Do you desire home brewed espresso that makes your heart skip a bean? If so, you are not alone! With so many options available it can be difficult to choose the best automatic espresso machine. We provide you with everything you need to make your brewing experience simple.
Home espresso machines have steadily increased in popularity, and along with it a surge in the need for espresso machines that allow you to brew a perfect espresso without the need to be a trained barista.
Automatic Espresso Machines automate each step of creating an espresso, from grinding the coffee beans to pressurized pouring. Although Automatic Espresso Machines are an investment, it is one that will pay you back in dividends when you pick the right one for your espresso drinking needs.
At a Glance: Our Top 4 Picks for Automatic Espresso Machines
1. Best Overall: Philips 3200 Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
2. Great Value: De’Longhi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso
3. Best Commercial Style: Breville Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
4. Best on a Budget: Breville Inissia Espresso Machine
- 1 What is Automatic Espresso?
- 2 Automatic Espresso Machine Types
- 3 What is Automatic Espresso?
- 4 10 Best Automatic Espresso Machines
- 5 Espresso Drink Options
- 6 Features to Consider
- 7 Cozy’s Final Thoughts
Automatic Espresso Machines: Worth the Investment?
When investing in a large purchase it is important that you are educated on the options available to you and that you feel confident in your purchase. This is very true of investing in a high quality espresso brewer as well.
If you are in the market for a machine that allows you to make your favorite espresso drinks with minimal effort then an automatic espresso machine is a good fit for you.
The automatic espresso machine takes away the complex preparation process of making espresso using a traditional method and provides you with a machine that does most or all the work for you.
Once you have decided to purchase an automatic espresso machine one of the most challenging parts becomes deciding which machine is the right one for you.
Cozy is here to help! Today we walk you through everything you need to know when purchasing an automatic espresso machine along with Cozy’s 2020 Reviews of Best Automatic Espresso Machines.
What is Automatic Espresso?
Automatic espresso machines are one of the most convenient ways to brew espresso at home in that it automates the multi-step espresso brewing process.
This eliminates the need for you to go through a complex ritual each time you want to simply enjoy a hot cup of espresso.
Unlike its distance relative, single serve Nespresso machines, automatic espresso machines use whole ground coffee beans versus coffee pods resulting in a fresher and more traditional tasting brew.
If you are looking for a single serve espresso brewer that mimics a crema topped espresso then a Nespresso machine may be a good fit for you. Nespresso’s are designed for convenience, although they can be great for many reasons, the drinks you will brew in them won’t compare to a traditional espresso machine.
However, if you want a high quality traditional espresso without the time intensive process of brewing an espresso then an automatic espresso machine is a better fit for you.
An automatic espresso brewing machine is a worthwhile investment for those who regularly enjoy espresso at home providing you with coffee shop worthy drinks at the touch of a button – anytime you want it.
Automatic Espresso Machine Types
Within the family of Automatic espresso machines there are a wide variety of options and features to consider. The largest differentiator between automatic machine types is how much you are involved in the brewing process versus how much the machine does. Put another way, the more automation the machine has the less you physically have to do to brew a cup of espresso.
A standard, fully automatic espresso machine is designed so the machine pulls a shot of espresso at the push of a button. With most automatic machines you will still need to grind and tamp the coffee beans.
Tamping is a necessary step when preparing espresso that compresses the grinds and evenly distributes the coffee in a filter basket of an espresso machine.
Although many enjoy grinding and tamping, it is a hands on part of the brewing process that requires an understanding of measurements and technique. If you prefer a mostly hands off process to brewing, you will want to consider a super-automatic espresso machine.
You can think of super-automatic machines as automatic machines with all the features you could need or want in an automated espresso brewer.
Super-automatic machines are designed to complete the end to end brewing process, eliminating almost all manual steps for the user.
Super-automatic machines typically grind and tamp the coffee beans and also pull the shot of espresso. They also often come with a built-in milk frother as well.
Super-automatic machines typically have a wide variety of programmable features which allows you to customize your brews as much as possible when brewing with a machine that is fully automated.
A semi-automatic is slightly more automated then their close cousin the automatic espresso machine. Semi-automatics provide you with more control over your brew such as the grind settings and pull time.
Typically, you will need to grind and tamp your own coffee grounds with a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Those who are more experienced at espresso brewing, often prefer this option as it allows you to customize your drink to your preferences while still enjoying some of the convenience an automated machine has to offer.
For novice brewers, this type of machine and brewing process can feel more complex. For those new to espresso brewing or those who want a quick, more automated espresso brewing process Cozy recommends you consider an automatic or super-automatic espresso brewer.
What is Automatic Espresso?
