you turn the knob to brew mode the pump starts building up pressure which can be a bit noisy.  I noticed when using this machine for the first time was that it produces a great deal of steam as well.

    A small complaint I have about this machine is that the water container lid rattles around rather loudly when it is running, but it is a relatively minor annoyance that can easily be overlooked.

    The machine allows you to use cups with a height up to 3”, but if you want to use a bigger mug or something you can always remove the drip tray.

    The two separate thermostats on this De’Longhi BAR32 Retro allow you to control water and steam pressure separately, making it much easier to make a great-tasting cappuccino. This is a feature which not all cappuccino makers have, and it is one that I have actually found to be extremely convenient and useful, resulting in a better quality drink. This brings us to the swivel jet frother.

    Swivel Jet Frother

    If you love lattes or cappuccinos like my wife does, the steam wand is a very important part of this machine. Well, the steam wand is great! Though, a bit cramped and difficult to get a big pitcher underneath, but you can always place the machine at the edge of your kitchen counter.

    Remember to blow some steam through the wand to clear out any condensation in the pipe before putting it in the milk. When you start steaming make sure that the black plastic tip is not fully submerged in the milk. You should just see the top part of the tip. Slowly lower the pitcher or mug until you hear “frothing” sound. If you notice big bubbles on top you lowered it too far.

    When you are finish frothing the milk place a cup underneath or push the wand over the drip tray because it will drip a bit afterwards.

    Cleaning

    Cleaning the steam wand is done is a few seconds. I usually submerge the plastic tip in a cup of hot water before I blow steam through it to get out all of the milk.

    This machine is extremely easy to clean as well, which is something I definitely liked about it. A lot of other espresso or cappuccino makers I have purchased in the past are a real pain to clean thoroughly, but with the removable water tank and drip tray makes it so fast and easy.

    Conclusion

    The De’Longhi BAR32 Retro espresso and cappuccino maker is a great investment for those who want to be able to make their own cappuccino or espresso drinks in the comfort of their own home. There were quite a few different things that I liked about this machine, including the fact that it has the dual filter holder, allowing you to use the E.S.E. pods that come with it or normal ground coffee. All of the components in this machine are very high-quality and durable, such as with the stainless steel boiler. Although I had a couple small complaints about the noisy water reservoir lid and that it can be a bit tricky to make a perfect double shot of espresso.The De’Longhi BAR32 Retro is an excellent purchase for most cappuccino, espresso, and coffee lovers.

    Pros
    • Stainless steel boiler.
    • Low cost.
    • Great steam wand makes frothy cappuccinos and lattes.
    • Delicious espresso with a thick layer of crema.
    Cons
    • Noisy water container lid.
    • Double shot is tricky to get perfect.

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