Coffee aficionados know the difference a good espresso can make to what might otherwise be a miserable Monday. But the cost of coffee shop espressos can add up quickly, especially if you want one every morning. Espresso machines have become significantly more affordable in recent years, but they can make getting the best espresso a little complicated. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best automatic espresso machines (and the best semi-automatic espresso machines, and the best super-automatic espresso machines!) to help you find one that does the bulk of the work for you.
You can enjoy your caffeine fix without the fuss, and without paying an arm and a leg for every cup!
Our Top Picks
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the bottom line:
|Best Overall: Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. |
This machine takes the frustration out of espresso-making but still leaves you with adjustable settings to customize your cup, all at an affordable price!
|Best on a Budget: De’Longhi Inissia Nespresso Espresso Machine. |
If your budget is a little tighter, this little capsule espresso maker delivers delicious espresso with 19 bars of pressure at the touch of a button.
|Best Espresso Machine with Grinder: Breville Barista Express.|
For those who believe in grinding their own beans, why not pick an espresso machine that grinds on demand?
|Best Capsule Espresso Machine: Breville Nespresso VertuoLine.|
Capsules make single-serve cups easier to perfect, and the Breville VertuoLine has perfected the capsule!
|Best Combination Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: De’Longhi All-in-One Coffee Maker. |
For busy offices (or divided homes), this machine makes both delicious espresso and rich drip coffee all in one.
|Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine: Breville Barista Touch. |
This super-automatic espresso machine has a touch-screen for choosing (and personalizing!) your coffee and takes you from beans to mug in seconds.
|Best Budget Super-Automatic Espresso Machine: De’Longhi Magnifica.|
If you’re looking for a super-automatic machine, but not a super price, check out De’Longhi’s more affordable Magnifica.
1. Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
The best automatic espresso machine overall
Brand: Mr. Coffee | Type: Semi-Automatic | Coffee: Grounds | Weight: 10.37 lbs | Price: 💰💰
The semi-automatic Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker brings the delicious, rich flavor of coffee-shop espresso to your kitchen. In fact, it’s arguably the best home automatic espresso machine available!
This baby comes with a one-touch control panel for drink selections. It features a “trouble-free” automatic milk frother for those of us who are challenged when it comes to creating fluffy, aerated milk. Just select latte or cappuccino, and the machine literally does all of the frothing and foaming for you. The result? A beautiful, true crema on par with any coffee house.
It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this. For those looking to remove the guesswork, this machine does it for you. It also prepares drinks faster than many of the other espresso machines on the market. The 15-bar pump system ensures that you get a delicious, rich cup of espresso every time. Finally, the removable water and milk reservoirs make filling and cleanup a cinch.
And with such an affordable price, it’s definitely the best automatic espresso machine under $500!
- Automatic milk frother
- One-touch control panel makes drink selection easy
- Easier to clean than machines that require cleaning pods
- Some reviewers felt the portafilter was difficult to lock into place
- The built-in milk frother, even on its lowest setting, adds quite a bit of crema
2. De’Longhi Inissia Nespresso Espresso Machine
The best budget automatic espresso machine
Brand: De’Longhi | Type: Automatic | Coffee: Capsule | Weight: 5.3 lbs | Price: 💰
Espresso machines aren’t cheap by any means, and even the budget-friendly ones can be well into the triple digits. Anything much cheaper is only suited for making strong black coffee, but not espresso. That said, the best budget automatic espresso machine we could find is definitely De’Longhi’s Inissia Nespresso. This compact little device uses capsules instead of beans or grounds. Once the water reservoir is full, press the espresso or lungo button, and sit back! It’s that easy.
The fully detachable water tank is easy to refill and clean whenever needed and is large enough to fuel up to 9 single-serve cups of coffee on a single fill. Though there aren’t many settings to customize, the Inissia uses 19 bars of pressure and a patented extraction system to deliver some of the best espresso you’ve ever tasted.
- Comes with a sample pack of 16 different capsules to try
- Heats up fast and stays at the right temperature to make cup after cup
- Capsules are hermetically sealed and made of recyclable aluminum rather than plastic
- With 19 bars of pressure, this machine makes a little more noise than other models
- Only compatible with Inissia capsules, which may be a bit pricier than other brands
3. Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
The best automatic espresso machine
Brand: Breville | Type: Semi-Automatic | Coffee: Grounds, Beans | Weight: 28.81 lbs | Price: 💰💰💰💰
While this baby might not be as affordable as other machines, it more than makes up for the price in features. The Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine boasts a thermo heating coil system and a 15-bar Italian pump that packs a punch. The reviewer-favorite “purge feature” adjusts water temperatures automatically to ensure optimal espresso extraction.