Automatic espresso machines take any manual effort of brewing a cup off your hands. With a decent automatic espresso machine you can expect that the machine will have the ability to grind, tamp and brew your beans. In addition, an automatic milk frother is oftentimes a common feature as well.
The most critical component of an automatic espresso machine is the internal brew group. The internal brew group is the part of the machine that acts as the barista when brewing your drink.
Once the machine grinds the whole beans, the brew group is responsible for preparing the beans for extraction by tamping the coffee grounds evenly.
After the coffee beans are brewed, the brew group drops a dry, solid coffee puck into a drawer. This entire process end to end is facilitated by the machine at the push of a button.
Many are fans of super-automatic and automatic machines because they provide the ability to consistently make your favorite drinks.
Super-automatic machines, hands down, are the most predictable when it comes to brewing consistent drinks because it follows the same process using the same amount of beans and water each and every time.
10 Best Automatic Espresso Machines
Whether you’re looking for an espresso machine like the one at your favorite coffee shop or you want to have the ability to make a simple espresso daily, there is an ideal automatic espresso machine for you. For cheaper options check out our full review of the top budget-friendly espresso machines.
Cozy has compiled our top 10 list of Best Automatic Espresso Machines complete with the features, pros and cons of each.
We hope this will get you drinking delicious espresso at home using a machine you love in no time!
In Cozy’s espresso drinking opinion, the Philips 3200 is one of the best automatic espresso machines on the market, offering a fully automatic espresso experience at a reasonable price point.
The Phillips 3200 provides you with the fully automated experience at a push of a button. It grinds and tamps the beans, brews espresso as well as specialty drinks and even prepares a fluffy milk foam for topping your drinks with.
The Phillips 3200 also includes Phillip’s signature LatteGo system which not only creates smooth froth for your drinks but also features a 15 second easy clean up system.
This machine is easy to use and lets you adjust your brewing settings to create a drink that suits your taste. The My Coffee Choice menu touch display on the Phillips 3200 is intuitive and offers an easy menu to select from when brewing your drinks.
With the Phillips 3200 espresso machine customization is easy allowing options for aroma strength, coffee length, temperature and the amount of milk you want frothed for your drink.
The top of the Phillips 3200 includes a ceramic 12 coffee bean grinder with a 12-setting adjustment that ranges from ultrafine to coarse.
The machine also comes with an Aroma Extract system which is designed to keep water at the ideal temperature range of 194°F to 208°F while regulating water flow rate.
It’s hard to find a downside to this machine. While it does require you to use a small filter and needs weekly cleaning to stay in tip-top shape, that’s not out of the ordinary for most espresso machines.
- Coffee bean grinder included
- Make two cups of espresso at once
- Temperature and aroma settings
- Fully automated with multiple customizable options
- Requires weekly cleaning
- You’ll need a small water filter to run it
If you are tired of traveling to your favorite coffee shop to get a quality espresso, consider a commercial-style espresso machine like the Breville fully automatic. The Breville Fully Automatic Espresso provides you with the tools and quality you would find in an espresso brewer at a coffee shop.
The display screen on this Breville product is unique. Swipe left or right, to choose which type of coffee you would like. Options include espresso, long blacks, lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos.
To brew you simply follow the prompts on the touch screen to customize your coffee and brew!
A convenient feature of the Breville is that you have the ability to save up to five types of drinks with your preferences, so you don’t have to click through all the options on the menu every time you go to brew.
You also have the ability to customize the water pressure, steam pressure and milk texture for your ideal cup.
The machine automates everything from grinding to tamping for a hands-off approach. The steam wand even has a self-cleaning feature. So, once you’ve got your settings where you want them, there’s not a lot of hard work left to do.
Just like our previous option, it’s hard to fault this espresso machine. The only downsides are the high price, which is reasonable for the quality features, and the potential difficulty in finding replacement parts.
- Commercial-style coffee in your home
- Touch screen customization
- Triple heating system
- Change water pressure, steam pressure, and milk texture
- Most expensive option
- It may not be easy to find replacement parts.
If you aren’t looking for an espresso machine with extra features and gadgets, there are several budget friendly options that can still deliver a delicious drink such as the Breville Inissia.
As an automated espresso machine, this device takes a much simpler approach to drink production while still producing a high-quality beverage.
You won’t find the same amount of customizable options on the Breville Inissia as you will on other automated espresso machines. For some, this may be appealing as it offers a streamlined and simplified approach to brewing.
Similar to Keurig models and their rival Nespresso, the Inissia only makes one cup of coffee at a time, but it does so quickly and efficiently. You can choose between two cup sizes, and the smart energy mode makes sure the machine turns off in a few minutes to save your electric bill.
