Delonghi Dedica EC685 vs Gaggia Classic: Which Is More Beginner-Friendly And Which Is More Barista-Like?

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Delonghi EC685 vs Gaggia Classic is the hottest debate these days for potential users who are looking for entry-level espresso machines. And from my experience with these 2, Delonghi Dedica EC685 is the winner.

Delonghi Dedica wins because this value-for-price espresso maker brews balanced and nuanced coffee. It also froths milk beautifully in 2 different textures: creamy for macchiato or flat white, airy for latte and cappuccino. Any users with little to no experience will love this machine.

As for the runner-up Gaggia Classic, it pulls a strong and robust espresso taste. The machine comes with a giant 72oz water tank that can satisfy a very large group of people. The steam wand does a decent job for latte and cappuccino as well. But this model is very simple, so there isn’t any convenient extra feature.

Delonghi EC685 vs Gaggia Classic: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine, 1, Metallic
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
Model
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica
Gaggia Classic
Dimensions
13 x 5.9 x 12 Inches
9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches
Capacity
37.2 oz
72 oz
Material
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Color
Metallic
Silver
Weight
8.8 Pounds
20 pounds
Automation
Semi-Automatic
Semi-Automatic
Auto Shut-off
Cup Warmer
Input Power
1300W
1450W
Anti-Drip system
Removable Water Tank
Steam Wand
Classic Pannarrello
Classic wand with 2 holes tip
Ideal For
Home
Offices, coffee shops
Heat-up Time
30s
3 minutes
Controls
Buttons
Buttons
What I Like
Price
$360.00
$450.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine, 1, Metallic
Model
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica
Dimensions
13 x 5.9 x 12 Inches
Capacity
37.2 oz
Material
Stainless Steel
Color
Metallic
Weight
8.8 Pounds
Automation
Semi-Automatic
Auto Shut-off
Cup Warmer
Input Power
1300W
Anti-Drip system
Removable Water Tank
Steam Wand
Classic Pannarrello
Ideal For
Home
Heat-up Time
30s
Controls
Buttons
What I Like
Price
$360.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
Model
Gaggia Classic
Dimensions
9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches
Capacity
72 oz
Material
Stainless Steel
Color
Silver
Weight
20 pounds
Automation
Semi-Automatic
Auto Shut-off
Cup Warmer
Input Power
1450W
Anti-Drip system
Removable Water Tank
Steam Wand
Classic wand with 2 holes tip
Ideal For
Offices, coffee shops
Heat-up Time
3 minutes
Controls
Buttons
What I Like
Price
$450.00
More Info

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  3. Gaggia Classic vs Pro: What Is The Most Iconic Semi-Professional Espresso Machine Under $500?
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  5. Breville Bambino vs Gaggia Classic: Top 5 Differences

Delonghi EC685 vs Gaggia Classic: Differences

Delonghi Dedica EC685 wins 3-2 agaisnt Gaggia Classic. This model can pull excellent tasting shots of espresso, and it can shut off automatically to save energy. You will have a long-lasting espresso machine if you go with EC685. But, Gaggia Classic also is a formidable opponent. Here’s why.

Coffee Flavor: tie

Dosing + tamping

The first aspect that affects the flavor of espresso/ coffee is the dosing and tamping. We all know that each user brews different types of coffee beans, some are more thoroughly roasted than others. But, without considering the quality and variety of beans, we all know that putting more coffee grounds in the portafilter makes the taste stronger and more nuanced.

With Gaggia Classic and Delonghi Dedica, it is the same. Since both models are semi-automatic, you will have to measure the amount of grounds that go into the basket, then tamp the grounds manually.

Delonghi Dedica EC685 is a compact semi-automatic espresso maker
Delonghi Dedica EC685 is a compact semi-automatic espresso maker

As a barista and a long-time espresso machines user, I don’t have any trouble pulling espresso the manual way. But if you are very new to these devices, at first it will take you some time to learn the machines.

As for the Delonghi model, the recommended amount of grounds is from 15 to 19g. If you want a strong and slightly bitter shot of espresso, put 19g in the basket to achieve the ideal flavor. With this model, I don’t have any problem putting in a tad more than 19g. So if you don’t have a measuring cup or tool, I suggest this one.

In the case of Gaggia Classic, the dose varies between 17 and 19g. Under 17g, you will get watered down and weak coffee. Over 19g, the machine might not do the best job of evenly extracting different flavor notes from the grounds.

I recommend that you stick to the recommendation with Gaggia machines, as I have with this one. The flavor comes out amazing if the dose is right. I attempted “freestyle” dosing and the machine’s pressure didn’t work well with the extra grams of coffee.

Heating system

I adore the Thermoblock on Delonghi Dedica. This machine heats up very quickly thanks to Thermoblock technology. Basically, after only 30s from when I turn the power button on, it is ready to brew some espresso. The heating system of this espresso maker assists a 37.2oz water reservoir. So far, I’m impressed with what this model can offer, especially for its low price.

Gaggia Classic is equipped with a classic single boiler, and I know that it sounds like a turnoff. But, accompanying the single boiler is a giant 72oz water tank, so there will be no pressure loss, and there will always be water ready to be used.

Gaggia Classic is equipped with a classic single boiler
Gaggia Classic is equipped with a classic single boiler

It takes me 3 minutes, minium to start up the machine to good brewing temperature. But 10-15 minutes will get it to an ideal level. With the long heat-up time and the big water tank, I believe this model will suit offices and coffee shops the best. But if you don’t have a problem with time, then I definitely suggest this one for your home.

