Semi-automatic espresso machines are just that—semi-automatic. Some of the steps are automated, but many are not. This allows the user to put their personal stamp on the final product but without doing some of the tedious steps that are involved in making an espresso on the stove top. Here’s a look at some of the features that make a semi-automatic espresso machine such a great pickup for the ultimate espresso lover:
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.
First of all, the TFT display will notify you when you are running low on anything (which the F8 lacks), and it will tell you when it needs cleaning. Having this kind of automatic reminders ensures that you can extend the lifespan of your machine. The other thing that we like about the E6 better than the F8 is the grinder. The G3 grinder system is a significant improvement.
As previously mentioned, this grinder is a bit less sturdy than its new revision, the 565. The 560 has the same issues with its mechanical timer, with the grind mechanism starting before you have had a chance to set the time. This results in a somewhat inconsistent grind quantity. The hopper lid is also not completely airtight, so it isn’t recommended that you keep your beans in it for more than a few days. The same issue with static buildup is also present, and may lead to a messy countertop.
I'm coming up on a year with this machine in December. It can be a little picky about the beans (not oily). But with lavazza super crema beans, it performs quite well. I very seldom get a shot that I don't like. I vary my drinks day to day, and enjoy straight espresso, cortados, lattes, and occasionally coffee. It doesn't disappoint in either of the modes. I don't like that if I program my drink (2 shot espresso) and double tap the start button, it will simply pull double the volume, and not do a full 2 cycles of the double shot. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of the shots when I do this.
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.
09/16/2010 - The C1000 finally gave out after 10+ years and service fees of $250. With all lights now flashing and the loudest grinding noise ever, it was confirmed today with Jura-Capresso Customer Service that this unit is not worth their new $250 service fee to repair (if it could be repaired). I still found the C1000 a great appliance and Jura-Capresso a very reputable company. From a cost-analysis perspective (and these are ONLY estimates), I consume about 700 cups per year which requires about 20 pounds of beans at $10 per pound (Fresh Market) or $200 per year. Ten years worth of coffee beans cost about $2,000. Add the $900 cost of the C1000, plus two $125 service fees, my total investment was around $3,150. I excluded the cost of water since we pay a minimal fee, but never use the charged amount. Equivalent cups of pressure brewed coffee (about $3 per cup from Starbucks) over this ten year period would cost about $21,000. I compare Starbucks prices since there is a huge quality difference between their pressure-brewed coffee and drip coffee at your local food mart. So my break-even point with the Jura-Capresso C1000 was between one and two years. The remaining eight to nine years of coffee I consumed was at no cost (when compared to Starbucks). This analysis only includes the direct financial cost and not the cost of your time/fuel getting to Starbucks. I happily accepted Jura-Capresso’s "one-time replacement offer" to upgrade my C1000 to a new IMPRESSA C5. The list price is $999, but the upgrade cost is only $600. Although my C1000 unit has experienced problems, it continues to be the most awesome coffee machine ever! Once my IMPRESSA C5 machine arrives and has been used a short time, I will post a new product review.Read full review...
So what’s the coffee like? It’s tasty, especially if you stick with the simpler, non-milk varieties such as espresso, and comes out of the pods with a nice crema on the surface. You have very little control over how the coffee is made, of course, and aficionados using a £25 AeroPress will be able to beat the Jovia for taste every time. But this machine is so convenient and easy to live with that it charms you regardless.
For those who tend to like their java a bit more robust and flavorful, this espresso machine offers a coffee and steam wand that you can use to adjust the potency of your coffee. If you prefer a bit less vigor to your morning espresso, simply move the wand to the steam side to add a bit more water. This will allow you to share your espresso maker with those around you who prefer a stronger or milder taste you do and still keep everyone happy.