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Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machines: Top 5 Picks for Fuss-Free Brewing + Buyer’s Guide

Coffee Geek Lab / Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machines: Top 5 Picks for Fuss-Free Brewing + Buyer’s Guide
Yurii Brown

Certified Barista

November 22, 2020

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines

There are times when you want your coffee fast and with no effort.

And I’m sure you don’t want to sacrifice beverage quality for the sake of convenience?

If so, a super-automatic coffee maker would be ideal in this case. 

So, are you ready to start enjoying fuss-free brewing? Then let’s take a look at 5 best super-automatic espresso machines and learn how to pick something that would suit your needs perfectly.

 ProductDetailsRatingPrice
De’Longhi Magnifica

Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

De’Longhi Magnifica

  • adjustable grind coarseness;
  • brews single and double espresso shots;
  • removable water tank;
  • works with pre-ground coffee and whole beans;
  • built-in milk frothing system.
9.5Check current price on Amazon
Gaggia BreraBest for Lattes and Cappuccinos – Gaggia Brera
  • user-friendly button controls and LED display;
  • quick heat-up time;
  • suited for both pre-ground and whole-bean coffee;
  • front-loading water tank for convenient refills.
9Check current price on Amazon
Jura E6Best High-End Super-Automatic Espresso Machine – Jura E6
  • Pulse extraction for richer coffee;
  • makes 6 specialty beverages;
  • simple, intuitive controls;
  • durable stainless steel housing;
  • built-in grinder.
8.5Check current price on Amazon
Breville Oracle Touch (BES990BSS)Best for Versatility – Breville Oracle Touch (BES990BSS)
  • conical burr grinder;
  • automatic tamping;
  • touchscreen controls;
  • stainless steel construction;
  • brews multiple types of beverages.
8Check current price on Amazon
Philips 2200Best Value for Money – Philips 2200
  • touch display for intuitive controls;
  • 12-step grinder adjustment;
  • Aroma Seal to keep the beans fresh;
  • ceramic burrs;
  • integrated steam wand.
8Check current price on Amazon

Our Reviews of the Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machines

Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

De’Longhi Magnifica

De’Longhi Magnifica
  • steel burr grinder;
  • pre-ground coffee bypass available;
  • dual heating system;
  • built-in milk frother;
  • removable brew group

Being one of the best Italian espresso machines, the De’Longhi combines quality, reliability, and functionality. This coffee maker shows consistently good results with every cup and does not require much effort on your part, even when it comes to cleaning.

Using a dual heating system, the De’Longhi ensures fast operation. It heats up in less than 60 seconds and allows users to brew coffee and froth milk simultaneously.

This model comes with an integrated burr grinder that offers 13 coarseness settings. It also works with pre-ground coffee.  There’s a retractable milk frother, which makes this model suitable for multiple types of coffee beverages. The brew group is removable for easy cleaning.

ProsCons
Highly functional and offers great value for moneyMight be too loud for some users
Easy to use and to cleanSome users note that the coffee isn’t hot
enough for them (however, it’s a matter of preference)
Dual heating system for fast operation
Manual frother for specialty beverages
Quality construction
Versatile and works with both whole beans and coffee grounds

All in all, the De’Longhi is a real gem. This coffee machine has a lot to boast of, but most importantly, it brews delicious espressos every single time.

Best for Lattes and Cappuccinos

Gaggia Brera

Gaggia Brera Coffee Machine
  • removable brew group;
  • rotating Pannarello steam wand;
  • stainless steel housing;
  • 250-gram bean hopper;
  • single boiler system.

Being among the top-rated super-automatic espresso machines, the Brera uses a high-quality Pannarello steam wand and deserves to be among the best latte machines as well. With this sleek-looking brewer, you will be able to enjoy perfect creamy cappuccinos or lattes every single day. 

What makes the Brera stand out from the competitors is its special Adapting System. The machine learns from the settings and the corresponding beans that you use and adjusts the grinder automatically to accommodate different types of your favorite coffee.

Another cool thing about this espresso maker is the Pannarello wand. The steamer siphons the air directly into the milk, creating dense, rich, and silky foam that is perfect for specialty beverages. You can also use it as a hot water dispenser for Americanos or tea.

