Greetings Dear Readers and fellow coffee lovers. We have prepared this guide summarizing and reviewing the best automatic espresso machine so that you can easily find the one that fits your needs.
We know it can be confusing as there are a ton of options to choose from, and what the best automatic espresso machine means for you depends on your circumstances.
So we have tested and reviewed all the machines on our list and have come up with the best automatic espresso makers for different categories.
Let’s go straight to it!
There are lots of super-automatic espresso machines that fit different circumstances. So there is no “best” coffee machine. For this reason, we selected the best for different categories.
Check out our overviews below and click on "Read More" to jump down to the in-depth reviews:
De'Longhi Dinamica LatteCrema
Breville Oracle Touch
Philips 3200 LatteGo
Most Intuitive Design
De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM3300
Best for Compact Spaces
Best for Small Offices
Best for Purists
Now stick around so you can learn more about each automatic espresso machine, how we tested them and what you should look for when you're shopping for one!
This is our choice for the overall best automatic espresso machine. It packs Jura’s latest patented technologies, prepares amazing coffee like in a coffee shop, and it’s not as expensive as some of the higher-end models such as the JURA S series.
One of the highlights of the Jura E8 is excellent espresso pulls for a system that does not incorporate a portafilter. JURA has achieved great quality coffee thanks to its plethora of technologies included in the E8.
For example, Jura’s Pulse Extraction System (PEP) releases hot water in short bursts, enhancing the flavor of your coffee while shortening the brew time.
Under the hood you will also find the 3D brewing technology (ensures water evenly flows through the coffee grounds), and the Intelligent pre-heating system (ensures all components are hot).
This super automatic espresso machine also packs the Professional Aroma Grinder, one of the quickest and quietest built-in coffee grinders. The grinder can be adjusted to 7 settings.
These technologies allow you to brew high quality coffee efficiently and quietly with the press of a few buttons.
The user can easily navigate through the menus with the help of a full color screen and six buttons. There are 17 different pre-programmed coffee drinks that can be further customized. When you select a type of drink, the coffee machine prompts you to choose the strength level, volume, and so on, which can be saved for future use.
One of its most practical features is the extra espresso shot function. The extra shot function works by holding the gear function and then selecting the extra shot function. This setting is only available for some drinks, which are identified in the menu with a coffee bean icon.
This super automatic espresso machine also has a café barista option that prepares a true Americano. It first pours the espresso shot, followed by hot water using its hot water dispenser.
The automatic HP3 milk frother uses a pipe which can be submerged in a milk container and prepares great milk foam. However, the milk temperature and the amount of foam cannot be controlled. Instead, Jura has opted to program the foam level into its pre-programmed coffee drinks such that the amount of foam in a latte or cappuccino would differ.
Unfortunately, this machine does not include a proper milk jug or container. You will need to use your luxurious JURA E8 with a milk carton as jug, which by the way is not good for the milk. You will need to spend more to you purchase the JURA glass milk jug ($50) or the JURA Cool Control ($360).
We really like the automatic milk cleaning system as milk stuck inside the machine can be unhygienic.
Cleaning is facilitated by means of a graphical interface showing you with a progress bar when the next cleaning cycles are due. There are also notifications that will not go away unless you run the appropriate cleaning cycle.
And that is good, because finding chunks of stale milk in your drink is enough to put someone off milk for life.
There are only a few cons with this machine, so this might seem a bit picky. Some parts such as the tray are made of plastic and may feel a bit cheap.
Another potential issue is that the brew group is fixed, which means you will never be able to clean this machine as well as others that allow the removal of the brew head. This is a pattern with JURA’s machines.
Finally, some features are missing such as a cup warmer and user profiles.
Further, as we noted, no proper milk jug is included, and wireless adaptors for connectivity are also not included, despite the JURA E8 being a wireless machine.
For more info, check our detailed JURA E8 review!
The De'Longhi Dinamica LatteCrema stands out because of its excellent value. It's a bit loud and forgoes unnecessary features such as a color touchscreen and wireless connectivity, but it costs over $1,000 less than its competitors while providing a similar number of features and drink customization options.
