The 7 Best Espresso Machines with Built-in Grinders

A-white-ceramic-cup-placed-on-the-coffee-maker.-Prepare-for-making-espressco-coffee

Espresso is a rich and concentrated form of coffee, but how can you find the right espresso machine for your needs?

Well, everyone has different requirements when it comes to espresso.

For anyone looking to retain maximum control over the brewing process, there’s no substitute for a semi-automatic machine. These can be expensive, though, and they can be awkward to use at first. Look out for out forthcoming guide to the best semi-automatics.

If you want convenience without resorting to a single-serve Nespresso machine, you should consider one of the best espresso machines with built-in grinder.

These espresso machines are also known as super-automatic or fully-automatic espresso machines on account of doing just about everything for you except drinking the espresso.

All these machines come with a grinder onboard, meaning they are also referred to as bean-to-cup espresso machines.

If you have no idea what you’re looking for, focus on the following pointers:

  • Type of drinks: All of the machines we review today make great espresso, but many also allow you to brew latte, cappuccino, and macchiato. If you enjoy more than short shots of espresso, look for some of the more versatile machines we review today
  • Programmability: All super-automatic espresso machines do most of the hard work for you, but they offer varying degrees of control, as well as varying degrees of programmability
  • Brew group: The brew group is where your espresso is brewed. This is the mechanism that channels pressurized water into the portafilter. Detachable brew groups are easier to clean and maintain. Fixed brew heads are typically self-cleaning, although you’ll need special cleaning tablets for the purpose
  • Capacity: Look for the water tank capacity and make sure this fits your needs. We break this down in the features tab of each machine for your convenience. The capacity of the hopper is not as critical, since you should only be grinding up enough beans for brewing
  • Grinder bypass: If you want to use pre-ground coffee in your machine, you’ll need to look for one offering a grinder bypass
  • Steaming: With a single-boiler system, you can only perform one task at a time. With a dual-burner system, you can extract espresso and steam milk simultaneously. Some machines come with a steam wand. This is attached to the machine and steam comes out of the tip. While it takes a little time to master the technique, you’ll soon be creating microfoam like a barista. Some machines come with automatic frothing devices, saving you time and effort but sacrificing control. All that counts is finding what works best for you
  • Brewing pressure: Espresso is made by sending highly pressurized water over a puck of coffee grounds. Some super-automatic machines allow you to adjust the pressure. These come with a front-mounted pressure gauge. The amount of pressure will impact both the taste and the crema on your espresso. While there is still some debate over the issue, it is widely recognized that 9 bars of pressure gives you the optimum espresso like the Italians drink it. Be prepared to experiment, but use this as your baseline
  • Temperature control: Look for espresso machines with PID temperature control. Using high-quality water – bottled or filtered – that’s heated to the optimum temperature (between 190F and 196F) will give you the best chance of creating authentic espresso. Machines boasting PID will give you complete confidence. The other major component of great espresso is using freshly ground beans, and the built-in grinder on all of the machines we review today take care of that for you, too

OK, if you keep these pointers in mind, you should find it easy to pick the right super-automatic for your needs. We review all the best machines in this class right now to streamline your decision further.

I. The 7 Best Espresso Machines with Built-in Grinders

1. Our #1 Pick: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

Breville-BES870XL-Barista-Express-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 2 liters
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches

Breville has a deep bench of coffee machines in many different forms, and the Barista Express is our overall favorite in today’s showcase of the best espresso machines with built-in grinders.

While we won’t claim the Barista Express is cheap, it’s not expensive for a super-automatic machine, and when you consider the build quality and performance on offer, Breville delivers great value for money here.

You get a conical burr grinder onboard, and the grinding cradle lets you blitz your beans directly into the portafilter. Grinding right before brewing gives you the freshest, tastiest, and most aromatic espresso. Dose control ensures all your espresso comes out at its finest.

One of the key selling points of this fully automatic espresso machine is the way low pressure is used during the pre-infusion stage, before stepping up to the high pressure required for short, strong shots.

The water is also delivered at precisely the right temperature for espresso thanks to the highly capable PID system.

With the perfect extraction taken care of fuss-free, you’ll just need to use the manual wand to froth up some milk or foam if you want a longer coffee, or sit back and enjoy your espresso straight and just like the Italians love it.

While almost all user reviews praise the ease of use and quality of coffee generated by the Barista Express, we found a handful of complaints about the poor quality customer service Breville is renowned for. On the plus side, the Barista Express is so good that you shouldn’t need any assistance!

