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.
Together, they help coffee enthusiasts prepare the perfect espresso every single time. Use the center spouts to select from hot water for tea, a shot of espresso, or a cup of coffee or opt for milk for hot chocolate, cappuccinos or lattes. The interface of the XS90 is very user friendly and given the fact it features automatic cleaning capabilities, you don’t need to worry about cleaning it yourself.
And that’s it. There’s very little in the way of cleaning or maintenance to be done, bar an occasional emptying of the drip tray, an occasional rinsing of the removable pod holder and, of course, the refilling of the water tank. The tank isn’t huge (0.8l), so you’ll need to do the latter fairly frequently. The drip tray, for its part, is adjustable – you can place it at one of three heights to suit the size of drinking vessel and reduce the chance of spillage.
Yep, the Barista Express isn’t just an elegant, well-built espresso machine – it also features a built-in grinder, allowing you to make coffee with beans you’ve smashed into dust literally seconds earlier. Freshness means a lot in the coffee world, so this is a Big Deal – as is the low-pressure pre-infusion of the grounds before the water is forced through them at higher 50 bar pressure.
Some machines can be quite slow to work their way through programmes, but Jura have put a lot of thought into minimising these delays. The water heating tends to be the cause of the waits, so the F8’s solution is to heat it as it passes through the internal pipes of the machine. The technical detail is a bit beyond us, but it seems to work well. If you want to know more and like the geeky detail, give ‘Jura Thermoblock’ a Google!
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.
The buttons of the Jura XS90 can be easily programmed for setting volume, strength and temperature of the espresso dispensed. If you take a closer look at the right side of the XS90, you’ll notice that the multi function button is perfect for programming the lattes or cappuccino, including the strength and amount of milk, but also the temperature of espresso dispensed. If you want, then you can even adjust the milk’s foaminess.
If you have some experience in the world of specialty coffee drinks, skip this short section in our Jura E8 coffee machine review, as you already know all of this. If you’re new to the game and coming from the world of drip-brew coffee, keep reading, because there’s a key difference between how espresso is made versus how your beloved drip-brew machine works.
To enable the filter and coffee machine to communicate, JURA uses modern RFID technology. Any machine fitted with the intelligent water system (I.W.S.®) recognises when a filter is inserted, automatically switches to filter mode and starts the rinsing process. When the filter capacity is nearly used up the machine prompts the user to change the filter. If the filter is not changed, the machine activates descaling mode. After a certain amount of use, the user is prompted to descale the machine. This can only be done when the filter is removed, so there is no more risk of user error resulting from misunderstandings.
You’ll find the same basic components in a super automatic espresso machine that you’re going to find in a pump or manual machine: switches, control dials, a steam wand, a boiler and also a water pump. What sets the super automatic apart is the fact that an internal brewing chamber replaces the brew basket and removable portafilter. On top of that, a high quality burr grinder or conical grinder grinds and dispenses the coffee directly into the brewing chamber.
The speed at which the Jura ENA Micro 9 delivers coffee is amazing. Before you know it, the chrome accented spouts are delivering hot espresso that absolutely tastes as if it was prepared by skilled human hands. The design and casing look great up close and feature a hard plastic with a matte silver finish. The top of the unit is a shiny black that’s reminiscent of Lucite and is easy to quickly wipe down and keep the machine looking fresh. We were also impressed with the density of the foam that the Micro 9 delivers. We considerer ourselves experts in the area of good foam and we were not disappointed with its dense and thick mouth feel. The adjustable spout creates clearance for any size mug or large cup and the multi-level sealed conical grinder performs just as well as any standalone grinder we’ve ever owned. Overall, ENA Micro 9 strikes that perfect balance between size, power and delicious coffee. This is currently our favorite model and the one we have in our own home.
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.
As an anecdote, I once failed one of my shots, it happens to everyone. The biggest problem with that cup was that it had almost no crema. I sipped it anyway, I wanted to see how it was. I was absolutely stunned by the taste of that shot. The unique combination of tamping and grind size made that cup more flavorful. It just didn’t have enough crema. Never judge an espresso by its looks. This is why some people hate Nespresso with a passion, it is very consistent, and it gives you a great shot with ample crema every time, but it is never fantastic. I love “fantastic”, but for the convenience, I settle for good, so Nespresso is one of my favorite coffeemakers. If convenience is what you are looking for mostly, take a look at our article that compares capsule-based espresso machines.
The DeLonghi ECAM22110SB’s Rapid Cappuccino System allows you to make cappuccinos one after another quickly with no wait-time in between, making it excellent for hosting parties or large get-togethers. A rotary control system and simple user interface allow even beginners to create cafe-quality drinks at the touch of a button. Like many of DeLonghi’s most popular coffee systems, this machine is compact enough for use on smaller counter spaces.
Operation is dead simple with the three-button interface on the top of the machine where you select from thee user-defined cup sizes (espresso, lingo and ristretto) and two aroma levels. The special aroma preservation technology does a great job of keeping the beans fresh and the Aroma Plus grinder precisely grinds them to a consistent size every time. The intelligent pre-heating feature is going to ensure that the coffee is always hot and topped with a light and airy crema.
Now we’ve looked at what the machine can do, let’s turn our attention to what really matters, what real life customers think. We’ve had a good look around at reviews on the web, and collated the common themes. Hopefully this will give you a real feel for what is good and not so good about this machine, with some battle testing thrown into our Jura Impressa F8 review!