Best Semi-Automatic and Manual Coffee Machines

If your daily coffee habit is starting to burn a hole in your pocket but you’re a coffee lover who can’t live without your morning latte, it might be worth investing in a coffee machine. Finetune your coffee-making with a manual coffee machine or use a semi-automatic coffee machine to achieve a full extraction of flavour, thanks to the freshly ground beans. Continue reading...

Brand
Search brand...
Rating
Price
$55 to $8,499
$55
$8,499
Pump Pressure
9 bar
Input Power
800 W
Dishwasher Safe Parts
Water Tank Capacity
0.11 L
Colour / Finish
Show more
Features
Milk Frother
Bean Grinder
Coffee Bean Capacity
19 g
450 g

Based on 4,304 reviews
The Little Guy Home Barista Kit

The Little Guy Home Barista Kit 🏆 2024

4.6  (188)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $999
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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Nicholas R.
Nicholas R.SA8 posts
 
Worth the pricegood to have, like the features and very easy to operate. Show details
Breville The Oracle BES980

Breville The Oracle BES980

4.4  (690)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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$1,849Bing Lee
Stones
StonesRoleystone2 posts
  Verified BES980BTR
terribleAvoid at all costs!
had it fixed three times under warranty, and now (year out of warranty) it has broken again! Show details
Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express

4.2  (1,012)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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$597Bing Lee
SimonBNZ
SimonBNZ
  Verified Barista Express BES870BSS
Breville The Oracle Touch BES990

Breville The Oracle Touch BES990

4.3  (115)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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$3,349Bing Lee
Jess M.
Jess M.VIC8 posts
  BES990BSS
Very good machine overall but frothing lacks a littleVery good machine overall but frothing lacks a little. Often pours are uneven which I believe must be grind issue as I’ve addressed all the others (coffee distribution/tamping etc). Show details
Rancilio Silvia

Rancilio Silvia

4.2  (121)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $999 to $1,199
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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MarkZed
MarkZedNSW3 posts
  V2
Satisfied ownerAs an owner of rancilio silvia coffee machine for over 20 years, matched with rocky grinder, I found them both reliable and consistent. Show details
DeLonghi Dedica

DeLonghi Dedica

4.0  (295)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $229 to $349
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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Eva
EvaNSW5 posts
  Verified EC685R
Breville Duo-Temp Pro BES810BSS

Breville Duo-Temp Pro BES810BSS

4.1  (107)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $499
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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Mureed A.
Mureed A.80 posts
 
Breville Dynamic Duo BEP920

Breville Dynamic Duo BEP920

4.2  (71)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $2,199
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderStandalone Grinder Included
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Laura G.
Laura G.VIC3 posts
  BEP920BKS
Sunbeam Mini Barista EM4300

Sunbeam Mini Barista EM4300

3.7  (339)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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Amanda
AmandaNSW2 posts
  EM4300K
Mini Barista from SunbeamAwesome machine that reheats quickly so you can make two cups of coffee straight after each other. The frother has enough pressure to produce great milk. I love my mini barista. Show details
Breville the Barista Touch BES880

Breville the Barista Touch BES880

4.1  (61)
 Summary
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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Dusan
DusanQLD10 posts
 
DissapointingExtremely random results. Grounded coffee piles up against the wall of the spoon and spills over, the milk frothier needs cleaning every couple of weeks, and the coffee varies in quality even when from the same bag. With all that, support kept dragging and dragging with questions, even with pictures provided,.. not happy at all. Show details
Breville Infuser BES840

Breville Infuser BES840

3.8  (110)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $749
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
darfvader
darfvaderVIC11 posts
  BES840BKS
Smeg ECF01

Smeg ECF01

3.7  (92)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
Sue
Sue
  ECF01PBAU
Fantastic MachineCan't fault our coffee machine. We've had it for over 1 1/2 years. So easy to use, clean & takes up little space on benchtop. Just bought another 1 as we don't want to be ever without. Thanks Smeg. Show details
Sunbeam Cafe Series Duo EMM7200BK

Sunbeam Cafe Series Duo EMM7200BK

4.3  (34)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
David S.
David S.QLD
 
Breville Bambino Plus BES500

Breville Bambino Plus BES500

3.9  (48)
 Summary
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
Jo
JoQueensland3 posts
  BES500BSS
Sunbeam Barista Max EM5300

Sunbeam Barista Max EM5300

3.4  (182)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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$499Bing Lee
AlexB.
AlexB.2 posts
  EM5300S
Good machine while it lasted, but failed at the 2-3yr markIt made many great coffees, but failed at around the 2-3yr mark, consistent with many other reviews here :(
Sunbeam Compact Barista Espresso EMM2900SS

Sunbeam Compact Barista Espresso EMM2900SS

4.4  (22)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
Grant H.
Grant H.
 
