The Saeco PicoBaristo HD8924/47 Super-automatic espresso machine is a superior compact coffee machine from one of the world’s best-known manufacturers. It is an Amazon Choice machine, popular with purchasers and the recipient of excellent reviews. The PicoBaristo provides the widest variety of drinks of any compact super-automatic espresso machine.
With most super automatic machines, when preparing your favorite drink there is undoubtedly going to be a loss of quality in the process, but that is not the case with the PrimaDonna S Deluxe from DeLonghi. The ECAM26455M uses an integrated frothing system and the milk container in order to immediately deliver to your cup both the right amount of frothed or steamed milk and freshly brewed espresso.
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.
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.
Featuring chrome plated accents and a stainless steel font panel, the Brera is an espresso machine that is very aesthetically pleasing. If you want, you can also get the side panels in silver or black. Functionality wise, the Brera is able to prepare a wide range of coffee types, including specialty coffee and pre-ground decaffeinated coffee thanks to its bypass doser. You can also make lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos thanks to the machine’s Rapid Steam Technology and Panarello Wand.
For most users looking into bringing home a Jura, the basics of what to look for are a little fuzzy. There isn’t as much general information on Jura espresso machines, but we’ve compiled our favorite key points to keep in mind for your search. Juras can add a professional quality espresso and sophisticated edge to your day, but they also need to be able to fit within the demands of your lifestyle and environment.
It’s highly efficient, meaning that you don’t get as much ground residue after processing your beans. Not only does this ensure that your coffee tastes (and smells) better, but it saves on the cleaning process. Finally, the E6 has a separate milk frother and spout. Instead of pouring milk through one of the nozzles that can be used for coffee (this model also can make two cups simultaneously), the E6 keeps it all separated.
With many of the Jura models available in our review guide, you will be able to control the unit with a large, stunning visual screen that is controlled by buttons on the side and a rotary dial on the top of the unit. With the buttons on the side of the screen, you select a class of coffee beverage such as espresso or plain coffee. After you decide your class of drink, you can literally turn the dial and watch the different drink selections go by until you find one that suits your mood. The interface is finely tuned and at no point does it feel cumbersome or stand in your way. The Jura is an extension of your coffee desires and the only thing standing between you and your perfect drink is the press of a button. For the models that don’t feature the visual display, there is an equally easy to use and ergonomically arranged display of buttons. The three green, yellow, and red lights, coupled with the rotary knob delivery your desired beverage just as quickly and with zero confusion as to how to select it.
If you’re currently looking for the best espresso machine that will undoubtedly make you the perfect espresso every single time you use it, then look no further than the Jura XS90 (View on Amazon.com). Offering commercial grade performance (for both restaurant and office use), the XS90 features the company’s popular 1-touch milk frothing system and 2 independent boilers made of high quality stainless steel. What this means for you is that you can prepare the perfect espresso in just seconds.
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.
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.
Like other Jura machines, the spouts can be adjusted 2.6-4.4” to accommodate any size cup or beverage. We found the adjustable spout really handy in preventing and splashing or spillover onto the machine which limits clean up and also help create the perfect crema. We found the foam that the C65 produced to be incredibly light with almost a light, feather consistency. While the cost of this unit is slightly higher, our calculations had it paying for itself after only a few months. When we tracked the amount of coffee used and compared it to how much it would have been if purchased from a coffee shop, the Jura paid for itself quicker than you might expect. Not to mention these machines are incredibly well built and will last for years before ever needing to be repaired or serviced. And when that time does come, Jura has always been responsive and communicative which makes sending the unit in painless.
There's one other area needing fixing, not only in these machines but in all super automatics I've ever tried - tiny puck sizes (diameter) = bad extraction. That's not me saying it. That's Dr. Illy and a wide range of scientific tests that the Illy labs have done finding the optimal puck size for superior extraction. At 46mm, these pucks are too tiny.
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.