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best fully automatic coffee machines

The Best Fully Automatic Coffee Machines in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

A solid automatic coffee maker creates delicious hot drinks like coffee, cappuccino or latte macchiatto. We have compared the best fully automatic coffee machines thanks to tests along with comparisons on the Internet and created a best list that includes grinder, pressure, water tank and much more.

Table of Contents

Best Fully Automatic Coffee Machines

De'Longhi ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

De’Longhi ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
  • FRESH ESPRESSO FOR EVERY CUP: The professional burr grinder…
  • YOUR FOAM, YOUR WAY: A manual frother mixes steam and milk…
  • CONSISTENT BREWING EVERY TIME: Each cup is automatically…
  • EASY TO CLEAN AND HANDLE: The compact, extractable brew unit…
  • DELICIOUS CAPPUCCINO AND LATTE: The adjustable manual…

Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee Machine

Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee Machine
324 Reviews
Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee Machine
  • ONE TOUCH BREWING AND FROTHING: Bean-to-cup feature with…
  • PROGRAMMABLE: Programmable brewing options for lattes,…
  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL: 3 different temperature settings….
  • EASY ACCESS TO WATER RESERVOIR AND BEAN HOPPER: Features a…
  • NOTE: Kindly refer the Instructional Video from the image…

Jura E6 Automatic Coffee Center

Jura E6 Automatic Coffee Center
153 Reviews
Jura E6 Automatic Coffee Center
  • Makes 6 specialty drinks including: cappuccino, Coffee, two…
  • Controls make it easy to find, customize and brew your…
  • Pulse extraction process brews Coffee with a full, rich…
  • Eight Coffee strength levels allow you to fine tune each…
  • Fast, quiet G3 grinder creates 60 percent less Leftover…

De'Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine

De'Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine
209 Reviews
De’Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine
  • The first and only fully automatic coffee machine with…
  • The True Brew Process Delivers Smooth, Full-Bodied Iced…
  • Heat-up time in less than 40 seconds: With Italian 15 bar…
  • Brew The Freshest Coffee: With bean to cup brewing system…
  • The Simplest Machine To Clean: With a removable brew unit…

Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8

Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
40 Reviews
Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
  • ONE TOUCH: Prepare 12 barista quality specialties including…
  • CONICAL BURR GRINDER: Fast and precise AromaG3 grinder…
  • ECO FRIENDLY: JURA is always freshly ground, not capsuled -…
  • OFFICE USE: Perfect machine for your workplace – ideal for…
  • CAPACITY: 101 ounce water tank, 17.6 ounce bean container

Jura ENA 8 Metropolitan Black Automatic Coffee Machine

 Our Pick
Jura ENA 8 Metropolitan Black Automatic Coffee Machine
59 Reviews
Jura ENA 8 Metropolitan Black Automatic Coffee Machine
  • COMPACT ONE TOUCH: Prepare 10 barista quality specialties…
  • PERFECT ESPRESSO: Ultimate coffee quality thanks to JURA’s…
  • CONICAL BURR GRINDER: Fast and precise AromaG3 grinder…
  • ECO FRIENDLY: JURA is always freshly ground, not capsuled -…
  • CAPACITY: 37 ounce cylindrical-shape, easy-grip water tank,…

JURA S8 Automatic Coffee Machine

JURA S8 Automatic Coffee Machine
92 Reviews
JURA S8 Automatic Coffee Machine
  • ONE TOUCH: Prepare 15 barista quality specialties including…
  • PERFECT ESPRESSO: Ultimate coffee quality thanks to JURA’s…
  • CONICAL BURR GRINDER: Fast and precise AromaG3 grinder…
  • ECO FRIENDLY: JURA is always freshly ground, not capsuled -…
  • CAPACITY: 64 ounce water tank, 10 ounce bean container

Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine

 Our Pick
Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine
305 Reviews
Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine
  • MANUAL FROTHING FOR MILK-BASED DRINKS: Pannarello steam wand…
  • PROGRAMMABLE: Programmable brewing options for espresso and…
  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL: 3 different temperature settings….
  • EASY ACCESS TO WATER RESERVOIR AND BEAN HOPPER: Features a…

