Do you love coffee, but do not have enough time to make yourself a cup every now and then?
Then perhaps it is the best time to get an automatic coffee machine that comes with all the features that assist you in making your own premium cup of coffee, but is also light on the pocket.
While there are several options out there, we have zeroed in on two options that are super affordable yet super easy to use: the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110.SB and the DeLonghi Magnifica XS Automatic Espresso Machine, Cappuccino Maker – ECAM22110SB.
More About DeLonghi
DeLonghi is a reliable name in the industry. The machines are made to last for up to 10 years and some can last even longer based on how you maintain them.
In addition to coffee machines, the company produces other kitchen appliances and home electronics including air conditioners and purifiers. All machines come with excellent customer support, instruction manuals, and guides.
You will also enjoy excellent warranties on coffee machines. They’re meant to last and are easy to maintain.
The company has a long list of coffee makers but we’re concentrating on DeLonghi ECAM22110SB in this review. This line is worth every penny and comes with some impressive features.
These machines are very easy to use and are most recommended for hobbyists and casual users. Also, beginners will face no problem in operating these coffee machines as they offer full customization to your individual cup of coffee.
In this article, we will talk about the Magnifica series of DeLonghi and then continue by discussing the two most talked about automated coffee machines in the Magnifica series: S and XS.
A comparison chart is also included for those who do not want to get in the details, and only want to get the gist of the topic.
And do not worry, we would not only be talking about their specialties but also their limitations, so you can make a well-informed decision before purchasing any of them.
Let’s get started:
About the DeLonghi Magnifica Automatic Coffee Machine Series
The Magnifica series is a range of automatic coffee and espresso machines launched by DeLonghi. It caters to the needs of people with every level of expertise.
It does not matter if you are a beginner, or an expert, in coffee making, as these espresso machines are designed explicitly to be a one-stop solution for all your coffee making problems.
The entry-level basic machine in the series is the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300, and then it levels up to DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22110 and DeLonghi Magnifica XS ECAM 22110.
Perhaps, the most top-notch and the most customizable model in the Magnifica series is the DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart, which is highly programmable and intelligent, like none else.
Let’s dissect these beauties:
Both the Magnifica S and the Magnifica XS have the same primary model number, so searching for a particular one over the internet can be quite confusing. However, both of these are more or less the same models, with similar features, except for only one difference – the Magnifica XS, which is a later entrant in the series, is slightly smaller than the previously released Magnifica S, by only two inches to be precise.
Such a minor height difference does not really matter unless you are trying to fit your coffee machine in a cramped space between your cabinets or over your countertop.
Apart from that, both these options have the same features to cover all your spontaneous coffee-related needs.
Notable Features of the DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS Automated Coffee Machines
1 Aesthetic and Sizing
The opinion on the design seems to be divided. It’s definitely attractive yet sleek, hence it doesn’t always attract attention but can sit on your countertop without looking loud and flashy.
What impressed us the most in terms of design was the symmetry and color grading. You can choose from three different colors: black, silver and a combination of black and silver.
Our personal favorite is the black and silver combo, which has a base of silver with highlights of black, which helps certain features of the design to pop out.
Apart from the color, both the machines are perfect for small kitchens, with limited countertop space, due to their moderate dimensions.
The XS model is two inches smaller than the S model, so you can appropriately adjust it in your kitchen without compromising on any of the helpful features.
Their lightweight also makes these machines easy to move around, so you can always shift the machine if needed. This makes these coffee machines portable.
2 Reservoir Size
Perhaps, the most important feature of an automatic coffee machine is its reservoir size.
Due to the comparatively smaller and compact dimensions of the Magnifica S and XS, you might be thinking that it does not have a very noticeable reservoir capacity. But, this is where the DeLonghi Magnifica series amazes you.
Apart from being compact, they have a reservoir that can hold up to 57 ounces of water at a time. This is enough to make about 9 cups of coffee.
Yes, this is not the highest capacity any coffee machine can hold, but it is certainly commendable compared to the size of these machines.
And not only this, the reservoir is front loading, so you do not have to move and rotate your entire coffee machine every time you need to fill the reservoir. The job can be completed easily without any spills.
Also, the coffee machine is fully compatible with a water filter, so you can add it if you desire.
It surely reduces the hard work involved in maintaining the machine as it removes the need for descaling, but you cannot disregard the fact that you would need to change the water filter every couple of months.
The price of the water filter will add to the overall cost of the ownership, in the long run, so you might want to look at other options.
As an alternative, you can either use water filtered from another source, or you can use distilled water. It is all a matter of your choice, personal preference, and affordability.
3 Brew Unit and Control System
The quality of your coffee depends on a number of factors including the pressure applied to the beans.
The more the pressure, the better the quality of your coffee.
