Buyer’s Guide: The Best Automatic Espresso Machine 2017

espresso machine
Espresso Machine

Whether you are a budding barista or just trying to find a machine to make a something a little more sophisticated than a cup of Joe you’ve come to the right place. I love caffeine and if you are here than I’m guessing you do too. But what is the best way to get it? Well, a lot of people stand by energy drinks and if that is your preference there will only be a moderate amount of judgment on my part. But who am I? No one really, so what do you care? Personally, I don’t like energy drinks and prefer something a little more rich. Whether it’s in the comfort of my own home or at the local coffee shop a few blocks down, I don’t think there is any life-giving elixir better than a well-made espresso. And if you are looking for an automatic espresso machine than you are in good company because we have the shots you need to get your business day rolling.

Benefits of Buying the Best Automatic Espresso Machine

The first thing you should know about espresso is that it is not spelled with an “x.” As long as you’re with me so far, I think that we’ll be just fine. But, before we get too far in, let me start at the most basic. What is espresso? I’m glad you asked, because in this guide we will discuss what it is, what makes it different (or better), and how do we get the best. Get the cups and cream ready, because class is now in session.

What is the Difference Between Espresso and Coffee?

Well, apart from the sophisticated feeling you get when ordering one there is still a lot. Preparation is a big part of it while taste and thickness make up the rest. Contrary to popular opinion espresso and coffee come from the same beans, the only thing that makes the difference is how it is made, which largely affected the end result. For example, if you put all of the ingredients of a cake and prepare them properly before putting them in the oven, the end result will probably be a cake. If you do the same thing and put those ingredients on a grill you will likely notice a difference in the result. Espresso is the same.

Basically, a shot of espresso comes from hot water being pushed through finely ground coffee beans with high pressure, rather than the drip you get with a coffee machine. The high pressure helps blend the natural oils found in the coffee grounds and emulsifies them into the beverage. This is the reason espresso is typically so much thicker than coffee and it is from the blended oils that the drink gets the distinct flavor and the cream-like consistency (or crema as it’s called in the biz). Because of the amount of pressure needed to do this a special machine is required. The espresso machine was invented in Italy around the turn of the twentieth century with single servings in mind. It is the best way to make individual cups so no one has to worry about old or burnt coffee that’s been on the stove too long. Ingenious, no?

Big Things in Small Packages

Due to the high-pressure process used to make espresso there is a lot of flavor in a small portion. If you have ever wondered why espresso usually comes in such a tiny cup it is because that little cup has the caffeine equivalent of a regular cup of coffee. Don’t let the size fool you because this little drink is a heavy hitter in the pick-you-up-and-get-you-going department.

Consistent Quality

The real advantage to an automatic espresso machine is the consistency and quality control you can have over your drinks. This is great for getting your espresso just like you want it at home, but essential for any coffee shop. If you run a business where food or drinks are even remotely involved, you already understand the importance of a quality products your patrons can rely on. And when it comes to espresso this is one of the only ways to get it without extensive training each and every employee. Getting an automated machine streamlines the process and ensures your customers are happy every time.

Things to Consider before Buying an Automatic Espresso Machine

There are an incredible number of things to note when looking to buy any new piece of machinery. Here are a few items that I think should be at the top of your list when looking for the best automatic espresso machine or you

• Your Budget: As you may already know, automatic espresso machines can vary wildly in price from around fifty dollars to several hundred. The most important thing to consider when deciding your budget is the machine’s intended use. If you are only looking for a way to improve your mornings from the comfort of your own home, or bring a little kick into your office than you could probably get by with a less expensive model. Though, keep in mind, you often get what you pay for and if you own a coffee shop you are probably going to want to get the real deal and spend more money.
• Variables in Brewing: As we mentioned above espresso is made with boiling water at high pressures, but an important note to keep in mind is that the amount of pressure can vary from machine to machine. There’s a quick note you should always make when creating espresso in this case, and it is when the pressure is higher, the better your espresso will end up coming out. The other brewing variable involve the type of grounds you use as well as the water.
• Tamp: This is a vocabulary word you should become very familiar with. A tamper is a part of the machine that compacts the grounds which causes more forced interaction between water and beans. You will want a machine that is capable of thirty pounds of pressure of more.

Quick Tips Before Purchasing an Automatic Espresso Machine

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when looking for an espresso machine or improving the outcome of the one you already own.

