Buying Guides

The 7 Best Coffee Beans For Super-Automatic Espresso Machines

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Superautomatic espresso coffee machines are a one-stop device for your favorite drinks. They combine a grinder with the coffee maker so coffee drinkers can make espresso in a snap. They’re low maintenance and easy to clean, so if you love espresso-based drinks, it’s a must-have.

At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Best Coffee Beans For Superautomatic Machines

After investing in the perfect espresso machine, you want to make sure you’re using the perfect coffee beans for the machine. You’ll want great-tasting beans that aren’t so oily they gum up the works.

We checked out countless brands of fresh roasted coffee beans for superautomatic espresso machines. The following list contains the seven best options we found. Read on to find out what we liked and why.

Quick Summary: Best Coffee Beans For Superautomatic Machines

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast, 2.2 Pound (Pack of 1) Authentic Italian, Blended And Roasted in Italy, Produced in a nut-free facility center, Mild and creamyLAVAZZA SUPER CREMA MEDIUM ROAST
  • Authentic Italian
  • Mild And Creamy Medium Espresso Roast
  • Notes Of Hazelnuts And Brown Sugar
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Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee, with French Roast Colombia Coffee Beans - 32 ounce bagKOFFEE KULT THUNDER BOLT
  • French Roast Colombia Coffee Beans
  • With Medium Acidity And A Crisp, Sweet Finish
  • Whole Bean Coffee
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Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Hair Bender - Whole Bean Coffee - 12 Ounce Bag, Flavor Notes of Citrus and Dark ChocolateSTUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS HAIR BENDER
  • Whole Bean Coffee
  • Classic Flavors Of Latin America And Africa
  • Flavor Notes Of Citrus And Dark Chocolate
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2LB Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast - Whole Bean Coffee - Low Acidity - 2 Pound (2 lb) BagDON PABLO SIGNATURE BLEND MEDIUM-DARK ROAST
  • Whole Bean Coffee
  • Low Acidity
  • Full Bodied With A Very Smooth Cocoa Toned Finish
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Illy Classico Roast Coffee Beans, 8.8 OunceILLY CLASSICO ROAST COFFEE
  • 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Medium Roast
  • Perfectly Balanced, With A Delightfully Distinct Taste And Aroma
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Two Volcanoes Espresso Coffee Beans - 2 Lbs - Guatemala Dark Roast Espresso Blend Whole Bean Coffee - Rare Single Origin Gourmet Beans. Get The Kick, Enjoy the Smoothness!TWO VOLCANOES ESPRESSO BLEND
  • Great Tasting Premium Gourmet Coffee Guaranteed
  • Dark Roast
  • Delicious Flavor Mixed With Fruity And Wooden Notes
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WILD JO: 2 lb, Dark French Roast Organic Coffee, Ground Coffee, Bold Strong Rich Wicked Good Coffee! Great Brewed or Cold Brew, USDA Certified Fair Trade Organic Arabica Coffee, NON-GMO Gluten FreeWILD JO DARK FRENCH ROAST ORGANIC COFFEE
  • Bold Strong Rich Wicked Good Coffee
  • USDA Certified Fair Trade Organic Arabica Coffee
  • NON-GMO Gluten Free
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Review

Superautomatic espresso machines have internal grinders that are impossible to clean. To keep your grinder in the best shape, try these non-oily beans that we’ve put to the test.

Lavazza Super Crema Medium Roast

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Roast is perfect for espresso machines. It’s a delicious blend of Robusta and Arabica beans, which keeps the coffee at an affordable price. The beans have hints of hazelnut hiding in the mellow, earthy flavor.

The beans aren’t oily, so they’ll work fine in your espresso machine. The medium roast might seem like it’s not strong enough to produce quality traditional espresso, but it’s much darker tasting than the roast label would have you believe.

