Just the look alone of this machine, was enough for me. It was love at first sight.
But as we all know looks can be deceiving. How many times have we all looked at something lusted after it. Finally brought it home only to be bitterly disappointed with it's performance ( I've suddenly realised this sounds a bit like a double on tundra)
Thankfully this was no such disappointment and for more than 500 Euro you can bet your bottom dollar I was happy I hadn't flushed that amount of money away.
DeLonghi are well know and respected for their coffee machines the world over. And as I've said in previous reviews I'm a bit of a brand snob / slave. But this doesn't always work out in my favour. However this time it did. The Magnifica is a pleasure to own and use. It looks impressive on any counter top and the sounds and smells instantly transport you to Italy. Or in my case Starbucks.
Now for the important stuff. The "Cappuccino System" is wonderful it mixes steam, air and milk, togeather perfectly. Producing a wonderfully creamy froth for great cappuccinos. I especially love this feature on a cold winter evening in front of the tv, pure heaven.
The machine can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee. I personally always opt for the freshly ground beans option. The aroma just fills the house and the taste is far superior. Plus it only takes a matter of seconds to grind the beans. And with their silent integrated grinder it's a doodle to do, with thirteen different grinding settings. It can hold enough coffee-grounds for 14 cups this is because the water reservoir holds 1.8L, more than enough for the average morning household. And far too much for the average coffaholic .
You can prepare two luscious cups of coffee with one single brewing. You can also adjust the coffee quality to your taste, stronger or weaker as the case may be.
There is a handy adjustable coffee dispenser, this means you can adjust it for different cup sizes, espresso, cappuccino, late and so forth.
The brewing unit is removable, and the temperature control is handy, as I prefer my coffee at just the right temperature, while others find this a little luke-warm for their taste. And luckily unlike other machines on the market, this one doesn't force you to have it that way and only that way. You can have it anyway you like, thanks to the temperature control system.
There is a handy pre-brewing setting so a nice cup of Coffee can be there waiting for you as you come in the door after a long hard day at work.
An automatic shut-off is a must and of course it has it.
Some of the more unusual, but more than welcome features include:
An empty water and bean container indicator
An extremely useful rinse and decalcification auto-programme to prevent calcium build up in heard water areas. And if you do live in such an area there is a clever program just for that called " program water hardness"
The drip tray is removable, and will need cleaning regularly, but it's quick and simple to do.
There is a new fancy setting that I haven't seen on other machines of it's kind or cost called "Thermoblock". This setting is to ensure your espresso is served at an ideal and constant temperature.
The steam for frothing the milk is fully adjustable, with an electronic steam and coffee thermostat provided.
There is an energy saving function (which I always like to see an any electrical appliance)
The hole unit weighs 10kg (when empty of course)
The input power is 1450W
The rated voltage/frequency 220/240-50/60 (V/Hz)
The dimensions of the unit are 28.5x37.5x36.0 (WxDxH cm)
And finally one of THE most important things to look for when shopping for a coffee machine, the pump bar pressure this model has (15) bar.
So if your looking for a cheep coffee machine this isn't for you, as it's almost £500.
But if you're in the market for a really good, reliable, stylish, high quality unit.
Then look on further.
The Delonghi Magnifica that I purchased has been in daily service now for probably three years. In the past we have bought cheaper coffee makers but never really used them, mainly because of the fuss around filling the coffee in the holder, patting it down, making one cup of coffee then cleaning it. Even after this effort you still have the hassle of heating and frothing the milk. However this is not the case for the Delonghi as it falls into the category of a Super Automatic, more about this in a second, however this grand sounding name also means a grand price tag. Three years ago when we purchased the machine it was on sale for just shy of £600 at John Lewis Bluewater.
How does it work?
The way the Delonghi works is very simple you can either use pre ground coffee or coffee beans. The latter is preferable if you enjoy coffee as the beans stay in better condition and you ground at the point you are ready for a brew. The Delonghi hopper can take around 200g of coffee beans which for us lasts about 10 days. If you buy a 250g pack then reseal the excess and place them in the fridge, apparently coffee beans should be used within 2 weeks or 1 month if they are in the original packaging and stored in a fridge. If you decide to go the ground coffee route then you'll need to press one of the buttons on the front of the machine which bypasses the grinding mechanism used for beans.
