DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Review - A Design That Has Stood the Test of Time

Last Updated: December 15, 2022
Author: Nick
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DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

Are you in the market for an entry-level espresso machine and are eyeing the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300?

If that is the case, you have come to the right place!

This espresso machine has been one of the most popular choices for entry level home super automatic espresso machines for over two decades and with good reason.

In this post, we will take a detailed look at all of the features and benefits of this coffee machine, as well as some of its drawbacks. We will also answer any questions you may have about it, and make recommendations for who this machine is best suited for.

So if you're curious about the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300, keep reading!

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Review


At A Glance...

  • Compact design, with simple intuitive no-fuss interface.

  • Brew unit can be removed, and steam wand can be taken apart for easy cleaning.

  • Front access for the brewing system, water tank, drip tray and waste puck container.

  • Excellent value for an automatic machine that features lots of technologies.

  • Dual heating allows rapid transition between steaming and brewing.

  • Excellent reliability - some users report this machine has lasted them for more than a decade.

  • Creates a good amount of foam but this machine is not ideal for latte art.

  • Plastic exterior takes away from the aesthetics of this machine.

  • Loud grinder.

  • Incompatible with water filters.

  • Lack of screen and programmability.

Some Useful Specs...

  • Water tank capacity: 60 oz (1.77 L)

  • Bean hopper capacity: 8.8 oz (250g)

  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 15.3 x 14.4 x 11.0 in (38.9 x 36.7 x 27.9 cm)

  • Weight: 23.2 lb (10.5 kg)

  • Grinder Type: Stainless steel conical burr with 13 adjustments

  • Number of pre-programmed drinks: None

  • Display type: None

  • Ground coffee bypass: Yes

  • Milk Frothing System: Manual Panarello milk steam wand

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a compact no-fuss entry-level super automatic espresso machine that is designed for home use.

Despite its simple appearance, this machine is chock-full of technology to ensure a great espresso (and making of espresso) experience.

Delonghi Magnifica Espresso Machine

It has a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 13 levels of adjustment (albeit noisy), dual thermoblock heating systems (to reduce the wait time between brewing and steaming) and includes De'Longhi patented technologies such as the Direct-to-Brew System (minimizes the time between grinding and brewing) and the Tubeless System (which removes leftover coffee grounds that can get stuck in the grinding system and become stale, spoiling your coffee).

This results in consistently good easy-to-make espresso. 

The Magnifica is also very capable in the milk frothing department, with its Panarello milk steam wand being able to produce good quality milk foam and lots of it.

This coffee machine lacks some more premium features, including programmability of specialty coffee drinks, milk steaming temperature and texture settings (sorry, no latte art with this one), customization of pre-infusion time and water temperature, amongst others. 

This machine also uses buttons and knobs instead of a display screen. It also uses plastic materials quite heavily on the exterior.

Also, this De'Longhi machine is not compatible with water filters! You may need to purchase a separate water filter, which you could use before filling the 60 oz water tank of this machine.

However, for a price of around $700, the above is acceptable - these are items and features De'Longhi decided to omit to keep the cost low, and we think it's a good compromise.

One of the greatest pros of this machine is the ease of cleaning and maintenance. We love that the brew unit can be removed to allow proper cleaning and thereby increasing the lifespan of this machine. All other components such as the drip tray, wastebasket, and water tank can easily be removed from the front, a very thoughtful design for those who lack counter space.

In short, the De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Super Automatic Espresso Machine is of excellent value with a proven design that has lasted for over 20 years with little change. 

So if you are looking to upgrade from your coffee maker and buy your first automatic espresso machine, this is a great choice.

Automatic Espresso Machine & Coffee Maker

Design and Build Quality

The Magnifica is a good-looking super automatic espresso machine that fits most kitchens thanks to its compact size, at 15.3 in x 14.4 x 11.0 inches in width, height, and length.

One of the first things you may notice is that this machine lacks a screen, and is instead operated by means of 6 buttons and 3 dials. These are mostly located on the left side of the front of the machine.

DeLonghi Magnifica Control Panel

You have the power button, a button to select a single serving, another button to select two servings, and another button to activate the hot water dispenser. Towards the button for the control planet, you can find the fifth and sixth buttons, which are the rinse/decalcification and ground coffee button (to deactivate the grinder and use pre-ground coffee instead, but you should be using fresh beans). 

