Waking up in the morning is a tough task. For many people, a cup of coffee brings them a fresh morning, and for others, it is just enough to keep them conscious in the morning. Beyond that, though, there are those who need yet more caffeine. Espresso is, of course, a concentrated caffeine delivery drink, and machines that make it are very useful. Here in this article, you will read all about some of the top-rated fully automatic espresso machines.
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Top-Rated Fully Automatic Espresso Machines Overview
While there are many machines available for purchase that can make fine espresso, the best of the top-rated fully automatic espresso machines can be difficult to hunt down, particularly for the uninitiated. To many people, any old machine will do them fine, but for a particularly picky party, deciding which espresso machine to get is tough.
Amazon has a wide selection, as they always do, for a variety of the top-rated fully automatic espresso machines, but sometimes finding the best machines on Amazon can be a lot of work. Some of the best companies to make espresso machines are: Philips, Breville, and De’Longhi, who all make some of the best espresso machines on Amazon.
To help you decide which espresso machine is most suitable for you, this article will present a review of some of these espresso machines on Amazon. The technical aspects, utility, user interface, and aesthetic of the machines will be evaluated so that you can make the best purchase for your preferences and needs.
The Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine is a beast of a machine. It features five drinks that it can make: espresso, cappuccino, coffee, latte macchiato, and americano style drinks. One of its most attractive features is its intuitive touch screen display which makes it easy to use for anyone of any age.
Each of the drinks it can make comes in one of three aroma strength levels, meaning that if you prefer a less domineering coffee, you can have that, or vice-versa. It uses built-in grinders that can grind coffee beans using twelve different settings for a more or less grainy texture. The grinders themselves are made of ceramic, giving them a life span of around 20,000 cups. They also are easy to clean because of their ceramic material.
Water for your Philips espresso machine is filtered through an AquaClean filter which allows you to use your machine for around 5,000 cups without needing to change water filters. The Philips 3200 series also tells you when it needs to have the filter cleaned, so there’s no need to check yourself if it requires to be changed.
One of the most innovative parts of this machine is its LatteGo system, which adds milk froth to your drink without any tubes. By avoiding the normal tube system of lesser machines, the milk does not gather in the tubes and rot, meaning that even less cleaning is required to maintain the longevity of the Philips 3200 series. A simple rinse in the milk holder is plenty to keep the LatteGo system clean.
The waste capacity of the Philips is a fairly standard twelve cups, which is plenty for most families, and means that removing waste is kept to a minimum. It takes about two minutes to make one cappuccino cup, with the first cup taking just a little bit longer because the water has to heat.
In terms of cons, you would be hard-pressed to find many, but one thing to note is that the buttons on it can be a bit hard to press at times, which is particularly annoying when your sleep-deprived, coffee-deprived brain just wants its caffeine intake for the morning. As well, the drip tray notifies the user that it is full once it has achieved a nearly completely full status, making actual dumping of the drip tray something of a literal balancing act.
As well, the machine can be rather loud sometimes, but these drawbacks are not particularly heavy when placed against the pros. The last con is that many travel mugs do not fit in this machine; it is meant more for a single cup to be drunk at home, rather than for making coffee to take to work, just something to keep in mind.
The next machine to review is Breville’s BES870XL Barista Express, which is a little bit cheaper and less glamorous than the Philips model, but still packs quite a punch in quality.
This machine also comes with a built-in grinder that can turn beans into coffee in no time at all. The interface is an analog option instead of the Philips’ touch screen, which could be considered a plus if you’re more of a tactile user. The dials and buttons are all very satisfying to press and quite responsive.
One of the best parts of the Breville is that it allows for some fun barista art if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Using its manual microfoam milk texturing wand, you can create all kinds of beautiful designs on your drinks. The Breville also features an adjustable grinding system so that you can have the right size of grounds to fit your taste as you see fit.
A rather innovative part of the Breville’s system is its water-pressure system. It manages and displays water pressure for the user so that they can ensure that their drink will have just the right concentration of espresso/caffeine in it. While it can be tricky to operate optimally, learning how to use it can send your drink further into heaven.
While the Breville does not have any particularly noticeable downsides, one thing it lacks is a built-in water filter. If your location has lower-quality water, consider investing in a water filter you can dedicate to your machine so that you have the best quality water you can get.
