DeLonghi Magnifica S Review: Simple but Good!

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

Our review process | Our team

As you know, I'm a big fan of no-nonsense marketing. That’s why I love it when a manufacturer clearly states what you can expect from their coffee maker or super automatic espresso machine. This holds true, even when such expectations are deliberately set low, and in the eyes of many, expectations could hardly be lower than they are with the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110.

As you know, I’m a big fan of no-nonsense marketing. That’s why I love it when a manufacturer clearly states what you can expect from their coffee maker or super automatic espresso machine. This holds true, even when such expectations are deliberately set low, and in the eyes of many, expectations could hardly be lower than they are with the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110.

The De’Longhi Magnifica ECAM 22.110 has had a place in my super automatic espresso machine tests for years. In fact, it’s always been my benchmark device. That said, to make sure you get the most out of your ECAM 22.110, we’ve experimented with the settings a lot.

Why did we go through all of this trouble? Well, because it can do much more than the price tag suggests. Though it doesn’t pretend to be a high-tech device at all, merely focusing on what counts. Or to put it in DeLonghi’s words: “what more could coffee lovers want from their first super automatic espresso machine?”

A solid performer

DeLonghi Magnifica S

Not the best, but it’s definitely the best in its class

Exceptional value

Very compact

Thoughtful details

Easy to clean

Good cup results

No digital display

The DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 Automatic Espresso Machine at a Glance

Like most independent consumer reports organizations, our local German one doesn’t always get it right. However, in the case of the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 super automatic coffee machine, however, we actually agree for a change:

The device achieves high marks as a super automatic coffee machine with a useful manual milk frothing system. Throw in the numerous setting options available, and you’ve got yourself a great cup of coffee. Plus, let’s not forget about the affordable price.

As we’ve all become accustomed to with so many other manufacturers, DeLonghi Magnifica models are confusing due to their long names and cryptic codes. These codes are supposed to indicate the differences between them, but those differences aren’t always clear.

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 -- Arne with his hand up.

When it comes down to it, the letter at the end is all that really matters — and it doesn’t matter all that much! The breakdown goes like this:

  • “S” means “Silver”

  • “B” means “Black”

  • “SB” means “Silver and Black”

Be careful though: just because it says Silver doesn’t mean it has stainless steel housing. This machine is plastic through and through.

If you want to make your head spin, go ahead and compare the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 with the other De’Longhi Magnifica models in their lineup:

A quick price comparison of the specs will show you that you’ll get a lot for your money with the ECAM 22.110. Check out what comes with it:

  • 13-level stainless steel conical burr grinder

  • Ability to easily adjust coffee strength

  • Temperature adjustment settings with up to 208 degrees Fahrenheit (98 degrees Celsius) max brewing temperature

  • Adjustable dispensing spout for cups between 3.35 and 5.6 inches (8.5 and 14.2 centimeters)

  • Minimum espresso volume of 0.85 ounces (25 milliliters) with accurate calibration when increased

The DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 Automatic Espresso Machine Pros and Cons

In the words of DeLonghi: “what more could you want from an entry-level coffee machine?” Absolutely nothing! Not even more expensive machines typically deliver on all of these specs.

However, keep in mind that the price of the DeLonghi Magnifica S would obviously force you to cut corners somewhere. With that in mind, the most important negatives for me are these:

  • All plastic housing

  • No digital display

  • Many setting options — but not ones that are very intuitive

  • A grinder with a few problems at the finest settings

Don’t think for a moment that I’ll classify a manual milk frothing wand as a disadvantage either, else you’ll be greatly disappointed. Though the basic premise behind super automatic espresso makers is complete laziness, I really like working with milk frothing nozzles.

With more experience, you too will love the manual milk frothing feature, as it allows you to personalize your milk foam consistency in a way that automatic milk frothers can’t. If that doesn’t float your boat though, I recommend you take a look at my DeLonghi Dinamica Plus review.

