Now that great espresso shots aren't hard to find, this machine is more about convenience and reliability than knock-your-socks-off espresso. But it does make great coffee - better than any Mr. Coffee or even Keurig. I keep Dark Roast Guatemalan Viennese in the bean hopper, pull two one-ounce shots, lengthen them with hot water, and I'm drinking awesome coffee before my neighbor has finished peeling the foil on his can of Maxwell House. And since I'm just buying good old whole beans, it's much cheaper to use than a Keurig.
If you don’t have the time or want to build a highly customized taste for your espresso mixes and just want a great tasting cup of espresso, super-automatic espresso makers are going to be your best bet. While you do give up some of the control you have over the final product, a super-automatic espresso maker automates almost all of the process for you, meaning that you can just get a great shot of espresso without having to do any extra work. This makes it perfect for people on the go or who prefer convenience over control.
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.
The ultra-modern frother technology prepares milk foam of unprecedented quality. The foam is both fine and compact, giving it a creamy consistency with a subtle sweetness. The frothers have two separate chambers in which the milk is frothed twice. Any bubbles that form will burst, compacting the foam and making it extremely fine. Three bars in the frother spout slow down the foam as it exits the frother, so it is poured slowly and evenly into the cup.
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.)
And it bears out in the coffee the machine produces: our very first cup was a delicious and gloriously smooth latte with barely a hint of bitterness. The milk steaming wand is excellent too, producing much lighter, airier foam than the (admittedly way, way cheaper) Morphy Richards’ model, and there’s also a hot water spout for those who want to make an Americano by topping up their espresso.
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.
Anyone who is looking for the perfect espresso machine, should certainly take a closer look at the Cuisinart EM-600. This model is able to brew excellent traditional coffee beverages and espresso shots at the touch of a button and without you having to worry about moving the cup. The EM-600 incorporates a removable milk tank (22 oz) which sends frothy, creamy and hot milk right into your cup for barista quality, hands free latte and cappuccino. If you want to use it with the Illy Espresso capsule system, you’ll be very happy to know that this model offers innovative froth controls, flavor strength and temperature control with the push of a button.
The first notable downside to this economy grinder is the build quality. Although it is standard for high-end burr grinders to use stainless steel enclosures, the Capresso 559 is built from a cheaper plastic. Beyond its suspect longevity, the cheaper build also causes problems in functionality. For example, beans can jam the grinder chute, causing the machine to stop functioning until it is cleaned.
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
Although it may seem somewhat inconvenient, we like it because it makes it easier to clean the milk container. Other features that come with the ENA 9 include a sturdy conical burr grinder, an energy saver mode to keep your electricity bills under control, and customizable coffee strengths. Also, you can adjust the amount of water that comes out, both in your coffee or if you want to use the machine as a hot water dispenser.
The ECAM28465 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. That’s not all though: you also get a dual stainless steel-lined thermoblock heating that provides steaming and brewing power for your various coffee drinks. Lastly, you can say goodbye to espresso and other drinks any metallic taste in your coffee that you probably got with other machines and that’s because the Prima Donna S features a stainless steel lining which prevents that from being the case.
Six years and 7540 shots of espresso. The only downside of this machine is that it is too easy to use so that you end up drinking more cups than you might otherwise. It's very fast to heat up, both for the main heating block, as well as for steam. The steamer wand takes some practice to get good, tight foam, but once you figure out the technique it's not difficult. The openings in the wand can clog up if you don't wipe it down right after use. I also give a short blast of steam right after that as well. After about five years we bundled it up and sent it in to the factory for cleaning and reconditioning. It came back as good as new and it's still going strong. About the only real negative aspect to the machine is that it tends to be a bit noisy, but probably no more so than someone using a fully manual pull machine and grinder.
The speed at which the Jura ENA Micro 9 delivers coffee is amazing. Before you know it, the chrome accented spouts are delivering hot espresso that absolutely tastes as if it was prepared by skilled human hands. The design and casing look great up close and feature a hard plastic with a matte silver finish. The top of the unit is a shiny black that’s reminiscent of Lucite and is easy to quickly wipe down and keep the machine looking fresh. We were also impressed with the density of the foam that the Micro 9 delivers. We considerer ourselves experts in the area of good foam and we were not disappointed with its dense and thick mouth feel. The adjustable spout creates clearance for any size mug or large cup and the multi-level sealed conical grinder performs just as well as any standalone grinder we’ve ever owned. Overall, ENA Micro 9 strikes that perfect balance between size, power and delicious coffee. This is currently our favorite model and the one we have in our own home.
These are portable milk containers Stainless Steel Milk Container If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. that come in various sizes and are designed to keep your milk-based drinks cool for a whole day. The idea is to prevent your cappuccino or latte from spoiling until you’re ready to drink it.
I only have one minor quibble with this machine; if you like cappuccino, it produces foam that is weak and deflates easily. I have troubleshot this problem from every possible angle (tried different percent milkfat, different milks(soy), different milk temps etc.) and the results were still a little disappointing. I purchased the Milk Frothing accessory designed for this unit and still could not produce the more velvety foam I was seeking. The easiest fix for this is to buy an Aerolatte: steam your milk with the F9 (the steam function works great) and then whip till your hearts content with the Aerolatte. For an extra $15 bucks spent on the Aerolatte, you'll have the perfect cup of cappuccino to rival any cafe.
Along with premium engineering, Capresso products are designed with high-end aesthetics in mind. Clean black trims, aesthetic curves, and clean stainless steel finishes are all common branding traits. Capresso products are also notably ergonomic, featuring comfortable handles, easily visible and extruded controls, and a notable lack of rough edges. With design awards to back it up, Capresso produces beautiful, innovative, and powerful coffee equipment.
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.
To enable the filter and coffee machine to communicate, JURA uses modern RFID technology. Any machine fitted with the intelligent water system (I.W.S.®) recognises when a filter is inserted, automatically switches to filter mode and starts the rinsing process. When the filter capacity is nearly used up the machine prompts the user to change the filter. If the filter is not changed, the machine activates descaling mode. After a certain amount of use, the user is prompted to descale the machine. This can only be done when the filter is removed, so there is no more risk of user error resulting from misunderstandings.