The DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew is a summertime semi-automatic

Cool beans.

La Specialista Maestro Manual Coffee Machine with Cold Brew
DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Grinder
Stainless steel conical burr grinder
Pump pressure
19 bar
RRP
$1999
Fergus Halliday
Digital Content Editor
Read More
January 12, 2023
6 min read

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Quick verdict: DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew

The DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew is a comprehensive all-in-one option for home baristas who want lots of options but don't want to compromise on any of them. The hardware is as smart as it is slick, and the inclusion of cold brew sets it apart from the competition. It isn't cheap, but it is compelling.

pro
Pros
pro Cold brew and iced espresso
pro Integrated tamp
pro Sleek hardware design
con
Cons
con Finnicky settings
con Bean hopper is relatively small
con Quite pricey

Before you know what's worth spending extra on, you have to know what you're getting into. And once you've gotten into making home espresso, then the latest DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro is a coffee machine that you'll want to take a serious look at.

The DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro isn't built with newcomers in mind, but it's the perfect next step once you've got the basics down and the cash to spend on a more serious coffee-making appliance.

It's not the best place to start your journey with coffee machines, but it is a solid place to end up once you've got a good idea of what's involved and want to take the plunge on buying more serious hardware.

Delonghi Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew header

How much does DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew cost in Australia?

Equivalent to the price of 400 flat whites

In Australia, the DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew starts at a recommended retail price of $1,999.

While its not quite business-grade, the DeLonghi La Specialista Mestro coffee machine is pretty far from affordable and entry-level options like the Sunbeam Barista Max and the Dedica Arte. It's not as expensive as coffee machines can get, but its still a serious sum that you'll want to take closer look at before you commit to buying.

If you're sold on the DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine, it's also worth shopping around for the best deal. Check out the table below for a round-up of pricing for the latest DeLonghi Coffee Machine to hit Australian shores.

Store
Price
More info
Bing Lee
From
$1699
The Good Guys
From
$1799

DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew - Features and Design

Summertime twists and old favorites
Delonghi La Specialista Maestro with Cold brew design

The DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine With Cold Brew is exactly what it sounds like. It's a re-issue of the existing $1499 La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with a few cool new tricks.

To date, cold brew enthusiasts have typically been better served by smaller enthusiasts brands than big appliance makers like DeLonghi and Breville. As this style of coffee making has grown in popularity, its adoption by these bigger players in the coffee machine space has seemed less a matter of if than when.

To that end, the new La Specialista Maestro features a few extra settings on its brew dial. Alongside the usual suspects like latte and the like, you'll find both cold brew and iced espresso. The former is exactly what it sounds like, but the latter is a real treat. If you're not familiar with cold espresso, the first thing you'll want to know is that it's especially good as a cocktail ingredient. More than just teaching new tricks to an old coffee machine, these additions help the latest incarnation of the Maestro stand out from the crowd.

For now, at least, the La Specialista Maestro does things that the competition can't. And it doesn't hurt that it looks as good as it does while doing it.

As far as consumer-grade coffee machines go, the Maestro is probably one of the nicest pieces of espresso-pumping hardware I've ever had the pleasure to spend hands-on time with. It's bulkier than something slim like the Dedica Arte, but it's not that bulky on the whole and it does come with more than just the usual bells and whistles.

In addition to the new summer-slanted settings mentioned above, this re-issue of the Maestro comes with all the same premium perks afforded by the old one. There's a built-in grinder with 8 settings, an integrated tamper, a steam wand and a LatteCrema milk frother attachment included in the box.

Even more mundane details like the drip tray and the 2.5L water tank on the back of the new Maestro feel a little more considered than usual. When you're spending this much on a new piece of tech, you want to see the kind of attention to detail that's present on the La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel if you already know how to make a really nice wheel, or, in this case, a coffee machine.

DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew - Performance

Hybrid theory
Delonghi La Specialista Maestro with Cold brew performance

The La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew is automatic as manual espresso machines get. That said, what's here is distinct from something more seamless solutions like the Magnifica S. DeLonghi's latest is better described as a different kind of manual than fully automated. Less friction rather than the total absence of it.

Like a manual machine, using the La Specialista Maestro starts with turning it on and chucking the group handle into the machine. At this point, by default, the coffee machine will grind and dispense any beans in the hopper to your desired specifications. Once the group handle is filled, you simply pull down on the big silver lever to its left to tamper those grounds. 

As someone who has not used a machine with an integrated tamper like this before, I was really impressed. When it comes to long-term maintenance, it's one more moving part you'll need to keep track of. However, in the short term, it should save you a little bit of extra cleanup time.

