Diletta Bello Review – Is This E61 Espresso Machine Worth Considering?

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There are several good options if you’re in the market for an entry-level prosumer machine, including the Rocket Appartamento and the Rancilio Silvia Pro X. The Diletta Bello is another machine aimed at the entry-level prosumer market, but how does this newer machine differ from its rivals, and does it offer similar value for money, user-friendliness and performance?

This Diletta Bello review article examines the machine and compares it against some of its rivals to ascertain how well it stands up again similar espresso machines in the price category.

What Sets The Diletta Bello Apart From The Others?

Summary

Diletta Bello

An well-built, elegant Heat Exchanger machine with E61 group.

As a prosumer-level machine, Diletta Bello is in the lower price range but comparable to the popular Rocket Appartamento in many areas.

See On SeattleCoffeeGear

Overall, it is a well-built E61 heat exchanger with a solid, premium feel that offers a satisfying user experience. Not only that, but it creates beautiful espresso when used correctly. It is also in the lower price range for an entry-level prosumer machine.

The Diletta brand is part of the in-house brand of Seattle Coffee Gear, so you can expect excellent customer service, and any issues can be fixed directly in the US. This can save lots of issues when contacting the manufacturer.

Diletta Bello Espresso Machine Review

Design And Build Quality

The Diletta Bello Espresso Machine has a build quality akin to other entry-level E61 espresso machines. As well as the high-quality casing that comes in polished stainless steel, powder-coated white, or powder-coated black, the machine is replete with premium-looking finishes, including a beautiful wooden-handled tamper. The machine is also compact, with dimensions of 11in W x 14.5in H x 17.75in D, while another nice touch is the hinged lid on top of the water reservoir.

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There is a standardized group head, single and double-spouted 58mm portafilters, and a sturdy 1.8l stainless steel boiler. There are other useful touches, too, including a low water level indicator and an unusual, handy dual-pressure gauge that measures both the boil and the pump pressure.

Plenty of thought has also gone into the vibration pump, which is quieter than on other espresso machines as it is positioned on rubber mounts. That will come as a blessing to anyone who wants to make espresso at times when others in the household are sleeping.

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There are a couple of quibbles, including the plastic knob on the brew lever and the plastic stoppers in the pressure gauge, which cheapens the look slightly. Also, the metal on the rails beneath the drip tray has a slightly rough finish, but overall the quality and design of the Diletta espresso machines can hold their own alongside any of its competitors. As if to underscore the quality of the Diletta machines, each machine is also hand-built in Milan, Italy.

Meanwhile, there is also a two-year warranty for peace of mind.

User Friendliness

One of the big advantages of the Diletta Bello is the comparatively huge water reservoir which measures 3l – fully half a liter to one liter more than similar-sized machines. E61 machines often use considerable amounts of water quickly, so having the extra capacity immediately leads to a more convenient workflow.

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There are other advantages too. For example, the machine allows you to brew and steam simultaneously. At the same time, there is a no-burn steam arm on the front (along with a hot water arm), which tells us that plenty of thought has gone into ensuring the user experience is as safe and convenient as possible.

Another area that indicates the manufacturers have considered the user is the 3.5in cup space which offers enough room for a shot glass and a coffee scale.

Lastly, the knobs on the machine are easy to grip.

However, due to the simplicity of the design, you won’t have things like a shot timer and other bells and whistles.

Brewing Performance

Of course, regardless of user-friendliness and build quality, the machine also needs a high-quality brewing performance. Thankfully, for its relatively low cost, it does not disappoint. The machine offers 9 bars of pressure, which is ideal for making espresso, while it will heat up in around 15 minutes – standard for E61 espresso machines of this ilk. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to allow the machine to sit for a while once heated to normalize the temperature. Also, consider purging the machine for a few seconds before use to ensure a consistent temperature.

One area where you will need to experiment is finding the correct temperature because there is no PID control. However, overall you can expect to make beautiful shots with a little practice.

