Let us review the Delonghi Dinamica Plus – so far my favorite superautomatic coffee and espresso machine to date. Before the Dinamica, I honestly didn’t think that a real espresso, or well textured milk was possible from such a machine. In particular, with the Espresso Doppio+ option, and the excellent LatteCrema milk frothing attachment, this machine impresses.
Before we go further in the review, keep in mind that this Dinamica Plus is actually made in Italy. That is already a plus point in my book. Their cheaper models are made in China.
Delonghi Dinamica Plus – 1.8 liter (60oz) water tank
Delonghi Dinamica Plus – Ventilated Enclosure
The Looks and Features of the Dinamica Plus
True to Delonghi form, and standard for superautomatics in general, this machine is made out of a mixture of metal and plastics. The body is made of plastic, while the drip tray cover, cup warmer, and burrs are made of stainless steel. Of course the bean hopper cover, water resevoir, and drip tray are made out of plastic. Nevertheless, the plastic parts feel solid and well made.
The Dinamica has a similar form to other Delonghi superautomatic coffee machines, but feels a little sleeker in dimensions, especially compared to the more rotund, Magnifica Evo model.
Facing the Dinamica, the user is presented with a nice colored, touch display. On the display, you will find all the drink possibilities, from espresso based drinks, to milk based drinks. You can also let out hot water for tea, and even make a canister of coffee!
To switch between drinks, just hit the arrow keys, to have the drink menu slide left or right. Additionally, you can enter the settings from this touch display. Finally, you have buttons below the display, that move the menu left or right (due to a lack of swiping). Also, you have a button dedicated to adjust the drink volume (if you want to change from the pre-configured drink), as well as a button for the coffee bean amount, called aroma. This directly affects the timer of the grinder, to allow more or less coffee to be ground.
Delonghi Dinamica Plus – Display
Delonghi Dinamica Plus – Top View
On the top of the machine, you will also find a cup tray, as well as the beans hopper, and grinder. There is also a little chute, to toss in your own ground beans, if you so choose to. Let’s talk about the grinder next, which does a nice job.
One more thing: the rest of the machine looks pretty standard for Delonghi. I’d say the water resevoir, drip tray, and housing are quite standard, albeit the drip tray cover is nice and massive.
I was happy to notice that the grinder in the Dinamica Plus, and really all Delonghi superautomatics, is a stainless steel conical burr. This ensures better drink quality in the cup, and longevity in the lifespan of the burrs. Compare this to a cheaper ceramic burred machine, such as the Philips LatteGo, and you’ll be happy to have chosen a Delonghi.
Something positive I can report about the grinder is that it can actually grind fine enough to choke the machine. Let me repeat that – this grinder can actually grind so fine, that the pump struggles to push water through the puck. This is a good thing, and something lacking on most superautomatics.
What this means is that we can actually get the pressure of the extraction up into espresso range, so that we can get a nice syrupy drink with delightful crema. Especially when using the ‘Doppio+’ option, we get actual espresso pucks, 14-15 grams in weight, and ground fine enough for a good espresso. That is AWESOME!
The grinder is adjusted within the bean hopper, and has 13 settings. I find that a setting of 4-5 works well for my freshly roasted beans. For older beans, I would advise to grind finer, more in the range of 2-3.
See the stainless steel burrs at work below:
How is the Espresso?
You might be surprised how good the espresso is, out of the Dinamica Plus. I attribute it to two important things when it comes to espresso extraction:
The use of stainless steel burrs, that can grind fine enough for espresso.
The allowance for proper dosing. With the Doppio+, you can get a proper 14-15 gram dose.
Grinding fine enough for espresso, and grinding the proper amount are paramount for getting a good espresso with crema. If you don’t grind fine enough, you will not get any pressure, and therefore no crema. Same goes for the dose.
So how is the espresso? Pretty darn good, I have to admit. I have tested this machine side by side with actual portafilter espresso machines, and it fairs well. The shots are chocolatey, syrupy and full of crema. They might not get as complex in flavor as say a Breville Barista machine, but all things considered, it is a proper espresso. Just be sure to use freshly roasted beans.
How’s the Milk? LatteCrema System
Another delightful surprise on this machine is how well it textures milk. The Delonghi LatteCrema system really does a great job of texturing both for cappuccino and for latte, and gives me a nice drinking temperature, too. Clean up is quite easy, and the results in the cup are really good. I feel that this LatteCrema system provides even better textured milk than does the LatteGo system from Philips.