The DeLonghi Dinamica LatteCrema packs a punch despite being over $1,000 cheaper than some of higher-end automatic espresso machines in this guide.
This does not mean the coffee quality or component quality has been sacrificed. Instead, DeLonghi has strategically omitted some features to keep the cost as low as possible.
For example, you will notice that although there is an LCD screen, it's a monochrome and not a high resolution one.
Also, you will not find the glossy finishes or multiple LED lights from JURA, and the grinder and brewing is louder than average.
But again, these small inconveniences/omissions will save you over $1,000 and if you really want a color screen you can get the Dinamica Plus.
The Dinamica LatteCrema will still look great in any kitchen with its small footprint and modern design.
And it just does not look great, under the hood you will find a lot of technology to prepare delicious coffee. Indeed, we think this is one of the most cost-effective fully automatic espresso machines in the market.
There are a total of 18 pre-programmed coffee drinks - the highest number out of all of the machines reviewed here. In addition, there are 6 "directly selected beverages" that have their own dedicated touch sensor.
One of the most features is the TrueBrew Over Ice, DeLonghi’s proprietary iced coffee feature. It accounts for ice melt to dispense delicious iced coffees.
There are two menus; the "Drink Menu" and the "MyDrink Menu”. In practice, both menus can be used as 2 user profiles which is great for sharing this machine.
For all the drinks, you can customize the coffee strength (5 levels), the temperature (4 levels), the coffee and milk volumes, and the milk texture.
The LatteCrema automatic milk frother is excellent and offers a continuous scale of milk texture, from no foam to lots of foam for a cappuccino. Changing the milk texture is done with the dial on the frother.
The cleaning programs are robust (but a bit messy) and will tell you when maintenance cycles are due, such as rinsing and descaling. The LatteCrema milk frother can be disassembled for a thorough clean and is dishwasher safe. You can remove the brew unit - and we are glad you can because even after running the cleaning cycles we found coffee grounds upon removal.
For more info, check our detailed DeLonghi Dinamica LatteCrema review!
If you are a coffee snob and want all the bells and whistles, this is the best automatic espresso machine for you. It ain’t cheap, and it's quite large, but this espresso machine is as close as it gets to having a commercial espresso machine with your own private barista at home.
This machine also made our best Breville espresso machine list!
The Breville Oracle has a beautiful stainless steel body with a beautiful full-color touch screen. It is quite bulky, but it is an impressive sight in the kitchen.
One of our favorite features of this machine is the 58-mm commercial grade portafilter!
The Oracle’s portafilter is of commercial grade and made of solid stainless steel. It includes two single-wall baskets, for single or double espresso shots. It also has a double spout, which allows you to pour two espresso shots at the same time.
You may say, this looks like a semi-automatic espresso machine!
But fear not, the dosing, grind and tamping is done automatically by the Oracle. And it does it really well. Oracle has addressed the gap between semi-automatic and fully automatic machines with this machine. All you need to do is move to portafilter from the grind out let to the coffee outlet.
This machine has dual stainless steel boilers, which allow you to brew coffee while using the steaming wand. In addition, the PID temperature control ensures precise water temperatures, while the Over Pressure Valve (OPV) prevents overpressure during the extraction process, avoiding bitter flavors in your coffee.
The oracle also pre-infuses the coffee grounds using low pressure at first and then increases the pressure to extract a delicious espresso. The pre-infusion time is programmable.
With these technologies and the use of a portafilter, the Oracle Touch makes delicious espressos that will rival your local coffee shop! You will definitely get better results than other automatic espresso machines in this list - nothing beats freshly ground beans brewed in a portafilter.
Another advantage of using a portafilter is that coffee grounds don’t actually get inside the brewing components of the machine. So this means less chance of nasty gunk accumulating inside your precious espresso machine. This is likely to increase the durability of your coffee machine. It’s a much cleaner process.
Another highlight of this machine is the automatic steam wand with 9 levels of texture to choose from, and a temperature range between 104 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit (40 to 75 degrees Celsius).
We were skeptical at first; filling the milk pitcher and then leaving the wand unattended seems counterintuitive. But the results were amazing! The milk micro-foam was perfect for latte art. However, there is a manual mode for the more savvy user.
