How to Choose the Right Espresso Machine or the Coffee Maker? Expert's Blog.

Delonghi ECP 31.21, 33.21, 35.31 review. The right balance of the price, the metal body and the quality + unique milk foam regulator.

Comments: 27↓ Review of US versions ECP3420 vs 3630New: comparison table of UK versions

What I like most about Delonghi company is that its engineers are constantly launching new models trying to fulfill expectations of different customers. While Saeco’s main pump espresso maker Poemia has been produced with minor changes for almost a decade, Delonghi now has a huge model range of espresso makers. Most of them are identical under the hood as I mentioned in Delonghi ECOV310 review. Nevertheless, the outlook, materials used and usability are also important. And the price of course.

The Delonghi ECP is an effort to make a cheap coffee maker with metal/semimetal body, which still can deliver good espresso. Plus some bugs fixed if compared to older models. Plus some advanced functions for cappuccino lovers. It is a successor of older Delonghi EC155/156 model.

The ECP model range includes Delonghi ECP31.21, 33.21 and 35.31 (in the UK and other European Countries). In USA and Canada slightly different models are sold (ECP3220, ECP3420 & ECP3630, which are descibed below).

The basic functionality of all models is the same. It’s a 15-bar pump espresso maker with pressurized filters that could:

  • Make a strong espresso with rich crema (however I should admit the Saeco Poemia is better in terms of crema)
  • Make cappuccino, macchiato, latte or any other coffee&milk drink using manual cappuccinatore (milk frother) called panarello
  • Has the biggest boiler in class (stainless steel, 180ml), which gurantees that you would be able to make two espressos with a right temperature in a row. Big boiler gives also longer steam flow for milk frothing
  • Has full metal portafilter. Nevertheless there is still a plastic part inside, it is used to divide coffee into two flows. It could be removed easily if you want.

Delonghi ECP 3121 coffee maker

1) The cheapest De’Longhi ECP 31.21 (on photos) has plastic finishing and have an ordinary milk frother that is still good for cappuccino and has an enough deflection angle. The last fact guarantees that it would be easier for you to froth the milk for your cappuccino. The drip tray is now fixed in its place, so it does not produce rattling noise anymore. Unfixed tray was the most common complain about older Delonghi’s models. ECP31.21 has convenient “twisty knob” controls and a storage place under the top cover.

Water tank (1.1L) and storage place for filters and tamper

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

2) De’Longhi ECP 33.21 if compared to the 31.21 has only one difference. It has a little of metal in outlook: the driptray, cup tray with passive heater (it’s not electrical warmer, cup stand is located above the boiler and it becomes warm in a ‘natural’ way), milk frother and the front side are now made of stainless steel. However these parts are most important: it’s easier to clean metal tray and panarello from coffee and milk stains, the metal cup warmer is more efficient since it heats faster and the metal “forehead” helps to keep the heat inside the boiler for a little bit longer.

So it’s perfect ratio of price and percentage of metal in coating. Nevertheless it’s the least popular model among ECP series in the UK, for example.

3) Third model is ECP35.31. It’s an “elder sister”. It has more differences. First of all, this coffee maker has full front side made of metal (but still low price 😉 ). Secondly, the panarello milk frother has a regulator ring. Moving it up you can switch to ‘hot milk’ mode, which means you simply warming the milk, not frothing it. This mode could be useful for families with kids (Nesquick) or for preparing special drinks like flat white. Moving the ring down you are switching to the ‘normal’ mode for making a rich foam for cappucino or latte. This function is unique for home espresso makers.

Check current prices and deals @ Amazon for Delonghi ECP series espresso makers.

Obviously, 31.21 was considered by Delonghi as the cheapest model, the 33.21 – as a golden middle choice, while the 35.31 was planned to be most expensive and luxury version. There is such pricing on other markets, however in the UK there is not much price difference between last two. Moreover, sometimes ECP 3531 costs less than 33.21. Or 3121 gets higher price tag than 3321… So it’s better to check current prices.

Delonghi ECP 33.21 vs 35.31

Comparison Table of European Models (new!):

31.21: 33.21: 35.31:
Full plastic body Plastic and some metal Metal and some plastic
Only froth the milk Only froth the milk Froth or heat  the milk
All else being equal:
15-bar pump 15-bar pump 15-bar pump
180ml SS boiler 180ml SS boiler 180ml SS boiler
Espresso & Cappuccino Espresso & Cappuccino Espresso & Cappuccino

Added on 27/10/2017: Refurbished items appeared on amazon. Pump espresso maker construction is not a rocket science at all, main parts are quite simple (see photos in my test of Delonghi vs. Saeco). So if you are really short on budget then officially refurbished could be a good choice. However I recommend to make full descaling and washing cycles before making first coffee.


