Who wants to enjoy a cup of joe in a hot summer? It seems ironic, but study shows drinking hot coffee in summer can actually cool you down. But, if you’re not convinced and want an iced coffee instead, check out Dinamica ECAM35020B by De’Longhi.
Even when the weather is hot, you can quench your thirst and still satisfy your coffee cravings with a full-bodied and great-tasting iced coffee. The De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM35020B has a dedicated “Over Ice” button if you want to enjoy a cold and satisfying coffee.
DeLonghi brought something new to the world of superautomatics. It’s the first fully automatic espresso machine with Iced coffee technology. Our review explains everything about this technology and more exciting features of this affordable De’Longhi superautomatic espresso machine.
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What is DeLonghi Dinamica ECAM35020?
It’s a superautomatic espresso maker from De’Longhi and the first in the world of fully automatic machines to feature Iced coffee technology. That’s right, you can make your favorite iced coffee using the Dinamica ECAM35020B.
Before we go into the detailed review, there are just some things that we want to be clear with you. As you have noticed, for the Dinamica we include the model number of the machine that we are reviewing. The letter at the end of the model number represents the color of the model — in our case it’s black.
There’s also a white version offered at the same price as the black model. This model doesn’t have a display screen, which can be found in some Dinamica models. However, we have a nice LED screen with easy-to-press buttons.
- Has programmable functions and user profiles
- With just a press of a button, you’ll get a consistent shot — every time
- Pannarello wand is easy to use and gives nice froth
- Performance-wise, it’s on par with more expensive competitors
- Fans of drip coffee might like its drip-style coffee
- Grinder has 13 different grinder setting levels
- Wonderful cup of iced coffee that’s not watered down
- Has standby and energy-saving features
- Control panel takes time to get used to
- No labels on the icons — confusing at first
- Pannarello wand doesn’t give you that much foam
- Can’t achieve café-quality microfoam to make latte art
- Need to read the manual, especially when doing customization
- Limited coffee you can make automatically
Design and Specifications
The black finish with chrome accents make the De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM35020B stunning. It stands out not just in style, but also in its compactness and footprint. As a product of Italy, it gives you sophistication from the looks to the functionalities.
Dinamica is sleek, yet it doesn’t have that big footprint at only 9.30 × 16.90 × 13.70 inches. You can slide it under a wall-mounted kitchen cabinet. However, if you do so, you need to slide it back and forth each time you add coffee beans or use the pre-ground coffee funnel.
It just weighs around 20 lbs, not that heavy to move around. Yet, if you already use it, make sure to have a place dedicated to it. You don’t want to spill water or cause accidents while you are moving the machine from one place to the other.
It’s rare for superautomatics priced at less than $1000 to have a metal casing. With that being said, the Dinamica is made of plastic, which is hard to tell because of the stunning finish. You won’t even feel a bit of plastic on the edge and corners.
The bean hopper is capable of storing up to 10.6 oz of coffee beans. However, it’s recommended to only put the amount you need for the day. If you want to preserve the natural taste and aroma of your coffee in every cup of your espresso, store it in a closed container.
If you don’t want to grind coffee beans, it’s okay. You can still make a nice cup of coffee with your favorite pre-ground coffee or decaf. The pre-ground coffee funnel can accommodate one scoop of pre-ground coffee for one dose of your desired drink.
Dinamica is probably one of the fastest heating espresso machines. Just wait for 40 seconds and you can quickly pull out your cup of coffee in the morning. Thanks to the Italian 15 BAR pressure pump you’ll get a consistent and punchy espresso shot — every time.
For convenience, the 60.86 fl oz water reservoir is on the right side of the machine, which can be pulled out from the front. It’s transparent, so you can see the water level and refill it when it’s already low.
We’ll quickly go over the buttons on the LED screen. However, a detailed discussion takes place in the following section. Most push buttons have dual functions and they usually have either steady light or flashing light with corresponding meaning.
You should be mindful of the icon displays on top as they signify something needs to be properly placed. To ensure better performance of the machine, you must know what these icons indicate — they light up in red.
Features and Functionalities
The sleekness of the machine gives you an idea that it’s up for some hidden features. Of course, one of the stunning features of this machine is the ability to make iced coffee without getting too much water into it. Aside from that, you’ll also get to know a lot of other things to help you make a great-tasting coffee at home or work.