ProsCons
Powerful steam wand, great for lattes and cappuccinosNeeds a lot of attention and frequent cleaning
Versatile in use (works with both
beans and pre-ground coffee)
Might seem too noisy to some users
Sturdy construction
Ceramic burr grinder for improved grind quality
Adapting System learns from your
coffee to achieve the most suitable settings

Overall, the Brera is a great find, especially for those who love lattes. This machine includes all the necessary features for a great cup of coffee and consistent results.

Best High-End Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Jura E6

Jura E6
  • stainless steel housing;
  • button controls and TFT display;
  • automatic rinsing, cleaning, and descaling;
  • single Thermoblock heating system;
  • adjustable coffee strength.

The next item on our list of the best super-automatic espresso machines is this luxurious, stylish brewer by Jura. The E6 is ideal for coffee lovers seeking top-of-the-line equipment.

This model uses a special patented Pulse Extraction Process. It ensures the optimal extraction time that results in great-tasting, rich, full-bodied espressos.

The Jura can be used for multiple types of beverages, including cappuccinos and double espressos. There’s also a milk foam feature, so you can alter the ratios and make your favorite coffee drinks. The machine allows for customization but does all the hard work for you (including cleaning and descaling).

ProsCons
Highly functional and versatile in useThe replacement parts may be challenging to find
Reliable and quality madeThe first cup of coffee might not be as hot as
the next one, so you may want to preheat your cup for the first
espresso shot if you prefer your coffee warmer
Automatic cleaning (including the frother)
for effortless maintenance
Optimal brewing temperature and extraction
time for perfect espressos
Integrated grinder for the freshest beverages

Despite some minor flaws, the E6 by Jura has a lot to offer. This is a luxurious machine for those who appreciate quality and extreme ease of use.

Best for Versatility

Breville Oracle Touch (BES990BSS)

Breville Oracle Touch (BES990BSS)
  • digital temperature control;
  • self-cleaning steam wand;
  • built-in conical burr grinder;
  • stainless steel construction;
  • automatic tamping.

Do you want an automatic brewing process without giving up control over your beverages? Then check out the Breville Oracle Touch, one of the best super-automatic espresso machines that allows for versatility in use and plenty of adjustments.

This model has a separate boiler for the steam wand, which makes the machine work faster. The steam wand froths milk automatically according to the settings and the beverage choice, so you don’t have to do anything.

The Oracle Touch is extremely easy to use. However, the machine does not sacrifice coffee quality to achieve such a great convenience. It supports the proper temperature and the needed brewing pressure to make excellent espressos.

ProsCons
Quality constructionMay be too loud for some users
Extremely user-friendlyThe grinder might get clogged
occasionally and requires frequent cleaning
Automatic milk frothing (and wand cleaning)The auto-cleaning mode might make the machine
spray water, so you will have to wipe the counters
Brews multiple types of beverages
Optimal water temperature and
pressure for proper extraction
Automatic tamping
Powerful grinder for the freshest beverages

All things considered, the Oracle Touch is a worthy find. It’s a good machine for an almost hands-free operation that offers a variety of beverages and simple controls.

Best Value for Money

Philips 2200

Philips 2200
  • touchscreen controls;
  • ceramic grinder;
  • pre-ground coffee bypass;
  • automatic descaling mode;
  • removable brew group.

The last item on our list of the best super-automatic espresso machines is this stylish brewer by Philips. It combines high functionality, ease of use, and an attractive price, which makes it a good find for the money.

The machine has a self-cleaning mode, which makes maintenance much easier. Additionally, its brew group is removable, so you can clean it by simply rinsing it under the tap.

Another great thing about this coffee machine is the grinder. Allowing for a 12-step adjustment, the Philips gives users the freedom to experiment with different configurations to achieve their perfect cup of coffee.

ProsCons
High functionality and reasonable price,
offers good value for money
The frother can be messy sometimes
Durable ceramic burr grinderThe coffee might not be hot enough for some users
Works for multiple types of beverages
Intuitive touch display and simple controls
Easy to clean
Compact and space-saving

It’s safe to say that the Philips is worth your attention. It offers a great deal of functionality but doesn’t cost that much, which makes it attractive for many users.

Super-Automatic Espresso Machines Explained

Super-automatic espresso machines are quite popular these days thanks to their simple operation and easy controls. To brew a cup of coffee, all you have to do is press a button, and the machine will do the rest. How awesome is that?

I mean, if you appreciate the convenience of capsule Nespresso machines, a super-automatic espresso maker will blow your mind, as this type usually brews incredibly delicious beverages. Using the needed pressure to extract espressos (1), super-automatic models do not sacrifice the beverage quality for the sake of speed.

