For fairly basic (and moderately priced) super automatic espresso maker is a great product. This well-designed expresso machine produces four great beverages. The Saeco HD8911/47 Incanto Carafe Super Automatic Espresso Machine produces a four superior beverages automatically while being designed for user minimum maintenance. It has the styling and materials that mark it as a superior espresso 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.
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.
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.
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.
This machine can invade your dreams with all its capabilities. One of the coolest is its ability to automatically fully clean itself but don’t forget about the straight forward programming, which is so simple the only time you’ll need the manual is to figure out what buttons to hold down. Last but not lease, the capabilities of customizing your drink is even above the ESAM3500, which is impressive
So I'm at my local Goodwill store and I was just getting ready to leave when one of the employees brought a cart out of the back with the Jura Capresso F9 sitting on it... I had drooled over their products online for quite a while now but sadly could not afford to drop 1900.00 (what they cost new) on an espresso machine. When I saw the F9 sitting on the cart I quickly grabbed it but noticed a tag on it that said "AS IS NO RETURN" and the price tag below reading $49.99. I was willing to take a chance & at $49.99 I figured I could always sell it for parts on an online auction and get my money back or even make a tiny profit if it didn't work. I got home and downloaded a manual plugged it in, programmed it, installed the filter (there were 4 new filters with it & that alone is worth the $49.99) added espresso beans & guess what it worked perfectly! I have since used it daily, mornings I have a quadruple espresso and evenings I have a latte with 2 shots... It's easy to clean & maintain and having paid only $49.99 I felt like I won the lottery ..
Some machines can be quite slow to work their way through programmes, but Jura have put a lot of thought into minimising these delays. The water heating tends to be the cause of the waits, so the F8’s solution is to heat it as it passes through the internal pipes of the machine. The technical detail is a bit beyond us, but it seems to work well. If you want to know more and like the geeky detail, give ‘Jura Thermoblock’ a Google!
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.
There is a learning curve and one has to get the coffee to water ratio correct for one's preferences...changing it for other drinkers. But it is truly automatic, which is nice for serving more than one person quickly, brews quickly and makes very good coffee. Jura took this machine and rewired it per the wiring recall on this model, returned it, all at no cost to me.
I'm coming up on a year with this machine in December. It can be a little picky about the beans (not oily). But with lavazza super crema beans, it performs quite well. I very seldom get a shot that I don't like. I vary my drinks day to day, and enjoy straight espresso, cortados, lattes, and occasionally coffee. It doesn't disappoint in either of the modes. I don't like that if I program my drink (2 shot espresso) and double tap the start button, it will simply pull double the volume, and not do a full 2 cycles of the double shot. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of the shots when I do this.
Everything about the Gira 5 is perfectly designed and engineered to produce incredible coffee drinks at twice the pace of other units. If we had a need for this much coffee this is the model we would buy, but our current consumption simply doesn’t warrant it. The Giga 5 is very popular in office settings but we also know families who entertain that have it in their home.