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DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 Review – My Week with the Delonghi Magnifica

A while ago, I wrote my best bean to cup coffee machines post, and the De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM 4200 was featured in this post, this wasn’t a review as such, as I’d not used the machine at this point.

I’d simply researched a number of different bean to cup machines including studying the reviews to gain an opinion of each machine that featured, which is what I do with these kinds of articles. 

While doing this research, I gained the opinion that the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 was a great machine for the money, and this opinion was strengthened by emails I received from readers, who have this machine, and who couldn’t sing its praises highly enough.

In fact, one reader told me that they had an ESAM for years, then “upgraded” to a much more expensive bean to cup machine, only to be disappointed to discover that (in their opinion) the much more expensive machine wasn’t a patch on their old faithful DeLonghi Esam.

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines Review

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Watch my youtube review:

So the Magnifica ESAM 4200 bean to cup coffee machine was high on my list of coffee machines to use and review. But until now, the only material I had written about this bean to cup Espresso machine

Just to give you a bit of info about the way my reviews work, if you’re new to Coffeeblog.

When it comes to “best…” posts, where I discuss the best of a certain product, such as best coffee grinders, best manual coffee grinders, best bean to cup coffee machines  I don’t just do a list of popular products.

Best Electric Burr Coffee Grinders ReviewBest Manual Coffee Grinders Review

I spend days or even weeks in some cases, researching each product in order to put these kinds of posts together, attempting to give the best indication possible regarding which might be the best product for the reader – and where possible this includes getting hold of the machines and using it.

For example: 

Best DeLonghi Coffee Machines

When It comes to individual product reviews, I don’t take these lightly either, I don’t review a product after having had a quick look at it, or having had a demo or a quick trial.

I do my best to write detailed user reviews, written over a period of at least a week, if not longer. This makes my reviews proper “user reviews”, which I hope give readers a good insight into the machine, so they can decide whether or not this machine may be right for them. 

Anyway, I was keen to do a full user review of the Delonghi Magnifica Esam 4200, so I got in touch with De’Longhi, who very kindly sent me a loan unit, to use for the review. 

This isn’t a “freebie review” where manufacturers send products to bloggers free in return for a review, and it isn’t any kind of a paid review, De’Longhi simply sent me a loan model to review.

This was before I was on Patreon –  these days most of the machines and other products sent to me to review are given to one of my Patreon supporters, AKA “accredited coffee botherers” – which is just one of the benefits of being a supporter.

Anyway, without any further waffle let’s get to it…

DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 Review – My Week and a bit with the Magnifica Bean To Cup Coffee Machine.

Unboxing and initial impressions.

I was pleasantly surprised by how quick and simple this part was. Got it straight out of the box, onto the kitchen worktop, removed a couple of packing protective bits, installed the water tank and the coffee puck collector & drip tray, and turned it on. So far, so good.

It’s a nice looking machine, and is fairly compact for a bean to cup Espresso machine, 30cm deep at the top, approx 38cm deep measured to the middle of the drip tray, 28cm wide, and 35cm tall.

Just keep in mind when measuring the height of your cupboards etc., that you need just under another 10cm to open the grinder hopper cover in order to load beans and adjust the grind.

I could see straight away how much thought has gone into the design of this machine, they really have done a good job of making it a very convenient machine for the average coffee lover to use.

For instance, the water tank is front loading. You just pull it straight out like an ink cartridge, fill it up, and slot it straight back in.

This is a great feature for most users, who I assume will be slotting it into an already cramped kitchen worktop space, if they’re anything like me, and this feature means you don’t need to pull the machine out and turn it around to get to the water tank. 

The group head, where the coffee comes from, can be slid up or down to bring it closer to the cup you’re using, and to allow taller cups to be used, which again, I think is very clever.

The drip tray is nice & big, making use of all the possible space under the machine, and the way the front opens in order to access the coffee puck collector tray which simply slots in next to the drip tray, again I think is very well designed. 