At this point I should mention that the Italian manufacturer seems to be phasing out the ECAM 22.110. In fact, the machine no longer features on the DeLonghi website, although it’s still available on Amazon. With that in mind, you should definitely consider either the DeLonghi Magnifica Evo or the DeLonghi Magnifica Start instead. I happen to love these updated Magnifica machines, and I’ll give you more detail on why a little later.

DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 Technical Specifications

DeLonghi Magnifica S
Manufacturer

De’Longhi

Model number

ECAM22110

Product category

Super automatic espresso machine

Removable brew group

Housing material

Plastic

Color options

Black, Silver, Silver/Black

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Text display with buttons

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

Maximum cup height

5.5 in / 14.0 cm

Minimum cup height

2.7 in / 6.9 cm

Grinder

Stainless steel conical burr grinder

Grind adjustment levels

13

Bean hopper capacity

8.8 oz / 250.0 g

Pre-ground coffee bypass

Grounds discard container capacity

14

Specialty drinks

2

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

Adjustable milk temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Pot function

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1250 W

Weight

20.1 lb / 9.1 kg

Dimensions

13.8 x 9.4 x 17.0 in
35.1 x 23.9 x 43.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Water softener filter, Descaling solution, Measuring scoop, Instruction booklet.

Current price on Amazon

$765.04

All specifications

Adjusting the DeLonghi Magnifica: Getting Started

Just like how a manual milk frothing wand can be less attractive to some, a super automatic espresso machine without a display can be unappealing as well. After all, how are you supposed to adjust all of the settings with ease if they’re buried under combinations of buttons? It can feel a bit like trying to break the code to get out of an escape room challenge!

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 -- with Arne standing behind it.

The reality is, if you want to adjust the amount of coffee that flows into your cup or the temperature, you’ll have to invest a little time and get to know the machine. However, I think that’s how it should be for an entry-level model. After all, once you’re an expert on the ECAM 22.110, you’ll be able to set up other DeLonghi models with ease.

Not Without My Instruction Manual!

If you happen to be one of those people who hates instruction manuals, you might want to at least throw this one in a drawer. That way, you can refer to it while your spouse or roommates aren’t looking. Take the steps to set the temperature up or down, for example. The manual says to turn the machine off, but leave the power switch on and then press a series of icons and buttons in a certain order. Good luck feeling your way through that one without the manual!

Although this complex of a procedure is common for many other coffee machines and super automatic espresso machines, it always makes beginners want to pull their hair out. That’s why it’s worth saving the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 user manual as a PDF on your smartphone or tablet — especially in the beginning.

Adjusting the Grinder to Meet Your Needs

Having 13 grind levels to choose from on an entry-level model is normal for DeLonghi, but it’s certainly not common in this price range. Unfortunately, the two finest levels will be of little use to you, as the grinder gets overwhelmed and tends to jam.

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 with the infuser on top of the machine.

The pump also apparently fails to generate the necessary water pressure to force the liquid through the compressed coffee puck and extract a perfect espresso. That’s why the Magnifica ECAM 22.110 saves itself by saying that the other 11 levels are more than sufficient. Though the finest usable setting obviously corresponds to the machine’s actual parameters, as always, you can make these settings directly on the wheel in the bean compartment.

Plus, don’t forget that you can only adjust the wheel during operation so that the grinder engages. You’ll also need to keep in mind that the changes won’t be apparent until you’ve prepared a couple of coffees.

Adjust the coarseness of the grind on the DeLonghi ECAM 22.110

By the way, when it comes to noise levels, what you’ll hear from the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110 is normal for a stainless steel grinder — and certainly quieter than the roar of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300.

Espresso That’s Close to Portafilter Quality and Yet So Far Away

Like the grinder issue mentioned above, the other espresso settings that come preset on the De’Longhi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 are wrong — or at least not optimal by barista standards. That said, once adjusted properly, the components mesh so well together that you can brew a very convincing espresso.

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 brewing coffee up close.

The minimum volume is 0.85 ounces (25 milliliters), which is wonderful for a single shot of espresso. I also tested the Magnifica with 1.35 ounces — the preset — as the basis for a double shot. This required me to adjust the amount of coffee grounds as well as the temperature.

