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De'Longhi decided to add a few new machines to its current collection of superautomatic espresso machines with the Magnifica Evo line. The Magnifica Evo ECAM29084SB and ECAM29043SB are designed to be introductory superautomatic espresso machines for coffee and espresso lovers that want to start brewing at home instead of wasting time and money going to coffee shops every time they want a latte.
These easy-to-use espresso machines are a perfect introduction to the world of home brewing, so our team decided to write this cross-over blog between our two content writers – Brodie and Cat. We worked together while testing out these machines so we could parse out the differences between the two similar superautomatic espresso machines. Here’s what we found out during our explorations of the Magnifica Evo line.
There are two espresso machines in De'Longhi’s Magnifica Evo line – the ECAM29084SB and the ECAM29043SB. Since the differences between the names are so minute, we’ll spend the rest of the blog referring to the ECAM29084SB as the Magnifica Evo Milk and the ECAM29043SB as the Magnifica Evo Steam. Brodie took a closer look at the Magnifica Evo Milk, while Cat worked with the Magnifica Evo Steam. Here’s a little background on each machine before we get into actually brewing with them.
From the moment I plugged in and turned on the Magnifica Evo ECAM29084SB, I could tell I was going to have a very simple and straightforward path to getting a cup of espresso. As soon as the machine turned on and the ready-to-brew light below each of the fully colored and surprisingly detailed drink icons illuminated, I felt as if I was already in the home stretch to enjoying my preferred drink.
Unique to the Magnifica Evo Milk is the option to brew seven different drink options, as well as integration of De’Longhi’s patented LatteCrema™ milk system. Drink options include My Latte, latte macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, coffee, over ice, and hot water. Each drink option is fully customizable when it comes to volume, and brew strength, with select options offering the choice of a single or double shot.
As for the LatteCrema system, I found using it a breeze from the get-go. The system is designed to automatically froth the entirety of the milk poured into the included container so you never really feel like you’re doing it incorrectly. There are also clearly labeled markings on the container corresponding to each milk-based drink option based on the amount of milk De’Longhi recommends. This really comes in handy if you’re like me and want a semblance of guidance before delving into the trial and error of finding the perfect ratio of milk to coffee.
The Magnifica Evo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine ECAM29043SB, or the Magnifica Evo Steam, is very similar to the other espresso machine in the Magnifica Evo collection. The main differences between these two machines are the number of drink options as well as type of milk steaming options. Unlike its counterpart, the ECAM29043SB doesn’t have the built-in LatteCrema system, so milk frothing is done manually. There is also not a dedicated hot water button, though there’s an easy work around that I’ll discuss below.
The Magnifica Evo series of espresso machines are De'Longhi’s newest foray into entry level super-automatic espresso machines, and it’s easy to see how they will appeal to espresso newbies. With an extremely easy to use interface, the bean-to-cup capabilities thanks to the built-in grinder, and the ability to learn how to froth milk, this espresso machine is perfect for those that want an alternative to daily cafe trips. The brew options include coffee, long, espresso, americano, over ice, and steaming, and you can customize the volume of each drink as well so you can brew just the way you want to.
The most important thing to consider when looking to purchase a new superautomatic espresso machine is, of course, how it brews. Brodie and Cat got some hands-on experience with the machines to see the differences between the two, and this is what they found out.
After unboxing my Magnifica Evo ECAM29084SB machine, finding the perfect place for it on the counter and completing the initial setup process, it was time to get brewing!
It’s worth noting that the initial setup process took me around 30 minutes. I’ve worked with semi-automatic machines — and even some super automatic machines — that require that long of a preparation time before each and every use. So, a one-time 30 minute setup is ideal for espresso drinkers like myself that want a clear and unconvoluted process when it comes to getting coffee in my cup each and every morning.
