Long black, Latte Macchiato, Cappuccino, Americano, Flat white? The genius of super-automatic machines is that you can produce drinks like these from the comfort of your own home with the push of a button. Buying a Super Automatic espresso machine is kind of like hiring your own personal barista; it will cost you, but it will also give you café quality coffee on demand!
In this article, we review the eight best super-automatic espresso machines. While some of these machines are on the pricier end of the scale, if you are serious about coffee and love convenience, they can be a great investment.
Our Pick: Breville the oracle touch
If you’re pushed for time our recommendation is that Breville the Oracle Touch is the best super-automatic espresso machine. It is fully automated, utilizes cutting-edge technology, and makes high-end barista skills look like a walk in the park. But in all seriousness what sets this machine apart is the sheer quality of the espresso and milk. Whether you are a purist looking for a short black, or a traditionalist looking for a latte, The Oracle Touch has the ability to rival your favorite café at the push of a button.
What Is A Super Automatic Espresso Machine?
Super Automatic espresso machines, also known as Bean-to-cup machines or automatic coffee machines are basically fully automatic espresso machines. These machines will do everything for you from grinding and tamping beans, to brewing and milk steaming. Like we said earlier, a personal barista at your beck and call!
These espresso machines are convenient, simple to use, and clean, and will pull a consistent shot at the push of a button. So why doesn’t everyone have one!? The main reason is the cost; most of these machines are definitely at the higher end of the price scale (with a few notable exceptions!).
The other reason is that these espresso machines take away most of the control over brewing an espresso, which is what they were designed to do. However, if you are a coffee hobbyist and love the process of brewing espresso, a fully automatic espresso machine is not for you, you would be better off with a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine. However, they are a great option for the coffee consumer who doesn’t have the time or inclination to develop their barista skills.
Advantages Of Super Automatics
Disadvantages Of Super Automatics
What To Look For In A Super Automatic Espresso Machine?
Entering the world of Super Automatic espresso machines can be a little bit like navigating in the midst of a thick fog. There are lots of technical specifications thrown in your face and nuanced functions that are hard to understand let alone know if you need them. We have compiled a list of the things we think will help you figure out which is the best super-automatic espresso machine for you.
The grinder is one of the most important aspects when it comes to brewing espresso and will determine how well a shot is pulled. There is a fair bit of skepticism among coffee purists about the quality of grinders in fully automatic espresso machines. There is some truth to these suspicions as inbuilt grinders to date simply cannot compare with decent external grinders. This is largely due to the quality of the burrs and the number of available grind settings.
The grinder is one of the most important aspects when it comes to brewing espresso and will determine how well a shot is pulled. There is a fair bit of skepticism among coffee purists about the quality of grinders in automatic coffee machines. There is some truth to these suspicions as inbuilt grinders to date simply cannot compare with decent external grinders. This is largely due to the quality of the burrs and the number of available grind settings.
So for example, the grinder in the high-end Breville Oracle Touch has 45 grind settings which is the most we have found in any inbuilt grinder. However, the grinder that we usually use at home for espresso has a stepless grind adjustment with countless settings. Similarly, while most inbuilt grinders now use burrs instead of blades (which is a very good thing), these burrs are often of poorer quality than in external grinders. So when considering which is the best super-automatic espresso machine make sure you check the number of grind settings available.
For the hobbyist barista, the degree of programmability matters a lot- they want to play around with things like grind size, water temperature, pre-infusion, and extraction time to achieve the perfect espresso. However, the very design of a fully automatic espresso machine negates this. These espresso machines are designed to take away most of the control over brewing and have the machine do it all. You will find some machines, often the higher-end ones will allow more flexibility than others. They may allow you to alter things like grind size, water temperature, and shot strength. If you are a coffee consumer and happy to have the espresso machine do it all for you, you may not be concerned about the degree of programmability.
The brew group is the area of the machine where coffee is compressed and brewed. Most super-automatic espresso machines have removable brew groups which are able to be rinsed by hand. This has the benefit of making maintenance and repairs easier if a mechanical problem arises.
Other espresso machines (most notably the Jura machines) have a built-in brew group. These are easier to maintain as they have self-cleaning programs. The downside is that repair is more complicated if a problem arises.
