[easyazon-image-link asin="B001B64I1Y" alt="Jura-Capresso 13421 ENA4 Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center, Ristretto Black" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31SMY4%2BSOPL._SL160_.jpg" align="right" width="160" height="160"]If you are looking for a great espresso machine that delivers a sensational coffee with the perfect crema topping in a compact machine that does not take up your entire counter, then congratulations! You have found the absolute perfect espresso machine.
The striking distinction in this fully programmable, super automatic machine is that it is not the size of the Hubble Space Telescope. First time buyers may doubt its ability to produce a quality espresso or latte, but they will be sold after the first shot. Its skinny waistline is just nine inches!
The ability to squeeze this amazing espresso machine into a tight space on your counter is only one of the features you will love about this machine. It does everything from grinding to steaming to frothing in one place so you do not need separate appliances for these functions–an awesome option for a shoebox size apartment or condo.
The space saving detail alone is a winner, but how does it look you may ask? It’s gorgeously designed with platinum metallic and chrome accents on the front and top. The sides are black, “ristretto black” to be exact, very sleek and modish. The “ristretto” reference in the color refers to a barista technique that provides a short shot by pulling a hand press faster than usual for a shorter brew.
Once the machine goes into standby mode, it does not draw any energy at all from the electrical source. This is great news for your electric bill, and certainly important if you’re sensitive about your carbon footprint.
Once you find the settings that make your favorite cup of coffee, it will make that same perfect coffee every time at the touch of a button. The great thing about it is that you can switch the dial to temporarily override the setting for a special cup made differently, and you do not have to reprogram your perfect setting.
The Low Down…
The easy to read digital display tells you everything you need to know.
The easy-to-decipher-even-for-a-newbie display uses the traffic light color-coded system. When you see red you know something needs your attention. When it is green, it’s good to go. Yellow means you are in the process of setting the programming features.
It will alert you when the water or beans needs filled, when to empty the used coffee, when to use the descaling tablets (not all that often with the awesome water filtration built in!), when to change the water filter, when to switch loads of laundry…okay, maybe it’s not that good, but almost!
It is a no-brainer for the forgetful or the scatterbrained because it tells you what it needs when it needs it, eliminating the need to set dozens of reminders on your Blackberry.
…And Dirty (any Foreigner fans out there?)
It boasts a five-stage conical burr bean grinder; however, if you want to make a cup with pre-ground coffee beans, you can use the bypass funnel.
The double spout can be adjusted for most cup sizes, so if you have a late night/early morning situation, put two large mugs under the spouts, and you might make it to lunch time.
The ENA4 has a stainless steel lined ThermoBlock heating system that heats quickly for fast brewing. As a matter of fact, it will grind, tamp and brew in about a minute, then it self cleans in less than a minute! You will want to be sure to put a spare cup under the spout after you get your cup of coffee to catch the drainage from cleaning.
What Others Are Saying
It’s a love fest out there for this machine. Not only did it usually make the perfect strength of coffee for most users, the few that experienced issues loved the customer service. So you really cannot go wrong. You will probably love it. Should you decide that it was only infatuation and not love and you want to return it, apparently the company is very gracious and anxious to please.
The only con that seems to be a common theme among users and reviewers is that the frother wand was inadequate and sometimes fell off during operation, which could pose as a hazard with hot steaming milk. There was mention of the small water tank, but again, compact design people!
One user dealt with the frother issue head on by contacting Jura, who immediately sent her a new frother wand. The customer service representative advised her to be sure to keep it in froth mode and also to rinse the milk out of the wand each time. She never had another problem with it again.
Jura does provide an unrivaled two-year warranty, and will provide shipping both ways if there is a problem. No other espresso manufacturer has this level of service. They have extended customer service hours that includes Saturday, so someone is almost always there to answer a “pressing” question (pun intended).
The Jura Company
Jura is a Swiss company that has been designing and manufacturing high-end appliances since 1931. The main office is in Niederbuchsiten, Switzerland next to the Jura Mountains, which is how the founder, Leo Henzirohs, derived its name. Its tagline is “If you love coffee.”
Perusing Jura’s website is a pleasure. It is easy to navigate and is logically organized. Users can expect to find what they need in a few clicks.
