DeLonghi

  • DeLonghi Dinamica ECAM35020B Superautomatic Espresso Machine Review

    DeLonghi has been producing superautos for some time now, and while they offer some innovative machines, they haven't had a breakthrough like some of their competitors. Over time, these machines have become more and more refined, improving on performance and reliability, but the Dinamica ECAM35020B feels like a leap forward. Check out our full review to learn why!

    Appearance and Usability

    One thing to note at the top is that while the case is very plastic, it also maintains a pretty unified look. The sleek black plastic with chrome accents gives it a muted, but pleasant, appearance. It definitely stands up to other machines at its price point without necessarily wowing either. One huge plus on this machine is the footprint. This is a machine that should fit on most countertops, and under most cabinets. With a front loading water tank, you'll also be able to refill it frequently. This is important, because the tank is, admittedly, a bit on the small side.

    Otherwise, you're looking at some pretty standard case design. The brew unit is pretty easily accessible behind the water tank, and the drip tray is convenient and easy to clean. If we have one complaint it's that it's still a bit of a chore to slide the machine out to fill the bean hopper, but this is a less frequent need than filling the water tank, and there's not much you can do to avoid putting the hopper where it is.

    The face of the machine is simple, but functional and attractive enough. While the interface may take some getting used to, it is to the point and functional. Programming and user profiles are great value adds, but there is something to be said for the simplicity of pushing a single button and getting a consistent shot. That simplicity and consistency is the name of the game here. The panarello wand is also easy to use, and once you understand how to get it to switch between steam and water it is very functional. The rinse button on the face is a nice to have as well for cleaning out the brew unit on demand.

    Performance

    With functional, if simple, case and interface design, the most important thing is performance. Overall we can say pretty happily that the Dinamica does a great job in this area. With some dialing in, the shots this machine can produce are quite good, and quite hot. This is good news for anyone disappointed with temps from semi-autos in general. With hot water from the panarello and easy single and double shot buttons, brewing espresso and americanos is a breeze. If you're a drip fan, the Dinamica also offers an intriguing coffee function. Usually, the "coffee" button on a superauto just provides an extra long shot. While you're still getting espresso, you're getting it watered down enough to be less strong. The Dinamica handles its coffee setting a little differently.

    The coffee button cases the machine to grind less than it would for a shot, and then pulse water through the coffee instead of applying sustained pressure. The result is a cup of coffee that isn't quite a pourover and isn't quite a long espresso shot, and you really can taste the difference. While we don't think it tastes like what you'll get out of a drip brewer, it's a closer approximation than what most superautos can provide. This means that your drip loving family member can get something close to what a drip pod machine can do without needing a second machine.

    The panarello has the issues you'd expect from this type of wand. It doesn't produce loads of foam, and doesn't produce particularly fine microfoam. That means it's hard to pour latter art or make a cappuccino with this machine. That said, it makes fine foam for a normal latte and because it's manual you can control how hot you want the milk. This is a boon for latte drinkers, as many superautos spit out milk that you might find too cool.

    Lastly, the over ice button is a neat little tool. It alters the brew temp, and volume of both the grind and water to go best with brewing over ice. It's a great feature for fans of iced lattes and americanos.

    Conclusion

    In the end the Dinamica is a strong option at its price point. While it lacks some bells and whistles, it gets it right where it counts and provides some nice add ons you might not expect. One to take a good look at for your next superauto. You can shop the DeLonghi Dinamica on Seattle Coffee Gear here.

  • Crew Comparison: DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino vs DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart

    How Does It Compare?

    You know what they say, don’t judge a book by its cover! But in our case, don’t judge an espresso machine by its name. We’re comparing the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino with the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart to see which superautomatic has what you need. Sure, the Smart has the name but the features we consider smart are missing—there’s no coffee customization! The Magnifica S Cap, on the other hand, has programmable espresso and milk volumes—we’ll raise a mug to that kind of customization!

    So, what makes the Smart smart? The LatteCrema system! Both machines have the LatteCrema system (a carafe with a froth control dial) that make one-touch cappuccinos, but the Smart has three dials while the Magnifica S Cap only has one. With the Smart’s three frothing options, you can achieve creamy frothy milk or fluffy cappuccino foam by only turning a knob! Check out the rest of the difference between these machines and see which one is for you.

    The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino features programmable espresso and milk ratios. The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino features programmable espresso and milk ratios.
    The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart is equipped with a simple interface and one-touch technology. The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart is equipped with a simple interface and one-touch technology.

