2021 Shopping Guide: Superautomatic Espresso Machines
It’s that time once again to start planning your holiday gift giving! We’re starting earlier than ever this year because of all of the stock and shipping issues we’ve seen around the world this year. We know, talking about the holidays this early feels bad to some, but we also know that shopping early could mean the difference between holiday cheers and holiday tears. Let’s jump into it with our guide for superauto shopping for this holiday season!
The most popular pricing bracket for superautos is almost sure to be the most affordable, which makes sense! There’s a good chance that if you’re shopping for a superauto part of the reason is wanting to save on trips to the coffee shop. If you’re looking at a big gift like this it probably is one for the whole family, and these machines can offer that while leaving room for all the extras.
This year it’s hard not to recommend Philips’ whole lineup of superautos if you’re shopping under $1,000. The Philips Carina is a fantastic entry level option, offering high quality brewing that’s simple and effective. This is a machine that can produce just about any cafe drink you can dream up. The only caveat is the Carina’s pannarello steam wand, which requires manual use. While this may make the machine a little less “automatic,” it also means that you’ll get full control over your milk temp!
If you’re looking for something a little more automatic, both the 3200 and the 4300 LatteGo options give you a great carafe based steaming option. The 4300 even takes it to the next level with a screen based interface that gives you more intuitive control over drink parameters and easy maintenance. This screen is something we’d only really seen on much more expensive machines until this model, so it really can’t be beat for the price.
All 3 of these machines offer similar shot performance, and they’re all excellent options under $1,000. Which one is for you is going to depend on your budget and how many bells and whistles you want.
In the $1,000 to $2,000 price range we are big fans of Miele’s lineup. From the CM5500, which offers an incredible value, up through the new CM5310 Silence, Miele really has a lot to offer in this price range. Both of these machines offer great automated brewing and steaming, with screen based interfaces that are intuitive and robust. With the CM5310 Silence you get Miele’s updated, quieter grinder, whereas the CM5500 is a little noisier, but also a little bit more affordable.
At the top end of this price range sits the Saeco Xelsis. The Xelsis is an exceptional superauto that provides best-in-class milk steaming with its hygiesteam system. This machine also provides pretty unparalleled drink customization through its color touch screen. This is another case of machine choice being about budget vs. what features you’re looking for, because all three of these machines are excellent options.
When you get over $2,000 the options get a little more wild. Staying closer to the $2,000 line there’s Miele’s new Milk Perfection machines, which are excellent options if you like the look of the more affordable Mieles but want more nuanced steaming options.
Going to a more extreme high end, Miele also recently released the CM7750. This machine packs quite the punch with auto descaling and a whopping three bean hoppers. It’s the only non-commercial superauto we’ve seen that’s so perfectly tuned for servicing a whole home of coffee drinkers.
We couldn’t wrap this shopping guide up without a shout out to Jura. The Z8 is an extremely impressive superauto that justifies its price with outstanding performance, app support, and some of the most advanced programming available in a superauto for both milk steaming and brewing. It also uses Jura’s patented P.E.P. brewing system, which can provide richer, more flavorful shots than some competitors.
All of the options in this guide will put a smile on your face, or the face of your giftee. As we mentioned, it’s more important than ever to get started shopping early this year!