As part of my ongoing mission to provide you with unbiased reviews of coffee equipment, I've lately started looking at so-called prosumer espresso machines. Hence this Diletta Bello review.
As part of my ongoing mission to provide you with unbiased reviews of coffee equipment, I’ve lately started looking at so-called prosumer espresso machines. Hence this Diletta Bello review.
As you might already know, prosumer machines represent the next rung on the ladder from appliance-grade models. Essentially, an espresso maker like the Diletta Bello shares features and components with super duper fancy commercial espresso machines.
Will operating the Diletta Bello demand barista-level skills? Most definitely. Should newbies feel worried and overwhelmed at the prospect? Absolutely not! As we’ll see in this Diletta Bello review, the machine is actually very user friendly. Trust me, anyone will be able to make fantastic espresso with a prosumer machine in no time!
Diletta Bello Review Overview
Launched in 2021, the Diletta Bello is the result of a collaboration between Seattle Coffee Gear and Milan-based manufacturer Quick Mill. The Italian company has decades of experience in the espresso machine sector, and the Bello is actually based on one of its classic models.
Before I go any further, I should make it clear that this is a Diletta Bello review, not a Diletta Bello vs Rocket Appartamento comparison piece. Still, anyone with eyes can see that the two machines are very similar. In fact, some might say the Bello was released to be the Appartamento’s direct competitor.
Whether or not that’s the case doesn’t matter to me. On the other hand, if these two manufacturers are going head to head, it’ll only mean that prices will stay competitive too. So, let the games begin!
Speaking of price, the Diletta Bello costs $1,699.00 on Amazon, which might seem pretty steep. However, when you account for the fact that each machine is handcrafted in Italy using high-end materials and components, the price seems way more reasonable.
My first impressions of the Diletta Bello are of a classically beautiful machine. Then again, I’m a sucker for polished stainless steel, exposed pipes and brew groups and minimalist, industrial design.
Although the Bello is a fairly compact espresso machine, it’s still going to occupy a decent amount of countertop space. Plus, it’s not exactly low key – in other words, the Bello will demand attention no matter where it is!
Diletta Bello Features
If you’re thinking the Diletta Bello is just a pretty face, you’re dead wrong. This machine has got plenty going on under the hood. Let’s continue this Diletta Bello review by taking a closer look at what’s involved.
As much as I love the Diletta Bello in mirrored stainless steel, I just know I’d be obsessed with keeping it looking shiny. And who has the time to constantly polish their espresso machine to keep it free of smudges and fingerprints? Fortunately, there are a couple of other options available, both of which are easier to maintain:
These feature powder coated steel housing, so you won’t be able to check your hair while you’re making a cappuccino. Still, they do look pretty darn sleek all the same.
As I already mentioned, the Diletta Bello has been designed as a compact machine that’ll fit nicely in home kitchens. With that being said, overhead cabinets could get in the way when you need to access the water reservoir. Plus, clocking in at 44 pounds (20 kilograms), the Bello isn’t super easy to move around from place to place.
Anyway, I’m actually impressed by the size of the Bello’s 101 ounce (3 liter) water tank. That’s more generous than I expected, and it’s certainly bigger than what you’ll get with similar machines.
The Diletta Bello has been designed to offer a manual approach to espresso and milk foam preparation. You won’t find a touchscreen display or multiple buttons here, and you can forget about any kind of hand holding.
Instead, there’s a simple power switch, a couple of indicator lights, and substantial knobs for steam and water. Most importantly, there’s a prominent gauge that displays both boiler and brew group pressure. That’s going to come in really handy when you’re dialing in your shots.
By now you will have realized that the Diletta Bello is a high quality machine that pulls no punches. So, it’ll come as no surprise that the Bello comes with commercial grade spouted portafilters.
These things are satisfyingly weighty and substantial, which is what you want when you’re pulling shots. There are single and double filter baskets included, as well as a blind basket for backflushing.
In keeping with the Diletta Bello’s exceptional build quality, the machine is equipped with a 61 ounce (1.8 liter) stainless steel heat exchanger boiler. By the way, the boiler is actually wrapped in an insulating blanket, which says a lot about how much the Italian designers care about what they produce.
Getting back to the point, a heat exchanger boiler constantly circulates some water through the group head, while retaining the rest for steam pressure. That means you can prepare espresso and froth milk at the same time with the Diletta Bello.
What’s more, you have a constant source of hot water from the boiler for making americanos. Most significantly, the Bello’s boiler will maintain consistent temperature, which is vital when you’re preparing espresso.
