Fully automatic espresso machines are kind of a luxury. They’re expensive, and they can take up a lot of space, but that may be a small price to pay for getting the equivalent of a barista at your service every day. I recently bought a Philips 4300 series fully automatic coffee machine with LatteGo to test out and see whether it’s worth the splurge.
Review: Philips 4300 automatic espresso machine
Philips 4300 Espresso Maker
This machine is the Cadillac of automatic espresso machines. It’s smarter than the previous version and it makes more drinks too. The espresso is outstanding, and the machine is so easy to use and to clean.
- Makes 8 drinks, including hot water & hot milk
- Espresso quality is great
- Adjustable temperature
- Milk froths up well
- Easy to clean
- Ceramic burr grinder, adjustable
- all drinks are customizable
- Milk is measured & dispensed automatically
- Size? (Bigger than a Nespresso but smaller than a Jura)
In this review I’ll tell you what kind of drinks it can make, how they taste, what the cleanup is like and how this newer version compares to the Philips 3200 series I reviewed last year.
What is an Automatic Espresso Machine?
Automatic espresso machines do all the work of making espresso for you: they grind the beans, tamp down the grounds, heat the water and extract the espresso under high pressure. They will also clean themselves and give you automatic feedback and instructions. It takes all the work out of enjoying espresso and espresso-based drinks.
See my hands-on video review
The machines don’t use pods or plastic cups; you get fresh ground espresso from exactly the beans you choose to use, and your coffee is made fresh at the moment.
Many automatic espresso machines will also have some kind of milk heating and frothing ability; some use a traditional wand steamer while others have containers and tubes that do it automatically.
As I noted, these machines can be expensive. The Jura lineup will set you back about $2000. The Philips 3400 LatteGo by comparison is about $899USD/$1400CAD.
What is Latte Go Milk System?
I’ll get to the details on the espresso in just a sec, but first I want to touch on one of the key components of this machine and that’s the LatteGo milk system. The ‘system’ is basically just a special container that you fill with milk, snap into place, and then let it do its work.
The LatteGo frother mixes milk and air at high speed in the chamber, then pours a the hot milk right into your cup at just the right temperature, promises Philips. The container is made up of three parts now: the lid, the clear cup and a bracket (the 3200 had just two: a lid and the cup), and Philips said it’s designed with minimal tubes and small parts to make it easy to clean.
You can rinse it under hot water for a quick clean, or toss it in the dishwasher.
The milk container is easy to use, though I am a bit puzzled about why the milk container has been redesigned. Ow with the cup and bracket, if you don’t click them together tightly, milk spills from a small hole in the bottom of the cup. Weird, and yes I did get milk everyone and that’s how I know. Even so, the LatteGo system is easy to use, and fast to clean.
Philips 4300 makes 8 espresso-based drinks
Coffee lovers have their favorites and the Philips 3400 LatteGo is designed to make the core beverages at the touch of a single button.
This version of the machine makes 8 different drinks: Espresso, Cappuccino, Coffee, Ristretto, Latte Macchiato, Café au Lait, Americano, and Caffé crema, and it will dispense Hot water of just do steamed milk. (The 3200 by comparison made just 5 drinks: Black Coffee, Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino and Latte macchiato. It will also dispense hot water.)
Making coffee drinks with Philips 4300
To make a drink, choose your beverage from the control panel and press start. We’ll start here with an espresso. The machine will grind the beans, and make your espresso shot on the spot. To brew one shot of espresso from start to finish it takes about 30 seconds.
If you want a double, just tap the double shot option and it will make two individual shots, unlike some machines which just use the same amount of beans but with twice the water.
You can customize your drink too… if you do want a longer shot, you can tell the machine to add more water; you can also adjust the strength of the brew too, and the amount of milk in your drink.
The control panel is actually pretty easy to understand and adapt to and gives you everything you need to know at a glance, including notifications when the grinds bin is full and needs to be emptied or when you’re out of water or beans.
I tried making a few different drinks on the Philips 4300. Double espressos are generally my daily go-to but I also tried the Latte, cafe au lait, latte macchiato and a cappuccino.
