De’Longhi is one of the biggest names in coffee whose mere mention can conjure up images of a perfect espresso in cafés across the Italian peninsula. They have built an excellent reputation through years of producing some of the best espresso machines you can buy.
Rarely at the top-end of a price bracket, De’Longhi products are simple, well made, and borderline invincible. In this De’Longhi Magnifica XS review, we will see how one of their more expensive offerings stacks up against the competition.
Then you can decide if it is worth splashing out on a fully automatic espresso machine to have your morning coffee at the touch of a button.
To compile this Magnifica XS review, we have scoured the internet for all the reviews to collate with our own. So this is the most comprehensive espresso machine review you will find. Whilst not all home coffee experts give numerical scores, we have averaged these out. Therefore, you can get a consensus opinion on how good this coffee maker really is and know for sure if it is right for you.
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At a Glance: De’Longhi Magnifica XS Review
De’Longhi Magnifica XS
This is a great option at the budget end of the super-automatic espresso machine market.
It is not without its faults – manual milk frother and single boiler being the main two. But it does everything it’s designed to do really well.
Overall, this bean-to-cup machine is very simple to use. It will pull a really good shot of espresso once you’ve tinkered a bit, plus it’s easy to keep clean.
All you need to work out is if you need the extra functions of the more expensive machines when it comes to milk foaming and having a dual boiler. If you don’t, or you are on a budget, this is a great option.
- BSimple to use
- Coffee spout is height adjustable
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Drinks are customizable
- Coffee grinder can be adjusted
- Manual milk frother
- Plastic covering scratches easily
1. Stainless Steel Burr Grinder
A high-quality burr grinder is essential for getting the best espresso. And the Magnifica XS doesn’t disappoint as its grinder is low RPM and whisper-quiet, ensuring the flavorful oils from your beans aren’t lost. With 13 easily changeable settings, it allows you to dial in the perfect grind for your beans.
2. Thermoblock Heating System
Thermoblock boilers ensure fast heating of water for coffee and steam. By only heating the water required for each coffee, the De’Longhi Magnifica XS saves energy and heats up quickly.
3. Brews 2 Coffees at Once
With height-adjustable dual coffee spouts, you can make 2 coffees at the same time. This takes a little pain out of the morning rush.
4. Sealed Bean Hopper with UV Filter
The UV filtering lid and rubber seal ensure your coffee beans stay fresh in the bean hopper.
To program the volume of water, you simply hold down the preferred drink button, then press it again once it has poured the desired volume.
There is a knob in the bean hopper to select your grind settings. And a big knob in the middle of the display to adjust the strength, which actually changes the amount of coffee used in each brew.
Overall this makes the Magnifica XS very straightforward to use and to adjust to your coffee preferences.
The milk frother is a manual, which won’t appeal to everyone. The “cappuccino tip” works fairly well for foaming milk nicely, but if you are a flat white fan it may be difficult to get exactly the texture you are looking for. Having to hold the milk jug in place while it foams is a bit of an annoyance on a machine at this price but hardly a dealbreaker. Just don’t forget to keep an eye on it so you don’t burn your milk!
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys an occasional decaf or flavored coffee, there is a chute for adding pre-ground to your machine. It’s a nice feature for convenience and particularly helpful if entertaining, when people may have different coffee preferences to you.
At first glance, this may seem a little odd – why compromise on quality and freshness. However, it gives you the flexibility to brew the occasional decaf or flavored coffee, if the mood takes you, without having to empty and refill the bean hopper.
To me, this feature comes into its own when I have guests who prefer decaf.
It’s now pretty standard on bean-to-cup machines. So don’t feel like you’re paying extra for having something you may not use.
The best espresso starts with the best espresso beans
Check out the top choices from experts throughout the coffee industry
The De’Longhi Magnifica XS is 9.4″ by 17″ by 13.8″, making it quite slim for a super-automatic espresso machine. So, If you’re looking at a pretty full countertop, wondering if you have the space for a bulky espresso machine then this is great news.
With buttons and knobs, it’s more of an “old-school” design than you’ll find on many bean-to-cup machines. This doesn’t affect the functionality and, for some people, may actually make it much easier to use.
The black and silver color combo looks modern enough to fit in most kitchens. Although, the fully silver model looks a little 90s (DeLonghi ECAM22110SB).
De’Longhi builds coffee makers to last – and this is no exception. Everything is very well built and put together, as you would expect.
We have a small gripe about the single boiler for both coffee and steam. It means you have to wait between using for water or steam (for milk). And, on an expensive espresso and cappuccino machine, this seems pretty poor.
That said, it only takes around 10 seconds to switch between coffee brewing and milk steaming. So calling this a big problem is blowing it way out of proportion.
The thermoblock also “auto-flushes” hot water when you switch between functions. So there is no fear of burning your coffee or pouring water instead of steam into your milk.
The milk foamer is manual, which some may prefer – annoying for others. De’Longhi’s “cappuccino tip” does a decent job of getting a good microfoam without having to learn how to steam milk. But this means getting perfect foam for a latte or flat white foam is more difficult. Whether this will annoy you comes down to what drinks you want to make and how fussy you are about your milk.
The water tank holds 60 oz of water and the bean hopper holds 8.8oz of coffee beans. Both are good sizes and easy to refill when necessary.
With the ability to adjust the grind, temperature, amount of coffee, and the volume of water, you should be able to pull really good quality coffee no matter what your preference is. This also allows you to make subtle adjustments depending on the beans that you are using.
If you’re a cappuccino drinker, the milk foaming will work really well for you once you get on board with manually holding the jug. However, latte and flat white drinkers may not like the foam to textured milk ratio. If this is you, you’ll have to play around a bit to get it right.
For such an expensive machine, these little things can become big frustrations. So if that is your coffee of choice and you’re particular about your milk preferences, this may not be the machine for you. If so, maybe a Jura machine would be a better match.
Compared to the more expensive super-automatic espresso machines, the Magnifica XS is pretty basic. It doesn’t have the same additional features, but then it is priced as “entry-level” for these types of coffee machines.
The grinder, however, is excellent and very quiet.
Plus, the customization options are also pretty good and give you a wide range of options to tailor your coffee to your particular tastes.
The lack of different user profiles to save your drinks preferences to and not having an automatic milk dispenser are small irritations. But you’re also saving a fair few hundred dollars to forego these features. So the question needs to be asked if you need, or just want, them.
You’ll also want to clean out the grinder once a month to make sure it’s kept in top condition and there aren’t any clumps of grounds stuck in there. De’Longhi has a special “tube system” for its grinder which is supposed to eliminate this problem. But it’s best practice to give it a monthly clean with a soft brush anyway.
Overall, this machine is pretty easy to look after and the only part that really needs to be cleaned after each use is the milk frother. A hot damp cloth can usually do this. The cappuccino tip is also removable for deeper cleaning and will probably be necessary every week or so, depending on how often you use it.
If the Magnifica XS isn’t for you. Check out our Jura espresso machine reviews for some great other options.
Don’t get us wrong, it is by no means perfect for all types of coffee. The manual milk foamer being the main issue. But for black coffee, espresso, cappuccino, or macchiato fans it will do a really good job. Plus, it will do it quickly and easily too, which is always a bonus.
Having 13 grind settings is actually pretty impressive as many more expensive bean-to-cup machines have less. And the simplicity of buttons will appeal to many over touchscreens.
Overall, it’s a classic example of compromise:
It doesn’t do all the tricks of more expensive machines but if you don’t actually want those tricks, why pay more money to have them?
Don’t forget to Buy Your De’Longhi Magnifica XS Today
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