Reviewed by: Jennifer
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Are you in the market for a high-end single serve espresso machine that performs like a champ but won’t hog all your cabinet space? With this review allow me to introduce you to the smaller cousin of the Lattissima Pro. This single-serve espresso maker is a sweet deal with its alternate colors, attractive design and multitudes of great features.
With a 19-bar pressure system, this baby doesn’t skimp on quality even with a smaller footprint.
If you’re content with “just coffee” you may want to move along…but if you want to make lattes, machiattos, and cappuccinos in record time with a real show-stealer, read on!
Table of Contents
- What’s Included?
- Lattissima Plus Milk Container
- Nespresso Lattissima Plus Buttons
- How to Descale the Lattissima Plus?
- Lattissima Plus Consumer Reviews and Ratings
Included with your machine is a bonus gift of a capsule sampler pack, a user manual and welcome information packet. You will also have a 2-year Warranty.
I would recommend you register your machine at the earliest opportunity to take advantage of the great customer service Nespresso is known for – I’ve also been informed that you may be able to receive a voucher worth $75 for a gift.
If you don’t see the manual or it’s missing, it’s available here . I’ve got to hand it to Nespresso, they do a good job with those booklets as they’re always very thorough. But sometimes they have odd verbiage in them…Never heard the term “potable water” (I suppose that means bottled?) and “plug it into the mains”. ??
Model No and Name
De’Longhi Lattissima Plus, model no. is EN520SL
Unique features of the Lattissima Plus include:
- Milk frothing container with adjustable flow stop
- Descaling pipe tool that stows away when not in use
- Uses Nespresso Original Line capsules exclusively
- “Intuitive Descaling” feature works in sync with water hardness settings
- 19-bar pressure pump
- Auto-shutoff (after a 9-minute period of idle activity)
- Expedient 40-second preheat time
- Latte, Lungo, Espresso, and Cappuccino settings
- Removable drip tray/plate and bin to collect used coffee capsules
Under the unit is a cable guide, which will let you arrange the power cord so you won’t have excess of it hanging around – I really like that feature. You may too, if you’re like me and you hate the look of messy cords.
DeLonghi Silver Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System
The machine dimensions as given to me on Amazon, read 12.5″ by 6.6″ by 10.2″ and a weight of 11.4 pounds. That’s the thing I always run into on Amazon is that the dimensions are provided and they are clear – just that the height/length/depth metrics aren’t usually present and you can’t always guess on that one.
The manufacturer site gives me these at a glance: 7″ wide, 13″ length and 10″ in height. When the chrome coffee capsule lever is raised, the height increases to 13.5″. The machine weight is given as 10 pounds. So guys, this one’s something of a small fry…or at least a little bit smaller than average for a unit with similar output. But it’s powerful, as you’ll come to discover later on.
With regard to clearance – from the dispensing spout to cup rest base is about 5.5″. So not too much allowance for the tall cups.
The milk container dimensions – The Lattissima Plus has a linear box-shaped milk container that you can also detach and store. With all of the extra parts assembled, it measures 6″ in height, 2.75″ wide, and 4.25″ depth.
In addition to the silver one shown here, other color choices include red, black, and white…I like the red best, but it looks like it could be harder to find, so I guess I’m not alone there.
With the Lattissima Plus, you’ll be looking at a slightly different kind of drip tray. There are actually 2 trays, one of them is the cup rest and the other is the used capsule bin which stacks on top of the cup rest tray when in place. The cup rest/bottom tray has a metal plate on it that can be removed so you can empty it later.
You pretty much insert the drip tray/plate right below the capsule bin tray (hopefully I’m making sense?) and pull it out flush with the unit so it can accommodate small beverage cups easily. When you want to use a bigger cup, push the drip tray back so it will be flush under the capsule tray.
Under the milk container is a third tray – there’s a little opening on the front, inside is another bonus – a special spout used for descaling your machine. As you can see this baby has got it figured out when it comes to space saving.
The water tank fits on the back of the unit securely and has a capacity of 30 oz. That’s pretty moderate in terms of amount…A little smaller than average so you may need to be refilling it after about the third or fourth beverage mark, depending on how many people are enjoying drinks at one time if you’re entertaining.
The water tank can be refilled right from its spot on the unit or be removed for easier refilling. It’s flat, rectangular and easier to see from the side view. The lid also doubles as a carrying handle.
This water reservoir doesn’t include a filter so if you are concerned about water purity you may want to consider the use of bottled water or a filtration system (e.g. Brita pitcher)
Lattissima Plus Milk Container
Part of the Lattissima Plus’s charm is its frothing capability – carried out with the milk container which has the added bonus of being storable in the fridge if you have unused milk. All the parts of the container are easily detachable to be periodically washed and are dishwasher safe (top rack preferable) too.
