Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine 2021
Enjoy espresso but not such a fan of the grinding and tamping? Fully automatic espresso makers remove any friction and work required to make the perfect brew.
Below, we take a look at some of the best machines of 2021. But, if you’re in a rush, here’s our top and upgrade choice for the best super automatic espresso machine:
Alternative Automatic Espresso Machines At A Glance
The 7 Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines 2021
These next 7 super-automatic espresso machines were selected to cater to a wide range of espresso-based coffee drinkers.
We live in the future now, so the espresso machines of 2021 are manufactured to satisfy a wide range of coffee enthusiasts.
As a professional coffee consultant for home and commercial-based set-ups, I base descriptions on actual experience.
Let’s get right to it!
De’ Longhi is one of the better-known brands in home coffee brewing. They make a wide range of coffee makers that you’ve probably come across at some point in a friend’s house. Or an office pantry.
- Easy to clean and easy to use overall, with a decently sized water tank
- Comes with a built-in cappuccino frother, with consistent and auto milk frothing
- One-touch programmable drink menu
- Some issues with ground coffee getting stuck in the coffee grinder
- Brand after-sales service could be better
When it comes to their fully automatic espresso machine, I like the features they put together for the price. With the high degree of barista knowledge needed to make good espresso at home, an automatic espresso maker makes sense for most.
When it comes to personal experience with this machine, I’ve discovered that it works best with medium-roasted coffee beans. They’re not as dense as light roasts, and they’re not as oily as dark roasts meaning the burr grinder can handle them easily.
Medium roasts also keep your espresso-based coffee options open. You can brew them at a higher temperature than dark, and the flavors you get also work well with milk drinks.
The milk wand has that cappuccino extension for a frothy cup of coffee. If you prefer other types of foam texture, you will have to make modifications to it.
All in all, this is my best pick overall for the price and the features. Check out our full ESAM3300 review for more details about this brewer.
Are you looking for all the bells and whistles? I like to call this the top of the line upgraded super automatic espresso machine.
It’s heavy, and its stainless steel exterior is premium. Such can be expected from a higher-end espresso machine, but this is close to some commercial options in terms of build quality.
- Adjustable, self-cleaning milk frother
- Simple to clean drip tray and milk carafe that are dishwasher safe
- 18 espresso-based coffee options
- Some issues with how well the water tank fits
- The see-through milk frothing has some problems with detachable parts
It also has 18 (!) espresso-based coffee options for those still discovering which drinks they like best.
That’s a vast daily menu to experiment with. Some coffee shops don’t even have a selection that large! You can expect impressive capabilities like this from only the most premium super automatic espresso machines of 2021.
If you’re looking for something beyond the best super automatic espresso and enjoy milky coffee, this is an excellent pick.
Worried about cleaning after all that milk? Its self-cleaning milk frother is one of the best features from super automatic espresso machines of 2021. You can enjoy your daily cup of coffee without worrying about the mess.
Perhaps the drawback of a wide array of features is that it can get confusing. Most of the confusion from automatic espresso machines with these features center on operation.
For instance, a poorly attached milk carafe can lead to leaking when it comes to this brewer. Also, the milk frother extension can be prone to leaks from steaming when not fully secured.
All in all, this is still one of the better coffee makers on any list. The drink options, the brew group capabilities, and the power of this coffee machine make De’ Longhi’s second entry on this list as good as any.
Yes, it’s pricey, but if you’re willing to invest, this automatic machine will pay dividends for years to come!
Philips has been a household name in electronics. They span a more comprehensive range of equipment than De’ Longhi, so they’re a bit less specialized. With that said, their foray into the coffee world with this super automatic espresso machine is only natural.
- Classic 5 menu item for your favorite espresso-based drinks
- Built-in ceramic burr grinder runs cooler than steel alternatives
- AquaClean feature makes it possible to hold off till 5,000 cups of espresso-based coffee before descaling
- Beautiful touch display
- Multiple grinder settings may confuse new espresso drinkers
- Not the sturdiest build quality given that this super automatic coffee machine is made of mostly plastic
The science of how this machine crafts espresso checks out when you understand that it’s not an actual barista. It’s crafting coffee good enough to save you from yourself and save you from years of experience and knowledge.
It is a one-touch solution to enjoying espresso-based coffee drinks at home. One thing that you will need to learn is the appropriate grinding of your coffee beans. The 12-setting coffee grinder makes it a bit tricky.
When people complain about watery espresso with automatic espresso machines, I’ve realized that it’s usually a grind size mismatch.
