entry level espresso machine

By | April 7, 2015

Popular entry level espresso maker

entry level espresso machine
DeLonghi BAR32 Retro 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

The DeLonghi BAR32 Retro is a popular entry-level espresso maker that offers the convenience of pods or ground coffee

Our Review

Make your mornings a little brighter with the DeLonghi BAR32 Retro 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker. This machine has a small footprint and will blend in well with all decor thanks to its stylish black exterior. The BAR32 Retro takes both coffee grounds and coffee pods, making your morning brews even easier. Just because the maker is basic doesn’t mean it overlooks practical features such as a swivel jet frother, cup warmer and self-priming operation. If you want a streamlined espresso maker that produces great results, the BAR32 Retro is a great option to consider.

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.7 x 12.6 inches; 9.3 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Power: 1100 watts
  • Pressure: 15 bars
  • Features: Swivel jet frother, dual-function filter holder, self-priming operation, cup warmer, removable water tank

What are the Pros?

There are so many perks to this little espresso maker that it’s hard to keep them straight. First off, the DeLonghi Bar32 Retro is easy to use and perfect for beginners. You can use either the coffee pods or coffee grounds, which is the perfect way to balance great tasting coffee and your budget. The cappuccino maker has a self-priming option so that you don’t have to be bothered with start-up preparations first thing in the morning or when having guests over.
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Not only is the machine easy to use, but the end result is always of great quality. You won’t have the same customizable options as with more expensive or elite espresso machines, but you can still enjoy a range of nice features, such as a swivel jet frother and two separate thermostats for controlling water and steam pressure. The product also comes with a stainless steel boiler and 15-bars of pump pressure. It’s small and compact, and the black color will blend in with all decor.

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What are the Cons?

Some of the cons to this machine are obvious, because this espresso maker is designed to be simple, straightforward and economical. With that in mind, you can’t expect the machine to be overly intuitive or have options for programming the strength of the espresso. Some reviewers feel that the espresso is rather weak; although many report that it does take time to find that perfect grind that will lead to the best tasting espresso.

There have also been some issues with the DeLonghi BAR32 Retro’s durability. The frothing wand can break easily, clog easily and is on the short side. Features on this machine are very limited; for example, there is no automatic shut-off feature. If you forget to turn off the maker, you will be consuming a lot of energy without knowing it. Many have also reported that the pump loses pressure over time. Of course, it’s important to keep the espresso maker as clean as possible to avoid clogging or slowing of the machine, but for some people, these results were inevitable.

How Does it Compare to Other DeLonghi Espresso Makers?

Considering the DeLonghi BAR32 is such an inexpensive machine and at the bottom of the price range for this brand, it’s difficult to compare the product to other espresso machines that are less expensive. There is one other option to consider, and that’s the DeLonghi EC5 Steam-Drive 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. The machine is equally small and compact, plus has a sleek black exterior. The difference is that it’s steam-driven instead of pump-driven, so spending the extra $50 for the BAR32 Retro is well worth it. You get a more powerful machine and an experience that is truer to the homemade cappuccino-making experience.

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Naturally, there are many more expensive espresso makers from DeLonghi, a great option being the DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar Pump Espresso Maker. This machine is about double the price of the BAR32 Retro, and it has the same 15-bars of pressure, takes both coffee grounds and coffee pods and has a self-priming operation. The difference is that this machine is larger, has stainless steel housing and a more powerful cup warmer. For some people, these ‘extras’ are worth the added cost, but you can expect similar results from both.

Final Verdict

The DeLonghi BAR32 Retro is a great machine, but it’s best for beginner espresso makers and those who want the convenience of dropping in coffee pods or grounds and having a fresh cup of coffee. The machine is simple and straightforward, and really, you can’t screw up anything that you make. The espresso maker comes at a modest price as well, and it has nice features such as a swivel jet frother and self-priming operation. And, you get 15-bars of pressure, which is something found on more expensive machines. If you want something basic and easy without sacrificing quality, this machine is a great buy.

List Price $210.00
Sale Price $99.99
You Save $110.05 (52%)
Average Customer Rating 3.8 (760 reviews)

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