It’s affordable (£70 at Argos at the time of writing; Dolce Gusto pods are priced at around £4 for a box of 16) and incredibly simple to set up and use. Simply fill the removable water tank with cold H2O, pop your chosen coffee pod into a slide-out drawer at the front, stick a cup under the spout and hit the power button. When it turns from red to green (a mere few seconds) the machine is ready. You then push the water lever either left (for cold drinks) or right (for hot drinks) until the desired amount of your drink is in the cup. Then slide out the drawer, expel the pod and throw it away.
Best of all, thanks to a thermal coffee pot, if you don't polish off the whole pot right away, it will still stay piping hot hours after it was brewed. For $130, the MT600 from Capresso offers all these abilities plus is wrapped up into a snazzy brushed-metal-and-black-plastic frame. Sure, the MT600 won't deliver a truly sublime cup of drip-brewed coffee. For that there's no getting around splurging at least $200 and up for a more capable machine.
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.
This is made to order coffee, not the stuff sitting in the pot for hours on end. You might argue that the coffee shops grind their own coffee. And they do, but not for every cup (otherwise a $4 cup would be history for sure) and this is the main point. Their ground coffee is still sitting around exposed to air and going stale. The stuff in their pot or thermal tank just sits until empty.
The Jura Capresso Impressa J5 will allow anyone who owns ones to quickly prepare coffee house drinks in the comfort of their home at their convenience. The customization possibilities with this espresso machine assure that everyone can have their favorite drink exactly as they like it. The shorter flow of coffee ensures that the coffee will be hot with more crème in the cup.
The improvements are quite a few, including the four selectable strength options that helps determine the dosage of the shots you want to brew between five and sixteen grams of coffee. If you want, you can easily tailor your experience with programmable pre-brewing, brew temperature and water volume. You can make the adjustments by using the rotary switch and the good news is that the machine will remember your preferences so you can brew the same delicious cup of coffee next time.
The Achilles heel of any super automatic, brewing times are, in my opinion, far too short for proper extraction of the good stuff from ground coffee. Part of the problem is the puck diameter - 46ml in the Jura Capresso S9. The other problem (and I blame the Swiss for this and their gosh darn love for caffe suise), is that the grinder can't be dialed fine enough.
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.
Have used a SAECO machine for the last ten years.Finally "blew up" and I needed a replacement. Have known the Jura machines for a long time but because of the price never considered purchasing one. Finally had the courage to purchase the Jura J9 and have absolutely no regrets. Makes excellent Espresso or a coffee with a crema. Cappuccinos or Latte Macchiatos are a breeze to make. Wish I would have purchased earlier.
When the milk is finally steamed on the dual element system, the machine is ready to continue making more espresso shots. Keep in mind that if you choose to get a single element machine, you’ll need to wait five minutes so that the boiler can cool off naturally and then run hot water through the steam wand for ten seconds in order to purge the boiler of steam.
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.