Typically, such coffee makers grind the beans, transfer the grounds into the portafilter, and brew coffee. Many of them allow users to choose between different beverage types, such as espressos, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and so on.

When compared to other types of coffee brewers, super-automatic models seem the most convenient (and ideal for multi-taskers). For instance, with a semi-automatic espresso maker, you need to tamp the grounds and control the extraction time manually. Or if we look at drip coffee makers, those require you to fill the filter basket with the needed amount of coffee (and don’t forget that you have to grind it first).

All things considered, super-automatic espresso machines require no effort on the user’s part and allow for the most fuss-free brewing process.

Types of Super-Automatic Espresso Machines

Super-automatic espresso machines come in a variety of styles and designs, each of which has its benefits and drawbacks. Familiarizing yourself with the main categories of espresso brewers can help you narrow down the list of items and get rid of everything that won’t work for you.

Now, the first big category of super-automatic espresso machines involves specialty beverages. If you drink cappuccinos or lattes at least weekly (or maybe even daily), you might want to get an espresso brewer with a milk frother.

 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines Explained

Source: https://scanews.coffee/2017/11/29/2017-u-s-specialty-coffee-consumption-trends/

There are two types: a steam wand and an automatic frother. With a steam wand, the process is manual. You get total control over milk frothing and can work with different settings and batch sizes on any given day. However, this method does require some effort and a bit of adjusting.

Automatic milk frothers do all the work for users. They usually dispense the milk into the mug through the spout right after frothing. While this option is more fuss-free and would be perfect for beginners, automatic frothers cannot achieve the same results steam wands can. The foam turns out a bit different. And it’s hard (almost impossible) to achieve a good microfoam with a regular frother. In this case, a steam wand would do a better job.

Another big category of super-automatic espresso machines is linked to the boiler type. The most common options on the market are single and dual boilers. With a single boiler, the espresso machine uses one heating system for both brewing and steaming milk. This means you won’t be able to get on with both processes simultaneously. Therefore, super-automatic machines with a single boiler require more time to make beverages. It will take you even longer if you need to make more than one coffee drinks. 

A dual-boiler system uses two separate heaters for making espressos and steaming milk. In this case, you will be able to start frothing while your expresso is still being pulled. This really helps speed up the process. Such a brewer design is ideal for someone who wants their beverages faster or needs to brew coffee for multiple users. 

Now, super-automatic espresso machines often come with an integrated grinder to deliver fresh beans into your cup. The most common grinder type in modern brewers is burr. Now, you have a variety of options here. Firstly, a burr grinder can be either conical or wheel. The latter is less expensive and operates faster. However, it is nosier and more prone to clogging. Conical grinders work slightly slower and make less noise (2). Additionally, they can accommodate more types of beans and aren’t that likely to clog often. Some of the best espresso machines with a grinder use conical ones rather than the wheel type.

Burr grinders may also differ in terms of the material used. You can pick between steel and ceramic burrs. Steel grinders are more common and widely available. They are durable and sharp but tend to lose their sharpness with time. Ceramic burrs are considered to be even more durable (3). Additionally, they don’t heat up when grinding (unlike steel burrs) and therefore, do not affect the coffee flavor in any way.

 

Things to Know When Shopping for the Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Here’s the deal:

You don’t have to be an expert to find the best espresso brewer for home use.

You just need to understand what you are looking for exactly. And to do that, consider the most important factors when shopping for a new super-automatic espresso machine: 

