Having a great espresso drink such as a latte or macchiato doesn’t mean that you have to spend all sorts of time working on brewing the drink, and the best automatic espresso machines allow you to enjoy the greatness of espresso in a convenient way.
Whether you are seeking to pull a great shot of espresso or create a lovely macchiato, ensuring that your espresso machine is up to the job is critical to the success of these drinks.
Furthermore, espresso serves as an elegant addition to your dinner parties or even for just a simple, intimate gathering amongst friends and family. As you already know, your life is enhanced by espresso, just as it has been for so many years in European cafés and American coffee shops.
Usually, if you love espresso you know that it’s time to invest in an espresso machine. Check out the table below for our top picks.
The simple answer – espresso is unbelievably enjoyable if you already love coffee. If you like coffee but want to kick it up a notch, the logical step is indulging in espresso.
On its own, a shot of espresso is quite the caffeinated drink. In fact, it boasts the highest concentration of caffeine. But that is not why you drink espresso – it is mostly about the taste and texture. This is why espresso is the base for more indulgent coffees such as caffe lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, café mochas, etc. Getting a great shot of espresso means that producing these types of drinks at home is easier than ever.
Because of the highly-concentrated taste, espresso is one of those things where you need to figure out for yourself what your preferences are. The right espresso machine has enough flexibility for you to refine your palette while at the same time giving you subtle guidance on how to most effectively make a good shot of espresso.
One purchase you should consider – porcelain espresso cups, they are the perfect accoutrement for all espressos.
1. Gaggia Brera Automatic Espresso Machine
There are times when being an originator is a point of pride, and when it comes to the automatic espresso maker, there is only one name that can be associated with the invention of this particular device – Gaggia. The Italian company pioneered the automatic espresso machine and is responsible for the explosion of these devices on the market – and, unfortunately for them – the competition in this particular niche.
Gaggia will claim, rightly, that their automatic espresso machine is one of the best on the market thanks to their relentless commitment to modernizing their initial design. In this case, the LED display serves as notice of Gaggia’s intent to keep working to make their automatic espresso maker one of the best in the marketplace. Other features include the hopper and bypass switch, pannarello steam wand, removable brew group and front loading water reservoir. Gaggia’s goal here was to be both innovative and user friendly, and for the most part, they have hit the mark splendidly.
And, like all things Italian, Gaggia’s device is stylish and trendy, so it is perfect for your kitchen regardless of the theme of your kitchen décor.
There are some issues which must be discussed with the Gaggia, however. The biggest problem that people speak about is that the unit does not have impressive durability. There is a need for descaling quite often and ultimately if you are looking for an automatic espresso machine that you can use frequently then this particular unit probably will give you a good amount of trouble.
Ultimately, Gaggia makes a great product and if you are seeking to use an espresso machine time and again, this machine will serve that purpose with great efficacy.
2. Saeco HD8645
Simplicity is something that is a premium ideal, and when you think about simplicity in the world of the home espresso brewing, few items have this so well done as the Saeco HD8645. Frankly, this machine makes brewing espresso ridiculously easy – even for an automatic espresso maker.
Thanks to LED indicators and the ability to save your preferred settings, making a great shot of espresso is ridiculously easy. All you need to do is set up things the way you like, then it is just a fait accompli to make great espresso every time and wow your guests and yourself. Frankly, the ease of use of the Saeco is what sets it apart from other automatic espresso machines. That is surely saying something because the whole point of the automatic espresso machine is to make the guesswork a relic of the past with brewing espresso.
The other great features include the easy cleaning functions and the five different grinder settings. You can get a full bodied espresso or get an incredibly fine grind so that you have the most potent shot of espresso. Frankly, the versatility of this machine may be its biggest strength.
However, with strengths come weaknesses, and the Saeco does have a few issues that require disclosure. The first of these issues is that if you are a heavy user of this espresso machine it will wear out and need repair quickly. The other big issue is that the LED interface has a tendency to get buggy. The last thing you need when brewing espresso is for your machine to work in a glitchy manner, and unfortunately that happens too often to be a rarity here.
