To choose the best automatic or coffee machines on the market, we must first be clear about what a home automatic coffee machine is. First of all, we must identify that the concept of an automatic coffee machine is not exclusive to espresso machines or pod coffee machines. That is another division and a different idea.
There are both manual and automatic capsule machines, and there are both manual and automatic espresso machines. For example, in the case of the Dolce Gusto coffee makers, you can see the difference here: Dolce Gusto manual or automatic? Or in this other article, you can check which is the best manual espresso coffee maker on the market.
In this guide, we will clarify which automatic coffee machine to buy, what a superautomatic coffee machine is and how it differs from other types of machines. We will also review the different types that exist within this segment. By the end of the reading, you will have a clearer idea of which superautomatic coffee machine is best for your interests (consumption, tastes, available budget, etc.).
- 1 Comparison of superautomatic coffee machines: which one to buy?
- 2 What is an automatic coffee machine? Features
- 3 More information about automatic espresso machines
- 4 The best brands of automatic coffee machines
- 4.1 Delonghi automatic coffee machines
- 4.2 Saeco automatic coffee machines
- 4.3 Philips automatic coffee machines
- 4.4 Krups automatic coffee machines
- 4.5 Cecotec automatic coffee machines
- 4.6 Siemens automatic coffee machines
- 4.7 Bosch automatic coffee machines
- 4.8 Jura automatic coffee machines
- 4.9 Melitta automatic coffee machines
- 4.10 WMF automatic coffee machines
- 5 The best automatic coffee machines of 2021: Analysis
- 6 Super-automatic coffee makers: the best (of the best)
- 7 Types of super-automatic coffee machines
- 8 Automatic coffee machines with grinder
- 9 Automatic built-in coffee machines
- 10 Super-automatic One Touch coffee machines: Qualities
- 11 19-bar automatic coffee machines
- 12 Super-automatic coffee machines with milk tank
- 13 Super-automatic coffee machines with two coffee tanks (Bean Select)
- 14 Professional automatic coffee machines
- 15 Cleaning tablets for automatic coffee machines
- 16 What is the quietest super-automatic coffee machine?
- 17 Can I use my automatic coffee machine for decaffeination?
- 18 Super-automatic coffee machines: Cleaning and maintenance
- 19 How to descale a super-automatic coffee machine
- 20 Automatic coffee machines and water filters
- 21 I want my automatic coffee machine now! Final opinions
- 22 Coffee recommendation for super-automatic coffee machines
- 23 Where can I buy an automatic coffee machine?
- 24 Cheap automatic coffee machines
- 25 The best selling super-automatic coffee machines on the market this 2021
Comparison of superautomatic coffee machines: which one to buy?
We are only going to buy 3 models, but these are not just any 3 superautomatic coffee machines. They are the most popular and representative models on the market right now. If you don’t know which automatic coffee machine to buy, this table will be a good starting point:
What is an automatic coffee machine? Features
Super-automatic coffee machines make espresso, but they have a number of qualities that clearly differentiate them from manual or other types of machines.
If you are a layman and want to know what a superatic coffee machine is, go over these points:
- They have no armour filters. There is a brewing group that automatically brews the coffee.
- You don’t have to stop the flow of water (stop the brewer). Simply press the start button, and place the cup under the spout.
- They have a built-in grinder, so the machine takes care of the whole process from zero to one hundred (grinding, brewing, serving the coffee).
- You can generally customise the size, temperature and intensity of your coffee.
- The more advanced models also have an automatic cappuccino system. In the basics, you can froth the milk yourself, but you have to serve it separately.
- They are much more than the manual ones because they include more technology and mechanisms (well, they do a lot more things).
- These are the basic features of an automatic espresso machine, but there are also many other factors that you will find, if not in all, then in most models.
Broadly speaking, we can classify a machine as an automatic coffee maker if it takes care of stopping the preparation of the coffee at the right time according to the specifications of intensity, volume, etc., that we have previously configured. In other words, a coffee maker is automatic if the user simply has to start the coffee-making process but does not have to worry about stopping it.
In manual coffee machines, the user must start preparing the coffee and must also stop it at the moment he considers most appropriate (to obtain more or less coffee or of greater or lesser intensity). This has the disadvantage that you can suffer from forgetfulness and misdirection and, in the best of cases, make your cup overflow or spoil the coffee by watering it down too much.