With everything else, it has a decently sized brew group that hints at good temperature consistency. The water tank size is suitable for home espresso drinkers as well.
This machine makes it to the third spot, though, because of its design. I love the touch buttons. They feel easy to use, and there’s no room for confusion.
Jura, like De’ Longhi, is a brand that specializes in coffee makers. This machine feels like it was designed to be a commercial coffee machine more than a home brewer.
- Huge brew group makes this machine powerful enough to serve a big house or a small restaurant/coffee shop
- Clear display for ease of use, one touch operation
- Well built coffee machine with a mix of stainless steel and rigid plastic parts
- Complaints about hard-to-reach customer service when dealing with post-sales concerns
- Not great if you enjoy an extra hot brew
It packs so much power behind the brew group with a touch of a button. With that, you can expect your coffee drinks to be consistent—that along with the reliability of the steam wand.
I also like the water tank design, as it seems suitable to back up the power of this automatic machine. It’s a crucial detail for all these one touch options. When your tank is mismatched and your coffee makers suck up water that isn’t there, it tends to damage most types of coffee machines significantly.
All in all, I trust that this heavy-duty pick from Jura can make you a consistently good americano or a nice foamy cappuccino. The science on how the brew group extracts checks out with my barista knowledge, and it will have a noticeably different extraction from your usual automatic espresso machines.
Check out our full Jura E8 review for more.
Saeco is the specialized line of Philips. They manufacture decent automatic espresso machines that are heavy hitters for those looking for a seamless experience.
- Highly programmable automatic espresso machine (dose, espresso shot, milk texture, brew temperature)
- Multiple saved user profiles make it easy to use
- Heavy-duty brew group keeps brew and steam temperature consistent, definitely one of the best super features across all automatic espresso machines
- Front access water tank makes it ideal for access
- Feature overload for some
- Some manufacturing issues that manifest in build quality and general product finish
What impresses me most about the Xelsis from Saeco is the brew group. It’s helped a lot by the boiler design, which allows it to roll out consistent drinks when it comes to brewing and steaming.
Let’s not forget the decent water tank size that allows enough water to run through the espresso machine in the first place!
All in all, I am generally impressed with Saeco espresso machines. They’re best for those who have specific espresso requirements but don’t always have the time to learn the skills to do it themselves manually.
This format is one of the best ones for many because you still get to test out brewing principles you may pick up along the way.
While Gaggia is owned by Saeco (aka Philipps), the machines are manufactured in Italy and tend to be of a more premium standard than Saeco alternatives. The Gaggia Brera is no exception.
- One of the better design classic espresso machines
- Simple to operate and easy to clean
- Has a milk wand that also dispenses hot water to top off coffee drinks or teas with
- Three strength settings
- Can sometimes struggle with the more oily coffee bean types
- Some durability concerns rooted in build quality and materials
It’s front metal panels give it an overarching heavy-duty look, although it doesn’t have plastic side panels and a control knob to discover your perfect grind.
When it comes to this particular automatic coffee machine, it’s a decent basic model if you’re keen to brew espresso as the drink base. It’s frothing wand is simple to use and creates bubble packed foam perfect for a latte or cappuccino.
Overall, it’s a decent choice if you’re not too picky about how your espresso tastes on its own or if you’re going to be sipping on milky coffee regularly.
Check out our full Brera review to learn more about this brewer.
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is the older sibling of the Gaggia Brera. It is a bit more heavy-duty, with slightly more features. With that said, I think that their main differentiator is the price.
- 3 temperature settings for flavor profile preferences
- 2 year warranty
- Allows you to brew with whole beans and pre-ground beans
- Programmable milk and espresso settings
- Build quality could be better for this price point
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is slightly more expensive than the Brera, and so it fulfills the needs of a more specialized coffee drinker.
If you know exactly what you want, you will enjoy the more programmable features of the Anima. If you still need to discover what you like best, it’s often better to get yourself a simple option or invest in catching up in terms of brewing knowledge.
When it comes to the best super automatic espresso machines, always focus on what you like best. Also, listen to your coffee drinking habits. There are best picks for adventurous drinkers, and there are espresso makers for those simple regular brewers.
The Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Buying Guide
Now that you’ve been presented with seven excellent picks for a super automatic espresso machine let’s go through a brief description of what they are. With a better understanding of what they should and shouldn’t do, you should have a better idea as well on if they’re for you.
Super automatic coffee machines automate the entire espresso brewing process. With the press of a button, you can grind, brew, steam, and serve. They take away the manual parts of making espresso: dosing, extraction time, and milk steaming texture.