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Milk Steaming Performance

Thanks to the two-hole steam tip on the no-burn steam wand, the Diletta Bello espresso machine can generate beautiful silky smooth textured milk foam good enough for latte art. Of course, to master this technique, you will need to practice. Still, with time and experience, there is no reason why the Diletta Bello won’t be able to serve you beautiful milk-based espresso drinks, including cappuccino, latte and flat white as good as those you would expect to find in your local coffee outlet.

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Diletta Bello Accessories

The Diletta Bello espresso machine comes with high-quality, largely stainless steel accessories, including single and double portafilters (depending on whether you want to pull single or double shots), a group brush for cleaning, and three portafilter baskets – a single, a double, and a blind basket for backflushing. Meanwhile, there is also an extremely classy-looking tamper with a beautiful wooden handle, which is also available with another machine in the range, the Diletta Mio.

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Diletta Mio

Drawbacks

Drawbacks are few and far between. However, the lack of PID control means that temperature surfing is something you will need to carry out while using the machine.

Also, because it’s a heat exchanger machine, you won’t have the same control over the temperature brewing and steam pressure as you would expect from a dual boiler machine, which you may see as a drawback. Regardless, it is still considerably less expensive than dual boiler machines with other features, and can brew excellent shots.

Also read: Difference between Dual boiler and Heat Exchanger

Meanwhile, although the hinged lid at the top is desirable for many, domestic brewers with low cabinets could necessitate sliding the machine out from underneath them to open the water reservoir as it’s at the back of the machine.

The design is simple, meaning there is no digital control panel or shot timer and all the other features you may expect from a similar machine.

Value For Money

The Diletta Bello is a machine that does an excellent job for the price, even if it falls more on the side of no-frills than exceptional.

As an entry-level machine, the Diletta Bello is among the least expensive on the market. While it may lack some of the finesse of more expensive machines, including the Rocket Appartamento, it will still do an excellent job of brewing beautiful espresso when used correctly. However, it is also comparable to some of the more expensive machines in many areas, even at a lower cost.

Overall the Diletta Bello is an excellent option for anyone who has previously been priced out of the market by the more expensive machines but would still like the experience of producing good espresso using an E61 group head.

Summary

Diletta Bello

An well-built, elegant Heat Exchanger machine with E61 group.

As a prosumer-level machine, Diletta Bello is in the lower price range but comparable to the popular Rocket Appartamento in many areas.

See On SeattleCoffeeGear

Alternatives

Rocket Appartamento

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The Rocket Appartamento is one of the more popular machines in the prosumer-level range. It has many similarities in design, build quality, and performance to the Diletta Bello. However, the Rocket Appartamento has a higher-quality finish, although its brass boiler can lead to a build-up of limescale.

Like the Diletta Bello, there is no PID control or other notable features on the Rocket Appartamento. Meanwhile, it is also larger than the Diletta Bello, so it might not be as convenient if you have limited countertop space.

Rancilio Silvia Pro X

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The Rancilio Silvia Pro X has PID and dual boilers, making it an upgraded option for anyone serious about improving their espresso shots, user experience, and workflow. It also comes with auto shut-off, making it more energy efficient.

However, the machine uses a saturated group head instead of the iconic E61. So, while not necessarily inferior, it lacks the premium look of the E61 machines. Plus, there are more plastic parts.

Overall, the Rancilio Silvia Pro X is in a similar price category to the Diletta Bello, but while it has better performance, it is inelegant by comparison.

Our Verdict

The Diletta Bello is an excellent machine for anyone who would like to begin using an E61 but had previously been put off doing so by the extra expense they generally incur. In addition, it is significantly cheaper than its main competitor, the Rocket Apartamento. However, despite this, the machine still has a premium build quality is user-friendly and can produce excellent espresso.

Other advantages include the large water reservoir and relatively quiet vibration pump. Meanwhile, it still offers all the satisfaction of brewing espresso in a similar way to considerably more expensive machines.

There are some small issues with the machine, including the lack of PID control and cheaper build quality in some areas, including plastic on some parts. However, given its value for money, it is well worth considering if you’d like an E61 prosumer machine, but are on a tight budget.