If you want barista quality coffee at home, nothing makes it easier than a super automatic espresso machine. But these clever gadgets are expensive – so if you’re investing your hard-earned money, make sure it’s on the right model.
We’re going to make that easier by reviewing seven of the best super automatic espresso machines out there. We’ll look at all their features, and consider what questions to ask yourself before you make your final choice.
So if you’re ready for perfect coffee, step this way!
The Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine in 2020
1. Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine (Budget Pick)
Gaggia Brera super automatic espresso machine is the most economically priced option on our list by some way. So what do you get for the surprisingly reasonable price tag?
Well, to begin with it looks pretty smart. It’s finished in stainless steel with a mirror polished milk wand and black accents. It won’t take up excessive amounts of space either, at 12.4 inches high, 10 inches wide and 17.5 inches deep.
Because the reservoir and dregs drawer are removed from the front, you’ll need minimal extra height under your wall cupboards.
The modest dimensions are reflected in the size of the reservoir and bean hopper. Neither are the largest out there. The reservoir will hold 40 ounces of water and the hopper 8.8 ounces of beans.
The spout moves up and down to accommodate different sized cups without splashing. You’ll be able to fit cups up to a maximum of 4.5 inches tall.
The ceramic burr grinder will give consistent grounds for even extraction. It will even adapt its operation to your chosen coffee bean.
Or if you prefer, you can by-pass the grinder and use pre-ground coffee instead. That’s a good option if you want the occasional cup of decaf.
The Panarello milk wand enables you to create a creamy foam for lattes and cappuccinos. It heats up fast, getting to steam temperature in just 10 seconds. But you will have to foam the milk separately and add it to your coffee yourself.
The machine is easy to operate, with a clear LED screen taking you through your options. You can also create lists of basic and customized drinks. Program your preferred amount of water, up to a maximum of 8 ounces, and control the strength of the brew.
One thing to note is that the machine doesn’t register how much water is left in the reservoir. If there isn’t enough to make your chosen drink, it will just use up what’s there. The result will be a short measure you’ll need to top up with hot water.
- LED screen makes programming easy
- Can be used with either beans or pre-ground coffee
- Panarello milk wand heats up fast to create velvety foam
- The reservoir is rather small
- There’s no sensor to alert you when there’s not enough water left for your selected drink.
2. De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine (Our Top Pick)
DeLonghi’s ESAM300 Magnifica comes in at roughly twice the price of the Gaggia Brera. So is it twice as good?
Well, it’s another attractive coffee machine with a stainless steel finish. It measures 11 inches by 15.3 inches by 14.4 inches. That gives it room for a 60-ounce water reservoir, half as much again as the Brera. The bean hopper holds 8.8 ounces.
A handy cup warmer sits on top of the machine. One of the perennial issues with super automatic espresso machines is getting your coffee sufficiently hot. Being able to give it a head start with a warm cup is very useful.
The steel burr grinder produces consistent grounds for even extraction. There’s a choice of 13 different settings, depending on your tastes and choice of bean. Alternatively, you can miss out the grinding stage and use pre-ground coffee.
The machine can be used to prepare espresso, lungo, cappuccino and latte. For the latter, you’ll need to froth the milk yourself using the manual Cappuccino System. The wand can be turned through 180 degrees, so you can use it with any size of milk container.
There are plenty of options for customizing your drinks too. Adjust the volume of water, strength of brew and temperature.
There’s no LED panel with this one, however, and it takes a bit of time to get used to the controls. Once you’ve set it up to your satisfaction, you won’t need to use most of them again.
But perhaps the biggest difference between this machine and the Brera is that here you get a dual Thermoblock system. That means the machine can prepare two drinks at once. And as it only takes 60 seconds to heat up, you won’t have to wait long before serving.
Maintenance is made easier by the removable brew unit. There’s also a descaling program to take the hard work out of cleaning.
One thing that’s a little less easy to clean is the container for the used grounds. That has some awkward nooks and crannies that require a bit of effort.