Sunbeam
Sunbeam   DM   
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Sunbeam Barista Plus EMM5400BK

Sunbeam Barista Plus EMM5400BK

3.9  (33)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $849
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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RJW
RJWQLD28 posts
  Barista Plus EMM5400BK
DeLonghi Icona Pump Espresso

DeLonghi Icona Pump Espresso

3.3  (117)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $299
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
Charles Sydney
Charles SydneyNSW3 posts
  ECO310
Sunbeam Origins Espresso Machine EMM7300SS

Sunbeam Origins Espresso Machine EMM7300SS

4.6  (14)
 Summary
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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Ian F
Ian FNSW
 
Breville The Barista Pro BES878

Breville The Barista Pro BES878

3.3  (50)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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$949Bing Lee
Jim
Jim2 posts
  BES878BTR4JAN1
Breville Compact Café BES250

Breville Compact Café BES250

2.9  (141)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $229.95
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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Zhanna
ZhannaQLD7 posts
  Verified
DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro

DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro

3.4  (38)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $1,899
  • Pump Pressure19 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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Mike O
Mike O4 posts
 
Lelit Combi PL042EMI

Lelit Combi PL042EMI

4.8  (10)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure9 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
Justin B.
Justin B.QLD
 
Wonderful small, elegant and well.made machineTitle says it all. No issue combining grinder and espresso machine. High quality steam and water pressure for espresso. Great looking too. Has one boiler so occasionally takes a bit longer. All up a perfect combination. Show details
Gaggia New Classic

Gaggia New Classic

4.8  (10)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $899
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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Kas
KasNSW4 posts
 
Breville The Barista Express Impress BES876

Breville The Barista Express Impress BES876

4.2  (13)
 Summary
  • Pump Pressure9 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderIntegrated Burr Grinder
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Tania B.
Tania B.NSW
 
Kmart Anko Espresso Machine CM5400D-SA

Kmart Anko Espresso Machine CM5400D-SA

3.2  (21)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $89
  • Pump Pressure15 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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Maureen
Maureen4 posts
 
Kmart
Kmart   DM   
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Expobar Minore IV

Expobar Minore IV

4.1  (9)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $3,082
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
Bruce
BruceNSW83 posts
 
Vibiemme Domobar Super

Vibiemme Domobar Super

3.8  (10)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $2,999 to $4,249
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
Thorsten Stanley
Thorsten Stanley4 posts
  Domobar Super
amazing machine 4 years nothing gores wrong perfect coffee and foamThis machine just keeps on giving. Mine sits on the sink so not plumbed but huge tank. Never had any faults- serviced once only in 4 years plus. Easy to use and superb steam pressure. Cant understand people who have had faults- maybe different machine? Show details
Bezzera Domus Galatea

Bezzera Domus Galatea

4.3  (7)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $3,050
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
Stevev
StevevNSW6 posts
 
Still going strong after 11 yearsMoney well spent for this beautiful machine. Still going strong after 11 years!
Great coffee every time and steamer super quick.
Everyone who sees my machine loves the stainless steel and curved metal. Show details
ECM Synchronika

ECM Synchronika

5.0  (5)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $5,200
  • Pump Pressure16 bar
  • Milk FrotherSteam Wand
  • Bean GrinderNone
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PaulS
PaulSQLD122 posts
  Verified

A birds eye view of 6 cups of coffee - including a latte, espresso and long black - on a table.

Are manual or automatic coffee machines better?

Whether a manual or automatic coffee machine is better for you will depend on a number of factors, such as the level of control you want over your coffee, how much time you want to spend making a coffee, and how much you're willing to spend on a coffee machine.

We go through the features of both semi-automatic and manual coffee machines below so you can decide which is right for you.

Semi-automatic coffee machines

If you’re running late for work in the morning and need a quick espresso shot, a semi-automatic coffee machine can do a lot of the work for you. Once you grind and tamp the beans to fit into the portafilter, the machine takes over, making a pre-programmed amount of coffee with just the press of a few buttons.

A semi-automatic can be a good compromise between a manual coffee machine and a fully automatic coffee machine. Although a semi-automatic coffee machine is quicker than a manual coffee machine as it’s partly automated, it’s not as quick as a fully automatic machine, coffee pod machine, or drip coffee machine.

Pros
Quicker to make a coffee.
More user-friendly and suited to beginners, as the coffee maker automates some of the processes, such as water temperature and pressure.
Easier to achieve more consistency, due to the automated process.
Still allows for control and customisation of some elements of your coffee.
Cons
Less control over some factors.
Requires some manual skill (although this is enjoyable for many coffee aficionados).
A semi-automatic coffee machine.
A semi-automatic coffee machine.
A manual coffee machine.
A manual coffee machine.

Manual coffee machines

With a manual espresso machine you can unleash your at-home barista and control every part of the coffee-making process. You can grind and tamp the coffee beans of your choice, control the pressure and temperature of water and steam and froth your milk.

If you don’t already know about techniques like grinding, dosing and tamping, you’ll need to learn. Depending on the complexity of the machine you use, learning how your specific machine works can take weeks. Overall, manual machines are more labour intensive but worth it if you don't want to compromise on coffee quality and taste, and if you want to customise your brew to achieve certain flavour profiles.

