If you’re not interested in the perfect espresso recipe but are enjoy a good coffee worthy of the best coffees without studying for a “barista mastery”, this espresso machine from Cecotec could be your ideal candidate.
This is a A basic espresso machine but with the potential to become the queen of your kitchen both for the coffee it prepares and for its aesthetics. We tested the Cafelizzia 790 Steel Pro extensively and here is our experience.
The Cecotec coffee machine is interesting for those who who yearn for coffee shop-worthy coffee, but without the hassle and options of more advanced models.. It is also a relatively compact model, ideal for small kitchens and designer kitchens due to its striking appearance.
What will you find in this guide?
Technical sheet Cecotec Cafelizzia 790 Steel Pro
If your home looks like something out of an IKEA brochure, you might have found your soul mate with this coffee maker. Because What we like the most is its aesthetics.It is relatively compact (for an espresso model) and has a design that oscillates between retro and industrial.
He is “nicknamed” Steel because its chassis is an attractive metallic gray color. reminiscent of the stainless steel of machines, but beware: it is actually plastic.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Stainless steel is the material of choice in the food industry due to its high resistance to acids, corrosion and durability. But if it were made entirely of steel, it would be much more expensive. The plastic exterior looks great and is sturdy enough for everyday use..
Also, not everything is plastic: pipes, filters, vaporizer, drip trays and drip trays are all steel. and rightly so, because they will have to withstand the passage of very hot water and/or coffee.
Attractive retro and industrial design
Aesthetically, the most striking feature of the coffee machine is its needle pressure gauge, as if it were a machine from yesteryear. In an era where everything is moving towards voice control and touch screens, Cecotec opts for analog to give a retro touch to its coffee maker..
And it works. Although this is the case, its function is rather aesthetic rather than checking the pressure of the coffee machine, as there are no numbers to quantify it.
While the super-automatic models – where you don’t have to worry about much – are bulky, this coffee machine has more modest dimensions. which will fit best in most apartments.
You will of course have to worry more often about refilling the water tank. And the cups that fit either in the cup holder or under the spout are small or medium. Because even if the spout has two outlets, which makes it possible to prepare two coffees at the same time.You must be careful to place the cups correctly so that they fit and the coffee does not spill out.
We have been We were a little disappointed with the finish and the tank attachment mechanism.The tank is a bit clunky. In its favor, you can fill it either by approaching a jug and opening the lid, or by taking it out and putting it under the tap.
If you like your coffees frothy, you’ll appreciate the included foam nozzle on one side, perfect for both. for cappuccinos as well as for heating milk or water for infusions.. However, it is rather small and you can only turn it slightly which limits your ability to operate it.
A quality portafilter with a trick
One of the best-designed parts of this coffee machine is the portafilter.. It consists of a robust and ergonomic plastic handle and a steel head. Inside you have space to place the two included filters, one if you only want to make one cup of coffee and a double filter to make two.
The website The adjustment mechanism between the portafilter and the brew group is a little stiff.You will therefore need more dexterity than strength to position it correctly. As it is a rather small and light coffee machine, it is easy to move it around a bit despite the presence of four suction cups at the base.
As to control couldn’t be simplerAll it takes is four buttons with a screen-printed icon and a wheel, so even if you’ve never touched a coffee machine before, you can turn it on and brew coffee in minutes.
Although it comes with an instruction book, it is so easy to use that if you’re unfamiliar with these little devices, you won’t even need to open the manual.
On the top of the coffee maker, you will find the typical on/off button, two buttons to make you one or two coffees and finally the button to activate the frother. So far everything is normal. But there is a “trick” to it.
When the button is on solid, you can press it (for example, to make a coffee), but if it is flashing, it means that it is in progress and not responding, which happens when you press it. switch on and that it is in the initial preheating phase or when it is preparing a coffee.
This on paper, because in practice it happens that the coffee maker buttons remain flashing and the coffee maker does not respond, It’s blocked. This happens once in a while, for example when you use the frother for a while and the machine gets so hot that it needs a few minutes to cool down. In an extreme case, turn it off, unplug it, and turn it back on.
Once you take it out of the box and remove the protective plastic, getting started is quite simple and quick. All you have to do is fill the tank with water, which you can do either by opening the lid and using a jug or bottle, or by taking it out and putting it under the tap.
A word of advice: although you can use tap water, it is advisable to avoid clogs to use low mineral content water, whether mineral or filtered through a Brita or similar.
Bearing in mind that this is a novelty and that it does not have a self-cleaning system.It’s worth pressing the button to make a coffee or two the first time you turn it on (you don’t even have to put coffee in it) so that water circulates through the circuits to clean them .
From this moment, he is ready to act.
Since this coffee maker does not grind coffee, the starting point is ground coffee. So you have two options: either you buy it ground, or, if you want it to lose as little of its organoleptic properties as possible, you get a grinder and grind it on the spot.
Then place the filter according to the number of cups you are going to prepare: the small one if you only want one coffee, or the double for two. Why install two filters instead of one and give the user the possibility to fill it less?
For convenienceIf you fill the filter with the included coffee press and press it lightly, you will get good coffee, not too concentrated or watery. However, if you like your coffee strong, you can always choose to use the double filter and make just one coffee.