That said, it did take more trial and error to find the right settings for this part of the machine than I expected it to. In addition to the usual process of dialing into the right level of grind for your given beans, you also have to find the right volume setting. More than a few times, I'd overlook the latter and end up with a lot more grounds than the group filter could handle. Adjusting things wasn't hard, but I ended up wasting a lot of beans in the process due to the eagerness with which the tamping bay dispenses the goods.

Once tamped, you simply slide the group handle out and then slot it into the pumping dock, make sure you've got the right brew selected and then hit the go button. If that sounds like a few more steps than usual, that's because it is.

Fortunately, the quality and versatility of the hardware here make the addition of a few extra steps feel more than justified. The results you're left with at the end of the process don't hurt, nor does the fact that both the grinder and the espresso pump inside the La Specialista Maestro are generally pretty quiet in action.

This process doesn't differ much when it comes to new settings like cold brew, nor does the quality of the results. You simply load up the group handle with beans and select the appropriate setting.

The La Specialista takes a little longer to spit out a glass of cold brew than it does espresso, but the turnaround remains a fraction of the time it would take to prepare cold brew using the usual method. The beverage comes out closer to cool than lukewarm, but you'll still probably want to toss some ice cubes in there if you plan on drinking it right there and then.

The same can't be said for the espresso cool setting, which takes about the same amount of time and work as a regular espresso shot does but tastes significantly sweeter.

While the latest version of La Specialista Maestro is arguably defined by the timely addition of cold brew and iced espresso options, these value-adds only resonate with the richness they do because the fundamentals are as strong as they are across the board.

There's a little bit of work involved in terms of keeping La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew clean and stocked up with the right beans. All the same, the consistency and quality of the coffee-making tools that DeLonghi have put together here are hard to fault.

DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro vs Prestigio vs Arte

What's in a name?

DeLonghi's La Specialista line of coffee machines is broken into three distinct breeds. While the Maestro is the top-of-the-line option, the Arte and Prestigio also have plenty to offer.

If you're looking for something like the Maestro but don't want to spend quite so much, the Prestigio might just fit the bill. The big feature you're missing out on here is the automatic milk frother. You also only get three preset recipes versus the six in the Maestro.

The Arte strips things back even further. While this machine still gets you a steam wand and grinder, you miss out on the built-in tamper. On the other hand, an RRP of $599 makes this one significantly more affordable than the Maestro even before cold brew gets involved.

Is DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew worth buying?

All-in-one espresso station
Delonghi La Specialista Maestro with Cold brew

Delonghi's La Specialista Maestro with Cold Brew is a little excessive in both price and capability for a more casual coffee drinker. However, if you feel like your current machine is just that little bit limited, it's a natural next step that's extremely easy to recommend.

It's not cheap, but the La Specialista Maestro is as balanced as it is brilliant at producing delicious coffee in whatever form you prefer. If your tastes are adventurous enough to make use of everything that the Maestro can do, you're unlikely to be disappointed by any of it.

How does DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine with Cold Brew compare?

Product
Our score
Price
Pump pressure
Coffee type
More info
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
$649
15 barsManual espresso w/ grinder
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$1999
19Manual espresso w/ grinder
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
$269
15 barsPod coffee
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$749
15 barsAutomatic espresso w/ grinder
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$899
15 barsAutomatic espresso w/ grinder
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
$299
15 barsManual espresso

How we review coffee machines

The short answer: by making (and drinking) a lot of coffee. The longer one: We spend some serious time not just using the coffee machines we review, but also thinking about the type of users they're for. We don't just read and regurgitate a spec-sheet. We take stock of what the landscape looks like, and how machines like the Sunbeam Barista Max fit into it.

Even if there are clear differences between home espresso machines like this one and cheaper pod-based options, those differences can be bridged by a thorough assessment of how successful both approaches when it comes to solving the problem of delivering the quality homemade coffee possible with as little effort as possible.

For a full breakdown of our approach to reviewing coffee machines, visit this page.

DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine FAQ

Here are the most frequently asked questions about DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Coffee Machine

While some Delonghi La Specialista coffee machines do feature a dual-boiler design, which allows for coffee and milk to be heated at the same time, this model does not.

The Delonghi La Specialista comes ready to brew eight different styles of coffee out of the box, but more are possible with the right recipe. The list here includes:

  • Coffee
  • Long Black
  • Espresso
  • Latte
  • Espresso Iced
  • Cold Brew
  • Flat White
  • Cappuccino

Delonghi is not a Chinese company. They are based out of Italy.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a Digital Content Editor for Reviews.org who specialises in technology, entertainment, gaming and pop culture. His work has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, Press Start Australia, The AU Review, Screen Rant, Superjump and more. You can follow him on Twitter.

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