If you’re currently looking for the best espresso machine that will undoubtedly make you the perfect espresso every single time you use it, then look no further than the Jura XS90 (View on Amazon.com). Offering commercial grade performance (for both restaurant and office use), the XS90 features the company’s popular 1-touch milk frothing system and 2 independent boilers made of high quality stainless steel. What this means for you is that you can prepare the perfect espresso in just seconds.
If you have some experience in the world of specialty coffee drinks, skip this short section in our Jura E8 coffee machine review, as you already know all of this. If you’re new to the game and coming from the world of drip-brew coffee, keep reading, because there’s a key difference between how espresso is made versus how your beloved drip-brew machine works.
When it comes to grinding the coffee beans, the ESAM3500.N has an integrated conical burr grinder which allows you to further adjust the fineness of your selected settings. Other excellent features you’re going to love about this model include the decalcification system which alerts you when you have to clean the machine, a hot water sport for hot chocolate and tea, 2 boilers (stainless steel) for greater durability and faster recovery, but also a 60 oz water reservoir (removable) and a seven oz bean container.
In front of the water tank sits a large cone that holds either the machine's permanent gold filter or reusable Type 4 paper filters. Below that is a sturdy stainless steel thermal carafe to accept and decant your brew. On the left side of the metal coffee pot, you'll find a small keypad complete with tiny LCD screen and minuscule membrane-style buttons. The display also includes a digital clock for checking the time and programming automatic brewing cycles.
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The Capresso EC100 offers you the chance to get creative and add variety to your coffee drinks, not only with espresso shots but also with lattes and cappuccinos using this espresso machine's two-part frother. This espresso maker comes with a frothing sleeve that lets you swirl hot steam and air into your milk to make a rich and foamy topping for your cappuccinos. You can remove the frothing sleeve and use the underlying steam tube that puts hot steam into milk, making it possible to make lattes.
The Achilles heel of any super automatic, brewing times are, in my opinion, far too short for proper extraction of the good stuff from ground coffee. Part of the problem is the puck diameter - 46ml in the Jura Capresso S9. The other problem (and I blame the Swiss for this and their gosh darn love for caffe suise), is that the grinder can't be dialed fine enough.
Jura’s Impressa C65 uses a one-switch operating system and simple user interface for fool-proof coffee brewing. Multiple strength settings allow you to customize your coffee drink for the perfect espresso, cappuccino, or macchiato at the push of a button. Its height-adjustable coffee spout adjusts from 2.6 to 4.4 inches to be compatible with coffee mugs of all sizes.
I only have one minor quibble with this machine; if you like cappuccino, it produces foam that is weak and deflates easily. I have troubleshot this problem from every possible angle (tried different percent milkfat, different milks(soy), different milk temps etc.) and the results were still a little disappointing. I purchased the Milk Frothing accessory designed for this unit and still could not produce the more velvety foam I was seeking. The easiest fix for this is to buy an Aerolatte: steam your milk with the F9 (the steam function works great) and then whip till your hearts content with the Aerolatte. For an extra $15 bucks spent on the Aerolatte, you'll have the perfect cup of cappuccino to rival any cafe.
The Saeco PicoBaristo HD8927/47 Super-automatic espresso machine is a Best Seller on Amazon and one of the most popular espresso makers available in the market for good reason. This well-designed and made compact expresso machine produces a wide variety of great beverages automatically. It is also designed to minimize maintenance. The PicoBaristo provides the widest variety of push-button drinks of any compact super-automatic espresso machine.
Whether you like it regular, or ristretto, or long, or Americano, the espresso needs to be smooth. There is some slight bitterness, but it should be very faint. The taste should remind of caramel. If you don’t have any idea of the taste, just go to a good coffee shop and order one. Go for a few days, and try to explore different baristas, and different times of the day. This will give you a great idea. If you don’t like it, and you know the coffee shop is a good one, give up, this is not for you. Some people just don’t like espresso. My wife, for instance, will only accept one if there is no other coffee around. At the end of the day, you have to like it, and you should make it your own.
If you’re not familiar with the term, TFT is a more high-tech version of a standard LCD. The colors are brighter, and the image is sharper, thus enabling you to see what you’re doing much more easily. The screen itself is 2.8 inches, and it uses a rotary dial to select the kind of coffee you like. What’s noticeable about the F8 is that it’s a full-service coffee maker, but it’s smaller than other models that Jura offers.
Aside from the display, another feature of the Jura Impressa F8 that is worth mentioning is the Expert Mode. As the name suggests, this feature is ideal for coffee connoisseurs as it allows changing or adjusting the settings for all drinks programmed on the machine. It also gives users the option of adjusting the volume of the shot once it starts to brew.