The Breville also is quite a large machine, coming in at twenty-three pounds (ten kilograms) and will take up some significant counter-space in your kitchen. Along with that, it is a bit harder to operate than other machines. The number of steps required to make a solid cup of espresso may be intimidating to the uninitiated, but for those with experience, it should be no problem.
The materials, unfortunately are mostly made of non-stainless steel, meaning that maintenance of the Breville is highly important. It will quickly fall into disrepair if it is not cleaned after usage, so be sure to keep that in mind.
The De’Longhi is a beautiful machine whose front and center feature is its one-second start time. It comes with a smart-tamping system which makes getting the right amount of coffee grains in your drink easy enough to pull off. You also have control over the temperature of your milk and water as you brew, which is great for the barista who wants control over what they make.
That all being said, the De’Longhi definitely is for more experienced baristas who want more control over their drinks. It essentially sits in opposition to the completely automatic Philips 3200 Series. While the De’Longhi still is capable of automatic work, it thrives in an environment with someone who knows what they’re doing to some extent that can manage all its dials and pumps.
One of the very welcome additions to the De’Longhi is its separate hot water pumps. This allows a person to make both tea and coffee, without the flavor of either one seeping into the other due to using different pumps for each drink. While not necessarily a gigantic plus, it is a useful plus for a household with both tea-drinkers and coffee-drinkers.
The De’Longhi also features a microfoam milk frothing system that allows for elaborate latte art at the maker’s discretion. Along with that, the machine is much quieter and faster than any of its competitors.
Although a small addition, the De’Longhi comes in more color options than many other competitors, meaning you can match it to your preferred style, with a particularly sleek red option.
The De’Longhi certainly fits well for a well-practiced barista, but can function well for a novice user if they just use the automatic settings. Just be aware that if you want to entirely leave the machine on its own, you’re best off probably with a cheaper alternative.
Coming in at 30 pounds, the De’Longhi is an even heavier machine than the Breville, and will take yet more counter space. Its interface as well is a bit draconian, with dials and buttons that feel out of place for today’s age. It lacks a lot of the tactility of the Breville and the sleek design of the Philips.
Several reviews on Amazon have cited that the machine’s water tank will report that it does not have enough water even when it is full, effectively breaking the machine. That being said, the company has honored their warranties as well, according to most reviews, so if this issue happens to you, you should be able to get the machine repaired or replaced without much hassle.
The grinder is of lower quality than many competitors, and it only has six options rather than the twelve on its competitor models.
The De’Longhi is not particularly user-friendly for new baristas and is suited more strongly towards the experienced user for sure. It can be sued by those with little to no experience, but other options would suit those people better.
Which Machine for Which Person?
The three companies showcased here each appeal to a different sort of barista. The Philips works great for the hands-off barista who wants the easiest process possible, which is contrasted by the De’Longhi, which works better in the hands of someone experienced.
Ultimately, doing your own research is a good idea in general and finding out what you want is of chief importance. For latte artists, the De’Longhi or Breville, are the best picks, but outside of those, the Philips is likely the best pick for most people. Those with very specific tastes and who want control over the exact texture and taste of their drink may prefer the De’Longhi, though and its more closely controllable settings.
The Breville offers a satisfying analog interface that is great for people looking for an aesthetic and rustic feel while also having a moderate amount of control over their drink. The Philips displays a very modern aesthetic and may not suit everyone, despite its domineering performance compared to the other options here. The control offered by the De’Longhi is unrivaled, but its almost industrial aesthetic with its dials and meters can feel significantly out of place in many homes. The ability to control everything may be a worthy trade, though, for some.
The prices on these machines are around the same area of 750 to 1000 dollars, but keep in mind that supply is low, so depending on your region, prices may be exponentially higher. Particularly buying off of Amazon from independent sellers can leave a huge range. The red De’Longhi model, in particular, is highly-priced due to its aesthetic color and rarity.
The Perfect Machine?
Finding out which of the top-rated fully automatic espresso machines fits your needs is difficult, and will take time, time which should be invested given the hefty price tags on these items. Keep in mind that each one seeks to fill a different niche, and the more important step in determining which one is for you is figuring out which niche you fall into. Understanding your own needs is actually more important than figuring out what the machine offers in many cases.
The Philips likely offers the widest range of niches and will fulfill most people’s needs, with the Breville and De’Longhi being more specialized machines for those with more specialized needs. Overall, though, they’re all good machines that are worth their price tags.
I hope this article has been useful to you, and best of luck in finding the perfect top-rated fully automatic espresso machine for your needs.