Spend any time shopping around for an upmarket home espresso machine, and you’ll quickly become familiar with the E61 group head. Sitting proudly exposed, front and center, the E61 is widely considered to be about as good as it gets.
As I already mentioned, the Diletta Bello’s heat exchange boiler circulates hot water through the group head, thereby maintaining a consistent temperature for brewing. With that said, the Bello employs a pressurestat rather than a PID to control temperature. That means you’ll sometimes need to perform a cooling flush before pulling a shot. I’ll tell you all about it later in this Diletta Bello review.
The Diletta Bello comes with a classy looking stainless steel tamper featuring an ergonomic wooden handle. I can’t understate the importance of a good espresso tamper. That’s why I get so annoyed when manufacturers toss in a plastic piece of junk as part of an espresso machine package. Fortunately, the folks at Seattle Coffee Gear know what’s up, which saves me from having to rant and rave!
Thanks to that beefy heat exchange boiler, you’ll always have plenty of steam pressure on hand. In fact, the Diletta Bello’s powerful steam wand might take a little getting used to at first.
I happen to love the elegant shape of the steam wand, and it can be fully rotated to make frothing easy and comfortable. Not only that, both the steam wand and the hot water wand are double wall insulated, so you won’t accidentally burn your fingers. Seriously, these guys have thought of everything!
The amount of space between the portafilter spout and drip tray might seem limited, especially if you’re used to a super automatic machine. Still, remember that the Diletta Bello has been designed for espresso purists.
To that end, you’ll have a hard time brewing into a travel mug or a latte macchiato glass. However, you will have enough room for espresso cups and a coffee scale. I guess that if you really need extra headroom, you could remove the drip tray. As far as I know, there’s nothing in the user manual that expressly forbids doing that!
In case you didn’t know, the folks at Seattle Coffee Gear really know espresso machines. That’s why I’d be surprised to hear about a faulty Diletta Bello. Still, things do go wrong from time to time, no matter what.
Fortunately, the Bello comes with a two year warranty that’ll cover you if things go south. I’m fairly sure you’ll have nothing to worry about, but it’s good to have coverage just in case.
How to Use the Diletta Bello
If the Diletta Bello is your first espresso machine rodeo, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little daunted by the prospect of firing the thing up. I mean, learning to make good espresso takes time, patience and dedication.
There are a few variables to keep an eye on, and you can expect a bit of trial and error before you experience satisfactory results. However, the Bello is a remarkably well designed piece of kit, so once you’ve cracked the code you can be assured of consistently delicious espresso.
With that said, owning a good coffee grinder is non-negotiable. Don’t think for a second that pre ground coffee will do. There are some great options in my coffee grinder guide 2023, but remember that you’ll need something that can produce a consistent and uniform grind size at the finer end of the spectrum.
If you plan on making milk based drinks, you’ll need to pick up a decent milk frothing pitcher. There isn’t one included with the machine, but hey – you can’t win ’em all! Another thing that’ll make your life easier is a espresso knock box. Believe me, trying to knock out used pucks into a trash can will get old really fast!
To get started, fill the reservoir with cold, filtered water, then flip the switch to turn on the machine. You’ll have to wait for around 15 minutes for the Bello to warm up. Once it’s ready, the boiler pressure gauge needle will sit between 1 bar and 1.5 bar and a green light will come on.
You came here for a Diletta Bello review, not an in-depth guide to espresso preparation. Still, to show you how approachable and user friendly this machine is, I’ll give a quick overview of how to pull a shot.
First things first, you should perform a cooling flush. Simply push the brew lever all the way up to start water flowing, and allow it to run for a few seconds. Once the water is no longer hissing and bubbling you’re good to go.
Next, grind coffee into whichever portafilter you’re using, level the bed of ground coffee and then tamp down firmly and evenly.
Lock the portafilter into place in the group head, then push the brew lever to the halfway point. This will engage the pre infusion function, allowing water to slowly dampen the coffee grounds.
I recommend a pre infusion time of around five seconds, but it’s really up to you. After all, you’re in charge! Once you’re satisfied, push the brew lever all the way up to engage the pump.
Keep an eye on the pressure gauge’s group head needle – ideally it’ll hover right around the 9 bar mark during extraction. If not, you’ll know that you need to adjust your grind and/or dose.
Once you’re happy with your espresso shot volume, pull the lever down to stop the extraction.
Diletta Bello Cleaning
I often sense eyes glazing over and fingers starting to scroll when I bring up the subject of coffee maker cleaning and descaling. With that in mind, I’ll keep this brief.
