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Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines for Home Use Review 2018

Okay, so let’s just set aside all the arbitrary price caps and talk about what matters. If you’re in the market for a great espresso machine, and you’re willing to spend whatever it takes (within reasonable limits) to find the perfect machine for you and your family, then this article is for you.

We’ve scoured the internet and assembled a short list of the best bean to cup coffee machines for home use in the table below. 

OUR PICK


OVERALL BEST Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines for Home Use

Espresso Machine Under 600 Dollars
Last update: December 9, 2018 7:27 am
Last update: December 9, 2018 7:27 am
Last update: December 9, 2018 7:27 am
Last update: December 9, 2018 7:27 am
Last update: December 9, 2018 7:27 am

Rating

4.94/5

4.75/5

4.94/5

4.19/5

4.81/5

Price

$$

$

$$$

$$$

$$$$$$

Style

STYLE

Super Automatic, One Touch

Super Automatic, One Touch

Super Automatic, One Touch

Super Automatic, One Touch

Super Automatic, One Touch

Dimensions

11.1” x 14.8” x 16.8”

15” x 11” x 15”

20” x 14.4” x 19.9”

15.5” x 16” x 18.5”

20” x 17” x 13”

Weight

29 pounds

26 pounds

40 pounds

34 pounds

40 pounds

Reservoir Size

RESERVOIR SIZE

60 ounces

60 ounces

54 ounces

1.5 gallons (192 ounces!)

87 ounces

Boiler

BOILER

Double boiler, both are aluminum, lined with stainless steel, and both feature Thermoblock technology

Double boiler, both are aluminum, lined with stainless steel and both feature Thermoblock technology

Double boiler, both are aluminum, lined with stainless steel, and both feature Thermoblock technology

Double boiler, both are  aluminum, lined with stainless steel, and both feature Thermoblock technology

Double boiler, both are aluminum, lined with stainless steel, and both feature Thermoblock technology

Adjustable Coffee Spigots​​​​

ADJUSTABLE COFFEE SPIGOTS?

Yes, accommodates cups from 2” to 6” in height

Yes, accommodates cups from 3.5” to 4.8” in height

Yes, accommodates cups from 2.5” to 6” in height

Yes, accommodates cups from 2.5” to 6” in height

Yes, accommodates cups from 2.5” to 6” in height

No. of Grind Settings

NUMBER OF GRIND SETTINGS

Ceramic, conical burr grinder with 13 grind settings, paired with a 7-ounce bean hopper

Ceramic, conical burr grinder with 18 grind settings, paired with an 8.8 ounce bean hopper

Ceramic, conical burr grinder with 8 grind settings, paired with a 12-ounce bean hopper

Ceramic, conical burr grinder with 6 settings, paired with a 10-ounce bean hopper (can be doubled to 20-ounces with optional attachment)

Two grinders (and two bean hoppers).  Grinders are ceramic, conical burr with 5 grind settings, paired with two 9.8-ounce bean hoppers

Milk Frothing Technology

MILK FROTHING TECHNOLOGY

Auto-frother, with dial-controlled foam

Has both an auto-frother and a conventional steam wand

Has both an auto-frother and a conventional steam wand

Has both an auto-frother and a conventional steam wand

Auto-frother

Has Cup Warming Tray?​​​​

Yes, passively heated

Yes, passively heated

Yes, passively heated

Yes, passively heated

No

Pros

Surprisingly inexpensive, Ultra convenient, easy to use, and has a superb self-cleaning mode

Rugged construction, full featured, surprisingly easy to use.  The grinder is amazing

Very newbie friendly, while still catering to the preferences of coffee purists.  User profiles are an awesome addition, especially for large households

Massive water tank and bean hopper capacity, full-featured and incredibly robust

A simply incredible machine.  Jura pulled out all the stops here, and included just about every feature under the sun

Cons

Bean hopper is too small, we’d love to see the display upgraded to TFT (Thin Film Transistor)

Undersized bean hopper as compared with the size of the water tank, dated control system

Water tank is too small, and mismatched, given the size of the bean hopper

Steep learning curve.  Once you master it, it can do anything, but getting there is an uphill battle

Ridiculously expensive.  A machine like this cries out for user profiles, and they weren’t included

Extras

NA

NA

Offers user profiles!

NA

The ability to pull beans in varying amounts from both hoppers allows you to make custom blends on the fly, unique among espresso machines for the home market

Recommended For

RECOMMENDED FOR

Anyone who can afford one.

Ideally suited for power drinkers, large households, or busy office environments.

Anyone who can afford one.  A stunning design that does it all.

Large households with heavy coffee drinkers, busy offices or small businesses whose primary product is not specialty coffee.

Power coffee drinkers and large households, primarily, but this machine can even stand up to the rigors of being used in a busy office setting.  Not recommended for casual users or hobbyists.

“Bean to Cup” has a very specific meaning.  These machines feature one-touch operation for a number of pre-programmed drinks, meaning that you don’t have to move your cup. You load the bean hopper, select your drink, push the button, and the machine does the rest!

On some machines, when you order a milk-based drink, you’ve got to move your cup from the coffee side to the milk side. One-touch machines don’t require even that, and all five of the machines listed here offer that functionality.

The competition was fierce, given the capabilities of the machines on this list, but we found one that edged out the rest and picked it as the winner, but make no mistake: all five of the machines on this list are close to perfect and even better, they all have one or more features that make them stand out, even in a crowded market. We'll dive into the particulars about each machine in the following sections. 

If you’ve been struggling to find the “right” machine for your household, then this list will cut through the clutter and help make the decision easy.  If that sounds good to you, then let’s get right to it!

What Is the Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine for Home?

Our Winner - The DeLonghi Gran Dama ESAM 6700

What’s in a name?  There is some confusion about this model because it’s known as the Gran Dama in the United States and the Prima Donna in Europe, but they are the same machine, manufactured by DeLonghi.

An Image of Delonghi Brand Logo for Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines for Home

Whichever name you use when referencing this particular model, we regard this as the best fully automatic coffee machine for home use on the market today.  Even if this portion of the review doesn’t completely convince you, we think you’ll agree that it’s one of the best machines available at any price.

It’s no surprise that our top spot is held by a machine made by DeLonghi.  They and Gaggia tend to trade top honors, depending on what type of machine we’re looking at.  What is somewhat surprising is the fact that Gaggia doesn’t have a model on this particular list.  Instead, two other companies, Phillips (makers of the exceptional Saeco line), and Jura dominate the machines in this class.

An Image of Gran Dama ESAM6700 Espresso Machine for Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine for Home

You can tell just by looking at the Gran Dama that it’s a machine of the highest quality.  While the model does make use of some ABS plastic, it’s mostly thin stainless steel, which is much sturdier and makes for a longer lasting machine.

Granted, the stainless steel is somewhat thinner than you find in the top end prosumer espresso machines, but it’s still a big step up from plastic.

From a functionality standpoint, the first thing to talk about is the size of the water reservoir.  As power drinkers, we tend to be biased in favor of machines with generously sized water tanks, and the Gran Dama delivers, offering a sixty-ounce capacity.

While the tank capacity makes us smile, it’s the grinder that really gets it done for us.  The Gran Dama has a ceramic grinder with a whopping thirteen grind settings, which is far above the industry average of six.

Our only quibble on this front is that the bean hopper is a bit undersized, with only a seven-ounce capacity.

The reason that’s somewhat problematic is that when there’s a size mismatch between the tank size and the hopper capacity, it means you’ll find yourself having to stop what you’re doing to refill one, or the other, or both, a bit more frequently than you’d like.

In this case, though, we regard it as an acceptable tradeoff, given everything else this model gets right.  In fact, the small bean hopper is about the only weakness this model has!

The double boiler is nice, and especially given the size of the water tank, which makes it ideal for power drinkers and larger households with multiple coffee drinkers, because it speeds up the drink-making process, but the real point of interest lies in the Gran Dama’s control system.

On this model, you can make the following drinks with the touch of a single button:

  • Espresso
  • Americano
  • coffee
    Lungo
  • Cappuccino
  • Café Latte
  • Latte Macchiato
An Image of Touch Panel Control System of Best Bean to Cup Home Coffee Machine

That covers the most common specialty drinks, and of course, armed with a world-class shot of espresso and something to froth milk with, you can make just about anything else you can imagine.

Regarding weaknesses, as we said, the undersized bean hopper is the only genuine flaw in the design and is the reason that the Gran Dama missed getting a perfect five-star rating.

Having said that, coffee purists will likely also bemoan the fact that it uses an auto-frother, and doesn’t have a conventional steam wand, but this group is likely to be able to live with it, given the number of grind settings on offer, and the sheer amount of drink customization available.

The only other thing to make a note of is the fact that the interface is somewhat dated, using an old, simple LED screen, which gives the machine a slight learning curve

If and when DeLonghi upgrades this, and nudges the size of the bean hopper up slightly, it’ll get that five-star rating from us.  It really is that good, and almost shockingly modestly priced, considering what you’re getting! 

