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.
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.
This machine is awesome. Works great. Very easy to use, and VERY easy to maintain. That last part is key. Our previous machine, Capressa, was a pain to keep clean. This is far easier. Had it for about 6 months now and I've no complaints. The cleaning tablets (ordered on Amazon) are a bit pricey, but I have to imagine far less the sending the machine in for repair (which we did on our Capressa machine) Other than the coffee, cleanliness and overall use of the machine, the maintenance aspect is pretty easy. Put a tablet in the grinder and push the button. Done.
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!
This super-automatic Jura Capresso ENA 5 coffee machine does produce a tasty cup of coffee, no doubt about it. But we are concerned about its ability to hold up under pressure (literally, with flying milk nozzles!). For the kind of cash that this machine requires, most customers would likely be happier with another Jura model (the S9, perhaps) or another brand of super-automatic coffee machine.
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!
Yeah! It has them but what doesn’t? The main complaint on the reviews is the small water and bean container. It only holds 37 ounces of water compared to others that hold 60 ounces. Another one is the max cup size, giving you only 5 inches to work with. Travel coffee cups won’t fit under the spout. The last complaint is the lack of a cup warmer probably because there was no room with this slim design.
You don’t really need to be a coffee connoisseur to be able to prepare your own drinks with this coffee machine. There are recipes for 12 coffee creations which you can select with the rotary switch. The machine uses images and texts to guide users through the preparation stages. You can prepare coffee choices such as Irish coffee, flavored latte macchiato, Viennese coffee, and Café Melange, amongst others. In addition, this coffee machine is also self cleaning to eliminate any excuses when it comes to making speciality coffee at home.