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Oct 22,2010 - Jura Z7 FirstLook...

Jura makes some of the most advanced home espresso and cappuccino machines around. We reviewed Jura's Impressa Z5 unit back in 2006. In general, the Z5 has been a workhorse and has provided us with freshly groundcoffee, espresso, and cappuccino whenever we wanted. With normal periodic cleaning and a little bit of maintenance, these machines were made to last a good long time. Our unit works smoothly and quietly even after four years of daily service. After so many years, we thought it was time to check in with Jura and see what/if any improvements have been made to the Impressa line. Jura's answer to our query was the Impressa Z7 OneTouch.

The big box from UPS showed up earlier in the week, but we got tied up with...well, many of you know what has been occupying our time lately :-) We did not unpack the box until today. Normally, we don't make a big deal with unpacking something (unless it is from Apple), but in this case we thought it warranted a special mention. We have unpacked a lot of stuff over the years and have noticed that heavier items are naturally more difficult to get out of their boxes. The Jura Z7 is a big enough machine that lifting it out of its box can throw out a back if one is not careful. Given the size of the unit, getting our hands around it was not easy. Jura solved the problem in a very clever way...by packing the machine in a box inside another box. The inside box has handles to facilitate lifting the unit. Once removed, the box opened flat, making it easy to slide the machine off onto the table.

Externally, the Z7 keeps the elegant and sophisticated design of the Z5 but updated various details with the use of more luxury materials. The solid aluminum front still has the gentle lines and subtle curves of the Z5, but the spouts and buttons now have a mirror-chrome finish. The platform for the cups has been made wider and heavier. It also has a sturdier and more stable overall feel.

In order to make a great coffee drink, beans should be ground just before brewing. The Z7 has an integrated solid steel conical burr grinder. Its low-noise construction is perfect for use anywhere (home, office, conference room, etc...) Here are a few more details on the features of the grinder:

  • Six fineness settings for any type bean.
  • Electronic bean level sensor: tells you when your bean level is low.
  • Safety cover: when the safety cover is not on, the Z7 One Touch will not grind).
  • Automatic pre-ground funnel system: makes it easy to create one-touch decaf drinks.

The removable 96 oz water container is good for sixty espressos. To ensure the best water for making the drinks, the Z7 has a unique CLEARYL Water Care System. A special organic additive removes almost all carbon and eliminates decalcifying. The filter system removes chlorine, lead, aluminum and copper from the tap water for a better tasting coffee.

The Z7 cappuccino spout is now vertically adjustible (no need to swap the spout as with the Z5), up to 6 inches high to suit all standard latte/macchiato glasses, and high enough to fit a tall travel tumbler. The espresso spouts are laterally adjustible to accommodate any width cups.

Like the Z5, the IMPRESSA Z7 One Touch is completely pre-programmed and ready to brew coffee and cappuccino. The IMPRESSA Z7 One Touch features eight pre-set beverage buttons: Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, hot chocolate, hot tea, one or two cups of ristretto, espresso, or large cups of crema coffee. The user can change coffee strength, coffee volume, and the amount of steamed/frothed milk while the beverage is being made.

Now that we have the unit unpacked, we'll clear a space in the RainyDayKitchen and get it set it up for a thorough test. We are eager to see if we can notice a difference between the usability of the machines or the taste of the drinks. At our annual Thanksgiving gala in November, we'll let our guests try both machines and get their thoughts on the older Z5 and the new Z7 unit. [Permalink] -Jura Z7: FirstLook


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