There are a large number of fully automatic coffee machines that are increasingly popular with customers due to their versatility. We have tested another device for you, this time a product from the well-known Italian manufacturer of household appliances, Delonghi, or more precisely: De’Longhi. We opt for the former, simple notation. That brings us to the specific model that we looked at. Its exact name: De’Longhi ESAM3300. We hope that the operation is less bumpy than the model name.
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Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300: first impression and design
After we have freed the fully automatic machine from its packaging, the first impression is very positive. The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM fully automatic coffee machine is characterized overall by good workmanship and looks, especially in view of the price level, which is more in the lower segment, of high quality. The device is mostly made of black plastic with a glossy look, which makes the coffee machine an elegant impression.
Metallic elements, like the drip tray, the storage space for heating the cups and the polished spout stand awarded on the black body.
However, the crucial components, such as the display and the controls, do not appear to be of such high quality. The rotary wheel looks a bit wobbly, the buttons crack a little and the display only illuminates four different symbols, namely for the functions Eco mode, filling the water container, refilling the beans and a warning signal. In this area, the low price is now noticeable.
The weight of 23.12 Pounds conveys a good robustness in processing. This is important for a stable stand so that the cups do not wobble while the coffee is being prepared.
Unfortunately, we have to put the overall positive first impression into perspective a little with regard to the not very useful display, the clicking keys and the wobbly rotary wheel. In the same price segment, the fully automatic Krups EA8108 made a more stable impression.
Check our test of Krups EA8108 below:
As usual, initial operation begins with filling the bean compartment and the water container, which the device prompts you to do when it is switched on. We particularly like the solution with the water tank, which you pull out of the fully automatic machine to fill. This makes it easier to fill up and saves space on the sides in daily use.
The display cannot be seen well in all lighting conditions, so we didn’t notice the red glow. Unfortunately, when filling the beans, we had a negative impression about the lid of the bean container because we trust the transparent “AromaSafe” patented by Delonghi, due to its good insulation, to be able to guarantee special freshness of the beans in the container. Unfortunately, since the lid is dark, you cannot see the bean compartment optimally. A look at the beans in the container would not only increase our anticipation for fresh coffee, it is also practical because you can immediately see when you need to refill the container. This is particularly elegant, for example, with the Siemens EQ6. Back to the Delonghi device:
There are several buttons on the front
- On off
- The choice of one or two cups of espresso or coffee cream
- do the washing up
- In the middle a wheel for setting the amount of coffee to be used
The first start-up turned out to be more difficult than we expected: the first rinsing of the coffee spout and the milk frother were no problem. Then, as recommended in the instructions for use, we prepared several espressos. An unpleasant, almost off-putting smell developed during production. This subsided after a couple of draws, but when other new devices were tested, such an odor never occurred. That’s why we didn’t want to drink the coffee at all.
Furthermore, the start-up of the milk frother turned out to be quite complicated: We couldn’t simply press the “steam” button. First we had to move a lever located above the frother from 0 to 1 and only then could we press the “steam” button. Finally hot water ran out of the frother. However, with regard to the labeling with 0 and 1, it is not clear why and in which position water and steam escape.
Then, we wanted to specify our test and asked ourselves in this context whether the strength and quantity can be varied. Again we looked at the instructions for use. It emerged from this that this is possible if the recipient holds down a certain key for a certain period of time and presses it again at the desired amount so that the system saves the setting. Quite a complicated procedure !
The central wheel regulates the amount of coffee that is dispensed. Coffee lovers can try out which setting suits their taste. It is also possible to readjust using the settings of the grinder, which is equipped with 13 levels. This approach is a little unfamiliar, but it works.
If you are worried about the right grind, check the following article:
Our interim conclusion on the operation:
The mere fact that we had to take the help of the instructions for use with regard to the settings is a fact that only rarely occurs when working with other devices.
After a few attempts, we found the right setting for our espresso and coffee cream. The result: We received great-tasting coffee specialties. We also noticed positively that the rotary wheel for setting the amount of coffee actually produced differences, because the coffee tasted really more intense with maximum adjustment. The crema in the various types of coffee tested convinced us with its beautiful consistency.
