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I have a simple dream: I awaken in the morning, and somewhere in the kitchen a coffeemaker begins brewing a solid espresso or latte. By the time I arrive in the kitchen a few minutes later, this cup awaits me, so my feet barely stop moving as I grab it and move to the couch to start the day. A smart espresso maker feels like it could make this dream a reality, right? After testing the brands that make smart espresso makers, I can say it isn’t always the perfect realization of my dream, but all of these machines are exceptionally well made. (And expensive. And not without their own eccentricities.)

Miele Milk Perfection 6360

Miele Milk Perfection 6360

Credit: Miele

Price: $2715.99
Water Capacity:
Milk Steamer: Glass container with lid and metal and silicone piping, additional metal pipe for milk container
What drinks it produces: ristretto, espresso, coffee, long coffee, cappuchino, latte machhiato, hot milk, milk froth, espresso macchiato, cappuccino italiano, flat white, cafe au lait, cafe latte, hot water
Works with: Alexa, Google Home

The Miele name is synonymous with high-end quality appliances. I tested their most expensive standalone machine with wifi capability. In my review of the Miele Milk Perfection, I noted how much I enjoyed the coffee itself. While the list of drink possibilities wasn’t endless, it covered all the basics you’d expect or need to build your own drink off of, and it did so flawlessly and quickly—probably quicker than any other machine I’ve tested. Although all the machines produce hot water for tea, only the Miele has four specialty settings for different teas. I really liked the quality of the milk container, and how easy it was to store it in the fridge between uses. The grinder had five different settings and you could affect how rich your coffee was not only by grind, but by adjusting the amount of coffee in any drink. Of all machines I tried, this produced the best milk of the bunch, creating spectacular foam, but also the option for hot milk separately, which meant a wealth of drinks like hot chocolate. 

I did not love the UX of the machine itself. Despite the machine itself being beautiful, the unlabeled buttons were cumbersome. The screen wasn’t touch-sensitive and was hard to use, with very small buttons. Changing the size of drinks or canceling a drink midway was entirely too complicated—another side effect of bad UX design. 

The Miele app is not as useful as I’d like it to be, but it does allow you to turn the machine on, get status reports, and set up coffee profiles you can send to your machine. But ultimately, you had to be at the machine to execute any of the drinks, regardless of the app. I also did not like that once you changed settings for a single drink, it was changed universally. If you and your partner both like a ristretto, but with different settings, good luck. 

While I was generally annoyed by how often the Miele insisted on cleaning every part of itself, that ended up being true on most machines I tested. The Miele did have the best cleaning apparatus for the milk piping—you could attach the piping to the drip tray and the machine would clean it for you. Of all the drip trays I emptied, this was maybe the least annoying. 

Jura ENA8

Jura ENA8

Credit: Jura

Price: $1699
Water Capacity: 37oz
Milk Steamer: Plastic container and lid, silicone and metal piping, but you can put the pipe into any open container.
What drinks it produces: ristretto, espresso, espresso doppio, coffee, macchiato, latte macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, milk foam, and hot water.
Works with: none

Jura, a long trusted brand in the coffee space, actually has a lot of smart espresso makers. It’s important to note that this is the lowest-priced model with wifi capabilities, and Jura has many coffee makers with wifi that are likely to have more capacity, capabilities and features than the ENA8. In my review, the most concerning part of the coffee experience was the temperature, which seemed to be unchangeable and too cool for my personal taste—cool enough that drinks with milk foam were downright chilly. I also found the drink menu limiting, and spent the month trying to create a café latte out of the possibilities offered to me. Larger drinks don’t have the ability to adjust the richness of the coffee, so they ended up watery. Smaller drinks like the ristretto and espresso were ultimately the best bets, with a delicate head of foam, and the coffee wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best that I tried of the bunch, either. It was, however, easy to change the size of the drink—probably easier than any other machine—and I liked that you configured the drink on screen while making it.

While the Jura machine is beautiful and solidly made, the touchscreen experience was disappointing. Instead of swiping, you advanced screens through three tiny dots in the corner of the screen. This machine boasted the smallest water capacity of all, at 37 ounces—I consistently needed to refill it.  

Like most of the machines, the ENA8 cleans itself constantly, and as such, you need to empty the drip tray once a day, at least—and of course, refill the water tank, too. It did include a function to clean the milk piping, but it wasn’t “push a button and walk away”; you had to monitor it and push more buttons halfway through. 

The Jura app often had trouble connecting, and once it did, it had almost no capability. It only worked when the machine was on, and while you could theoretically push drink orders from the app to the machine, I was never successful doing so. The wifi module on this machine is actually an add-on, and the J.O.E. app felt like it was bolted on, as well. 

While the Jura wasn’t my favorite machine, it’s worth noting that you’re stacking the least expensive model they had against every other brand’s flagship machine, and overall Jura has a great reputation in this space. I’ve used other Jura machines I really enjoyed, and a number of commenters defended the machine as being loved in their home. 

