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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
We bought this after a couple of months looking (unsuccessfully) for a replacement for our 15-year-old krups drip brewer which we loved until it finally pooped out and started leaking like a sieve. At some point in our search we said "maybe we should get serious." This is the first super automatic espresso machine we've ever owned so I can't compare it to anything but I will say this: we love it.

We knew enough to know that "super automatic" is important if you don't like the actual manual process of making espresso (we don't) and since this one doesn't actually say "super automatic" but rather "compact automatic" I was a little confused but eventually learned that compact automatic just means it's a super automatic with a smaller footprint. For those really ignorant like us: Super Automatic means you fill the bean bin and the water bin once every so often, and then it's ready to go. When you want a drink - you turn it on and press a button - single espresso, double espresso, single lungo, or double lungo. Then you watch as it makes a bunch of interesting noises then fills your cup with beautiful, steaming hot frothy coffee. Then you drink it. Super automatic.

The benefit of a compact super automatic is the smaller footprint of course. The downside is that you have to fill the bean and water reservoirs (and empty the dregs basin) more frequently than "regular size" super automatic. For us it is about twice a week - two adults home all day and we like coffee. We're actually probably going through more than normal right now because we're enjoying playing and experimenting with strengths, mixes, quantities, etc. It has been a few days and already I've figured out my tastes but it's still fun trying new things.

If you love coffee and want to treat yourself - this is a winner. The small footprint is nice - it doesn't look like a commercial espresso machine sitting on our counter (though it's bigger than a regular drip maker). Again I don't have anything to compare it to since this is our first one but I can't think of anything about it we don't like. You have to remove the outside part of the steamer/frother to clean it, or you can leave it off when you froth and avoid that cleaning step. But I don't do any frothing anyway (wife does).

It's super. It's automatic. It's compact. It makes incredible espresso, americana, lungos, long blacks, cappucino, and lattes. We are very happy. I will post back after our first full cleaning.

August update: It has been 8 months and we love it just as much as when we first got it. We cleaned it once - it was trivial. No issues except that one bag of beans we purchased from Trader Joes were a little oily and they got stuck in the hopper - another reviewer also mentioned this. I removed the little cap from over the hopper (2 philips head screws) and left it off - not sure how or if that can hurt anything but it has worked fine since.

Seriously we love this thing. There is nothing like feeling an urge for a cup a joe and 3 minutes later having one in your hands with nothing to do or clean up. And it is goooooood stuff. We were talking the other day and decided it's the best luxury gift we've ever given ourselves.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
PROS: Makes very good coffee and lattes. Sleek, good-looking appliance. Works as you would expect.

CONS: (very minor) Chrome "heating" plate doesn't get warm enough to heat anything (who cares?). Beans on the "oily" side don't always feed smoothly from hopper to the grinder.

I've owned several automatic machines over the years from Saeco and DeLonghi (most recently the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine) that have acted as our go-to small office coffee makers. (I'm a latte-holic myself, 4 to 5 a day, and admitting that is the first step toward recovery I'm told...) I have a tendency to wear them out in 2 to 3 years because they get a lot of use, 5 days a week. But that is to be expected, at least by me, as these really are intended as home-use machines. That being said, this is a fine machine for it's job - which is to keep me in lattes!

It makes very good, tasty shots of espresso for those lattes, steams my 1% milk great with a nice, dense foam, and the regular coffee drinkers are very happy with their full coffees.

Tip: Best way to froth the milk?: swing the frother arm all the way to the left and stack your steamed-milk container with your cold milk in it on top of an empty coffee mug off to the side on the counter. That way your milk container is high enough to just sit there with the wand in it as it steams. You can walk away for a couple of minutes and do something useful. Just don't go too far away and "forget" it's steaming - what a mess! But the frother "froths" really well all by itself, doesn't over-bubble and spill over the side like some past machines have done. Well-designed.

Right out of the box, it made a great-tasting first latte for me. One of the best, actually. I left the grinder on the factory setting, and set the rotating knob to between 1:30 and 2:00 o'clock position (just guessing) and it made both a great double-shot of espresso AND a great-tasting regular coffee on my first two tries (I used the "double" buttons on both the espresso side and coffee side - that'll make more sense once you see the machine and read the instructions).

