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Delonghi EC 680/685 Dedica: a narrow and compact coffeemaker with automatic dosing and a Thermoblock for lovers of long coffee.

Comments: 78↓ specifications & manual ↓↓ EC680 vs EC685 vs SMEG ECF01 ↓

Compared to its more affordable competitors, the De’Longhi Dedica EC 680.M coffeemaker looks like a classic limo next to a Hyundai Accent. There can be no doubt that its design is a success. It looks classy, respectable and expensive. The width of the full-metal body is rather impressive – only 15 cm, which makes it one of the narrowest coffeemakers on the market. Due to these proportions, it can fit onto any table, taking up a minimum of space. As we know, width is the most critical factor in any kitchen.

The Delonghi EC 680M Dedica full-metal body pleases the ear as well as the eye. Metal provides better isolation of the pump, which is the main source of noise during operation. This model really is quieter than its “plastic” counterparts.

Delonghi Dedica EC 680 color variety and materials

However, there is another nuance to the narrow body: as the metal portafilter is heavy and quite long, it causes the entire body to tip over when installed in the coffeemaker. In other words, you have to hold the body with your other hand to stop the machine tilting to one side. As the portafilter module is used more and gets ground in, this becomes less important.

By the way, although the holder looks like it is 100% metal, there is still a plastic part inside. In the very bottom of the portafilter there is a plastic dispenser that divides the coffee flow. But there is no need to worry – the plastic is good quality and the temperature of the coffee at that point is not too high. So there should not be any unusual flavours in the cup. Still, if you want, you can unscrew the bolt in the bottom to remove that plastic part.

The cup stand, the drip tray, the steam wand and other silver parts are made of stainless steel, colored parts are made of some other metal alloy. The water tank and the lower black part are made of plastic.

Quick access to the operating mode by using the thermoblock instead of the boiler

The Delonghi EC 680 Dedica espresso maker is remarkable for its use of a thermoblock instead of a boiler as a heating element. I realise that sophisticated professionals of the coffee world will chuckle at this, but it gives clear advantages for a beginner who does not plan to delve deeply into the barista trade:

  1. It takes the coffeemaker at the most 30 seconds to enter the operating mode and be ready to serve coffee. Classic pump-type coffee makers for home use with a boiler (like the Delonghi ECO311) need more time to heat up – a minimum of 3-5 minutes is recommended.
  2. It can serve you two lungos at a time. In other words, the thermoblock can supply a much greater volume of water at the desired temperature than a boiler-type intended for home use. You can safely do a few lungos in a row. The same goes for the steam – it simply supplies more. By the way, this coffee maker includes a manual cappuccinatore with a flexible rotating mouting, which is much more convenient than many of its competitors.
I would also appreciate your starred review at the end of the article

The main advantage of electronic control is automatic dosing and portion volume programming

DEDICA EC 680.R control panel and cup heater on the topThe second main feature of the Delonghi EC 680.BK coffeemaker is the electronic control. There are three buttons at the top of the front panel: one serving, two servings and steam preparation. Each of the first two buttons has a preset volume (approximately 40-50 and 80-100 ml, depending on the tamping of coffee grounds down into the portafilter), and the machine automatically stops the feed upon reaching this level in the cup.

In addition, if you simply press and hold, you can program your favourite volume for each button. That is to say, the “two servings” button can deliver any volume you want, not just two times more than the standard. For example, you can program it to serve a ristretto (20ml in the classic recipe) or lungo (60+ ml).

Electronic control advantages:

  1. Program an automatic shutdown time: 9 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours.
  2. Program your coffee temperature – there are three levels and medium is the default. This may be relevant for those who like it hotter, though, believe me, the right temperature is medium. In order to make the coffee hotter, it is necessary to let water run through the brew group (make one portion without coffee) and a cup (heating the cup a little).
  3. Programming for water hardness. This affects the frequency of the descaling procedure. Depending on water hardness, the machine turns on this indicator more or less frequently. The machine simply counts the number of served portions, as it cannot define the actual amount of scale. The harder the water, the more often the machine will turn on the alarm light for the descaling procedure. At the maximum level of water hardness, the Delonghi EC680 M Dedica requires descaling approximately every 200 servings. As a matter of fact, all coffee machines are similar in this regard.
  4. Built-in descaling program. It is not fully automatic, as in most cases – it is necessary to be near the machine and carry out various actions, which are described in detail in the manual.

Delonghi Dedica EC.680.M looks great in modern kitchen

Cons

Everything as standard for this class of coffeemakers:

  1. The passive cup heater only works well if the machine is well heated (after 5-10 minutes of warm-up and/or 1-2 served cups). This is always the case.
  2. The cup stand quickly gets covered with scratches, which is also common.
  3. The cup stand is too narrow to accommodate two large cups, which is the price to pay for the compact body. This is relevant for couples who love big servings.
  4. Delonghi E680Dedica filters and tamperThe combined plastic tamper and measuring spoon is rather weak. No, it won’t break after a month of use, not even a year, but it’s much more pleasant to work with a metal one, which you can buy separately (51 mm in diameter).
  5. The filters have a double bottom (the same are used in the Delonghi ECO 311). They are more sensitive to the type of grinding than valve ones (for example, in the Saeco HD 8325/47). It is not recommended to use the extra fine grind. This can block the space between the upper layer (with many little holes) and the lower layer (with one centred hole). It is better to lean towards medium grinding, give or take. Remember to rinse the filter after use. As a precaution (once a month or two), it is worth soaking them in citric acid and then rinsing with fast-flowing hot water from the tap.

Color range

The Delonghi Dedica EC 680 espresso maker is available in three colours:

  • Delonghi EC 680.BK – black with chrome elements
  • Delonghi EC 680.R – red with chrome elements
  • Delonghi EC 680.M – silver

Once again, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that all these models have full-metal bodies. I will repeat myself and say that they look classy and sophisticated.

