Home Espresso on a Budget: Semi-Automatic vs. Super-Automatic Machines

Looking to get into home espresso on a limited budget? In this Quick Tip Marc from WholeLatteLove.com compares entry-level semi-automatic and super-automatic espresso machines. Learn the differences between the two basic types of machines and why you might choose one type over the other for your first home espresso setup.

Products featured in this video:
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic:

Delonghi Icona Semi-Automatic:

Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder:


Nathan Sam says:

Why didn’t you show the price?

That one Person says:

Hi mark what espresso machine and grinder do you recommend for around 400$ i get espresso about 5 times a week and im interested in latte art

ascosta says:

Even though the brewing process in a super-auto resembles more the process of high-end semi-autos compared to a low-cost semi-auto with a pressurized basket or portafilter, if you use freshly-ground coffee, the semi-auto shot tastes a lot better. At least in my opinion. Super-auto shots are often watery. I think mostly because most machines only use 10-12g of coffee and users tend to pull 2oz of espresso, so that’s almost almost half of the recommended ratio for a double-shot (usually 18-20g of coffee).

helpfulnatural says:

Great info, as usual! I love my Saeco semi automatic machine because when or if I decide I want to try a non pressurized portafilter, I can buy one that will fit my machine. Then, I can graduate up to a more expensive high end espresso machine if desired. It’s a great and less expensive way to get a taste of a more traditionally pulled shot. 🙂

FlashGeiger says:

I got the ROK espresso machine and manual grinder… mostly because I like to play with my food 🙂 I’m getting better but not quite there yet.

PainBlame says:

basically $200 vrs $900 is what people want to know

Ernest Jay says:

meanwhile i’m still stirring my coffee with a spoon on a cup.

Sharon Pan says:

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the video! I am studying very hard in order pick my first espresso machine. Can you use ese pods in a super-automatic machine?

Alexis Veron says:

hey i hava a semi automatic for what i see but for steaming milk i have a conteiber with milk and it sucjs it from there and it comes of steamed whats your opinion on that? and if i usea freshly groubd coffee but consume it ib a week or three well preserved does it mather that much? thanks!

Emilie Kessinger says:

I feel as if mentioning the Breville Barista Express is a good starter Semi Auto Setup. It includes the grinder, and the pressurized and unpressurized gaskets. You don’t have to worry about purging the steam either, where it does so automatically. It is around $600 for it. I have had this for around 6 months and love it. It is sturdy and well built, and an excellent price. You guys have a video for it…https://youtu.be/t6wGYeNwbus

Stewy Lipbite says:

I don’t know who considers $500 a budget conscious range.

Skcuselgoog says:

Very informative. Thanks.

Kaiser68 says:

I have a DeLonghi – different model – and I feel like it is the limiting factor for me trying to create latte art. It’s basically impossible and the shots don’t ever get enough crema to “hold” latte art. I’ll upgrade to a better machine when I have enough money.

Connie Freitas says:

Hey Whole Latte Love! I bought that Delonghi and have been enjoying the barrista experience you mentioned. I’d like to do latte art with my next machine. Can you recommend something that would be a step up that’s still on the affordable side? Thanks.

Philippe Carphin says:

A kitchen nightmares type show but for baristas would be fun.

The Notorious Artorias says:

This guy’s voice is perfect for radio.

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