A tremendous value for the money. It gives you all the tools you need to make any specialty coffee drink you can imagine, at a modest price.
Recommended for: Hobbyists and casual users will love it for its ease of use. Purists will love it for the amount of control it allows over the finished product. This machine is great for everyone.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Coffee Machine
- 2 Incredibly Easy to Use and Clean
- 3 Pros & Cons of the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic
- 4 DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM22110SB Review Conclusion
An Overview of the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Coffee Machine
Do you love specialty coffee drinks? Are you looking for a modestly-priced super-automatic coffee machine that has enough features to allow you to make any specialty drink you can imagine, without costing you an arm and a leg?
If so, then you’re going to love our detailed DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM22110SB review. Don’t let the fact that it’s a somewhat older model fool you. It makes brilliant use of its somewhat dated technology to give you all the tools you need to make just about any drink you can imagine.
True, it’s got its limitations, and we’ll cover those too, so you’ve got all the information you need to decide if it’s a good fit for your home.
Before we get into the various features that drive and define this machine, we want to take a moment to clear up some issues surrounding brand confusion.
If you’ve been researching the model, you may have seen links pointing to “DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Magnifica XS espresso machine reviews,” and it may have raised a question in your mind. Are there two models? The S and the XS?
The answer is yes…and no.
We’ll lay the two side by side in the chart below so you can check it out for yourself.
DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Espresso Machine Comparison Chart
DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM22110SB Coffee Maker
Last update: November 15, 2019 7:38 pm
Last update: November 15, 2019 7:38 pm
17” x 9.4” x 16”
17” x 9.4” x 13.8”
Bean Hopper Capacity
Number of Grind
Number of Boilers
1 (stainless steel, Thermoblock)
1 (stainless steel, Thermoblock)
Milk Frothing Method
Max Cup Height
As you can see, there’s exactly one difference between the two machines. The XS, which came out slightly later, managed to shave about two inches off the height of the unit.
That’s it. That’s literally the only difference and because they’re so similar, we sometimes use the two terms interchangeably. From a practical perspective, the only time this is going to matter is if you have extremely limited clearance between your cabinets and countertops, and every inch of height matters.
Form Factor, Footprint, and Aesthetic
The DeLonghi ECAM22110SB is an older model machine, and part of DeLonghi’s excellent Magnifica line of super-automatics.
It measures 17” x 9.4” x 13.8.” Even if you’ve got a smallish kitchen, limited countertop space, and low clearance between your counter and your cabinetry, you probably won’t have much trouble finding a permanent home for this model. Even if you can’t, it only weighs 24.3 pounds, so it’s pretty easy to move it if you need to.
Dressed in silver, with black highlights, it’s not an unattractive model, but it’s clear that the design team was more interested in function over form. It’s got sleek, simple lines, and should fit right in, regardless of your kitchen’s décor.
For us, this is one of the most important aspects of any machine we review, and as such, our DeLonghi ECAM22110SB review would be incomplete if we didn’t pay particular attention to it.
Despite its relatively small size, the DeLonghi Magnifica XS supports a 57-ounce water tank. While this is obviously not the biggest water tank on the market, it’s a pleasant surprise, given the machine’s overall dimensions. It’s also front-loading, which makes it easy to access.
The tank is designed to accept a water filter, and you can use one if it pleases you. Opinions are divided on this topic. On the one hand, using a filter will cut down on the amount of maintenance you have to perform, as it will virtually eliminate the need for descaling.
On the other hand though, if you use a water filter, you’ll find yourself having to replace it every couple of months. They’re not cheap, and this will dramatically increase your total cost of ownership. Add to that the fact that there are other things you can do to minimize descaling (use water filtered from another source, use distilled water, etc.), and you can make a good case for both.
There’s no “right” answer to this question. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you.
The DeLonghi ECAM22110SB espresso machine features a conical, stainless-steel burr grinder, which is attached to a top-loading bean hopper that holds 8.8 ounces of fresh coffee beans. This is a good pairing with the water tank, and although neither are as large as we’d like, they’re about as large as you could rightly expect in a machine of this size.
One of the problems we see in too many models on the market today is the fact that there’s a mismatch between the size of the bean hopper and the size of the water tank. When this happens, you’ll find yourself having to constantly stop what you’re doing and refill one, or the other, or both. Happily, that’s not a concern with the DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM22110sb coffee maker!
As to the grinder itself, it has one feature we love, and one we don’t like so much.
The good thing about it is the fact that it features an impressive thirteen grind settings. There are machines that cost double, or even triple, which only offer five or six different settings and will set you back, which makes the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM22110SB something of a hidden gem on the market, and this feature alone will be enough to pique the interest of coffee purists.
The reason? Finding the perfect grind setting is an essential element to brewing a great cup of coffee. Since everyone’s tastes and preferences are different, the more grind settings you have access to, the more you can dial into your particular flavor preferences.
On the downside though, the grinders are stainless-steel, rather than ceramic. Ceramic burrs would have increased the cost of the machine, so we understand why they made the decision, but stainless-steel burrs are inferior because they heat when used. This can burn your grounds, which can completely ruin the flavor of whatever drink you’re making.
