DeLonghi Dedica Review – EC685 VS EC680

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Are you a coffee lover who looks in envy at people with espresso machines? If you are, it may be because they are usually expensive. Not only that, but you may wonder if the complex nature of making espresso is prohibitive.

Indeed, some professional coffee machines are so expensive and complex that only expert baristas can get the best out of them.

However, in the domestic brewing market, there is a wide range of simple to use, newbie-friendly espresso makers to consider. The De’Longhi Dedica is one of them.

The Dedica is a compact machine that is perfect for beginners. It’s an excellent machine to get started with on your coffee-making journey as you can experience the entire process, including frothing milk. It’s one of our best semi-automatic espresso machines for beginners.

There are two De’Longhi Dedica machines – the EC680 and the EC685. This article compares the two, with particular emphasis on the EC685, so you can decide if the Dedica suits your needs as you begin making espresso at home.

De’Longhi Dedica Espresso Machine Review

Last update on 2022-12-07 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

Design And Build Quality

The first thing to note about the De’Longhi Dedica EC685 is its compact footprint. With a width of just six inches, it’s one of the slimmest De’longhi espresso machines. It’s a tad larger than the Nespresso Inissia but still so compact that it will appeal to anyone with limited countertop space.

delonghi-dedica-compact-design

As well as being compact, the machine also has a contemporary design. Both models have a shiny stainless steel finish. However, the EC685 has additional color options. However, whether you opt for the white, black, or red version, it’s sure to look beautiful. Meanwhile, the machine’s casing is steel, offering it a reassuringly sturdy feel.

The EC685 has only three buttons, for a single or double espresso and steaming. Meanwhile, a classy-looking steam dial is on the right, completing all you need to make gorgeous coffee.

The top of the De’Longhi Dedica EC685 has a cup warmer, allowing you to pre-warm either two standard-sized mugs or three smaller espresso cups. In addition, a 36fl oz capacity removable water tank is at the back, which is a generous size for such a slim machine. Finally, a removable drip tray leaves room to accommodate taller cups up to 4.5in tall.

delonghi-dedica-cup-warmer

The overall impression of this Delonghi espresso machine is that it’s well-built and very stylish.

What’s In The Box?

When you open the De’Longhi Dedica EC685’s box, you’ll see a plastic tamper that has a scoop on the other end. This scoop is a nice addition if you don’t usually weigh your beans. One issue is that the tamper is quite flimsy, so we recommend using a separate 51mm tamper for more consistent tamping. Inside the box, there is also a water harness test paper and a bottle of descaler.

The machine has a 51mm portafilter that comes with three pressurized filter baskets. These are for single and double shots and ESE pods (easy serving espresso pods), which offers another indication that the Dedica EC685 is beginner-friendly.

delonghi-dedica-accessories

Standard portafilters have many holes at the bottom. However, with pressurized baskets, coffee pushes through only one hole. Because of this, you don’t need the perfect grind size to make espresso with a rich crema. You don’t even need a separate grinder and can achieve this using pre-ground coffee. Meanwhile, the compatibility with ESE pods means you can make a quick cup of coffee without hassle, too.

Espresso Performance

The EC685 coffee maker has a Thermoblock heating system that reaches the optimum brewing temperature in 40 seconds. So, if you turn the machine on, then grind your beans and tamp the grounds, it’ll be ready to brew.

Meanwhile, even though the machine has only three buttons, you can still alter the brewing temperature, coffee volume, and water hardness.

In keeping with many domestic espresso machines, the De’Longhi Dedica has a 15 bar pump pressure. This is typical of machines with pressurized portafilters because higher pressure creates richer-looking crema and a more robust taste. However, for authentic espresso shots, you only need nine bars of pressure.