- Dual Thermoblock system allows preparation of two drinks at once
- Steel burr grinder offers 13 different settings
- Cappuccino System can be rotated through 180 degrees, allowing you to use any size milk container
- There’s no LED screen and the controls take some getting used to
- The used grounds container is fiddly to clean.
3. Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
This model from the Philips 3200 Series is another competitively priced super automatic espresso machine. It costs just two thirds as much as the DeLonghi Magnifica.
This one is styled in black with silver accents. It looks good, but doesn’t have quite the high end feel of machines with stainless steel panels.
It’s 14.5 inches tall, but you’ll need a total of 17 inches of height to provide clearance for the top of the bean hopper. It’s 9.5 inches wide and 16.5 inches deep.
You’ll be able to serve two coffees at once, and there’s an integrated milk wand for cappuccinos and lattes. The wand here is particularly good, heating up quickly and producing powerful steam to deliver a velvety foam. It’s also easy to clean, having only two component parts.
You’ll still have to add the milk separately yourself, though. Any lovers of flat whites will have a bit more work to do.
There are settings for four different beverages: espresso, lungo, Americano or hot water. That means you can save countertop space by ditching your kettle.
The grinder is ceramic, so it’s both sharp and very tough. Philips says it will last for at least 20,000 uses. It’s surprisingly quiet too. And you can choose from 12 different settings depending on how coarse or fine a grind you want.
There’s a power button and an LED touchscreen display to program your perfect coffee. You can adjust the serving volume, temperature and strength. Choose from three settings each for temperature and aroma.
Be aware that you may find you need to break this machine in. We’ve heard of a number of cases where the first few espressos have been watery. The brew strength has, however, improved over time. We’re not sure what technical reason sits behind this, but it’s an experience shared by many users.
And be prepared to spend a bit of time getting to grips with the different functions. The manual here isn’t as clear or comprehensive as you’ll get with other machines.
But if you’re prepared to navigate the learning curve, this machine offers a lot of features for its modest price tag.
- Capable of brewing two coffees at once
- Quiet and durable ceramic grinder with 12 settings
- Powerful milk wand
- You may find you get watery coffee until your machine has been broken in
- The instructions leave something to be desired.
4. Jura A1 Super Automatic Coffee Machine
The A1 is the least expensive of Jura’s super automatic espresso machines. It’s nevertheless not cheap. Depending on your preferred color way, it comes in at roughly the same price as the De’Longhi Magnifica.
Here, you can choose between glossy white and black finishes. Both options are stylish, with a minimalist look. The white, however, is about 10 percent cheaper.
It measures 9.25 inches wide, 17.5 inches deep and 12.7 inches high. A single spigot on the front dispenses espresso, ristretto, lungo or hot water. The pump delivers 15 bars of pressure for a smooth extraction. Jura also uses what they call a “Pulse Extraction Process” to deliver perfect flavor.
There’s no milk wand with this one, though, so if you want a cappuccino, you’ll have to invest in a separate frother.
The grinder here is Jura’s top-of-the-range AromaG3. It’s a conical burr grinder that produces 60 percent less waste than older versions.
It’s not the largest machine out there. The reservoir holds only 37 ounces of water, while the hopper has a capacity of 4.4 ounces. It will work well in locations where space is at a premium. But it won’t be the right choice for those with higher volume requirements.
There’s an intuitive control panel to program the machine. (All the buttons sit on the top panel so they don’t interfere with its clean lines.) You can choose between two different strengths of coffee, as well as adjusting the serving volume.
The spigot height is adjustable, so you can avoid splashes and get the perfect crema however large your cup. Underneath it sits a drip tray to keep everything neat.
The machine will give you a reminder when it’s time to clean it. That will happen after 80 switch-on rinses or 180 servings, whichever happens first. You don’t need to dread cleaning time: a self-cleaning function does all the hard work for you.
