Super-automatic espresso machines - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#11: Post by Mayhem »

We have a Sofia Bianchi super automatic at work. It looks very much like a standard commercial espresso machine where the group heads were replaced with a super auto mechanism. Water delivery goes through a decently sized boiler via a heat-exchanger and the machine has the same steam and hot water wands as the semi auto models. Brewing group however is made out of brown plastic! :shock:

The machine only does single shots, a double is simply two singles in sequence. With fresh beans of a decent blend it can squeeze out quite drinkable coffee, given more tweaking it might even approach decent (but still far from the peak of a measly entry level semi auto). The default steam tip with its four gigantic holes was pretty much impossible to work with, changing to a Synesso "high pressure low volume" tip made a world of difference. The machine also has an automatic "cappucinatore" milk frother which we found to be useless.

This machine is probably on the low end as far as commercial machines go, and I have idea how it compares to a high end consumer super auto. But if you are serious about espresso quality, I would not consider a super automatic.
Too much is not enough


#12: Post by Dodger1 »

I just can't have a machine that takes an advance degree in engineering to figure out!
So this would be out of the question :shock:

Seriously, there are a lot of extremely knowledgeable people on this forum who could offer you all kinds of advice. However, I'd suggest you read this guide by Mark Prince before delving into purchasing anything. ... ssomachine


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#13: Post by HB »

First of all, thanks to Joshua and John for very well informed, succinct responses. To the original poster's question:
dmorgan wrote:My Solis has been, and still is, a darn good machine that extracts a lovely, creamy rich espresso with great crema. I'm game to step up but don't really know what to buy. No price constraints. I just can't have a machine that takes an advance degree in engineering to figure out!
If you've already mastered the Solis, you will find nearly any the espresso machines reviewed on this site to be easier to use with more consistent results. In addition to Keith's recommendation, I'll offer my boilerplate answer and homework assignment lifted from Seeking advice about an espresso machine purchase:
HB wrote:I know you've been slogging through a lot of reading, but if you want make an informed decision, I recommend you soldier on. To make your reading assignment less burdensome, I'll pick what I think cover the spectrum of choices and offer a soundbite for each:
  • Vibiemme Domobar Super - big steamer, easier temperature control among HX espresso machines, solid construction; deeper footprint than most in its class.

    Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica - showpiece design and construction, demands eclectic usage, and yet easy to manage temperature control; an absolute dream steamer.

    Quickmill Vetrano - plumbed in rotary model similar to the Andreja Premium; super quiet, requires attention to temperature control (unless you install Eric's E61 thermometer adapter), solid steamer.

    Expobar Brewtus III - no-brainer temperature control, slower steaming than most E61 HX espresso machines; materials and workmanship are mid-grade.

    La Spaziale Vivaldi II - has garnered many admirers for its no-brainer temperature control; quiet rotary pump and solid construction, powerful and easy steaming. It's wide, but shallower than most home espresso machines.

    Ponte Vecchio Lusso - among the contenders that deserves consideration as an easy to master espresso machine for home baristas. Compact and simple design bodes well for years of reliable service.
Reading the reviews will certainly give you a good idea of what features/performance to expect for a given pricepoint.
After you've read the above reviews (or just the conclusions), read Mark's buying guide, and given them a bit of thought, I recommend starting a new thread with a restatement of your requirements and preferences.
Dan Kehn


#14: Post by MattJ »

You might also take a glance at the thread concerning my superauto under the "Espresso Machines" tab here.

I think the advice to buy a less expensive model of Saeco is good advice if you go the superauto route. Since I've cracked into mine it appears they expect you to scrap these machines after 4-6 years of use.

You seem quite proud of your current machine lasting so long so perhaps a superauto won't be the best way to go. You already have the Rancilio grinder so maybe a burr change on the grinder and a new sem-auto would be the best way to go.

I've been very interested in the Ascaso Steel Uno with PID control. First Line is a stand up vendor who will guarantee any purchase, check it out here: ... of_pid.htm

Espresso Junkie

#15: Post by Espresso Junkie »

I am looking for a new Super automatic machine. At the moment I have an old Saeco Professional, which I would like to replace with a newer machine. It seems that a lot of improvements have been made since I purchased this one. I am turn now between a Saeco Xelsis ID and a Jura J9 One Touch. Does anyone have any suggestions on which machine is the better choice?


#16: Post by zin1953 »

dmorgan wrote:But I'd be disappointed if they delivered a poor quality espresso.
Well, I hope you're prepared to be disappointed, then . . .
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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Randy G.

#17: Post by Randy G. »

Dodger1 wrote:So this would be out of the question :shock:
... Keith
WHAT IS THAT THING!? If I were shopping for a commercial machine for a shop, and I saw that picture, I would hope to be wearing good shoes so I could walk away at a decent pace. What a servicing nightmare! If any one of those flexible hoses failed or the pressure relief safety valve opened, there would be a LOT of wet electronics. Looks like an explosion at a noodle factory. "OH, the humanity! I have to look away, ladies and gentlemen."
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