Category Archives: Jura Capresso

Crew Review: Jura ENA Micro 1 – Redux!

Jura ENA MIcro 1In the world of gourmet coffee, the holy trinity might very well be freshly roasted – freshly ground – freshly brewed. Okay, so it’s all about being fresh, and committing to that will mean truly delicious java on a consistent basis. But we also get that sometimes our lives are busier than we might like and convenience has to reign supreme over handcrafted quality.

Jura understands this quandary and, instead of passing judgement, they’ve devised an Automatic Coffee Center that will hopefully bridge the gap between convenience and quality: The ENA Micro 1. Instead of using a capsule to produce a single cup of coffee on the go, you can select your favorite coffee and grind the beans freshly prior to brewing, all at the touch of a button. With an updated brew chamber and pressure system, you’ll be able to craft delectable drip coffee one cup at a time!

Watch as Chris takes us through a refreshed tour of this popular machine, including its features and specs, then brews us a cup of coffee. The ENA Micro 1 is the machine for drip brewed coffee and/or Americano lovers everywhere! And, if you occasionally have a milk drinker over for a cuppa, you can always meet their needs by picking up a Jura Automatic Milk Frother on the side.

Jura ENA Micro 1 – Video Review

Crew Review: Jura Impressa XJ9 One-Touch for Offices

Jura Impressa XJ9If you own a small business and you’re looking to upgrade your office’s coffee experience — plus pretty much secure your receipt of a World’s Best Boss mug from your trusty crew — the Jura Impressa XJ9 is the only way to go! With all of the sophisticated features of the Impressa J9 one-touch, the XJ9 has been adapted for an office environment by expanding the capacities of its bean hopper, water reservoir, drip tray and dregs box.

Aside from the more generous volumes, it pretty much performs as the J9 does — programmable drink buttons, an intuitive full color TFT navigation screen and one-touch cappuccino functionality. Watch as Chris guides us through its features and specs, then demonstrates how easy it is to make a delicious cappuccino!

Crew Review: Jura Impressa XJ9 One-Touch for Offices

The Reluctant Barista: How to Choose an Espresso Machine

As luck would have it, six years ago this holiday season I was gifted with an entry-level semi-automatic Breville espresso machine. This meant I did not have to select my own home espresso machine or, as Kat likes to call the process, Choose Your Own Adventure. My little dude is still chugging along with its tiny thermoblock and I am both excited and dreading the day I need to pick out the replacement.

Are you in the same boat? The number of manufacturers, models and variations on variations of home espresso machines can be overwhelming. Pour a cup of coffee, sit back and let’s ponder a few questions to set you on the right path for a successful adventure in espresso. This is an exercise in narrowing down available options until you are left with a manageable few to consider. Set aside budget (for the moment) and let’s think about who will use the espresso machine:

Do you have an interest in hand-crafting espresso?

Yes, I want to learn to make drinks myself No, I just want to drink espresso beverages
A semi-automatic espresso machine allows you to decide the dosage and the shot time which you can adjust to enhance the extraction of different styles of coffee. You have the time, counter space and additional equipment (grinder, tools, etc) to do-it-yourself. A superautomatic espresso machine makes life easier. There is less customization possible but shot consistency makes up for it. You will save time, space and possibly budget by having an all-in-one home espresso machine.

Alrighty then! How you approach espresso lands you squarely into one of these two distinct camps: Semi-automatic or superautomatic. Intuitively, this was the easiest espresso question to answer. If only there was a Harry Potter-style Sorting Hat to then announce the right machine for you! Instead, I will separate these two categories by their functionality and you can sort yourself.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

So you want to hand-craft your espresso beverages, eh? Now it’s time to consider what style of semi-automatic might best fit your needs.

Do you drink milk-based espressos (like lattes, cappuccinos etc)?

Yes, Two words…Latte Art No, I like espresso and Americanos
Single boiler home espresso machines can froth milk. A heat exchanger or a dual boiler will get the job done better and faster, but they can cost more due to more complicated internal systems. Even though you won’t need the steam wand to froth milk, you may use it to add hot water to an Americano so make sure it is easily accessible for how you will use the machine. Some machines even have a hot water spigot separate from the steam wand.

Will you invest in a quality burr grinder?

Yes, a good espresso grinder is just as important as the espresso machine Maybe, I’m not sure No, I might use espresso pods, pre-ground espresso and/or a pressurized portafilter
The grinder may cost almost as much as the espresso machine you select. A well designed and well built grinder will offer consistent and uniform particle size necessary for a great shot of espresso. If you are on the fence about it, consider a semi-auto espresso machine with a built-in grinder for the best of both worlds. This will limit your selection to models that can be adapted for espresso pods or compatible with a pressurized portafilter. You will still get to make your own drinks and these options will make it easier for beginners or those pressed for time.

Recommended Semi-Automatic Machines

Based on your answers to the above questions, here are a few different suggestions for you to start your machine research.

