Jura E8 Review: Versatile Super-Automatic Coffee Machine
With the E8 espresso machine, Jura promises users exceptional customisation and an easy ownership experience. As a super-automatic espresso machine it offers one-touch brewing for everything from ristrettos to flat whites. All of this at a price that is likely to make your eyes widen. Is the Jura E8 really all that? Let’s find out!
SUMMARY: The Jura E8 Automatic Espresso Machine
- Drinks are tremendously customisable
- Automated cleaning cycles make maintenance easy
- Sleek, though fingerprint-prone, design
The most successful automatic coffee machine in JURA’s history, now even easier to use, with an even greater variety of specialties and an even more sophisticated design.– Jura
Jura E8 Automatic Espresso Machine Review
The Jura E8 is a premium espresso machine with enough bells and whistles to satisfy even the pickiest of coffee drinkers. Equipped with an automatic milk frother and cutting edge brewing technology, this espresso machines puts an array of frothy coffee recipes at your fingertips. Though it is an expensive brewer, it is a Jura, a company well-known and loved for their products’ impeccable design and quality.
Design – 4.5/5
The Swiss-designed Jura is a beautiful machine available with either glossy piano black or chrome sides flanking a chrome dual-outlet espresso spout. While the chrome siding is certainly eye-catching, it also tends to show fingerprints and so requires some extra care to stay in top form.
A TFT-LCD screen on top displays all of the potential drink options and settings. Instead of relying on a touch screen, the Jura E8 has 6 physical buttons that correspond to on-screen selections. While some people may prefer a touch screen, the buttons actually keep the screen from being covered in fingerprint smudges, which we appreciate. This is a luxury coffee machine, after all, so it should look the part.
While the Jura E8 is not a small device, it is fairly average sized for super-automatic espresso makers. At 11W x 13.6H x 17.5D, it should fit under most countertops and is narrow enough to fit in relatively tight spaces.
As you would expect from a super-automatic espresso machine, the Jura E8 can make a variety of coffee drinks with the push of a button. The dual spouts on the front dispense espresso while the spout on the right side of the machine steams and froths milk.
The E8 has a large, 64 ounce/2 litre side-mounted water reservoir. It is easily removable, so you can fill it in place or take it off to fill it separately.
The bean hopper holds 10 ounces of whole coffee beans, and the spent grounds container only needs to be emptied after 16 drinks have been made. The bean hopper has a silicone gasket, helping to keep your beans fresher.
For most automatic espresso makers the spent grounds container is the limiting factor for how many beverages can be made without interruption.
The Jura E8 includes a built-in steel burr grinder which Jura calls the Aroma G3. The grinder has 6 settings, which is perhaps a little less than would be ideal. If you are someone who enjoys experimenting with your coffee by tweaking the grind, you may want to think twice before investing in the E8. However, if you are loyal to just one or two brew styles, this grinder will do just fine.
Brewing System – 4.5/5
When it comes time to brew, the Jura E8 has an alphabet soup of systems that make for precise and consistent coffee. The process begins with the “Intelligent Pre-Brew Aroma System,” or IPBAS. IPBAS facilitates dose-dependent pre-infusion; the machine measures the amount of coffee you use and dispenses a corresponding amount of water. This pre-infusion causes the coffee grounds to swell, making channeling less likely and resulting in a more consistent espresso. (1)
“Pre-infusion refers to the process of gently soaking the puck of coffee in your portafilter before applying the full desired brewing temperature.”
After pre-infusion, the machine engages Jura’s Pulse Extraction Process, or PEP. You can detect the PEP by the faint pulsing noise in lieu of the typical hum of the water pump. The effect is a longer brew time and, according to Jura, better extraction for low volume coffee beverages like espresso and ristretto. We have found that, while the PEP does make for a slightly longer brew time, the espresso it produces is not noticeably different than the espresso produced by a Jura without the PEP system.
