The very first espresso machines worked on a steam-pressure basis, and they’re still in use today. With this type of machine, steam or steam pressure is used to force water through the coffee grounds and produce espresso. Some steam-driven machines can produce a measure of foam “crema.” But they can’t generate enough pressure or provide the precise temperature control necessary to produce true espresso: They simply make a very strong cup of coffee. However, they cost considerably less than pump-driven machines. Our verdict is that if you’re a true espresso lover and seeking to make a good shot at home, we recommend you steer clear of steam-driven machines. They’ll likely disappoint you.
To really own your drinks, Jura designed the Impressa Z6 super-automatic espresso machine to include three brew temperature and three hot water temperature settings, ten coffee strength settings and ten milk temperature settings. It’s rare that we see so much flexibility for coffee strength, and rarer still to see a wide range of milk temperatures. In truth, many machines don’t feature milk temperature settings at all, so we were excited to brew with the Z6, and it didn’t disappoint. The Impressa Z6 quickly ramps up from brew to steam temperature in a short six seconds, so it’s great for people like us, who need caffeine (and need it now!). For a more full-bodied espresso and decidedly thicker crema, the Impressa Z6 uses Jura’s proprietary Pulse Extraction Process, to fire short pulses of water through the grounds during brewing, in order to get the most out of the extraction. Jura’s innovative TFT display shows, in living color, your personal list of favorite drinks right on the main screen and ready to brew at the push of a button. A longer list of up to 21 customizable specialty drinks is browsable via the rotary switch, so you won’t step on anybody’s toes at the office programming a drink to your particular specifications.
The design of the Giga 5 is beautiful, and the clean lines running up and across the unit make it modern and sophisticated. Due to the fact that the Giga 5 has two grinders, pumps and heating systems, it produces a good amount of internal heat. Jura solves this problem by automatically diverting the heat and steam away from the machine via the visually appealing “venti ports,” which in turn provide fresh air into the system.
The first thing that comes to mind to anyone who sees the Jura Impressa XS90 is “Wow”. That is because this espresso machine is so amazing, so packed with features and so good at making the perfect espresso, that words fail to describe how incredible it actually is. This is a commercial duty espresso machine that was designed for use in either a restaurant or an office and features the company’s popular 1-touch milk frothing system and 2 independent boilers (stainless steel).
As with other Jura machines, the Impressa Z6 is hygienic and conveniently cleans up after itself. The extra large 2.4 L water tank has a handle for easy removing, and is designed to work with a Smart Water Filter, which uses RFID technology to communicate with the control panel about its lifespan, automatically alerting you when it needs changing. Using a filter ensures great tasting coffee and reduces the need for descaling. The Impressa Z6 automatically rinses on start up, and keeps a reminder to clean the milk circuit on-screen when needed. All of the maintenance processes, such as brew group cleaning and descaling, will throw alerts as well, and are easily accessed through the TFT display where they can be performed by pressing a button. Step up to the Giga 5 for a dual grinder, dual boiler machine for high speed brewing and added functionality; or for a smaller machine you can control with your smartphone, take a look at the intuitive, ultra-convenient J6.
While all of the brand’s machines take up substantial counter space, you can get all of the advanced features without taking over your kitchen. The Impressa F8 is designed as a two-cup coffee maker - it has dual nozzles in the front so that you can make them side by side. However, you can also use the spouts for perfectly frothed milk instead. So, if you’re looking for a high-quality cappuccino, you will get it without having to do anything extra.
Six years and 7540 shots of espresso. The only downside of this machine is that it is too easy to use so that you end up drinking more cups than you might otherwise. It's very fast to heat up, both for the main heating block, as well as for steam. The steamer wand takes some practice to get good, tight foam, but once you figure out the technique it's not difficult. The openings in the wand can clog up if you don't wipe it down right after use. I also give a short blast of steam right after that as well. After about five years we bundled it up and sent it in to the factory for cleaning and reconditioning. It came back as good as new and it's still going strong. About the only real negative aspect to the machine is that it tends to be a bit noisy, but probably no more so than someone using a fully manual pull machine and grinder.
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.