7 Best super automatic espresso machines
There is no better way to make coffee at home than to get the best super automatic espresso machine for your kitchen. You can also get one for the office break room to have a nice pick-me-up after lunch. There are so many options, how do you know which one is right for you? That’s where we come in.
We’ve reviewed 34 different products and narrowed them down to our top seven choices to help you decide. Our editor’s choice is the Gaggia Babila. With multiple menu options, 15 grind settings, a built-in milk jug and steam nozzle, and three pre-brew levels, there’s not much this machine can’t do. Plus, it has an automatic cleaning program, which makes maintenance easy. Looking for something different? Don’t worry, we’ve found six other great options for you to choose from.
To write this review, we’ve considered some of the most important features to look for when it comes to super automatic espresso machines: dimensions, to make sure you have enough counter space; water tank and hopper capacity, so you know how many drinks you can make before refilling; and cup height, to make sure you can use your favourite cup. First, a chart allows you to see all the products we’ve chosen, side by side. Then you’ll find in-depth reviews of each product, followed by a detailed buying guide to help you choose the right coffee machine for you.
The 7 best super automatic espresso machines
Our editor’s choice is the Gaggia Babila RI9700, which has an amazing one-touch bean-to-cup function and eight programmable options for making espressos, coffee, cappuccinos, macchiatos and more. This machine is equipped with an automatic milk carafe and frother, as well as a manual steam wand that can also dispense hot water. Use the presets or adjust the flow knob to control the strength of your espresso or coffee and the manual wand to precisely control the temperature and froth.
The top-loading water tank holds just under 51 ounces of water and is easily accessible when you need to add more. The pouring spouts are removable and can accommodate travel mugs and large cups. The drip tray holds about 32 ounces of water to prevent spills. Speaking of spills, this machine is easy to clean. Not only is the brew unit removable, but there is also an automatic rinse and descale cycle. The milk carafe is also automatically cleaned.
What we also like is that it comes with great accessories, including a bottle of descaler, a water filter, a brush and a coffee spoon. On the downside, some people have said that they haven’t noticed much difference when adjusting the strength of the coffee. Also, it is a bit of a hassle to remove the milk jug for storage in the fridge.
13.4 x 8.7 x 16.9 in
Limited to 2 years
dual independent boilers, 15 grind settings, built-in 16 oz. milk jug and steam wand, 3-stage pre-brew, measuring spoon included, automatic cleaning program
Jura GIGA W3
If you are looking for the best commercial super automatic espresso machine, take a look at the Jura GIGA W3. It’s a great choice for light commercial use, with a sleek and professional design that would be perfect for an office or small coffee shop.
This machine is packed with impressive features, such as cup warmers and milk coolers, which allow you to make perfect drinks to order. There are 31 programmable menu options in addition to 12 preset recipes, including ristretto, macchiato, cappuccino and, of course, espresso. The professional grade grinder uses ceramic grinding discs for precise and uniform grinding and is exceptionally fast.
Two of the best features of this machine are the large 169-ounce water tank and the 35.3-ounce bean container. You won’t need to refill them very often, but when you do, they are easily accessible. Maintenance, in general, is fairly simple – the automatic cleaning, rinsing and descaling settings do most of the work.
There aren’t many drawbacks to this machine. It works very well and makes quality coffee. That said, it is the most expensive model in our review and may be prohibitively expensive depending on how you intend to use it. Another point to note is that although it is suitable for light commercial use, this machine cannot be connected to a water pipe.
- 14.5 x 19.6 x 21.6 in
- Limited to 2 years
- 169 oz
- 35.2 oz
- 6.5 in
- two thermal blocks, energy saving mode, automatic cleaning programs, adjustable brew temperature, programmable switch time, 3.6 foot cable length
14.5 x 19.6 x 21.6 in
Limited to 2 years
two thermal blocks, energy saving mode, automatic cleaning programs, adjustable brew temperature, programmable switch time, 3.6 foot cable length
Breville Oracle Touch
Then there is the Breville Oracle Touch. This is a fully automatic, easy-to-use, high-end espresso machine. All you have to do is slide in and choose your drink. Choose from five presets (espresso, latte, flat white, long black or cappuccino) or create and save eight recipes of your choice. Use the adjustable grind control to get the right bean texture, choose one or two shots, and program the temperature and milk texture to your specifications.
