Hectic mornings are made easier with the best automatic espresso machine.
With an automatic espresso machine, you can ditch the hassle of long coffee lines and have your usual cup ready within minutes.
As a former barista who spent the better half of a decade pulling espresso shots, I can tell you that having your own personal, quality automatic espresso machine is a game-changer.
From convenience to taste, I considered an array of features when choosing the best automatic espresso machine for this review.
After weighing all the options, I found the Gaggia Anima Prestige to be the best in this category.
The Gaggia Anima Prestige conveniently and efficiently delivers the perfect espresso. However, this is certainly not the only viable option worth considering.
Take a look at my top recommendations to find the best automatic espresso machine for you.
Best Automatic Espresso Machines
Best Automatic Espresso Machine: Gaggia Anima Prestige
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is the definition of fast and convenient, earning it the top spot in our review.
From grinding to frothing, this machine is fully automated. Fill up the milk carafe, choose your style of specialty cafe, then watch it brew.
You can opt for one of three temperature settings as well as adjust the aroma strength.
The bean hopper and water reservoir are designed with easy access while the navigation panel is very user-friendly.
Unfortunately, the price tag can certainly be hard to swallow. However, the little effort it takes to operate this machine makes it well worth the price if you desire efficiency.
- Steams and dispenses milk
- Easy to use
- Produces tasty espresso
- Drip tray size is a bit small
Best Entry-Level: Gaggia Brera Super Automatic
The Gaggia Brera Super Automatic tailors to your taste buds at a more modest price than most machines.
This machine can be programmed to pull a shot according to your desired coffee strength in addition to producing a double espresso.
There is also a built-in automatic milk frother so you can enhance efficiency by steaming and pulling shots at the same time.
While many espresso machines can be finicky, the Gaggia Brera is more user-friendly than most making it a viable option for beginners.
- User-friendly setup
- Reasonable price
- Programmable operation
- Auto-milk frother
- Smaller water reservoir
- Grinds louder than other options
Best for Espresso Enthusiasts: Saeco Pico Baristo
If you’re willing to invest, the Saeco Pico Baristo is a highly sought-after machine for espresso enthusiasts.
The sophisticated design highlights an efficient control display with separate buttons for each of your favorite espresso drinks.
Additionally, the manufacturer incorporated a patented water filtration system that decreases mineral buildup. This is a terrific attribute to consider if your home has hard water or if you want higher quality in taste.
As a bonus, Pico Baristo includes a ceramic burr grinder with 10 settings. This type of grinder enhances the flavor profile while the settings let you grind as coarse or fine as you like.
- Includes milk carafe
- Patented water filtration
- Efficient control panel
- Auto-clean cycle
- Bean hopper is slightly awkward to use
- Learning curve may discourage some users
Best for Espresso Only: Breville Nespresso VertuoPlus
For those who want homemade espresso minus the outlandish machine cost, I recommend considering the Breville Nespresso VertuoPlus.
The compact design reduces counter space while the single button operation streamlines the process.
Push the button and brew a single serving of either espresso or coffee. According to the manufacturer, the water reservoir holds 60oz and is capable of brewing up to 14oz per cup.
The one drawback is this machine doesn’t come with a built-in milk frother.
Additionally, this model only operates on coffee capsules. While this is great for efficiency, it’s not so great for anyone looking to pull a shot of their favorite premium espresso brand.
- Inexpensive option
- Streamlined design
- Brews coffee and espresso
- Only compatible with Nespresso coffee capsules
- Milk frother sold separately
Best Semi-Automatic Option: Breville BES870XL Barista Express
If you like the auto functions but want a little bit more control, take a look at the Breville BES870XL Barista Express.
One of the many perks you get with this semi-automatic machine is a steam wand that enables you to produce your own milk foam the way you want it. This is ideal for those looking to achieve a desirable texture for your extra dry cappuccino or a creamy latte.
Turn the dial to choose a built-in grinder setting, tamp the portafilter, then pull yourself a double or single shot.
According to the manufacturer, the express design will pump out your espresso in less than a minute.
As with any new espresso machine, there is a learning curve that comes with the Breville BES870XL Barista Express. That said, this is one of the more user-friendly espresso machines.
- Quick at brewing shots
- Built-in adjustable grinder
- Control over milk foam
- Two color options available
- Learning curve
- Not ideal for those who want super-automatic functions
Best for Manual Controls: De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Automatic
The De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica is quality and consistency delivered to your java cup.
This super-automatic machine lets you customize your coffee strength and grind while pulling two shots of velvety espresso at one time.
Featuring a patented cappuccino system, the De’Longhi ESAM 3300 Magnifica has a manual steam wand to craft your desired microfoam.
This machine also includes a removable water reservoir that makes it easier to clean.
On the downside, while the casing of this machine may look like stainless steel, it’s not. This is somewhat disappointing considering the price. It also doesn’t have the capacity for simultaneous milk frothing and brewing.
However, those two aspects aside, the De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica is a solid option for the home barista who wants manual controls to dial in their morning brew to their satisfaction.
- Adjustable coffee strength and grind
- Removable water reservoir
- Cup warmer
- Louder than some options
- No water filter
- Could be designed better for efficiency
Best Affordable Semi-Automatic: Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ
The Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ is an exceptional semi-automatic option at a fraction of the cost of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express.
Beginners will find this machine to be rather intuitive. The navigation panel is a no-brainer when it comes to operation while the 2-liter water tank is easy to fill.
The Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ maintains steady temps and delivers quality tasting espresso shot after shot.
Additionally, the steam wand works surprisingly well for such a compact machine.
I highly recommend this machine for anyone who wants a space-saving model backed by solid performance.
- Affordable option
- Milk pitcher included
- Cup warmer
- Not the sturdiest option
- Pressure may be too high for some users
Best Sophisticated Design: Jura A1 Super Automatic
There’s no question about it, the Jura A1 Super Automatic has got style. This classy-looking machine specializes solely in producing good-tasting espresso.
You can choose between a regular cup of espresso, short shot, or full mug of coffee. Additionally, you’ll also have seven grind sizes to match with each drink.
While the 37 ounce water reservoir is certainly smaller than other options, this is plenty to get you and your partner through the morning.
Take your pick of piano black or white to match your kitchen.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated design for espresso only, then the Jura A1 may be the right choice for you.
- Classy look
- Slim, compact design
- Available in two color options
- Does not include a way to heat milk
- Water reservoir is small
- Pricey for only brewing espresso
The best automatic espresso machine will match your needs and your budget. Here I’ll walk you through what to consider when purchasing the best machine for your home.
Before jumping into all the nuances, let’s talk about the two types of automatic espresso machines and how they function.
As the name suggests, semi-automatic espresso machines are just that.
These machines mix some manual features with automatic pumps. This means you will have to grind, tamp, and lock in the portafilter before you hit the brew button.
The benefit to this is it gives you more control over your espresso. This means you can better achieve those rich aromas and full-bodied cups you crave.
This also gives you more control over your milk so you can experiment with producing frothy foam and latte art.
If you are looking to invest in a machine that lets you play barista at home, semi-automatic is the way to go.
The best part about super-automatic machines is convenience. These machines do all the grinding, tamping, and brewing for you at the touch of a button.
The drawback is, you have less control over the flavor profile of your espresso.
However, because super-automatic espresso machines are fully automated, they tend to be easier to use. They also pump out your java at a fraction of the time.
I highly recommend considering buying a super-automatic if you’re more concerned with efficiency over subtle taste nuances.
Type of Espresso Drink
Are you the type to indulge in a vanilla latte or do you love to savor crema?
The type of espresso drink you want to make will be a major factor in determining the right choice of espresso machine.
If you like your espresso straight up, then there really is no point in investing in a fancy espresso machine with all the bells and whistles.
However, if you’re a coffee aficionado who also wants to be able to adjust espresso settings to fine-tune flavor, then I suggest a unit that offers more control over the flavor profile.
Espresso and Milk
Other options have the capability to texture your milk with built-in steam wands or milk frothers.
The beauty of models with built-in milk frothers like the Gaggia Anima Prestige is they do all the work for you.
Like those specialty coffee vending machines, these types of machines will deliver your favorite drink all in one cup.
The other option is an espresso maker with a steam wand. Steams wands let you froth the milk yourself so you can control how foamy or creamy your drink is.
This is the preferred option for anyone who places high value on creating the perfect microfoam for their beverage.
Ease of Use
Semi-automatic or super-automatic, all espresso machines have a bit of a learning curve. That said, some are easier to learn than others.
If your machine is a hindrance to operate, then you’re more likely to keep it stashed away in a cupboard. This is a waste of space and money.
Keep in mind, the more manual options you have, the more you’ll have to learn how to get the settings just right before you find the sweet spot for crafting the perfect cafe.
On the other hand, super-automated machines take all the guesswork out of the equation. Many find these easier to use because they do everything for you.
Ease of Cleaning
It goes without saying that from time to time you’re going to need to clean your automatic espresso machine.
Like the ease of use, this process should be a simpler one. More components mean more cleaning.
Some espresso makers have a self-clean button while others offer dishwasher-safe components.
Despite which one you choose, all automatic espresso makers have to be descaled from time to time. This means you’ll have to remove the minerals that build up inside your machine.
How often you need to do this will depend on how hard your water is along with the machine design.
Before throwing down the big bucks, consider how much counter and storage space you have in your kitchen. Automatic espresso machines come in a range of shapes and sizes.
You’ll find some compact and slim options pump out espresso that tastes just as good as the mammoth machines.
However, the larger machines tend to offer a better range in control allowing you to craft a more refined brew.
An espresso maker will either come with a built-in grinder, no grinder, or a spot to plop in a capsule.
For those who only care about convenience, the capsules work just fine. While they are consistent in flavor, they are extremely limiting.
Any coffee aficionado will tell you a grinder is a must. Fresh grounds produce not only a better taste but a better aroma as well.
They also let you choose a variety of espresso blends without limiting which company you buy from.
Water Filtration System
Like coffee grounds, the water you use will have a huge impact on the flavor of your coffee.
A built-in water filtration system will help eliminate impurities that impact the taste. This will also help preserve your machine as minerals build up over time.
Cup warmers are certainly a bonus. Preheating your cups help the espresso shot maintain the desired drinking temperature.
That said, they’re not absolutely necessary.
If you do want a warm cup and your machine doesn’t offer this perk, you could always use the water from the steam wand to get your cup hot.
When it comes to the best automatic espresso machine, the Gaggia Anima Prestige topped our list. This espresso maker is precisely what you want when looking for a fully automated machine.
The main drawback is the price. Fortunately, there is a range of other affordable options that also excel in different categories.
Conversely, if you’re willing to splurge for quality, then the Gaggia Anima Prestige is a terrific option to consider.