Jura A1: The newest addition to the brand’s award-winning line of automatic coffee centers, the Micro 1 is an ultra-compact one-cup machine that brews the perfect cup of espresso. Program the machine for three defined cup sizes, two aroma levels and an aroma preservation cover that keeps the coffee beans fresh. The small but powerful machine also has an intelligent preheating feature that ensures the coffee and crema are the perfect temperature.
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.
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.
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.
When looking for the perfect super automatic espresso maker, it can be a bit difficult to know which model and brand to consider and that’s because there are so many of them out there, it can become confusing even for those who are not at their first espresso machine. The majority of reviews written by so called “experts” just confuse people more, while the comparison charts available online add to the uncertainty. So which of the many models available are actually required for you and your specific application?
Jura Giga 5: Setting new standards in performance and aesthetics, the Giga 5 features two ceramic disc grinders, 2.6-liter water tank, a monitored drip tray, two heating systems, a variable brewing chamber, height-adjustable coffee spout and an Intelligent Pre-Brew Aroma system that allows the coffee aroma to fully develop. It’s professional technology that lets you brew an unprecedented range of drinks in the comfort of your own home.
I'm coming up on a year with this machine in December. It can be a little picky about the beans (not oily). But with lavazza super crema beans, it performs quite well. I very seldom get a shot that I don't like. I vary my drinks day to day, and enjoy straight espresso, cortados, lattes, and occasionally coffee. It doesn't disappoint in either of the modes. I don't like that if I program my drink (2 shot espresso) and double tap the start button, it will simply pull double the volume, and not do a full 2 cycles of the double shot. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of the shots when I do this.
For most people, a cheap $20 Mr. Coffee or any one of its countless clones is all they require to tackle their day-to-day coffee needs. If you'd like to take a step up from those machines, however, the benefits are huge. First, you don't have to endure fresh-brewed java that tastes bitter, harsh, and grows even more noxious the longer it sits on its electric warming plate. Second you'll be enjoying your first cup in no time, typically less than eight minutes.
If you are going to try to make other coffees with this machine, plan on doing some trial runs to get it right. Since you can adjust the amount of water and beans, you can make standard coffee if you want, but it’s not going to be as good as the espresso. Overall, we only recommend this to espresso drinkers, but it’s nice to know that you can make other beverages if and when you want a change.
These machines and their respective technologies will serve you well, no matter what it is you are looking for. Keep in mind that with all their features and functionality, more expensive machines are almost always going to fall on the side of excessive for casual users. Because of this and their high cost, you may want to pick a few features that stand out to you and forgo the unnecessary frills.
The Micro 1 differs from many other Jura machines in that it is only designed to produce perfectly pulled espresso and coffee. This, however, does not mean it lacks features. The ENA Micro 1 comes with a variable brewing chamber, a 15-bar pump, the pre-aroma system, the Aroma Plus built-in grinder, the thermoblock intelligent heating system and an adjustable spout. The Micro 1 is beautiful in its simplicity and makes delicious espresso perfectly. We love the unit for kitchens that are limited in space or as gift for the espresso connoisseur.
The Jura Super Automatic F50 pump driven espresso machine takes care of everything for the coffee lover with the push of a single button: it grinds the beans, brews the coffee and finally ejects the puck. In fact, due to its various functions, design and overall usability, it’s highly recommended for novice level baristas or people who want to conveniently prepare their coffee. Also, compared to a steam machine, the F50 uses a greater pressure and therefore makes your espresso taste a lot better.
Edit - 01/15/2015: Eight and a half years later, this gem is still cranking out great coffee. I had it serviced by the wonderful folks at CoffeeBoss in Cornelius, NC last year, and it's still going strong with a cup count of 9,922. The brew group is not user serviceable, so occasional maintenance should be expected. I use distilled water (at the cost of flavor, I know) now that I'm back in the city on municipal water, so I don't need or use the Clearyl filter (I recommend it for tap/well water, though), and I do use a cleaning tablet within 5-10 cups of when it starts asking for it on the LED display.
I only have one minor quibble with this machine; if you like cappuccino, it produces foam that is weak and deflates easily. I have troubleshot this problem from every possible angle (tried different percent milkfat, different milks(soy), different milk temps etc.) and the results were still a little disappointing. I purchased the Milk Frothing accessory designed for this unit and still could not produce the more velvety foam I was seeking. The easiest fix for this is to buy an Aerolatte: steam your milk with the F9 (the steam function works great) and then whip till your hearts content with the Aerolatte. For an extra $15 bucks spent on the Aerolatte, you'll have the perfect cup of cappuccino to rival any cafe.
Keep the machine clean. The F7 does a self-cleaning of the milk and coffee system every time you brew. But remember to stay on top of regular maintenance for the best quality. The machine makes that easy by telling you how and when to do the maintenance. It’s not hard, just drop a tablet of cleaner (from Amazon) in the water tank and you’re ready to go in 15 minutes.
The first thing you’ll probably notice when making your coffee is just how quiet the Giga 5 is. This is thanks to the two ceramic disk grinders that occupy each side of the unit and operate just above a whisper. These discs will probably never wear our and the grind on them is extremely precise and always consistent. It offers 18 completely customizable specialty drinks through the intuitive and easy to navigate display which provide enough variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes.