Buying a new espresso machine?
If you’re set on going with Delonghi, I’m sure the Dedica model has come up as an option.
But is it worth the money?
I’ve spent hours researching to find the answer to that question.
In this Delonghi Dedica review, I’ll break down each of its features individually to get to the bottom of things.
So here’s what’s good and what’s not-so-good about this coffee maker.
Delonghi Dedica: A Quick Overview
While it’s tiny, this Delonghi espresso machine surely stands out with its look. The modernistic, sleek design with a brushed metal look is the eye candy in every kitchen. And a slim figure makes it suitable for small spaces.
But if I had to describe this espresso machine with a single word, it would be “user-friendly.” And really, with a control panel featuring just three buttons and a single knob, using this espresso maker is a piece of cake.
And when it comes to more skill-related parts of making espresso, this model also offers a helping hand.
First, it features pressurized filter baskets, which ensure you always get a very concentrated espresso with a nice layer on top.
And second, the Pannarello steam wand is so simple to use that even your cat could froth milk.
You can also choose from two types of foam – flat or frothy. Depending on what you’re drinking, you can really make a drink that looks straight out of a cafe.
If you’re a skilled at-home barista, then these features surely won’t appeal to you. You can already make great espresso without them. After all, this is a coffee machine designed with beginners in mind.
But if you’re only learning to make espresso, then these features will make your job a bit easier.
- With just 6 inches in width, this espresso maker eliminates kitchen clutter
- Heats up in under a minute, so you can start brewing right away
- It’s beginner-friendly, meaning that some features are simplified to make brewing easier
- You can choose between two types of foam, so you can make anything from a cappuccino to a flat white
- Simplified features are made for beginners, meaning they’re underwhelming for experienced baristas
Delonghi Dedica: Features Rundown
Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics of this Delonghi model, let’s discuss each feature in detail.
How’s the design & build quality of this machine?
With 13 inches in height and depth and 6 inches in width, this is quite a compact model. Even if you have a very limited counter space, there’s surely enough room to squeeze a Dedica in.
The tiny footprint also adds to the elegant design of this espresso maker. The body is made of stainless steel, and there are a couple of color options available:
So whatever color your kitchen cabinets and appliances might be, one of these would surely match the theme.
Now, the beauty of the design lies in its simplicity.
You only have three buttons and a single-knob dial to work with. The buttons let you choose between:
- Single cup
- Double cup
The dial, on the other hand, is just to start and stop the steam wand.
Pretty simple, right? This is one of those models you don’t really need a manual for.
I really like that this model has a cup warmer on top. Of course, given it’s a rather slim coffee machine, you can’t put a bunch of cups up there. But three of them can surely fit. And you probably won’t make more coffee than that at once most of the time.
For an espresso maker of this size, the water tank is pretty decent. With 36 ounces of capacity, you can make a few dozen cups of espresso before it needs refilling.
One thing I hate about this model is the tamper it comes with.
This thing is made of flimsy plastic, and it’s featherweight. I have no idea how one is supposed to apply proper pressure to that. The other end of the tamper is actually a scoop, which makes it even more impractical.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Dedica’s simplistic design makes it a beginner-friendly machine.
How does Dedica perform?
Delonghi Dedica is a semi-automatic espresso maker, meaning you have to do some steps manually. Namely, that’s tamping the ground coffee on your own.
Of course, you also need to grind coffee beans on your own, since this machine doesn’t have a built-in coffee grinder.
So, making a good coffee with this machine also depends on your barista skills, not just the machine itself.
Still, this model does make your job a bit easier with the choice of filter baskets.
The Dedica comes with three pressurized filter baskets:
- Single espresso
- Double espresso
- Easy-serve espresso pod
Pressurized filter baskets have a single hole at the bottom – compared to standard ones, which have many.
This creates pressure inside the basket for consistent extraction. For that reason, a pressurized basket is more forgiving to rookie barista skills compared to standard ones.
Higher pressure means a rich crema layer on top of your espresso.
Therefore, there’s no way your espresso made with Dedica won’t look good.
But here’s the thing:
The looks are there to hide the flavor.
In reality, a pressurized basket will always make an inferior espresso shot compared to the standard one.
I’m not saying that the difference between the two is drastic. But to a trained palate, it’s noticeable.
Still, if you’re a beginner at making espresso, pressurized filter baskets make your job much easier. They ensure you get consistent results each time, even if you mess up tamping or grinding a bit.
Having the option to use ESE coffee pods is also great for rookies. And let’s not ignore the fact that they’re quick and convenient. There are days when we simply can’t bother with anything more than that.
Now, the Dedica allows you to choose between three temperature settings:
However, it doesn’t tell you what degrees these settings are.
But I’ll tell you right now – you only need the high temperature. The first two aren’t warm enough for proper extraction.
All in all, I find the temperature setting to be a useless feature.
Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the superstar behind temperature settings – the heater. The Dedica uses a single Thermoblock technology to heat up water.
And it does that in just 40 seconds!
That’s right. This machine is ready to brew in less than a minute after being turned on. So, it’s pretty fast.
IN A NUTSHELL
Like any semi-automatic espresso maker, Dedica has a slight learning curve. But thanks to pressurized portafilters, it’s easier for beginners to make a decent cup of coffee.
Frothing milk with Dedica
Like most beginner-friendly machines, Dedica features a Pannarello-style wand. This type of wand is easily recognizable by the thick sleeve.
Pannarello is great for beginners, as it makes frothing much simpler. You don’t have to worry about the right angle or creating the vortex.
No matter how you position it into the milk, this type of wand will produce a decent foam.