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    So, just how smart is the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino? Program the volume of your espresso and milk and the machine will remember it for tomorrow’s cup—better yet, you can program every drink option! It features two espresso buttons, a cappuccino button and a milk menu with four other options to program to your perfect cup. It’s basically like having a barista on call 24/7. To top it off, the Magnifica S Cap also has temperature and coffee strength options for you to change at will. Pretty smart, right?

    With the Magnifica S Cap, you can save different volumes for espresso and milk on each drink. With the Magnifica S Cap, you can save different volumes for espresso and milk on each drink.

    That doesn’t mean the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart is a dumb machine—far from it! While it may not have programmability, it has five coffee options—including an actual pulse-brewing coffee! The intuitive icons make it effortless for sleepy baristas to make a cup. Use the dial to find the brew you’re in the mood for—espresso or cappuccino, anyone—and just hit brew when you’re ready. While there’s not a customize volume option, you can adjust the  strength of our coffee with the two bean icon and—wait for it—

    Steam

    With the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart, we can switch up the foaminess of our milk! The Smart features three frothing icons on the carafe. Choose the first option for creamy milk and the last option for fluffy foam. Customize the drink menu and adjust the frothing dial to replicate your favorite drinks like cappuccinos, flat whites or anything in between. The LatteCrema system, as it’s called, makes foam we don't see on carafes, and coupled with the fact that it’s customizable, it’s pretty smart if you ask us!

    The Smart's LatteCrema system has three milk foam options to create creamy lattes or fluffy cappuccinos. The Smart's LatteCrema system has three milk foam options to create creamy lattes or fluffy cappuccinos.

    While the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino full of coffee customization, there’s less available for milk froth. It also features the LatteCrema system but with one frothing option. It makes a mean cappuccinos foam, but it couldn’t silky milk that we’d want for our lattes. Like most carafe systems, it’s a one-milk-fits-all deal. You can, on the other hand, program the amount of milk for each drink, so choosing between these two boils down to what features you want more.

    Style

    Both machines are cut from the same cloth. They are designed to complement home brewer’s kitchen and respect their counter space. The slim build and front-accessible reservoir and grounds bin are optimized for home baristas to slide their DeLonghi next to kitchen appliances. The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino has a slightly larger footprint and reservoir, but the size won’t be noticeable when you’re brewing. We pulled several lattes before needing to refill. The biggest difference is that the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart’s menu offers less customization.

    The Smart features an intuitive and user-friendly interface for sleepy mornings. The Smart features an intuitive and user-friendly interface for sleepy mornings.

    Conclusion

    Both the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino and the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart have some smart features to offer home baristas. While the Magnifica S Cap can save both espresso and milk ratios, the Smart excels in customized foam—a feature that’s not found on a lot of superautomatic machines! What do you think of these two one-touch superautomatic machines? Share your experience with these machines in the comments below.

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino

    How Does It Compare?

    You might just become an early bird when you have the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino making coffee for you! Wake up to a pre-heated machine ready to brew one-touch cappuccinos or creamy lattes. If you’ve been following our recent reviews on DeLonghi, you know that they’ve added the LatteCrema system to their machines—and the Magnifica S Cap is no exception! The carafe features one milk frothing option that steams up some fluffy cappuccino foam. Another new kid on the block, the (similarly named) DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart, has three milk frothing options—that truly texture the milk differently—but its limited programmability leaves more to be desired. That’s why we’re falling for the Magnifica S Cap. It programs everything from the espresso to milk volume—yeah, it saves the milk amount too! Now that’s a perfect morning.

    MagnificaS_nonsmart_front The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino features one-touch brewing to make mornings a little easier.

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    Rise and shine! With the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino, programming your favorite drinks the night before makes grabbing a cup morning-proof. Easily customize the temperature, coffee strength and even the espresso and coffee ratio—the Magnifica S Cap will remember the proportions! It also features five different strength settings that help you find the sweet spot for new beans. Like a lot of superautomatics, temperature settings are within a given range. If you love your coffee piping hot, the Magnifica S Cap impressed us with a consistently hot shot!

    Easily program the espresso and milk volumes using the user-friendly interface. Easily program the espresso and milk volumes using the user-friendly interface.

    Beneath the 10-ounce bean hopper, the incredibly silent stainless steel burrs grind beans into espresso. One of the hidden gems of the Magnifica S Cap, though, is the 13 grinder settings! In comparison, the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart only has seven settings. Coffee lovers gain more control over the coarseness of their grind and ultimately, the flavor! And for coffee drinkers who pre-grind their coffee at the store, the Magnifica S Cap has a bypass doser.

