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Why did I get this machine?
My parents bought this machine as a Christmas present to each other 2 1/2 years ago. We had had a bean to cup machine several years before that but had not replaced it when it broke down. However we have been very impressed with this, I think if it broke irreparably we would replace it. I definitely missed it when I was at uni and making my espresso in a single serving stovetop mokapot!
What does it do?
Basically it allows you to have your coffee however you want it. It has two knobs on the front, one which changes the strength of the coffee and one which changes the size, so you can have anything from a strong espresso to a weak full size coffee. It also has a power button, a one cup button, a two cup button, a button to activate the steam function, and a dial to start the steam coming out of the nozzle.
It can be used with beans or ground coffee, although really it is designed for beans as you can't control the strength of the coffee when using ground. It has a water tank and can produce hot water or steam. The steam function is designed to froth up milk for cappuccinos (cappuccini?). It collects the ground coffee in a bucket which is easily removed with the drip tray. It compresses the ground coffee into "pucks" (as the instruction book says) or "turds" (as my delightful, charming family says).
The versatility of this machine is great, it is suitable for making my grandparents' morning coffee, my strong espresso and my mum's fluffy cappuccino with chocolate on top. The coffee is good - having coffee made from freshly ground beans makes all the difference, but I am basically lazy and I wouldn't bother to hand grind it to put in a caffettiere or mokapot.
It is easy to use - the two knob system is very straightforward. After a couple of goes you learn where to put the knobs for your perfect coffee. For example my dad has "water ten to, coffee ten past" and I have "water almost at the bottom, coffee 5 past".The steam for frothy milk is slightly more complex but really not much. The nozzle only rotates one way so it can be slightly awkward to get the nozzle into your milk, depending on what vessel you have chosen for your milk.
The water tank has a reasonable capacity so does not need filling too often, although of course this depends on the size of coffee you are drinking and how often you drink them. I have found that how often the coffee grounds need emptying is very variable - sometimes the warning light comes on when there are only one or two pucks in there, which can be quite irritating.
Price and availability
This machine is currently being advertised online for anything between £270 and £450 from various retailers.
Would I recommend it?
Yes! Whilst I wouldn't be able to afford one for myself straightaway if I moved out, it would certainly be on my lists of things to save up for, I would be happy for Christmas and birthday money to be saved up towards this, I love the coffee it makes and it's a real timesaver if you want coffee from freshly ground beans. The milk froth function is fun and means you can have coffeeshop style cappucino at home.
This is one of the few "luxuries" i have, thinking about how many trips i have made to coffee shops in the past year i thought i might invest in one of these machines and the buzz around was that THIS model was the best.
...well this machine doesn't buzz...it hums, hums a perfect tune when i turn it on and use it!
I'm not much of a breakfast person but i can't make do without a nice brew and there's nothing better than a perfectly made cup of coffee with this machine, although i prefer cappuccino made with my custom settings which are sooo easy to program with this machine, featuring 7 grinding settings and an empty grounds indicator i'm finding this so much fun and easy to use, it used to be that i'd have to manually check grounds in a friends machine but this just makes it effortless, it's a nice touch that makes this machine worth a purchase.
I don't think it's a frivolous expense having a machine like this as i can't recall just how much money i've saved by making my own freshly ground coffee and cappuccinos, i know the shops will be missing my custom but with this machine it far supercedes what i bought at the coffee shop and it's all setup in my own house!
It's also got rinse and decalsification programs, as i have no idea and don't care to get too involved in the maintenance side of these gadgets i'm so happy someone has thought of a consumer like me and taken the worry and responsibility out of my hands with these great programmable and automatic settings.
I'd lusted after various coffee machines for years after enduring too long with sub-par instant coffee. I had friends that were such coffee snobs they brought freshly ground posh stuff they'd ground that morning and their single serve cafetiere to work every day. I sniggered at them, I called them pompous and pretentious, all the while sipping on instant coffee that could be likened to dishwater in hindsight.
On my millionth trip into our local posh coffee shop for a browse I decided I was going to go for it and buy this machine, mostly because it was the cheapest bean to cup available. This was on offer at £349.99, which I thought was a cracking deal. I'm good like that, reviews? Functionality? Who cares! Go for the cheapest one and hope for the best. It's let me down on more than one occasion has that approach, but not on this one!
This machine makes fantastic coffee. And I mean fantastic. You know you get that gorgeous little creamy layer on top when you get coffee at a coffee shop? That's called the 'crema' and it is widely recognised as the true mark of a great coffee, and is even more important if you like it black like I do. This machine produces a quality crema and it does it quickly too, you push the button and your coffee is there before you can butter your toast. Quality!
The milk frother, my favourite aspect of this machine! To froth your milk you simply push the steam button and wait 30 seconds for the water to heat up. Then you turn (a VERY stiff) knob on the front of the machine to produce the steam. It can be a little fiddly if you're arthritic like me, but then again that's just a glorious excuse to have the hubby make your brew.
