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: 81↓ 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 (ECP3120, ECP3220, ECP3420,ECP3620, & 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

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, ECP3620, ECP3630 review

Double drip tray introducen on Delonghi ECP 3420 for the US marketFor the US/Canada market, Delonghi produces three slightly different models. Or six if you count color variations. The main difference between North American and European versions is that all American ECPs are equipped with ‘double drip tray’ system, the same ‘innovation’ that earlier was introduced on the Dedica Deluxe espresso maker:

Many owners of espresso machines use the 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 gaining extra 2-3 cm. Delonghi put a small metal plate on the bottom of the drip tray and now maximum cup height is officially raised to (~4.3 inches).

It’s hard to use this mini drip tray for a long time because it’s capacity is literally a few drops. That’s why normally you will use the big one, which limits the maximum cup height to 90 mm = 3.5 inches.

All models are very similar, however, there are some distinctions. Here is a comparison:

New! ECP3120. New variation is announced on the North American market. If compared to all other Delonghi ECP models the ECP3120 is the simpliest one – full plastic body (except for the grouphead), simple panarello wand w/o hot milk mode and no double drip tray (see above). However, there are no taste differences.

De’Longhi ECP3220 is the cheapest ‘sister’ in the family. For some reason, some shops call it ‘Deluxe’. However, it is an exact copy of the European ECP 33.21. And it is definitely less ‘luxe’ than ECP3420 (so there is no reason to pay for ECP3220 more).

  1. Plastic body with some metal decoration: drip tray and panarello aremade of metal. Nevertheless, it’s still mostly plastic in coating.
  2. Simple steam wand (panarello).
  3. It comes in three colors (color is the only difference): simple black ECP3220, red ECP3220R and white ECP3220W:

Delonghi ECP3220 , ECP 3220R (red) and ECP3220W (white)

De’Longhi ECP3420 is similar to the ECP3220, but without color option (only black plastic) and more metal used. Another model – the De’Longhi ECP3620 – might seem to be made of stainless steel. However, the body is not 100% metal – it’s just plastic colored with silver paint. Thus, I consider both 3420 and 3620 to be one model in different colors:

  1. Body is mainly made of plastic, however, more parts are metallic – the front side almost fully is covered in metal plates. In the case of cup stand (which has a function of the cup warmer as well), it helps to warm cups more efficiently. However, it’s still a passive cup warmer, so don’t count on it much – the stand is located above the boiler it becomes warm in a ‘natural’ way. It’s not electrical. Sides are plastic.
  2. Simple steam wand (panarello)
  3. Black (3420) or silver (3620)

De’Longhi ECP3630 is remarkable for the new steam wand installed. The milk frother has hot milk/foam settings, which is described above. In the foam mode, it will froth as simple steam wand does. Switching to the hot milk mode will help you to heat up the milk without frothing it.

  1. Body is still made of metal and gray colored plastic (see photo below)
  2. New steam wand – panarello with regulator ring for less/more foam
  3. Silver

Delonghi ECP3630 plastic metal

Everything else in these espresso machines being equal! They differ only by coating (metal parts/colors) and the new steam wand, which is installed on the ECP3630. The second cheapest model with such steam wand is Delonghi EC685 (read my review) which costs much more.

I also want to pay attention one more time to the fact that Delonghi Espresso and Cappuccino maker ECP3220/3420/3630 is namely espresso maker, not similar to classic American drip coffee makers. It means it can deliver maximum 60 ml/2 oz (or 90 ml/3 oz 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 your opinion. Please rate my review:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (34 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)


De Longhi ECP 31.21/33.21/35.31/3420/3630 Coffee Machine Specifications:

Download manual: Download pdf manual
Machine type: Pump espresso machine
Top rated: 4th in my list of best machines under $300
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: Dmitriy Yurchenko


Have any questions? Please ask in comments below!

Have you bought this coffee machine? Leave a review!


  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


    • 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).


