How To Use Delonghi Espresso Machine (An Easy Guide)

Got a new Delonghi machine, but the manual is nowhere to be found?

No need to panic. 

Delonghi machines are pretty straightforward to use.

In fact, in this article, I’ll show you how to use Delonghi espresso machine – abridged. Because why waste time on unimportant facts?

Let’s start.

3 Types of Delonghi Coffee Machines

person using delonghi machine
Source: delonghi.com

Before we get into details on how to use a Delonghi espresso machine, we need to talk about the different types the brand offers.

Automatic Espresso Machine

What makes automatic espresso machines so popular is the fact that there’s very little input required from you. Basically, all you need to do is place a cup underneath the spout, click a few buttons and watch coffee pouring in. 

What’s more, these types of espresso machines usually offer quite a bit of customizability. Of course, that’s reflected in their price tag. The more personalization they offer, the more expensive they are.

Since an automatic machine does most of the job, you can expect your coffee to be of consistent quality. This makes automatic espresso makers ideal for beginners. In fact, for everyone who doesn’t want to invest much time in practicing barista skills.

Manual Espresso Machine

With a manual espresso machine, you need to put those barista skills to work. From grinding and tamping coffee to brewing and steaming, you have to do these steps yourself. 

Making an excellent cup of espresso using a manual machine does have a slight learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, you can really make the best use of a manual machine. 

With complete control over the brewing process, you can tweak the drink to turn out just how you like it. That’s why professional baristas prefer using a manual espresso maker.

All-in-One Coffee Machine

For those that can’t choose a favorite between espresso and drip coffee, Delonghi makes machines that do both.

These coffee makers usually have a double heating system. This allows you to make espresso and drip coffee at the same time.

The espresso-making side on all-in-one models is manual. That means you have to measure and tamp your grounds, as well as start and stop the brewing.

How to Use Delonghi Automatic Espresso Machine

Delonghi offers a long list of automatic espresso makers, with different features and price tags. But regardless of the model, they all work on pretty much the same principle.

Brewing

With an automatic espresso maker, most of your work consists of clicking a few buttons on the control panel. Here’s a rough explanation of what to do:

  1. If your machine comes with a built-in grinder, then your first step is to choose coffee beans grind size and amount. Certain models also have a bypass doser for pre ground coffee, so you can use this option as well.
  2. Now that the coffee is ground, it’s time to choose your brew settings. Different models offer different options, but most of them will let you change the brew strength, temperature, and cup size.
  3. Once you have your brewing set up, it’s time to click the button and let the machine make espresso.

Frothing

Craving a cappuccino? It’s time to froth some milk.

The majority of automatic Delonghi models come with an automatic milk frother. With this feature, there’s little input required from you. Basically, you just need to place a cup underneath the frother, and select desired settings for your milk froth.

Again, the exact amount of settings offered differ between models. But in most cases, you can choose the amount, consistency, and temperature of the milk.

Certain models, like the best-selling Magnifica, come with a manual steam wand. This type of wand usually requires a bit more practice to get frothing right.

Cleaning

Cleaning is usually a piece of cake with automatic espresso machines. If your model has an automatic frother, then your espresso maker surely has a flushing option that is automatically run after you steam milk.

Aside from that, your machine also has a descaling program that you should run when a dedicated light on the panel flashes.

To do that, you need to add a descaling solution and place a container underneath the spout to collect water. The container should be at least 50 ounces big so that it doesn’t overflow.

Then, the only thing you need to do is start the descaling program and wait for it to finish. This should take about 30 minutes, after which you’ll need to rinse and refill the water tank.

NOTE
Descale your Delonghi regularly if you want to avoid the machine’s malfunction!

How to Use Delonghi Manual Espresso Machine

With manual machines, you have quite a bit of work to do.

Brewing

As the name of the machine type suggests, you have to do everything manually. Regardless of the model you own, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Grab a coffee scoop and level the grounds before adding them to the filter. Make sure to brush off any excess from the rim with your fingers. If you don’t do that, coffee particles can get stuck inside the machine.
  2. Gently level the coffee grounds inside the filter with your finger. Then, grab a tamper and push it down with light but consistent pressure. You don’t want to press too firmly, or else the water might not be able to get through the grounds.
  3. Now that the grounds are tamped and ready, attach the filter holder to its designated place. To do so, twist the handle from left to right, until it’s locked. At that point, the handle should be at the front of your espresso maker.
  4. Depending on the machine you’re using, it will have either a knob or a button that starts the brewing process.

Frothing

Manual machines in 99% of cases feature a manual steam wand. And with this type of steam wand, you have a slight learning curve.

While automatic frothers force air into the milk on their own, with a manual wand, you need to do that yourself. To do that, you have to place the tip of the wand just below the surface at a slight angle. That way, it creates a vortex and creates bubbles.

By moving the milk jug up and down while steaming, you can break up larger bubbles and create a more creamy microfoam.

Now I know, it’s one thing to read about it and a whole another to do it. So don’t be discouraged if your first frothing with a manual wand doesn’t end up perfect. You’ll get the hang of it within a few tries.

Cleaning

Most manual machines are simple although a bit time-consuming to clean.

For all the removable parts, you need to rinse them manually under the sink. Avoid putting them inside a dishwasher, as the detergent it uses might be too harsh.

Descaling manual espresso machines is pretty much the same as with automatic ones.

What you need to do manually is add a descaling solution to the water tank and place a container underneath the spout.

After running a descaling program, rinse and refill the water tank afterward.

How to Use Delonghi All-in-One Coffee Machine

Delonghi All-in-One Coffee Machine
Source: delonghi.com

In terms of functioning, all-in-one machines work pretty much like manual espresso machines. Of course, with the addition of a drip coffee maker.

Brewing

All-in-one machines are pretty simple to use. If you want to make drip coffee, here’s what you need to do:

  1. With a measuring spoon, add coffee grounds to the filter. Pour water into the tank, while making sure not to fill over the MAX line.
  2. Close the filter holder door.
  3. Make sure the carafe is in its designated position, then turn on the machine.

That’s pretty much it. Simple, right?

The espresso side isn’t that much harder to use, but certain steps get better with practice. Here’s how to make espresso:

  1. Fill up the water tank.
  2. Add ground coffee into the portafilter, then use a tamper to level.
  3. Place the portafilter into its designated location and lock it in place.
  4. Run the brewing program and wait for the espresso to pour into your cup.

Frothing

The steam wand that comes with this type of machine features two settings.

One is for making a bubbly froth like the one you need for a cappuccino. The other one creates velvety microfoam, such as the one you see on a latte.

There’s not much you need to do, aside from holding the jug and selecting between the two frothing options.

Cleaning

Maintenance is pretty much the same as with manual espresso machines. The removable parts have to be hand washed, and you should do that on a regular basis.

As for the descaling cycle, the case is pretty much the same. Once you see a descaling alert popping on the screen, it’s time to add the solution into the water tank and run the cycle.

Conclusion

Regardless of the type, Delonghi espresso machines seem to be pretty straightforward to use.

Automatic machines do most of the job for you. From grinding to frothing, you barely have to do anything aside from choosing your preferred settings.

With manual and all-in-one espresso makers, you have to be more engaged in the whole brewing process.

Has Delonghi won you over? Check out our list of the best Delonghi espresso machines on the market.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.