ENA4 Technical Specs
The power output is 1450 Watts.
Pressure is controlled with a vibrating pump. The performance pressure is between 7 and 9 bar, and maximum pressure is 18 bar.
It weighs about 20 pounds and the dimensions are 17”x9”x14”.
The water tank holds 37 ounces and is removable. Some users may find that a bit on the small side, but remember you are probably going to pick this over other models because of its compact size. You can’t expect a compact espresso machine to have enough room for a tubful of water.
The ENA4 has a Clearyl water filter that keeps the machine clean and running smooth and to calcium buildup to a minimum. This also ensures that the integrity of the taste of the coffee remains untainted.
The Last Word
Espresso lovers cannot go wrong with this product. Figure how to correctly use the frother wand, and you will have no complaints, just the perfect cup of espresso every time you use it.
Where Can I Get It?
Check out Amazon for a discount and free shipping.
[easyazon-image-link asin="B003XV31IG" alt="Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine, Silver" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lzn0TR9EL._SL160_.jpg" align="right" width="160" height="160"]The Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine combines the appeal of a reputable, traditional Italian barista experience in a space-saving size for your home. Rest assured, the Gaggia Brera may be compact, but it is mighty, being touted as comparable to other well-known and durable coffee house machines. The face of the machine is offered in stylish, brushed stainless steel; however, you may choose between two colors for its sides: black and silver.
Upon looking at the Gaggia Brera, it certainly seems to be the right choice for the savvy and practical espresso drinker. It is easy to assume that the Gaggia Brera customer also honors a history of quality product. It may actually be safe to say that the Gaggia Brera is the closest you can get to having an Italian coffee house in your own home.
After considering the history of the company and the admiring reviews of customers, I’m thinking that the Gaggia Brera is the right machine to impress your taste buds and discerning guests.
(Looking for a good deal on this machine? Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the sale price for this item right now by clicking here.)
The water tank
Fill her up with beans
On Whole Latte Love, there are 6 reviews on the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine for an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
The reviews are glowingly positive with most attention given to the ease of use and compact size of the machine.
Further positive feedback included easy cleaning, quality of the espresso, and a great value regarding the price.
Another compliment common to the reviews included the fact that the water tank is located in the front of the machine adding to the ease of use for refilling water.
Other specific comments included that the machine is relatively quiet or at least much quieter than previous Gaggia espresso machine models and that the look of the machine is attractive.
The only negative feedback provided in this set of reviews was that one customer mentioned not liking the position of the steam wand.
Customers noted the compact size, reminding potential customers that if you brew a large quantity of coffee at once, the compact size may not be for you.
There are three reviews on Roaste.com with an entertaining 4.5 cups of coffee out of five.
Again, these reviews were full of accolades about ease of use, a classy look, compact size, and easy maintenance.
Customers consistently felt that the Gaggia Brera machine was worth the money.
One commented specifically that it is a better machine than other brands.
One reviewer even went so far to say that the purchase improved his marriage, as his wife believes him to be a genius for choosing a Gaggia Brera!
Currently, there is one review on Amazon and it gave 4 out of 5 stars to the Gaggia Brera.
This customer in particular praised the Gaggia company and has been a loyal Gaggia customer for years. She was pleased with the product and certainly recommended it to others; however, she cautioned against using espresso blend coffee beans that are considered oily.
It is her opinion that Costco brand espresso blend coffee beans are oily and may have caused problems, plugging up her machine after about 5 months of use. She sent her machine to the store where she bought it from to be fixed, and the workers there only recommended buying a dryer brand of bean. Ever since, their machine is working great, and she remains a faithful Gaggia customer.
The Gaggia Brera was designed intentionally to promote ease of use and maintenance without sacrificing the quality associated with the Gaggia name.
Airtight UV-proof 8.8 ounce hopper for storing beans
Ceramic grinder for consistent quality
Gaggia Adapting System to automatically adjust the rpm of the ceramic grinder for better quality and
consistency of beans
Stainless steel Pannarello steam wand
Rapid Steam Technology
Bypass doser to allow you to serve just a simple cup of pre-ground coffee
Mavea Water Filter offers four stages of filtration and improves the overall purification system.
