The Delonghi Dedica is an excellent choice for those taking their first steps into the espresso world, offering quality and durability at a low cost. However, the Dedica falls short in frothing milk, making this one of its major weaknesses.
In previous articles, I have discussed the basic upgrades that can be made to the Delonghi Dedica. However, this time, I will guide you through disassembling and replacing the steam wand, a modification that can also be considered an “upgrade.”
Is the steam wand on my Delonghi Dedica really bad?
If you are a lover of milk-based coffee beverages, such as cappuccinos, lattes, or latte macchiatos, and you seek dense, creamy, and shiny froth, the answer is a deep YES (The Dedica’s steam wand is very bad). From my perspective, the steam wand on the Delonghi Dedica has two serious issues:
- It takes too long to froth the milk: One of the most noticeable problems is how slowly the Delonghi Dedica’s steam wand froths milk. Patience is a virtue, but no one wants to wait more than two minutes for a coffee.
- Excess bubbles: Another drawback is the excessive air the steam wand injects into the milk. This can result in froth that looks more voluminous than desired.
Pros and cons of installing a classic steam wand
The Delonghi Dedica, despite not being a professional espresso machine, provides convenience in the preparation of milk-based coffee beverages. When considering the installation of a classic steam wand, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons that this upgrade can offer:
- Texture and froth density: One of the major benefits of installing a new steam wand is the ability to achieve froth with a smooth texture and the right density.
- Latte art: A new steam wand is essential for latte art enthusiasts. It makes creating beautiful designs in your milk beverages easier, adding an artistic and personal touch to your coffee.
- Required skill: Installing a new steam wand is not suitable for everyone. If you do not consider yourself an expert in milk-based coffee preparation or have no interest in delving into the world of latte art, it may be better to avoid this complication. The enhanced wand accelerates the milk steaming, requiring more control and skill.
- Critical temperature: The milk temperature increases much faster with a classic wand, so you must be quick in texturing the milk. If it overheats and exceeds 65-68 degrees Celsius, it will lose its properties and ruin the froth.
Installing a new steam wand can significantly improve your coffee experience but requires skill and patience to enjoy its benefits fully.
Which steam wand is compatible with the Delonghi Dedica?
Delonghi does not manufacture classic-style steam wands for our Dedica, so we must turn to other coffee machine brands and models to find one that fits our beloved Delonghi Dedica.
After numerous tests, experience has shown us that the Rancilio Silvia steam wand is the best fit for the size, space, and configuration of the Dedica. Furthermore, this wand is available for only $20.
➡️ Here is a link to a Rancilio Silvia wand on offer on Amazon: Rancilio Silvia (V1/V2)
How to disassemble the Delonghi Dedica
To access the steam wand of your Delonghi Dedica coffee machine, you will need to disassemble the machine completely. There are no shortcuts when making this upgrade, so you need to remove all the components of the Dedica.
🔧 Before you begin, ensure you have the following tools: fine-tip pliers, Torx-10, and Phillips-type screwdrivers.
Steps to disassemble the Delonghi Dedica
- Start by removing the movable parts of the coffee machine, such as the drip tray, water tank, cappuccino pipette tube, steam nozzle, and steam knob.
- Once you have removed these parts, tilt or lay the machine on its side. At the bottom, you will find a cover with 9 screws (7 Torx and 2 Phillips) that you need to unscrew. I recommend taking photos of the position of any parts you remove from the machine to facilitate the reassembly process.
- After removing the screws, remove the bottom cover. This will give you access to all the connections inside your coffee machine.
- At this stage, disconnect the grounding cable (yellow) in this machine section.
- You will also need to disconnect the two tubes connected to the water tank. Do not forget to take photos of the position of each component, as each tube serves a different function: one carries water to the pump, and the other is related to the pressure relief valve.
- Once you have dealt with the bottom part of the coffee machine, we continue to the top of the Delonghi Dedica. There, you will find two Phillips-type screws that you should remove. Then, to disassemble this casing part, pull and lift the cover simultaneously.
- After removing or setting aside the cover, you will have access to the inside of the coffee machine. In this area, disconnect the yellow grounding cable.
- Also, release the steam wand pipe located inside the coffee machine. I suggest using fine-tip pliers, as this pipe has a small clamp.
- Next, you must remove 5 Phillips-type screws inside the coffee machine (two at the front, two at the side of the steam wand controller, and one next to the wand).
- The next step involves removing the plastic piece located on the group head. To do this, use a flathead screwdriver, and it will come off easily.
- Now, we can extract all the internal components of the Dedica from the top. However, before doing so, you should go back to the bottom and “pop out the power button.” Pull gently on the piece (as shown in the image) until it moves.
- After completing the previous step, you’ll be ready to lift all the components inside the coffee machine to make it hollow. Please perform this action with caution.
Steps to install the new steam wand
- Now, with the coffee machine hollow, you must remove the pipe connected to the steam wand. Forcefully release the metal clamp using pliers and pull the pipe to do this.
- Once you have released the pipe, the next step involves removing the white plastic piece with a metal clamp. This piece can be removed with the help of a flathead screwdriver.
- Now, you need to pull the steam wand from the bottom. Remember that when doing so, the plastic piece attached to it will separate, and you’ll need to place it on the new wand in the same position.
- Remove the accompanying metal tip to install the new wand; unscrew this piece. Then, remove the insulating rubber sleeve and place the plastic piece on the previous wand. You can use a bit of Vaseline or soapy water to ease the process.
- Once the installation of the new wand is complete, begin the reassembly process of the Delonghi Dedica coffee maker. Reattach all the pieces you removed during disassembly, ensuring everything is in the correct position.
Note: I recommend to take photographs of the position of each piece you remove from the coffee maker to facilitate the reinstallation process.
➡️ Here’s a link to a discounted Rancilio Silvia wand on Amazon.es: Rancilio Silvia (V1/V2)
Disassembling and installing the new steam wand may require some practice. Still, with patience and the right tools, you can carry out this upgrade successfully, enhancing the quality of your experience with your Delonghi Dedica coffee machine.
The steam wand can be a key improvement point for your Delonghi Dedica coffee machine, allowing you to enjoy higher-quality milk-based coffee drinks. Whether you’re looking for rich and velvety foam or interested in perfecting your latte art skills, in this article, I’ve provided you with the tools and knowledge needed to make the most of your coffee machine.
The choice to install a new steam wand depends on your personal preferences and skills. While the process may seem challenging initially, you can complete this task with the right tools and patience, significantly enhancing your home coffee-making experience.