Add Some Water
Okay so the hopper is loaded where's my coffee? Patients! As well as coffee you need water which you can pour into a 1litre reservoir to the side of the machine. The machine will let you know when it is out of water (unfortunately it only does this when it has run-out not when you it is about to run-out and you've started making a cup). So we have coffee and water, just place one or two cups / mugs under the nozzles. Now turn the machine on. After about a minute hot water will come out of the nozzles and into your cup or mug. The indicator lights above the single or double mugs will have been flashing whilst the machine wamrs up and exples the intial bust of cold then hot water. Place the cup(s) (I'm going to use cup to describe cup or mug from now on) on top of the coffee machine on the silver plate. The silver plate is heated and sits about the internal water boiler. By doing this you will warm you cups so that your fresh brew doesn't go instantly cold because the cups are bone cold. Whilst you are waiting tip some milk into a metal jug or any other receptacle you have to hand.
The machine is very simple to use and only has a few knobs on the front. These knobs determine the amount of coffee (think espresso cup to mug size) and the strength of the coffee weak to strong (varies the amount of coffee ground). So make your choice. At this point the coffee cups should at leats be warm (the longer you can leave them to warm up the better). Now throw away the water that was dispensed when the machine was turned on. Place the cup(s) back under the nozzles and if necessary move the nozzle assemebly up and down so that it is close to the top of the cup. Now if you have one cup press the button underneth the 1 cup symbol and if you want two cups press the button under the two cup symbol, did I mention it was simple to use!
A watched kettle never boils is the saying and if you are standing next to the machine waiting for your brew it can seem to take forever. But realistically you'll have your brew after about minute. If you want more in your cup you can press the one / two cup button within 3 seconds of the machine stopping and it will add more coffee until you release the button. Next you'll probably want to froth some coffee, so put the cups back on top of the machine on the heater plate so the cups and coffee stay warm. Now that's done, you press one final button which is for the steamer. The steamer is a pull out extension, make sure you pull it out by the plastic attachments rather than the metal piping at the top, why well lets just say you'll only do this once! (it's very hot). When the steamer is up to temperature and ready the ligh above the button stays on and stops flashing.
Steaming the Milk
The Delonghi is semi-automatic you have to froth / steam the milk yourself, you can get fully automatic machines but these are even more expensive. To be honest frothing the job isn't a big chore although it is an art and I don't often get it just right. So instead of a frothy latte it is more like hot milk. To start the process you just turn one large dial anti-clockwise and the steam comes out and into the milk, gently move the jug down so the steam causes that typical frothing sound, i.e the end of the steamer is just in the milk and you have a nice turbulant layer of milk which is expanding up the jug. Once you are happy or you can't wait any longer pour the milk into the coffee.
The End Result
Another saying is rubbish in, rubbish out and this is true with coffee. The Delonghi can't make cheap or gone off coffee beans taste wonderful. However, if you buy quality beans, look after them and use fresh water the Delonghi will make a gorgeous cup of coffee with very little hassle. As I said before we've had coffee machines before and after a few uses they have stayed in the corner gathering dust. It is not the case with ourDelonghi Magnifica we use the coffee machine everyday, or at the weekend a number of times a day.
Cleaning & Maintenance
From the description this may sound like a complicated machine that needs lots of cleaning and looking after, but this is simply not the case. The drip tray needs emptying once a week as does the spent coffee hopper. If you forget or make more coffee than normal a light will come on to tell you the spent coffee hopper is full, at this point you must empty the hopper as the machine won't make anymore coffee until it is emptied. The coffee comes into the hopper in attractive compact discs that shouldn't be thrown away but added to your compost bin. A quick rinse of the drip tray and hopper and the machine is ready to go.
Every month to two months the machine will need a more throrough clean, you will know when it is time as another light will come on (you can still make coffee). The machine has a cleaning sequence which ensures coffee doesn't build up in the machine and that the tubes and boiler don't scale up. You need special coffee machine cleaner; it is mildly acidic (possibly citirc or acetic) and can be bought online or from speciality shops. The cleaner is either in powder or liquid form but either way is added to the the water reservoir. You also need to clean the internals of the machine with a fork to move dried coffee then vaccum out and wipe round with a cloth. The main diffuser unit needs to be taken out and cleaned, it isn't difficult or time consuming and is well explained in the instructoion manual. Once you've cleaned and dried the internal bits reassemble. Now you need to press the flashing cleaning button for 5 seconds and the cleaning programme will commence. Place a 1litre jug under the milk frother (also needs cleaning at the same time as everything else as dried milk builds up over time) turn the dial as if you were frothing milk. You can now leave the machine whilst it goes through a sequence of drawing the cleaning solution through the machine and into the jug. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.Once complete empty the cleaning fluid from the jug and clean out the water reservoir, fill the reservoir with clean water and put the 1litre jug back under the steam outlet. The fresh water will now rinse out the machine, once complete the cleaning light goes out and you are ready for coffee again.
