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Delonghi EC702/EC710 Review. An Old Premium, Still Worth Buying.

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Delonghi EC702 Review
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The Delonghi EC702 espresso machine (EC710 in Europe) is one of the last models from ’00s, which is still available on the market. It was a ‘pre-flagship’ model in Delonghi’s range and it’s still worth buying it – it’s better built if compared to modern models, however, have more usablity issues.

The construction and all the main parts – boiler, pump etc – didn’t change over the decade. From a technical point of view, the EC710 is a modern Delonghi ECO310, which was put in the wide full-metal body – see photos of the disassembled machine at the end. Some internals have even better quality. However (to start with the cons) there are some problems with ease of use:

If compared to any modern Delonghi espresso machine, the old EC702/710 has:

  • Very low space under the portafilter – the maximum cup height you can use is only 67 mm/2.6″. With drip tray removed, which is huge by the way (500 ml/17 fl oz), you can get approx. 11 cm/4.4″, which is still not enough for high Irish glasses for latte macchiato.
  • The panarello wand (exactly the same as installed on the ECO310/311) can move in only one plane and has a limited angle. However, since there is a lot of space around the steam wand, it’s no problem to use it. The problem is that the panarello is located just above the edge of the drip tray. Thus, all the milk drops will fall not into the drip tray, but on the body of the machine or on the table.

Delonghi EC702 Panarello Steam Wand Issues

  • It’s huge! The EC702/710 espresso machine alone takes more space than a compact modern machine and the grinder together. On the photo below you can compare EC710 and the hero of my previous review Krups Calvi:

Delonghi EC702/710 vs Krups Calvi. It's huge!

That’s probably all the negative facts about the Delonghi EC710 15-bar espresso maker. Perhaps only that in the nearest future, this machine will be discontinued and in 2-3 years it could become a problem to find spare parts. However, 90% of the internals are interchangeable with modern Delonghi models, so the only pieces I would worry about are unique parts like a water tank, for example.

I would also appreciate your starred review at the end of the article

The Pros. Or what is better in EC702 if compared to modern models

As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, the EC702/710 have the same internals as the ECO310 espresso machine. The only difference is a steam wand output, which is way more durable. The steam goes out of the boiler via solid copper made connector (like on Gaggia Viva), while all the modern Delonghi’s has plastic tubes. Just compare the following photo with photos in my 15-bar pump espresso machines test:

Internals of the DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker

It also doesn’t have an auto shut-off function as modern models do.

But what is more important is a solid full-metal body. Why it’s better? Not only because it looks better. It really affects the taste of the coffee and the functionality:

  1. Full metal ‘jacket’ helps to evenly heat the group head, the boiler, and the filter basket. It may seem insignificant, but it really helps to extract more flavors out of the coffee. Make two sample espresso shot on the cold machine and after 5-10 minutes when the machine is heated well – you’ll see the difference.
  2. The passive cup warmer (the plate on top) works better. As on any budget espresso maker, the cup heater plater becomes warm simply by the heat of the boiler, which is located underneath. On the EC702 it is really hotter.
  3. There are fewer vibrations and fewer scratches on the cup stand. Any modern at-home espresso maker has a vibrating pump (here it is ULKA EP5 with a maximum pressure of 15 bar – the same is used on the majority of machines by Delonghi, Gaggia, Saeco, Breville, and others). On modern compact machines made of plastic, the vibration from the pump transfers to the body and cups make rattle noise and leave scratches on the cup stand. On this model, the well-isolated pump is located on top and the massive body has almost no vibrations. That also helps to keep the shiny metal outlook for longer.

