De’longhi Magnifica Esam 4200 review
Updated 02-03-2021 – Dan Alvazrez
The De’longhi Magnifica Esam 4200 is a fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine that is very popular. The coffee machine has been rated highly on Amazon by customers and is recommended by almost every top bean-to-cup coffee machine list. Personally, I became aware of the machine when my good friend insisted I check his beloved machine out. I was aware of the company before but never had the pleasure of testing out their products.
This fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine really surprised me with its simplicity and the ability to make a good cup of coffee without a lot of input. This review is going to explore the De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 in deep detail and I will share my personal experiences using this machine for around a month. To be fully transparent, I did not purchase the De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200, it was loaned to me by my friend while he upgraded to an expensive De’longhi model himself.
If you’re not familiar with our review process, we usually try to get the machine into our hands before making any final judgments. You cannot get the feel of the bean-to-cup coffee machine without actually using it for a couple of weeks at least. There are some features that are immediately apparent upon first use while some flaws remain hidden until you have to clean the machine. So it is always good to get some hands-on experience before making the call. This is exactly why we try to get as much hands-on time with the product before even recommending it.
De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200
If you’re in the market for one of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines, then the De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 is indeed one of those. It is featured on our best bean-to-cup coffee machines list as well and at the time we didn’t have enough hands-on experience with the machine. It was only used in the office for a couple of days. However, for the purposes of this review, I borrowed the De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 from a friend and ran it through the paces for around a month. I used it as my daily coffee machine before work and in the evening. This review is going to explore the features that are on offer as well as some downsides of the bean-to-cup coffee machine we found during our testing.
De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 Review – Rich Crème at Affordable Price
The De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 is a good quality bean-to-cup coffee machine that is affordable but still at the upper end.
While it is a mid-range model that is not going to break your bank, it also lacks certain advanced features of the more expensive models. Thankfully, none of that stops it from making some great quality espresso. Let’s start off our De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 review with how it looks, how it functions, how the coffee tastes and feels, and rounded off with my personal opinions.
Taking the De’longhi Magnifica Out Of the Box
To be honest, I didn’t unbox the machine myself. However, my friend was gracious enough to pack it in its original box before shipping it to me. Apart from the usual wrappings which are plastic-based, everything else was as the company intended. Granted, I took my friend’s word on it. He also said that “it arrived perfectly and there were no dents on the box or the coffee machine when I opened it”.
The first thing you’ll notice about the bean-to-cup coffee machine is how nice it looks. It is not going to turn heads like some other coffee machines out there, but it is certainly not going to be an eyesore on your kitchen counter. It is on the smaller side with its 35 cm length and 28 cm width. Furthermore, it goes 38 cm deep as well so make sure you have ample clearance on the kitchen counter for that. A point to be noted here is that if you have kitchen cabinets on top of the counter, you will need some extra space to open up the grinder cover to load coffee beans into it. I personally recommend that you place it in an area that doesn’t have anything on the top to obstruct the functioning.
The exterior of the machine is mainly plastic but at this price point I’m not going to complain about it, it is not cheap-looking though so not big of a deal. There are 2 sprouts, so you can make 2 cups of espresso at the same time. This is a great feature to have on the machine if you have a partner or a friend over. You can also easily adjust the height of the sprouts depending on the height of the cup you are using. The machine also allows you to use pre-ground coffee, but I do highly recommend that you use freshly ground ones simply because of the better taste. However, if you’re into decaf, this is a perfect option for you.
Speaking of the design choices, there are several that I loved and quite a few that I didn’t. The company has clearly given a lot of thought to the design of this bean-to-cup coffee machine, and it shows. The water tank for example is front loading, so it is highly convenient to simply take out, fill, and insert back. If you have a kitchen that is on the smaller side, a front-loading water tank is a lifesaver. You don’t need to turn the machine around or fiddle with it just to get the water tank refilled.
Another thing I really liked about the design is the drip tray which is big. It also utilizes all the available space under the overall machine and provides convenient access to the coffee collector tray. Overall, I was very impressed by the design of the Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 and how well-managed it is. There is one small gripe I have though, they could’ve made markings on the dials. This glaring omission makes it hard to turn the dials exactly the way you want them. Of course, you could just pick up a marker or a small piece of tape to know where you like the dials, but that is going to ruin the look of the machine.
De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 – Setup and First Cup
The De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200 does come with an instruction manual as well as a guide to prepare espresso in 5 easy steps. When you first turn the machine on you’ll need to turn the steam fully on as well. Once the water stops flowing, the lights will flash to indicate that you can turn off the steam. Overall, the instructions were fairly straightforward, and I had no trouble setting up the machine. It is fairly easy to do but if you do need help, I’m always available in the comments, or you can use YouTube to find visual guides.
In order to reach your first sip of the coffee from the De’longhi Magnifica Esam4200, you’ll need to follow a few basic steps. Fill the coffee hopper with beans, maybe choose the finer grind setting, and press the single cup button. I’m not going to say that it was magic straight off the bat, but you will be able to dial in the settings according to your personal taste after a few cups. So make sure you experiment with the dials and fine-tune your cup of espresso. Once you’ve done that, the machine is perfectly capable of delivering that same great taste every time, unless you change the coffee bean type, then you’ll have to repeat the process again.
