The shining feature of the Jura is just how freshly the coffee is before its brewed. With conventional drip coffee makers, you load it with pre-ground coffee that has a good chance of already being somewhat stale. After all, ground coffee starts to go downhill quickly after being ground. Slightly more expensive drip coffee makers try to solve this problem by allowing you to set a timer to grind the coffee fresh every morning, but it’s still going to sit there for some length of time before it gets brewed. The Jura coffee machine has cracked the code by grinding beans fresh for every single cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino or latte. It doesn’t grind it until you are about to drink it, which gives you a fresher cup of coffee than most coffee shops will be able to provide. Not having to grind the coffee yourself and then clean the grinder is on it’s own and huge step in the direction of convenience.
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.
I only have one minor quibble with this machine; if you like cappuccino, it produces foam that is weak and deflates easily. I have troubleshot this problem from every possible angle (tried different percent milkfat, different milks(soy), different milk temps etc.) and the results were still a little disappointing. I purchased the Milk Frothing accessory designed for this unit and still could not produce the more velvety foam I was seeking. The easiest fix for this is to buy an Aerolatte: steam your milk with the F9 (the steam function works great) and then whip till your hearts content with the Aerolatte. For an extra $15 bucks spent on the Aerolatte, you'll have the perfect cup of cappuccino to rival any cafe.
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.
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.
As with other Jura machines, the Impressa Z6 is hygienic and conveniently cleans up after itself. The extra large 2.4 L water tank has a handle for easy removing, and is designed to work with a Smart Water Filter, which uses RFID technology to communicate with the control panel about its lifespan, automatically alerting you when it needs changing. Using a filter ensures great tasting coffee and reduces the need for descaling. The Impressa Z6 automatically rinses on start up, and keeps a reminder to clean the milk circuit on-screen when needed. All of the maintenance processes, such as brew group cleaning and descaling, will throw alerts as well, and are easily accessed through the TFT display where they can be performed by pressing a button. Step up to the Giga 5 for a dual grinder, dual boiler machine for high speed brewing and added functionality; or for a smaller machine you can control with your smartphone, take a look at the intuitive, ultra-convenient J6.
Milk Frother. Fitted with two exchangeable spouts, this unit provides a choice between two options. One option is like a professional grade spout that allows the user to froth the milk manually. The other is for those who are less interested in the intricacies of froth, providing a pre-set option for either cappuccino (more foam) or latte (less foam).
When it comes to grinding the coffee beans, the ESAM3500.N has an integrated conical burr grinder which allows you to further adjust the fineness of your selected settings. Other excellent features you’re going to love about this model include the decalcification system which alerts you when you have to clean the machine, a hot water sport for hot chocolate and tea, 2 boilers (stainless steel) for greater durability and faster recovery, but also a 60 oz water reservoir (removable) and a seven oz bean container.
Excellent work horse. We purchased the Jura-Capresso Impressa F9 16 years ago for a wedding present to us and we have never had any issues with it...it's an excellent product. We have sent it back to the maker to have it cleaned a couple of times over the years and the service has been fantastic. Don't let the price throw you off....it's worth every penny.
“I Love the convenience of having an automatic Cappuccino machine; it's easy to use and work around if you're used to electronic machines. I like the fact it cleans itself but what the manual and reviews don’t tell you - ALWAYS HAVE A CUP UNDER IT as it rinses a lot and sometimes it does it automatically. So Far So good hope it lasts for years and years.” - Duha, Amazon Customer
The Gaggia RI8762 is truly a great espresso maker and since it incorporates an auto frothing milk carafe, you can easily use it in order to produce rich milk that has a creamy and delicious texture that’s perfect for lattes and cappuccinos. Just like the original Anima, the Gaggia RI8762 features a ceramic burr grinder which you can set so that it uses one of the five grind settings in order to easily accommodate the blend and roast of your espresso. In terms of maintenance, the Gaggia RI8762 is very simple to clean and that is thanks to the fact that it incorporates the company’s patented removable brew group.
The machine is very nice looking in person, very sleek. The instruction manual is pretty sparse on details. It has enough, but it's a little intimidating for a first time user. I took my time and found out that the programming is very user friendly and easy to use. I have ours on our counter with a cabinet overhead. When I fill water reservoir I do pull the machine a bit forward because the reservoir is deep and you have to lift it straight up. It's easy to do but you need a bit of clearance. The bean hopper is in the back, so I pull the machine forward a bit to fill that, as well. Very easy to do. One thing I wanted in the J9 was the option to use a water filter. I have hard water from our tap, and had been filling our DeLonghi from our filtered refrigerator dispenser, but that was cumbersome. With the Jura filter I can fill the deep reservoir right in the little bar sink I have next to the machine. I tested the water before and after, and the Jura filter definitely works to reduce hardness, which is important in keeping the machine free from mineral scale buildup. I think it will be well worth the expense of replacing the filters. It came with one filter and a couple of descaling tabs, which I have not had to use yet.
Super Automatic Espresso Machines are remarkable devices that provide the pinnacle of espresso machine automation. They literally do almost everything for you but drink your espresso. A super automatic espresso machine typically will grind your coffee beans, properly measure them and the water to be used, froth milk for you, and dispense a perfect beverage for you with the touch of a button. Further, they will remember your favorite recipes and customization.
The IMPRESSA J9 is probably the most popular model after the newer Micro 9 due to its breadth of features and overall precision when brewing and crafting a litany of specialty coffee drinks. The concept behind the J9 could not be simpler: simply use the rotary dial to select your desired drink, press the button, and sit back and enjoy. This model is absolutely beautiful and looks like it was pulled right out of an Italian café. The matte sheen and silver hard plastic give the J9 and functional sophistication that will definitely impress you.
When the milk is finally steamed on the dual element system, the machine is ready to continue making more espresso shots. Keep in mind that if you choose to get a single element machine, you’ll need to wait five minutes so that the boiler can cool off naturally and then run hot water through the steam wand for ten seconds in order to purge the boiler of steam.
Last but not least, this machine features 5 level water hardness selectors and makes it a breeze to set it to your specific water hardness. On top of that, it can also count the number of coffee cups you’ve consumed, how many times the machine was cleaned, how often the steam function was used and so on. If you want, you can keep stats on a daily basis.
Because this Capresso grinder uses the same high-quality, low RPM conical burr grinder design as the 565, this machine preserves the subtlest aromatics of your coffee beans. It produces a consistent, uniform, and delicious grind in 16 settings, suitable for almost any brew types. Its large hopper is convenient, and will store several days worth of beans at a time.
Hate getting up in the morning? That’ll change with the Z6. Just the thought of gazing at this handsome clean, shiny chrome machine was enough to have us leaping out of bed at 6am. Brewing coffee is fairly simple and yields powerful, yet tasty cups. Espresso based drinks are a cinch to produce too—but often taste slightly watered down. The best part is though is the nearly silent grinder, which is quiet enough to run on full power without fear of waking the whole house up. —Neil Gellar