There's one other area needing fixing, not only in these machines but in all super automatics I've ever tried - tiny puck sizes (diameter) = bad extraction. That's not me saying it. That's Dr. Illy and a wide range of scientific tests that the Illy labs have done finding the optimal puck size for superior extraction. At 46mm, these pucks are too tiny.
When looking for the perfect super automatic espresso maker, it can be a bit difficult to know which model and brand to consider and that’s because there are so many of them out there, it can become confusing even for those who are not at their first espresso machine. The majority of reviews written by so called “experts” just confuse people more, while the comparison charts available online add to the uncertainty. So which of the many models available are actually required for you and your specific application?
This is a high-end coffee machine that has a price tag of around $5,000. You can choose from over 20 various types of coffee drinks with this professional unit, which can serve you faster than a Starbucks barista. It can do almost everything you can expect from a sophisticated coffee machine. If you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, you owe it to yourself to upgrade to the Jura Giga 5 Coffee Maker.
This machine is awesome. Works great. Very easy to use, and VERY easy to maintain. That last part is key. Our previous machine, Capressa, was a pain to keep clean. This is far easier. Had it for about 6 months now and I've no complaints. The cleaning tablets (ordered on Amazon) are a bit pricey, but I have to imagine far less the sending the machine in for repair (which we did on our Capressa machine) Other than the coffee, cleanliness and overall use of the machine, the maintenance aspect is pretty easy. Put a tablet in the grinder and push the button. Done.
We found the Jura J9 to be intuitive to navigate and the state of the art TFT display which features text and images, combined with the rotary selector makes choosing your beverage simple. A standout feature of this model if the “fine foam” technology which utilizes three bars in the frother spout which acts to slow down the foam as it exits the frother so its poured at the right speed and evenly into the cup. The stainless steel vacuum milk container that feeds the frother warms the milk or cream and is easy to clean. The hardened steel grinding heads of the built-in canonical grinder deliver precision ground coffee every single time. There isn’t a single thing the IMPRESSA J9 doesn’t do well and it probably the most well-rounded model on our list.
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:
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.
The IMPRESSA J9 is probably the most popular model after the newer Micro 9 due to its breadth of features and overall precision when brewing and crafting a litany of specialty coffee drinks. The concept behind the J9 could not be simpler: simply use the rotary dial to select your desired drink, press the button, and sit back and enjoy. This model is absolutely beautiful and looks like it was pulled right out of an Italian café. The matte sheen and silver hard plastic give the J9 and functional sophistication that will definitely impress you.
The Jura A9 truly shines in the milk drinks department. It features 2 height adjustable spouts that go anywhere from two point two and up to five point four inches if you plan on using taller However, when it comes to the milk, the machine uses a pick-up tube system. What this means is that now you can just place the tube into the milk container and prepare delicious milk based drinks. For better results though, it’s best that you either get Jura’s cool control milk cooler or their optional thermal milk container. That’s because not only is it better to keep milk chilled for sanitary reasons, but chilled milk also produces better froth.
Flipping open the tank lid reveals a plastic wand that houses a charcoal water filter pod (one is provided in the box). The filter setup sits within a special receptacle on the tank's interior left side. According to Capresso, the gadget will remove up to 82 percent of "the chlorine and other impurities found in tap water, and will do so for about six weeks, assuming you make one pot (10 cups) daily. It's a nice option to have, especially if you live in an area with substandard water, although remembering to swap in a new filter can be a drag.
You don’t really need to be a coffee connoisseur to be able to prepare your own drinks with this coffee machine. There are recipes for 12 coffee creations which you can select with the rotary switch. The machine uses images and texts to guide users through the preparation stages. You can prepare coffee choices such as Irish coffee, flavored latte macchiato, Viennese coffee, and Café Melange, amongst others. In addition, this coffee machine is also self cleaning to eliminate any excuses when it comes to making speciality coffee at home.