Most super-automatic espresso machines now use thermoblock systems. These systems quickly heat the small amount of water required for a shot as opposed to heating a whole reservoir. Super-automatic machines can either have 1 or 2 thermoblock systems. Espresso machines with 2 systems are more pricey but are able to steam milk at the same time as brewing. Machines with only a single system require up to a 40-second wait between brewing and steaming.
If you intend on brewing specialty coffee drinks, the quality of the milk produced is a very important consideration. The milk should have a good texture and be heated to the right temperature. The other thing to consider is whether the espresso machine allows you to alter the temperature and texture of the milk produced. This can be a helpful feature if you want to create different types of drinks.
There is a range of milk steaming options available in the different machines. The more basic machines will come with a manual steam wand, which requires some skill to master. Other more premium super-automatic espresso machines offer automated milk steaming. Some machines will both steam and pour your milk for you while others will only steam or even require manual steaming depending on your preferences.
Given that a bean-to-cup machine is all about convenience, the operating interface is an important factor to consider. How easy is the machine to operate? Does it have a touchscreen that is easy to navigate and responsive to touch? Is it easy to customize the different drinks? Does the espresso machine automatically turn on and warm up, ready for use in the morning? These little features can be a deal breaker; either making a machine a joy or a frustration to use. If you are throwing thousands of dollars into an espresso machine you want to make sure it is a machine that you will enjoy using.
Water Tank and Bean Hopper Capacity
You will find super-automatic espresso machines differ in terms of capacity, particularly when it comes to water tank size and bean hopper. Consider what size espresso machine you need based on your needs- if the whole family or office will be using it you will want to opt for a larger machine so you won’t have to constantly be refilling it and vice versa.
How easy is the machine to clean? Does it come with self-cleaning functions? How often are you going to have to empty the drip tray, purge the steam wand, descale the machine?
Pre-programmed drinks are a good option especially if you are in a rush. Most super-automatic machines offer a range of pre-set drinks such as latte macchiato, cappuccino, or espresso. However the number of recipes on offer varies between different machines, some will only have a few options while others have up to 19.
Buying Tip: If you want to save some money when buying a super-automatic espresso machine, you could consider buying a refurbished espresso machine rather than a brand-new one. These machines are often sold at a markdown price, and are virtually the same as a new machine. The machines have been repaired, tested, and serviced and typically come with a warranty. The downside of a refurbished machine is that there is limited availability and you may have to wait to get the one you want. A good place to start is to check out 1st in coffee, which has some great deals on refurbished Jura espresso machines.
Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine 2023
Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine
The Gaggia Brera is an entry-level espresso machine with high-end features for a great price. Coming in at under $500 it is the most affordable super-automatic espresso machine on our list. It comes in 2 colors (silver and black) and while not the most attractive machine, it is easy to use.
The Brera has a digital LED display, with 4 buttons to select either an espresso, long coffee, or to adjust the dose of coffee. It features a ceramic burr grinder with 5 different grind settings and a bypass doser for decaf coffee. It has 3 different dosing options (light, medium or strong). This machine is our top pick for an entry-level super automatic espresso machine.
The Gaggia Brera comes equipped with a pannarello steam wand that is used to steam milk manually. For maintenance, the water and dreg drawers are located at the front of the machine. It has a removable brew group and cleaning alerts.
This machine is ideal for americanos or milk-based coffees rather than straight espresso. What we love about this Super Automatic espresso machine is that it uses the same brewing technology as more expensive machines. It can also make two full-strength coffees at the same time which is a great feature!
Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300
The De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a terrific machine for those who want quality coffee without breaking the bank. The De’Longhi Magnifica is very simple to use with a single and double shot button to brew your shot. It has 2 dials allowing you to adjust the grams of coffee and volume of the shot dispensed. The machine has dual stainless steel thermoblock boilers for steaming and brewing. Unfortunately, you cannot brew and steam simultaneously, but there is minimal wait time when switching between them.
The Magnifica has a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder with 7 settings to adjust the fineness of the grind. The machine comes with a pannarello steam wand allowing you to froth your own milk. The pannarello attachment injects air into the milk making it easy to create froth, however, the quality of the milk isn’t as good as a traditional steam wand.
Finally, the De’Longhi Magnifica is easy to clean and maintain. It has a removable brew chamber that can be washed, in addition, the machine has auto-rinse cycles to keep it running smoothly. With a large water tank and used puck drawer, you won’t have to be refilling and emptying regularly. The water tank doesn’t come with a filter, so filtered water needs to be used. The De’Longhi Magnifica is an affordable automatic espresso machine offering great value for money.
