First of all, these machines are actually coffee machines that will prepare you the perfect espresso shot, cappuccino, etc with the push or touch of a single button, unlike semiautomatic coffee makers. So when you press the button, the machine will ground whole beans, adjust the right dose of ground coffee to be used, but also place and then tamps the coffee and finally brews it and dispense it.
After much research and agonizing indecesion, I finally purchased the Jura J9 Super Automatic coffee machine. Our DeLonghi lasted several years, then died a noisy death. We had enjoyed it, but I felt like there were better machines to be had, so I focused on Jura and Saeco. I decided I wanted a Jura because of the easier cleaning, as reported by some reviewers, as well as great flavor and crema in the coffee. Then picking the model became hard. Not a lot of info on the Jura website as to how the different models work, but I finally decided that I liked the price range and capabilities of the J models. Costco had a J80 to sell, as well as a F7. I love the confidence I can have when buying from Costco, and that would have been a big plus for me. The J80 had been on sale for $400 off a few days before our DeLonghi failed, so I missed the sale and I couldn't bring myself to pay their full price of $2400 for a model that was not listed on the Jura website and some people suggested was an older model. I even emailed Costco, hoping they might honor the sale price, but no go. I finally found a J9 on Amazon for $2000, and read reviews where purchasers reassured me that, if something went wrong, I could feel secure in knowing that Amazon and its sellers would take good care of me and fix or replace the machine fairly quickly. I couldn't tell from the description if this was a J9 or J9.3, but decided it didn't matter. The model I received was the J9.3. It came quickly and the box was in great shape.
Thinking that I must have received a defective unit, I requested an exchange from Amazon. I had a replacement unit the next day!! Amazon is amazing in this regard. The second unit worked well for the first week and then the same issue with the espresso not coming out and having to press the button to refill the pump started occurring again. More wasted espresso!!
Edit - 01/15/2015: Eight and a half years later, this gem is still cranking out great coffee. I had it serviced by the wonderful folks at CoffeeBoss in Cornelius, NC last year, and it's still going strong with a cup count of 9,922. The brew group is not user serviceable, so occasional maintenance should be expected. I use distilled water (at the cost of flavor, I know) now that I'm back in the city on municipal water, so I don't need or use the Clearyl filter (I recommend it for tap/well water, though), and I do use a cleaning tablet within 5-10 cups of when it starts asking for it on the LED display.
My first Jura was the F7. I bought it off of Ebay(new) and couldn't have been happier. I was so thrilled with it, that I bought another (F9) and gave my mom the F7 because it was such an awesome machine. It is really remarkable how the machine works. It took me a good 15+ cups to figure out how to make the coffee the way I like it. There are so many options on this machine that effect the taste: Grind, water temp, quantity of beans, quantity of water, etc.... In reference to the service I am amazed. When I received my new F9, I immediately had problems with a couple of the buttons. I called the service center and was on hold for 6-8 minutes. After about a 2 minute conversation with the representative they said that she would just send out a new machine and when I get it to send my old machine back in the box. They paid all postage. No credit card, nothing. I've never heard of such a service before. Absolutely Excellent. I couldn't be happier. It is a great machine that makes very good coffee and looks really nice on the kitchen counter. I love my Jura! As a matter of fact, I believe I am going to go and make myself a decaf latte right down.
Starting with the brew unit, the first thing to understand is that it’s not removable. From a practical perspective, what that means for you is that about once a week, you’ll need to pop a cleansing tab into the bypass doser to clean the unit. No big deal, but our personal preference is for removable units you can rinse by hand to ensure a thorough cleaning.
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 first thing you’ll probably notice when making your coffee is just how quiet the Giga 5 is. This is thanks to the two ceramic disk grinders that occupy each side of the unit and operate just above a whisper. These discs will probably never wear our and the grind on them is extremely precise and always consistent. It offers 18 completely customizable specialty drinks through the intuitive and easy to navigate display which provide enough variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
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.
Using the machine the first time was fun - it has lights that shine down on the cup for a very cool look. It is much quieter than our DeLonghi, and very fast to heat up and grind, brew, and dispense the coffee. The crema is very nice, and the coffee tastes great. The drip tray is easy to pull out to the front, and easy to rinse and throw away the grinds. The machine is plastic, which is ok, but the tray where the cup rests is polished silver metal, and has a nice heaviness to it. The J9.3 comes with a Jura milk container and tubes. We don't do a lot of milk drinks, so I didn't mind that you have to do just a bit extra to fill up the container and attach the hose. You could just put a hose into a cup of milk; you don't have to use the Jura container. It made a very nice latte, great foam. It was actually easy to clean and rinse, but you do have to take the time to be there with two cups - one with rinse water and another to catch the dirty water, then repeat. If you don't mind taking a couple extra steps and minutes, then it's easy. The J9.3 came with the Jura milk container.
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!