Krups cheapo manual machine, capresso ultma, Starbucks Saeco Digital Italia
Great machine - Great value - Great ease of use for a GREAT cup of coffee or espresso!
Positive Product Points
Awesome machine. After owning a Starbucks Digital Italia, I would never go back. Quality - construction - ease of use, low mess, is all great. I love my Jura. I love the variable programming options the machine has available. I find standard espresso machines with manual portafilters not so easy to use and super messy. Admittedly, you do have more control of the espresso with a manual machine... very similar to the amount of control you gain by having a manual car vs. an automatic. If you drive in traffic, the automatic won out with me, especially for everyday use; the same goes for this espresso machine. Its clean and simple - and for the average Joe is a great way to acquire professional cafe style drinks and espresso based beverages at home.
Negative Product Points
The painted plastic cabinet... the paint chips after awhile and the idea of the machine being metal sits better with me... it would make me feel as if my machine was better built even though I know my machine is built very very well. Also I wish the machine had more room to hold pucks. I hate emptying the machine - but it is way easier than to use and clean than ANY manual machine.
If ease of use and almost perfect espresso is your goal then this is totally the machine for you. If you crave a completely perfect shot of espresso with 110% control over your shot - this pulls a close second with adding ease of use - but doesn’t give you the 110% control factor. In high school I worked at Starbucks as a Barista and was trained on a La Marzocco machine before they switched to their various super automatics - the La Marzocco machines are fun and you can totally control everything to create the perfect shot of espresso. Cant do it with the Jura - but with me, once again the ease of use won with the S8. I use my machine several times a day and when I had my manual machine I found myself saying, oh Ill go to Starbucks or Diderichs real quick - not the case with the Jura.
FYI - If you own this machine, obviously the beans make a huge difference too... I brew Danesi Gold Label beans. I purchase them from Sunbelt Imports (www.sunbeltimports.com) here in Houston. They are worth their weight in gold. wonderful smooth flavor! Here is a direct link to the Gold, Danesi beans: http://www.sunbeltimports.com/products/85
Very good - Williams Sonoma loves me, their customer service is unparalleled to anywhere - I am confident that if I EVER have ANY issues with my machine they will completely take care of me.
Three Month Followup
Still love my machine. It is excellent. Quality is still great! I did have a small problem with the Froth Express system, but I called Jura and they sent me a whole new system - completely covered under warranty. Even a further testament to the machine and the Jura customer service.