      18 Sep 17 at 4:26 pm


      • Hi,
        I am planning to buy a gaggia classic, I think this is one of the best price / quality.
        I am new to the espresso / coffee world, but I want to learn a lot about barista skills.
        So I think this is a good machine to start with and I am still good with when I have a bit more experience.
        Let me know if you recommend another machine.

        What is the difference between the RI8161 and RI9403?

        A cheaper option that I consider is the De’Longhi ECP 31.21

        Dries De Ceunynck

        9 Aug 18 at 8:13 am


        • Hi, Dries and sorry for my late reply! Hope it still will be useful.

          If Gaggia Classic fits your budget then yes, it is one of the best machines for beginners who want to practice more. Especially “old” model – see further. The Classic is a machine of a higher level than De’Longhi ECP 31.21. Thus, I would choose Gaggia, if the price is not the problem.

          Gaggia Classic RI8161 is old model. Most of the good reviews about Classic is based on it. The RI9403 is a new model which:
          1) Has a bigger stainless steel boiler but (and this is illogical) with lower power of a heating element
          2) Made in Romania (not in Italy as a previous model)
          3) The spoud of the portafiler is plastic (while portafilter itself is still brass made)
          4) No solenoid in the group (my main concern)


          19 Aug 18 at 8:59 am


  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


    • 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.


      13 Nov 17 at 10:33 am


  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 . . .



    13 Nov 17 at 2:24 am


    • 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: Delonghi 35.31 is technically very similar to ECO311, which is described there.


      13 Nov 17 at 10:49 am


      • 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?


        14 Nov 17 at 9:53 am


        • 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.


          14 Nov 17 at 12:36 pm


          • 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!


            16 Nov 17 at 6:53 am


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

    David Robson

    19 Nov 17 at 11:59 am


  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?


    3 Jan 18 at 4:58 pm


    • 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


      4 Jan 18 at 12:11 pm


  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


    • 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 will fit, but the plastic inner part of the portafilter should be removed (just unscrew one bolt from the bottom).


      29 Jan 18 at 7:31 pm


      • 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


  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!!


    8 Mar 18 at 11:51 am


    • Then the EC680/685 would be preferable 🙂


      16 Mar 18 at 2:06 pm


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


    15 May 18 at 4:43 am


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


    15 May 18 at 5:05 am


    • Sure, as any Delonghi, Krupы or Kenwood filter basket for ecp has 51mm inner diameter. This one will fit for example: , however, the plastic inner part of the portafilter should be removed (just unscrew one bolt from the bottom)


      15 May 18 at 6:33 am


  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


    • 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.


      30 Jun 18 at 8:57 pm


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


    13 Jul 18 at 3:07 am


    • 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 ) 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.


      13 Jul 18 at 12:14 pm


  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?


    27 Jul 18 at 12:34 pm


    • 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?


      27 Jul 18 at 12:57 pm


    • Hi,

      did you manage to fix this issue? I have just bought one ECP35.31 and I have exactly the same problem that you explained here.



      1 Dec 19 at 9:57 pm


  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


    2 Aug 18 at 6:34 am


  14. HIya, my EC31.21 is leaking wate as soin as I switch it on.
    Any suggestion on how to fix it please?


    11 Aug 18 at 8:25 am


    • Dissasemble (it is quite easy, ordinary screwdriver is needed, start with the bottom) and check all the water rubes connectors. There is no “hidden” places, so once you will remove the upper body part, everything will be reachable.


      19 Aug 18 at 8:49 am


  15. Hello Dmitry,
    I just found out about your site and I absolutely love it! Thank you for keeping it up. I have a question regarding the material of which the portafilter is made. I am trying to find an espresso machine with no or minimum aluminum. I was glad to find that Delonghi use a stainless steal boiler. How about the portafilter?

    Yordan Pavlov

    17 Aug 18 at 2:24 pm


    • Hello Yordan and thanks for your comment. It’s defiently not the steel. However it’s not an aluminum as well. Can’t say exactly what the alloy is used, sorry. The cheapest machine for your is the new (after 2015) Gaggia Classic, which has now a stainless steel boiler and brass-made portafiler (the spout is plastic, however, but it can be removed or changed)


      19 Aug 18 at 8:44 am


      • Hello Dmitriy and thanks for your reply. I ended up buying the Delonghi EC 35.31 model and I am very satisfied with it. However I am interested in ways to replace the plastic spout inside the portafiler. Do you happen to know where I can buy one from stainless steel. Thanks!

