In an attempt to increase marketability, many manufacturers refer to certain types of coffee machines as automatic machines. This is a marketing ploy that applies to such varieties of coffee machines as carob, capsule, and pod machines. In fact, these are improved and partially automated coffee machines that still require “manual” intervention. The first and most obvious difference is the type of beans used.
Regardlessof the functions and features that distinguish these machines from each other, each model is equipped with an integrated coffee grinder. It allows you to grind the beans right before you make your beverage, preserving their full flavor. If you first need to grind the beans yourself, or use already ground coffee, you are faced with a coffee maker. Regardless of function or price. This is the most pronounced difference, which makes it possible not to confuse categories. Therefore, in a competent comparison of coffee machines, you will never see in the lists of carob, capsule and other “non-grain” models.
Types and Main Differences of Coffee Machines
All devices in the category of coffee grinders are commonly divided into 4 types, depending on the functionality and design:
- Regular beans;
- With manual cappuccinator;
- With automatic cappuccinator;
- “Superautomatic” machines.
The main distinguishing feature of “regular” coffee machines is the cappuccinator (its presence and technical implementation). But “superautomatic” machines belong to a separate subcategory which fully justifies its name. They have the maximum set of possibilities in creating coffee drinks. Let’s see what automatic coffee machines are like and how they differ from each other.
Standard coffee machines
This category is commonly referred to the budget segment. The devices are not equipped with a cappuccinator, so any recipes with the addition of milk will not be available. For those who prefer only coffee drinks (espresso, Americano, lungo and other kinds) and want to save money, this is an excellent choice.
However, the main difference between these models and carob coffee makers is the built-in grinder. If you grind the beans yourself, most of the advantages of this type of coffee machine will lose their relevance.
- Read More: How a Carob Coffee Machine Differentiates from an Automatic One
Coffee machines with manual cappuccinator
This includes machines which are equipped with a cappuccinator. It is implemented in the form of a separate tube with a panarello nozzle, which delivers hot steam (thanks to the nozzle, the stream of steam is expanded, which accelerates the creation of foam). The disadvantage of these grain coffee machines is that you have to whip the milk by hand. The process is simple (although beginners may encounter some difficulties), but it takes a lot of time, crossing out the main advantage of grain coffee machines – automation of processes.
Also, the disadvantages include the fact that you have to first create the foam, and then pour espresso into it (to create a real cappuccino, on the contrary, you need to add milk foam to the coffee).
When evaluating which coffee machine is best to buy to save money, devices with a manual cappuccinator will lead the way. They allow you to prepare any coffee drinks with milk, and their average cost ranges from 20-24 thousand rubles.
Coffee machines with automatic cappuccinator
This is a more advanced type of cereal coffee machines. Unlike “manual”, the cappuccinator in “automatic” takes the right amount of milk by itself. All you need to do is to put a glass or a tetra-pack with milk to the machine and insert the tube from the cappuccinator into it. After that, the whole process will take place automatically.
The advantage of automatic models is the choice of sequence (first brew coffee, and then add whipped foam and vice versa), which allows you to make a real cappuccino. There are two disadvantages:
- Having to manually move the cup to add milk foam to the coffee;
- When switching between serving coffee and whipped milk, the machine needs time to cool down.
Modern “automatic machines” are equipped with a removable milk container, which can be stored in the refrigerator and plugged in right before making a drink. Models with an external tube are increasingly referred to the category of “milk semi-automatic machines”, due to the lack of a noticeable difference in price, the demand for them is decreasing. The average price of such cereal coffee machines is 25-33 thousand rubles. With a built-in capacity – from 28 000 to 38 000 p.
The most advanced category. These coffee machines make the most delicious coffee and have an almost limitless set of functions (the possibilities depend directly on the price). The whole process takes place at the touch of a button, which means that to create any drink you need:
- Fill the coffee bean container;
- Fill up the water and milk tanks;
- Select the desired mode.
Grain and liquid containers are designed for a large volume, so the refilling process will occur rarely.
After that, everything, from the degree of grinding to the alternation of liquids, is determined by the selected mode. In addition to ready-made presets, there is a manual programming option and a memory function, with which you can save any recipes in the memory. More expensive models and professional coffee machines can even include hot chocolate mixers or cooled milk containers.
The cost of such machines starts at 50-60 thousand rubles and goes up to $6-7 thousand (for professional models). Despite the considerable price, this category is considered the most popular.