Ultimately when you decide to take the espresso plunge, this machine produced by Saeco will give you tremendeous versatility for your espresso desires.
3. De’Longhi ESAM300
With this particular automatic espresso machine, De’Longhi does their very best to automate the espresso process even more than the normal automation that occurs in automatic espresso machines. Fortunately for the espresso enthusiast, this machine succeeds in many different ways so that getting that great shot of espresso and brewing those great drinks like macchiatos and lattes is easier than ever.
The first thing that De’Longhi does unbelievably well is making sure the programmable settings are easy to follow. As you can imagine, programming an espresso machine is not the easiest undertaking – for those of a certain age, it could be the equivalent to programming a VCR. De’Longhi takes much of the guesswork out of the programming and allows you to focus on getting that shot of espresso that you so eagerly seek.
Another great feature is their “direct to brew” system that easily grinds the beans and makes for easy cleaning. This is vitally important. Espresso grinds are extremely fine so there is always a problem with the grinds themselves accumulating throughout the pathway from the hopper to the filter. Thanks to this system, it has never been easier to clean your espresso machine and ensure that you have the best, and most fresh grounds heading straight into the filter.
There is a lot to love about the De’Longhi, but there are also a few things that are worth lamenting. The first is the customer service is remarkably unhelpful. So, if your espresso machine has issues, good luck getting it fixed. The other big issue is for an automatic espresso machine it has very inconsistent brewing of espresso. This is a big issue because the appeal of the automatic espresso machine is the consistent brewing; however, for every time this is reported several other people are satisfied with the consistency, but it can be an issue nonetheless.
Getting a great espresso machine is as simple as finding something that appeals to your sensibilities. In the case of the De’Longhi, their goal of making the process as easy as possible has a lot of hits with a couple prominent misfires.
4. Krups EA8250
When you are looking for a machine that functions as beautifully as it looks, there are rarely options that satisfy both those who seek out aesthetics and those who seek out functionality. However, life is short, so you should not have to compromise on beauty in order to get efficiency, and Krups decided that their automatic espresso machine would be the emphatic rebuttal that shows the world that you can have a smart looking machine that pumps out great espresso time and again.
Perhaps the biggest example of Krups’s commitment to ease of use comes with the LCD screen and simple operation knob. Krups knows that creating great espresso should not be a major undertaking, so they have streamlined the entire process by making it so simple that a twist of a knob allows you to set up your espresso machine with ease and for consistent use.
The other great features include how the Krups is prepared for you to make a lot of espresso. The 60 ounce water tank is massive when stacked against the competition, and the bean hopper holds plenty of beans in an air tight environment as well. With removable parts including the drip pan you don’t need to worry about having trouble cleaning the machine.
There are some drawbacks to the Krups, however. The first is this particular machine is bereft of detailed instructions, especially concerning the milk frother. When you spend as much money as this machine requires, it really should come with greater details on how to use it. The other major issue is that while this machine is easy to clean, it requires a lot of frequent cleaning. When you are using the espresso machine often, that can end up being a massive pain to deal with.
Fortunately, the Krups has lots of positives that outweigh the negatives, but ultimately it is on you, the user, to discern whether the form and function are worth flying a bit blind in use.
Why Automatic Espresso Machines
Most espresso machines are grouped either as semi-automatic or automatic espresso machines. Understanding this distinction, and how this distinction works, will help you select the right machine for your espresso brewing purposes.
For people who are multi-taskers, there is no better option than the automatic system because you can easily set it and forget it. For the other types of machines, they require you to be more present. Many of these automatic machines have a one touch brewing system which means that you literally just hit a button and the machine takes care of everything up to the point which you imbibe the espresso.
Whereas the semi-automatic machine takes out the guessing in the grinding, the automatic machine then not only controls the grinds but how much water is forced through the system. So, this is why you can set and forget your automatic espresso machine.
Having an automatic espresso machine means you have a device that makes exceptional drinks with incredible consistency. The reviews above are of the best automatic espresso machines, so you can be confident that your purchase is an informed decision if you choose one of the machines listed above.