Listen, the last thing I want to do is lecture you on hygiene. Still, it’s super important to take good care of a beautiful espresso machine like the Diletta Bello. As it happens, there really isn’t that much to do.
For starters, you’ll never have to descale the Bello. However, you will need to make sure that the water you use is filtered and adequately softened.
As far as daily tasks go, you should backflush the group head with water and wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth. Also, keep a dedicated damp cloth on hand to wipe off the steam wand after every use.
Once a week, backflush the group head using espresso machine cleaning powder. While you’re at it, soak the filter baskets and shower screen in cleaning powder dissolved in hot water.
Thanks to the steam wand’s double wall construction, you shouldn’t experience much milk residue buildup. Still, it’s a good idea to soak the tip in a solution of water and dairy cleaner every once in a while.
Diletta Bello Specifications
Manual espresso machine
Buttons and dials
Memo function only
|Removable water reservoir|
|Water reservoir capacity|
101.4 fl oz / 3.0 l
|Number of boilers|
|Maximum cup height|
4.0 in / 10.2 cm
|Grind adjustment levels|
|Bean hopper capacity|
|Adjustable coffee temperature|
|Adjustable milk foam temperature|
|Hot water function|
|Hot milk function|
|Milk foam only option|
50.0 lb / 22.7 kg
14.5 x 11.0 x 17.8 in
Included Accessories: 3 x filter baskets, Single portafilter, Double portafilter, Group brush, Tamper, User manual.
|Current price on Amazon|
|BUY NOW ON AMAZON|
Diletta Bello vs Others
There are tons of superb entry level prosumer options out there. Let’s continue this Diletta Bello review by looking at how the machine measures up to the competition.
Diletta Bello vs Rocket Appartamento
Earlier in this Diletta Bello review, I made it clear that I wouldn’t keep comparing the machine to the Rocket Appartamento That said, we’re now in the official comparison section, so I can go wild!
There are more than a few similarities between these two machines, but the Rocket might just come out on top in terms of aesthetics. I do love those circular cutouts! However, the Bello does have a bigger water reservoir and a slightly quieter pump. Essentially, you can’t go wrong with either machine though the Appartamento is a tad more expensive at $1,850.00.
See Also: Rocket Appartamento Review 2023
Diletta Bello vs Nuova Simonelli Oscar II
I just love the way the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II looks. Seriously, the minimalist and slightly futuristic vibe of this machine gets me weak in the knees. If you’re looking for a prosumer machine with a few modern conveniences, the Oscar II will be right up your alley.
Rather than old school levers and knobs, there are simple buttons and nothing more. You’ll also get programmable volumetric control with this machine. For just $1,495.00 on Amazon, the Oscar II offers exceptional value for a powerful machine with a heat exchanger boiler.
Related: Best Prosumer Espresso Machine 2023
Diletta Bello vs Rancilio Silvia w/ PID
The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine has been going strong for years. I love this machine and use it often, but it can be hard to handle. So, I’m delighted to see the Rancilio Silvia PID Espresso Machine for just $1,195.00 on Amazon.
This updated classic doesn’t just come with the addition of a PID controller, although I’d be happy if they’d stopped there. The machine also features a digital screen for programming shot times, temperature and shot volume. That’s a serious improvement that keeps the Rancilio Silvia competitive as more flashy new machines arrive on the scene.
Related: Rancilio Silvia Hands-On Review 2023
Verdict: Diletta Bello Review
As it turns out, the prosumer espresso machine segment is just as crowded and competitive as any other. As I mentioned earlier in this Diletta Bello review, that’s probably a good thing.
There can be little doubt that this fantastic espresso machine represents a direct threat to Rocket’s sales figures. And if that means the Appartamento starts coming down in price, who can really complain?
All in all, I can’t help but highly recommend the Diletta Bello. In fact, I’d say it’s the ideal choice for both beginners and expert baristas. You’ll need to put in time and energy to get good results. Still, I’d say the Bello is a great way to experience the wonderful world of quality espresso preparation.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take some measurements. I’m fairly sure I’ve got just enough room left in my kitchen for one more espresso machine …
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Diletta Bello review. Do you own one of these awesome espresso machines? What’s your experience been like? I look forward to hearing all about it!
Diletta Bello FAQ
The Diletta Bello is designed and hand-made in Milan, Italy.
Although it’ll take a little time to master espresso preparation, the Diletta Bello is a great choice for the beginner home barista.
It’ll take time to get used to the Diletta Bello’s manual controls, but the machine definitely isn’t difficult to use.
You can keep fingerprints off the Diletta Bello’s polished exterior by wearing gloves when you use it.