DeLonghi ECP3420 Review 2022: An Affordable Espresso Machine for Beginners

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

Many people consider the DeLonghi ECP3420 to be a starter espresso maker for barista wannabes. In this DeLonghi ECP3420 review I aim to find out whether this compact, streamlined machine can deliver the goods.

Many people consider the DeLonghi ECP3420 to be a starter espresso maker for barista wannabes. In this DeLonghi ECP3420 review I aim to find out whether this compact, streamlined machine can deliver the goods.

Costing $169.95 on Amazon, the DeLonghi ECP3420 seems to have an unbeatable price. However, it’s not the Italian manufacturer’s most affordable manual espresso machine.

So, are the features worth the cash you’ll spend, or are you better off looking for an espresso machine that’s easier on the wallet? Keep reading my DeLonghi ECP3420 review and we’ll dive into everything you need to know.

DeLonghi ECP3420

Ideal for beginners!

Simple user interface

Compact design

Easy to clean

Adjustable cup height

Plastic tamper

No milk pitcher included

DeLonghi ECP3420 Review Overview

We’ll get into the nitty gritty later in this DeLonghi ECP3420 review. In the meantime, here’s a quick overview of this espresso machine’s most impressive features.

Starting off, it’s no surprise that this espresso maker has 15 bars of pressure for great tasting espresso. Anything from 9 to 15 bars of pressure is standard for pump espresso machines, and most of DeLonghi’s manual espresso machines follow suit.

Besides the espresso machine pressure, there’s a manual milk frother on the side so you can froth milk for a cappuccino while you brew coffee and espresso.

The removable drip tray on this machine has two main functions. For starters, it allows you to easily clean any espresso or hot water that might’ve dripped out during the brewing process. Secondly, it gives you the ability to use taller cups too  – up to five inches (12.7 centimeters).

The DeLonghi ECP3420 overview.

Nobody wants to wait around for their morning espresso, and with this machine you won’t have to. It has self priming operation combined with a stainless steel boiler, to ensure minimal wait time as the DeLonghi is preheating.

At 37 ounces (1.1 liters), the water tank on this machine is bigger than I’d expected. Plus, it’s completely removable, so filling it isn’t a chore. And if you’re not sure how much water you need to put in, there’s no guesswork needed with this espresso maker. The ECP3420 includes a water level indicator so you never have to worry about the machine running dry.

Thus far, the ECP3420 seems like a solid proposition, especially considering its price. Unlike more high end espresso makers, you won’t get total control over the brewing process. Still, the DeLonghi ECP3420 is straightforward and completely beginner-friendly.

DeLonghi ECP3420 Features

Now that we’ve got a better idea of what we’re dealing with, it’s time to go deeper. Let’s take a closer look at the features you can expect from the DeLonghi ECP3420.

Compact Design

Not everyone has all the counter space in the world to dedicate to their espresso machine. Fortunately, the ECP3420 seems to specialize in compact with its space saving design. This machine weighs less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), so it’s small enough to fit nicely in a dorm room or a studio apartment kitchen.

Along with taking up minimal space, the ECP3420 features a sleek, intelligent design. There’s a spot on top of the machine to store your cups and convenient storage for your filters too.

Colors

If you’ve checked out my espresso machine guide 2022, you’ll know that color choices are usually limited. However, the ECP3420 is a rare exception. If you’re big on the classics, you may want to stick with the traditional stainless steel finish.

With that said, the sleek black and red options might just jive with your kitchen decor. The ECP3420 even includes a white aluminum option, and as long as you don’t mind visible stains, it’ll certainly pop in your kitchen.

User Interface

A good user interface can make or break an espresso machine. I mean, who wants to spend an hour trying to figure out how to brew espresso or use the steam wand every morning? The good news is that the ECP3420 keeps things simple and beginner friendly.

You’ve got a large selector on the front of the machine that controls most of the machine’s functionality  – from turning it on to dispensing espresso into your cup. You’ll also see two indicator lights on that same panel. One lets you know when the machine is on, and the other lights up when the machine is done preheating.

The user interface certainly lacks a lot of the sophistication that a high end automatic espresso machine might have. However, it’s definitely a selling point for beginners or anyone who doesn’t mind limited control of the brew cycle.

Removable Water Tank

You can’t start brewing espresso until you’ve filled up the water tank. It might not seem like big news that the ECP3420 has a removable water tank but it’s more convenient than you might imagine.

