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DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Review: Great Machine, Shame About the Cold Brew

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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Regular Coffeeness readers will know how highly I rate DeLonghi espresso machines. That's why I'm so excited to be embarking on this DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review.

Regular Coffeeness readers will know how highly I rate DeLonghi espresso machines. That’s why I’m so excited to be embarking on this DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review.

Having already tested out the other machines in the La Specialista range, I had high hopes for this new addition. So much so that I ordered the thing to test out for you. I’ll share my experiences using the La Specialista Arte Evo a little later.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with!

Hybrid with a cold brew function

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo

Another DeLonghi success story

Compact footprint

Easy to use

Powerful steam wand

Tons of accessories

Makes great espresso

Cold brew function is disappointing

Overview: DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Review

If you’ve checked out my DeLonghi La Specialist Arte review, you’ll kind of know what to expect from the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo (CURRENT PRIME DAY DEAL! ONLY 499.95 $ INSTEAD OF 699.95 $). I mean, these two are the same in just about every way. However, the Italian manufacturer decided that it needed to release a version of the La Specialista Arte with a cold brew function.

To be honest, those who already own the original version probably won’t be rushing to upgrade to the Arte Evo. However, if you’re interested in an espresso machine with cold extraction technology, this baby might be worth considering. Oh, and I’ll let you know how successful the cold brew function is later in this DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review.

Delonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Overview in box

Costing $499.95, the new La Specialista Arte Evo is a little more expensive than its predecessor. However, it’s definitely in the same ballpark, price-wise.

As for its size, design and features, the La Specialista Arte Evo offers the same sleek, retro-style vibe and compact footprint. Plus, there’s a lot for both espresso newbies and seasoned pros to enjoy. In saying that, I’m talking about stuff like adjustable temperature control and a sophisticated professional-style manual steam wand.

As for the machine’s built-in grinder, it’s both a blessing and a curse. I’ll get into more detail a little later. Suffice to say, the conical burr grinder just isn’t as versatile as I’d like.

So, is this Italian espresso machine worth buying? Keep reading my Delonghi La Specialista Arte review to find out!

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Features

There are tons of cool features to discuss in this DeLongi La Specialista Arte Evo review. Let’s dive right in.

Size and Design

There can be little doubt that the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo is an attractive espresso machine. I love the retro vibe as well as the machine’s streamlined design. What’s more, this baby has a compact footprint, making it ideal for smaller kitchens. Besides, you won’t need additional space for a burr coffee grinder.

Located at the rear of the machine, the 57.5-ounce (1.7-liter) water tank is fully removable. However, there is a way to fill the thing via a lid on top of the machine. I have to say that’s a really nice feature, seeing as removing the reservoir could be a hassle if the machine is sitting under kitchen cabinets.

Incidentally, I should make special mention of the machine’s dedicated hot water spout. That’s another thoughtful feature, and way better than a dual purpose steam wand/hot water dispenser.

One thing that I found kind of annoying about the DeLonghi La Specialitsa Arte Evo was the way the machine moved around when I was trying to remove the portafilter. So, just be aware that you’ll need to stabilize the machine with one hand when you’re doing so.

User Interface

Delonghi La Specialista Arte Evo User Interface

I have to say the user interface on this espresso machine is about as intuitive and easy to navigate as it gets. In fact, I’d say you could get away without consulting the user manual at all. Comprising an array of buttons and chunky dials, the user interface includes settings for single or double shots, dose amount and adjusting brew temperature.

One thing I’m definitely happy to see is a prominent pressure gauge on the front of the machine. Not only does this look super cool, it gives valuable feedback on your espresso as it’s extracting. That said, I wish DeLonghi had provided more specific information, rather than an “Optimal Zone” marker. Then again, you can’t win ’em all!

Conical Burr Grinder

The DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo is equipped with a stainless steel conical burr grinder. Making grind size adjustments is as easy as turning a clearly marked dial at the base of the bean hopper.

So far, so good. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are only eight grind settings to choose from. What’s more you aren’t able to “fudge it” by setting the selector in between two settings. All that to say that this machine’s built-in grinder is rather limiting.

Sure, I was able to pull some good shots of espresso. Still, I do like to have more control over my grind size than this machine provides.

