If you’re a coffee lover, chances are you’re partial to an espresso to start your day.
As we all spend more time indoors these days, there’s never been a better time to invest in a great espresso machine.
The problem is, with so much choice and so many different types of machine on offer, how do you know which are capable of pulling rich, intense shots?
Well, we’re here to help you with in-depth product reviews of all best espresso machines so you can compare a variety across all prices and styles.
A super-automatic espresso machine comes with a grinder onboard so you can blitz your beans directly before brewing without needing to worry about a third-party coffee grinder. As well as saving you some space on the kitchen counter, you can also enjoy espresso with push-button ease.
Anyone looking for complete control over the brewing process should look elsewhere. If you’re happy to let the machine do all the work for you, by the end of today’s DeLonghi Magnifica review, you’ll be perfectly placed to decide if this super-automatic beast is the right fit for your kitchen.
We’ll glimpse first at the core specifications of this espresso maker…
|Specs||DeLonghi Magnifica (ESAM3300)|
|Dimensions||11 x 15.3 x 14.4 inches|
|One-Recipes||Espresso or Double Espresso|
|Milk Preparation System||Manual Steam Wand|
|Average Heat-Up Time||75 seconds|
- Onboard Burr Grinder
- Customized Espresso
- Latte and Cappuccino
- Control Panel
- Specialist Support
Onboard Burr Grinder
The main benefit of this espresso machine comes into play before you even think about pulling a shot.
Like all great super-automatics, the DeLonghi comes with a highly efficient burr grinder sitting on top. To make great espresso, you need to grind your beans directly before brewing. Once exposed to the elements, coffee beans start spoiling in as little as 30 minutes.
Choose from 13 grind settings going all the way from the fine grind you need for espresso through the coarse grind ideal for French press or cold brew coffee.
If you prefer using pre-ground coffee, use the second chamber when it’s time to load up on specialty or decaf pre-ground.
With your fresh beans ground, you’re ready for the main event…
Making espresso with a semi-automatic machine is a labor of love. Although you’ll be free to dial in the variables until you’re pouring shots like a barista, this takes time and effort to master.
For anyone who prefers the immediacy of a push-button espresso experience, the DeLonghi Magnifica delivers the same ease of use as a single-serve coffee maker.
With this machine, every shot is brewed at the right temperature and to the right consistency with extraction consistent. Push a button for single or double espresso and you’ll have piping hot and crema-rich espresso within a couple of minutes.
You can manipulate settings to some degree giving you flexibility without a headache.
How about if you fancy some longer, creamier coffees, though? Well, we all know espresso is not an all-day drink, and with the Magnifica, you’ll be able to build out creamy lattes and cappuccinos with ease. The machine remembers your settings as well so elements like cup size are rolled out to further streamline your experience.
Latte and Cappuccino
The manual frother allows you to get creative with the ratio of milk and foam and make the longer coffees you usually reserve for the coffee shop.
Whether you’re looking for a classic latte or cappuccino, an intense yet frothy macchiato, or a flat white, the Magnifica is good for much more than espresso.
In all cases, you’ll get your creamy coffee started with an espresso base. Grind your beans, choose a single or double shot, then wait for the foundation of your creamy coffee.
Use the milk frother and the wand to create the foam and froth you need in the ratio required for the creamy coffee you’re looking for.
Although this might seem like more of a procedure than the push-button ease of a single-serve machine, the end result will be a much more natural tasting coffee with a deep-bodied espresso at its heart.
All of the above is achieved through the simple and responsive control panel.
Ergonomic dials and buttons let you navigate the settings with ease even if you’re not the greatest tech lover. This, for us, is perhaps the key selling point of the DeLonghi America: you get a feature-rich and tech-driven espresso machine that’s easy enough for a child to use. If you put off buying an espresso maker because you thought there was a steep learning curve, this machine might change your mind. There’s no learning curve at all.
Any good coffee machine is likely to end up gathering dust in the cupboard if it’s a grind to clean.
Luckily, the Magnifica couldn’t be less hassle on that front. The adjustable brew unit is a cinch to keep clean and there’s little else you need to do except ensure the milk frother is washed and dried after each use.
This machine is as close as it’s possible to get to set-and-forget.
Despite this ease of use and commendable build quality, the support you get from DeLonghi is enviable.
Whether you need assistance choosing your new espresso machine, selecting the right espresso beans, or getting your Magnifica set up, contact customer care and they’ll guide you through.
So, how does the coffee from this machine taste? That’s what really counts, after all.
III. How About The Performance and Taste
Whether you’re just starting your coffee making journey or you’re a more experienced practitioner, you’ll be impressed by the intense and rich espresso this machine generates.
