- Pulse Extraction Process for optimal coffee extraction
- 15 bar pressure pump
- Programmable customization i.e coffee strength, amount of water, water temperature
- Automated rinsing, descaling and cleaning mode
- Automatic milk rinse
- Adjustable water hardness
- Wireless ready
- Fine foam milk frothing
- Front filling water chamber
- Smart filter
- Fairly expensive
- Grinder is loud
- Oily beans tend to clog the grinder
- Large size is not ideal for small kitchen counters
- Top loading bean chamber
Making espresso hasn’t changed much in the last 100 plus years since the original machine was invented. Jura believes that they have perfected the process with their Jura E8 espresso machine.
Espresso machines are sort of like automobiles.
When the auto was invented it featured a combustion engine. That was the technology at the time. We are still using the same process to power our car engine well over 100 years later. It’s much more efficient now, but, essentially, it’s the same.
A modern, automatic espresso machine forces a blast of hot water through finely ground coffee. Just like the original machine. And, the coffee they produce is very good.
Leave it to the Swiss to ask, “How can we make the coffee better?” To make an espresso at home with the push of a button to the same standards of a high street barista, there needed to be some changes. Jura introduced a pulse system to force the water through the grounds.
Pulsing the water through the grounds is more gentle than the traditional machine. More oils and aromas are extracted this way. The result is an espresso unmatched by many of the one-touch programmes.
Often neglected in the coffee making process is the water. Depending on where you are, your water will have different levels of hardness, chlorine and possibly contaminants. Jura developed a smart filter that automatically detects heavy metals and chlorine and removes them. You can also set the hardness level of your water so the machine will let you know when it is the best time to change the filter.
The LED screen is elegant and easy to use. It prompts you when it needs to be cleaned, when the spent grounds drawer needs to be dumped and guides you through all the different programming functions. All with a modern sense of style.
What makes the Jura E8 a must buy for the tech savvy coffee fanatic, though, is the optional Smart Connect wireless attachment. With an app for your smartphone or tablet, you can wirelessly connect to your coffee machine for complete customization from anywhere. Are you ready to take your coffee into the 21st century?
Obviously the most important aspect about an automatic espresso machine is how good the coffee is. All the bells and whistles won’t hide an inferior espresso.
The Jura E8 has made our top 5 bean to cup coffee machines but lets take a closer look to see if it’s the right fit for you.
How good is the coffee?
The pulse extraction process really does make a difference. The crema produced is thick and frothy. The texture of the espresso is luxurious. It has that mouth feel that is usually lacking in many of the automatic espresso machines.
What before could only be achieved by a professional barista, you can now have in the home.
Of course, the quality of the beans makes a difference. Using high quality, freshly roasted beans will result in a much better espresso.
There is an option for using pre-ground coffee. Which is handy even if you prefer to use whole beans. If somebody wants a decaf, there is no need to take all the beans out of the hopper and load it with decaf. Simply use decaf powder for no hassle. Your decaf drinker will be amazed at how much it tastes like regular caffeinated thanks to the pulse extraction process.
The machine automatically rinses itself with hot water before each coffee is made. That helps not only keep any coffee residue from tainting the fresh coffee, but it also warms the group head. With the group head being warmed, the temperature of the water stays consistent as it passes through.
Some tweaking is necessary to get your preferred coffee style. A few tries of different coarseness of grind, water temperature and water level and you will have perfected exactly how you like your coffee. Ensuring a perfect cup every time.
Is it easy to froth milk?
Are you able to use your finger to press a button? Yes? Then it could not be simpler to produce a fine, microfoam for cappuccino and latte.
There is a hose that extends out of the machine that can be placed right into the milk jug. For a more effective and pleasant looking procedure, you can buy an optional vacuum sealed milk container that the hose plugs right into.
Either way, you will achieve a tight foam perfect for a nice layered cappuccino or latte. The best part is that you don’t need to change the spot where the coffee is made to where the milk is foamed. It truly is a one touch experience.