1.2-liter water reservoir
Standby mode begins after one hour
Notification system to suggest care or maintenance
Pre-infusion feature for flavor and aroma
15-bar pump and a stainless steel boiler to ensure proper temperature
Telescopic coffee dispenser for adjusting the height to match your cup
LED display and push-button controls to simplify your brewing process and assist in your beverage selection.
The optidose function lets you tailor your preferred aroma to your taste (i.e., light, medium, strong). The machine can keep your settings in memory for your future brews.
Self-rinse cycle that activates when the machine is switched on and off
Two year limited warranty
Weight: 18.7 pounds
Dimensions: 10″W x 12.4″H x 17.5″D
Colors: black or silver
The Gaggia Company
The Gaggia company was founded in 1948 by Achille Gaggia, who created the first machine that offered steam-free coffee with cream or froth. The world was looking for a more tasty coffee in contrast to the bitter and burnt taste people typically associated with coffee at the time.
Thank goodness Achille Gaggia was persistent because we benefit from his invention and commitment to taste to this day! Achille Gaggia can also take credit for creating the first at-home espresso machine in the 1950’s. Even still to this day, all Gaggia machines are made in Milan. Gaggia prides itself on providing the top of the line in espresso machines.
The motto of the company, “Tradizione in Continua Evoluzione,” (Constantly Evolving Tradition) effectively describes a mission toward infusing modern technology with time-honored practices so that the delectable espresso you are looking for is available in your home at the touch of a button.
Where Can I Find It?
The best deals on the Gaggia Brera can be found at either Amazon.com or Roaste.com. Amazon only offers the silver machine. Roaste actually offered a very competitive price for the black Gaggia Brera, but not the silver Gaggia Brera.
For some reason, this machine was slightly more expensive than what was found on Amazon.
At the Whole Latte Love website, there are instructional videos on using the Gaggia Brera machine; however, the pricing on both the black and silver machines is just slightly higher than what is found at Amazon.
For many people, espresso is a necessity! It is enjoyed in the morning before work or with a friend at lunch. This is why many people purchase an espresso machine, because then they can have a special coffee drink whenever they’re in the mood. Plus, many people find they save money when they buy a machine because most coffee shops charge between $4 and $6 for espresso beverages, which can add up quickly. It’s another reason why a machine should be purchased.
What Is Espresso?
Espresso drinks are a more sophisticated form of coffee. The drink originated in Italy and is created by running hot water through the thinly ground coffee beans. This takes place through high pressure to produce a robust, strong, and delicious flavor that has a thick consistency. It can then be drunk immediately.
Different Espresso Machine Features
These machines come with all kinds of features. The one you choose should have certain qualities like a frothing wand and a water filter. Many have a hot water dispenser and strength controls. Some will have a bean grinder or a pre-moistening cycle. Everything that is included makes the machine more versatile.
What Is the Price Range of Espresso Machines?
These machines cost anywhere from $100 to $2000 or even more. Some are cheaper models, while others are higher end machines. The price offered will depend on what features are added to the machine, as this will increase the cost. Most machines can be purchased onlineat places like Amazon.
Sometimes a coffee shop or department store will sell these machines too. If someone wants variety, the best place to look is online. Many times the prices are lower and there might be more deals, but make sure to consider shipping costs as well.
An espresso machine is something to consider for those who love coffee and also makes a great gift!
With so many espresso machines being sold today, it is no wonder that more and more people are trying to find the one best espresso machine for their kitchen or workplace. Unfortunately, that is not an easy thing to decide since there are so many different models, price ranges, and brands to choose from.
What Should You Be Looking For?
If you are trying to find the best espresso machine for your home, then you have a few considerations as to the features that you should be looking for. If you are a single person, then the size of the water reservoir may not be that important to you. On the other hand, if your family isn’t too excited about being awoken every morning to the sound of coffee being ground, then you might want to choose a machine that uses grounds instead of grinding its own beans.
How Are These Machines Different?
You will find that espresso machines also come in a variety of sizes, from those that are smaller than a traditional coffee machine to those that will take up a good portion of your counter space. In fact, some of the higher end espresso makers are designed to actually be plumbed right into your kitchen, alleviating the need for you to fill up the water reservoir.
