De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM3300
If you are looking to become a barista from the comfort of your own home, DeLonghi’s Magnifica ESAM3300 is the perfect machine. With the ability to create drinks ranging from lattes to espressos, this machine allows you to customise your drink to your taste. You can adjust the volume and dose of your shot to get just the right taste. However, does it run the possibility of being too advanced for a home coffee machine?
The Magnifica is DeLonghi’s entry-level espresso machine, meaning it may not have the style appeal of other machines, see its basic plastic exterior as opposed to other machine’s stainless steel exterior. But what it lacks in style, it more than makes up for in features. The Italian-made machine comes with a useful cup warmer on the top of the machine, and an auto-shutoff feature which makes saving energy easier than ever. The Magnifica also comes with a 2-year warranty, ensuring protection if anything should happen to your machine.
The compact design means it fits well in any size of kitchen and is not overly garish. Weighing only 23.2 lbs and measuring 11 x 15.3 x 14.4 inches, the Magnifica ensures coffee shop-level drinks without having to leave your home!
One of the biggest advantages of the Magnifica is the 60-ounce water tank (compared against the 40-ounce capacity that the Gaggia Brera offers.) If you are fond of Americanos or other drinks that rely on ready available hot water, this high-level capacity is a must! The water tank is easily accessible from the front of the machine, which means you can easily slot your machine into those tight spaces in your kitchen. Indicator lights on the machine let you know when it is time to refill the water tank, although the tank is not filter-friendly, meaning you will have to use your own filtration system, or use bottled water.
The Magnifica comes with separate thermo-block boilers, one for the brew side and one for the steam side, each made of stainless steel. When brewing espresso, you cannot use the steam wand at the same time, but DeLonghi’s Instant Reheat feature makes it so that the wait time between steaming and brewing is at a minimum.
The machine is able to grind coffee beans when needed, this is done through the machine’s conical burrs, which are also made of stainless steel. While the grinder can be noisy, it does offer seven different grind settings. The hopper also holds 8.8 ounces of coffee beans and if you find yourself craving a decaf coffee, it has a feature to bypass the pre-ground coffee.
The milk frother is made up of a stainless steel pipe that is covered by a plastic sheath, the plastic can make the machine look cheaper than other models that have an entirely stainless steel wand, such as the Gaggia Brera. Despite this, the milk frother is easily cleaned and used, plus the sheath can be removed easily and the wand can be used as a standard steamer.
Coffee Quality and Versatility
It can be hard to replicate the quality of coffee that is produced from a high-end machine used by baristas in a professional setting, but semi-automatic espresso machines are still capable of consistently producing a great espresso. And the DeLonghi Magnifica is no exception, with reviewers agreeing that this machine can make great quality espresso.
Similar to the manual, and other semi-automatic machines, the DeLonghi Magnifica will need to be ‘dialed in’ each time the beans are changed. This is easily done with the dials found on the front of the machine, there is a dial for volume, with allows you to set the volume between 0.5 and 6 ounces. While the dial for brew strength allows you to change the amount of coffee beans that are dispensed.
Both the single and double shot buttons can be used to brew and can be pressed again to stop the brewing process before an entire shot has been brewed. The dose and volume dials mean you can make a wide range of drinks, from a long black to a ristretto, combined with the steam wand’s ability to mix, you could also make milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The Magnifica is one of only a few machines to come with a removable brew chamber, setting it apart from its competitors. Making sure that the machine is completely turned off, simply remove the chamber from the front of the machine and rinse thoroughly. It is recommended you do this once a week, as the machine also has an auto-rinse cycle which can clean it quickly.
The machine also comes with a drip tray that is removable, making it easy to clean. When the tray is removed, so is the used coffee drawer, where used coffee grounds are solidified into a puck-like shape, this drawer needs to be emptied after 14 brew cycles to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Due to its inability to accommodate a water filter, there is a real concern of calcium deposits (also knows as scale.) If these deposits build up they can clog the hoses, impact the temperature control, and overall shorten the life expectancy of the machine.
