Best Super Automatic Espresso Maker – Top 6 Picks (2018)

If you’re a serious coffee lover, you may have considered investing in a super automatic espresso maker.

But with some machines costing almost as much as a small car, you’ll want to make the right choice.

Read on as we consider what to look for in the best super automatic espresso maker. We’ll then review six very different options.

The Best Super Automatic Espresso Maker Reviews of 2018

1. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine (Our Top Recommended)

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

Considerably less expensive than the Prima Donna, the second DeLonghi to make our list is nevertheless a handsome machine.

The Magnifica’s sleek design and stainless steel finish would look great in any modern kitchen.

Like the Prima Donna, there’s the option of using whole or pre-ground coffee beans.

But the Magnifica uses a steam wand for milk, so cappuccinos will need to be made in two stages. 

It’s easy to use though: the wand pumps in air automatically, making it simple to get a creamy froth.

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

The compact design is well suited to smaller spaces, but there are still plenty of features.

You’ll get five different strength settings, variable serving sizes, a memory function, and even a cup warmer. There’s also a removable brew group for easy cleaning.

The one thing you won’t get is an LCD screen. It’s a small compromise when setting against the functionality of this good value coffee maker.

What I Like

  • Compact, attractive design
  • Range of different strength and serving size options
  • Removable brew group
  • Check Square
    Cup warmer

What I Didn't Like

  • Not recommended for dark roasts
  • No LCD screen to walk you through your brew choices

2. Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Black. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.

The Gaggia Brera is a business-like looking super automatic with some great features.

It’s also a lot less expensive than many other options. You could buy ten of them and still have changed from the price of the Jura 13623.

There’s a removable brew group for easier cleaning and maintenance. And it comes with a ceramic burr grinder with options to adjust the grind size.

You can also use pre-ground coffee if you want to. If you’ve got someone drinking decaf, this could be a handy option.

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Black. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.

When it comes to the milk, you’ll have to do some work yourself. The pannarello steam wand siphons air into the milk, creating a creamy foam for your latte or cappuccino.

It takes a little practice to get it right. Persevere though, and you’ll be able to top your drink with your own latte art.

This is a neat machine that won’t take up as much countertop space as many other super automatics.

It’s also designed so that water is added at the front. This means you won’t have to move it from beneath wall cupboards when it’s time for a refill.

What I Like

  • Compact design
  • Good quality grinder
  • Removable brew group simplifies cleaning and maintenance
  • Check Square
    Very good value

What I Didn't Like

  • You’ll need to texturize the milk manually

3. DeLonghi America ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

DeLonghi America ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Lattecrema System

Cards on the table: we love the DeLonghi Prima Donna.

The forerunner to the ECAM28465M has been making fantastic coffee in our house for almost a decade. And it’s still going strong.

The grinder here is a stainless steel burr grinder. We’ve been using dark roasts in ours forever, and had no problems. Perhaps we’ve got lucky though: others don’t recommend it.

Like the far less expensive Gaggia, there’s also an option to use pre-ground coffee.

If you’re up for investing in a second grinder, that allows you to make the odd cup of speciality coffee without emptying out the bean hopper.

DeLonghi America ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Lattecrema System

Unlike the Gaggia, though, the Prima Donna does everything for you, whether you drink your coffee black or white.

The integrated carafe can be put in the fridge to keep the milk cold. When it’s time to brew, select from steamed milk for lattes, froth for cappuccinos, or microfoam for flat whites.

There are five settings for coffee strength, four different serving sizes, the ability to change milk-to-espresso ratios, and a memory function to remember your choices.

Plus there’s a timer, automatic shut-off and a removable brew group for easy maintenance.

It may be pricey, but you get a lot for your money.

What I Like

  • Loads of different options to customize your coffee
  • Automatic milk frothing with different settings
  • Timer and automatic shut-off

What I Didn't Like

  • A bit of a pain if you want to create latte art

4. Saeco HD8927/47 Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Saeco HD8927/47 PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel

Saeco’s Picobaristo is a mid-price super automatic – still three times as much as the bargainous Gaggia Brera.

Like the Brera, it uses ceramic grinders that are durable and minimize heat transfer.

There are ten different grinder settings too, allowing you to experiment with the flavor.

It also has a milk carafe that allows one-touch making of cappuccinos, lattes or macchiatos.

As with DeLonghi’s Prima Donna, it’s more work if you want to try your hand at latte art.

Saeco HD8927/47 PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel

You’ll have to replace your cup with a pitcher and dispense the milk separately before adding it to your coffee.

Choose between five different strength settings, as well as different temperatures and serving sizes.

And when it comes to cleaning, there’s a removable brew group and integrated filter.

The latter means you’ll be able to enjoy up to 5,000 cups of coffee before having to descale.

What I Like

  • Quality ceramic grinder
  • Automatic milk frothing
  • Integrated filter to minimize descaling

What I Didn't Like


5. Jura 13623 Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine

Jura 13623 Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine, Aluminum

Even by the standards of super automatics, the Jura 13623 Giga 5 is an expensive coffee maker.

It costs twice as much as the second highest priced machine on our list. So what do you get for your money?

Well, this is essentially two super automatics in one. You get two grinders, two heaters, and two drinks at once.

The full-color LCD screen will let you choose whether you want one or two drinks.

