A solid, small mid-range machine that will serve you well.
Recommended for: People with limited space and casual coffee drinkers. Not recommended for power drinkers (too small) or coffee purists (not enough control).
An Overview of the Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch Micro Silver
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch Micro Silver
- 2 Simple to Use, Simple to Clean
- 3 Pros & Cons of the Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch
- 4 Jura ENA Micro 90 Review Conclusion
Are you a “casual” coffee drinker? That is to say, you need a cup or two to get you going in the morning, but you’re not glued to your coffee machine all day, guzzling cup after delicious cup?
Do you live in a smaller household, or by yourself? Do you live in an apartment or a home with a small kitchen?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re going to love the Jura ENA Micro 90 review that follows, and it may be the perfect machine for you. It’s specifically designed to cater to the kinds of people we described above.
A full-featured machine that offers a curious mix of older and cutting-edge coffee technologies, it delivers world-class espresso, every time you use it, and gives you all the tools you need to create just about any coffee drink you can imagine.
A few of these are offered with one-touch convenience, and for the rest, you’ll have to let your inner Barista out to play, but the bottom line is, armed with this machine and a bit of creativity, you can make coffee magic happen.
We’ll cover everything this machine can do in the sections below, and give you full details on its limitations (and it has them!), so you’ve got all the information you need to decide if this is the right model for you.
Form Factor, Footprint, and Aesthetic
The first thing you’ll notice about the Micro 90 is its striking, minimalist design. All you see when looking at the front of the machine is the smooth front panel and the coffee spigot, which includes an integrated milk/hot water spout. The control panel and the selector dial are both discretely located on top of the device.
It’s mostly silver, and made almost entirely of sturdy ABS plastic, with a few black and metal accents. If you like the minimalist aesthetic, then you’ll love the look of this model. If you don’t, then it’ll blend in seamlessly with your kitchen’s décor and practically vanish until you have need of it.
It’s not a very big machine, measuring 9.1” x 17.5” x 12.7,” and weighing in at just 20.7 pounds. If you’re short on countertop space, you shouldn’t have any real problems finding this unit a home, and even if you do, it’s relatively light weight makes it easy to relocate as needed.
We’re power coffee drinkers. As such, we tend to be biased toward bigger machines with generously-sized reservoirs. In this case, we were left feeling a bit underwhelmed. The reservoir of the Jura Ena Micro 90 one touch only holds 37-ounces of water and is accessed via the top of the machine, at the back.
That’s not bad, provided you’re not a heavy coffee drinker. If you are, then you’ll be annoyed by the fact that you have to stop too often to refill the tank.
The reservoir has space to accommodate a water filter which you can use at your option. Opinions are divided on the use of a water filter. On the one hand, using a water filter will virtually eliminate the need to periodically descale your machine, which cuts down on the amount of maintenance you have to do.
The downside is the fact that filters are expensive, and if you make use of them, over time, your total cost of ownership will increase significantly. Plus, there are other ways to minimize your need to descale. If you’ve got a water filter on the faucet of your kitchen sink, you don’t need another filter on your machine. Likewise, if you use distilled water, you won’t need to use a filter at all.
There are no right answers here. At the end of the day, it comes down to a matter of personal preference, and what works best for you and your household.
There are some things we like about the way this feature is implemented in the Jura ENA Micro 90 automatic coffee machine, and other aspects of it that we don’t.
First, the bad. The top-loading bean hopper attached to the grinder only holds 4.5 ounces of beans. At that size, it’s well-paired with the size of the water tank, but it’s just too small for a lot of households.
Again, it’s fine if you live on your own, or in a small household where nobody drinks a lot of coffee, but unless that’s the case, you’re going to get annoyed fast when you have to stop what you’re doing to add more water and beans to your machine.
The grinder itself is a conical, ceramic burr, with a total of five different grind settings, which you can adjust via a control dial located inside the bean hopper.
We like the fact that Jura used a ceramic grinder here. They are superior to stainless steel grinders because the burrs don’t heat up when you use them.