The four main parts of the milk container include: an aspiration tube, connector, milk spout (looks just like the connector, but it’s got kind of an “elbow” shape, and the froth regulator knob. The aspiration tool opening fits inside an opening inside the cover of the milk container and is transparent looking.
The milk container can hold up to 12 oz. There is a max fill line so you don’t miss the mark. See the square-shaped slot in the front of the machine in the image below? To hook up your milk container, you’d slide the little “door” of this slot to the right to reveal the opening, and attach the back latch of the container into this opening, you should hear a little “click” letting you know it is situated. Boom! You’re all set.
This opening also doubles as a location to attach the descaling spout tool when the time comes to perform this important duty. When this tool is not in use, it can be stored in a hidden compartment in the front of the unit – another unique feature.
The container has a “Clean” function in the form of a button on top that you push in order to purge any residue from it after beverage preparation. This is a great feature as icky milk residue stuck in a small hard to reach area is no picnic to deal with…one quick blast with the button and you’re all set.
Oh geez, I couldn’t forget the part about the milk frother – the Lattissima Plus’s crowning glory. You have the power at your fingertips with this baby – of course, a little experimentation is needed to get the best results. To control the amount of milk foam is done via the adjustment knob (it’s to the left of the Clean button) on top of the container – Next to it, you’ll see 2 icons (Cappuccino and Macchiatto) that match the ones on the control panel.
The thickest (or greatest, however you want to put it) amount of foam setting is all the way to the left, and the least or lowest foam setting is all the way to the right. You should have plenty of leeway to moderate the amount between those two. Before choosing a setting, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the spout aligned at a 45 degree angle into your cup, while at the same time securely under the coffee spout .
The manual says something towards the last few pages that “skimmed milk works the best when it comes to getting the best froth” I think I would take that with a grain of salt, as I realize not everyone is up for skim (nonfat and kind of blah) milk, and people tend to have different experiences depending on what kind of milk they use, so don’t feel you have to compromise on that. It’s definitely a matter of using the adjustment knob to your liking and seeing what flows (no pun intended)!
Nespresso Lattissima Plus Buttons
The Lattissima Plus has got a simpler design with no touchscreen or menu…just four backlit (green) buttons. Respectively, they indicate Americano, Lungo, Cappuccino and Macchiato with little tiny icons. You may find yourself referring to the manual as at first glance it’s not easy to tell the icons apart.
The largest size is the Americano at 9 oz . The one other button besides these -the power button – is located at the back near the water tank. When pushed, the four buttons will blink, indicating the preheating phase is taking effect.
Well, almost… 😁. You will have some good programming options at your fingertips to take advantage of. The four buttons, when pushed in a certain combination, will let you adjust various settings, such as the Auto-Shutoff feature . By default, it will go off in about 9 minutes, but in the case of a busy evening entertaining and you need to keep things going, you can disable this. You can also clear everything off and go back to factory default settings if you need to in the future.
One thing you’ll come to appreciate is the control you have over beverage volume – you can push in the button representing the desired drink choice and release it whenever the amount needed is dispensed – and this setting will be preserved throughout the next cycle, or until you decide to change it again. The user guide booklet will walk you through these controls if you’re unsure about anything.
How to Descale the Lattissima Plus?
See the square notch where you hook up the milk container ? You will attach the descaling pipe into that space in preparation. This is the same device that stows away in the tray compartment under the milk container.
One of the most unique features here is the “intuitive descaling” setting . How this works is that the descale alert light (the Cappuccino button – bottom right) will emit an orange glow to indicate time to descale based on the water hardness level setting you choose beforehand.
The manual explains this further, three different buttons/button combinations can be pressed to indicate, respectively, Soft – Medium- Hard Water. So you get the benefit of having an accurate cleaning schedule without the guesswork. If you’ve ever been frustrated in the past by coffeemakers that gave misleading descale prompts – I think you’re going to LOVE this feature!
A proprietary descale solution from the company is encouraged, although I think you could use a citric acid-based type like these which are rated excellent and approved for use with home single serve espresso machines. The manual/booklet notes strongly discourage vinegar use (if something goes wrong, it could render the warranty null) although I have heard of people having success with it at a lower amount (more on that a little later.)
Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System
The Lattissima Plus operates with the Original Line of Nespresso capsules exclusively – the VertuoLine series will not work. The hermetically sealed aluminum (and recyclable) capsules which come in beautiful jewel-like colors, are inserted sideways , like so:
Each capsule, after a full cycle, will automatically drop into the contained bin after you raise the lever. The capsule holding tray will contain up to 10 used coffee pods -although a few people said it will take up to 12. As a cautionary note, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of emptying them out regularly.