The Cafelizzia 790 Steel Pro heats the water thanks to the Thermoblock system in about 40 seconds and has a pressure of 20 bars (theoretical) to prepare the coffee.
And it shows: you have a coffee ready in about a minute with intensity, body and foam superior to that which you would obtain with a traditional capsule coffee machine. And much better than many cafes.
Coffee ready at the push of a button
If you like coffee and want to discover all its secrets, this coffee machine will soon be too small for you.It only lets you play with the filters or change the amount of water used per coffee, but you can’t change the operating temperature or the strength of the coffee with any degree of precision and repeatability.
But if you’re not interested in a life as a barista, you can. make a good coffee without worrying with questions of pressure, temperature or degree of grinding.
In addition to black coffee, with this coffee maker you can also Make your own lattes or cappuccinos. thanks to its aerator. And if you just want to heat water for an infusion, you can do that too. But be patient: it takes some time to heat the milk or water, it is clear that this is a basic steamer.
Your steamer is small, works well and you can turn it 90 degrees. to proceed comfortably, therefore, you will have to limit yourself to moving the jug with the milk in vertical movements up and down for a few minutes. But it’s so slow and basic that you’ll find it a bit sluggish if you make coffee frequently.
Maintenance and cleaning
The website The attractive mirrored metal-effect exterior of this coffee machine comes at a priceIt’s a real fingerprint magnet, so you’ll soon see greasy fingerprints smeared on the surface.
Fortunately, external cleaning is as simple as possibleJust use a dry or slightly damp cloth and wipe down a few times to get an impeccable result. Likewise, removing the cup tray with the lower reservoir is a breeze, allowing you to wipe up coffee drips and residue that fall out with use.
If you use the frother to heat or froth milk, we recommend that you immediately put it in a glass of water to rinse it out so that no residue remains. For the exterior, you can again use a damp cloth.
A bit cumbersome to clean
The worst part of cleaning this coffee machine is the portafilter and its filter.Every time you make coffee you will have to take it out, remove the filter and use the metal tube to remove the grounds, a task which, without being particularly complicated, will take a few precious minutes to clean with water. Then you will need to dry it before using it again.
For us it is the main handicap of this coffee machineIt makes pretty good coffees, but having to spend time cleaning it each time it’s used doesn’t make it, say, the best choice as a daily coffee maker for people who wake up just in time before work.
Finally, remember that Limestone in the water can clog the pipes.You will therefore have to buy a water softener from time to time to clean it from the inside. However, you can also opt for the addition of a good shot of vinegar for descaling at home.
Conclusions and prices
There is a whole world around coffee: the fascination for taste and its nuances, the “need” for a dose of caffeine and, why not, also a bit of posture. If you like coffee, you are looking for something more authentic than the capsules but you don’t want to complicate things or invest in an expensive and bulky super-automatic, this Cafelizzia 790 Steel Pro is a good candidate.
With this coffee machine, you don’t have to learn the recipe for real espresso, just fill the filter with your favorite ground coffee (or get a good coffee grinder to grind it yourself), Press a button and place a cup or two underneath..
In this sense, you cannot adjust parameters such as the temperature, the strength of the coffee or the grind, but between heating the water to the right temperature, the high pressure to which the infusion is subjected and the fact whether the filters are dosed for one or two cups, the result is a very good quality espresso. A good coffee whose body, aroma and foam have nothing to envy to those of many coffees..
That’s right, This is not a coffee machine to learn the secrets of espresso or to use every day unless you have the time.because it is expensive to clean and you will have to clean it every time you use it.
But if you want to make yourself a good coffee from time to time and Italian or capsule coffee machines are not enough for you, here is a coffee maker that will allow you to stands out for its ease of use and aesthetics.. Because it is a relatively compact coffee machine that catches the eye, ideal for designer homes.
Given the quality of their coffees, we believe that their value for money is adequate. However, it’s time to compare it with similar performance espresso machines to see where they stand in the market.
Cecotec has in its product portfolio a few coffee machines with similar features that you might be interested in. If, for example, you prefer a model with a more modern, larger and more automated aestheticthe semi-automatic Power Instant-ccino 20 Chic (see price) is an alternative to consider. However, in this case you will have to spend more money, and it lacks a frother in favor of a tank for heating milk independently.
If you prefer to pay less and prefer a more classic designthe Espresso Manual Power 20 (see price) is larger, but has the same working pressure and vaporizer. However, it is less powerful and lacks the Thermoblock heating system, so expect more modest results.
Outside the catalog of the Valencian company we find the De’longhi Dedica (see price), a coffee machine with an equally industrial and compact aesthetic and with very similar characteristics. In addition to paying for the brand (a real institution in this world), this model is made of stainless steel and has a more complete steamer..
Another alternative from a reference brand is the Krups Virtuoso (see price), a coffee machine with a very careful design and quality, a little more compact and powerful with which you can prepare coffee from ground coffee and capsules. She is, if you go for that more premium design and higher performanceyou will have to pay almost twice as much.
Similar in price is the Gaggia RI8423 (see price), a classic brand well known to coffee drinkers. In his favour, great design and so easy to use than the Cafelizzia, although its performance in terms of power, tank or operating pressure is lower.
Advantages and disadvantages
Comparison with other espresso machines
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