Are you looking to upgrade your home espresso machine but don’t know which one to choose? Look no further than the Delonghi Dedica vs ECP3420. Honestly, these two machines are good and easy-to-use machines for beginners; and my comparison result is a tie.
Delonghi Dedica is a great espresso machine for any coffee lover. Its sleek design and impressive features make it easy to see why this model is so popular. From its adjustable milk frother to its one-touch brewing system, the Dedica makes every cup of espresso an enjoyable experience. And with its thermoblock heating system, it can be ready to brew your hot espresso cups within under a minute.
Delonghi ECP3420 is also a good entry-level espresso machine on the market. It has a 15-bar pump pressure system, a stainless steel boiler, a removable water tank, a cup warmer, etc. On top of all that, it is relatively affordable compared to other espresso machines.
Delonghi Dedica vs ECP3420: Comparison Chart
Last update on 2023-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Delonghi Dedica vs ECP3420: Differences
The score for Delonghi Dedica vs ECP3420 competition is 1-0 for the Dedica. Specifically, I found that the Dedica is a greater option for the utility aspect. The two machines perform comparably in the other factors, such as design and build quality and the brewing and milk systems.
Coffee flavor & Brewing system
The heating element is one of the noticeable differences between the Delonghi Dedica and ECP3420. Specifically, the Delonghi ECP3420 utilizes a single stainless steel boiler, while the Dedica uses a single thermoblock heating system.
The thermoblock heats up relatively quicker than the stainless steel boiler. The estimated heat-up time of the two machines was about 25-30 seconds for the Dedica and ~60-80 seconds for the ECP3420.
However, the boiler heating element offers a greater temperature consistency than the thermoblock one. I noticed that the brew group of the ECP3420 got hot as the boiler heated up. The dual thermostats of the boiler heating system help ensure the temperature stability for the water and the brew group. Thus, the coffee hotness is more consistent between cups. So, I consider the slower heat-up time a trade-off for the higher temperature consistency.
The thermoblock can heat up faster, and the heating element also gets cooled down faster than the boiler heating element. Besides, the brew group of the Delonghi Dedica is not heated while the heating element is heating up. Thus, the brewing coffee temperature could be unstable, affecting the flavor of the final espresso drinks. Therefore, preheating the brew group by pulling a blank shot is necessary to ensure your shot quality.
- Portafilter & Tamper
Both machines boast a 51-mm portafilter with three pressurized filter baskets. The included filter baskets are the single, double, and ESE-pod baskets, meaning that I can use pre-ground coffee, freshly ground coffee from beans, or ESE pods to pull my espresso.
The pressurized filter baskets, also known as the dual-wall baskets, are appropriate for beginners because you can get a good espresso cup with a good crema layer without having barista skills. However, if you tend to grind coffee beans for brewing espresso, do not grind too fine because it will choke your baskets, and the machines cannot extract the coffee.
Besides, the Delonghi ECP3420 and Dedica come with plastic scoop/tamper accessories. Nevertheless, I do not like this type of tamper as it is hard to do proper tamping. Instead, I like to get a ~49-mm stainless steel tamper, which is especially suitable for single-wall or non-pressurized filter baskets.
- Espresso extraction
These machines are good entry-level machines for you. They brew good-taste espresso with decent crema on the top. I often use the single-wall filter basket to pull my shot to get the true crema.
The espresso shots I got from both machines are at the right temperature, have good hotness, and taste okay, not too bad for a milk-based espresso drink. Sometimes, my shots have a taste between an espresso and a lungo. The variables can come from different factors like the bean quality, the techniques, and the grind sizes.
These machines do not feature pressure-release valves, so the coffee tends to continue dripping after the brewing process stops. Therefore, I do not remove the portafilter immediately and put a cup under it to hold all the dripping down coffee. By doing so, I can reduce the mess of cleaning the portafilter and the machine after brewing.
Design & Convenience
Capacity & Dimension
The Delonghi ECP3420 and Dedica are both compact espresso machines, but the Dedica is much thinner. Their height and depth are not too different, around 12 inches in height and 6-7 inches in width. Thus, they can fit under hanging cupboards and on almost kitchen counter spaces.
The Delonghi ECP3420, with a larger width, boasts a little bigger water reservoir, holding about 37 oz of water. Meanwhile, the capacity of Dedica’s water container is about 34 oz. However, the ECP3420 is a little more convenient for me because I can know the water level in the reservoir from the front thanks to the small vertical “window” on its front body. Additionally, the ECP3420 has a small tray next to the water tank for storing the filter baskets.
The Dedica, on the other hand, has me pulling up the reservoir or tilting my head to the side to check the water level. It also does not feature a storage tray like the one on the Delonghi ECP3420.
