Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines of 2020
You’re here because you want to wake up every morning to the perfectly brewed, silky-smooth, flavor-bursting cup of coffee. But you don’t want to drive to the coffee shop every day to get it.
You need the best super automatic espresso machine. Think of these machines as your own personal barista (without the hipster attitude). Choose the right one, and you start every day on the right foot – the perfect cup of coffee in hand. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll end up with watery, strange-tasting brown gloop, and a feeling of immense regret as you just blew $900+.
Below you’ll find a list of our picks for the best automatic espresso machines – no junk, no regrets. We also reveal a little-known secret that may help you avoid wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when buying one.
Jura E8 (on sale)
The holy grail of automatic espresso machines. Swiss made, with a huge level of functionality. Make 12 types of coffee drinks by simply pushing a button. Currently discounted:
Delonghi Magnifica (ESAM3300)
The best selling machine right now: affordable, compact, and makes a good number drinks at the push of a button, while allowing a good level of variable control.
Is an Automatic Espresso Machine Right For You?
You may have already considered a manual lever machine or a semi-automatic machine. These help you achieve the perfect shot of espresso but super automatic espresso machines take it to the next level.
Think of them as all-in-one espresso machines. They are a lifesaver for busy people because they do all the dirty work for you. You basically just select a program and at the touch of a button you get what you want.
Not sure if a super auto espresso machine is what you need? Here’s how to decide:
- How much control do you want? Some super automatic espresso machines offer a limited amount of control. If you want to fine-tune every aspect, get a manual or semi-auto machine.
- How much time do you have? If you enjoy taking a few minutes out of each morning to make yourself a fine cup of espresso or a latte, then buy a manual or semi-auto machine. If you’d rather just dump in high-quality coffee beans and keep your morning moving, get a super automatic espresso machine.
- Do you want a built-in grinder? Think about your coffee grounds. Many of the best coffee makers have built-in grinders, meaning you won’t have to buy a burr grinder and have it take up space on your kitchen counter. Many manual or semi-auto espresso makers don’t.
- Do you want to spend your time frothing milk? If you don’t have time for this or just aren’t interested (it’s about the coffee anyway, right?), then look at super automatic espresso machines. Many of them will froth the milk for you, giving you one-button lattes or cappuccinos every day.
Want to get a better sense of what home espresso making might actually look like? Check out this great video from Intelligentsia:
How To Choose The Right Machine For Your Needs
Because automatic espresso machines are so expensive, you need to read this next part carefully, or risk making the wrong choice and wasting a large sum of money.
So how do you select the best super automatic espresso machine for you?
Here are a few things to look out for, but note, we are not talking about Nespresso machines (they are not quality machines).
Programmability – How Much Do You Need?
This dictates how much control you have over the brewing process.
Although super automatic espresso machines do the work for you, many of them still let you choose from a range of settings or pre-programmed options. With super automatic espresso machines, you might want to control grind size, temperature, or shot strength. Some automatic espresso machines let you adjust almost every detail, while others are mainly meant to run on a standard program: (1)
They take some of the work out of your hands… Select a program and press a button. It’s much harder to mess it up, but you’re still in control.
If you’re the type who likes customization, go for a super automatic with a high level of programmability – so you still have a say in how your coffee is made.
Brew Group – Built-In Or Not?
The brew group is one of the most vital parts of the espresso machine, as it’s where the actual brewing happens.
The brew group is the mechanism on the front of the espresso machine that carries hot pressurized water into the filter basket. On a semi-automatic or manual espresso machine, the brew group is the piece that you lock the portafilter into.
Some super automatic espresso machines have detachable brew groups, making them easy to clean or open up for inspection if something goes wrong. Other machines have a fixed, non-removable brew group (1). This built-in type is designed to be self-cleaning, which is handy.
If you like taking a hands-on approach to the care and maintenance of your coffee equipment, opt for one with a detachable brew group.
Have your milk steamed automatically, or do it yourself?
Many super automatic espresso machines have automatic functions for steaming or frothing milk to make lattes, cappuccinos and the like (2). However, some of them don’t, requiring you to use a traditional steam wand instead.
