Americans drink an average of about three cups of coffee a day.
If you love coffee but don't have the time or barista skills to prepare it, then you probably want to press one button and get a delicious espresso, cappuccino, or latte.
Super-automatic espresso machines perform every step of the brewing process, from grinding the beans to pouring the drink into cups.
We studied customer reviews for 50 models of automatic coffee machines. Our main goal was to choose the best super-automatic espresso machines that can prepare a variety of delicious coffee drinks.
By choosing any model from our list, you can be sure that you will be able to brew quality coffee with minimal effort. Let's take a look!
Jura E8 Chrome
A great choice for those who want to have a personal barista at home. This coffee machine prepares 10 drinks to taste at coffee-shop quality.
• Perfectly accurate built-in coffee grinder
• Brew ristretto, espresso, black coffee, and espresso-based milk drinks
• Easy to use and maintain
Great for those who want to make coffee at home but aren't ready to spend a lot. Includes an essential set of functions for good espresso, plus the ability to automatically prepare drinks with milk.
• Intelligent Aroma Extract system controls temperature and extraction time to brew high-quality espresso
• Modern touch screen display
• Decent foam for cappuccinos and lattes
Gaggia Anima Prestige
Created for the best espresso. Includes five volume and strength settings so you can customize the taste of your coffee.
• Blooming function makes espresso taste better than that brewed by the competition
• Fully automatic creation of cappuccinos and latte macchiatos
• Easy access to the water tank and bean hopper
How to Choose a Super-Automatic Espresso Machine
Super-automatic espresso machines are complex technical devices. They can differ from one other even within the same price category. For this reason, it's helpful to know what to focus on before making a purchase. Let's take a look.
Super-automatic espresso machines have a lot of settings to choose from, and some have more settings than others. Sometimes, two machines with the same function still work very differently. Let's take a look at the basic features of super-automatic espresso machines.
Grind size settings help to adjust the taste of the finished drink.
If your coffee is too acidic or too bitter, you can fix this by playing with the grind size.
Every super-automatic espresso machine has a grinder, but different machines have different numbers of grind size options. Some have 3, some have 12, and some have even more.
Temperature control maintains the temperature of the water, keeping it in the optimal range for making coffee. Some models allow you to select from several temperature modes.
With simpler models, you may be able to choose between low, medium, and high. More complex models allow you to choose a temperature with more precision.
Shot strength is responsible for the amount of ground coffee used to prepare one shot of espresso. It can be configured as a programmable setting in some models, while other models let you set the strength with a dial.
One- or two-shot control determines how many shots of espresso you'll get at once.
Almost every espresso machine has this feature. Moreover, you can choose to pour the shots into either one cup or two cups at a time.
If you want to pour into two cups at once, pay attention to whether an espresso machine makes this convenient. Some machines don't leave space for two cups on the drip tray.
Milk foam settings allow you to set the steam strength and foam quality.
This feature is important for lovers of espresso-based milk drinks. For a cappuccino, the foam should be thicker and denser, and for a latte, it should be softer. Therefore, the wider the range of settings, the more drinks you can prepare.
The pre-programmed drinks function allows you to use ready-made settings to get coffee without any brewing effort. Just choose a drink, press a button, and wait for the machine to dispense your coffee.
This function varies widely across super-automatic espresso machines. Some have 18 recipes, while others can only prepare espressos and lungos.
Super-automatic espresso machines can be operated with buttons or a touch screen.
Some models have buttons for changing settings and also a digital information display.
Every super-automatic espresso machine indicates when it's time to clean it, fill the water reservoir, or refill the coffee bean hopper. Some machines use LED lights for indicators, while others use text or graphics on the display.
When choosing an interface, focus on convenience and your preferences.
Automatic vs Manual Milk Frother
Every super-automatic espresso machine has a milk frother. The frother can be either automatic or manually operated.
The quality of the foam you get depends on many factors, which are especially important if you choose a manual milk frother.
If you aren't familiar with steaming milk and don't want to delve into it, you should take a closer look at the automatic option. An automatic frother not only steams and froths milk on its own but also mixes the coffee and milk in the right proportions for cappuccinos, lattes, and other espresso-based drinks.
The coffee preparation process takes place in the brew group.
Super-automatic espresso machines can have one of two types of brew groups: removable and built-in.
If the brew group is built in, the coffee machine is easy to care for. You don't need to wash the group after each brewing cycle—the inside of the coffee machine is automatically rinsed. The used coffee grounds are sent to a special container, which you just need to periodically unload and wash.
If the brew group is removable, you will need to clean it yourself from time to time. This can actually be a benefit, because you can remove coffee dust from hard-to-reach places.
Water Tank and Bean Hopper Capacity
Pay attention to the volume and location of the water tank and the capacity of the bean hopper.
The larger the water tank, the less often it will have to be refilled.
As for the water tank's location, just make sure it's in a place that's easy to get to so refilling doesn't become a hassle.
