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 buddies’ properties, coworking areas, and high-end cookware retailers for years, and what I bear in mind of them is their ease of use and constantly 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 shocked at how completely 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 the moment), I used to be in the end dissatisfied by the UX of the interface, the temperature of the drinks, the shortage of some apparent drink choices and the shortage 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 inclined to look excessive finish, with metallic and exhausting strains. The ENA8 had a few of these signature particulars within the dishing out head, however as an alternative presents rounded corners in a gorgeous matte black. While I appreciated 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 day by day. While your drink seemingly solely makes use of ten ounces or much less, the routine cleansing the machine goes by way of 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 continuously spill it going forwards and backwards to the sink.

The ENA8 comes with a sturdy glass container for milk and various connecting tube choices to go between the cup siphon and the dishing out head. While there was a silky metallic snake possibility that actually regarded extra excessive finish, it didn’t appear to perform properly, so I merely used the silicone tubing additionally included. (As a facet observe, it’s simpler to make certain the tubing is clear when it’s clear.) You’re additionally given cleansing supplies and a further plastic container with a siphon for the cleansing answer. The machine got here out of the field principally 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 screen

It’s price noting that I particularly requested the ENA8. I hoped to search out an incredible espresso maker at a lower cost level than the Miele we reviewed final month, which made spectacular drinks however was fairly complicated and exhausting to make use of. I’d anticipated much less points with the ENA8 as a result of it provided a touchscreen. The display screen itself was already fairly small, however the bigger challenge was that you simply advance from display screen to display screen by touching three tiny dots within the decrease proper panel as an alternative of, say, swiping. This was usually imperfect. The ENA8 presents 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 screen presents is the milk-cleaning perform, which must be engaged after every use. This, too, was a bit aggravating because it had a couple of 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 powerful 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 presents, although—the machine can create a ristretto, espresso, espresso doppio, espresso, macchiato, latte macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, milk foam, and scorching water. For a couple of weeks, I performed with varied choices just like the macchiato and doppio to see if I may 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 constantly simply downright chilly, which meant that drinks just like the macchiato had been disagreeable. The machine usually disbursed 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 dimensions. As quickly as you select a drink, you hear the machine grinding away, and you’ve got a couple of 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 dishing out (an imperfect science versus, say, ounces). If you selected a bigger espresso, as an example, regardless of how darkish I mentioned I wished it, it ended up watery, as a result of the dimensions is disconnected from the espresso grind. I couldn’t discover a option to have an effect on the temperature of drinks within the machine. Some drinks, just like the ristretto, had been gratifying—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 observe I did like was that in contrast to the Miele, the place it was very exhausting to regulate the dimensions of drinks, the ENA8 allowed you to take action whereas the drink was underway, and it was simple to cancel drinks, utilizing an apparent cancel button on the interface. 

The J.O.E. app

Some newer or increased finish Jura machines include wifi connectivity baked in, however wifi may be added on to different machines just like the ENA8 by way of a wifi module you’d buy individually. Although, in the long run, you merely take away the Jura badge on the again of the machine to plug the bolt-on module in, it took watching various 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 rapidly and may achieve this 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 seemed 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 flexibility to order elements. After conferring with assist, they relayed that drinks may very well be “ordered” from the house panel. While I may see the drinks, each time I tried to make use of the app, I acquired some form 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 aim of an app, to me, is the flexibility 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 an incredible 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 screen 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 resolve many of those issues. I’ll maintain my opinion on how efficient the J.O.E. app is in these purposes till I take a look at increased 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.