Pros
You have full control over every aspect of your coffee.
You can vary the pressure.
Cons
Harder to produce consistent results.
Can be difficult to use if you don't have brewing experience, and the quality of your coffee largely depends on your skill level.
More time consuming to use and monitor.

More affordable semi-automatic and manual coffee machines on the market

A less expensive coffee machine won’t necessarily result in an inferior cup of coffee. According to reviewers, many coffee machines under $1000 work just as well, or arguably better, than pricier models. There are also other factors that come into play, such as the quality of the beans you are using.

If you are using premium coffee beans and you’re grinding the beans into a consistent texture, there's a strong possibility it'll result in an impressive coffee, regardless of what type of machine you use. So here are the top three most highly-rated coffee machines that our reviewers have loved, all priced under $1000.

What are the different types of grinders?

Not all coffee machines have an integrated grinder. If your coffee machine doesn’t come with a grinder it’s a good idea to buy one. Grinding the coffee beans so they can fit neatly into the portafilter is an integral part of the coffee-making process.

Most importantly, the way you grind your beans determines the quality of your coffee.

Blade grinder

A blade grinder is an electric grinder which has a blade at the centre of the grinder. That blade cuts the coffee beans into small pieces.

You might find that the coffee isn’t ground up consistently and you’ll probably end up with a mixture of larger chunks of coffee with pockets of finely ground coffee. This may result in coffee that heats at an inconsistent rate, affecting the taste. However, if you’re looking for convenience and ease, this will grind your coffee fast with minimal effort on your part.

Blade grinder

Burr grinder

Most burr grinders are usually electrically powered. However, you can also find manual grinders which can be brought along to outdoor activities, like camping.

Burrs are two revolving abrasive surfaces which grind a limited amount of beans at a time. The coffee beans grind at the same rate, resulting in a consistent and rich flavour.

burr grinder

Standalone Grinders

Some coffee machines such as the Breville Dynamic Duo and the Sunbeam Torino Espresso Machine & Grinder come with a standalone grinder. A bonus of having a standalone coffee grinder is that if your coffee machine breaks and needs repair - you still have the standalone grinder to help you make coffee.

Factors to consider when buying a semi-automatic or manual coffee machine

Ease of use and control

When it comes to choosing the right machine, you'll have to decide what you prefer: an easier to use machine or more control over your brew. A manual machine lets you tweak almost every aspect of your coffee but requires certain skill. Semi-automatic machines can produce consistent coffees with just a few simple steps, but you won't be able to customise your brew.

Milk frother

Depending on how you like your coffee, check beforehand what type of features your coffee machine comes with. If you want to froth your milk, make sure the coffee machine you’re purchasing comes with a milk frother or steam wand along with a frothing pitcher. Many coffee machines have an integrated steam wand which froths up milk. Alternatively, you can use your milk frother, which you may need to buy separately, to spruce up your coffee with light and foamy milk. If you’re up for a challenge, once you’ve steamed or frothed your milk, have a go at making latte art!

Build material

If you’re looking for a coffee machine that’s durable and long-lasting, consider getting a stainless steel coffee machine. Want to replicate a cafe vibe in your own kitchen? Choose a coffee machine with a silver finish and it’ll look like you have your own cafe coffee machine. Or if you’re looking to match the existing aesthetic, choosing classic black or white is always a safe choice that will pair with pretty much any colour scheme.

Speed

The semi-automatic coffee machine is the best choice if you want to make a quick and easy cup of coffee. It also has a shorter heat-up time than a manual coffee machine. If you choose an integrated blade grinder, the fastest type of grinder, you’ll have your coffee ready in no time.

If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, a manual coffee machine will take longer but you get to control the whole process and potentially make a better, barista-quality coffee.

Regardless of whether you have a manual or semi-automatic coffee machine, there are other things you can do to speed up the process.

  • Choose a water tank with a larger capacity, as the size of your tank affects how long you can go without refilling. For example, if your water tank only has a 1L capacity, you’ll only be able to make around 8 cups before you have to refill.
  • A tank with two spouts or a coffee machine with a double shot function can provide two cups of coffee instantaneously.
  • A coffee machine with a large boiler means you’ll end up waiting longer for the water to heat up. You can choose a coffee machine with a small boiler or a dual boiler that will extract coffee and steam milk simultaneously, to cut down your wait time.

Noise

Noise can be an important consideration if you make your coffee early in the morning or late at night (we've all had to pull an all nighter at some point). The noise level of coffee machines often isn't advertised, but if you're worried about waking up others in your house, read reviews to see which models are relatively quiet.

The bottom line

If you’re seeking ease and convenience yet still want to be more hands-on in the coffee-making process, then the semi-automatic coffee machine may be best for you. However, if you would like to be in control of the whole process and learn to make barista-quality coffee that rivals your local cafe - then consider the manual coffee machine. Have a look through our reviews and use the filters on the left to help narrow down your search to find the right manual or semi-automatic coffee machine for you.

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