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    Published on November 12th, 2012 | by Celina

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    Ju­ra ENA Mi­cro 9 One Touch: Au­to­mat­ic Espres­so And More

    The best home ap­pli­ances take com­pli­cat­ed things and make them sim­ple. And cre­at­ing espres­so can be pret­ty com­plex in­deed- the best ma­chines sim­pli­fy the pro­cess of get­ting wa­ter to a per­fect tem­per­a­ture and ex­tract­ing the fair­ly del­i­cate fla­vors us­ing high pres­sure. But even com­mer­cial ex­pen­sive ma­chines re­quire a sep­a­rate and ex­pen­sive cof­fee grinder, and you need to tamp each pull, and on top of it all are fair­ly dif­fi­cult to clean. Af­ter ex­per­i­ment­ing at home with mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent kinds of cof­fee units over the years, we were very ex­cit­ed to try out the lat­est in small, au­to­mat­ic all-in-one ma­chines.

    The Ju­ra ENA Mi­cro 9 One-Touch cof­fee cen­ter is the newest coun­ter­top mod­el from this renowned Swiss man­u­fac­tur­er. This is a cute, sleek, mod­ern and ad­justable ma­chine that can quick­ly brew up your choice of hot caf­feinat­ed bev­er­age: espres­so, cap­puc­ci­nos, mac­chi­atos, or cof­fee. In ad­di­tion, it can al­so dis­pense hot wa­ter for tea or hot chocolate.We can see why the de­sign won awards as well.

    Out of the box, and de­spite the com­pli­cat­ed mech­a­nisms at work in­side the unit, the ENA Mi­cro 9 was easy to set up and rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple to use. The ma­chine is ready to use al­most as soon as it is plugged in; ini­tial­ly it takes on­ly a few min­utes min­utes to heat the wa­ter. The wa­ter reser­voir is eas­i­ly ac­ces­si­ble and holds more than enough wa­ter for five or six espres­sos with­out hav­ing to re­fill- com­pa­ra­ble to most coun­ter­top ma­chines. It al­so comes with a op­tion­al wa­ter fil­ter that fits snug­ly in­to the wa­ter reser­voir. How­ev­er, we found that the fil­ter sac­ri­ficed some of the wa­ter stor­age ca­pac­i­ty and we pre­ferred to use the al­so-in­clud­ed wa­ter test­ing strip to test our home wa­ter qual­i­ty and then ad­just the ma­chine set­tings for hard­ness.

    We liked the com­pact size, though it didn’t fit un­der all of the coun­ters we test­ed. You might want to care­ful­ly mea­sure yours, and keep in mind that you’ll need ei­ther quite a bit of clear­ance above it to add cof­fee and wa­ter, or be able to pull it out safe­ly when it’s time to re­fill. We’d sug­gest that this mod­el is a great choice for cus­tomers who want an easy way to make cafe-qual­i­ty espres­so at home at the press of a but­ton, and who want to use whole beans of their own choice. One big ad­van­tage of this unit is the au­to­mat­ic cof­fee grinder that de­liv­ers fresh­ly-ground fla­vor in ev­ery cup- cof­fee los­es strength quick­ly af­ter be­ing ground, so keep­ing beans whole un­til right be­fore use is a key fac­tor in bet­ter re­sults. Af­ter use, the grounds fall au­to­mat­i­cal­ly in­to a re­mov­able tray that can be pulled out eas­i­ly be­tween us­es, and the ma­chine warns you when you need to emp­ty the grounds.

    For those who pre­fer to use pre-ground cof­fee, there is al­so a small com­part­ment that cir­cum­vents the grinder. How­ev­er, we found that this com­part­ment was just a bit too small and awk­ward to fill to be used with any reg­u­lar­i­ty, and it doesn’t work for ev­ery bev­er­age. Al­so, while we’re dis­cussing the grinder, even the finest set­tings won’t meet those of any se­ri­ous espres­so afi­ciona­do- we com­pared against our stur­dy Baratza and it was no con­test (though they were nice­ly con­sis­tent). The grinder al­so isn’t re­al­ly ad­justable be­tween cups, so if you al­ter­nat­ing be­tween cof­fee and espres­so, you’ll have to set­tle on us­ing one set­ting or the oth­er for grind­ing (out of three to­tal op­tions). Al­so, you should def­i­nite­ly read the in­struc­tion man­u­al: it wouldn’t oth­er­wise be ob­vi­ous that you’re sup­posed to ad­just the grinder on­ly *dur­ing* grind­ing.

    The unit is tru­ly con­fig­urable though, al­low­ing the cus­tomer to ad­just the size and tem­per­a­ture of an espres­so shot. The cof­fee spout is pret­ty ma­neu­ver­able as well, al­low­ing the us­er to lift it up to ac­com­mo­date a ther­mos or trav­el cof­fee mug or low­er it back down for short­er espres­so glass­es. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, the ENA Mi­cro 9 does not in­clude a steam wand to prop­er­ly steam milk. While the ma­chine al­lowed for su­perbly frothed milk through a small hose at­tach­ment, the milk was nev­er heat­ed. In ad­di­tion, the hose was dif­fi­cult to clean. The lack of steam was a dis­ap­point­ment in such a high-priced ma­chine since we were ini­tial­ly in­trigued by the cap­puc­ci­no and mac­chi­a­to fea­ture. Af­ter two luke­warm cap­puc­ci­nos and wrestling the re­main­ing milk out of the froth­ing hose, we were not near­ly as ex­cit­ed about the ENA Mi­cro 9. Fur­ther, the cof­fee fea­ture was a bit an­noy­ing as well- you’ll end up press­ing the but­ton twice or more and wait­ing in be­tween and pos­si­bly rins­ing as well, sim­ply to get a rea­son­able amount of cof­fee to fill a mug. The re­sults are good, but not sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter and less con­ve­nient than a well-con­fig­ured Keurig ma­chine.

    Though we did face some down­sides in use, we loved the con­fig­ura­bil­i­ty of the Ju­ra ENA Mi­cro 9 One-Touch cof­fee cen­ter, and were quite hap­py with the sleek and com­pact de­sign. The ma­chine would look great on any counter top. We were able to make a won­der­ful espres­so shot quick­ly and with­out any work, and the ma­chine isn’t too noisy, plus ev­ery­thing else is easy to clean and most op­er­a­tions are au­to­mat­ic. How­ev­er, if you want to make cap­puc­ci­nos or mac­chi­atos at home, we would sug­gest spend­ing a bit more mon­ey to buy a Ju­ra that comes equipped with a steam wand. And ja­va ad­dicts who pre­fer good, old-fash­ioned cof­fee should al­so look else­where, since there are many oth­er op­tions that are more af­ford­able and sim­pler as well. The ENA Mi­cro 9 is avail­able now, on­line and in stores, for around $1400.

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    About the Author

    Celina Kelly is passionate about New York, scarves, and puppies. She also loves writing about herself in the third-person. She graduated from Barnard College having double majored in English & German Literature. While a student, she worked with The New Yorker as part of the editorial department for ‘Goings On About Town’. Since she was not busy enough, she added a concentration of creative writing, completing her thesis project in the form of a yet-unpublished novel under the guidance of a bestselling author. Celina operates a retail store on the Upper West Side, where she spends most of her time. She enjoys being able to design, order and merchandise a new collection twice a year with the help of a talented staff of minions. She is also currently pursuing a certificate in Millinery at the Fashion Institute of Technology. If you ask her nicely, she might make you a hat!



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