Comparing Jura coffee machines

From bestreviews.com
By
Merlisa Lawrence Corbett
BestReviews

Most Jura coffee machines are compatible with Jura Operating Experience, an app that allows you to operate your machine from a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Which Jura automatic espresso machine is best for you?

Jura coffee machines are for the type of coffee connoisseurs who enjoy top-quality espresso drinks at the touch of a button — if you like tinkering, measuring, prepping and weighing, these ultra-automatic gems are not for you.

Jura manufactures an array of fully automated coffee systems, ranging from compact espresso makers to commercial machines used at restaurants.

When comparing Jura coffee machines made for the home, what separates one model from another are form, function and technology. Any Jura coffee machine can produce above-average coffee and a good shot of espresso. The various display options, milk-frothing systems, size and construction determine the difference in price.

Standard features

Unlike well-known competitors such as Breville and De’Longhi, Jura doesn’t make a range of manual or semi-automatic machines. Jura is all about the person who wants to drink the type of beverages they order at a coffee shop but feels no need to play part-time barista.

Whether you purchase an entry-level machine under $1,000 or the super-automatic Giga for more than $5,000, Jura machines come with some standard high-end features.

Basic features

All Jura machines produce the same espresso with a rich crema. All machines use whole coffee beans and water filters. They feature some type of milk frother or the option to add one, which allows you to make coffee house drinks such as lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and macchiatos.

Pulse extraction process

Jura machines use Jura’s pre-brewing and Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.), which introduces a tiny amount of water onto grinds, which then swell, similar to the blooming process in pour-overs. The system then sends pulsating bursts of water through the grinds, allowing for better extraction and a more flavorful espresso or ristretto.

App control

Most machines are compatible with Jura Operating Experience (J.O.E.), an app that allows you to operate your machine from a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Higher-end models include a pre-ground bypass that allows you to use ground coffee without having to empty the whole beans receptacle.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential for optimal operation and to extend the life of the Jura coffee system. Coffee residue, oils, fat deposits and other pollutants can build up in the coffee system, impacting taste and how the machine functions.

Water filter

Jura machines use Clearyl water filters, designed to reduce limescale, minerals, fluoride and other pollutants that can taint the taste of your coffee. According to Jura, if used properly, Clearyl filters eliminate the need for descaling the machine, though you still need to descale the water tank.

Jura recommends changing filters every 50 liters or after two months. Although the filters are designed to remove minerals and pollutants, you still need to clean the water tank daily. It may be tempting to leave water in the tank for days, but Jura recommends adding fresh water every day. To keep the tank free of residue, Jura recommends dropping descaling tablets in the water tank for a thorough cleaning every time you change the filter.

Milk frother

Jura coffee machines have rinsing and cleaning programs. You can purchase Jura milk system rinsing and cleaning products. When cleaning the milk frother, make sure to use a milk system container that captures residue that dispenses from the machine during the rinsing process. These containers are dishwasher-safe.

Best Jura coffee machines

Best of the best

Jura D6 Automatic Coffee Machine: available at Amazon and Sur La Table

Our take: The price is right for a high-end system that makes consistently tasty espresso and cappuccino.

What we like: Although priced at $500 less than the Jura E6, the Jura D6 is basically the same machine. Both machines use P.E.P., thermoblock heating and offer seven specialty coffee drinks and the same milk system. If you don’t mind turning a knob instead of touching a screen, you’ll get the same delicious espresso drinks at a much lower price.

What we dislike: The milk system produces a creamy froth ideal for cappuccinos but not for a flat white or traditional latte.

Best bang for your buck

Jura A1 Automatic Coffee Machine: available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Sur La Table

Our take: The A1 is a no-nonsense, easy to use and affordable entry into fully automated coffee systems.

What we like: The A1 is among the more affordable Jura coffee machines. It has a streamlined modern design and features Jura’s proprietary pulsating extraction process. It has an adjustable spout, three programmable buttons on top and a bypass compartment that allows you to use pre-ground beans.

What we dislike: The machine comes without a milk frother. You can purchase one separately; however, you’re still out $700 without the feature you need to make a latte or cappuccino. 

Best intelligent design

Jura Z8 Automatic Coffee Machine: available at Amazon and Sur La Table

Our take: The 4.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen display transforms beverage selection into a user-friendly experience similar to a smartphone.

What we like: The Z8 takes specialty coffee making to another level with 21 beverages a touchscreen away. Make ristretto to green or black tea. The Z8 is a state-of-the-art improvement on the Jura S8, which has many of the same features, but fewer beverage selections and a smaller water tank capacity. The Z8’s milk frothing system offers a dual spout with an automatic switchover from frothed to milk foam.

What we dislike: It costs more than $4,000, a steep price for even the most passionate coffee enthusiast.

Best for small spaces

Jura ENA Micro 5 Automatic Coffee Machine: available at Amazon

Our take: The machine’s display panel is located on the top, leaving the body of the machine free of dials and buttons. In silver, the ENA is a gorgeous minimalist box.

What we like: Sleek and compact, the ENA Micro 5 is ideal for the person who wants Jura quality in a small package. The machine is just 9.1 inches wide and 12.7 inches tall, giving it a narrow profile on the countertop.

What we dislike: With a smaller profile comes limited water capacity. This machine’s tank is 36.8 ounces — if you’re hosting a party, guests will have to wait for frequent water changeovers.

Best high-end machine

Jura Giga 6 Automatic Coffee Machine: available at Amazon and Sur La Table

Our take: It’s the only Jura home machine that can make two large milked-based beverages at the same time.

What we like: The closest thing to having a robotic barista on call, the Giga 6 includes artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art touchscreen features that make it a cinch to use. It has two grinders and the J.O.E. app is built in.

What we dislike: A behemoth, this machine is nearly 40 pounds and 20 inches tall — it swallows plenty of counter space. 
 

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.