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.
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.
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.
The shining feature of the Jura is just how freshly the coffee is before its brewed. With conventional drip coffee makers, you load it with pre-ground coffee that has a good chance of already being somewhat stale. After all, ground coffee starts to go downhill quickly after being ground. Slightly more expensive drip coffee makers try to solve this problem by allowing you to set a timer to grind the coffee fresh every morning, but it’s still going to sit there for some length of time before it gets brewed. The Jura coffee machine has cracked the code by grinding beans fresh for every single cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino or latte. It doesn’t grind it until you are about to drink it, which gives you a fresher cup of coffee than most coffee shops will be able to provide. Not having to grind the coffee yourself and then clean the grinder is on it’s own and huge step in the direction of convenience.
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.