I've only had it about a month, but so far so really good. The only minor issue is that bean hopper "con" above. It's a bit shallow in slope, so my slightly oily beans (Costco/Kirkland espresso, roasted by Starbucks beans) get stuck sometimes during the grinding portion of the process, and I have to lift the lid and stir them a bit with a spoon to make sure they get down where they need to go - not a huge inconvenience.

I've had a couple of the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnificas DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine mentioned earlier, and they are GREAT machines! (that's the one I have at home for weekend use). I'm hoping this latest DeLonghi for the office lives up to that model's standards. By the way, the model number for replacement water filters is: SER 3017. Google "Water filter SER 3017" though, to find it online, because it doesn't show up on Amazon. And DeLonghi customer service was no help at all via an emailed question about the filter, which should be a concern to them I would imagine. Hey Amazon, how about linking to the company that sells the filter?
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2012
I purchased this machine in July 2012 from a local department store. Following is my original review from August 2012. Scroll to the bottom for updated (and much less positive) feedback.

Original Review:

I purchased an ESAM3300 4 years ago and I love it. I recently moved it to my vacation home, and I purchased a new ECAM22110SB to use in my main home. I have had the new machine about 1 month, and I love it even more than the old one. I purchased my machine locally, so if there were any problems, I could exchange it with no hassles. Fortunately, it performed perfectly right out of the box. I use both machines primarily to make cappuccino, and occasionally to make coffee. I use Peet's beans, which are oily.

Both machines make great tasting espresso and coffee. Note that the coffee is "Americano", i.e. diluted espresso, but it tastes great. Both machines are easy to clean. The milk frothers on both machines are idiot-proof, and work great with 2% milk. However, if you are a barista who likes to make Latte Art, then you should choose a different machine with a traditional steam wand.

The things I like the most about my new ECAM23210B as compared to my old ESAM3300 are:

1) After a break-in of about a week, I got perfect espresso and coffee with the machine left at its default settings. During the first week the results were a bit weak, and I needed to crank up the strength dial. Now I have it back at the middle setting and get perfect results.

2) It is much smaller.

3) It makes much less noise.

4) It has pre-sets for coffee and espresso. The old machine had separate dials for water and ground beans quantities, but required experimentation to figure out where to set them for coffee and espresso. The pre-sets on the new machine are much easier to use.

5) The milk frother is easier to use. The old machine would spit water out of the frother until it heated up, requiring an additional pitcher to catch the water. The new machine emits only steam (unless you specifically request hot water).

6) The beans hopper cover makes a tight seal, keeping the beans fresh longer.

7) Although both machines purge water into the drip tray, the water in the drip tray in the new machine remains clean with no coffee residue. The old machine collected water mixed with coffee in the drip tray, making it harder to clean.

Things I don't like about the new machine are:

1) Oily beans don't feed well into the grinder. I think this is due to the incline of the hopper interior being steeper, and the entry area to the grinder being larger, on the old machine. However, if I manually push the beans into the grinder opening during the grinding cycle, then the new machine grinds perfectly. I haven't tried removing the mushroom cover as suggested by Steve, but that would probably help as well. If you use drier beans than I do, you may not have this problem.

2) When the grounds hopper is full and needs emptying, the new machine usually indicates this when I first turn it on in the morning. The old machine would do this immediately after brewing. When I get up in the morning and I badly need a caffeine fix, the last thing I want to do is clean my machine first.

3) The cover of the drip tray on the new machine is shiny like a mirror, and scratches easily. I prefer the matte finish of the drip tray cover on the old machine.

A note on service: My old ESAM3300 did require service once under the warranty. Fortunately, there was an authorized service center in the city I live in. They were able to repair my machine in 2 days, and then it was as good as new. Many of the reviews for Delonghi espresso machines on Amazon complain about their mail-in service. You might want to check for service availability in your area before purchasing this machine.

In summary, I much prefer the new ECAM22110SB to the old ESAM3300, and I am very happy with my purchase.