Updated EC 685 series review (and comparison 680 vs 685)

In 2017 Delonghi made some changes and launched new models with 685 index and called it Dedica Deluxe. In new EC685 models range they added a white color (EC685W) in range and made only two functional changes.

So, EC685 vs EC680:
Delonghi EC 685 compared to 680

  1. Steam wand on 685 is equipped with regulator ring, the same that we saw on Delonghi ECP 35.31 and ECP3630. In the down position it just froths the milk, as usual. In upper position it only heats up and mixes the milk, making almost no bubbles. That mode could be useful if you like less milk foam in your cappuccino, or if you want to make hot chocolate for kids.
  2. EC685 has second mini drip tray under the cup stand. So you can put higher glasses under the holder. Many owners of espresso machines use following hint, if they want to use higher glasses: remove the main cup stand, and put cup directly on the floor of the drip tray. That allows to gain extra 2-3 cm. Delonghi on EC 685 M/BK/W/R models put the metal plate on the bottom of the drip tray and now maximum cup height is officially 12 cm.
  3. All else being equal if compared to EC680.

Check current prices and deals @ Amazon: for Delonghi EC680 and for Delonghi EC685

Similar models

Delonghi EC680 has a “clone” – SMEG ECF01. It is exactly the same machine without any functional differences. Just outlook is slightly changed by SMEG designers, the upper part is made of plastic (not metal alloy like on Delonghi EC680/685) and the price is doubled. There are black SMEG ECF01BLEU, blue ECF01PBEU, red ECF01RDEU and beige/cream ECF01CREU models in stock:
SMEG ECF01 color range

For the US market Smeg has different indexes: ECF01BLUS (which is short for “Black” and “US”), ECF01PBUS (“pastel blue”), ECF01RDUS and ECF01CRUS respectively.

EC680 also has two close relatives with the same essential components – the Delonghi EC 820/850/860. It is hard to tell from their appearance, but they have a similar thermoblock, exactly the same pump, the same metal portafilter with filters and a front water tank (1l). Ignoring the appearance, the key differences are:

  • The model 820 is mechanically controlled, it does not dose automatically and does not program the volume of a serving. A more classic model for creative people, and also a bit more reliable.
  • In addition to everything that the 680 includes, the EC850/860 also has an automatic cappuccinatore with an integrated 0.5-litre jug that allows the height of the milk froth to be adjusted. De’Longhi EC860 “knows” how to make a cappuccino or latte in one touch. But, of course, you first need to tamp the coffee and fit the portafilter.

My Review Conclusion

The Delonghi EC 680.m/bk/r Dedica coffee maker is a compact, reliable and classy solution for coffee lovers who want some kind of automation (automatic dosage, serving size memory) and speed (a heat block that is ready for operation in 30 seconds), but on the other hand do not want to be completely detached from the process (as with automatic bean-to-cup machines). They want to be able to influence the taste directly, forming a coffee puck according to the rules of the craft and their personal preferences.

It is also important to understand that the price you pay for the Dedica is higher than for coffeemakers such as the Delonghi ECO 310/311, because it has a thermoblock heating element that makes it possible to deliver larger portions of coffee. If you prefer classic, small espresso shots and do not need automatic dosing, you are overpaying for the design and compact body alone.

Finally, if you want to get a good espresso from this machine, I highly recommend using fresh beans and grinding them with a decent coffee grinder (no, the cheapest blade grinder is not the best choice).

Check current prices and deals @ Amazon: Delonghi EC680 or EC685 or SMEG ECF01

I NEED you opinion. Please rate my review:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (31 votes, average: 4.68 out of 5)
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Delonghi EC680 Dedica / EC685 Dedica Deluxe Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Pump espresso machine
Width х Deep х Height: 15 x 33 x 31 cm
Coffee used: Ground coffee or E. S. E. pods
Grinder: No
Brewing group: Metal filters with double floor
Heater: Thermoblock 1350 W
Max pressure: 15 bar
Water container: 1l
Waste container: No
Cappuccinatore: Manual 'pannerello'
Max cup height: 80 mm (120 mm in case of EC685 or in case of EC680 without cup stand)
Controlling: Temperature adjustment (3 levels), automatic dosing with coffee volume adjustment
Peculiar properties: Passive Cup Warmer
Colors: Delonghi EC680M/EC685M - metallic silver
Delonghi EC680R/EC685R - red and silver
Delonghi EC680B/EC685B - black ans silver
Delonghi EC 685 W - white
SMEG ECF01BLEU/ECF01BLUS - black
SMEG ECF01PBEU/ECF01PBUS - pastel blue
SMEG ECF01RDEU/ECF01RDUS - red
SMEG ECF01CREU/ECF01CRUS - beige/cream

Author:

22/04/2017

Have any questions? Please ask in comments below!

Have you bought this coffee machine? Leave a review!

78 comments:

  1. Hello! I can’t find the tamper size for this coffeemaker (Delonghi EC 680). I haven’t got it yet, but want a steel tamper, so I’m looking for one in advance to buy everything at the same time.

    Owen

    12 May 17 at 12:51 am

    Reply

    • Both 50mm and 51mm will fit, but if you are making one serving of coffee (i.e. one spoon of coffee) in a two-cup filter, you won’t be able to tamp down the coffee with the 51mm, because the filters are cone-shaped at the bottom and the tamper will get stuck there. So 50mm is the universal option.

      Dmitriy

      13 May 17 at 11:15 am

      Reply

  2. Do all coffeemakers with a holder have have plastic inside the portafilter to divide the coffee flow into two?

    headmustard

    21 May 17 at 4:57 pm

    Reply

    • Yes, all budget ones do. ECP series and Dedica have the least plastic. It does not change the flavour and, if the worst comes to the worst, you can take it out.

