I only have one minor quibble with this machine; if you like cappuccino, it produces foam that is weak and deflates easily. I have troubleshot this problem from every possible angle (tried different percent milkfat, different milks(soy), different milk temps etc.) and the results were still a little disappointing. I purchased the Milk Frothing accessory designed for this unit and still could not produce the more velvety foam I was seeking. The easiest fix for this is to buy an Aerolatte: steam your milk with the F9 (the steam function works great) and then whip till your hearts content with the Aerolatte. For an extra $15 bucks spent on the Aerolatte, you'll have the perfect cup of cappuccino to rival any cafe.
That’s a pity because as auto-frothers go, it’s a very good one. The one thing we’re not so crazy about is the fact that you’ve got to run plastic tubing from your milk source (you have to provide your own, by the way – you do not get one when you purchase the machine) to the frothing arm, which makes your very expensive coffee machine look like a high school science project.
In addition, the Capresso website offers plenty of data for using this espresso machine. Among other things, it provides a downloadable user manual along with PDF files containing a variety of delicious hot milk frothing recipes so you can prepare such things as different types of teas, soothing milk drinks and several different types of hot chocolate drinks.
From the outside, the Giga 5 looks attractive. It has a color TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screen display on the top front and center, with a stylish aluminum chassis with black plastic sides. This unit will definitely enhance the look of any kitchen. There’s a dedicated hot water spout at the front of the machine plus a couple of adjustable spouts for making coffee. Located on top of the unit you will find on/off buttons, a program button, and a rotary switch that is key to navigating the Giga’s menu.
Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch Automatic Coffee Center: It might be the world’s smallest automatic machine but it offers big features. The compact machine can prepare a cappuccino and a latte macchiato at the touch of a button and, thanks to fine foam technology, the fine milk foam is always creamy and sweet. The Micro 90 also features a professional grade conical burr grinder, a powerful pump that produces 15 bars of pressure and a one-touch display.
This is probably one of the more important points to note – just how easy it is to get started. Bean to cup coffee machines tend to fall into two categories, they are either easy to use but inflexible, or take time to master and give a lot of opportunity to experiment. This Jura machine gives a lot of scope to both, which is great if you’re short on practice time or not sure if you’ve got the skills needed just yet.
You don’t even have to deal with the coffee grounds right away: they just drop into a little box that needs periodic emptying. Like the the 1.4l water tank, this box slides out of the front of the machine, which means you don’t need to fumble around at the back or move it away from the wall every few cups of coffee you make. It’s a nice touch, especially as the water tank in particular requires regular topping up: every time you switch the machine on, it flushes water through its pipes to keep them clean. It’s a bit of a faff, but it has its benefits: the NC-ZA1 makes a surprisingly delicious cup of coffee.
The machine is very nice looking in person, very sleek. The instruction manual is pretty sparse on details. It has enough, but it's a little intimidating for a first time user. I took my time and found out that the programming is very user friendly and easy to use. I have ours on our counter with a cabinet overhead. When I fill water reservoir I do pull the machine a bit forward because the reservoir is deep and you have to lift it straight up. It's easy to do but you need a bit of clearance. The bean hopper is in the back, so I pull the machine forward a bit to fill that, as well. Very easy to do. One thing I wanted in the J9 was the option to use a water filter. I have hard water from our tap, and had been filling our DeLonghi from our filtered refrigerator dispenser, but that was cumbersome. With the Jura filter I can fill the deep reservoir right in the little bar sink I have next to the machine. I tested the water before and after, and the Jura filter definitely works to reduce hardness, which is important in keeping the machine free from mineral scale buildup. I think it will be well worth the expense of replacing the filters. It came with one filter and a couple of descaling tabs, which I have not had to use yet.
Best of all, thanks to a thermal coffee pot, if you don't polish off the whole pot right away, it will still stay piping hot hours after it was brewed. For $130, the MT600 from Capresso offers all these abilities plus is wrapped up into a snazzy brushed-metal-and-black-plastic frame. Sure, the MT600 won't deliver a truly sublime cup of drip-brewed coffee. For that there's no getting around splurging at least $200 and up for a more capable machine.
And it bears out in the coffee the machine produces: our very first cup was a delicious and gloriously smooth latte with barely a hint of bitterness. The milk steaming wand is excellent too, producing much lighter, airier foam than the (admittedly way, way cheaper) Morphy Richards’ model, and there’s also a hot water spout for those who want to make an Americano by topping up their espresso.
Better coffee at home than you can buy at a coffee shop. We had several Keurigs but found the machines didn't hold up well and also created so much waste with the discarded k-cups. The Jura is easy to use, gives clear instructions via an electronic display and brews the best coffee. You fill the machine with whole bean coffee and water. Each cup is brewed using freshly ground coffee beans. When the grounds fill an included receptacle, the machine prompts you to empty the grounds, which are biodegradable and great for your plants or garden. One word of advise for new owners - remember to keep an empty cup under the spout, as the machine does a "rinse" cycle after each cup.
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.
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!
Everything about the Gira 5 is perfectly designed and engineered to produce incredible coffee drinks at twice the pace of other units. If we had a need for this much coffee this is the model we would buy, but our current consumption simply doesn’t warrant it. The Giga 5 is very popular in office settings but we also know families who entertain that have it in their home.