Iced Coffee Technology — Since this feature is well advertised, might as well get to it right away. The machine is designed to give you a nice shot of iced coffee. It might take a few seconds for the coffee to come out of the spout because it’s brewing at a lower temperature.
The machine will pre-infuse the coffee first before it extracts all the natural taste from your ground coffee. As a result, you’ll get a nice cold drink without even melting the ice you have in your glass. You can add milk, sugar, or syrup to taste.
Integrated Stainless Steel Burr Grinder — You don’t need to grind your coffee beans on a separate grinder because Dinamica has a built-in grinder. Additionally, it comes with 10 different grinder settings that you can easily dial in if you aren’t satisfied with the strength of your coffee. This tubeless burr grinder keeps the grind retention low so you’ll have freshly brewed coffee on each cup.
Adjustable Manual Milk Frother — No automatic frothing system here. Just like your manual coffee machines, it comes with an adjustable frother to make good milk froth and foam for your specialty drinks. The level of milk froth depends on the setting you select.
Customized One-Touch Drinks — Aside from iced coffee, you can also get the classic espresso, espresso lungo, and drip-style coffee. If you want cappuccino or latte, you’ll do the mixing yourself. Yet, for the aforementioned drinks, with one hit of the button, you can have it quickly.
Quick Heat-up — In less than 40 seconds after turning the machine on, you can make your first cup of coffee. For specialty drinks, you need to wait a few seconds for the machine to get the right temperature for steaming milk. Still, if the machine wakes up from standby, it might take a few seconds more.
Setup and Operation
The machine operation seems simple with a few icon buttons, but if you want to explore the full capabilities of each button, it’ll take some time. Let’s start with the ON button (Wake up button) at the top of the machine. Actually, there’s still one more ON/OFF switch — the main switch — at the back.
At the uppermost part of the LCD, you’ll see warning icons, which either have flashing or steady light. The leftmost icon has flashing light when the machine is heating up. The next icon is for the grounds container — steady (container not detected) and flashing (need to empty).
Next is the icon for the water tank — steady (water tank not detected) and flashing (need to refill water). To the right of the water tank icon is the general alarm with different light meanings. The rightmost icon signals descaling.
Right below is the measuring scoop icon you can activate if you want to use the pre-ground coffee funnel for your decaf and other flavored coffee. Then, you’ll have the bean slider, which indicates not just the coffee strength, but it serves as the main slider for this machine. The bean button below allows you to adjust the level of the beans in the slider.
You can prepare your regular espresso or espresso lungo. To get a double shot coffee, press the 2x button. These buttons have other functions that are all detailed in the user’s manual.
Below is the button for making iced coffee. You press it and you’ll have a café-quality cold coffee beverage. Opposite to it is the drip-style coffee or long coffee button.
You have the steam button below, which doubles as an ESC button. You have to hit this button to steam milk or dispense hot water. To the right of this button is the RINSE button that doubles as an OK button to confirm most of the programmable tasks on this machine.
Among the things you can set and customize are the water hardness, temperature, energy-saving function, reset (default values), beep, and a lot more. You can also program the volume of the drinks as well as the strength of your coffee.
All procedures to personalize your drinks are detailed in the manual. You just have to familiarize yourself because you need to activate a few buttons to set and save your preferences. Also, aside from the customization with the buttons, you can also use the 10 grinder settings to fine-tune your coffee grounds.
Just so you know, the RINSE function will allow you to clean the system, at the same time warm your cups. If you want to get hot water, simply turn the steam/hot water dial to the 1 position and stop it by positioning the dial back to the 0 position.
Now that you know the high-level settings and operation of the machine, let’s make a cup of coffee.
Brewing Capacity and Process
As an espresso machine with a bean-to-cup brewing system, getting your favorite coffee drink in the morning is a breeze. To keep the temperature and nice crema on your coffee, ensure that the coffee dispensing spout is just above your cup. Thankfully, the dispensing spout of the Dinamica is adjustable to accommodate bigger glasses for long coffee and iced coffee.
Let’s get started with a cappuccino. First, you need to brew your coffee. Decide on the coffee strength using the Coffee button. Recommendation, especially for iced coffee is 3 to 5 beans (in the coffee strength).
