The IMPRESSA J9 is probably the most popular model after the newer Micro 9 due to its breadth of features and overall precision when brewing and crafting a litany of specialty coffee drinks. The concept behind the J9 could not be simpler: simply use the rotary dial to select your desired drink, press the button, and sit back and enjoy. This model is absolutely beautiful and looks like it was pulled right out of an Italian café. The matte sheen and silver hard plastic give the J9 and functional sophistication that will definitely impress you.
The interface is also very clean and easy to use and given the fact that it also has a function for automatic cleaning, you don’t have to worry about cleaning the machine yourself. However, probably the most notable feature (among others) of the XS90 is the fact that it features a low noise design. What I mean by that is that the burr grinder is perfectly insulated and has the lowest noise grinding of any espresso machine on the market today.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the milk frother can be a little finicky. We discussed the fact that most frothers don’t (or can’t) heat the milk to the same level as the coffee, and this machine is no different. Also, cleaning the spout can be a little tricky. Overall, when buying the E6, just plan on spending some time to get to know it. Once you’ve mastered all of the little things, it will become second nature.
What sets the Jura line of coffee machines apart for other similar coffee systems is that it does literally everything you need to do with the touch of a button. When preparing the machine, you simply load it with coffee and water, and if it’s your preference, milk or cream. We were originally concerned about cleaning dairy products out of the Jura as this can be a pain point with other systems. You don’t want dairy leftover in any part of the machine as it turns quickly and can easily ruin upcoming batches of coffee. But with the Jura, you load the milk into an easy to remove and clean stainless steel canister making the clean up super simple.
Jura is a company that well known advancing coffee technology in a way that blends convenience, sophistication, quality and most importantly easy of use into brewing coffee and espresso based beverages in the modern home. Their impressive line of Jura Coffee Makers is the true embodiment of all these values and has been impressing coffee connoisseurs over the last few years with it’s high pressure-brewed- coffee, espressos, cappuccinos and lattes.
THE CURE: Once weekly reach up inside with a hot, wet towel, and clean the round disk behind the flap that hangs down. If it jams, unplug and let it cool before turning it on - sometimes you may have to do this several times. It just happened this a.m., and I had to wait 1/2 hour between my 3rd and 4th cup :) The first time it happened, tech support walked me through the cleaning on the phone. The last time was more of a problem, and they shipped me a mailing label for a $245 complete rebuild, but I didn't have to use it.
When looking for a fully automatic espresso machine, you have the choice to go for either a dual heating system or a single heating system machine. For instance, if you go for a dual boiler machine, then when you’re going to start the steam model, you’ll need to wait for about ten seconds until steam is available. With a single element system, the wait time increases by a factor of 5 and it takes about fifty seconds to get steam.
The first notable downside to this economy grinder is the build quality. Although it is standard for high-end burr grinders to use stainless steel enclosures, the Capresso 559 is built from a cheaper plastic. Beyond its suspect longevity, the cheaper build also causes problems in functionality. For example, beans can jam the grinder chute, causing the machine to stop functioning until it is cleaned.
You don’t really need to be a coffee connoisseur to be able to prepare your own drinks with this coffee machine. There are recipes for 12 coffee creations which you can select with the rotary switch. The machine uses images and texts to guide users through the preparation stages. You can prepare coffee choices such as Irish coffee, flavored latte macchiato, Viennese coffee, and Café Melange, amongst others. In addition, this coffee machine is also self cleaning to eliminate any excuses when it comes to making speciality coffee at home.
Last but not least, this machine features 5 level water hardness selectors and makes it a breeze to set it to your specific water hardness. On top of that, it can also count the number of coffee cups you’ve consumed, how many times the machine was cleaned, how often the steam function was used and so on. If you want, you can keep stats on a daily basis.
The Jura A9 truly shines in the milk drinks department. It features 2 height adjustable spouts that go anywhere from two point two and up to five point four inches if you plan on using taller However, when it comes to the milk, the machine uses a pick-up tube system. What this means is that now you can just place the tube into the milk container and prepare delicious milk based drinks. For better results though, it’s best that you either get Jura’s cool control milk cooler or their optional thermal milk container. That’s because not only is it better to keep milk chilled for sanitary reasons, but chilled milk also produces better froth.
Everything we discussed points to the Jura’s mission of making great coffee and espresso beverages at home easier. The Swiss made precision and modern design is simply an added bonus. Want your coffee freshly ground on a cup-by-cup basis? The Jura does that as a matter of course. Don’t feel like dirtying and cleaning several different pieces of equipment just to froth milk? The Jura takes care of this by warming, frothing and dispensing the milk for you. It will also clean the lines so you don’t have to word about old milk in your system. Best of all, as a consumer you can choose the coffee you want to drink while still having the convenience of single serve brewing.
The new Gaggia Brera is a very impressive super automatic espresso machine that has a small form factor, making it perfect for use on small kitchen countertops. Not only that, but it seems that the company has focused, among other things, to ensure that the Brera fully maximizes user convenience. For instance, the water tank, drop tray and the dregs drawer are all within reach and can be easily accessed from the machine for simple, swift maintenance and regular cleaning. With this model, beverage selection and machine programming has been greatly simplified, allowing users to easily navigate through the options which are certainly more than you’d expect from such a small machine.
It comes pre-loaded with default recipes for latte macchiato, cappuccino, an espresso shot, a ristretto shot, coffee, coffees, hot water, and steamed milk. All of the recipes can be customized via "Expert Mode". You can adjust the strength (1 - 5 beans), volume in ounces or mL's), steamed milk amount (based on time in seconds). You can also adjust all of the parameters while making the drink without saving, which is great for guests. Basic operation is very simple and straightforward. The TFT display makes this super user friendly. Anyone can easily scroll thru using the wheel on top of the machine and pick whatever type of drink they want. Or, you can select most drinks directly from the TFT screen as well. For two shots or two cups of coffee, hit the button twice. You can also enter the recipe modification mode by holding the drink selection button as well. Grind adjustment is via a knob under the back right top cover. It also displays graphics of your drink while it's being made.
Jura designates a new line of coffee machines whenever a major technological breakthrough is achieved. We will review these technologies in-depth in the following section, and provide more specs when we cover each individual machine. If you see a term that you don’t immediately understand, don’t worry, just reference the glossary in the next section!
This super-automatic Jura Capresso ENA 5 coffee machine does produce a tasty cup of coffee, no doubt about it. But we are concerned about its ability to hold up under pressure (literally, with flying milk nozzles!). For the kind of cash that this machine requires, most customers would likely be happier with another Jura model (the S9, perhaps) or another brand of super-automatic coffee machine.