De'Longhi Rivelia review: one-minute review
Those looking for one of the best coffee makers are likely to be signing up for a fairly hefty machine that will dominate the countertop – or a far more simple filter or pod coffee machine.
In that sense, De'Longhi’s Rivelia is a much needed breath of fresh, coffee-scented air, and could provide the next generation of coffee-lovers with the best bean-to-cup coffee maker experience for their morning brew.
In general, it’s remarkably compact for a coffee machine, let alone a bean-to-cup model, and it comes with a 0.74 gallon / 200ml removable milk carafe, a 1.4L water tank and two 250g bean hoppers, allowing you to easily swap out between different coffee beans.
Simply use the TFT screen and touch controls to navigate through the menu of 11 coffee options, as well as hot water and hot milk, make adjustments to coffee strength and type of froth, and let the machine’s smart Bean Adapt and LatteCrema Hot technology intelligently do the rest. Plus, you can store coffee preferences for up to four profiles, making it an excellent choice for a family or young professionals sharing a home.
Maintenance, too, is pretty straightforward as a result of simple cleaning, rinsing and descaling programs. Overall, then, the De’Longhi Rivela is easily the best bean-to-cup coffee maker I’ve ever tested.
De’Longhi Rivelia review: Price and availability
- Price: £749
- Availability: UK only, but will likely come to US/AU soon enough
The De’Longhi Rivelia is available for £749 from retailers such as Amazon, as well as from the De’Longhi website and regional retailers such as John Lewis in the UK. As of writing it’s not available in the US and Australia, but most De’Longhi products arrive abroad a little later, and I’d be very surprised if the Rivelia doesn’t release globally.
While it is pretty pricey, in terms of what it offers – from excellent, consistent results, compact and effective design, and a host of features and smart technologies – it’s a league above many of its competitors.
Nevertheless, it’s worth factoring in the ongoing cost of the machine. Depending on the water hardness in your area, the filter will need to be replaced every 2-3 months (£15.99), and the machine will need descaling once a month (EcoDecalk Descaler, 11.99 per 500ml bottle), which could set you back up to £76 per year.
De’Longhi Rivelia review: Design
- Slim and compact
- Comes with two bean hoppers
- 0.74 gallon / 200ml removable milk carafe is well-designed but fiddly to clean
Despite its slim design, the De'Longhi Rivelia comfortably packs in everything you need for your daily brew. Measuring just 15.1 x 9.6 x 16.9-inches / 38.5 x 24.5 x 43cm / (h x w x d) – gaining a couple of inches in width as a result of the 1.4L water tank – it’s actually pretty compact for a bean-to-cup coffee maker of this high quality. My review sample was the discrete black option, but it’s also available in grey, white and beige colorways, for those looking for a machine that’s a little more stand-out. Note that each color option arrives with matching bean hopper lids, too, which is a lovely touch.
On top of the machine is a slot for one of the two included 250g bean hoppers, whose metal ring surround is rotated to select the grind coarseness. You’ll also find the TFT screen and touch controls here.
The screen is bright and easy to read, requiring a firm press to select a drink; there’s no fear here of ending up with a drink you don’t want as a result of an accidental press. On either side of the screen are two buttons, for turning the power on and off, plus a profile selector, and milk and coffee menus. Barring the power button, however, you can use the screen for everything else – although the buttons are nice to have for people with larger fingers who might not want to play whack-a-menu with the touchscreen.
On the front of the machine sits an adjustable cup stand, the spout, and the removable, dishwasher-friendly 200ml / 0.74-gallon milk carafe, which neatly clicks into the front of the machine for easy maintenance. There’s also a movable built-in steam wand, and the carafe’s lid features a dial for choosing your milk frothiness or switching to the cleaning function.
The cup stand and spout can accommodate cups up to 5.3in / 13.5cm tall and 3.3in / 8.4cm deep. I have some pretty generously sized mugs in my kitchen, so I’d have welcomed a slightly deeper tray to avoid my coffee-making routine feeling like a balancing act, but it wasn’t too much of an issue.
