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DeLonghi Primadonna Soul bean to cup coffee machine review
Rating: 94 % (excellent)
|Latte Macchiato:||94 %|
|Brand:||DeLonghi bean to cup coffee machine|
|Model:||Primadonna Soul Perfetto ECAM 612.55.SB|
|Milk system:||fully automatic|
|Drinks: Espresso, Coffee ,Long Coffee ,Cappuccino ,Latte Macchiato ,Flat White, CappuccinoMix, Cappuccino+, Caffe Latte ,Espresso Macchiato ,Doppio, Espresso Soul, Pot Coffee, Hot Milk,|
|Grinder:||Disc grinder (stainless steel)|
|Grinder setting levels:||7 levels|
|Coffee strength:||5 levels|
|beverage quantity:||4 levels & free programming|
|double cup option:||for espresso|
|Bean compartment:||500 g|
|Milk container:||700 ml|
|Water tank:||2,2 l|
|Coffee spout:||8 to 14 cm|
|Dimensions (HxWxD):||39x26x49 cm|
|Coffee powder compartment:||yes|
Conclusion on the PrimaDonna Soul
Ideal for tech enthusiasts, families and small offices
The DeLonghi PrimaDonna Soul prepares 14 drinks and a whole pot of coffee for you. We were particularly impressed by the fine-pored, hot milk foam and the aromatic espresso.
You can intuitively adjust all settings using the 4.3-inch touch screen . You can even adjust the grinder electrically using the display. In addition, the modern bean to cup coffee machine can be conveniently controlled via app. A device that will definitely inspire tech enthusiasts.
Cleaning is easy, as important parts are removable and can be put in the dishwasher. The Primadonna Soul also scores many points for handling. Milk container, water tank, bean compartment, and collection trays are larger than in other bean to cup coffee machines. Therefore, the device is suitable for households that want to prepare many drinks.
German institute “Stiftung Warentest” named it test winner in its 01/2022 issue. In our bean to cup coffee machine test the PrimaDonna Soul is also in the top group.
Prices (CET) Product prices and availability are as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. The price and availability information displayed on Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase apply to the purchase of this product.
- creamy fine and hot milk foam
- intense, aromatic espresso
- Pot function for coffee
- large 4.3″ touch display
- App control with own recipes
- 3 profiles for individual settings
- electrically adjustable grinder
- Milk foam consistency in 3 levels
- easy cleaning
- Double cup for espresso only
Summary of the test results
Then take a look at our detailed review. Use the table of contents if you are interested in something specific. If you still have a question, please feel free to leave us a comment .
- 1 Data sheet
- 2 Conclusion on the PrimaDonna Soul
- 3 Video of the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Soul
- 4 Summary of the test results
- 4.1 How good are the PrimaDonna Souls drinks?
- 4.2 How easy is it to use?
- 4.3 What can I set on the PrimaDonna Soul?
- 4.4 How good is the quality?
- 4.5 How easy is it to clean the PrimaDonna Soul?
- 4.6 What drinks does the DeLonghi Primadonna Soul have?
- 4.7 What does Stiftung Warentest say about the DeLonghi Primadonna Soul?
- 5 Any questions?
- 6 Individual parts
- 7 Drinks
- 8 Settings
- 9 Quality of the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Soul
- 10 Cleaning DeLonghi ECAM 612.55.SB
As with all
DeLonghi fully automatic bean to cup coffee machines
the milk system is integrated into the milk container. This is especially handy when cleaning – as you will see later. The milk container is made of a sturdy plastic and is nice and big.
A good 700 ml of milk fit in the tank, enough for 6 to 8 drinks. This is ideal for families or when you have visitors. Simply click the container into the front of the bean to cup coffee machine. You can refill milk at any time via a flap.
The bean compartment is located on top of the bean to cup coffee machine and is darkened all around and sealed airtight by a circumferential rubber seal. Both are important to protect the flavor of your beans. This definitely makes sense, as the bean compartment is very large. Here fit up to 500 grams of beans, enough for about 50 drinks. This is almost twice as much as other bean to cup coffee machines. So you rarely have to refill coffee beans here.
