What are the Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines?

Buying a semi automatic espresso machine does not need to be difficult. In fact, you have already made a big step by deciding that the semi automatic system is what you are after! Now that the hardest part is over, it is time to choose an actual model. Below we have listed 5 of the best semi automatic espresso machines on the market and reviewed each to make the decision easier for you! If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of semi automatic systems, we will go over those below as well.

Are There Other Things to Consider?

Semi automatic machines allow users a higher degree of control over the espresso they brew. However, there are still some things to consider before you make the leap and purchase.

Things to consider before buying

  • Ease of Use – Do you want something easy to use or more complex with more control?
  • Aesthetics – Do you prefer something that looks more “traditional” or “new age”?
  • Features – What features are make or break for you and your needs?

The 5 Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

1. The Breville BES870XL Barista Express

Housed in a stainless steel metal casing, the Breville BES870XL is a very modern looking and stylish option to go with. It has an integrated burr grinder, which automatically drops grinds into the portafilter, making getting the perfect amount of espresso a breeze. The Breville also features a stow compartment behind the drip tray for convenient storage of baskets and cleaning supplies. High-strength grip feet ensure the machine does not “walk” across the counter or table when it is activated, and a host of controls and preset-able options allow the user to decide how much control they want over their brew.

2. Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Espresso Machine

The Rancilio HSD-SILVIA espresso machine looks more like traditional at first glance however, under the stainless steel exterior are a host of high end components that allow this particular machine to produce truly delicious espresso. It includes a mix of brass components, stainless steel, and chrome plating, which come together to make an exceptionally powerful machine.In terms of output, the commercial grade 58mm portafilter allows for excellent extraction, and the single boiler boasts the largest volume capacity in its class.

3. The Nespresso Pixie D60 (Best for Budget)

Not only is the Nespresso Pixie D60 one of the most budget friendly semi automatic espresso machines on the market, it is also one of the fastest of its kind with a heat up time of 30 seconds or less. However, the low price is made apparent when it comes to flavor, as it takes capsules made by Nespresso. This is a trade off that may be unacceptable to those who value the rich flavors freshly ground beans have to offer, but the price makes it an easy winner for those seeking a quick, budget friendly espresso machine.

4. Breville BES840XL – The Infuser

Another great semi automatic espresso machine from Breville, the BES840XL The Infuser comes with a host of features to make brewing easy, quick, and efficient. It includes programmable volume control, temperature settings, and more. As with all of their other models, The Infuser has a stylish exterior and a highly efficient interior, with things like pre-infusion technology helping it deliver a delicious and even grind extraction every time.

5. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

One of the heavier machines out there (20lbs), the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine still brews great tasting espresso with excellent speed. This is in part due to the 3-way solenoid valve that allows the machine to release pressure once the pull is complete, yielding quick and full-flavor brew. The portafilters and grouphead are both made of heavy-duty marine-grade brass, and in tandem ensure the espresso is brewed at a stable temperature. This is the primary factor that makes the Gaggia 14101 an excellent choice and a top contender in the list of the best espresso machines under $500.