De'Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine

 Our Pick
De'Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine
429 Reviews
De’Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine
  • The true Brew process delivers smooth, full-bodied Iced…
  • Heat-up time in less than 40 seconds: with Italian 15 bar…
  • Brew the freshest Coffee: with bean to cup brewing system…
  • Integrated adjustable manual frothier: allows you to…
  • The simplest machine to clean: with a removable brew unit…

Miele CM6350 Graphite Grey Countertop Coffee Machine

Miele CM6350 Graphite Grey Countertop Coffee Machine
229 Reviews
Miele CM6350 Graphite Grey Countertop Coffee Machine
  • OneTouch and OneTouch for Two – For more enjoyment together:…
  • AromaticSystem – Intensive coffee aroma: flavor-conserving…
  • Quick and easy Espresso, Coffee, Long coffee, Ristretto,…
  • Individual settings – As you desire: Select coffee amount,…
  • User profiles – Your choice: Up to ten individual user…

Jura Giga 6 Automatic Coffee Machine

Jura Giga 6 Automatic Coffee Machine
15 Reviews
Jura Giga 6 Automatic Coffee Machine
  • Stainless steel body with aluminum accent
  • Includes milk siphoning hose with connector, milk system…
  • 28 available specialties to choose from
  • Two electronically adjustable ceramic disc grinders
  • Artificial intelligence high-resolution touch screen color…

Frequently Asked Questions: Fully Automatic Coffee Machines

What is a fully automatic coffee machine?

Just about everyone has seen a machine before and can imagine something concrete about it. When it comes to a fully automatic coffee machine, on the other hand, things get a bit fuzzier – especially when a clear definition of a coffee machine is required.

So what is a fully automatic coffee machine, what exactly can it do, and what makes it so much better and more interesting than a conventional coffee grinder with a traditional grinder in the eyes of many enthusiastic coffee consumers?

First and foremost, above all other advantages, is the great variety that the fully automatic coffee machine promises. A promise that is usually kept: Virtually every conceivable type of coffee is available, including popular luxury variants from the coffee stronghold of Italy, such as latte macchiato espresso or coffee with milk or milk foam – at least in the case of fully automatic machines with integrated milk frother, this is feasible.

In its original form, the fully automatic coffee machine is a self-service machine that was actually designed for commercial purposes.

The high level of convenience that the fully automatic coffee machine brings, as well as the progressive technical development* in recent years, now allow the expensive, space-consuming commercial vending machines to be compressed into a cheaper format with a smaller footprint.

This is not the only reason why more and more private households are turning to a fully automatic coffee maker instead of a machine. After all, it’s not just about taste, but above all about speed – here, too, fully automatic machines now have a clear advantage.

So whether it’s a high-priced, large-volume fully automatic coffee machine from one of the suppliers such as Jura, DeLonghi (Ecam by Longhi), Caffeo, Siemens, Miele, Melitta, Saeco or another manufacturer, or a smaller variant for purely private purposes – the fully automatic coffee machine cuts a good figure in almost any place, even in the company cafeteria.

For our detailed coffee machine test, we have of course considered all price ranges and areas of application in order to cover the widest possible field of possible uses. For us, the fully automatic coffee machine means a bit of luxury in everyday life – not at any price, but for every budget. If you know which machine you want, you can order it conveniently and at any time on Amazon to soon enjoy a first-class espresso or latte macchiato with milk foam.

How does a fully automatic coffee machine work?

To produce all those delicious caffeine drinks like espresso, the fully automatic coffee machine makes use of the so-called espresso method. Despite an undeniable similarity, however, the fully automatic coffee machine is not the same as an espresso machine.

The areas of application are far more diverse, and even proven espresso despisers get their money’s worth with a fully automatic coffee machine, such as our comparison winner. The technology used allows the preparation of all kinds of coffee, from espresso to coffee with milk to a latte with lots of milk foam in a matter of seconds – boiling hot and deliciously fresh.