Consider Your Ingredients:

It makes perfect sense once you think of it, but the end result is only going to be as good as the ingredients you put in it. If you have an industrial espresso maker that is hooked up to your tap water the resulting drink is going to taste like tap water. Rather if you purify your water you are going to get a better tasting espresso flavor that isn’t diluted by the other “flavors” in your water.
Similarly, how finely ground your coffee beans are will affect the flavor as well. Fine grinds allow the pressurized water to pass through more easily, so the oils will emulsify easier the smaller the grounds are. It is also best to grind them yourself before each use, as grounds that have been exposed to air for longer periods of time will have given the oils more time to dry out.

Get a Grinder:

As I mentioned in the above entry, ingredients are important and if you are looking into an automatic espresso machine you already understand how important it is to have the equipment you need. Another thing you should always have on hand for making good espresso is a grinder, that way you will always have the freshest grounds with the most flavorful oils.

Brew Time and Water Temperature:

This is also very important to getting your espresso just how you want it. If it’s brewed too long or the water is too hot than you will get a very bitter beverage for all your efforts. Many automatic espresso machines can be programmed to adjust for any time or temperature variations.

What is the Best Automatic Espresso Machine?

Ok, so now that we are all on the same page for what to look for, here are a few beginner acoustic guitars that I think are worth your consideration.

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

CHECK LATEST PRICE

Be the barista you knew you always could with this two-in-one espresso and cappuccino machine. Check out the features of the Delonghi automatic espresso machine below.

• Push button control settings
• Cappuccino option for steaming milk or cream
• Built in grinder for freshly ground beans in every brew
• Grinder adjusts to fine or coarse grinding options
• Preprogrammed with 5 brewing strengths
• Pressure regulation system

The Breakdown of Features

This automatic espresso machine features buttons on the front to control each cup of espresso it makes. You can choose your preferred degree of ground beans with the built-in adjustable grinder for freshly ground beverages every time. It also comes with an added apparatus for steaming milk or cream in order to make cappuccinos as well.

The Advantages of the Product

The best thing about this automatic espresso machine is the built-in grinder with adjustable grinding levels. As mentioned earlier in this guide fresh ingredients are extremely important for quality and it can’t get much more fresh then straight from the grinder to your cup. This espresso machine also comes with five brew settings from a light brew to very dark, so you can be sure to make it just right every time.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The only downside to the aforementioned machine is that I’m not sure if you can adjust the pressure, though if the machine is calibrated properly you shouldn’t really have to. However, this doesn’t negate the performance of the product whatsoever, and you shouldn’t bat an eyelash at this one!

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

CHECK LATEST PRICE

Get ready to be wowed by what this little machine can cook up for you. The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is a top of the line machine with all the modern features you could ever want in your cafe. Features of this automatic espresso machine include the following:

• Push button control settings
• Cappuccino option for steaming milk or cream
• Thermal coil used to boil water and regulate temperature
• Built-in stainless steel grinder
• Removable 67-ounce tank for holding water
• Pressure regulation system with visible gauge
• Durable machine built to last
• Tamping control

The Breakdown of Features

This automatic espresso machine brings the cafe to the comfort of your own home with a built-in stainless steel grinder, push button controls on the face of the machine, apparatus for steaming milk or cream, and a thermal coil used to heat the water consistently for the perfect boil every time. It also features a removable water tank that can hold up to sixty-seven ounces for convenient espresso on the go.

The Advantages of the Product

The more you look into the options and features for automatic espresso machines the more prevalent the old adage of fresh-is-best becomes. This machine also features a stainless steel built-in grinder to ensure the freshest coffee grounds for flavorful brewing. The entire machine is made with high quality materials like stainless steel for a durable and sturdy product. It also allows you to control everything from temperature and taming, to pressure and pour. This machine has everything you could want in an automatic espresso machine.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The only drawback to this espresso machine in the price and how easy it is to use. The price is self-explanatory as it is quite a bit more expensive than our last entry. The other disadvantage is how easy it is to use, which is not intuitive if you don’t understand what you are doing. It’s wonderful being able to control the pressure and temperature, but if you are not used to brewing your own espresso then it might take you a while to figure out what you’re doing wrong. The more control you have coupled with little knowledge can result in cup after cup of bitter or even sour tasting espresso before you figure out how to calibrate the machine. Though, once you do you will have a whole world of flavor at your fingertips, or the tips of your taste buds. Whichever is better.

Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine, Black

CHECK LATEST PRICE

Up next we have a great addition to your kitchen or office with the Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine. Features of the aforementioned espresso machine include the following:

• Push button control settings
• Cappuccino option for steaming milk or cream
• Built-in filtration system to remove impurities from water
• Compact for minimal use of space
• Notifies you if care is required

The Breakdown of Features

The Gaggia Brera comes with all the basics like front panel button controls, steaming appendage for milk and cream for a tasty cappuccino. It also features a built-in filtration system so you don’t need to worry about the purity of the water you’re using. Just pour in tap water and this espresso machine will do the rest. It is also small enough to fit in your kitchen or office without being a cumbersome obstacle and will notify you if it is ever in need of care.

