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.
After much research and agonizing indecesion, I finally purchased the Jura J9 Super Automatic coffee machine. Our DeLonghi lasted several years, then died a noisy death. We had enjoyed it, but I felt like there were better machines to be had, so I focused on Jura and Saeco. I decided I wanted a Jura because of the easier cleaning, as reported by some reviewers, as well as great flavor and crema in the coffee. Then picking the model became hard. Not a lot of info on the Jura website as to how the different models work, but I finally decided that I liked the price range and capabilities of the J models. Costco had a J80 to sell, as well as a F7. I love the confidence I can have when buying from Costco, and that would have been a big plus for me. The J80 had been on sale for $400 off a few days before our DeLonghi failed, so I missed the sale and I couldn't bring myself to pay their full price of $2400 for a model that was not listed on the Jura website and some people suggested was an older model. I even emailed Costco, hoping they might honor the sale price, but no go. I finally found a J9 on Amazon for $2000, and read reviews where purchasers reassured me that, if something went wrong, I could feel secure in knowing that Amazon and its sellers would take good care of me and fix or replace the machine fairly quickly. I couldn't tell from the description if this was a J9 or J9.3, but decided it didn't matter. The model I received was the J9.3. It came quickly and the box was in great shape.
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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.
First, I really wanted to like this machine. The specs, design, functionality, were exactly what I was looking for in a super automatic espresso machine, however the machine failed to perform the basic task of making espresso. I found the display, programming, controls, and size of the water chamber to be good. The milk frothing system was cumbersome as it required you to attach tubes each time you wanted a milk drink. When the system worked, the steamed milk was hot and the consistency was great for cappuccinos and lattes. However, if the tube was not connected precisely (very little room for error) the consistency of the milk was poor. I ended up having to restart the process several times as the tubes were not connected properly or they came loose as the milk was pumped. The tubes also presented an issue with clean up in that they had to be cleaned after each use.
You also get programmable push-button controls for milk, hot water and espresso outputs and given the fact that the 1003380 Accademia dispenses great beverages on demand, it’s great for those who don’t like to wait for long before their drink is ready. In total, there are 7 buttons that you can use in order to prepare one of the following drinks hot water, latte macchiato, latte, cappuccino, cafe lungo, cafe and of course, espresso.
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