Automatic vs Semi Automatic Espresso Machine: What's The Difference?

Espresso machine gives you control and convenience that impossible to do with old manual brewing method. There are many innovations on the espresso machine to give the best way to brew espresso. It mainly comes around automatic and semi-automatic espresso machine.

Regardless type of Espresso machine you choose, a good espresso machine must be able to boil up 1900 – 2000 F water and pump it through the coffee ground at an 8-9 bar of pressure to brew the best espresso.

What is the difference between automatic and semi-automatic espresso machine?

automatic vs semi automatic espresso machine

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

The semi-automatic espresso machine has an electric pump for brewing espresso. With this type of espresso machine, you still need to do a little work before start brewing some of the coffee. You still need to grind and tamp the coffee to the portafilter. But once you attach portafilter the coffee machine will take over the rest of the brewing process. But, the barista still needs to decide when the shot is done.

Fully-Automatic Espresso Machines

The automatic espresso machine using one-touch brewing system. These machines have a feature called flowmeter to control the volume of water pushed through the coffee ground. After brew espresso, the machine will stop automatically.

Fully-automatic espresso machines are used in commercial coffee shops because they free up the barista’s hands, allowing them to prepare multiple drinks at once. Or if you are a multitasker, and doing other things while brewing espresso, you should consider these type of espresso machine.

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Is the Delonghi Esam Magnifica a great super-automatic espresso machine? Find out in our in-depth review...

Super automatic espresso machine

Super automatic espresso machine is the most expensive espresso machine because of an additional built-in burr grinder. In these type of espresso machine, you just simply touch the button, and the machine will grind the bean and brew up delicious espresso for you. Mostly the super automatic espresso machine has the option to let you choose other drinks like cappuccino, latte or macchiato. Also, some super automatic espresso machine comes with a milk frother or steamer to add the dairy element to your espresso.

Which is the best for you?

Well, it commonly depends on two factor; your lifestyle and budget.

If you have a busy lifestyle and don’t care too much about the nuances of taste, flavor and overall "personalization" of your espresso, then automatic espresso maker is the most suitable for you. These devices are more expensive than a semi-espresso machine but are also easier to maintain, and deliver a consistent espresso experience.

Otherwise, if you prefer to be more in control of the espresso-making process, and like to experimenting, then try to consider the semi-automatic machine. While comparatively cheaper than fully-automated ones, the higher-end semi models even come with programmable features to control the dosage.

The DeLonghi Dinamica provides innovative functionality at an affordable price. See my Dinamica review to learn more about what makes it so excellent.

Our comparison of the Baratza Encore and its big brother, the Virtuoso+, lets you decide which is best for you.
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