The Advantages of the Product

This is a great machine for your home or office and comes with all the basics you could want in an automatic espresso machine. The primary feature we see here that hasn’t come up with our other options so far is the built-in filtration system to purify the water. This ensure high quality espresso from anywhere and is extremely convenient for the home or office where filtered water might not be available.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The downside to this machine is its lack of control options. Yes, maybe we were getting too spoiled with all the features we’ve been seeing so far but the main disadvantage is that there is a lack of a built-in grinder for fresh and tasty brewing every time. Now, there is of course an easy fix to this issue which is simply to buy a grinder, but if you are trying to save on space that could be a bit of a nuisance. Either way, it’s not quite a deal breaker and I still thought this machine was worth adding to the list due to how well it would fit in your home or office for personal use.

Krups EA81 Pisa Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

CHECK LATEST PRICE

Rounding out the competition we have another reasonably priced espresso machine with this Krups EA81 Pisa Espresso Machine. Features of this espresso machine include the following:

• Push button control settings
• Cappuccino option for steaming milk or cream
• Built-in grinder
• Removable 60-ounce tank for holding water

The Breakdown of Features

This machine features push button controls on the front panel for easy programming and brewing. We also see that it has a built-in grinder and nozzle for steaming milk or cream in order to make deliciously fresh cappuccinos with the press of a button. The sixty-ounce water tank is an added convenience for quick and easy brewing for multiple people.

The Advantages of the Product

The best part of this espresso machine is how easy it is to use, clean, and program. It specifically features a timer so you can set it to greet you every morning when you wake up with the richest flavors your coffee grounds can give you, and with the sixty-ounce water tank you need not trouble yourself with constant refilling.

The Disadvantages of the Product

This particular machine doesn’t come with all the features we have grown accustomed to seeing, though it does have the built-in grinder and features easy to clean parts. The only concern I have here is what these parts are made of. Most of the automatic espresso machines feature stainless steel part for quality assurance, however we get none of that assurance here. I believe most of these parts are made out of plastic, so it is difficult to determine whether or not this product will last. Apart from that the price is more appropriate for easy at home use where it might not get as much wear and tear as it may in other environments.

Jura Ena Micro 1

CHECK LATEST PRICE

Finally, the last entry on this list is the Jura Ena Micro 1 Espresso machine with some very special options we have yet to see. You can find the very appealing features of the aforementioned machine below.

• Push button control settings.
• Built-in multi-level adjustable grinder.
• Pre-brew aroma system.
• Adjustable brewing strength.
• Options for preprogramming.
• Multiple user options for preprogrammed settings.

The Breakdown of Features

So, we have seen a lot by now and should be pretty familiar with the standard features as well as the specialty features. This automatic espresso machine has a good combination of both. It comes with the built-in grinder we know to look for as well as adjustable options for grinding and brewing strength. The special feature this machine brings to the table is the multiple user settings so you and other members of your household or office can set their preferences for easy brewing at the touch of a button.

The Advantages of the Product

The primary advantage this espresso machine has over the competition in the option for multiple user settings. This means that you can have several preprogrammed brewing preferences for multiple people in your home or have several settings for office options. The built-in grinder is also a major benefit for great tasting espresso with freshly ground beans in every cup. This ensures the high quality and rich flavors for your everyday enjoyment.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The biggest setback with this machine is the price as well as its lack of beverage options. Though you might expect to pay as much for a high-quality espresso machine you would probably want to make cappuccinos and lattes as well. Unfortunately, this particular model doesn’t seem to have the apparatus necessary for steaming milk or cream in order to make a variety of other drinks. Though, if high-quality espresso is all you want than that shouldn’t be any problem.

The Final Verdict

It’s no secret that it’s difficult to decide on which best automatic espresso machine to get, especially with so many fine options available and such a wide variety of special features. As with many other products, ultimately it will come down to a matter of personal opinion, and in my personal opinion the best automatic espresso machine is the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso. The built-in stainless steel grinder not only ensures quality flavor but also a long-lasting machine. That coupled with the price and the range of adjustable options makes the DeLonghi the best bang for its buck. We hope you found this article helpful in guiding you through the rich world of espresso flavors and brewing options. Enjoy your mornings with a little more sophistication.