For most people, a cheap $20 Mr. Coffee or any one of its countless clones is all they require to tackle their day-to-day coffee needs. If you'd like to take a step up from those machines, however, the benefits are huge. First, you don't have to endure fresh-brewed java that tastes bitter, harsh, and grows even more noxious the longer it sits on its electric warming plate. Second you'll be enjoying your first cup in no time, typically less than eight minutes.
There is a learning curve and one has to get the coffee to water ratio correct for one's preferences...changing it for other drinkers. But it is truly automatic, which is nice for serving more than one person quickly, brews quickly and makes very good coffee. Jura took this machine and rewired it per the wiring recall on this model, returned it, all at no cost to me.
Not trouble free, as they all seem to jam periodically, but easily fixed. Per J-C, the problem is using very oily beans, which we do as we love very dark, heavily roasted Starbucks beans. The part that jams is the press mechanism. When it expresses the puck, it clogs and won't go back up. This seems to be a criticism for many of its machines, but it's hardly a deal breaker.
This is made to order coffee, not the stuff sitting in the pot for hours on end. You might argue that the coffee shops grind their own coffee. And they do, but not for every cup (otherwise a $4 cup would be history for sure) and this is the main point. Their ground coffee is still sitting around exposed to air and going stale. The stuff in their pot or thermal tank just sits until empty.
In front of the water tank sits a large cone that holds either the machine's permanent gold filter or reusable Type 4 paper filters. Below that is a sturdy stainless steel thermal carafe to accept and decant your brew. On the left side of the metal coffee pot, you'll find a small keypad complete with tiny LCD screen and minuscule membrane-style buttons. The display also includes a digital clock for checking the time and programming automatic brewing cycles.
This is where a fully automatic espresso machine comes in handy. Once you have set up the machine and tweaked all the settings, you can’t go wrong anymore. All preparation steps are fully automated, the dosage, the tamping, the grind size, temperature, extraction time, etc… You can expect consistent results, a great espresso shot every time. Maybe that’s why many restaurants decided to go with super automatic machines.
As an anecdote, I once failed one of my shots, it happens to everyone. The biggest problem with that cup was that it had almost no crema. I sipped it anyway, I wanted to see how it was. I was absolutely stunned by the taste of that shot. The unique combination of tamping and grind size made that cup more flavorful. It just didn’t have enough crema. Never judge an espresso by its looks. This is why some people hate Nespresso with a passion, it is very consistent, and it gives you a great shot with ample crema every time, but it is never fantastic. I love “fantastic”, but for the convenience, I settle for good, so Nespresso is one of my favorite coffeemakers. If convenience is what you are looking for mostly, take a look at our article that compares capsule-based espresso machines.
The first thing you’ll probably notice when making your coffee is just how quiet the Giga 5 is. This is thanks to the two ceramic disk grinders that occupy each side of the unit and operate just above a whisper. These discs will probably never wear our and the grind on them is extremely precise and always consistent. It offers 18 completely customizable specialty drinks through the intuitive and easy to navigate display which provide enough variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
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