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:
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.
Combine luxury with functionality when you choose the DeLonghi Gran Dama Avant espresso system. One of the most versatile and customizable systems in home espresso, this system easily crafts specialty coffee drinks with its Single Touch hot milk system. A digital touch screen control panel ensures ease of use, while 5 coffee strength and 4 size settings allow you to fine-tune your drink.
Like the Sage Express, Panasonic’s NC-ZA1 is a “bean to cup” espresso machine: it takes whole beans, grinds them and pushes hot water through them at pressure to produce a cup of coffee. That’s pretty much where the similarities end, however, because unlike the old-school Express, the NC-ZA1 makes almost the entire process automated – and controllable via touchscreen.
“My first impression was a great machine well built; the manual was more challenging than it should have been but not hard to follow. Once I got the machine set up it's been delivering consistently great coffee, the dry grounds it produces make cleaning easy, the display makes maintenance pretty self-explanatory, the operation is quiet, and it's an obvious improvement over my previous machine.
The Delightful: The Z7 One-Touch is the perfect coffee brew center for discerning coffee lovers (if you are reading this, you are one) who need an early morning caffeine fix in minutes. Just as its name implies, a simple push of a button delivers rich, cafe-quality coffee, which is ideal for those who are not up to complex programming or measuring the influence of dreaded A.M brain fog.
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...
Instead of an LCD screen, this model uses a standard LED to show you what kind of coffee you’re making. It’s not quite as involved, but it’s helpful and better than a manual version. With the ENA 9, you can make six different kinds of coffee. It uses two nozzles to layer your beverages perfectly with foam or milk. The frother is a separate unit that connects to the base machine.
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.
I'm not a heavy coffee drinker but after working as a barista in a coffee house, I am a little particular about exactly how I like it. I've used a professional machine and the F9 is *easier* to use and even with 4 less bars of pressure than commercial models it still produces very comparable results. Also is faster to use than commercial machines since it stores the beans, grinds, tamps, and even collects the spent grounds. The Jura Capresso F9 allows you to make coffee or espresso in the EXACT amount, temperature, and strength you prefer. You can also use the hot water only function for brewing hot tea or Americano style coffee beverages. The touch screen is extremely easy to navigate, and the unit is easy to clean, prompting you to do so when needed. Hmmm... did I say *easy*?
The filter baskets are also a critical part of your espresso making. Not all filters are the same, and some are better, some are not so great. You can get great results with one filter basket, and mediocre with another one. Experiment, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases, using the single filter basket produces better results. Usually, the grind/tamping ratios are different for the different baskets.
The IPBAS system is a special 2 step pre infusion cycle that conditions and also moistens the ground coffee to get the best flavor extraction with excellent crema topping. Thanks to the great functionality of the F50, you can brew from 1 to 16 oz cups of coffee in 5 different strength settings. It can also grind from five to max sixteen g of coffee, ranging in strength from extra mild to extra strong.
3) This machine is crazy smart. It knows exactly when to clean itself, or tells you when to start the cleaning cycle. To clean it, all you do is insert a tablet in the coffee powder drawer and it does its thing. It knows when it needs water, when the filter needs to be changed, etc. In fact, since we have a water filter built into our refrigerator, we just use that filtered water in the coffee machine and therefore we don't need to use the expensive water filters. Bottom line, if you just pay attention and clean the machine on a regular basis when it tells you to, this is a no-brainer machine.
Operation is dead simple with the three-button interface on the top of the machine where you select from thee user-defined cup sizes (espresso, lingo and ristretto) and two aroma levels. The special aroma preservation technology does a great job of keeping the beans fresh and the Aroma Plus grinder precisely grinds them to a consistent size every time. The intelligent pre-heating feature is going to ensure that the coffee is always hot and topped with a light and airy crema.
The Delightful: The sleek, elegant and intuitive Jura-Capresso S8 makes it easy for anyone to whip up gourmet long crema coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes effortlessly at home. Users have ultimate control over the strength and flavor of the brew, and even those impaired by early-morning caffeine deficiencies can make a sublime cup of coffee in minutes.
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.
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
Strength and temperature selection for a precise cup – The unit has four selections for the strength of coffee you want and lets you control the brew temperature for different drinks. This is a great way to customize a cup of coffee for guests and family. Instead of a pot evaporating away on the heater all day, just dial in the strength desired and 60 seconds later, you have your perfect cup of coffee.
It might seem like a trivial point, but not all machines have thought about this. The Jura’s power cable emerges at the bottom of the rear of the machine, making it very easy to plug it in and neatly arrange any excess cable out of sight. There’s also a ‘master’ power switch in the same location – worth noting as we discovered, having thought the machine was dead on arrival after pressing the power button on top and nothing happening!
You don’t really need to be a coffee connoisseur to be able to prepare your own drinks with this coffee machine. There are recipes for 12 coffee creations which you can select with the rotary switch. The machine uses images and texts to guide users through the preparation stages. You can prepare coffee choices such as Irish coffee, flavored latte macchiato, Viennese coffee, and Café Melange, amongst others. In addition, this coffee machine is also self cleaning to eliminate any excuses when it comes to making speciality coffee at home.