Also, once the frothing is done, the wand cleans itself by pushing hot steam through it.
The Breville Oracle Touch comes with 5 pre-programmed specialty coffee drinks, and each can be fully customized, including 45 levels of grind fineness, pre-infusion and extraction time, and the milk temperature and texture. The water temperature can also be programmed.
You can also develop 8 coffee drinks and save them for future use. Heck, you can even name them after yourself!
As you can see, this automatic espresso machine is truly a technological marvel. It is not perfect though. It takes quite a bit of time to heat (although you can program it so that it’s ready when you’re ready) and it is quite bulky. It may not fit in some kitchens.
Finally, it is quite pricey, but this is the crème de la crème!
For more info, check out our detailed Breville Oracle Touch review!
Most Intuitive Design
The Philips 3200 LatteGo may not have as many bells and whistles other super automatic espresso machines in this list. However, it's the most intuitive machine to use - so much that you can learn how to use it by simply looking at the control panel. It's also extremely easy to clean and keep in top shape - no complicated cleaning procedures for the frother here.
If you are always on the go and are looking for a no-fuss machine that requires little energy and time from you, and does not break the bank, this might be it!
The Philips 3200 LatteGo was designed around seemingly impossible engineering design constrains. This machine prepares great espresso drinks, while being compact, supremely easy to use and to clean, it has a sturdy build quality, and importantly, the price is right.
This machine measures 9.6W x 14.6H x 17.0D inches (24.6W x 37.2H x 43.3D cm), so it should fit on most kitchen countertops. The removable water tank can hold 60.9 oz (1.8 L) of water, and the bean hopper has a capacity of 9.7 oz (275 g). These are more than adequate for a machine this size.
The most prominent feature, besides the LatteGo system, is the tactile control panel. It consists of buttons for the drink menu and customization, with lights that turn on/off to graphically indicate the status of your machine or the customization level of your drink.
It is so well designed and intuitive you could skip reading the instructions manual. Want an espresso? Press the espresso button and the drink customization lightbulbs will turn on to display the currently selected coffee customization settings. When you're ready, press the Start button to initiate the drink preparation.
The espresso itself is good, although the default settings were not to our satisfaction. We did have to change the grind level to a finer one, increase the coffee strength to the max level and the coffee volume to the minimum level. The resulting espresso was surprisingly good!
The LatteGo system readily dispenses sweet and creamy milk froth, but the milk temperature and texture are not customizable. The milk texture was a bit thick, which is ideal for a cappuccino but certainly not appropriate for latte art.
One of the highlights of the LatteGo system is its simplicity. It consists of 3 pieces, making it one of the simplest frother designs out there. This makes it the easiest-to-clean milk system we have tested so far. You can throw it in the dishwasher or rinse it with water and some soap - a process that takes less than a minute.
Finally, the Philips 3200 offers excellent value for money. Philips omitted features such as milk customization, a digital display, user profiles, a cup warmer or wireless connectivity to bring the cost down.
We agree with Philips' approach here. Only the most important features were kept to ensure a great user experience, delicious espresso-based drinks and easy cleaning and maintenance.
Read a more detailed review of the Philips 3200 LatteGo here!
The De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica is a very good value super automatic coffee machine. It's likely the one of the best value De'Longhi espresso machines thanks to its many features, it brews good quality espresso and lattes/cappuccinos, all for a low price. If you want an entry-level automatic espresso machine, this is it!
De’Longhi has done a great job in selecting only the necessary technology and components to keep the price low while still providing a great coffee experience.
Indeed, this relatively low-cost espresso machine features DeLonghi’s patented Tubeless System (TB), which is a technology that minimizes the amount of leftover coffee dust left in the grinder, which can eventually become stale. This ensures only the freshest coffee is brewed.
The Magnifica also includes De’Longhi’s patented Direct-to-Brew system to almost instantly brew the coffee grounds after grinding, while featuring a 15 bar pump to ensure a high quality espresso.
This espresso machine has a steel burr grinder with 13 grind settings which can be adjusted with a dial underneath the coffee bean chamber cap. However, this grinder tends to be quite loud. So if it’s early in the morning and you want to prepare some coffee, you might wake up all the sleepy heads still snoring.
