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Automatic espresso machine reviews

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Last updated: 12 July 2017

Automatic coffee machines are handy and can be ideal for office kitchens or busy households. We lab test and review the latest models to help you find the best.

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This test covers automatic espresso machines, as opposed to capsule machines or manual/semi-automatic coffee machines that give you more control over the coffee-making process. We've also recently tested Breville the Oracle Touch – it's marketed as an automatic machine but we believe it's more suited among the manual and semi-automatics. To see how it performs against the rest, look at our home espresso coffee machine reviews if you're interested in those models.

Our expert testers give every coffee machine a thorough workout to help find the models 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.
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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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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.

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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.

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Milk frothing score

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

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Test results

Coffee temperature consistency score

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We measure the consistency of four consecutive coffees for each machine after warming it up for five minutes.

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Ease of use score

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We test 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 programming a coffee.

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Specifications

Water reservoir capacity (L)

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Milk frothing feature

Features

Hot water nozzle

Steam wand

Water tank empty reminder

Included in this review

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Taste test score
  • Ease of use score
  • Milk frothing score
  • Coffee temperature consistency score
  • Measured heat-up time (min:sec)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • Availability
  • 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
  • Use pre-ground coffee?
  • Water hardness adjustable
  • Frothing ready
  • Water reservoir capacity (L)
  • Pump pressure - stated (bars)
  • Instructional DVD supplied
  • Other features
  • Dimensions (cm, HxWxD)
  • Weight (kg)
  • Warranty (yrs)
  • Origin
  • Contact
  • Items supplied
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