    Steam

    The LatteCrema system continues to impress us with foamy milk of our choice! The dial determines the frothiness of the milk, offering casual coffee drinkers anything from a latte to cappuccino foam that you’d expect at a cafe. As an added bonus, the carafe features a clean option on the dial that keeps the inner system sparkling clean. The clean cycle won’t flush into the carafe either, so you can remove it and store in the fridge for later.

    The Magnifica S features the LatteCrema system that whips up frothy cappuccinos at the touch of a button! The Magnifica S features the LatteCrema system that whips up frothy cappuccinos at the touch of a button!

    The LatteCrema system works best when paired with the milk drink of your choice. For instance, more foam and less milk for cappuccinos. We mentioned earlier that programming your coffee was a cinch—so is programming the milk! To set up your proportions, press and hold the button to program and wait for the screen to show it’s programming milk. Once it has reached the ideal amount, press the button again to save the milk portion and it’ll repeat for your espresso.

    Style

    The DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino’s narrow, elongated profile is designed to cozy up underneath cabinets. Equipped with a 67-ounce water reservoir, you can make drink after drink for the whole family without refilling! Even better, the tank slides out from the side that further benefits its slim profile. You’ll need height space to add beans or adjust the grind, but the front-access tank is a huge advantage compared to other models that require a foot plus!

    Along with the convenience of one-touch brewing, the Magnifica S Cap features an intuitive digital display that’s easy on the eyes. Its tactile operation works with the buttons and dial to select items within the menus. The menu features classic functions such as descale or the auto-on and off—a fantastic feature for early mornings. Set the time and then program the auto-on to warm up the machine before you want coffee.

    Conclusion

    Waking up just got a whole lot easier with the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino. It's designed with one-touch brewing and an intuitive interface that makes programming our favorite drinks a snap! We’re ecstatic that we can program the espresso to milk ratio for our lattes or cappuccinos. And, of course, the LatteCrema system whips up delicious frothiness for those said drinks. Have you checked out any of the new DeLonghi’s exclusive to Seattle Coffee Gear? Check them out and tell us what you think in the comments below.

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino

    How Does It Compare?

    Did somebody say, “One-touch cappuccino?” That’s just one (of many) sweet features included in the newest addition to our DeLonghi lineup, the DeLonghi ECAM 44660B Eletta Plus Superautomatic Espresso Machine. Plus, the Eletta is exclusive to us, so naturally we’ve tested this machine inside and out! The LatteCrema system introduces customizable froth for perfect latte or cappuccino foam with remarkable results! You’ll be able to adjust from a creamy microfoam up to a thick, heavy cappuccino foam consistency at the turn of a dial. Originally exclusive to DeLonghi’s high-end Primadonna line, LatteCrema is now included in most of Delonghi’s new lineup—like the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. The Eletta packs in a few more brewing options than its smaller counterpart with features like pulse brewing for excellent coffee—yes, coffee! Don’t be fooled by the “coffee” options labeled elsewhere on the machine...they actually mean espresso, but we will sort that out in a minute. When you start moving up the line, the Eletta comes with more features to make you and your family the perfect cup at home.

    The Eletta features a LatteCrema system that creates ideal milk foam for a variety of drinks. The Eletta features a LatteCrema system that creates ideal milk foam for a variety of drinks.

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    Alright, back to the use of coffee and espresso. These words are interchanged often on espresso machines and frequently confuse people. The DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino ‘coffee’ options really mean espresso. Just like the Magnifica S Smart, a single shot is just that, a 1-ounce shot, while a double increases the dose and shot time to a classic Doppio serving. You can choose lengths from ‘short’ to ‘extra long’—which correspond to ristretto through lungo shot lengths. The Eletta gives you a bit more control by letting you adjust your ‘My Coffee’ shot length through an intuitive press-and-hold programming. Even better, the Eletta will remember your programming and automatically pull to twice that length when you select the ‘Double My Coffee’ option.

    In 'My Coffee,' when you program the volume of your single shot, it daisy-chains to the rest of your drink options. In 'My Coffee,' when you program the volume of your single shot, it daisy-chains to the rest of your drink options.

    And, the Eletta has another trick up its sleeve with the dedicated ‘’long coffee’’ icon located to the left of the screen. A magical pulse brewing option extracts coffee at lower pressure versus how espresso is extracted at quick, high pressures. The result is a brew that’s very similar to a classic cup of drip! We were able to detect lighter, more floral notes in our cup.

    Steam

    The LatteCrema system is one of our favorite features on the DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino. The carafe features three intuitive icons that let you customize the texture of your foam. Paired with the milk options menu and one-touch cappuccino button, it's like having your own barista! Inside the menu you have classic drinks like the latte macchiato and the popular flat white that both use microfoam. But if you’re craving a cappuccino, twist the foam dial to the highest setting and use the dedicated cappuccino button for six-ounces of rich, foamy goodness.