The fact that the espresso or coffee with milk comes at the touch of a button is something you know from fully automatic coffee machines, and that’s what you appreciate them for – but how is this enormous speed advantage over conventional methods of making coffee achieved in the first place?

In principle, in the same way that people are sometimes spurred on to extraordinary achievements: you put on a lot of pressure. The lucky and super number is 9: Water is heated to around 90 degrees by gas or electricity and forced through freshly ground beans at around 9 bar. The built-in grinder in particular makes the fully automatic coffee machine stand out from normal filter coffee machines or coffee pod machines.

The beans are ground just before the brewing process begins – more freshness is only possible if you live directly on a coffee plantation.

The grinder in modern espresso machines or coffee grinders is made of hardened steel or ceramic and allows precise adjustment of the desired and used grinding level. The remains of the beans must be disposed of regularly after brewing. However, the fully automatic coffee machine not only produces fresh, fragrant coffee, but in addition a feeling as if you were sitting in a coffee house somewhere in Vienna or in Italy.

Especially if the coffee grinder has a built-in milk frother, which conjures up airy milk foam for that certain coffee flair. To maintain this freshness for as long as possible, fully automatic coffee machines are equipped with elaborate programs for cleaning and descaling the brewing group, the milk frother and the other essential components of the machine.

As a preventive measure, moreover, virtually all suppliers install replaceable water filters. Nevertheless, the fully automatic coffee maker is always a bit of a maintenance case – it wants to be cherished and cared for, but it also offers a lot in return.

Advantages of fully automatic coffee machines

We have already briefly touched on some of the advantages and areas of application of fully automatic coffee machines and espresso machines from brands like DeLonghi (Ecam), Melitta, Siemens, Jura, Saeco, Caffeo (Barista) and Miele – at this point, we now want to appreciate them in detail.

In fact, there is more than one reason to choose one of the machines from our coffee machine test and crown it as your personal test winner.

Quick preparation, cozy enjoyment

Waiting and drinking tea is out of the question for a true fragrant lover. When using a fully automatic coffee maker, the unpopular wait is not even an issue: one press of a button is enough and the freshly brewed coffee with milk shoots into the drinking vessel.

This is useful when it comes to a quick morning coffee before or during work, and pleasant when it’s time for a leisurely coffee break. The fully automatic coffee machine is practically always ready to use from a standing start and delivers the desired type of coffee for any purpose – and in just a few seconds! You can and should then gladly take a little more time for enjoyment.

The irresistible feeling of freshness

Fresh coffee – even today, many people understand this to mean promptly brewed filter coffee, i.e. coffee powder poured over with hot water, which is also increasingly compressed into small pods. The smell and taste of freshly ground beans in an espresso or coffee with milk, on the other hand, is completely unknown to many regular frahling lovers.

A real tragedy, which fortunately no one has to get involved in anymore with the use of a fully automatic coffee machine. At last, the special aroma and irresistible scent of really fresh ground coffee is no longer the preserve of the catering trade or enthusiastic owners of a coffee grinder.

Convenient handling

Of course, even before the widespread introduction of fully automatic coffee machines, it was possible to enjoy bean-to-cup coffee fresh from the grinder in your own home. Old-fashioned coffee grinders with manual operation have been around for a long time.

Electric versions have also been marketed with varying degrees of success, but making espresso with whole beans has always been a relatively time-consuming affair. However, making coffee with hand grinders and electric grinders was by no means as quick and convenient as the fully automatic coffee machine fills the large and small drinking bowls with the steaming beverage.

Unsurpassed variety

The selection of varieties has always been severely limited with classic coffee grinders, and especially lovers of more exotic varieties like espresso or latte macchiato usually have to resort to additional equipment like an espresso machine or a milk frother for the perfect milk foam.

Although special coffee capsules with a separate milk chamber for brewing are available for coffee pod machines, the result is difficult to compare with a real coffee with milk and milk foam – neither in terms of taste nor quality, according to our test.

