A super-automatic espresso machine like Jura A1 is a great choice for most coffee lovers.
With integrated grinder, it grinds the coffee beans and dispenses it to espresso or ristretto.
It has three programmable specialties and coffee strength levels. It comes with a touchscreen control panel that displays intuitive symbols.
Jura A1 is a great coffee maker for black coffee lovers. It has a compact footprint with sleek and minimalist design.
Unfortunately, since it’s designed for coffee purists, it doesn’t have heating or milk frothing function. Will it be worth it?
What is Jura A1?
One of the finest single-serve espresso machines, the Jura A1 is a high-end brewer that comes with great aesthetics and superb brewing capacity. Made by the trusted Swiss brand, Jura, it’s the slimmest and sleekest model in this series. It boosts the revolutionary Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) to achieve the natural flavor and defined crema.
- Can grind or use pre-ground coffee
- Will switch to energy-saving mode when not in use
- Manually adjustable grinder to get finer or coarser coffee grounds
- Has simple and compact design
- Quite to operate
- Quick to make your favorite coffee drink
- Delivers café-grade espresso, ristretto or long coffee
- Features pulse extraction process
- Completely automatic with the touch control panel
- Displays maintenance needs on the touchscreen
- With height-adjustable coffee spout
- Accommodates both small cups and travel mugs
- Prepares one coffee at a time
- Doesn’t have the milk steaming function
- Has small capacity
- Some users find it expensive for its functionality
- Quite hefty to move around
- Can’t use pods or capsules (if you are a fan of these)
- Though it has a small footprint, it isn’t a lighter machine
- Both the water reservoir and the bean hopper have smaller capacity
Design and Specifications
Jura coffee makers have a minimalist design, piano black with very few silver details. It’s among the sleekest and elegant espresso machines on the market, perfect for any kitchen countertop and kitchen design. Everything is mostly made of plastic — machine casing, drip tray, bean hopper, and water reservoir.
However, although it’s primarily made of plastic, it’s a reliable espresso machine. Its boiler is made of stainless steel-line aluminum with Thermoblock design. It has a 37oz water reservoir located at the back of the machine.
Although the water tank is at the back of the machine, you can easily remove it since the machine is quite easy to maneuver. The bean hopper, with 5oz capacity, comes with an aroma preservation cover. It even has ventilation slots on top of the machine.
It has one button only, but a lot of pressable symbols on the touch panel. From left to right, up to down, here are the corresponding names of the symbols shown on the panel: Descaling, Filter, Cleaning, Water Tank, Ground Coffee, Coffee Grounds Container, Coffee Strength ‘normal,’ Coffee Strength ‘strong,’ Ristretto, Espresso, and Coffee. There’s a grinder adjustment switch on top with a cover cap.
This machine operates at 120V with 1450W power rating. It’s among the smallest single-cup brewer with only 9.4 x 17.5 x 12.7 inches in dimension and only weighs under 20 pounds. It has an adjustable coffee spout to accommodate larger container like travel mugs.
Features and Functionalities
Since Jura A1 is known to deliver great-tasting espresso, let’s uncover the features and functionalities of this amazing Jura coffee maker.
- Integrated Conical Burr Grinder — It has the Aroma G3 grinder with faster grind times. You can adjust the fineness or coarseness of the coffee grounds using the grinder adjustment switch. For coarser grinds, switch to the left. Otherwise, switch to the right. The cover, which comes with symbols to indicate the position, so you won’t be lost.
- Aroma Preservation Seal — Located at the bean hopper, this feature keeps the beans fresh and you can store it there for days. This means you don’t need to remove remaining beans from the hopper for storage.
- Touchscreen Control Panel — This has mainly two functions — displaying all the symbols when using the machine and prompting maintenance messages. For each cup size, it has illuminated icon. And, when, there are issues, these symbols light up and will flash. Example, if the Water Tank symbol lights up it means it’s either empty or not properly placed. Hence, you can take the necessary actions.
- Pulse Extraction Process — This is Jura’s exclusive extraction process that lets the machine pulses pressure to the brew unit to have optimal extraction. Hence, you can get a consistent, nuanced flavor of your coffee, cup after cup.
- Programmability — Although it’s simply-designed, you can still make a few tweaks and changes for the cup size and the dose levels. For the volume, you can choose either ristretto, espresso or large coffee drinks. For the coffee strength levels, there are two levels — from eight to 10 grams of ground coffee.
- Height-Adjustable Coffee Spout — This is beneficial if you need to use various cup and mug sizes. This machine gives you cup clearance ranging from 2-5.5 inches. This means you can easily use cup sizes in between the figure.
- Energy-Saving Mode — If not in use for five minutes, it’ll enter into energy-saving mode. After two hours of inactivity, it’ll automatically turn off. With a Zero-Energy switch, you can ensure that the machine won’t draw energy when not in use. Not only that it’s energy-efficient, but it also for the safety of the user.
Setup and Operation
There’s a great user manual included for detailed step-by-step setup and operating procedures. Likewise, you can visit their site at www.jura.com for more information. However, we will give you some important information on how this machine operates.
On the first use, you can either operate with the CLEARYL Blue filter cartridge or without it. If the water hardness level is around 10°dH, it’s recommended to use the cartridge. You need to know the hardness level of the water you used to extend the life of the coffee machine. Complete instructions on how to or not to use the cartridge can be found in the product manual.
Then, simply fill the bean container with untreated roasted coffee beans (not sugar-treated, ground coffee or freeze-dried coffee). Use the aroma preservation cover to lock in the freshness of the coffee beans in the bean hopper. Next, fill the water tank with water and re-insert it at the back of the machine for use.
