I could talk about espresso for hours, so it’s always a pleasure when I get to work specifically on espresso and help coffee lovers pull a great shot. This time, I wanted to find the best DeLonghi Espresso Machine. For me, the Delonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica had a slight edge because of its versatility and ease of use. But more on that later.
I hope you’ve heard of DeLonghi before Brad Pitt began showing up in every commercial. Their reputation and dedication to the coffee industry far supersede the need to hire non-coffee spokespeople, but that’s just my opinion.
DeLonghi is known to make quality products. While no one has ever accused them of being cheap, you can count on your machine to do what is promised for a long time. Most DeLonghi coffee machines come with a two-year warranty which is rare in the coffee machine niche.
Having been around for over 100 years, they are using all their knowledge and expertise to produce high-functioning models that are getting better and better. Evidence of this is their All-In-One machine that can brew almost any kind of coffee you can think of.
If you’ve struggled with machines in the past either breaking down, not producing hot coffee, or just downright quitting on you, then it’s time to step up to the big leagues with a quality name brand like DeLonghi.
Closer Look at Our Favorites
If you know you love espresso and are not on a super-tight budget, then there is no substitute for the DeLonghi Magnifica. The design catches your eye right away, and it functions just as well as it looks.
This super-automatic espresso maker has all the frills, which includes a built-in grinder. You can get your favorite beans, dump them in, and the Magnifica does the rest. The burr grinder has 13 different settings to choose from, so you get a customized cup of espresso.
Taking the customization to the next level, you can program your favorite way to pull a shot, and the Magnifica will remember it. You won’t have to fiddle with it every time, and once you find that perfect recipe, you can always re-create it.
The money you spend on this will be more like an investment since this machine is built very sturdily. The metal components mean it functions smoothly over and over again.
Cleaning is also made easy as the water reservoir, drip tray, and waste bin are all removable. The steaming wand tucks away neatly for storage, so it stays clean while not in use. There is even an indicator that will tell you when it’s time to perform a decalcification.
- Integrated grinder
- Programmable features to remember your perfect drink
- Elegant look and appearance
- Built with quality in mind
- Front loading water reservoir
- Doesn’t brew and steam simultaneously
- Takes up a lot of space
For options, this semi-automatic machine provides many with an easy-to-use interface. It’s a great option for beginners or anyone who likes espresso sporadically.
What’s unique about this is that it brews pods as well as coffee grounds. You can try thousands of different types of flavors, and pods come in very handy when you’re in a rush.
You can make consecutive shots with this dual-thermostat system. It heats up fast and keeps the water hot so you can pull shot after shot, just like experienced baristas. One monitors the water temperature and the other the steam pressure. Consistent temperature helps you produce better foam.
The milk frother is manual, which may take a bit of practice for rookies, but it is much more consistent because of the separate temperature gauge.
For the power and features this machine has, it’s quite small. This makes it more accessible for many locations that may not be the kitchen. It’s also priced accordingly, which is tough to find in a machine with this kind of quality.
Speaking of quality, the stainless steel construction not only looks great but is very strong. This should be a staple for all espresso machines in this price range, but the advancement of plastics and the higher price of stainless steel means it’s harder to get.
- Dual-thermostat for water and steam temperature control
- Heats up fast and maintains for multiple shots
- Manual milk frother
- Able to brew grounds or pods
- Strong stainless steel build
- No built-in grinder
- No auto-off feature
Twenty years ago, this super-automatic machine would not have been recognized as an espresso machine. Due to its futuristic look and advanced features, many people would have mistaken it for something that NASA made. This is a great example of what a quality company like DeLonghi is capable of, and it helps get us our coffee effortlessly.
The programmable functions here are almost endless. It can remember how you like your espresso or any other drink, so all you have to do to re-create it is push a button. It’s also one of few machines that make lattes without you having to do anything. Their patented LatteCrema system and intuitive user interface automate all steps of making milk-based beverages.
When I say all steps are automated, I mean it. Simply pour whole beans into the grinder, make your drink selection, and then the next thing you’ll be doing is sipping on your completed high-quality espresso drink.
When not in use, the milk carafe is removable, so you can store it in the fridge. This is a huge advantage since cleaning out a stationary milk tank is cumbersome.
To help you select which drink you want the Prima Donna to make, there is an advanced yet easy-to-use LED control panel. Here is where you’ll be able to customize each cup for yourself or your guests. There’s even a hot water option for those who prefer tea or hot chocolate.
- Super-automatic process for hands-off espresso brewing
- LatteCrema system means you don’t have to steam milk yourself
- Self-explanatory LED adjustable controls
- Durable stainless steel housing
- Removable milk container
- Not compatible with pods despite being an automatic model
- More expensive
This semi-automatic machine is my favorite on a budget. For the price you’re paying, you get quite a few features and are able to brew a very decent espresso.
It’s small enough to fit most kitchen countertops without adding clutter. This is tough to find in espresso makers since most tend to command much real estate.
Despite its size mostly plastic construction, it still packs a punch and can do most of the things that more expensive espresso makers can do. It provides 15-bars of pressure which is great for producing rich and velvety shots of espresso. You can pull two shots at once as well, so no one has to wait during those fast-paced mornings before work.
With the included manual milk frother, you can create any milk-based beverage, such as lattes and cappuccinos. This is where you may want to improve, though, as the steamer doesn’t produce the same microform that higher-end models can.
Cleaning this espresso machine is also a breeze, partly because of its removable water tank and drip tray. The removable drip tray also comes in handy for brewing directly into taller mugs.
This compact espresso machine is great for first-time buyers. It allows you all the benefits of espresso with much less hassle and less risk of making bad cups of coffee.
- Small size for an espresso machine
- Can pull two shots at once
- Includes milk steamer
- Heats up fast
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t produce fantastic milk foam
- Plastic construction
This machine is one of the many reasons why I love DeLonghi. They’re always trying to improve and give consumers what they want.
This unique all-in-one machine is something many companies don’t offer. It can make a pot of coffee and pull a shot of espresso at the same time. Dual heating elements make this possible, so no matter who you’re serving, hot coffee in some form will be ready quickly.
For the espresso lovers reading this, you have nothing to worry about. I wouldn’t include this if it produced subpar espresso. The machine utilizes 15-bars of pressure to produce authentic espressos with a rich and full-bodied flavor.
Create your own lattes and cappuccinos as well with its advanced, built-in steam wand. It has various settings to let you decide what kind of microform you’re after. Get ready to practice your latte art.
While doing that, this automatic coffee maker can also be brewing a 10-cup carafe. It comes with a stylish glass, non-drip carafe for those who prefer American-style coffee.
Use the touchscreen display to select from a host of brew options. You can also program this machine to have your preferred drink options ready at a specific time. No more fumbling around in the early hours of the morning.
- Brew a pot of coffee and espresso simultaneously
- Includes built-in steam wand with multiple settings
- Use the touchscreen display to select your brewing options
- Comes with glass, drip-free, 10-cup carafe
- Brews espresso with 15-bars of pressure
- The drip tray is a little small when you have multiple drinks
- No auto-shut off for espresso
General consensus is that espresso machines are large and expensive. This is due to most people only having seen them in coffee shops and other fancy establishments. If this sounds like you, then prepare to have your socks knocked off by this little machine.
Its sleek design is the first thing you’ll notice, making it perfect for apartments, condos, or even offices with limited counter space. It only weighs 9 lbs., a far cry from the behemoth machines that everyone always pictures. Remember that when you load the portafilter and use two hands to keep it from tipping over.
Although small, this machine is mighty. Its thermoblock heating system takes less than a minute to heat up. By the time you’ve loaded your coffee, water, and milk, It’s ready to go.
Don’t forget the milk! This machine still comes with a manual steam wand so you can create the perfect latte or an advanced cappuccino. You don’t need professional barista skills to use this machine.
Brew your own coffee grounds or use ESE pods (easy serve espresso) to make things even more automated. There’s even a cup warmer on top to add a professional feel that you would only get at high-end coffee shops.