Setting it up

I followed what I thought was the quick 5 step setup guide, which lead me to get stuck temporarily until I realised that what I thought was a quick start guide, is actually  “How to prepare an espresso in 5 easy steps” once you’ve already set up the machine – and the full setup instructions need to be read when it comes to the first use of the machine. Doh…

So, on page 10 of the proper instruction manual, I discovered that when you use the machine for the first time, you need to turn the steam on, all the way anti-clockwise, and then wait for the water flow to stop, and for all the lights to flash, to indicate that you now need to turn off the steam. Once I did this, all was well :-).

So just keep in mind that the single A4 glossy 5-step guide isn’t a setup guide, it’s a guide to making Espresso once you have set up the machine as per the instruction manual – which I have to say is really straightforward.

First use

This is a very easy machine to use, it’s all really straightforward.

I turned it on, filled the hopper with coffee beans, turned the strength to Max (of course), set the volume/quantity to just under the half position, left the grind setting at the factory setting, pressed the single cup button, and Hey Presto, or should we say Hey Espresso? No, probably not…

The first espresso flowed far too quickly, I got about 50g of coffee in about 15 seconds, which is definitely what we would call a “sink shot” rather than a “drink shot”, but I expected this, it is going to take some dialing in, and also in terms of the volume/quantity setting (which I’ll get into later).

I then adjusted the grind finer, tried a couple of shots at this, and it was definitely going in the right direction. After a few more trials, I got the flow to something I was more familiar with, around 30-32g in around 30 seconds – ish.

General observations after regular use

The first thing I want to say about the De’Longhi ESAM 4200, after some regular use, is that I think this is a good, low priced, all-around bean to cup Espresso machine, not a bad choice at all for most coffee lovers who want to be able to make Espresso at home, who are happy with steaming their own milk & don’t need a one touch machine. 

There are other machines at a similar price point that are also worth looking at before you splash the cash, though – the Gaggia Brera probably being the toughest competition for the ESAM 4200 – it’s only slightly more expensive, it’s quieter, and arguably is a classier looking machine, see my Gaggia Brera review. 

Gaggia Brera Vs Delonghi Magnifica ReviewGaggia Brera Review

That being said, I’ll now get into more detail. Starting off with:

The good stuff:

Fast coffee – quick warm-up time. 

Great coffee is something worth waiting for, and some of the best commercial and prosumer espresso machines take quite a while to be ready to use. When it comes to machines that are intended for the consumer market, though, convenience is important.

This may not quite have the same ridiculous warm up time as the newest “thermojet” Sage machines such as the Sage Bambino Plus, in fact, the ESAM 4200 has a ten times slower warm-up time than the Bambino plus, – but given this is still only 30 seconds, it’s pretty quick! 


(I know this isn’t a sage post, but just in case you were interested have a look at what sage has to offer compared to Delonghi:)

Update: Sage Discount Codes!

If you’re in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland (and most other European countries) and you’re thinking of buying any Sage coffee machine or grinder (or any other product from Sage Appliances) I have an active discount code that works so you might want to drop me an email. Click here to join my “Brew Time” mailing list, and then email me (

Read my post on best discount and sage deals:

Sage best deals and discounts

Back to my review 🙂


Good Espresso

Obviously, the quality of the Espresso is important for an Espresso machine review – and I’m impressed with the quality of the Espresso produced by the ESAM 4200, remembering that it is a bean to cup machine.

I think the majority of coffee lovers will be very happy with the quality of the Espresso that this bean to cup Espresso machine will produce, as long as they’re using great quality coffee beans of course!

Speaking of great quality coffee beans, did you know I supply coffee beans? Not just “Coffee beans” but a range of super tasty, high quality single origins and blends, freshly roasted and supplied either whole bean, or pre-ground as we’re bagging up your order.

Use discount code CBNC25 for 25% off your first order at Coffeeworks

Do I think you could get better Espresso from a semi auto espresso machine with a separate grinder, costing around a thousand pounds or upwards? Well, yes – once you’ve gone through the learning curve and developed the necessary skills. 

As I’ve said in other posts, there are two main types of espresso machine users – bean to cup users, and home baristas. 

Bean to cup machine users are coffee lovers who just want to be able to get decent coffee at the touch of a button. 

