Entry-level coffee machines can sometimes surprise you with how good they can be. However, they can also have downsides that not everyone can tolerate.
The Dedica EC680M by De’Longhi is an entry-level coffee maker that offers you some features that are unusual to find on a machine as affordable as this one. However, the coffee maker also has a few bad sides as well, so some people will decide to buy this machine while others will not. Let’s find out whether the Automatic Flow Stop feature, the manual milk frother, and the single and double espresso shots these machine features are enough for you to buy it.
- Automatic Flow Stop feature
- 15-Bar pump
- Stainless steel housing
- Manual milk frother
- Single or double espresso shots
- Works with ESE pods
- Has a descaling program
Heats up fast
Accommodates taller cups if you remove the drip tray
Easy to use
There’s not a three-way solenoid valve
A bit too lightweight
Water tank is in the back, and it’s hard to see the level of the water in it
A compact design with a stainless steel housing
The De’Longhi Dedica EC680M comes in a shiny, stainless steel housing which gives the coffee machine a nice look. The coffee maker has a rather compact design, and it measures 13 x 5.9 x 13 inches. Therefore, the EC680M definitely doesn’t require much space to operate.
Besides from that, this coffee maker doesn’t require that much clearance since most of its parts are available from the front of the machine. Even the water tank that’s located on the back of the machine is easily accessible once you need to refill it. However, this design can make it harder for you to see how much water is left in the tank.
The EC680M is, furthermore, a very lightweight coffee maker. This can be a useful thing once you need to move your machine to clean the kitchen counter or because you want to place it somewhere else. However, weighing only 9.3 pounds, the EC680M can easily become unstable and give you a scare because you might think that it’ll fall down.
What does the Automatic Flow Stop feature do?
This coffee maker uses the Automatic Flow Stop technology. This technology helps the machine extract a precise amount of coffee in your cup and stop the flow at the right time. With this technology, you can be sure that your coffee maker won’t pour excess coffee in your cup and make a mess.
Programmability of the De’Longhi Dedica EC680M
Surprisingly, the De’Longhi Dedica EC680M is a pretty programmable coffee maker. This machine lets you customize a few things, which is not very common for coffee makers at its price range.
For instance, the EC680M lets you customize the brewing temperature and the shut down time of the machine. You can do this by pressing and holding the steam button on the machine. Once you do this, the lights on the other two buttons next to the steam button will start flickering. You’ll then need to press on the buttons to program the thing you want to program.
Programming the volume of the coffee in your shot is also possible on the EC680M. In order to do this, you’ll need to push the single shot button and hold it until it starts to flicker. Then, let the machine make your coffee and push the single shot button once you’ve gotten the right amount of coffee in your cup.
Manual milk frother for a good foam
The milk frother on the De’Longhi Dedica EC680M coffee maker is manual and made of metal. Many people enjoy having manual frothers on their coffee machines because they can customize the froth to their preferences.
With the EC680M you will be able to get decent milk froth by steaming your milk with the Panarello wand on the machine. Furthermore, you’ll also have some fun with the steamed milk if you’re into latte art. Of course, you’ll also enjoy a variety of milk-based drinks that will taste very nice.
Brewing the coffee
The De’Longhi Dedica EC680M comes with pressurized filter baskets for pre-ground coffee and one for easy-serve espresso pods. If you want to use whole-bean coffee, you’ll have to get a coffee grinder.
Being pressurized, the baskets will work best with coffee that is not that finely grind, which makes things easier for you. There’s also a scoop/tamper tool that comes together with the coffee maker.
To brew yourself some coffee, put pre-ground coffee inside the single or double shot filter baskets and lock the portafilter inside the filter holder. Of course, you can use an easy-serve espresso pod to make coffee, as we already mentioned. Depending on your filter basket, press either the single or the double shot brew button on the EC680M and wait for the coffee maker to extract your coffee.
The coffee drinks made by these machine taste very good considering this coffee maker’s price. The shots have good consistency and the customized milk froth really makes the milk-based drinks taste as if you’ve ordered them in a café.
Now, the coffee grounds can be soupy because the EC680M doesn’t have a three-way solenoid valve to release the pressure from the group head and separate the water from the coffee grounds. This is a feature that the Gaggia Classic Pro has, and, if you can afford to stretch your budget a little bit more, you could have the best entry-level espresso machine.
Considering the price of the EC680M, however, it is normal that De’Longhi decided to equip the machine with other great features and cut on production costs by not integrating a valve into the EC680M.
Descaling program that cleans the EC680M
This coffee maker will alert you once it’s time to descale it. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about it getting clogged or your coffee tasting bad. However, if you want to descale it at a particular time, you can program the machine to do that as well. Don’t forget to drop a descaling solution in the water reservoir of the EC680M before the machine starts to rinse the brewing system.
FAQ about the De’Longhi Dedica EC680M
Why do my milk-based drinks get colder when I put the milk in them?
Milk-based drinks are usually supposed to be colder than coffee-only drinks. If you froth your milk for too long, the milk will lose its flavor.
However, the problem could be that you’re not heating up the milk enough. In this case, you should get a stainless steel container and heat up the container with some hot water. You should then froth the milk until it reaches your desired temperature by feeling how hot the container is. Furthermore, you should also get any water that’s in the frother extracted from it by purging the wand.
How long does the descaling of the EC680M last?
It lasts somewhere from 15 to 20 minutes.
Does the EC680M need a water filter to function?
No, this coffee maker doesn’t require a water filter.
Does this machine use Nespresso pods?
What are some alternatives to the De’Longhi Dedica EC680M?
If you don’t feel like the EC680M is the coffee maker that you want, you could check out the EC685M Dedica Deluxe coffee machine. This coffee maker has an Adjustable Cappuccino System, is programmable, and it comes with a lot of accessories, among which a coffee cup and a saucer.
The De’Longhi EC680M is a nice coffee maker, but there’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to this machine. However, many people find it to be a decent first coffee machine for them, and are satisfied by its performance. If you like the EC680M, you could consider buying it, and if you don’t like it that much, you could check out its alternative, the EC685M.