As with all other blade grinders, transferring grinds to a machine or another container is a messy process. Its grind uniformity cannot compete with a burr mill of comparative price. While adequate for finer grinds, the Capresso 503.05 still underperforms for French press and cold brew. Furthermore, as with all other blade grinders on the market, this one suffers from a buildup of coffee dust. With a tiny bit more money, you can get a much more versatile machine like the 559 (#4 in this list) or 560 Capresso burr grinder (#2).
The ECAM28465 uses an integrated frothing system and the milk container in order to immediately deliver to your cup both the right amount of frothed or steamed milk and freshly brewed espresso. That’s not all though: you also get a dual stainless steel-lined thermoblock heating that provides steaming and brewing power for your various coffee drinks. Lastly, you can say goodbye to espresso and other drinks any metallic taste in your coffee that you probably got with other machines and that’s because the Prima Donna S features a stainless steel lining which prevents that from being the case.
These machines and their respective technologies will serve you well, no matter what it is you are looking for. Keep in mind that with all their features and functionality, more expensive machines are almost always going to fall on the side of excessive for casual users. Because of this and their high cost, you may want to pick a few features that stand out to you and forgo the unnecessary frills.
In creating a stripped down, low-priced grinder that is still able to deliver a high-quality grind Capresso has released a machine that only features what is truly important in a coffee grinder. Absent are all the automatic or intelligent features that are found on more expensive grinders and instead this one has only reliability and basic ease of use left.
It comes pre-loaded with default recipes for latte macchiato, cappuccino, an espresso shot, a ristretto shot, coffee, coffees, hot water, and steamed milk. All of the recipes can be customized via "Expert Mode". You can adjust the strength (1 - 5 beans), volume in ounces or mL's), steamed milk amount (based on time in seconds). You can also adjust all of the parameters while making the drink without saving, which is great for guests. Basic operation is very simple and straightforward. The TFT display makes this super user friendly. Anyone can easily scroll thru using the wheel on top of the machine and pick whatever type of drink they want. Or, you can select most drinks directly from the TFT screen as well. For two shots or two cups of coffee, hit the button twice. You can also enter the recipe modification mode by holding the drink selection button as well. Grind adjustment is via a knob under the back right top cover. It also displays graphics of your drink while it's being made.
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 machine is very nice looking in person, very sleek. The instruction manual is pretty sparse on details. It has enough, but it's a little intimidating for a first time user. I took my time and found out that the programming is very user friendly and easy to use. I have ours on our counter with a cabinet overhead. When I fill water reservoir I do pull the machine a bit forward because the reservoir is deep and you have to lift it straight up. It's easy to do but you need a bit of clearance. The bean hopper is in the back, so I pull the machine forward a bit to fill that, as well. Very easy to do. One thing I wanted in the J9 was the option to use a water filter. I have hard water from our tap, and had been filling our DeLonghi from our filtered refrigerator dispenser, but that was cumbersome. With the Jura filter I can fill the deep reservoir right in the little bar sink I have next to the machine. I tested the water before and after, and the Jura filter definitely works to reduce hardness, which is important in keeping the machine free from mineral scale buildup. I think it will be well worth the expense of replacing the filters. It came with one filter and a couple of descaling tabs, which I have not had to use yet.
If you’re a froth fan, you won’t be disappointed – Jura machines tend to be very good frothers (if that’s a word) and manage to top off drinks to the same standard as you’ll usually find in the high street coffee shops. It’s certainly an impressive result, even if we found it was a novelty the wore off rather quickly. We’re not the biggest advocates of milk foaming though, so you might be more excited that we are!