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.
The Gaggia Brera is a great budget super automatic espresso machine that not only has a small form factor, but it’s also very well designed and looks great on any kitchen countertop. When thinking about it, the first thing that comes to the mind of those that already use it is convenience. For example, 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.
The digital control panel makes it easy to play with the programmable menu settings, including coffee strength, temperature, auto off and start time. You can also prepare cappuccino and espressos without having to wait between them thanks to the double boiler system that the ESAM5500B features. Lastly, no matter what coffee you plan on using with it, it’s going to be properly ground thanks to the professional quality conical low pitch burr grinder.
The Aroma G3 grinder uses conical steel burrs and six degrees of fineness to grind quickly, thanks to the perfected cutting angles that produce 60% less residual grounds. The result is a quieter grinder that preserves more of the flavor and aroma of the freshly ground beans while operating twice as fast. An integrated bypass doser allows for pre-ground coffee brewing.
The other point that we wanted to highlight isn’t necessarily a negative per se, but just the fact that it’s a lot to spend, and let’s face it – it is! There’s a lot of machines available in the sub £500 range, and we’d never advocate or encourage spending more than you can afford. Having said that, you do get what you pay for, and in this case we believe it’s exceptional quality. If you really love coffee, it’s probably worth paying as much as you’re comfortable with to get a great machine, and that’s exactly what you’re getting here.
In addition, the Capresso website offers plenty of data for using this espresso machine. Among other things, it provides a downloadable user manual along with PDF files containing a variety of delicious hot milk frothing recipes so you can prepare such things as different types of teas, soothing milk drinks and several different types of hot chocolate drinks.
As with other Jura machines, the Impressa Z6 is hygienic and conveniently cleans up after itself. The extra large 2.4 L water tank has a handle for easy removing, and is designed to work with a Smart Water Filter, which uses RFID technology to communicate with the control panel about its lifespan, automatically alerting you when it needs changing. Using a filter ensures great tasting coffee and reduces the need for descaling. The Impressa Z6 automatically rinses on start up, and keeps a reminder to clean the milk circuit on-screen when needed. All of the maintenance processes, such as brew group cleaning and descaling, will throw alerts as well, and are easily accessed through the TFT display where they can be performed by pressing a button. Step up to the Giga 5 for a dual grinder, dual boiler machine for high speed brewing and added functionality; or for a smaller machine you can control with your smartphone, take a look at the intuitive, ultra-convenient J6.
For those who tend to like their java a bit more robust and flavorful, this espresso machine offers a coffee and steam wand that you can use to adjust the potency of your coffee. If you prefer a bit less vigor to your morning espresso, simply move the wand to the steam side to add a bit more water. This will allow you to share your espresso maker with those around you who prefer a stronger or milder taste you do and still keep everyone happy.