Philips 3200 LatteGo
The Phillips 3200 LatteGo is a popular automatic espresso machine. As the name would suggest, it is all about the milk system so this is a good option for those who love milk-based beverages.
The machine has an intuitive touch display with five preset drinks- espresso, cappuccino, black coffee, latte macchiato and americano. Each drink is easy to customize with options to change the shot volume, temperature, grind size, brew strength and water volume.
The machine has a ceramic flat burr grinder with an impressive 12 settings, setting it apart from other machines at this price point. The grinder (and milk system) are unfortunately rather noisy when in use. The milk system has been redesigned to make it easy to clean with no pipes or tubing. The LatteGo system mixes air into the milk at a high speed producing a thick, creamy layer of milk froth. While the texture isn’t amazing it is ok for an automatic milk frother. And it does allow you to produce one-touch drinks with no effort.
The Philips LatteGo is ideal for a latte or cappuccino lover who wants hands-free brewing without breaking the bank.
The Gaggia Academia is a popular bean-to-cup machine, particularly for an office or commercial environment. Manufactured in Italy by the famed coffee company Gaggia, the Academia is well-built and reliable, while also being affordable.
The Gaggia Academia offers a high degree of programmability, able to accommodate different tastes. It contains a ceramic burr grinder with 8 grind settings allowing control over the flavor of your coffee. The machine produces six drinks with the push of a button ranging from espresso to cappuccinos or lattes. Each drink can be tweaked either before or during brewing to adjust the flow of coffee, the volume of water, the size of the dose, the brew temperature, and the amount of foam.
The Academia has a pre-wet function to improve the extraction of espresso. However, the espresso produced is not amazing. It is a little empty, lacking complexity and sweetness. The positive side is that the Gaggia Academia is quick to brew with a double boiler allowing you to switch between brewing and frothing with no downtime. It is unique in that it is one of only a few machines on the market that features both a milk carafe and a manual steam wand.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance the Accademia does require some work, especially if there is a high volume of use. The water tank is small and needs to be refilled regularly, the drip tray and used puck container needs to be emptied often. The brew group is removable for easy cleaning and maintenance. The milk carafe also has a self-cleaning function which is helpful. All-in-all the Gaggia Accademia is a good value machine for larger households or offices who love good coffee.
DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
The Delonghi Dinamica Plus is a stand-out machine considering the price tag. The Dinamica has a clever layout, resulting in a small footprint (for a bean-to-cup machine!). The machine is equipped with a touchscreen which is intuitive to use and allows you to customize your coffee. Users can adjust the grind size, strength, and quantity of coffee brewed. The Dinamica offers 12 one-touch drinks, including iced coffee, and has the ability to brew two espressos at a time.
The Dinamica has a built-in steel conical burr grinder with 13 grind settings. The grinder tends to grind finer than other machines. Where the Dinamica really shines is in the espresso it produces. The espresso is delicious with a sweet and complex flavor and a thick layer of crema.
The Dinamica Plus comes with an automatic milk frother which delivers milk directly into the cup. The level of froth and temperature of the milk is able to be adjusted to suit taste preferences. While the foam quality is not amazing it is passable for an automatic frother. The milk system comes with a thermal milk jug, which is able to be stored in the refrigerator when not in use.
Finally, the Delonghi Dinamica plus is simple to clean and maintain, with a removable brew group and dishwasher-safe drip tray. Overall, the Dinamica is a decent bean-to-cup machine and one of the best in its class considering the price. It produces high-quality espresso and a wide range of milk-based drinks with the push of a button.
The Jura E8 is a stunning machine with a sleek and glossy finish- a real statement piece for any kitchen. It is available in two colors; black and chrome. The E8 is a feature-rich machine with a huge number of drinks on offer and the ability to customize.
The machine is controlled via a color LCD screen. Here you can select from 16 different drink options- anything from espresso, cappuccino, flat white to latte. The Jura E8 offers a huge amount of flexibility with each drink. There are 8 coffee strengths to choose from, you can customize the volume of espresso extracted, temperature level and dose of coffee from 5g to 16g. The Jura E8 has a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 6 different grind settings.