The fully automatic coffee machine is completely different, as it can freshly brew just about any type of coffee you want. The fully automatic coffee machine is, so to speak, the coffee house for your own kitchen.

An attraction for gastronomy

Today, hardly any catering business can do without offering at least one basic type of coffee. As a rule, an espresso is also taken for granted, and often enough coffee with milk and latte macchiato with a large portion of milk foam . It is not always easy to keep espresso or latte macchiato with milk foam hot and fresh in stock, and sometimes it is unavoidable that the customer or guest has to wait a long time for his drink. 

This can be due, for example, to the fact that the milk foam must first be prepared with a milk frother, which takes additional time.

With one of the many powerful fully automatic coffee machines from our large fully automatic coffee machine test comparison, this can be easily changed, the staff is relieved and a speedy service of all guests is guaranteed. For this purpose, there are even special self-service machines with a built-in coin slot – however, we did not consider such machines for our fully automatic coffee machine test.

Types of fully automatic coffee machines

There are not that many fundamental differences between the individual machines; deviations mainly concern the individual features in detail, according to our test. The most obvious is certainly the borderline between the respective devices for private and commercial use.

Otherwise, it is primarily the price that determines and characterizes the respective categories. The most expensive model from one of the brands like Jura, DeLonghi (Ecam), Caffeo (Barista), Melitta, Miele, Siemens or Saeco does not always have to be the best one for every purpose; depending on the profile of the respective consumer, the purchase of a cheaper device can also make a lot of sense.

Inexpensive fully automatic machines for occasional drinkers

Yes, they do exist, the really inexpensive fully automatic machines for occasional drinkers, but of course you shouldn’t expect anything miraculous from them. These entry-level devices can cost up to around US$400, which are quite practical for normal household use. They also usually handle all the basic disciplines quite well, but are usually not as well-made as the higher-priced variants and contain more parts made of plastic.

Nevertheless, you don’t have to fundamentally advise against them, and they are usually quite suitable for the obligatory breakfast or afternoon coffee in private households. Primarily, such devices are aimed at previous filter coffee drinkers who would like to try the taste of freshly prepared bean coffee with milk.

Particularly inexpensive fully automatic machines in a price range of US$100 to US$200 are rarely a viable purchase, however, since the components in the fully automatic machine such as water filter, brew group, milk frother, bean container, water tank or the grinder are often deficient in low-priced machines. In addition to our comparison test, you can also consult various other tests online.

The quality of coffee grinders is determined by the price everyone is willing to pay to enjoy a full-bodied espresso or latte with foamed milk.

Medium price range for coffee lovers

The devices with bean hoppers in the medium price range are much more interesting and definitely suitable for real lovers of fresh bean coffee. However, the higher price is not always synonymous with high-quality workmanship, and the thicker price tag is often justified with numerous features, some of which virtually flood the prospective buyer and want to encourage him to buy.

It is certainly helpful to take a close look and think about which settings are really useful and needed for one’s own purposes.

If you value perfect performance at a medium price, you should take a look at our comparison winner.

Die-hard cappuccino haters and latte macchiato despisers will hardly have any use for an automatic milk frother, while enthusiastic espresso drinkers cannot do without a special cream nozzle.

High price equipment for gastronomy

Fully automatic coffee machines with a price tag of over US$1000 are primarily aimed at commercial consumers. Of course, a passionate fragrant lover with a well-stocked wallet can also treat himself to such a luxury; but in this case, each buyer must decide for himself whether the purchase is really worth it.

For professional caterers, however, a suitably powerful device is an absolute must, since large quantities of coffee usually have to be brewed here every day – smaller and less expensive devices are quickly overwhelmed by such an onslaught and give up the ghost.

High-priced fully automatic coffee machines are usually manufactured to a high standard and are often made of robust materials such as stainless steel, while the plastic inserts are limited to the really necessary components. The variety of settings of these expensive devices is very extensive and covers all possible purposes with aplomb, no compromises have to be made. Common to all products is the rather high maintenance effort.

