This is my Delonghi Dedica EC680M review.
I own the Delonghi ESAM 3300, so I have some experience with this manufacturer and their products.
I also spent a whole day researching this machine online to put together this review.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Delonghi EC680M (Quick Verdict)?
I would only recommend buying the Delonghi Dedica EC680M if you have such limited countertop space that purchasing the slimmest possible espresso machine is your highest priority.
The EC680M is one of the most compact espresso machines available, however, its steam wand has a tendency to overheat after about 20 seconds of use. This means it is not a good machine to make milk-based drinks with.
If you want a similarly priced machine with a better steam wand, then I would recommend you buy the Delonghi ECP3630.
The ECP3630’s steam wand can steam milk for much longer than the EC680M without overheating.
It also has two steam wand settings, one for frothing milk and one for just heating milk. This allows you to make latte-style drinks as well as cappuccino-style drinks.
The ECP3630 is bigger than the EC680M, but only marginally so.
Delonghi Dedica EC680M: Key Features and Specifications
The Delonghi Dedica EC680M is an automatic espresso machine.
This means that you need to load up the machine with ground coffee using a portafilter.
The machine doses the water for your espresso automatically. Just press a button corresponding to the size of drink that you want (either a single or double espresso) and the machine will start and stop the brew automatically.
The EC680M also has a steam wand, allowing you to froth milk. It does not, however, have a built-in grinder.
Below is a table showing the key features and specifications of the Delonghi EC680M:
|Specification||Delonghi Dedica EC680M|
|Type of espresso machine||Automatic|
|Dimensions (width x depth x height)||5.9″ x 13″ x 12″|
|Drink options||Espresso, Double espresso|
|Milk wand||Yes – Pannarello style|
|Milk wand settings||1 setting: frothed milk|
|Pump Pressure||15 Bar|
|Heat up time||30 seconds (approx)|
|Water tank size||38 oz|
|Maximum cup clearance (drip tray removed)||3.5 inches (5 inches)|
|Buy on Amazon||Check the latest price|
I am now going to assess the Delonghi Dedica EC680M across four criteria:
- Quality of Drinks
- Ease of Use
- Design and Build Quality
- Value for Money
Quality of Drinks
The EC680M makes decent quality, but not amazing, espresso. The machine sacrifices some coffee quality to be as easy to use as possible.
Quality of Espresso
The EC680M can make a consistently good, but never great, espresso.
The machine uses a pressurised portafilter.
While this makes it easier to pull consistent quality espresso shots (especially with a cheaper grinder) it does put a ceiling on how good an espresso you can make with the machine.
Espressos made with a pressurised portafilter are more watery and weaker in flavor than ones made with non-pressurised portafilters.
Despite this ceiling on espresso quality, I still think that the EC680M’s use of a pressurised portafilter makes it a suitable machine for someone who is not experienced with making espresso and who does not want to also invest $100+ in a high-quality burr grinder.
Machines with pressurised portafilters still make a decent espresso even with coarser or unevenly ground coffee (cheaper grinders typically grind coffee like this).
Machines that use non-pressurised portafilters will clog up or produce very sharp espresso when used with the coffee grounds in this way.
Quality of Milk-Based Drinks
Much like how it makes espresso, the EC680M puts a ceiling on how well it froths milk in order to make it as easy to use as possible.
The machine uses a Pannarello steam wand. A Pannarello wand is where the wand itself is surrounded by an outer tube that helps pump more air into the milk.
This allows you to froth milk more easily but prevents you from making the finer milk foam associated with coffee shop lattes. This finer milk foam is generally seen as more desirable than foam with larger bubbles.
Unlike Delonghi machines that are labelled as having a “premium frother”, the EC680M’s frother only has one setting that will froth the milk with large bubbles to create the thicker foam that you generally associate with a cappuccino.
In short, the EC680M’s steam wand is easy to use and does the job, but is hardly great.
Quality of Drinks Rating: 6/10
Ease of Use
It is very easy to make an espresso with this machine. Unfortunately, it is hard to make milk-based drinks with this machine because its steam wand often overheats faster than you can froth a small portion of milk.
Ease of Making Espresso
Making a coffee with the Delonghi EC680M is very easy so long as you either have a grinder or use pre-ground coffee.
All you need to do is load up the portafilter with your coffee, tamp it down (the machine comes with a tamper – albeit a terrible plastic one), attach it to the machine and select either a single espresso or double espresso from the button control panel at the top of the machine.
Since the machine uses a pressurised portafilter, you do not need to worry too much about how fine or evenly ground the coffee that you use is with this machine.
Pre-ground coffee or coffee ground with a cheap grinder will work just fine.
This is not the case with machines that use a non-pressurised portafilter.
With those types of machines, you need to be much more careful about getting your grind size and evenness correct or the espresso will come out very sharp or even jam up in your portafilter.
Again, this is something that you do not have to worry about with the Delonghi Dedica EC680M.
Ease of Making Milk-Based Drinks
While the Delonghi EC680M uses a Pannarello steam wand in an attempt to make frothing milk easy, the fact that its steam wand cannot froth milk for more than 20 seconds at a time actually makes frothing milk a pain.
The machine has a tendency to overheat when frothing milk for more than around 20 seconds.
While it does not do this every time you try to froth milk, it does do it quite often. You can see an example of this happening in the video below:
Although this doesn’t make frothing milk difficult from a technical standpoint, it does make it annoying to do. It is particularly problematic if you want to make several cups of milky espresso.
I would avoid the Delonghi ECP680 if you want to mainly make milk-based coffees with your machine.
