The BAR32 Retro Pump-Driven Espresso Maker by DeLonghi is a great option for first-time espresso brewers who need reliability and ease-of-use, but want an affordable, entry-level machine. With pod convenience (use either standard ESE pods or your own ground coffee), a frothing wand for fluffy foam, a pressurized portafilter and dual thermostats for water and steam, we're sure you'll love your foray into espresso making on the DeLonghi BAR32.
How the DeLonghi BAR32 Espresso Maker Works
Each time you brew, you'll set the shot volume, dosing and pressure uniquely so you can easily tweak your shot to your preferences.
Features & Functionality of the DeLonghi BAR32 Espresso Maker
Entry-Level Simplicity: It doesn't get any easier to use than the BAR32. Sporting a pressurized portafilter, you will never need a high-end grinder to achieve consistent results.
ESE Pod-Compatible: This DeLonghi accepts ESE Pods in the filter basket.
Easy Clean: With a removable water tank and drip tray, you can easily keep the components clean.
Dual Thermostats : A unique feature of the BAR32 is the separate thermostats for water and steam.
Quick Warm Up - You'll find the DeLonghi BAR32 warms up quickly from brew to steam.
Good Shots with Any Grind - With this machine, you'll get good shots regardless of the grind type.
Built-In Tamper - Beginners will love the built-in tamper that comes with the BAR32.
Smooth, but Weak Shots - The size of the portafilter and the overall pump pressure of the machine means that many users report a weaker shot. Substituting a super fine grind only results in clogging the portafilter, so strong coffee comes mainly from pulling more than one shot, and that takes up valuable time.
Messy Puck - The puck can become messy.
Frother Clearance - The frother clearance isn't ideal, so be sure to check that your frothing pitchers will fit.
Ease of Use
Ease of Care and Maintenance
Overall Value for the Money
How Does it Compare?
The BAR32 makes good shots and has a good steamer for its price and size.
Tips and Tricks
You should use a much smaller pitcher since the steam wand clearance is at a minimum.
Best Answer:Absolutely. As with any Espresso Maker, it takes a little practice, but makes a great Latte. I am on my 3rd one, but use it to make 4-6 Lattes (or more when I have company) daily. For the price, well worth it. I did have an issue with one, but customer service was awesome.
I only know about the Bar 32. It's pretty low end, and makes you work quite hard for a mediocre cup. Having said that, I thought it was good to learn on. But if you stick with it you'll eventually likely want to upgrade. And it has upheld well.
Descale every two to three months. We recommend using Dezcal.
Soap out water tank and drip tray every few days.
Clean the brew gasket daily with a cleaning brush.
Good espresso, great valueReview by Flak
I've used it several times a day for two months. Makes a great shot. Nice crema. I have a low, wide coffee cup that will hold frothed milk plus two shots of espresso if I want two. I've done zero maintenance ... because I use vapor distilled water (Smartwater) and I don't use the machine's milk frother. Therefore, cleanup is merely knocking the grounds into the wastebasket and rinsing the holder. I froth milk in the coffee cup by spinning a wire whisk between the palms, then put in microwave for 50 seconds. (Try it...better than steamed milk) This machine is fast, has a built-in tamper that works great, small footprint, and the retro look is cool. We'll see how long it lasts ... but it's already paid for itself over my previous Starbucks and Scooters habits. (Posted on 8/26/2014)
It is okReview by Shady
I have had this machine for 2 years and it is relatively forgiving with espresso. If you use a fine espresso grind it will struggle to pump water through. It works as a starter machine. (Posted on 7/8/2014)
Don't wast your money or coffeeReview by done with delonghi
My near 20 year old steam driven Krups blew up so I decided to give the Bar 32 a try. My little Krups made far superior espresso. Actually the DeLonghi doesn't make espresso as its weak, even when using the double filter, and there is zero creama. Now, customer service will tell you its the coffee but I disagree as I am using the same coffee that I have always used with great results. Then they say it must be the grind-I use extra fine grind for espresso and I have tried putting it lightly into the filter to tamping aggressively, all with the same pathetic results. BTW, I have also used my coffee in a friends espresso machine and it turns out great.
Also, the time that it takes for the steamer to heat up so you can use the frother is excessive and the coffee cold by the time you are done steaming.