In our view, as good as the other machines on this list are, the Gran Dama deserves top honors in this category.

Second Place - Gaggia Titanium 

This product has been discontinued. Check out our recommended alternative product: Gaggia Accademia

This is something of a surprise entry, and the machine is far better than its 4.75 star rating would indicate.  In fact, there’s so much to like about the Titanium that it’s hard to know where to start.  Just to pick a place of beginning, the Titanium is far and away the lowest priced model on the list, which makes it accessible to every segment of the market.

It’s ruggedly constructed, built with durable stainless steel, and is one of Gaggia’s oldest and most reliable models.

Our favorite aspect of the machine is, without a doubt, the fact that it makes an impressive eighteen different grind settings available, which gives it the juice to make even the most diehard coffee purists happy.  That’s three times the industry average!

With this machine, there are really only two downsides to keep in mind.  First, it’s an older model, so while all the production kinks were worked out long ago, the control system is a little dated.  You won’t find any cutting-edge tech here, but if bells and whistles don’t impress you, then this won’t be a deal breaker, especially given the machine’s modest price.

An Image of Gaggia Titanium Espresso Machine for Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine for Home Use

The second issue is that the bean hopper is slightly undersized, compared with the sixty-ounce water tank.  Unless you like your coffee really strong though, this won’t be a deal breaker either.

If you’re looking for unparalleled performance offered at an exceptional price, this is really the only machine to consider.  If, on the other hand, you need your fix of bells and whistles, this one will leave you a bit underwhelmed.  Even so, we regard it as an exceptional choice, and one of the best values on the market today.

Saeco HD8954/47 Xelsis Evo

An Image of Saeco HD8954/47 Espresso Machine for Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine for Home

This is Saeco’s flagship model, and the big brother to the Exprelia we talked about just above. Interestingly, in our view, the Exprelia is slightly superior to the flagship model, which is why it places third in our list of the best bean to cup coffee machine for home use.

It should be noted though, that this is a very close contes​​​​t.  As you can see from the chart, the top three machines on the list all tied for points, so the differences between them are small, and mostly it comes down to exactly what kind of machine you’re looking for and what, specifically, you want it to do.

It’s functionally similar to the Exprelia, with the same water tank capacity, grinder, and dual-option milk frothing system (either an auto-frother, for one-touch convenience, or a conventional steam wand), but there are two key differences.

First is the fact that you lose the spiffy control knob that allows you to change the pump pressure on the fly, but what you gain in exchange is situationally better.

We say situationally because the HD8954’s addition won’t be useful to all households, but for certain families, it’ll be a godsend.  It allows user profiles, and that’s huge.

If you have multiple casual coffee drinkers in your home, it will allow each person to set up a profile and save their preferred drink settings, so the coffee drinkers in your family aren’t overwriting each other’s saved settings all the time, or worse, having to constantly manually enter them in.

The water tank is probably too small to accommodate multiple power coffee drinkers, but can easily support the habits of 3-4 casual coffee aficionados.  If that describes your family, then this feature will wind up being your absolute favorite, and you’ll probably disagree with our top pick for that reason.

Jura Impressa XS90 One Touch

This is a narrowly targeted machine, aimed at a very specific type of household.  If the description below rings familiar to you, then you’re going to love this machine, and you’ll probably view it as the best bean to cup home coffee machine on the market today.

If this doesn’t sound like your family, then you’ll be well served to give this one a pass.

The Jura Impressa is a great machine with one potentially fatal flaw.  It uses older technology and has a positively bearish learning curve.  Unless you have patience and are fairly tech savvy, this one will be more than a little frustrating to master and is not recommended as a first machine for new users for that reason.

On the other hand, once you do learn to use it, you’ll find that it is capable of doing just about everything.  It gives you all the tools you need to make any drink you can imagine, has some basic one-touch functionality for convenience, and with its massive 192-ounce (no, that’s not a typo!) water tank, it can keep pace with even the most rabid coffee consumers out there.

An Image of Jura Impressa Xs90 for Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines for Home

While the bean hopper looks undersized at first glance, having only a 10-ounce capacity, the company includes a secondary hopper with your purchase, which doubles the capacity to 20-ounces.

With a capacity like that, the Jura Impressa can even keep pace in a busy office environment, making it something of a crossover machine.

If what you’re looking for is raw capacity to support the coffee habits of several coffee drinkers in your family, and you don’t mind dealing with the learning curve, then this machine is solid gold.