In addition, we distinguish between home super-automatic coffee machines and “professional” ones, which work similarly but with much more capacity, more size and, of course, higher price.
More information about automatic espresso machines
Knowledge does not take up much space, and before you start looking at brands and models like a madman, you may need to solve some doubts about this appreciated and exclusive type of machine. Here we have compiled the best pieces of information that we have prepared on our website on the subject:
The best brands of automatic coffee machines
When we talk about the best brands of super-automatic coffee machines, we always refer to firms with prestige and extensive experience within this segment. I would like to say that we probably leave out excellent brands, with mythical models, but that does not have a great variety of this type of coffee machine in their catalogue.
In short, if you want to know which is the best brand of automatic coffee machines, go over the following points because we are going to highlight no less than 10 (yes, ten):
Delonghi automatic coffee machines
We start with what is, if not the best brand of super-automatic coffee machines, then the best known and most popular on the Internet. It is also the one that generates more sales at the end of the year. Its catalogue is the most extensive of all manufacturers, with literally dozens of different models in three large series: ECAM, ETAM and ESAM coffee machines. We talk about all of them in-depth in our guide to Delonghi super-automatic coffee machines.
Saeco automatic coffee machines
With Saeco, it is the same as with Delonghi: there was a time when they were leading the scene in this segment on the Internet thanks to the immense quality and a large number of models in their catalogue.
In recent years, however, the new machines have been labelled within the manufacturer Philips, so that the old Saeco super-automatic coffee machines are still among the best on the market, but they will no longer have a replacement over time. However, in the high range, they are still leaders.
Philips automatic coffee machines
Philips, or the super-automatic Philips Saeco coffee machines, have progressively taken over more market share as a result of their alliance with the Italian giant. Very popular are the models in their “Series” range, with prices ranging from the most economical to the medium-high range. A machine for every user profile.
Krups automatic coffee machines
Together with Delonghi, Krups super-automatic coffee machines have the widest range of models in the industry, to the extent that it is sometimes difficult to classify or distinguish them from each other. Of these, we particularly highlight the low-cost automatic coffee machines (those in the medium-low range), where Krups competes head-to-head with anyone for market leadership.
We talk about all of them in our guide of Krups super automatic coffee machines.
Cecotec automatic coffee machines
Maybe your budget is not that big, but you don’t want to give up all the basic features (and some advanced ones) of a super-automatic coffee machine. Cecotec is the answer to your prayers. Perhaps the best value for money automatic coffee machines on the market. They are divided into two series (7000 and 8000) and two colours: white or black.
Siemens automatic coffee machines
Siemens super-automatic coffee machines are less well known to the Spanish public, as they hardly compete in the “economic” sector of the market. Their machines are all medium-high range (or very high, we should say) and therefore have a more demanding user profile with lower sales figures. However, if you are looking for high-end automatic coffee machines, you should definitely look at the EQ8 and EQ9 models from Siemens.
Bosch automatic coffee machines
Bosch does not have a comprehensive catalogue, but the few super-automatic Bosch coffee machines available on the Internet are high-end, which is why we include them in our top list. The Bosch VeroProfessional, VeroCaffe Latte and VeroAroma machines stand out from the rest due to their versatility. But again, they are only for users willing to make a large investment.
Jura automatic coffee machines
Okay, Jura super-automatic coffee makers are expensive. They are all top-of-the-range models that outperform their competitors in terms of both performance and quality of the espresso, as well as price. But if you are looking for only the best of the best, Jura is definitely a firm to consider for this type of machine. Here is a selection of the most important ones:
Melitta automatic coffee machines
Many of the best brands of super-automatic coffee machines are German, and this is no coincidence. Guaranteed operation and a sober design are essential for such complex machines with so many functions.
Melitta’s super automatic coffee machines make up one of the most extensive (and powerful) ranges on the market, with models to suit all tastes and all pockets. The most basic is the Caffeo Solo (E950), a great starting point if you want to get your first automatic coffee machine.
WMF automatic coffee machines
The WMF super-automatic coffee machines are a rare treat because they have long since been discontinued and are difficult to find on the Internet. The company has opted for other, more affordable types of machines. These models were truly beasts of burden, with a precision and quality of espresso delivery unmatched in the industry. But of course, the price was also on a par with such excellent performance.
The best automatic coffee machines of 2021: Analysis
This is a market with hundreds (if not thousands) of references all over the world, and where new models are constantly appearing, so it is difficult to say which is the best automatic coffee machine for home. But our mission is to try to give an answer to such a common question.
To do so, we have prepared a top 5 super-automatic coffee machines, with the models that, due to different criteria, we consider to be the most outstanding at present.
In all cases we recommend you to access directly to their file (own review within the web) to know more detailed information.
Delonghi Primadonna EVO
The Delonghi Primadonna series of automatic coffee machines represents, so to speak, the entrance door to the Italian firm’s top-of-the-range domestic machines. They are models made for the most demanding user but still have an affordable price as long as it is worth the investment.
We highlight the Primadonna EVO version, which corresponds to the ECAM 510.55 model.
- Touch screen.
- It allows making 14 automatic drinks, including chocolate.
- Built-in milk tank and automatic preparation of cappuccinos and lattes.
- It can be controlled by a mobile phone.
- 1.8 litres capacity.
- Programmable automatic cleaning of both the water and milk tanks.
- Personalise the settings for each drink, and save them in your user profile, so you don’t have to repeat them.
- Screen menus in English.
- Coffee LINK APP: Thanks to Coffee link app, you can discover unlimited personalization options and get advice and suggestions to enrich your Coffee preparation experience
- VARIETY OF Coffee CHOICES: You can personalise everything: from aroma level to milk quantity to coffee quantity and temperature; then save preferences for up to six user profiles
- MY function: Personalize each beverage adjusting aroma and Coffee/milk quantities, to enjoy your favorite drinks; intuitive control panel with clear graphic display and touch buttons
- HOME COMFORT: Elegant design of a coffee machine for barista-quality coffee at home; bean-to-cup machine that serves you 13 delicious Coffee-shop classics
- EASY TO CLEAN: The carafe comes with an integrated clean function; after beverage preparation, all parts in contact with milk are automatically washed with hot water and steam
Krups Espresseria Quattro Force
From Krups, we can highlight a number of models, but we have chosen the best representative of its mid-range: the Espresseria Quattro Force. It has everything a medium-high profile user could demand (including automatic cappuccinos), but it remains reasonably priced. Its only, but: it does not have an additional entrance for ground coffee.
- 1.7-litre capacity.
- LCD screen.
- 6 different specialities.
- Automatic cappuccinos by pressing a single button.
- Special hydraulic system for filtering the coffee
- Conical grinder with a capacity of 275 grams of coffee
- AutoClean automatic cleaning system.
Saeco’s top-of-the-range automatic coffee machines have a standard that shines above the rest: the Pico Baristo. It is conceived as a “domestic” version of the hyper-specialised (and very expensive) GranBaristo, which is possibly the best super-automatic coffee machine in the world, but whose price makes it inaccessible to the common public. This PicoBaristo is still highly-priced but more earthy.
On the scale it would be the next (or superior) model to the Incanto or the Philips 5000 Series.
- 1.8-litre tank.
- 13 automatic and customisable drinks.
- Integrated 0.5-litre milk tank.
- Ceramic grinder with 12 adjustment levels.
- Can memorise up to 4 user profiles.
- Includes accessories, water filters, greasing fluid, water pH test, and cleaning brush.
Cecotec Power Matic-Ccino
This is a Spanish super-automatic coffee maker, and we include it for its excellent quality and price. Don’t expect perhaps the greatest precision, or the most careful finishes, or the reliability of the great Italian espresso brands… but we assure you that you won’t find a machine with this level of performance on the market at such a low price.
- 1.7-litre capacity.
- LCD screen.
- Automatic cappuccinos and lattes.
- Allows you to customize the intensity, temperature, cup size and milk emulsification time.
- Programmed rinsing and cleaning system.
- 19 bar pressure pump.
- Grinder with storage for 250 grams of coffee.
- Milk tank included (0.4 litres).
- Megautomatic coffee maker with plug&play system that allows you to prepare all kinds of coffee automatically at the touch of a button; adapts to all tastes thanks to custom4you system with fully...
- Interactive touch control panel with LED touchscreen display highly intuitive and very easy to use; includes 400 ml capacity fulllatte milk tank as an accessory that connects to the coffee maker and...
- The highest quality coffee at the best price: no capsules need thanks to its 250 g tank for coffee beans with lid that preserves the aroma better and integrated ceramic grinder with 5 selectable grind...
- ForceAroma technology with 19 bar pressure pump for the best cream and maximum aroma; perfect results by preparing American coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, hot milk or infusion water in just a...
- Careful design with elegant lines that adapts to any environment; AlwaysClean system with individualized circuit cleaning to always keep each of the parts of the coffee maker, allowing to select the...
Jura A1 Piano
We finish with a Jura automatic coffee machine. The Swiss company is one of the most prestigious firms in the industry (only working in the automatic sector), and this A1 Piano model is one of its most basic proposals. If you are only interested in espresso coffee and not in milk foam preparations, this is one of the best you can find on the Internet. Moreover, it is super-compact. However, it prepares your pocket because you have to pay for the quality.
- 1.1-litre water tank.
- Coffee grinder with a 125-gram tank.
- Independent entrance for ground coffee.
- Automatic cleaning and water rinse.
- Compact body, super-reduced dimensions.
- Pump capacity: 15 bar. Creamy foam. Programming the amount of water. Coffee strength can be adjusted each time. Sensitive-Touchscreen Technology display. Energy Save Mode - ESM . Power switch:...
- Adjustable coffee spout height: 55 - 141 mm. Ground coffee container. Water tank capacity: 1.1 L. Water tank: 1. Grain tank capacity: 125g. Coffee grounds container capacity (maximum number of...
- Power: 1450 W. Power consumption while waiting: 0 W. Energy consumption: 4 Wh. Energy consumption in E.S.M. mode: 4. Weight: 8.8 kg. Width: 23 cm. Height: 32.3 cm. Depth: 44.5 cm. Energy efficiency:...
Super-automatic coffee makers: the best (of the best)
We know that none of the machines mentioned so far on this page is the best super-automatic coffee machine on the market. Why? Because we have already said that there is a very wide range of models and a lot of almost professional machines are in the top range.
Any one of them will be better than a domestic automatic coffee machine, but we leave it out of the analyses on purpose because we know that (almost) nobody is going to pay 1000 or 2000 pounds to have a house. Here are some examples (just in case):
Types of super-automatic coffee machines
This is the segment of coffee machines with the highest price range in the whole industry. You can find models for just over 200 pounds, up to professional machines of several thousand. To help you find your way around, take a look at the three main types of automatic coffee machines and some of their features:
Basic range automatic coffee machines
- They cost around 200-300 pounds.
- They are only suitable for espresso; they do not have automatic cappuccinos.
- Automatic specialities are usually different sizes of espresso.
- Basic materials (mainly plastic)
Mid-range automatic coffee machines
- We can place them in the range of 400-600 pounds.
- They have a greater number of automatic specialities (generally from 4 or 6) and already include automatic cappuccinos with or without a milk tank.
- They usually include an LCD screen to view status information or to better navigate through the menus.
- Higher quality materials and more careful finishes.
- They allow you to customise the size, intensity and temperature of each preparation.
High-end automatic coffee machines
- From 700 pounds upwards.
- Large menu of drinks and specialities available, over a dozen.
- Built-in milk tank, always.
- TFT colour screen.
- Various user profiles.
- Stainless steel bodies, large dimensions.
- Includes advanced functions such as mobile connectivity, milk foam density selection, grinders with two coffee tanks, water filters, etc. (to name a few examples).
Automatic coffee machines with grinder
Actually, almost all of them have a grinder. One of the essential characteristics of these machines is that they take care of the entire extraction process, including the previous step of grinding. Therefore, we cannot conceive of an automatic coffee machine without an integrated grinder.
In any case, when buying an automatic coffee machine with an integrated grinder, it is useful to know certain premises, as not all machines are the same:
- The shape of the grinders (flat or conical).
- Material of the grinding wheels (steel or ceramic).
- Revolutions at which it turns.
- The capacity of the grain container.
- To have an additional entrance for ground coffee, something very useful if we want to prepare decaffeinated (almost all have this option, but some there are that not).
You can learn more about all these details, and many more, by reading our guide to automatic coffee machines with ceramic grinders.
Which is the best automatic coffee machine with a grinder? Well, take a look at the previous section of this guide because, as we said, almost all of them have one built-in.
Automatic built-in coffee machines
Integrated or built-in coffee machines are not independent machines that can be placed anywhere in your kitchen but are integrated into the furniture or worktop as a single unit. And it turns out that most of them are super-automatic machines that can be integrated. They are not capsule or filter models or any other of the usual types of coffee machines.
They are quite expensive, very powerful, and very exclusive.
We show you some examples, and if you need to know more, we invite you to read the guide of built-in machines that we have linked above.
Super-automatic One Touch coffee machines: Qualities
You may have read or heard the term One Touch coffee machine. One-Touch refers to the ability of this type of machine to make any kind of espresso preparation without the user having to intervene other than by pressing a button (and putting a cup underneath, of course).
So, by definition, all automatic coffee machines are One Touch. The problem is that some of them have this name on them, while others do not. But there is no functional difference between them.
19-bar automatic coffee machines
Most machines of this type have 15 bars, like the armoured ones, and that’s why there are users who want to go a step further and look for super-automatic 19-bar machines. Unfortunately, there are not as many 19-bar models in this segment as there are manual or capsule models.
The closest thing is the Prima Latte automatic coffee machine from Oster, with 19 bars, although it is still an armchair coffee machine or the Power Matic-Ccino from Cecotec. There is also the more recent Solac S9 (ultra automatic, as they say).
Super-automatic coffee machines with milk tank
All the automatic machines allow you to emulsify the milk, but the most basic ones simply offer you a Panarello, or frother, with which you can make the milk foam by hand and then serve it in the coffee or in the recipe you want.
On a higher level are automatic coffee machines with integrated milk tank or with an automatic cappuccino. In these, you don’t have to do anything. Just press a button, and the machine will make the coffee, take the milk from the tank, emulsify it, create foam and pour the right amount into your cup. Great, isn’t it?
They are more expensive than the ones without a milk tank, but the convenience has to be paid for. Here are some examples of automatic coffee machines with integrated milk tank:
We also made a guide to coffee machines with milk tanks, although we also talked about non-automatic models with filter holders.
Super-automatic coffee machines with two coffee tanks (Bean Select)
Automatic coffee machines with two coffee tanks are an unusual luxury. In fact, few users fall for the advantages or convenience of such a possibility. They are also known as coffee machines with a Bean Select function.
It should be noted that almost all machines already have an additional input for using ground coffee (which is normally used for pouring decaffeinated coffee in). So what can a coffee machine with a double coffee tank do for us? Well, to be able to enjoy two different blends or origins of coffee beans. Different intensities, different flavours and, of course, different espressos.
Most of us always use the same type of coffee beans, or at most, we change them when the tank is emptied, but an automatic coffee machine with a double grinder allows us to switch between one variety and another whenever we want. You can make a coffee with one type of bean and immediately the next espresso with another type.
Of course, the beans will never mix, and there will be no risk of absorbing aromas because the two coffee tanks are always independent. This is undoubtedly the main advantage of having a super-automatic coffee machine with a double coffee grinder.
Unfortunately, as we have said, coffee machines with two coffee tanks are not very common. Here are a few examples with this unique function… but in many cases, you will have to scratch your pocket to get one. The Saeco GranBaristo, the Melitta Caffeo Barista Smart, or the Melitta Caffeo CI are a good proof of this. There is also the Philips Grind&Brew, but this is a filter, not an espresso.
Professional automatic coffee machines
When we talk about professional super-automatic coffee machines, we are referring to those that, due to their capacity, size of the tank, power (and price, too), are not designed to be installed in a domestic environment but a business.
They are also called commercial automatic coffee machines, and the main difference with domestic ones lies in their size and consumption. They have many more possibilities than a domestic machine, but by installing them at home, we are not going to take advantage of them. They have to be amortised by thinking of several dozen daily services.
In our guide of professional coffee machines for home you will be able to know some of them.
Cleaning tablets for automatic coffee machines
As with descalers, cleaning tablets for coffee machines can be found from the same manufacturer as your coffee machine or in cleaning tablet format compatible with any automatic coffee machine. The choice is yours.
Is a water softener the same as a cleaning tablet? Not exactly. A descaler is mainly used to remove limescale, among other residues, whereas cleaning tablets for super-automatic coffee machines have a wider range of action and remove any coffee residue and non-solid waste from the inside of your machine.
How do you use the cleaning tablets for coffee machines?
Another difference is that the tablets are not in liquid or powder form but in a … tablet (obvious) or capsule format, which is normally poured into your machine’s water tank and disposed of.
Then you simply start the automatic cleaning or rinsing cycle that is normally included in all coffee machines of this type. If you activate it on its own, without a product, it will not do much good. It is necessary to use the cleaning tablets so that all traces of coffee really disappear inside the pipes of your coffee group and the whole machine.
What is the quietest super-automatic coffee machine?
Well, to begin with, a dose of reality: automatic coffee machines are not silent. They can’t be, simply because they have to grind the coffee from the bean. And that always makes noise, just like all coffee grinders make noise, for example.
The most silent super-automatic coffee machines could be those that use more advanced mills, capable of grinding at lower revolutions (fewer turns per minute), but even so, the breakage and rubbing of the bean against the grinders will always be very noisy. It is inevitable.
One thing is clear: ceramic burrs are quieter than steel burrs.
If you are looking for the quietest automatic coffee machine, being already aware of the decibels that result from the grinding process, then you should set your sights on a high-end machine, which normally runs the processes more smoothly and has a more robust body that isolates the noises and keeps them inside.
Can I use my automatic coffee machine for decaffeination?
Yes, in most cases, yes. You only have to look for the additional input for ground coffee that is included in the vast majority of models on the market.
Instead of starting the grinder, open your packet of decaffeinated coffee that you bought at the supermarket, and serve the right amount there.
The use of pre-ground and packaged coffee in an automatic machine with a built-in grinder, which allows you to enjoy freshly ground coffee every day, is only justified if you need to make your espressos with decaffeinated coffee. So make the most of it.
Super-automatic coffee machines: Cleaning and maintenance
There is a mistaken belief, often justified and fuelled by ourselves (the media), that automatic coffee machines do not need much maintenance, precisely because of that mantra that “they do everything themselves“. And this is only half true.
Super-automatic coffee machines have more components and are much more complex than others. It is common sense and pure logic to think that they need more precise and frequent maintenance than others.
Let’s divide the cleaning guidelines of a fully automatic coffee machine into four distinct areas:
- Cleaning the steam nozzle.
- Cleaning of internal components.
- Cleaning of the group.
- Greasing of the group.
Cleaning the frother
The organic remains of milk are capable of raising bacteria in just a few hours, so don’t neglect this point at all. Here we have to differentiate between two types of machines:
- If your coffee machine has a classic frother (Panarello, steam nozzle or steamer lance), don’t forget to expel the steam very strongly after each use.
- If your machine is more advanced and has an automatic cappuccino system, the emulsifier circuit will be inside, and you will not be able to access it. For this purpose, an automatic rinsing system is integrated, which is activated before and after each use. However, do not rely on this function alone if you expect to be away from your coffee machine for a long time (e.g. before going on holiday); run the cleaning programme yourself.
Regardless of the automatic programmes, we also recommend that you dismantle the skimmer if possible (not all machines allow this) and wash it in the dishwasher from time to time.
Cleaning of components and the exterior
If we were to make a comparison of super-automatic coffee machines, at this point, those with removable components would clearly win. Don’t mess around: periodically dismantle all of them and put them in the dishwasher. Wiping them down with a damp cloth or rinsing them under the tap may be good for day-to-day use, but from time to time, they need serious cleaning.
There may be more (depending on the type of machine you have), but the components you should pay more attention to cleaning are:
- The water tank. Especially at the bottom and in the corners.
- The container where used coffee grounds are deposited. It is not enough to empty it; remember that the coffee grounds are usually wet and can spend many days in that room.
- The coffee tank: where the beans are waiting to be ground in the grinder. This component must be cleaned dry and without chemicals, as the coffee beans are in direct contact with it.
- The drip tray: the one that collects the coffee residue when you remove your cup under the spout.
- The cup-warmer tray, especially if you are one of those who place the cups upside down. Remember that the edge of the cup, which you will drink from later, will be in direct contact with this surface.
Cleaning the coffee group
The brewing unit, or coffee unit, is actually a component of the machine, and in fact, in many models, it can be separated and removed from the interior to be put directly in the water. Remember that many coffee grounds remain stuck to the walls of this component because, after the infusion, they remain moist and with a texture like clay.
Washing the coffee grounds is easy: take them out and put them under running water for a few seconds. It is better if it is hot water. Then dry it well before using it in your machine again. Do this every day, and you’ll be free from having to remove (by scratching and rubbing, mostly) dry coffee grounds from the inside of your machine.
How to grease the brew group of your coffee machine
The brew group, or coffee group, is a crucial and characteristic element of the super-automatic machines. In a manual espresso machine, there are filter holders, and the presence of the infusion group (the place where the coffee dose is deposited, the coffee is pressed, and the water is filtered in each cup) is not necessary.