With many of the Jura models available in our review guide, you will be able to control the unit with a large, stunning visual screen that is controlled by buttons on the side and a rotary dial on the top of the unit. With the buttons on the side of the screen, you select a class of coffee beverage such as espresso or plain coffee. After you decide your class of drink, you can literally turn the dial and watch the different drink selections go by until you find one that suits your mood. The interface is finely tuned and at no point does it feel cumbersome or stand in your way. The Jura is an extension of your coffee desires and the only thing standing between you and your perfect drink is the press of a button. For the models that don’t feature the visual display, there is an equally easy to use and ergonomically arranged display of buttons. The three green, yellow, and red lights, coupled with the rotary knob delivery your desired beverage just as quickly and with zero confusion as to how to select it.
The Micro 1 differs from many other Jura machines in that it is only designed to produce perfectly pulled espresso and coffee. This, however, does not mean it lacks features. The ENA Micro 1 comes with a variable brewing chamber, a 15-bar pump, the pre-aroma system, the Aroma Plus built-in grinder, the thermoblock intelligent heating system and an adjustable spout. The Micro 1 is beautiful in its simplicity and makes delicious espresso perfectly. We love the unit for kitchens that are limited in space or as gift for the espresso connoisseur.
With the Impressa C9, you get programmed beverage buttons for espresso, cappuccino, coffee, hot water or milk. A 14oz. milk container is included and a burr grinder is built-into the machine. The 64-ounce removable water tank is easy to clean, and the ThermoBlock heating system keeps water at the optimal temperature. With an 18-bar power pump, this machine brews fantastic espresso.
The Jura Capresso Impressa C5 is among the more affordable of the coffee centers from Jura. It is an economical choice for a durable, automatic machine that makes excellent coffee house beverages and cleans up quickly. When you have your espresso machine, you don’t have to worry about getting dressed and standing in line to enjoy delicious cafe coffees.
Capresso offers a significant list of help resources that include comparison charts, instruction booklets, quick-reference guides and a list of FAQs. In addition, the company offers information on its warranties and product registration. You can contact Capresso using its toll-free customer service hotline. The nice thing about this company's customer service is that there are people available to answer your questions on Saturdays.
Strength and temperature selection for a precise cup – The unit has four selections for the strength of coffee you want and lets you control the brew temperature for different drinks. This is a great way to customize a cup of coffee for guests and family. Instead of a pot evaporating away on the heater all day, just dial in the strength desired and 60 seconds later, you have your perfect cup of coffee.
Edit - 01/15/2015: Eight and a half years later, this gem is still cranking out great coffee. I had it serviced by the wonderful folks at CoffeeBoss in Cornelius, NC last year, and it's still going strong with a cup count of 9,922. The brew group is not user serviceable, so occasional maintenance should be expected. I use distilled water (at the cost of flavor, I know) now that I'm back in the city on municipal water, so I don't need or use the Clearyl filter (I recommend it for tap/well water, though), and I do use a cleaning tablet within 5-10 cups of when it starts asking for it on the LED display.
The large water tank and grounds container allow you to produce large quantities of coffee at a time, making this system ideal for office settings or large gatherings. Two thermo-block heating systems ensure temperature control, while a precision burr grinder with 6 settings allows you ultimate control over your the coarseness of your coffee grounds.
These machines and their respective technologies will serve you well, no matter what it is you are looking for. Keep in mind that with all their features and functionality, more expensive machines are almost always going to fall on the side of excessive for casual users. Because of this and their high cost, you may want to pick a few features that stand out to you and forgo the unnecessary frills.
Jura designates a new line of coffee machines whenever a major technological breakthrough is achieved. We will review these technologies in-depth in the following section, and provide more specs when we cover each individual machine. If you see a term that you don’t immediately understand, don’t worry, just reference the glossary in the next section!
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.
Some machines can be quite slow to work their way through programmes, but Jura have put a lot of thought into minimising these delays. The water heating tends to be the cause of the waits, so the F8’s solution is to heat it as it passes through the internal pipes of the machine. The technical detail is a bit beyond us, but it seems to work well. If you want to know more and like the geeky detail, give ‘Jura Thermoblock’ a Google!
Setup is way easier than the manual would have you believe - the pathetic printed booklet is by far the weakest link in this coffee production line. Fitting the water filter and the Smart Connect dongle is not explained well at all. You’ll find answers to most of your questions online - but probably not on JURA’s website. Unofficial YouTube videos proved much more useful.