Last updated on April 23rd, 2023 by Jules Winnfield
If you have ventured the world of espresso for some time, you will find yourself in a few categories of coffee drinkers. Personally, I am in the automatic bucket: I like my espresso done for me and prepared hot and ready with minimum effort.
DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart ECAM23270
Performance - 9/10
Ease of Use/Maintenance - 9/10
Build & Quality - 8.7/10
Design & Features - 8.5/10
User Satisfaction - 8.3/10
The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart is a “magnificent” hybrid of a compact fully automatic machine with the full service drink capabilities of a super automatic. Not only can you choose your own grind (built in grinder), strength, volume, and froth (milk LatteCrema system), but the entire process from bean to cup is done for you. Making an espresso, latte, or cappuccino is one button easy and it’s designed to be simple to clean and maintain with its auto clean functions While it is a pricey machine, it’s also an investment if you’re a beginner espresso drinker or if you’re like me and don’t want to get involved in the nitty gritty of espresso pulling and you’re not concerned with having a ton of customization options.
I don’t really want to get into the nitty gritty of espresso grinds, tamping, strengths, temperatures, timing, and all that.
So when something like the De’Longhi Magnifica S Smart came to my attention, I already knew I would fall in love. My coffee senses were tingling and easy lattes two three times a day was easily in my future!
But just because this super automatic espresso delight is my kind of machine, doesn’t mean its right for you.
So in this quick straight to the gist DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart ECAM23270 review, we answer the question and give our overall rating to help you decide.
Last update on 2023-09-19
- DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Review and Rating
- Pros and Cons
- How Does it Compare?
- Final Verdict
DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Review and Rating
|What is it made of? Plastic, Stainless steel?||Plastic exterior, but looks sleek and nice like most modern machines you see nowadays.|
|How durable is it?||Customers report you can get 5-8+ years of service minimum if you take care of the machine and do the proper maintenance.|
|What brew modes does it have?||Espresso, Coffee, Long, Latte macchiato, Cappuccino. |
Makes twin shots to share with a friend.
|Strength control?||Yes, 3 settings; increases dose of coffee beans used|
|Temperature control?||No, but is designed to brew at the optimum temp for a proper espresso extraction|
|How fast does it brew one cup or batch? Heat up time?||Heat up time is pretty fast (about 60 sec), and from bean to latte or cappuccino, you’re looking at less than 2 min!|
|How many cups does it make?||Can vary depending on your volume preferences, but in general: |
Espresso: 1-2 oz. (30-60 ml)
Coffee: 4-8 oz. (120-240 ml)
Long: 4-8 oz. (120-240 ml)
|Steam wand for frothing?||Not exactly, instead you get the LatteCrema milk system, which is DeLonghi’s automatic milk jug foaming system. |
Has milk froth adjustments too.
|How quiet is it?||Other than the grinder, the Magnifica S Smart has a standard noise level, close to what you would expect from an all in one machine.|
|How is the taste and flavor?||There’s no question that the Magnifica S Smart assembles just about the tastiest, creamiest, robust full flavored espresso beverages you will get anywhere. You definitely get what you pay for! |
Be sure to run 4-5 cups of coffee through the machine the first time you use it so you get the best taste
Ease of use/Maintenance (9/10)
|How big is it?||At 9.4 in wide, 16.9 in. deep, and 13.4 in tall, the Magnifica S Smart is considered to be compact for a fully automatic machine.|
|How heavy? Portable?||Weighs 19.8 lb., so not easily moved|
|LCD display or push buttons or both?||Easy press control pad buttons with digital display and dial knobs|
|How easy is it to use?||The Magnifica S Smart may take some time to familiarize yourself with but is pretty easy to get started. |
Simply pour in your coffee beans, select a grind, then select a beverage type, select a dose strength, choose between a single or double, select a temperature, hit the Brew button and your brew is on its way.
