What is the best espresso machine for home?
In this article, I will give you a comprehensive review of the DeLonghi Magnifica Automatic Espresso Machine and Cappucino Maker, why I consider it the best espresso machine for home use, what its advantages and disadvantages are.
I will tell you what our experience is and what other people think about it. I have the ESAM 3300 model but other models probably have the same core features.
This machine is manufactured by DeLonghi which was founded in Treviso, Italy. If you have been to Italy, you know how they take their coffee seriously.
How We Picked it:
We love coffee. We have three regular coffee drinkers in our house. When we got tired of paying for $4 to $5 per cup per person on an almost daily basis, we did the research online, talked to baristas, asked friends and picked what we think is the best espresso machine for home use. For its price, I think this product gives you the best value for your money.
What is DeLonghi Magnifica?
It is a fully automatic espresso machine. It can make single or double espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. It has a built-in coffee grinder that has 13 levels of ground coffee texture. You put coffee beans and water in separate compartments and press buttons and it delivers a perfect cup every single time.
The machine comes with a cappuccino system frother for the times you want a latte/cappuccino instead of espresso. It can deliver hot water and steam anytime you need it.
Difference between an espresso, latte and cappuccino:
Espresso is a small 1 to 2 ounces of strong coffee.
Cappuccino is an espresso based drink with the ratio: 1/3 espresso coffee, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foamed milk.
On the other hand, latte is composed of: 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, 1/6 foamed milk. This is a milk-based drink with just a little coffee.
In other words, cappuccino is a stronger coffee than latte. Lattes are generally served in bigger cups. A ratio of 2:1 milk to espresso is common for a latte.
An Americano is espresso diluted with hot water.
Mocha is any espresso with milk with chocolate syrup added.
How it works:
Here is a public video from Seattle’s Coffee about how to operate this machine.
For Best Results:
The machine comes with a water hardness indicator paper. You test the ‘hardness’ of the water and it will tell you how often to descale (clean). There is an indicator to tell you when it is time to clean. There are instructions for descaling the machine, For best results, you should use filtered water.
It is best to use freshly roasted coffee beans that are not oily. We talked to professional coffee roasters and they said that oily coffee are over-roasted coffee and they can mess up your machine. If you are ordering online, read the reviews of the coffee. Upon arrival, get a few beans out and see for yourself if it is oily or not.
I have included coffee brands below that are said to be non-oily by coffee aficionados.
You may have to try it a few times in order to get the right setting for you in terms for you in terms of texture of the coffee grind, amount of water and how hot the coffee is. This is an advantage because you can tailor make the coffee to your exact preferences.
Advantages of DeLonghi Magnifica:
- It is smart looking equipment.
- No need to go to a coffee shop every morning. You save money and quickly recoup your expenses after a few months
- Coffee anytime you need it at the press of a button or two
- Makes way better-tasting coffee than drip coffee
- It is self-cleaning. The descaling process takes 30 minutes only.
- It is very compact and does not take too much counter space., In fact, it takes the same amount of space as my stand-up mixer.
- You do not need a separate coffee grinder thus saving on counter space
- When guests come over, you can impress them by providing them with custom-made coffee. If you have coffee cake or biscotti on hand, you are set and your guests will feel very welcome.
- It has a height of about 14 inches and fits under most cabinets. If you put it under a cabinet, you may have to pull it out to put coffee and water.
- It does not have a hand tamper because the machine does it automatically
Minor Issues with DeLonghi Magnifica:
- THE NOISE:
This machine can be a little noisy when it is grinding the beans. It is quieter than industrial grade coffee machines. If noise is an issue in the mornings, you may want to use ground coffee and not coffee beans. There is a setting that you press when you are using ground coffee. In my experience,(I live in a single story house) my son’s bedroom is a few yards from the kitchen where I have the espresso machine and he has never woken up once because of the machine.
- USED COFFEE CANISTER:
After making coffee, it dumps the tightly packed ground coffee into a canister in the bottom. This canister has a divider in the middle for some reason and not all available space gets used. This means after 10 to 12 cups of coffee, the machine signals that the canister is full. When you open it, you see that it could have taken a few more if the packs were stacked a little better.
This is not a big issue, You just empty the canister and carry on. The coffee grounds can be go straight to your garden. If you fill the coffee beans container, it lasts for about 12 to 14 cups before it runs out. I know because I counted the number of compressed pods.
- WATER RESERVOIR
The water container is not very big which means if you like making Americano, you may need to refill it more often. If you are an espresso lover, this is not an issue.
My Personal Experience:
I find the DeLonghi Magnifica very easy to use. Every morning, I press one button to rinse out the machine and throw that half-cup of water away. It also serves to warm my coffee cup. Another button (whether single or double) gives me my espresso. I add a little milk and sugar and I am off.
It gives you signals when it is out of water or coffee beans or when the canister is full. It also lets you know when it needs descaling which if you use distilled water will not be too frequent. Simple.
On the weekends, I make use of the frother on the right side to make a cappuccino. It takes about a minute to make froth and it makes a nice looking froth. When I use the frothing wand, I make sure to rinse it right after.
Cleaning is not an issue as the Magnifica is very tidy and everything is contained. We have a reverse osmosis filtration system in the house so calcification is not a problem.
Before this coffee machine, we used the Nespresso Vertuo line which is another automatic espresso machine. The disadvantage with this is it uses Nespresso pods which can be expensive and wasteful in terms of packaging.
There is nothing more luxurious than sleeping in on the weekends and waking up to fresh, good cappuccino. You do no\t have to throw on some clothes and drive to the nearest Starbucks and fall in line. It is right there in your kitchen.
What Others Think:
I researched some comments available online for you. There are a lot of positive feedback. One user used his machine for eight years and it finally broke down and he bought the exact same machine. This is a testament to the good experience he had using it.
A lot of users were very impressed with how easy it is to use and how delicious the coffee is. They raved about the price relative to what this equipment can do.
There was a couple of users who complained about the machine not working right when they got it. They did say that a call to customer service took care of the problem and they were sent a new machine.
All in all, it was 95% positive reviews from what I have seen.
This is a great buy and a great investment. With three coffee drinkers, it only took us 42 days to get our money’s worth of fresh, barista-quality coffee. The rest of the time, we will only need to buy coffee beans and we are set for life (or at least the life of the machine).
Knowing that it is a DeLonghi, I am pretty confident we will get many years of use out of it. The company provides two year-warranty for material and workmanship defects. I look forward to many years of great tasting, home-made coffee.
Where to Buy DeLonghi Magnifica:
====>>> CLICK HERE TO BUY DELONGHI MAGNIFICA <<<===
Non-oily coffee beans: