Are you looking to buy the best super automatic espresso machine?
These offer more convenience than manual or semi-automatic machines, but generally don’t offer as many options either. They tend to be best for those who want a great cup of espresso without having to measure the water, temperature, and weight of the beans themselves. They also eliminate the need for an external grinder, since they will have one built in.
But there’s a lot more to it than that – here’s what you need to know.
Super Automatic Espresso machines create consistently great bean to cup coffee at the push of button, they can be slightly more pricey but you pay for quality and convinience
Which Super Automatic Espresso Machine would we recommend?
Read on for all the information you'll need to choose the best Super Auomatic Espresso Machine for you.
If you don't want to spend too much time researching, just pick one of the Super Automatic Espresso Machines below and you will not be disappointed
Our Top Pick
- Quick Setup
- Perfect Espresso
- Automatic Clean
- Small Footprint
- Consistent Coffee
Budget Super Automatic
What is a Super automatic espresso machine?
A super automatic espresso machine is one that delivers a full bean-to-cup transformation. These machines give the user the freedom to make café-quality drinks from the comfort of their home, with no previous experience necessary. Unlike manual or semi-automatic machines, these aren’t usually as customizable, but they are generally more convenient and offer to do all of the steps for you. Think of them like your own personal barista, for the basic stuff.
How is a Super Automatic Espresso machine different?
Freshly ground coffee at the touch of a button
Manual machines require a full knowledge of the espresso-brewing process, and takes a significant amount of experimentation to find out exactly what works for you.
These machines require you to prep and monitor everything separately – the water temperature, the tamp of the grounds, the fineness of the grind, and the exact proportions of water and coffee, as well as timing your water flow.
Automatic machines take a lot of the work out, but they still require you to manually measure and tamp your grounds. Since this is one of the most precise components with pulling a perfect shot, many users look for something that will make the process even simpler.
This is where super automatic machines come in. These machines automatically measure and grind the coffee before pressing it into the perfect puck. Then, they automatically pull the proper amount of water, heat it to a preset temperature, and send it through the perfectly-pressed grounds. Many machines offer a milk frother as well, making them truly all-in-one machines. They don’t offer as much customization, and often the coffee isn’t quite as good, but they are built for the ultimate convenience, and that’s what they deliver
A Brief History of Super Automatic Espresso Machines
Espresso machines have been around, in one way or another, since the 1800s – but they have come a long way in terms of automation. Truly, the first “super automatic” espresso machine didn’t come to be until the late 1980s, and there was really only one brand with this label: Saeco. These machines let people brew what it called “crema coffee” – which is now referred to as a long coffee by most machines. This used a process very similar to espresso making, but with more water and a coarser grind of the beans.
In the ‘90s, we saw machines that looked a bit more like the machines we have around today. This was a time of infinite technological innovation, after all, and espresso is no exception! These new machines were fully automated, handling every step of the process and making it as close to perfect as technologically possible for the time.
One of the most surprising facts about the history of super automatic espresso machines is the fact that they are often produced for commercial use. In fact, most Starbucks use super automatic machines instead of manual machines, as they help to maintain consistency between different baristas – even those with little experience.
Most super automatic machines on the market today have taken major cues from the technological advances made by the market leaders – Saeco and Capresso – and, although they have made their own unique innovations as well, super automatic machines still keep most of the same basic functions as the original machines.
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What you should think about when choosing a Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If you like to keep things simple when choosing what to buy you should focus on these 4 key things when choosing a Super Automatic Espresso Machine:
1. Price: Does this machine fit into your budget?
2. Size: Do you have room for this machine?
3. Features and limitations: Does it have everything you need to make your normal coffee?
4. Ease of cleaning: Are you willing to put in the time to maintain your machine?
Super Automatic Espresso Machine features in more detail
The features of each super automatic machine are all different depending on themanufacturer and price point. They will all share many common features, however there will also be differences.
When choosing which Super Automatic Espresso machines is most suited, you should consider the following things:
All super automatic machines will have a bean hopper, although the size of the hopper may vary from one model to the next. If your machine has a large hopper, ensure that it also has a tight seal – otherwise your coffee will be stale by the time it’s used.
The grinder is what makes a super automatic espresso machine super automatic. These machines have built-in grinders to chop your grounds for the perfect cup. Lower-end machines may have inconsistencies with the grinder, or may be unable to handle certain types of coffee. It’s generally not a good idea to use oily beans in a hopper, as they are very likely to jam up the machine and cause unnecessary repairs.
There are two different types of brew groups on super automatic machines: Removable and permanent. The removable brew groups are often smaller and as such can’t handle as much coffee. Permanent brew groups, on the other hand, are often much more robust, and can handle larger amounts of coffee if the user wants to use more.
While not exactly a required feature, many super automatic machines have a “bypass doser” to use pre-ground coffee. This is essential if you like oily coffee as you can buy pre-ground, use it in your machine and not clog up the grinder. This doser will need to be manually measured and filled, and on some machines, manually tamped.
A bypass doser is also essential if you want to make decaf with your coffee machine.
There are three main boiler types in espresso machines: SBDU, HX, and DB. SBDU stands for “single boiler, dual use”, in which the machine will use the same boiler for both steaming milk and brewing coffee, and as such can’t do both at the same time. HX units are “heat exchange”, which means a single boiler is kept at steaming temperature, with separate lines for the steaming wand and the brew head. (The brew line will reach a cooler temperature by the time it reaches the brew head.) DB units use separate boilers for both systems, and the temperatures of each can be manipulated separately, to ensure the perfect drink at the end of the process. If your chosen machine doesn’t have a milk frothing function, it will use a single boiler.
Milk frothing capabilities
Most machines offer a milk frothing/steam function, although some will not be fully automated. In most cases, this steam wand will probably be difficult to thoroughly clean.
Most machines have a self-cleaning cycle of some sort, although you will still need to perform regular deep cleaning to make sure everything is going smoothly. The ideal machine will have a notification telling you when it needs more attention.
Not all super automatic machines are programmable, but if you want your coffee ready by the time you wake up, you’ll want one that can be set ahead of time and ready to go.
Many super automatic machines aren’t able to handle larger cups, so if this is important for you, make sure your machine will accommodate your favorite mug before you buy it.
Many machines have LED lights and/or an LCD display. These make it easier to read your machine in lower-light conditions, but most customers don’t feel that they’re necessary.
Removable drip tray
Most espresso machines come with a removable drip tray, some of which may notify you when it’s time to dump them. Even if your machine has a notification flag, it’s recommended that you dump the tray after every drink when possible.
Water tank capacity
Most super automatic machines will have a capacity large enough for multiple cups to be brewed between refills. The exact number you need will depend on how much you use in a day, as it’s usually advised that you refill with fresh water every morning.
Many newer machines have built-in water filters to help improve the taste of your espresso. If yours does, you should make sure it’s in an easy-to-maintain place, and you should check the price to replace it when it goes out. Many machines require specific water filters, which can get expensive over time, but you may be able to use distilled water without a filter. Not all machines can be run without the filter in place, though, so be sure to consult the product specifications.
Tips for making a great drink with an Automatic Espresso Machine
Once you've bought your Super Automatic Espresso Machine you want to make the best coffee possible. Although you have limited control over an Super Automatic Espresso machine you should still bear these in mind if you want to make a great coffee.
Prime the machine before you use it to get the best cup of coffee
· Prime the machine before using it, especially if it has been sitting for a few days.
· Spend some time getting to know your machine before you try to make your first cup – even if you have used an espresso maker before. All machines are a little different, even from the same manufacturer, so your experience with one unit does not guarantee your success with another.
· Use distilled water – even if your machine has an included water filter. Not only will your filters last longer, but your coffee will taste better.
· Use an external milk frother if you’ll be making a lot of milk-based drinks. Built-in frothers are rarely able to handle daily use, and maintenance may be tricky or next to impossible, depending on how much you’re expecting from it. Additionally, these built-in frothers don’t usually offer you to select your own preferences – they’ll just froth the milk the same way, every time. This is good if you like the standard settings, but those with more discerning tastes will notice that they can get better results from a manual steam wand.
· Don’t use dark roast or oily beans in your hopper. Dark and oily beans can cause the grinder blades to stick and put unnecessary strain on the internal motor. This can be an expensive repair (sometimes, even if the machine is still under warranty, since it’s technically “operator error”). You might be tempted to try it if your machine doesn’t have a bypass doser, but without that bypass unit, your machine will be unusable if your grinder motor goes out. Is it worth losing your whole machine over?
· Don’t store your beans in the refrigerator. They are not considered perishable items, as long as they don’t get wet – once they’re wet, they’ll need to be used or thrown away quickly.
· Don’t use freshly roasted beans. The beans will need to “breathe” for a while before they are able to produce a great cup of coffee. Generally, a few hours will do the trick, if you’re roasting at home.
· Don’t neglect your maintenance. In addition to potentially turning your machine into a paperweight, neglecting your regular maintenance
Looking after your Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Super Automatic Espresso machines require more maintenance than some of the other types of Espresso machine, some of which needs doing on a regular basis i.e. cleaning which is needed daily where as others i.e. servicing is only required infrequently.
Check out our guide below on the key maintenance that Super Automatic machines require.
· If your machine has a removable drip tray and dregs reservoir, these should be emptied every day – even if they’re not full. These areas will hang onto moisture, which can easily turn into bacteria if you skip a few days. If you won’t be using your machine for a few days, you should empty the water tank as well, but this isn’t necessary every time.
· Thoroughly wash your steam wand – even if your machine has a self-rinsing function. Any areas that can hold onto milk can also potentially make you sick, if the milk has been sitting for longer than a few hours. Because of the milk frothing process, milk will get into areas that water cannot naturally flow through. If at all possible, you should completely disassemble your steam wand to clean it.
· If your machine has a self-rinsing function, this should be run every day, once you’re done with the machine for the day (or at least for a few hours).
· Wipe everything down so that there are no spills, fingerprints, or residues left on the outside of the machine.
· If your machine has a removable brew group, you should take it off and thoroughly clean it at the end of the week. If it’s removable, it stands to reason that there are gaps that coffee can get into, which has the potential to cause damage to the internal components.
· Thoroughly wash your drip tray, dregs container, and water tank with soap and water. Assuming you’ve been dumping them daily, there shouldn’t be much bacteria built up, but it’s safer to clean it before the bacteria is present than to wait until there’s a problem.
· Scrub all internal parts that you can access. You will need to use soap and thoroughly rinse after. If your machine has a self-rinsing function, it’s a good idea to let it do its job after you’ve wiped everything down, just to be sure.
· Use a milk cleaner on any of the milk frothing components.
· Empty your bean hopper and thoroughly clean it out. If you have a large capacity hopper, it’s probably best if you let it run out, and then wash it, regardless of when you’ll be doing the rest of your cleaning – this way you don’t end up with wasted beans.
· Wipe down the entire outside with a food-save cleanser to remove any residue or fingerprints that may have been left over after your daily wipe-downs.
· Check all O-rings, screens, filters, seals, etc. – to see if there’s anything that needs to be replaced. It’s a good idea to keep extras of each of these things, so you don’t risk being without your morning coffee until the new ones come in.
· If your machine has a full self-cleaning function, make sure to run it at least once per month – or whenever you think it needs it. Some machines will tell you when it’s time to do a full cleaning, but it’s best if you do it before the machine recognizes a problem.
· If you have been using hard water in your machine, you should descale it monthly. This is true of machines with built-in water filters, too – the water will still have time to leave mineral deposits in the areas it comes into contact with before it hits the filter.
Less Frequent maintenance
Take guidance from the manufacturer on any other maintenance that may be required. We particularly recommend taking your machine into a qualified care center, just to be sure everything is running smoothly about once a year. If you are under warranty, make sure you get this done before your warranty runs out – these service trips can be quite costly, even if they find nothing wrong with your machine.
The Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine - Our Pick!
An exceptional easy to use Espresso Machine that's worth every penny
We’ve looked at the main components that apply to all super automatic machines, and it might seem like they’re pretty interchangeable. Truthfully, most people won’t notice much difference between fairly equal machines, and the one that’s best for you will be a matter of personal preference. That being said, we do feel that the Krups EA8250 Espresseria offers a great compromise between smaller size and bigger features. This machine boasts a huge capacity for beans, water, and even used dregs – with a highly compact footprint. It also automatically rinses itself after every cup, which cuts down on overall maintenance time, and it has the easiest-to-read display of any of the models we’ve looked at. Our main complaint with this unit was its lack of a bypass doser, which isn’t a deal breaker for most people – just make sure you’re using the right kind of coffee for your machine!
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