The Magnifica features a water hardness test strip to combat this problem, which allows you to program your machine to the recorded hardness. With this information, the machine will set a programmed descaling procedure. A light on the front of the machine will let you know when it is time to run this procedure, which takes away the worry of forgetting. Simply fill the water tank with whatever solution the manufacturer has recommended, and then let the machine dispense everything into a container of 34 ounces. Once everything is dispensed, you can rinse and then refill the tank, and repeat the process once more without the descaling solution.
Despite this problem, the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 is an overall reliable machine. And even if something were to go wrong, there is the 2-year warranty, and if anything happens outside of the warranty period, repairs are fairly easy to complete yourself.
Ceramic flat burr grinders are well renowned for their low noise levels, especially when in comparison to stainless steel conical burr grinders. However, this is not the case for the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
The noise generated during the brewing process is tolerable, but some have found the process of extraction to be much too fast. The result of this can be seen in the way that the coffee grounds are inefficiently pressed into a compacted puck. Despite these shortcomings, the coffee flows smoothly from the machine’s spout without sputtering or spilling.
The Philips 3200 is able to fit latte glasses with a height of up to 5.9 inches, and small espresso cups can be filled efficiently without any splashing.
Espresso and Milk Froth – Wrong Way Round, But Good
When reviewing this machine, we chose to use organic robusta machines. This may come as a surprise, as we usually tend to like lighter roasts. But when using super-automatic espresso machines, using a coffee with a bolder taste, something more authentically Italian, is sure to harbor better results. On top of this, robusta beans are becoming increasingly important due to the climate crisis, and due to arabica’s vulnerability to pests.
Furthermore, robusta is always guaranteed to deliver a smooth and delicious crema. The Philips 3200 is a top-quality machine for producing high-quality crema. Now, a coffee snob may point out that crema is not supposed to be speckled and dark, which is what robusta roasts produce. However, it provides a smooth blanket over the coffee and is less likely to spill over the sides.
For us, we found that the foam on the ‘cappuccino’ was a little too hot and thick for our liking, but we do understand that a majority of people enjoy high-temperature milk. As expected from robusta beans, the espresso is rich in flavor and texture, while having the perfect temperature.
‘Cappuccino’ is in quotation marks due to the Philips 3200 LatteGo producing the coffee in a non-traditional fashion. Typically, when making a cappuccino, the espresso is added first, and the milk is mixed in, but the Philips 3200 has chosen to do this the other way round, making it look more like a latte.
Philips 3200 LatteGo Milk Froth Preparation
Due to this different way of preparing the coffee, it can cause some confusion with users, we are not the only ones to have noticed this, there have been a few comments on our Philips 3200 LatteGo YouTube video.
Putting the microfoam’s impressive density aside, the foam is still enjoyable to drink. Unlike the DeLonghi Dinamica, you cannot change the consistency of the microfoam.
Cleaning? No Biggie
The Philips 3200 LatteGo machine comes with a two-part milk frothing system. This makes it easy to clean, which keeps it on level with its other competitors. When looking at an espresso machine, everything from the brew group to the milk container should be removable, to make for easier cleaning and maintenance.
With the Philips 3200, all of the main components of the machine, i.e the brew group, the coffee grounds container, and the water tank, can be easily removed from the front and/or side. Which cuts out the awkward fumbling around behind the back of the machine.
These features mean it scores pretty highly for the cleaning process, they make for easy cleaning, which in turn makes life easy. On top of this, due to the built-in water filter, descaling the machine is only needed sparingly.
Now, while the Philips 3200 does not have us ranting and raving over it like the DeLonghi Dinamica ECAM 350.55.B., it is one of the best value for money when looking at machines in the price range. The Philips 3200 is for those of you who are looking for an everyday machine that does not require lots of fuss to get your coffee.
Even though the noise produced can get a little annoying, they are still average when compared to other reviewed models. With the knowledge of how noisy the machine can be, you can decide whether or not it will disturb your home.