Delonghi EC702/EC710 espresso maker

I will briefly repeat the key feautures that any boiler-based Delonghi espesso machine have in commons, the EC702/710 is not an exception:

  • The 180ml stainless steel boiler. The biggest in the class of budget espresso makers. That helps to make bigger portions of coffee with the right temperature. Since Saeco and Gaggia (read here) switched to the aluminum boilers, the Delonghi is also the only brand that offers machines with Inox boilers under $500 budget.
  • However, it’s still a boiler, not thermoblock like on the Delonghi Dedica or Delonghi La Specialista, so don’t expect it to be super quick. You’ll need to initially heat the machine for at least 3-5 minutes and wait longer for the steam. That’s the price you pay for the classical construction that can deliver better espresso in the hands of the experienced user.
  • This machine is designed to brew classic Italian espresso. This means that with one load you can make up to 2-3 oz. After that, the temperature will fall and the extraction process spoiled. Thus, if you need to make a classic American coffee (caffe Americano) it’s better to dilute espresso with hot water (the machine has this function).
  • It is equipped with pressurized filters (read below). They help you to get a decent cup of espresso with rich crema on any beans.
  • You have to froth milk manually for your cappuccino, the frother isn’t automated like on the Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse, for example.

 

What else is different if compared to newer models by Delonghi?

  • Delonghi EC702 – as well as the EC710, which is the same machine for the European market – uses filter baskets of ‘old’ type. Like on Delonghi EC155 (see my review) or ECO310. They have more plastic and requires more cleanings, however, they make better crema. The filters and holders are interchangeable, thus, you can always buy new baskets and use them in the EC-702.
  • The integrated tamper is no good. It’s always the case, so it’s better to buy a separate one. You’ll need a 51mm tamper.
  • The water reservoir is located on the left and has no access from the top. Its capacity is 1.3 L/44 fl oz by the way. You need to move it out of the machine to add the water. That means that you need at least extra 10-15 cm/4-6″ space on the left of the machine. Sum it up with the width of this espresso maker (29 cm) – you’ll need approx. 40-45 cm/16-18″ on your kitchen table to fit the EC702. On the other hand, it’s easy to see if there is enough water – the water tank has a yellow floater to indicate the current water level (see photo below).
Delonghi ec702 water resevoir

As you may notice there are two tubes in the reservoir. One sucks the water, while the other is an emergency tube that returns the water back in case the boiler is blocked for some reason (scale is the most common reason).

My Review Verdict

The EC702/710 espresso machine is an old model. But it doesn’t automatically make it outdated or less functional – there were no major improvements in Delonghi espresso maker’s construction for the last 10 years.

It has the same internals as modern boiler-based Delonghi models (ECP, ECO, ECZ, ECI series), but with better built-quality and the full metal body, which not only looks better but also helps to pull better shots. And by ‘metal body’ I mean real metal body – solid, heavy and thick steel. Not just a thin layer of aluminum alloy placed on the plastic frame like it is made on the Dedica for example:

Thickness of metall: Delonghi EC702/710 vs Delonghi EC680/685 Dedica

The only cons of this model are usability issues: mainly huge dimensions and very limited cup height. It’s not very quick also, but it’s always the case if you choose among espresso machines with boilers, not thermoblocks.

I also think that this machine has a greater potential for upgrading and tuning it up than it’s modern counterparts sold for the similar price. It will make no sense to switch to unpressurized baskets in case of the Krups Calvi, for example. But the EC702 could be an affordable starting point for future experiments. Thanks to a classic design with large Inox boiler and metal body.

Overall, I can recommend it if you are ready to sacrifice usability issues to get a machine with a maximum of metal both inside and outside. And/or if you are a home-barista wanna who has a limited budget for your first set up. Another option to consider in that case is Delonghi America EC330 – also an old, well-built and affordable espresso maker by Delonghi:


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Delonghi EC702, EC710 Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Pump espresso machine
Width х Deep х Height: 28.5 x 23 x 32 cm (11.2 x 9 x 12.6 inches)
Coffee used: Ground coffee or E. S. E. pods
Grinder: No
Brewing group: Pressurized metal filters of 'old' type
Heater: Boiler 1100 W
Max pressure: 15 bar
Water container: 1.3 L / 44 fl oz
Cappuccinatore: Panarello
Max cup height: 67 mm / 2.6″
Controlling: 3 metal buttons
Colors: Silver Metal

Author: Dmitriy Yurchenko

31/01/2019

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