Easy to use
Of course, to successfully contain the price of its Magnifica Start, Delonghi had to cut costs. Although many of the manufacturer’s coffee machines have a facade and many metallic elements, here plastic is king, even if the paint tries to deceive. Surprisingly, the grid that covers the drip tray is also plastic… so we’ve seen more flash. Without being the most designer model in our comparison, the Magnifica Start is quite discreet and should not swear on the countertop. Finally, and this is nothing, the set makes a good first impression and seems to be able to deliver many coffees for many years.
As is often the case with Delonghi, the water tank is located to the right of the machine and is easily removed from its housing to be replaced just as easily. And fortunately, since the volume of the tank does not exceed 1.8 l, it has to be replenished very often. For its part, the bean container is located on the top of the Magnifica Start and can hold 250 g of coffee. As is often the case, it is on the inside that the manufacturer has placed the grind fineness adjustment knob. Delonghi has not forgotten about decaffeinated drinkers and, just in front of the bean container, a small hatch closes the hole for already ground coffee.
All covered in black, the control panel occupies a large part of the façade. It houses a set of responsive keys, which are also very responsive. Good point: everything is simple enough to understand for a quick cup of coffee without having to refer to instructions. In addition, the full names of the different types of drinks on offer are written below the icons. However, you will have to think about adjusting the intensity of the drink, the use of pre-ground coffee as well as the distribution of one or two cups (only for espressos) before choosing your basic recipe. In fact, just touch the icons at the top to make the dark nectar flow from the dispensing nozzles after a few seconds of preparation. This may surprise you the first few times, but you get the hang of it very quickly.
On the other hand, it will be a little more complicated to configure the small details of the Magnifica Start, such as the presence (or not) of the sound signals, the degree of hardness of the water or, what is more annoying, the temperature of the water. the drink. In fact, the absence of a screen and dedicated keys requires many manipulations that are not very instinctive. For example, to change the temperature of drinks, you need to press the Options button (the one adorned with a gear) for a few seconds, then tap the button on the far left (Steam). Once done, we choose the appropriate level using the intensity adjustment button and, finally, we can validate it thanks, this time again, to the Steam button. In short, it is better not to lose your user manual! Luckily, the functionalities in question are not the ones that we change every day, but it would have been easier to have a direct access, at least for the temperature of the coffee and for the quantity delivered. However, the latter is still adjustable: you have to press the button of the chosen drink for a long time, once and then briefly a second time, to validate the choice.
Another good point: despite its entry-level status, the Magnifica Start has a nozzle capable of dispensing hot water, but mostly steam by pressing the Steam button, located on the far left of the control panel, before playing around with it. single wheel. of the device With a little practice, it is possible to prepare milk drinks and, for the more gifted, try their hand at the very difficult discipline of latte art. Again, a real pitcher would have made it easier to use, but Magnifica Start doesn’t compete in this category. My only regret, therefore, at this level, Delonghi does not provide a milk jug…
Ease of maintenance
This is the case with many previous full auto machines, but the Magnifica Start FEB22.31.SB rinses the dosing nozzles when it is switched on.
The main maintenance operations to be planned are indicated by flashing diodes on the control panel, and the machine can, for example, warn the user that it is time to empty the coffee grounds container. This is also the case for refilling the water tank and bean container as well as descaling. Note that the operation is not automated and, without a display, you will have to consult the manual to know which phase to start when, in particular, the diode indicating the second level of intensity is flashing.
Unlike other manufacturers, Delonghi leaves the user free to access the preparation unit. You have to remove the water tank and open the lid to reach it and clean the inside of the appliance. Thus, residual coffee powder, which would surely go moldy in a hot, humid environment, can be removed.
The drip tray is a bit imposing. Therefore, a little care will have to be taken when emptying it to avoid stains, but it is not insurmountable. It can go in the dishwasher, but not in the coffee grounds container or the water tank.
Well finished product.
Possibility to access the extraction group.
Quick to get the coffee flowing.
Lots of plastic.
Small water tank.
Complicated manipulations for certain settings.
How does the rating work?
Without a doubt, the Delonghi Magnifica Start is not without its faults. All plastic, sometimes it lacks simplicity in the adjustment of certain basic functions. However, it fulfills its mission seriously and does not suffer from any crippling flaws. This automatic grinder coffee maker will certainly not revolutionize the market, but it is likely to prevail there thanks to a perfectly calibrated price-performance ratio.
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