While the small size may be ideal for some, it could be a breaking point for others. While many other espresso machines have their own grinders to grind their espresso beans, this device can only use capsules. Nonetheless, it offers excellent value for the price.
- Incredible low price
- Quick coffee production
- Comes with 14 coffee capsules
- Small and energy-efficient
- Only makes one cup at a time
- Uses capsules
Let’s jump from the modest Inissia to another extremely high-end automatic coffee machine. The Jura 15145 is a high-volume device specifically designed for a hotel or workspace. However, it can work just as well in your home.
Click through the options on the top screen, press the start button, and let it work its magic. Not only does this device create stellar espressos, but it can also produce 11 other quality drinks.
Similar to some of our previous options, this coffee maker has a built-in grinder for fresh drinks. Another key feature is that it cleans itself after every use.
However, since this machine is primarily for office or small commercial settings, the price is quite steep. That price makes sense, though, because it can create a high number of drinks per day.
- Includes coffee bean grinder
- 12 coffee drinks
- Self cleans
- Designed for office, not home
The De’Longhi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso and Coffee Machine is like having your own barista to brew delicious lattes, espressos and cappuccinos in the comfort of your kitchen. With an easy to use programmable push button menu, customization and brewing is simple.
The De’Longhi Magnifica has a direct-to-brew system which means you have the ability to use either fresh whole beans or ground coffee to brew with. For whole beans, the Magnifica comes with a patented built in Tubeless System that grinds beans instantly prior to brewing.
The Magnifica comes with multiple customizations available, including coffee strength, cup-size selections and grind preferences.
Other highlights include easy-to-use manual controls, as well as an integrated cup warmer, hot water spout for tea and coffee as well as a removable drip tray.
The Magnifica is also known for its quick and easy to clean design, limiting the time you will spend cleaning your machine every week.
While the De’Longhi machine doesn’t offer temperature manipulation, the company does pride itself on its boiler. It distributes the heat equally every time, ensuring you get espresso consistently at the right temperature.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Magnifica does not work well with oily coffee beans, but you can effortlessly work around that by buying different types of coffee beans.
- Affordable price
- Steel burr grinder
- Advanced milk frother
- Unique heat system
- No temperature control
- Doesn’t work well with oily beans
If you’re looking for more cost-effective options, Gaggia offers a fantastic machine for anybody on a budget.
It includes a coffee bean grinder on top, and there is an easy-to-use LED display with control buttons. There is also a Pannarello wand for adding milk to delicious cappuccinos or hot water to americanos and tea. You can also program the machine to create your ideal cup of coffee.
Even with all these options, the machine is a smaller size. If you want something with a more spacious bean hopper or more coffee options, you’ll need one of the more expensive options.
- One of the lowest prices
- Easy to use
- Pannarello wand for milk or hot water
- Small and compact
- Not as many options as larger machines
- Small bean and water holding capacity
One of the most popular brands for the best automatic espresso machine is Saeco. They offer quality products with a beautiful aesthetic. However, the cost is on the higher end.
This particular model focuses on a variety of drinks, letting you choose from 11 drinks. It also has user profiles to let you save your customized coffee styles for easy preparation.
Like other high-end options, this device comes with a coffee grinder and grind settings, a milk circuit for delicious cappuccinos, and a specialized AquaClean filter.
Some downsides include a small water filter and a tricky magnet. The door to the coffee hopper has a sensor to warn if it is open. However, it only works properly if the small magnet is in the correct position, and many customers complained that it was missing or installed wrong.
- Choose from 11 drinks
- AquaClean filter
- Self-cleaning milk circuit
- Touch screen
- Small water filter
- Magnetized sensor
If you like the sound of the Jura 15145 but don’t need such a high-volume espresso machine, consider the Jura ENA 1 option that is a fraction of the cost.
It has a sleek, slim design that will fit perfectly into smaller counter space. The front of the machine is simple, with only one button. On top of the device, there are a few more options for size and a conical coffee bean grinder.
This product has the perfect design to make one espresso at a time. However, if you are looking for more coffee options or controls, this simple, straightforward espresso machine may not be for you.
- Simple, sleek design
- Small size
- One-touch espresso machine
- Includes grinder
- Only makes one cup of coffee at a time
- Not many options or controls
Another Saeco option is the premium Xelsis. For several hundred dollars more than the PicoBaristo, the Xelsis gives you a more professional touch when making your morning espresso.
The Xelsis espresso machine lets you choose from 15 beverage options and has six user profiles to program every aspect of your favorite drinks. Ensure the temperature, texture, volume, and milk are just to your liking.
