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Best Home Automatic Coffee Machines: Melitta Caffeo Solo & Perfect Milk vs Aqua Mini vs Jura F8

Best Home Automatic Coffee Machines: Melitta Caffeo Solo & Perfect Milk vs Aqua Mini vs Jura F8

With the New Year comes a new, fresh wave of excitement and optimism for the next 365 days. Now, if you’ve had your eye on landing yourself a quality home bean-to-cup coffee machine for your home, best you do some due diligence. We’ve taken three entry-range automatic home coffee machines, reviewed and compared them – so that you can make the best possible selection for your needs your budget and personal taste.

Melitta Caffeo Solo & Perfect Milk Fully Automatic Coffee Machine Review

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Melitta Caffeo Solo and Perfect Milk

Melitta is, globally, a well recognised brand for coffee machines. However, in South Africa, the name is unfortunately not as renowned as it is elsewhere. There are a select few suppliers of this brand in the country, but first we’re going to review what this machine does, the costs, as well as it’s pro’s and con’s:

  • Melitta Caffeo Solo & Perfect Milk Automatic Coffee Machine – Functionality, Cost, Pro’s and Con’s

Price: R 8 000.00 excluding VAT, this machine is compact and straight to the point. The “no frills, no fuss” approach has allowed Melitta to bring this entry-level coffee machine to consumers at an affordable price. It contains a single 120g bean container (a great indication that this machine will suit a home or office of less than 5 people perfectly) and if I may have the liberty to say – the looks of this machine remind me somewhat of the Jura ENA Micro Range.

The machine may be small in size, bit it still contains a double spout and milk frother. The screen display has been kept simplistic and minimalist, but you can still expect advanced features (like adjust-ability for the amount of water dispensed per pre-selected drink, and a height-adjustable spout.) The brew group is removable, which adds a bit of a maintenance requirement from a user perspective, but you can also expect a similar technology to Jura’s IPBWS in that the coffee is pre-brewed before extraction.

The grinder is made of stainless steel, and allows for three varied grind sizes. One feature available on this machine is the automatic cleaning, descaling and rinsing programmes; so where you still do need user input to remove and clean the brew group, you have the fuss of cleaning and descaling your machine entirely removed. The water tank is proportional to the 120g bean hopper, allowing 1.2 litres at capacity.

So while this machine is not going to have your guest “uhm-ing” and “ah-ing” in amazed wonder, it’s going to serve the purpose you bought it for – beautifully economical, fresh, bean-to-cup coffee in your home.

Aqua Mini (Saeco Minuto) Automatic Coffee Machine Review

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Saeco Minuto – “Aqua Mini”

At Aquaspresso. We’ve fallen in love with the Saeco Minuto to such a degree we have dubbed it the Aqua Mini. However, this machine is undeniably Italian – the brand Saeco falling under Philips in South Africa. The Aqua Mini is beautifully designed to suit budgets, and may be a little more user-friendly in comparison to the Melitta Caffeo Solo.

  • Saeco Minuto (Aqua Mini) Automatic Coffee Machine – Functionality, Cost, Pro’s and Con’s

The presence of programmable speciality drinks and a removable external milk carafe slightly elevate the price to R 9 500.00 excluding VAT.  As for the user interface, the display is LCD with buttons to select, making it easy for first-time users.

The aesthetic of this machine certainly ranks higher in comparison to the Melitta Caffeo Solo, with black finishings and a chrome spout. The brew group is removable, which makes for the requirement of user input in terms of maintenance. The bean hopper has an impressive 250g capacity; you can trust that your coffee beans will be ground to perfection with the ceramic grinder – and subsequently extracted to their fullest potential with the Pre-Brew system present in Philips automatic coffee machines. The 1.8 litre water tank is slightly less proportional to the 250g bean hopper but a quick refill of the tank and you’re good to go.

A perfectly compact home bean to cup machine with a built in carafe – this will be your favourite house guest – preparing steaming hot speciality milk drinks at the touch of a button. Want to “wow” or make huge amounts of coffee? Maybe not your best bet.

Jura F8 Review

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Jura F8

The biggest factor (in my opinion, at least) is the huge brand name here. The Jura F8 has a great TFT Display, making it easy to understand what the machine is doing vs what you want it to do (yes, I feel your pain here). Expert mode will entice your inner Barista to step out and play around with the adjustable water and coffee temperatures and strengths.

  • Jura F8 Automatic Coffee Machine – Functionality, Cost, Pro’s and Con’s

Definitely the higher-end of these three machines, the Jura F8 will set you back in the region of R 13 000.00 excluding VAT. With that, you have the worry of a removable brewing unit completely eliminated, one of Jura’s key features in that the unit is automatically cleaned internally after each brew.

One tricky aspect that many first-time users have difficulty with is that the dial for the milk system is located away from the actual milk spout. Yes, this is a two-touch cappuccino machine, which (to some) may be a deal breaker, but to others, the two seconds it will take to move your cup across is a minor setback for the associated brand you’re getting.

The 1.9 litre water tank is disproportionate to the 310g bean hopper – but remember – it’s a frggin’ 310g hopper! Yes, your water tank will need to be refilled often, but that’s a minor “cost”.
The Jura F8 is the best hybrid between home and office coffee machines when compared side-by–side to the Melitta Caffeo Solo and the Aqua Mini Automatic Coffee Machines. My reason for this statement is that; the bean hopper size of 310g is the closest to the expected size of 500g for office-use machines; the water tank is the largest of the three machines, and lastly, the machine will have the highest output capabilities without posing the risk of having first-time users accidentally re-program settings because they don’t know the functions of the buttons. It doesn’t hurt that the machine has Jura’s famous Aroma+ grinder, as well as the IPBWS – which allows heated water to infuse with your coffee grounds and optimally extract the highest amount of flavour in the shortest space of time.

Melitta Caffeo Solo & Perfect Milk Fully Automatic Coffee Machine vs Aqua Mini vs Jura F8 – Who Wins?

In short; everyone wins!

For the budget conscious home user who pays less attention to design and aesthetic will likely opt for the Melitta Caffeo Solo. The home user who wants ultimate convenience and can afford a couple thousand more for a machine will most probably enjoy the Aqua Mini , and those who want the brand guarantee and higher output / less maintenance may opt for the Jura F8.

Not one of these machines is geared for large office usage, to reduce costs or to make “the quickest cuppa”. Instead, these machines all offer high-quality, fresh coffee for the coffee lover at home.
Some have better looks than the others, some offer different drinks, while others make maintenance a breeze.

We always say that there is no wrong or right choice – only the wrong or right choice for YOU.

If you need any help in selecting the best possible coffee machine for you needs, you know our experts are a click away.

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