The machine also comes with a pre-set single or double shot setting that starts with low-pressure pre-infusion. Then, the pressure gradually increases for a more even extraction throughout the pull.
The Breville Barista features a removable 67-fluid ounce water tank and includes a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder. As a bonus, its steam wand lets you hand texture micro-foam to suit your personal tastes and create some fancy latte art to rival Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel!
- Water reservoir includes filter for the purest espresso possible
- “Clean Me” indicator light alerts you when it’s time to clean your machine
- Integrated conical burr grinder grinds just the amount of coffee you need per cup, so you don’t end up with stale grounds
- Though well worth the real estate, the size of the machine may not work in smaller kitchens
- There’s no water level sensor, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the water reservoir to ensure you don’t run the machine dry
4. Breville Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine
The best capsule automatic espresso machine
Brand: Breville | Type: Automatic | Coffee: Capsule | Weight: 12 lbs | Price: 💰
Capsule espresso machines are definitely on the more affordable end of the spectrum. Still, not all capsule espresso machines are created equal. If you’re looking for a capsule machine that doesn’t sacrifice quality in the name of convenience, look no further than Breville’s VertuoPlus.
Make no mistake: this machine is convenient. Just fill the side-mounted water reservoir and let the machine heat up. Choose your pod, flip up the lever, drop it in, and close the lever. Select your cup size, and voila!
But quality-sacrificing, it is not. The VertuoPlus brews five different cup sizes and boasts Centrifusion technology for better espresso extraction. Each capsule is labeled with a barcode that the machine reads. It adjusts internal settings according to the kind of coffee you’ve put in, so you get the perfect results no matter what blend you prefer!
- Includes starter set of 12 Nespresso capsules
- Machine heats up quickly in a mere 15 seconds
- Compact, sleek design fits into any kitchen aesthetic easily
- Does not include milk frother
- Only compatible with Breville Nespresso coffee capsules, and capsules are not reusable or recyclable
5. De’Longhi All-in-One Combination Espresso Machine
The best combination automatic espresso machine and coffee maker
Brand: De’Longhi | Type: Semi-Automatic | Coffee: Grounds | Weight: 10.25 lbs | Price: 💰💰
While many espresso machines can be set to make larger cups of coffee, the De’Longhi All-in-One is the best true combination appliance on the market. This versatile device makes delicious 15-bar espresso on one side and rich drip coffee on the other! Thanks to De’Longhi’s patented brewing system, both sides extract maximum flavor and aroma from whatever coffee you choose.
The innovative Brew Pause feature on the drip coffee side lets you pause the process to pour your cup. Rather than waiting for the entire pot to fill for your coffee fix, you can get it as soon as there’s enough coffee for your cup. It’s perfect for busy offices where you want to make enough coffee for everyone, but don’t want to wait!
Both the water and coffee reservoirs are front-loading, so they’re easy to access when it’s time to top up. The water reservoir uses an active-carbon filter to rid your tap water of impurities for a better tasting brew. For latte lovers: the integrated milk frother mixes steam and milk to create rich, creamy froth for evenly-textured cappuccinos.
- 24-hour automatic timer with adjustable auto-shut-off
- A warming plate in the base keeps drip coffee fresh and warm after brewing
- Brew Pause lets you pour your cup as soon as there’s enough coffee without waiting for the pot to fill
- You have to manually shut off the espresso drip, which means you have to time it yourself
- Some reviewers felt the water reservoir was too small, and noted that when you shit the machine off, water may flow into the removable bottom tray
6. Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker
The best super-automatic espresso machine
Brand: Breville | Type: Super-Automatic | Coffee: Grounds, Beans | Weight: 26.8 lbs | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰
Super-automatic espresso machines take espresso making to the next level. All with the touch of a button, you get freshly-ground coffee turned into delicious espresso with as much (or as little) froth as you like. And of all the super-automatic machines on the market, no one does it better than the Breville Barista Touch. It’s definitely the best super-automatic espresso machine under $1000!
This stainless-steel behemoth has a touch-screen drink selector that lets you scroll through everything from a cappuccino, latte, flat white, tall black, double-shot espresso, and more. Thanks to the internal memory, you can customize and save up to 8 personalized drinks for one-touch coffee later on!
Breville’s signature precision conical burr grinder uses dose-control to grind just enough beans for each cup, so grounds never go stale. In just 3 seconds, the Barista Touch reaches the optimal temperature for espresso-making, so you don’t have to wait. Hot water is pre-infused at a low pressure before the pressure is gradually increased to 15 bars to draw out rich, full flavor. To top it all off, the auto steam wand lets you adjust your milk temperature and texture for the perfect froth.
