There’s no steam wand for heating and foaming milk, but the Dolce Gusto system has its own way of doing that: drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes are made with two pods: one coffee pod and one special milk pod, used in the amounts specified on the pod lid. Drinking milk expelled from a pod isn’t as appetising as fresh cow juice, we think you’ll agree – but it’s less effort and less mess.

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.
This is made to order coffee, not the stuff sitting in the pot for hours on end. You might argue that the coffee shops grind their own coffee. And they do, but not for every cup (otherwise a $4 cup would be history for sure) and this is the main point. Their ground coffee is still sitting around exposed to air and going stale. The stuff in their pot or thermal tank just sits until empty.
And it bears out in the coffee the machine produces: our very first cup was a delicious and gloriously smooth latte with barely a hint of bitterness. The milk steaming wand is excellent too, producing much lighter, airier foam than the (admittedly way, way cheaper) Morphy Richards’ model, and there’s also a hot water spout for those who want to make an Americano by topping up their espresso.
You should definitely consider the Saeco Intelia Cappuccino Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine if you want the convenience of a super automatic espresso machine that is well designed and has a rich set of features with counter-top convenience. This Saeco Intelia Cappuccino Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine is loaded with features and is an excellent choice. For more detailed information, see our complete review here.
With the look of a shrink-rayed professional espresso machine, the grinning fizzog of shaven-headed culinary chemist Heston Blumenthal on the box and a price tag that puts it out of reach of all but the most well-heeled caffeine fiend, the Barista Express (branded as Breville in the US and Sage in the UK) is clearly aimed at those seeking a major step up in their home-brewed coffee.
Also, we went through a brief episode in which it would refuse to brew anything (as if it didn't have the power to punch the water through the puck of coffee). I remedied this with a descaling cycle as well as wiping out the parts above the removable tray thoroughly. (I use filtered water in the machine, but the descaling seems to be a more serious cleaning than the normal automatic cleaning.)
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.

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.


Combine luxury with functionality when you choose the DeLonghi Gran Dama Avant espresso system. One of the most versatile and customizable systems in home espresso, this system easily crafts specialty coffee drinks with its Single Touch hot milk system. A digital touch screen control panel ensures ease of use, while 5 coffee strength and 4 size settings allow you to fine-tune your drink.
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!
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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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