15-bar espresso as well as drip coffee
Integrated steamer for hot foamy milk
Drip brew can be programmed in advance
Two on/off buttons can cause confusion
Uses medium grind rather than espresso
Water reservoirs are not removable
The De'Longhi BCO330T Combination Coffee Machine combines a true espresso machine with a drip coffee maker, but does it actually execute both functions well? To find out, we brewed full carafes, made espresso, and steamed milk—playing around with all the special programs and features. Read on to find out how this machine performed in terms of taste, usability, and design.
Setup Process: Super simple
Aside from giving the carafe and other removable parts a quick wash before the first use, the only setup required was setting the clock. The clock does not keep time if the machine is unplugged or the power goes off.
Design: Function over flash
This machine isn’t pretty or ugly. It’s functional and modern, but not particularly flashy. The large handle on the front that opens the filter drawer for drip coffee might be a little larger than necessary, but it adds to the sturdy appearance of the machine.
Water is added to the machine in two different locations, depending on the type of coffee you’re making. For espresso, water goes into the boiler at the top of the machine. For drip coffee, water gets added to a well that is part of the pull-out drawer that holds the coffee filter. From there, the water drains into the integrated water reservoir.
While it’s a small feature, we have to note that the pouring spout on the drip carafe worked very well, unlike some that drip, dribble, and spill.
A downside to it being two machines in one is that there are two on/off buttons. One controls the espresso side and the other controls the drip coffee side. The on/off button for the espresso side is more obvious, which led to a rather messy glitch during our testing. That button was turned on before we added water to the boiler, and since the side lever was switched to the steam function, we started spraying hot steam everywhere before we figured out what we’d done wrong. Likely, that’s the sort of mistake you’d make only once, but it’s something to be aware of, particularly if you have lots of houseguests trying to use it.
Neither of the water reservoirs is removable, despite that being mentioned on some sales sites, so they only get cleaned during descaling. However, the reservoirs should never be holding water for long periods of time, since the machine is designed to brew the amount of water you put in it. The water is measured by using the drip or espresso carafe. A scale on the side of the drip reservoir shows how much water has been added, but we found it difficult to see the water level. Note that the water will run out of the back of the machine if it’s over-filled. It can make 10 cups.
Performance: A pleasant surprise
This is a 15-bar espresso machine, which means it uses 15 bars of pressure. We were just a bit skeptical that one machine could produce acceptable espresso as well as carafes of coffee, but we were pleasantly surprised when we took this machine for a test brew. On the espresso side, the manual suggested using a medium grind and not tamping the grounds, but even when we tested it with a tamped fine grind, it worked well.
We were just a bit skeptical that one machine could produce acceptable espresso as well as carafes of coffee, but we were pleasantly surprised when we took this machine for a test brew.
A steam wand swivels out from the machine to steam and froth the milk for cappuccinos and lattes. Just the end of the steam wand needs to be submerged in the milk. It worked well, and it was fun to use. Drip coffee was as we expected, with the ultimate results relying more on the beans we brewed than the settings we chose.
Features: Lots of buttons and programming options
On the drip side, the oddly named Aroma button slowly releases water onto the grounds a little bit at a time with pauses in between, which is said to extract more flavor from the ground beans. This setting should only be used when brewing 5 cups or less—never for a full carafe—and it takes a little longer to brew coffee this way. We noticed a slight difference in the flavor, but couldn’t decide if it was better or just different. It’s worth trying both ways.
On the drip side, the oddly named Aroma button slowly releases water onto the grounds a little bit at a time with pauses in between, which is said to extract more flavor from the ground beans.
For a morning carafe of coffee, the machine can be programmed to brew at your desired time. The bottom warmer can also be programmed to keep the coffee warm for your desired amount of time; by default, it is set for two hours. The machine also takes advantage of the fact that the top gets warm in use and has a convenient tray where you can warm your coffee cups before you use them.
While it’s a small feature, we have to note that the pouring spout on the drip carafe worked very well, unlike some that dribble and spill.
Included Accessories: Two useful items
An anti-chlorine filter that removes the taste of chlorine from the brewing water is included and should be changed after about 80 brewing cycles. Although, this may not be needed, depending on your water supply.
A small plastic attachment fits on the bottom of the espresso filter that can be used to funnel coffee into two separate cups rather than using the included espresso carafe. A small measuring spoon is also included.
Cleaning: A little more effort, but worth it
Since this coffee maker has two different functions, it requires a little more maintenance than a single-function machine, but it’s still relatively simple. On the espresso side, the cappuccino nozzle should be removed and cleaned along with the steam spout after each use—make sure all the milk residue has been removed.For routine maintenance, the outside of the machine can be wiped with a damp cloth as needed. The filter holder, drip tray, boiler outlet, carafe, and water tank should be removed and cleaned by hand as needed. The espresso filter should be inspected regularly and cleaned with a small brush to make sure the holes are not clogged. If they are clogged beyond what a brush can do, a small pin can be used to push out the grounds.
After continued use, both the drip and the espresso sides should be descaled to remove lime accumulation using the specific instructions in the manual. Citric acid, available at many grocers and online, can be used for descaling.
Price: Expensive for one machine, but reasonable for a two-in-one
You can find this coffee maker for less than $200, which, considering everything you get in terms of special features and the fact that it takes the place of two appliances, is quite reasonable. However, if you aren’t interested in making espressos and cappuccinos, there are much cheaper drip coffee makers available that will probably meet all your needs.
De'Longhi BCO330T Combination vs. DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima Pro
Made by the same company, but with completely different features, these two machines will please different audiences. The all-in-one machine would be most welcome in homes where carafes of coffee are sometimes needed, and custom espresso is on the menu, too. The Nespresso machine belongs in a kitchen where users want coffee with little fuss or interaction. It’s also much more expensive, but you are paying for simplicity and ease. We’re perfectly happy straddling a fence here and letting users decide what matters to them most.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our roundup of the best coffee and espresso machine combos.
It does what it’s supposed to and does it well.
While we have a few small quibbles, the De'Longhi BCO330T Combination Coffee Machine has way more pros than cons, and we’re giving it a thumbs up. Whether you want to follow the instructions for a perfect cappuccino or are feeling less ambitious and want an uncomplicated brew, you won’t be disappointed by its versatility and performance.
- Product Name BCO330T Combination Coffee Machine
- Product Brand DeLonghi
- MPN BCO330T
- Price $199.95
- Weight 12.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 14.5 x 11 x 12.8 in.
- Wattage 1500 W
- Capacity 10 c.
- Material Metal/Plastic
- Warranty 1 year
- What’s Included 2-cup adapter for espresso, measuring spoon