      Dmitriy

      22 May 17 at 8:57 am

      Reply

  3. I wish I’d seen this review before I started my research on a new machine in July. I started looking at the SMEG but noticed the similarities with the cheaper Delonghis. I slowly worked out the differences between the 680 and 685 (most stores had both, with the 680 a bit cheaper). One other difference I found is that the red 685.R is a more subtle satin finish, compared with the glossy blood red 680R.
    Great little machine, very happy with it so far. My wife loves the programmable volume – we like big lungo mugs so I’ve set it to run a long shot; she can hit the button and then do something else without worrying about overflow.

    Russell

    17 Sep 17 at 10:25 am

    Reply

    • Thank you for your additions, Russel! Did you finally choose 680 or 685?

      Dmitriy

      18 Sep 17 at 4:17 pm

      Reply

      • I went with the 685, mainly because of the improved steam wand with cappuccino and hot milk settings. I also liked the two-level drip trays.

        Russell

        23 Sep 17 at 2:27 am

        Reply

  4. I am totally confused about buying an espresso machine!!!!! I am between delonghi ec685 and ec156. I usually drink espresso and some times cappuccino. What’s your opinion between these two?

    Irene

    6 Oct 17 at 2:41 pm

    Reply

    • Delonghi EC156 pros: a) boiler gives better stability of the temperature while preparing small portions, so it’s better for small drinks (30-60ml), b) it’s usually cheaper. Cons: less comfortable steam wand, more plastic, less suitable for preparing lungo and/or big cups of coffee, no autodosing (you should stop the water supply manually, on EC680/685 you can press the button and go out of the kitchen, the machine will stop automatically).

      EC685: better for cappucino, better for bigger portions of coffee, however small espresso could be a little bit worse.

      So, if you are mainly drinking italian sized espresso (30-40ml for one, 60-80ml for double) and cappuccino is not an everyday drink, I would say “EC156”. Or Saeco Peomia, which is even better for small espresso, here is my new review of the Poemia: http://101coffeemachines.info/saeco/poemia/

      In other case (you prefer bigger portions, cappuccino is your everyday drink or you like automatisation) – I would say EC685 (EC680 is still good).

      Dmitriy

      6 Oct 17 at 4:23 pm

      Reply

  5. Very good info which helped greatly in making my final choice of Delonghi
    685. Thanks. Could not find area to give you a stared review it would be a 5 star thanks again.

    Gary

    18 Oct 17 at 3:17 pm

    Reply

  6. Is it possible to get ristretto on this machine? Or only espresso??

    Frost518

    30 Oct 17 at 11:38 am

    Reply

    • Yes, ristretto is just a “small” espresso. So any espresso machine can make ristretto. In case of the EC680 you can reprogramm one of the buttons for 20-25 ml and… voila!

      Dmitriy

      30 Oct 17 at 3:42 pm

      Reply

  7. Hi. Thanks for your detailed reviews on the machines.
    I am also confused about buying an espresso machine, between delonghi ec685 and ecp35.31.
    I buy it for myself and few colleagues. I think there are 5 to 7 cups a day.
    Could you please offer a hand to compare ec685 and ecp35.31, and give me an advice? Thanks.

    Wilson

    18 Nov 17 at 6:19 am

    Reply

    • Hi, Wilson. Sorry for being late with my reply to you.

      Since you are choosing between de’longhi ec685 and ecp35.31 (both with panarello wands with extra regulator for milk foam/hot milk) I may assume that cappuccino is important for you and your colleagues. If so, then I would probably choose the EC685, mainly because it has thermoblock that gives more steam to froth the milk. Also the 685 has water tank on the back side (not inside like 35.31) so it’s easier to fill it in the office.

      Some other aspects ec685 vs ECP35.31:
      a) First one is smaller
      b) It gets hot faster (30 seconds and you are ready to brew). The 35.31, which has boiler instead of the thermoblock, needs at least 1-2 (better 3-5) minutes to get ready to serve espresso.
      c) 35.31 has a little bit bigger water tank and drip tray (could be important if you don’t have a sink in the same the room where the coffee maker is installed)
      d) 685 has autodosing (press button ones and it will stop as soon as shot is ready), in the case of the ECP 35.31 you need to stop the water supply manually, otherwise the coffee will overflow the cup
      e) 685 has temperature settings, ec35.31 doesn’t. Could be important if you prefer really hot espresso.

      Dmitriy

      22 Nov 17 at 5:52 pm

      Reply

  8. Hey Dmitriy,
    Thank you for such a detailed review!
    Just got a brand new 685 too, and overall happy with it.
    There is an issue however, – oftentimes it makes a sound like it’s trying to start brewing (I hear the usual ‘grrr’-alike sound), but then shortly stops completely, like if it had already finished brewing. When I detach the portafilter the coffee is just a little wet. When I repeat the procedure, the result is the same.

    But then, like 3 minutes later, I try gain and it starts out and does the thing getting some nice coffee. Also similar symptoms for the steamer thingy, starts only after 3rd or 4th try.
    And just to mention, I do all the steps according to the instruction manual.
    Do you have any idea of what is going on?

    Thanks,
    Igor.

    Igor

    27 Nov 17 at 9:56 am

    Reply

    • Does it shuts off completely or just the water/steam supply stops? Anyway it seems like an emergency fuse stops the machine because the pump (more likely) or the thermoblock is consuming too much energy. I would try to use warranty if it’s possible in your case. Or, if not, try to reveal a pattern (e.g. if it happens usually just after you switch it on or after some cups) to find out which part is the reason (and why).

      Dmitriy

      27 Nov 17 at 3:18 pm

      Reply

      • Thanks for the reply, much appreciated!
        The machine just stops water supply and then the buttons (1 and 2) blink as if it was heating up. Sometimes they blink for several minutes. I’ll try to see if there’s a pattern, it’s been in the kitchen for 2 days only. Thanks!

        Igor

        27 Nov 17 at 3:22 pm

        Reply

        • I experienced same thing with the steaming wand. It often stop the steam after starting for 4-5sec. And i need to try few times again to work. Its brand new. Is it broken?

