Something’s Brewing

After nine good years, and what we estimate was 3,600 lattes and hot chocolates, our venerable Starbucks Barista™ espresso machine finally bit the dust. The steam wand sheared off in the middle of the shaft during a wipe-down last week. It was both sad and relieving, I must say. I am of mixed emotions since this is very much indeed the end of an era.

I bought the copper beast while working at Starbucks – Victoria’s Broadmead location to be exact, during one of Starbucks’s famous Christmas sales. Fresh out of university, and pursuing more of a social life than a career, Starbucks gave me enough employment to pay the bills. As a staff member I recall that I was entitled to something like 30% off hardware, and the Christmas-time 30% off sale further compounded my savings. I think I got the thing for about $200.

But who knew it would hang on this long.

I babied it, that’s for sure. I mastered its use, and always wiped it down and cleared the steam pressure from the boiler before shutdown. But it was a long time dying. A fully manual machine, it required making the coffee by hand – a practice Starbucks itself abolished in their cafes nearly 7 years ago in favour of fully automatic machines.

We’d been planning on getting a new machine soon anyway. I’d been talking about it for a couple of months. I wanted a fancy, new machine that did all the work for me, save for some key artisanal aspects like steaming milk (the ones that do that for you are just gross – think of the milk build up in the lines – yuck!).

And so, as I said, I was a bit excited when our old unit broke, since this entitled me to a new one. Good timing financially too, with a couple big cheques arriving these days.

Lots of research led me to Jura: a Swiss company known for pretty machines that do a great job of making coffee. I bought the ENA 5, ENA being a new line for Jura that is compact (relatively speaking), beautiful and fully functional. This is one of those machines where you pour a half-pound of beans in the top, press a button, and get a fully customizable espresso out the other end in about 30 seconds. I can program water volume per shot, temperature of the shot and the amount of coffee beans per shot. It even cleans itself.

We’ve been through half a pound of coffee since getting it last Friday, and I must say I’m quite impressed, though still perfecting the programming of each serving.

About the author cdub

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One Comment

  1. Sounds excellent. I’ll be following along to see how you end up liking it. Would love to get something that grinds beans on its own to replace the T-disc system we’ve got at the moment.


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