Home Baristas are folk who are happy to invest a significant amount of time, money, and effort in continually increasing their Espresso making skills, along with developing their coffee palate, which will better enable them to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

I suppose actually there are three types of espresso machine users. Pressured basket espresso machine users are very similar to bean to cup users. Cheaper espresso machines come with 15 bar pressure and pressured portafilters, and are made like this to work with pre-ground coffee.

Best Cheap Espresso Machines Review

Similar to bean to cup machines, they’ll produce good coffee, but home Baristas are folk (like me) who are willing to invest the extra time and effort to develop the skills required to make potentially amazing espresso. 

If you think the home barista hobby might be for you, these are three of the most popular choices for first home barista espresso machines:

Sage Bambino PlusGaggia Classic ProSage Barista Express

But going back to the Delonghi ESAM 4200…

Capable of proper microfoam for Latte art!

I wasn’t expecting to be writing this about a domestic bean to cup espresso machine!

The popular option with domestic Espresso machines are Panarello wands, a sheath which covers the steam pipe and introduces steam to the milk via holes on the side.

These kinds of steam wands are fine for producing thick, spoonable, stiff foam for “old school” cappuccino. which is fine if that’s what you like. 

If, however, you’re wanting to produce lovely, shiny microfoam for making velvety flat whites, cortado/piccolo, macchiato, latte or cappuccino, and to have a go at pouring latte art, then Panarello wands probably aren’t going to work for you. 

With the ESAM 4200, it’s very easy to simply pull off the Panarello to reveal the plastic steam pipe, which is essentially a single hole steam tip steam wand, or at least works in a similar fashion. 

The photos above are of the latte art I poured with milk steamed with the ESAM 4200, with the Panarello wand removed.


Want to learn how to create your own Latte art, watch this post:

Fairly Quiet grinding – enjoy your morning coffee without waking up the street.

The integrated grinder is fairly quiet, it makes a higher pitch sound than my Sage Smart Grinder Pro, but it’s no louder, I’d say a similar volume to a boiling kettle, maybe slightly louder but not much.

I’ve read some complaints about budget coffee grinders re the noise levels, but I don’t think you’ll have an issue with the integrated grinder on the ESAM 4200.

It does use metal burrs though as practically all bean to cup machines do except the Gaggia Brera and other Gaggia machines, which use ceramic burrs, which is one of the reasons they’re among the quieter bean to cup machines.

Big water tank & easy to fill

The water tank is 1.8l, which is a decent sized water tank for an Espresso machine.

What I really like about this water tank though, is it is so easy to access and to fill. As I mentioned earlier in the introduction, it pulls straight out from the front, so you don’t need to access the side or the back of the machine, you just pull out the tank, stick it under the tap, and slide it back in, perfect!

Big drip tray

I like the fact that the drip tray uses all of the available space at the bottom of the machine, to produce a decent-sized drip tray, meaning that you don’t have to constantly be emptying it. This may seem like a little thing, but little things can make a big difference. 

Easy maintenance

The front of the machine opens, allowing you to pull out the drip tray, which brings the coffee puck collector with it. Inside this you’ll find your used pucks of grounds, to be put in the compost. Empty the drip tray and the puck collector, give it a rinse, and stick it back in.

You will want to wipe the inside of the front, when you open it up you’ll see some coffee splashes onto parts of the inside of the front, so giving it a wipe down while you’re in there is good practice.

Other than this, there’s an auto maintenance cycle that happens each time you turn the machine on – and running the descale cycle, etc., all seems straightforward. The machine comes with a pack of descaler solution.

The bad stuff:

Actually, with the ESAM 4200 there are only really a couple of negatives I think are really worth mentioning:

Impossible to get back to a specific setting

This bean to cup coffee machine has dials for volume and strength, so the coffee you end up with, is dependent on where you set these two dials. With this being the case, I can’t get my head around why De’Longhi hasn’t thought to put points of reference around these dials to allow you to get back to a particular setting. 

It’s no big deal, really, you could always put marks on there yourself if you wanted to, but I just can’t understand why they haven’t put numbers around these dials, so the user at least has a reference to go back to.

When it comes to both the coffee strength (amount of coffee ground) and the volume, there’s a lack of markings to go back to – I just think it would make sense to give the user some kind of reference that makes some kind of sense (grams, ml, maybe?) which they can refer back to.

