Semi-Automatic Vs Fully Automatic Espresso Machines

When someone wants to buy an espresso machine, he/she would fall in under the confusion about which machine should be picked out for making perfect espresso?. Basically, the fully automatic espresso machines are expensive for its extraordinary technology and different ability like the power of brewing without any manual operation. Because, it would own all the processes like from grinding the beans to brewing the perfect espresso. Without achieving a huge terms of making the espresso, you can run a fully automatic machine. In the meaning of the differences of these two contemporary machines, the semi automatic machines miss out some advance processes to brew the espresso what the fully automatic machines include. But, the semi automatic machines are wallet friendly and to maintain it you should achieve some skills. Although, lots of people like the processes of the semi automatic machines and it can still perfect the brew method with different brew settings and fastened process.

espresso machine

Espresso Machines Img Credit:


Semi Automatic

The semi automatic means it requires some manual works to brew your espresso.

Prepare The Ground Coffee: Without putting the ground coffee in the filter it is quite impossible to expect the perfectly brewed coffee. On the other hand, the semi automatic machine won’t have any built in grinder to prepare the ground coffee. So, either you own a grinder or purchase the pre ground coffee to load the filter.


Load and Tamp The Coffee Into The Filter: It’s a common process to follow in order to let the machine extract the flavor. But, some super automatic machines would automatically load the filter with the amount of ground coffee you want from its built in grinder. Although, the semi automatic machine would want you to measure and load the ground coffee manually considering the number of cups of coffee you want. Of course, after putting the ground coffee in the filter, you should tamp them for perfect extraction and pressure.


Use The Manual and Automatic Extraction Process: Basically, the espresso machine has the built in pump that creates pressure over the filter for the brewing process. But, how long the extraction time will be it depends on how long you will keep the switch active. So when you turn the switch on to extract, the pump would start creating pressure for extraction and brewing process and when you turn the switch off, the machine would stop the extraction. But, not all the semi automatic machines aren’t maintained by the manual switching. Because, some semi automatic machines are programmable and you can set up the extraction time. So, the machine would stop extraction when the time ends.


Maintain The Water Flows: After the extraction, it’s your time to pour your mug with the fullness of espresso. So, you can turn the switch on and wait until the machine completely fills your cup. Although, the process would be slower. That’s why you must keep the switch on until your cup has been loaded with the fullness of espresso. So, if you frequently or infrequently use the different size of the cups, you can perfectly fill any size of the cups. But, the full automatic machines are different here, because you have to set up the time and the water flow won’t overcome your preset time. So, if you use the different size of the cups, you would necessarily need to customize the time. Basically, here is a clear reason why the coffee shops use the semi automatic machines.


Differences In The Technology: The fully automatic machines are advanced and efficient in some cases, like sometimes it would have different heating systems for the espresso and steams while there would have two boilers to yield the heat differently. So, the double boilers would work differently for the steams and brewing espresso. The advantages are you don’t need to wait to be done the brewing process for steaming the milk. But, mostly the semi automatic machines include one pump and it can’t provide the both services at the same time. So if you want to make the latte, you would need to use the steam wand after the brewing process. Although, in this case the machine can quickly come back into the brewing temperature after steaming the milk.


Fully Automatic

The term of fully automatic simply determines that there would would have lots of automatic processes to make your espresso. Even from grinding the coffee. Although, these machines are expensive and you could almost buy two semi automatic machines by the price of a fully automatic machine. So, if you want to reduce the time of making espresso and don’t want to involve yourself with manual work, then the fully automatic machines are right for you.


Built In Coffee Grinder: You just have to purchase the roasted beans or roast the beans by a roaster to use for espresso. Basically, the fully automatic machines have a built in grinder that would grind the beans like a professional grinder. Because, it would also have the grind settings to grind the beans from fine to coarse. So after setting the thickness you can use the grinding service of the machine. But surprisingly, you can set out the amount of coffee to be ground and the grinder would follow your requirement. As an example, if you want to grind the beans four four cups of espresso, the machine would only grind the beans for four cups. The best advantage of this process, the ground coffee would be fresh and the flavor of the espresso would be incredibly perfect. Even, sometimes the fully automatic machine would tamp the ground coffee by itself and you wouldn’t require to measure and tamp by yourself.