Which Really Is the Best One?
Ultimately, the best espresso machine for most people is one that is easy to use, delivers the number of cups of espresso that you need in a short period of time, and also allows you to do things like set the temperature or the strength of the coffee. It also has to be within your budget obviously. For example we think the best espresso machine under $200 is the Delonghi EC702 (the one I’ve got) but you could spend much more and go all the way up to a Jura Capresso z5 for thousands of dollars.
There are lots of different technical terms involved with espresso beverages and machines. It can be hard to know what all the different words mean and if the feature that correlates with it is actually necessary. This is especially true when reading super automatic espresso machine reviews, as it’s easy to get confused with automatic, semi automatic, and super automatic.
What Is A Super Automatic?
Super automatic units are filled with features. The machines can automatically brew the espresso and grind the coffee beans with one push of the button. It has the ability to create two cups of cappuccino simultaneously, which is necessary when the house is filled with guests. There is usually even a removable water tank, automatic cleaning, built-in coffee grinder, and the ability to control the coffee’s temperature.
Deciding Between All the Options
It can be hard to choose between all the available machines, because on paper they can appear identical. This means in theory, each of them should perform the same. This is far from the truth, especially when they sell for wildly different different price points. This is where the additional features come into play. It is important to figure out which of these features you want and then learn how they work, before choosing between all of the super automatic options.
Super Automatic Espresso Machine Reviews Guide the Buyer
Because it can be difficult to learn what each of the features are capable of, our super automatic espresso machine guide will help you through the selection process. The reviews will also showcase standard super automatic features, as well as some of the extras. Many times guidelines are provided, videos are offered, and comments are given, making it easier for people to decipher the technical terms and understand all of the features. This is another reason why research is important.
Check out our guide before investing 1000s of dollars!
[easyazon-image-link asin="B000BO04YW" alt="Nespresso D290 Concept Espresso and Coffeemaker" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Q94FXG9EL._SL160_.jpg" align="right" width="119" height="160"]If you are in the market for an automated espresso machine for your home use, the Nespresso D290 espresso machine should be one of the top options on your list of choices. This is a reasonably priced machine that is designed to give you a high-quality shot of espresso without the huge time commitment and hassle that you may find with other machines.
It is loaded with automated features that truly take the fuss out of home brewing.
When you look at the features of the Nespresso D290 espresso machine, there are a few that will stand out to you right away. In addition to the ultra-high, 19 bars of pressure pump, the automated features of electronic temperature regulation, control of the amount of coffee poured into each cup, and even the ejection of used capsules all add to the convenience of using this machine.
This is a machine that really gets it right with each and every cup that you brew.
The Nespresso D290 espresso machine doesn’t stop with these features, though. It boasts a removable five-cup water tank so that you can fill up the tank once for the morning and then just forget about it until the next day rolls around. It also comes with a built-in timer, a fabulous steam wand, programmable brew amounts, and the ability to adapt to pods or grounds.
With these features, you can see that the machine is automated with ease of use in mind, yet is completely functional and versatile, too. This machine truly does allow you to make your perfect cup of coffee just how you like it with ease and in just a matter of minutes. There truly isn’t any hassle at all. As a bonus, its stainless steel facade looks sleek and stylish on your kitchen counter!
[easyazon-image-link asin="B001CNJHC6" alt="DeLonghi ESAM5500M Perfecta Digital Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Metallic Blue" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41eArtpvqsL._SL160_.jpg" align="right" width="120" height="160"]There are several outstanding features on this super-automatic that, just by looking, you may think you are getting on another comparably priced maker when you are, in fact not. The first thing I like about the ESAM 5500 is the apparent ability to make a hot coffee drink.
That may sound a bit ridiculous unless you have been let down in the past by another, lesser performing machine. It’s actually a common complaint for the temp to be lacking, so when I find a maker that performs well in this area it’s definitely something I zero in on.
(Remember this isn’t a cheap machine! But you can get good deals on it. Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the sale price for this item right now by clicking here.)