Things We Like 

  • It tastes much darker than medium roast
  • It has a faint hazelnut flavor
  • An affordable blend of Robusta and Arabica beans

Things We Don’t

  • Some people might not like the notes of hazelnut and brown sugar sweetness

Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt

Koffee Kult’s Thunder Bolt is a French roast blend of multi-origin coffee beans organically sourced from Brazil, Colombia, Sumatra, and Guatemala. These beans work well together to create a unique blend that you’re sure to love.

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Though it’s a dark roast coffee, these beans aren’t oily, so they’re fine to use in your espresso machine. It has a robust flavor with an underlying cinnamon note. This coffee has the highest caffeine content of all the options on our list, which can be good or bad, depending on your tolerance level.

Things We Like 

  • Organically sourced coffee beans
  • An interesting blend of beans from four countries
  • It has a hint of cinnamon flavor, which makes a good aftertaste

Things We Don’t

  • It has a high caffeine content, which might limit how much you consume per day

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender

Stumptown Coffee Roasters has great coffees to choose from, but we love Hair Bender for espresso. It’s not too strong, and the caffeine content is perfect, so you can enjoy a late afternoon shot or cappuccino without ending up with shaky hands.

Stumptown uses beans sourced from Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia. As a result, you’ll get a lot of interesting flavors from these beans. We could pick out caramel, chocolate, and lemon. Some other people have said they get pineapple and apricot vibes as well.

Things We Like 

  • Perfect light bean for making delicious espresso
  • Interesting flavor undertones, like caramel, chocolate, and lemon
  • Caffeine content isn’t too high

Things We Don’t

  • Some batches don’t taste fresh

Don Pablo Signature Blend Medium-Dark Roast

Don Pablo’s Signature Blend is a medium-dark roast made of 100% Arabica beans sourced from Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia. It’s a classic espresso roast because it has a rich body with low, balanced acidity.

If you want to make straight espresso shots and coffee beverages, this is the most balanced coffee you can find. It has a natural flavor that will let your drink shine without any added sweetness or aftertaste.

Things We Like 

  • Made from 100% Arabica beans
  • No flavor undertones or aftertaste
  • Roasted in small batches to prevent oiliness from developing

Things We Don’t

  • Each batch seems to taste different

Illy Classico Roast Coffee

Illy is a solid coffee brand, and they deliver with their 100% Arabica beans. These are medium roast premium beans, so they’re not too oily for superautomatic espresso machines. Illy Classico whole bean coffee has a balanced taste profile with hints of caramel, giving it a rich flavor profile.

This coffee is excellent for espresso shots, but it also makes a great cup of drip coffee. If you choose this brand, you’ll be able to make various coffee drinks in your kitchen while your taste buds enjoy the coffee shop quality taste.

Things We Like 

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • It comes in a reusable storage canister
  • Great flavor for espresso or drip coffee

Things We Don’t

  • Most expensive coffee on the list

Two Volcanoes Espresso Blend

This bold blend of Robusta and Arabica beans was such a great deal that we had to snap it up and give it a try. It’s roasted in small batches so they can pull the beans before they develop an oily surface coating. 

The beans come from Guatemala in Central America and grow in the shade of the Tajumulco and Tajana volcanoes. This location adds to the beans’ flavor; the soil there is rich in minerals, and the beans are rich in flavor with a hint of dark chocolate.

Things We Like 

  • Strong espresso flavor
  • Blend of Robusta and Arabica beans
  • Bitter dark chocolate undertones

Things We Don’t

  • Can’t reseal the bag for optimal freshness

Wild Jo Dark French Roast Organic Coffee

Jo Coffee is a coffee company that produces fair-trade, organic, kosher, and gluten-free coffee. They source Arabica beans and have a team of cupping experts test each small batch.

Wild Jo is a rich blend with a solid espresso flavor. The undertones are brown sugar and dark cocoa, which is the perfect balance of strong and sweet. The coffee is pre-ground, so your grinder will be safe. The grounds aren’t oily, so they won’t gunk up the machine.

