DeLonghi’s latest coffee contraption caters to craft and convenience

Like many people, we’re big fans of the convenience that encapsulated coffee offers, but when we want to dart across the road for some real beans, our machines can’t help us. Fortunately, DeLonghi has a new appliance that solves both dilemmas.

The newbie is the “Dedica,” a product we can only assume is a shortened version of the word “dedicated,” since it does coffee and only coffee, but allows you to pick what style you’re going to make: convenient coffee with a capsule of sorts, or a craftsmanship coffee with real coffee grounds.

To make both kinds of coffee possible from the one machine, the filter holder that you normally tamp ground coffee into can hold either enough for one shot, two shots, or conversely take a pod from the ESE pod system, the latter of which translated to “Easy Serving Espresso” and is roughly translated into a coffee pod in a filter-packed disc.

While not as widely available as either the Nespresso, Map, or Lavazza pods, ESE pods can be found in Australia from select retailers, filled — like the other pod systems — with a preset amount of coffee to deliver espresso quickly and easily, as the name suggests.

Ground coffee and ESE pods from one system. Colour us intrigued.

But that’s the convenience side of things, and the DeLonghi Dedica isn’t just for that, with the machine’s coffee basket also able to deliver regular espresso, provided you’ve managed to grind your beans down to a usable density.

For either type of coffee, there’s a thermoblock to heat the water up quickly — much like the Nespresso machines DeLonghi makes — making it possible to not just warm up the water for a coffee but also dispense hot water like a kettle as well, while the steam wand includes two valves to steam up the milk for cappuccino froth.

And to keep the cups warm, you’ll find a cup warmer on the very top of the machine, which won’t mean a dramatic drop in temperature when hot coffee is poured into warm cups, compared to what happens when it’s poured into something much colder.

Regardless of all the features, convenience is still the name of the game, with three buttons — one cup, two cup, and steam — provided, with a recommended retail price of $349, a value that puts the machine on the same sort of level as the mid-range encapsulated coffee machines.

August is when DeLonghi’s Dedica should be hitting stores, and we should have a review of it shortly too, hopefully just before stores grab it, so stay tuned.