- Digital temperature control for perfectly balanced extraction
- Digital temperature control for perfectly balanced extraction
- Intuitive touch-screen display stores up to 8 personalized coffee preferences
- With so many adjustable settings, there’s a learning curve to making the best espresso
- The drip tray holds quite a bit of liquid, which is convenient, but may begin to smell like stale coffee before the floating indicator says it’s time to clean it out
7. De’Longhi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso Machine
The best budget super-automatic espresso machine
Brand: De’Longhi | Type: Super-Automatic | Coffee: Grounds, Beans | Weight: 23.12 lbs | Price: 💰💰💰
One consistent complaint when it comes to the best super-automatic espresso machine reviews is how expensive they are. So if you’re in love with the super-automatic espresso machine, but not loving the price, check out the De’Longhi Magnifica. It’s certainly not cheap, but is still one of the most affordable super-automatic espresso machines on the market.
The user-friendly rotary grind settings let you easily adjust how fine you want your beans ground. In just 75 seconds, the dual-thermoblock system heats up to the optimal espresso temperature. After the roughly 30 seconds it takes to make the espresso itself, you’re ready to go! The included manual steam wand lets you froth up some milk if you like your espresso on the lighter side. It uses De’Longhi’s patented Cappuccino System frother to mix steam and milk for a thick, creamy froth perfect for latte art.
And, thanks to the twin brewing cycle, you can make two espressos for the effort of one!
- Much quieter operation than other espresso machine models
- Removable water reservoir, drip tray, and waste bin for easy maintenance and cleaning
- Both the grounds and beans reservoirs are easy to access (and clean!) from the top of the machine
- Some reviewers felt the resulting espresso wasn’t quite hot enough
- You can’t set your milk under the frother and leave it – you need to hold the container to prevent spills
What to Look For
Before you decide which of these espresso machines is the best for you, you’ll want to keep in mind a few crucial factors.
Semi-Automatic vs. Automatic vs. Super-Automatic
The process of making an espresso involves a lot of steps: grinding coffee beans, heating water, loading the portafilter, tamping down the coffee puck, “pulling” the shot (forcing hot water through the coffee grounds), and timing the shot (usually 25 to 30 seconds).
Manual Espresso Machines
These give you full control over every step of this process. You can determine how long to extract coffee, how hot the water is, how tightly packed the coffee is in the portafilter, etc.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
A Semi-automatic machine will take some of this work off your hands. You’ll need to grind your coffee, load the portafilter, tamp the grounds down, and hit the start button. From there, the machine takes over, and will run until you shut it off.
Automatic Espresso Machines
These machines may not seem much different at first glance. You’ll still have to grind your beans (or buy ground coffee to start with), and you’ll still have to load the portafilter and tamp everything down. But once you hit that start button, you’re done. The machine will automatically shut off after about 30 seconds, so you can set it and forget it.
This is more convenient, especially for multi-taskers who will take that extra minute of freedom to get something else done. If you aren’t set on micromanaging every bit of your drink, these machines let you put in your coffee grounds (or beans), press a button, and enjoy. But precisely controlling the amount of time your espresso brews can have a huge impact on your brew quality. So even the best fully automatic espresso machine might not be adjustable enough for coffee elitists.
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
Super-automatic espresso machines, on the other hand, are designed so you barely have to lift a finger. Thanks to inner coffee bean and water storage chambers, super-automatic machines will grind your beans, load the portafilter, tamp the puck, pull the hot water, and end the process for you. Some fancy super-automatics will even steam milk for you, too.
Super-automatic espresso machines take the guesswork out of making espresso. You’ll get a consistent cup every time, all at the push of a button. Most super-automatic espresso machines will also allow you to adjust various settings, including grind size, water temperature, extraction duration, and more.
Basically, it’s a trade-off between convenience and control. The more features your espresso machine does for you, the less control you have over how your coffee comes out, but the more convenient the process is for you.
Newer automatic and semi-automatic espresso machines have a variety of adjustable settings that give back some of that control, bridging the gap.
Residential vs. Commercial Build
The difference between residential and commercial espresso machines (besides their price) is how much espresso they can make. Residential machines are designed for lower output. Even the best semi-automatic espresso machine for home can only handle making a single cup of coffee at a time, maybe a few times a day. They’re generally smaller, less expensive, and easier to use.
Commercial machines, on the other hand, are made to handle brewing coffee near-constantly. If everyone in the office depends on having some joe always within reach, you need a machine that can handle that kind of demand. Commercial machines are much larger and more expensive than residential ones. They also usually have more settings so everyone can customize their drink to their liking.
There are a few other things to keep your eye on as you shop:
- Size – how big is the machine? Will it fit on your counter?
- Weight – how heavy is it?
- Color – does it match your aesthetic?
- Beans vs. Grounds vs. Capsule – which do you prefer? What can this machine handle?