Automatic machines are a segment of coffee machines aimed at creating great coffee, conveniently & easily with little effort or specific coffee knowledge required by the user. This class of machines may also be known as Super-Automatic's or One-Touch Coffee Machines. The machines are designed to be user friendly and fuss free.
Super-Automatic Coffee Machines
Automatic machines are a segment of coffee machines aimed at creating great coffee, conveniently & easily with little effort or specific coffee knowledge required by the user. This class of machines may also be known as Super-Automatic's or One-Touch Coffee Machines. The machines are designed to be user friendly and fuss free. Typically Automatic machines will handle the grinding of fresh coffee beans, tamping, extraction & sometimes even preparation of steamed milk - all done automatically by the touch of a button.
These machines generally tend to use a thermoblock to heat water for brewing and steaming, while some machines may utilise a small boiler for brewing.
Super-Automatic coffee machines are absolutely aimed at the coffee drinker who is looking for convenience. These machines are designed to be time efficient, lending themselves well to people with busy lifestyles as the machine handles all the messy work - leaving you with a finished product in about 1-2 minute to enjoy. These machines are also excellent for a coffee drinker who enjoys great quality coffee but may not have the knowledge or want to learn the in's and out's of using a manual coffee machine.
This class of machine also offers users the ability to use any coffee beans that they want so you have the flexibility to find the roast and coffee supplier you like. This is something not offered by the popular capsule style machines.
Some of the other benefits offered by super-automatics include the ability to program your favourite beverage so it is available at the touch of a button. Great for families with a few coffee drinkers that have different preferences (Dad's Short Black, Mum's Latte, Son's Macchiato etc etc).
For a coffee purist, super-automatics may not appeal. The reason for this is the inability to have complete control over the grind - brew - steam - cup process as the super automatic handles all of this for you. Another drawback to super-automatics is that while they do produce great coffee, it is usually less full bodied than that of a traditional espresso machine. For this reason you may find the coffee is not quite like you will get from a cafe - just something to keep in mind.
Price may also be a drawback on this type of machine, most super-automatics start at around $1000 and go upward from there, generally around the $2-3000 price point.
Clean up is also worth considering, keep in mind with all machines there is cleaning that needs to be done. With super-automatics they make it easy through the week a quick wipe here, water fill there. However require a thorough clean once a week, this involves a wash of the brew group, drip trays etc. So not usually a huge drawback but maybe not as convenient as say a capsule machine - you will however be rewarded with a quality drink for your efforts.
The last thing to mention with this machines is that there may be potential for greater maintenance costs. With moving parts, built in grinders and all integrated parts it is possible that when something goes wrong it may not be an easy fix. Again, go with a quality brand & good warranty and you should be ok.
Who's it for?
So to summarise, a super automatic will suit the coffee drinker that:
Has a busy lifestyle, yet enjoys a good quality coffee
Caters for a household with many different coffee needs
Likes flexibility of choosing their own beans and roasters
May not have in-dept knowledge or desire to learn about brewing espresso.