De’Longhi EC680 Dedica Espresso Machine – Full Review
If you’re looking for a simple way to create traditional espresso-based drinks at home, the De’Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine is worth considering. It delivers, rich, frothy espresso, and the manual cappuccino system uses patented technology to help you create thick, delicious foam by mixing water, air, and milk in exact proportions. The De’Longhi Dedica espresso maker also pours hot water, allowing you to make Long Blacks, Americanos, and your favorite tea when you’re not feeling in the mood for espresso.
While this espresso maker is lacking some of the bells and whistles many of the larger machines have, it is a very nice little countertop unit that has all the basic features required to encourage you to make marvelous drinks in the comfort of your own home rather than spending upwards of five dollars per drink at the corner coffeeshop. If you’ve got a $10 / day habit like I do, you’ll find this machine, while not the cheapest, does pay for itself pretty quickly!
I’d love it if this somehow came with a grinder attached, but then we’d be into the realm of larger units that take up more real estate on the countertop, and the small footprint is part of what I like so much about this espresso maker.
These are just the basics. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons that come with using the De’Longhi EC680 Dedica espresso machine.
If space is at a premium in your kitchen, you’re going to love this little espresso maker. It’s a solid machine, but it takes up a space just about six inches wide by 13 inches deep and 13 inches tall. It is small enough to fit in the galley of a boat or a motor home, or anywhere else where a very small coffee maker would be appreciated. If you plan to make drinks for a crowd, however, you would be better off with a larger espresso maker.
It has often been said that looks really aren’t everything, but the De’Longhi Dedidca espresso maker is a beautiful little machine that I can’t help but admire. The stainless steel exterior looks modern and is easy to keep clean, and the overall look is one that says “quality.” Not surprising at all, as it was designed in Italy.
15-Bar Pressure Delivers Quality Espresso
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with a sub-par espresso maker, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you see the espresso that comes pouring forth from the Dedica. Because it has a full 15 bars of pressure, it delivers a rich tasting finished product capped with plenty of lovely crema. Do note that the quality of the beans you use is important. Don’t expect to get great results if you’re using anything other than quality espresso beans.
Programmable One- and Two-Shot Functions
One of the most convenient things about the De’Longhi Dedica espresso maker is that it can be programmed to deliver either one or two shots of espresso per use. Programming might be a little bit confusing the first few times you try it; there are three light up buttons that either stay steady or flash depending on what you are doing. I’d like to see this feature simplified somewhat, but adding a knob would definitely detract from the machine’s streamlined appearance, so there’s that tradeoff to consider. It’s fair to say that I should have paid closer attention to the manual as it does provide a complete explanation for how to use this feature!
Cup Warmer on Top
Vents on top of the machine preheat cups, helping your drinks stay hot longer. The espresso maker has a raised lip on top as well, to keep the cups from sliding off onto the countertop. I like to store two cups on top of the machine, replacing them as I use them with clean ones from the cupboard. This way, I’ve got one less step to undertake when making hot drinks.
The De’Longhi Dedica protects itself and saves energy by switching into standby mode after a period of disuse, meaning if you forget to turn it off, it’ll take care of this important task for you.
Just about all espresso makers come with frothers attached. This one is a little different than others I’ve seen. It is patented by De’Longhi, and uses special technology to create wonderful, fine-textured foam that will even let you do some latte art if you feel so inclined. I find frothing is a little easier with this machine than with some others I’ve tried, and I like the fact that the frother is very easy to clean. Just run it in a cup of water for a few seconds to loosen up any stickiness from the milk, then wipe it with a clean, damp cloth.
You can use any cup or pitcher you happen to have on hand to make frothed milk, as this machine doesn’t require the exclusive use of one designed for this unit alone. While not absolutely necessary, I recommend getting a little stainless steel pitcher if you don’t have one already. This way, you can easily feel when the milk gets hot and you won’t make a mess trying to transfer liquid from one cup into another without the help of a spout.
Rear-Mounted Water Tank
Some small espresso makers don’t have removable water tanks, which can make filling a real challenge. This one has a tank mounted to the back so there’s no risk of pouring water all over the countertop.
