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De'Longhi Magnifica Review

A good, capable automatic machine, but not a great value and the interface is a bit confusing
De'Longhi Magnifica
Credit: De'Longhi
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Price:   $1,000 List | $999.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good taste, easy to clean
Cons:  The **Rancilio Silvia** is among our top choices for experienced baristas, as it puts a great amount of control in the user's hands. However, the lack of user-friendliness for those that are new to the nuances of espresso is something to consider and the
Manufacturer:   De'Longhi
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 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 a super-automatic machine that can make a nice cappuccino. It has a built-in grinder and the descaling process is fully automated making maintenance a breeze. However, it has a slightly confusing interface and its chunky steam wand can be a bit messy and difficult to use. In the same price range (or less) you can get a much more convenient machine that will make drinks just as well or better. For the top dollar that the Magnifica sells for we think there are better design options.

Compare to Similar Products

 
De'Longhi Magnifica
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $1,000 List
$999.99 at Amazon
$600 List
$599.99 at Amazon
$700 List
$599.95 at Amazon
$300 List$130 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good taste, easy to cleanExcellent espresso, can achieve near-perfect microfoam, relatively easy to use for a semi-automatic machineGreat taste, cafe quality lattes and cappuccinosGreat espresso, impressive milk steaming performance, compact designGood espresso and milk steaming, quite inexpensive
Cons The Rancilio Silvia is among our top choices for experienced baristas, as it puts a great amount of control in the user's hands. However, the lack of user-friendliness for those that are new to the nuances of espresso is something to consider and thePricey, requires more effort/practice than fully-automatic machinesOn the pricier side, requires some effort and a learning curveNo built-in grinderDoesn't quite achieve cafe quality results, somewhat slow, no built-in grinder
Bottom Line A good, capable automatic machine, but not a great value and the interface is a bit confusingA cafe-quality machine that manages to still be friendly towards beginner baristasA perfect choice for those that don't mind putting in a little work to get the best tasting shotOne of the smallest machines we've found that can achieve cafe-quality resultsOffers good taste and overall quality at a far below average price
Rating Categories De'Longhi Magnifica Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista Ex... Breville Bambino Gevi
Taste (40%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Cleaning (15%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Milk Steaming (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Specs De'Longhi Magnifica Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista Ex... Breville Bambino Gevi
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" 13" x 10" x 16"
Milk Frother Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand
Water Tank Capacity 60 oz 94 oz 67 oz 47 oz 42 oz
Cost per Shot $0.30 $0.45 $0.47 $0.45 $0.45
Lifetime Cost per Shot $0.72 $0.70 $0.76 $0.58 $0.50
Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make Up List Price 370 235 277 118 51
Number of Cafe Replacement Lattes to Make Up List Price 226 141 165 70 30

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Magnifica has some things going for it but, overall, it left us a bit underwhelmed.

Performance Comparison


Super-automatic machines only require you to toss beans into the...
Super-automatic machines only require you to toss beans into the bean hopper, then they grind, tamp, and brew for you.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Taste


The Magnifica scored well in our taste tests. The shots tasted a bit stronger and bolder than shots from a capsule machine. However, they also tasted significantly more watery than espresso made with some of our top-scoring models which is disappointing when you consider the price point of this machine. Topping it off with steamed milk from the steam wand did indeed make a nice cappuccino. However, it took some practice to get good milk results with the slightly clunky steam wand.

This steam want was not our favorite due to its chunky design.
This steam want was not our favorite due to its chunky design.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


The Magnifica scored about average here. It comes with easy-to-follow setup instructions and includes a built-in grinder, so we were pleasantly caffeinated within 20 minutes of opening the box. That said, while the controls are easy to use once you're used to them, 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

It took us a little over four minutes to make a cappuccino with the Magnifica, putting it on the slower side of our tested models. This was mostly due to its steam wand, which takes 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...
The Magnifica makes quite a mess, mostly because its steam wand likes to shoot water all over the place.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Cleaning


The Magnifica is very easy to clean and earned top marks for this metric. The only part that requires constant cleaning is the steam wand, but this is true of any machine. 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. The Magnifica comes with a packet of descaling solutions and the process is automated. Though it took over 30 minutes to complete it did not require constant attention, unlike many other machines in our lineup.

With a fully automated descaling process, the Magnifica is among the...
With a fully automated descaling process, the Magnifica is among the easiest machines to clean and maintain.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Milk Steaming


The steam wand on the Magnifica produced average quality milk. It frothed nice, voluminous foam, but it wasn't quite as rich or creamy as we'd prefer. The chunky design of the wand also isn't optimized to make the kind of microfoam ideal for latte art.

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


This is an expensive machine. Considering the price point and subsequent performance, we don't find this a very high-value option. Other machines in the same price range are more convenient with a better overall design.

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