Select the temperature of the milk you prefer. 60-65 degrees is optimal. Select cappuccino or latte. Walk away. Return to find a perfectly layered and frothy coffee.
Or, don’t walk away. You might just be too mesmerized by the whole experience to want to leave it!
Is the Smart Connect worth it?
Yes. Well, maybe.
If you are a technophile that absolutely has to use the latest high tech app or equipment, then you should get the optional Smart Connect wireless dongle.
If you are a coffee purist that rejects the need to connect everything to your iPhone, then the coffee will still taste just as good.
In other words, it isn’t really necessary.
However, when you want to wake up, grab your phone from the bed-stand and programme your coffee to have it ready before you’ve even washed your face, then you are in luck.
With the app, you can save your own personalized coffee. It’s like an easy button for your coffee. Save your cappuccino settings and name it whatever you like for easy access. You can even give it an image so you can see exactly how you like it.
Add different options for different coffees. “Morning Cappuccino”. “After Lunch Espresso”. “I Really Need To Pull an All-Nighter”. Whatever strength you like. Whatever temperature you like. It’s all saved on your apps start screen.
It all works by Bluetooth so make sure you have Bluetooth 4.0 or later enabled. It works on Android devices with version 4.4 or higher, or Apple devices with IOS 7.0 or higher.
It may seem gimmicky at first. After a while you will wonder how you survived this long without a coffee app.
Is it easy to clean?
It’s not entirely hands-free, but cleaning the Jura is very easy. Especially since it reminds you of when to do your regular maintenance to keep it from getting very dirty to begin with.
The cleaning cycle indicator will remind you of when to add a cleaning tablet to the machine for a deep cleaning to get rid of any coffee residue build up. The LED will let you know after 200 cups of coffee that it needs to be done. There is nothing to remove or wash.
To clean the milk hose, fill a container with 250 ml of water and add the recommended cleaning solution in the appropriate dose. Put the hose into the container and another container under the frothing nozzle to collect the waste water. Then run the clean cycle for the milk frother.
Alternately, the hose can be put into the dishwasher for a deep clean.
The hose should be cleaned everyday. Milk can collect in the hose and go sour. That’s not unique to the Jura. All automatic frothers should be cleaned daily.
What are the drawbacks to the Jura E8?
No matter the price point, any automatic espresso maker will have some drawbacks. That’s the price to pay for the convenience of a one touch programme. The Jura E8 is no exception.
The one problem that is most likely to occur is a jammed hopper. If you use oily beans, then chances are pretty good that you will encounter this. The oil of the beans creates a residue in the burr grinder leading to jams.
This can be avoided by using beans that aren’t so oily. Oily beans don’t indicate quality. A good crema comes from the extraction of the essential oils within the bean. If you must use oily beans, make sure you are wiping out the hopper occasionally to avoid any residue build up.
The burr grinder is also very loud. If you are an early riser and want your coffee first thing, you may wake up others who are still in bed. This is of course a minor complaint and may not affect everybody the same way.
Jura recommends storing the coffee cups on top of the machine for passive cup warming. The problem is that the machine doesn’t stay warm enough to keep the cups warm. For warm cups you must either by the optional cup warmer. Or, add some hot water from the steamer to the cup and rinse it. Not a deal breaker by any means, but for the price tag it seems like a small detail that could have been easily fixed.
The most obvious drawback is the price. It is very expensive. The Swiss engineering and technology make this a premium product that does come with a price. If you insist on having the ultimate coffee that can be made at home, then the price may not be a deterrent.
The Jura E8 is an amazing coffee machine.
If you just have to have the utmost quality cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home. If you have to have that coffee at the touch of a button or from an app on your phone. Then you will no doubt be happy with the Jura E8.
Your only alternative is to go to barista school and spend £10,000 on a manual machine. You simply can’t get a better cup of coffee with just the touch of a button.
All the bells and whistles of the Jura may seem like overkill, but the results are an exceptional cup of coffee every time. No guesswork, no learning curve.