Your first steps out of bed are some of the hardest of the entire day, only becoming lighter with your first cup of coffee. Automatic espresso machines like the Jura A9 Impressa cut down on the effort you need to make a delicious cup of coffee, reducing it to just the touch of a button (or, in the A9’s case, the touch of a touch screen).
Let’s take a look at the points for and against the Jura A9!
The recent, stunning popularity of automatic espresso machines has motivated many companies to develop and sell their own versions, but not all machines are of equal quality or equally easy to use. Before you shell out a considerable amount of money on a new automatic machine, there are quite a few things you should take a look at.
First off, you’ll want to make sure that the automatic coffee machine is capable of making your favorite beverage, as well as a wide range of other drinks. Even if you’re a sworn espresso purist who doesn’t want milk or water anywhere near their coffee, the people you have over for coffee might not be—better to have a choice than not.
You also want to check out whether the machine you’re looking at has a good grinder on it. Even though you’ll only ever hear, not see, the internal conical burr grinder, it’s one of the most important parts of an automatic espresso machine. An internal grinder ensures you’ll be able to have coffee made from fresh whole beans every morning rather than stale preground stuff.
Finally, the work that’ll go into maintenance is a crucial factor to consider. After all, you’re interested in automatic machines because you want to avoid doing too much work to satisfy your coffee habit.
Automatic espresso machines have a variety of different systems, like water filters and self-cleaning mechanisms, to cut down on the maintenance you need to perform. Take a look at the systems a machine has before buying.
The Jura A9 Impressa is a sleek and modern automatic espresso machine. It’s a super-automatic machine, which means the only step you need to do is select the drink you’d like.
It has a double spout, so you’re able to make two drinks at once—perfect for couples who both like coffee and don’t want their coffee to go cold while they wait for their partner’s cup. Jura’s A9 can make a large menu of drinks and promises to do so to the satisfaction of any serious coffee drinker.
Things We Like:
- Attractive piano black exterior that looks sharp
- Touch screen gives one access to useful functions and alerts
- Height-adjustable double spot allows for various cup size
- A diverse menu of twelve drinks and you have the option of making doppios
- Additional choice for preground coffee—great if someone in the house likes decaf
Room For Improvement
- Two-year warranty isn’t particularly long for a coffee machine
- Plastic construction can feel flimsy (especially if you’re used to metal espresso machines)
- Water tank isn’t huge and needs refilling often
The Jura A9 is a top-of-the-line machine that’s packed full of high-tech features without losing sight of the ultimate goal of making a great cup of coffee.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that set this machine apart from its competition.
One of our favorite features on the Jura A9 is the double spouts that shoot out both coffee and milk. If you’re only making one cup of coffee, the machine uses both spouts, filling up your mug all the faster.
However, you also have the option to make two drinks at once—either just plain espresso or more complicated milk drinks, such as a latte or cappuccino.
Not only are there two spouts, but they also move up and down to accommodate different types of drinks and different sizes of coffee cups.
If you want to have a large cappuccino, you need a taller cup and, therefore, a higher sprout. Consider what would happen if you tried to make espresso in a small cup without being about to adjust it: the coffee would fall from a great height and splash all over the place.
Another thing that we think is a nice addition to the machine is the touch screen control display. At first, we didn’t think that there would be much of an advantage over good old-fashioned buttons, but the touch screen does allow for a wide range of functions that wouldn’t be easy to provide with buttons alone.
We’ll get into each of these, but two great features that the touch screen enables are customizing your drinks and providing maintenance alerts for the machine, making upkeep that much easier.
The Jura A9 has access to all the specialty coffees that automatic-coffee companies have figured out to craft with just a single push of a button. Take a look over the whole list yourself, and keep in mind that you have the option of making the milk drinks with a double shot of espresso or dairy alternative.
- Flat white
- Latte macchiato
- 2 x Espresso
- 2 x Ristretto
- 2 x Coffee
- Portion of steamed milk
- Ground coffee
- Hot water for tea or a top-up on your coffee
As you get accustomed to using a Jura A9, you will be able to customize the drinks you make, so that you get a cup that’s perfected to your taste.
Say you aren’t a fan of too much milk in your cappuccinos. Via the touch screen, you can instruct the machine to put less milk in the cappuccinos it makes. You can either use the setting only once or have the machine save it and make the beverage as you like it each time.
You can do the same with the amounts of espresso in either straight shots or milk-based coffee drinks, too, to get the strength just right.
The Jura A9 has an automatic grinder within the machine that grinds beans fresh for each cup of coffee. The company calls their system the ‘Aroma Plus Grinder,’ which uses a particular angle to grind beans that maximally extract aromas in half the time as other types of grinders.
Notably, you also have the choice of using preground coffee, which you can conveniently put down a chute directly into the machine. If you sometimes like to have a decaf, you’ll be able to have a relaxing cup with the Jura A9. Just as important, you also won’t have to give up a favorite blend that you can only find ground.
This feature certainly grants access to a lot of options, which is always a good thing with a coffee machine—especially if more than one person is going to use it.
There are two features related to maintenance that are worthy of mention in this review: the water filter and the maintenance alerts.
Having a water filter for your machine is great because it cuts down on the frequency with which you’ll have to descale the machine. Plus, it gives you better-tasting coffee!
The filter means that you won’t have as much calcium and magnesium running through your machine, which are the main causes of limescale. Since the filter will remove those elements before they can cause buildups of limescale, you won’t have to descale as often.
Second, the touch screen display will alert you when the water reservoir needs refilling or the drip tray emptied. These pointers will help you avoid making messes or trying to make coffee with an empty machine, which can cause issues if it happens repeatedly.
As stated elsewhere in the review, you have a lot of options in the automatic espresso machine space. The Jura A9 is near the top of the market in terms of price for a coffee machine that’s appropriate for a household.
This means you’ll find many machines that do similar things but aren’t as expensive.
A line of espresso machines that are more appropriate for budget-conscious shoppers is those from De’Longhi, an Italian company. For instance, their Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a super-automatic machine with many of the same functionalities as the Jura A9 at a much lower price.
It doesn’t, however, have the same luxury look, and many of the components—like the internal grinders—might be of lower quality.
Another option is the Gaggia Anima, which boasts some nice features like a ceramic grinder while maintaining a low cost. It also has a double boiler that’s capable of pushing out some great coffee.
If you’re comfortable going upwards in price point, there aren’t many options except other Jura machines. The mammoth Jura WE8 takes all the components of a coffee machine and supercharges them with bigger water tanks and bean storage.
It’s up to you to decide whether you need the extra power, although, if you’re not an office manager, the answer is probably no.
The high-quality machines that Jura is designing, the A9 foremost among them, are starting to challenge the idea that only a skilled barista can make great coffee.
The A9 accomplishes this through the level of thought and design that went into each aspect of the machine. Placing the burr grinder at the perfect angle, letting the coffee drip from the perfect height, delivering milk to the foamer at the perfect temperature.
All of these little decisions add up to a coffee machine that does its job well.