The world's most in-depth and scientific product reviews

De'Longhi Magnifica Review

A good, capable machine, but not a great value
De'Longhi Magnifica
Credit: De'Longhi
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $1,000 List | $890 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
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
#8 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

 
De'Longhi Magnifica
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $1,000 List
$890.00 at Amazon
$600 List
$599.99 at Amazon
$700 List
$699.95 at Amazon
$500 List
$499.95 at Amazon
$450 List
$429.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
69
81
80
78
77
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, achieves near-perfect microfoam in its steamed milk, relatively easy to use for a semi-automatic machineGreat 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 more effort/practice than fully-automatic machinesExpensive, requires some effort and a learning curveExpensive, no built-in grinderHas a learning curve, no pressure gauge to help beginners, no grinder
Bottom Line Decent all around machine, but the price is high for what you getA cafe-quality machine that manages to still be friendly towards beginner baristasIf you don't mind a little learning curve and elbow grease, this is the best espresso you can make at homeAn excellent choice for those trying to recreate cafe drinks at home, especially if you already have an espresso-quality grinderAn excellent machine if your familiar with the process of manual brewing, and already have a high-quality grinder
Rating Categories De'Longhi Magnifica Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista... Breville Bambino... Breville Duo Temp...
Taste (40%)
7
9
9
9
9
Ease Of Use (30%)
6
7
7
7
6
Ease Of Cleaning (15%)
8
7
6
6
6
Milk Steaming (15%)
7
9
9
8
9
Specs De'Longhi Magnifica Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista... Breville Bambino... Breville Duo Temp...
Dimensions 17" x 9.4" x 13.8" 5.6" x 14.5" x 17.3" 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 3 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited
Milk Frother Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand Automatic Steam Wand Steam Wand
Water Tank Capacity 60 oz 94 oz 67 oz 65 oz 61 oz
Cost per Shot $0.30 $0.45 $0.47 $0.47 $0.47
Lifetime Cost per Shot $0.67 $0.70 $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 330 235 237 237 158
Number of Cafe replacement lattes to make up list price 201 141 141 141 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...
IT takes a minute to get used to the symbols used on the Magnifica's interface.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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

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

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