As for the UV-tinted bean hopper, its 8.8-ounce (250-gram) capacity is rather limited. However, I’d say that’s actually a good thing seeing as you won’t be leaving coffee beans in there for too long.

Dosing

Delonghi La Specialista Arte Bean Hopper

As with most hybrid espresso machines, the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo employs a timed dosing function. There’s a nice chunky dial to adjust the dose, with clearly marked indicators for how long the grinder will operate.

As you may know, I’m not a fan of this kind of system, seeing as it’s too imprecise for espresso preparation. Sure, you can get in the general ballpark, but you’ll need to use a good coffee scale to maintain consistency.

Besides, as soon as you make a grind size adjustment, your carefully won dose setting isn’t relevant any more.

By the way, the user manual has recommendations for setting the dose, depending on the type of espresso beans you’re using. Take it from me, these are completely useless. In other words, you’ll need to figure out your ideal dose through trial and error.

Portafilter

The portafilter supplied with the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo isn’t bad at all. In fact, it seems really well made and feels nice in your hand. With that said, I’m not a huge fan of 51mm portafilters – I’d rather see something bigger. That’s because I always get superior results when I’m using a wider, shallower basket with a higher capacity.

The La Specialista Arte Evo comes with two single-wall filter baskets, one for a single shot and the other for a double. While I’m happy that the Italians decided against supplying pressurized filter baskets, I’m still confused about the plastic insert in the portafilter.

Seriously, what purpose does it serve?! Anyway, if you do buy this machine I’d recommend prying the plastic out. Trust me, your shots will be way more consistent once it’s gone.

Milk Foam

Delonghi La Specialista Arte Milk Frothing

During my testing I was very impressed by the La Specialista Arte Evo’s professional steam wand.

Seeing as the steam wand is mounted on a ball joint, it has a really good range of motion. Plus, I felt like the nozzle helped produce more than enough steam pressure. In other words, I had a great time whipping up silky microfoam for my coffee drinks, and I even managed to create some pretty latte art.

Incidentally, the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo is no slouch when it comes to switching between making espresso and steaming milk. Sure, it’d be nice to be able to do both at the same time, but I didn’t experience any agonizing wait times.

Thermoblock Heating

There are advantages and disadvantages to espresso machines with thermoblock heating. Of course, the biggest plus is that the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo will be ready to go in under a minute.

However, that doesn’t mean the machine will be warm enough to produce top-notch espresso. In other words, you’ll need to flush the group head and bring the portafilter up to temperature by running hot water through it a few times.

Still, I’d say most folks would rather have to do that than wait half an hour for their machine to warm up.

Active Temperature Control

Consistency is key in espresso preparation, which is why it’s good to see DeLonghi has added Active Temperature Control to the La Specialista Arte’s feature list.

The machine not only consistently brews at a stable temperature, you’re able to choose from three temperature settings. That way, you can adjust the brew temperature according to the type of coffee beans you’re using.

For example, I used a medium roast coffee during my testing, so I opted to set the temperature in the middle. However, if I’d been testing a light roast coffee I would have used the highest temperature setting. Either way, it’s nice to have the option to adjust brewing temperature, even if DeLonghi doesn’t offer information as to the actual temperatures themselves.

Cold Brew Function

Delonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Iced Coffee

You guys know how I feel about so-called “cold brew” made by espresso machines. I mean, it simply isn’t possible to make a real cold brew in just a few minutes. With that said, I have enjoyed some delicious approximations of cold brew when testing machines like the Jura Z10 and Spinn Coffee Maker.

As it turns out, DeLonghi developed its proprietary Cold Extraction Technology in collaboration with the Specialty Coffee Association. Apparently, the machine employs a precise flow rate and pressure in order to create what DeLonghi calls cold brew.

Of course, I was particularly interested in this feature during my DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review. After all, it’s kind of the whole reason for this machine to exist.

As it turns out, I was rather underwhelmed by the results, especially when using the medium roast coffee I’d been testing as espresso. In fact, the “cold brew” was watery and rather bitter. Sure, the Cold Extraction Technology performed more admirably when I switched to a fruitier single origin coffee from Ethiopia. However, my mind wasn’t exactly blown.

Ultimately, I’d say you’d be better off making a batch of cold brew coffee the old fashioned way. Then again, if patience isn’t your strong point, perhaps this espresso machine will satisfy your needs!