In terms of programmability, the Delonghi Dedica outperforms the ECP3420 since it allows me to customize the volume of espresso in my cup with a touch of a button. After the espresso volume is programmed, the machine will save that setting for the next brews. Additionally, the Dedica offers adjustable coffee temperature with 3 levels: low, medium, and high.
On the other hand, the Delonghi ECP3420 does not have drink presets and an automatic flow-stop feature like its competitor. Thus, I have to monitor the brewing process to avoid overflowing my cup.
For me, these two budget espresso machines of Delonghi have good build quality. The machine body is made of stainless steel and plastic. They are sleek and look stylish on the counter. However, one drawback I found when using the Delonghi Dedica is the machine’s vibration issue while brewing espresso.
During the coffee brewing process, I encountered a noticeable amount of vibration from the machine, even after removing the drip tray. Thus, I had to closely monitor the brewing process to prevent any mishaps like cups falling or coffee spilling outside the cup. This could be attributed to the small base dimension of the machine.
For me, this issue contradicts the very purpose of opting for an automatic brewing option of the Delonghi Dedica because I expected to be able to do other things while the coffee was being brewed after selecting the desired amount.
Meanwhile, I do not have such a problem relating to vibration when pulling my cup with the Delonghi ECP3420. Thus, the ECP340 wins my heart in this round despite the fact that the Dedica offers programmable drink options.
The Delonghi Dedica and ECP3420 have the same milk wand design and mechanism. They feature a rubber connection steam nozzle that allows me to regulate the amount of air infused for creating foam. By pulling down the rubber to select the Cappuccino option, the milk froths with increased air infusion, resulting in foamier hot milk. In the Flat position, the steam wand heats up the milk rather than aerates it.
Personally, I prefer removing the rubber steam connection nozzle and utilizing the inner steam jet nozzle for milk frothing. This technique enables me to achieve finer air bubbles and consistently produce smooth froth with a bit of practice. Here, I just want to note that it’s important to keep the milk level below the red line to avoid any overflow.
However, these machines’ steam wands are relatively short, making it challenging to reach the bottom of taller milk jugs. This may restrict control over the steaming process for some people. In addition, the steam wand initially tends to shoot out a significant amount of water, so you should purge it for about 5-10 seconds to get the dry steam before putting it into the milk jug.
Besides, it’s essential to clean the steam wand after each use. I recommend wiping any milk residue with a damp microfiber cloth and manually purging it to ensure no residue is left behind. You can also remove the rubber steam connection milk tube and wash it thoroughly to maintain cleanliness.
Winner: Delonghi Dedica
Delonghi Dedica has an auto-off function for saving energy, which is not featured on the ECP3420. This is also called the standby mode. Additionally, the machine allows me to program the auto-off time when not used for 9 mins, 30 mins, and up to 3 hours.
Delonghi Dedica has a descaling alert to remind you when you need to perform a descaling cycle. Additionally, the drip tray of the Dedica features an overflowing indicator, which will pop up when the drip tray is full.
Meanwhile, the ECP3420 has the overflow indicator but does not feature the descaling alert. Regarding the ECP3420’s manual, a descaling cycle should be performed after every 200 cups, generally being equal to every three to six months, depending on your use frequency.
In fact, you can descale your machines sooner if you notice any signs of scale buildup, such as decreased water flow or a change in the taste of your brewed espresso. The descaling cycle of both machines is quite similar and simple to perform by following the instruction in the manual.
Quick Rundown of Delonghi Dedica
- Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
- Sleek design takes up only 6 inches of counter space, while still having a 35oz water tank
- The Cappuccino frothing system provides Barista quality foam; Cup warmer: Passive
- Thermos block technology allows the machine to heat up to the ideal temperature in a quick 40 seconds
- Automatic flow stop
Last update on 2023-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Quick Rundown of Delonghi ECP3420
- Item Package Dimension: 14.79L x 12.79W x 10.19H inches
- Item Package Weight - 12 Pounds
- Item Package Quantity - 1
- Product Type - COFFEE MAKER
Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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- Delonghi ECP3420 from the official site: https://www.delonghi.com/en-us/manual-espresso-machine-ecp3420/p/ECP3420
- Delonghi Dedica from the official site: https://www.delonghi.com/en-us/dedica-manual-espresso-machine-black-ec680bk/p/EC680BK
I’m Floyd J. Alcock, an experienced barista with a deep love for coffee. I curate personalized coffee experiences, guiding customers through diverse flavor profiles and suggesting ideal brewing methods. My extensive knowledge of espresso machines enables me to recommend the best equipment to match specific needs and budgets. Sharing my expertise and passion with coffee enthusiasts brings immense satisfaction. I look forward to continuing my journey of coffee discovery with every customer I serve, fostering connections over a shared love for this magical beverage.