  • Size. When shopping for a new espresso machine, consider its footprint and your counter space. Some models tend to be quite bulky, especially the ones that have a large bean hopper or a huge water reservoir. Also, consider the height of your new espresso maker. Many of them emit steam when brewing and frothing milk, so keeping such models under the cabinets (especially wooden) might not be the best idea.
  • Functionality. How much adjustability do you want? Are you okay with a few presets, or do you want the freedom to use your custom settings? Do you want multiple beverage types or prefer espressos only? Some super-automatic espresso machines allow users to adjust almost any setting or small details, while others function with a strict list of programs. Keep in mind that more functionality usually means a higher price.
  • Purpose. Once you determine the purpose of your new machine, it will be much easier for you to narrow down the list of options. Do you want to brew espressos or other beverages? Are you going to be the only one who will use the machine? If not, what brewing capacity should it have to be enough for multiple users? Do you need a simple model for home or a more powerful option for office use? Once you decide on the purpose of your espresso maker, all the unsuitable options will disappear from your sight.
  • Boiler type. You already know that there are two main options: single and double. A quick word of advice: if you are a solo user (or plan to share your espresso machine with a partner), a single boiler should suffice. And if you are sure that you will make specialty beverages all the time (and multiple times a day) for yourself or someone else, a dual boiler system would be more suitable in this case as it ensures faster operation. 
  • Grinder type. To pick steel or ceramic burrs is up to you. Keep in mind that steel models are cheaper but louder and slightly less durable. Ceramic burrs tend to serve longer but also come at a higher price. In terms of coarseness adjustments and grind consistency, both types show great results.
  • Price. To save yourself from overspending, it might be a good idea to set a certain budget before starting to shop. If your budget is a bit tight, you can check good espresso machines under $200. However, keep in mind that those might be somewhat limited in terms of functionality. And it can be a bit hard to find super-automatic models in this price category. You will be more likely to find highly-functional brewers among the top-rated espresso machine under $1,000, so if your budget allows for it, go with something more expensive (starting from around $500). 
  • Cleaning and maintenance. There are a couple of features you may want to consider here. Firstly, some espresso makers have removable parts, which makes cleaning much easier. Keep in mind that some of those parts might be dishwasher safe, which is always a nice bonus. And let’s not forget about the descaling process, which is very important if you want to protect your coffee machine from build-up and prolong its lifespan (4). Now, descaling usually takes quite some time and attention on your part, so if you don’t want to be bothered with the process, pick a coffee machine that has an automatic self-cleaning function.
  • Beverage options. Do you want strictly espressos? Or are you a fan of specialty beverages as well? Some super-automatic machines brew espressos only. Others might come with an automatic milk frother and a list of pre-set beverages you can enjoy (such as latte, café mocha, cappuccino, and more). Keep in mind that models that offer the most versatility typically tend to be pricier.
  • Durability and materials used. Here’s the good news: many super-automatic espresso machines use stainless steel in their construction, which is very durable. Some might have a few plastic parts or plastic exteriors. In this case, you might want to make sure that the plastic is safe and BPA-free. Additionally, you can read other users’ reviews to find out whether the desired coffee maker has any flimsy or thin plastic parts. But if your budget allows for it, it’s probably a better idea to give your preference to sturdier models that use stainless steel (or sometimes brass).
  • Warranty. The rule here is simple: good espresso machines should have a longer warranty. You see, when a manufacturer offers a prolonged warranty period, this might mean a couple of things. Firstly, it can be an indication that the manufacturer used top-notch materials and feels sure of their product’s quality. Secondly, a good warranty period means that the manufacturer is ready to stand behind their product and to take care of their customer in case of a malfunction or defects.

Conclusion

A good espresso maker isn’t that hard to find. We have plenty of options and just need to learn how to navigate through them. When shopping, you should always pay attention to the machine quality (materials used) and functionality (helpful features and adjustments). It might also be a good idea to check the warranty conditions. This will help you understand whether the manufacturer is ready to stand behind their product. And if you still haven’t made up your mind and are looking for suggestions, I would love to share my favorite super-automatic espresso machine. Yes, you guessed it right: it’s the De’Longhi Magnifica. It looks sleek, it works fast, and most importantly, it brews excellent espressos. With this machine, you get enough control to achieve a perfect cup of coffee but also enough automatism to enjoy effortless brewing. Which espresso machine managed to impress you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments!

References

  1. Robert McKeon Aloe (March 22, 2020). Pressure Pulsing for Better Espresso. Retrieved from https://towardsdatascience.com/pressure-pulsing-for-better-espresso-62f09362211d
  2. Sean Paajanen (January 09, 2020). What’s the Difference Between Blade and Burr Coffee Grinders? Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/blade-or-burr-grinder-765770
  3. Manette Kaisershot (October 01, 2020). How to buy the best coffee grinder. Retrieved from https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/coffee-grinders/article/how-to-buy-the-best-coffee-grinder-amjaM2B9iK7u#headline_steel-vs-ceramic-burrs
  4. Kimberley Mcgee (March 12, 2020). How to Clean an Espresso Machine with Vinegar. Retrieved from https://www.hunker.com/13409666/how-to-clean-an-espresso-machine-with-vinegar

Yurii Brown

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