Ease of Use
Diletta Mio Espresso Machine: At a Glance
If you are searching for a good quality Italian espresso machine, the Diletta Mio is likely on your list. Sold by Seattle Coffee Gear, this elegant, effective espresso machine is handmade in Italy and comes in three stylish colors. It’s not necessarily made for beginners, though you don’t need to be a professional barista to pull a great shot. This machine offers a good balance of control and ease, with a PID boiler, built-in shot timer, and simultaneous steam wand.
The downsides boil down to who this machine is right for. It’s pricey, on top of which, you will have to invest in accessories like a precise scale, burr grinder, and tamper. Of course, if you’re shopping for an espresso machine of this caliber, you probably already have those tools. This machine is also a little more complicated to use, which is good news if you enjoy perfecting your brew but less appealing if you want something easy.
A Quick Look
|Dimensions:||15 inches high x 10.75 inches wide x 17 inches deep|
|Boiler Volume:||400 mL|
|Reservoir Size:||2 L (68 oz)|
|Warm-Up Time:||7 minutes|
|Warranty||2 years for parts|
The Diletta espresso machine is an elegant, thoughtfully designed model. It comes in black, stainless steel, and white colors. We tested the stainless steel model, which is so shiny it essentially disappears into your kitchen. It’s a good-looking espresso machine, even if it does tend to show off every fingerprint and smudge. We were also impressed at the machine’s relatively compact size – it fits a lot of great design elements into a reasonably small footprint.
Overall, the interface is very simple to use, though we do recommend reading the user guide before you start. There are three buttons on the left side (power, brew, and steam), plus a PID electronic display on the right. There is also a pressure gauge lower on the machine.
We also liked the water reservoir, which conveniently slides out of the machine’s side. It’s easy to remove completely for filling or cleaning, but you can also slide it only partway out to add more water. On top of the machine, you’ll find an open tray that doubles as a cup warmer, using the heat from the boilers. At the base of the machine, there is a nice drip tray that slides out for easy emptying. The grate rests elegantly on top.
Ease of Use
The Diletta Mio has a good range of features so that you can experiment with pulling the perfect shot. That includes a PID-equipped single boiler, a separate thermoblock steam circuit you can use simultaneously, and a convenient pressure gauge.
The PID screen has quite a few functions. When you first turn on the Diletta Mio, the PID display shows “1st,” letting you know that you need to prime the boiler. After that, it displays the temperature as the boiler heats up, conveniently showing you when you’re ready to brew (along with the brew indicator light). When you start pulling a shot, the PID display switches automatically to a shot timer, so you do not need to juggle another device. And if you decide to change the settings, the PID screen contains the full menu of options.
One unique aspect of this espresso machine is the emphasis on energy efficiency. The Mio includes an optional eco mode, which reduces energy usage when not actively brewing. Plus, features like an insulated boiler and a more efficient water path ensure less energy consumption overall without sacrificing espresso flavor.
This espresso machine also features an automatic shutoff but does not have a clock or automatic on.
With an espresso machine like this, a lot of the espresso quality comes down to your skill level. In our experience, you can produce a very good shot with little to no fiddling with settings – and an excellent shot with some testing. This excellent balance is likely to suit many home espresso lovers. You can enjoy a simple shot of espresso or take the time to perfect your technique on this machine – the choice is yours!
When we tested this machine, our espresso came out rich and flavorful every time, with a nice-looking crema on top. It was more complex and offered a better body than many other espresso machines.
One nice thing about upgrading to an espresso machine like the Diletta Mio is that you can steam milk while you pull shots of espresso. With lower-end espresso machines, you often have to steam the milk before you pull your espresso shot. The Diletta, on the other hand, has separate espresso and steam boilers, which is undeniably convenient.
We found the Diletta Mio’s milk steamer simple to use (simply flip a switch on the side, wait for the steaming light to turn off, and then push the steam button). We were impressed at how quickly the steamer heated up, and the swiveling wand works well.
Like all espresso machines, the Diletta Mio requires regular cleaning. Luckily, the process is reasonably simple. Daily maintenance is simply wiping down the machine and rinsing the removable parts. Recommended weekly cleaning involves scrubbing the group gasket, backflushing the portafilter and group, and using a dedicated espresso cleaning detergent to remove coffee oils. Assuming you are using filtered or bottled water, you don’t need to descale this machine. In fact, you may not want to descale at home at all.
The tightest budgets probably won’t be able to accommodate this espresso machine – handmade Italian espresso machines come at a cost – but it does provide a lot of value for your money. This is certainly not the most expensive espresso machine on the market, but it is pretty pricey on the scale of home models. Keep in mind that you will also need accessories like a good grinder and a coffee scale (we tested with an excellent Eureka Mignon burr grinder and Acaia Lunar smart espresso scale).
This machine seems pretty durable, with its sturdy stainless steel frame and simple interface. The only things that feel less durable are the buttons, like the controls next to the PID screen, which can wobble a little. Seattle Coffee Gear offers a good two-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.
So, is the Diletta Mio right for you? If you’re looking for a premium espresso machine that gives you plenty of control over your shots – all in an elegant, efficient package – the Diletta Mio may be just the thing. Espresso fanatics will love the PID boiler, separate milk steaming wand, and fast boiler heating time. On the other hand, if you have a tight budget, don’t want to invest in quality accessories, or want the convenience of a built-in grinder, you may want to look at other great espresso machines.
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