Quick Answer: I’d recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo if you want a super-automatic espresso machine for under $1,000.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is one of the most affordable super-automatic espresso machines with automatic milk frothing on the market right now.
In this Delonghi Magnifica Evo review, I’ll explain why I think the Magnifica Evo is the best sub-$1,000 super-automatic espresso machine if you want to make both black and milk-based drinks.
I’m also going to say why I think the machine is superior to the similarly priced Philips 3200 LatteGo machine.
The majority of this review will focus on the version of the Delonghi Magnifica Evo with an automatic milk frother. However, I’ll also touch on the model with a steam wand and explain in what situation you’d want each specific model.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Delonghi Magnifica Evo?
You should buy the Delonghi Magnifica Evo if all of the following apply to you:
- You want an espresso machine that can make one-touch espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes (no messing around with a portafilter or steam wand).
- You are going to make at least the occasional milk drink (like a cappuccino or latte).
- You want to spend less than $1,000 on your machine.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes about as good an espresso as any super-automatic espresso machine and its milk drinks are better than any similarly priced machine.
Delonghi Magnifica Evo Pros
Makes a very good espresso by super automatic standards.
One touch lattes and cappuccinos.
Easy to understand user interface.
It’s the best super automatic espresso machine at its price point.
Delonghi Magnifica Evo Cons
It can only steam milk to one texture.
If you’re only going to drink black drinks then get the Delonghi Magnifica Evo with a steam wand. It’s cheaper than the model with a milk frother.
Its steam wand is pretty terrible, but if you’re not going to use it then who cares?
It makes espresso and other black coffee drinks as well as the model with a milk frother.
Best for Non-Milk Drinkers
If you won’t make milk drinks then you can save yourself around $150 by getting the Magnifica Evo with a steam wand rather than a milk frother.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is just plain better than any Philips espresso machine, with the arguable exception of the Philips 5400 LatteGo.
I recommend the Magnifica Evo over the Philips 5400 LatteGo anyway because the 5400 is typically $250 more expensive than the Magnifica Evo and there is very little between the two machines performance-wise.
Delonghi Magnifica Evo: Key Features
Workflow and Espresso Brewing Mechanism
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo can make an espresso or milk drink at the push of a button. It makes better-tasting espresso than the majority of super automatics, including those made by Philips.
You make an espresso with the Delonghi Magnifica Evo by filling the machine with whole coffee beans and water, selecting a strength, and pressing the “espresso” button.
The machine will grind, dose, and brew your coffee for you. You just need to make sure you have a cup under its spout and wait a minute for it to do its thing.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo uses a better espresso brewing mechanism than most. Its brewing basket is made out of metal (rather than plastic) and has much smaller holes in it than Philips’ or Gaggia’s super automatics.
You can see this difference in the side-by-side image below.
Delonghi uses the same brewing mechanism for all its super automatics.
This means that:
- Any Delonghi Super Automatic will make a better-tasting espresso than any Philips super-automatic espresso machine.
- All Delonghi super automatics make the same tasting espresso regardless of their price or other features.
In short, Delonghi makes a good espresso by super-automatic standards – comparable to what you’d get at Starbucks.
It’s far richer tasting than what you’d get from a Philips super-automatic or a Nespresso machine.
Its espresso won’t have the complexity of what you can make with a semi-automatic machine, but that’s just part of the deal with super automatics. You lose a little bit of quality in return for extra convenience.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo froths milk via a carafe that attaches to the front of the machine. This carafe has a lid with a nozzle and a rubber tube which the milk runs through.
The milk frother will steam all the milk you put in its carafe. It has markings to show you the recommended milk volumes for each of its drinks.
I like how well the Magnifica Evo froths milk.
It consistently gets your milk to 140 Fahrenheit which is the ideal temperature for steamed milk. The milk’s lactose breaks down into sucrose at this temperature so it sweetens without adding any sugar.
Philips Super Automatics doesn’t get your milk to this temperature, so its milk drinks aren’t as sweet as Delonghis’.