- Excellent quality conical burr grinder reduces coffee waste
- 15 bar pump and Pulse Extraction Process deliver smooth espresso and ristretto
- Automatic cleaning function
- The reservoir and bean hopper are smaller than most
- There’s no milk wand.
5. Gaggia Anima Super Automatic Coffee and Espresso Machine
Although more expensive than the Brera, Gaggia’s Anima is still very reasonably priced.
It’s finished in shiny black with chrome accents, and an LED screen gives it a hi-tech look. The reservoir here is 60 ounces, much bigger than the Brera’s, while the bean hopper will hold 8.8 ounces.
The grinder offers five different settings. There’s also a by-pass doser, which allows you to use pre-ground coffee. And the used grounds container will hold up to 15 pucks.
It has the same Pannarello wand to steam milk as you’ll find on the Brera. Like its less expensive cousin, you’ll need to steam and add the milk separately for lattes or cappuccinos.
You can also use the wand to dispense hot water for tea or Americanos. That means there’s no risk of your tea tasting like coffee! In an ideal world, the wand would be a bit longer – but it does the job.
There’s only one boiler here. You can customize your beverage by choosing the pre-infusion, strength and volume. And you can select from three different temperature settings: 177.5, 182.9 or 184.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has a handy energy saving mode too. If it’s been idle for a hour, it will switch itself to standby, using up less than 1 watt of power.
This is a good option for smaller kitchens, as it’s just 8.7 inches wide. It’s 17 inches deep and 13.4 inches tall. There’s space under the spigot to fit a cup up to 5.9 inches high.
One minor irritation is that if the machine senses the water level is low, it will stop brewing. That will even happen halfway through making a coffee, and when there’s enough water to complete the task. And when you fill up the reservoir, you’ll have to start the program all over again.
- Generous 60-ounce reservoir
- Allows you to customize the pre-infusion, strength, volume and temperature of your coffee
- Milk wand can also be used to dispense hot water
- If the water level runs low, it will stop brewing – even in the middle of making a drink
- The milk wand would be easier to use if it were longer.
6. Saeco Incanto Carafe Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If you’ve been longing for a machine offering a one-touch cappuccino, the Saeco Incanto could be for you!
This clever super automatic espresso maker incorporates a removable milk carafe. Store it in the fridge, then slot it into place when you’re ready for your cappuccino. Push the button, and everything will be done for you, from grinding the beans to adding the milk and foam.
The design here isn’t quite as stylish as minimalist masterpieces like Jura’s A1, but it still looks good. The stainless steel finish and digital screen will work well in any kitchen.
It also packs a lot of capacity into a relatively small package. The reservoir will hold 60.9 ounces of water, the bean hopper 8.8 ounces, and the used grounds container 15 pucks. All that is squeezed into a machine 8.4 inches wide, 16.8 inches deep and 12.9 inches high.
There are buttons for one-touch preparation of espresso, lungo, cappuccino and latte macchiato. There’s also a button to adjust the strength. Push the menu button to cycle through the on-screen options to change the volume and temperature.
The grinder here is an adjustable ceramic disc model, so it’s very robust. The ceramic also prevents the coffee from overheating as it passes through the grinder. If you prefer, you can use pre-ground coffee instead.
It comes in a package with an Aqua Clean water filter. This will allow you to use your machine 5,000 times before needing to descale it. When the time comes, let the automatic descaling function take the strain.
The brew group can be removed at the push of a button for regular cleaning. All the removable components are dishwasher safe, and there’s an automatic cleaning cycle too.
Note that you may have to nudge the beans towards the grinder after every few uses. Oily beans especially may need some persuasion to slide down the chute.
And although this is super-convenient for milky coffees, it won’t produce latte art. We think that’s a small compromise for the ease of use you get here.
- Incorporates milk carafe for one-touch cappuccinos and lattes
- Generous reservoir and grounds container
- Automatic descaling and cleaning functions
- The beans occasionally need to be nudged towards the grinder
- The built-in carafe is very convenient, but you won’t be able to produce latte art.
7. Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
The Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch looks quite different to most super automatic espresso machines. Here the appearance is much more like a traditional espresso machine, but every stage of the coffee-making process is automatic.
The full color LCD screen allows you to choose between five pre-set drinks. Whether you want an espresso, Americano, cappuccino, latte, or flat white, you’re just a button press away.
The grinder here is a conical burr grinder. The machine automatically grinds, dispenses and tamps 22 grams of coffee into the portafilter. The water temperature is precisely controlled, and the pressure is limited by an Over Pressure Valve for the perfect extraction.
There’s also a steam wand, powered by its own separate boiler. It will automatically steam your milk, or you can switch to manual mode to customize the texture yourself. This also allows you to create your very own latte art.
As well as adjusting the milk texture, you can adjust the strength of your brew and the temperature. The memory function allows you to create and store up to eight customized drinks.
Note that if you use the portafilter with the spout, there’s not much clearance underneath. You’ll need to use a short coffee cup for it to fit.
And note that if you’re using dark roasted beans, the oils will mean they don’t slide as easily from the hopper to the grinder. You may find you need to give them a helping hand now and again.
This is an expensive machine – it costs two and half times as much as the De’Longhi Magnifica. But if you have the cash to splash, it’s a great investment.
- One-touch espresso, Americano, latte, cappuccino and flat white
- Over Pressure Valve helps deliver perfect extraction
- Steam wand can be used in automatic or manual modes
- You won’t be able to fit a large coffee cup if you’re using the spouted portafilter
- Oily beans may need some persuasion to slide into the grinder.
All the features of super automatic espresso machines can make it difficult to decide which one’s best for you. If you’re feeling confused, read on for some questions to help you narrow down your search.
One cup or two?
One way to refine your options is to consider whether you want a machine that can serve two cups at once. If there’s more than one coffee drinker in your household – and if you get up at the same time – a two cup option can be very convenient.
If going for a two-cup design, look for an option with a decent sized reservoir. You don’t want to have to refill it every 5 minutes.
And two-cup models will require some compromises. The space needed for the cups may mean there isn’t room for other features. Which brings us to our next point…
Black or white?
Do you want your machine to serve a bold espresso? Or are you in the market for a creamy cappuccino?
Different super automatic espresso machines take different approaches to the addition of milk. Some, like Jura’s A1, ignore it altogether. That may be fine if you rarely or never add milk to your coffee. Better to spend the money on other features.
But if you love creamy drinks, look for an option with a milk frother.
Sometimes these come in the form of a separate wand. Use this to steam the milk yourself, and add it to your coffee separately. It’s more work, but it can give you more control – plus the option of creating your own latte art.
Steam wands vary in power, so check out the reviews to see how effective they are. Breville’s Oracle Touch is a particularly good option, because it offers you the choice of manual or automatic steaming.
Other machines, like the Saeco Incanto, will steam and add the milk automatically if you select a cappuccino or latte. They’re very easy to use, but you won’t get latte art.
Will it fit?
Last but not least, check the measurements of your machine before you buy. You don’t want to purchase an expensive coffee machine you can’t fit into your kitchen!
Remember to check all the dimensions, and to take account of extra space requirements. If beans are added at the top of the machine, for example, you’ll need clearance to do that.
And if you’re buying a machine with a milk carafe, check the width carefully. Some machines require a little extra space for the handle when the carafe is in use.
Ready for fantastic coffee?
You’ve come to the end of our review of seven of the best super automatic espresso machines out there! We hope you’re closer to finding the perfect machine for your household.
Our top pick is De’Longhi’s ESAM3300 Magnifica. We love its adjustable grinder and clever Cappuccino System. And couples will welcome its ability to make two coffees at the same time.
Whichever machine you choose, you’re sure to be the envy of your friends and neighbors. Get ready to enjoy superior coffee without the hard work!