My 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.’
If there’s one word that we can use to describe many of the recipes integrated into Jura’s GIGA 5, it’s interesting. Many of them include the combination of ingredients that we wouldn’t have previously considered, but actually end up tasting quite nice.
Case in point: the Red Cool, which is a variation of the White Cool we crafted awhile ago. Watch as Brandi let’s the Giga do the heavy lifting to create this refreshing drink.
4 teaspoons Campari
1.5 oz espresso
Fill your serving glass with ice. Pour the Campari over the ice and then fill the glass with carbonated lemonade about 2/3 of the way. Pull your shot of espresso and pour it over the lemonade to create a layered look. Serve with two straws so that you can mix everything together before enjoying.
We aren’t personally big fans of mangoes, but when mixed up with yogurt into a refreshing drink and sipped along side a seriously serious vindaloo, we can appreciate its virtues. When Brandi revealed to us that the Jura GIGA 5 had a recipe for a mango lassi that incorporated espresso into the mix, we were a bit, well, concerned. Watch her take this bad boy on!
Don’t have a Giga 5 but want to try this out? Here’s the situation:
4 1/2 teaspoons mango puree
4 1/2 teaspoons plain yogurt
1 oz espresso
In your serving glass, layer the mango puree and then the yogurt. Pull your shot and pour it over to float it on top. To enjoy it in all of its glory, dip your spoon to the bottom of the serving glass so that you get all three flavors in each bite.
There are people in this world that you will meet and you will realize that they have a somewhat disturbing affinity for robots. They vacuum their floors, they refill their dog’s water bowl, they wash their windows, they navigate their car long distances. In fact, their devotion to robots could be deemed somewhat dangerous, even a harbinger of an era soon to come in which our robot overlords rule us because we have lost all of our ability to vacuum the floors, refill the dog’s water bowl, wash our windows or navigate our cars long distances.
We’re not really sure of the provenance of this drink and, truth be told, we were quite skeptical of it when we heard its ingredients. Surprisingly, however, it is refreshing and somehow works together! Watch as Brandi walks us through it on the Jura GIGA 5.
1.5 oz of espresso
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add carbonated lemonade until it’s 2/3 full. Pull shot directly over lemonade and ice … enjoy!
While traditional Tiramisu usually incorporates ladyfingers soaked in espresso, Brandi’s approach is distinctly more deconstructed. Using the Jura Ena Micro 1, she whips up a delicious drink that could be used in a variety of formats …
Vanilla pudding or custard
Shortbread cookies – broken into bite-sized chunks
Coat the inside of your serving glass with the pudding or custard until it’s well covered. Pull your espresso shot(s) directly into the glass and then float shortbread on top. Drizzle with caramel sauce and get serious!
There is something so intriguing about a secret menu. Starbucks has one. In-N-Out Burger has one. And now, the Jura GIGA 5 Automatic Coffee Center does too. After a hot tip from Kat that there was indeed a secret menu, I decided to play detective. I found these new recipes through my favorite machine testing method called ‘random button pushing.’ You won’t find this covered in the Jura user manual (unless you happen to look at page 20…). The Reluctant Barista has some delicious insider information to share.
The initial screen shows what you might come to expect from a superautomatic menu: Ristretto, Espresso, Coffee, Hot Water, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Milk, Milk Foam. From these simple settings you can further customize the coffee dosage, water temperature, water volume, milk volume and milk foam. The Jura GIGA 5 does not come standard with an integrated milk carafe, so I used a Jura Cool Control Automatic Milk Cooler and the included hose that came with the GIGA 5 to make a bevy of milk-based beverages.
Last week I made my go-to drink, a foamy hazelnut latte and was happily surprised by how hot the drink got. Monday morning I had the GIGA 5 pour me a double cappuccino. I needed it! After the caffeine kicked in, it was time to explore uncharted territory. There were 12 more “secret” recipes once I twirled the rotary dial on top. I have to admit, these recipes perplexed me. Were they chosen by an Italian espresso aficionado? Were they chosen by the Swiss manufacturer? Who mixes lemonade and espresso? They did not seem to be targeted to Seattle taste profiles, or at least not my particular taste. However, I did try the recipe for ‘Winter Magic Coffee.’ This turned out to be what I would describe as a Nutella Latte. It was so popular with the SCG Crew that I ended up making 5 drinks back to back.
Sadly, there was no barista gnome inside the Jura GIGA 5 to prepare the drinks. You need to provide your own ingredients. From home I brought my treasured Nutella and used Monin Honey Sweetener although it was sweet enough without it. The GIGA 5 walked me through each step with a series of easy to read screens. I especially liked the final step of each drink I made when the GIGA 5 screen simply said, ‘Enjoy!’
In addition to the temperature, foam quality and other general performance questions we get about stand-alone milk frothers, how they whip up non-dairy milks is definitely high on the list of many folks researching these little gems.