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.
Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch Automatic Coffee Center: It might be the world’s smallest automatic machine but it offers big features. The compact machine can prepare a cappuccino and a latte macchiato at the touch of a button and, thanks to fine foam technology, the fine milk foam is always creamy and sweet. The Micro 90 also features a professional grade conical burr grinder, a powerful pump that produces 15 bars of pressure and a one-touch display.
So what’s the coffee like? It’s tasty, especially if you stick with the simpler, non-milk varieties such as espresso, and comes out of the pods with a nice crema on the surface. You have very little control over how the coffee is made, of course, and aficionados using a £25 AeroPress will be able to beat the Jovia for taste every time. But this machine is so convenient and easy to live with that it charms you regardless.
I have owned this for about 9 months and gotten nearly 1000 uses out of it (it counts for you). It can equal most coffeehouse product you are likely to find, but as others point out, it is far short of what an enthusiast can create from more traditional equipment. You may also find the crema coffee settings to be something of an acquired taste (but you can make an Americano in just one more step, which is always great).
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.
The first machine I received never worked correctly. The milk would not steam and the espresso would start to come out and then stop. Upon stopping a message would display on the screen asking to press a button to fill the pump. This would occur 2-3 times before an expresso could actually be made. I experimented with several different grind settings, coffee strength, water temperatures, etc, but with no success. The machine continued to pump a few drops of espresso, asking to refill the pump, and waste the previous grinds. I literally wasted 2-3 cans of Illy espresso without ever getting espresso. In addition, with each espresso cycle, a large amount of water would precede any espresso. For example on a 1oz shot, about 0.1oz would be water that didn't run through the coffee.
Some of the more popular mass market coffee machines are starting to look a little bit dated (not least the hugely popular and bestselling ESAM4200 by Delonghi), but that couldn’t be further from the truth with the Jura Impressa F8. It’s a very stylish and sophisticated looking machine, that wouldn’t look out of place in an upmarket cafe or bar. Jura have managed to pack a lot of controls in to the unit to give near unparalleled control over coffee making, yet retain a fairly minimalist look. There’s something about a black and silver finish that just looks the part, particularly on kitchen appliances that sit on the worktop – you don’t want something ugly to look at as a permanent fixture in the kitchen!
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.
It would be a mistake to say that there’s no learning curve at all on the E8. It has one; it’s just not particularly steep. Sure, there are a lot of settings, and a lot of things you can change, tweak and adjust, but honestly, the hardest part of its operation is going to be changing your preferred drink settings and familiarizing yourself with the way the menus work.
The Jura A9 truly shines in the milk drinks department. It features 2 height adjustable spouts that go anywhere from two point two and up to five point four inches if you plan on using taller However, when it comes to the milk, the machine uses a pick-up tube system. What this means is that now you can just place the tube into the milk container and prepare delicious milk based drinks. For better results though, it’s best that you either get Jura’s cool control milk cooler or their optional thermal milk container. That’s because not only is it better to keep milk chilled for sanitary reasons, but chilled milk also produces better froth.