There’s nothing quite like a piping hot cup of coffee in the morning. But what about having a latte, cappuccino, espresso, or other delicious coffee-based beverage? Even better if you don’t have to deal with long line-ups or go through a drive-thru on the way to work or school. The De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine is one of many premium espresso machines you can get for the home. After a few weeks of testing one, my husband and I were convinced it was time for an upgrade.
But before I get into why it’s worth investing in (this is a premium machine), let’s first learn more about it.
What is the De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine?
The De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine is a premium, automatic espresso machine designed for home kitchens. Chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2022, there’s good reason. It’s a versatile machine that can make one of seven coffee drinks at the touch of a button: espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, iced coffee, coffee, hot water, and My Latte personalized lattes.
Thanks to the built-in grinder with 13 grind settings, you can insert fresh coffee beans and the machine does the work for you, extracting all the delicious java from them. Its conical burr grinder is designed to deliver a precise and consistent measure of ground coffee every time. You can also insert pre-ground coffee if preferred.
The set includes a milk frother that attaches to the machine so you can get perfect lattes, cappuccinos, and more with deliciously frothed milk. It also includes a carbon active filter, total hardness test, cleaning brush, descaler, measuring scoop, instruction manual, and quick start guide.
Many parts are removable and dishwasher safe, though you’ll want to wash out the milk frother after every use to ensure it stays clean from dried milk (or milk alternative) residue.
Finished in silver and black, the machine is elegant in design. While it takes up a lot of counter space, it isn’t much more than a standard full-sized coffee maker. It also adds a touch of elegance to the kitchen.
Setting up the De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine
I’ll preface this by saying that this is the first machine of its kind I have used at home. With that said, I was starting completely green, as a first-time customer would.
The instruction guide could use some work: it’s slightly confusing with directions about different components throughout the pages. To set-up, you need to reference different pages for different things, and I was often going back and forth to figure out how to do something or what a flashing symbol meant. But all in all, with washing parts, getting the machine started, and figuring out the basics, the process took about an hour from unboxing to relaxing with my first cup.
The first thing I did was wash the removable parts, including the milk frother, drip tray, coffee grounds container, and water tank. I did not use the active carbon filter since we do not have hard water where we live. But it’s easy enough to install for those who need it. Most of the machine came pre-assembled, so set-up itself was a breeze.
It’s recommended to run at least four coffee cycles before consuming, so I got to work adding coffee beans to the top of the machine (the cover comes off; I would have preferred a flip-up lid), placing a plastic tray underneath, and running the cycles. You’re warned that the machine will likely be loud for the first few runs. Given the process of grinding beans (if you use fresh ones), it’s not whisper quiet. The sound level is comparable to what you might get with a typical single cup coffee maker.
Time to make coffee!
Once ready, I made a latte macchiato for my husband using 3.5% homogenized milk. It frothed beautifully and the drink had him smiling from ear-to-ear. Since I can’t have lactose, I used oat milk for my own cappuccinos, a nice way to test how this machine handles milk alternatives. It frothed just as nicely—you wouldn’t be able to tell I was using milk alternative.
I did not adjust the grind settings at all, as the manual notes that it’s set to prepare coffee correctly. But if you find the coffee is over-extracted or is delivered too slowly, you can adjust to a coarser setting (higher number) or conversely use a finer ground setting (lower number) if it’s under-extracted and coffee is delivered too quickly without enough crema. Note that it takes two cups of coffee before the adjustment comes into effect, but chances are that once you find your preferred setting, you’ll leave it there. From there, I made a morning cappuccino with oat milk and afternoon coffee after lunch every day. Some nights, we would enjoy a delicious espresso with dessert.
I love that you can customize the quantity in the cup by pressing and holding the button to program it then pressing again once the cup is filled to your desired amount. I only had to do this once and from then on, I got a full mug of cappuccino versus a half cup: the previous setting is memorized. (Press a button for another beverage to cancel the programming if desired). The My Latte option allows you to customize the quantity of coffee to go along with the milk or milk alternative. This is great if you tend to like extra strong coffee or ultra-light brew.
After the first few days, we got creative and invested in salted caramel syrup, providing a local coffee house flavour to our morning and afternoon java.
Things to know about this espresso machine
There are a few things worth noting about this machine. First, whenever the machine is turned on or off, or when it automatically shuts off after a period of inactivity, it will self-clean. This involves water coming out, which will fall into the drip tray if you don’t have a cup there to catch it. We got into the habit of leaving a cup underneath at all times, especially in case we forgot to turn the machine off after pouring a cup. It’s a slight annoyance, but considering this means the machine cleans itself, it’s not as big a deal once you get used to the process.
For those who aren’t coffee aficionados, you’ll need to wing it in terms of how many beans to add, as the instructions don’t give any indication. I usually added two scoops using the included scooper, which seemed to be what would fit and yielded a great cup every time.
Clean-up is also a breeze. There are, as noted, removable and dishwasher-safe parts. When you remove the coffee tray to reveal the leftovers from the ground beans, you’ll find neatly packed puck-like pieces you can easily throw into the compost or organic garbage.
Should you buy this machine?
I was expecting to conduct this review and say that the De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine is only for discerning coffee aficionados. I have always been fine with a decent cup of coffee in the morning to get my day started. But after tasting the delicious brews from this machine, I have changed my tune. One bag of beans, a couple cartons of oat milk, this machine, and I’m in heaven.
As we sipped away through the review period, my husband and I started to crunch the numbers: a $5 latte every morning at the train station for him, coffee for me in the morning and after lunch using grounds or pods, plus an evening cappuccino after dinner. It sounded like a no-brainer to have a machine like this at home to enjoy not only coffee at home, but better-quality coffee at home.
My only concern with this machine? It might convince me to drink more coffee than I should. But with how easy it is to use (once you get over the initial intimidation), the variation in drink types, no-fuss clean-up, and attractive design, it’s worth the price of entry. Get yourself a good travel mug and the machine will pay for itself in a year. Indeed, after my review, we came to the conclusion that we would be buying one of these machines for ourselves.
Check out the De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine at Best Buy Online.