The De’Longhi Autentica ETAM 29.660 is one of the strongest sellers from the Italian kitchen suppliers fleet of coffee machines. It packs a large range of functions into a single appliance – but how does it perform?
It’s a bit bulky and isn’t a stunner looks-wise – but the De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino is a doddle to use, makes a huge range of coffees to a consistently good standard and is just about as good as it gets in bean to cup machines at this price point.
The De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino ETAM 29.660 is a one-stop shop for coffee making. In essence, it is a bean to cup coffee machine with a large hopper for storing beans and an onboard burr grinder to crush them to your desired ground size on demand.
What sets the machine apart is its two separate tanks – one for water, one for milk. This, combined with a nifty little onboard computer and in-built automatic milk frother, allows you to make fresh coffee in a number of styles at the push of a button.
Espresso, cappuccino, flat white, latte, americano…if you can order it in a bar – the De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino ETAM 29.660 will make it for you at home. Choosing what coffee you want is fairly simple thanks to the easy push-button interface and OLED display on the front of the machine.
It also comes with a large water reservoir, drip tray, cup warmer and easy to empty internal tray for used coffee grounds.
The combined functionalities make the machine a bit of a behemoth – so finding a place to put it might be a challenge. It is also a bit plasticity and nowhere near as easy on the eye as other products in the De’Longhi range.
The machine is easy to clean and has some other nice touches, including a separate ground coffee in-tray if you want to add pre-crushed coffee. The milk tank is detachable so can be stored in the fridge when not in use to keep it fresh.
The coffees it produces are consistently tasty – whichever way you take it. The milk frother is effective. A minor gripe would be that the milk on the machine’s latte setting could do with being a couple of degrees hotter – but it pretty much nails everything else and is well priced compared to market rivals.
The machine has a fairly large 1.3 litre water tank and a good sized bean hopper that sits over the integrated burr grinder with 13 different coarseness settings.
The top surface of the Autentica has a cup warmer and the onboard computer is programmable so you can dial in the strength of coffee and water-milk ratios to help you fill your fave mug and or meet individual taste preferences.
The machine also makes espresso at the required 15-bar pressure and has a nifty ‘double shot’ setting you can hit when you need an extra boost. The milk frother can also be tweaked allowing you to play around until you find the right frothiness.
The machine can also make two cups of coffee at once – which saves time an effort when there is a rush on the coffee.
Usability and performance
The Authentica runs quietly and quickly and produces fresh full-bodied coffee at every setting. The machine is easy to use and programme thanks to preset buttons and an easy to read and operate, two-line OLED display.
The frother produces foam with a nice stiffness – but on some of the longer settings like latte and flat white its inability to heat the milk up to very high temperatures means that your cuppa will be drinkable instantly and not piping.
It’s a minor gripe – we found using a pre-heated cup really helps – but those who like to linger over a long milky affair might want something slightly hotter.
Standard mugs and glasses of pretty much every size fit under the spout thanks to its adjustable height. However, mugs and that were wider at the base than at the top were difficult or impossible to position correctly. The detachable parts are easy to clean, making maintenance a doddle.
The machine is pretty hefty coming in at 48 x 19.5 x 34 centimetres.
It’s not ugly, but perhaps a bit blocky in terms of how some coffee machines look. Then again, the design bar for bean-to-cup cappuccino machines is already set very low indeed. The product is finished well and to a high quality. It’s black and silver colour combo looks very tidy – especially when compared to other models on the market.
This is one of the best bean to cup cappuccino machines on the market at this price point. It does it all for you – but you still get to control the process, through tweaking to a number of different settings to get that perfect cuppa.
4 Stars out of 5