If you want great coffee at the touch of a button, then a super-automatic espresso machine is the obvious choice. The issue is that many of these espresso machines can run into thousands of dollars.
So how does an affordable option like the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 stack up in terms of quality? Keep reading for all the details.
SUMMARY: DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300
“One especially positive attribute is that this Magnifica machine is completely operable from the front.” – Arne Preuss, Barista
A quick review of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300
You can’t go too wrong with the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300. As an entry-level machine, it ticks all the boxes: easy to use, easy to maintain, swift and convenient. It can take you from bean to cup with just the touch of a button.
The price, too, makes it a great stepping stone for someone buying their first espresso maker. The DeLonghi ESAM3300 is full of features that make it one of our favorite machines below $1000.
- Small footprint
- Can’t brew and steam at the same time
Full review of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300
To see if this affordable little fellow is the right machine for you, read the next part carefully.
Design – 4/5
In terms of features, you get plenty for the price. The Magnifica comes in stainless steel finish. It includes a built-in grinder, a brewing system with pre-infusion, a cup warmer, a bypass doser, and a spout that you can adjust for a maximum cup height of 4.25 inches. There’s also an auto shut-off function to help save power.
The double boiler system means there’s VERY LITTLE DOWNTIME between brewing and steaming.
And the instant reheat function allows you to extract multiple espressos quickly. You won’t be able to use the brew system and steam wand at the same time, however. The brewing unit of this espresso machine comes with an excellent heat distribution to ensure the ideal temperature for espresso.
Don’t let the plastic casing put you off. This is normal in an automatic at this price point, and it’s considered a very reliable machine with a high-quality build. The one complaint from users is the noisy grinder.
User-friendliness – 4.5/5
Like many super-automatic espresso machines, the Magnifica is user-friendly. The Delonghi Magnifica has done away with any unnecessary features leaving a streamlined control panel. Like with the La Specialista, there’s no digital display, only manual dials, so you can see precisely what menu settings you have programmed at any time.
You will, however, need to froth your own milk. The ESAM3300’s Cappuccino System is a manual wand, which you can adjust for cappuccinos, macchiatos, or flat whites (1).
The Magnifica stands out for how easy it is to clean.
The removable drip tray, removable water tank, and ground coffee container are all accessible from the front. It’s unusual to have a brew unit that can be removed for cleaning, and that’s also accessible from the front of the machine.
Reservoir size – 4.5/5
The reservoir holds a respectable 60 oz of water, bigger than most in this class. Depending on your coffee preferences, this could get you plenty of espressos without the need to fill the water tank. But don’t forget the steam wand uses water too.
Be aware that you can’t use a water filter with the DeLonghi ESAM3300, so it will need regular cleaning. Fortunately, the machine has its cleaning and descaling cycle. Still, the water you use is essential (2). A tip from the pros:
If you brew coffee at home, knowing the water hardness in your area might be helpful.Ital Coffee
The good news is that there is an option to set the water hardness levels, which will change the time between alerts from the decalcification indicator.
Versatility – 4/5
The point of super automatic machines is not to have too many settings. On the brewing end, the Magnifica only allows for two variables: the amount of water in each extraction and the dose of coffee. This means you can change both the strength and length of your coffee for each different cup size.
You’ll get the most options from the grind settings. There are now 13 sizes, up from 7 on previous models. But as with any super-automatic espresso machine, you’ll need to avoid using oily beans, which can clog the stainless steel grinder (3).
Is this really for you?
It’s an excellent choice for anyone that likes a quality cup of coffee but isn’t planning on becoming a barista any time soon. You’ll get consistent coffee every time with a minimum of fuss.
It makes a good first machine or a firm favorite with anyone who wants consistent coffee at the touch of a button.
Don’t buy the DeLonghi Magnifica if…
If you don’t want to froth your own milk. Using the built-in steam wand can take practice to master, which may try the patience of cappuccino or latte lovers. You’ll need to up the budget, but the Babila by Gaggia, Breville Oracle and Jura Z6 coffee and espresso machine offer completely automatic milk frother systems.
If you want a ceramic grinder. For around the same price, you can pick up the Gaggia Brera with a ceramic grinder, though you’ll have fewer grind setting options for your coffee beans.
The Bottom Line
The DeLonghi Magnifica super automatic espresso maker is an excellent choice for any coffee-loving household. The large water reservoir and 8.8 oz bean hopper will get you plenty of coffees before it needs refilling, and it’s easy enough for anyone to use. The fact that it’s so easy to clean and maintain will add to this already reliable machine’s life – even if you plan on using it to make a cup of espresso (and even more) every day.
- Magnifica Automatic Espresso Machine, Cappuccino Maker – ESAM3300. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.delonghi.com/en-us/products/coffee-and-espresso/coffee-maker/automatic-coffee-makers/magnifica-esam-3300-0132213148
- Water Hardness. (2020, September 19). Retrieved from https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/water-hardness/
- Ask Gail: Can I Use Oily Beans in a Superautomatic Espresso Machine? (2015, February 26). Retrieved from https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/blog/2015/02/26/ask-gail-can-use-oily-beans-superautomatic-espresso-machine/
Husband, father and former journalist, I’ve combined my love of writing with my love of coffee to create this site. I love high end products, but write all my content with budget conscious coffee enthusiasts in mind. I prefer light roasts, and my normal brew is some sort of pour over, although my guilty pleasure is the occasional flat white.