The Magnifica Evo can only steam your milk to one texture, so there isn’t any real variation in mouth feel between its espresso and latte macchiato. In fairness, this is true of all super-automatic espresso machines in the Magnifica Evo’s price range.
If you want a real textural difference between your different milk drinks then you should get the Delonghi Dinamica Plus. This can steam your milk to three, very noticeably different, textures. See my Delonghi Dinamica Plus review for more information on this machine.
The Magnifica Evo’s milk system’s other downside is that it uses a rubber tube.
These constantly crust up with milk residue which doesn’t always come out fully in the dishwasher. I clean mine by blowing hot water through it with my mouth.
You need to replace these regularly. You can buy Delonghi milk tubes for $5 a pop on Amazon.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is operated by backlit buttons. While it’s easy to select your drink, customizing your drink and troubleshooting your machine can be annoyingly complicated.
All the machine’s menu items are labeled with pictures and words so you can be in no doubt about what option you’re selecting.
You can alter your coffee’s strength (how much ground coffee your machine brews with) and make a double serving of each drink at the press of a button.
The Magnifica Evo’s user interface’s shortcomings become apparent when you want to make more complicated changes to your machine’s settings. This includes changing the machine’s default serving sizes and brewing temperature.
To do this you have to hold down certain buttons in different combinations, and certain drinks represent certain settings. It all gets a bit fiddly and annoying.
You can see someone showing you how to change the machine’s default brewing temperature and drink size below:
I hope that illustrates my point. The machine also has a generic “clean” button which can either mean the machine needs its grounds container emptying or that it needs to be descaled.
This again is annoyingly ambiguous. A little digital screen that could flash words like “rinse” or “descale” or “empty” would help a lot here.
So while the Magnifica Evo’s UI is leaps ahead of older Delonghis like the ESAM 3300, it’s still a little bit too stripped back for my liking.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo can make six coffee drinks. These are:
It’s A LOT better than Nespresso and is noticeably better than an espresso from a Philips espresso machine.
You’ll struggle to find a super-automatic espresso machine that makes a better espresso than the Magnifica Evo. You’ll get much better shots with a portafilter machine though.
Not very good.
It brews in around 40 seconds which isn’t long enough for drip coffee. You end up with a very watery coffee that has a tasteless head of crema on it.
Don’t buy the machine for drip-style coffee.
Watery and pointless.
This is basically just the machine’s “coffee” setting but brewed at a lower temperature. This lower-temperature brewing lowers extraction, making your coffee more watery.
What’s more, it still comes out hot enough to melt your ice loads. If I wanted an iced coffee with this machine I’d brew an espresso, over ice and a small amount of cold water.
It will taste much stronger than this over-ice setting.
The machine dispenses milk, then your coffee.
The steamed milk is quite thick which means you need to stir it very gently to incorporate it into the coffee without it losing its bubbliness.
Once you get this stirring down then it’s not far off a chain coffee shop cappuccino
I like to add an extra shot of espresso to this.
The machine waits for your milk to settle a bit before dispensing your coffee, this creates a cool layering effect.
It’s noticeably sweeter than the cappuccino which I like.
Like the cappuccino, it greatly benefits from having another espresso shot added to it.
This is just a cappuccino where you control how much milk is in it. Press the My Latte button while the machine is dispensing milk to end dispensing.
It would be nice if you could save a certain volume of milk to the My Latte button, but instead, you have to manually stop your milk each time you use it.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo can also dispense plain hot water which you can mix with your espresso to create a long black.
Rinsing and Cleaning
The machine will run automatic rinse cycles when:
- You first turn it on. All super-automatic espresso machines do this. Your coffee would be gross if it didn’t.
- After you dispense your milk. This rinses out the milk frothing system only. You still want to put your milk carafe and lid in the dishwasher after use.
- As it turns off. The machine has an auto-off feature so this can often catch you by surprise. Always put a cup under your coffee spout after your brew.
You’ll need to clean the following manually:
- Used coffee grounds container: I’d recommend doing this twice a week as rancid coffee is a massive breeding ground for mold and this can all go in the dishwasher. The container can go in the dishwasher.
- Milk container and lid: I’d recommend putting this in the dishwasher after every use.