One of the problems you see in machines that use stainless steel burrs is the fact that their heating can burn your grounds and thus, ruin the taste of your coffee. You don’t have that problem here, which is excellent.
On the other hand, it’s only got five different grind settings. While that’s about average, the reality is that you can find plenty of machines on the market today that offer a dozen or more different settings.
That’s important because getting your grind right is a vital part of making a great tasting cup of coffee. Small changes in grind setting can make a big difference in the way the finished product tastes. Since everyone’s tastes and preferences are different, the more options you have on this front, the better. Five settings just aren’t enough to cater to everyone’s tastes, in our opinion.
One final point to raise here in our Jura Ena Micro 90 review, and this isn’t something that’s specific to the Micro 90, but is true of almost all semi- and super-automatic machines in general. They don’t do well with oily beans. For best results, find a nice Medium Roast you enjoy, and stick with that!
Note: If you don’t feel like using fresh coffee beans, Jura has also included a one-scoop bypass doser for your convenience.
The Jura Micro 90 has a single aluminum boiler, lined with stainless-steel. It features Thermoblock technology, which allows for rapid heating. You can certainly find super-automatic coffee machines for sale that utilize a double boiler system. The key benefit here is that it lets you simultaneously steam milk and brew coffee.
In this case, you’ll have to wait as your boiler shifts gears between milk steaming and coffee brewing, but your wait time is measured in seconds, rather than minutes, and certainly isn’t a deal-breaker for most people.
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
Like most other super-automatic coffee machines, the Jura Micro’s coffee spigots move up and down, accommodating cups as small as 2,” to a maximum cup height of 5.4.” Other machines on the market can accommodate cups up to 6” in height, but the Micro doesn’t miss this mark by much.
Power drinkers tend to use bigger cups, so if you’re more of a casual coffee drinker, this unit’s maximum height shouldn’t be problematic.
The Brew Unit and Control System
This is the heart and soul of any espresso maker. The brew unit is where the coffee magic happens, and the control system is your window into it, where you can make drink customization, adjust settings, reset the machine to factory defaults, and the like.
Most super-automatic espresso makers place their control system on the front face, but the Micro 90 is different. Its LED, control knob and selector buttons are all located on the top, furthering the unit’s minimalist appearance.
Although the use of older technology (LED) can often count against a coffee maker, in this case, it’s a good decision. Given the placement of the control panel, a brightly lit LCD or TFT (Thin Film Transistor) would be wasted, and the menus are simple enough that either would be overkill on a machine like this.
Although you can use this model to make almost any specialty coffee drink you can imagine, the following are available with one touch:
Concerning customizing these drinks, menu options allow you to adjust the milk and foam volume, the shot time, and the temperature. That’s not as many options as some machines give you, but it’s more than enough to make casual coffee drinkers happy.
The control system can also be used to set the auto-shutoff timer, which can be adjusted to any interval between 15 minutes and 9 hours. There is no option to set an auto-on time.
The brew unit itself is not removable, so as part of your weekly maintenance routine, you’ll want to insert one of your cleansing tablets into the bypass doser and run a cleaning cycle.
Early on in our Jura Ena Micro 90 automatic coffee machine review, we made the point that it utilized a strange mix of old and new technology, and here’s what we meant. Although the LED is decidedly old school, this model features an advanced, cutting edge brewing process known as PEP (Pulse Extraction Process).
Before we get into exactly what that means, we have to say a few words about espresso.
If you’re new to the world of specialty coffee drinks, then you’re probably getting your daily coffee fix from a drip-brew system right now. Those systems rely on gravity to convey the coffee from the grounds chamber and into your waiting pot or cup.
Espresso machines are different. They rely on pressure, which is measured in bars. One bar of pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure at sea level. It takes at least 9 bars of pressure to make a good espresso. The Micro 90’s pump has a rated output of fifteen bars, so you won’t have any problems on that front.
So what does all that have to do with PET?