All these procedures, serving the dose, compacting the coffee, passing the hot water, directing the infusion towards the outlet spout… are carried out mechanically and invisibly for the user. These are the mechanisms responsible for everything working correctly. And the mechanisms must be greased from time to time so that they do not lose precision and function correctly.
What do you use to grease the brewing unit of a coffee machine? Silicone grease. There are various manufacturers, but the most important thing is that the product you use does not develop any odours or flavours that can later be transmitted to the coffee. Here are some examples:
How to descale a super-automatic coffee machine
One of the advantages of automatic machines is that they already incorporate an “automatic” decalcification cycle, so you only have to worry about following the instructions on the machine. However, you will still have to pour the decalcifying product into the tank by hand.
Another advantage of our automatic espresso machines is that you do not have to set the frequency of decalcification yourself: many models allow you to indicate the hardness of the water you use in the tank (they include a water pH test), and this already sets off an automatic alarm every 100 services, 5000, 1000 or those determined by the manufacturer depending on the limescale in the water.
If in doubt, programme your coffee maker a little more often than the test indicates.
If your coffee machine does not have a descaling programme (which, we insist, is not as automatic as it seems), then you will have no choice but to do it yourself by hand. You can learn how to do this here: guide to descale a coffee machine.
Automatic coffee machines and water filters
From the medium range of super-automatic coffee machines, you will find that many models are compatible with Brita (or any other brand) water filters. Some even have a filter included as standard.
Water filters are simply small tanks or compartments that are installed in the normal water tank of your coffee machine… and filter it (this part, you guessed it, for sure) so that the water circulating inside your machine is purer.
What are the water filters in an automatic coffee machine for? Well, basically, to clean the impurities from the water and make it less lime and sedimentary.
Does this mean that you can install a water filter in the tank of your automatic machine and forget about decalcification forever? Obviously not. The only thing you can do is reduce the impact of the lime and survive with less decalcification. But the process will always remain necessary.
Filters reduce the hardness of the water, so they are unnecessary if you use very soft water (with little lime) in your tank.
So, should I install a water filter in my automatic coffee machine? If it already comes with your coffee machine and you use medium or hard water, of course, use it. It will always be better than nothing. But if you have to buy it on purpose, it’s really not a vital purchase.
It’s not a good idea to relax the care of your coffee machine, not even for a little bit. Another solution, if you have a Brita purifier jug at home, is to use the water you filter with the jug directly in your coffee maker.
Also, bear in mind that filters also cost money, and that you have to renew them from time to time.
There are many brands of water filters for coffee machines, but Brita filters are usually the best known. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to find out which filters your coffee machine model is compatible with.
I want my automatic coffee machine now! Final opinions
Well, you’re tired of reading dozens of articles, comparisons, complete guides like ours… and you have to decide now. Or maybe you already have the final decision in your head, and you have to press the buy button to make the payment. And, of course, you need a little push. Well, here are our conclusions:
- If you only drink espressos: a low-end coffee machine like the Delonghi ECAM 22.110 or the Philips 2000 Series will do. Other models that only prepare espressos are the Melitta Caffeo Solo E950 or the Jura Ena coffee machines.
- Are you looking for an automatic cappuccino machine? Read our guide or go to the latest Philips LatteGo model. The Krups and Delonghi mid-range automatics are also a sure bet.
- If you’re going to use regular, pre-grinded coffee, don’t bother spending the money. A good coffee machine is useless if you don’t use the best coffee beans possible in it.
✅ Advantages of super automatic coffee machines
- They make it possible to obtain good coffees with little effort and without barista knowledge.
- You can configure any coffee to your taste.
- They incorporate a grinder as standard, and the freshly ground coffee is unbeatable.
❌ Disadvantages of automatic coffee machines
- The initial investment is large.
- You will get more out of them the more you take advantage of them.
- They are usually very bulky devices.
- They need more attention and maintenance than the user normally thinks.
Super-automatic coffee machine or espresso?
Well, this question usually refers to the comparison between super-automatic vs manual espresso machines (those with a filter arm or holder).
Generally speaking, if you are a skilled barista and have some skill and experience in making espressos, you will always want to control all the steps of the brewing process on your own. You will also have the necessary tools and accessories, such as a good coffee grinder or a milk frother. A handheld espresso machine will therefore give you more freedom.
