Don’t want to spend a fortune on a super-automatic espresso machine?
Delonghi Magnifica is one of those entry-level models that don’t break the bank.
But is it worth it?
After hours of research and comparison to other models on the market, I can safely say it is!
Now, to find out if this machine is for you, here’s an in-depth Delonghi Magnifica review with everything you need to know.
Let’s dive in!
Delonghi Magnifica: a Quick Overview
Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 is one of the most popular super-automatic espresso machines, and not without reason. It’s easy to use yet makes a consistently good cup of espresso. And when you add the low price tag to the equation, this is a model that’s hard to beat.
You actually get quite a bit of customization. From dose and volume to the temperature, you can finetune your espresso depending on your preference. And once you find the sweet spot, you can save that for future one-button brewing.
The grinder is also worth a mention. Stainless steel conical burrs ensure you get even grounds every time. And with 13 settings available, you can finetune the size depending on the beans you’re using.
The Panarello-style wand makes steaming easy, regardless of your skill. Plus, you can remove the sheath and use it as a regular wand instead. In case you’re already experienced with steaming milk, a regular wand gives you more control.
The dual boiler system makes brewing fast. You can’t brew and steam simultaneously, but there’s practically no wait time between the two steps.
With that being said, I must mention that the plastic housing was a bit of a disappointment. Sure, the machine is sturdy, but it can’t last anywhere near as long as a coffee machine with a steel frame.
- Features a front-loading water tank, so you don’t have to move the machine when refilling
- The double boiler system allows you to make milk-based drinks without wait time
- The removable brew head makes cleaning very easy
- The memory function allows you to use the same settings for future brews
- The plastic casing is not as durable as the steel
- You can’t brew and steam milk simultaneously
Delonghi Magnifica Features Rundown
Alright, now that we have done a brief overview of this DeLonghi coffee machine, let’s talk about each feature in detail.
What’s the design like?
The fact that this is an entry-level super-automatic espresso machine is somewhat clear right off the bat. You see, the body of this espresso maker is all plastic – although you could mistake it for steel at first glance.
Still, the quality of the design is definitely on point.
With the dimensions of 11.0 x 15.3 x 14.4 inches and a weight of 23.2 pounds, this model is definitely on the more compact side. I find that to be a bonus point because not everyone has ample counter space for all the kitchen gadgets.
There are also some cool features worth a mention.
First is the cup warmer on top of the machine. It’s decently sized, so it allows you to warm up to 3 or 4 cups at a time.
I also like the fact that the spout is adjustable. From the minimum height of 2.75 inches to a maximum one of 4.25, you can set it to fit your cup, be it a:
- Cappuccino cup
- Tall travel mug
Finally, it’s pretty impressive that this espresso maker comes with a removable brew head. This is not something you often find on super-automatic espresso machines, yet it makes maintenance so much simpler.
Not to mention that it makes it also easier to replace in case something gets damaged.
IN A NUTSHELL
The plastic exterior is a clear sign that this is a more affordable super-automatic machine. But the cool design features it comes with are definitely more premium than entry-level quality.
How good is the grinder?
The whole point behind super-automatic espresso makers is to be able to make coffee from bean to cup without much hassle.
And when it comes to grinding, Magnifica surely doesn’t disappoint.
There are 13 grind settings available, going from extra coarse to extra fine. And to be honest, you don’t even need that many options anyway, as some of them aren’t suitable enough for espresso. But I guess having more settings can’t hurt.
The Magnifica uses stainless steel conical burr grinder, which is to be expected from a coffee machine at this price range.
Flat burrs might be slightly more precise than conical ones, and ceramic is also a slightly better option than steel. But we’re talking about slight improvements that you find on much pricier models compared to this one.
In reality, you probably won’t notice much difference.
What’s also great is that the machine features a pre ground coffee bypass chute as well. That’s handy in case you want to grab a cup of decaf or simply try out coffee other than the one in the hopper.
One thing that’s not so great about this coffee grinder is the noise it makes.
If your household members are sleeping in a room next door, they’ll probably wake up to the annoying sound of the Magnifica grinding your beans. So let’s hope at least they’ll like the coffee you make.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Magnifica features conical burrs, which give you precise and consistent results. There are 13 grind options available, which is more than enough for grinding the coffee bean for espresso.
What are the brewing options?
The Magnifica comes with dual stainless steel thermoblock boilers, which is pretty impressive.
One boiler is designated for keeping the water temperature optimal for espresso, while the other does that for steaming milk. This allows you to pull one shot after another with practically no wait in between.
However, that doesn’t mean you can brew and steam simultaneously. But let’s be real – that’s too much unnecessary multitasking anyway, given that making espresso is a rather fast task.
As for the actual brewing, this machine lets you change the setting for:
- Coffee strength
- Cup size
This might not appear much, but if you think about it, it lets you make a range of drinks actually. Basically, you can make anything from a ristretto to a long black. And, of course, you can tweak each coffee drink to your liking.
And once you find your preferred settings, the Magnifica has a function to remember the details. So while it might have taken you five minutes to set that up yesterday, it will only take you a press of a button to do it today.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Magnifica allows you to change the temperature, strength, and cup size of your drink. That way, you can make any espresso type of drink you want.
What’s the coffee quality?
Even though it’s entry-level, this coffee machine makes consistently delicious coffee.
And the main star behind that is the dual boiler system.
You see, the Golden Cup Standard recommends the water temperature for brewing espresso to be between 195°F and 205°F.
Milk, however, should be steamed at a lower temperature – no more than 158°F.
Machines that have a single heating system take a long time to go between the two temperature ratings. And more often than not, they don’t achieve the perfect temperature for either.
But that’s not the problem here. One boiler is set to the required temperature for brewing, while the other is set for steaming.
