We get it: you don’t have much time in the morning, and it’s essential that you prepare your coffee quickly and with little fuss.
Many people turn to pod brewers like Keurig for a quick and convenient cup of Joe, but these types of brewing systems have drawbacks. They aren’t eco-friendly and don’t always produce great-tasting java.
Fully automatic espresso machines are another option for time-pressed coffee lovers. While they have a higher price tag, you can count on a flavorful brew and can use freshly-ground beans. With that in mind, the extra expense starts to look a lot more worthwhile!
Let’s take a look at two brands that produce this type of machine, Spinn vs Jura, and decide if one of these brands deserves a spot on your counter.
A Quick Guide to Spinn Coffee Makers
A Brief History of Spinn
Spinn is a San Francisco-based company founded in 2014. The company was originally a subscription service that provided locally-roasted coffee beans to subscribers all over the United States.
Spinn designed their coffee maker, which began shipping in 2020, to go hand-in-hand with their coffee subscription. You can scan your Spinn coffee using the connected app, and your Spinn coffee maker determines how best to brew your coffee.
Spinn only makes one coffee maker, the Spinn Original. You can also purchase the Spinn Plus, which is just the Original and a stand-alone milk frother, or the Pro Bundle, which includes the milk frother, a carafe, and a travel mug.
Benefits of Spinn
The Spinn coffee maker has a few features that really make it stand out from the sea of luxury coffee makers.
Centrifugal Brewing Technology
While most espresso machines use a pump to force pressurized hot water through the finely ground coffee, Spinn takes a different approach.
The Spinn coffee maker uses the centrifugal force generated by spinning the coffee at high speeds to force the water through the grounds.
Spinn Coffee Subscription and Roast Recognition
The Spinn coffee maker is also unique because of its close ties to Spinn’s coffee subscription services.
Coffee roasters participating in Spinn’s marketplace can upload instructions on how best to brew their coffee. When you scan the bag, your Spinn coffee maker will follow those instructions.
Your machine will also recognize when you are running low on beans and prompt you to order more through your app. You don’t have to use Spinn’s beans- you can use any beans you want to. However, your app will definitely market Spinn beans to you every step of the way.
While many coffee makers feature app connectivity these days, the Spinn coffee maker is centered around the app experience. You can turn on your machine, select and customize your brew, and brew the coffee using the app.
You can also browse the Spinn coffee marketplace and order your coffee from the app.
The Spinn coffee maker is created with the modern Internet of Things in mind- while it’s operable manually, the design team intends for you to use your phone.
Who Is Spinn Best For?
Spinn could be a good option for coffee lovers who want to support smaller, local roasters and value the roasters’ input regarding how to brew the coffee.
Spinn might be a good alternative if you like the convenience of a single-serve brewer like a Keurig or Nespresso but want fresher, better-tasting coffee and less waste.
While the Spinn coffee maker can be operated using the buttons on the machine, it’s really designed to be operated through the app. This could make it attractive to tech-savvy coffee drinkers who want to add another item to their Internet of Things.
Downsides of Spinn
The Spinn coffee maker certainly isn’t inexpensive. While you could pay more for top-tier Jura or Miele machines, Spinn still costs much more than many other highly regarded fully automatic machines.
The Spinn Original doesn’t have a milk foaming wand, and while the Spinn Plus comes with a separate milk frother, you still have to assemble your milk-based beverages yourself.
Though Spinn does make cold brew, some reviewers think that the brew is weak and lacks the depth of flavor that typically comes from a longer extraction time.
A Quick Guide to Jura Coffee Makers
A Brief History of Jura
Jura Elektroapparate (or Jura) is a Swiss company that has been around since the early 1930s. Originally a home appliance distributor, Jura produced their first fully automatic espresso machine in 1986.
Over the years, Jura has shifted its focus to espresso makers exclusively and has phased out all of its other appliances.
Today, Jura makes a wide variety of fully automatic espresso machines. All of them have integrated grinders, and most have built-in milk frothers.
Benefits of Jura
Jura has decided to do one thing and do it well, which shows in how they innovate. The technologies that make Jura stand out are centered around providing the best-tasting coffee with very little effort during the brewing process.
Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.)
The Pulse Extraction Process, or P.E.P., is one of the reasons that Jura coffee and espresso taste so great.
Most espresso machines force a steady stream of pressurized hot water through the coffee grounds. Instead, Jura machines push short bursts, or pulses, of hot water under pressure through the grounds. This allows maximum aroma extraction.
Ease of Use
Jura fully automatic coffee makers are designed to produce excellent results without requiring much skill from you as the home barista.
