We’re going to start with a rundown of the features of the Impressa F8, so that you know what you’re getting if you choose to buy. A lot of machines offer the same core functions, so we tend to focus on what stands out, so rest assured, if we rate a machine highly (as we do with this one), it’s going to be a good all rounder unless we specifically say otherwise.
What sets the Jura line of coffee machines apart for other similar coffee systems is that it does literally everything you need to do with the touch of a button. When preparing the machine, you simply load it with coffee and water, and if it’s your preference, milk or cream. We were originally concerned about cleaning dairy products out of the Jura as this can be a pain point with other systems. You don’t want dairy leftover in any part of the machine as it turns quickly and can easily ruin upcoming batches of coffee. But with the Jura, you load the milk into an easy to remove and clean stainless steel canister making the clean up super simple.
The sleepyheads in your house will love the 8 profile feature, which saves up to 8 drinks per person for an easy, fool-proof brew every time. Simply select a profile and the desired drink for an easy brew even when you’re half asleep! Or select from one of 17 pre-programmed recipes, all available at the touch of a button on the one-touch digital screen.
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:
Before we get into the technical aspects of the two types of espresso machines, here’s what you really need to know. Semi-automatic espresso machines are going to be perfect for the espresso connoisseur. If you’re the type that really wants to get the best-quality and taste out of your espresso machine and don’t mind taking a little more time and effort out of your schedule, the semi-automatic espresso maker is going to be for you. It’s a little bit more work, but the key here is that you ultimately have more control over every subtle nuance that goes into your version of the perfect shot of espresso with a semi-automatic.
You’ll find the same basic components in a super automatic espresso machine that you’re going to find in a pump or manual machine: switches, control dials, a steam wand, a boiler and also a water pump. What sets the super automatic apart is the fact that an internal brewing chamber replaces the brew basket and removable portafilter. On top of that, a high quality burr grinder or conical grinder grinds and dispenses the coffee directly into the brewing chamber.
For those really into their coffee drinks, and I mean obsessively so, a separate grinder is an absolute must. That loud noise you hear in the coffee shop every time you go in? That’s the grinder. Now, after saying that, let me tell you the grinder in the F7 is quiet and fast. So don’t worry about your kitchen ending up sounding like a coffee shop’s barista station.
Everything about the Gira 5 is perfectly designed and engineered to produce incredible coffee drinks at twice the pace of other units. If we had a need for this much coffee this is the model we would buy, but our current consumption simply doesn’t warrant it. The Giga 5 is very popular in office settings but we also know families who entertain that have it in their home.
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.
When prompted by the machine that it’s time to clean, find the “clean” option under the various cleaning programs and be prepared to follow the instructions it gives you. This is usually as quick as emptying the grounds tray and pressing the rotary dial one more time. Please a cup or jug under the spout to capture the cleaning waste that will be dispelled from the machine. You will hear the machine perform an initial rinse, and then prompt you to add the cleaning tablet which will be inserted into the pre-ground coffee compartment. After another push of the rotary button, the machine will go through an approximately 20 minute cycle so you’ll want to do it when you have a bit of time.