Another feature that ensures you get a good cup of espresso is the 15-bar pressure pump.
As you might know, 9 bars of pressure are more than enough to pull a proper espresso shot. But by adding more, the Magnifica ensures that you still get the right amount of pressure, even if some of it gets lost between the pump and the brew head.
As a result, you always get a well-extracted shot with a nice layer of crema on top.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Magnifica makes a really good cup of espresso. Its pump and water heating system ensures the pull is consistent every time.
How well does it froth milk?
For a second, I was actually surprised to see that the Magnifica doesn’t have the fancy Cappucino system you see on premium Delonghi models.
But then I remembered that this is an entry-level super-automatic machine.
And to be honest, I actually prefer the Panarello wand it comes with.
This type of wand is designed for all aspiring home baristas in the making. In other words, it’s supposed to make frothing easier, even for the less experienced.
With a Panarello, there’s a plastic sheath that goes over the steep pipe, which allows air inside regardless of how you’re holding it. Basically, there’s very little room for you to mess up the milk foam.
But what’s even better with this Panarello wand is the fact that the sheath is removable! And what you’re left with in that case is the classic steam wand that you get on semi-automatic machines.
Now, the wand is great for making foam at home. But don’t expect it to be just as strong as the ones on commercial machines. You can make a pretty nice foam with it. But it’s not the best tool for a coffee lover who wants to perfect the latte art at home.
IN A NUTSHELL
You have to do the frothing manually on the Magnifica. But the Panarello-style wand makes your job easy, regardless of your skill.
How big is the water tank?
I find 60 ounces of capacity to be more than enough for a home espresso machine.
You can pull a bunch of shots before you need to refill it.
And what’s great is that the Magnifica has an indicator light letting you know when it’s time to do that.
Also, the fact that the water tank can be accessed from the front is great. That means you don’t have to move the machine around whenever you need to refill it, which can be tough in tight spaces.
But what’s not so great is the fact that the Magnifica can’t accommodate a water filter.
You do get test strips to check the hardness of your water, but there’s nothing in the packaging that can help you deal with that. So the only thing you can do is adjust your descaling frequency depending on how hard your water at home is.
Of course, you can always use bottled water or filter the water beforehand, but that’s definitely not that practical.
IN A NUTSHELL
The water tank is pretty large, so you can pull several dozen of shots before it needs refilling. The only annoying part is that you can’t use the filter, so you’ll have to descale the machine more frequently.
How easy is this machine to use?
No one likes flipping through the manual several times before even turning the machine on.
Luckily, that’s not the problem with Magnifica.
The control panel is pretty simple. You have a couple of buttons and dial knobs, all with intuitive icons showing you what they do.
It also features indicator lights for:
- Water level
- Amount of coffee grounds
- General warning
Most machines have a single light that blinks when something’s wrong, and you have to figure out what it is. But that’s not the case with Magnifica. So whatever might be happening with your machine, there’s no room for guess game.
What’s the maintenance like?
As I already said, this model has a removable brew head. And I can’t state enough how much that makes maintenance easier. You can just remove it, rinse it with hot water in the sink, and put it back.
With other machines, you have to run tons of cleaning cycles to get every coffee particle out.
Of course, you have to clean other removable parts on a regular basis as well, like the drip tray and the water tank.
Not going to lie. The fact that the water tank isn’t compatible with a water filter is slightly annoying. That basically means that limescale deposit will build up much faster, so you’ll have to descale it more often.
But what’s great is that you can program the descaling interval depending on your water hardness. And when the time comes, the machine will send you a blinking signal to let you know.
Descaling is pretty simple, actually.
Basically, you need to fill the water tank with the solution recommended by the brand and let the machine run the cycle. That’s all!
IN A NUTSHELL
The removable brew head makes regular maintenance much easier. However, since it doesn’t use water filters, the Magnifica has to be descaled much more regularly than many models.
Is it worth your money?
Finally, the question you’re wondering the most.
And I’ll tell you straight away – yes, it is worth your money.
Super-automatic espresso machines generally cost an arm and a leg, so the price tag of the Magnifica isn’t bad at all.
For that money, you get some premium features, like:
- Dual boiler system
- Removable brew head
- Conical burr grinder
- 15-bar pressure pump
It might not have the fancy display, automatic frother, or Wi-Fi connectivity…
But the features it has allows you to make a delicious cup of coffee every time, and that’s what matters the most, right?
IN A NUTSHELL
For the price tag it comes with, the Magnifica is worth every penny. It has all the features you need to make a consistently good cup of coffee every time.
Have other questions regarding this machine? Here’s a quick FAQ that should solve your doubts.
What is the difference between DeLonghi Magnifica S and Magnifica?
DeLonghi Magnifica S offers more customization compared to the older model, allowing more drink tweaking. It’s also slightly more compact but features a larger bean hopper than the original Magnifica.
How long does a DeLonghi Magnifica last?
Given it has a plastic body, you can expect the Magnifica to last for a good couple of years. Ultimately, it depends on how regular and meticulous you are with maintenance.
Does DeLonghi Magnifica make regular coffee?
The original Magnifica only makes espresso-based drinks. However, newer models such as Magnifica Evo can make regular coffee as well.
To Sum Things Up
Delonghi Magnifica is a great entry-level super-automatic machine. For the price it’s sold at, this model is quite a steal.
You should get it if:
- You want an affordable super-automatic espresso machine
- You have a large coffee-drinking household
- You have limited counter space
Don’t get it if:
- You want a fully automatic espresso maker
- You need a silent grinder
- You want to brew and steam simultaneously
All in all, this is an amazing machine that makes great coffee. But the question is – is it amazing enough for you?
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