Who doesn’t love a nice cup of espresso, either in the mornings to wake them up or in the afternoon to keep them awake? But it so inconvenient (not to mention expensive) to go out to a coffee shop every single time that you want an espresso.
The solution is to buy a good automatic espresso machine. Obviously, that is a lot easier said than done because there are a ton of machines on the market these days and not all of them are worth the often high prices that they charge.
To help you cut through the chaff, this article will review 5 different automatic machines. If you want our opinion on the best automatic espresso machine, it has to be the Philips 3200 Series
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Automatic Espresso Machines 2021:
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
To begin our review list, we are going to be reviewing an automatic espresso machine from Philips, which is a brand that has long had a reputation for making really good kitchen appliances, and so it isn’t any big surprise to see them being represented on this list.
Now, Philips makes a few different espresso machines, but the one that we want to look at is the Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine.
The first thing that we want to note about this machine is that it is very easy to control. Given that one of the reasons why you want to get an espresso machine in the first place is because it makes your life easier, so it only makes sense that you would want the machine itself to be as easy to control as possible.
The Philips definitely makes your life easier. It has a super simple control scheme. Just press the button and the exact type of coffee drink that you want is made quickly and efficiently (this includes Americanos, Cappuccinos, and more).
This is also just a very well-made machine overall. It can make over 5000 cups of coffee before it needs to have maintenance done on it.
This is extremely good as far as espresso machines go. Likewise, when the time comes to eventually clean the machine, you can rest easy because this is not one of those super complex machines that is a pain to clean. This is actually a surprisingly easy machine to take apart and clean.
Despite all of the good things that we have mentioned, we will say that this isn’t a perfect machine by any stretch. It has one particular flaw that, depending on your own personal tolerances, could be extremely annoying.
We are specifically referring to the low water tank capacity on this machine. You sadly have to constantly refill the water in this machine, which as we said before, can be quite annoying if you don’t like the hassle.
- A very solidly built appliance.
- Made by a reliable, high-end kitchen appliance brand.
- Extremely consistent brewing quality.
- Requires relatively infrequent maintenance.
- Low volume water tank.
Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine
Those of you looking for something that is a bit cheaper and a bit more low-key than the Philips machine that we just finished reviewing will want to pay close attention to this next review since we are going to be looking at the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine.
This is a relatively less expensive, but still very good espresso machine that we would easily recommend to anyone looking for something a bit less expensive, but that still delivers high-quality performance.
Don’t get us wrong, this is a more inexpensive espresso machine when compared to many of the others that we have reviewed, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad or low-quality machine in any way. This is an extremely consistent machine, and it actually has special technology inside of the machine that is designed to give you a more consistent cup of espresso every single time; there will be no more over brewed or under brewed coffee.
You can also quickly switch between 1 or 2 shots and get a consistent shot of coffee every single time. Add in the fact that this is pretty easy to maintain and that it takes up a relatively minor amount of counter space and you can see why the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine is a good option for inclusion on our list.
As was the case with the Philips that we reviewed earlier, we really like this espresso machine, but we also have to acknowledge its problems. The main one that we want to hone in on here is the issue with the foam producing aspect on this espresso machine.
While espresso doesn’t require foam, we imagine that most of you are going to want to also use your machine to make the famous cappuccino as well. Sadly, the frother on this espresso machine leaves something to be desired; as is, it has a tendency to spray milk a bit too much milk.
- Uses special tech to ensure consistently brewed coffee.
- Produces coffee that isn’t too bitter or too weak.
- Doesn’t take up a ton of counter space.
- Relatively inexpensive when compared to similar quality models.
- Milk frother needs improvement.
Breville Mini Original Espresso Machine
Something that we have consistently emphasized in this article is the importance of counter space.
A big issue with kitchen appliances is that you only have so much counter space to play around with and you eventually run out. This means that certain appliances have to be consigned to the cabinet, where they usually get left to rot.
So, the less of your countertop that an appliance takes up, the more use that you are likely to get out of the appliance. In terms of taking up next to no space, there are few better options than the Breville Mini Original Espresso Machine. As a quick glance at the product will tell you, this is easily the smallest espresso machine on our review list. There is just no contest, it takes up so little space.
Obviously, given that the main appeal of the Breville is its size, it probably isn’t a big surprise that this does have some weaknesses due to its super small design. The most notable issue is the amount of water that the espresso machine can hold. Sadly, the water reservoir on the Breville Mini Original Espresso Machine is extremely small and you will have to refill it constantly.
- Very small espresso machine.
- Takes up a minimal amount of counter space.
- Relatively inexpensive due to its size.
- Still performs decently well.
- Extremely small capacity reservoir.
De’Longhi ECAM35020B Dinamica Coffee & Espresso Machine
Those of you who have come to our review list seeking something a bit more versatile than your standard espresso machine will want to consider this next option that we are taking a look at.
De’Longhi is a pretty well-known brand when it comes to home coffee appliances and given that espresso is a famous Italian creation, it only makes sense that an Italian company would produce a machine good enough to be on our best automatic espresso machine list.
The specific model of theirs that we want to review (and they make quite a few difference coffee-related appliances) is the ECAM35020B. This model stands out as far as our list is concerned because it isn’t just a pure espresso machine. Instead, it is designed to function as a general coffee machine that can also make espresso alongside a bunch of other coffee drinks.