Speaking of coffee customization, the Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 bean-to-cup coffee machine has multiple options and settings. There is a built-in burr grinder that has 13 different coarseness settings, this allows you to dial in the coffee’s taste just the way you like it. The grind coarseness is directly related to the extraction rates, so you may want to experiment a bit with it. There are different settings for temperature, cup size, water quantity as well as coffee quantity. We also like the hard water setting which allows you to adjust the brewing process even further.
Despite all these options, the interface is kept simple. There is a coffee strength dial that allows you to adjust the quantity of the beans that are used while brewing, so you can get a mild or a stronger cup with ease. There is also a dial for the size of the coffee cup which makes it a lot easier to get the appropriate amount of coffee.
There is a downside here though, the dials not marked at all, a huge oversight by the company. But that would’ve been forgivable if there were any user profiles, you don’t get to save any settings at all so if you have multiple people in a single household, you’ll need to remember what settings result in your favourite cup of coffee.
De’longhi Magnifica Esam 4200 – A Few Observations
The Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 is the most capable bean-to-cup espresso coffee machine out there, and it makes a great cup of espresso. As it is an espresso machine, making a good cup is basically its only job and thankfully, the Magnifica Esam 4200 is truly magnificent when it comes to that. You will be very happy with the quality of espresso you’d get from this machine. The quality also directly depends upon the quality of the coffee beans you use so make sure you use something you like.
Is it better than the manual machines professionals use? No, it is not. For those, you need to get yourself trained and buy thousands of dollars of equipment. For this price point, this machine is wonderful as it produces wonderful results with minimal effort from the user. Just press a button, and you’ll get your favourite cup of coffee in the morning without any fuss. However, if you want top-tier results you may want to invest in the art of coffee baristas, which is not an easy thing to learn anyways.
The Delonghi Magnifica Esam 4200 also comes with a Pannarello wand, which consists of a sheath that covers the steam pipe. It injects steam into the milk with holes that are on the side. These steam ones are amazing for producing stiff and thick foam on your cappuccinos. However, if you’re more into producing microfoam that is shiny and silky, then this type of steam wand won’t work for you. Thankfully, with the Delonghi Magnifica Esam 4200 espresso machine, it is super easy to simply remove the Pannarello and thus make it a regular steam wand.
The milk frothing arm on the Delonghi Magnifica Esam 4200 comes with temperature control. This means you get consistently heated milk that is of perfect temperature. The milk frothing arm also produces thick and creamy froth which is ideal for milk-based drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, lungo, and macchiatos.
De’longhi Magnifica Esam 4200 is Quiet
Most grinders grind my gears with their loudness. The Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 also has a built-in grinder, but it is fairly quiet. It is absolutely not silent though, it is still going to make sounds, but it won’t be waking up any dead from the graves. The machine uses metal burrs which are generally quieter than ceramic ones, so this is probably why it is softer when it comes to noise. It is a great feature if your pets hate loud sounds in the morning, this one will still alert them, but won’t make them disown you.
As I’ve stated above, the water tank on this machine is front-loaded. It also comes at a very decent size at 1.8 L. A bigger sized tank means you’ll have fewer refills to do and more coffee to drink. You can easily pull it out straight from the front, so you don’t have to fiddle around the machine. I simply love not having to move the coffee machines, especially in the morning.
The Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 is one of the best designs I’ve seen on a bean-to-cup coffee machine. You can easily open the front of the machine which gives you access to the drip tray. The coffee puck collector is also associated with it. You’ll find used coffee grounds inside it and it is fairly easy to empty. All you need to do is give both of those are quick rinse underwater, and you are good to go.
I also recommend that you take a wet cloth and wipe the inside of the front panel. There are times when the coffee splashes, and it is always good to keep the machine in tip-top shape. This is all you have to do manually, the rest can be taken care of in the automatic maintenance cycle. You don’t even have to turn it on, all you need to do is switch on the machine and run the descale cycle. The machine also comes with a descaler solution package, so there is nothing extra you need to buy.
Water Temperature and Pressure
If your machine lacks the necessary water pressure, it will lead to bitter coffee. The Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 comes with a standard 15 bar pump which is basically ideal to produce good quality coffee. Temperature also affects the coffee you get, and De’longhi knows that quite well. This is exactly why the Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 comes with a patented Thermo block boiler system that makes sure that the temperature remains constant even after long periods of usage.
Speaking of temperature, the cup warmer is a tad bit slower to heat up. We would’ve liked a better response because at this point you’re better off just boiling the kettle and warming the cup manually.
The Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 is perfect for you if you are looking for good quality as well as affordable bean-to-cup coffee machines. While it has some minor flaws, it does make some good quality espresso at the press of a button, and at the end of the day (or beginning of the day) does all we need. I went in being a bit sceptical about the quality of the coffee I’d get from this machine and ended up being impressed by how well it handled day-to-day usage and delivered consistently good coffee. I would wholeheartedly recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Esam4200 to those who want quick and easy coffee without having to stand in lines at the local café. The minor gripes I have with the machine disappear as soon as I take the first sip.
If you are interested in looking for more bean-to-cup coffee machines, we do have a dedicated list for those. I personally recommend that you take a look at that to see if something else catches your eye because we have a lot of different coffee machines at different price ranges.
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