So you have purchased a Delonghi espresso machine and want to start brewing your first cup of espresso with it, or want to know how comfortable it is to use these machines before taking the final call to purchase one. The article below will provide a clear idea of How to use Delonghi Espresso Machine!
Types of Espresso Machines
As you know, espresso machines are classified into the following types.
- Manual espresso machine,
- Semi-automatic espresso machine,
- Automatic espresso machine, and
- Super-automatic machines.
The classifications and the differences between these machines have been discussed in our article on different types of coffee makers.
How To Use Different Models Of Delonghi Machines
Reading the instruction manuals thoroughly before operating any electrical appliances is necessary and recommended. Secondly, it is critical to check the type of plug provided by the manufacturer and ensure its suitability with the outlet in your home. If the outlet is incompatible, contact your electrician to make the necessary changes. An effectively grounded electrical socket of the prescribed rating and type must only be used.
Select a suitable place to keep your De’Longhi espresso machines such that the provided chord length is suitable. If you must use extension chords, their rating and type should be adequate and suitable for the machine.
The appliance should be placed on an even surface with adequate clearance on its side, rear, and top. A minimum clearance of 2” for the side and rear and 8 inches for the top is usually recommended for all kitchen electrical appliances with heating provisions.
Never install your machine in the vicinity of running or stored water, plastic bags, polystyrene foams, or any flammable material.
Never install the Delonghi espresso maker in any area where the temperature may fall below 0°C as ice may damage the equipment.
The machine has hot water and steam in certain parts. Never touch the parts of the machine immediately after usage, as certain parts may still be very hot. Incorrect handling will expose you to these hazards.
Ensure an adequate level of water in the machine at all times in operation, which should not be above the maximum mark and below the 1″ level.
With this general background, to use these machines safely, let us look at the functioning of and how to use some of the popular models from Delonghi to make espresso.
Using Delonghi EC155 Machine
The Delonghi EC155 machine allows you to choose between one and two shots of espresso due to its 3-in-1 filter holder system and even works with a coffee pod. It has a manual Cappuccino system with a steam wand.
How to Make a Cappuccino or Latte with a De’Longhi Espresso Brewer
You have already seen the basic steps like connection and water filling in the general section.
- Preheating the coffee Unit: It is important to preheat the machine for at least 15 minutes prior to brewing to obtain a perfect espresso shot at the right temperature. To do so, ensure that the steam knob is closed and the filter unit is attached without the ground coffee. Turn the selector to the little squiggly line mark, switching the boiler ‘ON.’ Wait till the green light shows up to signal that it is ready for espresso making.
- Internal Cleaning of Parts: If you are going to use the machine for the first time, ensure to clean all internal parts properly. This is done by following the procedure to brew espresso five times, as detailed in the next few steps, except by placing actual coffee grounds in the filter unit.
- Placing the coffee filter in the filter holder: Ensure that the filter is clean of any residue from the previous brewing. If the machine is new and you have followed the internal cleaning procedure in step 2, the filter and holder are already clean. Place the filter correctly in the holder, ensuring the projection sits in the slot correctly. If you are brewing a single cup, use the smaller filter. Use the larger one for two coffees.
- Filling the finely ground coffee: Place one level measure of grounds in the filter (7 gms) for a single coffee. You can use a measure, a measuring spoon that comes with the machine, or a scoop to ensure the exact amount. Place two loosely filled measures (12 gms) of ground coffee for two cups in the larger filter. Fill the filter in layers instead of dumping the entire grounds in one go.
- Tamping the filled grounds: Evenly distribute the grounds in the filter and press them lightly using a tamper on the machine’s right side. Excessive tamping results in slow coffee delivery and dark crema. On the other hand, very light tamping will translate to a very rapid delivery with a minimal amount of light-colored crema.
- Attach the Filter Holder: Clean the rim of the coffee holder to remove excess coffee grounds and fix it to the machine. Rotate firmly and ensure that it is properly locked in place to avoid any leakage of water. Usually, the filter holders will face the front of the machine directly when properly secured. Check for your particular machine.
- Placement of Cups: If possible, preheat the cups with a small amount of hot water and place them under the filter sprouts. You can also place them on the top plate for 15 to 20 minutes to warm them.
