An Expert Guide to the De'Longhi Espresso Machine LineupPublished on 10/04/2023 · 7 min readDe'Longhi is a well-known brand in the coffee and espresso machine world! Coffee Expert Jeff Sutton gives an overview of their eight popular models.
If you’re a coffee nerd, whether entry-level or advanced, you’ve likely run across a few names in the community to deliver your morning or midday fuel. Having a bit of stature as a starting point setup, De’Longhi’s own beginnings have quite some mileage. De’Longhi began in 1974 as a brand name for home radiators and has since expanded into so much more in the home appliance market. They now pride themselves on creating innovative and exciting products for comfort, home, cleaning, and kitchen.
Within the company's kitchen division, De’Longhi has created a strong prestige for their coffee machines that have become the center of the brand. Most of the apparatuses made are of the super-automatic variety. Super-automatic machines are great for people who want to have a device that can do the bulk of the work for them with little hassle involved. They also have some simple semi-automatic machines that are perfect for the home barista who wants more control over the espresso creation process. So, pour a brew, and let’s take a look at the line of De’Longhi espresso makers, beginning with their most basic machines and through to their top-end super automatics, to see where your preferences lie.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
When looking into espresso machines, the most traditional way to get started is with a semi-automatic machine. A semi-automatic means that you, as the barista, are in control of the extraction process from grinding the beans to making the espresso puck, then to steaming your milk to the correct temperature and texture.
Stilosa Espresso Machine
If you’re a beginner at espresso making, you might be interested in the first option in De’Longhi’s semi-automatic coffee lineup, which is the Stilosa. It is one of many smaller footprint ideas that can be seen on De’Longhi’s compact machines. The Stilosa is a basic espresso maker without all of the bells and whistles. The unit is designed with a single stainless-steel boiler and associated pump capable of producing 15 bars of pressure which is more than enough for consistent espresso extraction or operation of the associated manual steam wand. Its compact and simple design makes it ideal for any countertop space. It can also pull single or double shots, but there is a little wait time to allow pressure to build up after an extraction before you can steam your milk.
Manual Espresso Machine / Cappuccino Machine
As another user-friendly option where you can start to flex some barista muscle, the basics get covered by De’Longhi with their Manual Espresso Machine. It is the next point in De’Longhi’s semi-automatic lineup that is a no-frills machine still capable of making excellent espresso shots. It comes equipped with a 37oz removable water tank and a 15-bar pump that ensures proper extraction pressure. If you want to get a bit creative, its adjustable advanced cappuccino system lets you control the texture of the milk to create your favorite beverages.
Dedica Espresso Machine
Next up, the Dedica brings more controls while retaining that user-friendly interface to a semi-automatic machine that is still small and has a compact design similar to the Stilosa with a footprint small enough for tight spaces. The De’Longhi Dedica has an easy-to-use three-button illuminated interface along the front of its stainless steel body. It comes standard with a 1300-watt thermoblock boiler competent in producing perfectly heated water extracted with up to 15 bars of pressure from the associated pump. Cleaning is also simple with its 44oz removable water tank located right behind the top surface cup warmer.
Two other features of the Dedica that set it apart are the three-in-one filter holder to accommodate single or double shots and a pressurized portafilter that allows you to use easy-to-serve espresso pods. And to really simulate the cafe experience, the My LatteArt steam wand not only lets you get perfectly textured milk for your favorite drinks but allows you to stylize your final presentation.
La Specialista Espresso Machine
De’Longhi bridges the gap between semi-automatic and super-automatic espresso machines with the La Specialista line. These machines are all bean-to-cup, meaning they have an integrated conical burr grinder with eight settings to ensure the proper grind of whatever coffee—be it a light roast or dark roast. These machines are also capable of frothing milk for drinks with De’Longhi’s My LatteArt steam wand. This is a great option for the consumer that doesn’t want multiple units for a grinder and machine but still wants to control the extraction of the espresso. These bean-to-cup units have become a mainstay in the marketplace for the home consumer.
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
If you are looking to jump into that world of bean-to-cup machines, then one of the ideas on De’Longhi’s list of super-automatic models may be right for you. The super-automatics take the convenience of a drip coffee maker and add the taste of your favorite café. All of the machines in this category will contain certain unique features, such as an adjustable conical burr grinder and De’Longhi’s patented Cappuccino System milk frother that mixes steam and milk to create the perfect texture for your drink time and time again.
De’Longhi’s Magnifica is first up in their super-automatic lineup. Its low-noise conical burr grinder has 13 different settings to dial in your espresso extraction along with the optional ground coffee bypass that is ideal for the occasional shot of decaf. It comes with an uncomplicated interface that consists of a push button and rotary control panel with cup size, strength, and temperature modifications. It also has a built-in water filtration system that pulls from a removable 60oz water tank along with fully adjustable spouts to accommodate a wide variety of cup heights. The top of the unit also functions as a cup warmer to ensure your favorite mug is always ready for a fresh brew.
The Magnifica has an automatic three-hour shut-off during non-use and an energy-saving switch with an instant reheat function. These features, in combination with an easy-to-remove and machine washable drip tray, keep the Magnifica efficiently clean.
Love iced drinks? The Dinamica is a super-automatic machine created especially for that job. Normal machines don’t have any adjustment for creating a drink over ice; however, De’Longhi’s Dinamica has Truebrew Technology that creates a full-bodied rather than watered-down version of your favorite beverage. In addition, it still has the ability to create classic brews such as lattes and cappuccinos by using its advanced integrated manual frother regardless of what kind of milk or milk substitute you prefer.
An especially nice feature of the Dinamica is its large 10.5oz hopper for your coffee beans and a water reservoir of over 60oz, so you can fill your machine less often. Lastly, it comes with a fully removable brew unit that is cleanable without the use of harsh chemicals required by many machines and comes with a drip tray for easy maintenance.
Finally, the pinnacle of De’Longhi’s high-quality super-automatic lineup is the Eletta. The Eletta combines a 15-bar pump system designed in Italy to provide the power needed for quality espresso drinks at the push of a button. That functionality, paired with a vast array of pre-programmed beverages easily accessed through a LED interface, allows the user to control the size and strength of the desired drink in a foolproof way. The Eletta also has an integrated milk carafe with De’Longhi’s proprietary LatteCrema System that creates perfectly textured drinks just like your local barista makes. As another convenience, this system comes with a two-year warranty (with an additional year for registering your machine) that is tops in the industry.
Outside of their own models, De’Longhi has also entered a partnership with Nespresso and offers their line of machines direct to customers in the United States. These are not true espresso machines but create a similar product from pre-packaged pods. The downside to these is the waste associated with the pods and that the coffee is ground well in advance of its use.
And there you have it! De’Longhi has always prided itself on making high-quality products that go far beyond the run-of-the-mill coffee maker and are available at affordable price points. They are a company that has lasted the test of time due to their technological advances and commitment to quality. For the last 20 years, the coffee world has seen countless De’Longhi espresso machine reviews that consistently put them at the top of their class. With all of the products available from De’Longhi, the odds are pretty good that one will suit your needs perfectly when you need that shot of espresso.
To get pointed in the right direction, you can reach out to any Curated Coffee & Espresso Expert who can guide you through the choices and find the best espresso machine for you.