You can simply pull out the water tank on the right side to the front. This is especially convenient under wall cabinets. Just like the bean compartment, the water tank is also quite large. It fits up to 2.2 liters inside, which is enough for up to 20 drinks. This makes the Primadonna Soul ideal for large families as well. And thanks to the extra wide opening, you can also fill the tank well under the tap.
Coffee and milk spout
You can adjust the height of the coffee spouts from 8 to 14 cm. You can also adjust the milk spout on the milk container from8 to 14 cm. This means that even large latte macchiato glasses are no problem. For particularly small cups (espresso macchiato), you can additionally extend the milk spout.
After switching on, the bean to cup coffee machine is ready for operation in just 45 seconds and is quick to prepare. It takes about a minute to make a cup of coffee. For a cappuccino 70 seconds and for our large latte macchiato glass about 100 seconds.
|Ready for operation:||45 sec.|
|large latte macchiato:||100 sec.|
You operate the bean to cup coffee machine via a large touch screen. The display is slightly slanted so that you can also read it well from above. On the screen you will see all the drinks as pictures. The more often you prepare a drink, the further ahead it will be displayed.
If you want to prepare a drink, you just have to tap it. Via the “Plus sign” you can makesome settings, e.g. adjust the coffee strength (aroma) or the beverage quantity. What you can set, we explain to you under
Overall, the menu navigation is easy to understand and the bean to cup coffee machine can be operated intuitively. The touch display always responds very reliably – even with wet fingers. Error messages are always shown on the display.
As you already know, we always use the same coffee beans with 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta content for our tests. Also, we always take chilled organic milk with 3.8% fat content, because it gives the best taste. If you use vegetable alternatives, please make sure that the protein content is between 3.2 and 3.8%. Then you will get a nice milk foam cap.
Espresso is particularly important as it forms the basis for cappuccino and latte macchiato. In the temperature check, we reach an optimal 68 °C. The crema is hazelnut brown and tightly closed. In taste, the espresso is full-bodied and intense. The bitters and flavors are balanced.
In addition to espresso, you also have espresso doppio. This is a double espresso prepared with a little more coffee powder. Perfect for those who need that extra caffeine kick.
For many of you, “normal” coffee is very important – although this is always a challenge for bean to cup coffee machines. This is because all the water, under high pressure, is forced through the coffee puck. The longer this process takes, the more bitter your coffee will become. Therefore, we recommend for bean to cup coffee machines: do not prepare large quantities of coffee, but a maximum of 150 ml with one coffee puck.
At 73 °C, the coffee has the optimum temperature and also a nice dense crema. Since we prepared 180 ml of coffee (beverage quantity level 2) the taste was slightly bitter.
A better alternative to coffee is therefore the long. This is prepared using the so-called “surge brewing“method. In this process, the water is not pressed through the coffee puck constantly but in short bursts and at low pressure.
Halfway through brewing, the bean to cup coffee machine uses a second coffee puck for your drink. Both help to prevent the coffee powder from over-extracting, which means fewer bitter compounds get into your coffee.
For the long, the bean to cup coffee machine takes a little longer than for the regular coffee. After just under 2 minutes, however, it is already finished. The temperature is perfect at 79 °C. In direct comparison, the Long was more aromatic and less bitter than the regular coffee.
By the way, we know this preparation method only from
DeLonghi bean to cup coffee machine
. So who likes to drink normal coffee. The Long is definitely a good choice for him.
The absolute classic among milk foam drinks is, of course, the cappuccino. Here, the bean to cup coffee machine first froths the milk and then adds an espresso.
At 70 degrees, the cappuccino is quite hot. With hot milk foam have De’Longhi fully automatic bean to cup coffee machines never have any problems. The milk foam is uniformly fine and silky. Only small bubbles are visible. In our spoon test, the foam adheres well to the spoon and does not slip down. The cappuccino convinces in terms of taste with a round overall picture.
The sweetness of the milk and the flavors of the espresso are well balanced. For our taste, however, the milk foam could be a bit creamier. So that milk and espresso combine even better. Here it is recommended to set the milk foam consistency to level 2 instead of the recommended level 3.
