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Updated for 2021
A super-automatic espresso machine is for the busiest of coffee lovers, and anyone who needs their morning cappuccino to survive another day at the office. While working hard everyday, let this coffee machine take a load off of your shoulders. Mornings can be chaotic, but with a super-automatic espresso machine you can own the morning with just the press of a button.
A super-auto does all of the work for you, so let’s go over some of the features you can expect from a super-auto that allows them to make your life that much easier.
With built-in grinders, you can skip the fuss of trying to research and match up an espresso machine and grinder duo. Instead, simply pour your favorite coffee beans into the machine and with a press of a button, the beans are ground, tamped, and brewed to extract a good shot of espresso. The bean-to-cup coffee process is simple, effective, and produces cafe-quality espresso while requiring almost no skill from the user.
With programmable drink options, you have the potential to change a coffee’s aroma strength, volume, and temperature to your own personal preference. By adjusting these settings, you can take pre-programmed drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and lungos, and make something special for yourself every time you push a button. With some machines, you can even name your drinks, making it easy for everyone to click a button and have their favorite drink made just for them, an invaluable feature for a small office or family that loves their coffee.
With super-automatic machines, bean-to-cup espresso is a given, but the extraction process can vary between products. For example, Jura machines like the Impressa Z6 will use their patented P.E.P system to pulse water through the coffee grounds, making the most of your coffee by extracting a fuller body and flavor. In most other machines, water softly soaks the grounds before the pump kicks in, gently pre-infusing your coffee for a more even extraction.
After getting a hot espresso, the next step might be frothing milk for your drink. While each machine is equipped to steam and froth milk, how you make a latte or hot cappuccino is entirely dependent on which machine you have.
Entry-level super-autos tend to have auto-frothing steam wands just like many of their semi-automatic counterparts. With these wands, very little skill is required, as all you have to do is angle a milk-filled carafe beneath the wand and flip a switch. This gives you more control over the temperature and consistency of your frothed milk, but it is the slowest of milk preparation methods.
Higher-end super-automatic machines are usually equipped to siphon milk from a container and into the machine where it will steam and froth the milk before pouring it right into your cup. This is either done through a cappuccinatore, which uses a tube placed in a container of milk, or a detachable milk carafe which locks right into the machine. With a carafe, milk is siphoned, frothed, and heated within the confines of the milk circuit, and finally delivered to your cup. Certain machines have additional auto-clean features, which sends steam through the milk circuit after each use and makes maintenance a little easier when using cleaning solutions for the machine down the road. When you’re done, the carafe can simply be detached and put back into the refrigerator to keep your remaining milk fresh and cold.
Typically, all of the above can be done with a couple of buttons and a few minutes. This could all be happening while you or a loved one are making breakfast or changing for work, with hot espresso waiting for you. A super-automatic is meant to make your life just a little bit easier, and amid all of the rush, still give you time for good espresso.