Instead of the regular LED option, the Xelsis touch screen uses a color TFT display for simple customization. This coffee maker also has double thermal blocks to create the perfect brewing and steaming temperature for whatever beverage you would like.
The most substantial downsides, of course, are the price and size of the machine. However, for an espresso maker to include everything from a grinder to a water filter, it does need to be on the larger and more costly end.
- 15 beverages
- Six user profiles
- Double thermal blocks
- TFT display
- Large size
To finish off Cozy’s list of espresso machines, we have another De’Longhi product.
Where the Magnifica makes five drinks and two 1-touch options, the Dinamica has seven drinks and four 1-touch options. A key selling point of this machine is that it makes iced coffees in addition to regular espressos, americanos, and cappuccinos.
Additionally, it is much easier to use, thanks to the touch screen options and temperature settings. It also heats up much faster and has a larger capacity for any type of bean.
While the Dinamica seems like a new and improved version of the Magnifica model, some customers were dissatisfied with the quality for the price.
However, if you aren’t ready to put down a lot of money for a higher-end model, this machine will produce quality espressos for a reasonable price.
- Coffee bean grinder
- Iced coffee feature
- Touch screen
- Temperature controls
- Might not be the best value for the price
- Lacking customer service
Espresso Drink Options
Espresso brewers provide you with a wide variety of drink options.
Traditional, rich espresso is the delicious foundation for a lot of drinks. However, a classic espresso can be enjoyed on its own complete with a thick, fluffy crema on top.
An Americano is made of half water and half espresso.This espresso drink does not have milk in it.
Lungo (Italian for “long”) is made with a single espresso shot with water that is added during the brewing process versus afterwards. This results in a larger or lungo drink.
A ristretto, known for being a strong drink, uses a short shot of espresso and half the usual normal of water during brewing
The latte is the classic coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. It can be enjoyed plain or with flavored syrups for a fun and sweet twist.
A macchiato is made with a shot of espresso topped with steamed milk along with a thick layer of milk foam.
Cappuccino is a classic Italian drink made with espresso and milk. The milk used to create the cappuccino is frothed into a macrofoam.
Features to Consider
Most Automatic Espresso machines include a steam wand. A steam wand forces steam and air into your milk to create a warm froth. The steam wand performs an important function ensuring your steamed milk is smooth, creamy and a perfect temperature.
A steam wand can help gauge the quality of the espresso machine, a lower-end machine will most often come equipped with a low-quality steam wand. To get the most out of the steam wand feature, Cozy recommends:
- You select a manual steam wand, as this will allow you to have more control over steaming your milk
- You do not want a fixed wand, you will want to ensure the steam has a good range of motion that swivels while you steam
- Get a steam wand that has 2-4 steam holes
Grinders are an important feature on an espresso brewing machine as it provides the ability to brew bean-to-cup using your machine to grind the beans before brewing.
If your espresso machine does not come with a built in grinder, you will have to purchase an independent grinder.
A portafilter attaches to the grouphead of the espresso machine that carries the tamped puck of coffee grounds in its basket.
On lower quality espresso machines, you will find that the portafilters typically are smaller. This is relevant because the size of the portafilter can impact the size of the shot you can pull for your drink.
If you prefer a drink closer to what you would order at your favorite coffee shop you will want to purchase an espresso machine with the ability to hold 16 – 22 grams of coffee grounds.
Steam or Pump-Powered Pressure
Pressure is the magic feature in ensuring you create a delicious cup of espresso. Typically machines will either use steam or pump-powered pressure when brewing.
Steam is the traditional method, forcing water through the coffee beans using pressure from steam. The negative of this method is it does not create as much pressure for extraction compared to pump-powered machines. This can often result in inconsistent drinks.
Pump-powered machines, which are typically more costly than steam powered ones, allow for more control over the brewing process and result in more consistent drinks every time you brew. The extra expense of pump-powered machines is worth it when wanting to invest in a high quality espresso machine.
An espresso machine typically comes with a single or double boiler.
A single boiler means the espresso machine has one boiler that heats the water to brew the espresso and is also used to make steam for milk based drinks.
A double boiler espresso machine comes with two boilers. One boiler assists with heating the water to brew your drinks while the second is used for frothing milk.
Double boilers are often much more efficient than a single boiler espresso machine. However, they also come with a heftier price tag. A single boiler can get you the same drink results, it will just take a little longer.
Cozy’s Final Thoughts
Going to a coffee shop can become extremely expensive quickly, so why not bring the espresso machine to your own home? Our personal favorite is the Philips 3200 machine, but pick one that works best for you and start enjoying a delicious espresso at home.