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My Delonghi ECAM22110 (22.110/21.116/21.117) Review and Comparison with ESAM3300 and ECAM 23.420/23.210/23.120

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In this review, I would like to tell you about one of the most popular espresso machines by De’Longhi that has a standard manual milk frother. Despite the fact that the machine makes espresso (or variations such as ristretto or lungo) in a fully automated mode, the manual milk frother means that milk for a cappuccino or latte has to be frothed manually using the steam wand with a special attachment called a panarello.

In the USA and Canada, this machine is known as the ECAM22110SB or ECAM22110B (they differ only in color). In Europe, as well as in the UK, there also is a model with the code ECAM22.110.B, but more often than not coffee machine is sold under the new name ECAM 21.117 (or 21.116). There are several color choices, including the rare 21.117.SB (black and white striped front) and 21.117.W (white).

Different names - one model (delonghi 22100 vs 22.110 vs 21.117 vs 21.116)

Nevertheless, it is actually the same coffee machine! There are no differences, except for the color and material that the steam wand is made of. Moreover, De’Longhi has put a number of similar coffee machines (to be described below) on the market that are based on this standard model, most of which only differ from each other in design.

In addition to the numerical code, the coffee machine has a more popular name in words. In Europe, this product line is known as Magnifica S and Magnifica XS in North America. This may be confusing, as it seems that the letters S/XS refer to the size of the coffee machine. As if it is Small in Europe and Extra Small in the USA.

But this is not the case! They are of the same size and height – 34 cm (or ~13.5 inches). The difference in specifications is a mere mistake by online store content managers or the result of various alterations (with or without an overhanging container for coffee beans).

Check current prices and deals @ Amazon.com for silver ECAM22110SB or black ECAM22110B.

I cannot call it small either. It is certainly a little bit smaller “head on” (in width and depth) than the previous model based on the ESAM platform (see my review here). The difference is only a few centimeters, but it seems notably smaller. However, its depth is quite significant! Take a look at the photo on the side in order to not be surprised by how much space it takes up on a table:

DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic isn’t so compact as it may seem.


What are the advantages of the ECAM series compared to the ESAM series? In other words, what are the differences between the Delonghi ECAM22110B Magnifica XS and the old ESAM3300 Magnifica?

The Delonghi ECAM22110B/ECAM 22.110 B carries on the glorious traditions of the ESAM3300 Magnifica, which is the prototype for all ESAM models. Detailed information on them is provided in this review.

In order to not repeat myself a lot, I will only mention that the same removable CRF brew unit is used here (but there is a slight difference in the brew unit catch and chamber, which means they are not interchangeable). Moreover, we can find the same reliable pump (15 bar), similar metal grinder with 13 levels of grinding and a 1.8l water tank that is removed from the front (which is very convenient).

New Magnifica (ECAM 22110SB) vs old Magnifica (ESAM3300).

New Magnifica S/XS (ECAM 22110SB) vs old Magnifica (ESAM3300). Photo by: pchome.com.tw

N. B. For some reason Facebook asks to "confirm" your likes on my site 🙁 Could you please?

I would also appreciate your starred review at the end of the article

Where they differ is the thermal block. The ESAM is supplied with a so-called “flat” heater, while here (ECAM) a “round” heater is installed. The key difference is that the round one is more durable, while the flat one suffers from a leakage defect. It happens only occasionally, but everyone is well aware of it. Besides that, the round one is more powerful – it is ready for use a few seconds more quickly.

The ECAM 22.110/22.117 has another type of body frame and a different, more sophisticated design, as well as the varying position of outer and inner components. On the one hand, this new body frame is substantially better; on the other hand, there still are some nuances (see below).

As the ECAM 22110B/SB coffee machine is the standard one in the ECAM range, taking it as an example allows us to examine the key differences of the ECAM series compared to the ESAM series (I will use the ESAM3300 model as an example, however the results are also valid for other clones, such as the ESAM3000, ESAM2200 and ESAM2500):

The following is definitely better:

  • Let’s skip evaluation of the design, as your mileage may vary. It is particularly convenient to remove used coffee grounds (14 servings worth from the front in one movement towards yourself) and the brew unit (from the right-hand side).
  • The maximum height of the cups that can be used has also increased to 142mm (5.6 in). A latte glass can now fit into this coffee machine.
  • The container for coffee beans has acquired a seal for the lid, which allows it to preserve the aroma for a little bit longer. In case of heavy use, the 250 grams (which is 50 grams larger than the ESAM) still won’t last long, but it is nevertheless a pleasing addition.
  • The ECAM works faster than the first model in the ESAM range. This became possible thanks to the thermal block that has a slightly higher capacity and the upgraded internal operating procedures, I assume. It is not a very sufficient difference, but it doesn’t feel as slow as it used to be.
  • The more stable (and hot) temperature of a drink. Compared to the ESAM3000, the ECAM 22.110 coffee machine maintains a more stable temperature during brewing. It makes almost no difference for espresso, but is essential when brewing large servings of coffee, as its temperature does not lower dramatically and the final drink comes out hotter.
  • Besides that, it also works more quietly. I do not have any hard evidence, but other reviews of the ECAM22110 coffee machine prove this unequivocally.