Another area, in regards to temperature, that can be a letdown on other makers, is their cup warmer. This is less often reported to be a problem, I think because people just don’t care as much, but with the Perfecta the cup warmer is reported to be hot! Losing 10 or 15*F because of a cold cup is a bummer, so this is excellent news for those of us who like an extra hot drink.
Speaking of heat, the one place you don’t want a lot of it is in the attached milk carafe, if you are lucky enough to have a machine with this accessory to begin with that is. Why is this? Well put simply, cold milk is fresh milk. The ESAM 5500 can deliver the goods, clean the milk circuit, and all the while leave the remaining milk cold.
Once you’re done steaming and frothing just detach the milk accessory, then put it in the fridge for the next time you need it. I like it!
This super-automatic has a lot of other nice features. One thing I like in particular is the front loading water container. You simply pull out the water tank and fill it. This makes it easier to keep your water and beans separate. The last thing you want is water in your burr grinder, and it happens more often than you’d think.
On the top you’ll access the bean hopper, which includes the adjustment lever for thirteen levels of coarseness, and a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee. The cup warmer/ heated plate is on top too. Brew group removes like a printer cartridge for easy cleaning.
Controlling the ESAM 5500 looks to be pretty straightforward and comparable in features to others in its price range. All of the expected niceties are present and accounted for. Ability to choose things like strength, cup-size, and automatic shut-off time, clock, temp, water hardness, etc…, all via the unit’s digital screen appear to be thoughtfully laid out and intuitive.
For all of its opulence, I really only have one complaint when going over the Perfectas 5500 series’ laundry list of rather nice attributes. That would be the cabinet. Keep in mind that this is not a big glaring flaw by any stretch, and that many would not consider it a flaw of any sort.
There are plenty of excellent machines that feature a plastic cabinet, this being one of them. Some, me included feel that the bean counters (no pun intended) at their respective companies could pony-up for a nicer metallic case. The thing is, if the insides are pretty much the same, then what differentiates this maker from their more expensive units? Usually a fancier interface, a dash of programing, and a lot of stainless steel.
So, if this is true, in any capacity, then buying the maker with the plastic shell is not just economical but smart.
“What’s Everyone Else Saying?”
You know, I almost chuckle when I read about how this or that maker is loud. I have yet to find a quality burr grinder that is quiet! Chalk it up to quality perhaps? Personally, I want to know my machine is doing its business. This wasn’t a big complaint for the Perfecta anyway so let’s move on.
Occasionally I hear about a company that maintains good customer service. You’d think it’d be the standard for companies that make high-end luxury devices, but sadly this is often not the case. So then, I am happy to report that DeLonghi has made the grade with more than one customer when the need arose for some one-on-one time with a human being. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s nice to know that they are there for you should it come to that.
The hardest part of sorting through what people have to say about a product is the contradictions. It’s really about trying to give you the best idea that I can about what to expect when you lay down your hard earned dollars, and open the box.
With this in mind I feel obligated to, somewhat, contradict what I said earlier about the heat that this maker produces. Some users thought that the ESAM 5500 could do better, but that’s where my research experience comes in. I believe that the Perfecta does a better job than most others.
I think sound advice is to read your users guide, watch the DVD, and use the cup warmer. There are tips, or even crucial steps that people sometimes miss because they don’t take the time to learn all of the nuances of their new makers. These are fairly complex, and sometimes even finicky machines.
I’ve read through countless comments, reviews, complaints and forum threads regarding all makes and models of coffee makers, and the DeLonghi ESAM 5500M has done pretty darn well. If I were in the market for a super-automatic in this price range, I would definitely consider the purchase of this maker.
Filling up the water tank
SPECIFICATIONS & CAPACITIES
60oz Water Tank
25oz Milk Carafe
15 Bar Pump
Conical Burr Grinder
Adjustable Height Spout
Push Button Cleaning Function
Hot Water Spout for Tea or Other
Made in Italy
HOW BIG IS IT?
H 14” x W 11” x D 15”
One Year Limited Warranty
Having had a long history, since 1902, in fact, DeLonghi has been in the business of research and development longer than most if not all of their rivals. Though they may not have been making coffee and espresso makers from the very beginning, they were making consumers happy with convenient appliances, and building a reputation as a premier Italian Design Company. Winning numerous awards over the years only confirmed DeLonghi as a powerhouse premium goods manufacturer.