In terms of the dials, there is one dial to select the coffee quantity, which ranges from 0.5 to 6 fluid ounces. The second dial controls the coffee strength, which actually controls the amount of ground coffee dispensed into the brew head. The third dial, located on the right side of the machine, controls the steam and water dispenser.

This analog user interface allows you to easily brew your favorite cup of coffee by pressing a few buttons. It should be noted, however, that this is not a fully automatic espresso machine when it comes to preparing milky drinks.

For milky drinks, such as a delicious cappuccino, the Delonghi Magnifica workflow involves first steaming the milk, pressing the pour button (which grinds coffee beans and pulls your espresso shot), and then pouring the steamed milk onto your espresso cup.

Other machines allow you to prepare milky espresso-based drinks by just pressing one button. Of course, this typically results in a more expensive coffee maker.

The water tank, brew unit, and waste tray can be conveniently removed from the front of the machine, which is a plus in terms of user-friendliness.

Coffee Puck Drawer, Water Tank & Drip Tray

This DeLonghi Magnifica features all-plastic external materials, which does give it a bit of a cheap feel. The milk wand has a black plastic sheath. This heavy plastic use takes away from this machine’s simple and elegant design. In addition, the use of buttons and dials gives this machine a slightly dated look that may not appeal to everyone.

Nevertheless, the lack of screen and use of plastics is something that has allowed Delonghi to reduce costs, rendering this machine one of the most cost-effective ones in the market.

Despite the heavy use of plastic, this machine has proven to be very reliable, with some users reporting it has lasted over a decade, if well maintained.

Please be aware that there have been reports of the steam knob breaking. So be gentle when steaming milk!


As noted, the user interface is simple and intuitive. This machine features no screen and is easily operated using dials and buttons.

However, this reduces programmability. The machine will "remember" your previous settings, but you cannot program and save specialty drinks such as lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos, and so on.

If you live by yourself or in a small household that should not be a major problem; however, if you live with many coffee lovers who like customized espresso drinks, then you could potentially find yourself changing the settings of this machine before every use.

Nonetheless, the Delonghi Magnifica is intended to have the ability to prepare different coffee drinks, given the adjustable dispenser which has a vertical clearance range of 2.75 to 4.25 inches.

The Magnifica comes with a steel conical burr grinder with 13 grind settings. These can be adjusted on top of the machine. Something that is worthwhile to note is that this is not a quiet grinder.

So if you have babies or sensitive people at home this could be an issue, especially if you're one to have coffee in the wee hours of the morning.

The coffee grounds container is of adequate size, it can hold 8.8 oz of coffee grounds. The water tank is fairly large at 60 oz (a cup of coffee is about 8-12 oz) which means you will be able to run this machine for multiple cycles without having to refill the water tank.

Hot Water Spout

Unfortunately, a water filter cannot be installed in the Magnifica. This is one of its main drawbacks. As a workaround, we recommend using a water filter such as a Brita and pouring the filtered water into the Magnifica’s water tank.

If you do this, make sure you measure the water hardness of the filtered water with the strips provided instead of unfiltered tap water, when setting up this espresso machine.

There is also a cup warmer on top, but similar to most super automatic machines, it doesn't get as hot as we'd like. We recommend pouring hot water in your drinking cup to warm it up, before discarding it and pouring your espresso shot in your hot glass.

This DeLonghi comes with two thermoblock heating systems to cut down heating time when switching between brewing and steaming. However, don't be fooled because the Delonghi Magnifica only has one pump. This means you can't brew and steam simultaneously. This is typical of most super automatic machines unless you pay several thousand dollars for high-end machines.

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 comes with a Panarello milk steam wand system, using their patented Cappuccino System. Air is sucked into small orifices on either side of the wand and then injected into the milk to create the froth we all crave. This is an adjustable manual cappuccino system, allowing you to use jugs of different shapes and sizes.

This steaming system creates a good amount of quality foam. However, its drawback is its lack of customizability. You are unable to control the milk temperature, you will need to do it by feel, using a steel milk jug, or you can simply get a thermometer. Also, the milk texture setting cannot be changed.

Therefore, if you are into latte art the Magnifica is not for you.

