For espresso enthusiasts, nothing beats a perfectly prepared latte or cappuccino in the morning. At Fourth Estate, we’re lovers of coffee shops as much as we’re lovers of preparing great espresso at home.
But, as of this writing, with most of the world indoors during the coronavirus epidemic, we’re hearing an unprecedented volume of questions about the best espresso machines.
A lot of people would prefer something simpler to use, however, like super-automatic espresso machines.
And the great news is, some automatic espresso machines now make superior coffee to most commercial machines.
The main difference between these two types of espresso machines is that the automatic espresso machine does all the brewing work for you, all the way from grinding to the frothing of your coffee.
For the automatic espresso machine, you will need to grind the coffee and be in control of the brewing process, knowing when to stop the extraction. And then, of course, froth milk separately.
If you are a coffee enthusiast with a knack for the intricacies of professional coffee making, then the automatic espresso machine suits you.
However, the automatic espresso machine is a perfect choice for those who are very new to home coffee brewing since you do not need to have any barista skills to make a perfect cup of your favorite coffee.
Table of Contents
The 8 Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machines.
In our quest to provide you with a conclusive espresso machine buying guide, we identified several that made it to a list of top choices. These have been carefully rated and found to satisfy all the factors outlined in this article, and are respectively ranked.
1. The Breville Super Automatic Espresso Machine.
For the coffee enthusiast in search of an automatic machine that fits the hook for a great all-round, this Breville is an excellent choice. Owning this machine can only be likened to having an experienced barista in your house, one who knows exactly how you like your coffee, when and always remembers it. It is a machine that allows you to make a variety of drinks and is the perfect definition of a machine making your life convenient, simple, and enjoyable.
- The machine is versatile, and the user can automate functions or decide to go the manual way.
- The dual functionality feature enables you to brew coffee and froth your milk simultaneously, hence saving valuable time.
- The pressure is consistent due to the built-in tamper.
- Automated grinding, tamping, and steaming functions, thus increasing the consistency of the final product.
- The price could be considered too high for some.
- The size of the machine is not ideal for people with limited space in their kitchens.
Features of the Breville Super Automatic Espresso Machine.
Integrated and Customizable Grind.
The Breville features an integrated burr grinder that provides a consistent grind. We all know the grind consistency is one of the main factors affecting the quality of an espresso brew. The grind size is also customizable and enables you to adjust the grind size to get a more customized drink. In terms of the grind feature, the Breville scores a 5/5 rating.
The Breville’s double burner feature enables you to brew your coffee as you steam the milk. This feature ensures your coffee is ready in seconds and is a great plus for coffee lovers with busy schedules. In terms of the boiler type, the Breville scores a rating of 5/5.
The Breville comes with a selection of five preset drinks and allows you to customize as many as eight more preset drinks. This feature not only saves time but also helps ensure you get a consistent quality of brews at all times. This programmability feature scores a 5/5 rating for the Breville, further cementing its position as the top choice of an automatic espresso machine.
For an automatic espresso machine of its capabilities, the Breville is affordable. However, some people could feel that the price leans more on the higher side. The Breville scores a rating of 4/5 on price.
Let us have a look at the pros and cons of the Breville BES990BSSUSC Super Automatic Espresso Machine.
All said and done, the Breville BES990BSSUSC super-automatic espresso machine still emerges a cut above the rest and is a great choice for this category.
2. SAECO Barista Super Automatic Coffee Machine
Trailing the top choice closely is the SAECO HD8964 Gran Barista automatic espresso machine. Complete with a futuristic name to match its unique capabilities, this espresso machine comes loaded with features that will make the coffee enthusiast go gaga. It can be termed as a work of art, due to the level of innovation in its design and efficiency. Let us take a look at some of the features that make this machine so amazing.
- The machine has a great finish and fits flawlessly with the décor of the surrounding kitchen space.
- It comes fitted with both a manual and fully automated frothing modes, thus allowing the user limitless space for creativity and enjoyment of the coffee brewing process.
- Programmable settings that allow the user to store a variety of coffee preferences for fast and consistent coffee brews.
- The machine is fitted with a dual-chamber milk reservoir that allows for a coffee shop quality milk foam, enhancing the wholesome quality of every cup of coffee.
- This machine is taller than the average automatic espresso machine, and therefore might not be the perfect choice for those with limited countertop space.
