De’Longhi De Longhi ECAM 21 : Hands-on coffee

I’ve owned three different bean-to-cup machines over the years. My favourite was a melitta device (solo e950-103) but once that finally died, i moved to de-longhi with the caffe’ corso esam2800. Sb first, quickly replaced by autentica cappuccino etam29. The caffe’ corso was very tacky looking with cheap plastics and i couldn’t get on with it, so returned it sharp. The autentica is very good, and a tough yardstick, but the one i measure this ecam against. The ecam model is a premium-looking product, made from quality plastics. The metal driptray however, does scratch up very easily, which is disappointing (and a common problem with all the coffee machines i’ve owned, so not singling this ecam out for particular criticism). The ecam has a quieter than average grinder, but it is certainly not silent – to be fair, that would be unreasonable to expect, but it’s the expectation de’longhi set by saying it is silent. The milk frother works wells enough for a home device – perhaps a little underpowered but more power would also be a potential hazard for scalding/burning so again, perhaps unreasonable to expect barista-grade steam. However, this does mean that i would recommend the autentica approach of a hands-free machine to ensure quality and consistency of milk prep. As for the main functions, the ecam makes an excellent espresso, offering the user a wide range of control over strength of coffee, grind of beans and size of drink. The switchgear is pretty nice, although i might have expected slightly higher grade finishing and action for the rrp of the machine. However, compared with the melitta i owned, the de’longhi looks and feels of higher quality, which is a plus given german manufacturing is typically excellent.

A great basic machine that looks very pleasing in its shiny black and silver livery. The water reservoir and drip tray can be accessed from the front. The coffee beans are filled at the top. The adjustments are made via buttons, and there is no digital menu. The taste of the beans (if you have coffee coming out too bitter) can be adjusted by increasing the coarseness of the grind (while it is grinding), reducing the water temperature and varying the amount of coffee delivered. The water quantity and single or double shots are delivered by individual buttons. There’s also a milk frothing spout. It’s something you get the knack of quickly. It’s important though to pre warm the cups with hot water (i use those thick style white cups).

Excellent product, delivered quickly. I have one very happy husband.

117 b is an excellent bean to cup coffee machine. To start with it looks sleek with its gloss black exterior and chrome controls which compliment any kitchen. The ease of setting up the machine for its first use is simple as there are step by step instructions to guide you. This model comes with a water filter which i fitted because the test strip which is also supplied said my water was hard. The machine is set by default in the factory to make a short coffee (controls to the left) and a long coffee (controls to the right), these can be altered for personal preference but i haven’t as yet because i find the button for two long coffees makes a perfect mug full. You can also alter the coffee strength with the dial on the front which i did as i like a stronger coffee. The temperature of the coffee and the coffee mill for grinding the beans can also be customised to suit your taste. The cappuccino maker is simple to use but i found it a little slow in achieving the perfect froth, bearing in mind it says do not deliver steam for more than 3 minutes at a time in the manual. Cleaning the machine is straightforward, as again the manual guides you step by step to as and when you should clean or descale a certain part or all of the machine.

Having owned quite a few coffee machines over the years, i think that i’m in a good position to be able to review them. This is quite a basic bean-to-cup model, but none the worst for it – i actually think that those add on extras like automatic milk frothers and the ability to link it to an app are over-rated. Pros:* easy to set up – it’s pretty much a case of placing the water filter into the tank, setting the grind level and then plugging in* the programmes are simple – long or short coffees – one or two cup options – there’s also a dial to determine the bean strength* the milk wand works well* easy to clean* the coffees taste deliciouspros:* the build is a tad plasticky and the drip tray soon gets scored and scratched if in daily useconclusion:delonghi are one of the market leaders in coffee makers for a very good reason.

Functionality of this new machine designated ‘magnifica s’ and the older ‘magnifica’ is very similar. The update interface is simpler but still allows you to do what you wish. This new machine is slightly smaller, though with no reduction in capacity, and the black plastic exterior is far more attractive than the metal effect plastic of its predecessor. It makes better coffee than the old machine because it uses more beans, i always have my machine set to the strongest setting so this is welcome. The new coffee hopper is sealed for freshness, but its position at the rear of the machine is inconvenient in comparison to the side opening chute on the older model. The water reservoir has the same capacity but is more awkward to replace than its predecessor. Routine maintenance however is greatly assisted by the simple pull-out frontal design. The new machine does spew out water when you turn it off as well as at the beginning of the cycle it its cleaning/heating process. If you use the milk steamer it is significantly improved over the old machine but still not as effective as the less complex ground coffee machines which also make good coffee. This machine like the odder one still encourages you to read the manual by requiring you to operate the steam level the first time you power it up to get rid of the flashing light.

