It’s a good machine to start out on. Minimal feature set, fairly easy to use, and capable of producing a variety of great quality drinks.
Recommended for: Casual users and people who are new to the world of specialty coffee drinks, although you may find yourself outgrowing it more quickly than you had hoped.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Jura Impressa C65 Automatic Coffee Machine Platinum
- 2 Fairly Easy to Use, Very Easy to Clean
- 3 Pros & Cons of the Jura C65 Impressa
- 4 Jura C65 Review Conclusion
An Overview of the Jura Impressa C65 Automatic Coffee Machine Platinum
Are you new to the world of specialty coffee? Are you anxious to leave the drip-brew world behind, but aren’t interested in learning arcane Barista skills to make specialty drinks?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re going to find a lot to like in our detailed Jura C65 review.
You should know upfront though, that if you’re a coffee purist who values fine-grained control over every aspect of the drink making process, this isn’t the machine for you. It’s designed for pulling high-quality shots and (largely) automating the process of creating other specialty drinks.
The drawback to that is that this model doesn’t offer as much in the way of customization options as you find on some other models. If you’re okay with that, keep reading, and we’ll walk you through everything this machine can, and can’t do!
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The first thing you’ll notice about the C65 Jura is that it’s quite a handsome machine, with sleek lines and unmistakable European styling. Made of sturdy ABS plastic that’s an even mix of silver and black, it should fit right in with most kitchen décor schemes.
It’s also got a fairly large footprint, measuring 11” x 16.1” x 13.6,” but somewhat paradoxically, weighs only 22 pounds. You’d think a largish machine would weigh more, but there are two factors at work here.
One is the fact that it’s a single boiler machine, which we’ll talk about in more detail later, and the other is the material the case is constructed with. The ABS plastic is significantly lighter than stainless steel and plays a big role in the model’s scant weight.
All that to say that although it’s size might make finding it a permanent home an issue if you have limited counter space, it’s light enough that if you have to move it around now and again, it won’t be an issue.
This is an important part of our Jura Impressa C65 review, especially if you’re a power drinker, because if you are, then the size of the water tank really matters, and bigger is almost always better. In this case, the C65 delivers in style, offering a generously-sized 64-ounce, top-loading tank that comes with a filter.
Use of the filter is optional, so using it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Here are the pros and cons associated with that decision:
- The Good: Using the filter means that you cut down on system maintenance because you virtually eliminate the need to descale the machine.
- The Bad: Unfortunately, that added convenience comes at added cost, because filters are expensive. You’ll spend about $25 a month on them, and over time, that can add up quickly. Plus, there are other ways of accomplishing the same goal.
You could, for instance, use distilled water, or, if you’ve already got a water filter installed at your kitchen sink, then using one here would be redundant anyway. Again, it comes down to what’s more important to you, keeping costs down, or minimizing maintenance.
We would like to emphasize here in our Jura C65 review that we were a little disappointed by this feature implementation, but since this machine is designed primarily with coffee novices in mind, we don’t think it will be a deal breaker for that group. Here’s why we were underwhelmed though:
The Impressa C65 Jura utilizes a stainless steel conical burr grinder, rather than a ceramic one. Sure, that keeps costs down, which is fine as far as it goes, but stainless-steel grinders tend to get hot as you use them, which can burn your coffee grounds.
If that happens, the flavor of whatever drink you were making is going to be completely ruined. You’ve wasted beans, and you’ll have to start over.
Granted, this won’t happen if you’re pulling infrequent shots, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re making several back to back drinks. To minimize the risk, just be sure you give the machine a bit of time to breathe between each shot.
The second thing we were less than thrilled with here is the fact that the grinder only offers five different grind settings, which is one less than the industry average. Not good.
It matters because small changes to the way you grind your beans can lead to big changes in the flavor of the drink you’re making. The more settings you have access to, the more you can fine tune your coffee’s flavor.
Five is plenty for beginners, but this is the single biggest reason you might find yourself outgrowing this machine more quickly than you’d like.
