DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Review

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is an entry-level super-automatic espresso machine. There aren’t really any cheaper automatic espresso machines on the market, at least not new ones.

Delonghi Magnifica Barista

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is an entry-level super-automatic espresso machine. There aren’t really any cheaper automatic espresso machines on the market, at least not new ones.

It only has the most essential functions. It doesn’t have a display, and you can’t install a water filter. If you want frothed milk, you have to make it manually with the steam wand. You can find all the reviews on the best espresso machines here.

Considering its price, it is a solidly-built and compact machine. Cleaning is simple, and it is easy to remove the brewing unit. You can fully adjust the amount of ground coffee and water you want to use, and the grinder has 14 different settings. However, when using the finest grinder setting, the pump was too weak.

You can check out the Magnifica ESAM 3300 on the DeLonghi site or on Amazon.

  • Available in the USA: Amazon.com
  • For readers from the UK, I would rather recommend the Delonghi Corso. It is cheaper for you and technically almost identical: Amazon.co.uk

Advantages of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

  • You can operate everything from the front.
  • It is very inexpensive.
  • It has infinitely variable coffee and water levels.
  • The grinder has 14 settings.
  • It is easy to use.
  • The machine is compact.
  • It has a long expected lifetime (see comments on Amazon).
  • It has a removable brewing unit.

Disadvantages of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

  • The warming plate doesn’t heat up enough.
  • The pump is a flop when using fine grinder settings.
  • It has no display.
  • The machine is relatively loud.
  • It has a low spout.

I would recommend this machine for anyone who is looking to spend around $500, but who still wants to have a long-lasting super-automatic espresso machine. 

You can find more information and many reviews of other automatic espresso machines here.

Buying the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

ESAM 3300 B Review

The Magnifica ESAM 3300 has been on the market for quite a while. It can be one of the least expensive models, making it possible for everyone to get into the world of automatic espresso machines, even if your budget is $500. What’s more, it is one of the best-selling automatic espresso machines of recent years.

Of course, it can’t do everything that a more expensive machine can. If you know how to use it, though, it can still make a solid, tasty espresso. It is definitely worth comparing prices, as the machine’s online cost can shift significantly depending on if it’s on sale ($500) or not ($1,000). You can check out the latest price on Amazon.

Buying a Second-Hand DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

Buying a used espresso machine in this price class is tricky. As a buyer, you will need a bit of luck. When it comes to automatic espresso machines, I generally advise against buying a second-hand model – although this opinion changes when it comes to traditional espresso machines that use a portafilter. However, if you don’t feel like listening to me, you can probably find a used one starting around $200, depending on the machine’s condition.

Differences Between DeLonghi Models

The Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a machine that is made for the US market. A similar machine in the UK is the Delonghi Caffe Corso ESAM 2800.SB, although the coloring and button systems are different.

You can check the latest prices here on Amazon.co.uk.

Another similar machine in the UK is the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200, however this model seems to be out of stock now.

Technical Specifications

CategoryEntry
Manufacturer DeLonghi
NameESAM 3000
TypeSuper-Automatic Espresso Machines
Removable brew groupYes
Casing MaterialPlastic black
Milk frothing systemManual
DisplayNo
AppNo
User profilesNo
Water tank capacity60 Oz
Minimale Auslaufhöhe3.1 In
Maximum discharge height4.3 In
Grindercone grinder stainless steel
Bean container capacity0.4 lb
Two bean compartmentsNo
Grinding13 levels
Coffee grounds trayYes
JugNo
Coffee drinks prepared at the touch of a buttonCoffee, espresso
Coffee drinks prepared at the touch of a buttonNo
Adjustable coffee temperatureNo
2-cup functionYes (no milk drinks)
Hot water functionYes
Hot milk functionYes
Obtain milk foam onlyYes
Water filterNo
Weight22 lb
Dimensions (height x width x depth)14.1 x 11.2 x 14.7 In

User’s Manual

You can find a downloadable PDF of the user’s manual here, directly from DeLonghi. It is really useful to have written descriptions since there’s no display on the machine that can help guide you.

The Spout Height

The spout is adjustable and goes up to 4.3 inches (almost 11 centimeters). Maximum Cup Height

It can also go down to about 3 inches (7 centimeters). Minimum Cup Height

The Removable Brewing Unit – DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

Brewing Unit removed

If you have read my comprehensive reviews and comparisons of different automatic espresso machines, then you know that a removable brewing unit may seem like more work at first, but it still has two big advantages:

  1. You can thoroughly clean it using running water. Nothing can clean better than your own two hands and a sponge.
  2. If it breaks, it is easier to replace.

