|A woeful waste of time and money.
|Harvey Stein, Dec 24, 2004
More of Harvey Stein's Review:
Having enjoyed my morning cappucino for over 30 years, I have been through a number of machines. In the late 80's, I purchased a Swiss made, Olympia Coffex ($800 back then!). It was great. Ran like a Swiss watch, but finally gave out in late-2003. I...
|Very ease to use, makes good coffee, but doesn't like oily beans
|Albert Darby, Jan 1, 2005
More of Albert Darby's Review:
The main thing that convinced me to buy this unit was ease of use. I've owned a Saeco Rio Vapore for years and am OK with the quality of espresso it's capable of however I really find manually pulling shots to be too much effort so consequently it...
|12 Reviews have been written for the Jura Capresso S9 so far by our members.
Let me just start off by saying I don't much like super automatic machines.
There, I said it.
As a judge in international Barista competitions, as a person who takes great pride in the hands-on crafting of a superior shot of espresso, and as a person who believes an automated machine will not exist in my lifetime that can beat a seasoned Barista using quality equipment and beans to produce a great shot, I sometimes wonder if I should review super automatics.
Then I remember the goals of this website, and I remember my responsibilities to our readership - not just the few who measure the beans they use for a shot in the tenths of grams scale, religiously backflush and clean their machines every week (or day) - no, I remember the many who just want a better cup of coffee; a better shot of espresso.
And the fact is, today's crop of super automatics can produce a better shot of espresso than maybe 50%, 60% of the cafes in North America. And some maybe can even beat the lower 80% of cafes out there in the wild.
Think I'm telling tales? For an article I wrote for Fresh Cup Magazine's 2003 Coffee Almanac, I did a coffee tour of Main Street in Vancouver (along with Aaron DeLazzer). We visited twelve cafes, including a Starbucks. We had a shot of espresso at each location. At the Starbucks, we not only had a shot made on a La Marzocco manned by their PBTCs (Person Behind the Counter), but also a shot from a "just fired up" consumer super automatic, the Saeco Italia (it was turned off when we arrived).
The Italia's shot was the best, by far, of all 13 shots of espresso we sampled that day.
Scary times. So this is why I review super automatics. I figure with a competent, balanced and fair review, I can help many of you make a purchase decision that, while not beating the shot quality a good home barista can get with a Rancilio Silvia and Rocky combo, at the very least, you'll get a better shot than your typical cafe.
And I also review them because I'm a complete technogeek - I love technology. Super autos represent the cutting edge of coffee brewing in the home, and besides - they're way cool to look at and play with.
So how's that for an introduction to the Detailed Review for the Capresso S9? Because that's the subject of this exhaustive review. We've had the S9 for almost 20 months now, and it's been everywhere. We've had it at a wedding, pounding out almost 100 shots, making everything from mochas to macchiatos. We've had it at a 20 person dinner. We've had it in a piano studio, offering drinks on demand for the parents of students. And we've even had it in a commercial restaurant, pouding out over 200 drinks in a week. How's that for serious testing?
The Jura Capresso S9 is the high end machine in the S series. What makes it high end? It comes with two frothing systems - a slightly traditional wand / froth aider style system that can easily be used for frothing in the traditional manner. Or you could slide the wand sleeve, and wallah, you had a froth aider device.
The second frothing system is almost entirely "automated". You can program the machine to apply steam for a predetermined time, hook up this automated frother to a container full of milk, press a button and walk away - when you got back, you'd have a completed drink with a fair amount of near-micro foam and adequately steamed milk.
The machine's fit and finish is also upgraded from the S7 model (the S8 has the same body as the S9, but not the automated frothing system).
How does this product stack up? You'll have to read the review to find out. But I'll preface by saying this - the Jura-Capresso S9 has become our standard bearer benchmark for consumer super automatics. As such, our rating at the end of the review reflects how it rates against other super automatics. If the rating seems a bit high, keep this in mind - against a Rancilio Silvia, or an Isomac Tea, it'd probably garner a 4 or 5. Against other super automatics, the rating this machine gets is well deserved.
History of Jura Capresso
First there was Capresso. Or first there was Jura. Confused? So am I :)
Actually, Capresso is a company that's been around for a while now. Founded by Michael Kramm, ex executive of Krups, Capresso has carved a niche for itself in the mid to upper range in auto drip coffee makers, and also as a presence in the consumer super automatic market. For a time, they had a range of lower end traditional espresso machines, but their focus on this market is greatly reduced these days.
Jura is a company that was licensing the manufacture of super automatics for the European market for some time. They had a US presence, but at times the representation was spotty. Because of licensing deals and partnerships, Kramm could not take over the Jura name or sell products with the Jura brand in the US - hence Jura-Capresso was born, creating a new product lineup.
The first products in this lineup were the S series super automatics, and the F series. There would be three machines in each line - a 7 model, 8, and the high end 9 models. All three machines in each series were more or less the same inside, but better finishes, more features, and more accessories marked the higher end versions in each series.