Super Automatic Espresso Machines

Additional Features of Bean to Cup Machines

The super automatic espresso machines or "bean to cup espresso machines" as some people like to call them can have many different advanced features. You may want to read about the basic features of super automatic espresso machines first if you have not read it already.
Digital display
The super automatic machines have a digital display that shows you messages in plain English. It displays what the machine is currently doing. It also lets you know when you need to refill the water reservoir or refill the grinder with beans. It will even remind you when to rinse or descale the machine.
Bypass doser
This allows you to make espresso with a different coffee than the one in the grinder. So if you are using regular coffee and your friend wants a decaf, then you can easily make it using ground decaf coffee. No need to remove the beans from the grinder. For me this is a must-have feature. If the grinder breaks you can still use the machine.
Temperature Control
This allows you to specify at what temperature you want to brew your espresso. Again a must-have feature. The default temperature on a lot of machines is too low to extract the espresso properly. So you want to have a way to set it higher.
Adjustable coffee dosing
Typically you make espresso with 7 grams of coffee. This allows you to make a stronger or weaker shot depending on your preferences.
Adjustable water volume
You can vary the amount of water in your drink.
Pre-grinding
Some machines can start grinding the beans for the next espresso while the first espresso is being brewed.
Pre-infusion
With pre-infusion (or pre-brewing) the tamped coffee grounds are moistened with a bit of hot water for a second or two before the actual brewing starts.
Automatic cleaning cycle
Most super automatic espresso machines have a rinse cycle that rinses the brewhead and the rest of the system. Some machines will run this rinse cycle automatically at an appropriate point.
Cup warmer
Cup warmer is a tray that should warm up your cups so that the espresso does not cool won as you pull the shot. They usually don't do the job very well - you are better off rinsing the cup with hot water just before brewing.
Automatic milk frother
Some models can froth the milk automatically at a touch of a button.
Water filter
Higher end models have a water filtering system. The quality of water can make a difference to your espresso. If your water is not the best quality then the water filter is a must. It also prevents the build up of scale so you don't need to descale that often.
Programmability
You can pre-program different things with different models. Most models allow you to pre-program the parameters for several different drinks. For each drink you can set things like the brewing temperature, the amount of coffee, the volume of the water, the pre-infusion time etc. So for example if you like strong espresso and your spouse like it rather weak you pre-program "strong espresso" to suit your taste and "weak espresso" to your spouse taste. After that you can both make your favorite espresso at a touch of a button.
Swivel base
Some machines come on a swivel base. You can easily turn the machine around without lifting it. That makes refilling the water or cleaning the machine a piece of cake.
Dual heating element
With a single heating element you have to wait about a minute before you can froth milk since the heating element has to switch from the brewing temperature to the steaming temperature. When the super automatic espresso machine has two heating elements then you can brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.

Further Reading

Super Automatic Saeco Espresso Machine