Can you believe I've had this machine for almost two years? And that they are going to be phasing it out soon, and replacing it with an upgraded model, the Jura Capresso S9 Avant?
In that two years, the shot counter on the machine shows over 1900 shots. That's a LOT of coffee. But given that this machine is rated for as much as 1000 shots a month, I guess I didn't do it justice :)
NB: By the time some of you may read this, the S9 may be discontinued by Jura Capresso, and replaced by the Jura Capresso S9 Avant, an upgraded model. Most of my comments below will apply to the new model.
Where this machine has been
In short, all over the place. I've taken the machine to a wedding, where it saw heavy duty, serving some 75 guests. But it made much more than 75 drinks. Some of the guests were so amazed at the coffee centre that they wanted me to make a myriad of drinks on it.
What was cool was watching people try to figure out the machine by themselves. The wedding was a Chinese / Anglo wedding, and while white folks may be ready to jump in and break someone else's expensive toy, Chinese people generally are very hesitant - they don't want to break it. But after some coaxing, I did get many of the guests, Chinese included, to figure out how to make americanos, cappuccinos, and lattes on their own. And they loved using it.
The general comment in that scenario was "wow", followed by "it is so easy!" then followed by "this tastes so good!"
| At the Wedding |
The machine at the wedding. Got raves, it did!
Which goes to show you how relative something like espresso and cappuccinos are in terms of tastes and experiences. For someone like me, the shots produced on this machine are barely drinkable (but I do find the americanos easy to drink, and the cappuccinos are tolerable). For maybe 80% of the populace, this machine produces a superior shot, a superior cappuccino or latte. I saw it in actin.
I also left the machine at a small restaurant for a week, where it served up some 200 beverages. It never missed a beat. The programming controls and "watchdog" like computer brain kept the neophyte staff (in terms of their coffee and espresso knowledge) in the loop, and let them know when things like the drip tray being full, or the beans empty, or the water reservoir needing refilling - all that stuff - when it needed to be done. The staff even ran the machine through a full cleaning cycle without a worry.
It was used with a tiny desktop refridgerator, and a container of milk inside for on demand, all day, cold milk available for drinks.
Customers liked the beverages - I remember one specific comment from the restaurateur: "one of my regulars stopped going to Starbucks and was coming to my place every morning and early afternoon for their caffeine fix. They said what I was serving was better than what they got at Starbucks".
He liked the machine so much that he actually bought an S7 two weeks later, and bought the FrothXpress device separately for it. Now there's a sale!
This machine has served a twenty person dinner, and has been in a busy piano studio with a teacher that has classes as big as 10 or 12 students, with pairs of parents to match.
In all these circumstances, it never failed, never complained. It just produced shot after shot, drink after drink.
The only issues I have with it after such a long term use is something mentioned in the First Use page: the plastic body. It's been dinged up a bit. It shows stains that I can't scrub out. And it squeaks and makes noises whenever I move the machine.
The drip tray cover too has seen some hard times. It is scratched up quite a bit, but you expect that from polished stainless steel that comes into constant contact with porcelain.
What needs to be improved
Not much on the machine, except for some hard core technical stuff. I'd like to see Capresso make the following changes:
- metal body. At $2,200, plastic just doesn't seem right.
- make preinfusion optional. 'nuff said on that
- increase the settings on the grinder. 6 isn't enough. Unless you're a caffe Suisse fan and that's all you drink.
If, down the road, Capresso really tackles the hardcore stuff, I'd like to see a super automatic that has the following features:
- less than 1 inch travel path from grinder to brewing assembly (or, devise a system that moves 100% of the grinds into the brewing assembly)
- brewing system that creates a puck at least 55mm wide, or wider.
- less than 1 inch travel path for brewed espresso from brew group to front spouts.
- PID controls on brewing temperatures, controlled to a half degree centigrade.
This is really techie, high end stuff, but if Capresso does that, I may have to stop saying "I'm not a fan of super autos". ;)