Yep, the Barista Express isn’t just an elegant, well-built espresso machine – it also features a built-in grinder, allowing you to make coffee with beans you’ve smashed into dust literally seconds earlier. Freshness means a lot in the coffee world, so this is a Big Deal – as is the low-pressure pre-infusion of the grounds before the water is forced through them at higher 50 bar pressure.
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.
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.
While all of the brand’s machines take up substantial counter space, you can get all of the advanced features without taking over your kitchen. The Impressa F8 is designed as a two-cup coffee maker - it has dual nozzles in the front so that you can make them side by side. However, you can also use the spouts for perfectly frothed milk instead. So, if you’re looking for a high-quality cappuccino, you will get it without having to do anything extra.
Rule number two is an old computer acronym – GIGO or Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you use poor or stale beans, no coffee machine can improve on that. Be prepared to pay for 100% Arabica where a kilogram could cost $50 or more. According to my barista son, it is impossible to get good beans from Woolies, Coles, IGA or Aldi. But remember a kilogram will provide up to 140 single shot cups. There is profit in coffee!
The Aroma G3 grinder uses conical steel burrs and six degrees of fineness to grind quickly, thanks to the perfected cutting angles that produce 60% less residual grounds. The result is a quieter grinder that preserves more of the flavor and aroma of the freshly ground beans while operating twice as fast. An integrated bypass doser allows for pre-ground coffee brewing.
I have tried several semi-automatic espresso machines and have returned 4 before I found this one you have to spend the money. It makes great coffee but the froth just can't steam 8oz of milk for a latte and put out a quality Latte. So I purchased the Jura froth PRO Automatic Milk Frother and it makes a great Latte. Coffee is excellent and iced lattes are quick and easy to make and I have saved $$ through the years. I would purchase one again it pays for itself if you drink lattes and iced drinks at Starbucks within 3 months. I have owned this machine since Dec. 2008 and happy with the purchase.
Not trouble free, as they all seem to jam periodically, but easily fixed. Per J-C, the problem is using very oily beans, which we do as we love very dark, heavily roasted Starbucks beans. The part that jams is the press mechanism. When it expresses the puck, it clogs and won't go back up. This seems to be a criticism for many of its machines, but it's hardly a deal breaker.
Swiss-manufacturer Jura specializes in crafting high-end specialty coffee makers capable of competing with professional coffee shops. They are available in a wide range of pricing options, and if you’re in the market for one, there are some features to keep in mind. First, know what it actually brews. Jura machines are typically capable of making regular coffee, espresso, and other favorites, so be aware of what you are purchasing. Does it offer a high level of customization, and one-touch operation for those wishing to keep it simple? Is it easy to maintain and clean? Specialized features like adjustable coffee spouts and large-sized water reservoirs are also available.
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 Jura-Capresso S8 is a luxurious coffee and espresso machine with a long list of benefits and only a few detractors. The price would be the biggest obstacle for most consumers, and while those with pure coffee tastes may demure at the price tag, coffee connoisseurs who patronize the typical overpriced chain coffee shops could justify the expense. The bottom line is that one cannot fail to make perfect cafe-style drinks with the sexy, state-of-the-art S8 machine.