You also have the option to adjust the coffee strength continuously with the dial on the front — that is, to use more or less coffee grinds to achieve the strength of coffee you’re going for while brewing.

Again, many other models don’t offer this much freedom of choice. For example the Philips 3200 LatteGo super automatic espresso machine only offers three aroma strength settings.

A Philips LatteGo latte espresso.

Speaking of coffee grinds: it’s still a bad habit for manufacturers to equip their super automatic coffee machines with a pre-ground coffee compartment — in case you ever run out of beans. As you know, I don’t think much of this feature and, therefore, avoid mentioning it.

Since we’re talking about an entry-level machine though, here’s my opinion on the matter: use only freshly roasted coffee beans from small independent roasters. That way, you get the best aroma and ensure that industrial roasters gradually lose their grip on the market.

If you want a caffè lungo — that is, a longer extracted espresso with more water — there’s also a button for that. You should save that one. For the best taste though, I always recommend an americano — a properly extracted espresso that you top up with hot water afterward. It’s super nice that a hot-water function is built-in to help with such operations.

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 bean compartment espresso cover number two.

While this means additional work, it’s worth it for good beans and an excellent aroma that’ll pull you out of bed in the morning.

Best Coffee for the DeLonghi Magnifica S

We have developed a coffee blend for all super automatic espresso machines, including the DeLonghi Magnifica S. We tested espresso and black coffee, both of which displayed notes of chocolate and cocoa powder.

It all depends on the beans: if you put something good in at the top, something good will come out at the bottom!

Coffee for Fully Automatic Espresso Machines

Coffee for Fully Automatic Espresso Machines

Our famous coffee beans are finally available in the US!

Freshly roasted

Notes of Chocolate

Quick delivery

Low acidity

Get it on Amazon

These are the ideal settings for our coffee with the DeLonghi Magnifica S:

  • Grind setting: 3

  • Attention: Only adjust when the grinder is running!

  • Espresso volume: 0.8 ounces (25 milliliters). Prepare coffee as an americano (espresso first then hot water)

  • Temperature: High

  • Coffee strength: Approximately 80% (dial relatively far to the right)

The Milk Froth: Become a Barista

There really should be a point deduction for any super automatic coffee maker without a milk frothing system — after all, automating all aspects of coffee preparation is part of the foundation of the category.

Arne pouring steamed milk to make a latte, using the DeLonghi ECAM 22.110

As a former barista, I usually prefer a manual steam wand over an automatic milk frothing system with hoses, nozzles and preset consistency. That’s because nothing could be better for your latte macchiato or that trendy flat white than hand-frothed milk. With the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110, you have full creative control over:

  • The amount of milk

  • Consistency of the milk froth

  • Milk temperature

In other words, everything that really matters! In addition, the steam wand is easy to clean. All you have to do is open it briefly before and after frothing to release the steam and rinse the milk residue from the nozzles. Then, wipe it down with a dedicated damp towel, and you’re done.

Yes, I know, manual milk frothing is annoying because it takes a lot of practice to get it right. Still, once you’ve got the hang of it, you can froth up cocoa or matcha lattes directly in the milk jug, or even start some other adventurous experiments.

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 manual steam wand.

However, I do want to say that the steam pressure of the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 is nowhere near what you’ll get from a decent home espresso machine. Then again, beginners don’t have anything to compare it to, so you can approach the features of your super automatic espresso machine with an open mind … which ensures better results!

Cleaning the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110

It should be obvious by now that I think the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 is a very well-thought-out super automatic coffee machine that focuses on simplicity in all the right places. Cleaning is definitely one of those places.

Cleaning the DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 milk frothing nozzle.

The DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 makes cleaning very easy. For starters, there’s a built-in water filter, which at least keeps the problem of limescale buildup at bay for a while. There’s also a mandatory cleaning program designed to be foolproof. That said, a cleaning tablet and a few online tutorials will usually get the job done in no time.

