Delonghi Dedica – EC680, EC685, EC785, EC885 – What’s the Difference?
Delonghi has hit an absolute home-run, when it comes to the Dedica line of home espresso machines! No wonder, that they would like to diversify the line, and add some new features as time goes on. The EC680 model was released back in 2013, already 10 years ago! Since then, Delonghi has added different color options, upgraded steam wands, and some accessories as well.
The Machine that started it all – Dedica EC680, EC685
The EC680 is the very first Delonghi Dedica model, and is even still a great seller on the American market. The EC680 boasts fast warm up times, good looks, minimal footprint, and great espresso – not to mention a small ticket price. These features are likely the main reason that the Dedica line has enjoyed so much success. Heat up time is about 30 seconds from a cold start, and this machine makes good espresso, and can steam fairly well with the panarello. Even so, I do prefer to remove the panarello and steam with just the rubber nozzle.
5 years after the release of the EC680 came the Dedica EC685. The main difference here is a “Dedica” branded drip tray, and a little drip tray underneath the main drip tray. Also, the steam wand panarello was updated to include two settings for either ‘hot milk’ or cappuccino. Additionally, the rubber nozzle under the panarello was elongated, making it easier to steam without the panarello, since you can get the nozzle down deeper into the milk.
The EC680 and EC685 come in stainless steel, red, white, and black colors.
Here is a video showcasing the Delonghi Dedica EC685 in review format, in both basic mode, and advanced mode:
Common Delonghi Dedica Questions
Since the Dedica is so popular, let’s answer some questions, shall we?
Q: What size is the basket, portafilter, and tamper?
Q: Where is the Dedica made?
A: The Delonghi Dedica is designed in Italy, however made in China
Q: Can the Dedica use pods?
A: Yes, the Dedica comes with filter baskets for pods, as well as single and double baskets for ground coffee.
Q: How and when to descale?
A: The Dedica will flash the steam button orange, when it is time to descale. This is just based on the number of uses – there is no limescale detector. No matter what, make sure to descale at least every 1-2 months, to ensure proper operation of your machine. It’s important!
Q: Why do the lights flash after steaming milk, and why can’t I make an espresso right after?
A: Just open the steam valve, which will allow water to flow through the valve, which cools down the thermoblock. Then, you can make your next shot.
What are the best Delonghi Accessories?
The Delonghi Dedica is already good out of the box, at least with pre-ground espresso. But if you really want to get the best out of it, I suggest at a minimum, upgrading the basket to an IMS one. These are precision made baskets, made in Italy, and allow for a traditional, non-pressurized extraction. Just know that you will also need a decent grinder for this extraction method, too.
Besides a nice IMS basket, you may also want a Normcore or other bottomless portafilter, so that you can see how your extractions are looking. A good tamper is also helpful, to make sure your puck is compacted correctly and is not cock-eyed. The options for iKape or Normcore do a good job at keeping the puck level. Finally, a nice magnetic funnel is convenient as well, for making sure you don’t make a mess when grinding into your portafilter, or doing WDT.
The Next Generation – Dedica EC785
The EC785 is a model kind of in between the EC685 and EC885. It includes the newer panarello, but also is offered in different colors – beige, pink, and gray.
It also comes delivered with accessories: a nice metal-footed tamper and a milk steaming pitcher. So, it’s kind of a bundle, to get started easier as a home barista. The colors are also quite nice. As far as I know, these were solely released on the European market.
The Current Generation – Dedica Arte EC885
In my opinion, the best release so far has been the EC885. This model was first released in Australia and North America as test markets, in 2021. It finally rolled out to Europe in 2022, and I am glad it did. The EC885 offers essentially the same features as the EC785, as well as the accessories.
The big difference here is the proper steam wand! This is the same steam wand as used on their La Specialista line of espresso machines, and it steams WAY better than the panarellos of the previous generations, in my experience. ALSO, the new panarello is a ‘non-burn’ steam wand, which means that it will not burn your hand while using it.
So far, this model only comes in stainless steel.
Check out the videos below of the Delonghi Dedica EC885 in review format, and another video showing how to steam milk:
Getting the Best out of the Delonghi Dedica
While the Dedica is good in its stock, basic form, this machine really shines in advanced mode: with a proper basket and ideally bottomless portafiler, and with the panarello removed or with a new Rancilio steam wand installed. Check out the video below for how to convert to, and use this machine in advanced mode. After doing so, you will achieve really silky, well rounded espresso, and creamy, luscious milk foam. It is really a treat, once you get the hang of it!
Breville Bambino as Alternative to the Dedica Series!
There’s no doubt about it: the Delonghi Dedica provides excellent value for the price! But, if you want an alternative option, the Breville (Sage) Bambino or Bambino Plus also do a great job for a little more money. These machines come with better steam wands for starters (especially the Bambino Plus), and also with larger 54mm portafilters. They also have an internal PID controlled thermocoil, which is an advantage over the Dedica. Finally, the larger Bambino Plus offers automatic milk frothing and a 3 way solenoid valve.
Breville (Sage) Bambino Plus
Summary of the Delonghi Dedica Line
The Delonghi Dedica line provides very good espresso and milk foam, at a low price point. The small footprint, ease of use, and good looks also scores points. Whether you go for the original model, or an updated one, they all use the same thermoblock, brew group, volumetric dosing, and therefore all provide some very good espresso. You really cannot go wrong with any model. That being said, if you are buying for the first time, I would recommend going for the EC885.