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De'Longhi EC685M Review

Not a bad choice if you already have a nice grinder and can find it on sale
De'Longhi EC685M
Credit: De'Longhi
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Price:   $350 List | $347.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good taste, small and sleek
Cons:  No grinder
Manufacturer:   De'Longhi
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The biggest strong suit of the De'Longhi Dedica DeLuxe is its size. The modest footprint allows even those with small kitchens to enjoy the ritual of tamping and brewing espresso with a classic portafilter machine. Beyond that, the waters get a little murky as to whether this is a good machine. It does not have a built-in grinder, so you'll either need to invest in a nice grinder that can achieve a fine espresso grind, or buy some of the premium pre-ground coffee that is meant for espresso making. We find the overall performance average — there are other machines for a similar price point that offer a bit better finished drink.

Compare to Similar Products

 
De'Longhi EC685M
This Product
De'Longhi EC685M
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $350 List
$347.99 at Amazon
$300 List$450 List
$439.50 at Amazon
$130 List$199 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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77
67
63
Star Rating
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Pros Good taste, small and sleekGreat espresso, impressive milk steaming performance, compact designPulls excellent shots, great milk steamingGood espresso and milk steaming, quite inexpensiveEasy to use, quick and convenient, good taste, makes brewed coffee also
Cons No grinderNo built-in grinderHas a learning curve, no pressure gauge to help beginners, no grinderDoesn't quite achieve cafe quality results, somewhat slow, no built-in grinderUses 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 saleOne of the smallest machines we've found that can achieve cafe-quality resultsAn excellent machine if your familiar with the process of manual brewing, and already have a high-quality grinderOffers good taste and overall quality at a far below average priceGreat 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
Taste (40%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
Ease Of Cleaning (15%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Milk Steaming (15%)
7.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
1
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.

Performance Comparison


A small footprint and decent performance make this a very viable...
A small footprint and decent performance make this a very viable option.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Taste


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.

The Dedica pulls a fairly good shot.
The steam wand makes good foam for cappuccinos.

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.

Learning to properly tamp and dose espresso shots is going to take...
Learning to properly tamp and dose espresso shots is going to take anyone a few goes before they get it right.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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 steam wand disassembles and is dishwasher safe.
The steam wand disassembles and is dishwasher safe.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

Milk Steaming


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.

The steam wand is good, but falls a bit short of great.
The steam wand is good, but falls a bit short of great.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


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.

Conclusion


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