The Best Superautomatic Coffee Machine

Updated on 27 March 2023

After spending 12 hours analysing and comparing 45 automatic coffee machines and testing 8 of them, we believe the Philips 3200 LatteGo currently offers the best value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

Philips 3200 LatteGo

This model features settings that allow you to customise your drink and a milk jug that pours milk froth directly into the cup. It also has very good ergonomics.

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Philips 3200 LatteGo

This machine offers five speciality coffees made from fresh beans and has a high-quality ceramic grinder with 12 adjustable grinding levels. It can brew two cups at the same time and is practical with its 1.8-litre water tank and 275-gram coffee hopper. Milk coffee lovers will particularly appreciate the presence of a milk carafe, which is ideal for getting a good froth in your drink. We found the carafe very convenient to place, but we would have liked to see more visible lines to indicate how much milk should be poured in. Like most of the other models we tested, it can also hold the ground coffee, so you can make other types of coffee from time to time, such as decaffeinated, and it is also easy to maintain thanks to its patented Aquaclean automatic system.

 

 

Best budget

De’Longhi Magnifica S

With its frother, its ability to make two cups at once and its various grinding options, it is ideal for making coffee with ease.

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De’Longhi Magnifica S

Despite its low price, this machine does not skimp on features. Its intensity is adjustable with a grinding fineness that can be set to 13 levels. Its canisters hold 1.8 litres of water and 200 grams of coffee. It is ideal for making one or two types of coffee (espresso or long coffee), either whole beans or ground. In addition, its steam nozzle allowed us to add a good layer of cream to our brews during our tests, whether it was cow’s milk or almond milk (in 45 to 50 seconds). It was also very quick to switch on and make an espresso (1:16), a second espresso (31 seconds) or a long coffee (53 seconds). In terms of ergonomics, we found it practical, with clear and easy-to-understand buttons, but also thanks to its long 1.30 m cable. On the other hand, we felt that the bean container could have been more inclined, as the beans did not all fall into the hole. Finally, its automatic maintenance functions make it a good choice in its price category.

 

Best high-end

Melitta Barista T Smart

This very complete and versatile machine has the particularity of offering two bean containers and the possibility of preparing up to 18 drinks. It can also be controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

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This automatic coffee machine has several adjustable beverages and a double bean container (2x 135 g), which allows you to alternate your preparations or make double coffees. The volume of the water tank is medium (1.8 litres), and there is also a milk tank (for café crème, cappuccino, latte macchiato…). The temperature can be set at 3 levels and the intensity at 5. It is also one of the few in our range that can store up to 4 user profiles and can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. It is a real technological marvel that prepares espressos with a cup result that consumers will fall in love with. Naturally, it is equipped with a height-adjustable nozzle, automatic shut-off, cleaning function and automatic descaling.

 

Mid-range alternative

De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM

This De’Longhi model can prepare six types of coffee thanks to its sensitive buttons and a pleasant, easy-to-read display. It is sturdy and easy to clean. Its espressos are very good, if a little acidic.

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De’Longhi Dinamica

The De’Longhi Dinamica stands out from the competition with its design (high-quality ABS and stainless steel contours), its large 1.8-litre tank and its settings that allow you to prepare 6 types of coffee and milk drinks, as well as hot water. You can choose the intensity and temperature you prefer and prepare one or two cups at a time. During our tests, we found its touch buttons to be responsive, but less instinctive to use than those on the Philips LatteGo machines. At 69 dB, it’s a little quieter than some of its rivals, and it’s easy to clean thanks to its automatic rinsing and descaling systems. It takes 1.32 minutes to switch on and make a first espresso (one of the fastest in the range). However, its espresso is a little longer than the others, at 46 ml, and takes longer to prepare (48 seconds). As for the taste of the coffee, we found it a little acidic, which was not the case with the other brands. However, its main drawback is that it leaks a little when rinsing…

 

High-end alternative

De’Longhi Eletta Explore

This connected model can prepare 24 drinks, including a range of cold coffees thanks to its ice cube tray. It can also store up to 4 user profiles.

