The De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine (with 15 bars) is a budget, compact, home espresso machine for making cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and other coffee beverages.
With the capacity to make two cups at one time or (two taller) medium sized glasses, the Stilosa features a 40.57 fluid Oz (12000 ml) detachable, water tank and a stainless steel boiler; the De’Longhi comes from a long line of espresso machines designed for aspiring home baristas who like a bistro style coffee at home.
In the review of the Stilosa, I pour over the core qualities this machine should excel at such as usability ease of cleaning, build quality and the final beverages with crema, themselves. I too, will look at nuances to compare with other machines in its class, such as size.
Read the review until the end to see if this machine could sing we’d get a wonderful sonnet or an out of tune racket. Firstly, lets go over the importance of pressure when making an espresso.
Table of Contents
What are 15 BARS of Pressure?
BARS of pressure is the scale of barometric pressure (atmospheric pressure) exerted on grounds of coffee within an espresso machine. One BAR is equal to the atmospheric pressure at sea level. You may have encountered its importance when filling your tires with air.
How many BARS make the perfect espresso is a bone of contention among coffee aficionados. Too little pressure and the espresso will lack a good crema while too much pressure and experts argue the taste becomes bitter and acid tasting. A consensus of opinion claims that between 15 BARS and 20 BARS produces an espresso with good crema.
De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine Review
Anyone who has read my other reviews will know the high regard I have for espresso machines with two layer drip trays, allowing you to either enjoy espresso drinks in taller mugs or in regular espresso sized glasses (60ml to 90ml or 2-3 oz). Simply click and slide the drip tray forward to allow for just over an inch more available height.
Looks and Practicality of The De’Longhi Stilosa Manual (With Milk Frother)
The dusky shades of the De’Longhi Stilosa’s plastic flanks makes it one of the better looking machines in its class, though, whether it can outshine the slimmer Yabano 15 Bar or Gevi 20 BAR (which are based on its more expensive sibling: the Dedica) is questionable. At 8.07″ wide x 13.5″ x 11.22″ the De’Longhi won’t leave much of a footprint on your counter and its lower height than many in its class may suit your kitchen is shelf space is at a premium.
Quizzically, unlike many modern machines, the Stilosa doesn’t have a transparent water tank which lets you see how low your water is getting; it gets around this by having a water gauge on the front face which works well. The dial on the front face of this shiny machine couldn’t be simpler: twist to the left for milk frother/steamer function or to the right to turn on the espresso function. A green light should appear when its ready.
A highlight of this budget machine and testimony to its durability is that it comes with a one year warranty from De’Longhi. Adaptable enough to use Nestle pods, the portafilter also comes with two basket filters: one for single shots and one for double shots. The machine produces an espresso in double quick time of about 30 seconds.
The crema is thick and overall the espresso is very impressive for an espresso machine of this price class. Designed for ease of use, this compact creation comes up trumps. Add water to the reservoir; simply pack the portafilter with grounds and twist easily into place. Turn the dial and the machine will start to gurgle pleasantly (in a way which won’t wake the sleeping guest in the next room). Grounds to espresso cup in 90 seconds.
The warming tray on the top of the espresso machine couldn’t be simpler. Keep your frother pitcher or espresso cups warm while your waiting for guests.
The froth produced by the frother is a thich density for cappuccinos or keep the wand higher up in the pitcher for hot latte milk.
High Pressure Basket
Many espresso machines at this entry level use high pressure portafilter baskets which fractionally don’t deliver as authentic crema that you’d get in top cafes. Pressurised baskets will allow for a less precisely ground coffee though still deliver an acceptable extraction. However, the taste difference is fractional and the The De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine won’t disappoint.
Tip of The Day
Use a finer ground bean for this machine which will allow for better extraction than courser grounds.
The frothing nozzle is removable and is easy to clean as is the drip tray a sink with warm water and detergent. Its advisable to run a descaling solution through the machine a few times a year to clean out the nooks and crannies of residue. Unlike the Gevi 20 BARS, there is no light that informs you a descale is due.
What You Do You Get?
- A double basket tamper for single or double shots.
- Measuring Spoon
- Instruction Manual & Quick Start Guide
The is a good looking, compact espresso machine that delivers a likable crema and milk froth quality at home. Lacking in a few bells and whistles such as a descaler light, and digital display, the De’Longhi is however, a great beginner bundle that sticks to the solid fundamental benefits of practical espresso making. A removable drip tray allows for taller cups, a one year warranty adds reassurances come what may and a quick final espresso of good quality espresso will warm the cockles and furnish a feel good factor.
Check out the great price we found on Amazon (I may get a small commission for purchases).