The Philips 3200 had a lot to live up to after its disappointing appearance at the Germany technology fair, IFA, plus the mixed reviews that the Philips LatteGo received. But we think that this model has restored some of our faith in the brand.
When choosing which espresso machine to buy, a machine that can produce high-quality coffee with the perfect smoothness and taste is essential. The Jura D6 is certainly not lacking in that department, with the use of a Pulse Extraction Process (PEP), perfect aroma and texture are guaranteed every time.
Moreover, Jura has combined the machine’s burr grinder with their Aroma G2 technology and included a CLEARYL water filter. This filter ensures that the water remains fresh and pure while flowing through the machine, as well as reducing the build-up of scale and prevents any unwanted flavors and smells in your drinks.
The Jura offers a two-in-one espresso and coffee experience, meaning you can choose between a variety of drinks and program the machine to control the shots for you. The machine offers a choice of 1 or 2 shots of coffee (4 – 6 ounces), or espresso (1 – 2 ounces.) Due to the regular coffee being optimized, you do not have to worry about struggling to make lattes and cappuccinos.
The removable water tank has a capacity of 63.6 ounces, meaning you can get around 63 single shots or 31 double shots of espresso. When using a standard coffee mug, usually 4 – 6 ounces, you can get between 10 to 15 cups of coffee.
If you are looking for a machine with high capacity that does not have to be refilled often, then the Jura D6 is perfect for you. With a coffee grounds container that can hold up to 16 ounces of ground coffee beans and a bean hopper that can hold up to 7.1 ounces of beans, the Jura D6 is the ideal machine for office buildings.
The Jura D6 is also the leading machine in user-friendliness, with a brilliant combination of ease-of-access and an innovative user interface. Moreover, it does all this without having an overly complicated design, meaning it will fit into any home. The front of the machine has three different stations, with the middle station concerning the hot water dispenser, the portafilter, and the brew group. The machine also comes with a foaming pipe that you can attach to the side of the hot water dispenser.
The left station has an LED screen that lets you know which drink is currently being brewed, with a large knob for changing drinks. While the right station has another large knob that is used for controlling how much steam the machine generates.
Design and Materials
You need to choose a machine that is made of top-quality materials to ensure that your machine lasts, and has good thermal retention, which is why the Jura is a top choice. The brew group is made out of aluminum, which is a lightweight metal with high durability and is also lined with stainless steel. The burr grinder and the drip tray are also made from stainless steel, and while stainless steel may not be the best at resisting water damage, it still has high durability.
While some machines have their main body made from steel or plastic, the Jura D6 is made out of aluminum, meaning it has a high resistance to both dust and water damage. The aluminum body also prevents the machine from overheating, as it disperses the heat into the surrounding environment.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The Jura makes backflushing and descaling the machine an easy and smooth process, while the aforementioned CLEARYL water filter prevents the formation of scale and mineral deposits within the machine.
The filter is automatically detected by the built-in Intelligent Water System (IWS,) while the same type of technology is used in the milk system, ensuring a TUV-certified level of hygiene. This combination of features makes the cleaning process of the Jura extremely easy and user-friendly.
The one downside is that the Jura does not come with any specific cleaning accessories, so you will have to buy your own brushes and solution for descaling. This is a small price to pay for such an innovative machine.
Despite all of its other user-friendly features, frothing with the Jura has proven to be quite difficult, mainly because you cannot froth milk and brew a drink at the same time, due to the machine’s singular boiler.
The Jura’s frothing process is fully automated, all you have to do is program the machine to your liking and it will start. It is possible to froth the milk yourself if you would prefer, just attach the included milk pipe, it takes a small degree of setup but is nothing too complicated.
The Jura D6 takes full advantage of the Aroma G2 grinder, a specialized burr grinder that is cut at all different angles, this ensures the maximum aroma is being extracted from the grounds. However, you cannot load pre-ground coffee into the machine, this is a let-down considering how many other espresso machines allow this option. As opposed to other machines, the bean hopper is housed inside rather than sticking out of the machine, this makes for a large clearance area at the top of the machine.