Ease of Cleaning
The Delonghi Dedica EC680M is easy to clean since all of its parts that come into direct contact with coffee, milk or water are removable. The table below shows which of these parts are dishwasher safe:
|Component||Is It Dishwasher Safe?|
The machine has a descaling mode which makes descaling easy. Just fill up the machine with a descaling solution and put it into descaling mode and the machine will descale itself.
You can find out how to put the machine into descale mode in its instruction manual.
I really like the fact that the Delonghi EC680M tells you when it needs descaling. It does this by having its steam button flash orange.
If you use a machine when it needs to be descaled, then this can permanently damage it.
The EC680M’s descale warning light can therefore significantly add to the longevity of the machine.
Ease of Use Rating: 9/10 if you exclude the milk frother, 6/10 if you include the milk frother.
Design and Build Quality
The Delonghi Dedica EC680M has a high external build quality but its internal build quality is lacking in some areas.
External Build Quality
The EC680M is a very slim, compact machine. I doubt you will be able to find an espresso machine this small that can make a coffee as well as this one.
The outside of the machine is made of metal. This compares favourably against many of Delonghi’s other affordable espresso machines that do little to hide how much plastic is used in them
It is certainly one of the more aesthetically pleasing espresso machines that Delonghi has to offer.
The machine has a 3.5-inch cup clearance between its portafilter and drip tray. This expands to 5 inches when its drip tray is removed.
This means that you have the vertical clearance to use most coffee cups with this machine (not travel mugs though).
The only weak point of this machine as far as its external build quality is concerned is its portafilter.
The portafilter’s handle is attached to its metal basket with glue.
This is a problem because the metal basket gets very hot when it’s brewing. This can melt the glue and, over time, cause the basket to detach from the handle.
There are several reviews on Amazon that complain of this happening.
Internal Build Quality
I struggled to find any reports of the Delonghi Dedica EC680M’s pump or heating system outright failing. This suggests that its internal build quality is good.
One feature that the Delonghi EC680M has over cheaper Delonghi Espresso machines is that it uses a thermoblock heating system.
This means that the water used in your espresso is heated just at the point that it makes contact with the ground coffee. This ensures an ideal brewing temperature for espresso of 200 Fahrenheit for every coffee that you make.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the machine does have a tendency to overheat when it froths milk for more than 20 seconds. This is a major flaw with the machine, making it really quite a bad option for milk-based drinks
The machine is also really noisy when it warms up.
My Delonghi ESAM 3300 has a similar problem, and it is so loud that I don’t feel comfortable using it when anyone else in my house might be sleeping. This is obviously less than ideal for a machine that you will likely use first thing in the morning.
Any Known Technical Issues?
Aside from the milk frother causing the machine to overheat, I also managed to find several similar reports online of the machine leaking.
The machine has a tendency to leak from two places. These are from its group head (where the portafilter attaches) and from its water tank valve (where the water tank attaches to the main body of the machine).
You can find a video of the Delonghi EC680M leaking from its group head here.
A couple of users of the machine online claim that the machine only leaks from its valve if you fill up its water tank while it is still attached to the machine. If you remove the machine’s water tank to fill it directly at the sink, then the leaking does not occur.
Please bear in mind that these reports only make up a very small percentage of all the reviews of this machine online. It’s high average rating on Amazon suggests that it is, for the most part, a very reliable machine.
Design and Build Quality Rating: 7/10
Value For Money
I think that the Delonghi Dedica EC680M offers fairly poor value for money. Considering how much the machine costs, I think it should have a better milk frother.
The Delonghi EC680M is one of the most expensive Delonghi espresso machines that have a basic milk frother. A machine with this price tag should not overheat as easily as the EC680M does.
Unless limited countertop space is a big concern of yours, I would rather pay slightly more (typically less than 10% more) to get a machine with a better milk frother.
The Delonghi ECP3630 is an example of a similarly priced espresso machine with a better milk frother. I think that this offers much better value for money than the EC680M because of its better milk frothing capabilities.
Value For Money Rating: 4/10
What Users Say
As of September 2022, the Delonghi Dedica EC680M has been reviewed on Amazon 3,360 times and has an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5.
Positive reviews of the machine often mention its slim, compact and elegant design:
Amazon review, April 2022: “This is a very easy to use and to program ESE espresso machine. The design is very slim, so it fits easily in small spaces, and also very elegant. The espresso is very good, provided the pods or coffee grounds used are high quality.”
Negative reviews of the machine say that its steam wand has a tendency to overheat before it finishes steaming: Amazon review, January 2020: “I began making my first latte by frothing milk and the steam seemed very powerful but it just randomly quit steaming mid-froth. The left and middle cup lights began blinking [this happens when the machine overheats]. I thought maybe it was just heating up again, but the steam function would not turn back on, so I waited for about 2 minutes. Then I turned off the machine and upon turning it back on the steam started back up”
If having as slim an espresso machine as possible is not your biggest concern, then I would recommend buying the Delonghi ECP3630 over the EC680M.
The main advantage of the ECP3630 is that it has a better steam wand than the EC680M.
The steam wand has two settings, one to froth milk, and one to make finer steamed milk.
This latter setting allows you to make lattes with the ECP3630 which is something you cannot do with the EC680M
The EC3630 is only about an inch wider than the EC680M, so unless you really have a crammed countertop, this difference in footprint should not affect the usability of the machine. The ECP3630 is typically slightly cheaper than the EC680M, but prices can vary online.
I would only recommend the Delonghi EC680M if your primary concern for an espresso machine is how slim and compact it is.
If you are willing to buy a slightly larger espresso machine then there are better options for a similar price.
The best option at roughly the same price point as the EC680M is the Delonghi ECP3630.