Things We Like 

  • Fair-trade, organic product that is kosher, and gluten-free, so you know the company pays attention to quality
  • Strong espresso flavor with brown sugar and dark cocoa tones
  • Expertly roasted and cupped before packaging

Things We Don’t

  • Sometimes the darkness comes across too bitter

Education

Now you know all about seven great options for beans that won’t clog your espresso machine with oil. But there’s still more to learn before you start using them to brew coffee at home.

Things to Consider

Your number one concern with a superautomatic espresso machine should be the oiliness of the beans. You don’t want to damage your machine in an attempt to get a perfect espresso shot. But beyond oiliness, there are other things you should consider before buying beans.

Coffee Beans

Taste

Most people choose espresso coffee beans based on taste alone. When using a superautomatic machine, you also have to select beans that won’t be too oily for the grinder. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice excellent taste and bold flavor.

Oily dark roasts will clog your grinder, but you should also avoid flavored beans. Roasters use concentrated syrups to add a flavored coating to the outside of the bean. While the beans will absorb most of the flavor, some of the oil will remain outside.

Because darker roasts have more oil, it’s better to choose a medium or medium-dark roast to use in your superautomatic espresso machine.

Freshness

If at all possible, buy coffee beans that have a roasting date on the package. Any manufacturer that wants to deliver the best beans will stamp the roasting date on the bag.

Any bag you find within three to seven days of roasting is an excellent choice for espresso. Once you get the bag home, use the beans within a month to get the freshest flavor.

Single-Origin or Blend?

The coffees we reviewed above are a mix of single-origin and blends of coffee beans because there’s no correct answer for this question. It all depends on your taste. Blends are more affordable and still taste great.

Single-origin coffees come from one geographical region, so they’ll have a stronger taste. If you like rich, black coffee, you’ll prefer single origin.

Price

High-quality coffee beans can be expensive. You get what you pay for. The good thing is, with superautomatic espresso machines, you don’t need to use too much coffee to get a good shot. 

Sometimes it’s worth splurging on pricey espresso beans because you’ll make a great morning cup of coffee. Because you won’t use up the beans as quickly as you might with a drip coffee maker, it might be worth paying a little more.

There are still some budget-friendly items on the list. Don Pablo and Lavazza are the most affordable per ounce, while Illy and Stumptown Coffee Roasters are the most expensive.

Types of Coffee Beans Best for Espresso

Espresso has a signature bold taste, so you need dark beans to get that full, smooth flavor. Medium-dark to dark roasts will produce this richness.

When coffee beans roast, the natural sugars and oils coat the bean. This coating gives the bean unique flavors, like smokey, caramel, chocolate, bitter, or fruity flavors depending on the particular bean’s origin.

Because these dark-roasted beans have so much flavor caramelized on the outside, they give a rich taste to the espresso shots once they’re brewed.

What Coffee Beans Are Non-Oily?

Lighter roasted beans aren’t as oily as dark roast. However, these light roasts have different tastes when you use them to make espresso. It’s possible to get medium and medium-dark roasts that don’t have much oil on the beans.

Buying beans roasted in small batches within hours of roasting is the best way to ensure you’re getting high-quality beans. The roasters keep a close eye on the beans and can stop the roasting process before oil forms.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Beans

Buying the right beans is only the first hurdle to overcome when making a perfect espresso shot. Make sure you have the right grind–a very fine powder–so the water slowly works its way through and gives you the most flavor.

Store the beans properly after you open the container. They’ll stay freshest if you keep them away from air, light, heat, and moisture. Opaque, air-tight canisters are best at keeping out light and air. Keep it in a cool room or cabinet, and you’ll enjoy the freshness until you use the last bean.

You might have heard about keeping coffee beans in your freezer. If you also protect them with an air-tight container, you can store them this way. You still want to be careful that they don’t get freezer burn, negatively affecting the fresh taste.

Even if you buy the non-oily brands on this list, you’ll still want to clean your espresso machine after each use. Don’t use soap, which will only bind to any oil residue on your machine. Instead, use vinegar and baking soda to keep it clean.