Aside from espresso, the ECAM35020B is able to make you all of the standard coffee drinks that one would typically encounter in places like Starbucks. This includes regular coffee, iced coffee, cappuccinos, and more.
At the same time, just because this is a somewhat more versatile option, doesn’t mean that the espresso aspect of the machine has been neglected. Quite the contrary in fact as this De’Longhi makes great espresso that is easily on par with the quality of espresso that you get from dedicated machines.
While a lot of you will probably like the added versatility of the De’Longhi, we do have to admit that we could imagine some of you not liking the fact that this isn’t a pure espresso machine. While it does all the things that an espresso machine does, we realize that some of you will see the added functionality as a waste of space.
So, if you are an espresso purist (and there is nothing wrong with that), you might want to give the De’Longhi a wide berth and look at one of the many other pure espresso machines that we reviewed.
- Another relatively inexpensive machine.
- More versatile than a pure espresso machine.
- Can make a wide variety of coffee drinks.
- Not a pure espresso machine.
Mr. Coffee Dual Shot Espresso System
For this final review on our best automatic espresso machine list, we are going to be doing a review of an inexpensive espresso machine that is probably the perfect option on our review list for the casual coffee drinker.
While we have reviewed at least a few machines that can be considered “cheap” as far as this type of appliance is concerned, without a doubt there is nothing that can compare to the affordability of the Mr. Coffee Dual Shot Espresso System. As this costs about $100 flat, this is a good option for anyone looking for something cheap and easy to use.
In spite of the fact that this is the cheapest espresso machine on our list by far, it isn’t anywhere near as light on the features as you would expect. This is actually a surprisingly well-made espresso machine overall.
To give you an idea of the sorts of high-quality features that one can find on this machine, let’s go through a few of our favorite. First off, this machine lets you get two shots of espresso at once; this isn’t an especially revolutionary feature, but it is a nice one to have.
Secondly, it has a shockingly efficient brewing system that can produce some powerful espresso. Finally, the frother on this espresso machine is especially good, which is surprising for a low-cost option.
While we have heaped a lot of praise on the Mr. Coffee Dual Shot Espresso System for its simplicity and price, that does bring with it some flaws. Of note is the fact that this is not a very complex espresso machine. While that is a positive in some respects, those of you looking for something that is a bit more complex and that has more options (because you are a real coffee connoisseur) will want to check out one of the many, more complex options that we reviewed earlier on in the list.
- Does a perfect two shot of espresso.
- Surprisingly high-quality frothing arm.
- Great for those who want something simple.
- The cheapest espresso machine on our list.
- Lacking advanced options that coffee fanatics will want.
Automatic Espresso Machine Buying Guide
If you have ever wondered what exactly goes into picking out a good espresso machine?
Well, wonder no more because we are here to help you with that too, much like we helped you to pick out a good machine above. In this buying guide, we are going to explain some basic concepts about buying a good espresso machine. We are going to try and avoid very common sense things that will be obvious to you, even if you are new to these appliances.
What Are Automatic Espresso Machines
The first question that we want to answer in this buying guide is related to what exactly automatic espresso machines are. If you aren’t familiar with home espresso machines, then you aren’t going to know exactly what the different kinds are.
Well, that is what we are going to start off by helping you with. The term that comes before “espresso machine” essentially denotes the amount of work that the machine does for you. At the lowest end you have manual espresso machines, where you do all of the work yourself.
At the highest end you have super automatic espresso machines, which do everything from grinding the beans to brewing the coffee. These models are meant more for professional coffee shops and are a bit too large, too noisy, and too expensive for home use.
The happy medium between the two extremes is the automatic espresso machine. These machines require you to grind your own coffee, but the rest of the process is done largely by the machine. This makes them the perfect option for someone who wants convenient, high-quality coffee at home, but who doesn’t want a super expensive appliance that more properly belongs in a coffee shop.
Is It Easy To Control?
As we said once or twice in our review list, one of the reasons that you want to go for an automatic option in the first place is because of the fact that make your life easier since you have to do so little work yourself.
An intuitive control scheme is essential for ensuring that your espresso machine remains easy to use. You should be able to do everything by just pressing a few buttons. Anything more than that risks making the whole process unnecessarily complicated.
Is It Easy To Clean?
Espresso machines, like all kitchen appliances, are not immune to wear and tear. As you use your espresso machine, it is going to develop certain issues that need to be addressed. The frother will have built-up milk residue that needs to be cleaned, the piping that the water goes through will develop limescale, etc.
These are all problems that can be a real hassle to deal with depending on the style of your espresso machine. That is why one of the main pieces of advice that we would give to anyone before they buy a particular machine is to determine how easy it is to clean (do all the pieces come apart easily enough) and how often does it need to be cleaned (how long can you use the machine before maintenance is recommended).
Two Shots or One?
Aside from the type of espresso machine that you want to buy, one of the biggest decisions that you are going to want to make when it comes to these products is exactly how many shots of espresso you want your machine to be able to make.
As was displayed above, home espresso machines are generally only going to come in two different models, those that do single shots and those that do two shots at once. Two shot models usually aren’t much more expensive like you would assume, but they are trickier to clean, and they do take up more counter space overall, so you should make sure to take that into consideration.
We encourage all readers of our best automatic espresso machine article to leave us a comment below to leave feedback or further questions.