Many people are used to considering drip coffee-makers as a device for making “whatever” beverage for those who are used to large cups of relatively weak coffee or just want to have an opportunity to sip something (not necessarily coffee) without hurrying while sitting at the monitor. A similar situation we see in nearby European countries: just visit Finland or Estonia – and you will see a lot of drip coffee makers, from which you will be poured “coffee” in cafes or even in regular stores. The quality of this drink in most cases is significantly below average. Why does this happen? As usual, there are two reasons: failure to observe the proportions of coffee and water (the coffee is often poured less than it should be), as well as failure to observe the temperature regime (most budget drip coffee makers are rather negligent about the temperature of the water in the filter).
The hero of our review today – drip coffee maker De’Longhi Clessidra ICM17210 – pretends to be a “professional” device, so both temperature control and other important parameters should be on top. Let’s check whether this is in fact the case.
|Type||drip coffee maker|
|Country of manufacture||China|
|Case Material||glass, metal, plastic|
|Body Color||black, metallic|
|Jug volume||1,25 л|
|Auto shut off||available|
|Indicators||of the selected mode|
|More||Two coffee preparation modes|
|Dimensions (W×HW×G)||22.5×38×33.5 cm|
|Mains cable length||1 м|
* Contrary to popular misconception, this is not a deadline after which the device will necessarily break down. However, after this period, the manufacturer ceases to bear any responsibility for its performance and has the right to refuse to repair it, even for a fee.
The coffee machine comes in a large cardboard box, decorated in the De’Longhi corporate style: the main color – black, additional – dark blue, full color printing, high quality photos.
On the side edges you can get acquainted with the main features of the device and its key advantages. The information is presented in several languages, including Russian.
After opening the box, inside we found:
- The coffee maker itself with the lid.
- jug with filter
- filter stand
- measuring spoon
- Instructions and printed materials
At first glance
Upon meeting the coffee machine makes more than a worthy impression. The eye pleases literally everything: the original design, reminiscent of an hourglass (clessidra is exactly how it is translated in Russian), and the materials used, and the quality of the device assembly. It is pleasant to take the device in your hands, pleasant to deal with it, and pleasant to start using it. Let’s take a closer look at it.
The main materials from which the coffee maker is made are glass (reservoir and jug), plastic (body) and metal. The design of the coffee machine is far from the standard, familiar to those who are used to using budget drip coffee makers. There are several significant differences, but the main one is the presence of a special glass reservoir for heating water (it is located in the upper part of the device)
The glass water container is graduated from 250 to 1250 ml, duplicated “in cups” – from 2 to 10 cups. There is also a sticker on it, according to which the coffee maker is approved by an organization called the European Coffee Brewing Centre. This is a good sign: most likely, our device in this way confirms its compliance with some standards.
This is what the appliance looks like on the back.
The water container closes with a plastic lid that has a handy two-finger grip and holes for releasing excess steam.
Let’s look inside the tank. Here we see the metal bottom, under which there is a hidden heating element. In the center is the filter screen, through which the water will flow. On the left side is the temperature control sensor.
The glass jug for the finished drink is also graduated from 2 to 10 cups. The plastic lid of the jug is hinged with a small tab on the handle. The lid itself has holes for water. Why are they there? The thing is that the brewing unit with filter and coffee in our coffee maker is installed directly in the jug, and water will flow through these holes.
This is what the appliance looks like assembled – with the jug and brewing unit installed.
And this is what the “shower” looks like, from which the hot water will come. As we can see, there are five holes at once, which should provide the most even spillage.
The brewing unit of our coffee maker looks more or less standard. It is a plastic cone with a hinged plastic handle. At the bottom there is a hole for coffee delivery. There is no reusable filter in the set, so you have to immediately stock up on standard paper filters of size 1×4.
To store the filter, the coffee maker has a special plastic holder. Also there is a measuring spoon for ground coffee in the kit.
In the lower part there is a heating element, with the help of which the temperature of the drink will be maintained. Under it there are two control buttons, corresponding to the two modes.
At the bottom we see rubber feet that prevent slipping, as well as stickers with technical information and model number.
