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.
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 ECAM26455M features dual stainless steel-lined thermoblock heating in order to provide steaming and brewing power for your espresso and other drinks you wish to prepare with it with a very low cycling time. Compared to regular boiler systems, the thermoblock system is capable of much lower warm-up times paired with on-demand and efficient water usage.
Now that great espresso shots aren't hard to find, this machine is more about convenience and reliability than knock-your-socks-off espresso. But it does make great coffee - better than any Mr. Coffee or even Keurig. I keep Dark Roast Guatemalan Viennese in the bean hopper, pull two one-ounce shots, lengthen them with hot water, and I'm drinking awesome coffee before my neighbor has finished peeling the foil on his can of Maxwell House. And since I'm just buying good old whole beans, it's much cheaper to use than a Keurig.
The shining feature of the Jura is just how freshly the coffee is before its brewed. With conventional drip coffee makers, you load it with pre-ground coffee that has a good chance of already being somewhat stale. After all, ground coffee starts to go downhill quickly after being ground. Slightly more expensive drip coffee makers try to solve this problem by allowing you to set a timer to grind the coffee fresh every morning, but it’s still going to sit there for some length of time before it gets brewed. The Jura coffee machine has cracked the code by grinding beans fresh for every single cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino or latte. It doesn’t grind it until you are about to drink it, which gives you a fresher cup of coffee than most coffee shops will be able to provide. Not having to grind the coffee yourself and then clean the grinder is on it’s own and huge step in the direction of convenience.
3) This machine is crazy smart. It knows exactly when to clean itself, or tells you when to start the cleaning cycle. To clean it, all you do is insert a tablet in the coffee powder drawer and it does its thing. It knows when it needs water, when the filter needs to be changed, etc. In fact, since we have a water filter built into our refrigerator, we just use that filtered water in the coffee machine and therefore we don't need to use the expensive water filters. Bottom line, if you just pay attention and clean the machine on a regular basis when it tells you to, this is a no-brainer machine.