The JURA GIGA 6 recently launched, and with some well deserved fanfare. A few of us from Whole Latte Love were lucky enough to be invited to attend a private launch party to celebrate the huge success of the GIGA 5 and usher in the new-beautiful-brilliant GIGA 6. I was there myself, and I can tell you: the air was buzzing with anticipation.
Imagine for a moment our team of 5 arriving at the U.S. headquarters for JURA on a warm, rainy morning. The sky is dark, the clouds are racing, but we're beaming with caffeine and a growing sense of adventure. Inside the lobby we shake off the rain and get our bearings. Employees are hustling back and forth making their final preparations for the event. To our left is a lounge where balloons float against a wall spelling G-I-G-A-6 above a table topped with custom cupcakes in the shape of the GIGA's hoppers, sided by platters of white chocolate covered cookies emblazoned with the red JURA logo. To our right, a floor-to-ceiling decal of the GIGA 6 clings to a glass wall. As we wait for everything to begin, we ask one of the employees what's about to happen. With a thrilled smile she says, "I don't know," before continuing with her work.
Exactly what was about to occur was a mystery to everyone, and it built in such a way that only fueled our burning curiosity.
Soon enough, the lobby is full of people gathered in a crescent around an elevator, it's doors closed shut. We fall silent as Gabriella "Gabby" Gonzalez, Assistant Product Manager, begins the countdown—three, two, one—and the doors roll open. David Shull, Sr. Vice President of Sales of Marketing at JURA, emerges in dignified fashion with a look of absolute delight. It's obvious to everyone that he's not only hosting the launch party, he's taking part. Like everyone else, he's celebrating the next step up for the brand and for automatic coffee at home, and that's exactly what his speech entailed.
He spoke to the success of the GIGA 5, having sold over $17 million worth of units in its seven year run. In a way, hearing the numbers was transformative. The GIGA 5 became less of a product and more a piece of history, and now the GIGA 6 would enter in its place to improve on that achievement. It's a story of something great, and something even better.
At the conclusion of David's speech, we disperse into separate groups, each dispatched to different stations across the office with each station representing a different aspect of the GIGA 6.
My group tours through JURA's customer support center on our way to the first station. Here in the support center, a series of clocks hang on the walls over two large desks outfitted with all the tools a person could need to help over the phone. If the JURA headquarters were a ship, this would most certainly be the bridge.
I'm compelled to make special mention of this simply because our JURA customers in need of support call into this very space. JURA handles all of their own troubleshooting and support, and, as someone who's spent many hours on hold with various service providers, it's encouraging to see the office where it all happens is a large part of their headquarters. As someone who's a part of the Whole Latte Love team, it's unsurprising to see that JURA takes customer support as seriously as we do.
Inside the support room is a training room with glass walls where the first station waits for us. This station represents what JURA refers to as the GIGA 6 Cockpit. The Cockpit is where all of the GIGA 6's settings and parameters are stored or accessed. You can customize each of the GIGA 6's 28 drinks individually, select which grinder to use for each drink (or a combination thereof), and set strength, temperature, and volume.
I was invited to fiddle with the machine myself and, as someone who has been wary about touchscreens on espresso machines in the past, I found the 4.3 inch touchscreen display to be very responsive. In fact, the interface was surprisingly comfortable to navigate and I had no difficulty tinkering. Before we left, we discussed the GIGA 6's Automatic Grinder Adjustment, which finely tunes the ceramic disc grinders for optimal use over extended periods of time.
However, the biggest surprise happened when the representative spun the machine around and opened the back panel by pressing just above the JURA logo. We got a look inside the machine, specifically at the GIGA 6's two hoppers. What we learned is that you can easily remove the GIGA 6's hoppers and swap out on the fly, which is perfect for anyone who wants to have different blends on hand. Maybe it's late, but you still want a coffee. Swap out a hopper for one with decaf in just a few seconds and enjoy some evening joe.
Next, we find ourselves in the JURA conference room, with three large decals on the windows representing different modes of the GIGA 6's interface. Gabby is our representative at this station, and this time it's all about artificial intelligence—an algorithm that automatically populates the screen with your favorite speciality drinks based on your activity. The GIGA can be set to show or hide drink names, and arrange the drinks screen to show different numbers of drinks based on your preference.
J.O.E. stands for JURA Operating Experience, an app for different smart devices that lets you connect to any JURA machine with Smart Connect. In this case, we're brought to station 3 in the JURA showroom where we learn exactly how you can take full control of the GIGA 6 through a bluetooth connection. I can easily see myself getting more comfortable with the app. It's speedy to use and the slider bars for each drink setting are precise. Plus, you can change the names and pictures of each specialty to whatever you like and that's a lot of fun.
Think of it like ordering a coffee from the couch. You're home from work, you've got your feet up, and you're all settled in watching your show. You're really feeling a latte right about now, but you're not about to get up and stand in front of your machine while it brew. You realize you've got your tablet on the end table right next to you. Pull up the J.O.E. app and customize your latte-to-be with a series of responsive sliders and send the order to your machine. Or, if you have company, you can take all of the orders at once and queue up drinks so you don't need to make a list yourself and prepare the drinks individually.
After station 3, we head upstairs and round the corner, greeted by two large glass doors with floor-to-ceiling decals of the GIGA 6. We enter the machine.
Inside, we find a table littered with styrofoam replicas of discarded coffee pucks about 1 foot in diameter. The left and right walls feature floor-to-ceiling decals of the GIGA 6 internals, and in front of us stands the GIGA 6 itself atop a wooden pedestal. For all intents and purposes, we're inside the GIGA 6. This is where we discuss what makes up the GIGA 6—the engineering, the nuts and bolts—everything that makes the GIGA 6 succeed.
More specifically, we discussed it's two thermoblocks, two pumps, two fluid systems, two grinders, the Blue Crystal Rotary Switch, the cooling system with automatically adjusting vent fins, and the 3 mm thick aluminum front section. This station was an excellent reminder that JURA's products aren't simply automatic coffee and espresso machines, they're masterfully designed technologies working in harmony.
For our last stop, we arrive downstairs in the lounge where two GIGA 6s are sat on a table with pictures of specialty drinks standing between them. Here we sample some of the 28 specialties the GIGA 6 is capable of preparing. Coincidentally, this is where we would get our week's worth of caffeine as well (no regrets). More than anything, however, this station would show us how amazing the GIGA 6's parallel preparation can be.
We're instructed to prepare specific specialties on each GIGA 6, using a pair of JURA cups. Then, we take one cup of each drink and compare notes. So, here I am, hopping up and down with energy, saying, "wow, yeah, these are GREAT." And it's true. The drinks were prepared quickly and had the quality to back them up. More importantly, I got to see two super-automatic machines prepare four drinks at once. I haven't seen that anywhere else but the GIGA 6.
Again, we find ourselves gathered in the lobby, greeted by the impeccable David Shull who doubles down on his enthusiasm for the future and for the launch of the GIGA 6. Having now toured the different stations, it's easy to see why. His final speech and the close of the launch event, concluded to the sound of uproarious applause.
It was a wonderful experience, and our team was very grateful for the invitation. Personally speaking, I've never seen excitement with such intensity for a new machine to hit the market as I have with JURA. If there's anything to take away from this experience, it should be this:
JURA believes in their machines, and we do too. We can't wait for you to get your hands on the GIGA 6.