Before and during the grinding operation you can adjust the coffee strength by selecting the drink you want from the control panel, then, select either the ‘normal’ or ‘strong’ coffee strength option. The machine has preset amount of water and it’ll use it every time unless you’ll manually override the default setting.
To change the amount of water on certain cup size, just place the cup under the dual spout, press and hold the Espresso symbol until Ristretto and Coffee symbols will come out. You can now see the Espresso and the Coffee Strength symbols are flashing.
You can touch the Espresso symbol once it reaches to your designed volume. Then, the machine will remember that and dispense that amount of coffee every time you want an espresso.
If you’ll use decaffeinated or pre-ground coffee must be placed in the powder chute. Just have one level measuring spoon of ground coffee into the filler funnel. Touch the Coffee symbol to start the preparation using the preset amount of water. The operation will automatically stop once the preset volume is reached.
The machine will enter into an energy-saving mode after five minutes of inactivity. You will know it when the brightness of all the symbols on the touchscreen panel are being reduced. However, you can also set the switch-off time and its indicator.
Example, after 30 minutes, the Ristretto symbol will light up. After an hour, Espresso symbol will light. Lastly, the Coffee symbol will light up after two hours and it’ll automatically shut down.
From the design and its simple looks, you might think that it’s easy to operate, but, it requires you to get familiar with the symbols and the meaning once the icons blink, light or flash. While you can still get a good cup of coffee with the preset setting, but don’t limit yourself to push your skills to the next level.
Brewing Capacity and Process
This is a single-cup espresso machine, so it’s expected to dispense a single-serve coffee — espresso, ristretto or long-coffee – every brewing. Although the brewing process is quite straightforward once everything is set, you need to memorize the symbols and what they correspond. There’s the real challenge.
But, before you crack your head with those symbols, make a great coffee first.
When you turn on the machine, it’ll automatically rinse the coffee spout. It’ll eventually stop once Jura A1 is ready. Since this involves water flow, it’s important to place a receptacle below the spout.
Place your favorite fresh coffee beans to the bean hopper. Ensure that the water tank has enough water. Then, just put a cup under the spout, adjust the coffee spout however you like. Then, press the corresponding shot you like.
The grinding will automatically commence. It’ll somewhat be noisy at first — pulsates for seconds — it’s because of the P.E.P. that extracts nuanced flavors of your coffee. Then, it’ll be silent and start with the extracting process.
Wait for it to finish, then, enjoy your coffee. As mentioned, you can program it to dispense a certain amount of water for a particular cup size or just go with the preset amount. Program it to whatever you like and however you like it, and it’ll give you the coffee you always wanted.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Daily cleaning and maintenance are essential to the longevity of any coffee machine, not just Jura A1. Hence, aside from learning how to setup and operate the machine, it’s also important to learn how to maintain it. When buying the product, it includes a complete and easy-understandable user manual with specific instructions for recommended care and maintenance.
After each use, you can clean the drip tray and the coffee grounds container by rinsing them with hot water. For the coffee grounds container, clean this while the machine is still one, because it’s the only way to reset the counter back to zero. You can also wipe the surface of the machine with a soft, damp cloth like microfiber cloth.
Aside from the daily cleaning, there are also integrated maintenance programs for this machine. Jura adds three programs — cleaning the machine, descaling the machine and changing the filter.
For cleaning the machine, you’ll automatically be prompted to do so once you’ve reached 180 preparations or 80 switch-on rinses. But, you can also do manual cleaning without the need for the prompt for as long as the machine is ready to use.
Simultaneously touch the two coffee strength symbols, then, the two coffee strength level symbols, the descaling, and the filter symbol will light up. Then, continue with the first prompt and do the process like the prompted cleaning the machine cycle until the very end.
Descaling the machine is necessary to eliminate limescale deposit over time. Descaling is critical and once the process is interrupted, it can damage your machine. This will only last for 40 minutes, so, just ensure to follow the process on the manual religiously.
Like cleaning the machine, you can also manually descale the machine without a message prompt. The process is almost the same as cleaning the machine.
Lastly, cleaning the filter. The machine will automatically prompt a message for this programmed task once it reaches 2000oz or around 60L of water that flowed through the filter. Probably, after two months, you need to clean the filter. You can also go for manual cleaning if you think it’s necessary to do so.
Who this product is for? / Should You Buy This?
Those who love black coffee an instant will love the Jura A1 espresso machine. However, if you are new to Jura machines or coffee drinks, but are willing to invest your money in this fully-automatic machine, this is the one for you. Although it’s priced towards the more expensive side of the spectrum, it’s interesting and really delivers quality coffee.
Now, if you like latte or Americano, unfortunately, Jura A1 isn’t for you. It doesn’t have any milk-steaming option. But, it ensures clean and spill-less coffee preparation — which makes it ideal for office use, aside from its intended household use only.
Again, this espresso machine only pulls out espresso, ristretto and long coffee. So, if your favorite drink is neither of the three, go check for other espresso brewers.
Comes with just the right size, elegant all-black casing with silver lines, Jura A1 is very stunning. With the bean-to-cup process, you let the machine do its thing and just wait for a minute to have your favorite coffee ready. No steaming milk. We repeat it for several times so you won’t look for it and be disappointed later.
However, if you’re a coffee purist who wants to have a coffee shot with a punch, this machine is for you. Comparing the price and its features, some users say that it’s a bit expensive. Yet, given its convenience, it’ll be worth it in the long run, especially if you will handle it with proper care.
And, aside from straightforward operation, did we mention it’s fairly quiet when grinding and brewing? Yes, it’s quieter than other single-serve coffee makers in the market. So, aside from being a great countertop décor, it’s also perfect in the reception area, boardroom and small office.
You won’t be disappointed with its great coffee quality on top of its interesting aesthetics.