Removing the drip tray is simple, as is disposing the grounds from the front of the machine for cleaning. Note, too, that there aren’t too many nooks and crannies to navigate – a welcome change from other bean-to-cups I’ve tested. Generally speaking, maintaining the Rivelia is easy enough, offering a good balance of manual and automatic cleaning; however, the milk carafe requires a little more TLC. While not unusual, it can be annoying at times.
De’Longhi Rivelia review: performance
- Fantastic results
- Four user profiles with ample customization options
- Bean Adapt and LatteCrema Hot technology make brewing a breeze
Following a super-quick and easy setup, the De’Longhi Rivelia proved a rapid, remarkable bean-to-cup machine, offering oodles of customization options and smooth, well-made coffee every time.
You can set up to four user profiles on the Rivelia, with each user able to customize their drinks just as they like them, choosing from five coffee strength settings.
It takes the machine just 30 seconds to heat up, and 35 seconds thereafter to pour a single espresso – so that’s just over one minute from bean to cup on its standard settings. It offers the option to use coffee grounds, too.
Personally, I didn’t feel the need to adjust the default settings to tweak the taste profile of my coffee; it was delicious. However, it’s super easy to do so. Simply tap the button below the menu item to open up the drinks settings, adjust to your preferences, and save. Now, whenever you make that drink with your user profile selected, the Rivelia will remember your preferences and make your drink exactly as you like it. For even more customization, you can tap the encircled “My” button in the settings menu. The machine will begin making your drink, and you can hit stop on both the milk and coffee to let the machine know exactly how much of each you’d like in your drink.
You can also make use of De'Longhi’s Bean Adapt technology by tapping the bean on the display and entering information about your coffee beans of choice. The Rivelia will then brew an espresso and recommend the best grind and temperature settings, allowing you to name and store the profile for future use – super helpful if you like to try a variety of beans and want to make use of the two hoppers included with the Rivelia.
In addition to the easily navigable menu, the TFT screen will also provide tips on brewing and milk, as well as a heads-up for maintenance – which were greatly appreciated by myself.
So, what about the results? Well, the Rivelia makes a mean espresso, that’s for sure. There’s a healthy, rich brown crema topping every shot, near-perfectly foamed milk with excellent microfoam, and every drink comes out at pretty much the perfect drinking temperature, erring on the warmer side rather than cold.
I was slightly less impressed with the hot water settings; note that the machine can only heat water to 176°F / 80°C , which isn’t quite hot enough to properly brew most black teas. For Brits, this will be less of an issue since many of us use kettles to boil water; but overseas, where this is less common, properly brewed tea remains just out of reach. The LatteCrema Hot milk frother heats full-foam milk to 140°F / 60°C.
As a regular iced-latte drinker, I also attempted to make cold drinks in the Rivelia – note I have fairly high standards in this department. I chose to have my drink “extra cold” when prompted by the machine (made using ten cubes of ice) and I was super impressed by how well the machine tackled making the beverage to the right strength and flavor in accordance with the volume of ice.
All in all, the Rivelia is a fabulous bean-to-cup coffee maker; it’s a machine I won’t be replacing in a hurry. Whether you’re a coffee nerd or just need consistent, tasty results, it’s an excellent choice.
Should I buy?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
How I tested
- I tried most of the drink options on the menu
- I set up the Bean Adapt function and tested the LatteCrema Hot technology
- I adjusted my beverage preferences
To test the De'Longhi Rivelia, I used my usual coffee beans (a gorgeous Monsoon Malabar from Whittards in the UK) and tried to make a variety of hot drinks from the machine’s menu.
I adjusted my preferences of these drinks, as well as trying out the default settings, measuring both the temperature and quality of the resulting drinks.
I’ve been testing home appliances for two years, but I grew up with a real coffee aficionado for a father and now date a coffee nerd. It’s like they follow me. I try to approach each test with a different coffee drinker in mind; casual drinkers like myself, burgeoning baristas and the ultimate brew masters.