You can buy replacement parts for the Magnifica ESAM 3300 from the DeLonghi site, as well as brewing units on Amazon. Check below for more tips about dealing with a stuck brewing unit.

Of course, a removable brewing unit is only an advantage if you actually clean it regularly! Unfortunately, many people often forget to do it.

The Grinder – DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

The grinder is certainly not this espresso machine’s weak spot. It will give you a really fine grind. The only problem is that the machine’s pump can’t keep up when you use a fine setting (see the Pump section below).

The machine has a conical grinder with 14 settings, which you can see in the photo. If you turn the dial toward the smaller beans, it will give you a finer grind. The manufacturer claims that the stainless-steel grinder “works very quietly.”

Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. Just ask anyone who has experienced a truly quiet automatic espresso machine, such as the Siemens EQ.6 (which, to be fair, is also significantly more expensive). Bean Compartment

Unfortunately, the grinder is very loud.

No Water Filter on the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

The water tank on this espresso machine doesn’t have any threads that would let you screw on a water filter. This is why it is important to correctly account for your water hardness when you use this machine. You can see how hard your water is by using the included testing strip, or by contacting your water supplier.

The harder the water, the more calcium it contains.

Harder water means that you will need to decalcify your machine more frequently.

Water Tank

One option is to run your water through a standard Britta filter before using it in the machine. If you do that, then it is important to set the water hardness on the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 to “Level 1,” for soft water. The advantage of this is that you will need to decalcify less often.

Coffee Grounds Catch Tray – DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

The catch tray is really small, but easily removable from the machine’s front. It is best to empty it daily and to rinse it out with running water. If you want to ensure that your machine lasts a long time, then don’t put the tray in the dishwasher. Over time, dishwashers can damage the plastic components.

The drip tray is equipped with a red floating gauge that indicates the water level.

The Pump – DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

In an automatic espresso machine, the pump pushes water through the ground coffee in the brewing unit. The pump in the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 supposedly can build up 15 bars of pressure. That should easily be enough to make an espresso because a traditional espresso machine “only” uses 9 bars of pressure.

However, once you go past a certain grind coarseness, the pump isn’t able to push the water through the coffee puck.

That means I needed to set the grinder to a coarser level. “Level 3” seemed to work best in the end.

Heated Cup Tray

Cup Warming Tray

Don’t worry, the heated cup tray won’t get so hot that you can cook an egg on it. In fact, the tray surface never really gets that warm, so you can leave it turned off and save a bit on your power bill.

The Milk Frother – DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

Steam Wand

If you look at the picture above, you can see that I have a blister from testing so many automatic espresso machines. Do you see the kind of sacrifices I make for you?

In any case, this machine has a steam wand, as opposed to a so-called “one touch” milk frothing system you will find on some other machines. This means that you will need to manually place the pitcher or cup under the wand and hold it there while it froths your milk. It actually works fairly well. I got acceptable results on my first try and, with a bit of practice, I’m sure you could do even better.

The manual says you should not use whole milk with the steam wand.

That seemed like nonsense to me, so I immediately ignored it. Of course, I tried using it with fresh whole milk since it simply tastes better, and it worked well.

Extra Compartment for Pre-Ground Coffee

Extra Compartment for Ground Coffee

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 has a separate compartment for ground coffee. If you use this compartment, it is important to clean it regularly – it is easy to forget.

I don’t care for these compartments because one of the biggest advantages of automatic espresso machines is that they grind your coffee fresh every time you make a drink. However, it could be useful if someone in your family wants decaf coffee. The manual says to never use more than a scoop, but you can probably use just a bit more.

Setting Up the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

On the back of this machine you will find the main power switch. If it is off, nothing works. In the front of the machine, there is a regular power switch on the left side.

When turning off the machine, you should always use the switch in the front. That’s the only way to shut it down correctly.

That’s because using the front switch also moves the position of the brewing unit. Once you have turned it off in the front, then you can turn off the one in the back. It is easy to program how long the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 should wait before shutting off automatically. The default setting is two hours.

That’s a bit long for me.

You can also adjust the temperature. I was happy with it, so I didn’t change anything from the factory defaults. The machine warms up quickly. However, if you have just used the milk frother, it still takes a bit of time to rebuild enough pressure to make a new espresso .