The bean hopper is usually filled from the top and is not a problem. But the water tank can be located at the back or on the side of the espresso machine.
It's very inconvenient when the water tank is in the back, so we recommend choosing a model with a side-mounted water tank.
Best Automatic Espresso Machines
Below we have compiled reviews of the best automatic espresso machines by their value for the money. To make your choice easier, we've included specifications for each product. Let's dive in.
1. Jura E8 Chrome — Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine
Jura E8 is like a personal barista at home. This coffee machine prepares 10 drinks to taste at coffee-shop quality.
Editor's Rating: 9.8
The Jura E8 is specifically designed for preparing coffees with milk. The espresso machine has an automatic milk frother that creates long-lasting foam with a creamy consistency.
You can prepare macchiatos, latte macchiatos, cappuccinos, and flat whites just like the ones from your favorite coffee shop.
The quality of the espresso and ristretto is also excellent.
The coffee machine is equipped with special technology to optimize the extraction time. Many users note that the espresso tastes very rich.
The buttons and the TFT display make it very easy to operate this espresso machine. The screen displays precise information about what to do and when, making this machine user-friendly.
2. Philips 1200-Series — Best Budget Choice
If you want all the convenience of a fully automatic espresso machine without spending a fortune, check out this budget model.
Editor's Rating: 9.5
Its main advantage is the Aroma Extract system, which maintains a balance between brewing temperature and aroma extraction. As a result, every shot of espresso is high quality even without any intervention from you.
If you want to brew a shot of espresso to your taste, you can adjust the strength and volume of the drink. And don't be afraid that the quality of the drink will deteriorate. The Aroma Extract system will still maintain a high-quality beverage.
For those who like more control over the taste of their espresso, the machine is equipped with a 12-step grinder. It is made of ceramic, does not overheat the beans, and prepares a uniform grind even at ultra-fine sizes.
But tasty espresso isn't everything. The coffee machine is equipped with a steam wand for preparing milk froth. The only drawback is that it doesn't automatically mix the milk and coffee in the right proportion, so you will have to add the foam to the coffee yourself. But the quality of this foam is really good—it is dense and also customizable.
The machine is easy to maintain. The steam wand can be easily disassembled for cleaning, and you can simply rinse the removable brew group under the tap.
3. Gaggia Anima Prestige — Best For Espresso
Gaggia coffee machines tend to get high ratings on Amazon and on dedicated coffee websites.
Editor's Rating: 9.3
The company calls its Anima Prestige the soul of espresso for a reason. No longer will you get mediocre or disappointing shots.
The Anima Prestige has a pre-wetting (blooming) function. This means that the ground coffee is moistened with water before the main espresso brewing cycle begins.
Blooming improves the quality of the resulting coffee. Therefore, the taste of espresso from this Gaggia espresso machine is loved by coffee connoisseurs.
In addition, you can adjust multiple aspects of your espresso shot. The coffee machine has five options for setting the volume and strength of the drink. This is a great feature if you like a strong espresso or a stronger milk-based beverage.
With Gaggia, you can be sure you are getting what you pay for.
The body of the coffee machine is made of good-quality plastic and the brew group is easy to remove, rinse and replace.
4. De'Longhi Dinamica - Best for Small Office
Dinamica is the new line of super-automatic espresso machines from De'Longhi. It replaces outdated models. There are 4 models in the new De'Longhi Dinamica line, but the ECAM35075SI is the top model in the line and is deservedly considered the best super-automatic machine.
Editor's Rating: 9.1
It received its high rating thanks to its LatteCrema automatic cappuccino maker, 18 customizable recipes, and ease of use.
Operation is more touch-sensitive and convenient than in older models. And the water tank is now inserted from the side rather than the back, making access much easier even in small kitchens.
The machine allows you to adjust the strength of the drinks and the grind size, and you can also customize your favorite drinks. The Dinamica brews great espresso and whips up a great cappuccino froth.
The De'Longhi ECAM35075SI has 18 drink recipes. There are six buttons to select basic recipes: latte macchiato, cappuccino, iced coffee, Americano, coffee, and espresso. Just press a button and get the drink you want. There are also two buttons to prepare additional recipes: "Drink Menu" and "My Menu." Each menu has its own programs and capabilities.
The Drink Menu gives access to additional recipes: lungo, ristretto, doppio+, latte, cappuccino+, espresso macchiato, 2 espressos, 2 lungos, 2 ristrettos, and hot water.
Compared to the previous models, this is a step forward, because earlier models had far fewer programs and recipes.
"My Menu provides a place for your alternative, favorite recipes. You can configure another set of drinks with your own parameters: strength and volume.
Unlike its predecessors, the De'Longhi ECAM35075SI does not have active cup warming; there is only passive heat. However, the Dinamica's advantages over earlier models easily outweighs the loss of active cup warming.
5. Breville Oracle Touch - For Advanced Users
If you are looking for the highest quality espresso, the Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch should be your choice. No other super automatics espresso machine with grinder can make coffee like it.
