best super automatic espresso machines

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine

December 29, 2020

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What is the best super automatic espresso machine? Created to automate every single step of the coffee making process for an instant, barista style drink at home, the super automatic espresso machine is a recent trend that has taken the whole industry by storm.

Though they run at a heftier price tag than your typical Keurig or pod machine, they offer a freshly brewed espresso and perfectly frothed milk for a Starbucks-style latte, cappuccino or whatever your favorite is, enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

Buying any fancy gadget can be tricky, especially if you’re not especially well-versed in at home coffee making, which is why we’re here to take you through five of the best super automatics on the market, an ideal addition to any home.

For more information on what exactly an SAE machine is, as well as some pointers on the features you ought to consider in a quality product, look no further than our crystal clear buyer’s guide. It’s easy to understand and free of technical jargon!

Any remaining questions you still have could be addressed by the set of FAQs we’ve prepared at the end, having provided answers to some of the most commonly asked queries by fellow customers looking for their next caffeine fit. Yours may be there too!

Keen For A Caffeine Mean Machine? Here’s Our Top Pick

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Comparison Table

Last update on 2021-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Reviews

Our Pick
De'Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine, Silver
Our rating:
5 cup rating

As one of the more economically priced Super Automatics on our list, you might think the De’Longhi was inferior to the thousand dollar machines, but you’d be wrong – the ESAM3300 can absolutely keep up with playing in the big leagues.

Offering thirteen adjustable settings, the professional burr grinder accommodates fresh beans, though if you’d prefer pre-ground coffee there’s a second chamber for pouring in your grinds. It’s a win-win!

Automatically brewed to the perfect size, richness, temperature, density and strength, the customizable settings ensure your espresso is delivered to you just as you’d like it. The machine remembers your settings for next time, too!

Their patented Cappuccino System frother combines steam and milk for a rich and creamy froth, ideal for recreating your favorite milk based coffee beverages, producing an even texture every time.

With an easy to use, clear control panel, the menu settings are easily adjusted; simply hit one or two buttons and the Direct-to-Brew system takes care of the rest (beans of a medium roast, with less visible oil, are recommended).

Pros
  • Instantly grinds beans with industry standard burrs
  • Easy maintenance that takes half the cleaning time of competing machines
  • Energy saving automatic shutoff system
  • Charcoal water filter included for free
  • Simple to use
Cons
  • Manual frothing wand – not an automatic milk frother at this price!

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ LatteGo, Black, EP3241/54
Our rating:

Promising the easiest, fastest to clean milk frothing system ever, the 3200 Series machine from Philips can produce espresso, cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos at the touch of a button, topped with silky smooth froth.

An adjustable ceramic grinder allows you to choose between 12 grind consistencies, for as coarse or as fine a grind as you’d like, depending on your preference, allowing you to enjoy at least 20,000 cups of coffee before beginning to wear out.

Included as part of your purchase is a free AquaClean water filter, which means that there’s no need to descale your machine for up to 5,000 cups, which reduces the effort of maintenance and makes for a delicious drink without hardness.

Utilizing a totally intuitive one touch display screen, you can instantly select your favorite coffee, adjust the strength or size of your beverage, and the machine remembers your settings for next time, too!

Thanks to the lack of tubing or hidden mechanisms in the milk frothing system, it can be cleaned in as little as fifteen seconds, just by rinsing under the faucet, though it’s also dishwasher safe for an extra thorough cleaning.

Pros
  • Efficient touch screen display for choosing your coffee in seconds
  • 12-step grinder with ceramic burrs
  • Easy-clean milk frothing system
  • Dishwasher safe, free AquaClean filter
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a setting just to froth milk, for hot chocolate, say (though some customer reviews indicate there are workarounds)

Breville Oracle Touch Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Our rating:
4 cup rating

Your heart may stop a little when you see the price of this coffee machine, but the Oracle Touch is an absolutely stunning home barista machine, offering rich full flavor, a velvety-smooth mouthfeel and a beautifully balanced taste.

Automatically grinding and dosing the perfect amount of beans for an ideal espresso extraction, with an integrated conical burr grinding system for an optimum consistency and ideal tamping with every single pour.