        Yordan Pavlov

        26 Sep 18 at 7:51 am


  16. I just bought the Delonghi ECP 3220 and coffee is not draining down, I have tried several grounding but not succed, if I just run water it drains, im not sure what Im doing wrong or if its the machine


    18 Aug 18 at 12:59 pm


    • “if I just run water it drains” – with the holder installed or not? Then it’s definetly something wrong (pump most likely or emergency water bypass).


      19 Aug 18 at 8:23 am


  17. Hi,
    I’ve just bought a 35.21 model. I’ve set it up as recommended, and now am struggling with a problem, that when I’m trying to make espresso, most of the water is staying in the portafilter and only a bit of it is leaking down to my coffee mug (as coffee 🙂 ). Common sense is telling me, that it might have something to do with either pressure, or amount of coffee I’m using. However I use the recommended 1 measuring spoon of grinded coffee and can I even influence the pressure in the machine? I wait for the green light to go off before making the coffee, which is presumably the moment when the pressure is the highest. Could you please advise what I am doing wrong here? Thanks!


    22 Aug 18 at 9:08 am


    • Congrats! 🙂

      The green light has nothing to do with the pressure, since this machine is pump-driven, not steam-driven. You can’t change the pump’s pressure.

      Overall, everything is normal. The water will always stay in the filter, because the main pressure limiter is a tiny hole in the filter, which goes after ground coffee.

      However, it seems that you put too little ground coffee or use 2-cup filter basket for one portion. Because normally there should be (almost) no space for water in the filter, it should be fully filled with ground coffee.


      22 Aug 18 at 9:53 am


      • Hi,
        thanks for a quick response 🙂 Thing is, I’ve tried it with different amount of coffee, and even different type of ground. Checked the coffee basket and the filter as well. Still the outcome is – coffee is painfully slow dripping from the machine 🙁 and when I’m trying it without any coffee it works well, so seems like it literally can’t press this water through the coffee… Still can’t figure out what’s wrong with it (or me 😀 ). Wish I could attach video here. Do you think I need to contact service center about it?


        30 Aug 18 at 8:17 am


  18. Hi, A great site. After reading all your reviews i am considering to buy ECP3630. I saw EC702 for the same price. Which one is better and why


    14 Sep 18 at 6:56 pm


    • Thanks, Donny!

      The EC702 is for sure the better choice – it has two thermoblocks: one for coffee and one for the steam. That means you will need less time to switch between coffee brewing and frothing (or vice versa). See also my Delonghi Dedia Review to read about boiler vs themoblock differences. I also find the EC702’s panarello more comfortable to use.

      The only con about Delonghi EC702 is that it has ‘old’ filter baskets, which create better crema, but are more likely to become clogged with extra-fine grind.


      14 Sep 18 at 7:08 pm


  19. Thanks, that was a fast response. I was understanding from the reviews that boiler based(ECP) is more durable than thermoblock (Dedica) models. Hence leaning towards ECP36360/EC702. Do you think Dedica(680) is better than both of them


    14 Sep 18 at 7:22 pm


    • Yes, that’s true but mainly because UNregular descaling is less harmful for the boiler (that what i meant by durability). With regular cleaning according to manual both boiler- and thermoblock-based models have similar chances to work for 5 years. Delonghi EC702 is the best option among these three machines, honestly, I am not making the review on it, because it’s quite old model, the US market is the only (or one of few) where it is still sold… and in espresso machines world, older model generally means it’s has better built quiality 🙂

      The EC860/865 is better only in terms of sizes and automatisation (auto dosing). EC702 still will be faster if you are making cappuccinos, because of the less pauses between coffee and cteam modes.


