How to Choose a Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

Espresso is quite easy to prepare when we have the right machine to do the job, high-quality coffee beans, and by maintaining a proper brew temperature. 

Choosing a fully automatic espresso machine could be a challenging job considering the variety of options found in the market nowadays.

The following walk-through will help you in picking the right espresso machine for you. The essential factors to be considered while choosing an espresso machine are:

  • The Number Of Drinks To Be Made
  • Quality Of Espresso
  • Countertop Space And Size
  • Ease Of Use
  • Reliability, Durability And Risk Tolerance
  • Budget And Price Range

Picking the right coffee beans


An internal burr grinder is the eye-catching feature of a super-automatic espresso maker. This grinder can help you in preparing freshly ground coffee for every use.

The whole beans are hoarded in the espresso machine itself. The automatic machine must have the capability to choose the right amount beans required to grind the ideal amount of espresso necessary for each brew.

 The beans must possess low to moderate oil content to allow the beans to fall easily into the grinder. Otherwise, the beans get stuck in between the path due to friction and stop the rest of the beans from falling through.

Few automatic espresso machines consist of an advanced option of “bypass doser” that allows the device to make use of pre-grounded espresso beans when necessary.


Water temperatures


In an espresso machine, the water temperatures play an important role. The temperatures must be accurate and consistent. The machine’s boiler system ensures the working of this process. The different types of boilers available are:


Thermo block: They are cheap as compared to other systems. This system contains a single boiler for heating water for both the steam as well as the espresso. Although, it is advisable to have different boilers to maintain precise temperature for steam and espresso separately.


Dual-boiler: This system contains individual boiler systems for steam and espresso. One can control the temperatures easily with the help of this system.


Heat exchange: They are commonly used in commercial machines. They contain a single boiler that maintains the heated water to steam temperatures. The temperature maintained in such systems is around 248 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since the maintained temperatures are too hot to pull out an espresso shot, a separate cold water tank is situated and releases cold water to the 248 degrees Fahrenheit water for cooling.

Since this process consists of cold water passing through the steam water until it takes up heat and achieves a suitable temperature; it is named as “heat exchange.”


Coffee warmer


The coffee tastes better when it is served hot. The automatic machine must be able to warm the cup before it undergoes the brewing process.


Frothing wand: An automatic espresso maker must contain a frothing wand if one prefers the coffee with milk. It helps in regulating the amount of milk flow preferred by the user.


Steam and froth

The temperature necessary for steaming milk and frothing is comparatively much higher than that of brewing espresso. Due to this reason, the automated espresso makers take up extra time to heat when steam or froth is required.

A Pannarello wand is usually necessary for obtaining froth. The pannarello wand makes froth by circulating air by taking help of sleeve placed under the steam wand.​

The automated espresso machine replaces the traditional frothing way of angling the pitcher and moving it manually, which is also known as “working” of milk. Few advanced automated espresso makers contain auto-frothers that remove milk in an external container, froth it and place it into your cup.

Some machines additionally contain two-position steam wands. The change in position of the wand depicts the action to be performed: to from steam or froth.


Ease of use


The fully automatic machines must be easier to handle. They should be ready to use since the beans are stored in the container. An automatic system provided by technological assistance can enhance your coffee-making experience with a simple touch.

They should support remote operations like giving commands via a mobile phone app. This allows the user to prepare his coffee comfortably.


Customization


The advanced automated machines give complete freedom to the user of temperature control and volume adjustment of the coffee. One can even control the strength of their coffee as per their preference.

A digital display is provided by some espresso makers that make the decision-making process more discerning. Advanced Customization like saving the coffee making preferences are also available for future uses.


Durability


​​Typically, most of the espresso machines are made up of stainless steel that offers immense durability and resistivity to external damages.

If one wishes to comprise, they need to make sure that the essential parts like spurts, boilers, pipes, and wands are entirely made of stainless steel material. Aluminum can be replaced with steel for the outer body parts.


Maintenance and cleaning

The automatic espresso makers are made up of irregular parts which require thorough and intense cleaning. 

The best automatic espresso makers come with an automated internal cleaning process that lifts off the burden of the user. They clean the parts related to the espresso making process. Apart from that, boilers, external wands, and water tanks require manual cleaning.

 Removable brew groups are also provided by some automated espresso machines that allow us to remove the elements and clean it.

Since this part, if affected by residue buildup and coffee oil as most of the brewing process occurs here, it must be thoroughly cleaned after every use. One must look after the drip trays associated with an automated espresso maker.

They are situated under the spouts that mete out espresso. They are usually filled with water coming out of the bypass valve.

The tray is also filled with water if the frothing wand is cleansed. Hence, the excess liquid must be drained out of the tray to avoid stagnant water.

The automated makers are also reliable as compared to the other espresso makers.

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