Test results for 12 automatic espresso machines priced from $379 to $2500
For an immediate coffee hit, does real espresso at the push of a button sound more appealing than instant coffee from a tin? If so, you should consider an automatic espresso machine. Simply put your cup under the spout, press the button and it grinds the beans to make the espresso. Some even automatically froth the milk for a cappuccino or latte.
But there is a price for pay for this convenience - most of the tested models cost significantly more than those featured in our last test of manual and semi-automatic machines.
Last time CHOICE tested automatic espresso machines we were singularly unimpressed, with none of the tested models scoring above 65% in our taste test. This time round, however, we’ve seen some marked improvements in performance, with two models to recommend. Both have equal or better scores than the top-ranked machine in our recent semi-auto and manual espresso machine test. It’s clear that design is driving improvement, with the coffee from some models just as good whether it's made using a manual or automatic machine.
While some automatic espresso machines did impress, the Kogan certainly didn’t. The coffee it produced was likened by our taste panel to “dishwater” and looking as though it’d been “filtered through a sock”. These harsh words are reflected in the Kogan’s dismal taste test score in the table.
See all our latest reviews of coffee machines in Kitchen.
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Bosch VeroCafe LattePro TES50621RP
Delonghi Magnifica ESAM03.110.S EX1
Delonghi Magnifica S ECAM22.110.SB
Delonghi Primadonna S De Luxe ECAM26.455.M
Gaggia Accademia RI9702/03
Jura Ena Micro 1 Aroma +
Jura Ena Micro 9
Jura Ipressa F7 Platinum
Saeco Exprelia Evo HD8857/03
Saeco Intelia Class Met HD8752/25
How we test
Preparation Our tester first makes 30-40 cups of coffee with each machine to remove any factory smells and tastes, and to adjust the grinder to the correct setting.
Taste Three experts test the espressos in a “blind” tasting, checking the colour and thickness of the crema (the tan-coloured foam on the top of an espresso), aroma, flavour, mouthfeel (for example, creaminess or wateriness) and aftertaste.
Ease of use Our tester checks how easy the machines are to use by trying the controls, filling the water tank and the bean hopper, adjusting the grinder, making a coffee, cleaning inside and out, and how easy they are to program.
Frothing He experiments with each machine to find the best way to froth milk with it, looking for fine, pourable froth.
Coffee temperature consistency He measures the consistency of four consecutive coffees for each machine after warming it up for five minutes.
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