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There’s no better way to make coffeehouse coffee at home than getting the best super automatic espresso machine for your kitchen. Or, get one for the office break room and have a nice pick-me-up when the after-lunch slump hits. There are so many options out there, how do you know which is the right one for you? That’s where we come in.
We reviewed 34 different products and narrowed them down to our top seven picks to help you decide. Our Editor’s Choice is the Gaggia Babila. With multiple menu options, 15 grinding settings, an integrated milk carafe and steam wand, and three levels or pre-brewing, there isn’t much this machine can’t do. Plus, it has an automatic cleaning program so maintenance is easy, too. Looking for something different? Don’t worry, we found six more great options for you to choose from.
To put together this review, we considered some of the most important features to look for when it comes to super automatic espresso machines: dimensions, so you can 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, just to make sure you can use your favorite mug. First up is a table where you can see all of the products we chose, side by side. After that, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each product followed by a detailed buying guide to help you choose the right machine for you.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Gaggia Babila RI9700. It has an amazing one-touch bean-to-cup feature and eight programmable options to make espressos, coffee, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more. This machine comes with a milk carafe and automatic frothing and 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 reservoir holds just under 51 ounces of water and is easy to access when you need to add more. The brew spouts are removable and can accommodate travel cups and larger mugs and the drip tray holds about 32 ounces to prevent any messes. Speaking of messes, this machine is easy to clean. Not only is the brew unit removable but there’s also an automatic rinse and descale cycle. The milk carafe also features automatic cleaning.
Another thing we like about this one is that it comes with some great accessories, including a bottle of descaler, water filter, brush, and a coffee scoop. As for downsides, some people claimed they didn’t notice much difference when adjusting the strength of the coffee. Also, removing the milk pitcher to store in the fridge is a bit tedious.
What makes it stand out?
8 drink options
Manual steam wand
Flow knob to adjust strength
Large water and bean reservoirs
Easy to clean
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Flow knob doesn’t do much for the strength of the brew
If you’re 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 and has an elegant, professional design that would look great in an office or small cafe.
This machine is loaded with awesome features like cup warmers and milk coolers so you can 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 even grinding and is exceptionally fast.
Two of the best things about this machine is 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’re easy to access. Maintenance, in general, is pretty simple – the automatic cleaning, rinsing, and descaling settings take care of most of the work.
There aren’t a lot of downsides to this machine. It performs very well and makes a mean coffee. That said, it is the most expensive model in our reviews and may be prohibitively expensive depending on how you plan to use it. Another thing to note, although suitable for light commercial use, this machine cannot be hooked up to a water line.
This Gaggia Brera model is the best value that we found in our research coming in at under $500. It features an LED display with illuminated 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 for making tea and Americanos.
Everything about this machine is easy and convenient, including the dregs drawer, water tank, and drip tray. They’re all easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning. The brew group also removes easily for regular maintenance and care.
You can use whole beans or ground coffee with this machine by using either the ceramic burr grinder or the bypass doser. It accommodates cups between 3.25 and 4.5 inches and features stainless steel front panels that look great in any kitchen or office.
Some people were disappointed in the limited cup size which isn’t a huge deal but can be inconvenient. The water tank is also a little small and needs refilling frequently. A few people also commented that the materials seem flimsy and everything doesn’t always fit back together well after cleaning. Drink selections are also limited.
If you’re looking for the best super automatic espresso machine under 1000, we recommend the Saeco Incanto. The sleek, elegant design looks great in 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 disc grinder that prevents the coffee from overheating during the grinding process so it doesn’t taste burnt. The bean container holds up to 8.8 ounces of whole beans and there are settings for using ground coffee or decaf if you prefer. This machine also heats up quickly and you don’t have to wait too long to brew a second cup.
The milk carafe is detachable so it’s easy to store 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 makes up to 5,000 cups of coffee before needing to descale.
Users had a few minor complaints about this machine. Some felt that the water reservoir is too small and needed to be refilled quite frequently. This machine can be a bit messy and it’s difficult to read the icons on the display screen.
Another great choice is the De’Longhi Magnifica XS. It features an adjustable cappuccino system that perfectly steams the milk to create think, long-lasting foam. You can also tweak the settings to make a creamy latte, flat white, or a macchiato. Program your preferences and the machine will remember them for next time.
