Looking for an entirely fuss-free way to brew up a cup or a mug of tasty coffee? Then the De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011 drip coffee maker just might be the machine for you. We’ve got all you need to know to decide.
I tested a wide selection of coffee machines to see how much of your worktop they’ll take up, how easy they are to use, how quickly they’ll deliver your drink, which coffees they’ll make, and – crucially – what the brews taste like.
Want to compare the De’Longhi coffee machine to other machines available on the market? Browse our guide to the best coffee machines.
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De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011 specifications
- Type: Ground coffee
- Pressure: Not applicable
- Capacity: 0.65 ltr water tank
- Dimensions: H33 x W20 x D24cm
Who will the De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011 suit?
Singles and couples who want the taste of real coffee rather than instant, but aren’t after espresso or cappuccino.
What is the De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011 like to use?
Super simple, and once the coffee’s in you can get on with something else while it makes your drink.
If instant coffee’s not your thing, but you really don’t want to be tamping and frothing, the De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011 is all you need. It’s a compact machine with pleasing lines, and can be matched with the kettle and toaster from the same range.
Coffee options and taste
It’s filter coffee you’ll be making with this machine (just add milk or serve black), so it’s not a design for those who want a lot of choice. On the other hand, if ground coffee as opposed to instant is what you require, you don’t want to worry about recycling capsules, and you just want a coffee maker to do the job well, it’s your perfect match.
While filter coffee is what it’s making, the machine does offer a degree of customisation with its two brewing speeds. With the aroma button activated it delivers water into the filter more slowly. I preferred the taste of a full jug of coffee without this button activated as the flavour was as developed as I like in a long drink, but it does allow you to adjust according to personal taste and the particular ground coffee you’re using, so it’s a worthwhile function. Activating this button is in any case recommended when you’re not brewing a full jug.
The coffee from the machine was at a good temperature: ready to drink straightaway.
When you first get your machine, it’ll need to be operated with water but without coffee at least a couple of times to wash it through, but once this is done you’re set.
All I had to do to get my breakfast brew was use the jug to pour water into the tank, add the coffee to the filter holder, and switch on. You can use a filter paper additionally if you prefer for ease of cleaning up after brewing. I left the machine to get on with it, and it beeped three times once it was done to tell me the coffee was ready. Conclusion: it’s a top machine if you want to be able to get on with breakfast preparation (or chatting) while it makes the drinks.
The machine’s warming plate stays on for 40 minutes after brewing, which suited my preference to return for top-ups. However, as with other filter machines, I found I didn’t like the taste of the coffee as much by the very tail end of this period.
Cleaning and maintenance
Another joy of a filter machine? Looking after it really isn’t hard work. The carafe and the filter holder went in the dishwasher.
Otherwise, the water tank filter can be cleaned from time to time and, if you live in a hard water area (or you find the brews begin to take longer), you’ll need to descale, but that’s it as far as care goes.
Bear in mind
This machine comes at an affordable price point and buying ground coffee rather than capsules will cut your day to day costs, too, while still giving you a tasty upgrade from instant.
You can pick from white, black or red when you’re buying, and invest in a toaster and kettle from the same family so your kitchen looks co-ordinated.
The size of the machine – H33 x W20 x D24cm – makes it a natural for small kitchens and solo or two coffee drinkers. For bigger households, or those who like to start the day with a few mugfuls, the five cup capacity probably won’t suffice.
How does it rate online?
Online reviews for this machine aren’t numerous yet, but buyers at Argos (opens in new tab) gave it 4.3 out of five stars. Users remarked on a capacity that suited their coffee requirements, and found it easy to use and to clean. As for negatives, a starting and finishing signal that’s too loud was noted.
From Amazon (opens in new tab) purchasers, the score is 4.2 out of five stars with the machine judged as ‘excellent’, but another reviewer finding it too lightweight.
About our review – and our reviewer
Sarah Warwick has specialised in homes and interiors for over 20 years. She was Executive Editor of Ideal Home magazine, and has written for nationals, magazines and websites including Real Homes, Homebuilding & Renovating, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, Houzz, The Guardian, House Beautiful and Country Homes & Interiors. She put the coffee machines to the test on a variety of drinks, as well as checking out how easy they were to set up, and to clean.
@SMWarwick (opens in new tab)