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Here’s how CHIP tests fully automatic coffee machines

Making good coffee is obviously the main task of a good machine. We will therefore devote an entire chapter to this topic later. But taste alone is not enough for us. Because if you just want good coffee, you should use a portafilter machine. Owners of a fully automatic coffee machine, on the other hand, also want convenience. That is why we also attach great importance to the equipment, handling and ease of cleaning of the machine.

Flavor and reference (25%): For the taste test, an expert coffee sommelier evaluates the taste of the espresso. Characteristics such as gustatory balance, acidity and body are included in the evaluation. We always use the same roast for testing (70/30 blend of Sao Silvestre and Java Robusta from Brazil and Indonesia). An ECM portafilter machine serves as a reference for how the full potential of the test roast can develop. In addition, the temperature and the entire reference time are included in this evaluation, i.e. including the warm-up time.

Maintenance (25%): If you buy a fully automatic coffee machine, you need to clean it constantly. Fortunately, modern devices already do a lot of work for the user with cleaning programs. However, some actions cannot be automated. Let’s check how annoying cleaning is. Some machines, for example, gleefully distribute coffee powder throughout the interior or pour dripping wet pomace into the collecting bin – both recipes for rapid and disgusting mold growth. We also check if the spout is dripping for a long time or if the coffee (including cappuccino) splashes wildly and messes everything up. Finally, let’s check if there is automatic device cleaning and how easy it is to use.

Comfort (25%): An easy-to-use fully automatic coffee machine has intuitive buttons, and even a guest understands at a glance how he gets his latte. It also doesn’t keep you waiting long to warm up, consumes little energy when idling, and grinds so quietly that no one wakes up. Here we also evaluate which aspects (water, temperature, etc.) can be adjusted. What we don’t judge is the reference time: since the amount of water is responsible for the taste, there is no good or bad here. An excellent espresso sometimes needs a few more seconds.

Services (25%): This is where fully automatic machines shine compared to other models. We evaluate all the comfort features: how many recipes are there and can personal profiles be saved? How good is the display, how many degrees of grind are there, and are the water and bean containers large enough? An installable water filter also plays a role. Last but not least, let’s measure something that may seem trivial to some: the maximum height of the cup. Because it would be annoying if your favorite tall coffee glass didn’t fit under the socket.

Important: The best-ranked car may not even be necessary for your needs. A high CHIP score refers to the maximum potential a machine can have. For example, if you only drink espresso with no added milk, equipment rating is not essential for you. By the way, you can weigh and sort our ranking according to your preferences.

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