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Highly precise conical burr grinder
  • PID temperature control
  • Manual milk texturing
  • Not the most seamless customer service

2. DeLonghi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso and Coffee Machine

De'Longhi-ESAM3300-Magnifica-Super-Automatic-Espresso

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Weight: 23.12 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11 x 15.3 x 14.4 inches

DeLonghi is a powerhouse brand in the coffee vertical, and the Magnifica consistently crops up on lists of the best espresso machines with built-in grinders. Also known as super-automatic or fully-automatic espresso machines, you get bean-to-cup coffee without needing barista-grade skills.

The Magnifica gets your coffee or espresso off to the perfect start by offering you a choice of 13 different grind sizes. For espresso, you want a fine grind due to the short extraction time. There is a secondary chamber if you need to use pre-ground at any stage. As a rule, grinding fresh coffee beans to brew gives you the best coffee in your cup.

While some purists dislike the lack of control intrinsic to super-automatics, what you get in return is unrivalled convenience and impressive consistency. There is only a slight learning curve to tackle, and then you’ll be enjoying superb espresso by pushing a button and twisting a dial. What could be easier?

This machine is highly programmable and intelligent, so once you have your preferred beverages dialed in, you can replicate those drinks at the push of a button.

While espresso is the Magnifica’s strong suit, you can also make a variety of longer coffees from latte to macchiato and more thanks to the manual cappuccino system. This mixes in milk and steam in the correct proportions for your chosen coffees, giving you incredible ease of use, as well as first-class espresso and coffee.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Broad spread of grind settings
  • Easy to use and keep clean
  • High level of programmability
  • Slight initial learning curve

3. Breville Oracle Espresso Machine

Breville-BES980XL-Oracle-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 2.5 liters
  • Weight: 34.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.7 x 17.6 inches

Next in line is another entry from the indomitable Breville in the shape of the Oracle.

This fully automatic espresso machine harnesses Breville’s 4-part formula for producing outrageously good espresso at home:

  1. Your espresso will be dosed with between 19g and 22g of coffee grounds for the optimum extraction.
  2. The highly precise digital temperature control ensures water comes out at the perfect temperature for your chosen drinks.
  3. During the pre-infusion stage you benefit from low pressure. The pump then kicks out 9 bars of pressure during extraction for lip-smacking espresso.
  4. Finish your espresso to perfection with a layer of microfoam for that all-important crema.

Using this espresso machine is straightforward. You add your coffee beans and the grinder will not only grind, but also dose and tamp your coffee.

Next, choose from a single or double shot using the simple dials, or override this using the manual setting. There is even a dedicated one-touch setting for americano for anyone preferring a longer cup of joe.

The steam wand is self-cleaning to cut down on upkeep and completing a seamless package from an industry expert.

If you’re looking for the best super-automatic espresso machine in terms of ease of use, the Oracle is well worth a place on your shortlist.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Commanding aesthetics
  • Dual boilers both stainless steel
  • Crisp digital display
  • Customer care issues flagged

4. DeLonghi La Specialista Espresso Machine

De'Longhi-La-Specialista-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Weight: 29.7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.48 x 15 x 17.5 inches

DeLonghi enters the fray again as we reach the midpoint of our collection of the best espresso machines with built-in grinder.

The Specialista is one of the most versatile machines on our shortlist, allowing you to create a wide range of delicious espresso and coffee at the push of a button.

Sensor-grinding technology baked into the integrated grinder ensures your fresh coffee beans are smashed down to the perfect consistency for the coffee or espresso you have in mind.

This machine features a dual-boiler system, permitting you to extract coffee and steam milk simultaneously. The PID temperature control gives you water at just the right temperature for your chosen drink, too.

Not only can you make espresso and just about type of longer coffee, but you can even make tea and infusions using the hot water on demand function.

This espresso machine fires up in a flash with no heating time required. Let the Specialista grind and tamp your coffee and then enjoy authentic espresso in seconds flat.

The only real downside to this outstanding espresso machine with built-in grinder is the substantial footprint, so make sure you have the space on the kitchen counter to accommodate the DeLonghi Specialista.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Makes all types of coffee
  • Dual boiler system
  • Hot water on demand
  • Eats up lots of counter space

5. Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Gaggia-Brera-Super-Automatic-Espresso-Machine-in-Black

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 1.2 liters
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 x 15.5 x 11.5 inches

Gaggia has a fine stable of espresso machines, and the Brera is one of the cheapest, as well as one of the most flexible among them.

Despite the pocket-friendly pricing – by the standards of super-automatics, anyway – you still get striking aesthetics. While the machine is primarily made of polycarbonate, it looks like stainless steel at a glance, and it feels solid.

This is a compact espresso machine, making a smooth fit for apartments or small kitchens. The price you’ll pay for this minimal footprint is a reasonably small water tank, so make sure this is not something that will inconvenience you.

You can access this water tank, along with the drip tray and dreg tray, from the front of the unit. This allows you to more easily position the machine on the counter without needing to worry about access.