Unless your espresso machine is right by the sink, filling up a tank that’s not removable is going to become tedious very quickly. With the ECP3420, all you’ve got to do is pop the tank out, fill it up and place it back in. Not to mention, cleaning the water tank or disassembling the machine becomes easier too.

Boiler

Like many DeLonghi espresso machines, the ECP3420 features a stainless steel boiler. Unfortunately, there’s no dual boiler on this one but the stainless steel construction is still a solid, durable choice.

And if you’re someone who’s frequently rushing out the door in the mornings, this coffee machine’s heat-up time is relatively quick. I’d say you’re looking at around five minutes or less. That’s fairly fast compared to some manual espresso makers, some of which can take ten minutes or more to preheat.

Portafilter

Here’s another common feature of De’Longhi espresso machines –  a 3-in-1 pressurized portafilter. What the heck does that mean? The short answer is that you’re not limited to making just a single espresso shot. Instead, you can make doubles or even use Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods if you’re so inclined.

And with a two cup function, there’s no need to brew your shots one at a time. This semi automatic machine’s dual spout portafilter ensures you can brew for yourself and a partner without the extra wait time.

Tamper

Speaking of portafilters, let’s not forget the all important espresso tamper. If an espresso machine doesn’t include a tamper, you’ll have to buy one. Fortunately, you don’t have to make a separate purchase for the ECP3420, since it comes with a plastic tamper.

That being said, is anyone a fan of plastic tampers? They’re not as durable and they don’t make it easy to generate sufficient pressure. So, as long as you don’t mind dishing out a little extra dough, DeLonghi offers this bundle for just $198.90. You’ll get the machine and a professional looking stainless steel tamper.

ESE Pod Compatibility

The Portafilter and its Options for the DeLonghi ECP3420.

If this is your first espresso machine rodeo, you might be unfamiliar with ESE pods. For those of you who don’t feel like grinding our own espresso beans, ESE pods functions like the espresso version of a tea bag.

While they certainly won’t taste like freshly ground espresso beans, some people find these pods useful in a pinch. One thing to note about these so called pods  – despite the name, they don’t employ single use plastic like K cups do. Instead, they’re held together with filter paper, making them way more environmentally friendly.

That said, using ESE pods won’t allow you to get the most out of your ECP3420. Since the pre ground coffee in ESE pods tends to sit on store shelves for months, you”l likely be making espresso with stale grounds.

Milk Foam

Frothing Milk with the DeLonghi ECP3420.

You should be able to produce creamy milk foam using the ECP3420’s manual steam wand. Not only that, with a little practice you should be able to produce latte art too! Unsurprisingly, this inexpensive machine doesn’t come with a milk pitcher.

If you plan to make the most of your steam wand and milk frother, you’ll either need to purchase the pitcher separately or spend $194.90 on a bundle that includes a pitcher.

Cup Height

Some espresso machines may fall short when it comes to cup height  – pun intended  – but the ECP3420 certainly doesn’t. While you may not be able to fit really large glasses under the spout, anything 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) and under will be just fine.

I must say I really appreciated the adjustable cup tray during my DeLonghi ECP3420 review. A standard demitasse cup will easily fit under the spout, but if you need something a little bigger, just slide the drip tray out for more room.

Removable Drip Tray

Speaking of that removable drip tray, it’s also handy for doing what it’s designed to do  – catch espresso and hot water.

Most espresso machines are bound to drip at some point. Plus, in my experience, it’s nice to have a drip tray that’s easy to clean. This is especially true if you’re interested in the stainless steel or white aluminum color options, where any stains will be extremely visible.

Warranty

Worried about that water reservoir breaking or the self priming setting not being up to par? With a standard one year warranty for manufacturing defects, you can feel a little more at ease if you decide to purchase this espresso machine.

How To Use the DeLonghi ECP3420

Preparing Espresso with the DeLonghi ECP3420.