Another interesting piece of technology is the patented Cappuccino System which uses a Panarello milk steam wand. It's a manual milk frother, but fear not, even a beginner can prepare a great latte or cappuccino using this system.
The manual steam wand can easily be disassembled for cleaning (milk stuck in there is no good!).
To offer the best possible value, Delonghi has opted to omit fancy screens. The machine is operated by 6 buttons and 3 dials. The user interface is very intuitive; the water quantity and the coffee strength can be controlled with two separate dials while the steam wand is operated with another dial.
The dials have 12 and 13 marked settings for the coffee brew size and coffee strength. Using dials makes customizing your coffee intuitive and you can always see the settings at a glance.
The 4 buttons on the top left corner of this espresso machine control the power unit, whether you want one or two espresso cups, and activate the water dispenser.
Another feature we like is that the water tank comes out from the front of the machine, which is convenient. There is also a pre-ground coffee bypass if you opt to use it. But if you feel like an espresso lungo (one of my favorites), don't use this! We always recommend you use freshly ground coffee beans!
The fully removable brew group allows for deep cleaning, which should lengthen the lifespan of your automatic coffee machines (if you actually deep clean it of course!). However, this machine is not compatible with water filters meaning you should not skip descaling cycles!
Finally, the top of this machine gets quite warm and can be used to warm your coffee cup.
As you can see, the ESAM 3300 Magnifica offers a lot for a low price. What is the catch?
There are some downsides such as a lack of programmability and customization. Other espresso machines feature many pre-programmed drinks, can adjust the milk temperature and foam texture, and feature automatic frothing, and nice-looking touch screens. The Magnifica does not.
Also, there is a lot of plastic which makes it feel a bit cheap. We are left to wonder if internal components are also made of cheaper plastic materials, potentially impacting the lifespan.
Nonetheless, you get what you pay for, and one could argue if it’s worth paying an extra $1,000 to get above lacking features. This machine has been a favorite for many years, and with good reason!
Read a more detailed review of the De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM 3300 here!
Miele has outdone itself, the Miele CM6350 is definitely one of the top super automatic espresso machines in the market. It has a ton of programmable features, and most importantly, delivers very good, hot coffee drinks whether it’s espresso or lattes!
We like its unique long design, it’s longer than most automatic espresso machines. The intent is to trade off width and height with length, resulting in a narrower, shorter machine. We think it’s a great idea because based on our experience, width tends to be the limiting factor when trying to fit an espresso machine in your countertops.
This is one of the most programmable machines we have ever come across. You can virtually customize everything, including (but not limited to!) the pre-infusion time, the coffee dose, the drink length, and the milk and water temperature for each pre-programmed drink.
This is made convenient by using the 4 available user profiles. That means you could fine-tune your espresso exactly the way you want it, without having to continuously change the settings because someone else in the household has different preferences.
It of course has a pre-ground by-pass, for those who want decaffeinated coffee in the evening. However, please don’t use pre-ground coffee as this is one of the best super automatic espresso makers and thus it would be a waste of its capabilities.
The User Interface is very intuitive thanks to its large and clear display, although it’s not a touch screen. The buttons are a very good alternative to save cost; I would rather have cost savings with the screen than the actual inner components such as the brew group.
It can brew espresso that is delicious and piping hot, like at a coffee shop. To do so, Miele has included its AromaticSystem; the brew chamber expands once hot water flows in, to allow a thorough mix of water and coffee. This might be why the brewing process was on the slow side, but a few seconds is a good trade-off for good quality coffee.
The cappuccinatore milk frothing system uses a milk carafe and it is automatic and quick while delivering great consistency. However, the milk temperature cannot be changed and may not be as hot as some people like it.
One of the best things about the frothing system is how it cleans itself. You connect the tube to the drip tray, and the machine pushes very hot water, thoroughly removing the milk.
The drip tray is on the large side, which is good given the milk cleaning system.
Another very important feature is that the brew unit can be taken out for deep cleaning. It is located behind the panel on the right side of this coffee maker with grinder. Behind this panel, there is also storage for the milk frothing system tube and the grind adjustment dial.
