The Best DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
Capable of preparing espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte drinks, and more, this super-automatic machine features a unique beans-to-brew system that grinds coffee beans right before brewing for exceptionally aromatic espresso. The appliance comes equipped with two stainless-steel boilers that provide excellent heat distribution, as well as an instant reheat function, which keeps the machine at an ideal temperature, no matter how long the interval between cups. In addition, its quiet burr grinder automatically grinds beans and can be set to a specific grinding level, but the unit can also be used with ground coffee if preferred.
My absolute love of the Delonghi Maginfica ESAM3300 is hard to describe. It has been a faithful crema steeped friend and morning ritual for at least 8 years, and the current unit I bought as a replacement last week (another ESAM3300) is a testament to why I give this well built Italian Stallion "super automatic" espresso dream machine a SOLID 5 star rating.Yes - my old unit finally gave out it seems. But 8 years of duty + the fact that I am ordering the exact same model should provide a clue as to the reliability and proven quality engineering of this model. Yes there are many newer models - but for this price point, the ESAM3300 is a champ all the way.Bottom line: with very few adjustments and some good Italian or locally roasted whole beans, the Magnifica consistently puts out shot after shot of delicious espresso that will FAR exceed anything you could get at most coffee shops. I always used many of the yummy Lavazza beans including the "Super Crema.' "Gold Selection" and others that work really well with this machine. The Illy beans are also a nice pairing for this superb machine. The key is you want non-oily and fairly dry beans (as other reviewers have said here already).Setting the machine up is a fairly quick affair after a short priming of water and setting the water hardness based on a test trip included with the Magifica. Although this machine does not have fancy LED/LCD read-outs, the unit offers easy to use and effective controls for the strength of the shots as well as the size and fine-ness of the grind (I recommend turning the grind down a bit from the factory setting).The quality of the espresso shots achievable with the Magnifica will make you smile every morning - as it did for me for 8+ years. In those years I had sent the machine in for minor repairs twice - typically for an overhaul of the O rings and gaskets. Our family used the machine 365 days a year and we probably made at least 7-8 shots output per day. The Magnifica will let you know when it is time to de-scale and it is an easy 30 min process.I would say that with normal everyday use this wonderful machine should last 2-3 years before needing a more thorough servicing at a dealer for O rings etc - at a cost of around $250. - $300. For me this was a no brainer as the Delonghi Magnifica was a flawless performer and the Lattes and espresso it could make were exceptional!Positives: GREAT COFFEE!!!! OK I already mentioned that, but I promise you that the coffee you can achieve with the Maginifica will be exceptional. The machine heats up quickly when turned on - about 3 min. The milk steamer is simply excellent and can create very fine "mico bubbles" with some practice for perfect espresso drinks. The warmer at the top of the unit works well and keeps up to 3 shot cups at the ready. The machine lets you know when you are out of water, when the dregs are ready to be thrown away, and when the unit needs de-scaling.Cleaning the machine is also fairly easy. The main brewing unit unit pops out easily and is simple to wash, as is the inside of the machine.Negatives: The only negative I have ever felt was that the unit is a little loud, especially when grinding the beans. Other than that - nada.So in summary let me state that there is not a finer super automatic machine out there for the price point. This bad boy is made in Italia - it is a proven and VERY reliable design - and it will bring you and your family untold caffeinated happiness for many years. I have NEVER felt so passionately about a kitchen appliance.The Delonghi Magnifica is truly Magnificent.
I’m on my second Delonghi machine and after having this model for 3 years I like it as much as I did when it was new. I like it so much that I had my first machine repaired so it’s ready to go in the event this one needs repairs (some you can confidently do yourself.) And because I’ve become so familiar with this machine I wanted to share my experiences that will help extend the life of your machine.—Number one: use bottled water. The most destructive element to the machine is the buildup of lime that isn’t easily removed, even with commercial descalers. Using a water without added minerals like spring or distilled prevents the valves from becoming crusted with lime. The water travels through a fascinating maze of tubes and devices before it reaches your cup and these must be clean.—Use a commercial descaler when the light goes on. Expelled solution that is clear will validate the quality of the water you’ve been using.—Rinse the brew unit (aka the infuser) periodically, but more importantly make sure the piston moves easily through the unit. The device isn’t maintenance free and occasionally requires lubrication. Symptoms of a poorly functioning brew unit are creaking or groaning and/or finding spilled coffee grounds inside the unit. Rectify this immediately as it causes stress on the transmission that drives it through its cycle. The piston is in two parts, an outer shell and inner plunger. To do the job properly remove the u-clip from the bottom of the infuser which will cause the inside of the piston to fall out the bottom; then push the outer shell through the top. On the outside of the piston are two high-pressure orange seals. These maintain pressure and prevent the coffee from leaking outside the unit while brewing. If you find coffee is dripping in the tray these need to be replaced. Use a food-safe grease like Petrogel and saturate the rubber seals. Reassemble the unit at which point the piston should slide smoothly through the unit.—If you regularly steam milk the rubber o-ring in the steam wand and it’s outer shell need to be periodically replaced.—If the steam wand begins leaking during the brew cycle it needs to be replaced. Order a new tap from an online appliance parts source. The major one has a video that demonstrates how to do this repair.—Using high quality beans with minimal oil causes them to easily slide through the grinder. The belt driving the grinder is replaceable if required.—Use the proper dial setting on the grinder to adjust the body of the espresso. It usually takes a couple cycles to achieve the benefit of the adjustment. If the coffee won’t expel the grind is too fine; if too watery it’s too corse.I was shocked at the engineering that goes into this machine. I recently changed the tap and took some photos that show why it’s so heavy and the lengthy path which the water travels.
A terrific machine-- nearly five stars, but has a few relatively minor drawbacks (see below)PROS:Makes perfect espresso and Americano (the only reason for buying an elaborate machine like this)Ability to make a double cup with just one touch of a buttonRelatively quiet operation (compared to prior machine)Compact, attractive stylingBalance of water and grounds is infinitely variable, as both are controlled independently by knobsEasy to clean and de-scaleCONS: Smallish water reservoir, needs refilling often if you drink Americano rather than espressoGrounds bin is lightweight plastic and has tabs that stick out around the edges. They could easily be broken off, an invitation to future annoyance, as the tabs are clearly there to perform some crucial function.
Great little investment if you enjoy good espresso frequently at home. This machine paid for itself already compared to buying at Starbucks everyday. I never thought I'd prefer my own homemade coffee beverages over the big chain either... but now I do! So not only am I saving money but they taste better too! No complaints about this espresso maker,, it puts out 16-24 beautiful and delicious shots a day between my husband and I without a problem. My friends love coming for coffee too! Lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, americanos, macchiatos, frappucinos, iced, you name it I've made it. Simple as can be to use and operate as well. We're very happy with this purchase and highly recommend it.