Review: Jura ENA Micro 90 Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

by Marc Buckman July 14, 2017

Introducing the Micro 90

So if you’re not familiar with bean to cup machines, they grind whole coffee beans fresh for every cup. These machines blow away capsule machines in beverage quality and cost per cup. There’s no substitute for fresh ground coffee and at around fifteen cents per cup - way less expensive than the pre-ground in throw-away plastic packaging.

So a couple of new technologies in the Jura Micro 90 to get the most out of whole bean coffee. First is the aroma G3 grinder. It’s twice as fast as Jura’s previous grinders, it's quieter and uses burrs with an improved cutting angle for a more consistent grind. And, the grinder has six fineness adjustments so you can dial in a grind that matches your beans and beverage. A tip with that, use a coarser grind for regular coffee and go finer for espresso and milk based beverages.

Second, Jura put some PEP in brewing. That P-E-P stands for their pulse extraction process. With this new feature, first introduced in Jura’s more expensive machines water is pulsed through the grounds in short intervals to extract more intensity and aroma. You’ll get a deep syrupy crema making espresso and more clarity and flavor than ever before in regular coffees. Paired with PEP brewing are 10 coffee strength settings. Now most bean to cup machines have just three to five strength settings. With ten settings on the Micro 90 you can dial in flavor exactly how you like it.

Brew water is delivered from a 36 ounce reservoir at the back of the machine. It can be filled at the machine or removed for filling at the sink. The bean hopper holds about four and a half ounces, enough for about 15 coffees at medium strength. The hopper lid has a gasket seal to keep beans fresh. In front of the hopper is a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee… handy for making the occasional decaf.

At the top front of the machine is the plain language display. A rotary dial and push button handle all user input. On the left side are dedicated buttons for frothed milk, cappuccino and latte macchiato. To the right dedicated buttons for hot water, espresso and coffee. All buttons are programmable to dispense the volume you choose. Coffee and water volumes can be set in ounces or milliliters. Milk volumes are programmed in time. In addition, you can program coffee strength in 10 levels, coffee temperature to normal or high and for milk based drinks you can program a delay after frothed milk is dispensed to allow the milk to separate to create the more pronounced layering typical of latte macchiatos. If preferred, all of the drink buttons can be programmed using the press and hold method. Just press and hold the button and coffee or milk is dispensed. When you have the amount you want in your cup press the center button and that amount is stored until reprogrammed.

Milk is fed into the machine through a pick-up tube. You can drop the tube into a milk container or Jura has accessories like glass or thermally insulated carafes or their top of the line cool control countertop refrigerated milk supply. The Micro 90 produces a fine microfoam. It’s not latte art fine, but perfect for a cappuccino or latte macchiato. And with that time delay after froth dispensing that allows milk to separate you can create a drink with very distinct layers if you like.

After making a milk based drink the display will prompt you to do a rinse. Just push the button and water rinses the frothing section. For deeper cleaning, use the milk system cleaner supplied with the machine. Jura has a handy 2 chamber container for doing that which comes with the machine. Put cleaning solution in one side, plug in the pickup tube and the second chamber catches the used solution.

The Test

Let’s take a look at my test results for time and temperatures. From power on to ready to brew was 40 seconds. So no need for a turn on timer, but the machine can be set to turn off automatically in a range of 15 minutes to nine hours.

Here are results for time to make beverages and temperatures. a six ounce coffee brewed in 44 seconds at 181 degrees at the high temperature setting and one 73 at normal. a single 1.5 espresso brewed in 18 seconds after grinding and 180 degrees out of the spouts. A six ounce cappuccino with four ounces of milk froth and two ounces of espresso brewed in 55 seconds with temperature coming in at a perfect 151. Six ounces of water dispensed in 36 seconds at 165. Six ounces of milk froth took 46 seconds and finished at 125 degrees.

The Micro 90 is among the narrowest one-touch bean-to-cup machines available at 8.6 inches wide. It’s 12.7 inches high and 17.5 inches deep. It comes with an in-tank water filter. Like other Jura machines no descaling is required if you use the included water filter and change it out when the machine alerts you to do so. That no descaling required? It’s a unique feature found only on Jura machines when the filter is used as directed.

The coffee and milk spout is adjustable from two and a quarter inches up to five and a half inches. So you can fit relatively tall cups if desired. The drip tray and used coffee box which holds the result of about ten brewing cycles pulls from the front of the machine. For a narrow machine the drip tray is large and you’ll get an alert in the display when it needs to be emptied.

Conclusion

Personally, I really like the sleek minimalist design aesthetic of the Micro 90. With flush mounted rotary control and dedicated drink buttons it avoids the clutter found on some competing machines. The user interface is simple and intuitive with plain language used in the display. The machine is a quick and quiet little powerhouse. The inclusion of new brewing technology found in some of Jura’s more expensive machines like that G3 grinder and the pulse extraction process really make a difference. You’ll get espresso with more rich crema and deeper flavor in regular coffees.

That’s the ENA Micro 90 one-touch bean to cup machine from Jura. It’s available now from whole latte love. As usual if you have any questions on this machine or anything coffee use those comments and I’ll get you the answers.Thanks for reading and I hope to see you soon for more of the good stuff on everything coffee brought to you by whole latte love.

Marc Buckman
Marc Buckman

Marc is Whole Latte Love's resident videographer and expert on everything coffee. He built our YouTube channel from the ground up in 2009, demystifying the world of coffee for upwards of 100k subscribers by producing over 1000 in-depth videos. Marc enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and saving the lives of his coworkers when the kitchen runs out of coffee by sharing some of his own.