A unique feature of the Miele CM6350 is that it can also brew a pot of coffee for up to 8 cups. This is very practical if you have a large group of people and can’t bother to prepare 8 types of specialty coffee. However, the carafe is not included and must be purchased separately.
There are only a few cons. Depending on your kitchen, the extra-long design might be a con; you might have more width than depth in your kitchen counter.
Another issue is that a water filter cannot be installed, potentially meaning more decalcification cycles. You also should make sure the water hardness settings in the machine are set correctly.
Finally, we discussed that the hot milk and frothed milk temperatures cannot be changed, and they may not be as hot as some people like it.
For more info, check our detailed Miele CM6350 review!
Best for Compact Spaces
This is a compact fully automatic espresso machine that incorporates the latest patented techs from Jura to ensure excellent quality coffee drinks. It is ideal for small kitchens with limited counter space.
This is a very compact machine, which is its strength. Jura somehow managed to fit their latest technology into a small frame, which means you are not sacrificing coffee quality oversize.
We like the modern and slick design, with a beautiful crystal-looking water tank. It’s made of plastic but this design gives it the illusion of being made out of glass. It also features an orange light that lights up when preparing your drink - it’s a nice touch that makes the machine look even more attractive.
It includes Jura’s AromaG3 grinder, which is quick and quiet. This machine also makes use of Jura’s patented Pulse Extraction Process (PEP) technology. This system basically sends short bursts of pressured hot water which makes the extraction process quicker and helps highlight the bean coffee flavor profiles.
The hot water spout is placed at a convenient location, which means you won’t have to move your coffee cup when preparing an Americano.
Like most other super automatic machines, a pre-ground coffee bypass is included covered with a chrome flap on top. However, to make the best out of your machine you should be using whole bean coffee. That is unless you need coffee that is decaffeinated because it’s 10 PM.
One of the strengths of this machine, besides its compact size, is its customizability.
Programming and customizing drinks can be done so easily thanks to the full-color LCD screen and just 4 buttons on the sides of the screen.
The controls are intuitive. For each of the 10 pre-programmed drinks, the volume, strength, temperature, and milk foam amount can be customized by simply holding the circle button. Once all is set, the machine will remember these settings for the next time.
Another example of customization is when pouring a drink, you can cancel at any time. This will prompt the save option for future use.
The milk frother is adequate; however, only one type of milk foam texture is available. It has a frothy airy texture that may not be suitable for all drinks.
One of the issues of this machine is the small coffee bean hopper and water tank. This is one of the tradeoffs for compactness. Unless you live in a small household you may have to fill the coffee bean hopper and water tanks more often than other super automatic espresso machines.
So the Jura ENA 8 is best for a small household with small kitchen counters.
The drip tray has too many parts in our opinion which means more cleaning. For example, it has a cap to avoid spilling, but the cap needs washing too.
Jura has also incorporated a good cleaning and maintenance program. For example, if you use the milk frothing system, an icon will light up on the screen to remind you to activate the cleaning mode. The machine also prompts you when descaling is needed.
This super automatic machine is also quite pricey, not too far away from models like the Jura E8 or the Miele CM6350, which are higher end. You are paying for compactness, so if you have plenty of counter space, perhaps it’s best to get the Jura E8 or Miele CM6350.
For more info, check our detailed JURA ENA 8 review!
Best for Small Offices
Let’s face it, office coffee has a bit of a bad reputation. You know, those large coffee thermos that keep not-so-fresh coffee warm, and ends up “marinating it” for hours? You certainly don’t want to offer that to a Client coming to the office!
Well, you can actually have delicious coffee in the office! If you’re in the position to order a new coffee machine for the office, check out the Jura WE8 Professional! You will not be disappointed!
The Jura WE8 is a super automatic espresso machine designed specifically for small offices. Jura recommends a maximum daily output of 30 cups, which should be more than sufficient for small offices.
This espresso machine is replete with different technologies to allow you to have delicious specialty coffee in the office, by simply pressing a button using the One-Touch function.
The user can easily select one of the 12 specialty drinks already pre-programmed using the beautiful TFT LCD screen that adorns this espresso machine. Navigation is achieved using the buttons on the sides of the screen.
