I'm a busy fella, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my morning double shot of espresso or a silky cortado because of it. After a lengthy search, I found the Philips 2200 -- an espresso machine for anyone who demands good, fresh coffee but doesn't necessarily need to be the one who makes it.
Two of Philips' excellent automatic espresso machines are on deep discount right now for Black Friday. The first -- and my personal pick -- is the Philips 2200. It's down 46% from the sticker price to a tempting $349. That's a savings of $301 and the lowest we've ever seen it drop.
The fully automatic home barista grinds the beans, measures and tamps the grounds, brews one or two shots of smooth espresso and adds hot water if you prefer American-style coffee. It even cleans itself afterward with a flush of steamy H20. Oh, and all this happens in around 30 seconds and with the touch of one button. No, really.
Ahh, the future is here and it's making my mornings a true delight.
The Philips 2200 is like having a live-in barista and it's helped turn me into a morning person. You can easily toggle between espresso and coffee (Americano) or change the strength of your brew. The 2200 has a bean receptacle that holds a full bag and feeds into the automatic grinder. It also takes preground coffee, should you prefer. The water is even filtered before brewing and the machine lets you know when it needs changing, after about 500 cups.
The price normally hovers around $500 or more and it's never been this cheap before.
The second, slightly more feature-heavy espresso machine, the LatteGo 3200, is down to $549 at Williams Sonoma. The key difference is that the 3200 has an automatic milk frother instead of just a steam wand to make full barista drinks without having to do any of the labor. It also has a separate hot water spout for making tea in a flash. I've tested this model and found the frother works OK, but it's not totally worth the extra money.
The beefed-up 4300 will actually steam the milk for you and is also down about $250 from the sticker price. My pick still goes to the less expensive 2200 model, but the 3200 is a formidable coffee maker that has also fared well in testing.