The machine heats up rapidly, and both brewing and steaming are seamless and super-swift. Manual frothing lets you take complete control over the process.

Using the Brera couldn’t be easier. There are some simple dials in place of a complicated interface, and a crisp digital display allowing you to see everything you need at a glance.

For anyone looking for bean-to-cup espresso in a compact machine with an integrated burr grinder, the Gaggia Brera is an enduringly popular option worth exploring.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Manual frothing for creamy coffees
  • Produces steam in seconds
  • Ergonomic controls and digital display
  • Minimal water tank capacity

6. Jura ENA Automatic Coffee Machine

Jura-ENA-Micro-5-Automatic-Coffee-Machine

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 1.2 liters
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 17.5 x 9 inches

Jura is an upscale brand offering a wide range of superb espresso machines, so how does the ENA stand and fall?

Well, the ENA Micro 5 comes with an intelligent spout. This is not just a gimmick, though, but allows you to pour one or two espresso at the same time. Whether you have a busy home kitchen or you’re looking for an espresso machine for a small commercial outlet, the ENA excels in high-demand environments of all kinds.

Load your fresh coffee beans into the hopper – always grind just enough for your needs directly before brewing – and then let the Jura blitz them for optimum espresso.

The touchscreen lets you choose from 3 cup sizes. For each of these, you get a pair of adjustable strength levels. Punch in what you want and wait for a surprisingly good espresso at the push of a button.

While no super-automatic espresso machine affords you the same control as a semi-automatic, you’ll benefit from maximum user-friendliness in return.

The only real gripes we could find about this excellent espresso machine concern the small water reservoir. Setting this aside, you’re getting one of the best fully automatic espresso machines out there.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Rotating spouts
  • Efficient thermoblock boiler
  • Covered bean hopper
  • Small water reservoir

7. Gaggia Accademia Espresso Machine

Gaggia-1003380-Accademia-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Water tank capacity: 1.7 liters
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11 x 16 x 14.6 inches

As we near the end of our espresso machine reviews, we have another entry from Gaggia in the guise of the Accademia.

If you’re hunting for a cheap espresso machine, explore some of the other options on our shortlist. If you don’t mind digging deeper for convenience married to quality, read on.

The coffee dispenser itself is height-adjustable, allowing you to use a wide variety of coffee cups to taste.

This machine comes with a highly efficient ceramic burr grinder built in, so you’ll get your espresso or coffee off to the best start with beans ground right before brewing. On any occasions when you want to use pre-ground, use the bypass doser to achieve this.

The brew group on the Accademia is removable – see our FAQs below for a breakdown on the pros and cons of this.

The automatic milk frothing gives you one-touch cappuccino if it’s getting too late in the day for another espresso.

You can make much more than espresso with this model, though, so choose your preferred coffee from the 6 different options and let all the family enjoy their favorite drinks at the push of a button.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Programmable from 7 to 10 cups
  • One-touch brewing
  • Huge choice of beverages
  • Pretty pricey

II. FAQs

1) What is a super-automatic espresso machine?

Also known as fully-automatic espresso machines, super-automatics are characterized by bean-to-cup capability. This means you just need to push a button and the machine will grind a specified amount of coffee beans, tamp the coffee, heat water, and then deliver espresso under high pressure. Most super-automatics will also automatically eject the spend coffee grinds into a dreg box. Most of these machines allow you to make 10 espresso before you need to add water and empty the dreg box. These machines are typically easy to use, but they don’t give you as much control over brewing as a fully-automatic machine.

2) What are the pros and cons of removable brew groups?

On the plus side, removable brew groups are easy to clean, maintain, and repair. If you are unfamiliar with this kind of practical task, though, you could end up inserting the brew group incorrectly.

3) What are the pros and cons of fixed brew groups?

While cleaning and repairs are more awkward with fixed brew groups, it is practically impossible for this type of brew head to become misaligned.

4) What is the difference between ceramic and metal burr grinders?

A ceramic grinder will last longer than a metal grinder, and they are also quieter. That said, they are also more likely to shatter if any foreign objects get inside the grinder.

5) Why do I need to grind my coffee beans directly before brewing?

Coffee beans degrade quickly when ground. For the freshest flavor and aroma, grind your espresso beans directly before brewing, and make sure you store your coffee beans correctly, too.


III. Conclusion

We trust today’s guide to the best espresso machines with built-in grinder has helped you decide whether a super-automatic makes sense for you.

Although you won’t get the same degree of control as you find on a semi-automatic, these machines couldn’t be easier to use. Crucially, they also deliver delicious espresso!

Before you head off today, take a second to bookmark Madiba. We have a great deal of fresh content coming your way for the upcoming holiday season, so come back soon and don’t miss out.

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