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.
It comes pre-loaded with default recipes for latte macchiato, cappuccino, an espresso shot, a ristretto shot, coffee, coffees, hot water, and steamed milk. All of the recipes can be customized via "Expert Mode". You can adjust the strength (1 - 5 beans), volume in ounces or mL's), steamed milk amount (based on time in seconds). You can also adjust all of the parameters while making the drink without saving, which is great for guests. Basic operation is very simple and straightforward. The TFT display makes this super user friendly. Anyone can easily scroll thru using the wheel on top of the machine and pick whatever type of drink they want. Or, you can select most drinks directly from the TFT screen as well. For two shots or two cups of coffee, hit the button twice. You can also enter the recipe modification mode by holding the drink selection button as well. Grind adjustment is via a knob under the back right top cover. It also displays graphics of your drink while it's being made.
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.
I have had a Capresso C3000 super automatic for many years that I was starting to have some minor problems with (small water leak, tray sensors corroding) and decided it was time to get a replacement. I work from home and tend to drink coffee most of the day so I'm looking for something that works reliably and for a very extend period of time. I started looking at the new super automatics from the Jura Capresso based on the longevity of the old C3000. I will admit, it's the TFT display that really caught my eye on this one. I started looking thinking that I'd end up with a Z series, but the TFT display was what veered me over to this one.

Jura E8: Innovative technologies in the new JURA E line are revolutionizing the enjoyment of coffee. The One-Touch Cappuccino function on the Jura E8 Black one-touch espresso machine creates trend specialties such as latte macchiato, flat white and cappuccino at the touch of a button. The brewing process for ristretto and espresso has been 100% perfected. The Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.©) on the Jura E8 Black one-touch espresso machine is the only process of its kind in the world. It optimizes the extraction time and guarantees the very best aroma even for short specialty coffees.


Best of all, thanks to a thermal coffee pot, if you don't polish off the whole pot right away, it will still stay piping hot hours after it was brewed. For $130, the MT600 from Capresso offers all these abilities plus is wrapped up into a snazzy brushed-metal-and-black-plastic frame. Sure, the MT600 won't deliver a truly sublime cup of drip-brewed coffee. For that there's no getting around splurging at least $200 and up for a more capable machine.
Because this Capresso grinder uses the same high-quality, low RPM conical burr grinder design as the 565, this machine preserves the subtlest aromatics of your coffee beans. It produces a consistent, uniform, and delicious grind in 16 settings, suitable for almost any brew types. Its large hopper is convenient, and will store several days worth of beans at a time.
 The DeLonghi ECAM22110SB’s Rapid Cappuccino System allows you to make cappuccinos one after another quickly with no wait-time in between, making it excellent for hosting parties or large get-togethers. A rotary control system and simple user interface allow even beginners to create cafe-quality drinks at the touch of a button. Like many of DeLonghi’s most popular coffee systems, this machine is compact enough for use on smaller counter spaces.

Jura E8: Innovative technologies in the new JURA E line are revolutionizing the enjoyment of coffee. The One-Touch Cappuccino function on the Jura E8 Black one-touch espresso machine creates trend specialties such as latte macchiato, flat white and cappuccino at the touch of a button. The brewing process for ristretto and espresso has been 100% perfected. The Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.©) on the Jura E8 Black one-touch espresso machine is the only process of its kind in the world. It optimizes the extraction time and guarantees the very best aroma even for short specialty coffees.
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.

On the downside, the bean storage is temperamental, after filling sometimes the beans won't feed into the grinder requiring a prod to continue and despite using a drier roast, not all beans get fed into the grinder when it is "empty." The final minor irritation is that the control button requires multiple rotational clicks before it functions.” James U., Amazon Customer
The first machine I received never worked correctly. The milk would not steam and the espresso would start to come out and then stop. Upon stopping a message would display on the screen asking to press a button to fill the pump. This would occur 2-3 times before an expresso could actually be made. I experimented with several different grind settings, coffee strength, water temperatures, etc, but with no success. The machine continued to pump a few drops of espresso, asking to refill the pump, and waste the previous grinds. I literally wasted 2-3 cans of Illy espresso without ever getting espresso. In addition, with each espresso cycle, a large amount of water would precede any espresso. For example on a 1oz shot, about 0.1oz would be water that didn't run through the coffee.

