The big idea behind super automatic espresso machines is, in a word, convenience. Super automatics are designed to grind, tamp and brew your espresso for you, so all you have to do is supply your favorite coffee beans and cup. Though all super automatic machines share a supreme goal of making consistent, great-tasting espresso, each machine has its own unique features. Since all super automatic machines utilize similar brewing techniques, it's best to compare the different features of each model to decide which one suits you best.
Is a super automatic right for me?
The ease of using a super automatic machine may make you wonder why there's any other kind of espresso machine, and for coffee lovers that prefer the effortless approach to espresso making, it's a fair question. After all, super automatic machines are designed to go through the entire brewing process internally, so in addition to being easy to use, there's no major clean up. However, the automated espresso making process has its disadvantages for those who wish to perfect the art of making espresso. Though super automatic machines are known for making consistent, great-tasting espresso with almost no personal effort, the potential for even better tasting espresso exists for those who prefer to grind, tamp and brew by hand. When deciding between a super automatic machine and a semi-automatic or manual machine, it's important to consider your personal needs. If having consistent, great tasting espresso at the press of a button outweighs the joy and precision of making it yourself, then the super automatic espresso machine was designed just for you.
What makes super automatics so super? The essential features found on all super automatic machines:
A fully automated brewing system means there's no manual grinding or tamping.
Each super automatic features a built-in burr grinder to grind your beans when you're ready to brew, so you don't have to worry about losing freshness as you would with preground coffee.
The internal brew group is the heart of the brewing system, making brewing a quiet, hands-free operation without any exterior mess.
An internal dump box collects the used coffee grounds and can be removed and emptied when full.
All super automatics have an alert system to let you know when your dump box is full, when your machine needs more water or beans, and when there is a problem.
Adjustable liquid volume control lets you change the amount of espresso you brew at a time, so you get just the right amount in your cup.
If you want a cappuccino, latte or Americano, super automatic machines feature a built-in steam and hot water dispenser for all of your frothing and steaming needs.
Can it get easier? Additional features that make some super automatic machines a cut above the rest:
Instead of blinking lights, machines with a digital display or touch screenexplain the alert system in text, in your language of choice.
Upgrading to a machine with dual heating elements, or Rapid Steam, lets you switch between brewing and steaming without wait time.
Super automatic machines with a water filtration system make it even easier to get high quality espresso while keeping your machine in great shape.
If automatic brewing isn't enough, some machines even have an automatic cleaning cycle.
Many super automatics feature a bypass doser so you can brew a different type of coffee without emptying your bean hopper.
A built-in cup warmer compliments most super automatic machines, eliminating any need to manually preheat your cups before brewing.
Machines with programmable brewing features can be programmed to remember several different volume presets, so you'll always have just the right amount of espresso.
Adjustable dosing gives you even more flexibility by regulating the amount of ground coffee used in a single brewing cycle, and allowing you to fine-tune the strength of your coffee.
Some super automatic machines even feature adjustable temperature control so you can modify your water temperature to suit your needs.
When you buy a machine with an auto frothing attachment to eliminate manual frothing, you can fully take advantage of the true value of a super automatic machine.
What does it all mean?
Super automatic machines are designed to take the effort out of espresso making, and owning a machine with added features can make the process even easier. If you like the idea of a one-stop espresso shop in your very own kitchen, there simply is no substitute for a super automatic espresso machine.