Espresso is a type of coffee that you can’t make manually; you need pressure and immense force to make espresso, and we have just the machines for you to do that.
These automatic espresso machines come with programmable features, excellent tank sizes, and designs that are suited to stand the test of time.
But for you, there can only be one best automatic espresso machine.
We all enjoy our coffee and espresso differently, so it’s time to pick the espresso machine that can custom tailor the best lattes, the best Americanos, and the best straight shots of espresso that will ever come out of your kitchen.
It came, it conquered, and now it’s here to stay for as long as we let it.
Nespresso machines don’t exclusively brew espresso; they can make coffee from pods just like a Keurig machine can do, so if you enjoy a little bit of both, this is the ultimate piece of kitchen hardware that you absolutely need.
We’ve looked at the five best Nespresso machine models on the market, a ton of Nespresso reviews, and everything in between to bring you this top-tier list.
You can enjoy a coffee in the morning and a hot latte in the afternoon; what’s not to be excited about?
Take a look at your best options below.
Best Automatic Espresso Machines
De’Longhi Super Automatic Espresso Machine
De’Longhi made one of the most comprehensive automatic cappuccino machines that we’ve had the pleasure of using.
Built with a high capacity water reservoir and decent espresso bean hopper size, it packs enough of a punch so you won’t have to constantly refill everything.
But a high capacity isn’t enough to be a good unit. That’s why De’Longhi added a relatively short warm-up time of just 75 seconds.
If your machine has been off all day and it’s ice-cold, 75 seconds isn’t a long time to wait for it to heat up. Brewing takes about 20 seconds after the fact.
I like adding espresso shots to my coffee, and with this unit, you can’t just pop your morning mug underneath.
Mugs can’t be taller than 4.25” or they won’t fit under the spout. You will have to brew the shot into a separate cup if that’s what you plan on doing.
From the heated pressure, you get a little less oil that comes out of your brew. It tastes clean and clear, but as a result, it kind of alters the flavor of darker roast beans.
Use the milk frother wand to steam the perfect latte together, so long as the cup is small enough.
I’m a fan of the timer settings. You can get this thing heated up early in the morning when your feet hit the floor, and enjoy an espresso while you’re putting your jacket on to head to work.
Cleaning is easy, whether it’s rinsing off the drip tray or using the self-cleaning mode (which takes about half as long as most espresso machines).
You should run the self-clean every single day after you’re done brewing with it. De’Longhi is a good brand, but there’s one pitfall that you have to keep your eye out for.
They don’t honor warranties from unauthorized dealers, which can essentially mean any reseller.
As far as we are able to find, Amazon is an authorized seller, but it’s important to ask customer service about the warranty prior to purchase.
The auto-shutoff feature kicks in after three hours of your unit is idle, so you can leave home without wondering “Wait, did I turn that off?—it’s all covered, so just enjoy without worry.
|Hopper Capacity||8.8 oz|
|Water Tank Capacity||60 oz|
|Brew Time||20 seconds|
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Gaggia is a brand that you likely don’t know about, but after this, you won’t be able to forget them.
Making premium coffee and high-end espresso for the masses, their Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine takes the cake on nearly every single attribute you want to see in a home espresso machine.
Starting with the capacities, you get 40 oz of water and 8.8 oz of espresso beans.
That’s roughly the perfect amount of espresso for a dozen shots, which is why you’ll see a lot of companies use this amount.
While there is no automatic shutoff feature, you do get access to a highly functioning LED-backlit screen interface to toy with all the settings.
Steam milk, froth it for a cappuccino, and use the extra high clearance to put your morning coffee under the espresso spout to get a turbo-charged shot added right in.
Gaggia can do it all, but it comes with a higher price tag than our top pick.
That being said, when you look at the average espresso machine with this capacity and these capabilities, Gaggia will come in under the national average.
Brew time is a cinch—30 seconds, and you’re on your way to caffeinated bliss.
They offer a one-year warranty, which will cover manufacturer defects and any problems that were made during production.
That’s something you really want to have on your side, because you have a 1,400W power supply here, and you don’t want that getting messed up. Those are pricey to repair and replace.
The quick heat-up time is excellent, as is the fast brewing.
Disassembling the hopper for cleaning and unjamming is a pain though because this unit is designed to be one cohesive piece that you’re not supposed to take apart.
But everything needs maintenance, right? Emptying out the espresso is easy, and personally, I like that I can heat this up and just dispense hot water whenever I want for tea.
Overall it’s a solid unit, hits a good price range, and produces smooth, creamy espresso that delivers exactly what you need: high volume caffeine.
|Hopper Capacity||8.8 oz|
|Water Tank Capacity||40 oz|
|Brew Time||Under 30 seconds|
Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville made a mix of the best automatic latte machine for home use, and a small-time coffee shop commercial espresso maker.