Every single step is as simple and efficient as possible, thanks to a touch screen that allows you to swipe and select the beverage you want. Choose between espresso, americano, lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos, all from your own kitchen at home.

An Over Pressure Valve has been designed to mimic the commercial style machines used by mainstream coffee shops, ensuring just the right amount of pressure to avoid bitter flavors and evenly extract all of your shots.

Microfoam is right at your fingertips with an automatic steam wand, texturing your milk to your preferred temperature and taste, for a silky smooth barista level milk. It’s even self-cleaning, so don’t worry about buildup!

Pros
  • Automatic grind and dose for the perfect espresso
  • Self-cleaning milk frother produces silky smooth drinks
  • Swipe and select touch screen system
  • Precise temperatures, every time
Cons
  • Ridiculously expensive, but worth it if you have the budget

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
Our rating:
4 cup rating

Another option that’s a little less wince-inducing, price-wise (again, only in comparison to the others on the list!) is the Brera from Gaggia; renowned for their excellent coffee machines, they had to get involved in the automatic trend.

In bold black or shiny silver, the stainless steel finish oozes quality, with an easily accessed water tank, grounds drawer and drip tray that are all easily accessible from the front of the machine to make maintenance a breeze.

A user friendly LED display and push button controls, plus illuminated icons, are super simple to use, for an intuitive experience that gets your coffee in your hands in a matter of moments, thanks to a ceramic burr grinder and bypass doser.

Rapid steam from the Panarello wand, siphoned directly into your milk, creates incredibly rich foam in under ten seconds, to create barista-standard textured milk and reproduce your favorite coffee shop classics at home.

Gaggia’s patented Adapting System causes the Brera to learn from your coffee preferences; over time it will adjust the way its grinder operates, accommodating your favorite beans to deliver you the coffee that dreams are made of.

Pros
  • Simple, easy to navigate interface with buttons and an LCD screen
  • Stainless steel paneling for a classically chic look
  • Adapting System technology learns just how you like your coffee
  • Rapid steam in seconds for perfectly frothed milk
Cons
  • Small water capacity – requires more regular refilling

Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Maker and Cappuccino Machine
Our rating:
4 cup rating

It might be the most affordable machine on the list, but don’t let that fool you – the CoffeeHouse espresso machine from Mr. Coffee delivers 19 bars of pressure with its Italian pump, extracting those traditionally robust flavors for your morning cup.

A simplistic, one touch button interface allows you to pick out exactly what drink you’d like, selecting either a single or a double shot of espresso with just one press, whilst a Thermocouple heating system evenly heats for perfectly temperate water.

Thanks to the automatic milk frother, a light and creamy latte or foamy cappuccino is no problem for this machine, and the removable reservoir makes filling, cleaning, and storing leftovers possible without any hassle.

The stainless steel drip tray is adjustable so you can use any size of cup you’d like, including those tall travel mugs that don’t usually fit!

Plus, an integrated cleaning system means maintenance is as easy as hitting a button.

Though you can only use pre-ground coffee, the money you save on opting for a cheaper model could be used to buy a high quality grinder; that way, you can still have freshly ground espresso, without breaking the bank.

Pros
  • More affordable, though doesn’t feature a grinder
  • One touch interface for instant single or double espresso
  • Adjustable drip tray, removable milk reservoir
  • Thermocouple heating system for ideal water temperature
Cons
  • Instructions can be difficult to follow on your first few tries

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines – Buyers Guide

What Is A ‘Super Automatic’ Espresso Machine?

As the name suggests, an espresso machine that is fully or ‘super’ automatic, to use a different superlative, basically means that every step of the coffee making process is done by the machine.

From grinding your favorite beans, to appropriately tamping, pouring your shot of espresso and frothing up some milk (if you like!) these nifty bits of kit do everything for you, so you can sit back, relax, and wait for your piping hot cup of Joe.

Whilst a Nespresso machine would do a similar thing for a much smaller price point, true coffee snobs know that those pods aren’t real, authentic drinks, and for the really good stuff, you have to use freshly ground beans, not freeze dried!

In around sixty seconds (or less) you’ll receive a beautiful, freshly brewed espresso, exactly the same – if not better! – than one you’d receive at your local coffee shop, and all you have to do is hit a button. Genius!

