When you are rushing around in the morning, it can be a lifesaver to have a little machine to prepare your coffee for you while you butter the toast.
As convenient as automatic espresso machines are, you still have to do a little bit of work to get your morning coffee by grinding the beans, weighing them into the filter, and tamping the grounds.
However, don’t be put off by this because it’s easily done and results in a delicious espresso.
If you don’t have an automatic espresso machine yet then it can be a bit daunting when you see the different terms such as fully automatic, semi-automatic, and super-automatic but it’s quite easy to learn what machine to look for once you know what these terms mean.
A fully automatic espresso machine uses a mechanism known as a flow meter to stop the shot of espresso when a specific amount has been emptied into the cup.
All you have to do once you have added the coffee grounds is press a button and the machine will take care of the rest. Since it has an automatic shut off point, you can leave it unattended while you do other things without worrying that the cup will overflow.
This type of automatic is quite similar to the fully automatic model except that it has no flow meter, and it is up to you to stop the shot. This is a popular choice for baristas as they can cater to each customer and drink.
Super-automatic espresso machines are for those who want to do as little manual coffee preparation work as they can, and there is no shame in that because not everyone has the time to grind and tamper their own beans.
These machines have a built-in coffee grinder and let you set your preferred strength of coffee, temperature, volume, and more which is like having your very own barista in your kitchen. You don’t even have to froth the milk yourself either!
OUR TOP PICK
This espresso machine has a sleek, compact design and will fit perfectly on your kitchen counter. It has a pump that heats and steams your coffee faster than other machines on the market and gives you the ability to program the temperature, and the strength of the coffee to your liking.
You can also adjust the height of the dual spout which has fine foam technology, making your espresso look neat and professional. As well as this, the dual pipes of milk and coffee provide a high standard of hygiene.
If you fancy having something other than espresso, you can make a latte macchiato, café crème, cappuccino, or just hot water all from just the push of a button.
An aroma preservation seal is used to keep the bean container tight and allow the beans to stay fresh for longer which also makes the aroma more intense when it is in the cup.
- Compact – you do not have to clear a lot of space on your counter for this machine to fit
- Programmable – the temperature, and strength of the coffee can be altered
- Temperature – there are only two temperatures to choose from which still may not be hot enough for some users
Providing a user-friendly interface in the form of a touchpad gives you numerous options you can select to make the perfect coffee.
When you brew a drink in this machine, you can change the settings to fit your preferences and it will remember it for next time so that you don’t have to keep on inputting it every morning.
There is an impressive selection of 12 beverage types that you can choose from that you can have as is or use as a base for you to customize.
You can change the temperature, strength, and volume of the drinks as well as the amount of milk you want which can be produced in four different ways to complement the specific drink you have asked for.
It uses an improved drip tray and cup riser that prevents spills and splashes and can fit cups of up to 6-inches which is great for travel cups.
This is a super-automatic machine that grinds the beans for you in its flat ceramic burr grinder that grinds the coffee even and consistently.
To make things even easier, it has an auto-frothing carafe that securely locks into the machine and acts as milk storage for whenever the machine needs it, when not in use make sure you store this carafe in the fridge to keep it fresh and chilled.
- 12 Beverages – a very good selection of drinks to choose from
- Auto-frothing carafe – the milk is right there when it is needed and froths it automatically
- Self-cleaning – it does not have a self-cleaning function
If you are new to the automatic espresso machine lifestyle then this model would be a good choice because it is quite a bit cheaper than other similar machines on the market.
However, it doesn’t look cheap as it has a modern, compact design and can squeeze into and small space on the counter as it has a small footprint.
It has a 15-bar pressure which assures great results every time and adjustable controls to make whatever coffee you want. You can make double, or single espressos, lattes, or cappuccinos and froth the milk with a manual frother that you do not need to move to create creamy, rich foam.
If you would like one of these beverages in a bigger cup, you can easily place one in by adjusting the bottom tray or removing it altogether. You can make coffee for multiple people at once as well as the rapid cappuccino system keeps the temperature optimal brew after brew.
- Price – this machine is a lot more affordable than others on the market
- Rapid cappuccino system – you can make brew after brew and the temperature stays the same
- Beverage Selection – does not offer a lot of drinks to choose from
This is another affordable automatic espresso machine that will not let you down. You simply need to press one button for it to get to work and create a hot, delicious beverage such as a ristretto, cappuccino, espresso, americano, hot chocolate, and more.
It is easy for the machine to remember what drink you like as it allows you to create up to four different user profiles to save your favorite drinks on.
You can change the temperature, strength, and volume of these drinks on the easy-to-navigate color TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display.
Cups reaching 6-inches can be used in this machine too as it has tall spouts to provide the clearance needed for such cups and a slide-out tray for smaller cups.
For the milk, there is a steam wand which is a common feature seen on commercial and high-end espresso machines, and for good reason, because it lets you texture the milk however you like.
- User profiles – lets you create up to four personal profiles for the machine to personalize the drinks it makes for each user
- Beverage selection – has seven different drinks you can choose to make
- Multitasking – you cannot prepare the coffee and the milk at the same time
Even though this machine is quite pricey compared to other ones, you do get a lot of bang for your buck. It has 21 beverages to choose from which is a lot more than most automatic espresso machines and has a coffee grinder that is twice as fast as previous ones.
It comes with a companion app that lets you operate it from your phone and can even let you know if there is anything it needs such as cleaning or emptying.
Personalization is a big advantage with this machine as there are 10 levels that you can pick between for milk froth portion, froth temperature, and coffee strength.