Another classic is the latte macchiato. By the way, here we have adjusted the beverage quantity to our large glass. How this works is explained in the
. The milk foam is again uniformly fine and similarly good to the cappuccino. Again, we recommend setting the milk foam consistency to level 2 instead of 3. Then the foam is a little creamier and more “drinkable”, but even with firmer foam, the latte macchiato is delicious.
The typical 3 layers can be clearly seen: the hot milk at the bottom, the espresso above and the milk foam on top. At 70 °C, the latte macchiato is also quite hot.
In addition to normal cappuccino, you also have the cappuccino mix. This is a cappuccino in the original order, i.e. here the espresso goes into the glass first and then the milk foam. This causes the espresso and milk to mix during preparation, giving you a brown milk foam cap.
The Cappuccino+ is an intense cappuccino prepared with a doppio – double espresso . For all those who need a wake up in the morning 😉
The Flat White consists of a double ristretto, that is, two short espressos mixed with twice the amount of milk.
Another alternative to regular coffee is the Americano. Here, an espresso is first prepared, which is then extended with hot water. This gives the Americano the intensity of a normal coffee. Since the coffee powder is extracted only briefly , many flavors and few bitter substances get into your cup. We actually liked the Americano best, but that is of course a matter of taste.
Caffe Latte is made by mixing 200 ml of hot milk with an espresso. For those who want a small milk foam cap , we recommend setting the milk foam consistency to medium.
The Cortado is a Spanish coffee specialty in which an espresso is extended with the same amount of milk foam. Here it is recommended to take a small cup . =D
The Espresso Macchiato is a 40 ml espresso with a small milk foam topping. For all those for whom a normal espresso is (still) too strong.
In addition, you can simply prepare hot milk for cocoa, for example. If you want hot milk foam, simply set the consistency to level 2 (a little foam) or 3 (a lot of foam).
You can also prepare hot water for tea with the Primadonna Soul (75 °C).
Coffee pot function
We were skeptical at first, but the coffee pot feature is really handy for preparing up to 750 ml of coffee at once. We set a medium coffee strength and prepared 5 cups of 150 ml each. One new coffee puck is used per cup. Thus, for 5 cups, the device performs 5 grinding and brewing operations.
By the way, the preparation takes 4.5 minutes. The beautiful crema can definitely be seen at family gatherings. At over 77 °C, the coffee is also quite hot.
Set coffee strength
For each drink, you can set the coffee strength (aroma) in 5 levels . The higher the level, the more coffee powder the bean to cup coffee machine uses.
If you want to use already ground coffee, put a spoonful of ground coffee into the chute in front of the bean compartment. By the way, a coffee spoon is included. Then select the compartment for ground coffee powder on the display and start the brewing process.
Adjust grinder setting
You can set the grinder setting via the display. With other bean to cup coffee machines, you usually have to adjust this manually using a dial in the bean compartment. The electric adjustment is more convenient and also more practical, as the bean to cup coffee machine will directly provide you with tips for the optimal grinder setting.
In total, you have 7 levels to choose from for the grinder setting. Level 4 is set at the factory. The lower the level, the finer the coffee powder is ground. We recommend level 2 for espresso and all beverages prepared with espresso – e.g. Americano, cappuccino and latte macchiato.
Only for coffee and long we recommend level 4. By the way, it makes no sense to constantly change the grinder setting back and forth, because it always takes up to 5 drinks until the grinder setting is noticeable in the drink. Therefore, we recommend level 3 if you want to prepare both espresso and coffee.
Adjust beverage quantity
You adjust the beverage quantity for each drink in 4 levels . It wasn’t entirely clear to us at first how much we would get at which level. We had to do some trial and error first. At levels 2, the bean to cup coffee machine dispenses a 40 ml espresso. We got our cappuccino glass full at level 3.
The coffee-milk ratio always remains the same via the predefined levels. If you want to change it or adjust the beverages exactly to your cup, it is recommended to use the “My function“. Here, the bean to cup coffee machine continues to dispense milk foam until you press “Stop“. Then the espresso is added automatically. Once you are satisfied with the amount, press Stop again.