It prepares coffee drinks extremely quickly, which is needed in the office.
For example, it takes about 60 seconds to prepare two cups of coffee, 45 seconds to prepare 2 espresso drinks, or 30 seconds to prepare 2 ristretto espressos.
This is achieved using the AromaG3 built-in grinder, which offers six levels of grind. This is a quick and quiet burr grinder with angled blades. The brewing unit utilizes Jura’s Pulse Extraction Process (PEP) technology, which pushes short bursts of hot water through the coffee grounds, which helps highlight the coffee flavor profile and does so efficiently and quickly.
There are tons of coffee settings available, including 8 adjustable coffee strength levels, 3 different water temperatures, and 2 brewing temperatures. Each pre-programmed drink can also be customized and easily saved for future use.
A handy feature of this espresso machine is that you can lock some settings with a pin to avoid people in the office messing with it too much.
This automatic espresso machine also offers convenient access to the giant water tank and bean hopper, which are quite large, which again is ideal for the office environment. They can hold 101 oz (3 L) and 17.7 oz (500 grams) of water and beans ,respectively.
The automatic frothing system is more than adequate; however, this machine does not include a milk jug despite its high cost.
Jura has done a good job in designing convenient integrated cleaning and descaling programs, to make it easy to maintain the office’s fully automatic machine in top shape. Indeed, this machine is certified to TÜV Rheinland standards and with its CLEARYL filters you don't have to descale it. This is a plus as hygiene in the office is essential.
This machine has nice modern chrome aesthetics but lots of plastic. But this also means it’s not as heavy as it looks.
It is quite large, so it does not fit everywhere, but in the office, there should be more room than at home.
Finally, this is a wireless espresso machine; but the wireless adaptors are not included with this machine.
Best for Purists
As we mentioned earlier, Jura is a great coffee maker, especially because making coffee with it becomes a simple and luxurious experience!
The Jura A1 is the perfect espresso machine for you if you don’t care much for milky drinks.
That’s because this machine makes coffeeshop level black coffee drinks, like a heavenly espresso lungo, but cannot make drinks with milk like espresso macchiato, latte macchiato, cortados, cappuccinos...you get the idea.
The Jura A1 replaces the previous JURA ENA Micro 1. With a similar design and aesthetics, the Jura A1 at first glance seems like a very similar machine.
However, the A1 now incorporates Jura’s latest brewing technology to prepare outstanding barista-quality espresso and ristretto drinks. It uses the patented Pulse Extraction Process (PEP) which forces hot water in short bursts through the coffee, allowing full development of the coffee flavors.
This super automatic espresso machine also features the AromaG3 burr grinder which is now twice as fast as the previous iteration. The grind consistency can be adjusted in a continuous 5-point scale by manually turning a switch to the left or the right.
This grinder is relatively quiet, especially given the grinding only lasts a few seconds.
We like its simple minimalist and compact design that can fit on most kitchen counters. It has a very intuitive no-fuss user interface, which makes it easy to prepare espresso coffee with the press of a single button.
This machine offers a powder chute for ground coffee. However, unless you have a guest that hates caffeine, we don’t see why you would use this option.
For more advanced users, this simple design has its drawbacks. It only features two coffee strength options, normal and strong, represented by one and three beans, respectively. In terms of drink types, it can only prepare three drink types of coffee, namely ristretto, espresso, and regular coffee.
However, the amount of water used for each option can easily be saved for future use. In addition, the water temperature cannot be controlled.
Another drawback is that this automatic espresso machine does not have a frothing system. This can be seen as an advantage, however, if you only like black coffee, since you would not be paying for the cost of such a system. Alternatively, if you only very occasionally have milk with coffee, frothing milk could be done with a cheap stand-alone frother.
Also, if you like Americanos you are out of luck. There is no hot water dispenser.
In terms of maintenance, the brew group is fixed, so it may not be possible to clean it as well as other espresso machines. However, this automatic espresso machine includes robust maintenance programs for cleaning, descaling, and changing the filter.
The best super automatic espresso machine does not necessarily mean the most expensive one or the one with the most features. The best machine will depend on YOUR needs and where you’re going to use it.