As well as everything that has been mentioned, the Jura D6 also has a range of other features too! To keep energy costs as low as possible, the machine uses a special Energy Save Mode (ESM.) Those who use espresso machines regularly know how much energy can be used, so this feature is a plus for those of you who are energy conscious.
The Jura also implements a Thermoblock heating system, meaning the boiler retains as much heat as possible, without creating the problem of overheating. The Jura D6 lets you be in complete control of your drinks, with the ability to control the coffee strength, the temperature for brewing and of the hot water, and the amount of water.
Value for Money
So, is the Jura D6 worth spending your money on? To answer that question, we will take an in-depth look at the machine’s features.
Firstly, you must remember that this is a super-automatic espresso machine, meaning that everything included in the machine is mechanical, even the extraction pump. On top of this, the machine also has a burr grinder specialized to retain the aroma, and a bean hopper.
This, alongside the automated cleaning features, and the CLEARYL water feature, definitely makes the Jura D6 worth its price point.
Who Should Buy the Jura D6
The Jura D6 is the perfect machine for commercial use, especially if you work in a cafe. Almost any super-automatic espresso machine can fit in a commercial setting, but the Jura D6 is the best. With almost every process being automated, it cuts down any wasted time. It requires a lot of monitoring and programming to ensure it is being used correctly but is simple and easy to use.
This machine is on the higher end of the scale when it comes to budget, more so when you add on all the accessories, but if you are someone who can manage the price point, you will not be disappointed. It is a great machine for creating a wide variety of drinks, including macchiato, lattes, coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, and Americanos. It is also well adept at frothing milk, and you can even just dispense some hot water into a mug, add in a tea bag and have instant tea!
When talking about taste, it is no secret that the Gaggia Brera is one of the more quality producers. When we tested all the machines, we found the Brera’s shots were less full-bodied and more watery, but had a good taste, with no traces of metallic aromas.
The Brera can produce a more than satisfying cup of coffee, we found that dry cappuccinos can be made easy due to the steam wand, but that latte art is not nearly as easy.
The Gaggia Brera comes with a 40-ounce water reservoir tank, which means the machine can make a total of 5 cups of coffee before needing to be refilled. If the machine is located in a more commercial setting, you will need to refill the tank more often, but it should not be too bad if it is just at home.
Ease of Use
The machine is extremely easy to use, with very simplistic buttons to control all the functions. It should take very little time to become accustomed to how the machine works.
The Brera is a very durable machine, meaning it will last a long time and you will get a lot of use out of it. The durability is due to the stainless steel body, which is constructed with high-quality metal.
Backflushing is made easy with the Gaggia Brera, simply just run a damp cloth over the areas and that is that. All of the internal parts of the machine are dishwasher safe, just make sure to empty all the fluid out and rinse with hot water before putting them back into the machine.
However, the process of descaling this machine is long and tedious, so you have to have the dedication to get through it. You will also need to purchase your own descaling solution and make sure to complete the process once every few months.
Compared to other machines, such as the Breville Barista, the Brera’s milk-steaming feature is not all that great. You will not get the smooth and creamy texture that is expected from a milk-frother. The lattes produced from this machine are still good quality, with the froth being more on the airier side.
Since this machine comes with a built-in burr grinder, you will not need to buy a separate grinder, which saves on money and space. The grinder can be used manually or you can automate the process, and you can also use whole coffee beans, or ground coffee if you prefer. It is recommended that you use high-quality coffee beans with this machine.
Additional Useful Features
There is a digital display on the front of the machine, which provides you with useful information about the status of your machine, such as indicators for water level and descaling.
The Barista Breville also has these features, with an LED to let you know when your machine needs to be descaled. Plus, the machine has a double boiler so that you can steam your milk and brew your coffee simultaneously.