This Magnifica Evo Milk, as I’ve unofficially named it, has seven drink options: My Latte, latte macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, coffee, over ice, and hot water. The My Latte, latte macchiato, cappuccino and hot water drink options are also exclusive to this Magnifica Evo model. I had a chance to make each of the options and while the espresso, coffee, over ice and hot water options were good, the milk-based macchiato, cappuccino and My Latte options really stole the show.
After getting my feet wet with a few espresso shots, I then moved on to making my first cappuccino. I went the extra mile and brewed into the De'Longhi Creamy Collection Cappuccino Glass that is shown in the drink options corresponding fully colored and surprisingly detailed icon, and blurted out a Keanu Reeves-esque “whoa” when I noticed how nearly identical my drink and the cappuccino button looked when compared side by side.
With my picturesque drink completed, I then took my first sip, then a few more. It was here came to realize why De’Longhi so proudly and prominently features its patented LatteCrema milk system. When it comes to the quality of the frothed milk, I was pleasantly surprised. Given De’Longhi’s streamlined approach to the machine’s other processes, I didn’t exactly have high expectations. But I was happily proven wrong as the froth produced was light, airy, and didn’t taste burnt at all. It’s worth noting that there is not a way to adjust the milk froth in any way, so if you want more milk and less froth, you’re unfortunately out of luck.
When it comes to figuring out how much milk to froth, The milk container is clearly marked with icons that correspond with the recommended amount of milk to add for both single and double cups of the cappuccino and latte macchiato drink options. Pour milk to the “1x C” line for the ideal amount of milk for a single cappuccino, “2x LM” for a double latte macchiato, and so on. I love some form of guidance in my initial foray with a machine’s features, so these literal benchmarks helped me make tasty drinks without having to do my own testing.
After brewing a few more cappuccinos, as well as a tasty latte macchiato, I tried my hand at the My Latte option. This option is ideal for latte drinkers who enjoy putting in the time to tinker with the amount of milk in their drink to find the perfect ratio. How it works is that regardless of how much milk you put in the container, the machine will froth all of it. This, in addition to the ability to customize the amount of coffee brewed before frothing begins, means you have a seemingly endless number of options when it comes to finding the perfect balance between coffee and milk. I don’t like a lot of milk in my drinks, so I found the ideal quantity of milk to be right at the “Min” line for a single cup of espresso. If you’re the opposite of me, however, you can add as much milk as the container can hold, although I recommend staying within the markings on the container. Make sure you also place a big enough cup of mug underneath the spouts to avoid an overflow!
An under-the-radar feature I really appreciated was the fact that buttons will only be lit when the drink or setting selected is applicable. This is a nice touch that really ups the ease of use and accessibility of the machine by streamlining the options you have with each and every drink and setting. For example, if you press the espresso drink option the double cup button will flash to let you know that you have the option of making a double cup, whereas the button will not light up if you select hot water because brewing a double cup is not an available option. This removes needless trial and error when making different drinks, results in a smoother learning curve, and provides a more efficient path to enjoying your drink of choice.
Continue reading for Cat’s review of the Magnifica Evo ECAM29043SB!
Though the name of this machine may seem complex, using it is actually extremely simple. The buttons on the machine are clearly labeled with a name and picture of the drink, so even when you’re half asleep or seeing the machine for the first time, you can figure out what you’re doing pretty quickly. My first impression of the machine was that it’s very simple to get going, and the machine itself is sleek and minimal. I think it would fit in any kitchen, even the tiny one at my apartment, and it would easily be able to slide under the average upper cabinet, which is 18”-21” above the countertop.
When you first use this espresso machine, De'Longhi recommends that you brew a handful of times and get rid of the coffee you brewed to ensure that the espresso machine has a chance to properly prime and get ready to brew. Realistically though, a few extra brew cycles are the only real steps you have to take before you start actually using this machine. I used these brew cycles to dial in the built-in grinder based on the appearance of my espresso shots even though I wasn’t tasting them yet, so I didn’t consider any of the espresso “wasted” in the start up process. De'Longhi includes an illustration in their starting manual with graphics showing an underextracted, overextracted, and properly extracted shot of espresso, so if you’re new to the brewing world, they made it easier to get espresso shots that are properly dialed in.