      14 Sep 18 at 8:04 pm


  20. Hello,

    I have a ECP 3420 model and I was wondering if it’s an issue if I left it on steam for an hour the other day. Would the boiler get too hot and melt the wires inside?? Also there is some black/dark debris coming out of the boilerhead if I run water through it. Is the machine in need of descaling?



    11 Oct 18 at 12:48 am


    • Hi, Bob!

      It’s not an issue, the machine has a thermostat, which doesn’t allow it to become too hot. Nevertheless, if you regulary left it on steam mode after you used a wand, it’s better to run water for a while to fill the boiler again. The thing is when you use a steam wand, the steam come out, and there boiler becomes filled with a little of air. That’s why it’s better to fill it again with water to prevent unnecessasry oxidation.

      This is not a scale, this is small particles of coffee that are stucked in the group head or in the boiler valve. On the professional machines they use a blind portafilter (filter basket with no holes) to clean it. On home machines you can clean it with cotton bud for example. For better cleaning you can also unscrew and clean the valve. It’s a bolt in the center of the shower screen (be careful not no loose the spring that will fall out after you unscrew this bolt).


      11 Oct 18 at 7:00 am


  21. Hey! love your site. I was picking between ECP 35.31 and the EC685. I would most likely be making lattes and cappucinos, which would you recommend? Thanks!


    13 Nov 18 at 6:38 am


    • For lattes and cappuccinos the EC685 (or EC680) would be more preferable.


      13 Nov 18 at 7:17 am


  22. Hi Dimitri,

    Love the review, it’s very thorough and clear, very useful for early adopter (like me). Local stores in my country offers bundling package of ECP 35.21 with the grinder KG98.
    What I’ve read about the grinder was it’s not suitable for expresso and yet several stores offers this bundling set.

    My question is, would the grinder is the perfect companion with the ECP 35.21? If not, do you have economic value alternatives for the grinder?



    3 Jan 19 at 2:59 am


    • The KG89 grinder indeed doesn’t grind fine enough for ‘real’ espresso – for unpressurized (single wall) filter baskets. However, ECP 35.21 as any at-home espresso machine is equipped with pressurized baskets. This means that this is rather a good pair – both machine and grinder are of the same class. The next level of grinders (real burrs, not ‘fake burrs’ like on the KG89) costs much more (cheapest example: Solis Scala, Rommelsbacher EKM300, Delonghi Dedica KG521). Anything cheaper would be no better than this KG89.

      This, if you are not planning to buy expensive real burr grinder and if you are not planning to experiment with unpressurized baskets, then it’s a good choice.

      P. S. There are many alternatives of the KG89 grinder, which uses the same burr set, but costs cheaper, however, they have different names in different countries. In the States it is Secura SCG-903B (, but I don’t know what country are you from?


      3 Jan 19 at 8:05 am


  23. Hi dimitri, nice website you run here,

    i got question, if the options are Delonghi ECP 35.21 and Gaggia Viva home deluxe(Is this Saeco Poemia in disguise?) which one is better? or any other alternatives for home espresso maker? and whats your take comparing these machines to Manual espresso maker like flair?



    22 Jan 19 at 7:06 pm


    • Hi, Donny, yes, you are right – Gaggia Viva is rebadged Saeco Poemia (with smaller boiler and external heating element). I recommend it (Gaggia) for espresso drinks or ‘mainly espresso and sometimes cappuccinos’. If you drink only cappuccino – then Delonghi’s panarello would be more preferable.


      27 Jan 19 at 2:32 pm


  24. hey, i’ve got delonghi ecp3420. i plugged it into 220volt instead of 120, the heater doesnot work, can anyone help me where to find spare heating element part of any delonghi ECP series..? as i discovered all these models come with he same parts inside..


    20 Feb 19 at 4:15 pm


    • Delonghi doesn’t produce heating element as a replacement part (and even they would, it is too complicated to change it). What you can buy is an assembled boiler with a heater inside. The part numbers to search for are 7313286879 for 230V and 7313286989 for 120V. Don’t be confused with the fact that on English diagrams these parts are called “STEAMER”, it’s just a translation mistake, because on Italian diagrams it clearly says “CALDAIA(COMPLETA)” (boiler assembled).


