A perfect cup of coffee is the best way to start the day.
But making such a cup when you’re barely keeping your eyes open in the morning is not an easy task.
Well, unless you have an automatic espresso machine that does the hard work for you.
And the best part?
Your cup is perfectly brewed each time.
But with thousands of models on the market, how can you choose one which to buy?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. After thorough research, I’ve managed to narrow the list down to several models that really stand out.
In this article, I’ll share with you the best automatic espresso machine on the market, as well as its close follow-ups.
Keep reading to find out more!
Best Automatic Espresso Machine – Our Top 10 Picks
- Jura E8 (Best Overall)
- Breville Oracle Touch (Biggest Capacity)
- Jura D6 (Best For Bluetooth Operation)
- De’Longhi Magnifica (Best Bang For Your Buck)
- Gaggia Cadorna Prestige (Best For Milk-Based Beverages)
- Jura ENA 8 (Best Design)
- Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine (Best For Beginners)
- Gaggia Brera (Best Compact Machine)
- Jura A1 (Best For Short Black)
- Gaggia Anima (Best Mid-Range Machine)
The first spot on this list goes to one of the top-selling Jura models, the E8. It’s an upper mid-range espresso maker that can do everything you need it to.
This is a super automatic espresso machine, so there’s very little you need to do in terms of brewing coffee. But what you are in charge of is designing your drink.
There are 12 pre-programmed drinks to choose from, like cappuccino or flat white. But this machine lets you further modify your brew to get the perfect cup of coffee. You can adjust everything from brew strength and temperature to shot and milk volume.
What’s also great is that the machine remembers your coffee preferences and will show your favorite drinks on the start screen. This is quite helpful when you’re short on time.
Instead of a wand, the E8 comes with a silicone milk hose, which draws the milk from the cup, steams and pours it into your coffee. This means you don’t have to do anything, and you still get delicious coffee afterwards.
The E8 is pretty easy to maintain compared to many super automatic espresso makers. The machine runs a daily rinse cycle, and it also cleans the milk hose after every use.
Lastly, the machine reminds you to do a thorough cleaning after making 180 beverages. This means you’ll always stay on schedule with maintenance.
- The machine allows you to fully customize your drink just as you like it
- Automated maintenance saves you the hassle of manually cleaning the machine every day
- The built-in burr grinder with 6 grind options allows you to pick the right size for your coffee of choice
- Easily accessible side-mounter water reservoir allows you to easily refill it at the sink
- Can be too expensive for beginner baristas
Breville Oracle Touch
When it comes to ease of use, the Oracle Touch is one of the simplest espresso makers out there. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s a basic machine. This model has tons of cool features, altough that’s expected given its price tag.
So what are those bells and whistles?
They include the over-pressure valve, pre-infusion and digital temperature control. Together, they ensure you get an optimally extracted cup of coffee each time.
The large screen makes it easy to choose between pre-programmed drinks or make your own custom version. You can adjust everything from coffee strength to milk texture.
But the machine will do all the hard work. From grinding, dosing and tamping, all the way to frothing, every step of the brewing process is automatized on this model. You just have to sit there and wait for your cup of coffee.
- The machine lets you adjust your coffee and save your preference, so that you can always make the same drink
- It has an 84-ounce water tank, so you can make at least 20 cups of espresso before refilling
- Since it has dual boilers, the machine allows you to both brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously, which saves you time
- It has a 2-year limited warranty, so you don’t have to worry about ending up with a faulty product
- Very bulky and heavy, moving it around can be difficult
As a brand, Jura is well known for its minimalistic clear-cut, sculptural design. And this modern-looking machine will surely be an eye-catcher sitting on your counter.
Of course, this model is not all about looks. The D6 is a super automatic machine that allows you to make a perfect cup of coffee at the touch of a button.
The machine will do the whole brewing process, you just need to choose your coffee drink and tweak it to your preference. You can adjust practically everything, from brew strength to foam volume.