Nuova Simonelli Oscar home espresso machine
Bryan uses the red Nuova Simonelli Oscar heat exchanger espresso machine that I want

Semi-Automatic, with a latte focus and a good grinder

This is where I am now. I have a Baratza grinder and I am ready to find a semi-auto with excellent shots and very good frothing capability. Heat exchanger models and dual boilers both make excellent foam fast.

Breville Barista BES870XL
Breville Barista Express BES870XL

Semi-Automatic with a latte & shot focus, without a separate grinder

Not too many home espresso machines fit the bill but this Breville does! It has a thermoblock and an integrated burr grinder that saves space and economy of motion. It is a programmable semi-auto so it almost acts like a superautomatic machine and is very easy to use once it is set up.

infuserA thermoblock style, Breville Infuser BES840XL

Semi-Automatic with a latte focus and no grinder

This is where it all started for me — an older Breville model that was a bit smaller than this. It was an easy step into the world of espresso before committing to a costly set-up. Some come with pod adapters, pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets for versatility.

Crossland CC1 + Baratza Preciso
The Crossland CC1 with a Baratza Preciso grinder is a great combo

Semi-automatic with an espresso focus and a good grinder

If your primary focus is quality espresso and you pay attention to tamp, temperature, timing and dosage then find a machine that allows you to control all of these variables. (This PID-controlled machine froths well too.)

Saeco Via Venezia
A small single boiler, Saeco Via Venezia with optional non-pressurized portafilter upgrade (right) and bottomless portafilter upgrade (left)

Semi-Automatic with an espresso focus and no grinder

Plop a pod in the basket and you’ve got what you need to make a ristretto or a lungo how you like it, when you want it. Quick and easy! Just in case you need a touch of frothy milk once in awhile there is a panarello too. A choice in portafilters helps you build espresso skills.

Superautomatic Espresso Machines

So ease of use is paramount for you, but you still want to drink great espresso-based drinks? A superauto may be the machine style for you. To determine which of the many versions available will be the best fit, here are a few more questions for you to consider.

Do you drink milk-based espressos (like lattes, cappuccinos etc)?

Yes, Creamy lattes are what life is all about No, I like espresso and Americanos
Not every superautomatic is great at frothing milk. Many users find that entry-level superautos don’t get the milk froth hot enough. A superauto that also has a steam wand is a nice touch so you can choose whether to use the machine’s auto-frother or its steam wand. Stand alone milk frothers are also a solution. Some superautos do not come with milk frothing capability. If you like espresso and Americanos (and maybe even an occasional Affogato!) this is not a problem. For guests who do like lattes a standalone milk frother is a quick and easy option for frothing milk or making hot chocolate.

Do you need a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee?

Yes, having the option for pre-ground coffee allows me to make a decaf sometimes No, I like fresh whole bean ground coffee for my espresso shots
Some superautos come with a bypass doser. This is a little chute directly to the brew unit so that you can use a different coffee than the beans that are already in the hopper. And that’s ok! if you don’t need the bypass doser that will save you some bucks on technology that you won’t use.

Recommended Superautomatic Machines

After considering the above questions, you should be armed to select which of the below machines speaks to you!

Saeco Xsmall superautomatic espresso machine
Bunny froths milk on a Saeco Xsmall superautomatic espresso machine, or as we like to call it, the Little Dude.

Superautomatic with a latte focus

Your favorite drink features creamy frothy milk, some Monin gourmet syrup and, oh yeah, espresso. If time and counter space are at a premium then a compact superauto can be a great option.

Saeco Exprelia EVO superautomatic espresso machine
Chris in the middle of “making” a one-touch cappuccino on the Saeco Exprelia EVO

Superautomatic with a latte focus and a bypass doser

For you, or for your guests, it’s great to have the option to make a decaf latte once in awhile. The pannarello wand assists by boosting more air into your steam. Or some models have one touch drink-making capability as a fancy feature.

Saeco Minuto superauto
Either/or Teri shows the Saeco Minuto superauto can serve regular coffee or strong espresso at the flip of a lever

Superautomatic with an espresso focus

Grab and go! Like in a true Italian espresso bar where you stand, converse a bit, have a few sips from your demitasse and continue on your way…Some superautos make quick and easy espresso or Americanos. The new Saeco Minuto will drop the pressure to make a single cup of true American-style filter coffee.

Saeco SyntiaPractically hands-free operation…here’s an action shot of the Saeco Syntia (after I made sure the shot glass was placed correctly!)

Superautomatic with an espresso focus and a bypass doser

Bypass doser capability is not always built into superautomatic espresso machines so make sure to verify its availability. The Saeco Syntia has a bypass doser and a pannarello wand making it a very versatile superauto.

