I’ve been on a 90’s rock kick lately, and Garbage has been in pretty (extremely) heavy rotation. Their James Bond theme “The World Is Not Enough” was on when I pulled into the parking lot this morning after stopping at the warehouse to pick up today’s new toy. The title line to the track is fitting for today, as I realized that the Espresso Machine industry is not unlike every other industry in that everyone is trying to outdo the latest and greatest. Whole Latte Loves resident n00bs (Mary-Ann and I) test gadget for today is the Jura-Capresso ENA Micro 9, the newest addition to their popular ENA line of compact Super Automatic machines.
Building off of the very popular ENA 9 machine, Jura has managed to cram all of the same features and great quality into an even smaller package (11% shorter than the ENA 9). It’s small enough to fit in the passenger seat of Bond’s classic Aston Martin! Weighing in at 20lbs and measuring roughly 9x12x17, the foot print is minimal especially considering what the machine is capable of. Also impressive is that despite the smaller size, the capacities remain the same compared to the ENA 9: a 37 oz rear mounted reservoir, 4.4 oz bean hopper, 10 puck capacity for spent grounds, and 5 inch clearance to fit all your favorite cups. The drip tray, despite looking very small, actually holds a substantial amount of liquids so that you will not have to drain it often.
Just like the ENA 9, the Micro heats up in around 30 seconds, and is able to brew a shot of Espresso in less than one minute – perfect for running out of the house first thing in the morning. It retains its predecessor’s classic design with the Chrome/Silver/Black color scheme, slanted front face, and adjustable brew head. The display is also the same: an easy to read, color coded, single line LED display. Just like all Jura’s as well, the Micro loves to keep itself clean, and will prompt you to rinse out the coffee and milk systems. The similarities start to fade at that point however.
|The most noticeable change is the location of the hot water wand and how it is operated. Rather than cluttering up the front of the machine, the Micro integrates the hot water wand into the brew head, and employs a button on top of the machine over the knob on the ENA 9. Also on top are familiar one-touch buttons for different coffee drinks.|
These include Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso and Long Coffee. The new click dial design makes navigating the menus even easier, and the selection button is located conveniently in the center of the dial. Lastly, there is the rinse button you press when the Micro prompts you that it needs to rinse either the coffee or milk systems.
|Further back from the interface are the bypass doser and the grind settings. Pulled forward compared to the ENA 9, the Micro makes it even easier to use pre ground coffee using the included funnel, and a powder sensing system that begins the brew process as soon as the bypass doser cover is closed. There are 5 adjustments to the grind settings, which were enough for Mary –Ann and I to find a good place for two different kinds of beans that we had access to today.|
Back further is the door for the bean hopper that holds almost a quarter pound of coffee, and has an optimal slant to ensure that the beans never get stuck, and that the machine has a consistent flow of beans to multi-level conical grinder. The grinding of the coffee can be a noisy operation, but the Micro 9 makes quick and quiet work out of the job. A silicone seal on the bean hopper cover ensures that the beans stay fresh, and the aroma of the coffee is the same from cup to cup.
Furthest back is the water reservoir, holding a respectable 37 oz of water for your brewing and hot water needs. It comes with a Clearyl Blue water filter which, according to Jura-Capresso eliminates the need to descale and helps to ensure the taste of your Espresso regardless of the quality of your tap water.
|The Micro 9 comes with Jura Capresso’s Fine Foam frothing system, consistently giving you fantastic foam every time you brew a specialty milk drink. The included tube connects the brew head to either Jura’s Thermal Milk Container, or can extract milk right from the carton. the milk and coffee systems are kept separate to avoid cross contamination, and the machine is “Certified Hygienic”. Going further with the Micro 9’s penchant to clean, Jura-Capresso has numbered the parts that can be taken off to be cleaned in order to make reassembling it even easier.|
If you are looking for a simple, one-touch Super-Automatic machine that can fit in your kitchen or nook without question, the redesigned and compacted internals in the Micro 9 make it a great contender for this constantly shrinking (in dimensions!) field of Espresso machines. It carries with it everything that people love about Jura (and people LOVE their Jura’s) in an attractive shell.
Is anyone else as excited about the newest James Bond movie, Skyfall, as I am? Because I’ve been craving a new movie more than I require my morning coffee fix.