Brewing Temperature Adjustment: The temperature of the water can change the brewing strength. So, how strengthened the taste of the brewed coffee would be, the temperature of the water would confirm that. The higher temperature can maximize the strength level of the coffee while the decent temperature can make it perfect. So, to set it out by your preference some fully automatic machines would come up with this option.


Extraction Time: The semi automatic machine keeps extracting until you turn the switch off. So, the whole process depends on your real time preference. But the fully automatic machine runs by the preset time. So, if you set the extracting time 25 seconds, the machine would stop extracting after 25 seconds. You can increase or decrease the time considering how long you want the extractions.


Amount Of The Espresso: You can set out the amount of espresso to be brewed. So, if you want the machine to brew 4 cups of coffee, it would only grind the coffee and apply the water in the brewing chamber for four cups. The machine won’t follow the size of your cups, rather it would determine it by ounces. So, the machine would determine how many ounces coffee it would provide for per cup. But, the most better advantage you can prepare out several cups of coffee at the same time.


Quick Steaming: Some of the fully automatic machines would include dual boilers that means you can quickly brew and stem without waiting to be done any one of these two processes. You can keep brewing and steaming at the same time. So, if you make the latte, you can simply reduce a lot time of the process. Because, the two boilers are able to be engaged at the same time to do their job.


Example Of A Perfect Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine

So, we have explained the differences between these two contemporary espresso machines. But, for a better explanation and broadened idea we can show you a perfect semi automatic espresso maker and after researching we marked the Breville Duo Temp Pro could be a perfect example of the semi automatic machine.

=> Breville Duo Temp Pro

Breville Duo Temp Pro
Basically, the Breville Duo Temp is a pro level semi automatic machine with commercial quality that is wise in making espresso and latte. As we have explained, it has a portafilter where you must load the ground coffee and its easy locking and inserting system make it easier for quick locking and inserting. But the wise 15 bar Italian pump starts extracting with low pressure and then it gradually increases the pressure for fresh and flavored extraction. It has a dial to easily select the steam and hot water. So if you turn it to yield the steam it would keep frothing the milk while you can easily neutralize it. The same way you can also use it for extraction. Its filter basket can hold the ground coffee for single and double shot while you can use the wand for steaming the milk. It includes a single pump and built with thermocoil heating system, so it can’t brew and steam at the same time like a super automatic machine.


Example Of A Fully Automatic Machine

The fully automatic machines are arguably expert than semi automatic machines because of the advance efficiencies and we found a popular fully automatic machine for espresso that is also manufactured by the Breville.


=>Breville BES870XL

Breville BES870XL
Basically, the Breville BES870XL is a fully automatic machine, but not super automatic and it comes with a single boiler and thermocoil heating system. So it can perfect the espresso and steam, but you have to make the steam and espresso once after once. Although, the perfection is great and after steaming it won’t hold the same temperature for extracting. Rather, it would immediately adjust to the perfect brewing temperature of the water to extract. You can easily observe the pressure on the built in meter. If you have the Breville BES870XL, you don’t need an extra coffee grinder. Because, the built in coffee grinder can do everything. You can load the entire hopper with the beans, but the machine would only grind the selected amount. Although you have to tamp manually in the filter, but the rest option like selecting the brewing amount or the cups of coffee to be brewed should be selected by you. You can also adjust the brewing temperature and the thickness of the ground coffee for the complete perfection in espresso.

So, Which One Should You Choose?

Basically, except a few differences, both are wise and your selection depends on your preference. If you like to have a bunch of advance features in your machine and want to put a less effort on making espresso, of course the fully automatic machines are right for you. But the cost is incredibly expensive. On the other hand, if you want wallet friendly espresso machine and are willing to do something manually for your perfect espresso, then the semi automatic machines are right for you.