There’s no better way to start your day than with a fresh cup of coffee and, let’s face it, we’re getting a little too old for instant. Stopping at the café on your way to work each day is annoying and, not to mention, costly in the long run. What other way is there to get a delicious and high-quality caffeinated drink in your system before the day begins? Luckily for you, with a super automatic espresso machine, you will have access to fresh, delicious coffee in the comfort of your own home.
The only difficulty is choosing between all the great coffee espresso machines currently on the market (and some not-so-great ones too). You may wonder how you can tell that a pricy machine will provide the strong and rich coffee that you need. Fear not – this guide is here to help!
Herein, you will find a list of only the best automatic espresso machines on the market – no cheap rip-offs that will expel hot bean water into your cup. If you stick to this guide, you can be absolutely sure that you are getting value for your money and a delectable cup of coffee in your hands in no time.
The Jura A1 – For the Lovers of a Strong Black Brew
Perhaps you are a simple person, not enticed by the confections of snazzy lattes and foamy cappuccinos. If that’s the case – skip the milk frother altogether and go for a machine that will provide a boost of delicious flavor without all foamy additions. The Jura A1 produces quality black espressos at a lower price than other espresso machines due to its simplicity and lack of milk frothing equipment. This model also comes with a sleek aesthetic and will fit in great in a stylish, modern kitchen.
The Jura ENA Micro 1 has recently been replaced by the significantly more compact A1, which adds Jura’s notorious Pulse Extraction Process (PEP) to extract the coffee through short pumps of water. The A1 also comes equipped with the Aroma G3 conical burr grinder, which grinds the coffee faster than older models were capable of. This item can be skipped as well if you intend to make use of pre-ground beans.
The A1 also comes with three controls for variable drink sizes and strengths of flavor and, at the press of a button, your preferred size and strength of beverage will be brewed within a few minutes. The unit will store 6 to 10 grams of coffee to give the user more choice when it comes to how strong they want their cup. The A1 can only brew a single cup of coffee at a time, so couples may want to invest in a larger model that can do two cups simultaneously.
The Jura ENA 8 – The Most Compact Machine
As a replacement for the outdated Jura ENA Micro 9, the Jura ENA 8 is similar to the A1 in its provision of the Pulse Extraction Process and an AromaG3 grinder. PEP technology provides for an incredibly rich and full-flavored brew.
The ENA 8 is distinct from the A1, however, because it comes with a fully automatic milk frother and 2.8-inch color display screen through which the user can set their preferences and program how they want their cup. This model, therefore, comes with a diverse range of delicious drinks with one tap of a button, and if you have a sweet tooth or like a lightly-foamed macchiato to start your day, this is certainly the model for you.
At only 10.7 inches in width, 12.7 inches in height, and 17.5 inches in depth, the ENA 8 is incredibly compact and designed to fit snuggly on your counter. As the most compact one-touch espresso machine currently being sold, these units are ideal for a smaller space and preferential if you want to save counter space. The ENA 8 can also come in 3 stylish colors – red, white, or black- with a stylish glistening finish to create an extra crystalline pop in your kitchen area.
The Jura Giga W3 – Ideal for the Office
The Giga W3 is designed for diversity and extensive options. Capable of making two drinks at a time of various different kinds, this unit would be ideal for an office setting rather than a normal home environment.
Capable of producing as many as 43 different warm beverages, from a simple black coffee to an extravagant latte, each drink can be specifically chosen by the user using the intuitive touch-screen selection panel. The Giga W3 gives the user full choice and control regarding the temperature of the drink, the strength of the brew, and the coffee-to-milk ratio as well. It’s not unlike having your own personal café in the meeting room!
A potential downside of the Giga W3 is the inconvenience of having to clean and maintain this multifaceted machine. However, Jura has automated the hygiene process for increased ease, and the unit will rinse, clean, and descale as needed, as well as providing any maintenance warnings to alert the user to any potential faults.
The Jura E8 – The Best of the Bunch
A favorite among consumers and product testers alike, it is no surprise that the E8 is the top-selling model on our list. With an intuitive programming system, the E8 is fully automated and without a learning curve. Capable of creating a variety of delicious beverages better than your favorite café barista, this unit is ideal for users who like diversity.
