Listen, I get it, it’s hard to find a coffee maker to use at home which matches the coffee you get from your local cafe. But buying a cup of coffee once or twice a day can get expensive. You may as well get an espresso machine of your own.
But they’re expensive, and not to mention how huge the machines are.
Yes you’re right, they are. But this De’longhi espresso machine review will reveal to you how easy it could be for you to make your favourite specialty drinks at home, without breaking the bank, and without needing a football field of countertop space.
Let me introduce to you the De’Longhi Dedica EC680M. Let’s jump in.
How The De’Longhi EC680M Works
The Dedica produces professional quality espresso, while being super easy to use and convenient.
Everything you need to make an Espresso you can find in the box, like a tamper and portafilter etc. After you’ve unboxed and found a place to keep your espresso machine, plug it in.
Firstly, you need to fill up the water reservoir. Conveniently, this is removable, meaning you can take it over to the sink to fill. This saves you awkwardly angling a jug from a height into the water reservoir.
Once filled, return the reservoir to the espresso machine, close the lid, and press the on/off button. This will tell the machine to begin to heat up the water to the ideal brewing temperature.
When this temperature is reached, the three buttons on the top will flash on, one after another. When the Dedica is ready for you to use, the three lights will remain lit.
Then you’re ready to go. Fill the portafilter with freshly ground coffee and insert into the machine. Select whether you want to brew a single or double shot, and away we go.
Once your espresso has been made, we can take our jug of milk and begin to froth. There’s not a lot of work to be done with the steam wand, it pretty much froths the milk itself.
Pour your milk into your espresso. Maybe try and make a little pattern on top.
And voila – easy as that.
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The Key Features
Here we’ll take a look at some of the key features the De’longhi has.
This is an important feature indeed. The fact the De’longhi brews an espresso using pressure is a sure sign that you’re in for a tasty and professional espresso.
This is how a commercial grade espresso machine extracts a shot of coffee, and how you get that authentic espresso taste.
Coffee is ground up much finer for an espresso shot, more like powder than grains of sand or salt. Espressos are usually extracted using much hotter water, at a much higher pressure than other brewing methods.
This creates the authentic and unique flavours we know to be an espresso.
Sleek And Stylish
The Dedica has got a beautiful aesthetic to it. The developers have tried hard to keep the user interface to a minimum, and therefore not to over complicate it with lots of buttons.
There are only three buttons that sit at the top of the machine. The steam wand is swivelled around the side, as well as the lever used to activate the steam wand.
The on/off button is also located on the bottom trim, out the way of view. All these factors, as well as the metallic finish and slender shape, results in an incredibly beautiful and discreet espresso machine.
The dimensions are 12.9 x 5.9 x 12.9 inches (L x W x H), meaning it doesn’t take up a large amount of countertop space either.
The Steam Wand
I love being able to steam my milk to make a latte or cappuccino, which is why I love at-home coffee/espresso machines that allow me to do that.
Although the steam wand that comes with the Dedica isn’t commercial grade, meaning you’re not going to be able to create that microfoam texture, you’re still able to froth milk.
You can create lattes or cappuccinos almost as well as if you had gotten them from your local cafe.
Flow Stop Feature
On some espresso machines, you have to tell the machine when to stop extracting the espresso. For someone who hasn’t done this before, you have to learn how long the perfect extraction time is.
Fortunately, the Dedica comes with a feature that automatically dispenses just the right amount of espresso, taking out all the stress and guess work.
You may have noticed when you’re in a cafe, that all the cups the barista uses sit on top of the espresso machine.
Not only is this convenient, but there is a deeper purpose. The heat generated by the boiler rises up and heats the top of the machine. Putting your cups there means they’ll be preheated, allowing your coffee to stay hotter for longer.
Removable Water Reservoir
The water reservoir is conveniently removable, meaning you can take it over to the sink to refill as opposed to using a jug.
There are also water level indicators which are very clear, easily indicating whether or not you need to fill up your tank, before brewing an espresso.
Cleaning And Maintenance
There really isn’t too much cleaning and maintaining to do with the Dedica, and what does need doing is easy and straightforward.
Like with all coffee machines, keeping a clean and tidy coffee maker means your coffee will be as fresh and flavourful as possible. After each use, you’ll need to rinse the portafilter to remove the ground coffee, and the holder.
The steam wand should be wiped with a cloth after each use too, but these three things literally take seconds to do.
Maybe once a week you could give it a good clean down, which will take no more than a couple of minutes. It’s a super easy machine to maintain.
What About The Coffee Quality?
Keeping in mind that each person likes their coffee slightly different, and the flavour of coffee this machine produces will depend on the coffee beans you use, and the grind size.
However, assuming you are brewing your coffee correctly, the Dedica produces a really flavourful espresso, and often creates a nice layer of crema on top.
To make sure you’re getting the most flavour out of your beans, you can check out our guide on this here.