          Jeff

          14 Dec 17 at 1:31 pm

          Reply

          • The same problem? I can’t say that it’s broken, however it’s definetly not the way it should work normally.

            Maybe (just an assumption) the problem is with electricity supply. I remember older super-automatic espresso machines by Delonghi had the similar problems, when connected to unstable electrical network. When being connected via voltage stabilizer or UPS they worked normally. So maybe it’s the same here.

            Dmitriy

            15 Dec 17 at 5:19 am

            Reply

      • Hi – some body asked about the flashing lights and machine stopping when brewing – this might be a termal cutoff, explained in the review on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuzHS5SXaJk … she released some steam and the heating block returned solid lights…looking at the EC685 model also, cheers

        colin

        3 Feb 18 at 5:21 am

        Reply

        • The blinking light of the steam button just means that the thermoblock is working/heating.

          Dmitriy

          3 Feb 18 at 5:42 am

          Reply

  9. Do you know what kind of metal is the thermo block made of-both 680 and 685? Is it aluminum or stainless steel or some other kind of metal or combination of?

    Thanks.

    James Oakley

    29 Nov 17 at 3:46 pm

    Reply

    • On both machines (as well as on any of Delonghi super automatic machines) it is made of aluminium, BUT the watertube inside it is made of steel.

      So there is no contact of water and aluminium, if you meant this. Which is good not only for human health, but for durability as well – corrosion would destroy naked aluminium faster than Delonghi’s warranty will end 🙂

      Dmitriy

      29 Nov 17 at 4:05 pm

      Reply

  10. Thanks for answering so fast.

    Also, what is the function of the thermo block? Where is the water heated?

    Again, thanks.

    James Oakley

    29 Nov 17 at 4:22 pm

    Reply

    • Thermoblock almost instanly heats the water and it is its main advantage (compared to boilers). It works like electric point-of-use tankless water heater for bathrooms.

      Water is heated inside narrow tubes that are embed into the thermoblock. Thermoblock becomes hot and therefore the passing water becomes hot. To fast up the proccess the tube is usually made curvy, like a maze or like a spiral (to increase the lenght of the tube inside the block).

      Here is the photo of thermoblock from 680/685 http://www.dts-online24.de/out/pictures/z1/5513217391_z1.jpg may be it will help to understand the process. The body is made of aluminium, you can see stainless steel tube coming in and out, copper parts – it is a power supply.

      Dmitriy

      29 Nov 17 at 4:55 pm

      Reply

    • P. S. Found an image that illustrates how it looks inside: http://www.delonghi.com/Global/PrimaDonnaElite/tech_2.jpg

      It is different model of thermoblock, however the idea is the same in the case of Dedica.

      Dmitriy

      29 Nov 17 at 5:01 pm

      Reply

      • thanks for your great review. I’ve read up about the thermoblock and many others say that it’s actually a negative rather than a positive as it has a shorter life (3-5) than a boiler. Reviews say that boilers are becoming more popular in the domestic market. I’m moving away from a Nespresso to a ground coffee machine and my Nespresso has lasted over 6 years and still has a lot of life in it. I’m hesitant to invest in something that has a 3-5 year life. Your view would be appreciated. Thanks

        Carla

        12 Dec 17 at 9:31 pm

        Reply

        • Hi, Carla!

          I wouldn’t say that themblock driven machines have shorter life. At least it’s not the most weak part of modern espresso machines, the mechanism that opens/closes the steam wand output is more likely to break first if you use it regular (for cappuccino) to be honest. And your Nespresso is a great example, because it also has thermoblock inside. The 5 year warranty (in some countries) for Delonghi’s super-automatic machines with thermoblock is another argument.

          However, indeed a thermoblock is less “fool-proof”. In case of the boiler machine you can forget about descaling for 2-3 years and it will work (the taste of espresso will become worse, but it will work). The thermoblock could not “forgive” such lack of descaling. So it’s strongly recommended to make regular maintaince as it described in the manual.

          Also boiler is better for espresso because of better thermostablity. However for a home user I don’t think it’s an important factor, just because many other things are not ideal if compared to the professional machines.

          Dmitriy

          15 Dec 17 at 6:01 am

          Reply

  11. Hi, first of all thanks for your review!! I’m between delonghi ec680/ smeg retro. From what I understand there is no difference between this two (except of course the price and the design) so basically they are the same but only Smeg more expensive? I love cafe latte and capuchine and that would be the use for this machine. I got confused when you replied to someone else that in case it is just espresso they want you would recommend ec156(for small portions). If I wanted a perfect espresso from delonghi ec680 would I be able to get it some how? you do need a good espresso to get the perfect latte/capuchino.

    Mariana

    3 Dec 17 at 12:30 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Mariana. Yes you will. My recommendation of ec156 was in the context of the price/functions ratio – “no need to overpay for ec685 if you need just a basic espresso and no cappuccino”. EC680 will make a decent espresso PLUS it’s easier to get lungo and cappucino/latte on it.

      P. S. And yes, SMEG retro = delonghi ec680, only design.

      Dmitriy

      3 Dec 17 at 12:38 pm

      Reply

      • Thank you Dmitriy:)

        Mariana

        5 Dec 17 at 11:31 am

        Reply

        • Greetings from New Zealand

          I have the Smeg ECF01 and it is an absolutely fantastic machine.
          I was also quite curious about the similarities between the Smeg and the Delonghi Dedica and have since had a chance to closely inspect the 2 machines side by side. While on paper and spec wise they look exactly the same, the Smeg has a sturdier build quality and the group handle/filter holder is made of stainless steel (much heavier than the aluminium one on the Delonghi Dedica).

          Jono

          28 Jan 18 at 10:23 am

          Reply

          • Thank you for you comment Jono. This is probably my mistake, but… I’m still pretty sure that both Delonghi and Smeg have identical holders and group head’s materials. I’ll drop by Smeg’s shop next week and will return with more detailed answer.