The jug can be placed the only way – with the spout forward (there is a special recess on the body for it). In the lower part of the body, above the heating pad, there is a button that interrupts the water supply if the jug is not in place or is installed incorrectly.
Well, let’s try making coffee and see what our coffee maker can do.
The coffee machine comes with an owner’s manual and a warranty booklet. We are primarily interested, of course, in the manual.
It is a black and white A5 size brochure printed on high quality matte paper. In spite of the fact that the brochure looks quite weighty, there are only four pages of Russian, plus a few pages of illustrations at the beginning.
Having studied them, however, we found answers to almost all the questions we were interested in, concerning the operation and care of the device.
Our coffeemaker has two modes, corresponding to fast and slow pouring of water. Each of the modes is activated by a different button: one has water jets, the other – drops. The manufacturer calls them buttons “high quality” and “saturated” brewing, which, in our opinion, is not an intuitive wording (and saturated is not such a high quality?).
After starting the selected mode, the corresponding button begins to illuminate in white. The start and end of the coffee machine is accompanied by a non-switching sound signal (a loud beep).
Before using the coffee maker for the first time, the manufacturer recommends pouring the water twice in the coffee preparation mode, and then proceed directly to making a drink. In the instructions, the manufacturer informs about what parameters are important when making drip coffee. These are:
- Water temperature in the range of 92 to 96 degrees
- brewing time from 4 to 6 minutes
- The correct ratio of coffee to water (7.5 g per 125 ml)
It must be said that our coffee maker is significantly different from most budget models. The process of brewing coffee here follows fundamentally different rules.
What are the means to reach the optimal parameters? Unlike budget coffee makers, which start pouring almost as soon as the first portion of water is heated, our Clessidra first heats the entire volume of water, and only then begins pouring. The pouring time can be adjusted: the built-in valve can open and close the water supply in the desired mode.
Of course, this method increases the brewing time. However, it is worth it. Compliance with all sorts of standards and GOSTs is important.
Moreover, our coffee maker controls the water temperature not only when it starts serving, but also during the brewing process: if the water in the tank has time to cool down, the device will turn on heating for a few seconds until it reaches the optimal temperature.
The user thus has only to choose the most suitable grind. The unit will do the rest for him in automatic mode.
What nuances and peculiarities have we noticed in this design? The coffeemaker will heat water about as an ordinary kettle, as well as quite loudly clicking the valve that opens/closes the water supply. When it is finished, you will hear a beep, after which the device will go into the mode of heating the drink for 40 minutes. You can deactivate this mode by pressing the button.
We liked the solution with the funnel, which is installed directly in the jug, but there are nuances: to pour the coffee into the cup, you have to remove the plastic holder with the spent coffee and place it on a special stand. On the one hand, this is good: in this way the user will get used to get rid of spent coffee immediately (we all know how great the temptation is to leave it in the coffee maker until the next time). On the other hand, sometimes you just want to drink your coffee and not bother with spent filters.
Finally, let’s say a few words about the design. It certainly looks great… But while making coffee, both the upper flask and the lower jug will fog up almost immediately. This does not look terrible at all, but it is not so stylish.
The rules of care of the device are simple: the water tank and the body of the coffee maker can be wiped with a cloth, the jug can be washed under running water with a mild detergent.
The coffee maker also has a special decalcification mode that is triggered by pressing two buttons at the same time. Decalcification should be performed as needed. The manufacturer recommends using a special descaler for this purpose.
We have measured the main parameters that characterize the operation of the coffee machine.
First of all, we were interested in such characteristics as power consumption and temperature at different stages of coffee making.
Measurements showed that the power of the appliance corresponds to the declared power: 1702 watts on the wattmeter with the declared power up to 1800 watts.
The appliance uses 0.144 kWh to make a standard serving (full pitcher) of coffee. With 40 minutes of heating, the power consumption increases to 0.16-0.17 kWh.
Speaking of drip coffee makers, in the “practical tests” section we evaluate the data we obtained and consider them in terms of deviation from the standards.
