The Delonghi Dedica EC860M espresso machine is the talk of the town due to its compact footprint and convenience. You just need a good quality grinder to pair with it, and that’s it! But how much of it is true?
We’ve closely assessed the Delonghi Dedica EC860M and have found some notable features. The EC860M semi-automatic machine is suitable for any compact kitchen, whether at home or in office.
The machine comes with 15-bar pressure control, which is fully adjustable and gives you control over your cup. The manual milk-steaming feature is there for some latte art, and the machine can accommodate taller cups.
But it’ll only be suitable for you if you don’t have a large household with many coffee drinkers. It is made of high-quality materials but will only cater to individual needs.
Read on to find everything you need to know about this espresso machine in our in-depth Delonghi Dedica EC860M review.
- User-friendly construction.
- Compact design.
- A small footprint is better suited for tight spaces.
- Stainless steel construction for excellent durability.
- Automatic shut-off feature with water level indicator.
- Not designed for small groups.
- Less creamy frothing.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine: Worthy or Not?
Super-automatic or fully automatic espresso machines automate the entire process of coffee making. There is no manual pressure and temperature controls to alter the taste of your cup. The only thing you can control is the taste of coffee grounds.
Some of these machines do come with an inbuilt grinder, so you’ll only need premium quality coffee beans to feed the machine. But if they don’t have an inbuilt grinder, then you’ll need that separately.
A semi-automatic espresso machine, on the other hand, gives you some control over your cup. You can control the pressure to alter the water content in your coffee shots. It can have a significant impact on the results.
Just like the super-automatic, semi-automatic machines also come with a grinder and without it. These machines can automate some processes like boiling or milk frothing. Machines from different brands have different features. But overall, in a semi-automatic machine, you have some control over the cup you make.
If you’re looking to buy a machine that can make a cup of coffee without involving you, then you should choose a super-automatic machine. But if you prefer to make your cup like a professional, then choose a semi-automatic machine.
|Features||Delonghi Dedica EC860M||Delonghi La Specialista EC9335M||Nuova Simonelli Oscar II|
|Flavor & Aroma||Robust and strong.||Rich and aromatic.||Rich and aromatic.|
|Water Reservoir Capacity||4 cups (33.8 fl oz).||8 cups (67.6 fl oz).||8 cups (67.6 fl oz).|
|Ease of Use||Very simple (learning curve for the newcomers).||Simple to use (but requires some practice).||Easy operation (but requires practice for the new users).|
|Design & Construction||Compact design, small footprint, stainless steel construction with plastic hints.||Stainless steel construction with a few plastic accents.||Stainless steel and plastic body.|
|Milk Steaming||Airier and less creamy (with a steam wand).||More airy and creamy (with a steam wand).||Less airy and more creamy (with a steam wand).|
|Coffee Bean Grinding||No inbuilt grinder||Inbuilt grinder||No inbuilt grinder|
|Cleaning & Maintenance||Simple (descaling required 30 minutes).||Easy (descaling requires 40 minutes).||Frequent (descaling requires 45 minutes).|
|Value for Money||Meets the value.||Meets the value.||Expensive.|
|Extra Features||Passive cup warmer, auto shut-off, thermoblock, 15-bar pump pressure, and water level indicator.||Double water tank capacity, automatic shut-off, thermoblock, removable drip train, and coffee tamper.||Reverse mirror, push-pull steam, volumetric dosage, soft infusion system, and heat exchange boiler.|
Delonghi Dedica EC860M Review:
Flavor & Aroma:
Flavor and aroma have nothing to do with the looks and overall construction of an espresso machine. Therefore, we tried and tested all three espresso machines to judge the cup they produce. And we came up with some pretty interesting aspects associated with all these three machines that we are comparing here.
The flavor and aroma created by the Delonghi Dedica were top-notch with a degree of robustness. There was a hint of wateriness in the flavor and aroma, but overall it was quite concentrated.
On the other hand, the flavor and aroma created by the Delonghi La Specialista are richer because the milk frosting in this machine was better. The milk frosting in Dedica was drier while it was creamier in La Specialista. Similar is the case with the Nuova Simonelli Oscar as it can produce a great tasting coffee that is rich in aroma and flavor.
