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Simple on the outside but secretly packed with sophisticated features, the De'Longhi Dedica is a stylish home espresso machine that you can rely on. Read our full review.
When it comes to design, the stainless steel detail, trio of soft-touch control buttons and classically branded drip tray puts the De'Longhi Dedica in a league of its own. For just under £200, you get a collection of well-made components that, once combined, create a sleek yet affordable manual coffee maker.
We were struck by the machine's size. At only 15cm wide and 33cm deep, the Dedica is petite in terms of footprint. A bonus for practicality, especially in small kitchens, but its long-and-thin nature renders the cup warmer grid on top inefficient – there's only room for one cup at at time, and no railings to keep it in place.
The power button is located at the bottom on the right-hand side. The machine would benefit from non-slip feet or even suckers to keep it stable during the loading and unloading of its portafilter.
The De'Longhi Dedica's stylish shell hides 15 bars of pressure, so you don't forfeit any power because of its size. Its 1.1L water tank also plays in its favour – the more you refresh the water supply, the better your espresso will taste.
There were no eco credentials to boast of in terms of packaging. Although to be fair, the use of plastic was standard across all the espresso machines we tested, as was polystyrene shells.
The De'Longhi offers all the user-friendly features and accessories that you'd expect for the price, including a dual height drip tray with overflow indicator, and a 2-in-1 plastic scoop and broad-width tamper for compacting coffee in the portafilter.
The portafilter was a bit stiff to load the first few times – its slim base made it quite unstable. If there had been two espresso cups warming on the grid above, they would have fallen off. But familiarity with the portafilter's positioning comes with practice and it loosens after a few uses.
More thought has gone into the design of accompanying components. A particular favourite is the giro-style milk wand, which offered a better range of movement than any other coffee machine we've tested (it's suitable for both stainless steel steaming jugs and stout ceramic mugs). Once used, it fits over the drip tray for easy storage. A sliding selection ring on the wand itself offers two options (hot milk or cappuccino), so you can personalise your silky froth with ease.
Another area where the machine hides sophistication behind simplicity is its control buttons: single cup, double cup and steam wand. Follow the manual and you unlock personalisation options around factors such as coffee temperature and water hardness. If you want to override the default quantities of coffee per cup, hold and release the button you want to program.
Components are not dishwasher safe. But the tight-fitting filters mean you can give them a solid 'tap' to empty most of the grounds before rinsing. It was also simple to twist the milk wand off, before washing in hot soapy water.
The De'Longhi creates deliciously smooth and crema-topped espresso without a hint of bitterness. Flavour-wise, the coffee was some of the best we've ever made as part of our espresso machine research.
The single, double and ESE pod filters produced the quantity of espresso that we'd expect. Importantly, the liquid measures were even when split across two espresso cups.
De'Longhi excels at designing stylish machines that are simple for beginners but also offer room for customisation. The quality of build and a manufacturer's warranty show that this machine is built for longevity (all De'Longhi products carry a minimum guarantee period of one year). It also has a descale notification to help users take care of it. We'd feel proud to have this machine on the kitchen counter.
De'Longhi Dedica EC685.M specifications
Product weight: 4.2kg
Ground capacity: single and double espresso filters plus ESE pod filter
Average pressure: 15 bar
Water capacity: 1.1 litre
Dimensions: W 149 x D 330 x H 304mm
Material: stainless steel
Auto shut-off: yes
This review was last updated in March 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
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