Disappointingly, the Jura E8 only has a single thermoblock heating system. This means that switching between espresso brewing and steaming takes additional time and introduces a greater chance of inconsistent brew temperatures. In practice the switchover is fairly prompt, but at this price it would be nice to see dual heaters.
Coffee Quality and Versatility – 5/5
The Jura E8 offers precise and delightfully quick automatic brews including espresso, ristretto, coffee, cappuccino, latte, and flat white. For the non-milk based beverages, pressing the brew button twice tells the machine you’d like to brew a double. The E8 froths and steams milk at the push of a button and dispenses hot water for americanos or hot tea.
Invented in the 1980s, flat whites are milk based espresso drinks that are more coffee forward than lattes with less foam than cappuccinos.
All of these modes are individually customisable, and the best part is that the double setting will mirror the settings you choose for a single. There are 8 coffee strength settings to choose from, ranging from a 5 gram dose all the way to 16 grams. Given that plenty comparable machines max out at 10 gram dose, this is impressive. (2)
A typical shot of espresso uses between 7 and 14 grams of coffee. Double shot portafilters can hold up to 25 grams.
The Jura E8 also gives users the freedom to customise brew temperature, shot volume, and milk volume for drinks like a latte or flat white. You can even pick how long of an interval you would like between pouring the milk for lattes or cappuccinos and adding espresso. This delay allows the milk to stratify into a layer of foam and steamed milk. Fun fact, the longer the delay between pouring milk and espresso, the drier the milk foam will be.
The Jura E8 makes customising your programs super easy. Simply hold down the brew button until the “Enough Coffee?” message appears on the screen and then press any button to save the setting. More detailed customisation options are available on the legible TFT screen, so browse through and program in your ideal cup of joe! The E8 is designed to work for you in every way, allowing you to tweak brew settings before and during a brew cycle.
A pre-ground coffee chute allows you to brew a second bean variety without removing your whole coffee beans from the hopper. This is great for the occasional batch of decaf. The Jura E8 allows you to put in roughly two tablespoons of ground coffee, considerably more than most super-automatics that have a pre-ground bypass option.
When it comes to creating milk based beverages, the Jura E8 uses Jura’s HP3 milk delivery system. Unlike a commercial or panarello style wand, the Jura uses a flexible silicone hose to draw milk out of its vessel, steam and froth it, and dispense it directly into your cup. Jura is happy to sell you insulated carafes or even a countertop refrigerated carafe to keep your milk cold – alternatively you can draw the milk straight from the jug or from a cup.
While automatic milk dispensers like this lack the customisation of wand style dispensers, they can reliably deliver decent frothed milk with zero effort on your part. The milk dispenser features a dial that allows you to control how much foam is being created.
Though the froth produced by the E8 is great, we are disappointed with the milk carafe sold separately, so if you are looking for a machine that does it all, we suggest you look at the Jura Z6, ENA8, or A9.
Cleaning and Maintenance – 4/5
Super-automatic espresso machines rely on an intricate dance of moving parts and high-pressure hoses. The combination often results in machines that require quite a lot of care and maintenance to keep working. However, Jura has worked hard to engineer smart-cleaning right into the product.
When the machine is first plugged in, it asks about the hardness of your water. Using the included test strip, you can take a reading and input that answer into your device. Based on the hardness of the water, the machine automatically sets up descaling intervals so that your maintenance is correlated to the machine’s needs. But wait! If you don’t want to go through the trouble of descaling, all you have to do is use the Jura filtration system.
Jura’s newest water filters are part of what it calls its Intelligent Water System. The water filters include RFID tags that filter out limescale and other harmful substances, regardless of the hardness of the water. The machine can detect the filter and sets the filter replacement intervals so that you never have to worry about forgetting to change it. Naysayers might argue that this is simply a way to lock users into using Jura branded water filters, and perhaps they’re right.