      20 Feb 19 at 6:55 pm


  25. Hello,

    Thanks for a fascinating insight into the design and internals of these machines. Really appreciate this as an electronics engineer. I’m searching for a good quality budget but reliable machine for making Cappuccino’s only. You seem very impressed with the 680/685 range particularly in view of the Thermobloc heating. Automation is less important I’d rather have reliability. Basically I’m searching for the closest to a high end machine but with a budget of only £150 (approx.) Which of these machines can produce the best drink ? Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Alan Ferdman

    12 Apr 19 at 6:28 pm


    • Hello, Alan.

      I wouldn’t recommend Saeco/Gaggia (too small boiler for cappuccino making, they are better for espressos), Breville/Sage (costs more than your budget + problems with spare parts on the long distance), Ariete (cheaper sub brand of Delonghi, boiler is made of aluminium instead of steel + weak panarello for only cappuccino drinker) or any OEM Chineese espresso makers like Excelvan, Swan, Hailton Beach etc (low durability, cheap material used).

      Among the rest you can’t find something that could be really called “closest to a high end”. Any of them would be typical machine for home use without any professional features, but you can still make decent cappuccino on it.

      I would choose between following models:

      1) You mentioned the Delonghi EC680, if you have no experience in frothing milk manually. It will be easier for beginner to froth the milk (panarello wand and longer steam because of thermoblock), but it’s impossible to make latte art, too many electonics and the thermoblock = less realiable on the long distance.

      2) If you do have an experience in frothing milk or if you are sure that you will handle the classic steam wand – You can really make a cafe quality milk foam on this machine, better than on classic panarellos. But needs some time to practice. Plus the machine itself is very plastic.

      3) Classic Delonghi with big boiler. Generally they all are identical. But the ECO311 seems the best one for me: metal body, high cup clearance, and the panarello wand better than on EC680 (not only because of the shape, it’s more comfortable to use it becuase of it’s location).

      Resume. If you not sure then the EC680 is a universal choice (and that’s why I frequently suggest it), equally good in all the aspects (but not superb). If you are sure that you want to make focus on something, then it’s Krups Clavi (best milk foam) or ECO311 (the durability and classic construnction).


      13 Apr 19 at 9:55 am


  26. Hello Dimitri,

    Thanks again for a very informative answer. I’ve checked online with DeLonghi here in the UK. Seems that the current ECO311 is now the ECOV311.BG . What’s a bit worrying is that Amazon reviews for this model are very poor.
    Here we have really only approx. 50% of users giving it 4 or 5 stars. They say their not reliable and support is poor. Not sure why such a simple product (as you say) can have such poor reliability. Perhaps then the Krups Calvi is a safer option although I see it’s using a thermobloc which you seemed less keen on? What models would you consider then in Breville/Sage range please ? Have you reviewed those as well ? Thanks once again. Alan

    Alan Ferdman

    15 Apr 19 at 1:59 pm


    • Hi again, Alan. And sorry for a late reply.

      About the ECOV311 reviews:

      1) I might say that 50% of these 50% bad reviews on the page you are linking to are clearly the result of not reading manuals 😉 But I wouldn’t argue. People (and me too) write subjective opinions in their reviews. And your method of counting % of good reviews is a good approach to get an estimate.

      2) Generally, I may assuume that this model 310/311 receives more bad reviews because it was a transitional model. Delonghi introduced new filter baskets on this machine, they implemented new power scheme with built-in emergency cut off (which can stop the machine duriung espresso brewing, but it is for your safety). And people were comparing these new models with their old good machines ))

      The same machine on German Amazon receives better reviews, for example 🙂 People only complain about new filters and amazon, who sent them a returned spicemen.

      P. S. No, I can’t say that Krups is better built or it is “safer”. It simplier, 99% plastic machine, I like it only because it still makes good espresso, have a super steam wand for professional cappuccino and has a small price.

      ECOV311 – V stands only for vintage, which mean vintage colors. It’ the same as ECO311

      Breville/Sage. Not a big fan of it mainly because of the lack of spare parts for older models (even in the EU oustide Germany and UK) and frequently overpriced models (above your budget). But in the UK I think it’s ok. Some engineering solutions are weird also, but it doesn’t affect the taste.