The D6 features two spouts, meaning you can make two cups of coffee at the same time. And what’s even better, you can make two different types of drinks simultaneously. This means you don’t have to fight your partner over who gets the first cup.
You can also control the machine with your smartphone, as long as you have the Jura Smart Connect. This transmitter allows you to make a cup of coffee while you’re still lying in your bed in the morning.
- The model features a built-in stainless steel burr grinder, which allows you to choose between 12 grind sizes
- The height-adjustable spout allows you to make coffee directly into mugs of different sizes
- The Bluetooth transmitter that can be bought separately allows you to operate the machine with your phone
- Intelligent Water System alerts you when it’s time to change the water filter
- Doesn’t feature a grinder by-pass, so you can’t use pre-ground coffee
This entry-level espresso machine is so loved because it’s compact, sturdy, easy to use and, most importantly, rather affordable.
In fact, we can safely say that this model offers the best value for your money from this list. It has all the necessary features for a reliable cup of java.
The Magnifica has a built-in burr grinder, so you can grind your coffee right before brewing for a stronger cup. But if you want to use pre-ground coffee instead, a grinder by-pass lets you do that.
Then, you can adjust the coffee strength, temperature and cup size, depending on how you like your coffee. You can also program your setup so that the next brew takes only a single press of a button.
Maintenance is also rather simple. You can rinse the brewing unit in the sink, while other removable parts can be washed in the dishwasher. As for descaling, the indicator light will let you know when it’s time to run the cycle.
- You can adjust the settings for temperature, coffee strength and cup size to make coffee just the way you like it
- If not used for two hours, the machine automatically turns off to save energy and prevent hot circuit
- The water tank, waste bin and drip tray are front-accessible, so you don’t have to move the machine to take these parts out
- All removable parts are dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to wash them manually
- Spout height isn’t adjustable, so you can’t pour coffee directly into a taller mug
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
This model is a great option for any at-home barista that wants to play around with milk-based coffee drinks. There are 14 pre-programmed drinks to choose from, like cappuccino, latte macchiato and americano.
Then, you can further adjust the temperature, brew strength, volume, use of pre-ground coffee etc. If you enjoyed your creation, you can save the drink settings and use it again whenever you want.
This model features an integrated carafe that does the frothing twice to achieve a bubble-free froth. When you’re not brewing, you can detach the carafe and store it in the fridge along with the milk.
Of course, I can’t leave out the built-in grinder.
It’s made of ceramic, which doesn’t heat up and does its job practically silently. There are 10 grind options, so you can pick the one most suitable for the coffee drink of your choice.
Compared to many models on the market, this one has an extra tall spout, so you can brew coffee directly into your travel mug. If you’re using small cups instead, you can prevent splashing with a slide-out tray.
- The removable brewing unit, as well as descaling and milk carafe cleaning programs, make maintenance a piece of cake
- The espresso maker allows you to create user profiles for custom drinks, which is handy for large households
- It has 14 pre-programmed drinks and several customization options, so you can play around with different brews
- The bypass doser allows you to brew pre-ground coffee every once in a while
- The machine’s body is mainly made of thin plastic material, so it’s not as durable as most other high-end models on this list
Jura ENA 8
While the ENA 8 stands out for many reasons, the first one I’ll mention is its design. It has that futuristic sleek look Jura machines are known for.
But what’s unique about this model is the cylindrical water tank. It has a rhombus pattern that makes it look like those old crystal carafes. This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful machines I’ve ever seen.
Given that it’s quite expensive, buying an espresso maker just because of its appearance is not a great idea. Luckily, this model has some great features that justify its price.
A large TFT color display is pretty straightforward to use. You can choose from 10 coffee drinks, including macchiato and flat white. Of course, you can also tweak brewing settings and make a more personalized drink.
It’s the little things that make the difference. In the case of ENA 8, the water pulses through ground instead of just showering them. As a result, your coffee is equally extracted.
