The Delonghi Dedica coffee machine is the most affordable option for those who want to enjoy quality espresso without complications. It has gained a great reputation over time, becoming the preferred choice for those taking their first steps into espresso coffee.
However, you can elevate your coffee experience to a higher level without needing a significant investment or replacing your current Delonghi Dedica. In this article, I will guide you through various alternatives to take your Dedica to the level of espresso machines that cost five times as much.
How to upgrade the Delonghi Dedica for the perfect espresso
As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, there are various improvements you can consider to elevate your coffee experience to a higher level. However, it’s essential to remember that you won’t be able to enjoy a perfect espresso without high-quality coffee.
Thanks to the quality of its coffees and the convenience of its subscription service, there are no more excuses to continue suffering while drinking your coffee.
1. Switch to a non-pressurized basket
The first step to enhance your Delonghi Dedica is to replace the factory-supplied pressurized filter with a non-pressurized one.
To do this, remove the pressurized basket, remove the wire that is integrated into the body of the portafilter, and take out the black plastic nozzle at the bottom. Then, reattach the wire so it can support the new basket.
Note: Remember that if you only remove the pressurized basket without extracting the plastic piece, the new basket you want to install won’t have enough space, and therefore, its installation won’t be possible.
➡️ I recommend purchasing a precision non-pressurized basket. There aren’t many options in the market for the 51mm diameter of the Delonghi Dedica, with just these from IMS for $26.00
2. Consider a bottomless portafilter
If you’re willing to invest more in your coffee experience and have purchased a precision basket, you can opt for a bottomless portafilter.
However, remember that this will require more commitment as you’ll need to prepare the right grind, amount of coffee, and proper distribution and preparation.
Note: bottomless portafilters often result in significant channeling if the coffee used doesn’t have the proper grind level. That’s why you’ll also need to purchase an espresso coffee grinder, but I’ll discuss that later.
➡️ Bottomless portafilters don’t influence the coffee preparation as much, so you can choose any available in the market. You only need to ensure that it has a 51mm diameter and 3 “ears.”
3. Enhance the tools for preparing the coffee puck
Give your coffee a touch of professionalism by investing in quality accessories that are useful when preparing the coffee puck. Instead of using the plastic dosing spoon/tamper that comes with the Dedica, opt for a stainless steel tamper, a DWT coffee agitator, and a distributor.
With these essential items, I assure you that your coffee will have a different touch the next time you try it. All the accessories I recommend and mention are the ones I use with my De’Longhi Dedica coffee machine.
4. Get an espresso grinder
A dedicated espresso grinder lets you grind coffee beans as finely as needed before preparing your coffee.
Each type of coffee, in combination with each coffee machine, requires a different grind, so the grinder must allow for very fine and precise adjustments. Therefore, none of the previous investments make sense without a coffee grinder that offers precision and consistency.
➡️ I recommend the Breville “Smart Grinder Pro,” which delivers exceptional results and a wide range of grind settings at a relatively affordable price ($197.95). I speak from my personal experience with this product.
5. Invest in a coffee scale.
The coffee-to-water ratio determines the body and flavor of your beverage. If you use too much coffee (or finely ground coffee) about the amount of water, you will get a coffee with more body but also more acidity. On the other hand, if you use too little coffee (or coarsely ground coffee), you will get a coffee with less body and more bitterness.
The correct ratio of coffee is crucial for a perfect espresso. Invest in a scale that measures the coffee’s weight and stops your espresso’s extraction time. An affordable coffee scale costs about $24.00.
Note: This accessory and an electric coffee grinder will help you achieve precise and consistent extraction.
6. Improve the milk frothing wand
Foam in milk is one of the key elements in preparing milk-based drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, but the Dedica comes with a steamer that leaves much to be desired.
If you love cappuccinos and lattes, consider upgrading the milk frothing wand on your Delonghi Dedica. The wand included with the machine can leave many bubbles in the milk, which is unattractive visually and in taste.
➡️ Instead, opt for a professional frothing wand like the Rancilio Silvia brand to achieve a smooth and velvety texture in the milk. This wand will cost you $29.99.
7. Consider installing a pressure gauge (optional)
Your coffee machine must maintain constant pressure to maintain consistency in coffee preparation. In this regard, using a pressure gauge becomes a valuable reference to ensure that every cup of coffee you prepare is uniform.
⚠️ A pressure gauge is not an improvement for coffee preparation but a control measure during the preparation process. The pressure gauge allows you to obtain detailed and instant information about the extraction process, but you cannot modify it.
In the case of a De’Longhi Dedica coffee machine, it’s essential to emphasize that this process requires time and experience. To address this, I will create an article explaining the necessary tools and steps to carry out this task because it involves physical modifications to the machine to incorporate this accessory effectively.
Experiment with these tips I provide to discover the combination that best suits your personal preferences, and invest in high-quality equipment for maximum enjoyment of your home coffee preparation experience with your De’Longhi Dedica coffee machine.
It’s important to remember that patience and practice are essential to master each tip and consistently achieve delicious results in every cup of coffee you prepare.