What does this mean for your coffee?
As a coffee professional, my job requires me to have the time and build the knowledge to make the best coffee. It’s normal for coffee drinkers not to know how to make the best coffee but want the best coffee nonetheless.
The best automatic machines allow you to replace baristas with machine precision and efficiency. The human aspect of coffee is switched out with more math and science instead. All you need to do is insert your coffee beans and press a button or two.
However, with automatic machines come limited ceilings. Even the best ones will have a cap on capabilities. Your coffee can only be as good as how your machine makes it. Another thing that doesn’t help is the confusing number of features and levels out there.
It’s best to be able to appreciate what your machine can make. Features have corresponding prices, so choose the ones that are currently important to you.
When you choose the best machine for yourself, focus on these things: price, performance, and of course, design.
Price is important because you will want a machine that can make drinks you like at a price you can afford. Factor in fewer visits to your favorite cafes. But also have a budget in mind for good beans.
Performance is a critical consideration for any machine as well. Consider:
- How fast can it produce the best coffee for you?
- How many cups can it do in a day?
- Do you have to clean it weekly or monthly?
- Will it last 2 months or 2 years?
These are only some of the things you need to look at when in the market for an espresso machine.
Lastly, we have design. No good espresso machine is cheap. This is why you might as well select something that you won’t hate to see every morning before you’ve had your coffee! Aside from the facade, inspect the build materials. As a machine that works with heat and pressure, be sure to select one that will stand the test of time.
If you want to skip to the secret, it is always proper handling and frequent maintenance.
Automatic Espresso Machine Boiler Options
You’ve gone through some good super automatic espresso machine options.
Now here’s a quick orientation on boiler types to understand a feature that prominently advertised across machines.
Your boiler system will dictate how fast your espresso will brew and how consistent you can expect it to be.
Having the right understanding and expectations will dictate overall satisfaction and longevity in life and coffee.
Single boiler espresso machines have one boiler for brewing and steaming milk.
It has one heater and two thermostats. The first thermostat gauges the ideal hot water temperature for brewing espresso.
The other thermostat is in charge of boiling water and producing steam. You can probably already imagine some challenges with consistency when one function uses the same water from the same heater but at a totally different temperature.
This means that you can only do one espresso machine function after the other. Machines with this make often have more simple features, slower total brew times but are usually more compact.
You will also need some downtime between espresso shots as the machine regathers steam after fulfilling your requests.
It’s a non-issue for home use, or if there isn’t a high and fast demand for espresso drinks.
A dual boiler espresso machine has a boiler assigned for brewing coffee and another one for steaming. This means that steaming milk and pulling espresso shots can be done at the same time.
Since brewing pressure also comes from 2 separate boilers, you have a shorter waiting time when you pull consecutive espresso shots.
This type of coffee machine has a bit of a gather or start up time. However, after this “warm-up” if you will, your espresso machine will be primed to produce espresso at a high and fast rate.
Another strength of this type of espresso machine is consistency. The separate boilers make it easier for the super automatic espresso machine to produce consistent hot water temperatures every shot you pull.
This is the best option with a high and fast demand for coffee. It can be used in most coffee shop set-ups and perhaps in offices.
Heat Exchange Single Boiler
Think of this as a cost-efficient combination of the two types of boiler systems above.
It uses one boiler for brewing and steaming. You get to save up on espresso machine size, weight, and hardware. At the same time, you have a heat-exchanger that segregates the water when steaming and brewing.
With this upgrade, you can get a dual boiler’s consistency for a size and price that’s closer to a single boiler espresso machine set up.
This is the best pick for small cafes, serious homebrewers, and restaurants that want good coffee executed efficiently.
Types of Drinks
Espresso – It is a drink and brewing method where the coffee is pushed out of the fine coffee grounds using pressure. It falls around a 1:2 ratio of ground coffee to espresso weight. That means that if you use 18g of coffee in an espresso machine, expect a 36ml shot of espresso.
Ristretto – This is a restricted shot of espresso. When you extract coffee from a coffee bean, you dissolve the acids first, sugars second, with the bitter compounds last.
A ristretto is an extraction of the acids and some of the sugars, but none of the bitter compounds. It’s usually a little more than a 1:1 ratio of ground coffee to espresso weight. This means that 18g of coffee will yield around 20ml of espresso. It should taste brighter and generally sweeter than espresso.
Lungo – This one is a long shot of espresso. It stretches the body of your espresso and takes the bitter compounds with it. It’s bigger than espresso and shorter than an americano (or long black).
