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.
Any coffee-based beverage is only going to be as enjoyable as the beans that are used to make it. If you don’t already, you will need to source high-quality, whole coffee beans and drink enough coffee to make sure that those beans aren’t going stale. You can use any beans that you like, but small batch and single-origin coffee beans are going to make a world of difference over bulk and mass-produced coffee beans.
Starting with the brew unit, the first thing to understand is that it’s not removable. From a practical perspective, what that means for you is that about once a week, you’ll need to pop a cleansing tab into the bypass doser to clean the unit. No big deal, but our personal preference is for removable units you can rinse by hand to ensure a thorough cleaning.
The IMPRESSA C65 is a true workhorse when it comes to delivering amazing coffee and espresso drinks. Many reviewers have reported this model holding up for years in high-traffic environments where the machine is producing drinks throughout the day. Like all Jura coffee machines, the C65 is as simple as turning it on, selecting your drink, and having it ready to consume in under a minute. The simple and compact design of the IMPRESSA 65, coupled with its refined accents of matte and gloss make this unit memorable yet understated and perfect for any kitchen.
The ECAM26455M features dual stainless steel-lined thermoblock heating in order to provide steaming and brewing power for your espresso and other drinks you wish to prepare with it with a very low cycling time. Compared to regular boiler systems, the thermoblock system is capable of much lower warm-up times paired with on-demand and efficient water usage.
It’s affordable (£70 at Argos at the time of writing; Dolce Gusto pods are priced at around £4 for a box of 16) and incredibly simple to set up and use. Simply fill the removable water tank with cold H2O, pop your chosen coffee pod into a slide-out drawer at the front, stick a cup under the spout and hit the power button. When it turns from red to green (a mere few seconds) the machine is ready. You then push the water lever either left (for cold drinks) or right (for hot drinks) until the desired amount of your drink is in the cup. Then slide out the drawer, expel the pod and throw it away.
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:
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!
If you want to steam and froth milk for 1 or 2 cups, you can take advantage of the dual Frother+ system that’s very simple to use. Featuring settings for cappuccino and latte, you can easily prepare your favorite drink in seconds. You’ll then be alerted when the machine is ready to steam and if you want, you can also dial in your desired steaming time by using the Rotary Switch.
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!
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.
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If you’ve been using espresso machines for quite a while now, then you are probably fully aware of what makes a good espresso machine. Running a fifteen-bar pressure into the grounds, the Jura C65 can easily extract the right flavor from your coffee beans. Better yet, you can use its wide range of programmable options in order to adjust the brewing temperatures with two levels to boot, coffee strength (in four levels) and also the amount of water used.
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
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.