How are fully automatic coffee machines tested?

It is always the greatest possible objectivity that characterizes a solid and credible test. For our fully automatic coffee machine test comparison, we basically follow a precise marching order that draws tight boundaries to all arbitrariness.

Based on a list of clearly defined criteria, we try to make an unbiased comparison between the different machines and choose a comparison winner. For good transparency, we would like to present the most important points below, which we pay particular attention to in our test.

Price-Performance ratio

That’s what interests us and our readers: Is the offered performance worth the asked price? We test all price ranges and do not shy away from high-priced offers, but we take a particularly close look – after all, a high purchase price must also be justifiable. Devices that we recommend in our fully automatic coffee maker test are of course always worth the money and can be purchased with a clear conscience.

Volume

What can the fully automatic machine do on the technical side in terms of the brew group, the grinder, the water filter, the bean hopper, the integrated milk frother and the water tank? How many cups are served per brew by the machine’s brew group? What is the capacity of the coffee powder container or bean hopper and water tank? What is the right grind for the espresso in an espresso machine? How effectively does the grinder work? Is cleaning, handling and operation of the machine easy and quick?

All of these are criteria that can be expressed in unmistakable numbers – for our fully automatic coffee machine test comparison, each of them plays a role. Of course, products that score below average in these values fall through our sensitive grid all by themselves.

Features

When it comes to features, the manufacturers of fully automatic coffee machines are fighting a hot battle. We stay cool and reliably list the features: For example, what about the popular milk foam, is it produced fully automatically, does it require a special nozzle or is it not even included as standard and has to be retrofitted? In addition, we naturally mention everything that catches our eye during the fully automatic coffee machine test and does not fit well into other categories.

Setting Options

Like any electrical device, the fully automatic coffee maker or espresso machine must offer certain setting options. However, these vary from fully automatic machine to fully automatic machine and do not always allow all the options that we want. We are concerned with the preset coffee strengths, the adjustable grind, a height-adjustable spout and, of course, everything else that the manufacturers have thought of.

Maintenance Effort

No device from our coffee machine test can do without a certain amount of maintenance. Maintenance is a must, but it varies depending on the machine. An automatic cleaning function is common, but by no means standard yet. If possible, it should also include the necessary process of descaling the water filter and water tank as well as the brew group. The less demanding an automatic coffee maker is in daily operation, the more pleasant it is for the consumer, of course.

Quality

There are sometimes drastic differences in the quality of workmanship, which are not least due to the selected price range. It is obvious that a stainless steel model has more stability than a cheaper device that is mainly made of plastic. We are also interested in how the operation turned out: We like an intuitive handling better than a rather cumbersome and bulky operation.

Other

Many fully automatic coffee machines have their own individual advantages, which we do not want to leave unmentioned in our fully automatic coffee machine test. We appreciate a particularly compact or high-quality design just as much as useful technical gadgets, for example, a viewing window for checking the fill level or an additional container for coffee powder or beans. Extra hot coffee and a strikingly good taste of the end product also deserve our praise.

What should I look for when buying a fully automatic coffee maker?

If the manufacturers of automatic coffee machines and espresso machines such as Jura, Saeco, DeLonghi (Ecam) by Longhi, Melitta, Miele, Siemens or Caffeo have their way, then each device represents a great recommendation in its own right. Advertising departments virtually outdo themselves in creatively boasting about their espresso machines and automated coffee grinders and their associated features, such as DeLonghi’s Ecam.

Even beyond our comparison results, there are a few points that should definitely be considered when buying a fully automatic coffee machine.

Price Range

The question of all questions before any purchase, especially a larger one, is of course: What can I spend, what do I want to spend? As a rule, a fully automatic coffee maker is not something you can just pick up at the discount store. We have already presented the three rough price ranges, and it is now of course first and foremost up to the personal profile to decide which one is suitable for one’s own purposes.