Editor's Rating: 9.0
The BES990BSS is the most well-equipped professional model. This espresso machine can be used not only at home but also for commercial purposes. It has increased functionality and reliability, but you have to pay for these improvements.
The Oracle Touch fully automates the preparation process, from dosing and tamping coffee grounds to making delicious milk foam and then cleaning the cappuccinatore.
The Breville Oracle Touch has a feature that sets it apart from other super automatic espresso machines—three heating elements: the water boiler, the brewing unit, and the steam boiler. They speed up the process as much as possible, allowing you to simultaneously prepare an espresso or Americano and whip up a gentle foam. The brew unit heating element and digital temperature control guarantee the optimal heating level for the full development of your coffee's taste and aroma.
As for the coffee grinder, the Breville machine also outperforms its competitors. The conical burr grinder has 45 grind size choices. This is the largest figure among the super-automatic espresso machines. It achieves an even grind for flawless extraction of espresso.
There are six drinks pre-programmed in the menu: espresso, americano, cappuccino, latte, and steamed milk. You can also save six personalized recipes with your own names and start brewing with one touch.
The Oracle Touch is very easy to operate. It is controlled by a touchscreen display. You can select a drink and adjust settings with one touch. For maximum convenience, you can set the machine to heat up at the perfect time. You'll wake up and the Breville Oracle Touch will be ready to brew the perfect coffee for you.
What is a super-automatic espresso machine?
A super-automatic espresso machine is the easiest, safest way to brew both espresso and espresso-based drinks. You don't need to have barista skills—the machine will do everything by itself. All you have to do is load coffee beans, fill the water tank, and choose your favorite drink. Just push of a button and get the best espresso.
What Kind of Coffee Can You Make With a Super-Automatic Espresso Machine?
In the buying guide, we pointed out that you should pay attention to what kind of drinks a super-automatic espresso machine can brew. Below, we will look at these drinks in more detail.
Espresso is a strong drink with a small volume, made from finely ground beans brewed under high water pressure. Espressos usually have crema. The ratio of ground coffee to brewed drink should be approximately 1:2.
Americano got its name during the Second World War, while Italy was occupied by US troops. American soldiers, who missed their homeland and black coffee, ordered espressos, which were unusually strong for them, in Italian cafes, and diluted the espresso with hot water to make the drink taste more like filter coffee.
Latte was not invented in Italy. When espresso was first tasted around the world, it was bitter, intense, and for many a completely new taste. Some did not like it, so they added milk to make the drink more palatable. A latte typically has more milk and less foam than a cappuccino.
Cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink with the addition of steamed, foamed milk. A thick layer of creamy foam complements the sweet milk and the rich taste of well-brewed espresso.
A Ristretto differs from an espresso in it uses the same amount of pre-ground coffee, but only half as much water. The drink is always strong and aromatic and always has a dense foam. For a ristretto, only freshly ground coffee beans should be used.
Lungo is prepared in the same way as espresso, but with more water. A lungo tastes more bitter but less strong than espresso. When brewing a lungo, coffee from varieties with a delicate aroma and delicate taste is most suitable.
Basic Principles for Using
After turning on the espresso machine, the first step is to check the system.
- Are there coffee and water in the correct containers?
- Are all parts of the device ready for operation?
Generally, a super-automatic espresso machines will check these things for you. In the event of a malfunction, like a lack of coffee or water, the machine will display a specific message.
The brewing unit is the main unit of a super-automatic coffee machine. It forms a tamped coffee tablet and pushes hot water through the tablet under high pressure, resulting in espresso.
The used coffee grounds are transferred to a special waste container, and unnecessary water is drained. At the end of this cycle, the machine is ready to make drinks again.
Espresso makers differ in the amount of pressure applied to the tamped coffee:
- Super-automatic espresso machines that connect to a water line are capable of 9-bar pressure.
- Machines that do not have a connection to the water supply are capable of 15-bar pressure.
Are super-automatic espresso machines worth it?
Super-automatic coffee machines brew high-quality coffee and are reliable. They can be expensive, but if you use your machine at home instead of visiting cafes, you can recoup the price of your purchase in less than a year. A super-automatic machine will also save you time because you won’t have to leave your home or office to get a delicious drink.
How do super-automatic espresso machines work?
Super-automatic espresso machines include all the basic barista tools that you’d find in a professional coffee shop. Outwardly, they just look like a box with a display, but inside, the whole brewing process takes place. Super-automatic machines control the dosage of water and ground coffee, fill the portafilter and tamp the coffee, heat the water, and steam milk for drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. The whole process is automated; you only need to select a few settings.
How often should I clean my super-automatic espresso machine?
The cleaning frequency differs based on which super-automatic espresso machine you buy. The steam wand must be cleaned after each use if the machine doesn’t clean it automatically. The drip tray and dreg drawer need to be cleaned when they are full—usually, the espresso machine will let you know. The brew groups should be cleaned once a week. Depending on how often you use the machine, you need to descale it once every one to three months.
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