Another advantage of the platform on the whole and the Delonghi ECAM 22.110 in particular is that when the steam supply is activated (using a separate button), the machine automatically drains off surplus water from the steam circuit to the lower drip tray during the first few seconds of heating. This means that when milk is frothed, it is saved from being spoiled by water.

Reported Issues

It’s not a big deal if the error exclamation mark lights up when starting the machine

Error Sign on Delonghi ECAM 22110/22.110The De’Longhi 22.110 has a well-known issue with heightened requirements for voltage stability (old houses, weak wiring, other heavy power consuming devices in an apartment/office). This is the same issue one of the older Bosch models has, namely the TES50129RW. If the red exclamation mark light on the panel turns on when starting the machine (meaning that it is necessary to clean the inner surface of the coffee machine, according to the user’s manual) and you are sure that the brew unit and its chamber are clean (you might have cleaned them right after the last brewing), this is caused by a voltage surge in 90% of cases. The solution is to connect the coffee machine to a power source via a voltage stabilizer.

Moreover, this model, like all De’Longhi coffee machines, is prone to brewing coffee a bit hotter and with a slightly more bitter taste than its main competitors (i.e. Saeco, Bosch and Jura coffee machines). Of course, the model has all of these “disadvantages” while the other characteristics remain the same, and while the De’Longhi may bring out sour notes in the taste, the ECAM22110 suits people who are fond of strong espresso brewed from dark roast beans Starbucks-style.

Similar Model No. 1. The slightly upgraded ECAM 23.420 (and a comparison with the ECAM 22.110/21.116/21.117)

The De’Longhi ECAM 23.420 Intensa (supplied in different colors lettered S, SB, SW, and red SR) is an advanced version of the basic ECAM 22.110 (or 21.116/21.177 which is the same model). There aren’t a lot of differences, but there are some improvements that are worth the money, if the price difference is not as dramatic as it seems when comparing the manufacturer’s recommended retail prices:

  • Different control panels. The De’Longhi ECAM 23.420 SB coffee machine is equipped with a more up-to-date and trendy panel. The text display has been improved and its contours are simpler. The twisty knob has a new purpose: it now adjusts the size of a drink, but not its strength. Speaking of which, there is a catch – it so sensitive that it can easily skip 2-3 levels when twisted sharply. However, it is easy to get used to this.

The De’Longhi ECAM 23.420

  • Alongside the display, a sound signal when pressing a button (which I personally consider an unnecessary option that can be switched off in the settings) and wake-up timer have been added. The latter is used for warming up the machine in the morning so that it is ready to use at a certain time when you get out of bed (the process takes 2-3 minutes) – in case you don’t have a minute to waste. In my opinion, these are unnecessary bells and whistles.
  • New Steam Wand on the 23.420The manual milk frother with foam adjuster. The De’Longhi ECAM23.420 SB has a standard panarello wand as its manual milk frother, but it is an advanced version of the one that the previous standard model has. The wand is supplied with an additional ring adjuster in this model (I have already looked at this innovation in my De’Longhi ECP3630 review), which adjusts the foaming. Besides standard milk frothing, there is an option to heat the milk without foam. People, who are not fond of cappuccino and prefer plain coffee with milk will appreciate this option. As well as those who enjoy milk with honey or hot chocolate.

The last one is all that really matters for me. Whether you need this option or not should be considered thoroughly before purchasing, otherwise you should buy the cheaper ECAM 22110 and will be satisfied with your choice.

Nevertheless, if there is an opportunity to purchase the 23.420 at the same price as the 22.110 during sales, those little improvements may be a nice bonus. However, do not expect any improvements in the quality of the coffee – while the controls of the machine have been modified, the settings themselves have not changed a bit. There are still 4 temperature modes, strength adjustment from 6 to 14 grams per serving and 13 levels of grinding as in the standard ECAM 22.110/21.116/21.117.

Similar Model No. 2. ECAM23210 espresso machine (and a comparison with ECAM22110 and ECAM23420)

Another similar model is the ECAM23210B. The design is so similar to the improved 23.420 (see above) that they look identical when not in operation. The irony is that despite this, it is actually less functional.

Despite having the same design as the improved 23.420, it has even less settings than the ECAM22110B/SB.

DeLonghi ECAM23210B (23.210 in Europe) has a text displayThis model has the standard milk frother without a switching ring, like the basic 22110, and doesn’t have the wake-up timer either. Nor does it have a display: when the coffee machine is turned on, you will notice that it is not a full-featured display, but LED lights, like on the ECAM 22.110.