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One of the reasons this machine makes such great coffee is the water pressure control. A pressure relief valve limits the pressure used during extraction to avoid bitter coffee. It also gradually increases the pressure during the pre-infusion phase to extract even more flavour from the beans. The steam wand has its own boiler and automatically creates a froth of the ideal texture and temperature, and when it has finished, it cleans itself.
Most users agree that this machine makes good coffee, but there are some drawbacks. It is not always easy to find a cup that fits comfortably under the spout. Replacing the water filter is also quite expensive. Some people have reported using filtered water to avoid the filter.
- 14.5 x 14.7 x 17.6 in
- Limited to 2 years
- 84.5 oz
- 1.2 lbs
- 4.2 in
- brushed stainless steel motor, adjustable grinder, cleaning kit included, double stainless steel boiler, customizable coffee settings, programmable milk texture and temperature.
14.5 x 14.7 x 17.6 in
Limited to 2 years
brushed stainless steel motor, adjustable grinder, cleaning kit included, double stainless steel boiler, customizable coffee settings, programmable milk texture and temperature.
Gaggia Brera (Noir)
This Gaggia Brera model is the best value we found in our research, with a price tag of less than $500. It has an LED display with bright icons. Choose between espresso and espresso lungo or use the machine for steam or hot water to make your own drinks or tea. The Pannarello wand froths milk for lattes and cappuccinos and dispenses hot water to make tea and Americanos.
Everything about this machine is simple and convenient, including the grounds drawer, water tank and drip tray. They are all easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning. The brew group is also easily removed for regular maintenance and care.
You can use whole beans or ground coffee with this machine using either the ceramic grinder or the bypass doser. It can accommodate cups from 3.25 to 4.5 inches and has stainless steel front panels that look great in any kitchen or office.
Some people have been disappointed by the limited cup size, which is not a major problem but can be annoying. The water tank is also a bit small and needs to be refilled frequently. A few people also commented that the materials seem flimsy and that everything does not always fit together well after cleaning. The beverage options are also limited.
- 12.4 x 10 x 17.5 in
- Limited to 1 year
- 42.2 oz
- 8.8 oz.
- 4.5 in
- LED display, 5-stage ceramic grinder, built-in steam wand, double dose option, automatic cleaning program, stainless steel boiler, removable brew group.
12.4 x 10 x 17.5 in
Limited to 1 year
LED display, 5-stage ceramic grinder, built-in steam wand, double dose option, automatic cleaning program, stainless steel boiler, removable brew group.
If you’re looking for the best super automatic espresso machine under £1000, we recommend the Saeco Incanto. Its sleek and stylish design fits perfectly into any kitchen or office and it’s easy to use. Choose between espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino or latte macchiato.
This machine uses a professional ceramic grinding disc that prevents the coffee from overheating during the grinding process so it doesn’t taste burnt. The bean container holds up to 400g of whole beans and there are settings to use ground coffee or decaf if you prefer. This machine also heats up quickly so you won’t have to wait too long to make a second cup.
The milk carafe is removable, so it can be easily stored in the fridge when not in use, and the brewing unit removes for easy cleaning. There are also automatic cleaning and descaling functions and an AquaClean filter that allows up to 5,000 cups of coffee to be brewed before it needs descaling.
Users have made a few minor complaints about this machine. Some feel that the water tank is too small and needs to be refilled quite frequently. This machine can be a bit messy and it is difficult to read the icons on the display.
- 16.8 x 8.4 x 12.9 in
- Limited to 1 year
- 60 oz
- 8.8 oz
- 6.3 in
- stainless steel boiler, single boiler, built-in steam wand, adjustable temperature, ceramic grinder, removable brew group
16.8 x 8.4 x 12.9 in
Limited to 1 year
stainless steel boiler, single boiler, built-in steam wand, adjustable temperature, ceramic grinder, removable brew group
De’Longhi Magnifica XS
Another excellent choice is the De’Longhi Magnifica XS. It has an adjustable cappuccino system that perfectly vaporises the milk to create a reflective and long-lasting foam. You can also change the settings for a creamy latte, flat white or macchiato. Program your preferences and the machine will remember them for the next time.
The standout feature of this machine is the grinder. There are 13 different settings so you get the freshest beans, every time. If you prefer to use pre-ground coffee, you can do that too. Simply add your favourite ground coffee, even decaffeinated, to the second chamber.