Next, hit the Espresso button. The machine has a preset volume and will automatically stop. But, you can also interrupt or manually stop the process by pressing the OK button (RINSE button).
Once you have your coffee, next is the milk preparation.
Prepare cold milk and pour your desired milk in a container. It takes a few seconds before the machine can reach the right temperature to generate steam. Hit the Steam button to start frothing.
The good thing about this machine is, it has a dial wherein you can control the flow of steam. You can also adjust the position and angle of the steam wand to achieve the desired foam, froth, and temperature. Don’t boil milk and stop steam (put the dial back to 0 position) once you achieve the perfect milk temperature.
With your espresso and milk, you are now ready to mix them to make a cappuccino. Depending on your creativity, you can make a wonderful finish and coffee art with the foam you get using the milk frother. Very quick and simple.
For the iced coffee, De’Longhi has recommended a procedure, which gives you a great cup of cold coffee. Factory presets are surprisingly great in this machine, so simply put three ice cubes in your glass and press the Over Ice button. It takes a while to prepare, but it’s worth the wait.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Even though it’s a superautomatic machine, the cleaning process isn’t difficult. In fact, with the press of the RINSE button, the machine will clean the machine’s internal unit and water will come out of the coffee dispensing spout. The machine will also run automatic rinsing once you turn the machine off.
One of the parts that you have to clean thoroughly is the steam wand. This machine has a removable steam wand tip that you can easily clean. You can also run hot water or steam to purge out any milk residue.
You can detach various parts for thorough cleaning. The water reservoir, the drip tray, and the coffee ground container are removable for easy cleaning. However, never use abrasive cleaning materials, rather use a soft damp cloth, or simply run hot water through.
Ensure that you have read the recommended cleaning process to keep the optimal performance of the machine. In addition, scheduled maintenance and descaling should be performed when prompted. So, if you are not a fan of reading the user’s manual, perhaps, it’s time to love them.
Accessories and Add-ons
Basically, most superautomatic espresso machines come with a few small things to get started with. It comes with the pre-ground coffee measuring scoop that you must use when making decaf or other pre-ground coffee via the pre-ground coffee funnel. Only one scoop is recommended and that’s what you must put — no more.
The machine has to know the hardness of the water to determine when to descale. Hence, it comes with a “Total hardness test” indicator paper. Likewise, it also comes with a Descaler to make things easier, despite that long process of descaling.
To preserve the natural taste of your coffee, you must ensure the quality of your water. Fortunately, this model has a water filter that you can install easily. It has the instruction’s manual and quick guide for a smooth setup and operation.
It has an ice cube tray (coffee bean-shaped) that is very useful when making iced coffee. You’re also provided with a cleaning brush, which is also a necessity for this espresso machine.
Who is this product for? / Should You Buy this?
Quick heat-up, single-button operation and can make iced coffee. A superautomatic machine that lets you brew a coffee with a press of a button. So, if you’re the type of person who prefers convenience over top-notched coffee quality, the De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM35020B is just what you need.
However, we don’t mean we can’t make great-tasting coffee from the Dinamica. In reality, espresso purists actually don’t need these automatics. They have developed the craft and so, having a fully-automated machine won’t give them much advantage.
Another downside to this particular De’Longhi machine is the lack of more coffee drink options. So, if you are a fan of all those milk-based beverages, you need to exert effort in frothing and steaming manually. Though it has a nice steam wand, again, if you love pressing buttons, this coffee machine needs you to work.
Coffee machines shouldn’t only serve hot coffee. After all, what’s the use of having a super automatic espresso machine at home if you still need to pay a visit to a local café shop for a cup of iced coffee? Interestingly enough, De’Longhi paved the way for iced coffee to superautomatics.
This machine is the first of its kind to offer such great feature that most competitors fail that think of. De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM35020B has a nice LED display, but since it only has icon buttons, it takes time to be familiar with all the controls. But, if you want espresso or a cup of your favorite iced coffee, just one touch and the machine does what it does.
In addition to the iced coffee option, you can extract drip coffee from this fully automatic machine. Although it can’t replace traditional drip coffee makers, it’s a nice alternative. Be dynamic and explore more possibilities in your coffee habits with the Dinamica superautomatic espresso machine by De’Longhi.