Key words from their website:
“Innovative, style, performance, international…”
All of this “…through committed people who are passionate about driving the continuous success of the brand”
DeLonghi do not keep a complex four page mission that spirals into the obscure, kind of refreshing actually.
EXPLORING THE COMPANY WEBSITE
DeLonghi has a Flash heavy website here that contains information on all of their corporate products. The information available for the ESAM 5500M is pretty thin. One might wonder if DeLonghi is actually trying to sell their products, or just hoping someone else will. In the end, who cares if they market well? As long as they make a great product, we’ll forgive them.
“WHERE CAN I BUY THE PERFECTA AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY?”
I’ve seen some pretty high prices on this model. Amazon.com has a price of $1000.00 less than MSRP. Prices at Amazon start at around $1500.00
There a lot of super-automatic options for the consumer in this price range. Finding the perfect one for you may not be easy, but hopefully I have given you something to think about in terms of this particular model, and the company that makes it. DeLonghi is one of my favorite manufacturers, not simply for what they make, but for the way that they support what they make too.
Like I mentioned before, I hope you would never need to use their customer service, but the peace of mind that comes with great backing is worth a lot in my book. Middle man services, and warranties from an outfit like Amazon.com are great too.
I was passing through the local hospital the other day, and decided to stop in at the resident espresso stand. I figured I’d talk to the barista since it had been a while, and she had been a regular fixture for over 10 years. It will come as no shock to you, dear reader, that I talk to all of the local baristas, and since this one happened to use a business class DeLonghi machine it seemed to be fortunate timing.
My suspicions were confirmed as she explained that while traffic totaled only around 30 or so drinks per day on average, that still worked out to, well, a whole bunch of drinks! This island café doesn’t use a super-automatic, and perhaps it’s a stretch to correlate the two makers, but they do come from the same place, and are made by the same people, and she had nothing but good to say about her experience with the machine, and DeLonghi in general.
I’m a believer in trickle-down, and my guess is that they have enough experience to design and build a superior product.
I like the Perfecta ESAM 5500M. I think it represents an outstanding value in a sea of makers that you can easily over pay for. Getting more for your money when it comes to what many would consider a luxury item is rare. With the available discount, however, more is an acceptable concept when considering the ESAM 5500.
Depending on how you look at it, this maker can actually pay for itself over time. Factor in the daily cost of drinks purchased at your local café and the it won’t be long either.
“The Delonghi Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso Machine is One of the Best”
[easyazon-image-link asin="B000N2YKQ0" alt="DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41xPo8Cz8CL._SL160_.jpg" align="right" width="160" height="160"]Coffee connoisseurs around the globe realize finding a truly good cup of coffee or espresso may be a bit of a daunting task. There are plenty of coffeehouses and coffee stands out there selling what they refer to as coffee and espresso, but in reality, many are simply not that good.
In addition, given what most of these coffee merchants are asking per cup ($2.45 on average 2011 prices), one should expect a much higher quality of product than what they are being offered. For those folks, the end to that search may be reaching completion with the purchase of the Delonghi Magnifica.
You can check out the discount available at Amazon if you click here.
This wonderful machine from the good people at DeLonghi is a virtual gift from the coffee gods. Starting my morning out with a home-brewed cup of high-end coffee or espresso is merely a push of a button away with a good espresso machine. Featuring the ability to grind and brew freshly ground espresso or coffee, this machine offers a “Beans-to-Brew” system.
This allows the user to fill the machine with their bean of choice, add water, push a button, and almost instantly have a hot cup of coffee or espresso in hand. Additional features include a three hour automatic shutoff, electronic steam and coffee thermostat, adjustable-height spigots, heated cup tray, removable water tank, and an easy filling bean container for storage.
“What Else Can It Do?”
Overall, there are a variety of benefits to this DeLonghi Magnifica (the best selling one in the Magnifica range) including the ability to store fresh beans and then grind them for each use.
In addition to having an internal grinder it also utilizes a quieter burr grinder which can also be set to a specific grinding level from a coarse grind, to a much finer grind.