If you don’t have the mental capacity to grind and tamp coffee at 7am before work, but you can’t bear to resort to *shudders* instant coffee, and begrudge the huge cost of regularly purchasing those damn pods, a super automatic is a perfect investment.

Features To Consider

You might think that buying an espresso machine is just about whether or not it makes good coffee, and you’d be right, but there’s a whole host of other factors to think about. Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here – let’s get into it.

Durability

This one speaks for itself, but what’s the point in spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a machine that won’t last longer than a year? A new coffee machine is for life, not just for a couple of months!

Material-wise, opting for a device made from strong, solid metals like steel or aluminum will ensure a hard wearing device that won’t succumb to the tests of time or end up rusty after a couple of uses.

It’s hard to know how high quality a product will be before it’s in your hands, but you could always read through customer reviews and get an idea of what others think before you commit to your purchase!

Speed

Like we said, the point of a super automatic machine is to refine the coffee making process, for a more instantaneous caffeine fix that you don’t have to exert energy producing. Therefore, you don’t want to wait around for it, either.

Most will have you sipping on some of the good stuff in under a minute, but manufacturers will usually state how long it takes to brew an espresso – from pouring the beans to extracting the shot – in their product descriptions.

Opting for the fastest machine doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the best coffee, but finding a good compromise between the two, again by checking out the reviews of your fellow customers, is your best bet for satisfaction.

Design

Sure, okay, the aesthetic of a coffee machine really doesn’t matter, but opting for one that looks super cool out on your kitchen counter, to the envy of any visitors, is only going to be beneficial in the long run.

You also want it to be straightforward to use, with clear indicators of which button is which and what purposes they fulfill.

If not, there best be a damn good user manual, with clear and concise instructions to assist you in getting to grips with your new toy.

Most manufacturers have opted for a brushed aluminum or stainless steel design, given that metals are conducive to producing hotter water (and therefore, better coffee) but you can get some pretty cool colors, too, if that’s your bag.

Accessibility

For the sake of time and effort, you want a machine that’s easy to dismantle and clean, with dishwasher safe components that are also simple to maintain, otherwise you’ll need to set an hour aside on a regular basis, or risk stagnant coffee!

Plus, a machine with an automatic cleaning and filtration system makes your life a whole lot easier, by running the internal components through with hot water (and descaling tablets, to be thorough) to ensure hard water doesn’t affect the taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

What espresso machine does Starbucks use?

Interestingly enough, Starbucks uses a super automatic machine themselves! Known as the Mastrena, it was developed exclusively for use in their stores by Swiss engineers Thermoplan AG.

With a built-in grinder and a totally computerized menu for instantaneously choosing what size and strength of espresso is being brewed, they’re incredibly high tech, setting you back an incredible $18,000 a pop – whew!

However, given that they’re designed to make the process of drink making as fast and easy as possible, it’s possible to achieve drinks of a much higher standard just by using a decent espresso machine at home.

Should I buy an espresso machine or a coffee pod machine?

That depends! If you’re not so bothered about the difference between instant and freshly ground coffee, a coffee pod machine like Nespresso costs far less money and works just as quickly to bring you the beverage of your choice.

However, if you’re more of a connoisseur of the finest Kenyan blends and prefer to buy your coffee in bean form, then sticking to an espresso machine (though not necessarily as expensive as the ones above!) is definitely advised.

For a decent middle ground, you could opt for a Keurig, which takes the single-use pods, but you can also get a reusable pod that can be filled with ground coffee (any you like!) and used the same way. Just make sure it’s the right machine!

Is using ground coffee cheaper than coffee pods?

Again, there’s no objective answer to this question, because the type of machine you buy, the pods it takes, or the beans you buy will differ from person to person, so estimating the price difference is difficult.

That said, a bag of ground coffee can cost the same or less than a box of pods, and last longer too (depending on how strong you like your espresso!), as well as being better for the Earth, given they don’t make use of tonnes of plastic to produce.

As the difference in price is probably not that substantial, the cost you’d be better focusing on is that of the machine! You’ll save money choosing a pod-based machine, but espresso makers give a more authentic coffee.

Other Espresso Machines

Here are some posts reviewing other types of espresso machines.

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