When you think of household coffee machines — you know, the one you use on a daily basis to get your java fix — what comes to mind? There’s the drip coffee you make in the morning at home, the French press your friend swears by, the small stovetop espresso machine your other friend bought on a trip to Italy, and the office Keurig where you catch up on the day’s gossip while waiting for your cup to brew.
A fancy, shiny, chrome espresso machine — complete with things like portafilters, gaskets, pressure gauges, and steam wands — is not the first thing most people consider when discussing the domestic kitchen appliance that is the coffee machine; such a machine is rarely found outside of a professional coffee shop or restaurant. Superautomatic espresso machines, capable of producing multiple kinds of coffee drinks at the touch of a button, are home appliances that bridge the gap between home-brewed coffee and high-end gourmet “craft” coffee (where machines can cost roughly $10,000). These machines do everything for you. They grind the beans, dose the grinds, tamp, brew, and steam milk for your drink; they are essentially as hands-off as you can get when it comes to making espresso.
The Breville Oracle Touch is the next generation in superautomatics. This low-maintenance machine features a touchscreen menu (like the iPhone we are so familiar with these days) that allows you to choose one of five drinks. Once your drink of choice has been chosen, you simply slot the portafilter (which holds the grounds) into place and wait for the perfect measure of coffee to be ground and tamped. Next, move the portafilter over, slot it into place once more, hit the “brew” button, and watch as your perfect espresso comes into being, effortlessly! While your cup of coffee brews you can simultaneously steam milk on the adjacent steam wand. Just pour the milk into the small metal jug, press the screen and voila! Perfect temperature, perfect foam — and perfect for making your very own latte art!
Although all of the settings are preprogrammed, every stage of the process can be done manually or set to a setting of your choice. The temperature of the milk, the style of your drink, every coffee preference you have — each setting can even be saved in a formula that is unique to you. So your go-to drink, no matter how specific, can be ready at the touch of a button.
If you aren’t fussy about your cups of coffee and would rather not spend the $2,499.99 is costs, this is probably not the machine for you. If you are an avid coffee enthusiast however, this is an option that takes up less space than a professional espresso machine, costs significantly less, and is practically foolproof when it comes to brewing a perfect cup of coffee. To find a perfect cup of coffee without splurging on a Breville Oracle Touch, check out America’s 50 best coffee shops!