I already own the more expensive version of this bean to cup coffee maker, so i was interested to see what, if anything, you lose by buying the less expensive unit. To be honest, not all that much. Plus, the grinding mechanism is a little quieter in this model, it seems to me. You pour the beans into a hopper at the top of the machine, fill the water tank at the side, and away you go. There are two sets of buttons on the front panel. The left delivers espresso type coffee and the right gives a longer coffee. Both sides have the option to select either one or two cups, and the spout has two nozzles, so you can prepare two cups at the same time. The spout also raises and lowers to accept different cup heights. You – apparently – need the spout as close to the cup as possible to get the best crema on the coffee.

This de’longhi magnifica s makes a really nice espresso with a good crema using either beans or ground coffee. It also has a steam wand style frother on the front should your preference be for milky cappuccino or lattes. Whilst the quality of your coffee depends a lot on the beans you use i haven’t made a bad one yet with this machine and all of them have come with a good level of crema and accompanied by that wonderful coffee aroma. Its a nice looking machine and looks aside its also very easy to use. The digital display is clear and you can adapt the settings to your preferred taste. Whether you like your espresso strong or mild, hot or warm and long or short it can be adjusted and you can also save those settings to get the same taste every cup. Its suitable for either beans or ground coffee; the beans are stored in a container at the back and there is a flap that you open to put ground coffee in. If using ground coffee only one cup can be made at a time whereas with beans you have the option to make two. The machine is easy to clean and maintain; the grounds container and drip tray pull out for emptying and the water tank is on the side and slides out easily for filling. It automatically runs a rinse cycle every time it switches on and off.

  • Easy to use, fairly quiet, great coffee
  • Smart-looking, easy to use domestic bean-to-cup machine
  • Very good coffee machine

De Longhi ECAM 21.117 B

Product Description, Makes perfect espressos at the touch of a button and enjoy cappuccinos and create other milk drinks

From the manufacturer

Front of machine


Magnifica Range

Magnifica Range

DeLonghi Bean To Cup Machine

Magnifica S Cappuccino – ECAM21.117.B

For your Perfect coffee:

Grind your choice of fresh beans, releasing all of the exciting aromas and flavour to deliver your own personal favourite coffee drinks at the touch of a button.

One touch espresso:

This machine will help you deliver perfect coffee shop coffees at the touch of a button, extracting espresso with a strong crema every time, make longer americanos or froth milk manually for a real barista experience.

  • New thermoblock: to grant the espresso at the ideal and constant temperature.
  • Two line display with icons.
  • You can prepare two cups of coffee with a single brewing.
  • Adjustable coffee dispenser, for cups of varying height from 86 to 142 mm.
  • Choose from short, medium or long, try a strong or extra mild aroma, enjoy it piping hot, medium or low temperature.




bean to cup


Energy Saving Function

The standby button permits maximum energy saving to save money and respect the environment.

Aroma Saving Cover

Keep all your fresh aroma safe with her from a coffee beans container with a specially made aroma saving cover.

Control Panel

It allows you to prepare any kind of coffee, short and long merely by pressing a button. The simple rotation of the dial lets you increase or decrease the coffee aroma intensity.

Cappuccino System

The cappuccino system device is ideal for making a rich, creamy froth for great cappuccinos.

Ecam21.117 Ecam44.660 ecam45.760 primadonna
ECAM21.117.B ECAM44.660.B ECAM45.760.W ECAM510.55.M
Dimensions 43 x 23.8 x 35.1cm 36 x 26 x 46cm 36 x 26 x 46cm 47 x 23.8 x 35cm
Milk Frother Manual Automatic Automatic Automatic
One Touch Recipes Espresso, Doppio+ Espresso, Doppio+, Long Coffee, Cappuccino Espresso, Doppio+, Long Coffee, Cappuccino, Cafe Latte, Flat White, Espresso Macchiato Espresso, Coffee, LONG and Doppio+, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Caffelatte and Hot Milk
Milk Menu
Digital Display
Coffee Type Beans + Ground Beans + Ground Beans + Ground Beans + Ground
Smart Coffee App

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I’ve had a more basic delonghi magnifica machine for about three years and it makes great coffee. This machine also makes great coffee but it has some great features which make it even better. The specific features of this machine that i particularly like allow you to adjust the temperature of the coffee (great for me because i prefer it hotter than standard) and it includes a water filter to further soften the water. Our water is not particularly hard but i think the filter makes a difference. The water filter does add further cost (about £8 a filter, which should be changed every month), but you can leave it out if you want. The machine is really easy to use – with espresso single and double shots, and long coffee single or double shots. Coffee strength is adjusted with a dial. The grinder is said to be “silent” but it certainly makes a noise. It is quieter than my previous machine though. The cappuccino frother is easy to use to get a great froth.