- Start Brewing: Ensure that the green ‘OK’ light is ON. If not, you will have to wait till it comes ON. Turn the knob to the brew position (symbol with a coffee cup and spout) to the right of the squiggly mark. Wait till your coffee cup has the required quantity of the drink. If you need to interrupt the brewing for any reason, turn the selector knob to the squiggly mark.
- Removing the filter and disposing of the grounds: Turning the filter while the brewing process is ‘ON is not recommended.’ At other times, turn the handle to remove it. There is a lever in the handle to lock the filters. Block the filters and turn the holder upside down to dispose of the grounds, gently tapping it.
- Turning OFF the machine: Rotate the knob to the ‘O’ position to turn off the appliance after use.
- Using Espresso Pods with the machine: Instead of grounds or pre-ground coffee beans, use a pod conforming to the ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) standard. Insert eh pod onto the filter and try your best to center it following the instruction on the pod for its correct direction. The balance steps remain the same as described above.
How to Make Cappuccino Using a De’Longhi Espresso Machine
Prepare the espresso for your Cappuccino drink following the steps in the previous section in a large cup that can accommodate the frothed milk. Then follow the steps below.
- Making Boiler Ready: Turn the main knob to the steam icon to the left of the ‘O’ mark. Wait till the boiler attains the temperature for the steam production. The green ‘OK’ light on the right will come ON to indicate readiness.
- Filling the frothing pitcher with milk: Always use skim cold milk at the refrigerator temperature, not hot water. Select the proper size of the frothing pitcher, as the volume of the steamed milk can even triple on frothing. Pour in 100 gms of milk for every cup of cappuccino you want to prepare.
- How to use the milk frother: To froth milk, place the pitcher under the cappuccino maker. Immerse the frother in the milk to a half-centimeter depth and rotate the steam knob on the top counterclockwise. The rotation dictates the amount of steam discharged to the milk, which begins to froth. Immerse the frother deeper into the milk when the volume has doubled approximately.
- Stopping the frother: Continue frothing till the temperature reaches about 140°F or 60°C. At this point, rotate the steam knob clockwise, then turn back the main knob to the ‘O’ position to stop the frother.
- Pouring the milk: Pour the frothed milk into your espresso cups. Sweeten and garnish it and serve.
- Steps for using the machine again: You need to cool down the boiler before using the machine again for brewing coffee. To do so, place a container below the boiler and turn the selector to the squiggly mark till the “OK” light goes ‘ON’ again. Proceed now to brew the coffee. It is recommended to clean the cappuccino maker after every use.
Using Delonghi Dedica EC680 Coffee Maker
Delonghi Dedica EC680 has an absorbed power of 1300W, 15 bar pressure, and a 1-liter tank capacity. Carry out the general steps as detailed earlier, like electrical connection, water filling, etc.
Setting up the Appliance:
The appliance carries out a self-diagnostic check on startup, whereby the three lights, T (single coffee cup icon), U (double coffee cup icon), and V (steam icon), light up sequentially. The T and U lights flash to indicate that the machine is heating up. These lights will go steady once the appliance is ready to use.
Place any container with a minimum 100 ml capacity below the hot water/steam spout. Turn the hot water/steam button dial (steam dial) to the steam/water position and deliver about 100 ml of water. Turn the dial back to the ‘O’ position.
Attach the filter holder by aligning its handle to the ‘Attach’ marking and turning it towards the ‘Close’ marking.
Place a container under the coffee spout and press the ‘U’ key. Repeat the process five times to clean the internal circuits. Next, you need to rinse the steam circuit. To do so, place the container under the hot water/steam spout and turn the steam dial to deliver the hot water. Turn the dial to the ‘O’ position once the water delivery stops. Repeat the steps one more time.
Note: The first few cups of brewed coffee may not be satisfactory.
Programming the Settings:
Nest, we will guide you on how to set up the adjustable controls on this machine.
Ensure the machine is ready for use. Press the V button for 10 seconds till the three buttons (T, U, and V) flash sequentially. To exit the programming menu, simply don’t press any button for 15 seconds.
Setting the coffee temperature:
To enter the coffee selection mode, press the T button and observe which buttons out of the three light up. This will indicate the current setting.
- If T lights up – The temperature setting is ‘Low.’
- T & U – The setting is ‘Medium.’