The Price Tag
There’s no hiding from it, the Dedica certainly isn’t the cheapest coffee maker on the market. But, if you’re wanting an espresso machine, you really want to get it right the first time.
You might be able to find cheaper machines on the internet somewhere, but keep in mind you get what you pay for. You could spend half the price on a machine, for it to break just after its warranty, leaving you back to square one.
Buying a reliable, durable, and good quality machine to start with, will mean you won’t be stressing in the future because it broke. You’ll probably save money in the long run too.
What We Like About The De’longhi Dedica
There’s a lot to like about this machine if we’re honest, but let’s talk about a couple of points.
It’s Super Compact
When you think of an espresso machine, you’re probably going to picture the large, bulky machines you see at a cafe.
The fact this espresso machine is less than 6 inches wide means it’s suitable for even the smallest of kitchens. And it doesn’t affect the quality of the espresso either.
This is something that gets a big thumbs up from us.
It Heats Up Quickly
From walking into your kitchen, to having the Dedica brewing your espresso, might take a minute. That’s quick!
It only needs 30-40 seconds to heat up the water, and as soon as that’s finished, you’re ready to start brewing.
For people that are a little forgetful, or just have busy mornings, remembering to turn your espresso machine off before leaving the house may be forgotten.
After 5 minutes of inactivity, the Dedica will shut itself off. This length of time I find to be perfect. I know some machines wait an hour or so before turning off, but why wait that long?
This will put your mind at rest, and who knows, may even save you some dollars on your energy bills.
The Double Shot
It’s nice to find an espresso machine that produces two even espresso shots at the same time, just like you can do with a commercial machine.
This halves the time it takes to make you and your friend/partner a coffee each. Always a plus.
What We Didn’t Like About The Dedica
The Steam Wand
Although it’s nice to be able to steam milk to create lattes and cappuccinos, I feel like there are much better steam wands or milk frothers on the market.
For example, I think the Nespresso Aeroccino 4 froths milk better than the Dedica’s steam wand. So if you’re going to be making lots of speciality drinks, maybe look at getting a separate milk frother.
Water Reservoir Capacity
This is a tricky one, because on the one hand it’s a huge plus that the Dedica is as small and compact as it is. Creating a slim and sleek design comes with the cost of the water reservoir capacity.
It holds around 35oz of water, which is enough for a couple of people to have a couple of espressos, before needing a refill.
You may find yourself filling the water reservoir up more than you would on other espresso machines, but just remember that’s what you get for buying a nice and compact machine. Plus having fresh water each morning can’t be a bad thing either.
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Who’s The De’longhi Dedica Not For?
If you find yourself agreeing with some of these statements, then maybe the Dedica isn’t for you.
I Love My Carafe Of Coffee
If you’re someone who loves to brew a nice big carafe of coffee, then I don’t think you’ll get much enjoyment out of the Dedica.
This isn’t a coffee machine that lets you do this. You’ll make one cup, maybe two cups of coffee at a time, and it certainly won’t be like the black coffee a drip coffee maker produces.
If this is what you prefer, you can check out this article on the best pour over coffee makers, which make delicious carafes of black coffee.
I Want To Make Latte Art
Although the Dedica comes with a steam wand, it doesn’t make milk that’s perfect for practising your latte art skills. You might be able to make something that resembles latte art, but you won’t be able to refine that skill.
You may have to buy a separate milk frother in order to do this.
If practising your latte art skills is super important to you, then you could check out our Keurig K Cafe review.
How To Get The Best Coffee From Your De’longhi Dedica
We’ve provided you with a couple of tips and tricks you can do, in order to get the freshest, most flavourful coffee from your Dedica.
Grind Those Beans
THE most important thing you want to be doing to ensure super tasty coffee, is to grind your own whole coffee beans just before you want a brew.
Coffee beans’ worst enemies are oxygen, moisture, heat, and light. Grinding your beans up means there’s more surface area exposed to these elements, which will rob your beans of their flavours and aromas.
Grinding your own coffee beans right before you’re about to make a coffee allows the bean to retain all its flavours, so they end up in your cup, and not in the air.
Store Your Beans Correctly
Like I said, coffee has it’s enemies, so we want to be storing our beans away from these elements.
In an airtight container, placed in a dark and dry cupboard is the most ideal way. We’ve got a great article on how to store your coffee correctly, you can check that out right here.
You can have a watch of this video below to get a feel for how the Dedica works. One thing to note is that the steam wand has been changed from the original wand.
The bottom line here is, the De’longhi Dedica is a cracking little espresso machine to have at home. It creates fantastic espressos, looks beautiful on your countertop, and is really easy to use and maintain.
Although not the cheapest coffee maker on the market, you get what you pay for, which is quality coffee.
If you haven’t found your perfect coffee maker yet, don’t stress. Check out some of our other coffee maker reviews to help you decide.