The fact that we tend to do most of our product testing waaaaay past midnight should be some indication of the amount of coffee that is consumed here at Test Pit Towers. Recently we got back to basics with the COFFEEASY pour-over brewing kit, but recently we've allowed our love of technology to blend with our passion for good quality coffee. We review the Autentica Cappuccino Bean-to-Cup Coffee machine from De'Longhi.
Fortunately we did (for a time, anyway) which allowed us to get to grips with a machine which will take whole coffee beans, water and milk and turn them into a delicious and potent beverage in mere seconds. This was the first bean-to-cup machine we have tested, and at first we were a little sceptical about just how well the grinding process would work - what with us being awful snobs when it comes to the grind of our beans. Thankfully our fears were set aside on the first go, and after hitting the 'Doppio+' button on the control panel, the beans were ground, the water was pulled through the optional filter (our water, like our people, is pretty hard here in Yorkshire... something confirmed by the included litmus paper test kit), and out dribbled a very fine double espresso. Thick crema, good aroma, and a very full-bodied taste immediately changed out opinion of bean-to-cup machines.
With the addition of the included milk reservoir the De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino is ready for just that; to make a cappuccino. The removable milk holder allows you to set the amount of foam in your drink, before you then browse the system's milk menu. Caffelatte, flat white, and Latte Macchiato are all available, allowing you to personalise your beverage before the machine makes it. Our favourite quickly became the flat white option with the smallest amount of foam - a truly creamy drink in which the flavour of the milk didn't overpower the actual coffee.
Although not an option we would typically go for, the 'Long Coffee' button produces a cup akin to the American filter coffee. The De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino actually reduces the pressure and prolongs the brewing time to make this drink, and should a nice, slightly less potent, cup of Joe be your tipple, you're well served by this option.
In terms of setting this thing up, both the water reservoir and bean holder are accessible from the top (although due to its size we found getting the water tank in and out a tad tricky), while the milk canister simply pops off from the front, allowing easy cleaning. The bean grinder itself can be easily yanked out of the side and cleaned - something essential to do once in a while (and also if you are changing the type of beans). We were very happy to see that the drip tray (a thing that will require draining at least once a day due to the Autentica Cappuccino's rinsing process before every drink) and grounds dispenser were linked - one pull and you can clear both the waste water and the spent coffee.
So for an all-in-one machine that will actually preserve the flavour of the beans you put into it, the De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino is perfect.