Update May 2013:

About a month after I published the above review, I started to have problems with the "ground too fine" error indication coming on. The manual states this is due to the grinder being set to too fine a setting, which prevents water from flowing through the machine. However, I got the error during rinsing and steaming milk, never during brewing. I called Delonghi, and was told this error can come on any time insufficient water is flowing, even when not brewing. There was always plenty of water or steam flowing when the error occurred, so I think the error was being falsely triggered. Delonghi gave me some things to try that didn't help. So I took the machine in for service to my local authorized service center.

They cleaned and adjusted the machine, and it worked fine for a month, then the error reoccurred. This happened 2 more times. The 4th time the error occurred it persisted even after cleaning and adjusting the machine. So the service center replaced the electronics and the pump. It took 2 months for the parts to come in from Delonghi. I was not pleased with the long time to get the parts.

I had high hopes that the problem was really fixed, but two months later I started getting "ground too fine" errors again. By this point I had enough. I persuaded the department store I bought the machine from to take it back and exchange it for a new one. They assured me that if I have problems with the new one, they will take it back for a full refund. They said they have sold hundreds of these machines, and mine was the first to be returned.

I don't know if the original machine was a lemon, or there is something I am doing that sets off the error. I don't see any other reports of my specific problem online anywhere. I really hope the replacement machine works. I love it when it is working. If the replacement machine continues to work, I'll update the review and increase the star rating. Please wish me luck :)

Update June 2014:

The replacement machine works much better, but it has not been problem-free. During the first month it had an intermittent problem where the water flow would stop (although the pump kept operating) during the rinse or brew cycles. This happened just a few times. The machine was then problem free for almost a year. I though the water flow problem was just a break-in issue, however, it reoccurred a few times 2 months ago. The machine has been problem-free since then. I just hope that the machine doesn't fail consistently after the warranty is over.

At this point, I would only recommend this model if you really need the compact size and front-loading water reservoir. If mine fails after the warranty is over, I will try a different brand.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
Bought this machine and right out of the box it was not drawing the beans into the grinder.Tried calling the manufacture and all I got was we can return it for repair.
It's only a day old.So I got on Amazon.com and looked at the reviews and see I am not the only one having this problem.So here is the fix.List off the cover to the bean bin and remove the mushroom cap inside the bean bin where the beans go into the grinder.This can be done by removing two little phillips screws and pulling the mushroom cap up and out of the bean bin.Save this piece just in case you would need warranty work for something else.Now there is no problem with beans feeding into the grinder.My guess is that it's a safety thing so one would not reach in and put there fingers into the grinder.Hope this helps someone else.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
We received this machine about 1.5 months ago. This is my second Delonghi but first compact. Previously we had the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica for 7+ years. So I know what my coffee should taste like and how the machine should operate. From the start this machine had issues. I called customer service and they instructed me to send it in for manufacturer repair. I did. The repair company called and said the problems were a result of product build. The bean hold is too shallow so the beans don't always siphon into the grinder which results in the machine making coffee....with no coffee (watery coffee - yuck). Another issue was the coffee often wasn't hot enough coming out and weak. I was told to reduce the size of the grains to allow the coffee to spend more time going through the boiler. I get the machine back and turn it on. The first cup comes out fine but weak. I adjust the grains as instructed and the machine stops working altogether and red lights flash everywhere. I unplug the machine - adjust grinder to a bigger size and same issue. I have to unplug and plug back in again. Try again and then the bean issue rears its head - watery coffee. After a 4th try of adjusting the grains to the largest size and manually moving the beans into the grinder will it brews coffee. Needless to say a $900 machine that is "automatic" shouldn't require this and as a result - this machine is going back. We may get the magnifica again but to be honest this issue has me questioning the build for all of current DeLonghi machines.

Buyer beware.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I really wanted to like this machine. It was a replacement for a Gaggia Platinum that died on us after a few years. I liked that this machine was more compact and had a front loading water reservoir, and that WAS nice. Sadly, that is where the good stopped. I owned and operated a coffee shop for years and I know how to froth milk. This machine simply would NOT froth. I spent several hours on the phone with a very helpful customer service rep, and we tried everything, up to and including an all new frother wand with o rings, etc., but STILL it would not froth. I have returned it. And yes, I DO know how to froth milk, I've been doing it at home and professionally for 15 years. And if you are a lover of cappucino or "real"macchiato, you know how important the foamed milk is. Nothing can replace it's deep taste or silky texture.

