Inexpensive Up Front But Consider The Total Cost of Ownership
Our Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 review is part of our Delonghi Magnifica Buyer’s Guide which you can check out for more reviews and a summary.
The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 is a super automatic espresso maker that should be considered an entry level in that category. For the price, you get a solid entry level machine. It is easy to understand why it is a Amazon’s Choice product, with over 1270 reviews averaging four stars and sells for about $489. But, it is best for limited use and you should consider your total cost of ownership before buying.
That’s why we gave this Magnifica a tentative ‘buy’ rating and suggest you consider upgrading to a higher class of model or look at the Gaggia Brera, which came in #18 on our 2020 list of the Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines.
Simple To Learn and To Use
The ESAM3300 includes DeLonghi’s easy-to-use rotary and push button control panel with programmable menu settings
The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 has some simple programmability, limited adjustments, basic automation, solid coffee brewing and adequate milk steaming and frothing.
Good At Everything
Great At Nothing
Magnifica ESAM 3300
It brews one or two cups. The brewing is ok and for most types of beans it brews good tasting espresso. It comes pre-programmed with only five drink settings – espresso, cappuccino, latte, hot water and Americano.
One of the real questions is do you plan to make this a substitute for going out to coffee shops? If you are going to have daily espressos and especially if you have multiple daily milk-based espresso drinks you should consider a different product. It isn’t the best of anything, but you can make solid drinks out of it. But if you will go to a coffee shop because the quality is better, or it is more convenient than using this then consider going a different route.
What’s The Real Cost of A Daily Espresso Drink?
The most expensive thing in espresso drinks is not the machine and it isn’t the coffee it is buying the drinks retail at a coffee shop. A daily $5 drink at Starbucks is over $9,000 over 5 years. Yet, people balk at spending $900 to $1500 on a true super automatic because they think it is too expensive.
A better, true super automatic provides one button, simple, consistent high quality, often better than a barista will provide. Just the milk preparation and cleanup of a machine like this is enough to dissuade get many people considering hitting a drive through instead.
The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 has less automation than most systems. So, it has an autoshut off but no auto on feature. It also doesn’t indicate when the system needs to be cleaned.
The ESAM3300 takes about 75 seconds to heat where many other machines, like the ECAM22110SB, heats up in 60 seconds.
The basic espresso brewing of the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 is will make solid enough drinks if you are not much of an aficionado or don’t want to get experiment too much with your choice of beans or settings.
It does have a 15bar pump which is what more expensive machines have. And it will brew two cups simultaneously. However, it has only a single Thermoblock to heat both water and milk.
And, while it is fast, you cannot expect to make several espresso drinks, and especially brew several drinks and froth milk quickly and to maintain consistently high water temperature.
The ESAM3300’s has a better grinder than I would expect given the rest of the machine. And, it does have 13 settings which is more than I would expect at this price range. I think they may have simply used the same grinder across several Magnifica models as part of their “Direct-to-Brew” products.
The ESAM3300 does not come with The De’Longhi LatteCrema System which is their system for competing against the better super automatics like you see from JURA or Gaggia. DeLonghi calls their manual steam wand the “Cappuccino System.” It produces adequate temperature and steam for making good foam but it never seems to rise to the level of true microfoam.
Maintenance & Cleaning
Like any other appliance there are espresso machines you use until they wear out and then discard. And, there are machines you can use for a decade or much longer.
We really don’t think machine of this level is intended to be maintained by the owner. Cleaning isn’t as easy as it is with other machines either. This feels like a nice machine you should get several years use out of and then replace.
Consider that when making a choice because a top quality machine looks better, is easier to use and clean, makes better drinks and, we believe will last a lot longer too.
Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 Review
If you are a specific kind of espresso drinking, making occasional espresso drinks and don’t mind a more manual setup and cleanup and if you don’t have very high standards this is a fine machine.
If there is any hope that by using this daily you will skip a trip to the coffee shop then you will be better off in every way, including quality, ease of use and long-term total cost of ownership, in upgrading. For some suggestions, especially the Gaggia Cadorna line or the Brera, check out our list of the 20 Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines.
Magnifica ESAM Specifications
- 11.0 x 15.3 x 14.4
- 23.2 pounds
- 8.8 oz bean capacity
- 14 Puck spent grounds
- 60 oz water tank
- 5 pre-programmed drink choices – espresso, cappuccino, latte, water and Americano
- Takes about 75 seconds to heat vs the ECAM22110SB heats up in 60 seconds