Professional Barista Kit

Delonghi La Specialista Arte Evo All Parts

If you ask me, DeLonghi has been keeping tabs on how generous a certain Australian manufacturer is. And maybe that’s why the Italians are loading us up with espresso accessories.

Whatever the reason, I was over the moon to find all the goodies included with the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo. Check out what comes in the box:

  • 2 x single wall filter baskets

  • Dosing funnel

  • Metal espresso tamper

  • Tamping mat

  • Stainless steel milk pitcher

  • Descaling solution

  • Espresso cup tray

  • Cleaning supplies

I particularly appreciated both the dosing funnel and the espresso cup tray. The funnel really helped in preventing a mess during grinding., Plus, I was able to distribute the grounds with my WDT tool without them going everywhere.

As for the espresso tray, it fits seamlessly onto the machine’s drip tray, bringing your espresso cup right under the portafilter spout. This prevents unnecessary splashes during extraction and also helps preserve your espresso’s beautiful crema.

How to Use the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo

As I mentioned earlier, getting started with the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo is a piece of cake. Still, before diving into espresso preparation you should thoroughly rinse all removable parts, including the water tank and portafilter. Once that’s done, fill the reservoir with filtered water and add fresh, high-quality coffee beans to the hopper. Next, turn the machine on and press the “OK” button. The machine will perform a quick rinse and then it’ll be ready for action!

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Seeing as this is a thermoblock machine, I’d recommend heating the group head and portafilter by running a couple of brew cycles. Then, dry the portafilter and attach the dosing funnel. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s a dosing guide in the user manual to get you started. However, feel free to experiment until you get good results.

Once you’ve set the dose timer to your liking, press the 1x/2x button to match the basket you’re using. Then, insert the portafilter into the grinding cradle and push it back to start the grind cycle. Once your portafilter is dosed, remove it from the cradle, take off the funnel and tamp with even pressure.

Finally, lock the portafilter into place in the group head, place your favorite espresso cup underneath and hit “OK.” The La Specialista Arte will dispense a set amount of espresso, although I’d recommend adjusting the volume to your liking. Again, you’ll find detailed instructions in the user manual.

My Observations

During the testing phase of my DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review I used an espresso blend from one of my favorite small batch coffee roasters. I’m very familiar with this coffee blend, and I was interested to see whether the machine would be able to highlight its sweetness and deep complexity.

To be honest, the La Specialista Arte Evo performed admirably in that regard, although it was a struggle to achieve shots that I liked.

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I started out by using the dosing guide in the user manual, but soon gave up and broke out my Fellow scale. Seriously, I don’t think it’d be possible to achieve any kind of consistency without a scale. And while it’s possible to adjust the machine’s volumetric settings for espresso, I decided to weigh both my dose and my shots.

After a lot of trial and error, I ended up getting very tasty espresso using a grind size of 4 and setting the dose to 15 seconds. This equaled around 15 grams of ground coffee and the resulting espresso clocked in at 30 grams in 30 seconds. The crema was a study in caramel-colored beauty, and the shot was truly delicious.

Incidentally, I’d recommend using the lowest brew temperature setting, even for a medium roast profile. In my experience, even the middle setting is way too hot.

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Cleaning

As with any espresso machine, there are a few cleaning tasks to take care of on the daily. Every time you pull a shot you should empty and clean the portafilter. What’s more, it doesn’t hurt to flush the shower screen and give it a wipe down to remove any stray coffee grounds.

Elsewhere, make sure to thoroughly wipe off the steam wand with a damp towel after each use. That’ll prevent milk residue from drying on there.

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As I already mentioned, it’s a good idea to wipe out the bean hopper from time to time. Oh, and feel free to vacuum or brush the burrs every few weeks. Trust me, that’ll keep your grinder in good working order.

As for descaling, the machine will let you know when it’s time via a light on the user interface. I’ll leave it to the user manual to explain the ins and outs of that particular cleaning task.

Finally, don’t forget to rinse out the removable water tank every so often. After all, do you really want to be drinking algae with your espresso?

