October 17, 2004

Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8 Review

Review from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod Reviewsimage_jura_logo_grey2.jpgWhen I first heard about Super Automatic Espresso machines from Capresso, to say the least, I was very skeptical that a fully automatic machine would make a terrific cup of espresso. My friend Jeff Paradiso (who is very into coffee) had purchased such a machine from Capresso - well actually - he had purchased the Ultima (The only semi-automatic pump coffee/ espresso/cappuccino with automatic tamping and used coffee removal technology).

He couldn't stop talking about how easy it was, and how the machine took care of the grinds for you. At the time he purchased the machine, I was very into purchasing one, but the Senseo finally came out in the US (and hence this site), so I abandoned my Capresso desires and thought maybe in a few months Jeff's tune of Capresso dominance would end and I would see if it was worth the higher cost to buy one.

Needless to say, Jeff's love of Capresso has never ended. And after receiving the Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8 to review - a fully automatic version - my love has since started, grown, grown some more, and been growing ever since.

Now I also have to add - I know this site is about Single Serve Coffee machines, but the Capresso line makes this happen without pods, or cups, or anything related to pre-packaging your coffee into a cylinder of any form. Capresso promised no mess, no fuss, and coffee quickly. Single Serve Coffee.com is dedicated to a perfect cup of coffee - the Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8 delivers.

Setting up and Brewing

The machine came packed in a giant brown box filled with a Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8. You simply lift the machine out of the box, prep the machine with water and filter, and if you can't figure it out from the manual - you can watch a 10-minute video that comes with the machine.

I decided read the manual and set up the machine - then watch the video for anything I might have missed. The manual was very thorough, but I recommend watching the video for the nuances of the machine controls.

Did I mention the controls? They are both digital in showing you what's going on and analog in how the push and spin. You can use the dial to twist up the ounces of espresso you want to brew. You can push the different one-cup buttons and two-cup buttons for strength of brew. The controls feel very nice to the touch.

The machine itself, once out of the box - is stunning. The details on the curves, the ease of filling the beans and the water, everything has a very high attention to detail.

The machine however is not small. It takes up about 2.5 times the space of a Senseo, or regular drip coffee maker - but let me tell you - it's worth the investment in counter space.

Brewing My First Cup of Capresso Espresso

Authors Note: For the purposes of this review - I did not spend a ton of time making lattes and such. I think in keeping with our mission at Single Serve Coffee.com of one perfect cup of coffee - I focused on making Americanos and Espresso. On average we made a 2.5 ounce cup of espresso and a 5.5 ounce Cafe Americano.

My first 2.5 ounces of espresso from the machine was yummy and delicious. The machine comes with 2lbs of Capresso Grand Aroma Coffee. The coffee is supposed to be velvety and smooth. Let me tell you right now - it is. My first cup of espresso was stunning. Great crema. Great taste. Hot. Not bitter. Just stunning.

We poured a little over 1/2 a pound of the Grand Aroma into the machine. You can maintain at least 5-8 uses worth of beans in the reservoir. When you select the brew strength you like by pushing the 1 or 2-cup button (light, normal, and strong), the E8 grinds up some beans, mixes in some water, and whammo, out comes the espresso.

The grinds go in to a bin, and the water that you use to rinse or overflow goes into a little catch tray underneath. When you want to empty them - you simply pull them out. No mess. No grinds all over. No hot water burns. Just Super automatic coffee that is delicious.

Everyone asks me - how noisy is the machine? Let me tell you my one pet peeve of the Single Serve Coffee world and also the coffee world in general - why complain about the noise the machine makes? It has to do mechanical things that make noise. Maybe in the distant future they will sound proof your coffee machine - but don't expect it any time soon okay?

All right - moving on. I next dialed up a 5.5 ounce cup of coffee. This is essentially espresso mixed with a little more hot water. Delicious. The Grand Aroma Coffee was yummy even at this mixed down setting.

Other Coffees We Tried

The folks at Aspen Coffee were kind enough to send along a set of coffees for us to try. They of course sent their Espresso Roast, as well as their Jamaica Blue Mountain, and their Kona Blend Coffee.

The Jura-Capresso Impressa E8 has a great feature - the bean reservoir of course holds beans but you can use your own grinder and put in 2 scoops of coffee in a little trap door in the middle. You select that you will be using other coffee, and then whammo! The E8 bypasses the main beans, and tamps down a nice cup of espresso for you from the external beans.

We tried the Espresso roast first. In comparison to the Grand Aroma from Capresso, the Aspen Coffee Espresso roast was much richer and darker in flavor. It also produced a little more crema on the top of the espresso than the Grand Aroma. This coffee is very rich and we went through the entire pound of it in a little over 2 days.

Next we tried the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee from Aspen Coffee. This coffee was a more medium roasted coffee - very smooth and even had a little bit of crema on top. This is one of the nicest cups of coffee we made from the Capresso. We liked it so much, we ran through the rest of the Grand Aroma beans, and filled the reservoir with Jamaica Blue Mountain.

After a few days, we put in the Hawaiian KONA Blend from Aspen Coffee. The coffee delivers a very distinct smooth cup of coffee. I know I use smooth alot, but this is simply the best way to describe what the E8 and a good coffee bean produces - smooth coffee.

Conclusions

Pros:

  • Easy to use espresso machine.
  • Simple clean up by emptying grind tray.
  • Fast.
  • Grinds it's own beans.
  • Makes espresso and Americano style coffee drinks in seconds.
  • You can use your own beans.
  • Good looking
  • You can adjust the grind of the coffee and the strength with every cup
  • Comes with a video that will show you the ins and outs of using the machine
  • Comes with 2lbs of Grand Aroma coffee beans that are in fact - delicious.

Cons:

  • Price is a $999 (okay a bit steep - but this is a top of the line machine and makes amazing coffee)
  • We can't think of any other cons. Seriously - this machine works and works really well.

We have run just over 90+ cups of espresso coffees through the Jura-Capresso Impressa E8. The machine has performed flawlessly. Best of all - the coffee it produces is amazing.

Thanks again to the folks at Capresso and Aspen Coffee for sending us both the machine and coffees to review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at October 17, 2004 9:40 AM

Recent Comments

Water comes out of the frother when only trying to get coffee. Called company; advised to wipe off solenoid and run successive cleaning cycles with tablets but no success. Ideas?


Posted by: Tom at October 17, 2010 3:56 PM

There seems to be a problem with oily beans (any dark roast) getting stuck / jamming in the coffee bean reservoir.

Has anyone else had this problem or know of a solution?

TIA,

T in Carolina


Posted by: Tom at February 15, 2006 9:26 AM

Thanks for putting me in this post. All I can say is that I still love my Ultima (http://www.capresso.com/prod_esp_ultima.html) and for 299.99 it's worth it. Now, I am more of a espresso drinker, but I have made single cups of coffee with it and it's very good for that as well.


Posted by: Jeff paradiso at October 23, 2004 9:52 PM
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