US versions: Delonghi ECP3220, ECP3420, ECP3630 review

For the US market Delonghi produces two three other models:

  • De’Longhi ECP3420 (cheapest in range), which is similiar to european 35.31 model (metal front, plastic sides), except the fact that the steam wand is simple, without foam regulator.
  • De’Longhi ECP3630 ( a little bit more expansive, but still affordable, checkmate, Breville!), which has full metal body and the milk frother with hot milk/foam settings, which is described above.

If the price difference between these two models is $50 or less, then I think it’s a good deal to add this amount of money and get full stainless steel housing + advanced steam wand. The second cheapest model with such steam wand is Delonghi EC685 (read my review, which costs much more.

  • Updated! De’Longhi ECP3220‘s sales have started in the US. For some reason it is called ‘Deluxe’. However it is indeed exact copy of the European ECP 33.21 (see above). And it is definitely less ‘luxe’ than ECP3420 (so there is no reason to pay for ECP3220 more).

 

Delonghi ECP3630 vs ECP3420

Check current prices and deals @ Amazon for Delonghi ECP series espresso makers.

I also want to pay attention one more time to the fact that Delonghi Espresso and Cappuccino maker ECP420 is namely espresso maker, not similar to classic American drip coffee makers. It means it can deliver maximum 70 ml (or 100ml being well heated) of coffee of right temperature that is equivalent of two espressos or one lungo. If you want to make an American coffee (e.g. full 200 mg mug of black coffee), you should make an espresso first, than add hot water from steam wand.

If you will try to brew a mug of coffee by simply letting a lot of water come through tampered coffee the result would be pour. Because a) the taste will be bitter due to overextraction under high pressure, b) the temperature of the coffee will be low, since Delonghi ECP has a boiler, not a thermoblock inside. If you want an espresso maker with thermoblock, which can deliver more amount of hot water of right temperature, you should check my Delonghi EC680 coffee maker review.

For other customers I could highly recommend Delonghi ECP machines as cheap and high quality models. ECP range allows you to choose the right model for you depends on how much plastic/metal in body do you want and what type of coffee you prefer more – simple espresso or cappuccino.

I NEED you opinion. Please rate my review:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)
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De Longhi ECP 31.21/33.21/35.31/3420/3630 Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Pump espresso machine
Width х Deep х Height: 18,5 x 24 x 30.5 cm
Coffee used: Ground coffee or E. S. E. pods
Grinder: No
Brewing group: Metal filters with double floor
Heater: Boiler 1100 W
Max pressure: 15 bar
Water container: 1.1l, accessible from the top
Waste container: No
Cappuccinatore: Manual 'pannerello'. With foam/hot milk regulator (only ECP 35.31 and ECP3630 models)
Max cup height: 90 mm
Colors: Silver metal and/or black plastic

Author:

12/06/2017

Have any questions? Please ask in comments below!

Have you bought this coffee machine? Leave a review!

27 comments:

  1. Hi , i am going to open up a small cafe shop and i need a cheap one group commercial machine or a normal machine that can run a small cafe , i already know the Nuova Simonelli Oscar but i am hoping to find something a little bit cheaper , we do have here delonghi machines is anything worth buying ?

    Anas Ali

    13 Sep 17 at 5:17 am

    Reply

    • I don’t think that Delonghi ECP will be OK for cafe shop, it’s good for home use, not more. The cheapest decent (with some compromises) espresso makers for small coffee shop would be something like Lelit Anna or Lelit Gilda (try to find models starting with Lelit PL41… or Lelit PL42…). If you want even more affordable option I could only recommend old Gaggia Classic (RI8161, not RI9403). However, in both cases I would rather try to get used Nuova Simonelli (better Appia II model).

      Dmitriy

      18 Sep 17 at 4:26 pm

      Reply

  2. I have just purchased a delonghi coffee maker.It will not make ordinary coffee.The cappuccino part is o.k

    Ron Sheffield

    10 Nov 17 at 11:41 am

    Reply

    • That’s why it’s called espresso machine 🙂 However, you can imitate ordinary American classic coffee by adding hot water from the steam wand in espresso.

      Dmitriy

      13 Nov 17 at 10:33 am

      Reply

  3. Hi which one do you think better delonghi ecp 35.31 vs saeco poemia focus?

    I can find saeco poemia (chinese made, designed in italy) for just a bit higher price than delonghi ecp35.31. For saeco poemia italian made, price is almost 2x . . .

    Thanks~!

    Slianto

    13 Nov 17 at 2:24 am

    Reply

    • Hi! First of all, Saeco Poemia is now made only in China, there is no italian made versions unless it’s a very old item (which is very unlikely). So it’s probably a mistake in the description by the seller.