On the flip side, espresso shots from a pressurized basket are considered inferior to shots using a non-pressurized portafilter. However, for a beginner-friendly machine at such a low price, it’s unfair to compare it alongside a premium-end machine. Nevertheless, you can improve the quality of the coffee in the following ways:

  1. Use freshly ground coffee beans using an appropriate grind size.
  2. Pull a blank shot and allow the hot water to rapidly pre-warm the portafilter and cup.
  3. Choose a high water temperature.

If you follow the steps above, you can produce a decent and very drinkable espresso shot with the semi-automatic De’Longhi Dedica.

Another advantage of the machine is you can use its steam wand as a hot water dispenser for Americano. However, it’s not particularly quick.

If you’re still dissatisfied with the quality of your espresso, you can use non-pressurized portafilters from third parties designed with the De’Longhi Dedica in mind. However, you’ll need a high-quality burr grinder and fresh ground coffee for the best possible espresso if you use these.

delonghi-dedica-espresso

Milk Frothing Performance

The De’Longhi Dedica EC685 espresso maker has a Panarello wand that offers two choices – hot milk or cappuccino. These options represent the most significant difference between the EC680 and EC685.

delonghi-dedica-milk-wand

If you switch the Panarello wand to cappuccino, larger bubbles form in the steamed milk, which is perfect for cappuccino.

However, if you’d like even better results, you can use skimmed or 2% cold milk. Another tip is to purge any water from the steam wand before steaming milk.

The Panarello wand does have its limitations. For example, it’s quite difficult to create microfoam with a texture velvety enough for latte art. However, Panarello steam wands are user-friendly. You just need to immerse the frother in your milk. In other words, there’s no need to concern yourself with the angle or depth to create a proper vortex.

Therefore, if your main concern is creating cappuccinos, or you prefer to drink coffee with some frothed milk, the EC685’s Panarello wand will be more than adequate. However, if you want a machine that can make latte art, it’s likely it won’t meet your expectations. Finally, there isn’t a milk pitcher with the machine, so you’ll need to buy one separately.

Ease Of Use

The De’Longhi Dedica is a semi-automatic espresso machine that lets you have some control over the brewing process. While this is great for anyone beginning their espresso-making journey who wants to perfect their skills, there is a learning curve. So, you’ll need to work out your optimum grind size for your coffee and how to tamp the coffee grounds evenly.

To help coffee lovers master their techniques and make great coffee, the De’Longhi Dedica EC685 has an automatic flow stop feature and automatically sets the brew temperature and pressure. This is still not as hands-off and convenient as a fully automatic machine. However, it means making excellent coffee is not too difficult.

First, turn on the machine. When the lights stop flashing, the De’Longhi Dedica is ready to produce coffee. Next, choose either a single or a double shot. Once it reaches the preset volume, the machine will stop. To froth your milk, press the steaming button. When it begins to blink, turn the steam dial to the steaming position.

delonghi-dedica-buttons

Alternatively, you can steam milk first then purge the water to increase the speed of the cooling process. When this is complete, you can start to pull your shot. This method is the best way to brew latte macchiato.

As you can see, using the De’Longhi Dedica to make good coffee is straightforward enough while offering the user some control over the process. However, carrying out maintenance on the machine is also easy. When the orange light comes on, it’s time to descale the machine. Meanwhile, De’Longhi descaler is readily available on Amazon and many other places.

Value For Money

As we mentioned earlier, the De’Longhi Dedica is an entry-level semi-automatic machine. However, it’s not a particularly cheap one. Nevertheless, it’s still less expensive than a more premium semi-automatic espresso machine or an entry-level super-automatic machine.

In keeping with many other relatively inexpensive espresso machines, the De’Longhi Dedica uses smaller pressurized portafilters, 15 bars of pump pressure, and a Panarello wand. Each of these is designed with beginners in mind, and, as such, the machine can’t reliably brew coffee shop-quality coffee and specialty drinks. Nevertheless, you can still produce excellent espresso with the machine.

Finally, the build quality is better than most, with a full stainless steel housing and a notable absence of plastic parts.

