The Gaggia Brera is a great budget super automatic espresso machine that not only has a small form factor, but it’s also very well designed and looks great on any kitchen countertop. When thinking about it, the first thing that comes to the mind of those that already use it is convenience. For example, 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.
This hefty Capresso burr grinder is built with a heavy-duty zinc die-cast housing, making it sturdy and reliable. Its large 8-ounce hopper ensures that you won’t be refilling your coffee beans for days. Its burr grinding mechanism produces consistent, uniform grinds in 16 different texture settings, from Turkish at the finest to French press at the coarsest. Because the Capresso 565 has a low RPM, low-heat grinder design, it causes minimal degradation to your coffee beans.
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.
Whether you like it regular, or ristretto, or long, or Americano, the espresso needs to be smooth. There is some slight bitterness, but it should be very faint. The taste should remind of caramel. If you don’t have any idea of the taste, just go to a good coffee shop and order one. Go for a few days, and try to explore different baristas, and different times of the day. This will give you a great idea. If you don’t like it, and you know the coffee shop is a good one, give up, this is not for you. Some people just don’t like espresso. My wife, for instance, will only accept one if there is no other coffee around. At the end of the day, you have to like it, and you should make it your own.
The very first espresso machines worked on a steam-pressure basis, and they’re still in use today. With this type of machine, steam or steam pressure is used to force water through the coffee grounds and produce espresso. Some steam-driven machines can produce a measure of foam “crema.” But they can’t generate enough pressure or provide the precise temperature control necessary to produce true espresso: They simply make a very strong cup of coffee. However, they cost considerably less than pump-driven machines. Our verdict is that if you’re a true espresso lover and seeking to make a good shot at home, we recommend you steer clear of steam-driven machines. They’ll likely disappoint you.
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.
The ultra-modern frother technology prepares milk foam of unprecedented quality. The foam is both fine and compact, giving it a creamy consistency with a subtle sweetness. The frothers have two separate chambers in which the milk is frothed twice. Any bubbles that form will burst, compacting the foam and making it extremely fine. Three bars in the frother spout slow down the foam as it exits the frother, so it is poured slowly and evenly into the cup.
With many of the Jura models available in our review guide, you will be able to control the unit with a large, stunning visual screen that is controlled by buttons on the side and a rotary dial on the top of the unit. With the buttons on the side of the screen, you select a class of coffee beverage such as espresso or plain coffee. After you decide your class of drink, you can literally turn the dial and watch the different drink selections go by until you find one that suits your mood. The interface is finely tuned and at no point does it feel cumbersome or stand in your way. The Jura is an extension of your coffee desires and the only thing standing between you and your perfect drink is the press of a button. For the models that don’t feature the visual display, there is an equally easy to use and ergonomically arranged display of buttons. The three green, yellow, and red lights, coupled with the rotary knob delivery your desired beverage just as quickly and with zero confusion as to how to select it.
For most users looking into bringing home a Jura, the basics of what to look for are a little fuzzy. There isn’t as much general information on Jura espresso machines, but we’ve compiled our favorite key points to keep in mind for your search. Juras can add a professional quality espresso and sophisticated edge to your day, but they also need to be able to fit within the demands of your lifestyle and environment.
The design of the Giga 5 is beautiful, and the clean lines running up and across the unit make it modern and sophisticated. Due to the fact that the Giga 5 has two grinders, pumps and heating systems, it produces a good amount of internal heat. Jura solves this problem by automatically diverting the heat and steam away from the machine via the visually appealing “venti ports,” which in turn provide fresh air into the system.
The ESAM5500B from DeLonghi allows you to finally be your own barista and enjoy delicious lattes and cappuccinos anytime. This model comes with a patented milk container, so if you love Italian drinks and would like to prepare them at home, then the ESAM5500B can easily help you prepare them. All you need to do is slide it onto the front of the espresso machine, place your favorite cup under the nozzle and then press the button corresponding to the type of drink you want to prepare. After that, the machine is going to take care of everything for you. Given the fact that it can be detached easily, you can place the milk container in the refrigerator after each use.
You also get programmable push-button controls for milk, hot water and espresso outputs and given the fact that the 1003380 Accademia dispenses great beverages on demand, it’s great for those who don’t like to wait for long before their drink is ready. In total, there are 7 buttons that you can use in order to prepare one of the following drinks hot water, latte macchiato, latte, cappuccino, cafe lungo, cafe and of course, espresso.