For commercial use in the catering trade, there is no way around the decision for a powerful and expensive professional device, but private consumers can at least conscientiously ask themselves whether it really has to be the upper mid-range or whether a cheaper entry-level device can be used for the beginning. One thing is clear: real coffee lovers cannot avoid investing good money for their passion. To ensure that the investment is really worth it, we recommend taking a look at our coffee maker test comparison in good time.

Care & Maintenance Effort

Fully automatic coffee machines and espresso machines are extremely powerful devices that have a lot to offer their users, but they are not only very expensive to purchase. The care and maintenance effort should also not be underestimated. It can take several hours to completely decalcify the machine and thoroughly clean all of its components.

Conventional machines are much less demanding in this respect, but they never achieve the special aroma of fresh bean coffee from the grinder. Buyers of a fully automatic coffee machine should not be under any illusions, however, but should be aware before purchasing that the incomparable taste experience comes at a price.

Some machines are designed to make maintenance as simple as possible; they bring special convenience features such as automatic descaling and cleaning of the brew group and milk frother. But even in this case, it does not go entirely without maintenance measures.

Important for good hygiene for the fully automatic machine with integrated milk frother is easy replacement of the water filter and water tank, and the presence of a removable brew group. In fact, if the brew group is installed statically, careful cleaning of the brew group of the fully automatic coffee or espresso machines turns out to be unnecessarily complicated. Therefore, you should pay attention to a removable brew group – according to our test, this facilitates the operation and handling immensely.

Design

There’s no denying that the eye makes the purchase, and manufacturers such as DeLonghi (Ecam), Melitta, Miele, Siemens, Saeco, Jura, Caffeo and Nespresso know that, too. It is not by chance that machines with a particularly high-quality look often enough also have a particularly thick price tag, according to our test.

Lower-priced machines in particular often rely more on plastic components. This is quite practical and also pushes down the price, but of course never looks as good and classy as a stainless steel model from Jura, DeLonghi (Ecam) or Miele.

Often, elaborately designed devices also have a higher-quality finish and a longer lifespan, but ultimately, every buyer has to decide for themselves whether this feature is worth a usually hefty surcharge. Especially fully automatic coffee machines for home use, which are not used in continuous operation, are possibly worthwhile as inexpensive variants, which impress more with their range of features than with expensive luxury design.

Sometimes inner values also count when it comes to electrical appliances!

Space

Fully automatic coffee machines are not exactly pocket appliances; they require more or less space, which is especially true of professional appliances for the catering industry. The rule of thumb “the bigger, the better” does not always apply here; in fact, the spatial extent of such a luxury appliance always has a lot to do with the brewing capacity available in each case. Models with rather large-volume water tanks and bean containers simply need more physical space, of course.

Not everywhere is this space available either, but even where it is, interested buyers should ask themselves whether there is a corresponding volume requirement at all. Of course, important details like the capacity of the water tank and bean hopper are also a topic in our automatic coffee maker test.

Frequent drinkers should by no means save on the wrong end, because the constant refilling and emptying of the water tank can definitely affect the coffee enjoyment in the long run. In addition, the water filter should be cleaned and descaled frequently, otherwise everyone will only have a short coffee experience.

Performance & Energy Consumption

Even smaller coffee machines and espresso machines should not fall short of a certain performance, after all, the entire principle of the fully automatic machine is based on the generation of pressure. This means that the water pump, the water filter and the water tank have to deliver so that the brewing in the brewing group also works effectively, and that is anything but a matter of course, especially with particularly inexpensive offers.

The established guideline value as a minimum strength for the water pump is 15 bar – however, this specification refers to the maximum performance, in practice the coffee is brewed with a pressure of about 9 bar. Below this value, the coffee machine will only prepare little joy and rather mixed coffee.

Of course, the question of power consumption is almost inevitable in this context, and you should look closely when answering it, because the differences can be considerable – especially because most fully automatic coffee machines also consume power in standby mode.

The good news is that at least newer models almost always have high energy efficiency – manufacturers are becoming more and more sensitive in this area. Nevertheless, the accruing power consumption, as well as all subsequent costs in general, should be reliably clarified in advance of a purchase.