This machine maintains an optimal temperature after brewing, allowing you to prepare a second cup immediately. The large 60-ounce water tank allows you to make a lot of coffee before it needs to be refilled. When you’re done, the brewing unit removes for easy cleaning and maintenance. The water tank, drip tray and ground coffee container also come off. The machine tells you when it’s time to clean and most parts are dishwasher safe.
Most people agree that this machine makes a great espresso, but some are disappointed that it doesn’t automatically make a cappuccino. You can change the froth and steam settings but ultimately you have to make your own cappuccino.
- 9.4 x 17 x 13.8 in
- Limited to 2 years
- Water tank capacity
- 60 oz
- Hopper capacity
- 8.8 oz
- Cup height (max)
- 5.5 in
- More features
9.4 x 17 x 13.8 in
Limited to 2 years
Water tank capacity
Cup height (max)
cup holder, auto shut-off, aroma control, automatic cleaning programs, removable drip tray, removable water tank, double dose option, water filter
Nespresso par De’Longhi EN80BAE
The automatic espresso machine for capsules is the Nespresso by De’Longhi EN80BAE. It is perhaps the best way to prepare a single cup of coffee or espresso. The patented extraction system delivers the right amount of pressure and its small design fits into any kitchen or office space.
This machine heats up in just 25 seconds and can make up to nine cups of espresso before the 24-ounce water tank needs to be refilled. It also includes the Aeroccino 3 milk frother, which allows you to take your cappuccino or latte making to the next level. You can prepare two different sizes, 1.35 ounces for an espresso and 5 ounces for a Lungo. However, you can use larger cups thanks to the foldable drip tray.
As a gift, you also receive a Nespresso welcome kit with 16 coffee capsules. Each one contains high quality coffee beans sealed in a recyclable aluminium capsule. The downside is that you can only use Nespresso capsules with this machine and they can be quite expensive. You can use other brands, but the quality of the brew may not be as good.
Be sure to place the capsule in the machine. Otherwise it may leak and cause damage during the brewing process.
- 12.6 x 4.7 x 9 in
- Limited to 2 years
- 23.8 oz
- not specified
- automatic shut-off, aeroccino milk system, pre-set brew programs, removable drip tray, 19 bar pressure pump, 2.6 foot long cable
12.6 x 4.7 x 9 in
Limited to 2 years
automatic shut-off, aeroccino milk system, pre-set brew programs, removable drip tray, 19 bar pressure pump, 2.6 foot long cable
Why choose a super automatic espresso machine?
There are many reasons why a super automatic espresso machine is such a good choice. These machines are the only way to get coffee quality espresso at home, at the touch of a button. All you have to do is fill the water tank and bean hopper, choose what you want and press a button. What’s more, these machines produce great tasting coffee that is brewed at the right temperature with perfect pressure. That’s something that drip coffee can’t offer you.
How does a super automatic espresso machine work?
Some models have more advanced features than others, but there are standard features that all super automatic espresso machines have. Most have a grinder that grinds the whole beans and then deposits the grounds into the brewing unit. The machine automatically packs the grounds and brews the espresso, heating the water and using the right pressure to create a shot of espresso. Most also have a steam wand that can be used to heat milk or dispense hot water.
To use one of these machines, you choose the volume you want, press the button and wait. Some machines also allow you to choose from several types of drinks that are steamed and have milk or hot water added for you.
One of the biggest differences between the products we chose is the price. They range from our €500 budget choice, the Gaggia Brera, to the $5300 Jura GIGA W3. Keep in mind that these are two very different machines. The higher-end models offer a wider variety of drinks and usually have larger water tanks and bean hoppers.
Choose the best super automatic espresso machine based on the following features
Here are the specific features you should look for when choosing the right machine for your home or office.
Comfortable to use
Some of these machines are intuitive and very easy to use. The Breville Oracle Touch, for example, has a simple touch screen menu that allows you to swipe to choose your drink recipe. Some menus are not so simple and may require some practice.
Another consideration is the ease of access to the water tank and bean hopper. Front loading is preferable as you don’t have to worry about clearance if you place your machine underneath the cabinets.
Type of coffee
Most of these machines have a built-in grinder. In fact, this is a fairly standard feature of mid to high end super automatic espresso machines. If the machine has a grinder, you can use any whole bean. Some, like the Saeco Incanto, have a bypass system that allows you to use pre-ground coffee, including decaf or half-caf if you prefer.
