I'm not a heavy coffee drinker but after working as a barista in a coffee house, I am a little particular about exactly how I like it. I've used a professional machine and the F9 is *easier* to use and even with 4 less bars of pressure than commercial models it still produces very comparable results. Also is faster to use than commercial machines since it stores the beans, grinds, tamps, and even collects the spent grounds. The Jura Capresso F9 allows you to make coffee or espresso in the EXACT amount, temperature, and strength you prefer. You can also use the hot water only function for brewing hot tea or Americano style coffee beverages. The touch screen is extremely easy to navigate, and the unit is easy to clean, prompting you to do so when needed. Hmmm... did I say *easy*?
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.
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The Capresso EC-100 comes with a generous number of safety features, which you find in the best home espresso machines. These include a short electrical cord so that nothing is dangling down within reach of a youngster's eager hands, which could pose serious risks to a child. The polarized plug means your espresso maker can only be plugged in one way. Since this model is equipped with on and off indicator lights, it's easy to tell that your machine is off when you want it to be and not worry about accidents, burns or fire.
When looking into the different coffee and espresso centers, most people look at the Jura Capresso family of machines because of their high quality and the warranty that they offer. The Jura Capresso Impressa E9 is one of those machines. It has all the high tech necessities to make a variety of coffee house beverages from home. Enjoying a delicious café drink will be as easy as walking into your kitchen whenever you want a coffee or espresso drink.
Last but not least, this machine features 5 level water hardness selectors and makes it a breeze to set it to your specific water hardness. On top of that, it can also count the number of coffee cups you’ve consumed, how many times the machine was cleaned, how often the steam function was used and so on. If you want, you can keep stats on a daily basis.
Alright, for the person whose coffee/espresso interest borders on obsession (or strong passion if you will) the F7 probably won’t satisfy. Mainly because of the built-in grinder. For someone who’s aiming for perfection in their brew, a precision standalone grinder and a standalone coffee maker is going to be what they need to look for to really dial in their perfection.
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.
The Gaggia RI8762 is truly a great espresso maker and since it incorporates an auto frothing milk carafe, you can easily use it in order to produce rich milk that has a creamy and delicious texture that’s perfect for lattes and cappuccinos. Just like the original Anima, the Gaggia RI8762 features a ceramic burr grinder which you can set so that it uses one of the five grind settings in order to easily accommodate the blend and roast of your espresso. In terms of maintenance, the Gaggia RI8762 is very simple to clean and that is thanks to the fact that it incorporates the company’s patented removable brew group.
Although the low RPM motor is a fantastic feature of this Capresso grinder, it may struggle with darker, oilier beans on the finest grind settings. The mechanical timer is also not as precise as one would wish, as the machine begins grinding the moment you turn the dial. As a result, grind quantities are fairly inconsistent. Another notable disadvantage is the fact that the 565’s bean hopper is not entirely airtight, making it unsuitable for storing coffee beans for more than a few days at a time. Finally, due to the design of its grind chute and a recurring problem with static cling, this grinder can get fairly messy.
With the Impressa C9, you get programmed beverage buttons for espresso, cappuccino, coffee, hot water or milk. A 14oz. milk container is included and a burr grinder is built-into the machine. The 64-ounce removable water tank is easy to clean, and the ThermoBlock heating system keeps water at the optimal temperature. With an 18-bar power pump, this machine brews fantastic espresso.
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 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.
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.
From the outside, the Giga 5 looks attractive. It has a color TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screen display on the top front and center, with a stylish aluminum chassis with black plastic sides. This unit will definitely enhance the look of any kitchen. There’s a dedicated hot water spout at the front of the machine plus a couple of adjustable spouts for making coffee. Located on top of the unit you will find on/off buttons, a program button, and a rotary switch that is key to navigating the Giga’s menu.