The SAECO automatic espresso machine comes fitted with six programmable user modes. These enable the user to set different coffee preferences which the machine saves and delivers perfectly at the touch of a dial.
This feature is amazing for those coffee lovers with a hectic schedule since they do not have to manually input preferences each time they need a coffee. On the programmability feature, this machine scored a 5/5 rating.
For the coffee lover who will want to release the barista inside them occasionally, this is a great machine. The SAECO espresso machine comes fitted with both a fully automated milk frothing function, and a manual frothing wand, which enables the user to select the preferred mode.
You can unleash your inner barista by selecting the manual frothing mode and getting a little creative with your coffee! On the frothing feature, this machine scores a 5/5 rating.
Brew System and Cleaning.
Another very important feature of the SAECO automatic espresso machine is the brew system. This machine is fitted with a fully automated clean-up cycle that runs efficiently, keeping the machine superbly clean for quality coffee.
If you are the coffee lover who hates cleaning up the mess after brewing a cup of your favorite coffee, then this machine is worth your consideration. The auto cleaning feature scored a 4/5 rating.
Now that we’ve seen how the SAECO Gran Barista ranks on the features let us check out the pros and cons.
As we have seen, the SAECO Evo Xelsis is a spectacular machine that nicely fits its niche, and will be a valuable purchase for those who select it.
3. The De’Longhi ECAM 22110SB Super Automatic Espresso Machine.
Claiming the third place in our automatic espresso machine selection is the De’Longhi ECAM series. If you are a coffee fanatic looking for the automatic espresso machine to match, then you need to think about acquiring one of these.
The De’Longhi PrimaDonna is designed to suit the needs of the true lover of quality espresso and offers convenience and efficiency that is comparable to none. It is a true testament of the manufacturer’s passion for quality espresso machines and welcome addition to any kitchen countertop.
- The De’Longhi boasts a compact design that saves space and is a good fit for all kitchen types.
- Ease of cleaning, with the automated self-cleaning feature.
- The machine is easy to use and operates without noise.
- The machine may not always display the correct levels of milk or coffee grounds.
Features of the De’Longhi ECAM 22110SB Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Large Milk Reservoir.
The machine comes fitted with a 2-liter milk reservoir that allows the user to make multiple cups of coffee without having to refill. It is classified as an industrial-grade automatic espresso machine and designed to cater for multiple brews at a time.
The De’Longhi Prima Donna features a burr grinder that can be adjusted to 13 different settings, enabling the user to experience more coffee textures and brew varieties at the twist of a knob. This feature is important for the coffee lover who loves experimenting with different coffee drinks, as it allows unique drink customization to suit user preferences. This feature scored a 4/5 rating.
The De’Longhi ECAM features a built-in frothing system that ensures every cup of coffee gets just the right amount of milk needed for the perfect taste. Even better, the frothing system can be adjusted to three different levels to suit your preferences. These levels are “flat white,” “minimal froth,” and “maximum froth.” On the frothing feature, the De’Longhi scored a 4/5 rating.
4. The Jura S8 Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Manufactured by a brand renowned for its high-quality espresso machines, the Jura S8 automatic machine falls into the category of highly sought after machines. Many enthusiasts dream of owning a Jura machine, and if you happen to be one of them, then your chance to own a super awesome Jura machine is here.
- Two-year warranty for the machine.
- The machine is designed to brew both espresso and milk-based coffee drinks.
- It has the capability to froth at a very high level, thus enabling the production of longer coffee drinks.
- It is easy to use.
- It lacks programmable features, and the user cannot save settings for favorite coffee beverages.
- It could seem a little pricey for some people considering the fact that it is not very loaded with fancy features.
Features of the Jura S8 Super Automatic Espresso Machine
The Jura Impressa automatic espresso machine is designed with an automatic self-cleaning function. This function ensures that the machine is well cleaned, without you necessarily having to manually clean the parts, thus assuring you of a perfect quality espresso brew every time. The self -cleaning feature earned a 5/5 rating.
Like most of its peers, the Jura S8 automatic espresso machine comes with a fully automated milk frothing system. This guarantees you unmatched froth consistency for all your coffees.
The fine froth technology produces soft, feather-light consistency milk foams for your coffee, a feature that is hardly matched by any other machine. The frothing feature scored a 4/5 rating.