- All three – The setting is ‘High.’
After indicating the current setting for a short time, all three lights will start flashing again. At his stage, you can change the setting by pressing,
- T – for the ‘Low’ setting.
- U – for the ‘Medium’ setting.
- V – for the ‘High’ setting.
The T button will flash to indicate the setting is saved.
Setting water hardness:
The orange light on the V button (V2 indication) will inform you of the descaling requirement. If you know the hardness of the water from your mains, you can program this setting so that descaling is required at a higher or lower frequency.
The usual guidelines are
- Soft water: Less than 10°dH (dH is the degree of German hardness, where one dH = 10 mg/L CaO, equivalent to 17.8 ppm), Less than 18°fH (fH is the French degree, where one fH = 10mg/L CaCO3, equivalent to 10 ppm), and <180 mg/l CaCo3.
- Medium water: 10°dH to 20°dH, 18°fH – 36°fH, and 180-300mg/l CaCo3.
- Hard water: >20°dH, >36°fH, and > 360mg/l CaCo3.
Press the U button to access the selection menu, and observe the light pattern that comes on.
- If T lights up – The temperature setting is ‘Soft.’
- T & U – The setting is ‘Medium.’
- All three – The setting is ‘Hard.’
The lights will start flashing in sequence. Select the setting by pressing,
- T – for the ‘Soft’ setting.
- U – for the ‘Medium’ setting.
- V – for the ‘Hard’ setting.
The U button will flash to indicate the setting is saved.
Auto OFF setting
The machine can be turned off after 9 min, 30 min, and 3 hours. The method of setting and the indications are similar to the previous two cases; only you need to enter the menu using the V button.
The quantity of Coffee Delivered
The machine usually delivers the standard quantities of coffee. To change these quantities, press and hold the T or U button, whose setting you want to alter. Before pressing the button, ensure that you have placed the cups under the coffee spouts for receiving these coffees.
The machine will start delivering the coffee while the other light flashes. This means that if you have pressed the T button, the U light will be flashing and vice versa. Once the desired amount of coffee is delivered, release the button. The earlier pressed light will flash to indicate that the setting is saved before becoming steady.
Preparing the espresso using the Dedica EC680
The steps are quite similar to the EC155. Hence, we will only indicate the differences in the following section.
- You can place the cup on the cup warmer section ‘D’ to prewarm it before pouring the coffee.
- The single coffee holder symbol indicates a small filter for a single cup. Similarly, the double coffee holder indicates a filter for two cups of coffee, and a single holder with a pod symbol indicates the pod filter.
- Press the T or U button to make one or two cups of coffee after the machine is in ready mode. You need to place the two cups under the two coffee spouts for two cups. You can use the same button to interrupt the delivery if needed for any reason.
- The Cappuccino is prepared exactly as EC 155, using the V button, the steam dial, and the steam/hot water spout.
Using Delonghi ECP3420 Machine
Delonghi ECP 3420 is for those who prefer manual extractions over automatic espresso machines. The Dedica 680 had One Touch Control with an Automatic Flow Stop and the option of a programmable drink, while ECP3430 does not come with these features. The second difference is that the boilers With Dedica have a thermoblock, while ECP3420 has a stainless steel boiler.
The procedure to operate ECP3420 is quite similar to other machines, particularly EC155. Hence, we shall only highlight the main differences instead of repeating the entire procedure.
Setting up the machine
The main knob has four positions Off, ON, Coffee/Hot water, and Steam. In addition, there are two pilot lamps, B2 and B3, indicating Ready and ON.
- Turn the main knob to ON, and the B3 light will come ON.
- Insert the filter and attach the holder to the machine without the grounds.
- Place two containers of half-liters below the coffee and cappuccino maker. When the ready light B2 is ON, turn the knob to the Coffee/Hot water position till half the water tank discharges into the container.
- Now turn the steam dial to the steam/water position and discharge the balance water in the tank through the cappuccino maker outlet.
- Turn back the two dials to the ON and ‘O’ positions.
- Repeat the process a few times.
The steps for preparing the espresso and cappuccino are almost identical to the EC155.
Hopefully, you are now in a position to brew your espresso or cappuccino using either Delonghi EC155, Dedica EC680, or Delonghi ECP3420. Please share your experience with our readers in the comment section below.