So before you click that purchase button, make sure you consider the following points!
There is no point in purchasing an automatic espresso machine with a fancy milk frothing system if you only care about pure dark espresso! Not only will it add additional cost to your desired machine, but this will also add an additional point of failure!
So before you make a purchase, think of the drink YOU drink daily. If you mostly drink espresso and Americanos but very occasionally have a latte, it might make sense to skip on machines with milk frothing systems to save money, and instead go to your local coffee shop for the occasional latte.
If you live in a small condo and kitchen counter space is premium, that could rule out many machine models. So make sure you measure how much space you have, and also check the vertical clearance between your kitchen counters and kitchen cabinet doors! It would be very disappointing to finally receive your espresso machine and then find out it does not fit! You’d then have to return it, and you may have to pay restocking fees!
Also, in general, a smaller machine means a smaller price.
If you live alone, then this is not much of a concern.
But if you have a large family of coffee drinkers, get a machine with a large water tank and bean hopper! Having to constantly re-fill the water tank and bean hopper because you bought a machine suited for a single user can become bothersome really quickly.
Home automatic espresso machines are designed to be used relatively lightly. So if you’re purchasing for the office, don’t get a home espresso machine or it will break very quickly. You need to get a machine designed specifically for the office.
These machines tend to be more expensive given their higher expected duty cycle. They also tend to have larger water tanks and two bean hoppers. The user interface is usually ‘foolproof’ and you can lock some settings (so that people in the office don’t mess with it!)
Does it take 5 minutes or 15 minutes per day to clean and maintain your machine? This is important because if it takes too long, most likely you won’t do it. And this could mean your super automatic espresso machine becomes a living colony. Yuck.
This also deteriorates your coffee drink quality and will eventually shorten the lifespan of your machine.
Ideally, daily maintenance should include:
If your machine is well-designed, doing the above tasks shouldn’t take long - just a few minutes.
It really helps if the brew head is removable. Some brands like Jura don’t allow you to remove it. They are very confident about their cleaning cycles…but we find it hard to believe it matches a good old-fashioned manual cleaning.
Also, check if the espresso machine has cleaning and maintenance prompts and programs. I’m a forgetful person and would very quickly forget when was the last time I changed the water filter or ran the descaling cycle…
Remember, you are paying for all the features you get. If you’re an advanced user who wants to play with all kinds of grind settings, water and milk temperatures, milk textures, pre-infusion times, dosage, and so on, then it would make sense to get an advanced automatic espresso machine.
But if you don’t really care about this jargon, and you just want to press a button and have great espresso-based drinks, then get a simple machine! You will save on costs.
Automatic espresso machines are expensive, there is no way around it. However, knowing what you need and don’t need can help you shave off a few dollars.
Here are some components and features that drive the price up.
A super automatic espresso machine is one that grinds, extracts the coffee, froths the milk, and then cleans itself, by simply activating the drink of your choice by pressing a few buttons. As opposed to a manual espresso machine, you don’t need much skill to operate these.
There are some variations within this category. For example, some will require you to move your cup to the water dispenser or milk frother, while others such as the Oracle Touch, use a portafilter, and are a hybrid between semi-automatic and fully automatic espresso machines.
Please use coffee beans and ignore the by-pass for pre-ground coffee. Use medium to dark roasted coffee beans for espresso-based drinks. Some machines reviewed above brew coffee, so you can use lighter roasts as well.
Be careful when using oily beans, check the manufacturer's instructions as it could clog your machine. You need to be especially careful if you have a Jura as you cannot remove the brew group for cleaning. Others, like the Oracle Touch, have a portafilter which is a much cleaner system as coffee and water don’t mix inside your machine.
This depends on your personal circumstances. Do you live in a small apartment with a small kitchen and need to save precious counter space? Or are you a coffee snob like me, and want to get all the bells and whistles? Or do you drink your coffee black? Or maybe your favorite drink is a latte macchiato.
We hope this guide has proven useful in your quest. As you can see, there are no best automatic espresso machines as this depends on your needs.
If these machines are out of your budget then check out our review on the best espresso machine under $1000.
Let us know if you are looking at a fully automatic espresso machine that's not in this guide, that you would like us to review!