However, limescale kills espresso machines and both Jura and the customers stand to benefit from the machines operating at their best. (3)
On a daily basis, the machine will generally take care of itself by running rinse cycles when you first power it on, as well as ten minutes after making any milk beverages, and once more when you power the device off.
Jura recommends a more thorough cleaning of the milk dispenser after every use. This involves filling Jura’s provided cleaning caddy with their branded cleaning solution and then running 250mL of solution through the milk frother. Finally, they advise that the frother be dismantled and rinsed. (4)
Every 180 beverages (or 80 on/off cycles) the machine will prompt you to run a clean cycle. This process is straightforward and simply involves emptying the drip and grounds tray, adding a cleaning tablet to the pre-ground coffee chute and letting the machine do its thing. Again, though you are essentially locked into using Jura cleaning tablets, the result is a lifespan measured in decades. Some of our team at Homegrounds have been loyal to their Jura machines for over a decade, so when we say they go the distance, you can believe it.
Value For Money – 4/5
Like the Jura S8, which is similar to the E8 but with a better LCD display, the Jura E8 is undeniably expensive. However, it offers a tremendous amount of customization and Swiss build quality. At the end of the day, no super-automatic espresso maker is inexpensive, so it really comes down to which machine will suit you best. The Jura E8 is feature-laden, reliable, easy to use, and easy to maintain. All this considered, it represents a good value, but it isn’t necessarily a gadget for all budgets.
Do Not Buy The Jura E8 If…
You are not interested in brewing milk-based beverages – A lot of what you’re paying for with the Jura E8 is its automatic milk frother. If you aren’t the kind of person to drink milk-based beverages you can save a significant amount of money and space by opting for model that does not have a milk dispenser. The Jura ENA Micro 1 is a good choice, although it does lack some of the higher end features like PEP and the elaborate customisation available on the E8. It has also been discontinued by Jura, but is still accessible through alternative vendors. The Jura A1 also delivers excellent, simple coffee drinks, check out our review here.
You are looking for a budget super-automatic – If you’re committed to the idea of a super-auto but the E8 breaks the bank, consider the Gaggia Brera. The Brera includes a panarello-style steam wand which means you can still have milk based beverages – although you’ll have to do the frothing yourself.
You want a smarter superautomatic espresso machine – The E8 is an exceptional machine, but it is still not the very top of Jura’s technological achievements in the world of coffee. The Giga 5, on the other hand, reaches a new level with a dual set of grinders and thermoblocks as well as nearly unprecedented options for customised drinks. All at the touch of a button! Read our full review of the Giga 5 here.
The Verdict On The Jura E8 Automatic Espresso Machine
The Jura E8 offers an array of premium features for the price of a mid-range super-automatic espresso machine. The stylish design, programmable beverage modes, and automated maintenance procedures make the Jura E8 an easy espresso maker to live with. While it is missing some of the features found in higher-end models like ceramic grinders or dual heating elements, it still manages to deliver a great user experience. The price tag of the E8 is undeniably high, but we feel confident that it will pay for itself in the time and money saved by not going to coffee shops or having to replace a lower-quality machine. If you are still unsure whether or not the E8 is the best option for you, check out our full Jura review round-up here.
- Clive Coffee. (2019, May 9). What is Pre-Infusion? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIm23AsY8nc
- How Many Ounces In a Shot of Espresso? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://espressocoffeeguide.com/how-many-ounces-in-a-shot-of-espresso/
- Guerra, G. (2018, June 21). What Café Owners & Baristas Need to Know About Water Quality Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/06/what-cafe-owners-baristas-need-to-know-about-water-quality/
- JURA Elektroapparate AG. (2019) Jura E8/E80: Instructions for Use. Retrieved From https://us.jura.com/-/media/global/pdf/manuals-global/home/E-Line-2018/download_manual_v18_E8_E80_E800.pdf?la=en&hash=DEAF51650B7E5F8C3A7D440854259F9DAB12075E&em_force=true