If you are in the market for an espresso machine, De’Longhi is name you’ve probably already encountered. They have an entire history in producing espresso machines, but are all its products up to their reputation? In this De’Longhi ECP3420 review I’m going to find out if there’s any quality behind that affordable price, and above all, if it’s worth your money.
I’ve been using espresso machines for many years now, and I can say with a certain amount of conviction that I know a thing or two about these products. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, necessarily, because I think there’s always more to learn. I also think my opinion counts for more in this field than that of a random person on the street.
The first thing that caught my eye about the De’Longhi ECP3420 is its price tag. Priced at under $200, I had real concerns that this was too good to be true. I had prior experience with De’Longhi espresso machines and I was very pleased with the level of quality they offered. But they weren’t anywhere near this one, price-wise. So I decided to take a closer look, and write my findings in this De’Longhi ECP3420 review so that you know exactly what to expect if you decide to buy one.
If you click the button above you will be redirected to Amazon.com. In case you then decide to buy anything, Amazon.com will pay me a commission. This doesn’t affect the honesty of this review in any way though.
Table of Contents
- 1 De’Longhi ECP3420 Specifications
- 2 Key Features
- 3 Pros
- 4 Cons
- 5 Accessories that can enhance your experience
- 6 Is the De’Longhi ECP3420 the right espresso machine for you?
- 7 Conclusion
De’Longhi ECP3420 Specifications
|Size||11.9″H x 9.6″W x 7.2″D|
|Brewing Pressure||15 bars|
|Machine Type||Pump espresso machine|
|Reservoir Capacity||37 oz.|
|Boiler Material||Stainless Steel|
|Drip Tray Height||Adjustable|
|Milf Frothing Capabilities||Built-in Steam Wand|
Stainless steel boiler
One of the most important features of espresso machines is their durability. You don’t want to be looking for another one in a couple of months. The stainless steel boiler of this espresso machine will definitely not be the one to give way first.
Removable water reservoir
The water reservoir of the De’Longhi ECP3420 has two great advantages. The first one, the obvious one is its size. At 37 ounces, it’s a nice size for the price range of this espresso machine. Usually, espresso machines with bigger water tanks tend to be priced higher. But this one is a nice value for money. The second advantage of the reservoir is that it’s removable. This means that you can clean the machine easier when needed.
Adjustable tray height
When you buy an espresso machine, you should take your future coffee needs into consideration and choose accordingly. Part of this judgment should include the types of coffee beverages you will make often. If you prefer espressos most of the times, then this feature is not that important, because every machine can fit a small espresso cup. But, if you like to diversify your hot beverages, then an adjustable tray is a nice feature because you can fit different cup types and sizes.
Adjustable milk spout
In the same point I made above, I can also mention the adjustable milk spout as a useful feature, for mostly the same reasons. You can fit any type and size of mug, and you can even direct the milk spout towards the drip tray so that if you’re not the most skillful barista, you have the drip tray as a safe net, so you don’t have to clean up too much.
The built in cup warmer has two functions that are very convenient. First, you can warm up your cups before pouring the coffee into them so that they don’t cool down your coffee starting the moment you pour it. Second, if you like to take a sip from time to time versus drinking it in a couple of minutes, then you can place your cup on the cup warmer and keep it hot for longer. Again, a great feature considering the low price range the De’Longhi ECP3420 sells for.
Great value for your money – One of the greatest advantages of the De’Longhi ECP3420, by far, is the value you get for the price you pay. At under $200 there are not many espresso machines that offer as many features as this espresso machine. It has strong fundamentals, and there’s no need to overspend on functionalities that you’re probably not going to need as a beginner barista.
Ease of use – Using this machine is pretty straightforward. According to my opinion, the simpler to use the better. If you search for an espresso machine that you can plug in an start using without having to read the instructions manual for half a day, then this might be a winner.
Easy maintenance – Because the De’Longhi ECP3420 has many parts that can be taken out and cleaned separately, the entire cleaning and descaling process is pretty easy altogether.
Compact size – Is counter space very valuable to you? Do you think a lot about how to maximize counter space? With its compact dimensions, the De’Longhi ECP3420 is the ideal addition to most kitchens out there, at least size-wise. With its small footprint, it can find its place on any counter.
Can be used with multiple cup sizes – A feature that is very helpful if you like to make larger coffees or coffee beverages, the adjustable tray height lets you fit any type of mug under the nozzle. The maximum setting surely exceeds any mug or cup.