    The LatteCrema system whips up silky microfoam or fluffy cappuccino foam at the turn of a dial. The LatteCrema system whips up silky microfoam or fluffy cappuccino foam at the turn of a dial.

    When you’re done with milk, the carafe has an automatic cleaning cycle that’s truly a game changer! It rinses the aerator and spout with piping-hot water, so you can store the carafe in the fridge without worrying about dried milk. The Eletta also comes with a hot water spout that takes the place of the carafe. If you’re a tea drinker, there’s a dedicated tea button that delivers out steaming-hot water—or use it to make hot chocolate for the family!

    Style

    Styled with sleek, sharp edges, the DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino slides right next to most kitchen appliances with ease. Its narrow and lengthy body is the ideal shape for utilizing space underneath a cabinet. It’s a bit bigger than other models like the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart, but that just means more room for goodies like a 10-ounce bean hopper and a huge two liter water tank! If you ask us, the delicious drip-style coffee and customizable milk frother is worth the extra counter space.

    But the Eletta’s not done yet, extra features like automatic on and off times are well worth it! It takes a hot second for the Eletta to heat up and having the auto-on function shortens the wait between waking up and your first sip of fresh java. Watch out, though—that first sip might be hot! The Eletta heats coffee and milk to an extremely hot, (and in our opinion perfect) temperature. If you need to adjust it though, under the menu you can select between four temperature preferences, alongside options like automatic descaling and rinsing functions to keep your machine fresh and clean.

    The Eletta's larger body holds a two liter water tank. The Eletta's larger body holds a two liter water tank.

    Conclusion

    With the LatteCrema system and one-touch technology, we’re out the door in minutes with a cappuccino in hand! And the Eletta’s other features, like pulse-brewed coffee and dedicated hot water, ensure there is a drink for everyone. Not to mention, it’s easy on the eyes with its polished black finish. As a Seattle Coffee Gear exclusive, we’re the only place you can pick up the DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino. Check it out and share your thoughts about the Eletta in the comments below!

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart

    How Does It Compare?

    Say hello to the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart! It comes equipped with a milk carafe (of all things) that features an adjustable milk foam dial called the LatteCrema system—and you know what? It actually works! We’re incredibly impressed with the carafe’s adjustable dial that whips up everything from a silky microfoam to a foamy cappuccino all at the touch of a button. You heard right! The Magnifica Smart marries one-touch technology with their LatteCrema system to create real lattes right into your cup.

    Magnifica_Smart_S_front The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Cappuccino includes the LatteCrema system previously sported by DeLonghi's high-end machines.

    The simplistic interface makes selecting our espresso drink an effortless experience. It takes a little more finessing than a digital display but there are not a lot of customization options to tweak anyway. In fact, the only thing we’re missing on the Magnifica Smart is the programmability we’ve seen on previous models like the Eletta and Magnifica S. It lacks the auto-on functionality, brew temperature setting and drink profiles we’ve come to adore. But, for such a compact espresso machine, the Magnifica Smart pulls out consistent drinks that’ll have you coming back for more.

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    The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart makes consistent, smooth cups largely thanks to its modestly designed menu options. The menu features two milk-based and three espresso drinks with only minor customizability. One feature we can customize is the coffee strength, which features three options that increase the dosage up to 3-grams of extra grounds—an impressive feat for a small machine! There’s also an X2 button that increases the espresso volume to a double shot over the standard single-ounce pour. Unlike similar Saeco models, DeLonghi’s brew group doesn’t grind and brew twice, but instead increases the dosing in their brew chamber and pulls more water through this extra-sized puck. With the swimming pool-sized 61-ounce water tank, it’s no problem pulling a double shot for our latte!

    The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Cappuccino features a simple interface for early risers. The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Cappuccino features a simple interface for early risers.

    If you want more control over your coffee, the Magnifica Smart also features an adjustable grinder that’s designed with stepped settings to easily dial in each time. It only took us a couple of shots to find the ideal setting! There’s also the bypass doser if you prefer pre-ground coffee or if you want to switch up your beans.

    Steam

    The LatteCrema, a feature usually only found on DeLonghi's high end Primadonna line, has been added to every machine in their lineup! And the results speak for themselves, the milk frothing system outshines other machines at this price range. This is especially impressive since carafes are generally a “one-foam-fits-all.” The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart carafe features three icons for fine microfoam to dry, foamy cappuccinos—better yet, you can turn the dial between icons for more frothing options.