Whether it’s your first espresso machine or you’re a seasoned pro, you shouldn’t have too many issues navigating the ECP3420. Your user manual will include a full detailed breakdown of how to use the thing. However, for the purposes of this DeLonghi ECP3420 review, here’s a quick guide to making espresso with the machine:

  1. Start by filling the water reservoir with fresh, filtered water. However, be sure you don’t exceed the maximum fill line.
  2. Next, put the water tank back and press lightly to open the valves on the bottom of the tank. Now it’s time to plug in your machine.
  3. Next, measure out your fine grind coffee into the filter basket. Try to add just a little bit at a time to prevent it from overflowing, then press evenly and lightly with your tamper.
  4. Remove any excess coffee that catches on the edge of the filter basket and insert the portafilter into the group head. Make sure to push the portafilter to the right so you’ll get a good seal.
  5. If you’ve got the time, don’t forget to heat your espresso cups before placing them under the spout. I find a little hot water does the job nicely.
  6. Using the selector on the front of the machine, turn it to the ON position and you should see the ON indicator light up.
  7. It’ll take the machine a few minutes to preheat. You’ll be good to go when you see the READY indicator light up.
  8. Turn the selector to the coffee symbol to start the extraction process. Once you’re happy with your shot volume, you can interrupt the flow by turning it back to the ON position.
  9. Remove your cups, empty the portafilter and then turn the selector to the OFF position.

DeLonghi ECP3420 Cleaning

Cleaning the machine is just about everyone’s least favorite chore. Well, apart from me that is! Still, cleaning the ECP3420 is straightforward enough not to be a total pain. There are several removable parts that will need to be cleaned regularly, including the drip tray, water tank and filter baskets.

For these parts, you’ll just need to rinse them under a little warm water and wipe with a clean cloth. Ideally, you’ll want to clean them after every few uses. Every once in a while, you’ll need to rinse the boiler outlet by flushing it with water.

As for the actual machine itself, let’s talk about descaling. DeLonghi recommends descaling after every 200 coffees. Essentially, if you use the machine every single day, that works out to be once every six or seven months.

There’s a descaling solution sample included with the machine, and the user manual includes detailed instructions for carrying out the process.

DeLonghi ECP3420 Specifications

 DeLonghi ECP3420
ManufacturerDeLonghi
NameManual Espresso Machine ECP3420
Water tank capacity37.2 oz / 1.1 l
Removable water tankYes
Water level indicatorYes
User interfaceDial, lights
Pre-infusionNo
Water filterNo
Milk frothing systemManual steam wand
Dedicated hot water spoutNo
Removable drip trayYes
Double espresso optionYes
ESE pod compatibleYes
Housing materialPlastic
Boiler materialStainless steel
Auto shutoffNo
In-the-box accessoriesInstruction manual, tamper, 2 x filter baskets, measuring spoon
Weight9.0 lb / 4.1 kg
Dimensions (H x W x D)11.9 x 7.2 x 9.6 in / 30.2 x 18.3 x 24.3 cm
Current price on Amazon$169.95

DeLonghi ECP3420 vs Other Espresso Machines

This DeLonghi ECP3420 review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t look at how well this espresso and cappuccino machine matches up to the competition. So, let’s get into it!

DeLonghi ECP3420 vs ECP3630

At $188.36, the DeLonghi ECP3630 Espresso Machine looks pretty much identical to the ECP3420  – and it almost is. Not only are the water tanks the same size, both machines have stainless steel boilers and manual frothers for steaming milk.

The biggest difference between these two is that the ECP3630 includes separate thermostats for the water and steam pressure. That means you’ll be able to get more consistent and convincing results when you’re preparing a milk based drink.

DeLonghi ECP3420 vs Stilosa

Right off the bat, you’ll probably notice that the DeLonghi Stilosa is definitely more affordable than the ECP3420 at $102.95.

Each machine has an equally compact footprint and stainless steel boiler. However, the Stilosa’s water tank is a bit smaller than the ECP3420’s at 34 ounces (1 liter). You’ll also find that the Stilosa’s cup height is a bit more cramped. With that in mind, you may have more trouble working with larger glasses.

DeLonghi ECP3420 vs Gevi GECME003D-U

Costing $141.16, the Gevi GECME003D-U is just as much of a budget friendly machine as the ECP3420. That said, the Gevi comes equipped with a few extra features.

For one, the Gevi’s lid doubles as a cup warming tray. What’s more, the water tank is also bigger at just over 50 ounces (1.5 liters). If you’re someone who needs the extra capacity and loves a cup warming feature, these are certainly the biggest advantages of buying the Gevi machine.