Whether you choose a simple delicious espresso or milky beverage delight, you’ll have it in a matter of minutes!
|Maintenance reminders?||Yes, quite a few including for|
– full grounds container
– empty beans container
– empty water tank
– clean milk frother
|How easy is it to clean?||Cleanup is what you would expect, not difficult but involved: |
Simply clean out the drip tray, ground waste container, coffee spouts, water tank.
Brewing unit can be removed easily and infuser cleaned.
The LatteCrema milk jug has a self-cleaning feature. Descaling is pretty simple too, just follow the machine instructions.
Does come with an automated heating and rinsing function before and after each use.
|Does it use pods or ground coffee or both?||Only takes either whole beans or pre ground coffee. Avoid oily beans as the chances of the grinder jamming goes up; |
Lavazza and Illy coffee beans are good choices
|Heating mechanism||Dual Thermoblock|
|Built in grinder?||Yes, conical burr grinder with 7 settings |
Bean hopper capacity is 8.8 oz.
|Programmable autostart?||No autostart|
|Auto shut off, energy saving mode?||Yes, can be set to auto turn off between 15 min and 3 hours of non-use.|
|Any other notable tech features?||No|
|Removable water reservoir? How big?||Yes, 60.8 oz.|
|Come with accessories?||Yes, a few things including a measuring scoop, cleaning brush and hot water spout. |
Also you may get some pre ground coffee, water filter, and descaling solution.
|Can it dispense hot water?||Yes, comes with a hot water/steam nozzle for soups, hot cocoa or tea. |
You have to remove the LatteCrema milk jug first to use it.
|Drip tray removable to accommodate larger mugs?||Yes, and can accommodate a mug up to 5.6 in. tall. |
Coffee spout is also adjustable.
|Any other unique features?||Water hardness settings – helps customize when you should descale based on your water hardness |
Water softening filter – for the best tasting coffee
|Come in different colors?||Only silver and black|
|Pricing||Retails at $1299.95, so definitely an investment.|
User Satisfaction (8.3/10)
|Specific customer feedback, good AND bad||Overall, most coffee drinkers love the delicious flavor of coffee espresso the Magnifica S Smart makes. The built in grinder, the extra coffee mug clearance, and the separate milk froth tank are the favorites. |
The downsides most mentioned is the noise level, lack of customizations, and size of water tank.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to Italian made DeLonghi machines, you can pretty much expect high quality and performance as a baseline feature. But the DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart sets itself apart in the following ways:
Things I like
- Full/super automatic espresso machine that looks nice and is compact in size
- But also makes either drip coffee or lattes and cappuccinos automatically for you with just one button!
- Built in grinder; because you ain’t drinking real coffee unless its been ground fresh!
- Nothing beats the aroma of fresh ground coffee…nothing…
- Dual heating systems means no waiting for brewing and frothing separately; get it done together!
- Love the LatteCrema system
- Brilliant way to get rich thick creamy milk foam on autopilot while keeping the maintenance and cleaning super easy and simple
- DeLonghi Nespesso machines and the Dinamica and Eletta series have them too.
- Interchangeable hot water spout and milk reservoir connections
- Easy refilling since water reservoir comes out in front
- Lots of clearance for your favorite mug
- Cleanup is simplified and easy from compact formed coffee ground pucks, to automated cleaning systems
Things I don’t like
- May be a bit tricky to get set up; make use of YouTube videos and you should be fine.
- The automatic rinsing before and after each brew can mean refilling the water reservoir more often.
- Consider keeping a bowl underneath the spout to avoid an overflowing drip tray
- Cleanup and maintenance can be a bit time consuming, but is typical for this type of machine and probably still faster than running to a coffee shop daily
- Not a lot of customizations you would expect for a machine at this price point
- No temp, fewer grind and strength settings
- Plus you can’t save your own manual customizations either which is a bummer
- A bit pricey
How Does it Compare?