With dimensions of 17x11x13 inches, this is one of the most compact Jura machines. While that means it has a small water tank and bean hopper, it also means it’s suitable for small counter spaces.
- The small footprint makes this machine suitable for small kitchens and RVs
- A burr grinder is quiet and takes less than a minute to grind coffee beans
- It comes in three color options, so you can choose the one that matches your color scheme the best
- With 10 beverage options and many adjustment settings, you can play around with your brew
- A small water reservoir means you have to refill it after making just a couple of drinks
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
While Philips might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to espresso machines, this model is one of its best-sellers. It’s affordable, versatile and makes consistently good coffee.
This model features a ceramic burr grinder, which is not something you often see in low and mid-range espresso machines. Compared to steel, a ceramic burr grinder stays sharp for longer. Ceramic also doesn’t rust and won’t get hot from grinding.
The intuitive touch display makes it easy to adjust your drink to your taste. Each button features an icon, which makes differentiating beverages easier.
Once you pick the poison, you can adjust different settings, such as aroma strength and temperature. So even though it’s an automatic machine, you still have the last word in the brewing process.
This is quite a forgiving machine when it comes to maintenance. All the most important parts are removable and dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to clean them manually. For descaling, the machine features a program you need to run every month or so.
- The AquaClean water filter keeps scale deposits from forming even after 5,000 brewed cups
- Most parts are removable and dishwasher-safe, so you can clean them without hassle
- The burr grinder has 12 grind settings, so you can adjust the size depending on the type of drink
- The Aroma seal keeps the bean hopper airtight and coffee grounds fresh for longer
- The customer support is not that great, so troubleshooting can end up being unnecessarily long
For such an affordable machine, I was quite surprised to see this model has some features you only see in more expensive products.
It uses a ceramic burr grinder, which is very sturdy and durable. And because it doesn’t retain flavor, it doesn’t alter the flavor of your coffee grounds like steel does.
The Brera allows you to customize your drink, although with fewer options to choose from. Still, the Memo function remembers your settings so that you can replicate your custom drink another time.
The less exciting fact about this machine is that it doesn’t have a descaling cycle, so you’ll have to do it yourself. But what makes maintenance a bit easier is that most parts can be removed and washed under the sink.
- The pre-infusion cycle causes coffee to degas before brewing, which makes extraction more even
- The machine is quite affordable compared to most models on this list, which makes it a good choice for beginner baristas
- With a small footprint, this model is great for dorms and small apartments
- All parts that require cleaning are easy to remove and can be washed in the dishwasher
- A smaller water reservoir means you have to refill more often
- Add a con about not having the descaling cycle
Wouldn’t it be great if you could only pay for the features you actually use on a machine? Well if you’re one of those people who never use a frothing wand, here’s something for you. This model is designed for people who drink the same coffee as you – pitch black.
Since it comes without a wand, the A1 has a more affordable price than other Jura models. Furthermore, brewing options are not as versatile. There are only three drink options available: coffee, ristretto and espresso.
But if you want to play barista, you can adjust the brew strength and cup size. It may not sound like much, but even the tiniest changes can make your coffee better.
As a safety measure, the machine turns off automatically after 20 minutes of being idle. What’s more, it runs an auto rinse cycle right before shutting down. So if you forget to clean the machine, it will do it for you.
I was a bit surprised to find out that the machine’s exterior is made of plastic. It feels so sturdy and durable, like it could take quite some beating.
- The auto shut down feature prevents your electricity bill from skyrocketing
- Pulsing water through beans helps with developing full flavor during extraction
- Its sleek design makes the machine suitable for small places
- It comes with a burr grinder that can grind coffee beans in 12 different sizes
- Very limited brew adjustment options available
The interface of this coffee machine is pretty straightforward, there’s practically no way you can make a bad cup of coffee. After all, you just have to press a few buttons.