If Krups could make a little $60 steam driven machine 20 years ago that makes better espresso and steams the milk properly, it would seem that Delonghi should be able to do better with 3 times the $$. (Posted on 5/15/2014)
Great machine, but with quirksReview by jk
GREAT machine, GREAT price, GREAT quality, GREAT coffee, but this machine has some quirks. Firstly, the pump machines like this one make vastly superior coffee than the steam-pressure machines do. But the steam-pressure machines stop on their own when they are out of water/steam, so you can walk away. Not with this one. Because this has a water reservoir you have more water than you need. The benefit is that you always have enough water to froth cream while the steam-pressure machines run out of steam and then you can't froth so you have to get good at timing. This unit is nice because of that reservoir but since it doesn't know when it is done, if you walk away, you can come back to coffee overflowing into the drip-tray. This aggravation is worth it though because the coffee is that much better than other types of coffee makers. Another quirk is that tamped down fine ground coffee does brew slower. It doesn't 'clog' like other users say, it just takes more time & pressure to actually push water and steam through the coffee. Deal with it, fine grind coffee produces the best product. The most interesting detail of this pump-pressure machine over the steam-pressure units is that they use 1/4th the amount of coffee to make a rich and creamy brewed product that tastes 10x better!! So because of how much less coffee a pump model uses, and because of how much better the product is, and because a reservoir unit never runs out of water for frothing cream, you should just deal with the fact that it doesn't turn itself off when it is done and that sometimes a fine grind brews really slow! And yes, go find videos to see how to run this thing because the instructions are pretty tough to follow. (Posted on 12/18/2013)
TrashReview by tabaks
Do not buy this machine if you value your money and time. It is the worst espresso brewer I've ever owned and it is so bad that I'll never buy anything from DeLonghi again! I bought one of these and it stopped brewing about 4 months later. After a lot of grief with almost non-existent DeLonghi service "network", they finally replaced it with a new machine for me. The second one stopped brewing about 5 months later. What-ever! In both cases, the pump keeps trying but not a darn thing comes out. Give this trash a WIDE berth and go for MUCH more quality products, like Saeco! (Posted on 4/24/2013)
You get what you pay forReview by Pr
After reading a lot of reviews I was really excited to get this machine for this price plus the $20 rebate. I usually prepare my coffee with a French press and wanted to expand my horizons with making espresso. The first machine I received was defective, it sprayed water and steam from the boiler head. A replacement machine was sent out right away, however it was defective as well, this time no water would come out. I spoke with a technician and he suggested a refurbished Aroma, which I ordered and am waiting for. Although I had bad experiences with the machines, I had very good experiences with Customer Service. (Posted on 12/28/2012)
Great little machineReview by Smooth and fast
I am a latte junkie. I have had the little steamer style machines for years, and could never quite understand why I just couldn't get the coffee shop taste with the espresso, nor could I get the milk (soy in my case) to foam properly. After much research, I decided to pay the extra bucks and purchase this little pump driven machine. WOW, what a difference!!! It was a bit of a challenge getting the filter holder on the first few times. I had to hug the entire machine and give it a brute strength twist. The espresso turned out absolutely creamy delicious THE FIRST TIME!!! and since then of course. Oh and the lovely foam - HEAVEN!!! The clearance under the steamer and the boiler outlet is tight, so short steamer cup and shot glasses are the ticket. Just make sure to follow the directions first, and refer to them while you are using it your first time or two. the dual function dials can be confusing, but it really makes the unit work much smoother and more responsive. This really is a great price for this quality of a machine. It has already paid for itself in coffee shop bills! (Posted on 7/23/2012)
Good little machineReview by Zee
Even though our coffee place staff knows us by name, we wanted to be able to make our own on those lazy days when we didn't want to venture out. My son's girlfriend is a barista, and they own a similar machine (different style) at home and like it. They got us this one for Christmas.
Take the time to watch the videos from this website before trying to use a new machine. That helped me a lot. The first attempt was weak, but after that, with some firmer tamping, the shots were fine and creamy. The grind should be as fine as you can get. To make two lattes, I usually run a double shot through an empty portafilter to prewarm it, then I steam a pitcher of milk. After that, I do my coffee shots, making sure to let it have time to get back to temperature in between.
We like that this machine takes up very little space and the water tank is big enough to make two coffees easy. The tamper is awkward attached to the machine on the side, but other than that we're really happy with the machine. Give it a go!
Easy To Use, Large Water Container, Beginner, Quick Brewing, Great Taste
(Posted on 1/9/2012)
Great little machineReview by susiej
This is my second Delonghi Retro. I have made Cappuccino with this little machine every day for at least the last ten years, and I find it to be remarkable for the price. It is easy to operate, fast and, in my estimation, produces great coffee. When the first one wore out, I didn't hesitate to replace it with another identical machine. I clean and descale about every 2 months.
I am so fond of with this little machine!
Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Quick Brewing, Large Water Container, Easy To Use
Eventually wears out (Posted on 4/18/2011)
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