The thing that stands out the most about this machine is the grinder. There are 13 different settings so you get the freshest ground beans, every time. If you prefer to use pre-ground coffee, you can do that, too. Just add your favorite grounds – even decaf – to the second chamber.
This machine maintains the optimal temperature after brewing so you can make a second cup right away. The large 60-ounce water tank makes a lot of coffee before needing to be refilled. When you’re done, the brew unit removes for easy cleaning and maintenance. The water tank, drip tray, and used ground container all remove as well. The machine lets you know when it’s time to clean it and most parts are dishwasher safe.
Most people agreed that this machine made a great espresso but some were disappointed that it didn’t automatically make cappuccino. You can change the foam and steam settings but, ultimately, you have to make your own cappuccino.
The automatic espresso machine for capsules is the Nespresso by De’Longhi EN80BAE. This might be the best way to make a single cup of coffee or espresso. The patented extraction system delivers the right amount of pressure and the small design fits into any kitchen or office space.
This machine heats up in only 25 seconds and makes up to nine single cups of espresso before the 24-ounce water reservoir needs refilling. It also includes the Aeroccino 3 milk frother so you can take your drink to the next level by making cappuccinos or lattes. You can brew two different sizes, 1.35 ounces for an espresso and 5 ounces for a Lungo. You can use larger mugs, though, thanks to the folding drip tray.
As a gift, you also get a Nespresso welcome kit with 16 capsules of coffee. Each contains high-quality beans sealed in a recyclable aluminum 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 quite as good.
Make sure you seat the capsule perfectly in the machine. If not, it could leak and make a mess during the brewing process.
Why did it make our list?
Patented extraction system
Small, sleek design
Heats up in 25 seconds
Milk frother included
Two drink sizes
Folding drip tray
Welcome kit with 16 capsules included
What is not ideal about it?
Should only use with Nespresso capsules
Capsule has to be seated perfectly or it can make a mess during brewing
Things to Consider
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing the right super automatic espresso machine for your home or office. To make sure you don’t miss anything, we’re covering all the things you need to know to choose the right machine for your needs.
Why should you choose a super automatic espresso machine?
There are a few reasons why a super automatic espresso machine is such a good choice. These machines are the only way to get coffeehouse-quality espresso in your own home at the push of a button. All you have to do is fill the water reservoir and bean hopper, choose what you want, and push a button. Plus, they make great-tasting coffee that’s brewed to the right temperature using the perfect amount of pressure. That’s something that drip coffee just can’t give you.
How does a super automatic espresso machine work?
Some models have more advanced features than others but there are some standard features that all super automatic espresso machines have. Most of them have a grinder that grinds whole beans and then deposits the grounds into the brew group. The machine automatically tamps the grounds and brewed the espresso, heating the water and using the right amount of 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 from the machine, push the button, and wait. Some machines also let you choose from multiple types of drinks that steam and add milk or hot water for you.
One of the biggest differences between the products we chose is price. The range from our $500 budget pick, the Gaggia Brera, to the $5300 Jura GIGA W3. Now, bear in mind, those are two very different machines. Higher-end models have a lot more variety when it comes to the number of drinks they can make and they usually have larger water reservoirs and bean hoppers.
Choose the best super automatic espresso machine by the following features
Here are the specific features you should look for when choosing the right machine for your home or office.
Some of these machines are intuitive and very easy to use. The Breville Oracle Touch, for example, has a simple touchscreen menu that lets you swipe to choose your drink recipe. Some of the menus aren’t as straightforward and may take a bit of practice.
Another thing to consider is how easy it is to access the water reservoir and bean hopper. Front-loading is preferred because you don’t have to worry about clearance if you place your machine under the cupboards.
Most of these machines have built-in grinders. In fact, that’s a pretty standard feature of mid to high-range super automatic espresso machines. If the machine does have 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 pressure is what makes espresso and is very important to the taste and quality of the end product. The ideal pressure for espresso is about 9 or 10 bars, though you will see machines that produce much higher amounts of pressure than that.
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 where you can adjust the temperature and texture of the milk. Others, like the De’Longhi Magnifica XS, have a steam wand so you can froth your own milk to make your own drinks.
Water and bean containers capacity
If you want a machine that’s appropriate for an office or a setting where a lot of people want espresso, it’s better to get one with a large water reservoir and bean container capacity. Why? Because you won’t have to refill them quite as often. If you’re looking for a machine for your home or to keep on your desk, the capacity isn’t as important since you won’t be using as much water or beans.