Best Brands

The coffee brands on our list are a mix of established names in the brewing business and up-and-coming companies that roast great beans for espresso.

Lavazza

Lavazza started in Italy in 1895. For over a century, they’ve been coffee lovers’ go-to for espresso beans.

Koffee Kult

Koffee Kult started in 2011 in Hollywood, Florida. They use only Arabica beans sourced from 50 countries around the world. 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stumptown Coffee Roasters prides itself on having experienced roasters overseeing beans that they source from around the world. They’ve bought coffee directly from the producers since 2002.

Don Pablo Coffee

Don Pablo started in 1989 in Florida, though they have roots in Colombia and Honduras. They roast beans in small batches to sell worldwide.

Illy

Illy started in Italy in 1933. They use 100% Arabica beans in every coffee they sell. They focus on helping the communities they source from stay sustainable.

Two Volcanoes

Two Volcanoes has sold Guatemalan coffee for over ten years. The company is entirely hands-on in growing, roasting, and packing its coffee to ensure quality.

Jo Coffee

Jo Coffee started in 2013 and sells exclusively on Amazon. They’re still a small company behind the scenes and ensure they sell the best quality beans.

Other Brands

We highlighted our seven favorites, but other quality brands offer espresso beans not coated in oil. Consider trying some of the following:

  • Camano Island Coffee Roasters
  • Kicking Horse Coffee
  • Death Wish Coffee
  • Raven’s Brew Coffee
  • Verena Street Coffee Co.

FAQ

You know what specific coffee beans we like for superautomatic espresso machines, but you might still have questions. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about espresso beans and machines.

How Can You Tell If Coffee Beans Are Oily?

The roasting process causes natural oils and sugars to coat the outside of the coffee beans, so you’ll be able to see that the beans are oily. They’ll look shiny and feel slick between your fingers.

You won’t know how oily the beans are until you see them. Bags of coffee labeled espresso roast might be dark roast, and therefore oily, beans. On the other hand, a manufacturer who doesn’t understand which beans are good for espresso could mislabel them.

Different types of beans have different oil content. The roasting process brings these oils to the surface, but not all of them will have enough oil to leave residue on your machine.

Are Oily Beans Bad for Espresso Machines?

We focused on how bad oily coffee beans are for superautomatic espresso machines based on the grinder alone. Since the grinder is internal, it’s not possible to clean it manually. But that’s not the only component on an espresso machine that you can damage with an oily residue.

Oil will make the bean hopper sticky, preventing the coffee beans from shifting into the grinder. The grinder’s blades will get coated in oily residue. The ground coffee beans will stick to the blades and clump together.

The oil can even stick to the screens and filters, clogging them, making the machine unable to push out the brewed espresso. 

Over time, the oil residue on the machine will give your coffee a burnt or bitter taste. You won’t taste the flavor from the beans because you’re only getting the oil buildup.

What Can You Do If You’ve Previously Used Oily Coffee Beans?

You don’t have to throw out your espresso machine or coffee maker and start over fresh, but you will have to do a major cleaning. It’s best to send the device to a service center for a thorough cleaning.

Once you get the machine back, it will be as good as new. Then you’ll be able to start brewing more espresso using the beans we’ve recommended on this list.

Wrap Up

Every coffee on this list produced delicious espresso shots. Our favorite was the Lavazza Super Crema Medium Roast. It’s a high-quality blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, so it’s affordable. The roast tastes darker than medium roast, so it’s suitable for people who like darker coffee.

If you’re looking for something different for your cup of morning coffee, we recommend Wild Jo Dark French Roast Organic Coffee. We love all the company stands for and its care in cupping each small batch they roast. 

Even though they go above and beyond with their practices, they don’t upcharge the customer, so you won’t break the bank to buy some beans.

No matter which brand you choose from this round-up, make sure you take care of your superautomatic espresso machine. You can prevent oily residue from impacting the amazing taste of your espresso.

Happy Caffeinating! 

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