If you’re short on time or just want the machine to do this part for you, go for a machine that has a built-in system for heating and frothing milk.
Capacity: Can the machine make all the espresso you need without refilling the water tank or bean hopper?
Automatic espresso machines vary in terms of their capacity: water tank size, milk carafe size, and bean hopper (that feed the whole bean coffee into the grinder). This impacts how much espresso they can churn out without needing to be refilled.
Choose based on your needs: If it’s just for your own enjoyment, a smaller one will do. But if you want to brew for your family or office, choose something with enough capacity. Some super automatic espresso machines can only handle a few shots at a time, while others will comfortably make at least a dozen shots in a row.
How is one machine different from the others?
There are a lot of things all super automatic espresso machines have in common. They are automatic (duh), so they already check the ease-of-use option, with ready-made programs available at your fingertips.
But the best automatic espresso machines have something special about them. It might be highly programmable, easy to maintain, or extremely well-designed. Depending on your personal style of coffee drinking, you can find an option that is best suited for you.
The Little-Known Secret To Save Lots Of Money When Shopping Around
Want to know how to save up to $500 when buying an automatic coffee maker? Below, you’ll notice that some of the machines have an option that says “SEE REFURBISHED PRICE.”
Why? Because we have found a few retailers that offer refurbished versions of these automatic espresso machines. Click through to see if they have any machines available, or read our guide on refurbished espresso machine marketplaces.
Refurbished machines are not brand new although they do look and feel brand new.
This is your chance to save quite a bit of money, because refurbished machines are sold at a huge discount, plus they come with a warranty. This means that you save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars, and still get peace of mind knowing it’s going to work perfectly with a warranty to cover your ass.
Buying a refurbished machine is often a better decision than buying one brand new because:
- They have been serviced, returned and put through tests to make sure they are performing at peak levels.
- You save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars, off the regular price.
You’re probably thinking: “Sounds good. But what’s the catch?” There is only a limited quantity available. Often times, you will click through and these machines will be out of stock. If this happens please don’t email us and complain – we have no control over the stock.
This means that you have three options right now:
- Buy a normal/regular espresso machine instead of a super automatic one. You’ll have to learn the ropes of making espresso, so you’ll have a learning curve to deal with each morning (for the first while, expect to spend 10-30 minutes each morning learning the skill + drinking poorly brewed coffee).
- Buy a super automatic machine, brand new (be warned: they are expensive).
- Save some serious cash right now by buying a refurbished machine. Some of the companies below offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, meaning you can try a machine and if it’s not for you, return it within 30 days for a refund.
The 9 Best Automatic Espresso Machines of 2020
To help you find the espresso machine that can change your life (or at least vastly improve your mornings – saving time and money), we’ve compiled a list of super automatic espresso machine reviews.
|Jura ENA Micro 1||CHECK PRICE|
|Jura ENA Micro 9 One Touch||CHECK PRICE|
|Jura Giga W3||CHECK PRICE|
|Jura E8||CHECK PRICE|
SEE ON AMAZON
|DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300|
SEE ON AMAZON
SEE ON AMAZON
|Breville Oracle BES980XL|
SEE ON AMAZON
|Saeco HD8927/47 PicoBaristo|
SEE ON AMAZON
The ENA Micro 1 is a stylish and streamlined espresso machine, and nothing more (we mean that in a good way).
What We Like: It can go from bean to cup in about 2 minutes. The built-in grinder is convenient and the auto descaling and cleaning programs make the ENA Micro 1 easy to maintain. You also have the option to select from 2 different espresso strength levels and 3 shot sizes.
What We Don’t Like: It’s streamlined and stripped down, so some users may feel it’s missing some features. For e.g., there’s no milk frothing system, but if you don’t need lattes, it’s not a deal-breaker.
If you love espressos and americanos, and are looking to buy an espresso machine, check our our review of the Jura ENA Micro 1.