Value for Money
This machine by Gaggia is well-built and sturdy, and also extremely easy to use. Once you have found a place for your machine, it is recommended that you do not move it around a lot, as there are some delicate parts within the machine. The Gaggia Brera is user-friendly and can produce a good quality cup of coffee. Given its price, you are getting what you pay for.
The Gaggia Brera is the machine for you if:
You want an espresso machine with a normal footprint.
You want a single boiler espresso machine.
A machine with a built-in grinder is essential.
You do not drink coffee avidly.
Breville Oracle Touch
If you are looking for a machine that produces a softer, lighter-tasting coffee, then the Oracle Touch is the machine for you! Beverages from the Oracle Touch are rich in flavor without being overwhelmingly bold and are creamier than what other machines can offer. However, to maintain such a high-level standard of drinks, the machine needs to be cleaned regularly. This is a small price to pay for such great-tasting coffee.
With a water tank that has an 84 fluid ounce capacity, the Oracle Touch can brew 10 ½ cups before needing to be refilled. This makes it the ideal machine if you are an avid coffee drinker, or have regular guests over who like to enjoy a drink. Furthermore, it would be a good choice for at the office, as well as at home due to its ability to serve a small group of people.
The Oracle Touch is perfect for those of you who do not want an overly complicated machine. All the drinks are pre-programmed, all you need to do is pick your drink and let the machine do all the work.
Breville’s original Oracle model is better for those of you who like to customise your drinks. You can control the temperature, pressure, and hot dosage, so you can experiment and find the ideal coffee for you.
Design and Materials
The Oracle Touch is similar to the Oracle BES980XL model, with the only difference being that the Oracle Touch has built-in recipes to choose from. Both machines weigh the same and have the same dimensions, and they are both made with high-durability brushed stainless steel. With both machines also having a similar footprint, it all comes down to whether you would like to customise your drinks or not when choosing between the two.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Breville has gone into detail for all steps of the cleaning process for the machine, just make sure to read through the manual carefully. Both the Oracle Touch and the original Oracle can be cleaned in the same way, so if you are upgrading to the Touch you already know what to do.
You may need to go through the descaling process a few times before you become familiar with it, descaling tablets can be used with this machine for maximum cleaning convenience. One thing you will not have to worry about is purging the steam, as the machine will do it automatically once it has been used.
Froth is specific to each drink when using this machine, but is always well-balanced and creamy, thanks to the steam wand. If you want to be more in control of your froth, Oracle’s steam wand is better, especially for lattes. The Oracle tends to produce froth that is more creamy and light, which fits with most drinks
The burr grinder of the Oracle Touch is removable, meaning it will not take up more counter space, or you can use your grinder if you have one. The grinder is easily adjustable, meaning you can change how coarse you want your coffee grounds to be. The bean hopper has a capacity of 8 ounces, and Breville designed the machine with the importance of keeping the flavors of the beans fresh and ready to use whenever.
The Oracle Touch maintains all of the features that came with the Oracle model, with the addition of a smart touchscreen where you select one of the built-in recipes. This machine is perfect if you are someone who wants their coffee right away, with a simple to use and master process. While you do not have much say over the final product, the machine does come with a double boiler, a removable grinder, and you can adjust the grinding process.
The Oracle model also comes with a double boiler but has an option for a single-touch Americano, and it allows you to change the temperature for your shots of espresso. To make sure no bitterness leaks into the flavor of your coffee, the Oracle has a special heat-retention feature.
Value for Money
With 8 pre-programmed recipes, the Oracle Touch is the perfect machine for casual coffee drinkers. It is a good machine to have around the office as it can produce around 10 cups in a single sitting. On the other hand, if you would rather have complete control over your coffee, the Oracle may be the better option for you. It allows you to get creative with your drinks and show off any barista skills you may have.
Who Should Buy the Oracle Touch
If you want something easy and quick, then you should buy the Oracle Touch. You do not have to waste time trying to perfect your specific recipe, just pick from the built-in ones, and with a press of a button, your coffee is on the way to you.