As long as you have regular tastes and you’re not looking to become fanatical about dialing in the variables, you should find the shots poured to your liking. The crema is as it should be and you’ll get all this at the push of a button. The only decision you’ll need to make is what beans to pop in the hopper, and whether to choose a single or double shot.
Using the grinder is equally easy. Tip in the required amount of your preferred espresso beans then choose the fine setting. If you’re making coffee using another brewing method, ensure you choose the right grind size for that method. Check out our guide to choosing the right grind size for coffee if you’re stuck.
IV. Tips for Usage and Maintenance
Using the DeLonghi Magnifica really couldn’t be easier. The series of buttons and dials are a pleasure to use and make navigation straightforward for everyone.
You won’t benefit from programmability, but with rapid heating times and shots poured in under a minute, you won’t really bemoan its absence.
Wipe down the exterior of the machine regularly with a damp cloth.
Ensure the milk frother is always kept clean. Leave any milk residue and it will start smelling bad in no time.
Cleaning time is marketed at half the time of the competition. You won’t be tied into buying any expensive cleaning agents, either.
3-hour auto shut-off removes any safety issues.
Overall, we can’t really rate the Magnifica higher for ease of use and an almost complete lack of maintenance.
Let’s round out with some of the most frequently asked questions about espresso machines.
1) What is a super-automatic espresso machine?
Super-automatic espresso machines come with a coffee grinder baked in. This allows you to make bean-to-cup coffee with one compact countertop appliance. A super-automatic also gives you the ability to make espresso with push-button ease and with no special skills or knowledge required. For beginners, these machines are perfect. More experienced coffee fans might not enjoy the relative lack of control.
2) Can I only make espresso with the DeLonghi Magnifica?
No. You can make enjoy both single and double shot of espresso, but the manual milk frother bundled allows you to use the espresso as a base for longer, milky coffees like latte, cappuccino, macchiato, and flat whites.
3) What if I don’t want to use fresh whole coffee beans?
If you prefer using pre-ground coffee, there’s a secondary chamber to make provision for this. In general, you’re better off grinding your own beans right before brewing if you’re looking for great espresso. Doing this and using fresh, filtered water will get you off to the strongest start.
4) Is it really necessary to grind my coffee beans right before I brew? Can’t I just grind up enough for multiple brews?
Firstly, grinding before brewing is recommended because coffee beans start degrading very quickly once exposed to oxygen. This degradation begins within as little as 30 minutes. If you want to extract the most aroma and flavor from your beans, grinding right before brewing is essential. If you decide to blitz up enough beans for the whole day, the flavor and aroma will be impacted. When it’s this quick and easy to grind your beans before brewing, why change a winning recipe?
5) What type of milk frother does the DeLonghi Magnifica have?
You get a manual steaming wand to go with the frothing jug. Although this means you’ll need to put in a little effort, in return you can take complete control over the consistency and texture of the foam and froth you whip up from your milk. Whether you want a creamy cappuccino or a foam-rich macchiato, you can make those and much more using the strong, rich espresso you’ll get from the Magnifica as your base and the manual frother to embellish those drinks like a barista.
6) How should I grind my coffee beans for espresso?
You want a fine grind so leave the DeLonghi to do this for you on the lowest setting. Manipulate this slightly if you find the coffee not exactly to your taste. This is one of the few variables you’ll be free to control on this machine so make sure you get it to your liking.
7) Is a super-automatic difficult to use?
On the contrary, super-automatic espresso machines are the easiest to use. All that you need to do is push buttons or twist dials. Semi-automatic machines give you a much more hands-on experience, and they also require more skill to use. With a super-automatic, by contrast, the onboard grinder saves you from tinkering with a third-party accessory. Making espresso is as simple as choosing whether you want a single or double shot. Creating milk is also a breeze.
You shouldn’t rush in when you’re looking to buy a new espresso machine. Spending a little time and effort before committing to purchase could mean the difference between fresh short shorts every day, and an expensive hunk of unused metal.
We understand everyone is crunched for time, so we’ve produced these detailed espresso machine reviews allowing you to assess what type of machines are up for grabs and which would make the best fit for you.
The DeLonghi Magnifica is ideal if you want espresso without the need to learn a new skill, and without manually pulling shots. The trade-off you need to make is some control over the brewing process. In addition to this, the onboard grinder adds an extra layer of convenience, especially if you don’t already own a coffee grinder.
So, think about this set against your needs and usage then determine whether or not you feel the Magnifica is the right choice.
Bookmark LaMano before you head off. We have an ambitious content calendar in place for the holiday season so be sure to come back soon for all the latest coffee news.