With the look of a shrink-rayed professional espresso machine, the grinning fizzog of shaven-headed culinary chemist Heston Blumenthal on the box and a price tag that puts it out of reach of all but the most well-heeled caffeine fiend, the Barista Express (branded as Breville in the US and Sage in the UK) is clearly aimed at those seeking a major step up in their home-brewed coffee.
When ditching the K-cup and grinding the coffee yourself, you open yourself up to better, earthy-friendly options. Many single-serve coffee manufactures source their coffee from large plantations, and as a consumer you have very limited choice about where your coffee comes from and how it’s produced. When you grind your own with the Jura coffee machine, you are able to make more eco-conscious decisions about the coffee you purchase. We prefer to buy organic, single-origin roasts that have been certified by the rainforest alliance. We understand that this isn’t always possible, but when you are grinding your own coffee, there are more options available to you as a conscious consumer.
The ENA Micro 1 is the simplest of all of Jura’s machines. It is the smallest machine on the list, the most affordable, and packed with the base technologies in Jura’s machines. Your beverage begins by grinding whole coffee beans in a multi-level grinder, which are then pushed through a micro brewing unit. The machine delivers a rich espresso, with a soft layer of crema on top.
On the downside, the bean storage is temperamental, after filling sometimes the beans won't feed into the grinder requiring a prod to continue and despite using a drier roast, not all beans get fed into the grinder when it is "empty." The final minor irritation is that the control button requires multiple rotational clicks before it functions.” James U., Amazon Customer
When looking for a fully automatic espresso machine, you have the choice to go for either a dual heating system or a single heating system machine. For instance, if you go for a dual boiler machine, then when you’re going to start the steam model, you’ll need to wait for about ten seconds until steam is available. With a single element system, the wait time increases by a factor of 5 and it takes about fifty seconds to get steam.
Hate getting up in the morning? That’ll change with the Z6. Just the thought of gazing at this handsome clean, shiny chrome machine was enough to have us leaping out of bed at 6am. Brewing coffee is fairly simple and yields powerful, yet tasty cups. Espresso based drinks are a cinch to produce too—but often taste slightly watered down. The best part is though is the nearly silent grinder, which is quiet enough to run on full power without fear of waking the whole house up. —Neil Gellar
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.