How To Use DeLonghi Espresso Machine: The 101 Guide

8 min read NOV 09, 2023

DeLonghi is one of the most trusted Italian companies. It has been around since 1902. Over the years, it has established itself as a premier brand for household appliances. And after almost nine decades since its inception, DeLonghi dipped into the coffee machine sector in 1993. It also revolutionized the coffee machine industry in 2003 by launching its first super-automatic machine, Magnifica.

Enough with the facts now. We know what you're here for; to learn how to use a DeLonghi espresso machine. Hold up, which DeLonghi machine do you own? Is it manual, automatic, or all-in-one? Never mind. We'll show you how to use all three kinds of DeLonghi espresso machines in this article.

The 3 Types Of DeLonghi Espresso Machines You're Likely To Own

Before anything else, let's briefly examine the three different types of DeLonghi espresso machines. Whether you already have one on your kitchen countertop or plan to replace/buy one, going through this part of the article will help you decide which "how-to-use" instruction you should learn.

Manual Espresso Machines

Usually, a manual machine is synonymous with "beginner-friendly," and "budget-friendly." Automatic machines incorporate advanced features for which one must be technically sound. Surprisingly, it’s the opposite when it comes to espresso machines.

Sure, manual espresso machines are more affordable. However, they aren't suitable for beginners or those who aren’t serious about improving their barista skills. That's because this type of espresso machine gives the user the ultimate control over their brew.

In other words, from setting the right grind size to starting and pulling the shot, you'll have to put your barista skills to work. Besides, you'll also have to steam the milk manually.

The biggest benefit of manual machines is that it gives you the liberty to make the brewing process your own, hence the resulting drink tastes exactly as you want it. Moreover, you also get a more personal brewing experience.

Automatic Espresso Machines

Automatic espresso machines are the complete opposite. They’re the epitome of convenience. If you enjoy a cup of espresso ordered from the cafe, or are still a newbie in homebrewing, automatic machines are ideal for you!

Automatic espresso machines have a user-friendly interface consisting of knobs, LED icons, or push buttons. You only have to push a few buttons, and the machine will do the rest! Freshly brewed espresso is just one click away; it can't get easier than this.

The best thing about automatic espresso machines is that they offer many customizations. You can set your grind size, temperature, brewing time, etc. Many automatic espresso machines take it up a notch with inbuilt coffee grinders and automatic milk steaming systems. However, all these advanced and convenient features usually reflect in their price tags.

All-In-One Espresso Machines

This type of machine is a combination of automatic and manual espresso machines.

While they usually come with a double heating system to make drip coffee and espresso simultaneously, you'll have to manually brew the espresso. From measuring and tamping coffee grounds to pulling the shot, you're the boss!

These machines are the perfect pick for those that can't choose between an espresso and a regular cup of latte or cappuccino.

Take Care Of The Basics First

Before going on any further, ensure the basics are covered; the machine should be on a flat surface, away from water sources, and plugged in; the water tank should be full; and preheat the machine. And don't forget to place a cup or mug on the tray to hold your drink. Most espresso machines will show a green or red light indicating it's ready to brew.

How To Use A Manual DeLonghi Espresso Machine?

All manual espresso machines require you to do most of the work. Regardless of your model, here are the instructions you should follow. 

How to Brew Espresso?

  • Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the filter. Most standard DeLonghi filters will hold about two tablespoons of coffee. Make sure to brush off excess coffee particles from the outer area.
  • Level the coffee ground by tamping it gently. Avoid applying too much pressure. If the coffee grounds are too firmly packed, water might not pass through it.
  • Next, secure the filter to the machine by rotating it from left to right. The filter handle should be at the front of your espresso machine.
  • Finally, turn the knob on or push the button to start brewing.

How To Froth Milk?

Generally, manual DeLonghi machines come with a commercial-grade or Pannarello steam wand. Either way, you'll have to froth the milk manually. Steaming milk with a manual wand has a learning curve. So, don't be disappointed even if your first frothing experience fails. With time and practice, you'll get the hang of it.

Here's how to do this: 

  • Add about 3.5 ounces of cold milk to the pitcher.
  • Place the pitcher under the wand. The wand should be just below the surface of the milk at a slight angle.
  • Turn on the steam function and move the pitcher in a circular motion. Doing so will create a whirlpool of bubbles.
  • You can also move the pitcher up and down while the milk is heating to break up larger bubbles and create a creamier foam.
  • Once the milk doubles in size, it's ready to go into your coffee.

How To Clean The Machine?

