Semi-automatic espresso machines come with a series of features that do not require your operation. But then, some others are fully adjustable, so you are directly responsible for them. For example, the espresso pump is usually manual. It does not turn off by itself, but you have to do it yourself. The same goes for the grinder. According to espressogusto.com, many semi-automatic espresso machines do not come with built-in grinders. You can find ground coffee in commerce, but it will never be as aromatic as the freshly ground alternative. Therefore, it might be wiser to purchase a separate grinder and coffee beans.