The Jura A1 is a automatic coffee machine and one of the most popular versions in a wide variety of espresso machines from Jura. While I generally like all of Jura’s super auto machines, I like this one in particular due to the combination of price and features. Read on to learn more!
The Jura A1 Review: A Solid Design
The Jura A1 has a minimalist, no-nonsense design. It’s piano black in color and sports several small silver details, making it, in my opinion, one of the sleekest coffee machines on today’s market.
When I opened the box, the design was obviously the first thing I noticed, however, upon taking it out of the box, I quickly realized that despite the metallic-looking body, the machine is made of mostly plastic parts.
To be more specific, the drip tray, bean hopper, water reservoir, and machine casing are made of plastic. The plastic is hard and seems relatively solid, but it is still plastic nonetheless. This being said, if you’re not a fan of plastic, the A1 might not be the machine for you.
The boiler has been crafted from stainless steel and pairs well with the large 37oz water reservoir I mentioned before. The reservoir is located at the back of the machine instead of the side, but since the machine is light weight it’s easy enough to move the machine to fill up the reservoir.
Now, the bean hopper, on the other hand, is something to ponder over. It holds 5 ounces of beans and comes with an aroma preservation cover and ventilation slots to keep your beans both fresh and fragrant.
On the front of the machine, there’s one single button that can be located with ease. The rest of the functions can be activated via the touch screen panel, which has pressable symbols for descaling, cleaning, water tank, filter, coffee grounds, ground coffee, coffee strength, ristretto, espresso, coffee, and container. Wow! Talk about a lot of options on one tiny panel, right?
In total, the A1 weighs in at less than 20 pounds and is only 9.75 inches high, which is ideal for most countertops.
Setup and Operation
The A1 is fairly simple to set up. Each machine comes with a detailed instruction manual that covers everything from initial set up to operation and maintenance. In addition, you have the option to check out the instructions online if that’s something you’d prefer to do.
Honestly, it took me a bit of time to get used to how to operate this thing. I found it difficult to remember the meaning of each symbol and often had to refer back to the instructions for reference.
The hardest part by far, however, was learning what the lights on the symbols meant. For example, the symbols blink, light up, or flash and each means something different. Once I was familiar with each picture and the lights, though, it was smooth sailing.
The machine works like a charm. It isn’t too loud (a fact that I tested by using the machine at 5 am with my wife asleep in the next room!) and fills the cup surprisingly quickly.
Brewing with the Jura A1
Now onto the most exciting part of the review – the brewing and taste tests!
When you switch the machine on, it automatically rinses the coffee spout. The stream of water stops when the machine has been effectively primed. One thing I should mention about this is that the stream is anything but little, so it’s a good idea to place something below the spout to catch the rinse water unless you want to be mopping the counter every morning.
To get the machine brewing, it requires the basic process – fill the reservoir, fill the hopper, place your cup under the spout, and choose your shot. At this point, you can also choose to specify how much water you want to dispense or opt to go with the pre-selected setting. Once you select your shot and decide how much water you want, it will begin grinding the beans.
I did say that the machine is quiet – and it is, but for the first few seconds of grinding it is somewhat noisy. Afterwards, it falls nearly silent while it prepares your perfect cup of coffee.
Cleaning and General Maintenance
The Jura A1, like any other coffee machine, benefits from daily cleaning and good maintenance. That’s why it’s critical to learn how to clean the machine, as well as how to use it. The user manual that contains the operation instructions also includes cleaning methods, tips and tricks, and guidance for keeping the machine in good condition and working order.
To sum things up, after each use you should clean the drip tray and coffee ground container by rinsing them under hot water. Clean the coffee ground container while the machine is on; if you don’t, the counter won’t reset to zero. You can clean the external parts of the machine with a damp cloth.
When it comes to system integrated maintenance, the A1 is packed full of cleaning features. It has three programs – descaling, filter changing, and cleaning.
Once you’ve brewer 180 cups of coffee, the machine will prompt you to do an automatic clean. However, you can, of course, always choose to do a manual clean whenever you see fit; there’s no need to wait for the prompt, it’s just a helpful reminder in case you’re someone (like me) who tends to neglect coffee machine maintenance.
Descaling the machine is necessary to remove limescale deposits. So, once you’ve started the process you should not interrupt it, as doing so can damage the machine. The process takes roughly 40 minutes but doesn’t require anything more than a few pushes of a button from you, so it should be pretty easy to let it do its thing.
Cleaning the filter is an action that will be prompted after 60L of water has been pushed through the machine. For me, that was after roughly two months of daily, religious use.
So, would I recommend the Jura A1? Sure. Who would I recommend it for? Well, the A1 is a pretty awesome machine, all things considered. If you’re new to the world of Jura machines but are still willing to invest a decent wad of cash into a machine, the A1 will more than likely suit your coffee-loving needs.
Although, if you like lattes or Americanos, the A1 won’t be able to do much for you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any milk steaming or frothing capabilities. It would be a good machine for office use despite its intended use for households only.
All in all, the Jura A1 is a solid machine that I’m pleased that I got to try out. With its sleek design, light weight, and slim body, it’s the perfect machine for small spaces and homes that want to emphasize the curb appeal of minimalism and modernism.
When comparing its shelf price and its features, there are some users who say the Jura is a bit expensive. Given its convenience, though, the price you pay up front should be well worth it in the long run – especially if you treat it with care and keep up on the cleaning and maintenance.
In addition, its operation is smooth and quick – no more waiting what feels like hours for a single cup of coffee. Did I mention that it’s quiet? That’s right! A coffee grinder and brewer that is quiet (aside, of course, from the actual grinding process.
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