The options to personalise your brew are seemingly endless, you can alter the temperature, strength, cup size and even how coarse you want your beans grinding. One thing to note is it's quite a long winded process to alter the temperature of your brew so if you need to regularly switch (if one likes hot and one likes tepid), you might find that a little irritating. It's not a problem for us though.
Although the water tank doesn't look huge, it lasts a good while and doesn't make you feel as though it always needs topping up.
It does have a compartment for pre-ground coffee, however, I've never used that function, kinda defies the point of a bean to cup if you ask me. If you are into that though, it comes with a super handy little measuring scoop that stows away in the lid for convenience. Oh DeLonghi, you've thought of everything! Almost...
The cleaning process is a lengthy one and you must keep on top of descaling or your machine will morph into a gremlin and eat you... Not really, but it will probably break.
Although you have the option to make two cups at once, it takes twice as long because the coffee drips out much slower, so kinda defeats the object. We just make one at a time, and I can't say it's really bothered me all that much.
The drip tray fills up REALLY fast if you don't use a cup to catch the excess water from the cleaning cycle. It can be a real pain having to empty it constantly, but you can eliminate that by just sticking the cup you're using under there and giving it a quick swill before filling it with your coffee.
It's a bit of a beast really size-wise, and takes up a fair bit of countertop space. Some people have loads, but countertop space is prime real estate in our kitchen. Still, it was the cheapest machine, and the cheapest always wins with me.
So in conclusion, I would recommend this coffee machine to anyone looking for a quality bean to cup for a reasonable price.
I've always wanted a coffee machine but didn't have the budget for an all singing and dancing machine like this! I'd considered cheaper machines but knew i would end up buying a separate grinder etc.
Anyway, I was very lucky that my husband bought me this as a christmas present. What a gift! It's definately worth buying a machine that goes from bean to cup. Don't waste your money on percolators. I have fresh coffee every morning and the house smells delicious!
I've experimented with different types of coffee too, from espresso to latte's and cappucinos. The frother is excellent and fun too! I even use it to make hot chocolates too.
The machine is stylish and would look great in any kitchen. You would need a good sized worktop though.
I use this machine much more than i ever anticipated. It's so simple and easy to clean and the only consumables are a cleaning solution which easy fairly chep to buy online.
It is expensive at the initial purchase but think of how much those daily starbucks cost you!
I would thoroughly recommend this product!
I have purchased D'Longhi products in the past and I have always found them to be stylish and of a high quality. So when I was in the market for a new coffee machine, it was one of the main factors in my going with this one in particular. I have to say the coffee that this machine produces is off a real good standard.
The coffee maker looks great, it's sleek metallic grey colour, some may call it silver. It removable drip tray and adjustable height dispenser which is great for avoiding splashes when you are making an espresso, you can get the dispenser nice and near the cup. The coffee maker isn't small, but is compact Dimensions are: (L x W x H): 28 x 37.5 x 36cm.
This coffee maker takes real beans, which for you coffee lovers out there, know it's a must. The beans load into the the top of the coffee maker and the coffee maker then grinds the beans and produces little pucks which are collected inside the machine. You will have to empty this occasionally, depending on strength the tray can take around 12 pucks I would say. There is a removable 1.8 litre water tank, which you fill from the tap.
There are two small dials on the front of the coffee machine, one for the cup size and one for strength. I like a medium blend and if I am buying ground coffee I would normally take a strength 3. I find that 11 o'clock on the dial delivers the right strength for me and about 2 o'clock on the cup size dial is about right. The beauty of the dials is that you can adjust the strength to your own personal tastes. When making a pot of coffee you can often find that your partner or work colleagues have differing tastes and therefore the pot of coffee can be too strong or weak for your liking.
There is also a steamer that is attached to this coffee maker, perfect for those cappuccino and latte lovers. I have found that the steamer works well and allows you to make a very good cappuccino or latte. There is a large dial, which controls the streamer.
In terms of cleaning the machine it couldn't be easier. Along with informing you when you need to top up your water, beans or remove the pucks from the tray, you will also be altered when the machine needs to be descaled. The frequency of this will depend on the hardness of your water. Something that is determined during the initial set up of the coffee machine. It takes around half an hour to run through the descaling cycle and then you are good to go once more.
Probably one from being a man and thinking I know best and two from working in IT for a number of years, I tend to disregard manuals when it comes to shiny electronics and work it out for myself. I would definitely recommend reading the instruction manual for this coffee maker before you use it. Once familiar with how it all works and what the various lights mean, it's a piece of cake to use and you will quickly forgot that it cost you the best part of £400. Saying that, I did see Amazon currently on sale at £245, which is a bargain if you ask me.
My husband was recently promoted and lucky for him, he got his own office. Given that he was spending around £5 a day on coffee from the coffee shop inside the head office where he works, I asked if he would like to take our coffee maker from home to use in his office and we would buy a new one for home. The coffee maker that we have been using for the last couple of years was also a Delonghi and we have really enjoyed using the machine but always felt we needed to try a better model for our next machine given the amount we use it.
We were feeling rather flush and perhaps also celebrating the promotion and so opted for a coffee maker that would have made my eyes water at the price on any other day. Let me get it out of the way and tell you we paid £349 for it, however (!) it honestly produces the best coffee I have ever tasted in my life! Obviously you have to get the bean selection right as well but the gadgets on this machine alongside the sublime coffee it produces means I have to 100% recommend the machine.
De'Longhi is known for its high end Italian products and this is exactly what this product is. It feels like it is a quality product, is innovative and most importantly in our gadgety kitchen, it is stylish. This machine works effortlessly to function as a bean-to-cup machine by delivering coffee straight from freshly ground beans into your cup. The Magnifica is adaptable to your needs and can be used as an integral bean grinder by selecting 'espresso', the professional conical burr grinder expertly grinds the beans to exactly how you like it with a choice of 7 settings. Even our stand alone coffee grinder we had before we bought this machine only had 2 settings, ground or not!
The machine works at the professional 15 bar pressure to push the hot water through the coffee and into your cup. The process is quick but the machine really comes into its own here when making an espresso as it produces a creamy layer that sits on the top of the drink, known as 'crema' and shows the quality of a good espresso by thickness which is perfect here. There is an option to use ground coffee by make a change in the selection on the control panel, but this is something we rarely use as if you spend the money on a machine like this, you really have to grind the beans just before making the coffee to get the maximum taste and flavour.
Although a lot of coffee machines have a frothing tool, the one with this machine is excellent and seems to do it to perfection. Cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and caffe lattes can all be made with this machine using the frothing arm. We have found that semi skimmed milk works best as it is just the right consistency compared to thick whole milk or watery skimmed. The selection of the steam can be adjusted electronically for the right steam pressure and I always feel like I'm in a coffee shop every time I hear the steam start to come out and froth the milk. The double boiler system on the machine means that one is used exclusively for espresso and the other exclusively for steam so both heats up almost instantly and is ready to go at the touch of a button. The electronic thermostat shows accurate temperature and can be controlled to make the perfect cup of coffee every time. There is also an auto shut off to the machine after 2 hours, which is handy if you forget to turn it off, which I have done a few times. The machine can get slightly noisy when in use but our previous Delonghi coffee machine did the same. I'm not sure if this a Delonghi thing.
An automatic feature of the machine will tell you when it's time to descale the machine, and as a descaler comes with the product and it's an automatic function, it couldn't be easier. The only down side of this is that you can't make a coffee for the 30 minutes it takes to descale! An auto programme allows that according to the local water hardness, the machine can decalcify accordingly. Other functions include telling you when to fill the 1.8 litre water tank and when the grounds container needs emptying. Other features include a cup warmer and removable drip tray.
One thing I have to say with this machine is that you really have to read the instruction guide. While I usually ignore 99% of instruction manuals, you really do need to invest half an hour in flicking though this. The kit is just too expensive and has too many little gadgets that you would be mad not to do this. I would also suggest that you use caution with the grind setting and do change this when you change beans as it is picky with different beans.
Although I realise that the capsule machines are much cheaper to buy, the capsules are on the hefty size price wise and I often find that this is for mediocre coffee. Although this machine is a hit to the bank balance, it will prove to be more economical in the long run (for medium to heavy coffee drinkers!) as beans can be picked up relatively cheaply and with a much higher quality and taste.
Each machine is given its own barcode and can be used to track its history which runs alongside the 2 year manufacturers guarantee. Each product is tested and makes a cup of coffee before it is released (and obviously cleaned) to be sold.
Stylistically I don't think this machine can be beaten, it's smooth silver finish will suit any kitchen, and it looks almost iconic in our kitchen.
Despite it's hefty price tag, I can only recommend this machine, it's beautiful, makes an amazing cup of coffee and has many settings allowing cups to be adapted to the user.
The DeLonghi ESAM4200 Magnifica is a stylish Bean to Cup machine that creates professional standard consistently high quality 15 BAR pressure Espressos Lattes and Cappuccinos all at the touch of a button / The incorporated Compact Reliable Fresh (CRF) technology features a compact tubeless system / As the beans are ground instantly the tubeless system always guarantees a perfect cup of coffee with a perfect aroma at the ideal temperature.Other features include:Cappuccino System: mixes steam air and milk producing a rich creamy froth for great cappuccinos The ability to prepare two cups of coffee with a single brewing Removable brewing unit with variable capacity New silent integrated coffee grinder with 7 grinding settings Electronic temperature control Pre-brewing Adjustable coffee dispenser for varying cups size Automatic shut-off Empty water and bean container indicator Coffee-grounds container capacity indicator: 14 cups/72h Rinse and decalcification auto-programmes Programmable water hardness New patented Thermoblock: to grant the espresso at the ideal and constant temperature Adjustable steam emission Electronic steam and coffee thermostat Energy saving function Stand-by function / Short name: DeLonghi ESAM4200