    The LatteCrema system has three milk foam options to create creamy lattes or fluffy cappuccinos. The LatteCrema system has three milk foam options to create creamy lattes or fluffy cappuccinos.

    Milk volume is another programmable feature we wish we had; however, we can hit the Brew button again to stop frothing. Another option for milk volume is using one of two milk-drink icons, cappuccino or latte, featured in the menu. Cappuccinos traditionally use less steamed milk and more foam while a latte is more milk and less foam. Combined with the carafe dial—that you’ll want to adjust separately—you can perfect your ideal cup in no time.

    Style

    The DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart packs in features without sacrificing valuable counter space. The 16-ounce milk carafe and 10-ounce bean hopper keep the lattes flowing—we whipped up four lattes before pouring more milk! Depending on the amount of espresso and foam, you can easily make drinks for the Sunday brunch crowd. Oh and we can’t forget how simple it is to select different drinks and customizing the milk froth—so, brunch at your place?

    The Smart features a hefty water tank for such a machine with a small footprint! The Smart features a hefty water tank for such a machine with a small footprint!

    When you’re done making lattes on the Magnifica Smart, cleanup is a breeze thanks to its automatic rinse cycle. There is also a clean cycle on the carafe dial that activates when in position to remove excess milk—we’re in love! Or if you still have milk, the carafe is removable to store in the fridge for later. One quirk of the DeLonghi lineup is if you want to clean the brew group, you have to make sure it’s not engaged in coffee mode to remove it.

    Conclusion

    If you’re looking for a superautomatic that can make silky lattes or foamy cappuccinos, the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart is your machine! Built with the LatteCrema system and one-touch technology, delicious espresso is only a touch away. Tell us what you think of the Magnifica Smart in the comments below and be sure to check back next week for another Crew Review!

  • Crew Comparison: DeLonghi Dedica vs Breville Duo-Temp Pro

    How Does It Compare?

    The beginning of every home brewers coffee journey starts with finding the perfect entry-level espresso machine. Naturally, we chose the DeLonghi Dedica EC680 and Breville Duo-Temp Pro as our two picks! These are two fantastic semi-automatic machines that have all the right features to get you started. The Dedica’s programmability creates a consistent user-friendly experience for baristas and not to mention convenience if you want quality espresso without the fuss. It has programmable espresso buttons and a panarello-style steam wand that froths milk for you.

    On the other hand, the Duo-Temp Pro is designed for beginners to grow with. It comes with pressurized portafilters to assist pulling your first shots and non-pressurized portafilters to master your craft. The Duo-Temp Pro is a manually operated machine, which means you’ll need to learn to time shots yourself—if you want to learn, this is an added bonus for you! If you’re ready to start making coffee you love at home, then check out these entry-level espresso machines to see which one will be your first!

    The Breville Duo-Temp Pro features an internal PID, auto-purge and pre-infusion to create great coffee at home. The Breville Duo-Temp Pro features an internal PID, auto-purge and pre-infusion to create great coffee at home.
    The DeLonghi Dedica is one of the slimmest semi-automatic we've seen! The DeLonghi Dedica is one of the slimmest semi-automatic we've seen!

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    If you’re looking to hone your coffee skills, then we recommend the Breville Duo-Temp Pro. Equipped with non-pressurized portafilter baskets, you can learn how to dial in your grinder. When you’re feeling lazy, switch over to the pressurized portafilter and let it do all the hard work for you. As an added bonus, the Duo-Temp Pro’s baskets are stainless steel—high-quality for an entry-level espresso machine! On the opposite end, the DeLonghi Dedica has a pressurized portafilter, which is better for those want to make great coffee without practice.

    The Breville Duo-Temp Pro features pressurized and non-pressurized baskets for the portafilter. The Breville Duo-Temp Pro features pressurized and non-pressurized baskets for the portafilter.

    As an entry-level espresso machine, the Dedica excels with programmable features! You can program two time-based espresso buttons, temperature, water hardness, auto descale and auto shut-off time—whew! Did you catch all that? It’s nice to have some control over your espresso in this small machine! We say some because the programmability is limited to a set amount but it still offers more options. This is great for beginners who want to add some customization without getting technical. The Duo-Temp Pro is completely manual using a turn knob to start and stop for brewing and steaming. This is great for improving your barista muscle memory—soon you’ll just know when you’ve hit between 20 and 30 seconds for your shot.

    The Dedica features two programmable espresso buttons. The Dedica features two programmable espresso buttons.

