As anyone who’s ever met me can probably tell from my slightly dilated pupils and permanent inability to STOP TALKING, I’m a bit of a coffee nut. Or should that be bean?
Anyway, those unfortunate people will also know that in my 10 years as a tech journalist, I’ve tested out more than my fair share of coffee machines. So you can rest assured that I don’t make the next comment lightly, but this new Jura Impressa Z6 bean-to-cup machine makes the best espressos I’ve ever tasted.
OK, you would expect anything that came out of a £1,900 coffee maker to taste pretty special, but these smooth espressos have an especially thick crema (the bit that gives the drink its taste) and not a hint of bitterness… and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same technology used to create them will soon be available in a budget version.
The secret behind these longer and less bitter drinks is something called PEP (Pulse Extraction Process), which is a new way of forcing water through the coffee grounds. Rather than one continuous high-pressure flow, the water is fired intermittantly in a machine-gun action – Jura says this ‘teases the maximum flavour’ out of the freshly ground beans.
This PEP technology is only used when making ‘shorter’ ristrettos and espressos of 40ml or less, as Jura believes it disenhances the taste of longer coffees – for these, the Z6 resorts to the old-school way of doing things.
The machine can make 11 different styles of coffee, including a latte macchiato and flat white, and you can tailor every element using the intuitive touchscreen and dial – that’s everything from the temperature and aroma of your coffee to the levels of steam, froth and milk.
When you buy your machine you’ll get a cute little kit bag that includes a litmus paper so you can measure the hardness of your water and set up the machine accordingly. The water tank is has a Claris filter fitted with a microchip, which sets off an alert when it needs replacing, or you can simply use a descaling tablet every so often. You’ll also be alerted if you do silly things like not put enough beans in the hopper, or leave the door open.
Milk is pumped into the Z6 from a detachable flask that you keep in the fridge, or you can invest in a separate refrigerated cooler that can sit on the worktop. Either way, maintenance is easy using the special milk-system cleaning function. You’ll just need to add some cleaning fluid and the machine will do the rest.
The Z6 is available now from John Lewis and Harrods, priced at £1,895.
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