It’s up to the user to select just the right amount of coffee or milk as they like it, the perfect temperature and texture and, of course, the perfect size as well. If you’d rather be surprised, you can simply hand over control to the machine, and choose one of the 12 diverse drinks available in the system. Whether you like to take control or live spontaneously, you can be certain that the results will be of high quality and delicious.
Jura implanted all of its highest-end technologies in the E8, and it’s easy to see the results. With Pulse Extraction Process technology, the Aroma G3 grinder, and the addition of an Intelligent Water System and Fine Foam capabilities, the E8 gets it right every time, providing smooth cream, light, cloudy foam, and pristine and hygienic packaging.
The Jura D6 – The Top Unit Under $1000
One of the better-looking units if you are concerned about cosmetics, the D6 has a sleek design that will suit a modern kitchen. With multiple useful functions, including the classic Pulse Extraction technology, the D6’s reduced price has no impact on the quality of coffee it will brew. In fact, this model is known to create light and airy froth produced by Jura’s Easy Cappuccino system. The model will, at the tap of a button, draw milk and warm it to just the right temperature, injecting air as it goes. Suffice it to say, users can be assured that they will get a quality cup of delicious coffee with cloudy foam to greet their morning, even on a budget.
The only difference between the D6 and pricier machines is its use of a plain text display and a basic rotator switch as opposed to the use of a touch screen to select the user’s ideal drink. This model is more simplistic by design than the more modern and high-tech models out there. An upside of this inherent simplicity is that it makes the machine far more intuitive in general. This model even comes with Smart Connect capabilities, meaning you can select your beverage from your bedroom on your smartphone or another smart device before you have even gotten the courage to get out of bed. These units are no doubt worth the reduced price, and users on a budget certainly won’t be left without.
The De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica – The Greatest Value for Money
Awarded the Amazon’s Choice, this unit is another great option for users on a budget. At under $1000 in price, this machine comes with well-performing, high-quality functions that go beyond what most users could possibly ask for.
One feature is the machine’s stainless steel conical burr grinder that comes equipped with 13 different settings to achieve the right brew for the user. The user is given a range of choices when it comes to custom espressos, with adjustable shot lengths and coffee strengths to boot. The user can also brew two drinks at a time and, in contrast to most Jura models, this machine has a removable brew group, which keeps everything hygienic and simplifies the cleaning and maintenance of the machine.
The De’Longhi will save the user money in more ways than one. For example, it uses a rotator dial control rather than a high-tech touch screen selection panel found on expensive Jura models. Another great feature is the machine’s manual wand frothing system, which reduces the overall automation of the device, but allows for greater control on the part of the user as well. The frothing wand comes with a patented Cappuccino System, which makes steaming highly intuitive, even for those unfamiliar with brewing lattes.
The Gaggia Brera – The Greatest Bargain
Being the least costly model on our list, the Gaggia Brera has no trouble impressing buyers with its high-quality Italian components and fashionable appearance. Whether you just like your coffee simple or want to play with extravagant foam latte designs, you will find yourself having fun with the many functions this machine has to offer.
With very user-friendly and intuitive controls, the Brera will render you a quick study when it comes to making the perfect brew. Although compact and sleek, the Brera doesn’t miss out on function. It may be somewhat limited when it comes to espresso options, but this is an ideal choice for Americano-lovers and those with a preference for milk-based beverages like lattes and cappuccinos.
This Machine also comes equipped with a manual Panarello steam wand to get a light fluffy froth on the top of your drink. The wand infuses minute amounts of air into the milk with steam, creating a light and creamy texture that is difficult to beat. It lacks the automatic ease of more expensive models, but once the user gets used to frothing themselves, they might find they can get their foam to their preferred density.
The Breville Oracle Touch – The Ideal Choice for Coffee Lovers
The Breville Oracle Touch is a fully automatic and well-designed machine that is ideal for coffee lovers who want to experiment with blends and flavors. This model gives a lot of control to the user while also reducing their overall manual effort, but these sleek capabilities do come with a cost.
The user can choose any one of five pre-designed beverages or can design one of their own using an intuitive, fully-colored digital display screen. Not unlike the quality of coffee you would find in a genuine cafe, the Breville Oracle Touch makes use of a built-in grinder and fully automated tamper that will produce a large 22-gram dose for ultimate flavor in your chosen espresso.