Cleaning the Brew Group

you’ll be happy to hear that you can easily remove the brew group of the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110. Just rinse it under running water after each day of use. To do so, simply open the flap behind the water tank and remove the component while the machine is idle.

Removing the DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 brew group.

It’s a good idea to dry the brew group completely while it’s detached from the machine and leave the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 open for a while to air dry. I recommend doing this from time to time, especially if you’re going out of town. Otherwise, the moisture present in the espresso machine will provide optimal conditions for bacteria to grow.

Descaling Made Easy

Just because there’s a water filter doesn’t mean you can save yourself the trouble of descaling the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110. With a few exceptions, limescale in water is a pretty common occurrence worldwide. That’s why it’s important to program the water hardness of the machine at the very beginning. This setting determines how often it will present a descale notification.

For the exact sequence of descaling, I recommend you refer back to the instruction manual or check out DeLonghi’s instructional video on descaling a Magnifica S ECAM 22.110. On average, you need to plan on descaling the machine once a month — which should be doable.

Cleaning the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110: Quick Steps That Yield Results

You should clean the water reservoir, grounds container and drip tray daily. Either by hand or in a dishwasher will do just fine, at least initially. However, keep in mind that plastic and dishwashers aren’t the best of friends in the long run — a recommendation from the manufacturer that is lost on most people in our fast-paced society where convenience is king.

The DeLonghi ECAM 22.110 water reservoir.

Using mild dish soap to hand wash the drip tray and grounds container will work nicely. However, I’d avoid using dish soap on the water reservoir unless you want your coffee or milk froth to taste like soap. No one wants that! Simply rinsing the water reservoir with water and allowing it to air dry or drying it with a towel will suffice.

Removing the coffee grounds container and drip tray is very easy to do, as it can be done without having to move or turn the machine. Both parts are quite small, which means you’ll have to empty and rinse them more frequently anyway. That’s a good thing though! I don’t want to know how rarely I might empty the garbage can if it was never full.

DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 vs DeLonghi Magnifica Evo

Arne next to the DeLonghi Magnifica Evo.

As I mentioned earlier, DeLonghi has recently released a shiny new model that’s now the flagship Magnifica machine. The DeLonghi Magnifica Evo essentially takes everything that’s great about the older models and adds a little more functionality and pizazz.

Costing $549.95, the Magnifica Evo requires a more substantial financial investment, but what you get definitely makes this machine worth the money.

For starters, the user interface is about as easy to navigate as it gets. Everything you need is right there, including color drink icons and soft touch buttons for making adjustments.

What’s more, the DeLonghi Magnifica Evo features a wonderful automatic milk frother that’ll provide milk foam on-demand. Plus, the integrated milk flask can easily be removed for cleaning.

Sure, I didn’t feel like the DeLonghi Magnifica Evo had revolutionized the world of automatic espresso makers during my testing. However, as an upgrade to older machines like the Magnifica S, it feels like a great leap forward.

See Also: DeLonghi Magnifica Evo Review 2024

My Conclusion: Fall in Love With the Plastic Housing!

I’m always amazed that the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110 gets such a consistently high rating from me, no matter how many new machines land on my desk during super automatic coffee machine testing.

A solid performer

DeLonghi Magnifica S

Not the best, but it’s definitely the best in its class

Exceptional value

Very compact

Thoughtful details

Easy to clean

Good cup results

No digital display

Actually, in light of the cheap plastic housing, I often wonder if I should kick the thing to the curb and punish it with extreme prejudice. Then again, I remember that underneath that ugly exterior is a super automatic coffee machine that doesn’t have to hide behind larger models in terms of functionality.

This is not a bait-and-switch scenario: the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110 wasn’t put on the market to upsell you more expensive models. Instead, it offers great value for its price, even though DeLonghi knows that you’ll want an upgrade at some point — and openly admits to such. That said, the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110 won’t leave you longing for an upgrade anytime soon.

Got any questions or additional suggestions about this DeLonghi Magnifica review? Leave me your comments about the ECAM 22.110 below!

Your coffee expert
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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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