In other words, the key difference between the 23.120 and 22.110 is the modified control panel and white color. I agree that it looks a lot more stylish (the 21.117W in white is already on sale in Europe though), but it makes no difference to the coffee flavor. In addition, it has fewer temperature settings (3 instead of 4), which is not as crucial as it may seem.

The strength and volume adjustment has been changed a little bit. The main twisty knob adjusts the volume within 4 preset options (40, 60, 90, 120ml), moreover there is a blank setting for your “favorite volume” (set from 20 to 180ml). Strength is adjusted by pushing the button: there are 5 options, while the 22110 has more precise multi-step adjustment.

There is one new thing though – a serving size counter.

Overall, the changes are so insignificant that one can claim the ECAM23210SB is just a more attractive model than the ECAM 22.110 SB Magnifics XS, but with different settings. Whether the design is worth the price or not is up to you.

Similar Model No. 3. ECAM23120/ECAM25210 (and a comparison with ECAM22110)

Delonghi ECAM23120 vs 22110Last but not least, the third sister – the ECAM23120. In some countries, it is sold as the ECAM25120.

This time we do indeed have some very important improvements over the basic 22.110.

I am referring to the special LONG mode, when the coffee is brewed under low pressure. This mode is recommended if you prefer large servings of American coffee – it is made to imitate drip brewing. In this mode, the large serving is not over-extracted, not so plain and bitter, more flavorful. The coffee is brewed during two consecutive grindings of the beans.

In other words, if there are both people in your family who are fond of classic strong espresso and those who prefer traditional coffee, this option is vital.

There is a text display and the same settings for strength (multi-step adjustment from 6 to 14 grams), temperature (4 modes), grinding (13 levels), and serving volume as on the ECAM22110B. The manual milk frother is equipped with the ring adjuster that makes it possible to switch from the standard milk frothing mode (like on the basic 22.110) to the special mode for heating milk without frothing (like on the imporoved 23.420).

It is interesting to note that the ECAM23120 in particular is often sold on sale at lower prices than the basic ECAM22110B. In such circumstances, the ECAM23120 will be the better option.

My Review Conclusion:

De’Longhi has produced several different models with different numbers and words in their names, as if the company did this on purpose to make comparing the dozens of models more complicated, but in fact there are not so many significant differences between them.

I will try to sum up:

  • Delonghi ECAM22110B/SB = ECAM 22.110 / 21.117 / 21.116. It is the same model, despite the fact that in some countries it is called the Magnifica S and in others the Magnifica XS. The letters B, SB and W at the end refer to the color only.
  • There are no functional differences between models in different colors. The only exception is the material that the steam wand is made of. In different countries, the set of accessories is different. They are equally effective, but the metal one simply looks better and it is easier to clean dried milk stains off it (if you wipe the steam wand right after whipping the milk foam, there will be no difference in maintenance).
  • The ECAM 23420 is a substitute for the 22110/21117 with a different control panel, a display instead of LED lights and – most importantly – adjustment of the milk foam height. This option will be not be useful for everyone: if you drink ordinary cappuccino, you can make it without using the option.
  • The ECAM 23210 is exactly the same as the 22110/21117, but with another design and a different control mode.
  • However, the ECAM 23120/25120 is the only model that sufficiently differs from the 22110/21117 from a technical point of view. It has the same switching ring for milk foaming as the 23.420 and a special low-pressure mode for those who are fond of traditional coffee (a large serving that is not strong).

Moreover, a standard espresso serving will taste the same from each of these models. Despite the differences in design and position of the buttons, all the models, apart from the 23210 (which has 3 temperature modes), have the same key settings for strength (6 to 14 grams per serving), temperature (4 modes) and grinding (13 levels).

I NEED you opinion. Please rate my review:

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Delonghi ECAM22110B/SB, ECAM 21.116, 21.117 Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Bean-to-cup super-automatic machine
Width х Deep х Height: 24 x 32 x 34 cm (9.5x17x13.5 inches)
Coffee used: Beans or ground coffee
Grinder: Steel burr set, 13 steps adjustable
Brewing group: One, removable, with a pre-brewing functions
Heater: Thermoblock 1450 W
Max pressure: 15 bar
Water container: 1.8 l (accessible from the front)
Bean container: 250 g
Waste container: 14 servings
Cappuccinatore: Manual 'panerello'
Max cup height: 142 mm
Controlling: Adjustable coffee strength (6-14 grams per serving), adjustable serving volume, adjustable tempertaure (4 grades)
Peculiar properties: Passive Cup Warmer
Colors: ECAM22110B, 22.110.B, 21.117.B, 21.116.B – Black
ECAM 22100SB, 22.110.SB - Silver Front with Black Sides
ECAM 21.117.SB, 21.116.SB - Silver&Black front, black sides
21.117.W - White

Author:

01/05/2018

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