The Reluctant Barista: Jura Versus Jura

Jura Impressa C5My job at Seattle Coffee Gear allows me to try all of the demonstration models, just like a customer. I try to do it before the store opens when no one is watching because I generally make a mess. Today Gail found me trying to figure out the steam wand on the Jura Impressa C5 Superautomatic Coffee Center. ‘You have to twist the knob AND push the button on this model,’ she explained. Easy for her to say! I had hot water squirting out of the wand for Americano coffee or tea instead of steam for my frothing pitcher. I’m used to the Jura ENA 4 which is very straightforward.

With additional programmability comes a little more head-scratching the first time facing the espresso machine control panel. Lots of folks consider Jura espresso machines are the Cadillac (or insert any fancy auto brand here, maybe a Tesla!) of superautomatics. The quality and temperature of espresso shots produced is consistently delicious from the most basic to the most programmable model.

Because there are so many different models, let’s talk about what makes the C5 different from my simple standby, the ENA 4. The C5 takes the standard choices of coffee or espresso, volume, plus it offers additional manual control so you get your drink just how you want it. From my personal pre-dawn experimentation, it has better milk frothing capabilities as well. The water tank is much larger on the C5 (64 oz compared to 37 oz), so is the bean hopper and the dregs box, but it is only 2.5 inches wider. The C5′s sleek case and controls, larger capacity and better froth is hard to beat.

Which Jura wins? If you’ve got multiple users who care for cappuccinos, the C5 is a crowd pleaser. Don’t need the fine foam, the fancy case or capacity? Go ENA4 for a tried and true superauto — or the smaller, coffee-only Micro 1 for a bit more space saving. No matter which route you choose, the espresso from the Jura 15BAR stainless steel thermoblock is delicious in any ‘case.’

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