Finally, this super automatic has a pre-ground bypass. We assume you would use this if you want decaf coffee, as pre-ground coffee defeats the purpose of these machines. If you use this feature, make sure to press the bypass button and only add one scoop of coffee.

Pre Ground Coffee Bypass

Coffee Drink Quality

Despite its low cost and compact size, the Magnifica comes packed with technology to ensure preparing espresso is as simple as can be. And yes, the espresso drink itself is delicious.

It comes with the DeLonghi patented Tubeless System (TB), a technology made to minimize the amount of leftover coffee in the grinder, which over time, can become stale and spoil your coffee beverage.

The Magnifica also packs the Direct-to-Brew System, another DeLonghi patented technology. The Direct-to-Brew System allows this machine to brew the coffee grounds immediately after grinding, to ensure no freshness is lost after grinding.

The instant reheat function keeps your machine hot between cycles, so that you don’t have to wait for your next cup of coffee.

This super automatic machine features a powerful 15 bar pump which is more than adequate to prepare high-quality espresso.

The double thermoblock heating system enables you to quickly switch from steaming milk to brewing coffee within just a few seconds. But due to its single pump, you cannot brew and steam at the same time.

The stainless steel conical burr grinder is noisy, as noted, but offers 13 grind settings which should suffice for your espresso needs. In their operating instructions, DeLonghi states that "the coffee grinder must not be adjusted", at least initially. However, we find this confusing as your coffee grinder would require adjustment based on your coffee beans and preferences.

This machine allows you to pull a good quality espresso with plenty of crema with minimal tinkering. The coffee strength and volume can be changed using the twisting knobs in the front control panel to suit your preferences and your settings will be saved for the next use.

The Patented Cappuccino System creates lots of foam, but you cannot set the temperature or milk texture. This means you will need to develop a feel on how hot the milk should be (around 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees in Fahrenheit), which is best achieved with a stainless steel milk jug (not included).

Alternatively, you can get a thermometer, or else you might risk overheating the milk!

The simplicity of this frothing system is its downfall for the more advanced users. Since you cannot control the milk temperature and texture, you will have trouble creating different milk textures for lattes, flat whites, and cappuccinos. If you want to learn latte art, then this machine is not for you.

Milk Frother

By the way, DeLonghi, in their instructions manual, recommends that you use skimmed or 2% milk. This is highly confusing as you cannot beat the creaminess and texture of whole milk.

This DeLonghi can also dispense hot water, which is perfect for those who like Americanos or prefer to drink tea.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

Ease of cleaning and maintenance is one of the greatest strengths of the DeLonghi Magnifica, and perhaps one of the reasons why these machines are so reliable.

First, the brew unit can be removed. This is a huge plus in our eyes. Removing it allows you to properly wash the brew head by rinsing it and removing all the guck that can accumulate after prolonged use.

Another advantage of a removable brew unit is that it can be replaced should it fail, without having to throw away your precious espresso machine.

This DeLonghi comes with an auto-rinse cycle and button to keep it clean, but we still recommend removing the brew unit at least once a week to thoroughly rinse with water.

The removable drip tray and coffee puck container are conveniently accessed from the front of the machine, which is a plus if counter space is premium in your kitchen.

Extractable Brew Unit

After every use, you should clean the steaming wand with a damp cloth. This machine does not feature an auto-purge feature, so run some steam through it after you finish your drink and before you brew your next one.

The steaming wand also easily comes apart. You can twist the black plastic sheath and then pull the plastic milk frother to remove both pieces to rinse them and remove any milk residue (ew).

The warning lights at the front let you know when it’s time to refill the water tank, empty the coffee puck wastebasket, and run the descale cycle.

Value for Money

This is one of the best-value super automatic espresso machines in the market. For about $700, this espresso machine is packed with technology to ensure consistently good fresh espresso shots and quality espresso-based milky drinks. And it's cheaper than many other super automatic espresso machines, which can cost a few thousand dollars.

DeLonghi has done an excellent job in selecting only the necessary components to make good espresso drinks reliably while discarding any unnecessary costly features that may not be necessary for an entry-level machine. That's why there is no LCD touch screen, high programmability, or a fancy stainless steel frame.

DeLonghi has been making this machine for over 20 years now with little changes, which is a testament to its design. Although there is no way for us to test this, some people report that this machine has lasted them for more than a decade.

