In front of the water tank sits a large cone that holds either the machine's permanent gold filter or reusable Type 4 paper filters. Below that is a sturdy stainless steel thermal carafe to accept and decant your brew. On the left side of the metal coffee pot, you'll find a small keypad complete with tiny LCD screen and minuscule membrane-style buttons. The display also includes a digital clock for checking the time and programming automatic brewing cycles.
The digital control panel makes it easy to play with the programmable menu settings, including coffee strength, temperature, auto off and start time. You can also prepare cappuccino and espressos without having to wait between them thanks to the double boiler system that the ESAM5500B features. Lastly, no matter what coffee you plan on using with it, it’s going to be properly ground thanks to the professional quality conical low pitch burr grinder.
There’s no steam wand for heating and foaming milk, but the Dolce Gusto system has its own way of doing that: drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes are made with two pods: one coffee pod and one special milk pod, used in the amounts specified on the pod lid. Drinking milk expelled from a pod isn’t as appetising as fresh cow juice, we think you’ll agree – but it’s less effort and less mess.
I also hate my Jura-Capresso coffee machines. Not only do they cost a wad of money, the insides cannot be end-user cleaned or serviced. The O rings in the brew mechanism go out after a few years and bring everything to a noisy grinding halt. Plus, the machine makes almost-hot enough coffee... 15 seconds in the microwave and it's hot, but sometimes makes the coffee bitter. I deduct one star for these gripes and now we're at three stars.
One of the things that makes Jura such a world-renown coffee company is that their machines are so easy to use. As long as you have beans, water, and milk in the container, all you have to do is push a button and wait for the perfect cup to arrive. In this case, the Impressa F8 is one of the more technologically proficient models, thanks to its TFT screen.
The Jura-Capresso S8 is a luxurious coffee and espresso machine with a long list of benefits and only a few detractors. The price would be the biggest obstacle for most consumers, and while those with pure coffee tastes may demure at the price tag, coffee connoisseurs who patronize the typical overpriced chain coffee shops could justify the expense. The bottom line is that one cannot fail to make perfect cafe-style drinks with the sexy, state-of-the-art S8 machine.
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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.