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I love, love, LOVE a good super-automatic espresso machine. One of the reasons for purchasing an espresso machine is convenience —the ability to have your favorite coffee and espressos from the comfort of your own home. But this comfort isn’t going to seem too…well…comfortable if you have to fiddle with a bunch of knobs, put in a lot of grunt work, or purchase an espresso machine that doesn’t perform properly.With super-automatic espresso machines, all the work is done for you.
One of the positives is that you can get any type of drink you want with a simple touch of a button. And although some may feel the term super-automatic is synonymous with super expensive when it comes to espresso machines, there are plenty of affordable models you can purchase —some that are less than $1,000!Take a look at our top three models below.
Best Overall Pick
- Programmable maintenance feature options.
- Proven to keep the coffee fresh and flavorful
- The most affordable and quality-guarantee machines that can outperform certain models that cost up to $2,000!
Breville Barista Express
Top Options Under $1000 Reviewed
1. Gaggia Anima
The Gaggia Anima is a small and mighty machinethat is a perfect starter machine for those looking to get into the super-automatic espresso machine game without breaking the bank. The Anima comes equipped with a manual frother for milk-based drinks, programmable options and a built-in ceramic burr grinder for maximum freshness. One thing that really makes this machine stand outis its automatic descaling cycle. This formidable feature increases the longevity of the machineand makes maintenance a breeze. The cycle runs at set intervals depending on the hardness of the water and the machine will alert you via an LCD display when additional maintenance is required
Other Things We Love
- The Anima uses a ceramic grinder, which is the best choice when picking a grinder that will lock in flavor and keep beans fresh.
- The Optiaroma system allows you to choose between 6.5-11.5grams of coffee, as well as five different strength settings.
- Both the drip tray and brew group are removable, which makes them easier to clean.
- Comes with a two-year warranty.
- Be careful you don’t disturb anyone when you choose to brew. This machine can be LOUD!
2. Breville Barista Express
This small-yet-mighty machine is GREAT whether you run a coffee shop or want to become your own personal barista. A balance of hands-on opportunities and automated functions make this a fun machine to use.Moreover, this comes equipped with plenty of features to ensure you get an amazing performance from the machine and that it will last for years to come.The Barista Express includes a purge function, which automatically adjusts water temperature after steaming. This enhances flavor and prevents coffee grounds from burning extracting an amazing aroma of hot, yummy caffine every morning. And like the Gaggia Anima, the Barista Express uses a conical grinder, which keeps things fresh.
Other Things We Love
- A removable water tank with handlemakes cleaning and refilling a cinch
- Save even MORE money! This machines saves energy by automatically going into a standby mode after one hour and turns off after three hours
- An integrated grinding system speeds up grinding timeand also allows you to tweak your espresso to fit your specific taste
- An Amazing Toolkit: This machine comes equipped with a tamper, pitcher AND everything you need for easy cleanup
- PID Temperature Control: Temperature controls ensure consistency and quality
- Conical grinder speeds up grinding time and also can be tweaked to your preferences
- Grinds can accumulatemore rapidly in drip tray
- Bottom and sides of machine are plastic
3. Mr. Coffee
Enjoy rich, Italian espresso at the touch of a button. This model from Mr. Coffee clearly has convenience in mind thanks to a variety of maintenance features and programmable options. The machine comes with a 15-bar pressure pump system which is made to extract all that the coffee has to offer and provide you, the user, with a rich, creamy cup of coffee every time. It comes with a very effective frother to make lattes and cappuccinos creamy and tasty.
Other Things We Love
- A ceramic grinderlocks in flavor and freshness, so you get consistent quality espresso shots after several extractions.
- A bypass doser allows you to skip the grinding process, so you can brew with both whole beans and pre-ground coffee.
- A variety of programmable options allow you to customize the aromatic profile of your coffee.
- 15-bar pressure pump system ensures that each cup of coffee is made by extracting all the bean goodness to provide a dark, rich espresso brew
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- Relatively quiet.
- Too compact for most types of commercial use.
- Coffee is HOT, but I prefer mine a bit hotter than what the Brera delivers.
- Foam can be inconsistent. At times I got perfectly fluffy and cream foam, but other times it came out lighter than I would have preferred. I enjoy my cappuccinos dry, so this inconsistency was one of the things that gave this machine a lower place on our list.
- The water reservoir is not removable.
The Gaggia Anima is my top pick because —although the other two models come very close —it simply outperforms the other machines overall. A couple things that really put the Anima over the edge are the Optiaroma system and the automatic descaling cycle .
Both of these features ensure you’ll get the BEST, most customized coffee, and that you can keep brewing that coffee for years to come. Scale is a major cause of espresso machine malfunction, so having a descaling system already built into the machine in AWESOME. And a two-year warranty protects you in case anything should go awry with the machine.
With all of that, it’s easy to see why the Anima reigns supreme!
Best Overall Pick
For those of you that are not constrained by such a strict budget of $1000, we have a more expansive list of the best super-automatic machines on the market. In addition to these, if you are interested in checking out other types of top coffee machines, we have compiled an amazing list to make your morning cup of Joe easy and delicious!