As we’ve mentioned, some of these machines have menus with multiple preset drinks. Others have slots to program your own creations. And, yes, there are a few that only make espresso. In the end, this boils down to preference. Do you want something that can make you a cappuccino, macchiato, flat white, or Americano based on your mood? Or is a simple shot of espresso enough?
Another thing to consider is cup size. If you’re only using the machine to make espresso shots, this might not matter as much but if you want a machine that can brew you a cappuccino right into your travel mug so you can grab it on your way out the door, cup size is definitely something to keep in mind.
Heating system and temperatures
If you want your drink fast, look for a machine with dual heating elements. Not only do they work quickly but, usually, you can brew one cup right after another without having to wait for the unit to cool.
Most super automatic espresso machines work by pulling small amounts of water at a time through the heating element. Two heating elements effective doubles the speed of this process.
The ideal water temperature for espresso is around 200 degrees F, which all of these machines are capable of doing. Some might just take a little longer than others to get there.
All of the machines we included in our review are covered by some kind of guarantee, usually a one or two-year limited warranty. It’s important to look closely at your warranty or any coverage that comes with your machine so you know what’s covered and what isn’t. You don’t want to unknowingly do something that is going to void your coverage.
Design and sizes
These machines all have a similar look and style. They’re sleek, usually with a shiny silver surface and black accents. Some of the other design features depend on the features of the machine but, for the most part, they would all look great in any kitchen and would match any stainless steel appliances well.
Most of these machines have an automatic cleaning feature to flush out the system and help prevent scale buildup. Something you might want to consider if you have hard water is using a machine that has a descaling function, too.
Automatic cleaning functions are great for getting the inside of the machine clean but removable brew groups are a good thing to look for, too. This makes it easy to get every last bit of the machine clean quickly and easily.
How to descale a super automatic espresso machine
Every machine will need to be descaled at some point, usually once every one to three months depending on the machine, how often it’s used, and water hardness. Descaling removes the mineral buildup that collects from water constantly moving through the machine. Hard water has more minerals and leaves behind more buildup.
To keep your machine running smoothly, use a descaling solution specifically made for a super automatic espresso machine. Most of the machines have a descaling process already programmed so you’ll just need to add the appropriate solution.
When descaling, the machine feeds the solution through the machine following the same path as the water which means it comes out the same spout as the espresso. Make sure you put a container in place catch it before you start the process.
After the machine finishes running the descaling solution through, it’s very important to rinse your machine. Follow the instructions that come with your machine to be sure but generally running two tanks of fresh water will flush the descaler out of the system.
One way you can prevent having to descale too frequently is to use a machine with a water filter or just use filtered water in the first place. This is particularly helpful if you live somewhere with particularly hard water.
It depends on the machine! Most super automatic espresso machines are equipped with grinders so you can use your favorite whole coffee beans. Some machines have a bypass system so you can use pre-ground coffee. Note that the Nespresso machine is designed to be used with Nespresso capsules so it’s a special case.
No! In fact, they’re designed specifically for regular users because they make espresso at the push of a button. Some of the additional features may take some practice. For example, you may have to practice a bit to use an integrated milk steamer to make yourself a latte. But, for the most part, these machines are all very user-friendly.
As we’ve seen, super automatic espresso machines grind the beans, tamp the grounds, and brew espresso at the push of a button. Semi-automatic machines ask you to do a little more work. You have to grind and tamp the beans yourself, adding them to the portafilter and attaching it to the machine. Once the portafilter is in place, the machine takes over. Both make great espresso, it’s just a matter of how much control you want to have over the process. Super automatic machines are much easier to use.
Our Editor’s Choice the Gaggia Babila RI9700. It features eight preset recipes or you can make your own drink using the manual steam wand and flow knob. A top-loading water reservoir holds just about 51 ounces and is easy to access for cleaning and refills. The machine itself and the milk carafe feature automatic cleaning.
If you’re looking for something with a bigger capacity, check out the Jura GIGA W3. This machine holds a whopping 169 ounces of water and 35.2 ounces of beans and is great for an office or small cafe. There are 12 presets and 31 programmable menu slots to personalize your drink options.
Finally, we recommend the Breville Oracle Touch. This best super automatic espresso machine is simple, streamlined, 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 touchscreen menu.