Delonghi Dedica Steam Wand Modification
For some reason, most cheaper espresso machines, the Gaggia Espresso included, come with panarello type steam wands. These are designed to get the novice user a good amount of foam, but you’ll never get silky milk with them. On some machines, you can pull off the panarello, and steam alright, but adding a proper steam wand makes milk steaming more effective.
With this guide, you can replace the steam wand on your Delonghi Dedica. This includes the Dedica EC680, EC685, and EC785. This will also work on the Smeg ECF01, as it is just the same as the Delonghi Dedica, but with a different shell.
How to do this Modification?
To begin, remove all easily removable parts like water reservoir, drip tray, and portafilter. Remove the two screws of the top, and push the top backwards to disengage the plastic clips inside. Drop the top off to the side. Remove ground wires and button assembly from the top.
Now remove the bottom, with numerous screws. Then, remove the ground wires from the bottom. Next, remove the water hose attachment to the water reservoir. Back inside the top, remove the hose connecting the steam wand to the pump. Keep the clips handy. Remove the screws around the group head.
Now, carefully remove the cassette from the housing, being careful of the on/off switch. Remove the white plastic nut from the steam wand, and remove the steam wand. Put the white plastic nut on the new steam wand, and insert it into the machine. Attach clip.
Reassemble the machine in the reverse order. Make sure to attach the hose securely over the lip of the new steam wand. Be careful when inserting the cassette, of the on/off button, since the cassette can get stuck here. Make sure to reattach all ground wires. After assembly, check for functionality. For questions, check the comment section.
Watch the video below, as it shows all the necessary steps.
The Best Accessories?
The Delonghi Dedica is a good machine out of the box. But it gets even better, with the right accessories! Probably the most important is a proper basket, like the IMS basket listed below. Then, it is always good to have a bottomess portafilter, like the the Normcore listed below, to see the extraction. Finally, a good tamper is required for a proper tamp, and the funnel just makes things way easier for dosing without making a mess.
After changing the steam wand, you have a deeper wand, so that you can get the tip into larger milk pitchers. But the main advantage is now you have a proper steam wand with single hole tip, to start practicing latte art with. The result should be silky, delicious milk! Be sure to use fresh milk (not ultra high heat pasteurized), and the milk should be cold. The more fat in the milk, the better I find.
There are numerous awesome modifications you can do to your Delonghi Dedica. My favorite is the bottomless portafilter, and IMS basket. See videos of these two mods below. You can even add a dimmer switch, which will allow you to alter the water flow in real time, which ultimately allows one to control the pressure at the group head.
To begin with, this little machine has an extremely small footprint, adding to its P.A.F. (partner acceptance factor). IT is only 6 inches wide! It comes in weighing just under 5kg, so it is also easily portable.
Additionally, it is extremely fast in heating up, clocking in at 30 seconds until brew ready. It is recommended to run 1-2 empty shots first, to make sure the lines and brew group are warmed up as well.
What I really love about this machine is how easily it can be modified. Just add a non pressurized basket, a proper tamper, and ideally a bottomless portafilter, and you are good to go (product links listed below)! Just these few inexpensive mods make the espresso on the machine jump to new heights, providing a great crema. Simply remove the panarello, add a cable tie to keep it from popping off while steaming, and you have got a great steam wand, too!
The prices on the Dedica range a lot, depending on your geographic location. In Europe, it can be had for right around €150, which is an absolute steal. In North America, the price hovers right around $300. I attribute this to a larger market in Europe for espresso machines and higher competition, thus bringing the price down in the Euro Zone.
Finally, the volumetric dosing is a real plus for me. Just hold down the button until you get your desired amount in the cup, and from then on, your volumetric dose is set. This can be done for the 1 and 2 cup buttons. This is a feature normally reserved for much more expensive machines.
More videos on getting the best out of your Dedica: