Commercial establishments must think of ingenious ways to wow their respective customers.
The same is true with offices that may have to entertain many guests every now and then. Providing coffee to clients and guests can make their experience a lot more meaningful.
You need to have an amazingly powerful and fast-brewing machine to pull such a feat, however.
Moreover, you need a coffee machine that is very easy to operate even by first-time users.
Good thing Jura has the answer.
And, we were lucky enough to be given the chance to try the Impressa X9.
The Jura Impressa X9 Super Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine
First introduced in 2009, the Jura Impressa X9 is an impressive machine that has amazing features and even more remarkable performance. The machine continues in the tradition of excellence that the Swiss brand is known for since the 1930s. The X9 highlights the continuing evolution of the brand’s Impressa series, the first one being the Impressa 500 introduced in 1994.
While the Impressa X9 is already more than a decade old, it can still outperform other commercial-grade super-automatic espresso machines on the market. It doubles almost everything. It has double Thermoblock boilers, commercial-quality grinders, powerful pumps, and coffee bean hoppers. Even the hot water spigot came separately from the steam dispenser.
The machine is also Jura’s first-ever machine to gain NSF certification. One can feel very safe about the quality and safety of the materials used in the espresso machine’s construction. It has a huge 169-ounce water tank and a pair of 23-ounce-capacity hopper that can produce up to 150 espresso shots or 43 cups of Americano. The machine also features an automatic cappuccino solution that makes it super easy to get a cup with a single press of a button.
The X9 comes with 20 beverage programs. You can tweak all of these and store and assign 10 to their own buttons. From here, accessing the 10 drinks is as easy as pressing their designated buttons. There are also customizable options that include the temperature and volume of water and the strength of the coffee dose.
Maintaining the X9 is also surprisingly easy; although, it requires ample customization during the initial operation. The bevy of electronic sensors work together to keep the machine in good working condition.
While its design is already outdated, the graphic display of the X9 remains very useful. It even includes audio feedback to go along with the two-line LCD display. The interface makes it easy for novice users to operate the machine and get their favorite drinks.
- Ultra-fast grinding and brewing operation
- Makes excellent brews every single time
- Two separate spouts for hot water and steam
- Excellent flavor extraction and aroma preservation
- Great for large number of coffee drinkers
- Very easy to clean because of its integrated maintenance routine feature
- Can accommodate even tall mugs and glasses
- Very simple graphic display
- Comes with NSF certification
- Limited number of grind settings for its price
- Large footprint
- May not be aesthetically-pleasing to some people
- Very expensive
- Outdated digital user interface
- Stainless steel grinder
Aesthetics, Footprint, and Form Factor
The Impressa X9 has an all-work appearance that makes it well-suited for commercial environments. It has an outdated styling that may not sit well with more modern coffee drinkers. The TFT screen does not have touchscreen functionality that people want nowadays. Instead, there are programmable buttons that give the machine one-touch convenience.
One thing we admire about the display of the X9 is its adScreen functionality. This ingenious technology combines visual and auditory information for businesses to advertise their stuff. It is one feature that businesses will love to customize themselves.
This machine requires plenty of space in the kitchen. It is 23 inches tall, 17 inches wide, and 20 inches deep. You will also have to consider the height of the pair of bean hoppers at the top of the X9. This gives you very little vertical space to work with. This Jura machine is also very heavy. Its 45.1-pound weight will require a helping hand during unboxing and when moving around the kitchen.
The housing of the X9 is a combination of premium-quality aluminum and durable ABS plastic. There are chrome accents to improve the aesthetics of the machine. The drip tray is plastic, although the platform itself features aluminum.
Features and Functionalities
Jura may have designed the Impressa X9 more than a decade ago. However, very few products can outmatch the features and functionalities of this espresso machine. Here are some of the most notable features that you must know about the X9.
Simple and Easy-to-Use Controls
While the display system of the X9 is already outdated, one cannot argue that its design makes it very easy to use. There is a two-line LCD display that provides very plain, short, and easy-to-understand instructions. You cannot get any simpler than that. Of course, the design does not sit well with people who are more accustomed to the functionalities of a touchscreen.
Jura also included one-touch convenience in the design of the Impressa X9. There is a dedicated button for cappuccino as well as 10 programmable buttons for commonly-consumed beverages. Programming these buttons can be tedious. Once fully set, everything becomes more convenient.
Ultra-fast Brewing Operation
Brewing twenty different styles of coffee is no ordinary feat. There are commercial coffee machines that cannot even provide half the number of what the X9 can offer. On top of that, the machine delivers an excellent brew every single time at a very rapid pace.
The key to its ultra-fast brewing operation is the integration of different technological innovations. We shall discuss some of these in greater detail in the succeeding points. You can get café au lait, a shot of espresso, a wonderful cup of cappuccino, or any other specialty drink at the touch of a button.
The X9 also uses a two-stage pre-brewing process that optimizes the extraction of the flavors and aromas of any coffee bean you put into the hopper. The system moistens the beans and conditions them for the flavor extraction process that occurs during grinding.
Double Boiler, Pump, and Grinder System
This machine comes with a double Thermoblock boiler that hastens the speed of making drinks. It brews coffee while it steams milk. There is also a pair of high-performance pumps that deliver 15 bars of pressure each. This works well in the extraction of coffee bean flavors to give you an amazing drink.
Aiding in the fast brewing operation of the machine is a pair of conical burr grinders. Each of these components is connected to a bean hopper. The design gives you the opportunity to use two different kinds of coffee beans.
While the grinder is fast and efficient, we do find it unusual for Jura to use stainless steel instead of ceramic. Given the price of the X9, ceramic would have been a more appropriate material. The issue with stainless steel grinders is that they have the uncanny tendency to overheat, especially when used for extended periods. You can always allow the machine to rest in between uses to mitigate the overheating issues. However, this might not be possible in a high-traffic environment where people are lining up to the machine to get their drinks.
There is another grinder characteristic that we would like everyone to know. The Impressa X9 only comes with 6 grind settings. We expected more given the machine’s price. There are products that do not have a four-digit price tag, yet are able to provide up to 18 different grind settings. Ordinary coffee drinkers may not really care about the fineness or coarseness of their coffee grounds. However, aficionados and purists will surely complain about the limited grind settings of the X9.
People who love to tinker with everything will love the customization options of the X9. When it comes to tweaking beverages, one can choose the correct temperature, volume, and dosing strength of their drinks. Unfortunately, the number of levels for each custom setting is somewhat limited compared to newer and more advanced coffee machines. The X9 may not be ideal at all for coffee drinkers with very refined tastes and who expect only the perfect brew in their cup.
There are customization options for the maintenance programs of the X9. These include 5 levels of water hardness and 1-hour increments in the automatic shut-off feature of the machine.
The machine may have been at the pinnacle of commercial coffee machine design in its heyday. Unfortunately, the X9’s degree of customizations may no longer be at par with today’s standards. It remains a very customizable machine that is also a joy to use and maintain.
Other Notable Features
There are plenty of Impressa X9 features that are worth mentioning. This machine has two separate spouts for hot water and steam. Most modern espresso machines only have a single spout for dispensing both steam and hot water.
The maximum brew capacity of the X9 is also impressive. It can deliver 12 ounces of coffee in one go. The telescoping spigot also helps to accommodate tall mugs. Unfortunately, the maximum coffee mug height that it can accommodate is only 5.6 inches. We have seen newer coffee machines that can accommodate mugs as tall as 7 inches.
Another noteworthy feature of the X9 is its active cup warming tray. Average coffee drinkers may not appreciate this feature. Coffee connoisseurs will surely love the idea of having an integrated component that actively keeps coffee cups and mugs warm. This ensures a beverage in its most ideal temperature.
Operation, Cleaning, and Maintenance
Jura engineered the Impressa X9 for absolute convenience. It knows that not everyone likes to operate a machine that has very complicated controls. That is why the X9 features one of the most user-friendly interfaces you can find. Customers and guests who have not made a coffee from a machine before will never feel intimidated by the X9. Drinks are made available at the press of a dedicated button.
While the X9 is an absolute pleasure for guests, visitors, and customers, its owners will have to allot considerable effort in setting up and programming the machine. We must point out that the X9 requires time to master all the different programs and features that it has to offer. Commercial establishments will have to reprogram the X9 every now and then to suit the changing needs of their clients.
The Impressa X9 makes it so easy to keep track of the beverages that people commonly get from the machine. It already comes with an electronic monitor that keeps track of the number of cups made, including the number of cups made for each beverage button. This gives you an idea which of the ten saved beverage settings are a huge hit to other coffee drinkers.
Customizing each drink requires an in-depth understanding of how the different settings can impact the final brew. This will involve a lot of trial-and-error experimentation. Once you have programmed the beverages that you think your customers will love, it is time to save the settings into the X9’s memory. People will be able to access their drinks with a simple press of a button from there on.
A machine with this capacity and complicated architecture will demand considerable maintenance. It is commendable of Jura to integrate several programs that will safeguard the integrity of the machine. There are dedicated programs for automatic rinsing, descaling, and cleaning, among others. All these programs are also made accessible via a dedicated button.
We love the automatic cleaning program of the X9. All you need is a tablet of cleaning formulation and 15 minutes of runtime and the machine is as good as new. Every time you switch on and turn off the machine, it performs a hot water rinse of the vital components. The X9 also automatically preheats the brew unit, so it can serve its first customer of the day in an instant.
Even the mundane task of checking the dregs box is already automated. The X9 notifies you when it is time for the emptying and cleaning of the box. The same is true during water filter replacement.
Setting up and programming the coffee machine for the very first time is the only thing that is challenging in the Impressa X9. Everything else is a breeze.
Who this Product is For? / Should You Buy This?
Commercial establishments will benefit the most. The performance and the capacity of the Impressa X9 make this machine ideal in environments where there are many coffee drinkers. Large households can also get the X9, provided every single member is a power drinker. It would be a waste of money to purchase a machine that you are not going to use all its features.
The X9 is also ideal for power coffee drinkers who want precision in their drinks. The beverage customizations allow for the tweaking of individual coffees to suit one’s exacting demands. Moreover, the machine is perfect for people who have outgrown their fascination of the usual coffee recipes. They are now prepared to enjoy more specialized beverages to further hone their palates.
A crucial limiting factor of the X9 is its cost. The initial cost can already set you back by several thousands of dollars. Some people purchase refurbished X9 units instead. These are still expensive, often ranging between $1,000 and $2,000. Installing Jura’s filter will also increase the operating costs. Another factor that potential buyers should always consider is the footprint of the machine. This will never sit well on a small and cramped countertop.
We do not advise homeowners to get the Impressa X9. Its feature set, construction, and design are intended primarily for commercial use. However, it is not uncommon to see large households wanting to get one of the most impressive coffee machines that Jura has ever produced.
Jura Impressa X9 vs Jura S8
Jura intended the X9 for commercial use. If you love the performance of the X9 for your home, then the Jura S8 is a more sensible option. The machine can provide you with 8 amazing specialty drinks and plenty of customizations for a fraction of the price of the Impressa X9.
The Jura Impressa X9 makes it super easy to make your favorite coffee, even if you have never used a super-automatic before.
The materials used in its construction are of the highest possible quality that ensures unsurpassed durability.
Keep in mind, however, that the X9 is best for commercial use. Its hefty price tag puts it out of reach of most households.
Its coffee-production capabilities are only for those who require large amounts of beverages at any given time.
It also has an outdated design.
Nevertheless, this decade-old wonder can still outperform more modern espresso machines.