If you don’t want to use whole coffee beans, the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB compact automatic also features a one-scoop bypass doser, which is a nice touch.
Pro Tip: This isn’t something unique to the DeLonghi Magnifica XS, but is true of super-automatics in general. They don’t do well with oily beans. For best results, find a good Medium Roast you like and stick with it!
This model utilizes a single boiler, equipped with Thermoblock technology for rapid heating.
The main implication here is that you can’t simultaneously steam milk and brew coffee, which means you’ll have to wait for the boiler to adjust its temperature as you switch from one to the other. The delay is measured in seconds, rather than minutes, so it’s not a huge deal, but it is something to bear in mind.
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
The coffee spigots move up and down and will accommodate cups up to 5.5” in height. That’s not quite big enough for our giant coffee mugs, but most users won’t have any difficulty on this front.
The Brew Unit and Control System
Super-automatic machines don’t rely on gravity but on pressure. Pressure is measured in bars, with one bar being equal to atmospheric pressure at sea level. It takes at least 9 bars of pressure to make a good espresso, so given the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Magnifica compact automatic espresso machine’s rated pump strength, you won’t have any problems at all on that front!
The front control panel has a total of seven buttons, one control knob, and a lever that allows you to switch between steam and hot water. Even though the display screen is a simple LED, the simple design of the machine allows you to navigate your way to the various control options quickly and easily.
In addition to being able to adjust key settings on whatever type of drink you’re making, you can also access the automated cleaning routines, and reset the machine to factory settings. One thing you can’t do is adjust the auto-shutoff time, which is hard-set at 4 hours.
As to the brew unit, as is the case with all other DeLonghi machines, the brew unit is removable and should be taken out once a week for a good rinse. The system’s brew pump is rated at fifteen bars, but mentioning that fact means that we should say a few words about how espresso is made.
If you’re new to the world of specialty coffee drinks, then you’re probably using a drip-brew coffee maker right now. These machines rely on gravity to convey the water from the grounds chamber and into your pot or cup.
The Milk Frothing System
In our view, this is the second-best feature of the machine (second only to the 13 grind settings).
Armed with a machine that can make a good espresso and a frothing wand, you can make virtually any specialty coffee drink your heart desires, including:
It’s true that it takes practice to learn to use the wand well, but don’t be daunted by that! Consider it an opportunity to let your inner Barista out to play! Don’t be surprised if your first few milk-based drinks don’t turn out quite the way you had hoped. Just keep practicing, and you’ll be a Master of the Frothing Wand before you know it!
Note that the frothing wand also pulls double duty as a hot water dispenser, allowing you to make hot chocolate and tea, which only enhances the machine’s versatility.
Cup Warming Tray
A lot of people new to the world of specialty coffee drinks discount the importance of the cup warming tray. You shouldn’t! If you’re used to drinking coffee from your drip-brew machine, one of the first thing you’ll notice is that the drinks this machine makes tend to be of slightly lower temperature.
This is especially true of milk-based coffee drinks because the milk has to be steamed at a lower temperature, lest it ruin the flavor of the milk, and of course, when you combine the milk and coffee, the temperature lowers further.
Dispense your creation into a cold cup, and you lose even more heat. That’s where the cup warming tray comes in. By pre-warming your cup, you minimize the heat loss. That, combined with setting the boiler’s temperature setting to max should allow you to create drinks that are hot enough for just about everyone.
The DeLonghi Espresso ECAM22110SB’s cup warming tray is on top of the unit and is passively heated with heat from the boiler. It has a bumpy surface which helps the cups stay in place while they’re warming. There’s nothing for you to do here. The surface begins to warm when you turn the machine on, so just set your cups up there while you’re making your initial preparations, and you’re all set.
Incredibly Easy to Use and Clean
Despite the fact that the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Magnifica XS uses dated technology, it’s somewhat limited feature set, and excellent overall design combine to make it easy to both use and clean.
While it would be overselling it to say that there’s no learning curve at all, you’ll have virtually mastered the basic operation of the machine after making 3-4 drinks. Well done, DeLonghi!
Pros & Cons of the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic
The only thing we’d like to see improved on the DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Magnifica XS espresso machine is the grinder. Adding a ceramic grinder to this already excellent machine would make it close to perfect.
Any of the other recommendations we’d be inclined to make (bigger water tank, bigger grinder, etc.) would require a complete redesign of the model that would change its dimensions, thus causing it to lose its status as a compact machine, and we don’t think that’s fair, so we’d leave everything else just as it is.
DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM22110SB Review Conclusion
And that concludes our DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM22110SB review. We always admire creative use of technology, especially somewhat dated tech. The fact that this older model is easier to use, and produces coffee as good, if not better, than models that cost twice as much is just pure awesome, in our view.
It’s a relatively simple design. It lacks some of the bells and whistles of more up-to-date models, but it gives you all the tools you need to make any specialty coffee drink you’d care to enjoy. This is one of our favorite models, and we highly recommend it for anyone.
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