Espresso machine users/owners - your opinions on automatic or semi-automatic functionality

(Carol E. ) #1

What are the pros and cons of automatic or semi-automatic espresso machines? What are your recommendations for a novice? Thanks in advance for your insights! :sunglasses:

(Jo) #2

I have a Simonella Nuovo Oscar, which I have had for close to 15 years, apart from cleaning once in a while, I have had no issues with it. I make about 10 cups a week with it.

I like manual machines because I have more control over what I get, in terms of the espresso, as well as the foam (when i still drank milk, that is). I’m getting better with steaming heavy whipping cream.

My sister has a fully automatic machine in about the same price range as mine, and hers never got the results mine got and is now already breaking down. The more automation, the more things can go wrong, is my philosophy. But full disclosure, it took a bit of a learning curve to get the process exactly right, and there is still some tweaking when I change brands of coffee. You’d also need a good grinder if you go this way. Most automatic ones will grind on demand in the machine.

I can also recommend the "coffee geeks" forums for reviews and recommendations of brands and models. Just be aware that some of them can be a bit extreme. I learned a great deal on how to make a close to perfect espresso on that forum, and then I stopped visiting when I had enough information for my purposes.

(Carol E. ) #3

Wise philosophy :blush:

I appreciate your post and I will check out that forum.

(Jo) #4

Good luck. With the high quality grinder (this is at least as important as the espresso machine) en the machine the set up cost about $2K. Has been worth every single penny over the long run.

(DemiAshton) #5

I have a Gaggia Brera Silver RI9305/01 from gaggia accademia espresso machines and never had any issues with it. It’s compact, super-automatic with integrated grinding functionality and easy foaming, and it’s made from stainless steel finishes so it suits my interior design perfectly. I love automatic machine because it does everything for me and all I have left is to enjoy my coffee. I don’t regret buying it in any way shape or form, and I always recommend it to my friends.

(Alex ) #6

I have a Delonghi manual / barista style one, and also my own bean grinder, I feel it’s quite catharthic to make your own from scratch rather than an all in one machine. It’s also a lot cheaper, those automatic machines are seriously expensive.