On the other hand, if you are less experienced and want to get the best possible results comfortably and quickly, then the super-automatic is the best option for you (but you know you will have to pay a high price for it).
Automatic coffee machine or Nespresso?
By extension, this is the usual question that users make when comparing super-automatic vs capsule coffee machines (whether Nespresso or any other brand).
Both types of machines share similar advantages: they are fast, clean and convenient.
But the main difference is basic and heavy: coffee that comes packaged and compacted in a capsule will never be able to compete in aroma and freshness with the freshly ground coffee you use in a super-automatic.
The choice is yours, knowing, of course, that some are much cheaper – initially – than others.
Coffee recommendation for super-automatic coffee machines
We have repeated it several times throughout this guide: not even the best automatic coffee machine in the world has the capacity to work miracles. Even if you spend a thousand pounds on one of these machines, if you use a normal or bad coffee from the corner shop, the result will be a walking espresso.
If you want to make the most of your automatic coffee machine’s capabilities, you have to use top quality raw materials. Whichever one you want, but a good, naturally roasted coffee bean. You can take a look at our coffee bean store or our post about the best coffee in the world to get some ideas about it.
Where can I buy an automatic coffee machine?
To buy your super-automatic coffee machine, we recommend that you do not experiment. It’s an expensive product and an investment of hundreds of pounds you can’t afford to make light of. Make sure you have a good after-sales service, with manufacturer’s guarantees, and of course the possibility to return the product if it doesn’t arrive in good condition or if some function is not what you expected.
The most immediate thing to do is to look for and buy your super-automatic coffee machine at Amazon, but any other large retailer usually offers this kind of guarantee as well.
The disadvantage they have is that generally, these expensive products do not have as wide an audience or outlet as the “more basic” coffee machines, so they may be taking up space on their displays for many weeks or months waiting for someone to take them home.
And the space on the shelves is something that this type of shop measures very zealously (the square metre is priced at gold), so the consequence is that they do not usually have many machines on display. Only a few models, and almost always of the best known and lower-middle range brands.
So if you are going to buy an automatic coffee maker in Argos (to give you an example) and you ask for a Delonghi Primadonna Evo, they will probably get it for you, but you have to ask the store. For that, you order it yourself from home at Amazon, it will take less time to receive it, and it will be delivered to your door.
Cheap automatic coffee machines
Everyone is looking for the bargain, the cheap model, the bargain that allows you to enjoy your favourite luxury without scratching your pocket. Well, we are honest, and we will tell you clearly that there are no cheap super-automatic coffee machines.
We’ve told you before that we can set up three ranges or ranges of products, and the cheapest automatic coffee machines are between 200 and 300 pounds in price. That’s for starters.
Their basic features (so you know what to expect) have already been reviewed above:
- Plastic bodywork.
- Automatic espresso-only brewing. You have to use the milk frother separately.
- No screen.
Second-hand automatic coffee machines
If we understand the concept of second-hand as a “used automatic coffee machine“, this is an option that we do not recommend. To purchase this type to be guaranteed, you would have to know for certain how many services the machine has undergone during its history and what maintenance it has been subjected to by its previous owner.
If you are thinking of buying a medium or low range model, we do not recommend buying a second-hand super-automatic coffee machine.
On the contrary, if your goal is a very expensive or high-end machine, perhaps the price savings will pay off. In addition, they tend to be more robust and able to withstand a greater amount of work.
Reconditioned automatic coffee machines
This is already something else. At Amazon, reconditioned super-automatic coffee machines are machines that have usually been returned by other buyers, most of the time without being opened or started up once.
These are unwanted gifts, items that have suffered some damage to their packaging during transport and can no longer be sold as new or simply returned for any reason unrelated to operation.
The price saving compared to a new model is very significant, and we should also bear in mind that any reconditioned Amazon article is checked and certified. They usually come with an additional year’s warranty, so there is no need to fear anything. In short, a great opportunity to buy a very cheap super-automatic coffee machine, provided you find the model you are looking for.
Here you can see all the reconditioned automatic coffee machines that are available today:
The best selling super-automatic coffee machines on the market this 2021
We always say that if these models are the public’s favourites, there’s a reason for that. They may not be the best, nor the most complete, nor the cheapest automatic coffee machines, but they all have something that makes them permanently at the top of the sales ranking.
We update the classification daily!