First of all, these machines are actually coffee machines that will prepare you the perfect espresso shot, cappuccino, etc with the push or touch of a single button, unlike semiautomatic coffee makers. So when you press the button, the machine will ground whole beans, adjust the right dose of ground coffee to be used, but also place and then tamps the coffee and finally brews it and dispense it.
If you are going to try to make other coffees with this machine, plan on doing some trial runs to get it right. Since you can adjust the amount of water and beans, you can make standard coffee if you want, but it’s not going to be as good as the espresso. Overall, we only recommend this to espresso drinkers, but it’s nice to know that you can make other beverages if and when you want a change.
Anyone who is looking for the perfect espresso machine, should certainly take a closer look at the Cuisinart EM-600. This model is able to brew excellent traditional coffee beverages and espresso shots at the touch of a button and without you having to worry about moving the cup. The EM-600 incorporates a removable milk tank (22 oz) which sends frothy, creamy and hot milk right into your cup for barista quality, hands free latte and cappuccino. If you want to use it with the Illy Espresso capsule system, you’ll be very happy to know that this model offers innovative froth controls, flavor strength and temperature control with the push of a button.

You get a full roster of customer support with the Capresso EC-100. If you run into problems, you can contact customer service using a toll-free phone line during business hours or by email. You can also check the Capresso Facebook page to learn more about your espresso maker. You get a one-year warranty with this espresso machine, which is typical for the espresso maker industry.
It would be a mistake to say that there’s no learning curve at all on the E8.  It has one; it’s just not particularly steep.  Sure, there are a lot of settings, and a lot of things you can change, tweak and adjust, but honestly, the hardest part of its operation is going to be changing your preferred drink settings and familiarizing yourself with the way the menus work.
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.
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Better coffee at home than you can buy at a coffee shop. We had several Keurigs but found the machines didn't hold up well and also created so much waste with the discarded k-cups. The Jura is easy to use, gives clear instructions via an electronic display and brews the best coffee. You fill the machine with whole bean coffee and water. Each cup is brewed using freshly ground coffee beans. When the grounds fill an included receptacle, the machine prompts you to empty the grounds, which are biodegradable and great for your plants or garden. One word of advise for new owners - remember to keep an empty cup under the spout, as the machine does a "rinse" cycle after each cup.


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.
When prompted by the machine that it’s time to clean, find the “clean” option under the various cleaning programs and be prepared to follow the instructions it gives you. This is usually as quick as emptying the grounds tray and pressing the rotary dial one more time. Please a cup or jug under the spout to capture the cleaning waste that will be dispelled from the machine. You will hear the machine perform an initial rinse, and then prompt you to add the cleaning tablet which will be inserted into the pre-ground coffee compartment. After another push of the rotary button, the machine will go through an approximately 20 minute cycle so you’ll want to do it when you have a bit of time.
The Wrap-up: While someone with simple tastes may be content with a twenty dollar automatic drip coffee maker or instant powders, real coffee lovers will appreciate the finer points of the Jura-Capresso S8. Not only will this superb machine turn out brews worthy of elegant European cafes, but it does so with a surprisingly little effort from the user, thanks to its simple “one-touch” programming.

The Wrap-up: While someone with simple tastes may be content with a twenty dollar automatic drip coffee maker or instant powders, real coffee lovers will appreciate the finer points of the Jura-Capresso S8. Not only will this superb machine turn out brews worthy of elegant European cafes, but it does so with a surprisingly little effort from the user, thanks to its simple “one-touch” programming.
Like the Sage Express, Panasonic’s NC-ZA1 is a “bean to cup” espresso machine: it takes whole beans, grinds them and pushes hot water through them at pressure to produce a cup of coffee. That’s pretty much where the similarities end, however, because unlike the old-school Express, the NC-ZA1 makes almost the entire process automated – and controllable via touchscreen.

A “proper” machine that can deliver both single and double shot espressos, its spout has a dual opening allowing you to make two coffees simultaneously. There’s also a steam wand for foaming milk, and the water tank has a decent 1.2l capacity, meaning you won’t need to refill it after making three cups o’ joe. In addition to ground coffee, it’ll also accept E.S.E. coffee pods (we weren’t able to test these, but as they’re made in almost precisely the same way as regular espressos, we imagine they’ll work just fine).
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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