DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart Review
If you’re after an easy-to-use automatic coffee machine, you’ll want to read this DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino review.
This machine brews a delicious espresso with ease, and has a straightforward design plus some great features like a warming tray. The only drawback is understanding the icons on its control panel.
– Makes great tasting espresso
– Ease of use
– Features a warming tray
– Self cleaning milk container
– Confusing control panel icons
– Noisy in use
The DeLonghi Magnifica S has an upscale contemporary style, bathed in silver with black accents. It’s boxy and more functional than sexy, but we appreciated its straightforward design. It measures 16.9 x 9.3 x 13.8 inches amd weighs just under 20 pounds, so it has a presence on your counter without taking up too much space, and is relatively easy to move.
There’s a professional style to the business end at the front of the machine, with a twin spout, a dial for setting intensity of aroma (by grinding more beans), and lines of control buttons. The hot water spout is interchangeable with the milk container for cappucinos. The device is topped with the heated tray and bean container, which includes a pint for inserting pre-ground coffee.
Above the buttons is a black control panel which indicates which drink is being made, and displays any alerts if the machine requires attention. These messages aren’t in English, or even Italian, however: various symbols and icons illuminate or blink, and it’s not obvious what each one symbolizes. For example, a beaker with two lines of dots can mean “empty the grounds tray”, or “insert the grounds tray” if it’s flashing. You’ll need the manual at first with its guide to all the symbols, but you’ll learn them in the end, though it could be more straightforward.
If this makes the Magnifica S sound like a machine that takes time to get to know, it wasn’t the case as it was one of the easiest best coffee makers we’ve come across recently to set up and use. Less than 10 minutes after opening the box, including unpacking and cleaning a few items, we had our first cappuccino.
Fittingly for a premium product there were plenty of advanced accessories in the package: a water hardness tester, descaling accessory, brush for removing excess grounds and a coffee scoop.
It’s easy to make a cup of Joe or a specialty drink, so long as you know which button to press. The buttons have images of coffee cups with various levels of liquid inside. The smallest is obviously an espresso, but also on offer at the Magnifica S is cappuccino, latte, macchiato, coffee and long coffee. Or hot water. The manual is the best guide, and also includes a recipe book if you’d like to attempt something fancier.
To brew a drink from start to finish, press the power button, select a drink, choose a grind strength – mild, standard or strong, using the bean button (or hold it for three seconds to use ground coffee) then press brew. The brew button also lets you interrupt a brew in progress, or add more liquid.
The noises emitted by the espresso machine aren’t exactly the classic coffee-making soundtrack. The grinding and gurgling sounds are loud and almost bordering on the rude-noise category.
Having two spouts at their service, the Magnifica S user can brew two specialty drinks at one time. The tray is spacious enough to fit two regular sized mugs side-by-side, so you’re not limited to espresso-sized helpings. The spout is adjustable too: it can be moved down into the cup to make an extra creamy espresso.
To serve cappuccino, fill the milk container and attach it in place of the hot water attachment. This operation is simple once you know which direction to turn everything. The milk container features a knob for adjusting the amount of froth, and even cleans itself with hot water when you empty the milk; remember to place a cup underneath to catch the hot water.
Our favorite feature of the DeLonghi Magnifica S is the warming tray perched on top, and having a pre-warmed cup is indeed the crowning glory of a good cup of coffee. Like a pre-warmed plate from the oven it really does enhance the overall coffee drinking experience and give it more of a sense of occasion.
Temperature was hot enough to enjoy for all the drinks we made, and a warm cup from the warming tray had a positive effect on the experience and the hot drink’s heat retention. They were short of the 180 to 185 degrees recommended by the National Coffee Association, although many folks find that too hot anyways.
The Magnifica S is pretty noisy, emitting up to 80 decibels mostly during the initial process of grinding and heating. That’s about as loud as a garbage disposal in use. By the time the coffee is poured it registers a calm, suburban 54 decibels.
We made 13 assorted specialty drinks before needing to empty the grounds and refill the water tank. The machine will not operate with a full grounds container, until you’ve emptied it. The used grounds we got from the best burr coffee grinders are dealt with neatly: as you empty the grounds you’ll notice how they’re compacted into the perfect spherical form you get when cleaning up after a well-made “manual” espresso.
DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart
All the drinks we tried tasted good, and the many options made a real difference, particularly the bean-to-cup option and the full-strength setting indicated by the largest bean.