If you’re interested in going for a robust flavoring cup, then you need to choose the Delonghi Dedica. For a richer yet subtle taste and aroma, you can go either for La Specialista or Simonelli Oscar.
Water Reservoir Capacity:
The water tank capacity of the Delonghi Dedica is 1 liter. The overall brewing capacity of this machine is just over four cups. Hence, it is a compact machine designed for individuals and not for groups.
On the other hand, both the Delonghi La Specialista and the Nuova Simonelli Oscar come with a 2-liter water tank capacity. It is double than what the Delonghi Dedica has to offer. Both these machines can make up to 8 cups of coffee. Hence they both are better suited for small groups of coffee lovers.
The Delonghi Dedica falls short in terms of water reservoir capacity because it has only half of what its other two competitors have to offer. But it is a top choice for you if you don’t have anyone else alongside you to drink coffee.
For individuals, it is a top choice due to its compact design. You can drink a fine cup of coffee right in the comfort of your home, and you won’t have to deal with a lot of refills either.
Ease of Use:
Setting up your Delonghi Dedica for the first time is not a big deal. And a lot of credit goes to the well-structured instructions in the manual. There is not much assembly required. You can get this machine out of its box and start working your first brew in less than 10 minutes.
If you are using a semi-automatic machine for the first time, then you will find it a bit difficult to use. You will have to learn the process of brewing and tamping coffee. But once you get used to it, using your Dedica won’t be a matter at all.
Using the other two machines is very simple too. The Delonghi La Specialista comes ready to use out of the box. You will only have to fit the bean hopper and start brewing your coffee right away. Similar is the case with the Nuova Simonelli Oscar! You just need to fill the water tank, plug the machine in, and the machine will tell you when it is ready to brew.
All three of these machines are very simple to use. But the Delonghi Dedica is much compact in size, so handling becomes a lot easier as compared to the other two machines, which are large and heavy in comparison.
Design & Construction:
Design and construction are not going to matter much if a machine can produce high-quality taste and aroma. But it is not the only thing that matters here. Of course, if you have a compact space at your disposal, then you need to focus on a machine that has a small footprint.
If that is your requirement, then you need to go for the Delonghi Dedica. It does come with a smaller footprint. Delonghi has used high-quality materials in the construction of this machine. The entire body is made of stainless steel, and it is made to last for a long time. Plus, it fits beautifully on a kitchen countertop.
The construction and design of the other two machines are top-notch as well. With a lot of metal involved in the construction, both La Specialista and Oscar II are exceptional. However, both these machines are large, and they are bulky too.
If we talk about getting some nice foam, then the steam wand of Delonghi Dedica won’t disappoint you. The rich cream adds a lot to the aesthetics of your cup. But we weren’t very impressed with the texture. It leaves a dried taste in your mouth, and you certainly long for more.
In contrast, the milk frothing that the Delonghi La Specialista can achieve is pretty impressive. It is not only very airy but has that creamy texture as well. The creamy texture adds a lot of flavor to your final cup, especially if you are looking for a rich-tasting aromatic coffee.
The frothing of Oscar II is also very creamy in texture. Still, it is a lot airier than what the La Specialista can produce. But better than the frothing of Delonghi Dedica.
Coffee Bean Grinding:
The Delonghi Dedica’s entire focus is on providing you with a compact and sleek footprint. Therefore, the machines trim off any additional space. Hence, you won’t find a bean hopper on it. You’ll have to buy a separate grinder to pair with it. And this is where you can get creative with the tastes and aromas in your cup.
When we talk about La Specialista, the machine does come with an inbuilt grinder. You can feed it with premium quality coffee means, and it will produce a fine tasting coffee for you in no time. Having an inbuilt grinder is a real convenience.
Cleaning & Maintenance:
The Delonghi Dedica comes with a portafilter that prevents coffee gunk when you pull a shot. Therefore, wiping the gunk off was not at all difficult. You can clean the steam wand using the dishwasher. So short term cleaning of this machine is a breeze.
