Super-automatic espresso machines are supposed to offer the best experience in terms of how easy they are to use, and the convenience they offer, but if you’ve been around more than a few, you know they can sometimes fall flat in these areas, while also making mediocre espresso.
Sure, the machine may look awesome and have a bunch of buttons, but in the end, it’s all about the beverage quality, right? Far too often, these sometimes expensive machines end up being a waste of money.
Fortunately, DeLonghi is a highly reputable espresso machine manufacturer that doesn't mess around when it comes to quality, regardless of the machine type.
In the case of the ESAM3300 Magnifica, they’ve managed to create an exceptionally versatile and user-friendly super-automatic espresso machine, for a very reasonable price point that isn’t all that much higher than some semi-automatics.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the Magnificent will definitely look good sitting on your kitchen counter. It’s got a very smooth, professional look to it that resembles a smaller version of the machines you may find being used in large coffee chains.
Since it’s a super automatic machine, there really aren’t a lot of moving parts on the outside. You’ve got the adjustable spout in the center, the steam wand to the right, and the water reservoir on the side that easily slides in and out.
On the inside, the Magnifica uses a double boiler system, allowing you to go back and forth between using the steam wand and brewing shots without any need to wait for more pressure and heat to build up.
While it’s not the biggest you’ll find, the 60 ounce removable water reservoir offers just enough room to make several beverages back-to-back. This compliments the 7 ounce internal bean storage on the inside.
As you probably guessed, the brewing process is quick and easy once you’ve got everything set up. After the machine warms up (in about 3-4 minutes,) you can adjust the grind coarseness if needed, and then use the knobs located on the front to select your desired shot strength and size amount.
With the push of a button, the espresso pours from the spout and right into your shot glasses or mug.
One of the more notable features of the Magnifica is its Instant Reheat feature. This lets the machine make more shots right after, as long as you have more water remaining in the reservoir,. The same feature also lets you go right to using the steam wand without having to wait.
DeLonghi implemented something called the “Cappuccino System” into the steam wand, making it much easier to create ideal microfoam for whatever drink you’re making, be it a latte or cappuccino. If you’re not very skilled with steam wands, this feature still lets you create cafe-worthy foam every time, with little effort
The front of the machine is home to several different lights for alerts, including one that tells you when it’s time to run a decalcify cycle to get rid of mineral build up. This is the key to keeping your machine operating at a high level for years to come.
Maintenance is made very easy with the Magnifica. At the bottom a drip tray absorbs any spills that may occur, and also has its own indicator that tells you when it’s full. When it’s time to clean the actual brewing mechanism, you can simply open the front hatch and remove it for easy cleaning.
The Magnifica has truly been well-designed to make every single part of the espresso-making process as simple and easy as can be, without overlooking the actual overall beverage quality. That’s a winning combination for sure.
The main thing that sticks out with the Magnifica is how it feels and functions like an espresso machine for true enthusiasts, even as a super-automatic model. The front settings give you a large amount of control over the flavor and strength of your shots, even though you’re not handling a portafilter or doing any tamping.
The consistency is worth mentioning too. The Instant Heat feature is not to be overlooked, as it allows you to make several beverages in a row without worrying about a drop in quality, or having to wait for the pressure and heat to build back up.
We are also big fans of the Cappuccino System steam wand. This is a super-automatic after all, so it’s nice to have some assistance with other parts of the drink-making process. The foam is smooth and velvety, every time.
While we are fans of the stainless steel and grey color setup, having one or two more color options would definitely be appreciated.
Also, the grinder claims to have an “integrated quieter” to keep the noise down a bit, but it’s still a little loud. Maybe it’s just an early morning thing, but still, we’ve heard quiter before. It’s not really that big of deal though.
As we always say, do make sure this machine will fit on your counter. Check out the dimensions, and then measure the spot on your counter where you’d like to set it, just to be sure it actually fits.
It’s always a good idea to order some high-end espresso beans with your new machine as well, to help you break it in.
Overall, the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica crams about as many features as possible into an affordable super-automatic espresso machine. You get a very user-friendly experience, helpful cleaning alerts, and an authentic all-in-one espresso maker that handles everything on its own.
If you’re someone who prefers the ease a super-automatic espresso machine can provide, desire cafe-level beverages with little effort, and are looking for one you can depend on in the mornings for years and years to come, the Magnifica should be at the top of your list. For under $600, it’s truly a steal.