      As I mentioned in Saeco Poemia review, it’s better for espresso shots (if compared to modern Delonghi espresso makers with metal filters). However, if you also prefer other drinks (cappucinos for example), 35.31 would be better choice.

      P. S. Pay attention to the boiler capacity, Poemia Focus in Asia is definetly equipped with new smaller boiler, made of aluminuim, not steel.

      P. P. S. You could also check this test: http://101coffeemachines.info/compare/delonghi-vs-saeco-vs-hamilton-beach/ Delonghi 35.31 is technically very similar to ECO311, which is described there.

      Dmitriy

      13 Nov 17 at 10:49 am

      Reply

      • Hi thanks for your response,
        If both made in china, then i have no hesitation for choosing delonghi, cheaper, better boiler, and for its cappuccino system.

        But, I have no idea how the cappuccino system work on delonghi ecp?as you said it better if we need other than espresso, i.e cappuccino. Could you pls explain?

        Slianto

        14 Nov 17 at 9:53 am

        Reply

        • Delonghi’s steam wand is easier to use as for me. Small Poemia’s boiler produces less steam and it’s not enough for bigger portions of coffee (>60-80ml, temp falls).

          However, Poemia will make better classic 30ml espresso shot (or two if well heated), because of better crema filter.

          That’s why I say that if you drink only espresso – then Poemia. If not only espresso, cappuccinos and lungos, for example, then Delonghi ECP is more universal choice.

          Dmitriy

          14 Nov 17 at 12:36 pm

          Reply

          • I like it black, plain coffee, but my wife prefer with milk so i’ll take delonghi for us!

            Currently my only grinder is porlex tall hand grinder (got it when i was at japan), would that be sufficient to grind for espresso setup?

            And any idea about delonghi ecp durability?

            Thank you!

            Slianto

            16 Nov 17 at 6:53 am

            Reply

  4. Thanks for comparisons of 33 and 35 delonghi. going for the 35. Cheers

    David Robson

    19 Nov 17 at 11:59 am

    Reply

  5. hi,

    I mainly want a pump machine (so I can easily change coffee as my other half drinks decaff) but mostl for Americanos.

    I see this has a hot water function but was worried when you mention about the temperature and whether these are good for Americanos?

    Joe

    3 Jan 18 at 4:58 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, Joe.

      All pump espresso machines have a hot water function, so this is not something special.

      There would be no problem making an americano. But it’s better two do it in 2 steps iwth a pause between: pour hot water, wait till machine is ready again and brew coffee. Or vice versa. In that case the temperature will be OK. Anyway, since Delonghi’s machines have bigest boilers, it’s the best option among boiler-based makers. Saecos, Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, Gaggia etc – they all have smaller boilers.

      If you want to make americano faster, then you could think of machines with themoblock: Delonghi EC680/685 or EC820/850. In that case there would be no need to do it in 2 steps and make a pause between theese steps. Thermoblock will almost instanlty make hot water.

      P. S. However, if you drink only americano and you want a pump machine only because it’s easy to change coffee, may be the pump machine is not the best option. It’s made for espresso and making americano on it will always be only an imitaion of the classic american filter coffee and require some mess around. Maybe (just an assumption) you should also consider single-serve machines: new Nespresso VirtuoLine system is dual, I mean you can make either espresso or americano with lower pressure. There is also a classic filter coffee machine (fully automated bean-to-cup, with built-in grinder) with two coffee beans containers (each time you choose which beans to use: left container, right container or both containers). It’s Philips HD7662 here it is http://amzn.to/2lT1blG

      Dmitriy

      4 Jan 18 at 12:11 pm

      Reply

  6. Hello,

    I just bought the ECP 35.31 and the filter holder already broke after 2 days 🙁

    I tamped the coffee with the furnished tamper but not really hard and no coffee was running.
    I opened the steamer to let go the pressure and finally heard a “pop”. This was the filter holder breaking on one side.

    I was wondering, why do they give a tamper if you can’t use it to make a normal expresso ?
    I had a really old Krups before also with a pressurised filter but it when this happened there was an emergency valve leaking the pressure in the dirty water basket to I guess avoid that it explodes in your head.

    Any idea where I could get an unpressurised filter because I really hate that now that I have a grinder ?

    Franck H

    29 Jan 18 at 5:19 pm

    Reply

    • What did broke? The “ears” of the portafilter, that holds it in the position?

      Or the whole portafilter itself? Anyway it is not normal at all. Even if the filter would be completely stuffed (e.g. too fine grind level or too much tamped) it should keep the pressure. Not to mention the emergency pressure valve that pours the water out of the boiler back to the water reservoir if the pressure is too high. So, I think that this situation is under the warrnty and this portafilterwill be replaced by Delonghi, if you cantact them.

