DeLonghi Stilosa Vs. EC155: Which Espresso Machine Is Better?

Espresso lovers around the world have long debated the merits of the DeLonghi Stilosa versus the ever-popular EC155. These two affordable home espresso machines share similarities, yet have key differences that impact the espresso-making experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare and contrast the DeLonghi Stilosa and EC155 across critical categories to help you determine which model best fits your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureDeLonghi StilosaDeLonghi EC155
Price$180-250 USD$100-150 USD
Build QualityHigher-end materials like stainless steelMostly plastic construction
Ease of UseSelf-priming operationRequires manual priming
Espresso TasteRich, flavorful shotsGood espresso but not as crisp and clear
Milk FrothingPannarello wand, adequate performanceSame pannarello wand, mediocre frothing
DurabilityBetter reliability expectedProne to more wear and tear over time
Size9.5” x 8” x 12”Same dimensions
Warranty1 year1 year

Overview Of The DeLonghi Stilosa

The DeLonghi Stilosa is a sleek, compact espresso machine made by one of the most trusted names in home coffee equipment. It features a 15-bar professional pressure pump and a manual milk frother to produce rich, barista-quality coffee drinks.

DeLonghi Stilosa
DeLonghi Stilosa

Some standout qualities of the Stilosa include:

  • Sleek, modern design with stainless steel accents
  • Compatible with ground coffee or Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods
  • 15 bars of pressure for excellent espresso extraction
  • Manual steam wand for frothing milk
  • Removable 37 oz water tank for easy filling
  • Detachable drip tray to accommodate larger cups
  • Built-in cup warming tray on top

With its flexible brewing options, solid build quality, and attractive styling, the DeLonghi Stilosa presents a compelling option for espresso enthusiasts seeking an affordable semi-automatic machine.

Overview Of The DeLonghi EC155

The DeLonghi EC155 is one of the brand’s most popular entry-level pump espresso machines. It shares some similarities with the Stilosa but has a few unique attributes as well.

DeLonghi EC155
DeLonghi EC155

Key features of the EC155 include:

  • Compatible with ground coffee and ESE pods
  • 15-bar professional pressure
  • Manual steam wand and frothing pitcher
  • 35 oz removable water tank
  • Detachable drip tray
  • Self-priming operation

While it lacks the metal accents and built-in cup warmer of the Stilosa, the EC155 still delivers solid results and flexibility in a compact footprint. It’s an excellent choice for anyone new to home espresso making on a budget.

Now let’s do a detailed comparison of these two espresso models across the categories that matter most.

Brewing Flexibility

When it comes to brewing capabilities, the DeLonghi Stilosa and EC155 are evenly matched. Both machines can brew using ground coffee or ESE pods.

The portafilters on each model use a dual wall filter basket with pressurized portafilters. This helps optimize the brewing process and allows you to pull decent shots using pre-ground coffee.

One advantage of the Stilosa is that it comes with 2 separate filter baskets – one for ground coffee and one specifically for pods. The EC155 only includes a single 2-in-1 filter.

Overall, in terms of flexibility using either fresh grounds or pods, these two models are comparable. The brewing process and end result will be very similar no matter which method or machine you use.

Build Quality And Durability

When comparing the build quality of these two affordable espresso makers, the DeLonghi Stilosa does have a slight edge.

The Stilosa features a sleek exterior housing with stainless steel accents on the portafilter, steam wand, and tray. This gives it a more modern and elegant look compared to the all-plastic EC155.

Both models utilize mostly plastic components, which is expected for lower-cost home espresso machines. However, the Stilosa feels a bit more sturdy and durable than the EC155 when examining the heft and quality of parts.

Long-term owners generally report good reliability and longevity with both models when properly cleaned and maintained. But the Stilosa may have a longer lifespan thanks to its heavier-duty housing and components.

Ease Of Use

DeLonghi is known for making espresso machines that are accessible and easy to operate for beginners. The Stilosa and EC155 follow this tradition with straightforward, user-friendly interfaces.

Both models have simple brew buttons, steam wand toggles, and adjustable frothing knobs conveniently located on the front panel. The removable water tanks and drip trays allow for easy fill ups and cleaning.

One area where the Stilosa does have greater ease of use is that it automatically primes itself when powered up. The EC155 requires you to manually prime the machine each time you use it.

Overall though, the general operation, brewing process, and maintenance routines are very similar between the two models. Even novice users should have no trouble whipping up espresso-based drinks after reading the manual.

Temperature Stability

Precise temperature control is essential for pulling flavorful espresso shots. DeLonghi equipped both the Stilosa and EC155 with thermoblock heating systems to regulate water temperature.

The thermoblocks on these units are small, meaning the heating time from cold start up is only around one minute.

Some users note the EC155 can occasionally brew uneven or inconsistent shots, pointing to potential temperature variability. The Stilosa seems to maintain steady temp more often.