Now you have thoughtful criteria to evaluate and select the best home espresso machine to meet your caffeinated (or decaf!) needs. The next step is to research our Learn section with informative articles and YouTube videos, ask questions and read reviews. Will there be a new home espresso machine on your counter in the New Year? There might be on mine!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Gourmet Latte Macchiato a la GIGA 5

Jura GIGA 5With just a couple more recipes to go, this month’s Jura GIGA 5 drink experimentation features a classic: The Latte Macchiato. This drink is famous for its gorgeous layered effect, with steamed milk on the bottom, espresso in the middle and silky foam on top. Folks are always asking us tips and tricks on how to make one at home, and now we can simply recommend that you pick up a GIGA 5! :D

As usual, Jura has a unique take on it, making it ‘gourmet’ by incorporating evaporated milk and infusing it with Irish Cream syrup. The result is a richer, sweeter concoction than your standard latte macchiato, but it’s still just as much of a show pony!

Watch Brandi guide us through this delicious recipe.

Recipe: Gourmet Latte Macchiato a la GIGA 5

Crew Review: Jura Cool Control – Redux!

Jura Cool ControlA superautomatic isn’t authentically one-touch if you have to bother preparing the milk first, right? You can take all the guesswork out of your cappuccino crafting by employing one of two Jura Cool Control countertop refrigerators.

Designed to work with all of their one-touch superautomatics, the Cool Control and Cool Control Basic will keep your milk supercool, which results in delicious foam creation without risk of the legendary blue cheese latte. These are also highly recommended for small offices that are using a Jura one-touch in their company kitchen, as you can fill it up with milk throughout the day and then do one thorough cleaning at the end of all of it.

Watch as Teri shows off these updated versions of the Cool Control!

Crew Review: Jura Cool Control – Redux!

Brewin with Brandi: Marochino a la GIGA 5

Jura GIGA 5Brandi’s at it again with her favorite little coffee robot, the Jura GIGA 5!

This sophisticated espresso machine incorporates a ton of fancy features, including dual bean hoppers, one-touch cappuccino and an extensive drink menu that covers all the traditional drinks (like latte macchiatos and cappuccinos) as well as offering up a selection of rather unique recipes. They’re fun and super easy to make, as the GIGA 5 will outline the ingredients and then guide you through creation — at the touch of a few different buttons!

In this video, Brandi takes on the rather tasty Marochino:

Recipe: Marochino a la GIGA 5

Brewin’ with Brandi: B52 Latte Recipe

B52 Latte RecipeIt’s not a bomber nor is it a particularly funky pop group from the 80’s. It is, however, a delicious latte recipe inspired by the cocktail of the same name featuring Irish cream and orange liqueurs.

This sobriety-friendly version, however, infuses two Monin syrups (Irish Cream and Mandarin Orange) with espresso and tops it all off with delicious frothed milk. Sound good? Watch Brandi whip it up for us using the Jura Ena Micro One and Automatic Milk Frother!

B52 Latte Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

Combine syrups and espresso together in a serving glass; stir well to incorporate. Top with steamed or frothed milk to taste. Head down the Atlanta highway.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Summer Fire a la GIGA 5 Recipe

Jura Giga 5 RecipeIf we had to choose one word to describe the recipes integrated into the Jura GIGA 5, it would probably be interesting. We’d love to meet the mad scientist who came up with such a wide array of selections, particularly because they incorporate rather strange ingredients that look peculiar on paper yet end up tasting quite nice in the cup.

Watch as Brandi guides us through yet another of these recipes on the GIGA 5, this time incorporating Monin’s coconut syrup and … lemon pepper! Yes, you read that right: We combine lemon pepper with espresso — ijole!

Recipe: Summer Fire a la GIGA 5

SCG How-To Guides: Packing Your Espresso Machine for Shipping

Packing an Espresso Machine for ShippingDoes your Saeco Via Venezia need to be repaired but you don’t have a repair center in your area? Did you try on a DeLonghi Magnifica for size and it didn’t quite fit? Will that Rocket Espresso R58 see more action at your vacation home? Regardless of your reason for shipping your espresso machine — repair, return or simple transit — ensuring that it’s packed properly to limit damage is key.

In this series of videos, we asked a member of our shipping crew, Spencer, to guide us through the best practices for three general styles of espresso machines: Small (under 35lbs), large (over 35lbs) and superautomatics (watch those drip trays!). Check out the video that most closely matches your style of machine to learn how the pros do it.

Episode One: Packing a Small (Under 35lbs) Espresso Machine

Episode Two: Packing a Large (Over 35lbs) Espresso Machine

Episode Three: Packing a Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Brewin’ with Brandi: Shakerato a la GIGA 5 Recipe

Jura Giga 5The shakerato is one of the tastiest summer drinks, we think, so when we saw that it was one of the options built into the guided recipe interface of the Jura GIGA 5, we were intrigued.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on our series of videos covering the recipes included with this machine, you know that they often have a rather unique approach … and the shakerato is no exception. Watch as Brandi takes it on.