            Dmitriy

            28 Jan 18 at 10:52 am

            Reply

  12. Hello,
    I curious about ec680 vs ecp 35.31.
    I wish i could find ec685, need to make cappucino for my wife too.

    Beside auto dosing, and full metal body, and compact design on ec680, what else the differences from ecp 35.31?

    Which one do you suggest?thanks

    Slianto

    13 Dec 17 at 1:09 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Slianto.

      There would be a difference in temperature, which could give the different taste of espresso. Please see my reply to Spresso. On default settings there would be no noticeable differences.

      Concerning 680 vs 685, the new steam wand will not make the classic cappuccino brewing any easier. The hot milk mode will be useful for different recipes like flat white or latte, not cappuccino.

      Dmitriy

      15 Dec 17 at 5:35 am

      Reply

  13. Good morning! I have the 680 and have noticed that when I brew one cup, I get 2.5 oz of coffee but when I push two cups, I only get 1.5 oz. What is the correct amount I should be getting for each size?

    I also get the start/stop/start process each time I use the brewer. Is this how the machine should work?

    Thank you for answering my question.

    Julie

    14 Dec 17 at 4:54 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Julie!

      1) “the start/stop/start process each time” – this is pre-brewing (pre-infusion) function. I forget to mention it in my review, thanks for noticing. It helps to get richier taste when using an old coffee: the machine deliver a little amount of water (coffee inside filter becomes wet), then wait, then start brewing. Sometimes it’s useful, however I personally thinks that this function usually gives almost unnoticeable results.

      2) Probably the settings of the quantities of coffee is changed on your machine. May be you made it by mistake, may be in the shop. You can change it (page 10 of the manual http://101coffeemachines.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/DelonghiEC680manual.pdf ) or restore factory settings (page 9). Anyway, there is no “correct amount”, all depends on you tastes. However, canonical espresso should be about 1 fl oz. Lungo upto 3.5-4 fl oz.

      Dmitriy

      14 Dec 17 at 6:26 pm

      Reply

  14. Hi thanks for very detailed review!
    I read all your review, ecp, icona, dedica and saeco poemia. Finally i narrowed it down to saeco poemia for espresso, or dedica ec685 for cappucino (for autodosing,and new steam wand).

    The problem is, the localshop offer 50% off (clearance, limited stock) for ecp 31.21, very cheap. The price is really tempting for me.
    Actually for ecp i prefer 35.31 for looks and new steamwand. But ecp 35.31 normal price.

    The question is, back to basic, beside looks and material, or autodosing,auto-off,etc. How does it tasted between ecp 31.21 vs ec685?
    If it tasted the same, then i will look foward for 50% off ecp 31.21

    Thanks!

    Spresso

    15 Dec 17 at 1:35 am

    Reply

    • Hi, Spresso. The key difference that affects the taste – is temperature. The filter construction and therefore the taste of espresso would be the same on the well heated 31.21 and the ecp685 with default temperature settings.

      On the 685 you can change temperature and get a more bitter (on high temp) taste or get more acidity (low temp). However, for classic espresso the taste would be 99% the same on both machines. Nevertheless, even on the 31.21 you can indirectly change the temperature by switching the water supply on a little earlier, for example. Or switch on the steam mode for 5-10 seconds to make the temperature higher inside the boiler.

      Overall, if you don’t need automatisation and if you are not the person, who like the coffee to be really hot, the 31.21 for the half price is a good choice.

      Dmitriy

      15 Dec 17 at 5:07 am

      Reply

  15. Hi, thanks for the review. I’m looking between the Dedica EC685 and the Scultura ECZ351… any thoughts?! Thanks

    Matt

    16 Dec 17 at 3:47 am

    Reply

    • Hi, Matt and sorry for my late reply.

      Delonghi ECZ351 is the ECO311 with the different desgin, thus the suggestions are the same:

      1) If you prefer classic (small shot) espresso and cappuccino is not your everyday drink, then there is no need to overpay for EC685.

      2) If you make cappuccino and other milk&coffee drinks often, or you like bigger portion of coffee (lungo/cafe crema > 80ml) then it’s better to buy EC685.

      Dmitriy

      22 Dec 17 at 5:48 pm

      Reply

  16. Hi, I’m about to buy one EC680, but I’m wondering, what model coffee grinder I should get for ‘best’ results in $50-80 price range?
    Thanks in advance.

    Georgi

    17 Dec 17 at 6:04 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Georgi. Sorry for my late reply.

      If you don’t plan to upgrade to unpressurized filter basket in future, then any pseudo burr grinder would be enough. I don’t in which country you are buying, so I will give some model on the example of amazon.de: http://amzn.to/2BmxIHu , http://amzn.to/2kENLtU , http://amzn.to/2CZa7Nz

      The difference with real burr grinders would be noticable on EC680 (if you can add a little then something like Rommelsbacher ekm300 http://amzn.to/2zgAvjN or solis scala http://amzn.to/2BDiZvV will be perfect), however the fake burrs are enough for EC680 and they are definetly much, much better than blade grinders.

      Dmitriy

      22 Dec 17 at 5:43 pm

      Reply

      • Thanks for your answer, really appreciate it, and help me as well. I have the EC680 for a few days now, and everyone around the house enjoys the coffee very much, especially me. Using Black Lavazza have very good results, but I know I could do better.
        I could put a bit of extra, for a better grinder, if you recon I’ll get better results.
        Thanks.

        Georgi

        26 Dec 17 at 12:08 am

        Reply

        • Congrats on your new new coffee maker! 🙂

          In my opinion it all depends on the price, if you will find EKM300 or Solis Scala or smth similar (anything with real stainless steel burrs + at least 10 grind levels) for around 100 EUR, then it would be a ideal pair for your EC680. Paying more for the grinder for pressurized basket could be too much (IMHO).

