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Semi-automatic Vs Automatic Machines: Which Espresso Machines are Worth a Try?

As a fan of coffee, it is certainly not a bad idea to buy yourself a coffee machine at home. Then, you search the Internet to find the most suitable machine for you. After searching for a while, you are confused between semi-automatic vs automatic machines, which machine should you buy?
To answer this question, we have experienced, analyzed, compared, and written the following article. This article is not only for those who want to buy an espresso machine for their home but also for coffee shops and restaurant owners who want to buy themselves the best machines. Through this article, hope that you guys can find it easier to become a professional barista to make your own coffee!


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Comparison Table

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At a Glance

In fact, these two types of machines have their own advantages and disadvantages for you to judge whether it is right for you or not.

You may think that one kind of machine will be better than the other, but others may not. Anyway, to be able to compare semi-automatic vs automatic machines, you must first really understand what it is.

First of all, automatic espresso machines are machines that integrate functions of grinding before making coffee and turning off the coffee pump at the right time in addition to just making regular coffee.

Therefore, the machine can conveniently make a variety of delicious coffee from coffee beans. More than just espresso, there are many automatic machines equipped with steam wands to make steamed milk and make other kinds of coffees like Cappuccino, Mocha, Latte, etc.

On the contrary, semi-automatic espresso machines are used to make coffee from coffee grounds. Because there is no integrated function of grinding coffee beans, you can only use coffee grounds or buy a dedicated coffee grinder to be able to use this machine. Semi-automatic machines are also equipped with a steam wand so you can make some other kinds of coffee from espresso.

At first glance, we see that these two machines have the same common functions, which is to create espresso cups and create other types of coffee such as Latte, Cappuccino, etc. because it is equipped with a steam wand. They only differ in that one is for making coffee with beans and the other is for making coffee with coffee grounds.

However, they still have some differences that you must pay attention to. Also, to learn the difference between these two machines, you must read the following article in detail.

Related Post: Best Ninja Coffee Maker


Semi-automatic Vs Automatic Machines Comparison

To evaluate the difference between these 2 types of machines, let’s consider the criteria below:

Types Of Coffee Materials Used

Automatic machines allow you to use whole beans to make coffee. Since this machine has a built-in mode including grinding coffee, it is perfectly suitable for you to use to make coffee from beans.

Not only for use with coffee beans, if you make coffee using coffee grounds with these machines, they are also ready to make you a delicious cup of coffee. But no one makes coffee using coffee grounds with these machines because of their included functions.

On the contrary, the semi-automatic machine does not have the function to grind the coffee, you can only use coffee grounds to make coffee with this machine. If you want to use coffee beans, you have to buy an additional coffee grinder and then you can make coffee with these espresso machines.

Moreover, not all coffee grounds can be made with this semi-automatic espresso machine. The coffee grounds that can be made with this machine must be the coffee grounds that are ground very fine to preserve the durability of the machine and the coffee flavor created.

You need to distinguish this type of coffee grounds from the coffee grounds used for the paper filter coffee machine. The coffee grounds used for the paper filter coffee machine will be slightly larger in size.

If we compare the materials used in semi-automatic vs automatic machines, we see that the automatic espresso machine will have more plus points. Because we find coffee beans easier to find and buy and the price will also be cheaper than coffee grounds.

The coffee grounds

Related Post: Best Nespresso Machines: Reviews & Buying Guide

Coffee Making Process

First of all, as the name suggests, automatic machines have an extremely simple using process because of the integrated coffee bean tray, grinding, brewing parts, and automatically turning off the flow of coffee. 

For automatic espresso machines, you just need to put the dried and roasted coffee beans into the machine, then coffee grounds will automatically flow into the coffee portafilter.

Next, you just take the coffee portafilter out, use a little bit of pressure to compress it, put it in the coffee machine, press the button to select the type of coffee you want to make, wait a minute and it will automatically turn off the coffee flow for you. So, you’ve got the coffee you want in just some simple steps by these kinds of machines.

Moreover, about semi-automatic machines, the process to be able to make a cup of coffee with these machines is a bit more complicated because it is not integrated with many functions like automatic machines. To have a delicious cup of coffee using this kind of espresso machine, you have to put the coffee grounds in the coffee portafilter and have to compress it.

This compression is very important because it will determine the flavor of coffee that you will create from this machine. If you do not compress it tightly enough, the coffee you make will come out very quickly from the pump and will have a bland taste.

In contrast, if you compress too tightly, the coffee will come out very slowly from the pump and it has a very thick texture. Therefore, this machine seems to be easier to use for professional baristas.

After compressing, you insert the coffee portafilter into the machine, choose the coffee mode, press the button, and wait a minute. When the coffee has flowed enough into the cup, you must turn off the pump.

