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Primadonna Elite – The Ultimate Bean to Cup Coffee Machine:
Actually, that’s not quite right. The Primadonna Elite from DeLonghi is really a lot more than a coffee machine. Sitting proudly on my worktop, it’s in almost constant use now because it does everything from making a good espresso or perfect cappuccino to heating water to the perfect temperature for green tea (between 70-80 degrees f).
I really wasn’t sure when it first arrived and was just a little apprehensive when I looked at the thick manual which comes with the machine. But, actually, using the Primadonna Elite is child’s play. Once you’ve set it up (and the shorter guide tells you everything you need to know to do that), it tells you what to do at every point. From when you need to descale the machine through to when you need to empty the grounds bin or add more water.
And, in terms of making the perfect cup of coffee, it’s like having your very own barista. I quickly discovered that I like the doppia – a double espresso. It’s that ‘bean to cup’ capability that makes such a difference – freshly ground beans really do make a completely different cup of coffee. All you do with the Primadonna Elite is tip a bag of beans in the top caddy and set the grinder to your own personal preference.
The cappuccino setting works like a dream. It’s the first time I’ve successfully made cappuccino at home, despite having tested a whole range of machines. This one has a special detachable milk caddy that you can fill up and keep in the fridge till you need it. You get a much better ‘foam’ by using chilled milk. Once you are ready to make your cappuccino or other milk-based drink, you just attach the caddy and let the machine do the work. The machine froths up the milk with steam and then adds espresso, just as a good barista would do. It cleans the steam spout once it’s finished (and the coffee/water spout too). It even makes a cappuccino with a double shot of espresso!
In fact, that’s what’s particularly impressive to me about this machine. If you make an Americano the machine does it just as a classic Americano should be made – by making an espresso and topping it up with hot water. If you make an espresso macchiato, you’ll get just a ‘mark’ of foam rather than a moustache making mouthful. It grinds and measures the correct amount of coffee for whatever drink you prefer. And it does everything with no fuss.
I’m still experimenting. The machine makes hot chocolate, tea, iced drinks and more. And I haven’t had time to try it all. I’m actually amazed at how much it has changed things here – it takes a lot to ‘sell’ me a gadget – but this one is truly superb.
There are settings that will remember your own recipes too. So, I’m planning a second feature once I’ve had a chance to do a little more with the DeLonghi Primadonna Elite.
Disclosure: I was sent the DeLonghi Primadonna Elite for the purpose of reviewing. All content is editorially given.