      If you decided to raise your budget and still are focused on cappuccino, then my opinion is that it’s better to look for Gaggia/Saeco’s machines starting with Carezza and higher (i mean price scale).


      24 Apr 19 at 8:16 am


  27. Hi Dimitri,

    I think on balance I’m going to go with the Delonghi 685. Available with a 2 year warranty from John Lewis. Why? – well based on your fine comments. Thermobloc, evidently makes good coffee, not too expensive (cheaper than the Kalvi), deep cup holder, semi automatic which is useful…Hopefully it will last a while and give a reasonable result. Any overriding reason not to go with this decision?

    Thanks once again for your help and don’t worry about the late response.

    Alan Ferdman

    24 Apr 19 at 4:33 pm


  28. Hello dmitriy
    I want to ask you about the 31.21 what size tamper is it? And if there was any non-pressurized baskets that fit on it on the market since I read it only comes with pressurized baskets


    Aleph Null

    7 May 19 at 7:16 am


  29. My DeLonghi ECP3220 has never made more than 1/4 espresso cup of espresso with the larger 2 shot basket, not to mention using the other smaller ones. The espresso seems to only come out the left spout most of the time so I have to use a glass container then divide into two cups.I have used the tamping devise and have tampered many different ways. The less tampering the more diluted it gets and the tight tamoer barely produces any. I have let the water warm up for 10 – 20 minutes but never produce a hot espresso only mild hot. Is there something Im doing wrong???


    4 Jun 19 at 10:42 pm


    • I’m looking at DeLonghi ECP 3120 and ECP 3420. Is one better than the other – they both look the same.


      5 Dec 19 at 8:42 pm


      • They are indentical, indeed. The only thing that differs is amount of metal in coating.


        12 Dec 19 at 4:54 pm


  30. dude, thanks for doing this! I spent hours checking the internet. Only you manage to provide the info I was looking for. I bought the ECP35.31 as a first machine btw (finding it at a little over 100 euros), deciding the Dedica would not be worth it.


    12 Oct 19 at 2:18 pm


  31. Hi
    I bought before yesterday the DeLonghi EC155M for $100 and I found good, but now Walmart reduce the DeLonghi ECP3120 to $100 so I can return the EC155M and get the DeLonghi ECP3120
    for the same price! what would you suggest ?
    which one better DeLonghi EC155M or DeLonghi ECP3120
    Than you very much
    Best Regard

    Esam Jlilati

    21 Nov 19 at 6:08 pm


    • EC155 will give you better crema on your espresso, while ECP will be better in everything else: design, milk frothing, usability.


      25 Nov 19 at 2:13 pm


  32. Hi, Thank you for your post and details of these coffee machines. I just bought ECP3321 a month ago and notice that the panarello is not good enough for frothing milk into micro-foam for latte-art.

    Would you recommend it if upgrade to Rancilio Silvia V1 steam wand? Any opinion? Thank you


    14 Jan 20 at 7:27 am


    • Yes, if you want to have a cafe quality milk foam then such upgrade is reasonable. However, the steam power from the (relatively) small boiler will be enough only for one cappuccino, not 2-3. You can also try to steam your milk with a small rubber part underneath the panarello. It’s hard but some people use it like this.


      15 Jan 20 at 11:03 am


      • Thank you for your reply and info. Cheers


        16 Jan 20 at 1:29 am


  33. I am concerned about plastic and hot water coming into contact, to your knowledge, is there much hot water coming into contact with plastic/silicone in the internals of ECP 33.21? Thanks. If not I will consider purchasing a Gaggia classic as from your previous post it doesn’t seem to have much plastic or silicone coming into contact with hot water.


    23 Feb 20 at 4:44 am


    • ECP will have plastic/rubber and hot water contact in:
      1) Rubber ring in the coffee filter it self. You can buy older fully metal filters from previous generations of Delonghi
      2) Mushroom valve on the exit of the boiler is made of plastic
      3) The coffee dispenser inside the portafilter (the one which divides coffee flow into two flows) is plastic
      That’s all, if I didn’t forget something.

