I bought this for my wife and I admit that I thought it is crazy to spend this amount of cash on a glorified coffee pot. She already had a nice Breville expresso maker but didn't use it. Basically it was too hard to operate and clean. This machine is almost totally hands free. Push a button and get a coffee. Push a button and get a latte. At the end of the day turn it off and it rinses tiself. You only have to dump the grounds and clean the trays. I can't comment on reliability or durability but it makes awesome coffee. It is an extravagance but it you love expresso or latte and don't like hassle it is well worth the price.
I was somewhat apprehensive about purchasing this, but 2 weeks in very satisfied with our purchase. The coffee and espresso quality is excellent. Pleasantly surprised with the milk steamer, the lattes I’ve made are as good as any big coffee shop. It’s also easy to maintain and clean, takes about 2 minutes everyday. I can’t imagine a machine being easier to use.
A “proper” machine that can deliver both single and double shot espressos, its spout has a dual opening allowing you to make two coffees simultaneously. There’s also a steam wand for foaming milk, and the water tank has a decent 1.2l capacity, meaning you won’t need to refill it after making three cups o’ joe. In addition to ground coffee, it’ll also accept E.S.E. coffee pods (we weren’t able to test these, but as they’re made in almost precisely the same way as regular espressos, we imagine they’ll work just fine).
And that’s it. There’s very little in the way of cleaning or maintenance to be done, bar an occasional emptying of the drip tray, an occasional rinsing of the removable pod holder and, of course, the refilling of the water tank. The tank isn’t huge (0.8l), so you’ll need to do the latter fairly frequently. The drip tray, for its part, is adjustable – you can place it at one of three heights to suit the size of drinking vessel and reduce the chance of spillage.
After much research and agonizing indecesion, I finally purchased the Jura J9 Super Automatic coffee machine. Our DeLonghi lasted several years, then died a noisy death. We had enjoyed it, but I felt like there were better machines to be had, so I focused on Jura and Saeco. I decided I wanted a Jura because of the easier cleaning, as reported by some reviewers, as well as great flavor and crema in the coffee. Then picking the model became hard. Not a lot of info on the Jura website as to how the different models work, but I finally decided that I liked the price range and capabilities of the J models. Costco had a J80 to sell, as well as a F7. I love the confidence I can have when buying from Costco, and that would have been a big plus for me. The J80 had been on sale for $400 off a few days before our DeLonghi failed, so I missed the sale and I couldn't bring myself to pay their full price of $2400 for a model that was not listed on the Jura website and some people suggested was an older model. I even emailed Costco, hoping they might honor the sale price, but no go. I finally found a J9 on Amazon for $2000, and read reviews where purchasers reassured me that, if something went wrong, I could feel secure in knowing that Amazon and its sellers would take good care of me and fix or replace the machine fairly quickly. I couldn't tell from the description if this was a J9 or J9.3, but decided it didn't matter. The model I received was the J9.3. It came quickly and the box was in great shape.
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.
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.