OUR BEST CHOICE
This is one VERY AFFORDABLE super-automatic espresso machines that can outperform certain models that cost up to $2,000!
I am so extremely impressed with this machine’s maintenance features, programmable options, and Gaggia’s clear commitment to keeping coffee fresh and flavorful.
It may lack some of the bells and whistles you can get with more expensive super-automatic machines, but — as far as affordability and functionality — the Anima simply can’t be beat.
Top Options Under $1000
- Dimensions: 16.9 x 8.7 x 13.4 inches
- Weight: 16 lbs.
The Gaggia Anima is a small and mighty machine that is a perfect starter machine for those looking to get into the super-automatic espresso machine game without breaking the bank. The Anima comes equipped with a manual frother for milk-based drinks, programmable options and a built-in ceramic burr grinder for maximum freshness.
One thing that really makes this machine stand out is its automatic descaling cycle. This formidable feature increases the longevity of the machine and makes maintenance a breeze. The cycle runs at set intervals depending on the hardness of the water and the machine will alert you via an LCD display when additional maintenance is required.
Other Things We Love:
- The Anima uses a ceramic grinder, which is the best choice when picking a grinder that will lock in flavor and keep beans fresh.
- The Optiaroma system allows you to choose between 6.5-11.5 grams of coffee, as well as five different strength settings.
- Both the drip tray and brew group are removable, which makes them easier to clean.
- Comes with a two-year warranty.
- Be careful you don’t disturb anyone when you choose to brew. This machine can be LOUD!
- Dimensions: 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches
- Weight: 30.4 lbs.
Breville Barista Express
This small-yet-mighty machine is GREAT whether you run a coffee shop or want to become your own personal barista./p>
A balance of hands-on opportunities and automated functions make this a fun machine to use.
Moreover, this comes equipped with plenty of features to ensure you get an amazing performance from the machine and that it will last for years to come./p>
The Barista Express includes a purge function, which automatically adjusts water temperature after steaming. This enhances flavor and prevents coffee grounds from burning. And like the Gaggia Anima, the Barista Express uses a conical grinder, which keeps things fresh./p>
Other Things We Love:
- A removable water tank with handle makes cleaning and refilling a cinch
- Save even MORE money! This machine save energy by automatically going into a standby mode after one hour and turns off after three hours
- An integrated grinding system speeds up grinding time and also allows you to tweak your espresso to fit your specific taste
- An Amazing Toolkit: This machine comes equipped with a tamper, pitcher AND everything you need for easy cleanup
- PID Temperature Control: Temperature controls ensure consistency and quality
- Conical grinder speeds up grinding time and also can be tweaked to your preferences
- Grinds can accumulate more rapidly in drip tray
- Bottom and sides of machine are plastic
- LOUDo accumulate rapidly in the drip tray, which can be a pain.
- Grinds tend to accumulate in the drip tray, which can be a hassle to clean up.
- The machine is very LOUD.
- Dimensions: 10 x 15.5 x 11.5 inches
- Weight: 19 lbs.
Enjoy rich, Italian espresso at the touch of a button.
This model from Gaggia clearly has convenience in mind thanks to a variety of maintenance features and programmable options. The machine comes with a UV-proof 8.8 ounce hopper keeps allows you to safely store coffee beans.
But my favorite thing HAS to be the self-rinse cycle. After each use, this system is automatically activated. The self-rinse cycle decreases labor and maintenance time and increase longevity.
Other Things We Love:
- A ceramic grinder locks in flavor and freshness, so you get consistent quality espresso shots after several extractions.
- A bypass doser allows you to skip the grinding process, so you can brew with both whole beans and pre-ground coffee.
- A variety of programmable options allow you to customize the aromatic profile of your coffee.
- Gaggia’s Rapid Steam Technology allows for quick heat-up times, and robust brewing and steaming operations.
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- Relatively quiet.
- Too compact for most types of commercial use.
- Coffee is HOT, but I prefer mine a bit hotter than what the Brera delivers.
The Gaggia Anima is my top pick because — although the other two models come very close — it simply outperforms the other machines overall.
A couple things that really put the Anima over the edge are the Optiaroma system and the automatic descaling cycle. Both of these features ensure you’ll get the BEST, most customized coffee, and that you can keep brewing that coffee for years to come.
Scale is a major cause of espresso machine malfunction, so having a descaling system already built into the machine in AWESOME.
And a two-year warranty protects you in case anything should go awry with the machine.
With all of that, it’s easy to see why the Anima reigns supreme!