Two espresso shots at the same time – Are you usually in a rush before leaving your home in the morning to get to work? If your answer is yes, then you surely appreciate that the ECP3420 is capable of making two espressos at the same time. This way, you can win precious minutes that can lift some of the pressure off of your morning routine.
Two thermostats – Being a machine for beginners in the art of the espresso, there are not many things that you can adjust and play around with. But, there are two different thermostats, giving you the ability to adjust the steam and water pressure distinctly.
Milk frothier doesn’t rise to the hype expectations – Although some owners of this machine are very pleased with the froth this machine produces, I think there’s still room for improvement. It does what it’s supposed to do, but I’ve seen better. Then again, I remind myself that this is a lower priced espresso maker.
Start up time could be shorter – This is a common thing with espresso machines. They need a certain amount of time, from the moment you start them until they are ready to brew. With the ECP3420, it takes somewhere towards eight to ten minutes to brew the best quality espresso. It doesn’t seem that long, but in some families every minute counts in the morning before going to work. So, don’t forget to start your espresso machine in time so that you can avoid waiting around for it to warm up properly.
Lack of built-in grinder – If you switch from an espresso machine with a built-in grinder, you’re probably going to be annoyed by the lack of that feature on the ECP3420. I personally don’t think it’s such a big issue, but for you it could very well be a deciding factor. Truth is that there’s a larger variety if you buy your coffee as beans and you also end up paying less for the same amount of coffee. If that’s your case, then you’ll need a separate coffee grinder if you don’t already have one.
Reduced brewing capacity – The De’Longhi ECP3420 is designed to be used mainly by 2 people. Because the water tank can only hold four to five cups of coffee worth of water, you’re going to have to add water to the tank more often than you would consider convenient.
Accessories that can enhance your experience
Pitcher – Because this espresso machine has a built-in milk frother, you’ll need a pitcher in order to to use this capability to its fullest potential.
Grinder – As I mentioned earlier, you’ll have to buy a separate coffee grinder if you want to grind your coffee fresh before brewing.
Is the De’Longhi ECP3420 the right espresso machine for you?
Who it’s for / Who it’s not for and why
The De’Longhi ECP3420 is a very good choice for certain people, and a not that good choice for others. Depending on your particular situation, this might be the espresso maker for you. Some of these situations are:
- You don’t want to spend too much on an espresso machine/ coffee maker. If you have a limited budget, the De’Longhi ECP3420 is one of the good choices you can make. It has everything an inexperienced coffee drinker looks for, at an affordable price.
- You’re a beginner in coffee brewing. If you are at the start of your coffee making journey, this machine is simple enough in its processes in order to make brewing coffee a pleasant experience. There is little to no learning curve before being able to make coffee with this machine.
- You lack counter space. If space is at a premium in your kitchen, this might be a very good choice. It’s a compact espresso machine that even has a frothier built-in, and uses up as little space as physically possible for the features it offers.
- You lack time. If you’re always in a hurry, especially in the morning, but can’t leave the house without drinking your favorite hot beverage, then the ECP3420 can be the solution in your situation. It takes a while for it to reach the optimal brewing temperature, but then it can easily brew a few coffee cups back to back.
On the other hand, this is definitely not the espresso machine for you if:
- You need an espresso machine for the office or any type of commercial use in which you would make multiple rounds one after another. It is perfectly capable of making multiple espressos, but the water reservoir is not very large, so you’d have to deal with the inconvenience of topping up water more often.
- You prefer coffee drinks with milk froth. If you drink espresso most of the times, and a cappuccino now and then, then this is not going to be a problem for you. But, because the milk frother is not the highest quality, it might be an inconvenience if you mostly prefer milk based coffee drinks.
- You are an advanced coffee brewer. If you are a beginner in the art of coffee, and just want a machine that can cover your morning needs, this is a very good value for money choice. But, on the other hand, if you want more options, then you might want to look at a completely different espresso machine.
- You prefer grinding your coffee fresh. Actually, you could buy a separate coffee grinder. But if you don’t want to spend extra for that, but still prefer freshly ground coffee, then this might not be the best option.
After analyzing the De’Longhi ECP3420, it’s time to reach a conclusion and decide whether it’s a good option or not. If you are someone who wants consistent good espresso, need something for home use and don’t look to overspend for extra features, then this might be a very good semi-automatic option for you. But if you want a higher end machine, that gives you multiple beverage options and maybe comes with a built-in grinder, then you should be looking at fully automatic espresso machines. But keep in mind that the price goes up exponentially. So, it all comes down to your specific needs.