My girlfriend's roommate has a DeLonghi Bar 32 espresso maker, and I'm going to have to get one for myself. It's a pump driven machine, and it reaches the best compromise between convenience and control of any espresso maker I've used. You can use either ground coffee or pods. The pods make it a total no-brainer, but using ground coffee isn't difficult.
The thing that really won me over was the Crema filter that makes amazing, rich froth to go with ground coffee. The swivel frother makes great frothy milk for lattes. And one thing I like (which may not matter to some people) is that it's a cool looking machine. It has two thermostats: one for controlling water temperature, and the other for controlling steam temperature. It's pump driven, but self priming, which is great. And you can use mugs with it since the drip tray is generously sized.
I will clarify my praise for this machine by saying that my own espresso maker is a second hand model given to me by my sister when she got herself a fancy Gaggia machine that cost about $500. So it doesn't take much to be better than what I have. But! I drink a lot of coffee: at home, at work, on the way to work ... and I get it at enough places that I know when it's good, and with this DeLonghi espresso maker, it's really good.
The water comes from a large reservoir, so you have to be ready to shut off the water when you've made however much you want. That way those weirdos who like espresso to be weaker can make it that way. The milk frothing nozzle is awesome. Honestly, I could save so much money with one of these things because I could make espresso at home that's equal to what I get at local coffee shops.
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