But if you like to play around with different brewing settings, that’s not off the table. In fact, the machine lets you adjust strength, temperature and water amount, to get a more personalized drink.
The Anima comes with the stainless steel manual Panarello wand. If you’re just starting making your own espresso, a Panarello wand is great for learning to froth. Pro baristas, on the other hand, probably won’t be satisfied with the choice of the steam wand.
As someone that forgets to turn off appliances, I just love when a product has a standby feature. The Anima goes into a low-energy mode after an hour of being idle. By doing this, the machine conserves energy and potentially prevents hot circuits.
- An LCD screen lets you choose between pre-programmed drinks or create your own
- The coffee circuit does auto-clean every time you turn the machine on or off, ensuring you don’t use old grounds
- After an hour of being idle, the machine goes into an energy-saving mode
- A tall spout allows you to pour coffee straight into a travel mug
For a mid-range machine, a pin-hole steam wand would be a better option
A Guide To Buying The Right Automatic Espresso Machine For Your Needs
At the first glance, most automatic espresso machines appear to be similar. Sure enough, they work on the same principle. But it only takes one or two features that make the model stand out.
In this section, I’ll elaborate on some of the most important features to pay attention to.
An automatic espresso machine doesn’t let you engage too much in the brewing process. But what you can do is adjust the program to alter how your coffee turns out.
Most low and mid-range espresso machines only have basic customization settings, such as brew strength and cup size. Some super automatic espresso makers, on the other hand, do every step of the process, from grinding to frothing.
Ultimately, the level of programmability is defined by the price tag of the machine. So it all comes down to one question – how much are you willing to pay to have more control?
Most super automatic espresso machines also have an automated steaming function. You just need to press the button, and the espresso maker will do the hard work.
There are some automatic models that come with a manual steam wand instead. The manual version leaves it all up to you. Like a real barista, you’ll have to hold a milk pitcher under the wand and steam it manually.
Steaming has a slight learning curve, as it’s all about precision and consistency. But once you master it, no automatic milk steamer can make foam comparable to your silky smooth microfoam.
If you want to improve your brewing skills, then a manual steam wand is the way to go. But if you simply can’t be bothered with that, there’s nothing wrong with the automatic milk steamer.
The majority of espresso makers have a water tank with a capacity ranging from 37 to 81 ounces. Naturally, the larger the tank, the less often it needs refilling.
But you shouldn’t just blindly choose the largest model either. If the water sits for too long, it will eventually go stale.
For machines with built-in grinders, the capacity of a bean hopper is also important. In most cases, their capacities are between 4 and 18 ounces. Coffee beans lose freshness after about seven days, so ideally, you should refill the hopper once a week.
Related article: Best Jura Coffee Machine: Top 10 Choices
Ease Of Maintenance
When it comes to espresso machines, maintenance becomes a 24/7 job. For instance, both the steam wand and the brewing unit have to be rinsed immediately after each use. If left on long enough, coffee and milk residue can easily turn into a popular place where bacteria hang out.
The job, of course, doesn’t end there. Then you also need to perform weekly upkeep routines, including backflushing and descaling.
Finally, you have to regularly remove and clean other parts of the machine that get in contact with water or coffee.
As if the espresso machine upkeep isn’t already a tedious chore, some models make our lives even harder. For instance, they can have parts that are difficult to remove and even more difficult to clean.
If you don’t want to spend hours cleaning, avoid such models at all costs. Instead, look for espresso machines with cleaning programs such as descaling or auto rinse. There are also models with water filters, which makes tap water much softer.
Related article: Jura E8 Review: Is It Worth The Price?
To Sum It Up
The market is swarmed with great espresso machines, so there’s something for everyone’s needs.
If we have to pick one, the Jura E8 definitely stands out from the crowd. It’s a super automatic machine, so it does everything for you, from grinding to steaming.
This model is also compact, has a beautiful design and, most importantly, a breeze to clean. And with all the customisation available, it consistently provides an amazing cup of coffee.
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