On top, it has a dial with two options:
- Hot milk
The first option makes a thick froth, like the one you get on a cappuccino. The second one makes a creamy layer of foam, like the one on a flat white.
Now, there’s one thing you should know before you start making milk-based drinks on the Dedica.
When you open the dial to let the steam, the machine flushes out the air left in the circuit. And when it does that, a few drops of residual water can get out.
If you were to place a pitcher with milk underneath the wand right away, these drops would get into your milk. (Yuck!)
What you should do instead is place an empty cup to collect these drops. After that’s flushed, you can proceed with steaming milk.
Not going to lie. The froth you get with Dedica is really nice. Especially given the fact that you don’t have to do anything aside from holding a pitcher in your hand.
However, if you want to practice your latte art skills, this is not the machine for you. You simply can’t get that velvety microfoam with this milk frother.
IN A NUTSHELL
Dedica features a Pannarello-style steam wand, which is very user-friendly. It allows you to make a decent foam without much skill. However, this is not the type of wand that can make great latte art with.
How easy is Dedica to use?
As I’ve said before, Delonghi Dedica is a beginner-friendly espresso machine.
What does that mean?
It means that it has some features that allow you to make a decent cup of espresso without refined barista skills.
Pressurized filter baskets are designed to create enough pressure even if you don’t get the grind just right.
What’s more, you don’t even need to get the bed of coffee tamped that evenly.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Pannarello wand.
This type of wand makes frothing a piece of cake.
With a regular wand, you need to get a few factors right:
And not just that, but you also need to change them at a specific point.
Seems like a lot of work, right?
Well, with a Pannarello, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
Just choose the foam setting and stick it into the milk until you get the desired results.
Now, Dedica is also easy to operate.
With just three buttons and a single knob dial, I don’t see how you can mess something up.
- First, of course, you turn on the machine. After 40 seconds, which is how long it takes to heat up, the machine will stop flashing. This means it’s ready to brew.
- Now, you can choose between a single or a double shot of espresso. Once you have the right amount of coffee in your cup, the espresso maker stops.
- If you’re making a milk-based drink, this is when you press the steaming button.
- Turn the steam dial to the steaming position. After it flushes a bit of water, it’s ready to steam. Put a wand inside the judger and let it do its magic.
It doesn’t get easier than that, does it?
IN A NUTSHELL
Dedica is a pretty easy machine to use. With just three buttons and a single knob, the control panel couldn’t be simpler. Pressurized filter baskets and Pannarello give consistent results, so they’re great for beginners.
The dreaded “C” word
And now, about the part that every coffee lover hates the most – cleaning.
You’ll be relieved to know that maintenance is not so dreadful with Dedica.
There are some things you can’t avoid with espresso machines. This includes:
- Removing the coffee puck after brewing
- Emptying the drip tray
- Cleaning the water tank
Unfortunately, no espresso maker will do it for you. I guess the technology hasn’t caught up to that yet.
Of course, you should also backflush every day or two. That is as simple as starting a brewing program without coffee.
Finally, the descaling process.
Delonghi says you should only use the brand’s descaler. So to be safe, it’s best to do that.
Basically, you add it to a full water tank, then start the descaling program.
To do that, you need to:
- Press and hold the steam button for 10 seconds. After the three buttons flash in sequence, you can release the button.
- Next, turn the steam dial on.
- Press the steam button, and it will start descaling.
- After the machine is done descaling, you need to rinse it with fresh water.
As you can see, descaling is pretty quick and simple with this machine.
IN A NUTSHELL
Dedica is as easy to maintain as any espresso maker. You need to rinse removable parts often and run a descaling program every few months.
What Is the Difference Between Dedica 680 and 685?
You might have noticed that there are two different Dedica models – the 680 and 685.
So, what’s the catch?
Well, the 680 is the original model and the 685, which we’ve covered in this article, is the updated version.
The new model has everything the old one had, plus two other features.
The first one is the so-called Cappuccinatore. This is the dial on the Pannarello wand that lets you choose between the two types of foam. With the original one, you could only make a classic froth.
The other feature the upgraded version has is the double drip tray.
By removing the top part, you get about an inch of space between the tray and the spout.
This allows you to put taller cups or a travel mug underneath it. Plus, this is especially useful when making latte macchiato, as you need to pour espresso over the steamed milk in a glass.
Have other Dedica-related questions? In this section, I’ll answer some of the most common questions regarding this machine.
Can you use pods in DeLonghi Dedica?
Yes, you can use an ESE pod (easy-serving espresso) with a Dedica machine. To do that, simply change the filter basket inside the portafilter to accommodate this type of coffee pod.
What size is Delonghi Dedica Portafilter?
Dedica uses the 51mm portafilter. This is somewhat smaller than the industry standard, which is the 58mm portafilter.
How many bars is Delonghi Dedica?
Dedica features a 15-bar pressure pump, which is very common for machines with pressurized filter baskets. This amount of pressure is enough to force the water through the small hole in the filter basket and achieve a nice layer of crema.
To Sum Things Up
Delonghi Dedica is a pretty decent espresso machine. But like any other model, it has its good and bad sides.
This espresso maker is designed to make life much easier for new and aspiring at-home baristas. From the control panel to features like filter baskets and froth wands, this machine simplifies making espresso.
However, for the same reason, it simply doesn’t offer enough for skilled baristas.
Buy it if…
- You’re new to making espresso
- Have a limited counter space
- Want a very quick espresso machine
Don’t buy it if…
- You’re a pro barista wanting to further perfect your skills
- You want a fully automated espresso-making process
- Your budget for an espresso machine is very limited
So there you have it. Now it’s up to you to decide whether this espresso machine has what you need.
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