Not everyone wants to deal with all the fiddly-farting around with measuring and grinding and tamping that goes along with operating a manual espresso machine—and that’s okay.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to brew a delicious shot of espresso—or a cappuccino or latte—with the touch of a button, we’ve got good news: you don’t have to be independently wealthy to afford this luxury.
We’ve put together a list of the best super-automatic espresso machines for those of us who don’t have Bruce Wayne's budget.
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Despite being the cheapest one-touch machine available, Gaggia’s Velasca Prestige packs a powerful punch when it comes to versatility, functionality, and ease of use.
The Velasca Prestige features Gaggia’s excellent detachable milk carafe. Simply fill it up, plug it into the machine, and watch as it perfectly froths foam for coffee-shop-quality cappuccinos and lattes at the push of a button. When you’re done, slide it back into the fridge to keep cool until you need it again.
When it comes to the actual brewing of espresso, the Velasca Prestige has the versatility to do it the way you like. There are 10 different grind settings so you can fine-tune espresso flavor (plus a bypass doser if you prefer to use pre-ground coffee instead of whole bean). There are also 5 different strength settings, so you can bump up the taste and power of your drinks.
When the brewing’s all done and it’s time to clean up, the Velasca’s removable brew group makes life easy—simply detach it and rinse in the sink.
Gaggia Magenta Prestige
The Gaggia Magenta Prestige is a sophisticated and powerful espresso machine that produces authentic one-touch milk drinks on the fly with a crisp full color display and easy to navigate menu. $749.00
The Gaggia Magenta Prestige is a sophisticated and powerful espresso machine that produces authentic one-touch milk drinks on the fly with a crisp full color display and easy to navigate menu.
Philosophically, the Gaggia Magenta and Velasca Prestige are quite similar—they both offer one-touch brewing of delicious espresso plus coffee and milk drinks.
Where the Magenta differs from the Velasca, however, is in its increased versatility. The Magenta brews a greater variety of beverages than its cousin, including Americanos, café au lait, cortados, flat whites, and latte macchiatos. What’s more, the Magenta will switch up its brew order to best suit the drink being made. (For example, it froths milk first for cappuccinos, but for the flat white it brews espresso first.)
The Magenta also upgraded the clearance of its brew group to fit larger cups of coffee and added an upgraded color screen that allows for even more control of your beverage brewing than on the Velasca.
Jura ENA 4
If milk beverages aren’t your thing, but you still want delicious, café-quality espresso by only expending the effort of pressing the button, the Jura ENA 4 is going to excite you.
In making the ENA 4, Jura said “to heck with versatility; we’re going to do one thing perfectly.” And they did. The ENA 4 only makes 4 different drinks (espresso, espresso doppio, coffee, and coffee doppio), but boy does it deliver on the café-quality promise.
The patented Pulse Extraction Process (PEP) optimizes extraction times for the drink being brewed and its conical burr grinder grinds quickly for maximum flavor extraction.
The ENA 4 is perfect for anyone with a busy morning—it takes less than 90 seconds to turn the thing on and brew a 6oz cup of coffee. Plus, with no milk carafe to deal with, cleaning is minimal—simply toss a cleaning tablet down its pre-ground chute every month or two and you’re good to go.
DeLonghi Magnifica EVO
If you don’t mind doing just a little extra work for your morning latte and want to save big price-wise, consider the DeLonghi Magnifica EVO. This little powerhouse of a machine offers the full range and versatility of the two Gaggia machines we discussed, but without the one-touch, auto-frothing capability.
So, if you want a latte or cappuccino you’ll have to manually place a frothing pitcher under a steam wand, but the auto-frothing technology means you’ll get excellent foam every time, regardless of your own personal barista skills.
One handy feature of the Magnifica is that it offers an iced coffee option, which brews at a lower temperature to reduce ice melt.
It’s larger and louder and more basic than the other machines featured here, but if you’re looking for delicious espresso at incredible value, the DeLonghi Magnifica is a great choice.
Do you want all the value of the machines discussed in this post but with the increased functionality and beverage options of products twice the price? Consider purchasing a refurbished machine from Whole Latte Love!
Refurbished machines are often priced at about a 50% discount, and most of them were returned for simple reasons (like they didn’t fit the counter-space the original purchaser had).
Regardless of how they ended up with us again, our factory-certified technicians put them through a whole battery of performance tests to ensure there’s absolutely nothing that would prevent them from operating as though they were brand new. If there are any broken parts, they’re repaired or replaced.
Plus, most of our refurbished machines come with a 6 month warranty, so you can save big without sacrificing peace of mind.
Do super-automatics make good espresso?
A super-automatic espresso machine should brew café-quality coffee, assuming you buy a quality machine and take good care of it. All of the products we’ve discussed in this article come highly recommended from us—if you keep them clean and in good working condition, you’ll never need to visit the coffee shop again.
What is the biggest drawback to super-automatic espresso machines?
Honestly, if your goal is to brew delicious coffee drinks at home without the hassle, there aren’t really any drawbacks to a super-automatic espresso machine. Some folks enjoy the process of grinding, tamping, and brewing their own espresso shots, and so they may lose out on some fun with a super-automatic.
How long do super-automatic espresso machines last?
Alas, nothing lasts forever. However, like anything else, purchasing a quality product and taking care of it will result in a longer lifespan. With proper care and maintenance, a quality super-automatic espresso machine should last years—if not decades.