You can keep the LatteCrema carafe in the refrigerator with milk inside, but Delonghi does suggest to clean it out regularly. To do so, just remove the top from the canister, remove the rubber hose inside, and give everything a thorough rinse under the sink. Of course, don’t forget to start the “Clean” cycle as well, while the carafe is still mounted to the machine, which clears out the lines of milk after frothing.
Delonghi Dinamica Plus – with LatteCrema
Delonghi LatteCrema Milk System
The sheer amount of drinks on this machine is quite crazy: you can make an espresso, espresso doppio+, Long (repeatedly pulsed coffee crema-like), Coffee Crema, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Cappuccino Mix, straight up Milk Foam, water for tea, and even a whole pot of coffee. It will take a lot of time to go through all the options. Luckily, there are profiles to use, to select the ‘aroma’ or amount of beans to be ground, as well as the drink volume, and that for up to 3 different users. Finally, there is an app, ‘Coffee Link’, which can be used for the initial machine setup, as well as for setting the parameters of the drinks for each user.
User Profiles and App
It seems that at this price range, we come to expect user profiles built into the machines. So for example, if I want a Coffee Crema with full strength, but my wife wants it just to be super mild, then we can set our profiles that way. If I want a nice intense and short drink, while she wants a long and mild drink, that is possible. It’s quite a convenient feature, which is also offered on the Philips LatteGo 4300.
The app on the other hand, is nothing to write home about. While it is functional, and good for making the initial choices, it is slow and kind of buggy, as of the time of this writing. It takes 1 minute to connect to the machine, and sometimes it just crashes. What is cool though, is that it shows the process of the drink being made, which is neat. Hopefully, they will improve the app over time.
Pros and Cons of the Dinamica Plus?
After using the Dinamica Plus for a while, and getting the grind dialed in, I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised! It can actually make real espresso, which I didn’t think was possible. It can also texture milk really well. It’s quick to warm up, doesn’t take up too much counter space, and has a ton of drink options.
Clean up of the LatteCrema system is quite easy for such a device, and the carafe is double walled, which is a nice feature for robustness and keeping your milk cold, longer. All in all, the drinks are very good, the interface is easy to use, and the cherry on top is that this is even made in Italy!
Excellent espresso results, especially for a SA
Very nicely textured milk
Tons of drink options to choose from
User profiles and app
30 second heat up time
Made in Italy
App is buggy and very laggy
Price is on the high side, depending on market
Specifications of the Dinamica Plus ECAM 370.95:
– Dimensions: 235 mm x 429 mm x 348 mm
– 1450 watt thermoblock heater
– Tons of drinks: espresso, coffee crema, doppio+, long, and coffee pot
I really think that Delonghi hit the ball out of the park with this Dinamica Plus model, and I don’t have much to suggest. Working on the app would be important, but in the end, it’s the drinks that matter, and this superautomatic does a great job.
With that being said, it would be nice if you could swish from side to side on the touch display. Instead, you have to use the arrow buttons, below the screen. Also, sometimes I find that I accidentally hit a button on the screen, starting a drink too early. But this is a problem that all such screens have. Perhaps they could improve that by including a delay, so that the button must be pressed for longer, before starting the drink.
Competition is fierce among superautomatics. The Philips LatteGo 4300 has very similar features, but does not perform as well IMHO. The drinks on the Philips are weak, and limited by 6.9 gram doses. Also, I find that the Dinamica Plus, as well as the Magnifica Evo both texture milk a bit better than the Philips LatteGo.
Jura machines would come closer, and perhaps surpass the Dinamica Plus. I am planning to review the Jura E6 or E8 in the near future, as I have enjoyed very tasty drinks from these swiss designed superautomatics.
Otherwise, perhaps a fully integrated espresso machine like the Barista Express would be a good competitor, for those who like it more hands on. Until then, thanks for dropping by!
Dinamica Plus vs Magnifica Evo
In their respective price ranges, the Magnifica Evo (€500-$700) and Dinamica Plus (€700-$1500) offer the best performance among their peers, in my opinion. I find them for example both better than any offering from Philips, from the cheaper 1200 up to the expensive 4300.
That being said, the Magnifica Evo in some markets will be just half the price of the Dinamica plus, making it very appealing. The Evo comes close to the Dinamica Plus in the milk frothing department, but the Dinamica Plus certianly has the advantage in the espresso, due to the larger pucks.
From an operational standpoint, the Dinamica Plus offers a 3.5″ touch screen, an app, and user profiles. The Magnifica Evo just has capactive touch buttons to start your drink. Check them both out below, and choose the one that makes the most sense for your needs, based on the price in your market.
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