First released in 2015, the De’Longhi ECP3420 is still going strong like an Italian stallion. It’s not like De’Longhi manufactured in small quantities, which helped the model to be available to this day. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. De’Longhi releases newer and better models every year, and yet this ECP3420 has somehow survived the test of time.
But why and how? Naturally, one will say that it’s one of the few starter-grade espresso machines still available on the market, especially one made by DeLonghi of all brands.
But there’s more and needless to say, that’s why we’ve brought the De’Longhi ECP3420 review to you. So let’s find out its secrets!
Key Features Of De’Longhi ECP3420
Build-Quality And Design
Not only this machine is budget-friendly but also space-friendly as most owners wouldn’t have all the counter space in the world for espresso machines. The ECP3420 is pretty robust too. The exterior is made of plastic material to keep it light. Thus, it weighs less than 10 pounds and is small enough to fit nicely in limited spaces. It has a sleek and intelligent design as well, with well-constructed knobs and indicator lights. On top of this machine, you can store and warm up your espresso cups too, as the top metal plate works like a cup warmer.
Its interface is one of the key features that make the machine so popular. The ECP3420 keeps things simple and beginner-friendly unlike most. The large main selector on the front of the machine controls most of the machine’s functionality, such as turning the machine on/off, espresso dispensing, and steaming. The 2 indicator lights on that same panel let you know when the machine is on/off status and preheating status.
The ECP3420 comes with a robust stainless steel boiler – a DeLonghi trademark addition. Unfortunately, it means that you can’t do brewing and frothing at the same time. But it doesn’t mean the machine’s heat-up time is slow. It takes less than 5 minutes to heat up the machine. If you compare this timing with that of similarly priced manual espresso makers, the ECP3420 is two times faster than almost all of them.
The ECP3420 has a 37-oz. water bottle that can be accessed from the top – a convenient factor that helps it stand out from the rest. With the ECP3420, you just have to pop out the water tank, fill it up, and place it back in. It also has a water level display just by the side of the spout. Note that cleaning the water tank or disassembling becomes easier too.
Another common DeLonghi feature is its 3-in-1 pressurized portafilter. It enables you to prepare single and double shots and accommodate Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods. The ECP3420 has a two-cup function as it comes with a dual spout portafilter.
You can produce creamy milk foam using the ECP3420’s manual steam wand. Moreover, with a little practice, you can produce latte art as well! You can adjust the milk spout for any sized cup as well as move the milk spout towards the drip tray, preventing any extra clean-up. Surprisingly, the model doesn’t come with a milk pitcher.
ESE Pod Compatibility
DeLonghi takes convenience to another level by allowing ESE pod functionality with the ECP3420. A lot of people find these pods useful in a pinch. Note that ESE pods don’t employ single-use plastic as the K-cups do. They’re held together with more environmentally friendly filter paper. Allowing ESE pods have made this machine way more versatile and made the ECP3420 a more attractive proposition.
Adjustable Drip Tray
The removable tray makes it easy to clean the tray with water. Moreover, it gives more height and allows tall glasses to fit under the spout. While you may not be able to fit all types of tall glasses, anything from 5 inches and under will do just fine. Once you detach the tray, it’s so easy to fit in your coffee cups, and we really appreciated that!
- Make perfectly textured drinks to match your taste preferences
- Enjoy instant cup after cup without waiting between brews
- Accommodates taller cups and has a sleek, space-saving design for your countertop
- Convenient water tank and dishwasher-safe parts make for easy cleanup
- Get cafe-quality espresso drinks with just a few simple adjustments
The ECP3420 is available in black, red, white, and full silver. This plastic-made semi-automatic machine has a dimension of (WxDxH) 7.3 x 9.5 x 12 inches and weighs just 9 lbs. Its top-accessible detachable water tank has a capacity of 37 oz. and has a water level display as well.
The front-faced user panel has a selector knob that offers espresso and steam selection as the machine has no programmable drink. The 15-bar Italian pump and a robust steel boiler, combined with 1100 AMP electricity, make the ECP3420 prepare espresso as well as steam milk. The milk frother is manual but advanced enough to produce latte art-quality foam.
Its three-in-one filter assembly allows the machine to facilitate single shots, double shots, and easy-serve espresso (ESE) pods. Underneath the spout, it has a detachable drip tray, which also offers a decent 5 inches of adjustable cup height.
Pros And Cons
- Easy to detach, clean, and descale
- Compact, simple, and fits into small spaces
- A removable drip tray ensures easy cleaning and an adjustable cup height
- Versatile 51 mm portafilter allows single shot, double shot, or ESE pod filters
- Can’t handle finer coffee grinds
- Professional-quality latte art is not possible with the wand
How To Use
- Once you unpack the machine, take out the water tank, and rinse it with water. Then fill it up with fresh water and reinstall it in the machine
- Now switch on the machine, attach the empty portafilter, and let the machine heat up completely
- Meanwhile, take two half-liter bowls and put them under the spout and the steam wand
- Turn the selector knob to the brew icon and let half of the water from the tank flow out of the machine’s brew spout
- Turn the selector knob to the steam icon and discharge the other half of the tank’s water out of the steam wand
- Finally, turn the selector knob back to the ON position again
- Empty your bowls and put them back under the spouts again. Refill the water tank
- Repeat the 4–7 steps. Once done, the machine will be ready to use
How To Make Espresso
The process is straightforward. First, place the ground coffee in the filter holder. Now use the correct filter for the pre-ground and ESE pods. Now select your shot quantity. Perform the tamping for a good espresso shot. Then lock in the portafilter accurately and place a cup under the spouts.
Check whether the machine has warmed up and is ready to brew. If so, turn the main selector knob to the brew icon and the desired amount of coffee will be delivered. Turn the selector knob back to the ON icon to stop the flow.
Use 1 level measure of coffee (approximately 7 g/0.25 oz.) for a single shot. To make a double shot, use 2 loose scoops of coffee (about 12 g/0.42 oz.) in the filter.
How To Clean
These parts of the ECP3420 must be cleaned regularly: the drip tray, coffee filters, coffee spout, water tank, and steam wand.
- Don’t use solvents, abrasive detergents, or alcohol to clean this coffee machine. Avoid using metal objects to remove coffee deposits
- The drip tray has a level indicator (red) to show the water level. Simply detach the tray, rinse it with water, clean it with a soft cloth, and re-attach the tray
- Regularly rinse the coffee filters under running water to clean them. Use a pin to clear out the blocks
- Clean the water tank once a month and whenever you replace the water filter
Descale the machine after every 200 coffee preparations. Fill the water tank with the descaler solution and turn ON the machine. Maintain a portafilter-free brew head. Place bowls under the brew head and the steam wand. You have to clean the internals at least 3 times at a 5-minute interval until the tank becomes empty. Now, pour fresh water into the tank and run another cleaning cycle a couple of times to wash off the descaling solution’s residuals.
The General Consensus On ECP3420
Both critics and customers alike have praised how simple it’s to use the ECP3420 semi-automatic machine. Any greenhorn can start using this machine without any fear and confusion. Moreover, consumers have underlined that this machine is very easy to clean and maintain overall.
In terms of espresso quality, DeLonghi has passed the mark with flying colors – especially given the fact that it’s one of the low-budget entry-level semi-automatic machines. And its cappuccino milk system scores above average as well. But the milk system is nothing to look out for if you love doing advanced latte arts with your espresso machine.
Another super-convenient feature that everyone loves is the 3-in-1 filter basket. It allows users to brew single and double shots of espresso. Plus, it also enables the usage of ESE pods, which are made with environmentally friendly paper filters. Furthermore, the ECP3420 has done well with its preheating speed despite being a small single-boiler machine.
Observing the various ECP3420 reviews, there are some calls for improvement as well for this model. Starting off with the fact that it doesn’t have an automated timer function. Then, not having any programmable (drink) functions is another bummer. Lastly, the exterior was fully plastic-made, which made it more of an underwhelming machine to the eyes.
Comparing ECP3420 To Its Competitors
If you notice below, in the given table, we’ve taken ECP3630 and Breville Café Roma to compare against ECP3420. These machines are not only in the same price bracket but also have a lot of qualitative similarities.
|Water Tank (oz.)||37.2||37.2||40.6|
|Pump Pressure (bar)||15||15||15|
|Max. Cup Height (in.)||5||5||4|
As you can see, ECP3420, even among its alternatives, is doing pretty well. It shows why it’s one of the best your money can buy. The DeLonghi 3630 has a larger 54mm portafilter and a stainless steel exterior, making it heavier but more durable than the ECP3420 model.
Café Roma is a slightly older model by Breville, but it still has its own place in this conversation. Breville is known to make sturdy machines, and this Café Roma model is no different. It’s heavier than both the ECP machines and also has a stainless steel-made exterior.
One thing you should note is that we couldn’t find any significant programmable functions for these machines at all, even if there were any. So, the message is clear: in this price range, semi-autos are pretty simplistic.
Does the ECP3420 come with a tamper?
Yes, it does. But it’s not a prime-quality steel tamper. It’s a plastic tamper.
What’s the tallest mug size you can fit without removing the drip tray?
The ECP3420, it’s approximately a 3.25-inch tall mug/glass that can be fitted in without removing the drip tray.
How to make coffee hotter with the DeLonghi ECP3420?
Turn the machine on and attach the portafilter onto the brew head without any coffee grounds. Place a cup under the spout and wait until the “READY” light comes on. Immediately afterward, turn the selector dial to the brew icon to start the discharging of hot water. After a while, the READY light will go off, and then turn the dial back to the ON position. If you repeat this process, your coffee will be hotter.
Single or double, cappuccino or latte—the DeLonghi ECP3420 Pump Espresso can give you authentic barista-quality beverages, that’s for sure. Overall, our DeLonghi ECP3420 review can reach the conclusion that it’s a well-designed espresso machine for starters. So, if you’re purchasing your first espresso machine and have a budget, we strongly recommend this machine. It has basic features and is perfect for inexperienced baristas who want to learn the ropes with semi-automatics. Not only that, you can switch up your coffee experience by using its ESE pod feature—saving time and money whenever you want to. It’s a compact machine that fits well in small spaces and requires minimal effort to upkeep.