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Technical Specifications

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo
Manufacturer

De’Longhi

Model number

EC9255M

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Color options

Silver/Black, Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Portafilter size

51 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.7 in / 11.9 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

8

Bean hopper capacity

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

Specialty drinks

3

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1550 W

Weight

21.5 lb / 9.8 kg

Dimensions

15.9 x 11.2 x 14.4 in
40.4 x 28.4 x 36.6 cm

Warranty

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, 2 x filter baskets, milk pitcher, tamper, dosing funnel, tamping mat, cleaning supplies

Current price on Amazon

$499.95

All specifications

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo vs Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express Overview

I couldn’t finish this DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review without seeing how it fares in ahead-to-head with the Breville Barista Express (CURRENT PRIME DAY DEAL! ONLY 549.95 $ INSTEAD OF 699.95 $). After all, the Barista Express is one of the most popular home espresso machines of all time.

Costing $549.95, the Breville machine is certainly in the same price category as the La Specialista Arte Evo. Plus, it shares many of the same features. Still, the Barista Express does offer more precise adjustment settings for temperature and pre-infusion. Plus, the grinder has more than twice the amount of settings.

With all that said, I was able to make pretty great espresso with both machines. And in DeLonghi’s favor, the La Specialista Arte Evo’s steam wand is far superior to that of the Breville.

Ultimately, these are both fantastic machines for beginners, although more seasoned baristas will quickly feel limited.

See Also: Breville Barista Express Review

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo vs Breville Barista Express Comparison Chart

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte EvoBreville Barista Express
Manufacturer

De’Longhi

Breville

Model number

EC9255M

BES870XL/BES870BSXL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Silver/Black, Stainless Steel

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

51 mm

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.7 in / 11.9 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

8

16

Bean hopper capacity

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

Specialty drinks

3

2

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1550 W

1600 W

Weight

21.5 lb / 9.8 kg

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

Dimensions

15.9 x 11.2 x 14.4 in
40.4 x 28.4 x 36.6 cm

15.9 x 12.5 x 13.8 in
40.4 x 31.8 x 35.1 cm

Warranty

1 year

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, 2 x filter baskets, milk pitcher, tamper, dosing funnel, tamping mat, cleaning supplies

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Magnetic tamper, Trimming tool, Coffee scoop, Milk jug, Water filter and holder, Cleaning supplies.

Current price on Amazon

$499.95

$549.95

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte EvoBreville Barista Express
Manufacturer

De’Longhi

Breville

Model number

EC9255M

BES870XL/BES870BSXL

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Silver/Black, Stainless Steel

Black Sesame, Brushed Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

51 mm

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.7 in / 11.9 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

8

16

Bean hopper capacity

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

8.1 oz / 230.0 g

Specialty drinks

3

2

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Yes

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1550 W

1600 W

Weight

21.5 lb / 9.8 kg

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

Dimensions

15.9 x 11.2 x 14.4 in
40.4 x 28.4 x 36.6 cm

15.9 x 12.5 x 13.8 in
40.4 x 31.8 x 35.1 cm

Warranty

1 year

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, 2 x filter baskets, milk pitcher, tamper, dosing funnel, tamping mat, cleaning supplies

Included Accessories: Instruction booklet, Magnetic tamper, Trimming tool, Coffee scoop, Milk jug, Water filter and holder, Cleaning supplies.

Current price on Amazon

$499.95

$549.95

Verdict: DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo Review

Hybrid with a cold brew function

DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo

Another DeLonghi success story

Compact footprint

Easy to use

Powerful steam wand

Tons of accessories

Makes great espresso

Cold brew function is disappointing

I’ll say that I wasn’t at all surprised by the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo. It performed exactly as I knew it would. After all, I’m very familiar with the La Specialista series of machines and they never fail to impress.

With that said, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by the cold brew function. To be honest, it feels a little gimmicky to me. Then again, if the Cold Extraction Technology had blown my mind perhaps I’d be saying something different.

Ultimately, the DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo is a great hybrid espresso machine with a more than reasonable price tag. So, I can’t help but recommend it. However, if you can get the original La Specialista Arte (CURRENT PRIME DAY DEAL! ONLY 524.96 $ INSTEAD OF 699.95 $) for a better price, that’s the machine might want to go for.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my DeLonghi La Specialista Arte Evo review. Do you own this machine? Was I too hard on the cold brew function? I look forward to your comments!

Your coffee expert
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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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