      P.S. On steam mode the tube coming from boiler to the panarello is made of silicon(?) or rubber.
      P. P. S. Gaggia Classic 2019 (Classic Pro) will have less plastic, only the plastic knob for pressurized basket. With unpressurized basket – no plastic.


      24 Feb 20 at 11:02 am


  34. Hi, thanks for your interesting article, your explaination is far way better than the de longhi official website 🙂

    I would like to correct just one thing: in the 33.21 and 35.31 there is a thermoblock, maybe these two machines have been updated, I don’t know, you can check it here:


    31 Mar 20 at 10:11 am


    • No, it’s still a boiler, just an error. Delonghi’s websites oftenlt contains inaccuracies.


      22 May 20 at 12:16 pm


  35. Hello there 35.31 have a pasive cup warmer and the 36.30 i dont c nothing about this


    2 Apr 20 at 4:27 pm


    • They all have passive warmers. The upper plate just becomes hot after 10-15 minutes, because boiler is located underneath. If the upper plate is made of metal, not plastic, than it’s a bit more effective. Anyway, warming cups using hot water is much much more efficient.


      22 May 20 at 12:15 pm


  36. Dear Dmitry,
    I am looking to buy an espresso machine. I will use it mostly to make espresso shots (two in a row) and occasionally froth milk.
    I will probably buy the ECP 35.31 because of the single boiler.
    My main doubt is because I read on the Italian Delonghi website ( that they use the thermablock technology. Is this true? Is this a recent change?

    Also I would like to ask you if you would rather buy an ECO311. I kind of like the design of ECP better.
    I will probably buy a grinder and modify the machine to use an unpressurized basket in the future.
    The prices of all this machines are very similar.

    I would like to thank you for your answer in advance.

    Best regards,


    22 May 20 at 10:46 am


    • It’s a boiler 100%, no changes were made. Delonghi’s regional website often contains errors.
      I personally would prefer ECO311 because: 1) it uses portafilter with 3 nails (3 fixing parts), while ECP uses two. Some people reported (even here in comments section) that 2 nail portafilter is less durable. 2) it has full metal body which helps to warm the coffee maker evenly.


      22 May 20 at 10:56 am


  37. What’s the best way to clean the black plastic inner of the portafilter? I removed this part a while back to clean it and no matter what I do, there is always dark residue coming off of it. I’ve tried soaking it in 50/50 vinegar /water, I’ve put it on the top rack in the dishwasher for one cycle, scrubbed it with a brush and soap – the dark residue just wont stop coming off… I am not a fan of how the espresso shoots out from three holes now instead of two; definitely doesn’t flow as smoothly either… any help would be greatly appreciated- thanks!


    2 Aug 20 at 7:21 pm


  38. Hi Author! I am a newby machine owner of Delonghi 35.31, I’d like to ask if you have any tips on what “fine” grind of coffee is perfect for this machine? I Have the same problem with the first person who commented on this blog post, I contacted delonghi, however they could not answer my question as they can only do a demo for me. My problem is that most commercially ground “fine” beans from starbucks, or any other coffee shop, is too fine for my machine (35.31) which results to over extraction (super slow drip of coffee) it really stresses me out as this machine is expensive in my country because of the added taxes. Please I hope you can help me.


    9 Aug 20 at 4:29 pm


  39. Hi Dimitry,

    Great reviews. I recently bought ecp 31.21.
    I have noticed that even after unplugging for couple of hours the boiler outlet is very hot to touch. Is it normal?
    Thank you, Neetu


    14 Aug 20 at 2:43 pm


  40. Hi Dimitri,

    Thanks a lot for a thorough review.
    Currently I’m having a headache to choose between ECP 35.31, ECOV311, and Krups XP5620. Can please give your advise on this? If you have other recommendation on the similar price range please inform also.

    Thank you Dimitri!


    3 Sep 20 at 10:38 am


Have some doubts which model to choose? Ask me!