Edit - 01/15/2015: Eight and a half years later, this gem is still cranking out great coffee. I had it serviced by the wonderful folks at CoffeeBoss in Cornelius, NC last year, and it's still going strong with a cup count of 9,922. The brew group is not user serviceable, so occasional maintenance should be expected. I use distilled water (at the cost of flavor, I know) now that I'm back in the city on municipal water, so I don't need or use the Clearyl filter (I recommend it for tap/well water, though), and I do use a cleaning tablet within 5-10 cups of when it starts asking for it on the LED display.
For those really into their coffee drinks, and I mean obsessively so, a separate grinder is an absolute must. That loud noise you hear in the coffee shop every time you go in? That’s the grinder. Now, after saying that, let me tell you the grinder in the F7 is quiet and fast. So don’t worry about your kitchen ending up sounding like a coffee shop’s barista station.
I like that it does much the same as the higher end models do. The simple fact that it doesnt have a digital read out is to me the only difference between it and say and E8 model which is generaly more money. It makes great coffee as well as hot tea and the temperature is plenty hot while not being too hot. The steam frother makes some of the best froth I have ever experienced. Good sized reservoir compared to most. Simple to learn how to operate and clean. I bought it because my daughter was taking her E8 away and I didnt want to spend as much as she did.
From the outside, the Giga 5 looks attractive. It has a color TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screen display on the top front and center, with a stylish aluminum chassis with black plastic sides. This unit will definitely enhance the look of any kitchen. There’s a dedicated hot water spout at the front of the machine plus a couple of adjustable spouts for making coffee. Located on top of the unit you will find on/off buttons, a program button, and a rotary switch that is key to navigating the Giga’s menu.
The other point that we wanted to highlight isn’t necessarily a negative per se, but just the fact that it’s a lot to spend, and let’s face it – it is! There’s a lot of machines available in the sub £500 range, and we’d never advocate or encourage spending more than you can afford. Having said that, you do get what you pay for, and in this case we believe it’s exceptional quality. If you really love coffee, it’s probably worth paying as much as you’re comfortable with to get a great machine, and that’s exactly what you’re getting here.
With a built-in coffee grinder, the Ena Micro 1 will grind your beans just before brewing, and store your beans in an airtight, aroma-preserving chamber on top of the machine. The variable brewing chamber allows for you to choose the individual preparation and strength of two cups at one time. And the included filter ensures your water is as pure as possible for the best-tasting espresso around.
3) This machine is crazy smart. It knows exactly when to clean itself, or tells you when to start the cleaning cycle. To clean it, all you do is insert a tablet in the coffee powder drawer and it does its thing. It knows when it needs water, when the filter needs to be changed, etc. In fact, since we have a water filter built into our refrigerator, we just use that filtered water in the coffee machine and therefore we don't need to use the expensive water filters. Bottom line, if you just pay attention and clean the machine on a regular basis when it tells you to, this is a no-brainer machine.