- Rubber milk tube: You need to clean this by hand after every milk drink you make. This is by far the biggest pain in the ass when it comes to cleaning this machine.
- Removable brew group: You need to rinse this under a tap once a month.
The machine also needs to be descaled every 3-6 months depending on your water hardness. It tells you when it needs to be descaled. You can see a video of the descaling process below:
Delonghi espresso machines need to be descaled much more often than Philips or Jura machines. The other two manufacturers’ machines only need to be descaled every few years, rather than every few months.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo lets you adjust the following settings:
- Coffee strength: You have three strength settings per drink which you can adjust with a button press. Strength refers to how much ground coffee your drink is brewed with.
- Double serving: You can make the machine produce a double serving of whatever drink you make with one button press (the “2x” button). This doubles both the amount of ground coffee and water you brew with, so you can make true double espresso.
- Brewing temperature: The machine has four brewing temperature settings which you access by holding down the settings button. This turns each of the first four drink options into temperature buttons, with the buttons further right corresponding to a higher temperature. I’d always set the machine to its highest brewing temperature.
- Drink size: You can customize each menu item’s size. Doing this is complicated (I showed you how to do it in a video earlier), but it’s possible.
While I’m happy with the amount of control that the Delonghi Magnifica Evo gives you over your brewing, it would be nice if you could adjust your coffee’s length with buttons, rather than having to put it into customize mode and measure it out manually.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 13 grind size settings.
I always grind on settings 2-3 for best results.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo’s grinder is reliable and does what it needs to do for the machine to make a good espresso.
It’s nothing remarkable – the grinder on a super-automatic espresso machine isn’t all that important because the machine can’t precisely prep a coffee puck.
This means you won’t get the full benefit of grinding super finely or super uniformly.
So while the Delonghi’s grinder does the job, it’s not significantly better or worse than the grinder you get on a Philips, Gaggia, or Jura super automatic.
Don’t be sold on any super-automatic espresso machine just because of its grinder. There’s very little between any of them.
Drip Tray and Used Coffee Grounds Box
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo’s drip tray is very long and awkward to carry when full. I do like how the drip tray and coffee grounds box can go in the dishwasher.
Although Delonghi claims that the Magnifica Evo can hold 14 ground coffee pucks in its used coffee grounds container, I’d empty this and put it in the dishwasher every few days.
This container gets moldy very, very quickly.
Removable Brew Group
You can remove the Delonghi Magnifica Evo’s brewing unit to rinse under the tap and lubricate.
Delonghi recommends that you rinse the brew group once a week, but I think that once a month is fine.
I like that you can remove the machine’s brew group. Lubricating the brew group will troubleshoot a lot of the machine’s potential issues.
Super-automatics that don’t allow you to remove their brew group usually need to go to a technician for repair more often than ones with a removable brew group.
General Look and Feel
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo looks and feels more expensive than its price tag suggests.
It’s a fair bit wider and heavier than Philips’s espresso machines and while its exterior is made out of plastic, it’s not the type of cheap plastic that feels weird and furry when you touch it.
The machine comes with a two-year warranty that you can extend to a third year when you register the product with Delonghi.
My experience with Delonghi’s customer service has been very good. My Delonghi Dinamica Plus’s brew group broke and I was sent a replacement within five minutes of chatting to them online.
The replacement arrived the next day.
|Specification||Delonghi Magnifica Evo|
Super-automatic espresso machine with milk frother
Does it use rubber milk tubes
Backlit buttons only
Number of black drink options
Number of milk drink options
Milk Volume Settings
Available milk textures
Brewing temperature settings
Stainless steel conical burr grinder
Water tank capacity
Maximum cup clearance
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
9.5” W x 17.3” D x 14.2” H
Now that I’ve gone through the Magnifica Evo’s key features, I’m going to evaluate the machine on its:
- Espresso quality
- Milk steaming performance
- Ease of use and cleaning
- Design and durability
- Value for money
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes a very good espresso by super-automatic standards.
The machine will consistently produce a strong and robust drink with a decent body, similar to what you’d expect from a chain coffee shop.
