DeLonghi PrimaDonna XS Coffee Machine Review: Shots Fired, Baristas

Tired of being a slave to the bitchy baristas in your local coffee joint? Invest them out of your life with this awesome DeLonghi coffee machine.

What Is It?

A fully automatic coffee machine from the DeLonghi folks. Stick beans in the back, throw a cup under the nozzle and select your favourite brew. It's delivered to your cup instantly so you can recaffeinate without all the fuss of three different machines.

It's reasonable thing at just 19.5cm wide, and takes care of everything for you: perfect for a small office, apartment or flat.

It also comes with a top milk frother that you can use for drinks like flat whites, cappuccinos and lattés.

What's Good?

Let's start with the absolute best part of this coffee machine: it's so goddamn simple to operate once you get the hang of it. There's a bit of manual-reading to go through and a set up time of around 20-minutes or so, but once you pour the beans, fill the tank and get your milk frother set up, you've got a delicious latté', cappuccino, flat white or long black at your disposal within minutes.

You won't even have to get your beans pre-ground with this thing, either. Stick the beans into the back and press go. It grinds them, heats everything up, mixes it and lovingly puts it into the cup for you.

It's also a beautiful appliance. Sleek blue doors, a see-through water tank, a discreet bean container and waste bins that conveniently tuck out of sight. Lovely.

Finally, it's really simple to clean. Everything slides off, pops out or pulls apart so that you can have ultimate serviceability and cleanliness that you don't get with some other machines.

What's Bad?

Goes through a fairly sizable amount of coffee in a very short amount of time. We found ourselves refilling the bean container once every seven cups or so. It also seems to be lacking a few sensors. It can't tell when the milk container is empty mid-fill, so rather than shut off the filling process it just spits hot steam all over your benchtop until it thinks it has poured enough into the cup.

Likewise if you run out of beans halfway through a cup: it will try and grind your beans before realising it has none and instruct you to fill it. After doing so, the machine can't remember what it was doing in the first place so you're left with a cup of steamed milk and a quick guess suggests dumping one or two espresso-sized shots in to finish the job.

I think the worst we could say about the Delonghi PrimaDonna XS is that it's clever, but it isn't smart.

Should You Buy It?

$1,999 is a lot of money for a coffee machine, but if you drink two cups a day at $4 per cup (goddamn Sydney prices…), you'll end up paying for it in less than a year. That's great for your personal use, but it's even better in an office scenario.

We set ours up in the office and made coffees for everyone for a week and found that fellow Allure Media staffers didn't have to frequent the often crowded coffee shop downstairs anymore. Now some might say that it deprives you of a nice walk outside, but that's not relevant to the product.

Buying this great gadget for your staff definitely makes sense from a business perspective, plus, you can write it off on tax and be a hero both to your workers and your accountant. Even buying it for personal use makes economic sense if you're a serious lover of coffee with a paired hatred of complex coffee gadgets. This is simplicity brewed from bean to cup in minutes.

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