The only exception to this rule in our review is the Nespresso by De’Longhi EN80BAE which is designed to be used only with Nespresso capsules.
Pressure is what makes espresso and is very important for the taste and quality of the final product. The ideal pressure for espresso is around 9 or 10 bar, but you will see machines that produce a much higher pressure than this.
If you want a versatile machine that can make a variety of drinks, a milk frother is essential. Some machines, like the Breville Oracle Touch, have a built-in milk frother and steamer that allow you to adjust the temperature and texture of the milk. Others, like the De’Longhi Magnifica XS, have a steam wand that allows you to froth your own milk to make your own drinks.
Water and bean container capacity
If you want a machine suitable for an office or a place where a lot of people want an espresso, it is best to choose one with a large water tank and a large bean capacity. Why? Because you won’t have to refill them as often. If you’re looking for a machine for your home or office, capacity isn’t as important since you won’t be using as much water or beans.
Customisation of drinks
As mentioned, some of these machines have menus with several preset drinks. Others have slots for programming your own creations. And, yes, there are a few that only make espresso. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference. Do you want a machine that can make you a cappuccino, macchiato, flat white or Americano to suit your mood? Or is a simple shot of espresso enough?
Another thing to consider is the size of the cup. If you’re only using the machine to make espressos, this may not be so important, but if you want a machine that can make you a cappuccino straight into your travel mug so you can take it on your way out, the size of the cup is definitely a consideration.
Heating system and temperatures
If you want a quick drink, look for a machine with two heating elements. Not only do they work quickly, but you can usually make one cup after another without having to wait for the machine to cool down.
Most super automatic espresso machines work by drawing small amounts of water at a time through the heating element. Two heating elements double the speed of this process.
The ideal water temperature for espresso is about 200 degrees F, which all of these machines are capable of doing. Some just take a little longer than others to achieve this.
All of the machines we have included in our review are covered by some sort of warranty, usually a one or two year limited warranty. It’s important to read your warranty or any other coverage that comes with your machine carefully so that you know what is covered and what is not. You don’t want to unknowingly do something that will void your coverage.
Design and dimensions
These machines all have a similar look and feel. They are elegant, usually with a shiny silver surface and black accents. Some of the other design features depend on the characteristics of the machine, but for the most part they all fit in any kitchen and work well with stainless steel appliances.
Most of these machines have an automatic cleaning function to flush the system and prevent scale build-up. If you have hard water, you may want to consider using a machine that also has a descaling function.
The automatic cleaning functions are very useful for cleaning the inside of the machine, but removable brew groups are also a good place to start. This makes it quick and easy to clean every corner of the machine.
How do I descale a super automatic espresso machine?
Every machine needs to be descaled at some point, usually every month or three months, depending on the machine, frequency of use and water hardness. Descaling removes the mineral deposits that form when water is constantly running through the machine. Hard water contains more minerals and leaves behind more deposits.
To keep your machine running smoothly, use a descaling solution specially designed for a super automatic espresso machine. Most machines have a descaling process already programmed, so all you have to do is add the appropriate solution.
When descaling, the machine passes the solution through the machine in the same path as the water, which means it comes out of the same spout as the espresso. Make sure you put a container to catch it before you start the process.
Once the machine has finished running the descaling solution, it is very important to rinse it. Follow the instructions that come with your machine to be sure, but usually two tanks of fresh water will remove the descaler from the system.
To avoid having to descale too frequently, you can use a machine with a water filter or simply use filtered water. This is particularly useful if you live in an area with particularly hard water.
Our editors’ choice: the Gaggia Babila RI9700, which offers eight preset recipes or you can make your own drink using the manual steam wand and flow button. The top-loading water tank holds around 50cl and is easy to access for cleaning and refilling. The appliance itself and the milk jug are self-cleaning.
If you are looking for a larger capacity machine, take a look at the Jura GIGA W3. This machine can hold a huge amount of water (169 ounces) and beans (35.2 ounces) and is ideal for an office or small coffee shop. There are 12 presets and 31 programmable menu slots to customize your drink options.
Finally, we recommend the Breville Oracle Touch. This best super automatic espresso machine is simple, sleek, and produces the perfect amount of pressure to extract the right amount of flavor from your beans. There are five preset recipes and you can save up to eight of your own creations in the touch screen menu.
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