Woodgnome Senior Member Joined: 6 Feb 2014 Posts: 1 Location: Denmark Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 2:07am Subject: Full-automatic coffee machine with steam wand - which one?
I work at smaller office (usually ~8 people, but some times people come in from other departments and we'll be ~15 people). About 2/3 of those people drink coffee. We currently own a Jura Impressa J5, but it looks like it's time to replace it (only the hot water/steamer components work and it's been repaired multiple times already). I don't drink coffee myself, but I enjoy steaming milk for chai lattes and the steam wand on the J5 seems a bit lackluster.
From the espresso forum here's my answers to the "standard" questions:
1) What kind of drinks do you like/want to make? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.) For me: Just tea, i.e. I would like a (proper) steam wand and a hot water tap. For the rest of the office: Just coffee - they're not coffee geeks so they don't have any specific requirements other than it tastes well and that they can regulate how strong the coffee is.
2) How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.) We probably brew 10-25 cups a day. Usually 2-5 back to back.
3) How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.) With people coming in from the other departments once or twice a week, I think about 75-125 cups for a busy week.
4) Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir? Own reservoir. The J5 has a 2L reservoir - doesn't necessarily need to be any bigger.
5) Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit? In Denmark we have 10-amp circuits (230V).
6) What is your budget for a new machine? Does that also include a grinder? If not, what is your budget for a grinder? I'd say up to 1600 €. Since it's for company use we can deduct the 25% VAT, which would make the budget 2000€. Grinder should be built into the machine.
7) Are you willing to buy used or do you need new equipment? Do you or family member have the skills to repair used equipment? New equipment.
8) Do you have the essential accessories (decent tamper, knockbox, the works), otherwise budget about $100 for these. Don't think we need any of the accessories for a full-automatic coffee machine.
A few bullet points about what is important for us:
1-button coffee making: On the J5 we just hit the 1/2 cups button and maybe adjust the strength with the dial. Need something similarly automatic.
A proper steam wand: Manual use - while I'm not a coffee drinker, I do think I have a little barista hidden inside and frankly, the steam wand on the J5 is just terrible.
Hot water tap.
Low/easy maintenance: One of our problems with the J5 is the descaling process, which involves a bit of keeping an eye on what's going on (emptying dirty water containers, hitting continue buttons - that kind of stuff). We'd like something that is a bit more automatic, like: Add cleaning agent, hit a button, come back 15 minutes later and empty drip tray/dirty water container.
I've had a hard time finding the combination of a full-automatic coffee machine WITH a proper steam wand (the Jura lineup doesn't do it for me), but I guess that makes sense seeing as steam wands are usually somthing manual. Either way, I hope you guys might know what to look for.
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