The new Gaggia Brera is a very impressive super automatic espresso machine that has a small form factor, making it perfect for use on small kitchen countertops. Not only that, but it seems that the company has focused, among other things, to ensure that the Brera fully maximizes user convenience. For instance, the water tank, drop tray and the dregs drawer are all within reach and can be easily accessed from the machine for simple, swift maintenance and regular cleaning. With this model, beverage selection and machine programming has been greatly simplified, allowing users to easily navigate through the options which are certainly more than you’d expect from such a small machine.
Maintenance and Cleaning: If you use steamed milk, I highly suggest changing the setting to display the "Rinse Milk System" prompt to appear right after using. The default is 10 minutes, and you cannot select this rinse from the Maintenance menu. The quicker you rinse out the milk residue, the less likely you are to get clogs. The manual also suggests to use the Jura Cappuccino Cleaner daily. I tend to rinse often and do a breakdown cleaning of the milk system and frother about every other day.
The other reviews comment on the burr grinder sticking and this may be as a result of using oily beans. This problem is addressed in the manual; they offer recommendations on how to get the oils to evaporate somewhat to prevent issues with the machine. The beans I use are not particularly oily and I have never had a problem with the grinder nor any problems with any of the other functions with this machine. This unit has already paid for itself several times over in savings over what I would pay at any coffee house; very pleased with this purchase!
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.
I received my machine on Jan 20th. I have to say it was a huge let down. Niether the coffee or milk were hot enough. I would think spending this amount of money on a coffee machine you should at least get hot coffee and milk without having to use cupwarmer or running hot water through it. I will say that amazon was a pure joy to work with on the return. They made everything simple and easy with no fuss. Thank you amazon for that.
It would have been nice to see this espresso machine come with a removable water tank for easier filling. However, using the small carafe should not be a problem. The Capresso 303 will allow you to indulge in the rich taste of espresso without having to regularly spend exorbitant amounts of money. With a personal cappuccino maker, you will no longer have to find time and spend energy to drive to the local coffee house to get your morning espresso.
The first machine I received never worked correctly. The milk would not steam and the espresso would start to come out and then stop. Upon stopping a message would display on the screen asking to press a button to fill the pump. This would occur 2-3 times before an expresso could actually be made. I experimented with several different grind settings, coffee strength, water temperatures, etc, but with no success. The machine continued to pump a few drops of espresso, asking to refill the pump, and waste the previous grinds. I literally wasted 2-3 cans of Illy espresso without ever getting espresso. In addition, with each espresso cycle, a large amount of water would precede any espresso. For example on a 1oz shot, about 0.1oz would be water that didn't run through the coffee.
There is a learning curve and one has to get the coffee to water ratio correct for one's preferences...changing it for other drinkers. But it is truly automatic, which is nice for serving more than one person quickly, brews quickly and makes very good coffee. Jura took this machine and rewired it per the wiring recall on this model, returned it, all at no cost to me.
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.
When you think of other “one-touch” coffee solutions on the market, what typically comes to mind are single serve coffee machines that utilize K-cups or some other kind of coffee pod. While these definitely changed the game when first introduced, they leave a lot to be desired in terms of waste and the Jura has evolved past them. K-cups and coffee pods produce an extreme amount of plastic, cardboard and foil that is filling up landfills as at a rapid pace. Not to mention, by the time the coffee gets to your machine, the grounds have been sitting on the shelf for months and are most likely very stale.
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.)
Always keeping ahead of the curve and improving, Jura has managed to create a machine that not only mimics, but also builds up and improves on previous models. The C60 is the successor of the highly popular C5 and what makes it special is the fact that it offers the same excellent 1-touch functionality that helps millions prepare their perfect espresso in seconds and with improved convenience.
The machine is very nice looking in person, very sleek. The instruction manual is pretty sparse on details. It has enough, but it's a little intimidating for a first time user. I took my time and found out that the programming is very user friendly and easy to use. I have ours on our counter with a cabinet overhead. When I fill water reservoir I do pull the machine a bit forward because the reservoir is deep and you have to lift it straight up. It's easy to do but you need a bit of clearance. The bean hopper is in the back, so I pull the machine forward a bit to fill that, as well. Very easy to do. One thing I wanted in the J9 was the option to use a water filter. I have hard water from our tap, and had been filling our DeLonghi from our filtered refrigerator dispenser, but that was cumbersome. With the Jura filter I can fill the deep reservoir right in the little bar sink I have next to the machine. I tested the water before and after, and the Jura filter definitely works to reduce hardness, which is important in keeping the machine free from mineral scale buildup. I think it will be well worth the expense of replacing the filters. It came with one filter and a couple of descaling tabs, which I have not had to use yet.
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.
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.