Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 3500 Review: How does it stack up?

Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 3500 Reviewed: Find out what our experts think

Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 3500 is a great coffee machine. Simply set it to auto-start as it takes about 5 mins to “warm up” and it’s ready and waiting. It also has an auto-off if it’s not used after 1, 2, or 3 hours, which you extend by just pressing any button within that time frame and the countdown clock resets – Just do it! You know you want a coffee later in the day.

You can set your coffee strength – we prefer strong – and the amount of “shots” that you make at a time – single or double – but we really love the preset latte button. You can memorise your settings for your favourite coffee (strong, three shots, xxx amount of milk/froth), and then it’s just one button to press & it does it all.


  • Quick-fast latte or espresso or cuppacino – whatever you prefer right at home in less than 5 minutes! Can’t beat that!
  • The ability to use ground coffee as well. I always keep my regular beans in the bin of course, but I use the ground spot for decaf if I have a jonesin for a coffee at night
  • It’s so easy. You don’t have to do anything other than put your cup under the spout & hit buttons. You don’t even have to hold the milk container when frothing!
  • Has a hot-water spigot for those moments when you just need hot water
  • It lasts! We’ve heard about very few issues in having this machine for years.
  • The internal clock is wonderful! I had the power go out twice (storms) and the machine still kept it’s time. So when the power was back on, I still had my coffee in the morning. Take that load shedding!
  • The milk never seems to get that hot even though you set it to the highest temperature, because the milk is coming directly from the fridge (nice and cold) and the automatic frother/steamer just doesn’t get it hot enough. However, if the milk is at room temperature, then the result is a nice hot cup of coffee.
  • The decalcifying process is a little cumbersome, even if the machine keeps itself nice & clean. You can never seem to find a container big enough to fit on the little shelf to hold all the water that gets passed through – watch & do a quick switcheroo when the container fills. It’s just an inconvenience (that only happens like once a year – so no big woop). There’s also the hassle of buying the decalcifier online as we’ve yet to find a store that carries it.
  • Cleaning out all the coffee grounds is a pain! A few times a year you have to give your machine a thorough scrub-down and vaccuum, but those grounds get in  everywhere! Get yourself a little brush, a wire cleaner thingy, and a small vaccuum (like a dustbuster with small “nose” attachment”). The machine is heavy, so tipping it won’t work well – so all the little cleaning gadgets will really come in handy
  • It’s loud. Of course, there’s no way to grind beans quietly! But after your baby is born you realized that making a latte after the baby went down for a nap isn’t always a good idea! Otherwise we don’t care about the noise.

A few things to consider:

  • Take care of the machine, because at this price you should take care of something this pricey! Clean it regularly with a quick wipe down, but definitely do a good thorough cleaning about twice a year to suck out all the grinds and bits.
  • Always remember to clear out your milk frother hose after EVERY USE. It’s so important. Otherwise the milk will dry & clog in the tubing and your next latte will suffer and it could reduce the life of your milk container & tubing – it’s just a few seconds to hit the “clean” button – so don’t forget!

This machine is a must have for anyone who’s a coffee fanatic. It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee you like – you can really grind anything coffee shop brand or grocery store beans, you name it!

Your coffee will only be as good as the beans you use.

Prices,specs and rental terms were acquired at the time of the writing of this posted and can vary from company to company. Each supplier or DeLonghi operator reserves the right to vary prices, terms and conditions to his/her own discretion. DeLonghi is not a brand of Aquaspresso or affiliated to Aquaspresso in any way.