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.
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.
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).
It would be a mistake to say that there’s no learning curve at all on the E8. It has one; it’s just not particularly steep. Sure, there are a lot of settings, and a lot of things you can change, tweak and adjust, but honestly, the hardest part of its operation is going to be changing your preferred drink settings and familiarizing yourself with the way the menus work.
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.
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.