          If you want to understand if it’s worth buying such a grinder, you can try to buy beans in your local coffee shop and ask barista to grind it (usually they do it if you ask). And compare it with Lavazza from the supermarket. With above-mentioned models you will get something in between. Surely the beans would be different in the coffee shop and it matters much, however it is a good way to estimate.

          P.S. See also my recent reply to Bas here: http://101coffeemachines.info/secura/coffee-grinder-types/#comment-1034

          Dmitriy

          26 Dec 17 at 6:22 pm

          Reply

  17. Hi, thx for the review! Great job!
    I just bought the 685 and am overall quite happy with it. However I find the filter size especially of the two cup filter quite small. I cannot fill it with the recommended 14g of grind even if it’s very fine without the resulting puck touching the top of the machine and therefore end up with a damaged puck. Have you had similar problems or am I doing something wrong?
    Cheers
    Kevin

    Kevin

    25 Dec 17 at 7:56 pm

    Reply

    • Thank you, Kevin.

      First of all, it depends on the grinder. Good grinder gives smaller size of the particles, that’s why it’s easier to tamp such coffee, therefore you can fit more coffee in the filter. Which grinder are you using?

      Also, the situation that you described (coffee touching the part above, where water goes from), it is not something bad itself, if we are talking about machines with pressurized baskets (like the EC685). The pressurized basket itself gurantees that water will fully take the taste and aroma from the coffee. So the shape of the coffee puck in the end does not matter much. However, you are right, it’s better to try to get it tight and not damaged. Becuase in this case you are сloser to the classical proccess of brewing.

      P. S. Some manufacturers (Krups) even says that this is a feature and calls it “self-tamping system”. And don’t put a tamper in the box 🙂

      Dmitriy

      26 Dec 17 at 6:37 pm

      Reply

      • Hi ,
        Thx for your reply, I am using the Graef CM 800 on grind size #5. I had hoped this machine would be sufficiently good. Do you know if there are bigger filters available for the delonghi 685?

        Cheers
        Kevin

        Kevin

        26 Dec 17 at 6:58 pm

        Reply

        • No, there no. At least I don’t know about bigger filters for Delonghi holders. However, the unpressurized baskets for Delonghi (http://amzn.to/2C2INhq) could fit a little more, I believe, but they require good tamping.

          Dmitriy

          31 Dec 17 at 10:28 am

          Reply

  18. Hey,

    I was wondering if the new model EC685 is better for latte art than the older model?

    What do you recommend ?

    Thanks

    Jared

    28 Dec 17 at 4:37 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Jared. If by older model you mean the EC680, then no. The new steam wand (like on the 685) could help you to get your latter hotter (if you like it), but it doesn’t make milk frothing proccess itself and latte art any easier.

      Dmitriy

      31 Dec 17 at 10:23 am

      Reply

  19. Hi, I am planning to get the EC685, but people are saying that I need to get a good grinder. Do you have any suggestions? I am looking at the Delonghi Dedica Digital Coffee Grinder. I am a beginner so not sure if this machine will be too advance for me? Thanks!!

    Ken

    29 Dec 17 at 2:44 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Ken! No, Delonghi EC685 would not be too advance. It’s a simple model for home use.

      Yes, good grinder is probably even more important for a good espresso then the coffee machine itself. At least pseudo burr grinder is recommended, but it’s better to choose one with the real burr set. Delonghi Dedica Digital KG521 has real burrs. I personally didn’t test, but it looks like a good choice.

      About suggestions of other models besides Dedica Digital. It’s hard to name some particular grinder, because different grinders are sold in different countries (unlike the coffee machine market, which is global). You can check my reply to Georgi http://101coffeemachines.info/delonghi/ec-680-dedica/#comment-1002 where I mentioned some decent grinders.

      Dmitriy

      31 Dec 17 at 10:18 am

      Reply

  20. Just a note to say thanks for the great review! I found this very helpful. My Saeco Serena died yesterday after 8 years of service. I use it daily for 10+ double shots (Americanos every morning ;o). I was very happy with that machine.

    I didn’t want to spend big dollars to replace it. I did some research and I was looking at the DeLonghi 685. Your review settled it for me. I was about to purchase it online for a good price (and wait a week for delivery), when I found a used 680 locally. It was only a few months old, and like brand new. Still some warranty and I got it for less than 1/2 the regular price of a new 685. So, it’s on the counter and making my morning Americanos today!

    My first impression is this is a great machine. It’s not as solid and holds less water than the Serena, but it takes up less space on the counter (big bonus). The Serena would take a few minutes to warm up in the morning, and then a minute or so between double shots. The 680 is instant! I can’t believe how fast it is ready to go for each shot, even the first! Fantastic. Very happy with it. I have to purchase a new carafe/frother pitcher as the 750 ml I have barely fits with the drip tray removed (I use the stainless steel frother pitcher as a carafe because I break glass ;o). Not a big deal, and at least a new one will be nice and shiny lol.

    Thanks again for the honest, thorough review of these machines. Very helpful, and very well done!

    Gord

    30 Dec 17 at 12:55 pm

    Reply

    • Thank you, Gord, and happy new year! Enjoy your new machine!

      Dmitriy

      31 Dec 17 at 10:08 am

      Reply

  21. Hi Dimitriy,
    My 12+ year old Saeco Aroma is in being assessed for whether or not it is worth fixing. Burning smell and smoke at last use… The repair service, who’ve worked on it before, will assess it for $60.
    I’ve been looking at the DeLonghi EC685 which is on sale for $280, reg $400. The service place has Saeco Poemias for $200-300. They did not recommend the DeLonghi saying that any repair issues were a problem because of parts. I like to make 1 or 2 lattes most days, don’t have a lot of space or a lot of money. What do you think about the longevity/quality of the DeLonghi or any other comments? Thanks!

    Anne

    9 Jan 18 at 8:34 pm

    Reply

    • Anne, sorry for the late reply and hopes its not too late 🙂

      Saeco would be a bit more durable, but not much. For example, Delonghi’s tube that connects thermoblock with a steam wand has a bit less durable fixture + the pressure valve could be improved. But it’s still reliable and will last for years. On the other hand Delonghi’s filters are better in terms of durability. Overall I would say they are almost equal.