Coffee connoisseurs will no doubt love the double boiler, which allows you to brew an espresso and prepare the milk and foam simultaneously. They may also enjoy the PID, which allows for greater temperature variability, and will get the heat of their drink just right to the specific degree. Users can even bring their own specialty beans, as the machine will no doubt prepare any cup to perfection.
One potential con of the Breville Oracle Touch is that it takes around 10 minutes for the machine to heat up, which is a bit longer than other models on this list. This is because the machine makes use of its dual boilers rather than a thermoblock that tends to be more popular among other models.
The Phillips 3200 with Latte Go – The Ultimate Latte Machine
One of the best parts of the Phillips 3200 is its unmatched automatic frothing system, which creates cloudy foam to top off the perfect latte. Small in size and easy to use, this model is a crowd favorite and shares a few similarities with the Saeco PicoBarista.
The LatteGo system is unique in how it creates latte foam. With a consistent milk mixing process, gentle heating system, and uniquely designed frothing chamber, this technology creates the perfect smooth latte foam to top off your beverage – and it’s all hands-free! Another benefit of this design is that it is completely tubeless, meaning there are no small and difficult spaces in need of cleaning, making hygiene a far lesser concern. In between each latte, the milk carafe can even be detached and refrigerated, ensuring less waste for the milk that goes unused.
In addition to the LatteGo system, the 3200 is also equipped with a user-friendly interface with makes selecting or designing your drink as easy as can be. The user is granted extra control over the strength of their beverage, the ratio of milk to coffee, and the heat of the drink. The machine’s ceramic burr grinder also comes with 12 variable settings and can deliver as much as 20,000 cups of delicious, rich coffee. In other words, you are buying longevity with this device and are sure to be greeted with high-quality caffeine every morning for a number of years.
The De’Longhi ECAM22110SB – The Best for Buyers on a Budget!
Despite its small size and price of less than $1000, the ECAM22110SB does not miss out when it comes to features and function. Measuring at only 17 x 9.4 x 13.8 inches, this compact brewing machine can produce five different kinds of coffee-based beverages, each of which can be customized by the user.
The opportunity to design one’s own drink is one of the more spectacular features of the De’Longhi, and this is perfectly simple to do as well on account of the unit’s rotator dial and display system. The grinder of the device can also be adjusted according to one of 12 distinct settings and gives the user a choice when it comes to the strength, size, and temperature of their chosen beverage. The machine also comes with a manual steam wand and variable Cappuccino System which creates silky froth quickly and simply to top off your chosen drink. Another useful feature is the machine’s adjustable spout, which can be made higher or lower to accommodate different mug sizes.
In addition to all of the above, the ECAM22110SB also comes equipped with a Rapid Cappuccino System that maintains brewing temperature for multiple drinks being made one after the other. This makes this little machine ideal for office settings or for the user who is used to having many guests to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Kind of Coffee Should I Use in my New Espresso Machine?
Although you are welcome to dry an array of diverse coffee beans or powders in your espresso machine, you should stick to medium or dark roasted coffee if you want to get a quality flavor out. Italian or Espresso roasts are often considered to be the superior choice for these purposes. However, you should, at all costs, refrain from using oily beans in an automatic espresso maker, as these tend to cause obstructions and clogging in the machine’s system.
- How Many Bars of Pressure is Required?
The ideal amount of pressure for espresso is most likely to be 9 BARs, as this is equal to around 9 times the pressure at sea level. There are, however, some espresso machines currently on the market that are equipped with pressure pumps operating at up to 15 or 17 BARs.
- What are the Maintenance Requirements of Espresso Machines?
Most espresso machines should be cleaned and descaled fairly frequently in order to keep them at optimum performance. This is especially so if you use the machine daily and for multiple drinks. A once-a-week clean should suffice, and this need not be terribly thorough either. A regular backflush of the machine will be sufficient to keep things hygienic and keep the machine making high-quality drinks for a long time.
When it comes to more intense cleans, a more thorough backflush should occur once you’ve reached 200 or so shots so ensure that the machine doesn’t slow down or clog. Users should make use of the variety of cleaning powders or espresso cleaning tablets on the market to keep their expensive espresso machine spick and span.