To be able to judge objectively, we turned, as usual, to the recommendations of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Recall that the ideal coffee in a drip coffee maker, according to these recommendations, will be obtained if the weight of water is about 15 times the weight of the coffee.
It is not difficult to calculate that our coffee maker would require 83 grams of ground coffee per 1,250 ml of water. However, some roasters recommend sticking to the proportion of 60 grams of coffee per liter of water. If you count in this way, then a full jug will be enough for 75 grams of ground coffee. Well, the same SCAA can recommend even less – 55 g per liter. De’Longhi recommends in the manual to follow the proportion of 7.5 g per 125 ml, on which we decided to stop.
The grind for a drip coffee maker is coarse. Before you start brewing, it is recommended to pour a small amount of hot water through a paper filter to remove the possible taste of paper. Note that the smaller the volume of coffee to be brewed, the more important it is not to skip this step. If you make two liters of coffee, it is difficult to feel the paper flavor, but if you make 1-2 cups, the foreign taste may be more than noticeable.
As for the temperature of the water to be served, it should reach a minimum of 92°C and not rise above 96°C throughout the cooking process. We placed a dipstick-thermometer in the water tank, and found that coffee brewing begins when the water temperature reaches 97 °C. Obviously, 2-3 degrees can safely be written off as losses, so we can say that our “hourglass” is one hundred percent up to standard.
The coffee pitcher must maintain the temperature of the beverage at no less than 80°C and no more than 85°C. In our case, the water temperature in the pitcher immediately after brewing was 80 °C, but subsequently dropped to 76 °C. Not ideal, but quite drinkable.
Well, let’s proceed directly to the testing.
Full jug, fast spill mode
We poured 75 grams of ground coffee into the filter, poured 1.25 liters of water into the water tank, and started the first mode (quick spill).
The coffee was ground just before brewing. We chose quite a coarse grind – as it is necessary for a drip coffee maker.
It took our coffeemaker 4 minutes and 28 seconds to preheat the water. When the stopwatch read 9:30, the water was almost finished, and at 9:55, the machine beeped to signal the end of the brewing process. All we had to do was wait for the rest of the coffee to drain out of the filter into the jug.
The brewing time was 5-5.5 minutes this way.
As we can see, our coffee maker hit exactly the recommended range not only in temperature, but also in pouring time. For this purpose, the appliance paused the water supply a couple of times during the brewing process and heated up the water several times as it cooled down.
All this had a very positive effect on the taste of the drink: the coffee was exactly what we wanted. The temperature of the freshly brewed coffee was 84°C.
This is what the spent coffee looks like right after it’s finished.
Full jug, slow shedding mode
What about the second mode? How is it different from the first? It turns out that the slow pour-over mode pauses the water supply about 12 times, thereby increasing the total brew time to 11 minutes and 48 seconds.
The brewing time thus increases to 7 minutes, which cannot but affect the taste and strength of the coffee: the finished beverage is richer and stronger.
Thus, the user has a choice – it is possible to cook on either of the two modes, depending on their own taste preferences.
What if you don’t take a full jug, but a smaller one? How would the shedding time change?
We took 500 ml of water and made coffee on the first and then on the second mode. It turned out that in this case it took 2 minutes and 10 seconds to heat the water, and 2:15 for the first mode and 3:55 for the second mode.
The finished drink turned out quite adequate, but not as deliciously full-bodied as a full pitcher. From which we draw the obvious conclusion: in our coffee maker, if possible, you should cook a full portion of the drink.
We certainly liked the De’Longhi Clessidra ICM17210 drip coffee maker. We didn’t find a single complaint about the appliance in terms of convenience, water temperature, or pouring time. Clessidra confidently complied with all standards, and therefore – not for nothing – was approved by the European Coffee Brewing Centre. This device was a head above absolutely all budget drip coffee makers. That’s why we consider the rather high price of the device to be more than adequate.
What about the disadvantages? There are not many of them: the user will have to get used to not the most standard arrangement of the filter, as well as learn not to pay attention to the clicks and beeps that are not switched off. That’s probably all.
- elegant design
- Precise temperature control
- fast and slow brewing methods
- loud clicks and beeps
- You have to remove the filter first to pour the coffee