You can also adjust the volume of drink, water temperature, and grinder which is stepless and gives you full freedom of how you want your coffee ground.
Additionally, the espresso machine comes with an accessories bag with all of the tools you will need to properly maintain it including a microfiber cloth to keep it looking as good as the day you got it.
- Companion app – it sends you alerts and you can use it to operate the machine from afar
- Accessories bag – gives you a bag of useful tools you will need for machine maintenance
- Price – this is a very expensive machine so it might be best reserved for coffee enthusiasts
You can make an americano, espresso, espresso lungo, coffee, and hot water by using the 60 hertz touch display on this aesthetically pleasing little machine.
The aroma strength and drink quantity can be adjusted with three levels, and the grinder has 12 steps to choose from to grind your beans exactly how you like them, and the beans stay fresher for longer and more flavorful due to the aroma seal.
It uses AquaClean filters which you will be prompted to change per notification which will prevent you from having to descale the espresso machine for up to 5000 cups.
Additionally, there are components that are dishwasher safe which saves a lot of hassle and elbow grease. The milk frother creates silky smooth milk and is also very easy to clean as it only consists of two parts.
- Easy to clean – some of the components are dishwasher safe and the water filters stop you from having to descale it for up to 5000 cups
- 60 hertz touch display – the display is very attractive and straightforward
- Beverage selection – this machine provides just four different beverages to choose from
Not only do you get a very functional, affordable automatic espresso machine with this purchase, but you also get two complimentary 12-ounce bags of whole coffee beans which lets you get stuck in as soon as you plug it in.
There are three different beverages that you can select, americano, espresso, and café crème. However, you still have the ability to create a ristretto for example because it is a variation of an espresso. The stepless coffee grinder offers more personalization as well.
A positive that comes with this limited selection of beverages is the ease of use, there are only a couple of buttons that you need to press before you are sipping on a creamy, rich coffee as soon as you get up.
If you’re looking for more of a wakeup call, you just need to press one button to make your coffee come out more aromatic and stronger.
As well as the minimalist functions, it also has a minimalist design and works best as a machine for one person instead of a family as the drip tray and water tank are quite small.
- Easy to clean – because the components are smaller than average, they are easier to clean, and you do not have to clean the drip tray as often due to it only being used by one person
- Complimentary coffee – the machine comes with a 12-ounce bag of classic blend and a 12-ounce bag of Röstmeister whole bean.
- Beverage selection – there is a limited selection of only three types of drinks
Best Automatic Espresso Machines Buying Guide
There are some things that you have to keep in mind when looking for an automatic espresso machine, and it is important to get it right because most of them are not cheap.
Level of Automation
The espresso machines on this list have been a combination of fully automatic, semi-automatic, and super-automatic, and the choice that you make depends on how hands on you want to be with your coffee making process.
Be mindful that super-automatic machines are more expensive than the other automatic versions but if you want your milk frothed and beans ground for you then it will be worth it.
Fully automatic machines are more affordable, and you do not have to hover over it to ensure that you press the button in time to stop the coffee from overflowing the cup.
Semi-automatic machines allow you to have more control over your drinks as it is up to you on how much espresso is put in. However, a lot of fully automatic machines have options where you can choose the specific volume you want instead of it always being filled up to the same level.
Do you like to rotate the drinks you have each day? If you do, or you have a family that all like different things then it would be a good idea to get a machine that has a broad selection to choose from.
It can range from three to 21, but as a general rule, the more choices you have the more numbers on the price tag.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Some machines are easy to clean because they have a simple design, and some components are even dishwasher friendly.
If you are worried that you will forget to clean it or will not do it thoroughly enough then you should think about getting an espresso machine that comes with a companion app with a feature that will alert you when to do these things so you can have peace of mind.
Footprint refers to the amount of space taken up by the espresso machine, and if you have a lot of counter space then you don’t need to worry about this factor too much.
However, if you are limited with the amount of space on your counter then you should look for a machine that has a smaller footprint. Although you will be saving space with a more compact machine, it also usually means that you will have to sacrifice some features.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Clean an Automatic Espresso Machine?
This question is a bit more complicated to answer because it depends on what kind of machine you have. Semi-automatic and super-automatic machines are cleaned and maintained differently, and it is vital that you do it regularly and properly to ensure that the machine has a long lifespan.
For both models, descaling is recommended every three months and some machines will alert you with on screen messages or lights when they are due a clean. If your machine has a water filter, it won’t need to be descaled as often.
To descale the machines, some have a built-in program that you can run and they will clean themselves and they will even have a step by step guide on how to do it yourself.
If you need to descale it manually then you can easily make the appropriate cleaning solution at home by using either citric acid or white vinegar, but you can pick up some commercial descaling product if you prefer.
It is vital to check the owner’s manual before you clean the machine to ensure that you are not using any chemicals that will damage it and that you are doing it correctly in accordance with the machine’s mechanics.
If you are using citric acid or white vinegar to clean the machine, you must mix it in with water beforehand.
Then pour this mixture into the reservoir as if you were making a coffee, this allows it to run through all of the pipes such as the boiler and steam wand, and dislodge any gunk build up.
After you have descaled, it is now time to rinse because you do not want to have any remanence of chemicals in your morning coffee. To do this, fill the reservoir up again but this time only with water, and repeat the process of using the machine as if you are making a brew.
To check that you have rinsed it thoroughly, have a good smell of the water that has come out and if you can smell chemicals, run the rinse again.
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