DE’LONGHI MAGNIFICA S ECAM 22.110
$1,499, from major department stores Bean container: 250g Water tank: 1.8 litres BREWING THE COFFEE Its LCD screen lights up only when you need to fix an error – like refilling the water tank – and not when it’s brewing a shot. It was confusing at first, with no screen instructions to guide me, but I soon got the hang of it. What was useful: It could dispense two cups of coffee at a time, and the spout adjusted up to 14cm, fitting my tall mug where other machines couldn’t. FROTHING THE MILK It takes more practice to foam milk here, compared with the automatic options of the other two machines. I had to learn the barista technique – dip the tip of the frothing wand just slightly under the surface of the milk to create foam for cappuccino or submerge it halfway into the cup to heat up milk for cafe latte (which is traditionally made with warmed milk and no foam). It’s useful that the wand is long and can be rotated to the side, to fit into tall mugs easily. CLEANING UP The detachable parts (water tank, drip tray and dump box) are pulled out from the front, making them the easiest to access, and freeing up the areas beside the machine – a boon for tight spaces. EXTRA FEATURES It comes with a cup warmer for two regular mugs, and up to six espresso cups. It has a ground coffee compartment, located in the bean container. VERDICT Comes with some practical features, but it isn’t as nifty as the rest.