You can then save this amount and prepare it next time in the beverage settings under “My”. You can reset every programmed drink via Reset. You can also set the drink quantity via the app, as we will show you in a moment.
Set milk foam consistency
You can adjust the consistency of the milk foam via a dial directly on the milk container. At the lowest level, you will not get foam, but only hot milk. There is little milk foam at the medium level and a lot at the highest level.
In the display and in the app, you get a recommendation for each drink which level you should set. For our taste, the recommended highest level for cappuccino and latte macchiato was a bit too frothy. But that is of course a matter of taste. You can always decide for yourself how frothy you want the milk foam to be. Other bean to cup coffee machines do not offer this freedom.
Double cup option
Since the bean to cup coffee machine only has one milk spout, a double cup option is unfortunately only possible for espresso. However, the machine does not perform a second grind for two espressos (for whatever reason). Therefore, it is better to prepare them one after the other. As you can see, the double cup option is not a strong point of the De’Longhi Primadonna – which is a pity.
You can set the coffee temperature for all beverages in 4 levels. We set the medium level during our tests. This was perfectly adequate. It is better not to set the temperature too high, otherwise your coffee may taste burnt.
You can save your personal beverage settings in one of 3 profiles. This makes sense if each family member likes to drink coffee or cappuccino differently. You can call up the various profiles in the top right of the display. Via the app, you can give names to the profiles, which then appear on the display of the bean to cup coffee machine. The synchronization takes only a few seconds.
You can also prepare all drinks via the DeLonghi app. Here, the beverage quantity can be set to milliliter accuracy. With the Americano, you can adjust the amount of espresso and water separately. For each drink you will also find a description, in case you are not sure what it is.
For all milk foam beverages, set the amount of coffee and milk separately. This allows you to change the coffee-milk ratio. The amount of milk is always given in seconds. This refers to the duration of the milk froth. The more seconds you set here, the more milk foam you get. You can also create individual profiles in the app and create your own drink recipes. Tip: In our video we show you, among other things, the control via app.
Create your own recipe
When you create your own recipe, you can set how much milk foam (in sec.) and coffee (in ml) you want to prepare. You can also specify the order of both ingredients. At the end you can name your drink and choose a suitable picture. Your recipe will be saved in your profile both in the app and on the bean to cup coffee machine. There you can prepare it at the touch of a button.
You can also see how to create recipes step-by-step in our
. Here we have tried the whole thing with a latte.
The bean to cup coffee machine is advertised with the so-called Bean Adapt function . Here, the app asks you for the bean type and the roast level of your coffee beans. It will then suggest the optimal temperature, grinder setting, and flavor strength.
No matter what roast level we selected the grinder setting was always at level 4, but we had better experience with the finer levels 2-3. Stiftung Warentest also achieved the best results on grinder setting level 2. Strange that the app recommends only level 4.
By the way, the grinder setting does not adjust automatically via the app, but must always be set on the display. In addition, you should rather try out the aroma to find your personal taste. Thus, the Bean Adapt function does not really offer any added value.
Quality of the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Soul
The design of the Primadonna Soul is much more modern compared to the Dinamica series. Especially the large touch screen is a real eye-catcher. All individual parts are manufactured to a high standard and fit perfectly with the case. The stainless steel draining grid is protected from scratches by a barely visible plastic insert. Although the bean to cup coffee machine is mostly made of plastic, it has a convincing overall quality.
The disk grinder grinds finely and evenly on level 3, as you can see here. We measured an average noise level of 69 dB. This puts the bean to cup coffee machine in the average range compared to other machines. The brewing unit also makes a solid impression, as the coffee pucks are always pressed cleanly.
If you want to enjoy intense espresso and creamy milk foam for a long time, regular maintenance of your DeLonghi PrimaDonna Soul is very important. Just like any other bean to cup coffee machine.
You should clean the milk system, the brewing unit and the drip trays particularly thoroughly. In our test, we effectively needed about 20 minutes per week for the entire cleaning process according to instructions.
In addition, you can spend about 5-10 minutes every 1-3 months for the
every 1-3 months. Although the program takes about 50 minutes, it runs through automatically to a large extent. Therefore, the effort for you is small.
