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.
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.
For those who tend to like their java a bit more robust and flavorful, this espresso machine offers a coffee and steam wand that you can use to adjust the potency of your coffee. If you prefer a bit less vigor to your morning espresso, simply move the wand to the steam side to add a bit more water. This will allow you to share your espresso maker with those around you who prefer a stronger or milder taste you do and still keep everyone happy.
And that’s it. There’s very little in the way of cleaning or maintenance to be done, bar an occasional emptying of the drip tray, an occasional rinsing of the removable pod holder and, of course, the refilling of the water tank. The tank isn’t huge (0.8l), so you’ll need to do the latter fairly frequently. The drip tray, for its part, is adjustable – you can place it at one of three heights to suit the size of drinking vessel and reduce the chance of spillage.
The machine is very nice looking in person, very sleek. The instruction manual is pretty sparse on details. It has enough, but it's a little intimidating for a first time user. I took my time and found out that the programming is very user friendly and easy to use. I have ours on our counter with a cabinet overhead. When I fill water reservoir I do pull the machine a bit forward because the reservoir is deep and you have to lift it straight up. It's easy to do but you need a bit of clearance. The bean hopper is in the back, so I pull the machine forward a bit to fill that, as well. Very easy to do. One thing I wanted in the J9 was the option to use a water filter. I have hard water from our tap, and had been filling our DeLonghi from our filtered refrigerator dispenser, but that was cumbersome. With the Jura filter I can fill the deep reservoir right in the little bar sink I have next to the machine. I tested the water before and after, and the Jura filter definitely works to reduce hardness, which is important in keeping the machine free from mineral scale buildup. I think it will be well worth the expense of replacing the filters. It came with one filter and a couple of descaling tabs, which I have not had to use yet.

Let’s take making a cappuccino with the Jura, for example. Instead of having to froth your milk manually, the Jura will froth the milk for you and layer it into your cappuccino perfectly. Forget having to clean a separate canister and frother; it’s all done for you right within the machine. The Jura can even tackle more complicated drinks such as a latte macchiato. The Jura will lay down a layer of foam on the bottom of your cup, add coffee, and finish it off with a perfect layer of foam on top creating a truly authentic latte macchiato.


It might seem like a trivial point, but not all machines have thought about this. The Jura’s power cable emerges at the bottom of the rear of the machine, making it very easy to plug it in and neatly arrange any excess cable out of sight. There’s also a ‘master’ power switch in the same location – worth noting as we discovered, having thought the machine was dead on arrival after pressing the power button on top and nothing happening!
You get a full roster of customer support with the Capresso EC-100. If you run into problems, you can contact customer service using a toll-free phone line during business hours or by email. You can also check the Capresso Facebook page to learn more about your espresso maker. You get a one-year warranty with this espresso machine, which is typical for the espresso maker industry.

To enable the filter and coffee machine to communicate, JURA uses modern RFID technology. Any machine fitted with the intelligent water system (I.W.S.®) recognises when a filter is inserted, automatically switches to filter mode and starts the rinsing process. When the filter capacity is nearly used up the machine prompts the user to change the filter. If the filter is not changed, the machine activates descaling mode. After a certain amount of use, the user is prompted to descale the machine. This can only be done when the filter is removed, so there is no more risk of user error resulting from misunderstandings.
Last but not least, this machine features 5 level water hardness selectors and makes it a breeze to set it to your specific water hardness. On top of that, it can also count the number of coffee cups you’ve consumed, how many times the machine was cleaned, how often the steam function was used and so on. If you want, you can keep stats on a daily basis.
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.

If you’re a froth fan, you won’t be disappointed – Jura machines tend to be very good frothers (if that’s a word) and manage to top off drinks to the same standard as you’ll usually find in the high street coffee shops. It’s certainly an impressive result, even if we found it was a novelty the wore off rather quickly. We’re not the biggest advocates of milk foaming though, so you might be more excited that we are!
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