Last update on 22/11/2023 by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
If you have a Delonghi Dedica (or are thinking about getting one) and have searched for information about this coffee maker on the internet, you’ve probably come across a lot of negative comments. Some say outright that the Dedica is terrible, while others claim its coffee is awful. However, I have the opposite opinion.
The Delonghi Dedica is an exceptional coffee maker capable of rivaling professional machines in the quality of its coffee. If you’ve heard negative reviews about the Dedica, it’s likely from people who have made the three mistakes I describe in this article.
MISTAKE 1. Never buy coffee from the supermarket again; switch to specialty coffee
You’ve probably not tried specialty coffee based on those negative comments flooding the internet. If the Delonghi Dedica is so bad, why spend more on coffee that can’t fully extract its potential?
If what those “coffee gurus” are saying were true, you should throw your Delonghi Dedica in the trash immediately. But since deep down you know they’re wrong, you haven’t done that. So, it’s time to trust your instinct and give a chance to those 100% Arabica coffees grown, harvested, and roasted by people who love coffee as much as you do.
Without good raw materials, it’s impossible to get high-quality coffee. When buying specialty coffee, try to look for dark roasts, as the Delonghi Dedica struggles a bit with light roasts (this is due to the 51mm filter, not the coffee maker itself).
MISTAKE 2. Using too coarse coffee results in under-extraction
By buying pre-ground coffee from the supermarket, you’re using coffee that has been ground too coarse, typically ideal for Moka pots but inadequate for espresso machines. If you’re getting overly sour coffee that requires a ton of sugar or a very long espresso to be drinkable, this is your case.
What happens is that the water passes through coffee particles that are too large. In the typical 25-30 seconds of extraction, the Delonghi Dedica can’t extract all the coffee compounds, leaving behind the bitter oils that balance the initial acidity.
But don’t go too fine either!
Supermarket coffee brands design their products for people like you with a Delonghi Dedica or another espresso machine with a pressurized filter. If they don’t grind finer, it’s because it could happen that the coffee maker couldn’t extract that coffee without anything coming out of the pressurized filter.
Ideally, you should have a specific grinder for your coffee maker, like the Sage Smart Grinder Pro, which allows you to grind as fine as you need and make small adjustments depending on the type of coffee you have at the moment. The Sage Smart Grinder Pro may cost more than the Dedica itself, but I can tell you from personal experience that it’s worth it.
If you don’t have your grinder, you can always order your specialty coffee pre-ground. Most of the sellers will do that for you.
MISTAKE 3: Use just the right amount of coffee.
Your Delonghi Dedica’s pressurized filters come marked with small spoon-shaped reliefs indicating the required amount of coffee. However, when you aim to prepare excellent coffee, you can’t rely on anything other than a kitchen scale.
It’s time to take that kitchen scale out of the cupboard!
After conducting many tests and brewing many coffees, I’ve concluded that the perfect amount of coffee for the single basket is 9 grams, while for the double basket is 12.5 grams.
These coffee amounts make the Delonghi Dedica perform better, with a 1:2.5 ratio in about 25 seconds. In other words, if you add 12.5 grams of coffee, you should get about 31 grams of liquid in 25 seconds.
Note: If you exceed 31 grams in the espresso extraction, you’ll get a less acidic and sweeter drink, achieving a better balance. However, keep in mind that you’ll lose your body significantly. So, even though it might seem like a limited amount of coffee, it’s the right measure.
Don’t let the detractors of the Delonghi Dedica lead you astray. Avoid making the abovementioned mistakes, and you’ll consistently achieve exquisite espresso.