I have noticed a LOT of people commenting about the feeding of "shiny" beans into the hopper and how they do not pass through. Allow me to explain that the shine on the bean is the oil from the inside of the bean that has migrated to the outside of the bean. This means that the volatile coffee oils inside the bean that flavor the coffee do NOT flavor the coffee, but instead float on top of this. This makes for oily, bitter, coffee. A shiny bean is a bitter bean that is overcooked. Despite what everyone thinks because they have been drinking at Starbuck's for years, coffee is not supposed to be bitter. It is supposed to be smooth, not burnt and acrid. Buy a medium roast organic espresso bean that has no shine. You can thank me later.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2014
I purchased this machine, but unfortunately received a defective product that broke after 6 weeks of minimal use. Since we ordered the product through amazon, it was very confusing to figure how to repair/return the espresso machine. Amazon would not accept a return and DeLonghi insisted that they could fix the machine and would not send a replacement. We mailed the broken machine to DeLonghi's repair service about 6 months ago and still have yet to receive it back. There is no news on when it will be fixed or replaced. Initially, DeLonghi claimed the machine was "lost in the mail," but now it is apparently in the repair shop still being fixed. Basically, we spent almost 900$ for a DeLonghi product and have received the nothing in return, except the worst customer "service" of a lifetime and futile hours on the telephone.

Just be careful before you buy DeLonghi products - they will do nothing except take your money and sell you defective goods!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
We bought the first one in time for Thanksgiving. It took us a little while to figure out how to get consistent results, but then discovered IF YOU ARE USING OILY BEANS, (LIKE FROM STARBUCKS), YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BEANS ARE FEEDING INTO THE GRINDER. Using beans that are not totally dry is something the user manual specifically warns against. We love the Starbucks beans, and use the beans anyway, but have noticed that when they are freshly opened, we just need to poke them a bit to get them to feed into the hopper, until, in a few days, they dry out a bit. Over time, your ear will tell you if the beans are sticking a bit on the way into the hopper.

The coffee is AWESOME. It is incredibly easy to use. The reason we bought two more, was at Christmas, we ran it almost continually during the holiday, and several other families got hooked on it, so we gave them one for a gift on their birthdays.

All of us have abandoned our regular coffee makers, and use this machine, exclusively. Once you have had coffee from this machine, nothing else even comes close! My husband drinks espresso, and I drink lattes, so the machine gets an ongoing workout, daily.

We all love the fact that you can adjust darn near everything on this machine to customize exactly how your coffee tastes.

*UPDATE* ALL the fresh beans from several source that we have used so far, are ALL oily when they are freshly poured out of the bag.
*UPDATE* We have removed the finger-guard inside the bean hopper (it was redundant, anyway) and the beans feed through much better.
*UPDATE* The extra coffee makers are living with other families, so different people have liked this machine and its coffee.

We do not even like to drink coffee when we go out to eat nowadays, because nothing else is even half as good as what we can get at home.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2011
I have used other automatic espresso machines and I find this Magnifica to be better for many reasons.
1) settings to control strength, temperature, coffee grind coarseness, auto-off time interval, and cup size
2) small footprint in terms of machine size
3) easy to access the water bin which can slide out partially and be filled while it is in place. Very nice feature considering you add water daily like you do with all machines.
4) machine auto-rinses. Some machines make this an option which is really about maintaining the machine.
5) perfect user interface. Easy to use
6) Great coffee.... Great coffee
7) Excellent frother. Many machines (Jura) don't stack up
8) easy to clean! The brew unit comes out and it doesn't require service at the factory. Look for this feature!
9) by-pass doser option. Many machines have this but not all machines in this price range
10) Decent price range and reputable company
11) Nice looks; It is a value blend of plastic and metal where needed. Sure it could be all metal but that would only drive up cost with little to no benefit.

I am happy with the purchase and I have had this for 4 months at this point.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2013
After a long exhaustive search, we chose this espresso machine to replace our beloved Gaggia, which finally died after years and years of crema perfection. Despite following the start up instructions meticulously, the machine would not operate after powering up. DeLonghi customer service was unhelpful, suggesting we send the unit in for servicing. Returned, and we're ordering a Jura.
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