      Unpressurized filter basket from older Delonghi models (part number 7313286069) or MagiDeal Coffee 2 Cup 51mm Non Pressurized Filter Basket http://amzn.to/2nm4Biu will fit, but the plastic inner part of the portafilter should be removed (just unscrew one bolt from the bottom).

      Dmitriy

      29 Jan 18 at 7:31 pm

      Reply

      • Hello,

        Sorry I did not see the reply earlier it was in my SPAM. Yes it’s one of the ears that broke 🙁

        I also thought there would be an emergency valve or something but it doesn’t look like it worked. I have to take it back to the store but did not have time yet .. and my car broke in the meantime hahaha

        Thanks for the tips for the unpressurised filter basket !

        Franck H

        6 Feb 18 at 5:36 pm

        Reply

  7. Hi! Thank you so much for your reviews!

    I am thinking of buying an espresso machine for home use and can’t choose between Delonghi ECP 35.30 and Delonghi EC 680/685. Which would you recommend? I prefer having larger portions of coffee to short espressos.

    Thank you!!

    Olesia

    8 Mar 18 at 11:51 am

    Reply

    • Then the EC680/685 would be preferable 🙂

      Dmitriy

      16 Mar 18 at 2:06 pm

      Reply

  8. may i know delonghi ecp 35.31 portafilter size ??

    shenaz

    15 May 18 at 4:43 am

    Reply

  9. hi! may i know delonghi ecp 35.31 portafilter size ??

    shenaz

    15 May 18 at 5:05 am

    Reply

    • Sure, as any Delonghi or Krups filter baskert for ecp has 51mm inneer diametr

      Dmitriy

      15 May 18 at 6:33 am

      Reply

  10. Hi, I am new to coffee making and interested with the ECP35.31. Based on my readings, the ECP35.31 has Boiler and the EC685M is having thermoblock. I understand that the EC685M with thermoblock will definitely get ready faster when it is switched on, which from some review mentioned it’s about 30seconds. I would like to know what is the time required for ECP35.31 to be ready for use when it’s switched on.

    Ong KC

    29 Jun 18 at 10:41 am

    Reply

    • It’s about 110 seconds from switching it on to the moment when “ready for coffee light” comes on. However, it’s recommended to wait several minutes more or run water w/o coffee to warm up the machine better. After the machine is ready for coffee it takes about 45 seconds more to heat up for the steam mode.

      Dmitriy

      30 Jun 18 at 8:57 pm

      Reply

  11. Give me some advice to choose ECAM 350.75, 350.55, 350.35

    Victor

    13 Jul 18 at 3:07 am

    Reply

    • Generally speaking, it’s the same machine but with different milk frothing systems.

      The 350.35 is equipped with manual panarello wand, not automated. Some people can handle it, on the other hand – an experienced user can froth milk manually better than automated frother does. So, if you sure you are OK with it (see embed video in this review http://101coffeemachines.info/delonghi/ec-680-dedica/ ) than I see no reason to buy a model with automated milk jar.

      he Delonghi 350.55 and 350.75 – both with automated milk frothers. The difference between them is basically in two more “recipes” (programmes) that 350.75 has (and 350.55 doesn’t): it’s “cappuccino+” and “espresso macchiato”. I wouldn’t choose 350.75 is the price difference is high, the 350.55 seems to be the golden middle for me.

      All three models have the same bug reported – the frother could stop working after the descaling cycle. No need to take it to the service (Delonghi support will give instructions over the phone how to fix it), however, it’s better to be sure that the machine you’re buying is under warranty.

      Dmitriy

      13 Jul 18 at 12:14 pm

      Reply

  12. Hi got Delonghi 3630 after reading the reviews.
    But after setting up the system and cleaning it ( greed light came on ) now when I tried to make coffee it does not turn green even after one hour. While we can make a cup it does not come out hot so obviously something is not working. What am I doing wrong?

    HP

    27 Jul 18 at 12:34 pm

    Reply

    • Hi, it seems that you are doing everything right. It’s a strange problem, let’s try to investigate:
      1) When you are making coffee it’s not hot, but at least warm?
      2) If you will try to make steam (steam wand mode) – will the machine turn the green light, will it deliver the steam?
      3) Could it be some voltage problem? E.g. you are using european 220v machine in the country with the 110v infrastructure?

      Dmitriy

      27 Jul 18 at 12:57 pm

      Reply

  13. One more question, I would like to know the Power to make coffee per day or per hours for
    ECAM 650.75.MS, ECAM45.760, ECAM 44.660 and ECAM 22.360

    By the way for some kind of DEDICA like EC685 and EC31.21

    EX: ECAM650.75, how many cups per day or per hours it can make coffee.

    Many Thanks

    Victor

    2 Aug 18 at 6:34 am

    Reply

Have some doubts which model to choose? Ask me!

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