      However, available spare parts are also important. And this situation is different in every country, even in different cities. If your local service place says that they “like” Saeco more, then I would consider it.

      On the other hand, Poemia’s steam wand is not so comfortable (not much space under it) plus it has small boiler, that produces less steam. It could be a problem when preparing big amount of milk foam. However, you can just make a small pause, let the boiler heat up again and continue. It’s something you can get used to.

      Also Poemia is overpriced in the States, usually (on other markets) the EC685 costs twice (mainly because of automatisation, metal body and extremely small width).

      Overall, I would probably recommend to choose Saeco Poemia. Besides, you used Saeco before and get used to its taste (Delonghi will make a bit more bitter and a bit more hot espresso).

      Dmitriy

      17 Jan 18 at 4:48 pm

      Reply

  22. Hi, wonderful review by the way!
    I’ve purchased a brand new EC685 Dedica and have had it for a few weeks now. I’m having an issue when purging that single shot of water before adding any ground coffee.
    I’ve noticed that there’s a quite a strong seal that ‘pops’ when I remove the handle and half of the filter basket is filled with water. This is pressure built up, I’m assuming.
    When the machine finishes the espresso shot, the ground coffee left in the filter basket is soggy and very wet. What do you suggest could be wrong? Too fine ground coffee? Blocked filter basket? Do I need to contact Delonghi? Thank you

    Jas

    10 Jan 18 at 5:28 am

    Reply

    • Thank you Jas and excuse me for my late reply.

      You are right. The main reason of “popping” and the water inside the filter is the pressure. On the professional machines they use special solenoid valves, which help to “drop the pressure” and dry the used coffee in the filter.

      The same about the wet coffee. If you have no problems with the speed of coffee coming from the machine (it’s trickle, not drops), then it works OK. It’s just how pressurized filter works. After you switch of the water supply (the pump), some water is left inside the basket and inside the ground coffee. This water cannot go through the pressurized filter’s floor without pressure.

      I wouldn’t change anything, if the taste is good for you. However you can try to tamper coffee better or even to take different blend. Some coffee itself absorbs more water, some – less. Too fine grind level could be the reason as well, but if you will make it coarser, the taste of espresso will change.

      Dmitriy

      17 Jan 18 at 4:17 pm

      Reply

      • Thank you, that’s very reassuring. Coffee tastes amazing so I won’t worry about it too much.
        Dimitry, I don’t own a coffee grinder but instead purchase 325g of beans from a local coffee roaster who then grinds them on the spot for me. I always say I own a domestic Delonghi Espresso machine, and last burr grind was a 2.5
        My question is what would be an ideal burr grind range for this type of machine? Thank you for your response

        Jas

        29 Jan 18 at 12:56 am

        Reply

  23. Hi Dimitry,
    Thanks for the response. After doing my research, including reading your reviews (thank you, very helpful!), I ended up purchasing both the Delonghi 685 and the Delonghi ec3630, which looked even better for me, because they were on sale. I thought I’d return one after I heard back from the service people and you, assuming my old Saeco was truly done. Surprisingly, to me, I heard today that it has been fixed and is working fine! So, I guess I return both and just go back to my old familiar Saeco. Thanks for your input.

    Anne

    17 Jan 18 at 11:57 pm

    Reply

  24. Hi Dimitri! I found your review very helpful, and largely based on it I bought a DeLonghi EC 685 a few days ago. I’m still in transition from my previous machine, but I’m not happy with the milk steamer. I like a lot of milk in my cappuccino, and teh steamer stops foaming and turns itself off before I can get the milk up to the temperature I want. The manual says not to foam for more than 60 seconds, and there’s no way the amount of milk I want is going to be hot in 60 seconds. Does it sound like there’s something wrong with my machine, or is this simply not the right model for my taste?

    Thanks so much,
    Sasha

    Sasha

    30 Jan 18 at 6:31 am

    Reply

    • Hi, Sasha!

      It’s normal, it protects the machine from overheating. And… 1 minute should more than enough for any milk frothing/heating procedures related to the coffee (usualy no more than 150°F is recommended for cappuccino, because otherwise milk becomes too sweet). What amount of milk are you trying to heat? And what temperature are you trying to reach?

      A general advice for better milk heating is – try to keep the the end of the steam wand as low as possible. If you use really big amount of milk (>300ml/10 fl oz), then the “cappuccino” mode (and the steam wand deep down into the milk) could be even more efficient than that special “hot milk” mode (it’s useful for smaller amount of milk). Anyway, please, write me what exactly are you trying to do, may be I could suggest smth else.

      So, the answer for you question is – it is probably not the right model for you taste. But in that case no other at-home espresso machine is better. The EC685 has the longest steam. And the highest temperature of the steam “on the long distance”.

      P. S. Thank you. I hope the espresso part of the EC685 is OK for you!

      Dmitriy

      30 Jan 18 at 7:24 am

      Reply

      • My heavens, that was fast – thanks so much! I use about 325ml of milk in my double cappuccino and I can’t tell you exactly what temperature I’m trying to reach – just till the milk-steaming jug is too hot to touch for any length of time. I’ve been using the cappuccino mode with the wand as far down into the jug as it will reach, but I do move it up and down so that I get enough foam.

        I guess another question is how do I steam enough milk for two cappuccinos? If it’s stopping the steam to protect the machine from over-heating, will I have to turn the machine off before I can make the second one?

        And yes, the espresso part of my new maker is just lovely!
        Sasha

        Sasha

        30 Jan 18 at 7:48 am

        Reply

        • Ok, I see now. So you are not just heating the milk, you are frothing the milk for cappuccino, the foam is OK, but the temperature is not too good for you, right?