Delonghi offers two years of warranty for this product which includes parts and labor. They do not cover shipping costs to your nearest authorized De'Longhi service center, however, but they do cover the return costs.

The Magnifica is a $700 super automatic espresso machine that does espresso and milk frothing consistently well and has the potential to last over a decade. It is certainly one of the most cost effective espresso machines we have come across. Period.

The Verdict

Here is our final verdict on the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300.

DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Score

  • Design and Build Quality: 8/10 
    Intuitive controls with a long lasting design

  • Features: 6/10
    Includes the most important features to create quality coffee beverages but lacks programmability and premium features. Not compatible with water filters.

  • Coffee Drink Quality: 7/10
    Good quality drinks; however, lack of controls for the milk steaming system means you cannot make different milk textures for different drinks.

  • Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10
    Brew unit head, steam wand, drip tray and water tank are easily removable from the front end of the machine.

  • Value for Money: 10/10
    This machine includes lots of technology for around $700. It has the potential to last you for over a decade, rendering this Delhonghi an excellent value purchase.

  • Overall Score: 8/10
    We highly recommend this machine if you're looking to buy your first espresso machine!

Who is The DeLonghi Magnifica For?

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is for beginner espresso drinkers and those who want a no-nonsense, reliable machine. It's easy to operate, clean, and maintain. The coffee quality is consistent and the value for money is excellent.

If you're looking to buy your first espresso machine or are on a budget, this is an excellent choice.

Who Should Avoid The DeLonghi Magnifica?

If you are looking for an advanced machine with more programmability and features, this is not the machine for you. The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a great entry-level machine with few bells and whistles.

If you are a coffee purist and don't care about the milk, then we recommend the Jura A1.

If you are an advanced user with a high budget, we recommend the Breville Oracle. Its use of dual pumps and boilers, and a portafilter, makes for a true coffee shop experience while at home.

DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

Frequently Asked Questions - DeLonghi Magnifica

How long does a DeLonghi Magnifica last?

Most automatic espresso machines at this price range last 3-5 years before something goes wrong. However, with proper use and care, the Delonghi Magnifica can last for over a decade.

Can I make lattes or cappuccinos with the DeLonghi Magnifica?

Yes, the DeLonghi Magnifica can make both lattes and cappuccinos. But you will need to manually measure the appropriate milk quantities. Also, the foam texture settings cannot be changed, which means your cappuccino and latte will have the same foam texture (they should not).

What is the warranty on the DeLonghi Magnifica?

The DeLonghi Magnifica has a two-year warranty that covers parts and labor. Shipping to the nearest De’Longhi coffee specialist support center is at your own expense, but Delonghi covers the cost of returning your machine to you.

Does the DeLonghi Magnifica make coffee?

Yes, if you mean a high-volume coffee beverage. By cranking the coffee volume knob to the max, you can get a 6 oz beverage. Obviously though, this is not the same as pour-over coffee.

Can you make Americano with DeLonghi Magnifica?

Yes you can! Simply pour an espresso shot, press the hot water dispenser button to pour hot water into your drink to make a delicious Americano. Add ice for a refreshing iced Americano!

What is included with the DeLonghi Magnifica?

This machine includes an instructions manual, an instructional DVD, water hardness test strips, 100 mL of natural descaler, a scoop (for the ground coffee bypass) and the machine itself. Note that a milk jug is not included.

What to do if the Delonghi Magnifica brew unit is stuck?

The most likely reason is that you disconnected the machine or pressed the power off button at the back of the machine too quickly. Turn back on your machine, and then turn it back off using the front control panel power button. You will hear the machine make some noise. Allow it to finish before disconnecting and attempting to remove the brew unit again.

What is the difference between the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 vs the DeLonghi Magnifica S?

The main differences between the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 vs the DeLonghi Magnifica S are that the DeLonghi Magnifica S is now compatible with water filters, and the adjustable coffee dispenser can be raised higher, from 4.25 to 5.6 inches. This allows you to use larger coffee cups.

What type of coffee beans should I use with the DeLonghi Magnifica?

Check our best espresso beans picks for ideas. For most super automatic machines we recommend coffee beans that are not too oily (usually medium roasts). However, since you can remove the brew unit you should be able to use oily beans no problem, as long as you routinely clean and maintain your Magnifica.

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