To make a good cup of espresso, you need at least nine bars of pressure, where one bar equals the atmospheric pressure at sea level.
Considering the pump strength of the DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS coffee machines, you will never have to worry about the quality of your coffee.
A single button will get the job done for you. We really like the hit this machine offers.
The control system of the Magnifica S and XS coffee machines consists of a total of seven buttons, a lever allowing you to switch from steam to hot water and vice versa, and a control knob.
Along with all of this, the simple LED display screen allows you to navigate through the different available options quickly and effectively.
These options help you to adjust the type of drink you are making, to access the automated cleaning routines, and to change the settings back to factory settings. However, if there is one thing that you cannot customize, it is the auto shut off time, which is set at four consecutive hours.
Customization is of great help, you can get the flavor that you prefer and enjoy your coffee the way you like it.
The brew unit is removable making cleaning and reloading easy. It is advised to remove it at least once a month and clean it thoroughly by giving a good rinse.
As we discussed earlier, a good cup of espresso requires nine bars of pressure, you can also exceed this limit as the DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS machines can add pressure up to fifteen bars.
4 Integrated Grinder
Both the automatic espresso machines, S and XS, come with a stainless steel conical grinder integrated within them, which is directly attached to a coffee bean reservoir.
The reservoir can be loaded from the top, thus reducing the hassle of moving the entire machine around, and holds about 8.8 ounces of beans. The size of the grinder perfectly complements the size of the water reservoir, and both of them together make an ideal combination.
Perhaps, the best thing about the grinder is that it comes with a total of thirteen different grind settings. This gives the user full control over the taste of the drink.
You can play around with a variety of grind settings unless you find the one that suits your needs perfectly. However, you have to be careful about how you use it.
The stainless steel of the grinder tends to heat up when used extensively. This can cause the grounds to get burnt, which can ruin the taste. It’s best to give the machine some rest before using it.
5 Cup Warming Tray
If you are not new to the world of coffee enthusiasts, you might have noticed that the coffee made by drip brew machines is not boiling hot. Instead, it is at a lower temperature than usual. This is especially true for milk-based coffees, as the milk used to make it is not overheated, in order to preserve its actual taste and flavor.
This is where the cup warming tray of the DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS models comes into use.
It has a place at the top of the automatic coffee machine and gets the heat from the boiler. Its ridged surface ensures that your cup does not slide down the warming tray and stays in its actual place.
Once you place your cups on the tray, the machine will get to work and preheat your cups before adding coffee to it, so the loss of heat is minimized.
When this additional feature of a cup warming tray is combined together with the highest temperature settings on the machine, you are sure to get a hot cup of coffee every single time.
6 Milk Frothing System
The DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS automated coffee machines come with a milk frothing wand so you can channel your inner barista to make a perfect cup of coffee for yourself.
The frothing wand allows you to make a couple of different coffee options, which include, but are not limited to, Espresso, Cafe Latte, Latte Macchiato, Americano, and Ristretto.
You need to experiment with the frothing wand a couple of times before you get your perfect cup of coffee, so keep trying and going back and forth until you find something that works for you.
If you think this milk frothing wand is only useful while making coffees then you are wrong. It can also double as a hot water dispenser, which lets you have a rich cup of hot chocolate or a steaming cup of tea any time your heart desires.
This versatility makes it a good machine for all kinds of users.
7 Boiler System
The coffee machine comes with a single boiler system, which is powered by Thermoblock technology that promotes quick warming of milk or water.
As the boiler is single, you cannot brew coffee and steam milk at the same time. So, once you brew the coffee, you have to wait for a couple of seconds until the boiler readjusts its temperature for steaming the milk.
Once the optimum temperature is set, only then you can proceed to steam the milk.
Although this sounds like something that is time-consuming, the delay of a couple of seconds while the boiler readjusts the temperature is so short that it is barely noticeable.
8 Telescoping Coffee Spigot
The coffee spigot is adjustable in height – it can freely move upwards and downwards.
At its maximum height, it can accommodate cups of up to 5.5 inches in height. This is certainly not the ideal height for our giant morning coffee cups but will prove to be fine for most coffee drinkers.
DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS Cons:
While these machines are nearly perfect, they’re not without cons. There is one improvement that can make these machines truly wonderful.
We want the company to replace the stainless steel grinder with a ceramic grinder, as the stainless steel one tends to heat up once the machine is in use.
This heat up can lead to the burning of some of your coffee grounds, which can affect the taste. On the other hand, a ceramic grinder will not heat up, thus making sure that your cup of coffee is perfect in taste and color.
In conclusion, we do admire the use of creative technology in DeLonghi Magnifica S and XS automated coffee machines. They both produce premium coffee while also being easy to use and within the budget of everyone.
The simple design of the machines lets you tweak and adjust the taste of your coffee, thus making it highly recommended for beginners and experts.