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.
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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:
Maintenance and Cleaning: If you use steamed milk, I highly suggest changing the setting to display the "Rinse Milk System" prompt to appear right after using. The default is 10 minutes, and you cannot select this rinse from the Maintenance menu. The quicker you rinse out the milk residue, the less likely you are to get clogs. The manual also suggests to use the Jura Cappuccino Cleaner daily. I tend to rinse often and do a breakdown cleaning of the milk system and frother about every other day.

Six years and 7540 shots of espresso. The only downside of this machine is that it is too easy to use so that you end up drinking more cups than you might otherwise. It's very fast to heat up, both for the main heating block, as well as for steam. The steamer wand takes some practice to get good, tight foam, but once you figure out the technique it's not difficult. The openings in the wand can clog up if you don't wipe it down right after use. I also give a short blast of steam right after that as well. After about five years we bundled it up and sent it in to the factory for cleaning and reconditioning. It came back as good as new and it's still going strong. About the only real negative aspect to the machine is that it tends to be a bit noisy, but probably no more so than someone using a fully manual pull machine and grinder.


With the Impressa C9, you get programmed beverage buttons for espresso, cappuccino, coffee, hot water or milk. A 14oz. milk container is included and a burr grinder is built-into the machine. The 64-ounce removable water tank is easy to clean, and the ThermoBlock heating system keeps water at the optimal temperature. With an 18-bar power pump, this machine brews fantastic espresso.
There are other factors to consider, such as color and material, but most Jura machines come with customizable aesthetics. We will cover more in-depth things to know in the next couple of sections, but for now, hold on to this list of general thoughts as we begin to browse the different Jura lines and examine what each different type of machine has to offer.
With the look of a shrink-rayed professional espresso machine, the grinning fizzog of shaven-headed culinary chemist Heston Blumenthal on the box and a price tag that puts it out of reach of all but the most well-heeled caffeine fiend, the Barista Express (branded as Breville in the US and Sage in the UK) is clearly aimed at those seeking a major step up in their home-brewed coffee.
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.
4) The coffee and espresso are great. I've learned to make a latte just like Starbuck's and I haven't been back since. Some people complain that the frother doesn't work well, but here's the trick: first, you should use non-fat or low-fat milk. For some reason, lower fat milk froths better every time; second, be sure to clean the frothing nozzle after each use. Kind of a no-brainer, I know. Third, there are two settings on the frother, and you can change the setting by sliding the sleeve on the frothing tip up or down. Experiment with this and you will get the perfect froth, really.
The first thing you’ll probably notice when making your coffee is just how quiet the Giga 5 is. This is thanks to the two ceramic disk grinders that occupy each side of the unit and operate just above a whisper. These discs will probably never wear our and the grind on them is extremely precise and always consistent. It offers 18 completely customizable specialty drinks through the intuitive and easy to navigate display which provide enough variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
Using a high performance fifteen bar pump and a powerful thermoblock boiler, the Jura C60 is able to brew coffee very fast and with amazing results. You can easily program your desired water volume and coffee dosage in order to brew a delicious shot every single time. You can also use the 2 brew temperature settings, including the IPBAS system to ensure crema rich extractions. However, if you’d like to brew with pre ground coffee, the bypass doser is certainly going to help you get some great results with that. Lastly, the C60 features height adjustable spouts, meaning you can use cups that are anywhere between two point six to four point four inches tall.

Let’s take making a cappuccino with the Jura, for example. Instead of having to froth your milk manually, the Jura will froth the milk for you and layer it into your cappuccino perfectly. Forget having to clean a separate canister and frother; it’s all done for you right within the machine. The Jura can even tackle more complicated drinks such as a latte macchiato. The Jura will lay down a layer of foam on the bottom of your cup, add coffee, and finish it off with a perfect layer of foam on top creating a truly authentic latte macchiato.

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.

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