Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines of 2021
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. Not so easy, we know.
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+.
AT A GLANCE:
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.
We are a community of passionate coffee hobbyists who research, test and educate around issues relevant to the home barista market.
As a community we strive to simplify the mis-information in the home brewing market so that you can make better informed decisions about buying and brewing amazing quality coffee (without having to train as a professional barista).
When it comes to super automatic machines, we've a wealth of practical experience using them in hotels, offices and other commercial establishments. More recently, we've sourced, extensively tested and most importantly, tried the coffee from 50+ of the top super automatic machines available on the market. The recommendations we make below are based on more than 50 hours of combined testing by our dedicated team of coffee experts.
How To Choose The Right Machine For Your Needs
| ||Jura A1||CLICK TO CHECK PRICE|
| ||Jura ENA 8||CLICK TO CHECK PRICE|
| ||Jura Giga W3||Click to check price|
| ||Jura E8||CLICK TO CHECK PRICE|
| ||Jura D6||CLICK TO CHECK PRICE|
| ||Delonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica|
| ||Gaggia Brera|
| ||Breville Oracle|
| ||Phillips 3200 with LatteGo|
| ||Delonghi ECAM22110|
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 when pick the best automatic espresso machine, 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 super automatic espresso machines let you adjust almost every detail, while others are mainly meant to run on a standard program:
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 espresso machine with a high level of programmability – so you still have a say in how your coffee is made.
Want to get a better sense of what home espresso making might actually look like? Check out our great video on espresso basics:
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. It 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 makers 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.
want 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.
water tank and bean hopper Capacity
Automatic espresso makers vary in terms of their capacity: water tank size, milk carafe size, and bean hopper (that feed the whole bean coffee into the burr 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 easy-to-use criterion, 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
Sure, making your own cup of coffee instead of getting one from a coffee shop already saves you money. But do you want to know how to save up to $500 when buying an automatic coffee machine? Below, you’ll notice that some machines have an option that says “SEE REFURBISHED PRICE.”
Why? Because we have found a few retailers that offer refurbished versions of these super 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.
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 espresso machine. 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 espresso 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.
Automatic Coffee Machines Feature Comparison
The 10 Best Automatic Espresso Machines of 2021
To help you find the espresso machine that can change your life we’ve compiled a list. Our choices for best super automatic espresso machines will improve your mornings. How? By saving you both time and money.
If you’re not a fan of lattes and cappuccinos, you can save a lot of money opting for a machine without a milk frothing system. The new Jura A1 is the brand’s cheapest model for this reason, but it still offers the same high-end espresso as the much more expensive machines, as well as the same sleek, modern design.
The ultra-compact A1 replaces the popular Jura ENA Micro 1. It adds Jura’s patented Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.), which uses short pulses of water to ensure optimal extraction. It also features the AromaG3 conical burr grinder, which is twice as fast as previous options. If you’d rather use pre-ground coffee, there’s a bypass doser as well.
There are three programmable buttons for drink size, and brewing requires just a press of a button. Coffee strength is also adjustable, as the variable brewing unit holds between 6 and 10 g of coffee. The A1 only brews one drink at a time, which is worth bearing in mind if you’re half of a couple as most larger machines can do two.
2. Jura ENA 8 – Best Compact Machine
Drinks: Ristretto, Espresso, Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso doppio, Macchiato, Latte macchiato, Flat white, Frothed milk, Hot water
- Water tank capacity: 37 ounces
- Bean hopper capacity: 4.4 ounces
- Heat-up time: 30 seconds
- Brew group: Fixed
The new Jura ENA 8 replaces the previous model, the Jura ENA Micro 9. Like the A1, it adds the Pulse Extraction Process technology that guarantees a richer and more flavorful espresso and the ultra-fast AromaG3 grinder.
Unlike the A1, however, the ENA 8 has a fully functional automatic milk frothing system as well as a 2.8” inch color display for programming and drink selection. You can have the perfect macchiato (or one of nine other drinks!) just the way you like it at the press of a button.
The ENA 8 is a super compact machine, measuring just 10.7” wide, 12.7” high and 17.5” deep, making it the smallest one-touch machine on the market. It’s available in 3 colors, red, white, and black, and features a unique and attractive round water reservoir patterned to look like crystal. It may be small, but it will still bring a big dose of class to your kitchen.
The Jura Giga W3 would certainly be overkill in a home setting, but it is absolutely perfect for a busy office thanks to its huge capacity, extensive drink selection, and ability to make two drinks at a time.
It can prepare a whopping 43 different specialty coffee drinks, from a latte macchiato to a simple pot of coffee, and each one can be customized using the full-color touchscreen display. With adjustable drink temperature, strength, and coffee-to-milk ratio, everyone in the office can craft their own perfect beverage. It’s almost like having a barista on staff!
With such a large and complex machine, cleaning and maintenance will always be a concern, but Jura has made it as simple as possible by automating everything. Integrated rinsing, cleaning, and descaling programs, not to mention warnings when you need them, mean you need never worry about hygiene.
The name of the game with the E8 is programmability, and that’s what makes it our overall favorite this year. And we aren’t alone; it has long been a top selling model. It gives you the feel of dialing in your espresso, just like a pro barista, but in a fully automated setting with no learning curve.
Using the color display, you can control the amount of coffee and milk, the temperature of both, and the milk texture in your quest for the perfect shot. Or you can let the machine take the reins and opt for one of 12 preprogrammed specialty drinks. Either way you’re in for a delicious caffeine fix.
