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De’Longhi Motivo review

Our Rating :
£279.00 from
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT

It's incredibly cheap and the coffee's not terrible, but spend a little more and you'll get much better espresso

Who said that espresso machines had to be expensive? At just £90, the De’Longhi Motivo shows that you can make proper coffee on practically any budget.

Of course, at this price, corners have to be cut somewhere and the plastic Motivo looks every bit a budget machine. It’s available in a variety of colours including yellow, red and white, but it’s fair to say that it looks better in pictures than it does in the flesh.

De'Longhi Motivo Available in four different colours, the Motivo doesn’t look quite so exciting in the flesh

We put the Motivo through its paces, making espresso from freshly ground beans. The light-weight group handle £90 will take both ground coffee (for one or two shots of espresso) and ESE pods without having to change filters.

De’Longhi has built the tamper into the machine. It means that you’ll never lose it, but you’ll also have to delicately manoeuver the group handle underneath the machine to get the tamper onto the coffee. A separate tamper is a better option, in our opinion.

Using the espresso machine couldn’t be easier. A dial lets you choose to heat the machine to hot water or steam temperature (there’s a single boiler, as you’d expect at this price) and an indicator light lets you know when the machine is ready. There’s no cup warmer, so you may want to pour hot water through the machine into your cups first.

There’s room for mugs of up to 90mm tall, although you can probably get slightly taller cups in if you tilt them under. That should mean that you can get away using all of your current mugs, which is particularly handy if you want to make longer drinks, such as Americanos.

When you’re ready for coffee, you just need to click the group handle filled with coffee into position and turn the dial to activate the pump. Our two espresso shots poured through with decent flow and the crema wasn’t bad for such a cheap machine. This is partly down to the group handle’s built-in crema device, which is designed to enhance the pour and give you professional-looking coffee.

On close inspection, the crema isn’t bad. It’s good good colouring, with a reddish-brown appearance and just enough thickness. However, it’s a little bubbly where the coffee pours in and doesn’t have quite the smooth and oily texture we’d expect. Measuring the temperature, we found the coffee was 68C, which is a little hot.

De'Longhi Motivo The espresso’s not bad, but the crema is a little bubbly in places

Taste wise the espresso had a hint of bitterness, but it was a little weak with a slightly watery taste. We’ve seen worse, but it’s not the rich espresso that we’d expect.

We also tried making a latte, using the steam wand. Surprisingly, for such a cheap machine, there’s a tap on top, so you can control the flow of steam to help regulate the type of milk you want.

Unfortunately, this is tempered slightly by the small steam nozzle, which means that you can’t get the wand deep into the milk. Although the milk heats up relatively quickly, it means that the wand is always just below the surface, so you end up with a lot of foam, making pouring drinks a little bit harder.

De'Longhi Motivo It’s easy to make foam that has large bubbles, because the short steam wand won’t reach the bottom of most jugs

Foam quality wasn’t too bad, although the small wand can mean it’s hard to keep the nozzle under the surface, which means you end up with bigger bubbles. We’d have preferred more control over how the milk was heated and the amount of foam, but overall the results aren’t too bad.

Maintenance is pretty easy, with a 1L water tank at the back, which you can easily remove to fill at the tap; you can just pour water directly into if you prefer. Removing coffee grounds from the filter is a bit trickier as even with the lock mechanism folded over, it has a tendency to fall out of the group handle.

De'Longhi Motivo You can remove the water reservoir, or fill it in situ

For just £90, the De’Longhi Motivo isn’t too bad, producing shots of espresso with decent crema. However, taste is a bit watery and the small wand is a bit annoying, meaning we’d rather spend more money and buy the Philips Saeco Poemia or Gaggia Gran Prestige.


Dimensions (HxWxD)320x220x270mm
Maximum mug height90mm
Water resevoir capacity1L
Pump pressure15 bar
Cup warmer?No
Milk frothingYes (steamer wand)
Number of boilers1
Coffee typeGround, ESE pods
WarrantyOne year RTB
Part CodeECC220.W

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