This is a smart bean-to-cup coffee machine and, although it ranks towards the lower end of the de’longhi range, the coffee you can produce is just as good as the machines that are higher up the pecking order, albeit with a little more user effort needed for milk options. The act of producing one or two espresso or longer coffees at a time is automatic, with four button press options to choose from. You can even sit one cup under the nozzles and select the two-cup option for a longer drink. The options can be adjusted for temperature and strength of the resultant coffee but production of frothed milk to make a cappuccino is a manual task using the steam nozzle – although that does mean you can heat the milk to the temperature you desire and thus get a really hot drink, which can sometimes be a problem with higher end de’longhi machines. The water tank is accessed at the front, so topping up will not be a problem. The beans go in at the back, so that is trickier if you place this under a wall cupboard; it is easier if you have cupboard-free worktop. You will need to descale from time to time, frequency depending on use and it is worth keeping all packaging as it will be needed to send it off for a service or repair. It is a good coffee machine and, although you need to be a bit more hands on to produce a cappuccino, you can get your drink exactly how you want it, which is not always the case with the higher end, fully automatic machines.

This bean-to-cup coffee machine is generally a really good thing. The machine is nicely made in combination of smart, robust, black plastic, silver-coloured plastic, and stainless steel. Fingerprints do seem to show quite a lot on all parts of this, and the metal cover for the drip tray smudges and marks more than you might expect. There is a bit of set up required before first use – including water testing and, if relevant, the installation into the tank of a water filter. We live a hard water area, so for us installing the filter is a must when it comes to increasing the longevity of the machine – unless we’ve pre-filtered the water – and filtered does seem to improve the flavour of the coffee. Coffee beans go into an inbuilt hopper in the top of the machine. Open the lid, lift out the cover, pour in beans, replace the cover, and close the lid. I keep forgetting to put the cover back – it hasn’t been a problem so far, the machine works even without this part in place, but perhaps its absence could lead to beans/bits of beans ‘jumping’ and ending up where they shouldn’t inside the machine. If you have cupboards above your worktop, the top loading may be a bit inconvenient – in our low-ceilinged kitchen the wall mounted cabinets are low enough that there isn’t sufficient clearance to open the bean container, so we had to rethink positioning. The machine works through a combination of pre-programmed buttons (power; one short coffee, two short coffees, one long coffee, two long coffees) and dials – for steam and to vary the strength of the coffee (grind is pre-set, but can be altered inside the hopper, if wished).

This 15 bar pressure coffee machine has loads of reasons for owning it. I already have a similar model to it which i’ve had for 4 years the only difference i can detect is the colour of the machine. The one i bought was the ecam22. Sbthis machine under review the ecam. B has an identical service manual to that one with exception to the pictures which were not as glossy, which tells you it’s an older model, but it performs the same as far as i can tell so you could save yourself some money by going for this older model. I even swapped out the trays and tank with the ecam. Sb ones and they fitted perfectly so i don’t think there’s going to be an issue with lack of parts with this older model. I do prefer the black as it’s more practical as doesn’t show coffee splashes near the spout area. The 15 bar pressure means the coffee is rich with good crema (creamy top) which you won’t get with cafetiere coffee or regular coffee makers with filters or lower pressure as it gets filtered out or doesn’t get generated. High pressure milk frother and heater gives professional quality lattes.

Yes it is quite of lot of money, at £400 you need to love coffee. And if you love coffee then this de longhi machine is perfect for you, with one slight omission which may not matter to you – a milk container. Setup: very easy, follow the simple instructions. It does take up a bit of space compared, say, to a nespresso machine and you’ll need to leave space at the back and on top for ventilation. Coffee: i use cafédirect fairtrade machu picchu whihc have a nice chocolately taste. The magnifica grinds the beans perfectly on the default setting and gives a fantastic crema. If you like an espresso or americano then you are going to love it. You will have to froth your own milk which works ok, if you want real simplicity then go for the integrated milk compartment but be aware they do seem to use more milk. Features: you’re not getting a fancy digital display but you can easily change the grind and the quantity.

Bean-to-cup – the apex of the coffee machine triangle (filter at the bottom, capsule systems like nespresso in the middle and bean-to-cup at the top. Keep the hopper topped up with fresh beans and the reservoir with fresh water and you really are a button away from fresh expresso. Dilonghi make a wide range of bean-to-cup machines, many of which share similar components and specifications with only minor variations in features and with more emphasis on variance in design. This is a great ‘entry level’ bean to cup machine – it makes great coffee, the steamer works well for lattes etc and it’s aesthetically fine. A few things to bear in mind:1. The bean hopper is quite small, which is good for domestic use as you don’t want you beans oxidising but not so good for a heavier use setting such as an office. It’s fairly noisy when it starts up, though fairly quiet when actually making the coffee. It’s easy, but it is more work than a capsule based machine.

  • Easy to use, fairly quiet, great coffee
  • Smart-looking, easy to use domestic bean-to-cup machine
  • Very good coffee machine

De Longhi ECAM 21.117 B

Features and Spesification

  • Cappuccino System: it combines steam, air and milk, producing a rich, creamy froth for great cappuccinos
  • Personalizing coffee as often as you want has never been easier. Choose from short, medium or long, try a strong or extra mild aroma, enjoy it piping hot, medium or low temperature.
  • The machine can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee
  • Removable brewing unit with variable capacity (from 6 to 14 gr)
  • New silent integrated coffee grinder with 13 adjustable settings
  • New thermoblock: to grant the espresso at the ideal and constant temperature