De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM 4200 – DeLonghi Magnifica, ti amo!

I bought my delonghi esam4200 in november 2012 and at the time of writing this review it is still working really well. It makes really great espresso. I tend not to use the milk frother as i prefer to use a plunger type milk frother. I use a bodum milk frother jug. That is just my preference and i know a lot of people do use the built-in milk frother and are happy with it. This machine produces espresso with a lovely velvety creme. The machine is easy to keep clean and easy to use. To descale i used to use the delonghi descaling solution for the first couple of years but now i just use some diluted citric acid which is a lot cheaper. As i mentioned, i have had this machine for nearly six years. We use it to make around four espressos per day.

I purchased this unit 10 months ago. I thought i would wait a while to see how it performed and it has excelled. There are 3 adults who are all now hooked on this machine. We did a rough estimate and thinks its probably dished up more than 800 cups of coffee. Mostly we are making excellent espresso / americano coffees/ on a week end my son will craft an excellent cappuccino for my wife. To this you need to use the steam wand and manually inject steam into a small jug of milk. Its totally capable of providing enough steam you just need to develop your technique to get the foam just right. Compact, but performs exactly what we want it to do.

I had had one of these machines before but it didn’t last very long. I replaced it with a krups which had a ceramic grinder and which lasted longer but when i saw this de’longhi advertised at such a good price (and krups had changed the grinder to stainless steel) i decided to buy another one. It is again much flimsier than the krups but functions well. The coffee is better, tastier, creamier but not as hot – even when using the instructions to increase the temperature. The only real disappointment is that with this newer magnifica it is not possible to access the beans and as my partner now has to use decaffeinated beans and i do not, it is a fiddle to put in the exact amounts we each require. This may not affects others though so i have not downgraded my rating.

Can’t believe this is 4 years old. It still works perfectly and make great coffee. The creme is just as thick as day one. However i have a major gripe. And this is nothing to do with the quality of the machine or the coffee it makes but more to do with one of the biggest scams these companies do on a regular basis and that’s the ‘cleaning’ aspect. Or should i say the red flashing button that kicks in after literally a month or so. Of course the machine comes with one of those custom plastic de’longhi sachets and whilst a bit complex the machine cleaning went okay. Hmmm, i thought, i made a point of only using bottled water [admittedly the 17p 2l ones you get from the supermarkets as i knew the tap water was pretty chalky. Yep, i just ignored the flashing light after the 2nd time it flashed [about 6 weeks later] and you now. ]

This is a replacement machine for the similar but previous model. Only use it for black coffee so can’t comment on the milk frother. However, like other reviewers i confirm it makes great hot coffee, quite easy to operate and manage though more difficult to clean. As it is a replacement for the similar previous model you will understand i do like it and know how to operate it to maximise it’s flexibility. However, 3 stars: this machine has so much more plastic than the previous model and it looks a bit cheaper in appearance. The drip tray is flimsy and has more jagged internal parts to clean which can trap coffee stains and grounds. The coffee feeds are also a lot messier with long coffee drip stains and it also drips down the coffee spouts and pours and trickles inside the machine. I never had a problem like this with the previous model. I do like the eco settings on this one and the flexibility highlighted by other reviewers. It is a good machine for the money, but a lot noisier than its predecessor.

I have been coffee-crazy since my student days back in the late 1980s. To think of it, i once had an espresso machine that i used for years without learning how to make a proper espresso (the days before the internet, we never felt the need to learn so much. I definitely didn’t have a tampering tool so must have been rubbish espresso as made without tampering). I moved on to french presses and recently bought a nescafe edg305. B dolce gusto mini me coffee capsule machine by de’longhi – piano black which makes a lovely cup of coffee. Then i moved on to a bean to cup, i-e. I learned about different types of beans, read about coffee’s humble origins in ethiopia and yemen, the islamic golden age of coffee and how it was introduced from the middle east and turkey to europe the devil’s cup: coffee, the driving force in history and how it was spread in the colonies of the new world and indonesia by the european colonists.

I have to say, i had my doubts initially. The only previous semi-serious machine i had was a delonghi icona machine, that i loved and that lasted me the best part of 5 years. When it died, i decided to make the step up to bean to cup machine. As anyone else who has spent any time trying to figure out which one to go for will know, the options are endless. I decided to go for an entry-level / middle of the range machine. Having seen a number of different machines within this price range, i made the plunge. First off, the machine is pretty noisy. I’m not sure it’s disturbingly noisy, but certainly it is loud. Personally it only bothered me initially, i’m now used to the noise and i find it normal. Also, making a coffee is really very quick.

This is my first bean to cup machine after having a more traditional espresso machine previously. I was after the ease of one of the pod type machines but without the awful waste of resources that those stupid little pods entail. I tried to read as many reviews as i could about various machines and this one seemed to keep coming up as the best reviewed without spending thousands. While i love a coffee i’m by no means a coffee connoisseur/snob so i couldn’t justify spending ridiculous amounts. Anyway – this arrived quickly – sooner than expected actually, and was very straightforward to set up. Then it’s just a case of running it a few times to get things set up how you like them. This is all also really straightforward. We’ve now got it set to pump out coffees just right and it’s fantastic. It’s easy, so much less hassle than the traditional espresso machine. We drink lattes and the milk frother on this is great too.

My 1st machine was broken from the factory, amazon as always replaced order straight away no questions asked, 2nd machine delivered today ‘ 3rd dec 2017’by following the instructions page by page and completing water hardest test, this was very easy to set up ‘even with disabilities’made 2 coffees to set up my desired strength and cup length ‘ i use a starbuck large cappuccino cup can be brought from starbuck uk £6. 50’omg what a great machine, the coffee is strong and the milk steamer heated and frothed milk really up well. I live for coffee & for year drank normal nescafe instant ,6mths ago completely went off drinking normal coffee as i believe nescafe changed their coffee beans or processing ,their instant coffee just went awful,i am now back in love with my love for coffee, cappuccino, latte made at home with this machine are lovely & taste as good as buying coffee shop coffee, but will a 10th of the cost. Well done de`longhi excellent machine at a fantastic price, you dont need to spend £600,£700,£800+ for a bean to cup machine, this one does a great job.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • it still works perfectly and make great coffeeBUT
  • This is an amazing machine. I learned about different types of beans
  • this was very easy to set up “even with disabilities” Made 2 coffees