De'Longhi EC685M Review
Pros: Good taste, small and sleek
Cons: No grinder
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|Pros||Good taste, small and sleek||Great espresso, impressive milk steaming performance, compact design||Pulls excellent shots, great milk steaming||Good espresso and milk steaming, quite inexpensive||Easy to use, quick and convenient, good taste, makes brewed coffee also|
|Cons||No grinder||No built-in grinder||Has a learning curve, no pressure gauge to help beginners, no grinder||Doesn't quite achieve cafe quality results, somewhat slow, no built-in grinder||Uses expensive capsules, only a limited number of espresso flavors available|
|Bottom Line||Not a bad choice if you already have a nice grinder and can find it on sale||One of the smallest machines we've found that can achieve cafe-quality results||An excellent machine if your familiar with the process of manual brewing, and already have a high-quality grinder||Offers good taste and overall quality at a far below average price||Great if you don't mind paying for convenience and want the ability to make brewed coffee too|
|Rating Categories||De'Longhi EC685M||Breville Bambino||Breville Duo Temp Pro||Gevi||Nespresso Evoluo|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (15%)|
|Milk Steaming (15%)|
|Specs||De'Longhi EC685M||Breville Bambino||Breville Duo Temp Pro||Gevi||Nespresso Evoluo|
|Dimensions||5.9" x 13" x 11.9"||7.7" x 12.6" x 12.2"||15.5" x 13.3" x 17.6"||13" x 10" x 16"||9" x 12.2" x 12.3"|
|Milk Frother||Steam Wand||Steam Wand||Steam Wand||Steam Wand||None|
|Water Tank Capacity||37 oz||47 oz||61 oz||42 oz||54 oz|
|Cost per Shot||$0.35||$0.45||$0.47||$0.45||$0.85|
|Lifetime Cost per Shot||$0.50||$0.58||$0.64||$0.50||$0.93|
|Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make Up List Price||132||118||158||51||93|
|Number of Cafe Replacement Lattes to Make Up List Price||80||70||94||30||52|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The De'Longhi EC685M or Dedica DeLuxe offers a manual espresso brewing experience in a small package and makes some pretty tasty shots to boot. However, the lack of a grinder adds an extra consideration to consider before you buy.
Earning an above-average taste score, the Dedica was able to pull a nice and robust shot in our testing. This machine's espresso did taste slightly watery when compared to that of the highest performing machines, but it was still stiff enough that it satisfied that craving for the concentrated punch of a good espresso. We found it easy to get some good foam for a cappuccino with the built-in steam wand, but the texture of its steamed milk left a little bit to be desired.
Ease of Use
The Dedica was again right around average in our ease of use testing. Thanks to a well-written instruction manual and very little required assembly, we had this machine out of the box and heating up water for the first brew in less than 10 minutes.
Like any semi-automatic machine, it will take a newcomer a bit to get used to manually tamping and brewing espresso. Beyond that, the interface is fairly intuitive, and the steam wand settings are conveniently labeled 'hot milk' and 'cappuccino' indicating how much foam each setting will produce.
Ease of Cleaning
The Dedica is relatively painless when it comes to clean up. The portafilter tends not to build up too much coffee gunk when pulling a shot, so wiping it off is pretty easy. The steam wand also easily breaks down into multiple pieces and is dishwasher safe. Even if you forget to wipe it off a few times and you get some buildup, you can just toss it in the dishwasher.
The descaling process took us just 27 minutes and was very clearly described in the user manual. However, we didn't feel like we could leave the machine alone to do its thing while descaling, so our attention was required for most of that time.
Here again, the Dedica DeLuxe performed a bit above average. We were able to make some nice foam to top off a cappuccino, but its steamed milk didn't quite get that ideal creamy texture.
It's kind of hard to peg the value of this machine. It sells for a good price for a semi-automatic machine that performs well. Just remember you'll either have to invest in a nice grinder as well or commit to buying specialty pre-ground espresso coffee.
The De'Longhi Dedica DeLuxe offers fairly good performance and a full espresso brewing experience for those that really want to learn the ways of the barista. However, there are both better and more convenient machines in the same price range.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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