delonghi coffee machine esam 4200If you are looking for an excellent bean to cup coffee making machine, you should include the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 on your list of possible contenders. The 4200 is capable of producing a steaming hot cup of espresso in less than three minutes from turning on.

It has professional 15-bar pump pressure, which you would expect of a machine in this price bracket, along with a built-in burr grinder with seven adjustable grind settings so that you can select the best one for your chosen grade of coffee bean. There is a traditional stainless steel milk frothing arm and also a double boiler system which enables you to steam your milk at the same time as your espresso is brewing. It can even make two espressos at once.

OK, that is the high level blurb, lets get down to business.

If you are reading this review you want to know what the positives and negatives of the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 are and if you should get one, right?  So without anymore preamble lets talk about what makes this coffee machine good and what you need to be aware of before splashing your cash.



Beans, Ground Coffee or ESE Pods

If you are looking at buying yourself the 4200 it is likely because you want a coffee machine which grinds beans, however one of the features I love is that you can also use ground coffee, should you want to, or even ESE pods.

Why is this a great feature?

If you are at all like me, you will occasionally run out of fresh beans which means not having a cup of coffee right when you want one.  So having the ability to use ground coffee, which I keep for emergencies, means I get my coffee when I want it, instead of waiting for my coffee bean order to arrive from Amazon.

What makes this machine different to other bean to cup coffee machines is the fact it has a dedicated ground coffee hopper.  So if you need to make several drinks, say for friends, you fill the hopper with ground coffee and let the machine do the rest.  Now that is a neat trick!

Accessible Water Container

A coffee machine should not simply look good and make coffee, it also needs to be practical for every day use.  The fact that the water container slides out of the front means you can put the machine wherever you want in your kitchen and not have to worry about pulling it out to refill the water because the reservoir is at the back.  More manufacturers should take a note of this useful design!

Ease of Use

The ESAM 4200 really is extremely easy to use.  The main reason for this is because you have only a few settings that can be changed.  Other than the power on/off button, there are buttons to select either 1 cup or 2, a button to use the steam wand, and two dials to select coffee strength and amount of coffee/size of drink.  Thats it.  So when you have played around to work out the exact strength you prefer and the amount of coffee for your cup size, there is nothing to change.  Literally one button operation.


There are four lights which tell you when you need to refill the water container, empty either the drip tray or coffee grounds container, descale the coffee machine or that the coffee machine is simply not working.  Other makes and models leave you guessing as to when you need to empty the drip tray and coffee grounds container whereas the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 tells you exactly when this is required.

Emptying the drip tray and coffee grounds container is as simple as opening the front cover, taking them out, emptying them, putting them back in the machine and closing the front cover.  It takes less than one minute!

Delonghi really do seem to have perfected and automated these simple everyday tasks which other more expensive bean to cup coffee machines do not include, or rather leave it up to you to work out.

Quality Micro Foam

One of the reasons why you buy a coffee machine like the ESAM 4200 is because you want to make coffee shop quality coffee at home, and part of that experience is steaming your milk and having a go at latte art.

Not all steaming wands are good for making the micro foam the right density to use for latte art.  However the 4200 is surprisingly good, meaning you can impress your friends with your new found talents.


No Cup Heat Tray

This is not a showstopper in my book, but the cup tray is not heated which some people might be looking for.  Considering the 4200 costs less than £300 and is such a great bean to cup coffee machine this really is not an issue, but if you want one you should consider something like the Sage Barista Express.

Too Automated?

One of the positives of this machine is how easy it is to use, but the flip side means there is very little you can change if you like to tweak your coffee depending on the drink you are making or the beans you are using.  If you want a coffee machine that allows you to control every detail of the process then the ESAM 4200 is probably not for you.  If you want a coffee machine which makes a great espresso with very little fuss, this is an absolute bargain.

Hopefully this has helped you make up your mind?  The rest of the review goes into more detail and walks you though features and even cleaning, but if you are looking for the best price click the link below.

De'Longhi Magnifica, Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine, Espresso, Cappuccino, ESAM 4200.S, Silver
  • INTEGRATED GRINDER: Includes an integrated Coffee burr grinder with 7 adjustable coarseness levels; the beans are ground instantly for fuller flavour and a fresher cup of Coffee
  • MILK FROTHER: Be your own barista and prepare your perfect Cappuccino with the adjustable MILK FROTHER - warm-up milk or easily prepare a creamy and dense foam
  • CUSTOMISE Coffee: Make all your Coffee shop favourite drinks with the Magnifica ESAM 4200; whether you like a strong espresso or long frothy cappuccino, this machine will deliver the perfect drink

How Easy is it to use?

