Embodying the tradition and soul of over seven and a half decades of experienced in one super automatic espresso machine, the new Gaggia Anima is one of the top fully automatic espresso machines you can currently get. The incredible beauty of this model combines tradition and modernity in a distinctive and elegant design that can easily outlive trends and fads. When it comes to how easy it is to use it, the Anima features a digital display and designated drink buttons, meaning that no matter if you want to enjoy a cappuccino or espresso shot, you can easily program the machine to do it in seconds. Better yet, to suit your preferences, you can easily customize each drink option in order to get the perfect taste.
The ENO Micro is one of the latest offerings from Jura that signals their move toward more compact units that consume less real estate in the kitchen. In fact, this particular unit is actually shorter than the older compact ENA line by a few inches. We love its small size and low profile, and find that its unassuming presence adds to the impact when the coffee start being made. Some users actually prefer the larger Jura units, but we prefer the Micro 9’s size and simplicity. The Jura ENA Micro 9 is the world’s smallest one-touch cappuccino maker but that certainly does not mean that they skimped on features or design elements.
When looking for a fully automatic espresso machine, you have the choice to go for either a dual heating system or a single heating system machine. For instance, if you go for a dual boiler machine, then when you’re going to start the steam model, you’ll need to wait for about ten seconds until steam is available. With a single element system, the wait time increases by a factor of 5 and it takes about fifty seconds to get steam.
Semi-automatic espresso machines are just that—semi-automatic. Some of the steps are automated, but many are not. This allows the user to put their personal stamp on the final product but without doing some of the tedious steps that are involved in making an espresso on the stove top. Here’s a look at some of the features that make a semi-automatic espresso machine such a great pickup for the ultimate espresso lover:
The Capresso EC-100 comes with a generous number of safety features, which you find in the best home espresso machines. These include a short electrical cord so that nothing is dangling down within reach of a youngster's eager hands, which could pose serious risks to a child. The polarized plug means your espresso maker can only be plugged in one way. Since this model is equipped with on and off indicator lights, it's easy to tell that your machine is off when you want it to be and not worry about accidents, burns or fire.
The Impressa’s control panel is based around a central colour display that’s used to guide you though the process, which helps to turn a maze of functions into an intuitive set of menus (or a carousel as Jura call it). The control of the menus is achieved by a ‘rotary switch’ located on top of the machine at the front, neatly sandwiched between the power and program buttons. The buttons either side of the screen vary in purpose, depending what’s on the screen at the time. in general though, the screen splits into four zones, with each button used to select the corresponding zone.
I’m Geoff. I love coffee, and have tried a bunch of different coffee making techniques and gadgets over the years – everything from fancy La Marzocco’s, to industrial Bunn’s, to Aeropress, and even (gag) instant. While bean selection and the actual making of coffee tends to get a lot of attention, the grinding of the beans is often overlooked (or bypassed). Scroll back up and find the right grinder for you.
For those who tend to like their java a bit more robust and flavorful, this espresso machine offers a coffee and steam wand that you can use to adjust the potency of your coffee. If you prefer a bit less vigor to your morning espresso, simply move the wand to the steam side to add a bit more water. This will allow you to share your espresso maker with those around you who prefer a stronger or milder taste you do and still keep everyone happy.
The ESAM3500.N features programmable menu settings, meaning that you can easily adjust the coffee temperature, water hardness, the 1h to 3h automatic shutoff, start time and clock. Regardless of how picky you may be when it comes to coffee, you’ll definitely get to prepare a delicious cup of your favorite blended thanks to the 5 settings for coffee strength, including extra strong, strong, regular, mild and extra mild. On top of that, there are 3 buttons which make it easy to choosing the cup size (large, espresso and ristretto).
Whether you like it regular, or ristretto, or long, or Americano, the espresso needs to be smooth. There is some slight bitterness, but it should be very faint. The taste should remind of caramel. If you don’t have any idea of the taste, just go to a good coffee shop and order one. Go for a few days, and try to explore different baristas, and different times of the day. This will give you a great idea. If you don’t like it, and you know the coffee shop is a good one, give up, this is not for you. Some people just don’t like espresso. My wife, for instance, will only accept one if there is no other coffee around. At the end of the day, you have to like it, and you should make it your own.
It’s a lovely looking, all-metal thing, with even accessories like the tamper and milk jug exuding an air of quiet, understated luxury. The portafilter is reassuringly weighty and solid, locking into the group head with a satisfying twist. There are clever little touches you can’t see or immediately feel that add to the feeling of quality too: on top is a tray that warms your cups, and the 2l water tank has an integrated, changeable filter.
The digital control panel makes it easy to play with the programmable menu settings, including coffee strength, temperature, auto off and start time. You can also prepare cappuccino and espressos without having to wait between them thanks to the double boiler system that the ESAM5500B features. Lastly, no matter what coffee you plan on using with it, it’s going to be properly ground thanks to the professional quality conical low pitch burr grinder.
One downside of the C65 is that it isn’t self-cleaning. If you don’t mind taking it apart and rinsing everything out manually, then that shouldn’t be an issue. However, as James mentioned, sometimes the bean holder will think that it’s empty when there are still grounds inside. Overall, it is a minor inconvenience, but it can be frustrating when you’re running late in the morning, and you get a smaller cup as a result.
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.
Jura machines differ greatly in size and weight. The smallest machines can be tucked into a corner inconspicuously, but the largest machines take up large amounts of space, and require some room to operate. We will be keeping track of the dimensions to make sure that you don’t end up with a 40-lb. tank for your streamlined, urban apartment. We know, everything looks smaller on the internet!
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.