If you’re a new to espresso-making, most people would argue that you’re better off with a simple machine that takes little to no guesswork. However, if you’re more proficient in coffee making, you might be more comfortable with machines that have plenty of room for customization.
Once you’ve decided which category you fall into, it’s time to browse through a few candidates. Today, I’m going to talk about one of them, the Delonghi Magnifica. Take a look at some of its features and find out if it has what you need.
super-automatic mechanism for beginner brewers
the price fairly matches its reputation in the industry
our rating, based on our sound and impartial assessment
On the surface, the Magnifica is an espresso machine that’s not just pretty to look at, but also quite efficient. The stainless steel finish makes it an attractive addition to any kitchen counter, and I’m sure most people would agree. It runs at 1150 watts and has an excellent ‘beans-to-brew’ system thanks its conical burr coffee grinder.
Most grinders you’ll find on the market can’t seem to get espresso right. While they are versatile and make coffee grounds for most brewing methods, nothing beats a designated espresso machine in making espresso.
One of the many things that sets this machine apart from others is its ‘Cappuccino System’ patented frother. Basically, it mixes milk and steam so that you can add rich froth to your drinks. This machine also boasts a removable boiler that helps with easy cleanup. It’s definitely impressive for its user-friendliness.
Let’s take a look at its features up close and see what else it’s got for us.
The control panel on the Magnifica is very straightforward and easy to understand. It has buttons for single-serve, double-serve, on/off switch, and more. There are two dials, as well. One is for the water volume. You can set it up from 1.5 to 8 oz. The other one is for the 8 dose settings. You also get a warning indicator, which tells you when there’s something amiss – like the water reservoir not in place, for instance.
There’s no digital interface, so it’s not as flashy as most of the newer machines available. However, a lack of a digital display also means better durability. Fewer circuits and switches, fewer chances of breakage.
The easy-to-remove drip tray and boiler makes it easier to clean up as well. All of its removable parts can be easily taken apart without having to break a sweat. Additionally, the brewing spout can be lowered to accommodate smaller cups. These are great features that make this a low-maintenance machine. It requires very little effort to clean, take apart, and reassemble.
One of the most important factors in making great coffee is making sure your coffee beans are fresh. With the Magnifica’s built-in conical burr grinder, you get to go from grinding beans to immediately brewing. The conical burr grinder has a total of 7 settings, adjusted by a dial, and the bean hopper is conveniently placed at the top of the machine.
This is a valuable feature to have if you are the type who thinks it’s very important to keep the freshness of the beans as much as possible. The less time between grinding and brewing, the richer the flavor becomes.
Since the drip tray is removable, it’s quite easy to clean up the Magnifica. You’ll also discover that along with the drip tray, you can also remove the bean holder. The water reservoir also comes right off quite easily.
Having a hassle-free cleanup is important because it saves you both time and energy. Some machines tend to be complicated in a way that removing parts require users to break a sweat. This is not an issue with the Magnifica. You don’t need to lift the whole machine just to get a good look inside and clean it up.
That’s right. Since it has a built-in conical burr grinder, you can expect the Magnifica to create quite a bit of noise when it’s doing its job. I guess that’s the price you have to pay to get the direct-to-brew feature. I find myself needing to talk a few decibels higher over the sound of this machine.
Let’s take a look at another super-automatic espresso machine, the Gaggia Brera. The Brera, at first glance, seems similar to the Magnifica. They’re both compact in design, with a metallic finish. The Brera obviously has fewer buttons and dials, but makes up for it with a digital display. It makes it more user-friendly.
Furthermore, the Brera has a stainless steel frother, which makes it more durable than Magnifica’s plastic one. However, Magnifica’s patented “Cappuccino System” makes its froth much richer and creamier than the Brera. If you value design over quality when it comes to froth, go for the Brera. Otherwise, you’re better off with a better performing frother with the Magnifica.
Both machines let you use pre-ground coffee, bypassing its grinder. However, if you do want to use the grinder, I’m more inclined towards Brera’s ceramic burrs, which I more durable than the steel burrs of the Magnifica. Another thing that I like about the Brera that I didn’t find in the Magnifica is its pre-infusion feature that evenly infuses the coffee grounds before the brewing process. This is important if you want to truly bring out the flavor of the coffee.
Finally, despite the fancy features of the Brera, I’m still going to have to go for the Magnifica. I don’t mind not having a digital display, as long as it produces excellent espresso and froth. However, if you want more sophistication and durability, it can’t hurt to get yourself a Gaggia Brera.
Another impressive espresso machine is the Jura Ena Micro 1. While the Jura looks chic and elegant with its sleek black casing, there’s much more than meets the eye. The Portugal-made espresso machine claims to produce the perfect espresso every single time, and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for that perfect cup. I’ve put this machine to the test and I would have to agree that the quality of the espresso is indeed exceptional.
One thing I like about the Jura Ena Micro 1 that I couldn’t find in the Magnifica is the energy saving mode. This means it brews fast because it preheats. You don’t need that extra time to keep the water hot because you get your cup of espresso right away.
However, the Ena Micro 1 is lacking in more ways than one. The designers seem to have focused their efforts on producing espresso as quickly as possible that they decided to skip other features that you can find in other machines. For instance, you’d need to buy a separate frother, so it’s a no-no for frothy drink lovers. You also get more customizability with the Magnifica and adjust the flavor to your liking. Whereas, the Ena Micro 1 seems to take care of most of the work.
I would think that this is an ideal machine for students and other people who need coffee fast. Personally, I like the customizability that the Magnifica offers.