This automatic espresso machine is covered by a two-year product warranty from the manufacturers. The warranty feature for this machine earned a 5/5 rating.
Stainless Steel Burr Grinders
Grinder quality is one of the factors that determine the true value of an automatic espresso machine.
The Jura S8 machine comes with stainless steel burr grinders that produce a consistent grind silently. The grinder feature for this machine scored a 3/5 rating
5. The De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Highly recommended for the coffee enthusiasts with limited storage spaces, the De’Longhi Esam 3300 Magnifica is one of the smallest detachable brewing systems available currently.
The size should, however, not deceive you into belittling the machine’s capabilities. It is loaded with great features just like the bigger automatic espresso machines are and is described as an all in one espresso machine.
- Compact size, and perfect for any storage space.
- The double boiler feature adds to the value of this machine.
- It can be customized to brew a variety of flavors and coffee strengths in a short time.
- The grinder is more susceptible to clogging by oily beans.
- The grinder can get a bit noisy at times, especially after prolonged use.
Features of the De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Magnifica
Easy to Use
A great feature of this super-automatic espresso machine is the ease of use. A simple push of a button sets the brewing process in motion, and within a few seconds, you will have your cup of coffee ready.
Most buyers list ease of use as one of the most important features to consider when looking for a perfect espresso machine and this machine scored a rating of 5/5 for ease of use.
The De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Magnifica can be programmed to produce a customized brew of coffee, making the feature a priceless addition to an already awesome machine. For an automatic espresso machine of its size and category, the programmability feature earned a 4/5 rating.
As with most automatic espresso machine models, the De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Magnifico is designed to self-clean after use. It is fitted with a decalcification indicator and automatically self-cleans when necessary. For this machine, the self-clean feature earned a 5/5 rating.
For a machine of its compact size, the De’Longhi Magnifico is fitted with a really impressive double boiler system.
This enables the machine to produce more cups of quality espresso brew over a short period of time as compared to most of its peers in this category. This feature earned a 5/5 rating.
All said and done; the De’Longhi Magnifico is a superb espresso machine that easily rises above most of its competitors in the super-automatic espresso machine segment.
This is because many coffee aficionados perceive it as equally capable of the big machines while taking up less space and costing way cheaper than most.
6. The Gaggia 1003380 Academia Super Automatic Espresso Machine
One of the most noticeable things about the Gaggia 1003380 Academia super-automatic machine is the massive size. This massive machine boasts all forms of coffee-making features and easily takes sixth place in our selection.
Gaggia is renowned for producing high-quality espresso/coffee machines, and with the aesthetic features of this machine, they did not disappoint.
- The machine can be programmed to brew as many as 10 cups of quality coffee at a go.
- It comes with a removable milk carafe container.
- One batch of coffee can produce multiple coffee drinks with a few simple commands.
- Self-cleaning function on the milk pitcher, guaranteeing fresh, good quality milk foam for every cup.
- The massive size makes the machine not a good fit for those with limited kitchen storage space.
- The tank capacity is low compared to the production capability of the machine, hence many refill trips.
- The milk frothing system falls just short of the perfect frothing temperature.
Features of the Gaggia 1003380 Academia Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Designed to make your coffee brewing experience simple, efficient, and as enjoyable as possible, the Gaggia Academia features a programmable one-touch button for milk, hot water, and coffee to create your perfect variation of coffee.
This feature ensures consistency in every brew of the programmed coffee, guaranteeing you great enjoyment for every sip you take. The programmability feature for this espresso machine earned a 4/5 rating.
With a machine as massive as the Gaggia Academia, one of the features that come in most handy is the self-cleaning feature. The milk pitcher self-cleans to ensure you always get quality coffee for your enjoyment. The self-cleaning feature scored a 3/ rating for this machine.
Ease of Use
One great benefit of the Gaggia 1003380 Academia super-automatic espresso machine is the ease of use.
Fitted with a smart user interface, brewing a perfect cup of coffee on this machine is a breeze. The ease of use feature for this super-automatic espresso machine scored a 4/5 rating.
The Gaggia 1003380 Academia is fitted with a ceramic material burr grinder, which is coupled with a double lidded aroma preserver and a unique built-in coffee bean hopper.
