Review: The Jura ENA8 Isn’t Exactly the ‘Smartest’ Smart Coffee-Maker | Lifehacker

When you consider excessive finish espresso machines, Jura is a stalwart model. I’ve encountered their machines in associates’ houses, coworking areas, and high-end cookware retailers for years, and what I bear in mind of them is their ease of use and persistently distinctive espresso. I examined the Jura ENA8 particularly as a result of it’s the lowest priced mannequin they provide with good connectivity, and largely, I used to be stunned at how totally different it felt from different machines from the model. While it was a horny machine, and definitely priced higher than different choices I’ve tried ($1569.95 at present), I used to be in the end upset by the UX of the interface, the temperature of the drinks, the dearth of some apparent drink choices and the dearth of utility within the good app. While I don’t need this impression to be what you are taking away for the entire model, I wasn’t a fan of the ENA8, which we had been loaned within the model new Metropolitan Black mannequin, particularly for testing. 

The Jura ENA8’s design

High finish espresso machines are likely to look excessive finish, with metallic and onerous strains. The ENA8 had a few of these signature particulars within the allotting head, however as a substitute provides rounded corners in a wonderful matte black. While I preferred the black, I used to be much less a fan of how hefty the machine was, given how small the water reservoir was. At simply thirty seven ounces, I usually needed to refill the tank each day. While your drink doubtless solely makes use of ten ounces or much less, the routine cleansing the machine goes by will use much more. This additionally means you’ll be emptying the drip tray a minimum of as soon as a day. The drip tray does come out simply and the machine demanded to be emptied early sufficient I didn’t consistently spill it going forwards and backwards to the sink.

The ENA8 comes with a sturdy glass container for milk and numerous connecting tube choices to go between the cup siphon and the allotting head. While there was a silky metallic snake possibility that actually regarded extra excessive finish, it didn’t appear to operate effectively, so I merely used the silicone tubing additionally included. (As a facet be aware, it’s simpler to make certain the tubing is clear when it’s clear.) You’re additionally given cleansing supplies and an extra plastic container with a siphon for the cleansing resolution. The machine got here out of the field mainly able to go; the one half needing set up was the wifi module, which I’ll describe in additional element beneath. 

Using the ENA8’s contact display

It’s price noting that I particularly requested the ENA8. I hoped to seek out a terrific espresso maker at a lower cost level than the Miele we reviewed final month, which made spectacular drinks however was fairly complicated and onerous to make use of. I’d anticipated much less points with the ENA8 as a result of it provided a touchscreen. The display itself was already fairly small, however the bigger concern was that you simply advance from display to display by touching three tiny dots within the decrease proper panel as a substitute of, say, swiping. This was usually imperfect. The ENA8 provides ten drinks, which is a extra abridged menu than many machines, so there have been solely three screens to flip between—however to take action was usually annoyingly painful and can make you are feeling like a butterfingers.

The solely different utility the display provides is the milk-cleaning operate, which ought to be engaged after every use. This, too, was a bit aggravating because it had just a few steps you had been required to “OK” on the interface. Generally, I might instantly ask the machine to wash the milk tools after my drink, and “OK” step one after which stroll away. When I’d stroll previous an hour or two later, the machine would nonetheless be ready for me to “OK” the following step. 

Size and temperature of the drinks

The fact is that I’m hardly a espresso aficionado; I’m simply right here for the caffeine. I get pleasure from a robust black espresso or a restaurant latte most days, with an occasional cortado enhance within the afternoon. Cafe lattes aren’t one of many drinks the ENA8 provides, although—the machine can create a ristretto, espresso, espresso doppio, espresso, macchiato, latte macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, milk foam, and scorching water. For just a few weeks, I performed with numerous choices just like the macchiato and doppio to see if I might dial in one thing approaching a latte. My two notes in regards to the machine are this: First, the drinks had been routinely not highly regarded. Milk foam was persistently simply downright chilly, which meant that drinks just like the macchiato had been disagreeable. The machine usually distributed milk first, earlier than espresso, and I postulated this was for the espresso temperature to compensate for the chilly milk, nevertheless it hardly ever did. The second is that the drinks had been usually watery, and I feel this can be a results of the way you modify the scale. As quickly as you select a drink, you hear the machine grinding away, and you’ve got just a few seconds to decide on how darkish you need the drink after which, because it brews, how a lot drink you need, in quantity seconds of allotting (an imperfect science versus, say, ounces). If you selected a bigger espresso, as an illustration, regardless of how darkish I mentioned I wished it, it ended up watery, as a result of the scale is disconnected from the espresso grind. I couldn’t discover a technique to have an effect on the temperature of drinks within the machine. Some drinks, just like the ristretto, had been pleasing—wealthy, with a slight froth—however you would be unlikely to ask for a bigger ristretto; you’d simply make a second one.

The one be aware I did like was that not like the Miele, the place it was very onerous to regulate the scale of drinks, the ENA8 allowed you to take action whereas the drink was underway, and it was straightforward to cancel drinks, utilizing an apparent cancel button on the interface. 

The J.O.E. app

Some newer or larger finish Jura machines include wifi connectivity baked in, however wifi will be added on to different machines just like the ENA8 by way of a wifi module you’d buy individually. Although, ultimately, you merely take away the Jura badge on the again of the machine to plug the bolt-on module in, it took watching numerous movies for me to determine that out, because the directions had been unclear. Once it was put in, the machine related to the corporate’s “J.O.E.” app shortly and might accomplish that by way of bluetooth and wifi. However, in lots of weeks of use, I by no means used the app. I actually tried, nevertheless it’s not notably intuitive. You can’t flip the machine on and off with the app, and the app ceaselessly gave the impression to be disconnected, although each the bluetooth and wifi connection had been lit inexperienced to point connection. Even related, it appeared to supply simply an replace on machine utilities and the power to order elements. After conferring with assist, they relayed that drinks might be “ordered” from the house panel. While I might see the drinks, each time I tried to make use of the app, I acquired some kind of error message, and because it didn’t seem to incorporate extra performance and I needed to be on the machine to show it on anyway, I gave up. The objective of an app, to me, is the power to show the machine on remotely and have it make a drink from one other room so it’s ready for me after I arrive on the machine.

Other Jura machines

A buddy of mine nonetheless makes use of a 16-year-old Jura, and in all these years I’ve been visiting, it stays a terrific machine I sit up for utilizing every morning; so usually talking, they do maintain worth. Jura has seven fashions above the ENA8, and all of them look to construct tremendously within the areas talked about above, notably the UX of the display interface, water capability, drink choice and, from the evaluations, drink temperature. In truth, the Jura E6 is priced at simply $1,699.00 and appears to unravel many of those issues. I’ll maintain my opinion on how efficient the J.O.E. app is in these functions till I take a look at larger fashions, however for espresso, Jura remains to be a dependable model. But when it comes to good espresso makers, the ENA8 was neither all that good or notably pleasant as a espresso maker.