Drawbacks

The stainless steel housing of the De’Longhi Dedica may offer an attractive and robust feel to the machine, but don’t let it deceive you. The machine weighs less than 10lbs. This light weight is an issue when attaching the portafilter in the brew head. You’ll have to steady the machine with one hand while using the other to insert the portafilter so it doesn’t move.

Another issue with the machine’s lightness is that it encounters some vibration while brewing. Therefore, if you have cups on the cup warmer, they may shake while the pump is in use.

As we mentioned earlier, the dual-wall baskets generate bubbly crema, while milk-steaming creates larger bubbles. This is not likely to be an issue for your first espresso machine, but you may desire better-quality crema if you advance to a higher-quality machine.

Delonghi Dedica Deluxe Vs Dedica (DeLonghi Dedica EC685 VS EC680)

The primary difference between the EC680 and the EC685 is the latter’s adjustable switch for making hot milk or cappuccino with the steam wand. This means you can get creamy milk foam for cappuccino, or flatter foam for flat white and latte. However, the Dedica EC680’s steam wand doesn’t have the switch, so you’ll need to control the steaming yourself.

The upgraded model also has a double drip tray for fitting taller cups, offering 4.5in clearance beneath the spout. This is useful for certain recipes, including latte macchiato, because you can steam the milk first then place the taller cup beneath the spout. Finally, you can pull double espresso shots over the milk to create stunning layers.

Finally, the EC685 has more color options. It’s available in white, black, and red, which look more stylish than the stainless steel finish of the EC680.

Aside from these differences, there’s not a great deal separating the two models, so we don’t recommend trading in an existing EC680 for the EC685. However, if you’re new to domestic espresso brewing, we suggest buying the upgraded model.

De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso...
De'Longhi EC680M Espresso, Stainless Steel,...
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso...
De'Longhi EC680M Espresso, Stainless Steel,...
1,725 Reviews
3,350 Reviews
Adjustable Steam Wand
Double Drip Tray
Color
Metallic, White, Red, Black
Metallic
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso...
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso...
1,725 Reviews
Adjustable Steam Wand
Double Drip Tray
Color
Metallic, White, Red, Black
De'Longhi EC680M Espresso, Stainless Steel,...
De'Longhi EC680M Espresso, Stainless Steel,...
3,350 Reviews
Adjustable Steam Wand
Double Drip Tray
Color
Metallic

Last update on 2022-12-07 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

De’Longhi Dedica Alternatives

Breville Bambino

Last update on 2022-12-07 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

The Breville Bambino is another entry-level machine with a compact design. It also has just a few buttons and is made of stainless steel. The primary advantage is its superior steaming wand, which creates better-quality microfoam for latte art and milk-based espresso beverages. The machine is also slightly cheaper than the Dedica EC685. However, the Bambino Plus, which has automatic milk frothing, is considerably more costly.

You can read more with the Bambino vs Bambino Plus buying guide.

Gaggia Classic Pro

Last update on 2022-12-07 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a more advanced semi-automatic machine. It has a 58mm portafilter with non-pressurized filter baskets and a high-quality steam wand. There’s a learning curve to making espresso with the Gaggia Classic Pro. Meanwhile, you’ll also need a premium burr grinder specialized for espresso. However, if you master your technique, you can make coffee shop-quality coffee with this machine. Not surprisingly, it’s pricier than the Dedica EC685. Feel free to read our Gaggia Classic Pro review for more details.

Our Verdict

The De’Longhi Dedica EC685 coffee machine is an excellent option for anyone looking to brew espresso at home without spending much money on a high-end espresso machine.

Meanwhile, the machine is well built and modern-looking, while it’s compact enough for people with even the most limited kitchen countertop space.

If you’re serious about brewing professional quality espresso or creating latte art for milk-based espresso drinks, you’ll need a more expensive machine in the future.

However, if you want decent espresso that’s easy to make while offering you some control over the brewing process, the De’Longhi Dedica EC685 is an excellent machine to get started with.