This exemplary grinder system design helps brew coffees with heavenly aroma and depth, to better satisfy the coffee fanatic in you. The grinder system for this machine earned a 5/5 rating.
7. The Miele Countertop Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Described as being too simplistic for a machine loaded with its features, the Miele CM6350 is the perfect super-automatic espresso machine for the coffee lover with a penchant for the simple things in life. It is not a flashy machine, but it is loaded with some amazing features that make owning one a good thing.
- It is a minimalistic yet efficient espresso machine.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- It is slow as compared to other super-automatic espresso machines.
Highlights of the Miele CM 6350 Countertop Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Ease of Use
One amazing feature of the Miele CM 6350 is the ease of use. You do not need to be a tech geek to brew a perfect cup of coffee on this machine since it is equipped with sensors that will guide you through the process intuitively.
For instance, if the water levels go down, the machine will flash a warning on its screen, reminding you that it’s time to refill the reservoir. The ease of use feature for this machine earned a 3/5 rating.
Pre-set Coffee Menu
As mentioned earlier, the Miele CM 6350 is not a machine for the flashy coffee enthusiasts, but rather it is for those who want a simple, good quality cup of coffee.
In this regard, you do not have to be an expert on brewing coffee to get the perfect latte, macchiato, or cappuccino flavor since the machine comes with preset buttons for these drinks.
It also allows you to do some experimenting on your own if you do not want to use the pre-set options. The pre-set coffee menu feature earned a 4/5 rating.
8. The Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine.
Last but not least, on our top eight machine reviews is the Gaggia Brera. A superb machine designed to deliver the perfect brew of coffee any time, this super-automatic machine comes loaded with some very exciting features for its category.
- Instant heating up to facilitate fast coffee brewing.
- Exemplary Gaggia brand heritage.
- Removable parts, making thorough cleaning easy.
- Not a very durable model.
Features of the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
The Gaggia Brera is fitted with a conical burr grinder that enables you to use your favorite fresh beans from the packet to kick off the brewing process. It also allows you the freedom to use pre-ground coffee any time you want, and still produce the perfect brew. The grinder feature earned a 3/5 rating.
Pre-set Beverage Menu
The Brera comes with a pre-programmed menu of your favorite coffee beverages to make the brewing process simpler and faster. With this feature, your favorite cup of coffee is only the touch of a button away.
However, if you fancy making your coffee from scratch and testing the barista in you, the Gaggia Brera is designed to make the process as enjoyable as possible. The rating score for this feature is 3/5.
Factors to Consider when Selecting a Super Automatic Espresso Machine.
When you think of an automatic espresso machine, you will most probably wonder what is super about it. While the automatic espresso coffee machines are a great deal for home coffee brewers, there are some critical factors to consider when deciding to buy one. These factors include:
- Grinding and Ease of Cleaning.
- Boiler Type and Programmability.
- Water and Milk Frothing.
- Cost and Warranty.
- Buyer Reviews.
Grinding and Ease of Cleaning.
When selecting a great automatic espresso machine, one of the things you need to consider is the grinder. These machines have different grinder settings, grinder types, as well as options for pre-ground coffee.
It is also important to note that most automatic espresso machines have clogging problems when grinding oily coffee beans. These clogged grinders often cause breakdowns in these machines and could lead to poor performance.
A great choice for maintaining your automatic machine is by keeping it clean. The ease of cleaning your machine, therefore, plays a major role in keeping it in good working condition.
As mentioned above, some coffee variations are more likely to cause clogging than others, and therefore your machine should be easy to clean to avoid clogging.
Although most machines have self- cleaning features, it is important to get one that has access to internal parts such as a removable brew head for a thorough cleaning, especially after brewing a dark, oily grind.
Boiler Type and Programmability
Different automatic espresso machines have different types of boilers and Thermo blocks, depending on the level of coffee production the machine is intended for.
Machines intended for a domestic, single cup at a time use have a single boiler and thermoblock. These are used for brewing and frothing the milk, and this means that the machine will take more time to produce a cup of coffee since these steps are done one after the other.
For machines that are intended for the production of multiple cups of coffee or faster coffee production, there is the double boiler or thermoblock feature. This feature allows you to brew espresso shots and prepare lattes at the same time.
