The Jura Impressa Z9 is a perfect example of amazing future coming ahead and the brand Jura already has reputed hands in making advanced products.With Roombas, self-driving cars and even more “robot servants” on the horizon, it seems like we’re finally entering the future we were all promised back in the days of the original Star Trek and the Jetsons. For coffee lovers, a super-automatic espresso machine is like having your very own robot barista that knows exactly how you like your coffee and makes it perfectly every time.
Introduction to Jura Impressa Z9
The Jura Z9 is the most luxurious of these machines. It takes you from beans to a frothy cappuccino or macchiato at the press of a button, with an easy-to-use and aesthetically pleasing interface. It does everything except call you by your name!
As with all complicated technologies, the convenience comes with a price tag attached. Either you pay a lot of money or you end up with a super-unreliable machine that breaks down and delivers incomprehensible error messages instead of delicious macchiato and lattes.
The Jura Impressa is expensive, costing a few thousand dollars, but the money you pay also buys you peace of mind. Like all Jura machines, the Z9 is built in Switzerland and uses the best available design, parts and materials. Customer service is great and the machine also comes with a 2 year warranty. Although getting it repaired isn’t straightforward, in most cases this is a mute point as the machine will not break down.
There are other super-automatics in the Jura line, but what really sets this one apart are the features that allow you to make a high volume of drinks in a fairly short amount of time.
Features and Specifications
- Super fast Aroma Plus ceramic burr grinder
- Water tank holds 96 ounces and removes easily without lifting
- Bean hopper holds 10 ounces of beans
- Bypass doser for pre-ground coffee holds 2 scoops
- Thermal stainless steel milk carafe keeps milk cold for hours
- Two thermoblocks: one for brewing and hot water and another for steaming milk
- Separate hot water dispenser
- Rotary switch and color TFT display
- Fully customizable and programmable drink selection
- Customizable screen lets you choose from a variety of background images, brightness, etc.
- Home screen has room for 6 preprogrammed drinks
- 3 different energy saving modes
- Brew spouts have adjustable height and “butterfly” together or apart
- Cup illumination
- Frother has 3 different settings for the amount of foam you prefer
A High-Volume Machine
With two separate theromblocks, the Jura Impressa Z9 lets you turn out a higher volume of drinks in a shorter time than others. After steaming the milk, you don’t have to wait for the water to come back up to temperature before you can brew your coffee or get hot water for a cup of tea.
The water tank is bigger than most, holding 96 ounces of water, so you won’t have to stop and refill it very often. When you do have to remove it, you’ll appreciate the fact that comes out easily in a sideways direction without lifting – a great feature if you want to use the machine on a countertop with cupboards above it.
You also won’t be waiting around for the grinder to do its job. The Z9 features a top-quality ceramic burr grinder that works on average about twice as fast as most grinders in similar machines.
Although it’s designed for residential use, this machine is fast enough and has enough features to be suitable for a busy small office environment. If you have an upscale salon, for example, and want to offer top-quality drinks to your clients, this machine would be a good choice.
Plenty of Bells and Whistles
The Jura Z9 includes a 20-ounce stainless steel thermal milk carafe. This double-insulated carafe attaches to the machine and will keep milk cold on your counter for several hours. You can also detach it and store it in the fridge if you like.
The frother heats the milk to between 130 and 138 degrees F. You can choose from three different foam settings from no foam to plenty of foam, and the result is a very fine-quality microfoam.
The full-color TFT display screen combined with the rotary switch makes it easy to see all of your drink options and make a selection. You can choose six drinks on your home page and can customize or even rename them.
The brew spouts for the non milk-based drinks have a “butterfly” feature so that you can separate them to brew two shots at once, or push them closer together to brew into a single cup. This unit also slides up and down to accommodate cups of different heights.
This machine has three different energy-saving modes that you can customize according to your schedule. You can also program in an automatic shut-off time that works for you.
The ability to make perfect espresso-based drinks at the push of a button is great, but there’s a trade-off. With the Jura Z9, you really have to keep up with the maintenance.
Fortunately, the machine is good at prompting you to perform all of the cleaning and maintenance tasks you need to do to keep the machine in good working order. Whenever you have to descale, rinse the brewhead or run a cleaning cycle of any kind, the machine will not allow you to brew until you comply. This would get annoying quickly if there were a lot of false prompts, but the Jura is reliable and will only prompt you to do necessary maintenance.
The brewhead is not removable: to clean it you place a cleaning tablet in the bypass doser whenever prompted. If repairs are needed, you have to ship the entire machine to a service center. Fortunately, if you look after the machine well, this is unlikely to be a problem.
The milk hose and attachment removes for cleaning, and it’s important to do this every single day. If milk builds up inside the hose, the steaming mechanism will stop working, and you’ll also end up with a nasty mess of congealed sour milk inside the tube!
- Sturdy and well-build machine
- Two thermoblocks mean you can make a larger number of drinks in a given time frame
- High quality milk carafe included
- Drinks brew at the touch of a button
- Highly programmable and customizable machine, both for choosing drinks and for choosing energy saving modes
- “Dummy-proof” maintenance prompts help you keep your machine in good working order
- Very expensive item costing thousands of dollars
- Only one repair site in all of the US
- Oily beans cause problems
The Problem with Oily Beans
This is an issue across the board with all the super-automatic espresso machines. Dark, oily beans tend to clog up the grinder, even damaging it to the point that you have to take it in for repairs.
Please Note that it’s not safe to use cleaners such as GRINDZ tablets in super-automatics. The reason is anything that goes through the grinder also ends up getting brewed, and the cleaners can damage the brewhead.
There are a couple of hacks that may allow you to use oily beans in your grinder. One is to stir the beans inside the hopper prior to grinding. Another is to leave oily beans exposed to the air in a bowl for several hours until the oils evaporate. Wiping out the hopper and as much of the grinder as you can reach with an absorbent paper towel may also help a little bit.
The best option to keep your Jura Impressa Z9 fit and healthy is to find a lighter, drier roast that you love just as much as the dark oily beans.
The End Result of Impressa Z9
On the whole, you’re likely to be very happy with the coffee and other beverages you get from the Jura Impressa Z9. The quality of the espresso itself is very high and it comes out at a hot temperature.
The milk doesn’t get very hot, but this is a problem that pretty much every super-automatic machine has. The heat of the coffee itself is usually enough to compensate, but if you are steaming milk on its own you may find that it bothers you and you end up zapping it in the microwave to get it up to temperature. Using the no-foam option will increase the heat a bit.
Overall, most buyers love their Jura Z9. It is a big ticket item, but the features that make it more expensive than similar machines may be worth it to you. The dual thermoblock system and extra tank capacity make it easier to deal with a high volume of use. It’s perfect for a busy household of coffee lovers or some business settings. You might want to compare to other Super Espresso’s; have a look at our List of Top Rated Super Automatic Espresso Machines.
If you’re looking for a reliable, well engineered super-automatic machine that will get a lot of use, Jura Z9 is the answer. If you’ve got a big budget to work with, the Z9 is really among the very best options.
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