First really good coffee maker I've owned. With all these features, great tasting coffee and ease of use, will likely not be upgrading for a long time!
Positive Product Points
Easy to use, program, clean up Great looking Brews very good coffee A host of great features
Negative Product Points
Dark water level indicator makes reading somewhat difficult
Finally decided to upgrade to a better coffee maker after years with a cheap one. Christmas seemed the perfect time to buy it for my coffee addicted husband. Read dozens of reviews. Didn't want to spend over $100. Couldn't find any reviews of this newer Delonghi maker and it was priced over my limit wherever I saw it. So, I went out and bought the Cuisinart retro maker despite a few small reservations about some features. It looked like it was almost perfect and the reviews were great. Then, the Delonghi was advertised as a sale item at a store where I had a discount coupon, and I was able to purchase it for much less than the Cuisnart. So I returned that one and risked the "unreviewed" Delonghi.
After a week of coffee making, I know I made a great choice. The first pot of coffee Christmas morning was before unwrapping. The second was with the Delonghi - same water, same coffee...but a world of difference! I wouldn't have believed it could be so much better.
The features that convinced me to buy this one over the Cuisinart were the swing out filter basket, the water level indicator and the hinged top carafe. Little things lacking on the Cuisinart that I knew were going to bug me. I kept imagining what a pain it would be to have to snap that carfe lid back into place and I knew it would be difficult to figure out the water level by peering into the reservoir and I don't always check carefully how much water I'm measuring into the carafe.
The design of the Delonghi makes coffee prep a pleasure and clean up easy. Being able to remove the water reservoir for filling and cleaning is something I wouldn't have imagined as a big plus, but now I can't imagine not having this feature. I don't think we ever really cleaned the water reservoir on our old maker and I shudder to think about that...but like most makers, it is not very easy or accessible. And the Delonghi "bucket-like" reservoir lifts out and in easily and really makes a water indicator superfluous. The level indicators on it are so easy to see when filling.
Programming is very simple. Setting the start time is a no-brainer. I read the instructions once and since we mostly want our coffee to start the same time every morning, I will likely not even have to do this again...just push "auto" after filling with water and coffee each night. Auto light button and regular "start on demand" button are easy to use. Setting it to turn off any time after the coffee is made - from 2 to 12 hours - is equally easy to figure out. And setting 1-6 or 7-12 cups as well. Each day now starts with coffee that has been perfectly brewed at the same time each morning...just before we wake up!
Other features include a "dark" or "light" setting for coffee strength (we only use dark), a swivel control panel for easy access if your maker is in a less accessible counter place (not something we use but I imagine others might)a replaceable charcoal filter for better water taste, and a permanent platinum fiter that fits in the basket, if you don't want to use paper filters (something else we probably won't use unless we run out of paper filters, which we prefer).
The only small drawback is that the outside water level indicator is hard to read because it's so dark and the water doesn't easily show inside the tube - but since I use the removeable reservoir which is clearly marked, I don't even look at the indicator.
No problems with spilling water or coffee and the carafe is very well designed and seems quite durable and comfortable to handle. This coffee maker also looks very cool and gets appreciative comments on its style.
You won't go wrong with this coffee maker. Consider it HIGHLY recommended.
This coffee maker was an advertised Christmas sale special at Linens 'n Things. Since they often send out 20% off store coupons, the additional discount was a huge incentive. Picked it up in store.