How do I choose a fully automatic espresso machine?
Fully automatic with milk reservoir
Make a cappuccino or latte macchiato with 1 push of a button with a fully automatic machine that has a milk reservoir. The milk reservoir is integrated in the machine, so it won't take up any extra space on your countertop. Cleaning the milk system will take some time. For example, you must rinse the milk outlet, clean the milk system, and rinse the milk container.
Fully automatic with milk hose
With a fully automatic machine with milk wand, you can can easily make milk specialties. Put the milk wand in a milk carton or milk container. Press the cappuccino or latte macchiato button and the machine will start working. It's a bit easier to clean than a milk container. Rinse the milk hose after use and rinse the milk system weekly with a cleaner.
Fully automatic with steam pipe
Using a steam wand to froth milk does require some practice. You froth the milk yourself, using a pitcher, and pour it into your cup afterwards. It takes a while to figure out how to make the best foam. The great advantage of using a steam wand is that you don't have a lot to clean afterwards. You can easily remove the wand with a tea towel.
Fully automatic coffee machines with a long service life have a high-end build quality. We look at the robustness of the materials used. For example, a stainless steel casing is more solid than a plastic one. A thermoblock warms up quickly and ensures a constant brewing temperature. Ceramic grinders wear less quickly than steel ones. The brew group of machines with a self-cleaning brew group is thoroughly cleaned with a precisely adjusted water temperature and cleaner. This way, it'll last longer.
Easy to maintain
The ease of maintenance differs per machine. With one machine, you can perform more actions than with another machine. Don't want to pick up the manual all the time? You'll need a fully automatic machine with display and maintenance programs. This way, you can easily select the desired maintenance program and you'll receive instructions via the display. Keep in mind that fully automatic espresso machines need some maintenance. You should clean the brew group weekly, the milk system after every use. Don't forget a recurring descaling cycle, either.
Can be operated with an app
Do you want to make a cup of coffee from your chair, exactly according to your recipe? Choose a fully automatic machine you can operate with an app. You can save the coffee recipes you've put together under your name. But your girlfriend, mother, or grandfather can also make their own profile. Many apps have instructional videos that explain how to clean the device. With some apps, you can make extra coffee specialties, such as a flat white or cortado.
Content water tank and bean hopper
The larger the water tank is, the less often you have to refill it. The water tank capacity is usually between 1.1 and 2.4 liters. To make 1 standard sized cup of coffee, you need approximately 0.2 liters of water. It's difficult to say how many cups of coffee you can make. The coffee machine also consumes water when flushing the pipes. A fully automatic machine does this automatically when switching on and off. The water filter you place in the water tank also takes up some space.
A large bean hopper won't have to be refilled as often in comparison to a smaller hopper. A bean container has a capacity of 120 to 500 grams. The average capacity for a 2-person household is 250 grams. In this example, the beans should be refilled about once a week and they'll remain nice and fresh. There are also espresso machines available that have two bean hoppers. This way, you can fill the coffee machine with 2 types of beans, and you can switch between different coffee flavors.