There is one bright spot where this feature implementation is concerned though. The grinder utilizes Jura’s “Aroma+” technology, which makes it nearly twice as fast as grinders without the feature. It’s a nice touch, but in our view, doesn’t make up for the shortcomings of this particular implementation.
Note that you also get a two-scoop bypass doser for those quick cups of decaf in the evening, or for times when you’re experimenting with specialty pre-ground coffee. That’s handy, and most non-Jura machines only offer a single-scoop bypass doser. If you use pre-ground coffee on a regular basis, you’ll appreciate this feature.
Pro Tip: This isn’t something that’s particular to the C65, but holds true for super automatics in general – they don’t “do well” with oily beans, so you’ll want to stay away from using Dark Roast beans in your machine. Find a nice Medium Roast you enjoy and stick with that for best results!
We prefer models that offer a double boiler system, which allows you to simultaneously steam milk and pull shots, but they tend to be pricier, and we totally understand why Jura opted for a single boiler in this instance, so we really can’t count it against them.
The Jura C65’s single boiler is aluminum, lined with stainless steel, and utilizes Thermoblock technology for rapid heating, which minimizes your wait time as the machine switches between frothing and brewing. It’s also got two different temperature settings (normal and high), which you can toggle between on a drink-by-drink basis as one of the areas of customization.
We wish there were more temperature settings on offer, but again, as a machine designed for newbies, two’s not bad, and on the highest setting, the temperature should be hot enough for American coffee drinkers.
That’s significant because generally speaking, specialty coffee drinks were meant to be enjoyed at temperatures lower than American coffee drinkers are accustomed to, and one of the most common complaints you hear is that this or that machine doesn’t produce coffee that’s hot enough.
You probably won’t have that issue with the C65, and if you do, even after setting the boiler to high, there’s still something you can do to squeeze a few more degrees out of your drink (skip ahead to the Cup Warming Tray section if you’re curious to find out what!).
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
This is another feature that underwhelmed us slightly, although again, it should be fine for people who are just beginning to explore the world of specialty coffee drinks.
The coffee spouts of the Jura C65 Impressa do indeed telescope, but they only move to accommodate cups ranging in size from 2.6” to 4.4” in height. As power coffee drinkers, we’d have preferred to see a broader range here, that could accommodate cups as tall as 6”, but given the price and focus of the unit, the range offered is certainly acceptable.
The Brew Unit and Control System
The brew unit is where the coffee making magic happens, and the control system is your window into that world.
There’s not much to say about the brew unit, except that it is non-removable, which means that about once a week, you’ll need to pop a cleansing tab into the bypass doser and run a cleaning cycle, which will take about twenty minutes from start to finish.
The control system is fairly simple, with the large selector knob on the left-hand side of the front face of the machine being where all the action is. This knob can be both turned and pressed to make a selection, and this describes the basic menu navigation.
Here, the machine is hampered somewhat by its dated interface. Because it uses LED technology, the menu systems are harder to navigate than they need to be. Even so, given the model’s fairly limited feature set, there’s no significant learning curve here.
It takes about ten minutes to familiarize yourself with the controls, and after your second or third drink, you can consider the machine to be mastered.
There are a few things you can tweak in terms of the shots you pull: You can set the dosing strength, which is a measure of how many beans the unit will grind in making your drink, the quantity of water used, and the brewing temperature of the boiler.
You can also do some basic maintenance routines from here, and set the auto-shutoff time, which ranges from fifteen minutes to fifteen hours.
All in all, it’s fairly simple, but it could be made even simpler with an update to the display.
In terms of drink options, more advanced machines will typically offer you a dozen or more choices. Here, you get just the basics, including:
Armed with these though, and the tools this machine makes available to you, you can make just about any specialty coffee drink you can imagine.
A Few Words About Espresso
Before we talk about the pump the C65 has, we have to say a few words about the differences between drip-brew coffee and espresso.