    Steam

    Another reason the DeLonghi Dedica is a perfect entry-level espresso machine is the panarello-style steam wand. For those you don’t already know, the panarello automatically froths milk by drawing in air from a hole at the top. This gives you foamy cappuccino froth every time. If you were interested in practicing latte art, then you’d want a traditional style steam wand like the Breville Duo-Temp Pro has. It’s like we’ve been saying—the Duo-Temp Pro is designed to help you learn! With the Duo-Temp Pro, you can learn how to texture your milk for latte art or dry cappuccino foam.

    The Duo-Temp Pro comes with a traditional steam wand. The Duo-Temp Pro comes with a traditional steam wand.

    Since both machines have thermoblocks, we recommend steaming first and then brewing. Of course, that means the thermoblock is at steam temperature and too hot to brew coffee—a dilemma if you want your coffee quick. That’s why we love the Duo-Temp Pro auto-purge feature which reduces the temperature! After steaming, you can hear the valve release hot water behind the drip tray, so you can brew your coffee in a snap. We’re stoked that this feature is offered on an entry-level espresso machine. With the Dedica, we can easily bring the temperature down to brewing by pulling hot water through the steam wand. The Duo-Temp Pro’s auto-purge is an amazing bonus!

    The Dedica features a pressurized portafilter to extract espresso perfectly each time. The Dedica features a pressurized portafilter to extract espresso perfectly each time.

    Style

    It’s great to see that the Breville Duo-Temp Pro features the same sleek style as the rest of Breville’s impressive lineup. Encased with brushed stainless steel casing, the Duo-Temp Pro integrates effortlessly into modern kitchens. If you’re considering size, the Dedica is one of the narrowest semi-automatics we’ve seen! It’s nearly 3-inches narrower than the Duo-Temp Pro. The Dedica’s slim body easily cozies up to kitchen appliances and saves valuable real estate on home barista’s counters. Like the Duo-Temp Pro, the Dedica has a polished stainless steel casing that adds an extra touch on an entry-level espresso machine.

    Because of the Dedica's narrow body, it has a 33-ounce water tank. Because of the Dedica's narrow body, it has a 33-ounce water tank.

    Breville maintains their high-quality design on the Duo-Temp Pro and outfitted it with a user-friendly interface that we mastered in a few shots. We mentioned the centered turn knob controls the espresso and steam; likewise, to operate the hot water or steam, all you need to do is click the adjacent button and flip the knob. With the Dedica though, there are several programmable options that you can learn by referencing your manual—the slight learning curve is worth the extra rewards! Once the Dedica is programmed, your coffee is just one push of a button away.

    The Duo-Temp Pro's clean controls make it easy for beginner's to learn. The Duo-Temp Pro's clean controls make it easy for beginner's to learn.

    Conclusion

    If you’re looking for your first espresso machine, then check out the Breville Duo-Temp Pro and DeLonghi Dedica. The Duo-Temp Pro offers beginning barista’s a chance to grow with their machine and gain the experience to use advance semi-automatics down the road. On the other hand, the Dedica features two programmable espresso buttons and a panarello steam wand to make grabbing a homemade latte a cinch. We’d love to hear what you think about these two entry-level espresso machines! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi Gran Dama ESAM 6600

    How Does It Compare?

    There’s something about finding a good deal that’s just so satisfying. You lock eyes with that bright red sign that’s yelling “SALE” and you instantly know you’re getting a super sweet steal. The Refurbished DeLonghi Gran Dama ESAM6600 is one of those deals that you can’t pass up. With all the nuts and bolts of a new machine, the refurbished Gran Dama is just that—refurbished. Compared to the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3500, which has the same features and functionality, the Gran Dama has only one lid for the milk carafe that can be adjusted to control the milk froth.

    Delonghi6600_1

    Shot

    DeLonghi has built a reputation for making hot shots. The Gran Dama lives up to the family legacy and creates enjoyable hot espresso just the way you want it. Choose from four pre-programmed settings or customize it as you go! Down the right side of the Gran Dama, you have different volumes for espresso and your coffee or lungo. We sampled the factory settings for the double shot and, you know what, we thought the refurbished Gran Dama held up in the espresso's crema and flavor.

    Delonghi6600_2

    If you’re looking for a stronger cup, push the “coffee strength” button (which has two beans and a scoop icon) and change your strength from extra-mild all the way to extra-strong. We appreciate how intuitive the system is, but it’s hard to know what’s “mild” coffee versus what’s “strong” coffee. We suggest trying your favorite blend (not dark, oily roasts, of course) and seeing how you like the taste. Like most machines, it’s a lot of trial and error before you get it just right.

    Alternatively, you can switch the grind of your bean. The grind setting is located in the bean hopper and adjusting the settings from one to five will change how it brews. We’ll mention too that like other superautomatics, the grinder of this machine is loud. Of course, you can always skip all that grinding and use the bypass doser for your pre-ground coffee.