Features & Settings

Not all fully automatic coffee machines and espresso machines offer the same range of features, and there are also differences in the setting options. This does not have to be a disadvantage, because not every user really needs every feature. However, you should ask this question in good time, because the suitability of a device for your own purposes depends on the answer.

Espresso drinkers or cappuccino lovers should not blindly rely on the fact that every automatic coffee maker can also master these disciplines brilliantly. Our coffee machine test comparison  also provides reliable information about these points.

The grind, which should be freely adjustable if possible, is also important for the aroma and thus the taste of the coffee.

If different cup sizes are to be used without problems, a height-adjustable coffee spout must also be included. Some special components, such as the milk frother, can also be retrofitted later, depending on the model. Increasingly popular are also the so-called cup warmers, heated plates that keep the filled coffee warm for a long time – however, it should not be overlooked that this extra consumes a lot of additional energy.

Automatic Coffee Machine vs Coffee Pod Machine

Perhaps the most stubborn competitor to the fully automatic coffee maker is the coffee pod machine, which has enjoyed enormous popularity for several years now. In terms of handling, operation and cleaning, it is much less sophisticated than the models in our automatic coffee maker test comparison, but it also offers far fewer features.

Acquisition and follow-up costs

Even a cursory glance at various offer pages quickly reveals that on average, a usable fully automatic coffee machine costs significantly more than a coffee pod machine. This sum can probably only be justified for truly passionate fragrant lovers and excessive caffeine junkies. However, the cost calculation is only complete when the follow-up costs are also taken into account – and that’s where the fully automatic coffee machine makes up a lot of ground.

Frequent drinkers in particular have to dig deep into their pockets for a coffee pod machine in daily use: coffee pods aren’t cheap, and a new pod is needed for every espresso or latte, which also has to be reinserted each time before the brewing process. Here, a fully automatic coffee machine is cheaper and more convenient.

A matter of taste

Every true fragrant lover will always and under all circumstances prefer freshly brewed bean coffee to filter coffee and pad coffee. This is why the coffee pod machine is inferior to the fully automatic coffee maker in the discipline of taste – just as canned coffee powder always tastes worse than bean coffee from the grinder.

This is also the conclusion reached by a large number of objective tests, which also highlight another not insignificant aspect: Coffee pods are a major burden on the environment in terms of production and wear, which is not the case with fully automatic coffee machines.

Maintenance effort

On the plus side, the coffee pod machine requires far less care and maintenance. It is sufficient to clean the spouts and descale the water tank from time to time, which is relatively easy due to its manageable size.

The fully automatic coffee machine is considerably more demanding, and depending on the type of machine, it may even be necessary to hire an external service provider to carry out the difficult maintenance work. In addition, the susceptibility to repairs is higher, but this will not surprise anyone in view of the more complex system.

Fully Automatic Coffee Machine Accessories

Actually, such a high-priced purchase as the fully automatic coffee machine should be a round thing, but it does not go off completely without follow-up costs and one or the other accessories must be purchased additionally even for the most expensive model.

Cappuccinator

The name already gives away the direction, and indeed a cappuccinatore has a lot to do with the delicious cappuccino, that so special coffee variant from Italy that also enjoys great popularity in this country. In detail, this is a plastic attachment for the steam nozzle of the fully automatic coffee maker, which allows milk foam or hot milk to be added to the freshly brewed coffee. This is a simple and uncomplicated way to make cappuccino or latte macchiato.

In some high-priced models from Jura, Siemens, Miele, DeLonghi, Caffeo, Melitta, Saeco or other suppliers, the cappuccinatore is already included in the scope of delivery and does not have to be retrofitted. Whether this is the case can be seen in our detailed coffee machine test comparison. If not, the cappuccinatore is certainly a really hot tip for all lovers of special Italian coffee specialties. However, not all fully automatic coffee machines are suitable for retrofitting with a cappuccinatore, so the presence of such an option should be clarified before buying.