As I said, not a huge deal, but I’m just not sure why they don’t put a handy face around these dials to help the user.

I prefer the way strength and volume is dealt with on the Gaggia Brera, with this machine you have three coffee bean icons that you toggle between via the strength button, and you have a button for espresso, and a button for long coffee, both of which can be programmed by simply pressing and holding.

Double shot isn’t a double shot

You’d think that when you press the 2 cup button, you’d get a double shot – meaning twice the amount of ground coffee and twice the amount of water, but you don’t. 

You get twice the amount of water, yes, but almost the same amount of coffee, from what I can gather. 

This isn’t exclusive to DeLonghi, I know there are other manufacturers that do this, but still – given that DeLonghi are the biggest coffee machine brand in the world, I would expect their machines to have a double shot button which gives a double shot, not just double the amount of water and about the same amount of coffee.

I can’t find out exactly how much coffee is used for a single or double shot, but from timing and weighing pucks, I gained the impression that when you press the double shot button, it doesn’t grind exactly the same amount, it’s slightly more, but certainly not double – maybe a couple of grams more? It’s hard to tell.

So if you want a double shot, I’d just play around until you get a single shot as you like it, and then simply press the single shot button, then press it again once it’s pulled.

With the Gaggia machines by the way, including the Gaggia Brera, when you press the double shot button, it’ll grind and pull a single shot, and then do the same again.

By the way, a quick tip re making Americano & long black with Espresso machines.

First of all, a Lungo, or “long black” isn’t the same as an Americano, technically speaking.

Americano is espresso poured into hot water (not the other way around, by the way. You can do it that way if you like, if you’re a Neanderthal ;-), but as far as I’m concerned the “right way” is water first, Espresso on top), whereas a long black or lungo is basically a longer shot, rather than a mix of Espresso and hot water.

Yes, they’re both a mix of water and Espresso, but with Lungo you’re continuing to extract coffee – as the water is still flowing through the puck of grounds, whereas with Americano you’re pulling the shot into fresh hot water, or pulling the shot into an espresso cup/glass and dumping this into the hot water.

So technically speaking, if you use the bean to cup machine to dispense a bigger cup of coffee, you’re making a Lungo or long black, and if you pull your shot into hot water you’re making an Americano. 

I prefer the taste of Americano to Lungo, but each to their own, so try it both ways and see what you prefer.


For more information on the best Delonghi machines read:

Best Delonghi Machines Review


At this price for a tried and tested bean to cup machine from a very well known brand, there are not a lot of other options. But there is another DeLonghi machine which is basically a newer version of the ESAM 4200, which I would recommend if you can get it for a similar price:

Check Price – Amazon UK

It’s a newer machine, it has a significantly smaller footprint, I think the controls are a bit more intelligent, it’s supposed to be slightly quieter, and apparently, the steam is a bit more powerful.

I’ve not reviewed the Ecam E22 – I will do, though, in the not too distant future, and I’ll then give it to one of my Patreon supporters – but from the research I’ve done, I think if you can get the Ecam E22 for the price It’s available for at the time of writing (about £30 more than the ESAM 4200) it’s probably a wise decision.


I’m impressed with the Esam 4200, it’s easy to see why it’s been one of the best selling bean to cup coffee machines for years.

Not a bad choice at all for anyone who wants a bean to cup Espresso machine, who doesn’t want to pay more than they have to, and who wants to steam and pour their own milk rather than just pressing a button. 

As I said earlier, there are other contenders if you’re looking for a low-cost bean to cup machine, so I’d probably have a look at the others too before making the choice. 

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines

Keep in mind that at the lower price point you’re going to be looking at “auto” bean to cup machines and not “super auto” or “one touch” machines. 

Super automatic machines or one touch machines, have an integrated milk carafe, or “cappuccinatore”, and automatically steam the milk and deliver it into your cup. These kinds of machines are usually quite a bit more expensive, although the popular Melitta Solo is a one touch machine at a very similar price to the Exam 4200.

Among the standard, manual bean to cup coffee machines at the entry-level, I think the ESAM 4200 is among the best low cost options – and this concludes my De’Longhi ESAM 4200 review :-).

Check Price - Amazon UK

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