When most espresso makers brew a shot, they do so in one continuous stream of pressurized water. PEP changes that but jetting the water into the compressed grounds in a series of pulses.
This results in a slightly longer brewing time, and a richer, more robust flavor. It may be the biggest espresso innovation in decades, and we’re thrilled to see this machine utilize it.
The Milk Frothing System
Coffee purists won’t like this, but the Micro 90 doesn’t offer a frothing wand, opting instead for an auto-frothing system. The machine doesn’t come with a dedicated milk carafe, so you’ll have to provide your own. While any container you have will do, most people use a small, stainless-steel pitcher. If you don’t have one, and money’s tight, don’t sweat it. Just make do with what you have on hand.
To froth milk using this machine, just take the length of provided plastic tubing, insert one end into your milk container, and attach the other to the machine.
If you’re ordering one of the pre-programmed drinks from the menu, you can set the amount of foam you want before you begin the brewing process. While this doesn’t give you the same degree of control that a frothing wand does, it also doesn’t require any practice or skill to use. You just set the level you want and push the button. Easy and convenient.
If you want to let your inner Barista out to play, you can make a wide range of drinks that go far beyond what the menu offers. Most specialty drinks have espresso at their heart, so you can make an espresso, then steam milk into a separate container, in whatever amount pleases you, and combine them in any way you like. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Note too that when the milk spigot isn’t being used for that purpose, it pulls double duty as a hot water dispenser, allowing you to make a variety of other hot drinks, including teas, hot chocolate, etc..
Cup Warming Tray
This will be a short section because unfortunately, the Micro 90 doesn’t have a cup warming tray.
That can be problematic for some people because the bottom line is that specialty coffee drinks are meant to be enjoyed at a lower temperature than the coffee you get out of your drip-brew machine.
The temperature is even lower when you start making milk-based drinks because you have to steam milk at a lower temperature, lest you ruin its flavor. When you mix the two together, you lose more heat, and you lose even more if you dispense your drink into a cold cup.
The cup warming tray (on models that have one) is your secret weapon against heat loss, and in machines that don’t offer a tray like this one, you’ll want to take the step of filling your cup with hot water while you are setting the machine up. When you’re ready to brew, just dump the water in the drip tray and proceed to make your drink!
Simple to Use, Simple to Clean
Thanks to the unit’s somewhat limited set of features, and its minimalist design, it’s relatively simple to use. That’s not to say that there’s no learning curve at all, but if you’re okay with the pre-programmed drinks, and given that the work of creating foam is done for you, after 3-4 drinks, you can count yourself as having mastered the machine.
While the LED is dated technology, it’s well used in this regard, and the simplistic menu system is still easy to navigate.
Cleaning is likewise a snap. Not only is the maintenance menu easy to find and navigate, but the sleek, simplistic design of the unit makes it easy to access all the components you’ll have to clean manually.
In our view, this is one of the best features of the Micro 90. Even if you don’t personally like the minimalist aesthetic, you’re almost sure to appreciate its strength as a design choice. Jura did a great job here.
Pros & Cons of the Jura ENA Micro 90 One Touch
Most of what we would offer up concerning improving this model would take away from its focus as a smaller machine, designed for casual coffee drinkers. For instance, we’d love to see a bigger water tank and bean hopper, but those changes would essentially reinvent the whole machine.
About the only genuine gripe, we’ve got then, is the fact that the model uses far too much plastic. Given the price of the unit, we feel it should have more metal accents, which would increase its longevity and give it much greater durability.
Jura ENA Micro 90 Review Conclusion
As you can see from our Jura ENA Micro 90 review, we like this model. It’s a well-designed product and is equipped with enough features to make a broad range of drinks.
Having said that, in our view, this model is narrowly focused and is designed to appeal to a relatively specific subset of the market. If you:
Then you’re going to love this machine. The fewer of those conditions that apply to you, the less you’ll like it, and in that case, you’re better off looking for something that’s a better fit for your life and lifestyle.
Sources & Resources
Coffee Dino Also Suggests: