The long awaited Jura Impressa Z7 coffee machine has arrived at our doorstep, courtesy of www.au.jura.com.
You may remember that we reviewed the Jura Impressa Z5 on this site and we were “over the moon” with its functions and capabilities.
But we did pick it up on a couple of things, so let’s see what the manufacturers have done in the new Z7 model. Have they managed to make an almost perfect machine perfect?
So stay with us over 20 or so coffees and see what it can do.
It’s good to see that once again we get two Claris water filters with the machine. I say that because tests last time with the Z5 showed that the coffees stayed at a uniform taste each time due to the excellent method of obtaining the same base quality of water each time. The Claris Blue filters supplied are even better still and the constant use of these will ensure that any descaling is negated.
You get a lovely stainless purpose built milk container, a well written manual, DVD, various silicone tubes and connections (all you will need) plus the appropriate warranty cards.
A perfect cup of cappuccino, latte macchiato, ristretti, epressi, or cafés crème coffees to your specific consistent liking, with the single press of a button, can be stored within the machine’s programs and you can replicate this mix as many times as you like later. You are able to change milk run times, coffee/water, and temperature and froth to suit your cup size and taste for Xmild, Mild, Normal, Strong and Xtrastrong for all coffees.
International Standard of good cappuccinos and expressos say that ⅓ should be milk, ⅓ froth and ⅓ coffee. So we set it up for it to do that automatically, however, we developed the cappuccino to our specific tastes i.e. more milk. We can also just unhook the canister containing hi-lo milk and put the longer hose straight into a full cream milk container, thus giving us an easy option of which milk to use.
Increases in finished coffee temperature can also be achieved by altering strength of coffee using a grind change. For instance, coarser and increasing ml of water and coffee then decreasing the milk, as the water comes out at “in cup stream” max 89˚C as against milk at fully frothed “in cup stream” 52˚C- 70˚C. This keeps the coffee strength about the same but increases the heat (but may alter the taste).
We found that by turning the milk froth switch clockwise from steam to fully clockwise we could also in fact vary the milk temperature by about 18˚C, as well as alter the depth of the milk froth. We also played with pause times to compact the milk foam, which worked well to give great aesthetics.
The variable grinding selection knob allows for grinds from fine to coarse and with us it ended up pretty much in the middle of its allowable variation parameters. We made an Xtra mild Cappuccino (25 ml coffee and 75 ml hot water). Pre programmed it in and every time we remade it and the checked the temperature with a thermal probe it was spot on at 63˚C.
If making changes in volume from factory presets and you want to be able to walk away while it’s busy making your coffee, then ensure that you continue to use the same cup sizes when making these “personal set” coffees or the machine may not stop in time. This function is explained well within the manual and DVD.
Jura have shone a little light on things with some inbuilt down lights, ie amber colour shows coffee running in, bluish down light for the milk and overall bluish in both cups when making selections of the parameters.
The Jura Impressa Z7 Automatic Coffee Machine was turned on; it took 50 seconds (with a rinse included) and then indicated it was ready to do my bidding.
We filled the 600ml milk canister and set about making cappuccino with the following results:
Note: Temperatures were taken with a digital thermal probe, with “in cup stream” meaning the probe was in the stream of liquid entering the cup.
Cappuccino Test – 1 Cup
Programme setting: Xmild for 1 mug
Milk run time: 42 sec
Coffee set at: 25ml
Water temp set to: high
Time to make 1 Cappuccino was 52 sec with one button press
Milk in canister: 8˚C
Ambient temperature: 19˚C
Milk temperature: “in cup stream” 66˚C
Coffee/water: “in cup stream” 70˚C
Finished coffee: 63˚C
Pre warmed cup: Yes
The high points
Cleaning has been minimal with no spilt coffee or beans either on the bench top or within the unit. Removing trays, emptying ground cakes and relacing trays took us in the order of about 34 seconds. This machine is not only fully automatic but it can be operated manually as well. You can simply press a button and walk away (auto programme), or opt for the more manual method. That is, holding the coffee button as long as you wish, then pressing the hot water or milk button and then rotating the switch to get the amount of milk froth you want.
Keeping the supplied milk canister in the fridge makes it is very easy to just take it out and with “one push”, reconnect it so unless you make a lot of coffees throughout the day, we see no need for a connected cooler to be left on the benchtop.
- The inclusion of the blue Claris water filter in the water delivery circuit is an excellent design feature in as much that it not only protects the entire system from scale and suchlike, but keeps the coffee selections true to their comparative tastes whether set as factory defaults or as you have adjusted them. All of our water supplies differ from each other and in some cases differ from day to day which, without the inbuilt filter, would allow constant changes in taste of the resultant coffees and you would not ever get the stability of taste that is obtainable with this machine.
- The machine will cater for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees by the use of the pre-ground by-pass chute and it was easy to operate.
- For those of us who like to use different milk, this machine can use soy milk or goat’s milk but the behavioural qualities of frothing will differ from that of cow’s milk.
- Significant adjustable height of milk and coffee/water dispensers, allows the use of very tall mugs or cup sizes.
- Coffee dispensing spouts can be moved laterally to centralise over cups.
- The old shut down “clunk” that was in previous models is gone.
- We liked the new frothing dial.
Our assessment of machine qualities
- Ease of operation
Manual – easy due to digital prompting
Automatic – foolproof once programmed for your cups or
Automatic – foolproof if using cups to equal factory presets
- Ability to deliver as per specifications and claims – Delivers as claimed on all aspects
- Quality of Coffee – Whatever you set you can have in precise repetition
- Cleaning – Automatic. Minimal manually, advised by digital prompting. Foolproof
- Versatility – Appears unrestrained
- Temperature control of coffees where milk is the major liquid by percentage.
Requires strict compliance with cleaning prompts and good housekeeping standards
- Build quality – Very high level
- Service and Technical backup – Faultless in Australia
- No led to indicate that it has power connected.
- Lost ability to make two cups of cappuccino at once
We found the machine to be very versatile under both preprogrammed operation or “change as you make it” or if going completely manual. Coffee production with regards to taste could be consistently produced and the machine was a pleasure to use.
Build quality was similar to all of the Jura products – excellent, we think that at a price of approx $3,895 AUD this machine represents good value for money!