Jura Giga 5 

An Image of Jura Giga 5 Espresso Machine for Best Fully Automatic Coffee Machine for Home

Normally, we try to pick the top four machines for any given category, but in this case, the Giga 5 cried out for inclusion, even though it will be beyond the reach of many would-be buyers. 

It costs an arm and a leg and has some shortcomings, but we have to admit, this machine is a dream come true, and deserves at least an honorable mention on any list talking about the best super automatic espresso machines for home use.

This is like buying two espresso machines that have been merged together.  You get two boilers, two bean hoppers, and two grinders.

At first glance, you might wonder why you need two of everything, but having two hoppers and grinders gives the Giga 5 an ability that no other espresso machine on the market has (at least none that we’ve seen so far!)

You can order X% of your beans from hopper A, and X% of your beans from hopper B, and create your very own custom coffee blend with each drink you order.

Want a half-caf?  You can do that with ease.  Want an exotic blend?  You can have it at the touch of a button.  It’s fantastic and will give you an entirely new flavor dimension to explore.

In addition to that, the machine has a cutting edge TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display, a massive 87-ounce water tank, and more than two dozen pre-programmed drinks (29, to be precise).  You can even create a custom menu so that your six favorite drinks are on the main screen for one-touch convenience.

Despite its awesome feature set, the Giga 5 does have a few shortcomings.  None of these are deal-breakers, but you’d think that in a machine that costs as much as the Giga 5, there wouldn’t be any shortcomings.  In no particular order, these are:

  • Only five grind settings on the grinders – yeah, you’ve got two of them, but you just don’t have the ability to dial into your flavor preferences as you do with the other machines on this list, and the Giga 5 doesn’t even manage to meet the industry average of six!
  • No user profiles – In a machine of this size and capability, it seems almost criminal not to have included user profiles
  • Uses an auto-frother ​and no option for a conventional steam wand.  Again, we don’t get this…an increasing number of models are offering both, and it seems a real shame that such a high-end model doesn’t follow suit
  • It’s the only model on our list of finalists that doesn’t include a cup warming tray. There’s no place to put it though, given the two bean hoppers on top.

Again, none of these are critical design failings, but they left us wanting more, and we hope that in future model upgrades, the Giga 5 will incorporate all of the above.

Even without them, it’s an awesome machine by any reckoning, and would make a great addition to your kitchen…if you can afford it.

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines for Home Conclusion

So, what is the best bean to cup coffee machines for home use?

As we said before, in the end, it comes down to a good understanding of precisely what you’re looking for in a machine, and exactly what you want it to do for you. 

We stand by the DeLonghi Gran Dama as our top pick for the one touch, “bean to brew” category, but we understand that everyone’s got different tastes and preferences.

Best Online Offers for Our Top Pick

Last update: December 9, 2018 7:27 am

Last update: December 10, 2018 3:35 am

Given that, here are some reasons one of the other machines might be a better fit for you, your family, and your lifestyle:

  • Gaggia Titanium – The great thing about this machine is the fact that it gives you the tools you need to let your inner Barista out to play, including the option to use a conventional steam wand and adjust the brewing pressure per drink, on the fly.  That’s fantastic, and something we haven’t seen on any other super auto on the market.
  • Saeco HD8954/47 – Saeco’s flagship model is the one you want if you live in a household with multiple casual coffee drinkers.  It doesn’t have a big enough water reservoir to keep pace with multiple power drinkers, but the big draw with this machine is the fact that it offers user profiles, so everyone can save their preferred drink settings, which is the best invention in the espresso machine world in quite some time!
  • Jura Impressa XS90 One Touch – This model is ideal if you have a large household with several power drinkers.  It’s got the biggest tank capacity of all the machines on our list of finalists and has the capability to make any drink you can imagine, but there’s a catch.  It’s one glaring weakness is that it’s got a beastly learning curve, owing to its dated interface.  If you can live with that, this monster is a gem.
  • Jura Giga 5 – This machine has everything except user profiles and enough grind settings.  The two bean hoppers, and the ability to create custom blends on the fly though is a masterstroke, and it’s got some two-dozen built in drink recipes, so it’s literally like having your own personal Barista living in your kitchen.  The catch here is that you can buy a decent used car for what this machine will cost you.  Even so, if money’s no object, and you’re looking for totally unique functionality, the Giga 5 is the machine to buy.

And that brings us to you. What’s in your wallet? No, sorry, which machine is the best fit for your home?

Sources & Resources

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