Before we get into the technical aspects of the two types of espresso machines, here’s what you really need to know. Semi-automatic espresso machines are going to be perfect for the espresso connoisseur. If you’re the type that really wants to get the best-quality and taste out of your espresso machine and don’t mind taking a little more time and effort out of your schedule, the semi-automatic espresso maker is going to be for you. It’s a little bit more work, but the key here is that you ultimately have more control over every subtle nuance that goes into your version of the perfect shot of espresso with a semi-automatic.
The Unpleasant: There is hardly anything negative about this sublime machine. Due to its small water reservoir, the Impressa Z7 was not designed for offices or households with multiple coffee drinkers. Furthermore, it may be inconvenient for individuals who drink several cups of coffee throughout the day since that would require frequent refilling of the reservoir. If you’re interested in one with a larger water tank, check out Jura-Capresso S8.
We’re going to start with a rundown of the features of the Impressa F8, so that you know what you’re getting if you choose to buy. A lot of machines offer the same core functions, so we tend to focus on what stands out, so rest assured, if we rate a machine highly (as we do with this one), it’s going to be a good all rounder unless we specifically say otherwise.
Yeah! It has them but what doesn’t? The main complaint on the reviews is the small water and bean container. It only holds 37 ounces of water compared to others that hold 60 ounces. Another one is the max cup size, giving you only 5 inches to work with. Travel coffee cups won’t fit under the spout. The last complaint is the lack of a cup warmer probably because there was no room with this slim design.
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.
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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 Capresso EC100 offers you the chance to get creative and add variety to your coffee drinks, not only with espresso shots but also with lattes and cappuccinos using this espresso machine's two-part frother. This espresso maker comes with a frothing sleeve that lets you swirl hot steam and air into your milk to make a rich and foamy topping for your cappuccinos. You can remove the frothing sleeve and use the underlying steam tube that puts hot steam into milk, making it possible to make lattes.
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.