2. Jura ENA Micro 9 One Touch – best compact machine
Drinks: Espresso, Americano, Macchiato, Cappuccino, Hot water, & Milk Foam
- Capacity: 36.8-oz
- Brew group: Fixed, has an auto-clean program
- Size (LxHxD): 9.1 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches
- Grinder: Conical burr, 4.4-oz bean hopper
The Ena Micro 9 One Touch is the smallest one-touch cappuccino and macchiato machine in the world.
What We Like: This is a compact yet high-end machine that boasts a built-in milk frother (which takes only 30 seconds to heat up). It lets you customize the amount of both milk and coffee you want. The spout is also adjustable, allowing you to fit your favorite mug.
What We Don’t Like: Though the spout is adjustable, it may be too short to fit many travel mugs.
The Giga W3 Professional Espresso Machine has the capacity and flexibility to make a large variety of specialty coffee drinks for a crowd – it’s a great option for an office or a restaurant.
What We Like: This machine is not only big enough to serve the office (it can prepare two drinks at once), but it’s also fully customizable to meet everyone’s needs. Pick the strength of your espresso, your water and milk ratios, temperature of the milk, and amount of ground coffee per brewing. Also, the container for spent grounds holds used coffee from up to 40 drinks – so there’s no need to be pitching grounds all the time or frequent arguing about who has to clean it out.
What We Don’t Like: It’s too large and expensive for most users to have at home.
The Jura E8 is all about programmability and getting the perfect espresso drink that you want. In the “Expert Mode,” you can control everything from shot temperature to amount of milk used. If you’d rather keep things simple, the Jura E8 also has 12 ready-made coffee drinks available at one touch.
What We Like: It’s customizable; it lets you be an espresso “expert” without the learning curve. It’s also super programmable, letting you dial in the settings you like via the simple-to-use TFT control panel. The grinder is high-quality and quiet as well, helping you get the best ground coffee for your brew. While the grinder works, the machine’s Thermoblock system makes quick hot water.
What We Don’t Like: Its milk carafe and frothing system could be better.
The Jura D6 is the sleek, simple option. It’s a compact, fully automatic espresso machine for those who want to enjoy espresso shots with minimal fuss.
What We Like: The Jura D6 scores great on simplicity of use. It lets you choose choose your favorite beverage using a simple rotary dial. The Thermoblock system and powerful 15-bar pump make excellent espresso that really does resemble your local barista’s handiwork. A built-in milk foaming system lets you make milk-based espresso drinks as well – simply hook up a milk carton to your machine, or their specially designed milk container.
What We Don’t Like: The drip tray is a bit small. It makes it difficult to use a large mug or two mugs (spout height is still adjustable).
Did you know Jura has 17 super automatic coffee machines? Not kidding! You can find a complete review of all of them here.
6. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Automatic Coffee Maker – Best value
Drinks: Can make everything from espresso to latte
- Capacity: 60-oz water reservoir (removable)
- Brew group: Removable
- Size (LxHxD): 15.3,x 14.4 x 11 inches
- Grinder: Conical steel burr, 8.8-oz bean hopper
For those who like the convenience and quality of an automatic bean-to-cup machine but still want to retain a lot of control, the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica offers a good balance of both worlds. When it comes to care and maintenance, the Magnifica is among the less automatic super autos.
What We Like: It really makes excellent espresso – customize it as per the strength (5 settings) and volume (4 settings) you want. It’s an impressively compact machine, given the large capacity and the fact that it has dual boilers: (2)
Double boilers solve the problem of having differing temperature needs. Water for brewing should be at 93℃ (200℉) and it needs to hit 100℃ (212℉) for steam.
What We Don’t Like: It does have a rinsing and de-calcification program, but the removable parts need to be detached and cleaned by hand every few days.
Sounds good so far? read our full review of the Magnifica here.
The Gaggia Brera is another relatively affordable and compact model. It’s best suited for making Americanos or milk coffees, but makes excellent espressos too. Although you can’t fine-tune your shot.Gaggia also offers a premium machine (the Gaggia Anima), but we don’t believe its a worthy contender for this list.
What We Like: It’s great for making milk-based drinks and it scores some points for its stylish design. The stainless steel Panarello steam wand produces excellent steamed milk for cappuccinos, lattes or even hot chocolate. The removable brew group is easy to clean under the tap, the adjustable spout is a nice touch, and it’s affordable compared to similar machines.
What We Don’t Like: It is a bit noisy.
You can find out more about this stylish, compact machine in our Gaggia Brera review.
8. Breville Oracle BES980XL – best fully automatic
Drinks: Espresso, Double Shot, Americano (all programmable, auto frothing for milk)
- Capacity: 84-oz removable water tank
- Brew group: Fixed (similar to semi-automatics)
- Size (LxHxD): 14.5 x 14.7 x 17.6 inches
- Grinder: Conical steel burrs, 8-oz bean hopper
The Breville Oracle comes with the option to brew a sinlgle or double shot, and americano – all of which are programmable for strength and volume. You can even adjust the milk texture and temperature. Simplicity is rarely so delicious. Read our full review of the Oracle here.
What We Like: Lock the portafilter into the integrated conical burr grinder, and the Oracle Touch not only fills it (up to a 22g dose for more intense coffee flavor), it tamps it properly. PID temperature control ensures the water will be at the precise temperature for best extraction – of course, there’s low-pressure pre-infusion (also customizable). The steam wand automatically prepares milk to the programmed temperature and texture.
What We Don’t Like: If you’re addicted to Americanos, taller mugs and glasses might be a tight fit under the portafilter.
Does this sound familiar? You’re entertaining friends who all want a different drink – cappuccino, double espresso, flat white, baby cappuccino (is that even a thing?) – and they all want them right now. The Saeco PicoBaristo has you covered.
Not only can you choose from 11 different café drinks, but their quick-heat boiler technology lets you brew one after another without waiting for long.
What We Like: Being able to choose from 11 different cafe drinks from a one-touch menu, quite simply, rocks. The rapid boiler system allows for brewing multiple drinks one after another. You can customize your drinks with five different settings, choosing the brew volume and temperature, and then save your settings with the Memo function.
Their AquaClean filter lets you brew 5000 cups of espresso before you have to descale. If you hate cleaning, the PicoBaristo will make you smile. And the milk frothing system is dishwasher-safe.
What We Don’t Like: The water pump is louder than the grinder. It’s small, too, meaning you have to fill the water, the bean hopper, and the milk carafe fairly frequently.
You can also read our full Saeco Picobaristo review.
THE VERDICT: What’s The Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine?
While every one of the machines on this list put up a strong fight for the contender of best automatic coffee machine, there is one that shines above the others: the Jura E8.
Check to see if there is a refurbished model available. You might be able to save about $500.
You can put any kind of coffee (that you like) in an espresso machine. However a medium or dark roasted bean will taste better when brewed using espresso. In terms of taste and strength, using an Italian or Espresso roast is considered best. Do NOT put oily beans in an automatic machine; it will cause clogs and problems.
Typically 9 BARs (equal to 9 times the amount of natural pressure at sea level) is a good amount of pressure for espresso (3). But, some espresso machines today have built-in pressure pumps operating at levels as high as 15 or 17 BARs.
You maintain an espresso machine with regular cleaning and descaling. If you’re using your machine on a daily basis, you should aim to clean it once a week. The weekly clean doesn’t need to be a high maintenance regime, a simple backflush with water will do the job. But, every 200 shots or so a more thorough backflush is necessary to keep your machine running smooth. That’s the time you should use the proper cleaning tablets or powder.
You should descale your espresso machine as often as recommended by the manufacturer. A lot of newer models come with an indicator that will let you know when it’s time to descale your espresso machine. Here are some more tips on descaling.
- Rossi, R. (2018, October 20). What You Need to Know Before Buying an Espresso Machine. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2018/10/what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-an-espresso-machine/
- Prinsloo, M. (2018, November 17). How Do Espresso Machines Work? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2018/11/how-do-espresso-machines-work/
- Espresso Recipes: Time. (2019, May 22). Retrieved from https://baristahustle.com/blog/espresso-recipes-time/