    Delonghi6600_3

    Steam

    Then you have your dreamy milk-based drinks, courtesy of the machine’s steaming power. There’s no steam wand here, though. Instead, the DeLonghi Gran Dama has an integrated milk carafe which delivered incredibly hot and foamy drinks in a matter of minutes—and we mean hot. We ordered a latte and it delivered! The Gran Dama first dispensed milk, which we liked because it means our espresso won’t lose heat sitting in the cup, and then espresso. The heat met our expectations for a one-touch machine and the separation of milk and espresso was a beautiful sight.

    The Gran Dama offers three milk-based drink options: latte, cappuccino or Italian macchiato. This machine is super smart and the digital screen will guide you through your cup such as asking you to adjust the carafe's the frothing level—the say what now? We were surprised to find that the Gran Dama’s carafe features a switch with one and two levels to change the foaminess of the milk. Move the pointer towards “1” for dense froth or “2” for less dense. When you’re done, clean out the carafe by pushing the button located near the handle and let the machine clear the milk pipes. Pull the carafe with the rest of your milk out and store it in the fridge.

    Delonghi6600_4

    The drawback we have for the steam feature is the big, ole carafe. The handle sticks out awkwardly and takes up space when not in use. And if you want an Americano, you’ll need to insert the hot water spout where the milk carafe is—sort of killing the one-touch love. Then you'll have to store that carafe or spout away when it’s not in use and hope you don’t lose it.

    Style

    What we thought really made this machine grand is the intuitive interface. As you press the different buttons the screen guides you swiftly to your cup of coffee such as adjusting the “coffee strength” the screen changes from extra-mild, mild and so on. It also features a “program” button to set the auto on and off time or change the time on the clock. Intuitive and easy-to-use? That’s our cup of coffee. Even with such an intuitive interface, the Gran Dama doesn’t utilize it to its full potential and that was a disappointment. Instead, it relies on tons of buttons which clutter the front of the machine.

    Delonghi6600_5

    The refurbished Gran Dama takes up a small amount of kitchen counter and thanks to the front accessible components, you don’t need to worry about extra counter space off to the side. You will need some extra clearance on the top for opening the bypass doser and bean hopper so be aware if you’re purchasing this machine to place under your cabinets. The ambient heat also got pretty toasty, so we recommend giving some space between the Gran Dama and your other appliances to avoid any damage.

    The industrial-inspired design with brushed stainless steel casing complements modern kitchen appliances. The rest of the machine is mostly plastic with the exception of the drip tray. The drip tray’s heavy metal will stand up to dropped mugs and milk carafe’s shoved into the Gran Dama. Whenever there’s a machine that requires pieces to be taken on and off multiple times, it increases the chance of something snapping.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to making hot, delicious espresso the Refurbished DeLonghi Gran Dama ESAM6600’s got it going on! Its intuitive interface makes getting your morning cup of coffee a breeze but also leaves something to be desired. If industrial-style complements your kitchen, it’ll be a welcomed addition to your home. We recommend storing the carafe away when it’s not in use to solve that unsightly problem. For us, the most important thing for us that the Gran Dama makes espresso right: piping hot and full of flavor.

  • Crew Comparison: DeLonghi Dedica vs. Saeco Via Venezia

    How Does It Compare?

    The Saeco Via Venezia and DeLonghi Dedica are made for the blooming barista. Both come equipped with pressurized portafilters, which transform inconsistent coffee grounds into enjoyable espresso that anyone can pull. When it comes to features, though, the Dedica has programmable buttons that adjust the espresso temperature and volume, and also includes auto-descale to maintain your machine. Lastly, the Dedica’s size and weight is considerably less compared to the Via Venezia. Its narrow body leaves only room for a 32-ounce water tank and is incredibly lightweight (enough to toss it off the counter if you're not careful), whereas the still not-so-big Via Venezia holds a 98-ounce tank and is weighed down. You be the judge! Watch the full comparison and get more reviews and comparisons by following us on our YouTube channel.

    Shots

    Both semi-automatics are built to accommodate entry-level brewers. The pressurized portafilter is a helpful assistant that takes subpar grounds and extracts the coffee without the fuss. Saeco and DeLonghi approach the pressurized design a bit differently, though. The Via Venezia uses a pressurized portafilter instead of the basket, so you'll need to buy a non-pressurized portafilter to make the switch. The Dedica uses pressurized baskets with the same portafilter that you can switch out with an E.S.E pod basket—no non-pressurized baskets on the Dedica, though!