This machine is highly convenient, choosing to focus on variety rather than over-the-top tech. The Oracle Touch is an ideal starting machine for those of you who are new to the world of coffee machines, it has a quick cleaning process, and is relatively affordable.
If you are looking for a machine that will produce barista-like coffees, then this is not the machine for you. The Saeco Xelsis is a super-automatic machine, meaning it is all about convenience.
This machine offers maximum customization, such as altering the coffee grounds, the overall recipe of your drink, and how much water you want in your shots of espresso. Once all of your choices are programmed into the machine, just press the button and your coffee will be on its way. We found that the coffee is aromatic and smooth, but was lacking in richness.
Most machines tend to have around the same brewing capacity, there is certainly not much difference between the machines on this list. The Xelsis has a 1.7-liter water tank and can make 7 cups before needing to be refilled. This makes the Xelsis a good machine for when you are hosting small get-togethers.
Much like the other machines on this list, the Xelsis is easy-to-use and master, with buttons and a touchscreen on the face of the machine. The touchscreen will display images of the drinks that are available, making it easy to pick what you want. The touchscreen also makes the customization process simple and streamlined, most of the price is due to the handy touchscreen.
Design and Materials
Another aspect that bumps up the price of the machine is the extremely high-quality, highly durable titanium steel body. This sleek, modern-looking machine is an elegant addition to any kitchen. The titanium is easy to scratch so be careful not to move the machine too much, and there are a few plastic accents on the machine but they do not take away from the overall elegance.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Saeco is a company that prides itself on its customer service, so you will always have the option to contact them for assistance. The user manual is extremely informative and outlines the cleaning process in detail, follow these instructions carefully and you should have no problems with the cleaning and maintenance of your machine.
The frothed milk plays an important part in the overall flavor of your coffee, and the Xelsis excels in this department. The included milk frother is high quality and is able to produce Latte Perfecto, this means that latte art is easily achievable. The cream will be a good consistency, and the foam is rich in flavor and has a creamy texture.
Super-automatic machines are known for their built-in grinders, and the Xelsis is no exception. It comes with a grinder that allows you to change the coffee grounds to your desired consistency. It has 12 different settings, which allow you to adjust how coarse you would like your coffee grounds to be.
When it comes to getting the most out of your money, the additional features of a machine are important to look at, and the Xelsis does a pretty good job. You can make 15 different drinks, with 5 different settings for the aroma. The machine can have up to 6 user profiles, which are customizable, meaning everyone in the family can save their preferences on their profile! The HygieSteam is used for milk-based drinks, allowing them to be the best consistency and flavor. To ensure the best level of purification, the machine comes with an AquaClean filter, plus all these settings are accessible through the color TFT display.
Value for Money
Although the price point between the Xelsis and the PicoBarista is huge, there is little difference in the features that are offered. The Xelsis is the front runner in comparison to the PicoBarista and the Icanto, but its titanium steel body makes for a pricier machine.
If you want a machine that performs, but also looks elegant and fits into your modern kitchen, the Xelsis would be a good choice. But if your budget cannot stretch to accommodate it, perhaps the Picobarista, which is still made of stainless steel, would be a better option.
Who Should Buy the Saeco Xelsis
Avid coffee drinkers, who want all of their customizations at the touch of a button, should opt for the Saeco Xelsis. Everything is internalized, meaning all you have to do is select your preferences and then let the machine do all the work.
It also makes for a good party/gathering machine, it may take a couple of refills to get everyone through the event, but it is still an optimal machine for small gatherings. If budget is not an issue, you should splurge on this machine, as its titanium steel body is bound to fit into any kitchen with a modern touch.
If you are looking for a machine for a family home, that is filled with kids and/or pets, you may want to opt for a machine that will fit better into a lived-in space. But if you are living in a modern space, and want something that will fit in with the style, this machine is simple to use and clean/maintain so will not cause any problems.
Breville Oracle Touch