The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

De'Longhi Magnifica Review

A good, capable machine, but not a great value
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $1,000 List | $699 at Amazon
Pros:  Good taste, easy to clean
Cons:  Messy steam wand, tricky interface
Manufacturer:   De'Longhi
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 19, 2017
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 16
  • Taste - 40% 7
  • Ease of Use - 30% 6
  • Ease of Cleaning - 15% 8
  • Milk Steaming - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The De'Longhi Magnifica is super automatic machine that can make a good cappuccino. However, it has a slightly confusing interface and its steam wand can be a bit messy and difficult to use. In the same price range you can get a much more convenient and just as good tasting cappuccino in the Gaggia Anima Prestige.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $1,000 List
$699.00 at Amazon
$1,500 List
$1,299.00 at Amazon
$600 List
$579.99 at Amazon
$600 List
$499.95 at Amazon
$400 List
$379.99 at Amazon
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good taste, easy to cleanExcellent espresso and milk steaming, can pull and steam simultaneously, multiple programmable features, relatively user friendlyGreat taste, cafe quality lattes and cappuccinosGreat taste, exceptional lattes and cappuccinos, mostly automated milk steamingGreat taste, great milk steaming
Cons Messy steam wand, tricky interfaceExpensive, requires some effort and a learning curveExpensive, requires some effort and a learning curveExpensive, no built-in grinderHas a learning curve, no pressure gauge to help beginners, no grinder
Bottom Line A good, capable machine, but not a great valueA great choice for those that want the best possible at-home espresso quality, but comes at a hefty priceA perfect choice for those that don’t mind putting in a little work to get the best tasting shotA top-notch machine that offers the best (mostly) automated milk steaming we've foundGood choice for experienced baristas that already have a good grinder
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
69
100
0
89
100
0
80
100
0
78
100
0
77
Rating Categories De'Longhi Magnifica Breville the Dual... Breville Barista... Breville Bambino... Breville Duo Temp...
Taste (40%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Ease Of Use (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Ease Of Cleaning (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Milk Steaming (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Specs De'Longhi Magnifica Breville the Dual... Breville Barista... Breville Bambino... Breville Duo Temp...
Dimensions 17" x 9.4" x 13.8" 14.7" x 14.8" x 14.7" 13.2" x 12.5" x 16" 7.7" x 12.6" x 12.2" 15.5" x 13.3" x 17.6"
Warranty 2 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited
Milk Frother Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand Automatic Steam Wand Steam Wand
Cost per Shot $0.30 $0.45 $0.47 $0.47 $0.47
Lifetime Cost per Shot $0.67 $1.08 $0.72 $0.72 $0.64
Cost per Latte $0.67 $0.73 $0.75 $0.75 $0.75
Straight Shot - Percentage cost vs. Cafe 10% 15% 16% 16% 16%
Latte - Percentage Cost vs. Cafe 12% 15% 15% 15% 15%
Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make p list price 330 588 237 237 158
Number of Cafe replacement lattes to make up list price 201 351 141 141 94

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison



Taste




The Magnifica scored a 7 out of 10 in our taste testing. Its shots tasted a bit stronger and bolder than shots from Nespresso capsule machines, all of which scored 6 in our testing. However, it produced espresso that tasted significantly more watery than espresso made with the top scoring Breville Barista Express. Topping it off with milk steamed and frothed made by its steam wand did make a nice cappuccino. However, it took some practice to get good milk results with its slightly clunky steam wand.



Ease of Use


The Magnifica earned a 6 out of 10 in our ease of use testing. This put it just below average in a metric where scores ranged from 4 to 9.

Easy Setup


The Magnifica comes with easy to follow setup instructions. We were pleasantly caffeinated within 20 minutes of opening the box.

Somewhat Cryptic Interface


The Magnifica's controls are easy to use once you're used to them, but they can be puzzling for a newcomer. All the buttons are only labeled with small pictures, so unless a picture of a mostly empty cup says 'single shot of espresso' to you, you'll probably be a bit confused at first.

IT takes a minute to get used to the symbols used on the Magnifica's interface.
IT takes a minute to get used to the symbols used on the Magnifica's interface.

Slow and Messy Cappuccino


It took us a little over four minutes to make a cappuccino with the Magnifica, putting it on the slower side of the scale. This was mostly due to its steam wand, which takes a longer to steam milk than the automatic frothers on some of the other machines. This wand also makes quite a mess. When warming up it spits water onto the counter rather than in the drip tray. It's quite an annoying design flaw.

The Magnifica makes quite a mess  mostly because its steam wand like to shoot water all over the place.
The Magnifica makes quite a mess, mostly because its steam wand like to shoot water all over the place.

Ease of Cleaning


The Magnifica was very easy to clean and shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our ease of cleaning testing. This was significantly ahead of the low score of 5.

Short Term Cleaning


The only part of the Magnifica that requires constant cleaning is the steam wand. After each use it needs to be wiped down and should be more thoroughly cleaned every few days, depending on how many milk drinks you make. The wand can be taken apart making it easy to clean both inside and out.

Descaling


The Magnifica comes with a packet of descaling solution and the process is automated. Though it took over 30 minutes to complete it did not require constant attention.

Milk Steaming/Frothing


The Magnifica's steam wand garnered it a score of 7 out of 10 in our milk steaming and frothing testing, where scores of machines with milk devices ranged from 6 to 9. Its steamed milk was nice but not quite as creamy as we'd like. Its frothed milk made a nice, voluminous foam, but it wasn't quite as rich as that from the top scoring machine, the Breville Barista Express.

The Magnifica's steam wand makes decent steam and frothed milk  but falls short of coffee shop quality.
The Magnifica's steam wand makes decent steam and frothed milk, but falls short of coffee shop quality.

Value


The Magnifica lists for $1000. At this price it is a fairly poor value, as the $1100 Gaggia Anima Prestige is much more convenient and not much more expensive. At the time of this writing we've seen the Magnifica selling for as much as 30% off. At this price it is a better value, but if you're looking to save money the Gaggia Brera is cheaper and a better value.


Conclusion


The De'Longhi Magnifica is a good espresso machine, but there are better machines available in its price range.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata