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"best" superauto (oh no...)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > "best" superauto...  
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jkatsoudas
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012, 2:19pm
Subject: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

Yes, I'm going to ask the question.  Sorry in advance.

I'd love to have a good semiauto in the house.  I've had an Expobar Brewtus in the past, and I loved the coffee it made.  However, I didn't love how long it took me to make a couple coffees in the morning, and I didn't love that I was the only one in the house that knew how to operate the thing.  if my wife or nanny or housekeeper (or whoever) wanted a coffee, I had to make it.  If I wasn't home or was in the middle of something, I had to hear about how they hated this expensive counter art that was useless to them.  So the Brewtus went away and was replaced by a Jura J5.  It's fine.  Not great, but fine, and everyone is now happy because they can press a button and get coffee.

Now my wife wants to take the J5 into work, and has given me the green light to replace it with another superauto (up to ~$3K budget).  It had been a few years since I'd shopped around, so you can imagine my elation when I initially came here and read the glowing (for a superauto) comments about the Quickmill Monza Deluxe.  I was all set to throw down the Visa, and in one final OCD moment I pulled out the tape measure and discovered (to my horror) that at 17.5" tall it's 1.5" too tall to fit anywhere on our kitchen counter (only 16" inches clearance counter to cabinet).  Sigh.

We don't do a lot of milk drinks so what's most important to us (taking the general superauto convenience as a given) is 1) brew quality 2) build quality 3) water, coffee, dreg capacity, and 4) aesthetics (yes, I admit it).  I loved that the Monza Deluxe is a metal brew group, mostly metal construction, and huge water and dreg bins.  As far as I can tell, it's in a class of its own in all these areas.  So, I've narrowed my choice down to the Jura Z7 or J9, but I'd love to hear from folks here:

1) is there any way to shorten the Monza Deluxe to 16" height? (I don't see any 'feet' that can be removed)
2) is there anything else out that's closer to the Monza Deluxe than the Jura or Saeco offerings?
3) assuming the answer to 1 and 2 is no... does anyone have any insight as to any differences in *coffee* quality between the Jura J9 and Z7?  There are lots of touchscreen, button, aesthetic and milk drink convenience differences, but there's a dearth of information on the actual brewgroups (# of thermoblocks, wattage, etc) between the two.  In a brief demo of both at my local Sur la Table, the J9 seemed to brew a hotter espresso than the Z7, but that was just n=1.  

Thoughts?

Thanks,
John
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,061
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012, 11:06pm
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

I must admit that I'm far from being a fan of superautomatics, but if I were forced to choose one, I'd certainly take a QuckMill, because they are the only prosumer machines I know that actually have a metal brew group that can be taken out for cleaning, whereas even the most sophisticated Juras have as far as I know a plastic brew group. I think this is a feature that will have great influence on the longevity of the machine. Also the QuickMills don't have a crema valve, a device developed by Jura and similar to a pressurized portafilter that'll produce a fake crema (i.e. foamed coffee).

Since you're used to espresso made with an Expobar Brewtus, you'll fare better with a QuickMill Monza, because IMHO it's capable of actually brewing a decent cup.

As a result of this reasoning I'd suggest to find a different place for the machine.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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jkatsoudas
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 5:47am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

NobbyR Said:

As a result of this reasoning I'd suggest to find a different place for the machine,

Posted September 23, 2012 link

I wish this were possible, but unfortunately it's not so the 16" cabinet height is a limitation.

FWIW - I had (and still have) the same concerns about the longevity of the Jura's plastic brewbroup but our J5 is going on 4 years of 5-10 shots a day without a single issue (knocks on wood).
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 6:17am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

I'm confused.  Since you're so happy with it, why not just get another J5?

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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jkatsoudas
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 6:25am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

I'm confused.  Since you're so happy with it, why not just get another J5?

Posted September 24, 2012 link

I'm not ecstatic with it.  It's fine.  It makes decent coffee, looks nice, fits on the counter, has been reliable, and everyone can figure out how to use it.

I'm asking if there's anything else that meets my needs that also makes better coffee.  

The J6 (successor to the J5) is an option.  I don't know (Jura doesn't really say) if there's any difference in brewgroup between the J6 and the J9 or Z7, or if there's another brand of machine I should be looking at.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 6:32am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

jkatsoudas Said:

I'm asking if there's anything else that meets my needs that also makes better coffee.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

You know the answer to that, but you don't want to take the time . . . it's all a matter of priorities, and we each have our own set.  You prefer the ease and convenience of a super-auto to what's in the cup, whereas I would rather make drip -- or stop at Peet's (the most convenient place to stop given where I live) -- than own a super-auto.

Seeing as how the Quick Mill won't fit in your kitchen, and you won't consider another location, I'd just get another Jura.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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jkatsoudas
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 6:45am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

You know the answer to that, but you don't want to take the time . . . it's all a matter of priorities, and we each have our own set.  You prefer the ease and convenience of a super-auto to what's in the cup, whereas I would rather make drip -- or stop at Peet's (the most convenient place to stop given where I live) -- than own a super-auto.

Seeing as how the Quick Mill won't fit in your kitchen, and you won't consider another location, I'd just get another Jura.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

I'm not posting here to debate my priorities.  I get that you (and most people here) don't like superautos.  You are absolutely correct that there are other factors in my decision-making process besides coffee quality.  If I was a bachelor it would be a different set of priorities, but as with many things in life this one's going to be a compromise for me.

Running to Peets on my way to work doesn't address the fact that there are other people in the house that also need to use the machine.  When I want a fantastic espresso, I do stop at Barefoot Coffee Roasters on my way in to the office.

The reason I'm posting here is to ask if there are other superautos besides the Juras that folks would recommend.  Telling me to put the machine somewhere besides my kitchen or go to Peets instead or raise my cabinets etc. is not a helpful reply.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 7:01am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

It's interesting that you quote my post, but didn't actually bother to read it.  I'm not trying to debate ANYTHING!  I never told you to go to Peet's, and could you please point out to me where I said anything about raising kitchen cabinets?

If you actually READ what I wrote, my suggestion to you is to get another Jura.  Why?  Precisely because you:
  • PREFER a super-auto;
  • want a machine to fit IN your kitchen (and thus, eliminating the Quick Mill).

I said that I (as in me, myself, and I -- that is to say, not you) would prefer to stop at Peet's, etc., etc.  That is MY priority.  It isn't yours, and I never suggested it was.  Indeed, all I did was to acknowledge the difference between my priorities and yours.

So, let me try this again:  given your priorities and location limitations, I'd recommend another Jura.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 881
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 7:03am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

My personal experience with plastic-group super-autos is that 5 years is about the max lifespan, and when they go, it tends to be rather suddenly, not a gradual lessening of function. I'm just old fashioned enought to believe that an appliance that costs a couple of grand should last a little longer than that.

That being said, I suppose the real question is just what aspect of making the coffee for themselves is the roadblock for the rest of the household? Dosing? Tamping? The whole general fiddly nature of the espresso ritual? If the rest of your household is willing to use a grinder, would they consider something like one of the automatic Astra "self-tamping" machines? Get a per-shot grinder that's easy to use, level, lock, and press the button.

If not, and the Monza doesn't fit, with no reasonable way to make it (though I'd say it's worth a call to Chris Coffee to see if there's any way to reduce the height), the Juras seem to be the best of the plastic-group super autos.
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 7:38am
Subject: Re: "best" superauto (oh no...)
 

Being as most here don't care for them it might not be the best venue for your question. That said having owned a couple Jura's myself as well friends and family who have owned Bosch, Gaggia and Saeco I think the quality of the espresso produced is comparable and mediocre at best. Build quality your best guess is as good as anyone other consumer. Personally i would try a QuickMill Monza if I was compelled to go back to a super auto.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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