First, I really wanted to like this machine. The specs, design, functionality, were exactly what I was looking for in a super automatic espresso machine, however the machine failed to perform the basic task of making espresso. I found the display, programming, controls, and size of the water chamber to be good. The milk frothing system was cumbersome as it required you to attach tubes each time you wanted a milk drink. When the system worked, the steamed milk was hot and the consistency was great for cappuccinos and lattes. However, if the tube was not connected precisely (very little room for error) the consistency of the milk was poor. I ended up having to restart the process several times as the tubes were not connected properly or they came loose as the milk was pumped. The tubes also presented an issue with clean up in that they had to be cleaned after each use.
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 first thing that comes to mind to anyone who sees the Jura Impressa XS90 is “Wow”. That is because this espresso machine is so amazing, so packed with features and so good at making the perfect espresso, that words fail to describe how incredible it actually is. This is a commercial duty espresso machine that was designed for use in either a restaurant or an office and features the company’s popular 1-touch milk frothing system and 2 independent boilers (stainless steel).
The users are raving about it and if you’re the type who needs to have the cream of the crop, then there’s no better espresso machine out there than the DeLonghi PrimaDonna ECAM28465 . With this bad boy, you’ll never have to worry about loss of quality when preparing your favorite coffee drinks, since the PrimaDonna uses high quality internals and sophisticated coffee preparation modes to ensure that you’re going to get a delicious cup of your favorite coffee drink every single time with just the push of a button.
Although it may seem somewhat inconvenient, we like it because it makes it easier to clean the milk container. Other features that come with the ENA 9 include a sturdy conical burr grinder, an energy saver mode to keep your electricity bills under control, and customizable coffee strengths. Also, you can adjust the amount of water that comes out, both in your coffee or if you want to use the machine as a hot water dispenser.
When looking for the perfect super automatic espresso maker, it can be a bit difficult to know which model and brand to consider and that’s because there are so many of them out there, it can become confusing even for those who are not at their first espresso machine. The majority of reviews written by so called “experts” just confuse people more, while the comparison charts available online add to the uncertainty. So which of the many models available are actually required for you and your specific application?
Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch Automatic Coffee Center: It might be the world’s smallest automatic machine but it offers big features. The compact machine can prepare a cappuccino and a latte macchiato at the touch of a button and, thanks to fine foam technology, the fine milk foam is always creamy and sweet. The Micro 90 also features a professional grade conical burr grinder, a powerful pump that produces 15 bars of pressure and a one-touch display.
One of the things that makes Jura such a world-renown coffee company is that their machines are so easy to use. As long as you have beans, water, and milk in the container, all you have to do is push a button and wait for the perfect cup to arrive. In this case, the Impressa F8 is one of the more technologically proficient models, thanks to its TFT screen.
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!
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.
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The ENA Micro 5 is the next level of technology in the ENA Micro line. It is also one of the smallest machines on the list, fairly priced, and incorporates more functionality into the machine than the ENA Micro 1. This includes the option to brew two cups of espresso at the same time, with a dual and height-adjustable spout, as well as Aroma+ technology to keep your coffee beans fresh.
The very first espresso machines worked on a steam-pressure basis, and they’re still in use today. With this type of machine, steam or steam pressure is used to force water through the coffee grounds and produce espresso. Some steam-driven machines can produce a measure of foam “crema.” But they can’t generate enough pressure or provide the precise temperature control necessary to produce true espresso: They simply make a very strong cup of coffee. However, they cost considerably less than pump-driven machines. Our verdict is that if you’re a true espresso lover and seeking to make a good shot at home, we recommend you steer clear of steam-driven machines. They’ll likely disappoint you.
Using a high performance fifteen bar pump and a powerful thermoblock boiler, the Jura C60 is able to brew coffee very fast and with amazing results. You can easily program your desired water volume and coffee dosage in order to brew a delicious shot every single time. You can also use the 2 brew temperature settings, including the IPBAS system to ensure crema rich extractions. However, if you’d like to brew with pre ground coffee, the bypass doser is certainly going to help you get some great results with that. Lastly, the C60 features height adjustable spouts, meaning you can use cups that are anywhere between two point six to four point four inches tall.

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.
As with all other blade grinders, transferring grinds to a machine or another container is a messy process. Its grind uniformity cannot compete with a burr mill of comparative price. While adequate for finer grinds, the Capresso 503.05 still underperforms for French press and cold brew. Furthermore, as with all other blade grinders on the market, this one suffers from a buildup of coffee dust. With a tiny bit more money, you can get a much more versatile machine like the 559 (#4 in this list) or 560 Capresso burr grinder (#2).

Thinking that I must have received a defective unit, I requested an exchange from Amazon. I had a replacement unit the next day!! Amazon is amazing in this regard. The second unit worked well for the first week and then the same issue with the espresso not coming out and having to press the button to refill the pump started occurring again. More wasted espresso!!
Just by the water canister (which holds just under two litres), there’s a replaceable water filter that cleans the water as the machine begins each cycle. Depending where you live, this may carry a different weight of importance, but if you’re in an area where water has a strong taste, this may well be a big plus towards buying the Jura Impressa F8 over other machines. Water is such a big part of making coffee, it will go a long way towards giving consistent results day after day!
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