Water Filter

Although tap water is excellent for drinking in most areas, limescale is always a big issue – even when using a fully automatic coffee machine. Systems with integrated water filters can curb this problem, but they also lead to rising follow-up costs: After all, the water filter has to be replaced every four months on average. Nevertheless, its use is definitely advisable, since coffee with filtered water has a distinct taste advantage. Most fully automatic coffee makers therefore come with an integrated water filter as standard.

Decalcifier

Even with the most careful treatment, every fully automatic coffee machine must be descaled sooner or later. To protect the expensive device, only a particularly suitable descaler should be used for this purpose – many manufacturers of fully automatic coffee machines and espresso machines such as Miele, Melitta, Siemens, Jura, Saeco, DeLonghi (Ecam) of the Longhi family or Caffeo offer a corresponding product themselves, but there are also viable compatible solutions from third-party manufacturers at mostly lower prices.

Under no circumstances should the old household remedy vinegar be used, because its aggressive acids can attack the sensitive rubber seals of the fully automatic coffee maker and cause long-term damage.

Spare parts

If there are any wear-related problems with the fully automatic coffee maker, they can often be remedied in a comparatively inexpensive way by ordering a suitable replacement part from the respective manufacturer. There may even be cheaper replacement products from third-party manufacturers that do just as good a job and cost only a fraction of the original.

Tea bag

Many fully automatic coffee machines from well-known companies such as DeLonghi, Siemens, Saeco, Miele, Melitta, Jura or Caffeo can now not only make coffee, but also provide hot water for tea. Especially avid tea drinkers are happy about the possibility to quickly boil a cup of tea without a long wait. For guests who don’t like coffee or can’t tolerate it for health reasons, it can’t hurt to keep a small selection of tea bags on hand.

Fully Automatic Coffee Machine Alternatives

The purchase of a fully automatic coffee machine is no small matter – neither financially nor logistically. Those who do not have enough room – be it in the budget or in the literal sense – will also be happy about cheaper alternatives. We present a few items beyond our extensive fully automatic coffee machine test in the following sections. What they all have in common is a lower space and cost requirement.

Brew coffee by hand

The purchase of a fully automatic coffee machine is no small matter – neither financially nor logistically. Those who do not have enough room – be it in the budget or in the literal sense – will also be happy about cheaper alternatives. We present a few items beyond our extensive fully automatic coffee machine test in the following sections. What they all have in common is a lower space and cost requirement.

Classic coffee maker

The classic coffee maker is certainly one of the most successful and popular household appliances ever. There is hardly a kitchen or office that can do without it. Its time is far from over, and it still has a permanent place on all retailers’ shelves. The characteristic and unmistakable sound of fresh coffee slowly bubbling into the pot will be heard for quite some time, even in the age of modern fully automatic coffee machines.

Its advantages are obvious: it is inexpensive to purchase and maintain, easy to use, and its maintenance requirements are kept within manageable limits. On the other hand, however, it is nowhere near as fast as a fully automatic coffee machine.

Coffee Pod Machine

For some years now, the biggest competitor for the coffee maker has been the coffee pod machine, which impresses above all with its great ease of use. It is simply incredibly convenient to press a button and immediately have a cup of hot coffee in your hand. Similar to the coffee maker, it is already very inexpensive to have, but brings with it the disadvantage of high follow-up costs.

However, many users ignore this fact in favor of convenience – as well as the environmental impact of the production and wear and tear of the many coffee pods, since a separate pod is needed for each cup.

Espresso Machine

The espresso machines are very similar to the fully automatic coffee machine in terms of the way they work, which is hardly surprising if you know and take into account that it served as a blueprint for one of the inventors of the fully automatic coffee machine. However, unlike the expensive all-round solution, it is really only capable of brewing espresso – but according to some espresso lovers, espresso machines can do it better than any competing product.

In particular, one of the espresso machines still produces the popular crema originally and not with the help of a milk frother. So, passionate espresso drinkers may well consider choosing one of the espresso machines on the market.

Last product update on 2021-09-23 | Source: Amazon Affiliate