A recent arrival in the high-end coffee machine niche is the Jura Impressa J9. And from all reports the name says it all – Impressive. Some reviewers have been almost ecstatic about its capabilities with one in a December 2011 Forbes magazine describing it as the ‘Rolex’ of Coffee Machines
Now, while it may not be within the reach of everyone’s budget, for those seeking a quality coffee machine that brews bean to cup you will be hard pressed to better this Swiss unit.
So what is all the excitement about. Because when all is said and done there are numerous coffee machines with various capabilities across a whole range of prices. Why would you want to pay significantly more than average for a machine that ‘just makes coffee’.
Well I guess the answer lies in part with what you call ‘coffee’ and on how often and how committed you are to enjoying this beverage in its many forms. While at first glance it may appear to be highly priced you may well be able to rationalize the cost once you see all the Jura Impressa’s capabilities.
Beans Freshly Ground
As already noted the definition of ‘coffee’ is part of the key. As some would say There is ‘coffee’ and there is ‘real coffee’. Because today much of what masquerades as coffee may be convenient and easy to brew but it falls well short of the mark when it comes to a quality cup.
And often the reason lies in the beans – start with a poor quality bean and you end up with a poor quality cup of coffee. But that is not all. Frequently the beans have been ground quite some time before brewing, perhaps even purchased as ground coffee. So even if the bean blend is fine by the time it gets to your cup via the pantry it may not be traveling so well.
Grinding immediately before brewing ensures a much fresher and better outcome and it is here at the start the the Jura J9 is in front. The unit has an on board grinder which is fed from an air tight hopper. For every cup of coffee the beans are ground to order.
And, no, this is not selection for the local chapter of the Rotary Club – it is a novel concept introduced by Jura whereby you move a rotary switch which then displays the range of specialty beverage images on the color TFT screen. Select the coffee you want and press the button once to start brewing your favorite the way you really like it.
Everything is automated with the Jura Impressa J9 one touch TFT. Other machines might have a frothing capability but it is a separate exercise and generally results in a mess to clean up. Whereas the J9 has several spouts each of which has a different function. But the real beauty is that you do not have to move your cup to complete the process. It all happens right there under the spout manifold.
Milk storage is another smart convenience. It is kept in a separate stainless steel container that is external to the machine. If you do not need milk then it can remain in the fridge until required. Then when it is it just clips on and presto milk is available for that latte, cappuccino or hot chocolate
And once the coffee making is over it cleans itself by running hot water through all its piping and nozzles whenever it is closed down.
Programmable To The Nth Degree
Although it comes with a range of factory settings that will suit in many cases. The Jura J9 can be re-programmed to suit particular taste or quantity requirements. And these setting changes can be either permanent as in ‘this is what I want every time’ – or they can be done ‘in the moment’ for special one off requests. Either way you can be sure that once mastered making changes is reasonably straight forward even if it is a bit like programming the latest computer game.
Less Impact On The Environment
While many of the morning coffee makers have headed for pod type machines because it is neat and convenient they may not have considered their impact on the environment. How can a simple pod coffee machine affect the environment?
Well first there are the pods where even a cursory glance will confirm that they consist of plastic and foil. Both materials which last. And they have to be disposed of in some way – often in landfill I suggest.
As well as the pods there is the carton they come in and the associated printing and boxing for transport. Whereas if you purchase beans from your local coffee specialist they will usually be supplied in some biodegradable paper bag.
Costs Less per Cup
A quick calculation will reveal that for a pod type machine it is probably costing upward of 30 cents per cup. This is significantly more expensive than the cost of a cup of coffee brewed with freshly ground beans. The quantity of straight ground coffee beans used to brew a cup costs less than a pod. So dollar for dollar you get more cups of coffee from the a bean to cup machine than you will ever get with a pod machine.
Maintenance, Cleaning and Descaling
Daily maintenance consists of emptying the spent coffee grounds, topping up the water and coffee beans and wiping the exterior clean with a clean damp cloth
As well as that the Jura J9 has an in built cleaning program. Over time with normal usage a prompt will appear with the words ‘Clean Machine’. Press the Program (P) button followed by the ‘Clean’ button then follow the screen prompts.
Cleaning can also be initiated manually at any time by selecting the clean menu option. Then it is the same as for a machine prompted ‘clean’
Descaling is a more extensive exercise but as with cleaning it can be either a machine prompt or a manually selected option. Once started de scaling should be run to completion and then everything rinsed and put back into normal operation again.
As noted at the beginning the Jura Impressa J9 may not be for everyone. But for those who really enjoy their coffee and want to go that extra distance to get a really first class brew. The the Jura Impressa might just be what you are looking for.
If you care to either rationalize the cost or are just looking for that extra special cup of coffee – every day – then the Jura Impressa J9 One Touch TFT is exactly what you are looking for.