When you turn the machine on it will heat up and automatically rinse the machine without you needing to press any more buttons.
The espresso was great; the shots brewed up pretty fast and I loved that the double shots were perfect doubles, not just double long shots. The espresso came out hot and creamy with a nice crema on top. I was actually really impressed with the overall quality of the espresso.
The cappuccino was a significant improvement over the last Philips automatic machine I tried. The foam was good quality and fluffy and the machine seems to be able to measure and dispensse its own milk, unlike the 3400 version which relies on your filling the milk container with the correct amount of milk.
I tried a cafe au lait, which is supposed to be strong coffee and milk. The coffee was really weak and watery to me, so I made it over manually with an extra water double espresso and that was actually much better.
The Latte Macciato was actually a nice drink too; great layering, thick foam and a well balanced drink.
Ceramic grinder & sealed bean hopper
I was impressed to see this machine has a ceramic burr grinder built in. I bought a dedicated ceramic burr grinder a few years ago when I was making manual espressos and I can tell you they are expensive but worth every penny thanks to their durability and precision of grind
On the Philips 4300, you can adjust the grind to one of 12 settings too from coarse to fine. The large bean hopper can easily hold a pound of coffee and it seals up well too to keep beans from getting stale. The lower the grind setting, the finer the coffee beans are ground and the stronger the coffee.
Worth noting too is that you can use pre-ground coffee to make regular coffee. I actually tried using pre ground espresso, and it’s quick and easy to use; just pour a spoonful of ground espresso into the little bin, then you do need to adjust your setting so the machine knows to use the ground coffee. It’s easy enough to switch the setting and a great shot comes out in seconds.
Large water tank & adjustable spout
Another impressive feature is the large water tank which holds 1.8L of water. A filter can also be inserted into the machine to cut down on the need for descaling or if you have crappy tasting water.
The drink spout on this machine is also height- adjustable to to create room for a variety of coffee and espresso cups.
Adjustable coffee temperature
The Philips 4300, like the 3200 lets you adjust your coffee temperature. While you can’t give it a precise temperature you can choose between low, medium or high. The machine is set to medium by default and that brews espresso at about 150F; a hot but drinkable temperature. Unfortunately, you don’t get to adjust the temperature for the coffee and the milk separately; you’re getting an overall setting here, but at least you have some room to adjust.
Changing the temperature is a little easier than in the 3200 too, it’s a couple of clicks into the settings menu. You can also adjust the auto shutoff timer from 5, to 30, 60 or 180 minutes.
Easy to clean up
A machine like this is no fun if you’ve got to work to keep it clean. With just a handful of parts, the Philips 3200 is super easy to keep clean. The grounds bin and water tray slide out and can be rinsed quickly or tossed in the dishwasher and they only need emptying after about every 12 drinks or shots.
The grounds bin also didn’t need emptying very often at all; maybe once a week, which was nice. The machine will also apparently brew up to 5,000 cups of coffee without having to descale and the machine should tell you when it’s time.
This machine also has a removable brew group, and that’s just a fancy word for the mechanics that actually make your espresso. You access the brew group via a door in the back of the water tank, and Philips recommends you clean it weekly. It just rinses with water and air dries.
Overall review: Philips 4300 automatic espresso machine
This machine is a bit smarter than the previous version and it makes a few more drinks too. The espresso is outstanding, and the machine is so easy to use and to clean. It’s got a huge water tank and a smaller footprint than some other automatic machines. I love that it has a ceramic burr grinder and that the brew group is removable and easily cleans under running water. Ditto for the LatteGo container which cleans up well and couldn’t be easier to use. Compared to something like a Nespresso, there’s no pods to recycle either.
Downsides? Honestly, I am struggling to find something about this machine I didn’t like. I suppose it could be the price. While it is expensive at $899 USD/$1400CAD, that price is actually substantially more affordable than a lot of other similar super automatic espresso machines.
I can definitely recommend the Philips 4300 LatteGo if you’re in the market for a fully automatic espresso machine that can do more.
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