If you think your kitchen’s too small to fit an espresso machine, the De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 could be the design that changes your mind. But does this slender coffee maker deliver the drinks you’re after? We have all you need to know so you can decide.
I tested a wide selection of coffee machines to see how much of your worktop they’ll take up, how easy they are to use, how quickly they’ll deliver your drink, which coffees they’ll make, and – crucially – what the brews taste like.
Want to compare the De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 to other machines available on the market? Browse our guide to the best coffee machines.
De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 specifications
Why you can trust Real Homes
- Type: Ground coffee or ESE pods
- Pressure: 15 bar
- Capacity: 1.1 ltr water tank
- Dimensions: H30.3 x W14.9 x D33cm
Who will the De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 suit?
If you live in a small home, or have a small kitchen, this espresso and cappuccino maker should be on your shortlist.
What is the De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 like to use: Operation is hassle-free, and you can individualise settings to suit you.
The De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 might be a revelation if you think big machine features don’t come in a slimmed-down form that spares precious preparation space.
Coffee options and taste
Make one espresso or two at a time with this compact number. It has a decent sized water tank, so catering for more than a couple of coffee drinkers won’t take long either. It’s not just an espresso maker. A steam spout means you can whip up a cappuccino easily, and there’s a hot milk option handy for hot chocolates.
When it came to the appearance, aroma and taste of the drinks, all the coffees I produced with this machine were the real thing. I took advantage of the cup-warming procedure to ensure the drinks tasted authentic, and I’d definitely advise you to follow suit for the best brew. You can then rest the cup on the warmer.
When you first get the machine home, there is a set-up procedure to go through – as with all coffee machines. This complete, you can choose the settings you prefer for coffee temperature, according to the hardness of the water from your tap, and also choose the length of time before the machine goes into its auto-off energy-saving mode.
Warming the cup (see above) didn’t take long, and then it was a matter of choosing between the one or two cup filter, which were easy to swap between. Loading ground coffee into the filter holder was easy with the included measure. The tamper at the other end allows you to press lightly to create the right coffee density for a good espresso.
The filter holder proved easy to slot and fix into place, and the one and two cup buttons make selection obvious. The machine stops automatically once the right volume of coffee is dispensed, so I didn’t have to worry about overflow. It did, however, have a tendency to drip a little afterwards, although the tray ensures this is all under control.
Foaming the milk was also easy, and I found the hot milk setting a useful added feature.
Cleaning and maintenance
A steam wand has to be kept clean and unblocked, but I didn’t find the procedure of turning the dial to deliver a pipe-clearing steam shot, nor removing the tube to check for blockages, tricky.
What else will you need to pay attention to? Well, there’s the drip tray, although, usefully, this has an indicator to tell you it needs emptying and cleaning. The coffee filters have to be cleaned weekly, meanwhile. The water tank should be cleaned around once a month, and the boiler outlet demands your attention after every 200 coffees (so keeping track is required). There’s a light to tell you when to descale.
Bear in mind
The De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 has a clever slim design – it’s just under 15cm wide, which makes having a pump machine a viable option even for those with small kitchens. It’s also a good looker you’ll be happy to have on the worksurface.
There’s a choice of colours that should suit most kitchens with a metal, black or red finish on offer.
The fact that it takes ground coffee or ESE pods is a further benefit of this neat little number.
How does it rate online?
Those who left their comments via the De'Longhi site awarded nine out of 10 on average with the style of the machine, value for money and ease of use the highest scoring factors. Users liked the taste of the coffee, the speed at which the machine heats up, and appreciated its small footprint. Negatives included that it’s too easy to push a button inadvertently when putting in the filter holder, and the time taken for initial set up.
From Amazon purchasers it’s a solid 4.3 out of five overall. The machine’s fans remarked on the taste of the coffee, were pleased with the temperature setting, and appreciated the quick heat-up time. As for the disadvantages, some thought the descaling process was fiddly or time consuming.
About our review – and our reviewer
Sarah Warwick has specialised in homes and interiors for over 20 years. She was Executive Editor of Ideal Home magazine, and has written for nationals, magazines and websites including Real Homes, Homebuilding & Renovating, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, Houzz, The Guardian, House Beautiful and Country Homes & Interiors. She put the coffee machines to the test on a variety of drinks, as well as checking out how easy they were to set up, and to clean.