And it even carries recipes that walk you step by step through how to make coffee-based cocktails!

Jura 13623 Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine, Aluminum

The build quality here is excellent. The dial used to select your drinks is reminiscent of an iPod, and the whole thing looks amazing.

If you want a machine with real wow factor in your kitchen, it’s definitely worth a look.

If we’re being fussy – and at this price, why not? – our one gripe would be the bean hoppers.

They rise up above the surface of the machine like two Martello towers. Which would be fine, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re transparent.

While that means you can gaze at the beautiful coffee beans, it also exposes them to light. That means they’re going to get stale that little bit quicker.

What I Like

  • Make two coffees at once
  • Step-by-step instructions for coffee-based cocktails
  • Fantastic build quality

What I Didn't Like

  • Eye-wateringly expensive
  • Transparent hoppers expose the beans to light

6. Gaggia RI8263/47 Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine

Gaggia RI8263/47 Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel

The Velasca Prestige is twice as expensive as Gaggia’s Brera model. So is it twice as good?

You’ll notice the main difference as soon as you look at it. It comes with an integrated carafe for automatic milk frothing.

There are different options for cappuccinos, baby cappuccinos and milk froth, depending on how much foam you like.

Gaggia RI8263/47 Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel

There are all features you’d expect from a good, mid-range super automatic. Different strength options?

Yes, five of them. Ability to change your coffee to milk ratio? Check. Temperature control? Present and correct.

You’ll also benefit from automatic pre-infusion, and the ability to by-pass the hopper if you want to use pre-ground coffee.

What I Like

  • Easy to clean, with removable brew group and automatic descaling and cleaning cycles
  • Range of different options to customize your drinks
  • Automatic milk frothing

What I Didn't Like

  • The hopper has transparent sides, so the light will affect bean quality over time.

Is a super automatic espresso maker for you?

Super automatic espresso makers are serious pieces of equipment. Buying one is a significant investment, so there are a few questions it’s sensible to ask yourself first.

To begin with, do you drink enough coffee to make it worth your while? As well as being pricey, even smaller super automatics will take up a fair bit of counter space.

If you only enjoy the occasional coffee, there may be better options. As long as you grind your beans fresh, you can get a great cup of Joe with an AeroPress. And if you’re prepared for a little more work, a Moka pot will give you a near authentic espresso.

If you fancy yourself as a budding barista, on the other hand, you might want a semi-automatic instead. A super automatic is designed to do all the hard work for you. There will be plenty of options to choose from, but you’ll just be pushing buttons.

For a truly individual experience, a semi-automatic will give you the chance to experiment with drawing your own shots. Practice to get the timing just right, and try different approaches with different beans and roast profiles.

What features should you look out for?

But if you’re looking for a simple, reliable way to fantastic quality coffee, a super automatic is hard to beat. So what features should you look out for?

1. Grinder

The grinder is an essential part of the super automatic experience. Good beans freshly ground will give you a flavor that’s a million miles away from pre-ground coffee.

Super automatics will usually have either stainless steel or ceramic burr or disc grinders. But what’s the difference between ceramic and stainless steel, and which should you choose?

To a large extent, the jury is still out: you can get great results from either type. But it’s generally considered that ceramic grinders have the edge. That’s because they generate less friction, and hence heat, as they’re grinding. The theory goes that the heat can impair the flavor of the coffee.

Personally, we’re not convinced. You’re going to be pouring boiling hot water over those grounds a few seconds later. So why would a bit of heat at the grinding stage cause a problem?

The other argument sometimes given in favor of ceramic grinders is that they’re easier to clean. If you brew a lot of coffee with dark roasted beans in particular, that’s worth considering.

The oils on the surface of dark roasts can collect on stainless steel and impair the grinder function over time.

2. Brew group

Many manufacturers will use exactly the same brew group in machines at different price points. So however much you’re paying, your coffee will essentially be made in the same way.

So why worry about this when choosing your super automatic?

Well, this is a part of the machine that’s going to be doing a lot of work. If it goes wrong, you won’t be enjoying any more coffee until it’s put right. And that brings us to the key design feature: is the brew group removable or not?

If it is, it will be easy to deal with the fault. The brew group can be replaced, and you can get back to using your expensive coffee maker. A removable brew group also means it’s easy to clean, helping prolong its life.

Having said that, manufacturers will often compensate for this in the length of the warranty they offer. Machines with a brew group that can’t be removed generally come with longer warranties.

3. Black or white?

Different machines take different approaches to the task of adding milk to your coffee. Some will do everything for you, including frothing and adding it to your drink.

Others have a steam wand instead. You’ll have to stretch the milk yourself – but learning how to do that can be a lot of fun. It also gives you the option to create your very own latte art.

Some machines allow the steam wand to double as a hot water dispenser. So if you live with a tea drinker, you can make their beverage alongside your own.

4. Other features

There are a whole host of different features available with super automatics, so take your time to do your research.

Ready to choose?

We hope our review of the best super automatic espresso makers has helped you choose one that’s right for you.

Our favorite is the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic. It’s packed with features, and in our experience, its durability makes it well worth the price tag.

Whichever machine you choose, it won’t be cheap. But just think of all those trips to your local coffee shop. We hope you’ll agree: superior coffee in the comfort of your own home is a wise investment.

My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.

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