The E8 features Jura’s fine foam milk frothing system. Here a silicone tube is used to draw milk up and the machine heats and froths it before delivering it directly into the cup. A dial on the frother allows you to adjust the density and volume of milk but not the temperature. The milk is thick and creamy, the perfect complement to dark, rich coffee.
The Jura E8 is a quality machine produced by a company that is one of the leading voices in the super-automatic domain. If you are looking for a machine that will produce a wide variety of one-touch drinks and give you the flexibility to customize according to taste, the Jura E8 is well worth considering.
Breville the Oracle Touch
The Breville Oracle Touch is perhaps the best super-automatic espresso machine on the market. It is not a traditional bean-to-cup machine, requiring some user involvement, namely moving the portafilter and preparing the milk to be steamed.
The machine brews cafe-quality coffee in 3 easy steps: Grind, Brew, and Milk. Firstly the machine automatically grinds, doses, and tamps coffee into a portafilter. You then move the portafilter from the grind outlet onto the group head and select the brew function on the screen. Milk can be prepared at the same time using the automatic steam wand by pushing the milk function.
The machine features a clever touch screen allowing you to select from a range of drinks or to save your own customized beverages. While the machine produces top-quality espresso, perhaps the milk wand is the most exciting feature. The milk wand automatically produces high-quality micro-foam which is perfect for latte art and can rival barista-made milk.
Coffee strength, milk temperature, and texture are all customizable. This machine is ideal for the coffee enthusiast who loves a high-quality cup of coffee and is willing to invest to make the dream a reality.
If you are wanting a premium bean-to-cup machine, Jura is the brand to consider. This Swiss manufacturer produces high-quality machines, utilizing cutting-edge technology to produce delicious coffee.
The Jura z10 is one of their luxury models that produces an impressive 24 drinks including its specialty, cold brew. The machine is well-built and has a large touchscreen that is simple to navigate and program. The Jura z10 has a stainless steel conical burr grinder with stepless grind settings. The grind size is automatically adjusted for different beverages, allowing you to tweak recipes for the perfect drink.
Where you really see the difference between the Jura and an entry-level machine is in the cup quality. The Jura z10 produces delicious espresso shots with good texture and flavor. The machine is easy to dial in and program.
The Jura also shines in the quality of milk produced. Common to Jura machines, the z10 has the Cappuccinatore milk frother, which is basically a tube that you pop into a milk jug that produces frothed milk. Surprisingly the Jura z10 does not come with a milk carafe, this must be purchased separately. While not a deal-breaker, it is disappointing that at this price point, you would have to purchase extra accessories. The milk texture and temperature is customizable but good quality with fine foam.
The Jura z10 is a Luxury machine that will produce delicious espresso but cost a pretty penny.
The Verdict- The Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Breville The Oracle Touch is our pick as the best super-automatic espresso machine. This machine is an excellent machine and well worth the money. The technology utilized is unique and superior to a lot of other machines. It is able to produce high-quality espresso for our coffee connoisseurs while at the same time making the creation of microfoam milk look easy. This machine will allow you to produce cafe-quality drinks in the comfort of your own home.
Most of the cons with the machine are only issues for those who want to fine-tune their barista skills in which case we would recommend a semi-automatic espresso machine or a manual machine.
If you are wanting a traditional bean-to-cup machine that will produce drinks at the push of a button the two stand-out machines are the Delonghi Dinamica Plus which is a superb machine for the price and the premium Jura z10.
Tips for using your machine
Choose the right beans
Super-automatic machines often have trouble with dark roasted beans. Due to the oily film on their surface, they tend to clog up the grinder and brew unit and cause breakdowns. It is better to opt for light or medium roasted beans. See our guide to the best espresso beans for a some good options.
Adjust your grind
Adjust your grind to pull the perfect shot. You may need to adjust when using different types of beans. In general, lighter roasts require a finer grind than darker roasts.
Use good-quality water
Better water means better coffee. Use a water filter to remove nasty-tasting chemicals such as chlorine from your water. A filter also helps prevent the build-up of minerals in your machine so you don’t have to descale as often.
Clean your machine
Clean out your brew group once a week. This is done by simply rinsing it under running water and leaving it to drip dry or running through a cleaning cycle if it is built in. Clean the milk frother after each use to prevent clogging. Read your machine’s manual for detailed instructions on how to maintain your machine.