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.
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:
List of brands we tested in this review.
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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CHOICE recommends automatic espresso machines with an overall score of 70% or above.
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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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We experiment with each machine to find how it best froths milk, looking for fine, pourable froth.
We measure the consistency of four consecutive coffees for each machine after warming it up for five minutes.
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.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.
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