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Best automatic espresso machines

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Last updated: 19 February 2024


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Automatic coffee machines grind the beans freshly each time and make the espresso all at the press of a button. But despite their relatively high prices, not all coffee machines make a great espresso – and our testing shows that the best machines are not always the most expensive models.

Our experts put coffee machines through their paces in a lab setting to find the ones that:

  • perform best in a blind taste test
  • are the easiest to use and clean
  • are best for milk frothing and temperature consistency, cup after cup.

We've also partnered with Shop Ethical on this update to show the rating the Ethical Consumer Group gives to each company.

This review covers automatic espresso machines only, as opposed to capsule machines or manual/semi-automatic coffee machines. To see how those machines perform, look at our home espresso coffee machine reviews.

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Our interactive comparison tool shows which features the coffee machines come with – such as auto reheat, sensor cooking and child lock – and how much each model will cost to run, and our Recommended list lets you quickly see which models come out on top.

About our testing

To test coffee machines effectively our expert removes any residual factory smells and tastes, and pumps a litre of hot water through each of the machines. They then make 20–25 shots of espresso coffee one after another to make sure the built-in bean grinder is at the correct setting.

We measure the consistency of four consecutive coffees for each automatic coffee machine after warming it up for five minutes. We add five minutes for thermoblock and small boiler machines, and 30 minutes for heat exchangers.

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 shot), aroma, flavour, mouth feel (for example, creaminess or wateriness) and aftertaste. We don't just use any old coffee beans for our tests – we use the best we can find.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    The manufacturer's recommended retail price. Prices are often flexible, so shop around both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores for options.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 379 and 4650

    Recommended products

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    Taste test score

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    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, mouth-feel (for example, creaminess or wateriness) and aftertaste.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 5 and 90

    Milk frothing score

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    We experiment with each machine to find how it best froths milk, looking for fine, pourable froth.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 40 and 80

    Hot water nozzle

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    The hot water nozzle has a bigger opening than the steam nozzle allowing more water to flow through. It could be used to make hot water for tea or long blacks.

      Steam wand

        Shop Ethical rating

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        Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our total score. N/A means there is no rating for that company.

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • Shop Ethical rating
          • CHOICE Expert Rating
          • Recommended
          • Taste test score
          • Ease of use score
          • Milk frothing score
          • Coffee temperature consistency score
          • Measured heat-up time
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Price
          • Standby mode
          • Automatic power turn-off
          • Removable water reservoir
          • Water tank empty reminder
          • Steam wand
          • Hot water nozzle
          • Removable drip tray
          • Milk frothing feature
          • Cup warming plate
          • Cord storage
          • Programmable coffee quantity
          • Digital display
          • Grinder adjustment
          • Hopper empty warning
          • Cup counter
          • Dregs box full indicator
          • Espresso pressure or milk temperature gauge
          • Adjustable water temperature for coffee making
          • Adjustable coffee dispensing height/depth
          • Coffee strength settings
          • Removable group for cleaning
          • Wash / cleaning cycle
          • Decalcifying cycle
          • Can use pre-ground coffee
          • Water hardness adjustable
          • Frothing ready
          • Water reservoir capacity (L)
          • Pump pressure – stated (bars)
          • Instructional DVD supplied
          • Other features
          • Dimensions (H x W x D, cm)
          • Weight (kg)
          • Warranty
          • Country of origin
          • Items supplied


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