Super-Auto that Delivers...No Muss/No Fuss...No Wait...Great Taste/Great Crema...What more could you want?
Positive Product Points
It took longer to extricate from the box than it did to make my first double shot! The black looks great with the chrome accents...The blue light is very tasteful as well. I had feared I was going to feel like I was in K-Mart The quality of the espresso is wonderful though I did adjust the strength and water settings of the cafe crema to fit my coffee mugs better The steamer makes me feel like a barista...I haven't lost the sweetness of the milk once in countless trips to the machine Double Boiler means no waiting The best positive of all - my wife who was quite skeptical of the investment and the complexity loves it and thinks it is simple and worth it.
Negative Product Points
Why Plastic casing I must admit though it is easy to wipe off I wish it had more preset buttons None of our mugs are wide enough to catch both espresso spouts and the hot water for making americanos The cup warmer could be warmer, but we end up leaving two cups on there all the time and it works out well
I read so many reviews that my head spun about which machine to buy. I didn't want to be burdened by 10 minutes of prep and cleaning to enjoy a latte, but I also didn't want to always end up with a substandard beverage either. Coffee Geek has a predisposition towards the semi-automatics that scared me, but again I didn't want it to be a burden because my wife wants it simple, I drink to many to want it to be a burden, and our conversation is far more important than the process. The people at wholelattelove where very instrumental in settling me down assuring me that a super automatic was not a step down in quality and was a step up from the bitter pills at that famous seattle institution. Thank goodness for Alicia there because she listened, asked important questions, and figured me out and recommended the Jura S series either the 7 or 9.
Well that was no easy chore for me either, but finally we landed on the 7 simply because I liked the black better than the silver. It is an awesome machine the control you have is exceptional -- adjusting water and coffee by the tiniest amounts, controlling temperature, and controlling the grind fineness. I have only used Illy regular roast with the machine so far but the espresso is exceptional. The crema has been exceptional, the flavor out of this world, and the sweetness long forgotten has returned to my palette. I haven't had a chance to use the froth-x-press yet, but the regular frother is more than capable of producing great results. I have yet to produce a bad batch of milk which was another worry since some people make it sound like you need to be able to set the space shuttle trajectory to escape the earth's orbit to get good foam and not bitter your milk. The nice thing about the machine also is the two boilers so there is no waiting at all which was another important decision factor for me.
Finally, I cannot say enough about the cleaning process, the water filling process, and general maintenance like wiping it off. It is all designed to be so easy you can't believe it. The machine is made for drinking coffee not for laborious, tedious work like some machines I looked at. Every once in a while the machine tells you to hit the rinse button and you put a container underneath where the espresso comes out and it cleans itself. It tells you when the puck hopper is full; it tells you when you need to add beans. I am surprised it doesn't tell you when you have had too much coffee in the morning. I hate maintenance and this machine makes it easy to keep it running in optimal condition.
This is a great machine for what you want it to do. Don't be scared by the price tag because it is worth the money...we would all like it to be less expensive but when a product delivers on all accounts and is designed to perfection you have to let the company make some money too. If you are even considering a super automatic, I would not hesitate to recommend this machine and seriously question anyone who rejects a super automatic because of poor coffee.
I highly recommend the sales people, especially Alicia, at wholelattelove.com. That company made all the difference in the world in a huge buying decision and they have a loyal customer for a long time.
Three Month Followup
The machine continues to be a real workhorse. Now up over 3 and have enjoyed every day of it. I have done one cycle of maintence, including replacing the water filter and inserting the cleaning pill in the bypass doeser for cleaning the interneals. Cleaning with the pill took very little user involvvement and you could tell how well it cleaned the machine. The mchine keeps getting easiear to use each morning. I don't know what I did with out it- It is excellent.
One Year Followup
After using for a year, I can safely say this is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I am well over 1,000 espressos and the machine works as well as it did the first day. The machine is incredibly low maintenance and the morning ritual is short and sweet - leaving plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I have highly recommended this machine to many people and the few that have bought it are equally as happy as I am.