Like the Sage Express, Panasonic’s NC-ZA1 is a “bean to cup” espresso machine: it takes whole beans, grinds them and pushes hot water through them at pressure to produce a cup of coffee. That’s pretty much where the similarities end, however, because unlike the old-school Express, the NC-ZA1 makes almost the entire process automated – and controllable via touchscreen.
So what’s the coffee like? It’s tasty, especially if you stick with the simpler, non-milk varieties such as espresso, and comes out of the pods with a nice crema on the surface. You have very little control over how the coffee is made, of course, and aficionados using a £25 AeroPress will be able to beat the Jovia for taste every time. But this machine is so convenient and easy to live with that it charms you regardless.
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.
Also, we went through a brief episode in which it would refuse to brew anything (as if it didn't have the power to punch the water through the puck of coffee). I remedied this with a descaling cycle as well as wiping out the parts above the removable tray thoroughly. (I use filtered water in the machine, but the descaling seems to be a more serious cleaning than the normal automatic cleaning.)
The Jura J90 is an award winning design for a great automatic one-touch coffee machine. It is capable of easily producing at the touch of a single button the entire range of beverages from ristretto to latte macchiato. These specialty espresso drinks are selected using the Rotary Switch. This Jura machine has what they call an Aroma+ grinder which uses specially high grinding speeds to provide a superior coffee grind while preserving the full aroma of those beans. Jura’s revolutionary fine foam technology yields an extra light milk foam crown on every latte macchiato and cappuccino.
As we continue on our journey of Jura Coffee Makers, the Impressa C65 is another “standard” unit. It doesn’t have all of the accouterments of higher-end models, but it still makes an incredible cup of coffee, and it offers the speed and convenience that you would expect from Jura. Overall, we would compare this model to the ENA 9 above, although this one can make two cups at once.
Most modern coffee machines will feature a foam frother and this is also a vital part of a coffee machine like the Jura C65. The majority of users actually require this feature in order to make tasty lattes and cappuccinos. The good news is that the Jura C65 does indeed feature a revolutionary fine foam technology that ensures the milk has lots of foam. On top of that, the coffee spout’s height is adjustable, so you can easily fit a wide range of cups ranging from sixty five millimeters and up to one hundred and eleven millimeters.