TechKnow: Top-end coffee makers


If you’re perfectly happy with your coffee maker that cost a few hundred dollars, look away now. If you’re content with instant coffee, maybe run away. This week, we’re looking at coffee makers that easily and consistently make a good cup of Joe – at a price.

I tested Breville’s semi-automated Oracle Touch, which takes care of essentials such as coffee dosing and tamping then guides you through basic barista tasks, and the Jura Giga 6. It’s probably as automated as a coffee machine can get at the moment, including making two different drinks simultaneously. Both have colour LCD touch screens offering several types of coffee, which are able to be tweaked (grind size, strength, temperature, volume and milk foam texture) and saved so your ideal brew can be quickly selected every time.

They also have commercial cafe-strength 15-bar pump pressure and replaceable water filters, and come with water-hardness strips so the machine’s operation can be adjusted accordingly. Both regularly self-clean, and alert users when manual cleaning or water and coffee bean top-ups are required. User-friendly design makes these tasks straightforward – especially the Jura’s combo drip tray and coffee-puck receptacle – and is also apparent in their clear, logical screen interfaces.