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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!
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Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Comparison Table
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Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Reviews
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.