- Unit size is compact and sleek to fit narrow spaces
- Heats up fast for quick pours
- Integrated steam wand that produces creamy froth
- Brew ground coffee or single-serve espresso pods
- Strong stainless steel construction
- Very light, so it requires two hands to load the portafilter
- No grinder
Types Of Drinks
An espresso machine doesn’t ONLY make espressos. For some drinks, the espresso is simply the foundation from which other drinks are made. You don’t have to be an Italian grandfather sitting on a porch sipping espresso out of a comically small mug to make use of an espresso machine.
Lattes — This milk-heavy beverage starts with a shot of delicious espresso before adding rich froth from freshly steamed milk. This is the drink you’ve seen turned into an artist’s canvas, with baristas creating beautiful patterns. All these machines have milk-frothing capabilities, but some are more automated than others.
Cappuccinos — Starting with an espresso shot, a cappuccino has a thick layer of extra foamy milk that is carefully poured on top. This drink can be decorated in many ways, but the most popular will be to sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder to add a little sweetness to the bitterness of the espresso and the savoriness of the foam.
Macchiato — Not as popular as the previous two coffee drinks, a macchiato is a great way to enjoy espresso with much less milk. Of course, you must start with a shot of your favorite espresso and then apply a thin layer of steamed milk to the top. A latte is a lot of steamed and foamy milk, a cappuccino is a lot of foamy milk, and a macchiato is very little steamed milk.
Milk frothing capabilities
If you prefer to experiment or enjoy a lighter taste, then having a dependable milk frother will be at the top of your list.
Some are manual, and some are automatic; make sure you know which is which so when you get it home, you’re not surprised. Manual frothers give you more control but require a bit of practice. Automated frothers are easier to use but can lack foam so if cappuccino is your favorite drink, stick to the manual frothers.
Frothers with more than one hole at the end will have an easier time creating microfoam. This is the ideal consistency if you want more cappuccino in your life. Having a separate heating coil will also help regulate the steaming temperature so you can make your milk-based drinks faster and at a high level of quality.
I tried to keep things tame in this article with regard to the cost. The truth is, you can spend thousands of dollars on an espresso machine with all the highest quality parts, but you don’t have to. DeLonghi is a trusted company with over 100 years of experience. They have the knowledge and infrastructure to put high-quality espresso at your fingertips, even if you’ve never made one before.
Durability and Quality
I have two words for you; Stainless Steel. While the ECP3420 and the All-In-One combination still made our list despite their plastic construction, you should always try to get yourself a machine constructed primarily with stainless steel.
Be careful when using the milk frother as these are not as durable as the ones that come on super expensive models. It also bears mentioning that staying up to date with your cleaning routine gives these machines the best chance at surviving over the long run. Stainless steel or not, they all need some love every now and then.
Ease of Use
You don’t have to be a barista to pull an espresso. While all these machines try to make your life as easy as possible, some are much more automated than others. Basically, it all comes down to the type of machine you’re getting:
Super-Automatic Machine — The machine does the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is pour the beans into the bean hopper, make your drink selection and let the magic happen. That’s it. As these espresso machines are usually more technologically advanced, they have a higher price tag and are much bulkier. Fully-automated machines often also feature a programmable interface that will remember exactly the way you crafted your favorite drink.
Semi-Automatic Machine — This type of machine is not as automated. You’ll have to do everything from grinding the beans, tamping the grounds, locking in the portafilter, pressing the button, and frothing your milk. While this gives you much more freedom to experiment, there is also more room for error.
This will play a huge factor in your decision-making process. Espresso machines can be very large and require space around them to reach the milk and water reservoir. You may also need space for the steaming wand and to reload your portafilter. If you’re stressed about counter space, then there are two options on this list that offer a compact design; the De’Longhi ECP3420 and the De’Longhi Dedica.
DeLonghi is a respected and trustworthy name in the industry, so finding impressive espresso machines with adjustable settings at an affordable price was not hard.
The Magnifica was my personal favorite. This super-automatic machine has all the bells and whistles to make a delicious espresso and a high level of customization to create a range of milk-based drinks. Its sturdy build makes it a reliable choice for years to come.