    Another brewing bonus is that the Dedica has programmable buttons to adjust the temperature (low, medium or high) and volume of your espresso. It also allows you to set the water hardness to adjust, which makes it easier to know when it needs to be descaled—another feature on the Dedica. Together, these features make home brewing a snap for beginners.

    Steam

    Both feature a panarello that turns milk into a hot, foamy goodness. The biggest difference we noticed is the Dedica produces dryer steam against the Via Venezia. You really don’t want water in your milk but it’s also not enough condensation to affect the taste.

    The Dedica and Via Venezia can only brew or steam one at a time, so after steaming you’ll need to bring the temperature down before brewing. Luckily, you can temperature surf on both of these machines by running water out of the steam wand.

    Style

    The Saeco Via Venezia has been around a long time and you might be thinking it looks a lot like the Starbucks Barista—well, you’re right! This style has stood the test of time. Both machines will sparkle on your countertop thanks to the stainless steel body (though it should be noted the Dedica is stainless steel covered plastic).

    What we’re interested in is the size. The DeLonghi Dedica is a slim fellow coming in at 6.75 inches wide compared to the Via Venezia’s 9.625 inches. The Dedica is also practically weightless due to the compact size and plastic casing that's surrounded by the stainless steel. That's all good for saving counter space—which with tons of cool kitchen gadgets you'll want room for all of them—but you’ll have to hold the machine when you’re cranking on the portafilter.

    The Via Venezia is small, too, but sturdier. The stainless steel body adds weight to the machine so it doesn’t go flying when you want espresso. It also stores a 98-ounce water tank, which means less time running to the faucet to fill up and pull more shots.

    Conclusion

    The Delonghi Dedica is compact and would easily fit in tight counter spaces. Even with its small stature, this entry-level machine is built with programmable features that make life easier. This machine is designed for the big city (and a small apartment, if you know what we mean) and will easily fit in an office setting. Maybe even right on your desk!

    The Saeco Via Venezia has both pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter options available, which would allow you to grow with the machine. It still saves on real estate but comes with a huge water tank that's perfect for brewing multiple cups without running back and forth. The stainless steel body helped put some weight on the Via Venezia, too and that made it easier to use when making espresso.

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi EC860 Espresso Machine

    The traditional artistry of semi-automatics meets the one-touch capabilities of superautomatics in this entry-level machine. The DeLonghi EC860 is a semi-automatic with programmable features and a milk carafe to froth-up a piping hot cappuccino right into your cup!

    DeLonghi_EC860

    We know what you’re thinking, it’s strange to see a milk carafe on a semi-automatic. The EC860 comes with the option to auto steam with the carafe or manual steam with the panarello. If you’re worried about the milk temperature with the carafe, don’t! The carafe delivers hot, frothy milk right into your cup just like a one-touch.

    The programmable features also don’t fail to impress us. Customize the temperature and volume of your espresso shot and, for the speciality drinks, you can change the milk volume. That’s something you generally don’t see in an entry-level machine! 

    This entry-level machine is also equipped with a pressurized portafilter with baskets for a pod, single or double shot. With a pressurized portafilter, newcomers don’t need to worry about dialing in a consistent grind, it’ll compensate for you!

    Con-wise, we’re not too keen on the plastic scamper—the scoop and tamper combo (which is not as convenient as a spork). Even with the pressurized portafilter aiding your shot, you still want a nice, even tamp to reduce grinds on the brew head and, of course, deliver a delicious espresso. We recommend purchasing a sturdier tamper. Also, this machine lacks a three-way solenoid valve, which makes a soupy coffee puck.

    No matter how you look at this machine (oh, by the way, super nice stainless steel body) the pros outweigh the cons. We recommend this machine for entry-level folks who want a semi-automatic with the convenience and programmable features of a superautomatic. Or, hey, this machine is great seasoned coffee-brewers, too! Check out the video with the full review below and tell us what you think!

  • Tune Up For What: DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 Espresso Machine Water Light Issue

    We’ve heard from new owners of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 Espresso Machine that there is an issue with the machine registering the water in the tank. We’ve tested it out and figured out the problem for you!

    Turns out, most of the time it’s a little problem with the wiring in the back (don’t worry, it’s an easy fix). Grab a screwdriver and flat head and watch this quick and easy guide on how to fix the DeLonghi Magnifica!

    For more videos on tuning your machines, subscribe to our YouTube channel!

    If you're experiencing problems with your machine, feel free to contact our support team:

    • Hours: Monday - Friday, 7am - 6pm | Saturday - Sunday, 9am - 6pm (pacific)
    • Phone: toll free - 866-372-4734 | 206-774-3164
    • Email: support@seattlecoffeegear.com

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