What’s in the Box

Using the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

How to Make a Good Espresso from this Automatic Espresso Machine

My normal settings for testing automatic espresso machines are generally to use the finest grinder setting, the least amount of water, and the maximum amount ground coffee.

When I used these settings with the Magnifica ESAM 3300, though, only a few drops came out of the machine. So I adjusted the grinder to “Level 3” in order to get about 1 ounce (20 to 25 milliliters) of espresso. Switch Coffee Amount 3300

As you can see, I set the ground coffee amount (the right dial) to “MAX.” It set the water level (the left dial) to the minimum. Using “Level 3” in the grinder, I was able to make just less than 1 ounce of espresso. It had a nice crema and flowed through nicely. Espresso ESAM 3300 Note to experimenters: It’s also possible to turn these dials past their maximum levels. I tried playing around with that at first, but didn’t really get much in terms of results, unfortunately.

Troubleshooting: The Coffee Is Watery

You can theoretically make your automatic espresso machine brew an espresso for a long time, giving you more liquid. Some people think that this is a good replacement for drip coffee, but I’m not a fan of that technique. Instead of making one really “long” espresso, I think it is better to make three normal espressos and then add hot water, which, of course, will then give you an americano.

If you push more and more water through the coffee in the brewing unit, you will start to get watery coffee without any body. What’s more, over-extracing the coffee like this (by having too much water flow through) will also likely make the coffee bitter. So if you just want a cup of “black coffee,” I recommend using a pour-over coffee dripper or a French press.

Milk Froth from the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

If you are going to use this machine, it is a good idea to get a thermometer with a mounting bracket and a small stainless-steel milk jug. It is easy to froth the milk with the machine, but it won’t give you perfect latte-art quality – the Krups EA 8808 does that better.

Don’t let the milk temperature rise above 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), which can happen with steam wands. Making the milk froth is similar to using a steam wand on an espresso machine.

If you need help frothing the milk, check out my article about milk froth. With the above instructions on how to make an espresso, plus the milk froth guide, you will have everything you need to make a tasty latte macchiato with your Magnifica ESAM 3300.

Cleaning the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

An automatic espresso machine should be cleaned regularly – every day, ideally. Cleaning greatly improves drink quality and also general hygiene.

Cleaning the Brewing Unit

This automatic espresso machine has a fully removable brewing unit. You should take advantage of this by washing it out under running water, and then ideally letting it dry out completely. Don’t put it in the dishwasher!

Cleaning the Steam Wand

After using the steam wand, a little bit of milk residue will stay stuck inside. So take a damp cloth to wipe the wand while turning it on briefly, which cleans out the inside. Be careful of the hot steam – it will burn your hands! Do this after every time you use the steam wand.

The Water Filter and Decalcifying

This machine doesn’t have a water filter. This means you will have to decalcify it more frequently than a machine that does have one. Make sure to set the water hardness. The machine will let you know when you need to decalcify it.

If you don’t want to decalcify as often, you can use a Britta water filter or just buy water that is softer. In other words, the water hardness will determine how often you need to decalcify.

The Water Tank and the Catch Tray

Clean both of the water tank and catch tray thoroughly and regularly. It is also a good idea to occasionally let the water tank dry completely. However, please don’t put either of these parts in the dishwasher, which can damage the plastic over time.

The Cleaning Programs

Never skip the cleaning or decalcifying programs! It is definitely better to clean more often than not.

Troubleshooting: The Brewing Unit is Stuck

Imagine that you open up the service lid on the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 so you can remove the brewing unit. However, it is stuck and just won’t budge. Please don’t roll up your sleeves and try to force it out. There is an easier way to get it out, and you don’t have to use any force or risk damaging the machine.

If the brewing unit gets stuck, then it is usually because the machine was turned off using the wrong power switch, so it wasn’t able to shut down correctly.

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 has one power switch in the front, and a main switch in the back. Its main switch immediately cuts off the power, which means that the brewing unit doesn’t have a chance to move into the standby position. The brewing unit has to be in the standby position before you can take it out.

If the brewing unit gets stuck:

  1. Close the service lid.
  2. Turn on the power, using the main power switch in back.
  3. Using the switch in the front, turn on the machine, then turn it off again.
  4. Wait until the Magnifica stops making noise; the brewing unit is now in the correct position.
  5. Turn off the main switch.
  6. You can now remove the brewing unit.

