The Unpleasant: There is hardly anything negative about this sublime machine. Due to its small water reservoir, the Impressa Z7 was not designed for offices or households with multiple coffee drinkers. Furthermore, it may be inconvenient for individuals who drink several cups of coffee throughout the day since that would require frequent refilling of the reservoir. If you’re interested in one with a larger water tank, check out Jura-Capresso S8.
My wife LOVES coffee...I like coffee...she works ..I work...we have three kids...I would try to stay in bed longer than her to keep from having to make the coffee in the morning.. For Christmas I bought an Impressa F7 ..I was only prepared to spend about $1000 on a coffee machine at Williams-Sonoma...but the machine I could get for that really lacked some basic features...there were more expensive machines...but the F7 seemed to have most of what I wanted ...I got up Christmas morning to set up the machine, which was relatively easy...(although after 7 or 8 cups of "tweeking" the machine, my heart was pounding up in my throat and when the kids came down to see what Santa had left them I sent them back upstairs for making too much noise)...The coffee was REALLY good...it took a while to learn how to adjust the machine to get what we each liked, but now we love the machine...although there are occassional issues such as a luke warm cup now and then and the frother is marginal...it has made our life in the morning a very pleasant experience...it really doesn't require much upkeep ....wouldn't give it up now...
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.
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.
The digital control panel makes it easy to play with the programmable menu settings, including coffee strength, temperature, auto off and start time. You can also prepare cappuccino and espressos without having to wait between them thanks to the double boiler system that the ESAM5500B features. Lastly, no matter what coffee you plan on using with it, it’s going to be properly ground thanks to the professional quality conical low pitch burr grinder.
As an anecdote, I once failed one of my shots, it happens to everyone. The biggest problem with that cup was that it had almost no crema. I sipped it anyway, I wanted to see how it was. I was absolutely stunned by the taste of that shot. The unique combination of tamping and grind size made that cup more flavorful. It just didn’t have enough crema. Never judge an espresso by its looks. This is why some people hate Nespresso with a passion, it is very consistent, and it gives you a great shot with ample crema every time, but it is never fantastic. I love “fantastic”, but for the convenience, I settle for good, so Nespresso is one of my favorite coffeemakers. If convenience is what you are looking for mostly, take a look at our article that compares capsule-based espresso machines.
So I'm at my local Goodwill store and I was just getting ready to leave when one of the employees brought a cart out of the back with the Jura Capresso F9 sitting on it... I had drooled over their products online for quite a while now but sadly could not afford to drop 1900.00 (what they cost new) on an espresso machine. When I saw the F9 sitting on the cart I quickly grabbed it but noticed a tag on it that said "AS IS NO RETURN" and the price tag below reading $49.99. I was willing to take a chance & at $49.99 I figured I could always sell it for parts on an online auction and get my money back or even make a tiny profit if it didn't work. I got home and downloaded a manual plugged it in, programmed it, installed the filter (there were 4 new filters with it & that alone is worth the $49.99) added espresso beans & guess what it worked perfectly! I have since used it daily, mornings I have a quadruple espresso and evenings I have a latte with 2 shots... It's easy to clean & maintain and having paid only $49.99 I felt like I won the lottery ..
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.
For fairly basic (and moderately priced) super automatic espresso maker is a great product. This well-designed expresso machine produces four great beverages. The Saeco HD8911/47 Incanto Carafe Super Automatic Espresso Machine produces a four superior beverages automatically while being designed for user minimum maintenance. It has the styling and materials that mark it as a superior espresso machine.
Hate getting up in the morning? That’ll change with the Z6. Just the thought of gazing at this handsome clean, shiny chrome machine was enough to have us leaping out of bed at 6am. Brewing coffee is fairly simple and yields powerful, yet tasty cups. Espresso based drinks are a cinch to produce too—but often taste slightly watered down. The best part is though is the nearly silent grinder, which is quiet enough to run on full power without fear of waking the whole house up. —Neil Gellar
Working upstairs or lying in bed? Press the button and (depending on how palatial your abode is) you’ll instantly hear beans being ground into tasty oblivion before the water is heated and poured through them. Then, when you’re ready (the hot plate gives you a 40-minute window), you can brave the trek to the kitchen and find a jug of the delicious black stuff waiting for you.
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 other reviews comment on the burr grinder sticking and this may be as a result of using oily beans. This problem is addressed in the manual; they offer recommendations on how to get the oils to evaporate somewhat to prevent issues with the machine. The beans I use are not particularly oily and I have never had a problem with the grinder nor any problems with any of the other functions with this machine. This unit has already paid for itself several times over in savings over what I would pay at any coffee house; very pleased with this purchase!
From the outside, the Giga 5 looks attractive. It has a color TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screen display on the top front and center, with a stylish aluminum chassis with black plastic sides. This unit will definitely enhance the look of any kitchen. There’s a dedicated hot water spout at the front of the machine plus a couple of adjustable spouts for making coffee. Located on top of the unit you will find on/off buttons, a program button, and a rotary switch that is key to navigating the Giga’s menu.