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De’Longhi Eletta Explore

The machine is quite heavy (11.2 kg), but robust and of very good material quality. It can prepare 24 drinks, including hot water, tea and 14 cold drinks. For the latter, the 3.5″ TFT display shows how many ice cubes to add to the drink. Its touch buttons responded very well during our tests. However, it took us 15 minutes to connect it to our smartphone via Wi-Fi (using its app). With this app, it is possible to start it remotely or adjust its settings. However, we are not convinced by the remote activation, as the machine then performs a rinse, pouring water into the cup even before brewing our coffee and diluting it. Nevertheless, it is still a very interesting machine overall, especially because of its low noise level (65 dB when grinding). The automatic shut-off worked well and the milk frothers (hot or cold) are easy to set and clean themselves automatically.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endMid-range alternativeHigh-end alternative
Philips 3200 LatteGo De’Longhi Magnifica S Melitta Barista T Smart De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM De’Longhi Eletta Explore
This model features settings that allow you to customise your drink and a milk jug that pours milk froth directly into the cup. It also has very good ergonomics. With its frother, its ability to make two cups at once and its various grinding options, it is ideal for making coffee with ease. This very complete and versatile machine has the particularity of offering two bean containers and the possibility of preparing up to 18 drinks. It can also be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. This De'Longhi model can prepare six types of coffee thanks to its sensitive buttons and a pleasant, easy-to-read display. It is sturdy and easy to clean. Its espressos are very good, if a little acidic. This connected model can prepare 24 drinks, including a range of cold coffees thanks to its ice cube tray. It can also store up to 4 user profiles.
£ 483.99 on Amazon £ 299.99 on Amazon £ 699.00 on Amazon £ 589.22 on Amazon
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How did we do the tests?

When analysing and testing the different machines, we first looked at their design (strength of materials, weight, length of cables…) and ergonomics (clarity of buttons, type of height adjustment, ease of access to the receptacles, grinding capacity…).

We then measured the time each machine took to switch on and prepare various drinks (coffee, espresso, long coffee, Americano, cappuccino, latte macchiato…) and the quantity prepared. We also checked that the machine went into standby mode after the programmed time had elapsed. Finally, we measured the maximum noise level of each machine when in use (grinding the beans or preparing the milk) and we compared and tasted each machine’s espresso (with the same type of beans and medium grind).

 

How to choose your coffee machine with grinder?

These machines are very popular on the market because they allow you to extract all the flavours of the coffee beans for a professional result. They are also less polluting than capsule machines (to which we have dedicated a comparative article). On the other hand, they are larger and more expensive, so it is important to choose wisely.

Machine à café avec Broyeur

To make the right choice, here are some criteria to consider before buying:

  • Operation: Given a large number of models available, it is necessary to identify your needs and desires before choosing one of these coffee machines (functions, number of containers to vary the beans, presence of a steam nozzle or a milk carafe (preparation of milk-based drinks…).

Machine à café avec broyeur

  • Materials: These machines are usually made of plastic and/or stainless steel. The mill (or grinder) can be made of steel or ceramic. Both materials are robust, but ceramic is particularly heat resistant and less noisy.
  • Ease of use: Long reserved for professionals in the sector, these coffee machines are starting to become more affordable and easier to use. The machines have, for example, direct access buttons for quick preparation of your favourite drinks, or a milk jug capable of pouring froth directly into your cup.

Machine à café avec broyeur

  • Ease of maintenance: although most of these machines have an automatic cleaning function, some of the components will need to be cleaned by hand. Whatever model you choose, you will need to pay attention to the limescale and clean it from time to time.
  • The functions: not only do they allow good modularity in terms of preparation, but they also make the appliance easier to use: automatic recipes, display, touch controls, illuminated icons, memorisation of your preferred settings, pre-programmed functions or even the possibility of controlling them via an app.

Machine à café avec broyeur

  • Extras: Additional features can make the difference between one model and another. Some of the most valued extras are the presence of a double bean tray, a ground coffee hatch or a height-adjustable nozzle. Some machines are less noisy than others but bear in mind that the bean grinder will make noise.

PS: if you are looking for an alternative to an automatic model with a grinder, we invite you to take a look at our comparisons of the best capsule and filter coffee makers available today.

 

Another model we recommend

Philips LatteGo Serie 5400 (£589.90 upon publication): our 3rd mid-range choice. During our tests, it was the machine with the most responsive touchscreen. We found its spout easily adjustable in height. At 70dB when grinding (measured with a sound level meter), it was not the loudest of the machines tested. The 260ml milk frother was effective for making latte macchiato, café crème, etc. However, it takes 1 minute and 45 seconds to brew the first coffee of the morning (switch on and have the coffee ready), a little longer than the other coffee machines. It can prepare hot water and 12 types of coffee (espresso, Americano, ristretto…) in 5 different strengths, 12 grindings and 3 temperatures. Finally, it switches off after 15 minutes and can be programmed to do so after 30 minutes, 1 hour or 3 hours.

 

Other models put to the test

Philips Serie 2200 (£346.99 upon publication): Of all the machines we tested, it produced the worst coffee (a little watery for our taste). In terms of overall quality and performance, it was beaten by the Magnifica S.

Melitta Cafeo Solo (£315.81 upon publication): Simple but effective, it started to leak after a few months of use. It is also the only one in this range that does not accept ground coffee… So we cannot recommend it.

Saeco Xelsis Suprema SM8889 (£1387.97 upon publication):Given its price, we were much more demanding in our testing of this machine. And despite our high expectations, we were rather disappointed. Its ergonomics could be improved, particularly the milk frother tube that passes in front of the water tank, its touchscreen is very unresponsive and its design is not a cut above many other models in its price range.

 

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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