DeLonghi ECP3420 vs Others Comparison Chart

 DeLonghi ECP3420DeLonghi ECP3630 Espresso MachineDeLonghi StilosaGevi GECME003D-U
ManufacturerDeLonghiDeLonghiDeLonghiGevi
NameManual Espresso Machine ECP3420Espresso and Cappuccino Machine ECP3630Stilosa Espresso Machine EC260BKEspresso Machine GECME003D-U
Water tank capacity37.2 oz / 1.1 l37.2 oz / 1.1 l34.0 oz / 1.0 l50.7 oz / 1.5 l
Removable water tankYesYesYesYes
Water level indicatorYesYesYesYes
User interfaceDial, lightsDial, lightsDial, lightsDial, buttons, lights
Pre-infusionNoNoNoNo
Water filterNoNoNoNo
Milk frothing systemManual steam wandManual steam wandManual steam wandManual steam wand
Dedicated hot water spoutNoNoNoNo
Removable drip trayYesYesYesYes
Double espresso optionYesYesYesYes
ESE pod compatibleYesYesYesNo
Housing materialPlasticStainless steelPlasticStainless steel
Boiler materialStainless steelStainless steelStainless steelStainless steel
Auto shutoffNoNoYesNo
In-the-box accessoriesInstruction manual, tamper, 2 x filter baskets, measuring spoonInstruction manual, tamper, 3 x filter baskets, measuring spoonInstruction manual, tamper, 2 x filter baskets, measuring spoonInstruction manual, 2 x filter baskets, measuring spoon / tamper
Weight9.0 lb / 4.1 kg9.8 lb / 4.4 kg9.5 lb / 4.3 kg8.5 lb / 3.8 kg
Dimensions (H x W x D)11.9 x 7.2 x 9.6 in / 30.2 x 18.3 x 24.3 cm11.9 x 7.2 x 9.6 in / 30.2 x 18.3 x 24.4 cm11.5 x 8.0 x 10.0 in / 29.2 x 20.3 x 25.4 cm14.2 x 10.1 x 13.1 in / 36.0 x 25.6 x 33.3 cm
Current price on Amazon$169.95$180.00$102.95$141.16

Verdict: DeLonghi ECP3420 Review

I have to say I’ve enjoyed this DeLonghi ECP3420 review. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the ECP3420 doesn’t concern itself with bells and whistles. Still, for beginners or anyone just starting out with espresso machines, the DeLonghi really gets the basics right. Overall, this espresso machine represents really good value for money.

From a milk frother and Rapid Cappuccino System to an adjustable drip tray, this straightforward machine has got everything you need for the perfect cup. In fact, I’d say you’ll be a breve or latte macchiato expert in no time. Who knows, you might not be seeing your local barista for a while!

DeLonghi ECP3420

Ideal for beginners!

Simple user interface

Compact design

Easy to clean

Adjustable cup height

Plastic tamper

No milk pitcher included

I hope you’ve enjoyed my DeLonghi ECP3420 Review. If you’ve got experience using this beginner friendly, affordable machine, feel free to share them below!

DeLonghi ECP3420 Review FAQ

Whether the DeLonghi ECP3420 is worth the money really depends on what you’re looking to get out of your machine. If you’re interested in fancy features and an integrated grinder, you might want to look elsewhere for a more expensive machine. However, if a solid cup of espresso is all you’re after, this user friendly and straightforward machine represents great value.

Since it can achieve 15 bars of pressure, this coffee maker certainly has the potential to make good espresso. More often than not, the coffee grounds or pre ground coffee that you’re using are going to play a big role in how good your double shots or coffee drinks end up tasting.

Making a latte with the DeLonghi ECP3420 is easy. First, pull a shot of espresso. In the meantime, add cold milk to a stainless steel milk pitcher. Froth the milk slightly using the manual steam wand, then submerge the tip to heat the milk. Be careful not to create too much foam, or else you’ll end up making a cappuccino!

To make a cappuccino with the DeLonghi ECP3420 you’ll first need to pull a shot of espresso. Next, add cold milk to a steam pitcher and create pillowy froth using the steam wand. The final step is to spoon milk froth over the espresso before adding a touch of hot milk.

To make a chai latte with the DeLonghi ECP3420, use a chai mix or create your own. Using the manual steam wand, heat milk slowly and steadily, being careful not to introduce too much air. The final step is to add hot milk to your spice mix and stir well.

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