How Can I See How Many Espressos I’ve Made?

It’s useful for several reasons to know how many drinks you’ve made with your machine. One big reason is because warranties are often based on the number of years or drinks you have made. In case of the latter, it is usually up to 6,000 drinks. Of course, it would certainly be handy to have a display that could quickly and easily tell you this information.

However, you can tell how many drinks you have made, even without a display.
  1. Turn off the automatic espresso machine.
  2. Unplug the machine.
  3. Simultaneously hold down the front power switch and the ground coffee switch. (For machines built after 2010, you will need to do the same with the front power switch and the EcoTaste switch.)
  4. Plug in the machine again.
  5. Turn on the machine.
  6. Release the buttons you have been holding down.

You can now see how many espressos you have made. The machine’s five LEDs will each flash from right to left – with a short pause.

The example DeLonghi gives is this: If the machine has made 23,456 espressos, the far right light flashes two times – pause – the next light flashes three times – pause – the next light flashes four times – pause – the next light flashes five times – pause – and final light (all the way to the left) flashes six times.

I found a YouTube video (with an explanation in German) that lets you see what this looks like.

Questions About the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

What Does It Mean if the Lights Are Flashing?

Flashing lights mean that the machine isn’t ready to start working – usually because the machine has not yet heated up enough. If you have just made milk froth, it can take a bit longer for the lights to stop flashing because the machine needs to warm up again before making the next espresso.

The LED lights for the milk frother will first flash red, and once it is ready to make milk froth, it will stop flashing and go solid red.

What Should I Do if the Grinder Gets Clogged?

First, try to set the grinder to the coarsest setting. In most cases, that will be enough to unclog the grinder.

The Machine is Leaking Water – What Should I Do?

This usually happens with older automatic espresso machines. It is almost always due to a poor seal, but the good news is you can replace seals. You might also have a leaky seal if you notice that the used grounds are suddenly very wet. Simply change the seals.

No Coffee Is Coming Out

You may also get an error message that the coffee is ground too finely. That can also happen, and the pump can’t build enough pressure to push the water through. To fix this, you will have to set the grinder to a coarser level. After some trial and error, I settled on “Level 3.”

Does the Machine Need to Be Oiled or Greased?

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a relatively loud machine. If you grease the machine’s moving parts, you might be able to reduce the noise by a bit.

The Machine Doesn’t Turn On

Is it plugged into a functional outlet? Is the main switch in the back turned on? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” but the machine still doesn’t work, I would suggest contacting a technician.

Summary of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Review

The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is an inexpensive automatic espresso machine that only includes the essentials. It doesn’t have a display or an automatic milk frother.

Overall, it is a solid and well-built machine, especially considering the inexpensive price. You won’t get any stainless steel on machines in this price class, though.

One especially positive attribute is that this Magnifica machine is completely operable from the front.

This means that the lid on the front covers the coffee grounds catch tray, the brewing unit and the drip tray.

It is easy to clean this machine.
  • Available in the USA: Amazon.com
  • For readers from the UK, I would rather recommend the Delonghi Corso. It is cheaper for you and technically almost identical: Amazon.co.uk

I have not done a long-term test with this machine, but based on many experiences I’ve read about, many users have indicated that the Magnifica ESAM 3300 keeps on going for a long time. In many cases, the machines have been in service for more than five years. If you set the grinder too fine, though, the pump probably won’t be able to do its job.

All in all, this is a decent machine for anyone who doesn’t want to pay more than $500.

3 Comments

    I finally found the right settings for an americano. Water dial is set a quarter way, flavor dial is set at max, grinder is set to 3. I pull a double shot, and then a single shot. Pulling just a double wasn’t strong enough for me. So pulling that extra single really helped.

    Reply
    Arne

    Hello Mike,

    thanks for your comment. We are glad, that you found your perfect settings. Enjoy your coffee! Cheers

    Reply

    “if you have just used the milk frother, it still takes a bit of time to rebuild enough pressure to make a new espresso .”

    Actually, the machine is cooling down, not rebuilding pressure.

    You can force it to cool down quicker by switching from steam mode (press steam or coffee button so that the steam light goes out and the coffee buttons flash) then open the water/steam tap by twisting the knob anticlockwise. steam and then water will flow out of the nozzle until the machine has cooled down (about five seconds). Close the tap when the coffee lights stop flashing and remain on steady, at which point you can immediately make coffee again.

    Reply

I look forward to your comment

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