For the price though, both machines deliver good temperature stability. Using a thermometer to gauge output temperature is recommended to dial in proper brewing conditions.

Also Read: Differences Between Capresso And DeLonghi.

Milk Frothing Performance

A steam wand for frothing milk is important for making lattes and cappuccinos. The wands on the Stilosa and EC155 are nearly identical in performance.

Both wands use a pannarello attachment that automatically aerates milk. This makes frothing easy even for beginners. More advanced users may want to remove the pannarello for better foam quality.

The steam wands deliver adequate pressure and steaming power for frothing 8-10 oz of milk at a time. However, steaming larger volumes can decrease temperature of the milk.

Overall, you can expect mediocre but certainly usable frothing abilities from both machines. The results won’t match a prosumer device but are fine for the price.

Espresso Taste And Quality

When it comes to the all-important categories of taste and espresso quality, the DeLonghi Stilosa holds a slight lead over the EC155.

The combination of 15 bars of pressure, capable steaming performance, and solid temperature stability allows the Stilosa to produce rich, flavourful shots. The crema produced has an admirable creamy texture and caramel hue.

While the EC155 is capable of delivering good espresso, its brews may be a touch cooler and the crema not quite as smooth. Flavor clarity on the EC155 also falls a little short compared to the Stilosa.

Considering their affordable price tags, both machines punch above their weight in shot quality. But discerning taste buds will appreciate the Stilosa’s superior end product.

Size And Footprint

From a design and footprint perspective, the Stilosa and EC155 are nearly identical. Both measure around 9.5” wide x 8” deep x 12” tall.

The compact footprints allow them to fit nicely on tight kitchen counters while still offering a decent sized 37-40 oz water reservoir.

Neither model is equipped with a conical burr grinder, which helps keep the size modest. Overall, there’s not much difference when it comes to the shape and dimensions of these two espresso machines.

Pricing And Value

When considering the price and overall value proposition, the DeLonghi EC155 does maintain an advantage.

The EC155 typically retails between $100-150 USD, making it one of the most affordable home pump espresso machines on the market.

Meanwhile the Stilosa usually sells for $180-250 USD. The slightly higher price tag does reflect its more premium finish and performance. However, the EC155 remains the better bargain buy.

Both models represent good values at their price points and are recommended for shoppers on a budget. But if affordability is your primary concern, the economical EC155 can’t be beat.

Customer Reviews

Looking at buyer reviews provides helpful insight into real-world satisfaction with these espresso makers.

Owners of the Stilosa compliment its classy aesthetics, consistent brewing, and overall ease of use. Common complaints cite leaks, occasional temperature fluctuation, and fragile plastic components as weaknesses.

Meanwhile, EC155 reviews praise its uncomplicated operation, fast warm up time, and amazing value. Negative feedback focuses on its loudness during brewing and lack of metal housing components.

In summary, both machines earn strong satisfaction ratings considering their affordable price tags. The Stilosa satisfies those wanting robust brewing with some premium finishings, while the EC155 appeals to budget-focused newbies.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What pods are compatible with DeLonghi Stilosa?

The DeLonghi Stilosa is compatible with Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) coffee pods. These are pre-packed, single serve pods that contain 7 grams of ground espresso. Popular ESE pod brands that work with the Stilosa include Lavazza, Starbucks, Illy, and Cafe Bustelo among others.

Does the DeLonghi Stilosa take pods?

Yes, the DeLonghi Stilosa comes equipped to brew espresso using either loose ground coffee or ESE pod capsules. It includes a second filter basket specifically designed for pods. Simply insert an ESE pod into the filter, lock it into the group head, and run the brew cycle like normal.

What is stilosa?

Stilosa is a model name of an espresso machine made by the company DeLonghi. The DeLonghi Stilosa is a semi-automatic home espresso machine with a 15-bar pump and manual frothing wand.
It has a sleek, modern design with stainless steel highlights on the exterior housing. The Stilosa is compatible with both ground coffee and ESE pods.

Does DeLonghi Stilosa have pressurized portafilter?

Yes, the DeLonghi Stilosa uses a pressurized portafilter with two spouts. It contains a dual-wall filter basket that regulates pressure during extraction. This helps optimize the brewing process and allows the user to pull decent espresso shots using pre-ground coffee.
The pressurized portafilter is easy to use for beginners while also accommodating ground coffee for more control.

Also Read: Is Bones Coffee Better Than Death Wish?

The Verdict

When weighing all the critical considerations, the DeLonghi Stilosa emerges as the winner when compared head-to-head against the EC155.

The Stilosa’s higher-end finish, superior shot quality, and better long-term reliability make it our top overall pick between these two models.

However, the EC155 remains a fantastic option if you’re on a strict budget but want strong espresso-making abilities. It delivers an amazing experience for the money.

Hopefully this comprehensive comparison has provided clarity on which espresso machine best fits your needs and preferences. Both DeLonghi models are great values – but the Stilosa takes the lead if you can afford the higher investment.

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