We have selected all the important care products for you, once the original from DeLonghi and a cheaper alternative. For descaler, we always use the original during the warranty.
DeLonghi water filter
Alternative water filter
Milk system cleaner
Clean milk system
After every drink with milk foam, you should rinse the milk system. To do this, place an empty cup under the outlet and turn the control on the milk container to “Clean”.
Then thoroughly rinse the milk spout with hot water. This short program takes only one minute, is very effective and can be started simply at the touch of a button. You will even be reminded in the display.
After that you can store the milk container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Afterwards, you should clean it thoroughly. To do this, disassemble it into its 7 individual parts and either rinse them by hand or put everything in the dishwasher as recommended in the instructions.
For cleaning by hand we can still use a
milk system cleaner
recommended. In it you can put especially the parts of the lid to completely remove small remnants of milk fat.
The structure of the milk container is a bit more complex than in other
bean to cup coffee machines in the test
but after two weeks, you will be able to assemble it without thinking too much.
All in all, you will need no more than 10 minutes per week to clean the milk system.
Cleaning the brewing unit
The brewing unit of the PrimaDonna Soul can be removed in a few simple steps. To do this, switch off the bean to cup coffee machine and then open the service flap behind the water tank. You can remove the brewing unit by holding down the two red buttons and pulling it straight out.
Only a few coffee residues can be found on the brewing unit. This looked quite different with other bean to cup coffee machines. Maybe that’s why you should clean them only 1x per month according to the instructions. We still recommend that you rinse the brewing unit once a week.
Please do not use any dishwashing detergent for cleaning, as some areas are lightly greased so that nothing gets stuck. Since the brewing unit is very compact and has no hidden corners, it is enough to simply rinse it thoroughly. Alternatively, you can soak them in water for 5 minutes and then rinse. After that, let them air dry completely.
Tip: In the interior, you can still wipe the plunger once a week with a damp cloth. Seen from the service hatch, it is at the top left. Pucks are pressed through the plunger, so there are a few coffee residues there as well.
All in all, cleaning the brewing unit only takes about 2 minutes per week, which is very fast compared to other manufacturers.
Coffee grounds tray and drip tray
When the coffee grounds tray is full, a message appears in the display. The container is quite large – it can fit up to 16 coffee pucks . The drip tray is located under the stainless steel cup tray. This is where the water from the rinsing processes ends up. A red float shows you when it is full.
You can pull out both containers together to the front.
Since the coffee pucks, as you can see, are very well pressed and relatively dry, it is enough if you rinse the containers 1x per week.
After you empty them, you can either wash them by hand or put them in the dishwasher. We would also recommend the dishwasher, because the plastic grate with float is a bit cumbersome to clean by hand. However, the stainless steel cup grid and the coffee grounds tray holder must not be put in the dishwasher.
Overall, the effort here is similar to other bean to cup coffee machines and is a good 5 minutes per week.
Clean coffee spouts
You should clean the coffee spouts thoroughly once a month. To do this, take off the magnetic cover and pull it out downwards. The coffee spouts can be disassembled into 2 parts, which you can either clean by hand or even better put in the dishwasher.
Clean compartment for ground coffee powder
You can simply remove the tray for ground coffee and put it in the dishwasher once a month. This is a great advantage, because in most bean to cup coffee machines the chute is fixed and difficult to clean.
The bean to cup coffee machine has an automatic descaling program. A bar shows you when the next descaling is due and then a message appears in the display.
How often you need to descale depends on the water hardness and whether you use a water filter. You can set the water hardness directly on the device. By the way, a test strip, descaler and the first water filter are included with us. For soft water you need to descale about every 3 months, for very hard water every month.
With a water filter you can add another 2-3 months. We have provided you each the original and an alternative of the
descaler and water filter
The program lasts about 50 minutes in total. For you, the effort is about 5 minutes, because almost everything is automatic. You will also be guided intuitively and step-by-step through the program via the display.
Basically, you just fill the tank with descaler and some water, put a bowl underneath and start the program. In between, empty the containers again and refill the water tank. It is really simple.
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