The Delonghi ESAM 4200 features a one touch system so you simply have to press one button and the process starts.

  1. First fill the 1.8L water tank and put the beans in the grinder.
  2. Press a button and the process starts with the grinder grinding just the right amount of beans to your chosen coarseness, the ground coffee then gets tightly packed before water is pushed though it at 15 bar pressure and the coffee is poured into your cup with a lovely crema layer.

You can adjust the settings to allow for more or less water and coffee so you will need to carry out a bit of trial and error until you get your perfect coffee.

Automatic timer

With the machine having an automatic timer, if you have a set morning routine you can have your machine up and running automatically around the time you wake up meaning that just one button push will have your drink tailored to your specific taste.

Will it make my favourite types of coffee?

This is a quality bean to cup espresso machine which means that it can make any type of coffee you want to drink.  Choose the strength and size and add milk, water and any flavourings to make your perfect drink.

Espresso Americano Cappuccino Latte





How to make espresso?

If for example you want to produce a 50-60ml double shot of espresso, first try and get the amount of water right. Set the coffee strength to around two thirds and set the water quantity low. Tweak this until it is producing the desired 50 or 60ml – you will need to use a small measuring jug to check this.

DeLonghi ESAM 4200 Coffee Machine

Next set the grinder to around 4 and time how long the coffee takes to pour. A double shot should take 20 seconds. If it takes more than 20 seconds then the grind is too fine and if it takes less then it is too coarse. Again, keep tweaking this until you get it right.

It can be a bit of a faff to begin with but it’s worth taking the time as once you have the settings right you can be assured that you will be consistently getting your own perfect brew every time.

One thing to be aware of when using the grinder is make sure you only adjust the grinder setting when it is on, it does say this in the instructions but a lot of people seem to miss it.

If you run out of beans or, simply prefer to use ground coffee or ESE pods instead then you just need to change the setting on the control panel and pop in a pod or add your ground coffee to the ground coffee compartment.

illy ESE podsDrink variety and price of ESE pods

ESE pods are similar to teabags in that they are a pre-measured serving of coffee wrapped in filter paper, ready to be used in any ESE compatible machine. The main benefit of having a machine that uses ESE pods as opposed to other pod or capsules is that you don’t end up being tied to one particular coffee manufacturer. For example, Nespresso pods are made by Nestle and Senseo pods by Douwe Egberts. ESE  pods are made to an industry standard and are available from all the major quality roasters such as Lavazza and Illy among others. You can generally expect to pay around 40-50p per pod.

For more information on ESE pods check out our full review of what is available and which make the best coffee.

Keeping it Clean

The Delonghi Magnifica is fairly easy to clean. It comes with a removable drip tray and brewing unit to make cleaning easier. There are also automatic rinse and descaling programmes. When you use the steam nozzle just make sure you wipe it clean immediately before the milk has a chance to dry on it.

Descaling your ESAM 4200

Descaling is very important to ensure that you get great tasting coffee  every time.  The other reason you should descale your coffee machine is to keep it running and working properly.  Over time, limescale will build up, which will block pipes and eventually stop the coffee maker from working altogether, so you should try to do this every month to keep on top of it.

The good news, is that it is easy to descale your Delonghi coffee maker and to make it even easier, follow the simple instructions in the below video.

Where is the cheapest place to buy the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200?

You can buy this superb bean to cup coffee machine at various high street stores but you will find it a lot cheaper online. Anything under £350 is a good price as the RRP is £499. Amazon usually have this machine at a competitive price (with free delivery included), currently it is on sale for £275 which is a great deal.

De'Longhi Magnifica, Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine, Espresso, Cappuccino, ESAM 4200.S, Silver
  • INTEGRATED GRINDER: Includes an integrated Coffee burr grinder with 7 adjustable coarseness levels; the beans are ground instantly for fuller flavour and a fresher cup of Coffee
  • MILK FROTHER: Be your own barista and prepare your perfect Cappuccino with the adjustable MILK FROTHER - warm-up milk or easily prepare a creamy and dense foam
  • CUSTOMISE Coffee: Make all your Coffee shop favourite drinks with the Magnifica ESAM 4200; whether you like a strong espresso or long frothy cappuccino, this machine will deliver the perfect drink

Does it include a Warranty?

Yes, it includes a 2 year warranty.

What Other People Are Saying About the 4200?

This coffee maker has received mainly good reviews from consumers on the internet with Amazon buyers giving it a 4.5 star rating. Here are some of the comments to date:

  • I don’t often write reviews, but this machine deserves every good word said about it.
  • I purchased this machine about six weeks ago. I am impressed by its ability to produce excellent espresso amazingly quickly, no fuss and bother or excessive cleaning.
  • Super coffee maker. Very simple to use, great results easily altered to suit your taste size of cup etc. All you have to do is find the coffee beans you like!
  • I am so thrilled with this coffee maker. It is simple to set up and to maintain and makes the most amazing drink ever.
  • It is amazing to watch it grind, tamp, make a perfect double shot and dump the grinds at the touch of a button
  • I’m not a pro, but, from the moment that I switched it on, I loved it, very fast heating, and easy, you can use your own favorite beans or ground ones, frothing milk is very easy, it produces about more than treble amount of the frothed milk.
  • I bought this machine because my wife goes to Starbucks every day and spends £5 to £10. I went and bought the Starbucks caramel and vanilla and she can make her own drink the exact same taste for £1 a day. I am saving £25 to £50 a week.

Any complaints?

Coffee not hot enough

Some people have complained about the temperature of the coffee not being hot enough but if you read the instructions thoroughly and you warm up your cup first you shouldn’t have a problem. I recommend pouring boiling water into your cup first to warm it up rather than relying on the cup warmer. People have also reported problems with the grinder but again if you follow the manual and only adjust grinding level when it is on you shouldn’t go wrong.

Plastic steam lever

The only other complaint aimed at the DeLonghi Magnifica 4400 that has any substance is that the lever for the steam is made of plastic. Bearing in mind this comes under a fair degree of pressure over the lifetime of the machine they have been known very occasionally to snap off.

Common Issues

Infuser Misalignment

One of the most common issues I have experienced is when the electric in the house has tripped whilst the bean to cup coffee maker was in the middle of making my coffee.  This can cause an issue, as the infuser (brewing unit) stops half way through the cycle and when the electric is turned back on it does not always realign itself automatically.

If this happens to you, do not worry, just follow the steps in the video below to realign the infuser and you will have a hot cup of coffee in no time.

DeLonghi ESAM 4200 Magnifica Manuals

Below are links to instruction manuals for various DeLonghi ESAM models, if you have lost yours, hopefully this helps.


Can you fit an “average” mug or does it have to be a cappuccino/espresso size cup?

The mug/cup needs to be less 10 cm high or less, there is also a height adjuster for smaller cups.

Is the Body or Casing stainless steel or aluminium mould or is it plastic?

The body and casing and the majority of the machine are plastic. It’s not a cheap look plastic though. You can, as I’m sure you know spend a lot more and you’re just paying for looks not function, the coffee from this beauty will taste as good as that from a £2,000 digital display memory Jura.

Can you modify the temperature of the coffee?

There is a way to increase the temperature, which for some reason isn’t mentioned in the manual:

  • With the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 coffee machine in standby/off mode, press and hold the One cup button until the row of lights come on below. You should see the default of 2 lights is showing.
  • Now press the two cup button repeatedly to select your desired setting out of a possible 4 settings.
  • When set, press the 1 cup button again to save your setting, and the machine will go back to off.

What is the max amount of Coffee the DeLonghi ESAM 4200 coffee maker can brew into one cup?

If you put one cup under both outlets and select the double cup feature you can get 380ML/13FL ozs. If you put a cup under each outlet it is 190ML.6.5 FL ozs. You can turn the strength of the coffee you make by using the right hand dial. We have ours set a 1 o’clock on the water side and 3 o’clock on the coffee side. This gives us a full mug of coffee at the strength we like.


If you are looking for your first bean to cup machine which can make coffee as good as your favourite coffee shop, the 4200 is an excellent choice and will bring you many years of great tasting coffee.  If you want more of the barista experience and control of your coffee making, I would suggest looking at the Sage Barista Express.  It is about £75 more expensive (when on sale) but superb.

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