Thanks for the write up. I ordered my F9 the day before this came up. :) I was very, very close to going with the S7. It's a tough decision. I'm wondering if the connectivity kit for the F9 will be able to tweak the brew temp a bit higher...or if it's just a mechanical limitation.
Since writing the first look for the F9, I've been told the connectivity kit may not make its way over to these shores. (there's a reason why I'm very clear about not taking words in First Looks as gospel - information, availability can change).
I'm also pretty sure it won't have the ability to tweak temperatures - I don't think they have the necessary hardware inside the machine to do this.
With the F9 (and S9) a fair portion of the money spent is on the "style" of the machine - the F9 has the hardened chrome front which costs $$ to make.
There are four"most important" things to me in a super auto. The S9 gets one of them right:
- brew temperature (s9) - short path from grinder to brew group OR all ground coffee used for each shot (less than 2g of ground coffee left) - grind fineness and matching hardware inside (brew group) giving a 25 second extraction - short throw travel path for the brewed espresso (the palazzo has this)
As far as I'm concerned, no company yet has come up with a super auto that gets all four of these things right for deliverying good espresso. As I mentioned in the S9 review, "the Swiss don't get it".. but there's more. They can't be told it either - it seems they either don't care or don't want to listen. I've chewed the ear of more than a few Swiss execs at SCAA Boston this year, talking about N. American needs in a super auto, the demands of espresso vs. "cafe suisse" style coffee. I was given nice smiles and attentive looks, but followups show they didn't even remember what I said.
The Palazzo, which I also have here, has a great short throw design where the brewed espresso only travels about 2 inches before it gets to the dispersion spout. I've seen some machines where the brewed espresso has to travel all the way from the back of the machine along a thin plastic tube to the front - about 8, 10 inches. Can you say cold?
But the Palazzo (and the Saeco Italia models, and the Gaggia Compact and others) have a really bad flaw - the path for the ground coffee is LONG and horizontal. If you change the grinder settings, you have to wait 2, 3 shots before you see it. All that coffee sits in the machine, getting stale. Terrible design, IMO.
Things would be different if they solely marketed these machines as a "brew on demand cafe suisse coffee maker that DOESNT make espresso"; they can't have it both ways.
Saeco is the main (and almost only) player on the Italian side, but gets their current crop of Super Autos designed in Switzerland. They don't seem to get it either.
When did you hear the connectivity kit might not make it to the US? Capresso told me the other day the ETA was April. Honestly, I don't expect much from it. I downloaded the software from Europe for it and there isn't a whole lot. Basically you can save and restore settings. I'd like a real Ethernet connection with a web server so I can log in, set my options, and have a hot cup waiting on me by the time I got to the kitchen. :)
MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,582 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Compak K10 WBC Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Dec 5, 2003, 5:00am Subject: Update on frothXpress Plus' ability to produce froth.
I've since resolved the "no froth" issue with the frothXpress Plus gizmo. I soaked the entire thing in Urnex Rinza (probably an overboard solution) for 15 mins. The result was I discoloured the aluminum portion of the frothXpress device, BUT... I'm getting copious froth now.
Check out the photo - this is the normal froth I'm getting from the frothXpress. Bottom line - make sure it's clean. You probably don't (and shouldn't) do what I did - the big soak in something that doesn't like aluminum; a soak in boiling water and a big flush with a jet sprayer from your sink should do, if you have frothing problems.
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2003, 11:24am Subject: Re: Jura Capresso S9 glorified video
If you really want to drool over the S9 some more, just visit www.capresso.com and click on the "art of capresso" in the middle, it will launch a quicktime video of music and various artistic shots of the S9.
Based partly on Mark's First Look at the S9, I ordered a S7 and have been using it as my sole coffee machine for about a week now.
I'm very impressed with the results.
This beast makes my former machine (a Capresso CoffeeTEAM which my wife and I thought made great coffee) seem like a drug store Mr. Coffee.
I understand now what the various CoffeeGeek members have been saying about super automatics not making great espresso (although I am finding that I am occasionally drinking "straight espresso" from the S7 in addition to making my "latte-type" unsweetened drinks) but this Swiss Coffee that is produced by the "Special Coffee" button is VASTLY superior to the drip coffee which I've been drinking at home. The espresso shot (2 oz) pulls in about 15 seconds at the finest grind that is available on the S7. The Special Coffee (8 oz) pulls in about 40 seconds, also on the finest grind setting.
I'm trying various different espresso blends to try and find that "perfect for my taste" coffee to use on a regular basis.
I want to pass on a BIG complement to Intelligensia. When I ordered from them a packing error omitted two pounds of Black Cat from the box (although it was on the packing list.) I was, however, sent an unordered extra two pounds of a much more expensive Sumatra bean instead of the BC. A quick phone call last Friday, and today (Wednesday) two pounds of Black Cat (roasted on Monday) was delivered ... no additional charge ... no shipping cost ... NO questions asked .. just fixed the problem! I should be making my first Swiss Coffees and espresso shots with the Black Cat blend starting tomorrow
I'm looking forward to Mark's Detailed Review of the machine when it comes out. I'm sure that I'll pick up some great hints about how to get the absolute best from my new machine.
Suds Senior Member Joined: 22 Jan 2004 Posts: 32 Location: Zionsville, IN Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Expobar Control Grinder: Gaggia MDF,Anfim, Maestro Vac Pot: not yet Drip: no - Bodum Press Pot Roaster: Alpenrost
Posted Tue Jan 27, 2004, 2:04pm Subject: Re: grind adjustability
As an aside, I know that the grinders of the Capresso C1000, C1500, Krups Orchestro models can be tweeked to produce a finer grind. The procedure is simple, but does involve opening the top of the machine (potentially voiding your warranty) and I would imagine that the same could be done on the new F or S lines. If anyone would like the detailed instructions, let me know and I'll post them here. After the "mod" I can choke my C1500 on the finest setting, get around a 20-25 second 2oz pull on the second or third finest setting, dependant on coffee being used. And I find that a setting slightly coarser than the middle works great for cafe crema, which my wife enjoys. Thanks for the great site Mark, and keep up the good work.
Augeas Senior Member Joined: 1 Feb 2004 Posts: 1 Location: Bowie Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Feb 1, 2004, 9:41am Subject: Re: Jura Capresso S9
Great first look article.
I am in the market for a high quality expresso machine for my home, I enjoy mocha latte and cafe americano, I currently have an unimpressive steam powered krups and frequently make trips to my local starbucks to drink decent expresso.
Question: My experience with anything "fully-automatic" has been that output quality is sacrificed for convienence. Is this the case with the S9? You say that the S9 expresso is inferior to expresso made in a manual machine, but how inferior is it? Where does the S9 fit when comparing the quality of the S9's output with the output of other machines in the over 1000.00 price range? Both fully-automatic and semi-automatic? Is creating the ideal expresso possible with the S9?
just bought this thing yesterday and brewed about 35 cups so far, so it should be tweaked and tuned properly. I really don't care about espresso. I really only care about coffee. My main goal is to brew starbucks coffee beans at home that tastes like the cup I buy at the store. In this regard, somehow, the S9 fails. Firstly, the coffee isn't hot and I have it set for the highest setting. When I add just a touch of skim milk, it really loses its temperature. After 20 minutes, my cup is undrinkable (cold and bitter).
Secondly, my starbucks beans brewed on the S9 don't taste like a cup from Starbucks, which is two blocks away from my house.
Any thoughts on how to make this thing work? The review made it sound stellar, but to me, brewing coffee is the most fundamental thing. No?
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