We always like to find a negative or two, and this has to be the biggest one by far for the Jura. For us, the temperature is fine, but we do understand that some people like their coffee as near to boiling point as possible without burning the coffee. It’s probably going to be a minority of coffee lovers that find this to be a deal breaker (hint: if that’s you, take a look at Heston’s Dual Boiler), for most of us, we find that it takes the roof of our mouth off!
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.
There's one other area needing fixing, not only in these machines but in all super automatics I've ever tried - tiny puck sizes (diameter) = bad extraction. That's not me saying it. That's Dr. Illy and a wide range of scientific tests that the Illy labs have done finding the optimal puck size for superior extraction. At 46mm, these pucks are too tiny.
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.
There are many ways to make a single coffee drink and preferences will naturally vary. With the Jura coffee machine, there are tons of opportunities to customize the details and fine-tune your daily coffee experience. If there is something you don’t like or want prepared differently, you can reprogram the ratios for certain beverages to match your personal tastes. For example, if you like you macchiato with slightly less milk (I know I do), you can adjust the ratio so there is a bit more coffee than the factory setting serves. If you like your coffee extra hot, that setting can be adjusted globally on the Jura as well. Don’t worry though, anything you customize can be reversed for a one off coffee drink in case you want to make something for a guest and they don’t necessarily share you tastes in coffee. We love that Jura understands everyone has slightly difference tastes and makes adjusting the settings of the machine easy to do.
The Gaggia Anima Deluxe’s pre-infusion feature is a huge hit with coffee aficionados, as the pre-soaking enhances coffee’s natural flavors and aromas. Its beautiful design looks at home in the modern or traditional settings, bringing the look and feel of a European cafe to your home. The simple user interface combines manual buttons and digital display for foolproof brewing.
When the milk is finally steamed on the dual element system, the machine is ready to continue making more espresso shots. Keep in mind that if you choose to get a single element machine, you’ll need to wait five minutes so that the boiler can cool off naturally and then run hot water through the steam wand for ten seconds in order to purge the boiler of steam.
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.
Like other Jura machines, the spouts can be adjusted 2.6-4.4” to accommodate any size cup or beverage. We found the adjustable spout really handy in preventing and splashing or spillover onto the machine which limits clean up and also help create the perfect crema. We found the foam that the C65 produced to be incredibly light with almost a light, feather consistency. While the cost of this unit is slightly higher, our calculations had it paying for itself after only a few months. When we tracked the amount of coffee used and compared it to how much it would have been if purchased from a coffee shop, the Jura paid for itself quicker than you might expect. Not to mention these machines are incredibly well built and will last for years before ever needing to be repaired or serviced. And when that time does come, Jura has always been responsive and communicative which makes sending the unit in painless.
The Impressa Z6 employs Jura’s innovative Pulse Extraction Process brewing system. As opposed to a constant flow, water is instead pulsed through the grounds in short intervals that extract greater intensity and aroma while shortening the overall brew time. With P.E.P., espresso and ristretto can be prepared with greater clarity and flavor than ever before.
For those really into their coffee drinks, and I mean obsessively so, a separate grinder is an absolute must. That loud noise you hear in the coffee shop every time you go in? That’s the grinder. Now, after saying that, let me tell you the grinder in the F7 is quiet and fast. So don’t worry about your kitchen ending up sounding like a coffee shop’s barista station.
Maintenance and Cleaning: If you use steamed milk, I highly suggest changing the setting to display the "Rinse Milk System" prompt to appear right after using. The default is 10 minutes, and you cannot select this rinse from the Maintenance menu. The quicker you rinse out the milk residue, the less likely you are to get clogs. The manual also suggests to use the Jura Cappuccino Cleaner daily. I tend to rinse often and do a breakdown cleaning of the milk system and frother about every other day.
This is where a fully automatic espresso machine comes in handy. Once you have set up the machine and tweaked all the settings, you can’t go wrong anymore. All preparation steps are fully automated, the dosage, the tamping, the grind size, temperature, extraction time, etc… You can expect consistent results, a great espresso shot every time. Maybe that’s why many restaurants decided to go with super automatic machines.
The Jura E8 superautomatic espresso machine utilizes a single aluminum boiler, lined with stainless steel and featuring Thermoblock technology for rapid heating. We prefer systems with two boilers, which allow you to simultaneously brew coffee and steam milk because single-boiler systems increase your total brewing time for milk-based drinks as the single boiler needs time to switch from one task to the other.
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.
Last but not least, this machine features 5 level water hardness selectors and makes it a breeze to set it to your specific water hardness. On top of that, it can also count the number of coffee cups you’ve consumed, how many times the machine was cleaned, how often the steam function was used and so on. If you want, you can keep stats on a daily basis.
What sets the Jura line of coffee machines apart for other similar coffee systems is that it does literally everything you need to do with the touch of a button. When preparing the machine, you simply load it with coffee and water, and if it’s your preference, milk or cream. We were originally concerned about cleaning dairy products out of the Jura as this can be a pain point with other systems. You don’t want dairy leftover in any part of the machine as it turns quickly and can easily ruin upcoming batches of coffee. But with the Jura, you load the milk into an easy to remove and clean stainless steel canister making the clean up super simple.
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?
Hate getting up in the morning? That’ll change with the Z6. Just the thought of gazing at this handsome clean, shiny chrome machine was enough to have us leaping out of bed at 6am. Brewing coffee is fairly simple and yields powerful, yet tasty cups. Espresso based drinks are a cinch to produce too—but often taste slightly watered down. The best part is though is the nearly silent grinder, which is quiet enough to run on full power without fear of waking the whole house up. —Neil Gellar