Brewing technique

When it comes to brewing techniques, these machines are quite straightforward. You fill the portafilter with coffee grounds, you tamp the puck, you secure it in the group head, the machine applies pressure and runs water through the puck, and you get a shot or two of espresso.

I find both to be very consistent with their brewing process. With their 15-bars pump system, I always get some nice shots of espresso with airy crema. But, if you prefer an espresso maker that can pull extra thick and creamy crema, I suggest you go with Gaggia. This machine is no joke when it comes to crema.

However, Delonghi EC685 is more convenient in which it controls the espresso volume automatically. All you have to do is press the button, and it shuts the spout when it finishes brewing. With Gaggia Classic, you will have to do it manually. So there will be a learning curve waiting for you ahead.

Utilities: Delonghi Dedica EC685

Auto shut-off

Delonghi Dedica is more modern-oriented, so it is to no surprise that it can automatically shut off. And the best thing is that we can adjust the time after which Dedica goes into sleeping mode: 9 minutes, 30 minutes, or 3 hours. Gaggia Classic doesn’t have this feature.

With auto shut-off function, most espresso machines will have a better lifespan, and they save electricity. It’s 2021, everyone cares about the environment.

Anti-drip system

Dedica is designed with an anti-drip system, which means after the machine finishes pulling an espresso shot, there will be little to no coffee dripping out of the dispenser. Thus, you won’t have to worry about cleaning the drip tray frequently.

Milk system: Delonghi Dedica EC685

First of all, I really like the milk wands of both Dedica EC685 and Gaggia Classic. The pair can froth decent milk foam for latte art and I have to do minimal work to achieve the foamy milk texture. But Delonghi Dedica has left me a bigger impression thanks to its extra fast frothing time and thicker foam texture.

Dedica EC685 froths milk very quickly
Dedica EC685 froths milk very quickly

Delonghi EC685 and Gaggia Classic use classic Pannarrello wands to steam and froth milk. With the Delonghi model, we can set the wand to 2 modes: hot milk or cappuccino. With the Gaggia Classic, we have a two-hole tip for milk steaming.

After testing both models, I find their milk system to be decent for at-home use. They can definitely steam milk and they can froth milk foam to a certain point. But, if you are looking for airy and dry foam for cappuccino, these machines won’t get to that point. I don’t say that the milk foam isn’t qualified for cappuccino, it simply isn’t barista-quality.

Cleaning & Maintain: Tie

In general, I find maintaining these machines to be very easy. Whipping the steam wand after every use is crucial. Suppose you want to thoroughly clean the milk path and the coffee path. In that case, I recommend getting special cleaning solutions for coffee machines, pouring them into the water tank (with water), and letting the solution rinse through everything for 30 minutes. Finally, rinse everything one last time only with clear water and you are good to go.

Delonghi EC685 vs Gaggia Classic: Similarities

Delonghi EC685 vs Gaggia Classic isn’t simply about which differences make one better than the other. Find out their similarities below. Maybe this will help you decide which one checks all the boxes.

Cup warmer

Delonghi Dedica EC685 and Gaggia Classic have an integrated cup warming tray placed on top of the boiler. If you like your coffee extra hot, make sure to put these trays into good use when the machine is heating up. They will keep your coffee hot for a longer time. If you happen to have another espresso machine that doesn’t perform well temperature-wise, the cup warmer will help solve it.

Delonghi Dedica EC685 is equipped with a cup warmer
Delonghi Dedica EC685 is equipped with a cup warmer

Back-loaded water tank

These espresso makers come with a back-loaded water tank, which is very standard. Personally, I prefer side or front-loaded tanks since they save extra space. But for the low price range and the good quality, I’m pretty satisfied with these babies.

Quick Rundown Of Delonghi EC685

De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine, 1, Metallic
1,260 Reviews
De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine, 1, Metallic
  • 15-bar professional pressure ensures quality results every time, and adjustable controls allow you to make modifications for your personal taste preferences
  • Whatever your preference – single or double espresso, cappuccino or latte –the machine brews authentic barista-quality beverages just like you enjoy at your favorite coffeehouse
  • The premium adjustable frother allows you to adjust the foam and steam levels to customize a variety of delicious espresso-based drinks with little to no effort
  • The automatic flow stop feature dispenses just the right amount of espresso. If you’d prefer a larger-sized beverage, no problem. The double drip tray is easy to adjust or remove to fit taller cups, such as latte glasses
  • Warranties may not apply to purchases from an unauthorized retailer. Fast heating time: 40 seconds

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Quick and potent steam wand, good for latte art
  • Consistent espresso extraction with strong and nuanced flavor
  • Super quick heat-up time under 30s
  • Auto shut-off, great for the machine’s lifespan
  • Value for price
Cons
  • The design is too lightweight so it might rattle when the portafilter goes in

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Classic

Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
817 Reviews
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
  • Rugged brushed stainless steel housing
  • Commercial three-way solenoid valve
  • Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portafilter and Brew Group
  • Easy-to-use Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment
  • Easy-to-use Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment

Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Big 72oz water tank
  • Consistent espresso extraction with thick crema
  • Sturdy commercial design
  • Minimum noise thanks to the secured mounting
Cons
  • The machine is designed for brewing and frothing, no additional features

Product Videos

References:

Delonghi EC685: https://www.delonghi.com/en-meia/products/coffee/coffee-makers/pump-espresso/dedica-style-ec-685m-0132106168

Gaggia Classic: https://www.gaggia.com/manual-machines/new-classic/#

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