Descaling of this machine is also straightforward. The instruction manual is a huge help because each step is written down with good details, making the process extremely simple. The entire process only takes about half an hour to complete.
The cleaning and maintenance of a La Specialista is time-consuming but straightforward. This machine also handles gunk pretty well, and most of its parts are dishwasher safe. You can even wipe them off easily. The descaling process takes about 40 minutes to complete.
Oscar II is effortless to clean, but it has a tendency to gather gunk, and you will have to schedule your cleaning more frequently here. However, the descaling process takes around 45 minutes to complete.
Value for Money:
Value for money can be evaluated in terms of three factors: durability, features, and user-friendliness. When we talk about the Delonghi Dedica, it is built very well and has a smaller footprint. Therefore, it is suitable for compact spaces. Due to its small size, the machine is ideally suited for individual use.
The materials used in the construction are of high-quality, and the machine can stand the test of time. There is a drip tray, steam wand, quality portafilter, decent water reservoir, and other indicators to make your life easier.
Now, La Specialista is slightly expensive as compared to the Dedica. Still, it is much larger and comes with double brewing capacity. The taste and aroma that this machine can produce are significantly better, and it can serve small groups too.
The Oscar II is similarly a large semi-automatic machine with a brewing capacity double of what the Dedica has to offer.
The Delonghi Dedica comes with a passive cup warmer, automatic shut-off, water level indicator, a thermoblock, and pump pressure.
The Delonghi Las Specialista has a large water reservoir with an automatic shut off feature. There is also a separate milk jug and thermoblock feature. It also has a pump pressure that can rise to 19 bars. This machine also features a bean hopper and allows you to feel the coffee beans into the grinder.
The Oscar II comes with pre-infusion technology that allows the grounds to immerse in water for a period to create a unique yet consistent flavor. The machine also features a volumetric dosage for each of your shots. It also comes with a heat exchange boiler, a reverse mirror, and a push-pull steam arm.
Who Should Buy the Delonghi Dedica EC860M?
The Delonghi Dedica is the right choice for you if you are:
- Looking for a compact machine for your kitchen.
- The only person to consume the coffee at your place.
- Fond of strong tasting coffee.
- Not a huge fan of creamy froths.
- Not addicted to the strong flavor.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Delonghi Dedica EC860M?
But this machine is not the right choice for you if you are looking for a machine with an inbuilt grinder. You will have to buy a separate grinder to work with this machine.
If you are a heavy coffee consumer, then this machine is not made for you either. It only has a water reservoir with a capacity of one liter. It means that you will have to do a lot of refills throughout the day.
As it has a small water tank capacity, it is not going to serve more than 4 people.
FAQs for the Delonghi Dedica EC860M:
What can I do if my milk is not coming creamy?
If the milk is not coming out creamy or if it is not heating up correctly, then there are different factors involved in it. The fat and protein contents of your milk can alter this aspect. If you have changed your milk recently, then it might be one of the factors as well.
The milk that comes from the frame changes consistently, and it might be one of the causes of the issue. You need to try different milk. Preheating your cups can be a good way to maintain the temperature of your coffee.
How frequently should I clean my machine?
Short term cleaning is better after every use. Wipe the steam wand, portafilter, and the drip tray of the machine after using it. For descaling, you can clean your machine every two months based on how frequently you use your machine.
What size of tamper should I use with Delonghi Dedica?
The 51mm tamper made of plastic is the ideal choice for this espresso machine. It will pair well with the pressurized filters that you get with your purchase of this machine.
So should you buy the Delonghi Dedica? If you compare it with the Delonghi Las Specialista and Oscar II, you will see that there are some positives and negatives associated with this machine.
And size is the most noticeable of them all. This machine is better suited for individuals who have a normal coffee drinking routine. It is not the ideal option for entertaining crowds. But due to its small size, the machine is also ideal for small spaces due to its compact construction.
You’ll have to buy a good quality grinder to work with it. Another option is to invest in premium quality coffee to enjoy some flavors of coffee cups.
So is it made for you? Well, you got to decide it based on your preferences and requirements!