Delonghi Dedica EC680M review
The Delonghi Dedica EC680M costs less than 300 dollar. In my review and test of this Delonghi espresso machine you will find out whether this is the right choice for you.
An espresso machine in this price range: will it be okay? Should you not invest more?
A super automatic can easily cost more than 600 dollar, which is not the case with espresso machines.
Espresso machines in this price range, such as the Delonghi EC680M, do not have a grinder.
You have to buy a separate grinder, which reduces the price of the machine. A separate grinder costs between 20 and 300 dollar.
The Delonghi Dedica is a top-class espresso machine for beginners. If you have little experience with making espresso this is the best choice.
Curious about what this barista coffee machine can do? Then be sure to read more in this Delonghi Dedica review!
Delonghi Dedica EC680M: specifications, models and features
The Delonghi Dedica Style is the most popular choice for making good espresso for beginners. It is a good small espresso machine so it will fit anywhere.
Serial numbers, colors and difference with EC785 & EC885
Delonghi coffee machines generally have different serial numbers. With this model it’s simple: ‘EC680’ is the model, followed by the color indicated by a letter.
The one I am testing is the De’Longhi Dedica EC680.M, the silver and most popular variant, there are also:
- The red variant with code EC680.R
- Black with model number EC680.BK
- And the white variant is EC680.W
There are also other versions of this Delonghi Dedica EC version:
- Delonghi Dedica Arte EC785 : a “new” model: only two extra accessories are added: a tamper and milk jug. For the rest, the EC685 and EC785 do not differ.
- Dedica EC885 vs EC680 (and EC785): the 685 and 785 have an automatic steam wand, while the EC885 has a manual steam wand (more work, requires experience).
The features and specifications
The Delonghi Dedica has a 1 liter water reservoir. This is enough for daily use up to 5-6 cups of coffee per day. A smaller reservoir is often better, because then you use fresher water than with a large reservoir.
15 bar pump pressure seems like a lot: a professional espresso machine? No not really.
To make a good espresso you need 9 bar of pressure. 15 bar is what the machine can do in theory, not what is used when making an espresso.
In addition, the pressure is simulated in the double-walled filter holder when brewing the coffee instead of the pressure being built up evenly.
So don’t be blinded by the pump pressure of a coffee machine!
It is a perfect machine for beginners. With the Delonghi Dedica you can make a delicious espresso, cappuccino or latte. You can also make two espressos at the same time.
The steam wand is useful, because only by setting the slider to “cappuccino” and then turning on the steam wand, the automatic steam wand will froth the milk.
With the thermoblock heating system, the machine quickly reaches the right temperature: you can make an espresso within 22 seconds after starting.
The temperature setting can be adjusted in 3 levels. The amount of water – in milliliters – can also be adjusted, which is a major advantage because this way you drink the amount of coffee you want instead of a ‘too small’ espresso.
The water quantity can often be adjusted in steps, but De’Longhi has taken a clever approach here by setting it per milliliter.
Is the included tamper good?
A tamper is included with this Dedica. Well, a plastic tamper with a scoop on the end:
As you can see in the photo, it is very bendable. Since the coffee has to be tamped with 15 kg of force, this is not very convenient.
That is why you need to buy a De’Longhi tamper separately. My advice: do that, because the supplied one is not really a good tamper.
A milk jug and whipping container are also missing from the Dedica box. A number of tools that still have to be ordered separately.
This will increase the ease of use of the machine, because you can easily froth the milk in the jug and empty the coffee puck into the knock box.
Setting up Delonghi Dedica EC685: my experiences + settings
Setting up the Delonghi Dedica EC685 is extremely easy. There are mainly two settings: water quantity and water temperature.
However, it does take a little more work to make an espresso with the Delonghi Dedica EC685 than with a super automatic coffee maker .
First you grind the coffee beans in a coffee grinder. This is not included and you must purchase it yourself. This is often more expensive than the espresso machine itself.
Don’t have a coffee grinder yet? Then I recommend the Graef CM800: the best for beginners and not terribly expensive.
In the beginning it will take some time to find the correct grinding degree settings on the coffee grinder. But that is no different with a fully automatic machine. You have to configure a lot more there!
Consider the amount of ground coffee, amount of water, grinding degree and coffee temperature. Setting up this Dedica is easier. I’ll explain!
Set water temperature
Set the water temperature by pressing the steam button on the front of the Delonghi Dedica for 10 seconds. The lights will flash, now press the button for one espresso to set the temperature.
As mentioned earlier, there are three water temperature settings. These are indicated by the three lights.
The 3 settings are: too cold, immediately drinkable and relatively hot.
The first setting is really too cold for a good espresso, the second is also immediately drinkable and not optimal, the last option is the best.
By default, the temperature is set to the second stage, so it is smart to adjust this immediately. So press the steam button to set the temperature to 3.
Set water quantity
Setting the water quantity is extremely easy. Make an espresso as you always do, only instead of pressing and releasing the button, you hold it down.
The machine brews coffee until you release the button. The machine then stores your chosen amount of water for next time.
This can be set for either one or two espressos.
Please note that the amount of water affects the taste of your coffee. If too much hot water is forced through the ground coffee, the coffee will burn.
This can make the espresso bitter. So pay close attention to the amount of ground coffee, force when tamping and also the amount of water. Not too much, okay?