To get an idea of where the Magnifica S Smart stands amongst its peers, we decided to compare it to a similar caliber fully automatic espresso machine, such as the Gaggia Velasca Prestige.
DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart vs Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Off the bat, we noticed that both machines:
- Will make delicious rich frothy cappuccinos or lattes from bean to cup with just one button
- Come with preprogrammed recipes to speed up your morning
- Are built with a circuit rinsing function to streamline your cleaning and maintenance
- Utilize a detachable milk jug carafe system to automatically create milk foam for your beverages
But the differences are:
- Gaggia Velasca comes with temperature adjustments for customizing your brew while the Magnifica S does not
- The Gaggia has more customizations vs the Magnifica S in strength settings (5 vs 3) and grind settings (10 vs. 7)
- The Gaggia water reservoir is smaller than the Magnifica S (54 oz. vs 50 oz.), but the bean hopper is bigger (10.5 oz. vs 8.8 oz.)
- The Gaggia Velasca Prestige retails a couple hundred bucks cheaper, but a current deal has it almost half the price of the Magnifica S.
- If you’re looking for more customizations in grind, strength, temperature and volume setting for your brew at an affordable price, you should take a longer look at the Gaggia Velasca Prestige.
- If you prefer the power and flexibility of a dual boiler, a larger water reservoir and superior internal cleaning system, then go with the Magnifica S Smart.
The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart cappuccino maker is a “magnified” version of its cousin the Magnifica XS: a sleek hybrid of a compact fully automatic machine with the full service drink capabilities of super automatic machine.
Not only can you choose your own grind (built in grinder), strength, volume, and froth (milk LatteCrema system), but the entire process from bean to cup is done for you. It’s easy to learn how to brew your own delicious mouthwatering espresso, latte, or cappuccino and it’s designed to be simple to clean and maintain with its auto clean functions. It’s like having a legit personal barista in your kitchen 24/7!
It’s basically almost like the Dinamica except it’s not as big, takes up a smaller footprint in your kitchen and doesn’t have as many pre built coffee recipes or features.
The downside is that it’s a pricey machine. But as usual, you will likely find that what you save in time, money and resources from not going to the coffee shop everyday will very quickly return your investment.
If you’re a beginner espresso drinker or if you’re like me and don’t want to get involved in the nitty gritty of espresso pulling and you’re not concerned with having a ton of customization options, and you just want your beverage in hands asap, then the Magnifica S Smart is a good choice for you.
Last update on 2023-09-19
But if you want more options for super automatic machines that do it all, check out the Eletta machines.
For fully automatics that provide a hands-off bean to cup experience but still give you the delicious coffee house aroma and taste you can’t live without, check out the Dinamica or other Magnifica machines.
- DeLonghi Dinamica
- DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
- DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300
- DeLonghi Magnifica Evo ECAM29084
For a more semi automatic feel that gives you a little more involvement in the brewing process, consider the La Specialista series.
If you want to keep things more basic, then check out the Dedica or ECP series. These machines are manual semi-automatics that are much simpler with no grinder built in.
What’s the difference between the Magnifica XS and Magnifica S Smart?
|Magnifica XS||Magnifica S Smart|
|Pressure||15 bars||15 bars|
|Heating system||Single Thermoblock||Dual Thermoblock|
|Built in grinder settings||13||7|
|Bean hopper capacity||8.8 oz.||8.8 oz.|
|Preprogrammed coffee recipes||Espresso|
|Temperature control settings||4||No|
|Manual MyLatteArt steam wand||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic LatteCrema system||No||Yes|
|Water reservoir||60.8 oz.||60.8 oz.|
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- About the Author
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“Jules” is a pharmacist by day and investor, writer, and health nut by night. When he’s not sipping on some coffee laced with MCT oil during an 18 hour fast, he is writing about how to get your coffee grind on or playing Monopoly with his 2 boys and wife. Ahh…life is good!