Manual espresso machines are perfect for the amateur barista who loves Italian-style coffee, but we already know that they require some work and a certain mastery of the subject. To make life much easier for us, we have at our disposal an extensive catalog of the best automatic espresso machines that almost make coffee on their own, since you just have to press a couple of buttons to enjoy your drink just the way you like it.
In fact, we are talking about the so-called super- automatic automatic espresso machines , since they alone deal with the basic steps of the process of making an espresso-type coffee . They are machines that heat the water, grind the grains , exert the necessary pressure to extract the infusion, select the exact volume of liquid and provide a coffee in a few seconds with its characteristic hazelnut cream.
The vast majority of these coffee machines include the option of preparing various types of coffee, with automatic recipes whose parameters can be customized with greater or lesser precision. For example, we can choose the volume of our espresso to make it shorter or shorter, increase the aromatic intensity or reduce the temperature. There are also coffee machines with milk preparation systems and more additional functions.
These machines save us having to grind the coffee or manually adjust all those parameters that are crucial to achieving a good infusion, they reduce the preparation time and, in short, they make everything much easier . So many features have an impact, as expected, on the price.
They are not cheap machines -and the suspiciously cheap ones have a more than doubtful reliability-, so it is convenient to choose our ideal model calmly. Before delving into the available offers, let’s review the keys to these devices.
What to consider when choosing an automatic coffee machine
The operation of the automatic machines is basically the same as that of the manual ones, but automating almost the entire process. The most important thing is that they are quick to heat the water, that they have a good, well-adjusted grinder, and that they offer a high pressure of at least 15 bars to make the infusion correctly. In addition, automatic espresso machines that support custom settings will always add points.
How do you like coffee
If you have fixed habits and repeat the same type of coffee every day, for example a more or less short espresso, or with milk, it does not make much sense to invest a large amount of money in coffee machines with many different recipes.
Also, if you really don’t want to complicate anything and prefer the machine to do everything, it’s also not worth betting on automatic espresso machines that offer the possibility of adjusting the grinding level of the grinder or the temperature. If, on the other hand, you like to personalize your coffee and try different recipes at different times of the day, it is interesting to opt for a more complete coffee maker.
Size and capacity
Larger coffee machines require more space in the home, and although they are not always the most powerful or efficient, they do have larger water and coffee tanks.
This interests us in the event that we are many at home or if we drink many coffees a day, since it is a bit cumbersome to have to constantly fill both tanks . On the contrary, it is not a good idea to have a coffee pot full of coffee beans that will not be used for many days, as they lose quality.
Features and customization
The most basic coffee maker will always have at least two modes of use , which are usually one or two cups of coffee, being able to prepare them at the same time if it has a double spout – almost all of them do.
The most advanced ones can have a large number of automatic programmed recipes, both for pure coffee -espresso, ristretto, Americano, long…) and for drinks with milk (cappuccino, cortado, latte coffee, latte macchiato…). It is a personal matter if we are interested in having this assortment, because with a basic machine we can make the drinks manually, but this type of coffee maker will offer us the drink at the touch of a button.
Although we believe that we do not need it, we must always consider coffee machines that allow us to customize the basic parameters : level of grinding of the grinder, intensity, volume and temperature. The high-end ones offer the option of memorizing these settings and even creating different users so that each member of the family always has coffee the way they like it best.
Steam dispenser or milk preparation system
They are not the same; The first is the basic accessory of coffee machines that allows milk or water to be vaporized so that the user can foam the liquid, and thus be able to prepare cappuccinos or lattes, or simply heat milk or water for an infusion.
But the most advanced coffee makers add a milk preparation system in the form of a jug or container, which can be attached to the coffee maker or separately , to be connected with a tube. Cleaning that little tube is a bit tedious, so the removable jugs make it much easier to use, and allow you to store the prepared milk or foam in the fridge.
These coffee machines make drinks with milk or vegetable drinks by themselves, heating it, vaporizing it and adding it directly to the coffee in its exact proportion. Again, the user only has to choose the recipe, press a button and wait a few seconds. Of course, this makes the price significantly higher.