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DeLonghi Prima Donna Elite ECAM 650.55.MS review

Priced at $1999.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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What is the CHOICE Expert Rating

CHOICE Expert rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

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Good points

The product's best features and benefits

Bad points

Drawbacks or issues you need to know about
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CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

This overall score is made up of taste (60%), ease of use (20%), milk frothing (15%) and coffee temperature consistency over consecutive cups (5%).

Taste test score View more details.

Three experts test the espressos in a 'blind' tasting, checking the colour and thickness of the crema (the tan-coloured foam on the top of an espresso), aroma, flavour, mouth-feel (for example, creaminess or wateriness) and aftertaste.

Ease of use score View more details.

We test how easy the machines are to use by trying the controls, filling the water tank and the bean hopper, adjusting the grinder, making a coffee, cleaning inside and out, and programming a coffee.

Milk frothing score View more details.

We experiment with each machine to find how it best froths milk, looking for fine, pourable froth.

Coffee temperature consistency score View more details.

We measure the consistency of four consecutive coffees for each machine after warming it up for five minutes.

Recommended View more details.

CHOICE recommends automatic espresso machines with an overall score of 70% or above, so long as they also score 70% or above for taste and at least 54% or above for milk frothing.

Availability View more details.

Discontinued models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second-hand websites, or in second-hand dealers.

Tested model
Price View more details.

The manufacturer's recommended retail price. Prices are often flexible, so shop around both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores for options.

Milk frothing feature
Coffee strength settings
Yes, 5
Measured heat-up time (min:sec)
Frothing ready
Water reservoir capacity (L) View more details.

The water reservoir is the water container for the machine. 

Pump pressure - stated (bars)
Dimensions (cm, HxWxD)
38 x 26 x 47
Weight (kg)
Warranty (yrs)
Items supplied
Espresso machine, power cord, milk frother, traditional frother/hot water spout, water hardness tester, water filter, measuring spoon, descaler and cleaning brush.
Standby mode
Automatic power turn-off View more details.

Machine can shut itself down after a certain time.

Yes, 15 & 30 minutes, and 1, 2 & 3 hours
Removable water reservoir View more details.

Some can be completely removed for refilling while others need to be filled at the unit. All tested models had removeable reservoirs, however, being able to fill the reservoir without removing it helps to preserve the connection points.

Water tank empty reminder
Steam wand
Hot water nozzle View more details.

The hot water nozzle has a bigger opening than the steam nozzle allowing more water to flow through. It could be used to make hot water for tea or long blacks.

Removable drip tray
Yes, with full indicator
Cup warming plate
Cord storage
Programmable coffee quantity View more details.

Can you program the strength and volume of the coffee coming out into your cup?

Digital display
Grinder adjustment View more details.

Are you able to adjust the fineness/coursness of the grind on the machine?

Hopper empty warning View more details.

The hopper is the area that holds your coffee beans. Some machines alert you when the hopper is empty.

Cup counter View more details.

Some models keep count of how many cups of coffee the machine has made, which is useful if you need to track how much it is being used (like in an office kitchen for example).

Dregs box full indicator
Espresso pressure or milk temperature gauge
Adjustable water temperature for coffee making
Yes, 4 settings
Adjustable coffee dispensing height/depth
Removable group for cleaning View more details.

The group forms the puck and extracts the coffee. You can remove this in some machines for cleaning.

Wash / cleaning cycle View more details.

Does the machine have a cleaning cycle function whereby water is flushed through the coffee and milk spouts.

Decalcifying cycle View more details.

Is there a decalcifying cycle to remove mineral build up in the machine? Normally this requires a tablet or powder of descaler.

Use pre-ground coffee? View more details.

Can the machine accommodate pre-ground coffee or only coffee beans? Bear in mind these machines are designed to be used with beans and can generally only handle one serve of ground coffee at a time.

Water hardness adjustable
Instructional DVD supplied
Other features
Light above the cups. 6 personal profiles can be saved in the memory.

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