Another important feature to consider is programmability. This feature is especially useful for the household that has more than one coffee lover, each with their different coffee preferences.
Some automatic machines allow you to customize the strength and temperature of your coffee, and even select your favorite coffee type from a one-touch display.
Water and Milk Frothing
Milk frothing capability is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting an automatic espresso machine. Some of the machines are fitted with inbuilt automatic milk frothers and carafes, while others come with a connection to a separate milk container.
It goes without saying that if you are a cappuccino enthusiast, you should look for the machine with a quality milk frother, while if you take your coffee black, then the milk frothing capability should not necessarily be a reason for you to spend more money on a machine.
The quality of your espresso brew relies a lot on the quality of the water used. Some automatic espresso machines come with an inbuilt water filtration system that filters out minerals from the water, giving your final brew a succinct blend of flavor, and at the same time, eliminating the need for you to keep decalcifying your machine’s brewing system.
Cost and Warranty
As with the purchase of all items, the cost of the automatic machine plays a huge role in determining the machine you decide to buy. You will probably want to get a great deal for your money, and it is, therefore, wise to look for a machine that matches your quality preferences, as well as your wallet. For most machines, the cost is determined by the brand popularity, unique features as well as market dynamics.
Another important thing to consider is the warranty. All reputable manufacturers offer a one or two-year warranty for their automatic espresso machines. Before deciding to buy a machine, be sure to check the warranty.
A great way to get reliable information about great automatic machines is by going through different buyer reviews on different brands. The top-rated is almost always a great choice, but it is important to take note of all the pros and cons of the different brands as outlined by those who have already bought these machines.
Settle on the machine that suits your needs and one that positive buyer reviews are way more than the complaints. Also worth noting is the company response to buyers, since the same way they respond to negative reviews and complaints, the same way they would respond to you if you need help with your machine.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Super-Automatic Espresso Machines.
Q: How long does it take for an automatic espresso machine to heat up?
A: Some of the cheaper machines take as little as 5 to 10 minutes to achieve an ideal temperature for brewing. However, these machines could have lower-quality materials such as aluminum.
Machines that take a little bit longer to achieve ideal brewing temperatures have better quality metal.
For example, some machines take up to 20 minutes to heat up, and up to 35 minutes to reach the ideal extraction temperature. These machines are durable and are usually better quality than the cheaper variations.
Q: How easy is it to operate an automatic espresso machine in the morning?
A: Some people may wonder how simple it is to get a perfect cup of coffee on an automatic espresso machine in the morning. It all comes down to the machine heat up time.
Some machines, as seen earlier, take more time to achieve optimal extraction temperature than others.
If you are getting late for work, and you cannot get going without your cup of coffee, this could get a bit frustrating.
However, there are some automatic espresso machines that come with an inbuilt start-up timer, which enables you to preset the machine’s start up time.
With this machine, you can set the timer so that the machine heats up well ahead of your rush minutes, thus ensuring you conveniently get your cup of latte ready on time.
Q: What is a heat exchanger in an automatic espresso machine?
The heat exchanger system uses heat transferred from the main boiler to heat brewing water. The main boiler is designed to give out steam from the top, and hot water from the bottom.
A heat exchanger is a metal tube that runs through the main boiler, and in it flows the brewing water. The exchanger gets heat to boil the brewing water within from the surrounding hot water in the main boiler, which is normally set to 100 degrees Celsius.
Q: What is the lifespan of an automatic espresso machine?
A: A well maintained automatic espresso machine should last for at least ten years in good working condition. The durability depends mostly on usage, care and maintenance, and initial machine quality. Some machines have been reported to last for up to 15 years and more.
According to Energy Star, In 2010, there were 24.6million purchases of coffee maker products in the USA. Out of these, 1.4 million (7%) were automatic espresso machines. The household penetration of these machines in the country in 2009 was estimated to be 16%.
Europe leads the world in demand for super-automatic machines. This is due to the high purchasing power of European customers, coupled with the growing interest in the adoption of advanced kitchen appliance technology.
Whereas the process of selecting the right super-automatic espresso machine to fit your individual preferences and needs might seem like a daunting task, this article provides valuable insight on some of the things to consider to ensure you make an informed decision.
After going through the reviews and checking the features and pros and cons of each machine, you will be in a better position to select a machine that will satisfy the coffee enthusiast in you.