With the highest setting, the temperature was also pleasantly hot. An important factor for the aroma is not only the pump pressure, which is the case with most fully automatic machines 15 or more bars ( 9 bars are ideal for espresso ). The brewing temperature is also an important aspect. However , we were unable to find out exactly how many degrees the Delonghi reached. When we measured the coffee temperature in the cup, we got a value of over 70 degrees Celsius.
We also readjusted the grinding degree and ground the beans particularly finely, as the drink initially seemed a bit watery to us. Which grind you prefer is of course always a matter of taste. However, we liked the more intense variant better, as the flow speed was correspondingly slower and thus the aroma was more pronounced.
The Delonghi works with a steam nozzle, so that, unlike a real fully automatic machine, we had to froth manually. If the handling takes a little getting used to, after a little practice you will achieve very nice results with this frother. In this context, the left-hand arrangement (from the viewer’s point of view at the front) is a little disadvantageous, as it makes it a bit more difficult to use for right-handers.
Before the device is switched off, the coffee spout is automatically rinsed, which we found extremely practical, as you do not have to worry about the cleaning process yourself. It can be added, however, that most fully automatic machines are now equipped with a corresponding automatic flush before switching off.
The outside of the milk frother is also easy to clean because you can remove the front part and rinse it separately.
The drip tray is average in size and needs to be emptied regularly. Unfortunately, you cannot clean these parts in the dishwasher but only manually, which we find a bit annoying, especially with a particularly sensitive part such as the steam wand, provided you want to use the milk foam function regularly.
You can also use a water filter, which is particularly good, as this is not only beneficial for the device itself, but also has a positive effect on the taste quality of the water. This cannot be taken for granted with coffee machines in this price range.
Apart from the rinsing function, the Delonghi fully automatic machine does not have an automatic cleaning program, but it does have a removable brewing unit. From a hygienic point of view, this is very carefully designed, as it can be cleaned particularly well and thoroughly. This option is by no means available with all fully automatic machines.
The information about decalcifying is given if necessary. The corresponding descaler is included and the process takes about 30 minutes. The duration of around half an hour may seem long, but it is by no means unusual compared to the corresponding programs of other fully automatic coffee machines.
Facts and figures:
- Overall result: 7.0
- Dimensions: 43 x 23.8 x 35.1 (HBT)
- Weight: 9.0 kg
- Bean container capacity: 8.8 ounces
- Capacity of the water tank: 1.8 liters
- Grinder: conical grinder
- Grind: 13 levels
- Coffee spout: height-adjustable coffee spout, 2 cup function
- Cleaning / descaling information: Yes / Yes
- Programmable coffee variants: partially (4 quantities can be stored)
- Hot water function: no
- Display: yes
- Operation via app: No.
- Removable brew group: Yes
- Maximum cup height- 4.25 inches
Pros and cons:
- Elegant design with beautiful stainless steel accents
- Favorable purchase price
- Very good results with the milk frother nozzle
- Heated shelf for cups
- Key noises when pressed
- Very small, difficult to see display
- No intuitive usability: Operating instructions are required for many settings
- Coffee spout overflows quickly
Conclusion on the Delonghi Magnifica S
It was no more easy for us than memorizing the correct model name, although the latter of course had no effect on our judgment. In contrast to many other fully automatic coffee machines that have been tested, as well as our current favorites, we had to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for operating some areas. Coffee lovers who are not so tech-savvy will probably not feel too comfortable with the Delonghi, at least with regard to the furnishings. The user should also have good eyesight in order to be able to read the display without any problems. After getting used to it for a while, the device is relatively easy to use, at least as far as the basic functions are concerned. It looks different if you want to adjust the brewing temperature or something similar.
However, the removable brewing group, the satisfactory results of the milk frother nozzle and the energy-saving mode, which reduces the speed of the device but also noticeably reduces energy consumption, remain positive in our memory.
All in all, with this fully automatic coffee machine you are purchasing a solid entry-level device that impresses with its stable workmanship. Unfortunately, you have to accept a few compromises in terms of usability. Those who have no problem with that will be satisfied. If you want intuitive operation and fully automatic functions, even with milk variations, look for alternatives.
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