          In that case people usually do it step by step:

          1) First froth the milk to get desired amount of foam. This should be better done with the steam wand in the cappuccino mode and NOT deep. Just place it on the edge of the milk and the air (or ~0.5-1cm lower) trying to make “waves”. It’s hard to explain it in text, but there many video on youtube, for example this one https://youtu.be/ocjpPcMApNI?t=108

          2) When the foam is ready, but the milk is not hot enough, just put the steam down deep into the milk, it will be more efficient in terms of heating. Switching to the “hot milk” mode on this step could help.

          The milk itself also plays important role. I am not familiar with the Canadian brands, but some milk is better for frothing, some – not. Anyway the general rule is that the milk should be cold enough and contains more protein (>3%, it not always correlate with the %m.f., but usually do).

          You don’t need to turn it off competely. It’s ok to make a short pause (just switch off the steam supply) and continue after 10 seconds.

          let me know if it helps…

          Dmitriy

          30 Jan 18 at 8:17 am

          Reply

          • Thanks again, for the helpful tips! Switching to hot milk mode didn’t seem to make a lot of difference, but just switching off the steam supply for 10 seconds works well. I’m surprised to hear that the EC 685 has the longest and hottest steam of the at-home espresso machines. My machine that just died was a Starbucks model – I think it was made by Saeco – but they no longer make them. It steamed longer and hotter than the EC685, but maybe there’s nothing on the market now in this price range that compares…it was quite old.

            I was told many years ago to put the steamer jug in the freezer for a few minutes before adding the milk (I use skim) to increase the foam. Perhaps these newer machines can’t cope with cold jugs?

            Anyway, thanks again for all your assistance. Now I’m wondering if perhaps I should return this machine and try another one in case this one just doesn’t work properly…

            Sasha

            Sasha

            30 Jan 18 at 7:29 pm

            Reply

            • I am sorry to hear that you are still not fully satisfied with the steaming 🙁

              Starbucks models were indeed based on Saeco’s models. And Saeco (and it’s subsidiary Gaggia) still produce similar machines. It’s Saeco Poemia, Philips Saeco RI8329 and Gaggшa Gran/Gran Style/Gran Deluxe or Gran Prestige here is my review: http://101coffeemachines.info/saeco/poemia/ In North America they sell only Poemia http://amzn.to/2DPWCRe and Gaggia Gran http://amzn.to/2BEDGmm

              They all (modern Saeco and Gaggia models as well as older Starbucks machines) use 130ml boiler. That’s why it techically can’t made more steam than the Dedica. In first case the steam amount is strictly limited to the boiler size (which is rather small), while Dedica’s thermoblock is not limited and can produce almost infinite steam, except the fact that it may need an “anti-overheating” pause. But I understand that in your case, when you need to use the steam for more than a minute, this pause could ruin everything…

              Anyway, that’s why I assume that the problem in your case is not the steam supply itself, but the panarello wand, which is eirther uncomfortable for you, or unefficient because it’s dirty/broken… I assume that because you say that there is not visual difference between the cappuccino and the hot milk mode. But it should be!

              The possible reason is a tiny hole on top of the panarello that could be blocked with old milk. The regulator ring, by the way, simply closes this hole, that how it works. So this hole should be visible in the cappuccino mode. There is a good video on youtube that troubleshoots most possible reasons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHegh7xtnVY

              Dmitriy

              30 Jan 18 at 11:22 pm

              Reply

              • Boy, don’t you ever sleep? Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly once again! I watched the video and then a couple of other ones that came up, and I’m wondering if it might be easier for me to just get rid of the panarello exterior sleeve and just use the rubber manual wand underneath. I’ve been making home cappuccino for about 25 years, and while I’m no expert I can certainly make a cappuccino that I like manually – my last machine did not have a panarello wand. Do you know if this would damage the machine?

                Thanks once again,
                Sasha

                Sasha

                30 Jan 18 at 11:55 pm

                Reply

                • Suffering from jet lag 🙂

                  No, the would be no damage to use this rubber underneath wand alone.

                  Dmitriy

                  31 Jan 18 at 12:11 am

                  Reply

                  • Okay, I’ll give that a try tomorrow morning (I think you’re about eight hours ahead of us here) and see if that solves my heat problem. Best wishes getting over jet lag!
                    Sasha

                    Sasha

                    31 Jan 18 at 1:56 am

                    Reply

                  • YAY! I’m quite happy with the results when I take off the outer panarello wand. I still have to foam my milk in two phases, but I can adjust to that.

                    Thank you so much for all your guidance and advice – I’ve taken up quite a bit of space on your page, as well as your time. I really appreciate your help in choosing a replacement for my old machine and adjusting to the new one – I had two versions of the same Starbucks machine over a 25 year period, and change can be challenging.

                    All the best,
                    Sasha

                    Sasha

                    1 Feb 18 at 11:31 pm

                    Reply

  25. Hi,
    Does the ec680 and 685 have a low-water auto stop?
    I know my roommate won’t take care of water level and i don’t want here to kill after a few days cause of empty tanks!

    Thanke

    fabien

    4 Feb 18 at 6:57 pm

    Reply

    • No, it doesn’t.

      However… It’s hard not to notice this moment, because the pump makes really aweful noises when it sucks the air.

      Dmitriy

      5 Feb 18 at 3:16 am

      Reply

  26. have just bought new 685 delonghi esspresso machine – after
    just 2 (TWO) coffee runs it has stopped any coffee coming through filter.

    Seems not to be allowing any water to move through the filter. using good ground esspresso cofee (Lavazza)

    Help

    philip

    12 Feb 18 at 7:48 pm

    Reply

    • Does the water go normally without the portafilter?

      Dmitriy

      13 Feb 18 at 4:06 am

      Reply

  27. Thank you for your detailed info about Delonghi espresso machines. After suffering with a Phillips Senseo for many years have just ordered the 685.

    william

    21 Feb 18 at 9:42 am

    Reply

Have some doubts which model to choose? Ask me!