Thus, here we see that the process of using semi-automatic espresso machines is much more complicated than that of automatic machines. Therefore, in terms of convenience and ease of use, automatic espresso machines will prevail over semi-automatic ones.

Jura 15089 GIGA W3 Professional Automatic Coffee Machine

Jura 15089 GIGA W3 Professional Automatic Coffee Machine

Machine Capacity

Depending on each manufacturer and production purpose, the capacity of each machine will be different. Therefore, the capacity of both semi-automatic and automatic machines greatly depends on the purpose of the manufacturer, and it is difficult to distinguish which machine is more dominant.

Today, as many cafes and restaurants tend to choose semi-automatic coffee machines to create delicious cups of coffee for their customers, manufacturers are also increasingly improving the capacity of these machines.

The higher the capacity of the machine, the greater the number of cups of coffee that the machine can brew in an hour. However, it cannot be said that semi-automatic machines will have a larger capacity than automatic machines because it is not difficult to find automatic espresso machines with larger capacities.

Thus, the battle between semi-automatic vs automatic machines in terms of capacity is equal, so it is impossible to find a stronger candidate. In fact, if you’re just buying an espresso machine to make at home or in a small office environment, you don’t even need to buy a powerful machine. The larger the machine’s capacity, the more electricity it consumes.

Related Post: Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: Top-Rated Models & Buying Guide

The Taste Of Coffee Created

Because of the preset modes to make certain types of coffee, automatic coffee machines often create coffee cups with a uniform taste. Also, if you have professional skills like a barista, you can create beautiful and impressive-looking cups of coffee with this machine and a special point in the taste of each coffee cup.

The consistency and liquidness of a cup of coffee depend a lot on the coffee compactness. Therefore, when using both automatic and semi-automatic machines, you need to apply a sufficient amount of pressure to the coffee in the coffee portafilters to produce a delicious espresso.

Semi-automatic coffee machines can also create cups of coffee with different aromas depending on your brewing skills. A person who drinks too much of a cup of coffee with the same taste will easily get bored. In addition, with these machines, you can freely create special flavors for your coffee. Therefore, coffee shops often prioritize using this machine to make coffee for customers.

At this point, in terms of taste, automatic and semi-automatic espresso machines are not very different.

External Design

Coffee machines are not only used to create delicious cups of coffee but they are also used to decorate your home interior space as well as space in cafes and restaurants. Therefore, none of us want to use a machine with an ugly and outdated design.

Fortunately, espresso machine makers are constantly improving the design of the machines they make. These machines must not only be beautiful but also have to be the most optimal in producing coffee cups. For example, although some machines have boilers, these machines must still be designed so that the heat does not spread too much in space and affect other objects.

About the exterior design, both automatic and semi-automatic machines have the same unique design. Therefore, we cannot say which machine is better in terms of design.

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine

Breville BES878BSS Barista Pro Espresso Machine

Product Price

In terms of price, despite having many functions integrated into the same machine, automatic machines are not more expensive than semi-automatic machines. Assuming the semi-automatic machines are cheaper, when buying this type of machine, you still have to buy a coffee grinder, so these costs may be the same or even higher than the automatic machine.

In fact, when you look at the prices of semi-automatic and automatic coffee machines (1) on the market, you will see that they are not very different from each other. Usually, high-end coffee machines will cost more than conventional machines.


Semi-automatic Vs Automatic Machines: Which Is The Winner?

Considering the total number of standards that we have given, automatic machines will beat semi-automatic machines. Because of their convenient features, automatic espresso machines meet most of our criteria.

However, depending on your preference, you may still prefer semi-automatic machines and prefer to wait for the coffee to flow and turn off the flow at your will. Therefore, each type of machine will be suitable for each different object.

In particular, automatic machines will often be suitable for use in homes, corporate offices, and convenience stores. Because these machines do not require the baristas to know professional coffee-making techniques and are quite time-saving.

Delonghi super-automatic espresso coffee machine

Delonghi super-automatic espresso coffee machine

Also, cafes and restaurants can use this machine because its working capacity is also very large, the process of making coffee is so easy and you don’t have to wait too much time for this machine.

On the other hand, semi-automatic machines will be suitable for those who have learned barista knowledge or professional baristas. With this machine, they will be able to unleash their creativity and create delicious and beautiful flavored coffees. Coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels that focus on the taste of coffee should choose this machine to use.

Related Post: Best Coffee Maker with Grinder: How to Choose & Our Top Picks


Conclusion

Hope that you guys can find useful information from this article about semi-automatic vs automatic machines, and make the right decision of choosing the best coffee machine for your own. Also, if you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to comment below. We are happy to answer all of your questions.

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