While it might seem odd to mention, some people do like to use pre ground coffee with a bean to cup machine, at least occasionally. A common reason is to get a cup of decaffeinated coffee from time to time, without needing to empty out the beans from the hopper, make a drink then switch it all back again. Similarly, if you have a brand of pre-ground coffee that you like as a change from your normal freshly ground beans every so often, the Impressa F8 has you covered.
Aside from the flexibility of using either the supplied gold filter or store-bought paper ones, the Capresso MT600 sports other thoughtful extras. For instance, the right side of the water tower not only features a graduated water indicator which is a staple for these type of products, but its tank fluid gauge boasts a floating red bead that makes it a cinch to see exactly where the water line is in relation to its 10 cup capacity. Frankly, it's a trick I wish other coffee makers employed.
The new Gaggia Brera is a very impressive super automatic espresso machine that has a small form factor, making it perfect for use on small kitchen countertops. Not only that, but it seems that the company has focused, among other things, to ensure that the Brera fully maximizes user convenience. For instance, the water tank, drop tray and the dregs drawer are all within reach and can be easily accessed from the machine for simple, swift maintenance and regular cleaning. With this model, beverage selection and machine programming has been greatly simplified, allowing users to easily navigate through the options which are certainly more than you’d expect from such a small machine.
That’s a pity because as auto-frothers go, it’s a very good one. The one thing we’re not so crazy about is the fact that you’ve got to run plastic tubing from your milk source (you have to provide your own, by the way – you do not get one when you purchase the machine) to the frothing arm, which makes your very expensive coffee machine look like a high school science project.