De’Longhi Magnifica Evo espresso machine review
The De’Longhi Magnifico Evo is a fully automatic espresso machine that prepares a handful of popular coffee drinks with a touch of a button. No grinding beans, no fiddling with tamping, no manually frothing milk. Just choose from the six easy-to-read icons on the top of the machine to make coffee-shop-quality drinks in a blink.
Dubbed "superautomatics" as a category, these pricier, dummy-proof espresso machines take all the guesswork (and some hobbyists may say fun) out of making upscale coffee drinks. But for anyone who is happy to spend less time fussing and more time sipping, it's also a simple way to save tons of cash on trips to your local cafe.
I got the mid-range Magnifico Evo in to test and spent a few weeks making cappuccinos, lattes, Americanos and espressos in my kitchen. At $900, it's still an investment. Yet it's significantly less than the company's more elite Dinamica line of superautomatics, which start at $1,400 with included milk frother and offer up to 18 different drink options to choose from.
But do you need this do-it-all espresso machine in your kitchen or are you happy with shelling out for your Starbucks? Here's what you need to know about the De’Longhi Magnifico Evo before you decide to plunk it on your countertop.
The De'Lhongi Magnifico Evo is a simple-to-operate, mid-range superautomatic coffee maker that can give you cafe-quality drinks with the touch of a single button.
In terms of setup, usage and cleaning, the Magnifico Evo is about as simple as you can get. Once unboxed, there are just a few removable parts, including drip tray, grounds container, water tank and milk frother. Even better, all of those parts come off just as quickly and can either be hand-washed or thrown in the dishwasher. The assembly instructions are clear, and other than pressing the button on the side of the milk canister to fit it on and take it off, everything else is straightforward.
One thing to be aware of is that the machine will perform a preheat and rinse cycle every time it's turned on and an automatic rinse cycle before it shuts down. The milk canister also gets a quick flush of hot water to clear the inner pipe of any residue after you use it.
Once it's assembled, you can mess around with some of the customizable features. Inside the hopper you’ll find a dial on the built-in conical burr grinder to adjust the coarseness of your grind, and you can choose how strong you’d like your brew using the three different sized beans in the center of the main panel. In case you run out of beans, you’ll also find a measuring spoon icon, which will let you use already-ground coffee for a single drink.
Again, if you want your coffee drinks quick and easy, the Magnifico Evo is your gateway to everything from strong espressos to frothy cappuccinos to iced coffee to boiling water for your tea. There are five drink icons in all and if you decide on either the cappuccino or latte macchiato, you’ll not only have to add your beans and press the button, but also attach the included milk frother.
The sixth icon is the "My Latte" button, which lets you customize an exact-sized pour to fit your favorite cup, mug or tumbler. Just press and hold the button of your desired drink until you’re happy with the pour and it will save for future beverages.
As mentioned, the frother just pops on with a press of a button on its side and it's easy to fill and seal by just slightly screwing the top on. But my favorite part of adding the milk component was that apart from choosing what kind you’re craving (Oat? Almond? Rice?) you can also decide exactly how much you want in your drink. Yes, there is a graduated scale on the container to guide you to proper milk usage for each drink. But you can also free-pour and the machine will automatically stop frothing when it senses the milk is finished.
But how does it taste? For the most part, I was happy with 90% of my drinks. Both cappuccinos and lattes were smooth and airy, and tasted as good as some of my pricey cafe purchases. Add the ability to cut down on milk if I wanted to feel less full and I was thrilled. Similarly, I was able to coax out a balanced espresso with appropriate crema — which was duly strong and flavorful, though not quite up to, say, what I got on my last Italian holiday.
Yes, making drinks was a cinch. But when it's time to access other features, like changing the water softener filter or descaling the machine, you’ll have to keep the manual handy to figure out the exact buttons to push within the settings menu. For instance, coffee maker icon + first bean icon = descale. I happened to misplace the paper manual and it took an email to my contact at De’Longhi to get an English version sent over (for some reason, I could only find international versions online). I wish there were a few more dedicated settings for basics like this.
As mentioned, I was quite happy with the strength and taste of the espresso and milk drinks, but when I poured a plain old Americano at the highest strength bean setting (that's a shot of espresso and hot water that best mimics drip coffee), it was plainly weaker. I even tried using the iced coffee setting, hoping it would be more concentrated, and though that helped, I wasn't fully satisfied. Not a deal breaker, but something to acknowledge.
Our pick for best supersutomatic espresso machine, the Philips 3200 LatteGo, is more compact than the Magnifico Evo and retails for $800. The milk frother produced stellar results, but our reviewers found it was easy to overfill and often leaked.
De’Longhi's step-up in the superautomatic category is the Dinamica ($1,400) and includes all those dedicated buttons to better guide you through its features. It also has an extensive list of espresso drinks to choose from, including flat white and ristretto.
If you’re looking to spend a little less on these no-fuss no-muss machines, the Gaggia Brera is a solid budget pick. Coming in at less than $500 ($485) it offers fewer drink choices and just a wand to froth your milk.
The De’Longhi Magnifico Evo is a mid-range superautomatic espresso machine that checks most boxes for those who don't have the time or energy to tinker with pulling the perfect shot. It is simple to set up and to use, and I found it to yield coffeeshop results in most drinks. However, if you primarily drink standard coffee, it may not be worth the price.
I appreciate how easy it is to froth the milk and to customize your drink size to everyone's exact liking. And though I would have liked a more straightforward control panel for some of the features, I admit to using the Magnifico Evo multiple times throughout the day — which also saves me gobs of money.
If you’re ready to join the superautomatic revolution (and stop wrestling with a more complicated machine), the Magnifico Evo is a perfect place to start and a solid investment.