SPINN All in One Espresso Maker and Milk Frother

Spinn Coffeemaker

Credit: Spinn

Price: $849.99
Water Capacity: 40oz (can purchase larger 80oz tank or direct connect to water line)
Milk Steamer: Separate metal machine with removable frother that you place on heating puck
What drinks it produces: ristretto, espresso, lungo, doppio, americano, coffee, nitro, pour over, hot water, affogato, cafe romano, guillermo, barraquito, iced cappuccino, pumpkin spice, espresso martini, vanilla latte, macchiato, cortado, latte, flat white, cappuccino, mocha, moonlight fomo. (ability to create new drinks)
Works with: Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homekit

Spinn only has one model—and it only needs one, if you ask me. They nailed it. Spinn has done the best job of marrying technology to the coffee experience in a way that makes the whole thing more enjoyable and usable. The Spinn produced delicious espressos, ristrettos, and any kind of coffee drink you can imagine. In fact, it is the expansiveness of the drink menu that most impresses. Absolutely any drink is possible, and the app for the machine takes you through making each drink, step by step, allowing you to adjust the drink in the moment. This is the only machine where the milk is produced in an entirely separate apparatus, which had upsides and downsides. You have to choose, at the get-go, whether you’ll be making hot milk or foam by taking the small coil out of the milk frother. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you leave milk in the frother between uses (to store in the fridge) it’s messy to go in and get the coil out, and you worry about losing it. The frother is lightning fast. But it also overflowed on multiple occasions, despite being only one-quarter full. Being separate also meant that you were responsible for adding it to the coffee, rather than the machine dosing for you. 

The Spinn has a less intimidating design than the other machines, looking more like your standard coffeemaker. It also features unlabeled buttons, of which I am not a fan, but unlike the Miele, you’ll never need to use them. The Spinn, unlike the other machines, really requires the app to produce coffee. You could program the buttons for your personal favs, but anything else would require your phone at your side. While I loved the water capacity and that you can buy a gigantic 80-ounce tank, the tank is on the back of the machine, with an awkward filter that just kind of bobs in the water tank. It made it harder to refill, but that’s really not a bother if you pipe the machine to your water line, which is possible out of the box. 

The Spinn app is fun, easy to use and essential to the process. Without a doubt the most fully cooked of the bunch, the app allows you to make any drink you can imagine, and fine tune them easily. I also loved that you could scan the bag of coffee beans, and it would store that info in the app. The Spinn is my personal choice, since it is the only machine of the bunch that you can order a coffee from bed, and so long as there’s a cup in place to receive it, it will be ready when you arrive in the kitchen. 

This is possible because the Spinn doesn’t self clean at the pace of the other machines, meaning that its first action on turning on isn’t to steam clean (which makes it impossible to order a coffee from afar). In fact, the Spinn takes care of cleaning without your input or participation, entirely. I found this quite enjoyable, and the time spent emptying the drip tray was dramatically reduced. On the downside, it also did not clean the milk frother, since it’s separate. This container was harder to store in the fridge due to size, too. But a quick hand wash was all that was needed, and there isn’t any milk piping to clean, which may be a bonus. 

Terra Kaffe TK-02

Terra Kaffe TK-02

Credit: Terra Kaffe

Price: $1495
Water Capacity: 75oz |
Milk Steamer: Plastic container with lid and silicone piping
What drinks it produces: latte macchiato, cortado, macchiato, flat white, latte, cappuccino, americano, expresso, drip, steamed milk, hot water (ability to create new drinks)
Works with: Alexa

The TK-02 is the newest of the machines that I tested. If you’re looking for exceptional coffee drinks, with a nice pop of technology assist, this is the machine I’d go with. The coffee itself was my favorite, and this was likely the result of the amount of fine tuning you can do to the grind size, the amount of coffee you can use for any individual drink, and the size of the finished drink. The drink menu isn’t the most extensive, but you can create new drinks from what it offers, and the building blocks are certainly flexible enough to make almost any drink you could imagine. The milk frother makes great foam, and while not as heady as other machines, the quality was high. The pour over coffee feature produced my favorite cup of straight coffee of all the machines—however, the TK-02 is slow. It’s thoughtfully taking its time while brewing drinks, and you will be waiting while it does.  

Of all the machines, the TK-02 is the most attractive. It has the perfect blend of modern and stateliness, and looks like a quality build. The shiny black exterior has the right blend of curves and lines, with a huge digital touchscreen. The tasteful display uses a lot of white space and is easy to manipulate via touch. There are no random buttons to wonder about. While the app offers a number of controls that the machine interface doesn’t, you don’t need your phone at your side to use the machine, either. You can simply choose from the drinks offered, using the settings you’ve previously input in the app. I do not like how the milk frother attaches to the machine, using a plug at the end that is hard to place visually. Each and every time I’d have to feel for the location, which isn’t sanitary. The plug was hard to remove after you were done, too, but the foam and milk it produced was excellent. 

The Terra Kaffe app is second only to the Spinn app, and I really liked how easy it was to adjust drinks, but more importantly, the drink menu that appears on the screen. You can edit it, add your own drinks, change the name of drinks, etc. It’s a huge benefit that no other machine offered. The app also offers some fun stats about money saved while brewing at home. While you can’t turn the machine on and off, you can put it into sleep mode and set an on/off schedule. One of my major complaints was that it only integrates with Alexa, which is a miss, I think. Hopefully Homekit and Google integration are coming soon.

The TK-02 cleans itself when it comes online and right before it goes to sleep. The noise will freak you out a bit if you aren’t planning for it—the first few days I thought something had blown up. However, it offers no function to clean the milk piping for the milk container, so that’s on you to do manually. While the capacity of the water tank meant I didn’t have to refill it everyday, I did have to dump the tray every other day, at least. 

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