First of all, they give you a full cleaning kit that’s easy to store right under the drip tray at the front of the unit.
This makes it a breeze when you need to clear out old grounds or remove debris from the internal components of the machine.
When it comes to grinding, by the way, there’s a simple dial system that allows you to change the coarseness.
No fuss, just a minor tweak here and there to make sure your grounds are coming out nice and fine.
Between grinding, brewing, and actually frothing your milk, you’re only looking at about sixty seconds of time spent (milk taking the longest) for a full hot latte.
Breville uses a micro foaming feature, so normally I’d say that there are other espresso machines out there that don’t take as long, but given the unique method, the few extra seconds are completely worth it.
The motor on this is powerful, 1,600W of pure aggression that ensures everything is ground up to perfection. Espresso machines aren’t quiet at all, but this is even loud for what it is.
You’ll feel like you’re next to a car engine with the hood up, so I don’t recommend using this in the early morning if you have people still sleeping in the house.
Set your espresso machine to either a single shot or a double shot to get the most out of it, and brew away.
While it’s loud, it is fairly easy to clean with that stored cleaning kit that I mentioned earlier.
What’s more is that in your kit, you also get the stainless steel milk frothing pitcher, the cleaning disc, tablets, brush, and a water filter holder on top of everything else.
Altogether, it’s a solid unit with a ton of components included in your package.
You can hit the ground running without needing to purchase anything else for this machine.
It’s even compatible with Brita filtration systems so that you can enjoy the clearest, cleanest water possible with your espresso.
|Hopper Capacity||10 oz|
|Water Tank Capacity||30 oz|
|Brew Time||Less than 10 seconds|
De’Longhi ECAM35020B Automatic Espresso Machine
Now we’re talking about the big guns.
De’Longhi makes powerful machines, but they went above and beyond with this one, maintaining excellent power without sacrificing on energy consumption.
With just 1,000 watts of power, it brews while being as energy efficient as an espresso machine can be. All that pressure takes up a lot of electricity.
It’s a neck-in-neck for the best fully automatic espresso machine because this includes what I believe to be a necessary feature that not all espresso machines include—a shutoff timer.
Three hours after you’ve walked away from the machine, it powers down to cut out unnecessary energy costs.
I think three hours is a little much, considering the quick 40-second warm-up time, but it’s better than coming home at five o’clock to find that you’ve left the machine on all day.
The standard espresso bean hopper holds onto 10.6 oz of espresso, and De’Longhi follows suit.
It’s enough to brew about a dozen shots of espresso, sometimes more if you always choose the single-shot function.
Speaking of which, you can opt for that, or the double shot function to get a super-strong brew if you want.
Maintenance is a breeze, though the basket that holds your espresso grounds can sometimes be a hassle to get out.
The rest of the process is simple though, especially when you initiate the self-cleaning mode and let it do most of the work.
De’Longhi runs into some issues with warranties.
Get a clear and concise view of what your warranty includes before committing to the purchase. Be sure you can validate it for the one-year limit that it usually runs for.
|Hopper Capacity||10.6 oz|
|Water Tank Capacity||60 oz|
|Brew Time||Less than 40 seconds|
Jura ENA Automatic Coffee Machine
Juan came in for a close one here for the best semi-automatic espresso machine, and personally, I really enjoyed all of its features.
Starting out from the top, it has a low wattage pull, making it eco-friendly, and the capacity is fairly good. 37 oz in the water tank and 7 oz of coffee.
It’s a bit more compact of size, but that’s what’s good about it.
The entire unit is compact and meant to fit on your countertop with absolute ease.
You can find a spot that’s 12.7” wide for a high-functioning piece of kitchen equipment, and give it a permanent spot on your coffee station.
On another note, that eco-friendly function extends with the automatic shutoff feature, which turns off the heat and powers the unit down.
The heat-up time is great, the size is good, but cleaning this is a hassle.
At the cost of it being completely compact and designed to fit on the countertop, disassembling the unit is a chore.
You won’t have to dissect your unit more than a few times per year, depending on how much you use it, but it’s not exactly a good time while doing it.
Speaking of the frequency of use, the warranty is good, but it’s specific.
If you make one shot of espresso per day, you’re going to be fine waiting for up to two years until the end of the warranty.
If you’re getting this for a small coffee shop or any kind of commercial use, you have up to 6,000 brews before your warranty expires. At that point, it’s safe to assume that you’re in the clear.
|Hopper Capacity||7 oz|
|Water Tank Capacity||37 oz|
|Brew Time||Less than 30 seconds|
Automatic Espresso Machine Buying Guide and FAQ
How Does an Automatic Espresso Machine Work?