When I was dialing in, I initially needed to go for a finer grind because my shots were underextracted. Make sure that you’re running a shot of espresso while going finer with your grinder because otherwise coffee beans can get trapped in your machine and cause damage to the burrs. That being said, I found that it’s easy to go too fine for your espresso grind and end up getting an error message on the machine, so you will have to play around with the grinder settings to get a shot of espresso that’s properly extracted. I did have one issue where I hadn’t touched the grinder and the machine claimed that the grind was too fine, but I found that when I started another brew cycle the error message went away.
Now onto actually brewing with the different settings on the ECAM29043SB. I am a huge ice coffee drinker (I even wrote an entire blog about it), so I was really interested in the “Over Ice” option on this espresso machine. De'Longhi recommends brewing with the strongest setting with the Over Ice option, which I did, and I then compared that to a regular cup of coffee I brewed with the strongest setting.
The first thing I noticed was that the coffee brewed with the Over Ice option was a noticeably lower temperature than the regular coffee. If you don’t dilute the coffee brewed with the Over Ice setting, it’s very strong and not particularly enjoyable to drink. However, when I did actually brew over ice, the iced coffee I got as a result was delicious, so it goes to show that it’s important to follow the directions from the manufacturer!
To get the full comparison between the Over Ice coffee and regular coffee, I didn’t change any settings before brewing with the regular Coffee button. The hot coffee was very enjoyable to taste, even on the strongest setting of the ECAM29043SB, and it had a nice crema that made me excited to drink it. I also played around with adjusting the volume of my drink using the Coffee button, and I found it extremely easy to change it. All you have to do is hold the drink button for 5 seconds, and then hit the button again when you drink hits the right volume. The ECAM29043SB will automatically make your new setting the default until the next time you decide to change it.
If you’re looking for a cup of coffee that’s stronger than a coffee but you want more than a few shots of espresso, you can also opt for the Long option on the ECAM29043SB. This option will brew you up something stronger than coffee, though the name is also a hint at the time you’ll have to wait for this drink. You can hear multiple grinding cycles as this drink option brews, so you may have to wait a little bit of extra time compared to some of the other options. However, once it’s done you’ll have a delicious drink with a nice crema on top. The resulting drink is stronger than a cup of coffee, but without the punch of a shot of espresso.
I was excited to test out the steam setting on this machine, and I wasn’t disappointed at all by the results. I found that the ECAM29043SB has decent steam power for a superautomatic, and I was able to get a roll going while steaming my milk. The steam power isn’t as strong as a semi-automatic espresso machine, so properly frothing the milk may take a little longer, but you can get milk that is decently frothed for a cappuccino.
Although there isn’t a dedicated button option for hot water on the ECAM29043SB like there is on its counterpart, you can still dispense hot water using the steam wand. To do this, turn the steam knob without hitting the steam button first. When you hit the steam button, the espresso machine is heating up so that it will produce steam instead of a stream of water. So without the additional heating, the steam wand will just dispense hot water that you can use for tea, to preheat your cup, or anything else you may need hot water for.
Magnifica, which in Italian translates to magnificent, is the perfect word to describe the look and accessibility of De’Longhi’s latest series of espresso machines. Evo, which is an abbreviation of evolution, is an excellent term to use when it comes to representing the ability of the machines to adapt and be customized to the preferences of each user. When combined, the namesake of these super-automatic bean-to-cup machines could not be more fitting.
We hope after reading our review that you agree with this sentiment. From its sleek and sturdy aesthetic, to the accessibility and functionality of features like fully colored one-touch buttons for each drink option available, you’d be hard pressed to find another pair of machines that offer the same features and ease-of-use at such a great value.
Interested in indulging in one of the Magnifica Evo models, or already the proud owner of one of De'Longhi magnificent machines? Let us know on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Facebook!
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