Drip-brew machines rely on gravity to convey the coffee from the grounds chamber into the pot below, and ultimately into your cup. Espresso machines use pressure, and pressure is measured in bars, with one bar being equal to atmospheric pressure at sea level.
It takes at least nine bars of pressure to make a good espresso, and the C65’s pump is rated at fifteen bars, which means it’s got all the power you need to make world-class espresso, every time you pull a shot!
The Milk Frothing System
There are two ways a company can handle milk frothing. The first, preferred by coffee purists, is to provide a steam wand. This allows you maximum control over the temperature of the milk, and the quality and quantity of the foam produced.
On the other hand, beginners are a bit intimidated by frothing wands, and it’s certainly true that they take time and practice to use.
Since this machine was designed with beginners in mind, it should come as no surprise that Jura opted to go with the newbie-friendly auto-frothing system, and our Impressa C65 review would be incomplete if we didn’t spend some time going over it in detail.
The way this works is that you place a container of milk near the machine, and run the length of plastic tubing from the unit into the milk container.
When you make a milk-based drink, it sucks milk into the boiler through the tubing, heats it, and then dispenses a mixture of foam and froth into your cup.
Note that the way this model is designed, this cannot be considered a true “One Touch” system, because you’ve got to physically move your cup from the milk spout to the coffee spout when making a milk-based drink.
While not a deal breaker, it’s something to bear in mind, because if you order a milk-based drink, you can’t just walk off and come back when the drink’s ready. If you do that, then either the milk or your coffee will wind up in the drip tray.
While coffee purists will thumb their collective noses at the auto-frother, we have to admit that it produces good quality froth, thanks in part to Jura’s “Fine Foam” technology.
True, you have more control and can probably get superior results if you’re skilled with the frothing wand, but that simply doesn’t describe people who are new to this world.
All in all, we can say that if you buy this machine, you’ll be quite satisfied with the froth you get out of it, but again, this is another feature you may outgrow faster than you’d like.
Cup Warming Tray
The Jura C65 has a passively heated cup warming tray on top of the unit.
How important this feature is to you depends on how hot you like your coffee.
If you’ve set the boiler temp as high as it will go, and your coffee still isn’t as hot as you’d like it to be, put your cup on the cup warming tray a few minutes before making your drink.
When you dispense into a cold cup, you lose a surprising amount of heat. By warming the cup, you mitigate this loss, which will bump up the drink temperature by several additional degrees. Try it yourself and see – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes!
Fairly Easy to Use, Very Easy to Clean
We already talked about the somewhat primitive display, which works against the machine’s ease of use, so we won’t rehash that here, except to say that even when you feel like the display is working against you, it would be unfair to say that the C65 is difficult to use – just that it could be made easier.
One thing you won’t have any problems with though is how easy the unit is to keep clean.
The manual offers good, concise instructions on all the different bits of maintenance you’ll need to do, and the machine is quite good at letting you know when it needs something from you.
Many of the maintenance functions are either semi- or fully-automated that keeping it clean and ready for use is a snap and the few things you have to take care of manually, like emptying the drip tray, and dregs box are made easier by the fact that it’s easy to access those components.
All in all, we regard this as a quite strong feature implementation. Maintenance is never glamorous or fun, but at least Jura made it easy, so hat’s off to them for that!
Pros & Cons of the Jura C65 Impressa
Okay, so this machine clearly isn’t for everyone, but it does have a lot going for it.
In our mind, the biggest pros of this model are:
Its biggest drawbacks are the limited number of grind settings and the relative lack of fine-grained controls. On the other hand, given that this model was designed with beginners in mind, it’s hard to find too much fault in the lack of fine-grained controls, as these would only serve to intimidate someone new to the world of specialty coffee drinks.
Jura C65 Review Conclusion
And that’s a wrap on our Jura C65 review. On the whole, we like it, and would heartily recommend it to any new user who’s looking for a machine that will take most of the guesswork out of making specialty coffee drinks.
We do not recommend it for coffee purists, who will chafe under the limitations of the small number of grind settings and the lack of a proper frothing wand.