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.
Now that great espresso shots aren't hard to find, this machine is more about convenience and reliability than knock-your-socks-off espresso. But it does make great coffee - better than any Mr. Coffee or even Keurig. I keep Dark Roast Guatemalan Viennese in the bean hopper, pull two one-ounce shots, lengthen them with hot water, and I'm drinking awesome coffee before my neighbor has finished peeling the foil on his can of Maxwell House. And since I'm just buying good old whole beans, it's much cheaper to use than a Keurig.
I have owned this for about 9 months and gotten nearly 1000 uses out of it (it counts for you). It can equal most coffeehouse product you are likely to find, but as others point out, it is far short of what an enthusiast can create from more traditional equipment. You may also find the crema coffee settings to be something of an acquired taste (but you can make an Americano in just one more step, which is always great).
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.

You don’t even have to deal with the coffee grounds right away: they just drop into a little box that needs periodic emptying. Like the the 1.4l water tank, this box slides out of the front of the machine, which means you don’t need to fumble around at the back or move it away from the wall every few cups of coffee you make. It’s a nice touch, especially as the water tank in particular requires regular topping up: every time you switch the machine on, it flushes water through its pipes to keep them clean. It’s a bit of a faff, but it has its benefits: the NC-ZA1 makes a surprisingly delicious cup of coffee.

Combine luxury with functionality when you choose the DeLonghi Gran Dama Avant espresso system. One of the most versatile and customizable systems in home espresso, this system easily crafts specialty coffee drinks with its Single Touch hot milk system. A digital touch screen control panel ensures ease of use, while 5 coffee strength and 4 size settings allow you to fine-tune your drink.
We always like to find a negative or two, and this has to be the biggest one by far for the Jura. For us, the temperature is fine, but we do understand that some people like their coffee as near to boiling point as possible without burning the coffee. It’s probably going to be a minority of coffee lovers that find this to be a deal breaker (hint: if that’s you, take a look at Heston’s Dual Boiler), for most of us, we find that it takes the roof of our mouth off!
As we continue on our journey of Jura Coffee Makers, the Impressa C65 is another “standard” unit. It doesn’t have all of the accouterments of higher-end models, but it still makes an incredible cup of coffee, and it offers the speed and convenience that you would expect from Jura. Overall, we would compare this model to the ENA 9 above, although this one can make two cups at once.
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.

My wife LOVES coffee...I like coffee...she works ..I work...we have three kids...I would try to stay in bed longer than her to keep from having to make the coffee in the morning.. For Christmas I bought an Impressa F7 ..I was only prepared to spend about $1000 on a coffee machine at Williams-Sonoma...but the machine I could get for that really lacked some basic features...there were more expensive machines...but the F7 seemed to have most of what I wanted ...I got up Christmas morning to set up the machine, which was relatively easy...(although after 7 or 8 cups of "tweeking" the machine, my heart was pounding up in my throat and when the kids came down to see what Santa had left them I sent them back upstairs for making too much noise)...The coffee was REALLY good...it took a while to learn how to adjust the machine to get what we each liked, but now we love the machine...although there are occassional issues such as a luke warm cup now and then and the frother is marginal...it has made our life in the morning a very pleasant experience...it really doesn't require much upkeep ....wouldn't give it up now...


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.
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