After Sales Support
Once additional point to note is the after sales care provided by Delonghi. After about 18 months to two years of use our coffee machine broke, the piston seems to have got stuck and slipped off its gearing. I wasn't very optomistic of any help but called Delonghi. I was asked for the machine serial number and the problem. I gave both and to my surprise they said it was still in warranty and if I could package it up safely they would send a courier to collect it. After 10 days the machine was returned fully operational and again by courier with a time convenient to us. To me this was very good customer care, I was very happy and impressed. Ultimately when this machine finally succumbs I'll definitely be considering another model by Delonghi
In case you hadn't already realised it I love the Delonghi Magnifica. The taste of fresh brewed coffee every morning is wonderful. The aroma is also very pleasant. Everyone that visits always wants a "proper" coffee. As I said we've tried coffee machines before but this is so easy to use and maintain we use it every single day. Highly recommend this machine
N.B originally written by me (Sussex_Paul) on Ciao
I am a coffee snob. A big one. And when my husband bought this machine I eyed it with great suspicion: how can this neat little box possibly make coffee as nice as the expensive one I buy every morning from the gourmet coffee shop at the station?
I was frankly astonished. This machine works with beans, ground coffee or those sacreligious little pods to create the best coffee I've ever had outside Italy. It grinds a fresh little portion of beans for every cup so you never get the bitter stale ends of the last portion and the quality is always consistent. Also, the grinder can manage seven different coarseness settings, so with a bit of trial and error you can make the perfect coffee for you every time.
It doesn't have any tubes, so it's very easy to clean, and the reservoir is enough to manage coffee for a dinner party of twelve (possibly more; I change it a couple of times a day because I am a coffee snob and do not want old water in my fresh cup. I know it's weird. Don't judge me). It has a double boiler so the coffee is always the right temperature, and the steam bit is separate for people who want to make lattes and cappucinos so they're always the right temperature too. I don't know about that though, it all seems to adulterate the good stuff to me.
We live in a super-hard water area, and its cleaning decalcification mode is a godsend. Sometimes it can be hard to scrub the limescale buildup and the old coffee out of the little corners, but in comparison to cleaning out tubes it's no work at all.
The machine itself is stylish, sturdy and works wonderfully well. At £350ish it isn't cheap (you can get an Asda machine for about a tenth of the price) but it has already saved me about double that in gourmet coffees from the shop and since all you have to do is push the button and it spits coffee into your waiting mug it's perfect for those of us who aren't morning people.
You need this machine in your life. Is amazing to have a nice espresso in the morning before I go to work, then relax in the evening with a nice latte, or whatever you want! It is a great little machine. I have had mine just over a year now and so far it has been trouble free. It has it's own cycle for de-scaling which couldn't be easier. I have had to do this twice with my machine, but I live in South Wales and we have soft water so there isn't much lime scale here. The one thing I would say is that sometimes coffee is sometimes hard to get out of the few places it can build up in. Also it only has one heating tank, so it takes a while if you want steam to adjust the temperature. I however don't use the steam, as I just heat my milk up in the microwave. You can get more expensive models with two tanks.
It has been about 3 weeks since I purchased the machine, and it has been three weeks of delicious coffee!
The machine is easy to use, with clear adjusters for both strength and cup size, they are adjusted simply by turning a knob. It takes a little trial and error to get it right, but once you've found the perfect strength and the perfect amount for your cup, your away.
It also has a steamer, great for heating up milk. Makes a great Hot Chocolate, this too is easy to use, all you need to do is turn a button and out comes the steam.
The 1.8 Litre tank is ample amount, however you need to be sure to check the amount before you start making coffee. This is easy to do, as the machine has a clear window so you can easilly see how much is in your tank.
The machine is also easy to maintain, the front opens up and pulls out so you can empty the used coffee and also any water of coffee which has been spilled whilst pouring.
When making coffee the machine is quite slow, and is rather noisy at some points, however this is more than made up for by the great cup of coffee it gives out.
The EAM3200S is a fully automatic espresso coffee maker from DeLonghi / For the ultimate bean to cup freshness with only one touch you can make the perfect coffee / The Magnifica features a compact, Tubeless System / As the beans are ground and then used instantly the Tubeless System always guarantees a perfect cup of coffee, with a perfect aroma at the ideal temperature / The machine can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee / Short name: DeLonghi ESAM3200S