The adjustable-height spigots allow for espresso/coffee to be brewed into a number of different size coffee cups and mugs. Furthermore, the Magnifica’s patented cappuccino system also allows for the addition of any size milk container to be used when making cappuccinos, mochas or lattes.
Another great feature of this machine is its compact size. Measuring no more than 18” in any direction, the Magnifica can easily fit on most countertops without taking up a great deal of space, making it a great addition to just about any kitchen or office. However, make sure you measure your space before buying.
“What Are The Downsides?”
The downsides to this machine are honestly few. It is a bit heftier machine weighing in at just over 13 Kilograms. This might make the machine somewhat of a hassle to move around on a regular basis, but if it stands to be a permanent fixture, then once in place the weight of the machine may not be as much of an issue.
In addition the overall cost of the machine is a bit higher than a more hands-on model like the DeLonghi EC702. There is a lot of machine here for the money however, and with the going rate for a good cup of espresso or coffee these days, the Magnifica will more than pay for itself in short order. If you were to have a coffee everyday it would take you about 9 months to break even.
“Who Should Buy This Machine?”
When looking at who should buy this product as opposed to who should not, if you’re someone who enjoys a great espresso or cup of coffee with one push of a button, and will use this machine multiple times per week, if not daily, then this could be the machine for you.
If it happens that you only enjoy an espresso or coffee on a more limited schedule, then you may want to avoid purchasing the Magnifica. Given its costs and routine required maintenance, the Magnifica is geared more towards the heavier user more so than the every once in awhile espresso/coffee drinker.
That being said, if one finds themselves in the category of the former and you can afford a super-automatic, then the DeLonghi Magnifica is worth considering. Consistently brewing solid cup after cup of the best espressos and coffees out there, partnered with the savings from brewing said espressos and coffees at home at a fraction of the cost of buying them from a retailer, makes the Magnifica the best seller in it’s class today.
As previously mentioned, it is not the cheapest espresso machine on the market, however; it will quickly pay for itself and actually begin saving its owner money in the long run.
“What have Magnifica owners had to say about this machine?”
Here are a few quotes from customers who have bought the machine.
“Writing product reviews is not something I normally do, however this machine has earned each of the fantastic comments people have given it. For the past three and a half years I’ve owned mine, and it is working just as well today as it did when I brought it home.”
Another satisfied customer said this: “I researched a number of different machines, and the Magnifica kept showing up as one of the best. It is very user-friendly and easy to set up. The temperature of the coffee is extremely hot and the frother functions phenomenally well. We are all now highly addicted to this machine.”
“Where Can I Buy It?”
Our research found a good price at Amazon and their discounted prices change daily.
[easyazon-image-link asin="B0041G2OZ8" alt="Gaggia Accademia Espresso Machine" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NmQlvf4mL._SL160_.jpg" align="right" width="160" height="160"]Espresso, some feel, is the embodiment of Italian essence. The qualities bringing obvious complimentary parallels. Strong, dark, and rich in character and the like. So with the name Gaggia, there is a bit of built in emotion because in 1948, Italian Achille Gaggia gave the world the first “steam-free coffee with cream” espresso machine.
On September 5th, 1938, Gaggia filed patent no. 365726, for his lever machine, and created the method which we now refer to as “pulling” a shot. Many consider this to be the superior method for producing the perfect coffee.
Gaggia, today, is a manufacturer of high quality espresso makers like the for the home, including super-automatics, like the Accademia as reviewed in this article and high-end machines for restaurant and shop owners. If you look, you will find Gaggia machines used by plenty of professional baristas.
Of note, all Gaggia products are made in their Robecco sul Navigilio plant in Milan, Italy.
Tell Us About The Gaggia Academia
(Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the sale price for the Academia right now by clicking here.)
This machine is packed with features! Usually I don’t start off a review this way, but this really is a feature driven product. As with every super-automatic that I have reviewed thus far, there are a couple of downsides but I’ll get to those in a minute.
I’m a stickler for really hot coffee and hot coffee drinks, and it’s common for super-automatics to be more “miss”, rather than “hit”, in this department, almost always, with regards to the milks temperature. The Accademia, however, having a steam wand, in addition to the integrated milk dispensing carafe, allows for additional heating should you so choose.