Just press a button, and the Jura will grind, tamp, and brew within around 60 seconds.
If your drink includes milk, such as a latte or macchiato, the machine also heats and foams the milk and layers it into your cup.
Who is Jura Best For?
If you make a lot of trips to the coffee shop for specialty beverages, a Jura might be a good investment.
Some home baristas love the challenge and reward of dialing in the perfect brew techniques and perfecting their espresso shot-pulling skills.
But if all of that work doesn’t sound like much fun to you, consider a Jura. While you can make some adjustments, such as strength level, water temperature, and grind fineness, the process is overall extremely hands-off.
Downsides of Jura
Jura machines range from expensive to even more expensive. They’re not a good choice for budget-minded coffee lovers or anyone looking for an entry-level machine.
They’re also extremely automated, so if you enjoy the experience of dialing in every element of your brew yourself, you’d probably be happier with a manual or semi-automatic espresso maker.
Spinn vs Jura Showdown: Spinn Original Plus and the Jura ENA 8
As we mentioned, Spinn only makes one coffee maker, though it is sold in different bundles with different accessories.
Let’s take a look at the Spinn Original Plus, which is sold with a milk frother, and the Jura ENA 8.
Spinn Original Plus
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The Spinn Original Plus is a fairly compact machine, at 14.1″ H x 8.6″ W x 13.2″ L. It has an 18-ounce bean hopper and a 40-ounce water tank.
The Spinn app will guide you through making a wide variety of beverages, including espresso-based drinks, regular coffee, and even cold brew. Since the milk frother is a separate accessory, you’ll need to assemble any milk-based beverages yourself- they aren’t one-touch.
We think the centrifugal brewer is the most intriguing new thing about this machine. The force created when the brewer spins can exert plenty of pressure for, say, brewing espresso. It can also spin more slowly for other brews, like drip coffee.
Your fresh coffee grounds are totally dry after the Spinn brews, thanks to the centrifugal brewer’s spinning action, which is kind of cool and makes clean-up easy.
The Spinn is a coffee maker for the digital age. While you can use the buttons on the front to operate it, I don’t see why you would.
The app is robust and can do everything, from turning the machine on and brewing your espresso while you’re in bed to reminding you when it’s time to buy beans and ship them from the Spinn marketplace.
- The centrifugal force brewing technology produces great espresso and is cool, to boot.
- Eco-friendly, with no plastic pod waste.
- The detailed app makes this machine attractive in the digital age.
- The Spinn marketplace allows you to support small roasters and benefit from their brewing instructions.
- Makes cold brew in 60 seconds.
- The separate milk frother makes milk-based beverages a bit more work, and the foam isn’t as lovely as that produced by high-end brands like Jura.
- If you choose not to buy your coffee from Spinn, you’ll be constantly asked to do so within the app.
- This is a new brand, so there are still some kinks. Shipping has been notoriously slow, and some reviewers have found the software to be buggy.
Jura ENA 8
The Jura ENA 8 is one of Jura’s many super-automatic espresso makers, and it falls somewhere in the lower middle segment in terms of price and features.
It measures a bit wider and a few inches deeper than the Spinn, with dimensions 12.7″ H, 10.7″ W, and 17.5″ L. The 37-ounce water tank is comparable to the Spinn’s, but the bean hopper is much smaller at only four ounces.
The Jura ENA 8 is programmed to brew 10 beverages, and it’s worth noting that all of those are one-touch. If you want a cappuccino, the machine dispenses the espresso and the milk foam into your glass – no additional steps are required.
You can operate this machine using Jura’s J.O.E. app, but the transmitter must be purchased separately, and the app isn’t as fleshed-out as the Spinn app. The color screen with buttons is intuitive and works just fine, so we’d recommend sticking with that.
- Makes a great variety of beverages, all with one-touch simplicity.
- Consistently produces great-tasting espresso and high-quality milk foam.
- Easy to clean and maintain, with integrated and automatic cleaning programs.
- Expensive – the ENA 8 costs around 60-70% higher than the Spinn.
- Doesn’t make cold brew.
- The smaller water tank and bean hopper might require a lot of refilling for a larger household.
Spinn vs. Jura: Our Verdict
Spinn and Jura both produce fully automatic coffee makers that can put an end to your daily coffee shop run.
If you have a large budget to spend on a super-automatic espresso machine, then Jura is a safe bet if you want something that will be high-quality, easy to use, and produces great results.
However, if you have a somewhat smaller budget and feel like taking a chance on trying something new, consider Spinn.
The highly-developed app might be appealing to tech-savvy users, and the Spinn marketplace makes it easy to support smaller roasters. This company is new, but we think it seems innovative and worth a try.