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Jura-Capresso S Series - Harvey Stein's Review
Posted: December 24, 2004, 11:01am
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Jura-Capresso S Series Super Autos
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Arrow The Jura-Capresso S Series has 12 Reviews
Arrow The Jura-Capresso S Series has been rated 7.87 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since May 13, 2003.
Arrow Jura-Capresso S Series reviews have been viewed 82,527 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Harvey Stein 8.00
Brooks P 7.86
Chris Molineaux 7.50
Mike McCormick 7.20
John Flynn 7.11

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 4.6
Product Reviewed: Capresso S9
Manufacturer: Jura Quality: 5
Average Price: Varies Usability: 4
Price Paid: $2,199.00 Cost vs. Value 4
Where Bought: Williams Sonoma Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 6 months Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Olympia Coffex, Andreja Premium
Bottom Line: A woeful waste of time and money.
Positive Product Points

Ease of use. Clear, thorough manual. Set and forget controls with digital display. Rapid warm-up. Convenient to use. Manufacturer's telephone support.

Negative Product Points

Oily beans clog the grinder requiring "hands on" monitoring while making your coffee. Automatic frother is costly and virtually of no value. Plastic contruction is cheap looking. Too costly for the quality of coffee produced. No e-mail support (though they claim they have it). Cost of the montlhly replacement of the water filter and  cleaning tablets. Electronics failed after a few months.

Detailed Commentary

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 then decided to step up to the "super automatic".  The Capresso S9 looked like it had it all. No messy grinder, no lengthy wait for the machine to heat up, pre-measured doses. Even automatic frothing. Though it was $2,200, I figured that you get what you pay for. When the machine arrived I eagerly set it up. I read and re-read the manual and viewed the accompanying video. I set the grind to a fine, though not the finest setting. Ready, set...go. That's when I got the feeling in the pit of my stomach that maybe, just maybe, this was a costly device packing all the bells and whistles, that failed to produce top rate espresso. The first thing I noticed was the change in the grinding sound, from the familiar grrr to a high pitched whine. The beans had clogged the in the burr grinder (Peets dark Italian--a dark, oily bean). The instructions state that oily beans may require a coarser grind setting. But what about my espresso? A course grind  does not produce a proper shot. So I fiddled and fiddled and fiddled some more. I e-mailed Capresso, but after three days with no reply, I called. Helpful staff simply re-iterated the admonition in the manual. Thus, if I wanted a fine grind, I would have to stand over the hopper and continually stir up the beans to ensure the process was completed. (I carried the odor of fresh ground coffee with me all morning). The shot produced looked great. Good crema, pleasant aroma. I had hooked up the automatic frother, but it merely spat small blobs of foam into the container and way too much milk.  After a few more attempts, I discarded it and used the steam wand which worked just fine. Now, for the litmus test. Taste. Uh... not bad, but not good, either. Way too weak and lacking any sense of "fullness". Didn't compare to my 15 year old Olympia. Over the next month, I tried everything to get it right. Changed beans, grind settings, coffee quantity, water temperature, shot timing, size of cup. Spoke to manufacturer. Ok. I figured that this is just the way it is. So, for the next few months, I continued to hand feed the grinder and settle for my expensive, low quality, espresso. I just didn't have any more time to put into this thing. In the meantime, I spent over $100 on filter replacements and cleaning tablets! Then, one morning I got some sort of a mysterious message in the display. No explanation of this in the manual. However, it wasn't good as the machine stopped working. Capresso explained that the electronics failed and I would have to send it cross country for repair. It would take weeks. While waiting for their shipping label to arrive, I finally figured out that enough was enough. I had an expensive, virtually useless appliance in my kitchen that was more aggravation than anything else.  I packed the machine in the original box (always save your box!) and took it back to Williams Sonoma. Though they tried to convince me that it was the best thing ever, they graciously gave me a full refund, being true to their word of  "satisfaction guranteed or your money back". Within a month, I took delivery of my Andreja Premium (half the price) and overnight, all was once again well with the world.

Buying Experience

If you buy this, get it at Williams Sonoma. Excellent to deal with and honored their promise of a money back guarantee, even after several months.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: December 24, 2004, 11:01am
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