The De’Longhi Dedica espresso machine comes with a heavy, high-quality filter system that looks and feels very much like the filter holders on larger, more expensive units. It uses the typical lock into place mechanism, which does take a bit of muscle to use, and which you might find a bit tricky to remove with one hand if the machine is still too hot to touch comfortably. I’ve gotten around this by using a kitchen towel to protect my left hand while using my right to remove the filter system from the machine between pulling shots.
One of the nicest things about the filter system is that it doesn’t take a one-size fits all approach the way some other machines do. There are two separate baskets, one for single shots and another for doubles.
Works with Pods
Many espresso makers don’t work well with pods, but the De’Longhi is different. It delivers very nice espresso as long as the pods you’re using are fresh, high-quality ones.
Handy Instruction Book Included
I can’t say it often enough: check out the instructions before you start fiddling with this machine. It’s not at all difficult to operate, but knowing about its nuances, such as the programmability feature, is important. The instruction booklet includes some nice recipes to help you get started. Once you’ve had a bit of practice, you’ll be all ready to exercise your creativity and make creations of your own.
Scoop / Tamper Combination Tool
The scoop / tamper combination tool that comes with the machine is handy. If you make a lot of espresso drinks and use quite a bit of pressure when tamping the puck, you might find a metal tamper will last longer. They cost a few dollars and are available at kitchen shops and online retailers.
Easy to Clean
So long as you make quick cleanup a priority, you’ll find that this espresso maker is just as easy to clean as most other models are. The steam wand might become sticky after prolonged contact with hot milk, however it’s not at all difficult to clean after you give it a short soak in plain water. The filters and filter holder can be rinsed clean after debris is dropped into the composter or trash bin, and the outside of the unit can be polished with a bit of stainless steel or glass cleaner and a soft cloth or paper towel.
The drip catcher located at the bottom of the machine is easy to disassemble, and can be rinsed in a matter of seconds before being reattached to the machine.
“Can you make a regular cup of coffee with this machine?”
This espresso maker is not designed to make drip coffee, but you can get something similar (an Americano) by making a shot or two of espresso and then adding hot water. This is a really nice alternative to drip coffee, and it tastes just fantastic.
“Does the De’Longhi Dedica come with a thermometer?”
No thermometer is included. It’s a good idea to get one if you want to make lattes, as they taste best when the milk is steamed to a temperature between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You might want to get a stainless steel pitcher while you’re at it.
“How much water does the tank hold, and is it BPA free?”
The tank holds one liter of water. According to De’Longhi, the water tank is BPA free and no other plastic parts come into contact with consumables.
“Does the espresso come out with plenty of crema?”
The amount / quality of crema delivered depends greatly on the quality of the beans you are using as well as upon the freshness of those beans. If you are using some pre-ground espresso from a bag, you’re not going to get nearly as much crema as you would if you bought fresh beans, kept them sealed up tight, and ground them each and every time you made espresso.
“Can this machine brew espresso and steam milk at the same time?”
No. It is a single boiler espresso maker and can only do one function at a time. I find I get the best results when I pull the shot before steaming and frothing the milk.
“Does this espresso maker come with a warranty?”
Yes, De’Longhi offers a two-year warranty on the Dedica.
“Does the water tank have a filter?”
No, this machine is not equipped with a filter. It does come with a small amount of descaling solution. You’ll find you can go longer between descalings if you use purified water rather than tap water, plus you’ll find this helps your drinks taste better. A Britta pitcher or similar will prevent you from having to buy bottled water just to use in this espresso maker.
What People are Saying
The De’Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine is a high-quality espresso maker designed for home use. It has an attractive appearance, is very well constructed, and works just as the manufacture promises it will. It delivers an outstanding finished product as long as you use freshly ground, fresh espresso beans, and it delivers a good to great finished product when you use pods and pre-ground espresso. The attached water reservoir is a great asset, and the steam wand is just about foolproof. The instructions aren’t lengthy, but they are clear, ensuring that even beginners will be able to make delicious coffee drinks at a lower cost than that charged by the majority of coffee shops. While this little machine doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, it does have a small footprint, and that in itself is something many find desirable. It’s true that there are better espresso makers on the market, however this one offers excellent value for the price.
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