The Academia's Control Screen
This is the only super-automatic with this feature that I am aware of, and it’s such a great idea, it makes you wonder why others don’t have it. Self-cleaning before, and after each drink is handy as well.
Bomb Proof Machine
According to my research, the Accademia is a very durable machine, with the term “bomb-proof” coming up more than once. Indeed the cabinet hinges look extremely stout.I also like that the brew-group is removable. Simply take it out and rinse, again a nice feature others don’t have.
There is a screen and coordinating buttons for easy programming to set up six different coffee drinks including, espresso, caffe, caffe lungo, cappuccino, latte, latte macchiato and also hot water for an Americano or tea.
The look of the machine, like all machines, is subject to the buyers preferences. Honestly, I prefer the look of some of the competition.
There is nothing wrong at all with the Accademia design, it’s just that this is a very expensive, high quality machine, and I would have preferred less plastic, although the front panel is made of a nice fingerprint-proof stainless.
Isn’t It Expensive?
On the downside, this machine like the competition, is expensive, there’s just no getting around that. Though what you get for your money is impressive, and it is, after all, made in Italy. Some of the competition, the Saeco Xelsis Digital ID, for instance, is a bit more high-tech. Whether or not you care about things like finger-print identification for 6 individuals saved settings, however, is up to you.
What Are People Saying About it?
As mentioned above, the Accademia received high marks across the board for durability. This is not a “wimpy” unit, and this was one of the first accolades given by people time and again.
I came across a few complaints of low water, and spent puck capacity. This is a common complaint for any super-automatic though. I wonder when a company will design a system that will allow a direct connection to the tap. Water filtration is very good these days, after all.
Anyway, Gaggia claims a capacity of 1.6 liters, which is reasonable, and a vague “16” for coffee grounds, whatever that means. Sixteen pucks I assume? Well, that came from their website, and I’ll get to that in a minute.
Two Circuit Stainless Boilers: One for Coffee/ One for Milk
Adjustable Coffee Dispenser: Max 6.6” H
Ceramic Burr Grinder/8 Settings
Removable Brew Group
Made in Italy
W 11” x H 15.2” x D 16.8”
EXPLORING THE COMPANY WEBSITE
Gaggia is a company that strives for perfection with its coffee products. However, their website is of almost no use to those interested in their products. I don’t really mind all that much, as I always say, you are paying for the machine, not a fancy ad campaign, but it would be nice to have some sort of useable information available right from the source.
It’s rather charming, in a fashion, to read the poor English on the site for example, on one page they ask about how much space you have for their machine, and one of your options reads:
“I don’t have like a space but I would home Gaggia for Italian espresso”
It’s actually worse, but I’d have to change the editing options on my computer to keep it from correcting all of the errors. Totally useless, but worth a laugh if you’re really bored.
Note: It should be noted that the instructions that come with the Accademia are supposed to be very good, and thorough.
WHERE CAN I BUY THE ACADEMIA AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY?
The Gaggia Accademia can be found here at www.Amazon.com. The Accademia is in the same price range as its competition and the list price is $2999.00
Aside from a couple of little things, I think the Accademia is a really solid machine. I’m not really sure what, if any, “trickle-down” there really is for companies that make both commercial and home machines. If there is, in this instance, with this company, that would be a really good thing.
I’ve noticed one Portuguese shop that I frequent uses Gaggia equipment. I wouldn’t go there if the product wasn’t excellent. The ambiance helps too, of course, but if I was in the market for a commercial machine I would take a good hard look at Gaggia, and for that reason, I would look to their home products as well.
The story doesn’t end there though, because the truth is that in all of my many hours of research time devoted to espresso makers the Accademia scored as high as any other super-automatic in the price range where it resides.
Gaggia is a thoroughly Italian company. Sure, they may seem a little quirky when viewed from our side of the monitor, but they take espresso seriously, and if you’re reading this, then so do you. They say in their mission statement, that part of their goal is “Constantly evolving tradition.”, and if you measure this with the Accademia, then Achille Gaggia would no doubt be proud.
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