Lattissima Plus Consumer Reviews and Ratings
I’m happy to share a mainly positive verdict with regard to reviews on the Lattissima Plus. So many people are enjoying gourmet style beverages at the push of a button and minimal upkeep and definitely felt like their money was well spent.
Comments observed said things like “love the convenience” “delicious coffee” “can’t go back to my old way anymore after this” (Typically what we all feel when we upgrade in the food and drink department right?) So many people are mentioning their abandonment of the famous coffee establishment that begins with an “S” that it’s almost become a meme.
One minor annoyance I saw mentioned from time to time is that there is a slight after-drip when a drink is finished and removed for enjoyment…Certainly not a deal-breaker, but it does mean being mindful of emptying the drip tray periodically.
Okay, and this one is going to be subjective…the resulting beverage temperature. Some people were okay and satisfied with it but there was the comment from time to time about it not being as hot as desired. There were several things that affected this however, and a few solutions were presented.
Some people found that by doing a capsule-less “priming” cycle that their upcoming beverage was a much more satisfactory temperature and others performed a 10 second clean cycle with the milk container which resulted in the drink being hotter as the steam wand got hot enough to carry over into the drink.
If you’re willing to experiment a little as these customers did you may find you have an easier time getting the “just right” temperature.
How Well Does the Frother Work?
Just as there will always be trouble in paradise, sometimes people have had trouble with the milk frother – not overwhelmingly, but enough that I was able to uncover some patterns. First thing that can cause this problem are keeping it clean (the manual says twice a week is a good routine for all the anatomy)
Second, a simple descale session may clear up the issue. I heard one person say a smaller part of vinegar (a little less than half) seems to help. Third, in between cleaning and reattaching sessions, be sure the intake/aspiration tube is inserted correctly – one reviewer discovered that it had been inserted backwards which was blocking the flow of the milk.
Video courtesy of firteen888
I don’t think I could overemphasize this, but ALWAYS keep the milk container clean. Those who are diligent about doing so have the fewest performance complaints. I know milk residue can be a pain once it gets in something, especially with the intake tube.
I heard one person say that washing it by hand with soap and water (don’t let it soak very long or you’ll get the taste of soap in there) is the best approach and that the dishwasher cycles kind of had a way of keeping the milk from frothing as well as it did before.
I only saw one comment like that, so I can’t vouch for the validity of it. But whatever you do to take good care of it is great by me, as I did hear a few people remark that the warranty doesn’t cover issues with the milk container. What? I was a little surprised to hear that – I did go back and do a thorough read of the warranty, but didn’t see any mention of the milk container. If that’s the case, it should be revised a little to make that part more clear.
You have to manually push the Clean button after each brew cycle.; really be sure to get in the habit of it (I know it can be easy to forget – we are only human after all) but I do want to stress that going in.
The price….It’s valued at $200 less than its successor, but with the same quality so I think the price is fair considering that this is a single serve espresso machine with all of the genuine inner components but many times over, more convenient…not having to go through tamping and grinding, which is worth something.
That said, what other expense would be incurred? The capsules – which do lean a little on the more pricey side (see my earlier post Pod Buyer’s Guide) but it is almost unanimous that their quality is unbeatable and a lot of people feel are worth it as well as the fact that they need to be ordered online. It is true that if you can come up with a refillable capsule you will probably save there. If you can get the Plus for under $300 grab it. it’s a great deal for what you can do!
If you don’t mind the idea of purchasing a used model the red version appeared to have the lowest price at the time of writing. See my guide to smart shopping for used models here 🙂
A few people have said that the descaler solution costs a little more.
- Expedient heatup time
- Auto shutoff goes into effect in about 9 minutes
- Can program brew volume settings
- Great tasting coffee drinks with minimal work
- Descaling alert that syncs with water hardness setting
- Milk frother container has a control dial to let you adjust foam amount
- Attractive high-end design
- Smaller more compact size without skimping on quality
- Some users felt the temperature could be hotter
- Restricted with the type of capsules you can use
- Need to be mindful of cleaning for the milk container/drip tray
- Unit may have a tendency to drip a little after brews
I don’t have anything much negative to report on this one, truth be told. Honestly, I think the Lattissima Plus is a great choice for it’s more compact size, beneficial features, attractive styling, and convenience similar to its larger successor.
Only thing I might suggest is doing a little research to see if you can get the best deal on the capsules, or a good compatible brand, to round out your need for them a little on those days when you want to economize more.
Unless of course, your coffee choice is “just coffee”…but if you made it this far chances are you might have been looking for something more “gourmet”!