Can it extract complex notes from single-origin beans? No – but no super-automatic espresso machine can do this (even ones that cost over $5,000).
Its espresso is far superior to all Philips super-automatic espresso machines.
Espresso Quality Rating: 9/10
Milk Steaming Performance
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo can only steam your milk to one, admittedly pleasant, texture.
The machine steams your milk to a thick texture, more like milk foam than steamed milk. You need to give it a stir for it to incorporate into your coffee properly.
I do like how the machine steams your milk to 140 Fahrenheit consistently. This is hot enough to sweeten your milk. Philips Super Automatics does not steam your milk to this temperature so its milk drinks are less sweet.
Only offering one milk texture means that all the Magnifica Evo’s milk drinks are a bit same-y, unfortunately.
Milk Steaming Performance Rating: 7/10
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo’s single milk texture means it can’t make as wide a variety of milk drinks as more expensive machines.
While the Magnifica Evo can customize every aspect of your drink (strength, size, and milk volume), it’s harder to make these changes than on other machines.
This difficulty in making these customizations is exacerbated by the fact that the machine only has one user profile.
In short, the machine has a decent level of functionality for its budget-friendly price tag. However, if you want to make every espresso drink under the sun then this isn’t the machine for you.
Functionalities Rating: 6/10
Ease of Use and Cleaning
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is super straightforward to use, with the exception of adjusting its drink size settings.
The machine’s control panel labels all its drink options with both images and words, making you absolutely certain of what you’re selecting.
It’s a shame that you can’t just bump your drink’s size up or down, like how you can with its strength. But this isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Keeping the machine clean is also really easy, with it running rinse cycles and all its removable parts being dishwasher safe.
The only hard part of the machine to keep clean is its rubber milk tube.
I keep this clean by physically blowing hot water through it. Having to do this after every milk drink you make isn’t fun.
Ease of Use and Cleaning Rating: 8/10
Design and Durability
While the Delonghi Magnifica Evo is not a buy-it-for-life product, it feels more sturdily built than most super automatics in its price range.
It’s certainly a step up in build quality compared to Philips super-automatic espresso machines.
The Magnifica Evo comes with a two-year warranty, which can be extended to three years if you register the product with Delonghi.
I found many reports on Reddit of Delonghi super automatics lasting much, much longer than this. You can see an example of someone praising the durability of the old-style Delonghi Magnifica here.
Design and Durability: 8/10
Value for Money
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is the best value for money super-automatic espresso machine in my opinion.
It makes the best espresso and milk drinks out of any super automatic under $1,000.
Can’t get better than that.
Value for Money Rating: 10/10
Delonghi Magnifica Evo with Milk Frother vs. Delonghi Magnifica Evo with Steam Wand
Get the Magnifica Evo model with a steam wand if you’ll only be drinking black coffee drinks.
You can save yourself around $150 by forgoing automatic milk frothing.
Best for Non-Milk Drinkers
If you won’t make milk drinks then you can save yourself around $150 by getting the Magnifica Evo with a steam wand rather than a milk frother.
The Magnifica Evo’s steam wand isn’t good. If you’re going to be steaming milk with any regularity then I’d recommend paying a bit extra for the Magnifica Evo model with an automatic milk frother.
Delonghi Magnifica Evo vs Philips 3200 LatteGo
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is much better than the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
The Magnifica Evo can make better-tasting espresso and milk drinks than the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
Both machines cost the same so I’d always recommend the Magnifica Evo over the 3200.
I have written an entire article comparing these two espresso machines: Delonghi Magnifica Evo vs Philips 3200 LatteGo.
Delonghi Magnifica Evo Review: Final Verdict
I’d strongly recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo if you’re looking for a super-automatic espresso machine for under $1,000.
The Magnifica Evo is the best super automatic at this price point.
Its main downside is that it only steams milk to one texture, however, if you want to be able to steam milk to multiple textures then you’ll need to spend at least twice what the Magnifica Evo costs.
If you’d like to find out more about Delonghi’s espresso machines then please see my roundup of the best Delonghi espresso machines.