If you are looking to put one of the best super-automatic espresso machines under $1500 in your kitchen then stay away from commercial machines. You will get a lot more for your money if you do!
Yes, commercial machines are awesome but they are designed to produce hundreds of shots of espresso every day in a restaurant or cafe setting. The pump is simply built to handle higher output and as a result the price tag goes up compared to high end consumer models.
For the every day home brewer you don’t need anything designed to replicate the kind of volume needed in a commercial setting, you just need something that can make truly excellent shots of espresso. By going to consumer model route you can save quite a few dollars while still sticking to the top of the line machines on the market.
Are Consumer Espresso Machines as Good as Commercial Machines?
Top-shelf home espresso machines are made to be just as good as commercial units. They will pull perfect shots over and over and many will give you control over some aspects of the espresso pull if you want it.
With super automatic machines the reason you buy them is for the simplicity of making espresso so if you want a lot of control over your pull then maybe a different machine would be right for you.
In this category however the only main difference you will find between commercial and consumer machines is that consumer grade machines are not usually capable of pulling hundreds of shots all day long. They are made for normal (lower) volumes typically found in homes and small businesses.
Although the price tags of consumer models featured below are lower than top of the line commerical units don’t assume the quality of the shot is lower – there are some amazing machines available at this entry point and if you want something automatic that will do it all then this is the list for you.
Below I’ve filtered out the chaff and hand selected only the best fully automatic espresso makers in the sub-$1500 category. I think you’ll find these will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of customers in this market.
The Best Automatic Espresso Makers ($1500 Or Less)
Here is the list of machines and if you need more info be sure to scroll down a bit where I have opted to include small reviews of each unit for your information.
- Jura 15068 IMPRESSA C65 Automatic Coffee Machine
- Krups XP9000 Super-Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Center
- Saeco 21103 Royal Professional Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
- DeLonghi EAM3500 Magnifica Digital Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
- DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
- Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee Machine
Scanning through the list above keep in mind that these do everything for you basically at the push of a button. In all cases they make many of your current coffee/espresso accessories redundant… not that that’s a bad thing of course. 🙂
Now, let’s dive in and review these espresso machines and see what sets them apart… let’s see which one is right for you.
6 Miniature Reviews of High End “Push-Button” Espresso Machines
It’s easy to make a list and say these are the best (or only) options but the details are what make reviews so helpful. I’ll skip the obvious in the following reviews and only tap into the points of differentiation that should matter to most shoppers.
1 – The Jura 15068 IMPRESSA C65 Automatic Coffee Machine
As you would expect and want this model has an integrated conical burr grinder that operates in lockstep with the brew process. You basically hit the start button and the beans grind, does, and brew exactly to your liking!
The espresso maker itself heats water efficiently and brews at a full 15 bars just like traditional machines so you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the espresso this machine makes and any other dedicated espresso maker.
The attached frother can make really nice tight foam which is nice but my favorite feature is the coffee spout which can be lowered or raised depending on the height of the mugs you brew into. This keeps things much easier to keep clean!
2 – Krups XP9000 Super-Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Center
This is another automatic espresso maker that grinds your beans, doses, and tamps your grind. I particularly like the automatic disposal of spent grind and the removable water reservoir is really easy to use.
There are also a few more buttons to press on this unit but many people dislike the combination dial/button found on other models like the Jura featured above.
3 – Saeco 21103 Royal Professional Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
For me its selling points have everything to do with the integrated on-board storage for your espresso cups and the ease of cleaning out the spent grind.
With all coffee products dealing with used grind is always the part that is the messiest and this machine makes it easy.
4 – DeLonghi EAM3500 Magnifica Digital Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
The Magnifica’s built-in burr grinder can be fine tuned to your liking easily. Instead of just going with a built in espresso grind setting this machine lets you choose to grind your beans smaller or larger depending on your preferences.
It’s also got on-board storage for milk so you can easily prepare your milk based espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes without digging into the fridge for every cup.
5 – DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
It’s also one of the easiest to keep clean and maintain which is a huge deal for anyone living in a busy house full of other routine maintenance and cleaning chores.
6 – Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee Machine
It has a bean hopper and water reservoir that won’t require you to refill it every couple of days and the mixed milk drinks are easy to replicate day in and day out because this baby is programmable!
Just set it up to make the drink of your liking and it will do it. Set a program for you and another for your spouse and you’ll both be happy!
If price isn’t that big of a deal there are some fancier models out there but I’d encourage you to look to the lower end where your the units will be priced best for your money.
I’d also like to encourage any readers that made it this far down the list to consider something a bit cheaper but just as easy.
I’m not saying go out and pick up an Essenza Mini. That machine is fine but it’s nothing like the fancy models I’ve reviewed above. I’d rather you go look at the Nespresso Lattissima Pro or the Nespresso Creatista Plus, both of which will rival any of the machines reviewed above but for a lot less.
With the Nespresso system of capsules you just pop a capsule in and press a button so I feel they will be right up the alley of just about anyone looking to buy a super-automatic espresso machine.
You can check out the following articles describing more about how Nespresso machines work and why the premium models in the Nespresso line might be a better fit for you.
- Can You Use Your Own Coffee With Nespresso?
- Do Nespresso Machines Make Regular Coffee or Espresso?
- How Much Caffeine is in a Nespresso Capsule
- Do Nespresso Machines Make Good Espresso?
Lastly, you can see our page dedicated to top of the line super automatic espresso makers from all price ranges here.