Semi-automatic espresso machines are just that—semi-automatic. Some of the steps are automated, but many are not. This allows the user to put their personal stamp on the final product but without doing some of the tedious steps that are involved in making an espresso on the stove top. Here’s a look at some of the features that make a semi-automatic espresso machine such a great pickup for the ultimate espresso lover:
A recent addition to Jura’s impressive line of coffee machines is the Impressa F8 which incorporates the best features from some of the new and older units of Jura. This Jura coffee machine is the first compact machine with a full color TFT LCD display. The 2.8 inch LCD display makes it a lot easier for users to understand what their machine is doing.
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.
Jura Giga 5: Setting new standards in performance and aesthetics, the Giga 5 features two ceramic disc grinders, 2.6-liter water tank, a monitored drip tray, two heating systems, a variable brewing chamber, height-adjustable coffee spout and an Intelligent Pre-Brew Aroma system that allows the coffee aroma to fully develop. It’s professional technology that lets you brew an unprecedented range of drinks in the comfort of your own home.
Most modern coffee machines will feature a foam frother and this is also a vital part of a coffee machine like the Jura C65. The majority of users actually require this feature in order to make tasty lattes and cappuccinos. The good news is that the Jura C65 does indeed feature a revolutionary fine foam technology that ensures the milk has lots of foam. On top of that, the coffee spout’s height is adjustable, so you can easily fit a wide range of cups ranging from sixty five millimeters and up to one hundred and eleven millimeters.
Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch Automatic Coffee Center: It might be the world’s smallest automatic machine but it offers big features. The compact machine can prepare a cappuccino and a latte macchiato at the touch of a button and, thanks to fine foam technology, the fine milk foam is always creamy and sweet. The Micro 90 also features a professional grade conical burr grinder, a powerful pump that produces 15 bars of pressure and a one-touch display.
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.
It’s a lovely looking, all-metal thing, with even accessories like the tamper and milk jug exuding an air of quiet, understated luxury. The portafilter is reassuringly weighty and solid, locking into the group head with a satisfying twist. There are clever little touches you can’t see or immediately feel that add to the feeling of quality too: on top is a tray that warms your cups, and the 2l water tank has an integrated, changeable filter.
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
This is probably one of the more important points to note – just how easy it is to get started. Bean to cup coffee machines tend to fall into two categories, they are either easy to use but inflexible, or take time to master and give a lot of opportunity to experiment. This Jura machine gives a lot of scope to both, which is great if you’re short on practice time or not sure if you’ve got the skills needed just yet.
Yep, the Barista Express isn’t just an elegant, well-built espresso machine – it also features a built-in grinder, allowing you to make coffee with beans you’ve smashed into dust literally seconds earlier. Freshness means a lot in the coffee world, so this is a Big Deal – as is the low-pressure pre-infusion of the grounds before the water is forced through them at higher 50 bar pressure.
Jura A1: The newest addition to the brand’s award-winning line of automatic coffee centers, the Micro 1 is an ultra-compact one-cup machine that brews the perfect cup of espresso. Program the machine for three defined cup sizes, two aroma levels and an aroma preservation cover that keeps the coffee beans fresh. The small but powerful machine also has an intelligent preheating feature that ensures the coffee and crema are the perfect temperature.
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).
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.
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.
3) This machine is crazy smart. It knows exactly when to clean itself, or tells you when to start the cleaning cycle. To clean it, all you do is insert a tablet in the coffee powder drawer and it does its thing. It knows when it needs water, when the filter needs to be changed, etc. In fact, since we have a water filter built into our refrigerator, we just use that filtered water in the coffee machine and therefore we don't need to use the expensive water filters. Bottom line, if you just pay attention and clean the machine on a regular basis when it tells you to, this is a no-brainer machine.