Edit - 01/15/2015: Eight and a half years later, this gem is still cranking out great coffee. I had it serviced by the wonderful folks at CoffeeBoss in Cornelius, NC last year, and it's still going strong with a cup count of 9,922. The brew group is not user serviceable, so occasional maintenance should be expected. I use distilled water (at the cost of flavor, I know) now that I'm back in the city on municipal water, so I don't need or use the Clearyl filter (I recommend it for tap/well water, though), and I do use a cleaning tablet within 5-10 cups of when it starts asking for it on the LED display.
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.
To really own your drinks, Jura designed the Impressa Z6 super-automatic espresso machine to include three brew temperature and three hot water temperature settings, ten coffee strength settings and ten milk temperature settings. It’s rare that we see so much flexibility for coffee strength, and rarer still to see a wide range of milk temperatures. In truth, many machines don’t feature milk temperature settings at all, so we were excited to brew with the Z6, and it didn’t disappoint. The Impressa Z6 quickly ramps up from brew to steam temperature in a short six seconds, so it’s great for people like us, who need caffeine (and need it now!). For a more full-bodied espresso and decidedly thicker crema, the Impressa Z6 uses Jura’s proprietary Pulse Extraction Process, to fire short pulses of water through the grounds during brewing, in order to get the most out of the extraction. Jura’s innovative TFT display shows, in living color, your personal list of favorite drinks right on the main screen and ready to brew at the push of a button. A longer list of up to 21 customizable specialty drinks is browsable via the rotary switch, so you won’t step on anybody’s toes at the office programming a drink to your particular specifications.
1) After much research, I purchased the F9 at Williams Sonoma, primarily because they used to have a policy that you could return anything, at any time, if needed. So, I figured that if ever I had an issue, I could just return it to my local Williams Sonoma and get a replacement rather than returning the machine to the factory and waiting. Turns out I did indeed have to do this once for an electrical issue, which was actually an issue I had with the wiring at the outlet--not the machine afterall! In any event, I don't think Williams Sonoma still has that same open-ended return policy. Be sure to research the return policy wherever you make your purchase!
In just 60 seconds, the Impressa C9 will steam or froth milk, tamp, grind, brew and clean itself. And if you’re looking to brew other drinks, you can use the hot water dispenser for tea, or to enjoy a cup of foamy hot chocolate. You have options to choose the cup size and strength of your coffee for a truly personal brew. Of course, the Impressa C9 also uses a water filter to ensure your coffee tastes as fresh and pure as possible.
The speed at which the Jura ENA Micro 9 delivers coffee is amazing. Before you know it, the chrome accented spouts are delivering hot espresso that absolutely tastes as if it was prepared by skilled human hands. The design and casing look great up close and feature a hard plastic with a matte silver finish. The top of the unit is a shiny black that’s reminiscent of Lucite and is easy to quickly wipe down and keep the machine looking fresh. We were also impressed with the density of the foam that the Micro 9 delivers. We considerer ourselves experts in the area of good foam and we were not disappointed with its dense and thick mouth feel. The adjustable spout creates clearance for any size mug or large cup and the multi-level sealed conical grinder performs just as well as any standalone grinder we’ve ever owned. Overall, ENA Micro 9 strikes that perfect balance between size, power and delicious coffee. This is currently our favorite model and the one we have in our own home.
From the outside, the Giga 5 looks attractive. It has a color TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screen display on the top front and center, with a stylish aluminum chassis with black plastic sides. This unit will definitely enhance the look of any kitchen. There’s a dedicated hot water spout at the front of the machine plus a couple of adjustable spouts for making coffee. Located on top of the unit you will find on/off buttons, a program button, and a rotary switch that is key to navigating the Giga’s menu.
When comparing Jura models, it becomes clear quickly that Giga 5 is the behemoth in the family most areas. This model tops this list in terms of price, size and features. If you want the top of the line Jura, the Giga 5 is your model. It sets a new standard for Jura in looks, function and excellent coffee made at the touch of a button. With the Giga 5, you are going to be looking at double everything. With two grinders and two heaters, the 5 makes two specialty coffee drinks at the same time.
The other reviews comment on the burr grinder sticking and this may be as a result of using oily beans. This problem is addressed in the manual; they offer recommendations on how to get the oils to evaporate somewhat to prevent issues with the machine. The beans I use are not particularly oily and I have never had a problem with the grinder nor any problems with any of the other functions with this machine. This unit has already paid for itself several times over in savings over what I would pay at any coffee house; very pleased with this purchase!
The Impressa’s control panel is based around a central colour display that’s used to guide you though the process, which helps to turn a maze of functions into an intuitive set of menus (or a carousel as Jura call it). The control of the menus is achieved by a ‘rotary switch’ located on top of the machine at the front, neatly sandwiched between the power and program buttons. The buttons either side of the screen vary in purpose, depending what’s on the screen at the time. in general though, the screen splits into four zones, with each button used to select the corresponding zone.
Starting with the brew unit, the first thing to understand is that it’s not removable. From a practical perspective, what that means for you is that about once a week, you’ll need to pop a cleansing tab into the bypass doser to clean the unit. No big deal, but our personal preference is for removable units you can rinse by hand to ensure a thorough cleaning.
To enable the filter and coffee machine to communicate, JURA uses modern RFID technology. Any machine fitted with the intelligent water system (I.W.S.®) recognises when a filter is inserted, automatically switches to filter mode and starts the rinsing process. When the filter capacity is nearly used up the machine prompts the user to change the filter. If the filter is not changed, the machine activates descaling mode. After a certain amount of use, the user is prompted to descale the machine. This can only be done when the filter is removed, so there is no more risk of user error resulting from misunderstandings.
The Jura-Capresso S8 is a luxurious coffee and espresso machine with a long list of benefits and only a few detractors. The price would be the biggest obstacle for most consumers, and while those with pure coffee tastes may demure at the price tag, coffee connoisseurs who patronize the typical overpriced chain coffee shops could justify the expense. The bottom line is that one cannot fail to make perfect cafe-style drinks with the sexy, state-of-the-art S8 machine.
As previously mentioned, this grinder is a bit less sturdy than its new revision, the 565. The 560 has the same issues with its mechanical timer, with the grind mechanism starting before you have had a chance to set the time. This results in a somewhat inconsistent grind quantity. The hopper lid is also not completely airtight, so it isn’t recommended that you keep your beans in it for more than a few days. The same issue with static buildup is also present, and may lead to a messy countertop.
The ENO Micro is one of the latest offerings from Jura that signals their move toward more compact units that consume less real estate in the kitchen. In fact, this particular unit is actually shorter than the older compact ENA line by a few inches. We love its small size and low profile, and find that its unassuming presence adds to the impact when the coffee start being made. Some users actually prefer the larger Jura units, but we prefer the Micro 9’s size and simplicity. The Jura ENA Micro 9 is the world’s smallest one-touch cappuccino maker but that certainly does not mean that they skimped on features or design elements.
Just by the water canister (which holds just under two litres), there’s a replaceable water filter that cleans the water as the machine begins each cycle. Depending where you live, this may carry a different weight of importance, but if you’re in an area where water has a strong taste, this may well be a big plus towards buying the Jura Impressa F8 over other machines. Water is such a big part of making coffee, it will go a long way towards giving consistent results day after day!