Here comes the best part: all DeLonghi espresso machines are super easy to clean. You might actually enjoy this part more than brewing espresso.

  • Most removable parts are dishwasher-safe. So, you can simply remove the parts and toss them in the dishwasher.
  • If not, just run the parts under clean water.
  • Another great thing about these machines is that they'll let you know when it's time to descale. For this, just add a descaling solution to the water reservoir.
  • Place a mug under the steam nozzle to collect the water.
  • Then press the descaling button and fully open the steam handle so the hot water can flow.
  • Descaling your DeLonghi machine can take about 30 minutes.
  • Once done, refill the water tank with clean water and rinse again by switching on the flushing program.

How To Use An Automatic DeLonghi Espresso Machine?

Brewing, frothing, and cleaning can be done with just the press of a few buttons on an automatic espresso machine. Here's how:

How to Brew Espresso?

  • Typically, you'll find two chambers in a DeLonghi automatic machine. If your machine has a burr grinder, simply add your coffee beans to it. Then, select the grind size and amount.
  • If you're using pre-ground coffee, add it to the second or bypass chamber.
  • Next, select your brew settings. Now, this depends on the model you own, but most of the time, you might need to choose the brew temperature, shot size, and strength.
  • Finally, push or click the brew button, and the machine will brew your espresso in seconds!

How To Froth Milk?

You'll find two types of frother on an automatic machine- manual and automatic.

  • If your automatic espresso machine comes with a manual frother, like in the classic DeLonghi Magnifica model, follow our above manual frothing technique.
  • For an automatic milk frother, place the pitcher filled with milk underneath the wand.
  • Select your preferred milk amount, temperature, and consistency. And the machine will take care of the rest!

How To Clean The Machine?

Cleaning an automatic espresso machine is, again, a cinch.

  • Remove the removable parts and run them under water or toss them in the dishwasher if they're dishwasher-safe.
  • Machines that come with an automatic frother will have a flushing option. This means the machine will automatically clean itself after you froth your milk.
  • For descaling, the instructions are the same as we mentioned for manual espresso machines.

How To Use An All-In-One DeLonghi Espresso Machine?

In these machines, there are two ways to make coffee- drip coffee and espresso. We have mentioned both below:

How to Brew Espresso?

  • Add ground coffee into the filter and level it with a tamper.
  • Brush any excess coffee particles. If not, they might get stuck in the machine, and cleaning that will be a mess.
  • Place the filter into the machine and lock it by turning it from left to right.
  • Click the brew option.

How To Brew Drip Coffee?

  • Place the carafe underneath the filter nozzle.
  • Add coffee grounds to the filter and tamp it gently.
  • Close the filter holder door and turn on the machine.

How To Froth Milk?

All-in-one espresso machines feature two types of froth settings. One is for making velvety microfoam for your lattes. The other one creates a bubbly froth for your cappuccinos.

  • Simply place the pitcher filled with cold milk under the steam wand.
  • Select your desired frothing setting and start steaming.
  • The machine will get the job done while you do the smallest task of holding the pitcher in place.

How To Clean The Machine?

Cleaning an all-in-one espresso machine is the same as manual and automatic machines.

  • Clean all removable parts after every brewing session. You can place the parts in the dishwasher given they’re safe to do so. If not, you can hand wash them with clean water.
  • When the descaling light turns on, add the descaling solution to the water tank and run the descaling program.
  • Similarly, this will take around 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it with clean water for the second time.
  • When the second rinse is complete, the descaling light will turn off, indicating that your machine is ready for use.


How often should I clean my espresso machine?

You should clean your espresso machine after every brewing session. You should remove all removable parts and run them under clean water or wash them in the dishwasher if they're dishwasher safe. You should deep clean or descale the machine at least once a week. Don't worry, even if you forget, because a DeLonghi machine will typically remind you with its indicator.

How do you make espresso with a DeLonghi machine?

To make espresso with a DeLonghi machine, you simply have to fill the filter with coffee grounds and level it with a tamper. Then, secure the filter to its designated place. Place your mug on the drip tray to hold the drink. Finally, click the brew button, and voila! Your espresso is ready.

How long does DeLonghi espresso take?

The time taken to make espresso in a DeLonghi machine varies depending on the model. Generally, it takes around 18-23 seconds to produce a single shot of espresso and up to 26 seconds for a double shot.

Can I use pre-ground coffee in my DeLonghi espresso machine?

Yes, most automatic DeLonghi espresso machines are compatible with both coffee beans and pre-ground coffee. The machine will usually come with two chambers for each purpose.

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