Quality test: espresso and milk foam from Delonghi Dedica
The Delonghi Dedica is the best for anyone who wants to start making coffee with an espresso machine. Below I test the quality of the espresso and the milk foam.
Making an espresso is not difficult and the result is good.
Especially for a machine in this price range under 200 dollar, the crema is good and the temperature could be hotter, but it is not disappointing.
During the process, the coffee will lose some temperature.
When the coffee falls into the cup, when the water runs through the pipes, etc.
You can reduce this by preheating the cup with the warming plate on the machine. This heats up really well, so it certainly helps to place cups on it.
To limit the possibility of cooling, it is smart to put a little hot water in the cup beforehand. Then throw it away just before you make the espresso.
Making a good espresso involves a lot more.
It depends on which coffee grinder you use, how the coffee is ground (which grinding degree) and with what pressure the ground coffee is tamped.
If you do this consistently with the same settings, you will enjoy a delicious espresso every time.
Is it not possible to do it exactly the same, or do you expressly grind it a little finer or a little harder? Then the coffee will taste slightly different.
Are you not getting a nice espresso from the Delonghi Dedica?
That’s not the fault of the machine. Play with the grind size, amount of coffee and amount of water.
Do you have a coffee grinder with 40 grind settings and do you choose grind setting 1, for example? Then the coffee is ground much too finely.
There are many factors that could be responsible for, for example, no crema on the espresso.
Is it really not working? Leave a comment below and I’ll try to help you.
Milk foam quality
Making milk foam with the Delonghi Dedica is extremely simple. Put milk in the milk carafe, set the steam wand to the “cappuccino” setting and click on the ‘steam’ button.
However, the boiler still needs to heat up. The perfect temperature for milk foam is about 200 Fahrenheit, while for coffee it is 150 Fahrenheit.
When you click on the steam button, the machine will start to heat up. As soon as the light stops flashing, the machine is warm.
Now place the steam pipe in the milk jug that you filled with milk while heating up. Make sure the black nozzle is in the milk and not above it!
There is a rotary knob on the side of the Delonghi EC680M. Now turn it to ‘steam’ and the milk foam will be made.
As soon as your milk jug gets hot, the milk foam is good.
There are also milk jugs with a temperature gauge, but the trick is: as soon as the milk jug becomes hot, the milk foam is ready.
Then rinse or flush the steam wand by briefly flushing it. Then clean the steam pipe with a dry cloth and you’re done.
First milk foam, then espresso
For a cappuccino or latte, first make milk froth, then make espresso.
I just told you that an espresso is brewed perfectly at 150 Fahrenheit and milk froth at a much higher temperature.
So the kettle is still too hot after making milk foam. To do this, it must cool down, only then will the milk foam become cold.
So we have to speed up the process, and there is a trick for that too.
Once you have finished cleaning the steam wand, let the machine run for a few seconds without the portafilter in place. Note: place a container underneath!
Do this until no more steam comes out of the machine. This causes the machine to cool down much faster.
Wait a few more seconds (about 30), just enough to fill the portafilter with freshly ground coffee and insert it into the holder.
Brew an espresso and your homemade cappuccino like a real barista is ready!
Cleaning Delonghi Dedica: simple, but necessary
Cleaning is an important part of using an espresso machine. Luckily, cleaning the Delonghi Dedica is easy.
Included is a descaling kit: the ECODECALK mini. A water filter is not possible with this model, so you will have to descale it.
The manual contains an overview of water hardness per category, so that you can set the Delonghi espresso machine to the water hardness in your region
The machine then indicates when the device needs to be descaled via an orange light under the steam icon.
When this happens, put the descaler in the water reservoir and let the machine run. To do this, follow the instructions in the manual.
Some things need to be cleaned. The drip tray, coffee filters, kettle nozzle, water reservoir and steam wand.
Fortunately, this does not have to happen every day. Most of them do, namely the drip tray, coffee filters, water reservoir and the steam wand.
Empty the water reservoir every day after the last use and rinse it clean before use. Clean it a few times a week with warm water.
You empty the drip tray every day. You clean this with warm water and soap to prevent deposits from forming on the drip tray.
Cleaning coffee filters is important. Before making an espresso, check that there are no coffee residues left behind. Also clean the filters once a week with warm water and soap.
Before making coffee, check that the hole in the filter basket is not clogged. If this hole is blocked by a grain of coffee, the machine will not make coffee.
As soon as the portafilter holder is loosened from the machine, the water and coffee spurt out because the pressure has nowhere to go. Irritating, so check carefully whether the filter holder is not clogged.
Conclusion Delonghi Dedica EC680M review
In conclusion, the Delonghi Dedica EC680M review is scored with a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, because of the cheap price in combination with the great ease of use.
In short, the Dedica EC680 is a perfect espresso machine for beginners.
Because the temperature of the coffee is good and the milk foam is very simple to prepare, anyone can get started with it.
Are you making coffee with an espresso machine for the first time? Then don’t forget to buy a coffee grinder.
Delonghi is cheating a bit due to the double-walled filters. The pressure is built up in the filter carrier. This works well because the espressos are really good.
For another espresso machine for beginners, slightly more advanced with single-walled filters, I would like to refer you to my Breville espresso machine comparison guide.
You don’t often come across barista machines under 300 dollar that consistently make good coffee.
The automatic milk frother makes it easy to use and I can highly recommend this Delonghi Dedica.