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.
What sets the Jura line of coffee machines apart for other similar coffee systems is that it does literally everything you need to do with the touch of a button. When preparing the machine, you simply load it with coffee and water, and if it’s your preference, milk or cream. We were originally concerned about cleaning dairy products out of the Jura as this can be a pain point with other systems. You don’t want dairy leftover in any part of the machine as it turns quickly and can easily ruin upcoming batches of coffee. But with the Jura, you load the milk into an easy to remove and clean stainless steel canister making the clean up super simple.
A recent addition to Jura’s impressive line of coffee machines is the Impressa F8 which incorporates the best features from some of the new and older units of Jura. This Jura coffee machine is the first compact machine with a full color TFT LCD display. The 2.8 inch LCD display makes it a lot easier for users to understand what their machine is doing.
Just by the water canister (which holds just under two litres), there’s a replaceable water filter that cleans the water as the machine begins each cycle. Depending where you live, this may carry a different weight of importance, but if you’re in an area where water has a strong taste, this may well be a big plus towards buying the Jura Impressa F8 over other machines. Water is such a big part of making coffee, it will go a long way towards giving consistent results day after day!
We found the Jura J9 to be intuitive to navigate and the state of the art TFT display which features text and images, combined with the rotary selector makes choosing your beverage simple. A standout feature of this model if the “fine foam” technology which utilizes three bars in the frother spout which acts to slow down the foam as it exits the frother so its poured at the right speed and evenly into the cup. The stainless steel vacuum milk container that feeds the frother warms the milk or cream and is easy to clean. The hardened steel grinding heads of the built-in canonical grinder deliver precision ground coffee every single time. There isn’t a single thing the IMPRESSA J9 doesn’t do well and it probably the most well-rounded model on our list.
This is probably one of the more important points to note – just how easy it is to get started. Bean to cup coffee machines tend to fall into two categories, they are either easy to use but inflexible, or take time to master and give a lot of opportunity to experiment. This Jura machine gives a lot of scope to both, which is great if you’re short on practice time or not sure if you’ve got the skills needed just yet.
In creating a stripped down, low-priced grinder that is still able to deliver a high-quality grind Capresso has released a machine that only features what is truly important in a coffee grinder. Absent are all the automatic or intelligent features that are found on more expensive grinders and instead this one has only reliability and basic ease of use left.
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.
If you’re a froth fan, you won’t be disappointed – Jura machines tend to be very good frothers (if that’s a word) and manage to top off drinks to the same standard as you’ll usually find in the high street coffee shops. It’s certainly an impressive result, even if we found it was a novelty the wore off rather quickly. We’re not the biggest advocates of milk foaming though, so you might be more excited that we are!