This machine contains all of Jura’s highest end patented technologies, including the Pulse Extraction Process, the AromaG3 grinder, the Intelligent Water System, and the Fine Foam Technology. Together they ensure the most delicious espresso with the creamiest milk foam wrapped up in the easiest to use package.
The Jura D6 is a classically sleek looking coffee machine packed with a ton of advanced features, including Jura’s patented Pulse Extraction Technology. But where it really shines, in our opinion, is in its ability to produce the perfect airy froth for a cappuccino.
This is a result of Jura’s Easy Cappuccino system. It draws in milk, heats it to the perfect temperature, and then injects just the right amount of air for the ideal fine foam to top your waiting espresso. And it does it all at the push of a button.
Unlike some of the more expensive models, this affordable option uses a plain text display and a basic rotary switch, rather than a touchscreen display. While this might not give it the same high-tech look, in many ways, this machine is actually easier to use. It even has the option of Smart Connect, which allows you to operate it via an app on your phone or tablet.
The De’Longhi Magnifica has a lot to offer for well under $1000. That’s probably why it has been awarded Amazon’s Choice, and it’s certainly why it’s our pick for Best Value. De’Longhi has done an excellent job deciding which features to offer to keep this machine both affordable and high-performance.
To start, it features a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 13 different grind settings to dial in that perfect brew. You can customize your espresso by adjusting shot length and coffee strength, and you can choose to brew one or two drinks at a time. Unlike the Jura machines, this one has a removable brew group, which makes the occasional deep clean much simpler.
De’Longhi has opted to save money in two places. First, the Magnifica uses a rotary dial control rather than a digital display. Second, the milk frothing system is a manual wand rather than an automatic frother. However, the wand is equipped with the company’s patented Cappuccino System, which makes steaming foolproof, even for a latte novice.
The Gaggia Brera is the least expensive machine on this list, which is all the more impressive given that it is made in Italy by a very well-established and reputable brand. Gaggia machines are popular among espresso novices and pros alike, and for good reason. They tend to pair high-end components with a stylish design.
The Brera is a relatively compact model that is very easy to use. The trade-off for its simplicity is that you don’t have a lot of options for dialing in an espresso, so we prefer this one for Americanos and milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
Milk frothing is done using the manual Panarello steam wand. Panarello wands infuse a small amount of air into your milk along with steam making it easier to achieve the perfect milk texture. While it’s still a bit harder to use than an automatic frother, once you get the hang of it, you can produce better results.
The Breville Oracle Touch is the super automatic espresso machine for anyone who takes an interest in the nerdy details of the perfect coffee and wants to feel like a real barista. It’s a great compromise between user input and ease of use, though it comes with a hefty price tag as a result.
The full color digital display makes it easy to choose one of five pre-programmed drinks or to design and save a custom drink. The built-in grinder and automatic tamper prepare a large 22 g dose, which ensures a rich and flavorful espresso, just like you’d expect from a real cafe.
Coffee geeks will appreciate that the Oracle, even the non-Touch model, is a dual boiler, so you can brew espresso and prepare the milk at the same time. They’ll also fawn over the PID for temperature control, which is the best system for accurate and precise temperature control. Even specialty beans will be well-served.
The only downside is that it takes longer than the others to heat up, on the order of 10 minutes, because it uses boilers rather than a thermoblock.
It’s no surprise that our favorite machine for lattes is the Philips 3200 with LatteGo. It’s right there in the name! In fact, this compact little espresso machine, has a lot of similarities with the famous Saeco PicoBaristo. It has a lot of things going for it, only one of which is the excellent automatic frothing system.
That system, which Philips calls LatteGo, mixes milk, air, and heat in a special frothing chamber before pouring it atop your latte. Not only does the totally-hands-free system produce perfect silky milk foam, but it doesn’t use any tubing, making it far more hygienic than many alternatives. In between uses, the milk carafe can be removed and stored in the fridge.
Along with LatteGo, the 3200 features an intuitive interface that makes it easy to select and program your drink. You can customize coffee strength, coffee and milk volume, and temperature. The ceramic burr grinder has 12 adjustable settings and is rated to deliver at least 20,000 cups of coffee. That should keep you happily caffeinated for years to come.
For such a reasonable price, the De’Longhi ECAM22110SB is simply packed with features, which is also all the more impressive given its compact footprint. This little brewer, which measures just 17 x 9.4 x 13.8 inches, can deliver any of 5 specialty coffee drinks, each of which is fully customizable.
It’s this ability to design your own drink that really makes this machine stand out. Using the rotary dial and display, you can adjust the grinder through one of 12 settings, and you can select your preferred drink temperature, strength, and size. Using the manual steam wand, which includes an adjustable Cappuccino System for easy frothing, you can create the perfect milk texture for any drink. You can even adjust the spout height for different mug sizes.
Another feature unique to the ECAM22110SB is the Rapid Cappuccino System to maintain brewing temperature when making back-to-back drinks. If you regularly serve a crowd, this is an option worth seeking out.
While every one of the machines on this list put up a strong fight for the contender of best super automatic espresso 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 in espresso machine. But make sure to use a medium or dark roasted bean if you want your espresso to taste better. 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.
9 BARs of pressure is a good amount of pressure for espresso (3). This is equal to 9 times the amount of natural pressure at sea level. But, today, some espresso machines 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/