Whether it’s a commercial espresso machine or an at-home ell in one espresso machine, they operate the same basic way.
Through a pressurized system, which is measured in bars, water reaches just below the boiling point. This is achieved by copper wiring and heating elements.
From there, it pressurizes through to the spout of the machine, where you’ll see a press.
This is the handle-looking coffee filter that you grind your espresso into and then lock it into place. Once it’s locked, it doesn’t go anywhere, so the pressurized water doesn’t unlodge it.
Pressurized water is forced through this filtration system to dispense slightly thick-looking espresso. For this, espresso beans need to be ground up super fine into a powder to be fully extracted.
Most espresso machines come with their own hopper and will grind the beans for you (hence an automatic unit), and then place it into the appropriate space.
If you do not have a fully automatic espresso machine, you will have to grind your beans separately and then attach your handle filter to the machine by yourself.
Should I Get an Espresso Machine With a Steam Wand?
Nobody gets an espresso machine just to add shots to their coffee.
Espresso is used in lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and specialty beverages as well.
Getting a steam wand attachment built into your espresso machine is critical for making anything beyond an Americano and some strong coffee.
Steam wands come with their own maintenance issues though, so you have to be prepared to keep them clean after every single use.
The steam forces its way through small holes on the bottom of your wand, which then brings the temperature of the milk up while the internal thermometer (which detects heat based on the conductivity of the metal in the wand) detects everything.
Once it reaches an internal temperature of around 165° F or so, the steam wand shuts off. But then there are bits of milk left in those steam holes in the bottom.
At this point, you should steam a cup of water in the pitcher to purge anything else that’s left in the steam wand.
On a regular basis, you should disassemble the wand for cleaning, and to make sure no debris gets stuck inside the steam holes.
Which Type of Roast is Best for Espresso?
Medium roasts. Espresso uses a pressurized system to extract coffee from arabica beans, which not only changes the texture, it changes the flavor and caffeine concentrate.
If you used a darker roast, it would turn the coffee from bold into this sharp burnt taste.
Typically, lighter roasts retain more of the complex B vitamin profile that coffee beans have.
At higher temperatures (or darker roasts), these are essentially cooked out as the moisture content in the coffee drops significantly low.
If your espresso beans are too dark, then they’re actually going to have less caffeine, not more.
That being said, arabica coffee is the go-to coffee for espresso, but you can also get a strong flavor from robusta coffee.
If you’re chasing a caffeinated buzz, robusta coffee has 2.7% caffeine concentration, while arabica has 1.5%.
Just be warned that your RDA of caffeine is less than 500mg, and a two-ounce shot of robusta espresso could be around 200mg+.
Do You Need Special Beans for Espresso?
Any semi-automatic espresso machine should use espresso beans, not standard coffee beans.
The funny thing is, espresso beans are just standard arabica beans that are roasted for a little bit longer.
If you take a look at our roasting guide, you’ll find that darker roasts tend to have a little more boldness to them, but less caffeine.
Espresso has a happy medium between boasting a lot of caffeine but also being between a light and medium roast.
This cuts down on acidity but keeps flavor and caffeine locked in before darker roasts tend to strip those away and create a burnt taste.
So no, it doesn’t need special beans from different types of coffee plants or anything, it just has to be prepared differently.
If you’re roasting espresso beans at home, it’s important to know the difference between them in terms of color and aroma, so you don’t just end up with standard roasted coffee beans.
Do You Really Need a Fully Automatic Espresso Machine?
Well, the alternative is a manual espresso machine, which doesn’t truly exist.
The reason is that, as we just mentioned, espresso beans are just arabica beans that are roasted and sorted differently.
You could use just about any automated coffee machine to make a cup of coffee, but you can’t make espresso with any old coffee maker, manual or otherwise.
Espresso requires immense pressure coupled with high heat to extract everything out of the beans.
Since espresso beans are ground up super fine, they’re actually difficult to fully extract without pressure.
You’ll just end up with swollen, puffy grounds that require extra water to extract anything from, and it’ll taste like coffee with an extra cup of water in it.
So if you want to enjoy an espresso in your own home, especially if you want to steam and froth milk for lattes and espresso, you absolutely need an automatic espresso machine.
Closer to Perfection in Every Cup
So, which one is the best automatic espresso machine for your kitchen?
Between the budget differences, outputs, and overall quality, you’ve got five of the best espresso machines on the market right in front of you.
You’re a latte lover, a connoisseur of cappuccinos, and it’s time to have the right equipment to make you quality beverages from scratch.
Automatic, powerful, and ready-to-go right away—it’s up to you know.
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