Americano – It consists of espresso and water similar to the long black. The only difference? The order in which they are mixed in together. A long black is a coffee drink where the espresso shot is poured into the cup first, before the hot water.
In an Americano, the water goes in before the espresso. They say the name came about during the war when American soldiers kept adding more and more hot water to make their awful coffee during wartime drinkable.
Latte – This is quietly the most popular espresso-based drink in coffee shops. You will find many recipes of this classic but it is generally a 1:5 ratio of espresso and milk. It is, therefore, the milkiest and sweetest of the basic espresso-based options you will come across.
Cappuccino – An Italian classic, it’s a 1:4 ratio of espresso and milk. What sets this espresso drink apart is its texture.
The cappuccino is the foamiest of the classic espresso-based milk drinks. Containing equal parts of espresso, milk, and foam.
The cappuccino also has dry and wet variations. The dry version is for those who want to reduce the milk but enjoy the foam. The wet option is the classic cafe coffee drink.
It’s good to look this far ahead in terms of what life will be like with a super automatic espresso machine.
The bad news: all machines still need cleaning, and you will still have to keep it in check.
If you don’t, you won’t get the best results from your beans and your steam wand. Coffee grounds can get stuck and add to over-extraction. Milk can go sour and affect the taste and overall safety of your espresso drinks. Be sure to use cleaning capsules as prescribed in the manual, and wipe the milk frother clean after each use.
For extra measure, I soak the steam wand every day in hot water and espresso machine detergent.
The good news: you can often clean your super automatic espresso machine with the push of a button. As a personal rule, I run cleaning agents according to how often they’re advised to be used.
If unspecified, I use them every 100 espresso drinks made. If it’s essential maintenance, I make sure to run basic machine clean-cycles once a day. And finally, I descale once every 3 months.
Tips and Tricks
Be sure to pick good fresh medium roasted beans that suit your taste. This helps the burr grinder chug along. Also, use mineral water or use a water additive for coffee along with distilled water, so the flavors of your coffee can shine.
Lastly, depending on performance, use chilled milk if you want your milk drinks sweeter. And if it doesn’t seem to be hot enough sometimes, use room temperature milk to aid the milk wand in heating it more effectively.
The Final Verdict
While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s hopefully shown you a brewer you could see yourself enjoying at home.
The top pick for this list is the best super automatic espresso machine is the De Longhi ESAM 3300. It’s a perfect addition if you want something mid-tier-priced, which is more of a generalist when it comes to brewing.
Nonetheless, if you’ve got the budget, the Dinamica machine by Delonghi has all the best features you could need and more. With its Latte Crema technology, you don’t need to worry about perfecting your latter art skills. But, instead, focus on finding the perfect beans for your taste.
Keep brewing, my friend!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all integrated burr grinders the same?
No. One burr grinder can differ from another in terms of material and design. More specifically, a burr coffee grinder that is made from steel will initially be sharper than another made from ceramic. The ceramic burr grinder will maintain its sharpness over time, whereas the stainless steel option will degrade over time.
Additionally, burrs are either flat or conical shaped. The former is often only available in much more expensive and the best burr grinders, mostly reserved for commercial use. Nonetheless, both can turn coffee beans into pre ground coffee evenly and help make a tasty brew!
Are super automatic espresso machines worth it?
When matched correctly with the right type of coffee lover – Absolutely. We all have drink preferences.
An espresso maker is a bigger coffee investment than your usual manual coffee maker.
At the same time, a super automatic coffee machine has a fixed type of output. If you love to drink espresso way more than you enjoy the process of making it, then super automatic espresso machines are definitely worth looking into.
How often do you clean super automatic espresso machines?
One of the best features of super automatic espresso machine models is the automatic cleaning functions.
Since everything is automated, the trick is in knowing how often to activate that clean button.
Unless otherwise specified, I go through a personal rule of descaling every 3 months to avoid a problem. On a more regular basis, I use espresso machine detergent (or cleaning capsules) every 100 espresso shots pulled.
What is the best super automatic espresso machine?
This is always a tricky question.
The quick answer is “whatever super automatic espresso machine best satisfies your coffee needs”. The long answer is figuring out what you regularly look for in a coffee drink—and selecting an espresso machine to do your coffee drinks for you.
From grinding beans, pulling shots, all the way to steaming milk. Remember to research, taste-test, and check for after-sales service feedback.
Barista and coffee writer
Miguel Papa is a coffee fanatic with a passion for brewing. During the weekdays, you can find him experimenting with different drinks while he works as a barista. Otherwise, he’s likely writing here for Sip Coffee or enjoying the outdoors.