Need to know
- Jura are high-end automatic coffee machines with price tags to match. There are currently 10 models available ranging in price from around $1500 up to over $6000
- CHOICE experts have tested five currently available Jura coffee machines, assessing factors such as the flavour of the coffee they produce and how easy they are to use and clean
- CHOICE members have access to our reviews of dozens of automatic, semi-automatic and manual espresso machines, as well as coffee pod machines, to help you decide which one is right for you
Swiss-engineered espresso machines that bring barista-quality coffee to the homes of even the most inexperienced coffee makers at the press of a button sounds like a dream come true for caffeine lovers. Such is the promise of leading coffee machine brand Jura, which sells a range of high-end automatic coffee machines boasting a number of sophisticated features.
But, their products also have premium price tags stretching into the thousands that may make you drop your cappuccino, so this is one purchase you'll want to ensure is right for you and your coffee habits.
CHOICE experts regularly test a range of automatic, semi-automatic, capsule and manual coffee machines in our labs and say that it's important to do your research before settling on your dream coffee machine. Here we weigh up some of the pros and cons of Jura machines and some things to consider before you buy to help you decide whether a Jura machine is worth the investment.
Jura sells automatic coffee machines that promise foolproof operation. They grind beans freshly for each coffee and froth your milk for you, to create a cuppa based on a style you've specified, such as a cappucinno, latte or espresso.
There are no pods or capsules necessary, and none of the fuss associated with learning how to use a manual or semi-automatic machine to get the perfect cup. They can therefore be an appealing option for people who want a good, customisable coffee but who also prioritise convenience.
"Automatic coffee machines offer the same quick convenience of pod and capsule machines without sacrificing freshness, as they use freshly ground beans with their built-in grinders," says CHOICE coffee expert Adrian Lini.
Jura machines claim to be able to grind, tamp, brew and self-clean in less than 60 seconds. While this definitely speeds up the time it takes to make a coffee and clean the machine (as compared to using a manual espresso machine for example), Adrian says there are many other factors that go into what makes a great coffee machine.
All Jura coffee machines allow users to adjust their grind settings and produce frothed milk, and each model has a different set of coffee settings and features. However, not all models can produce the same types of coffees, nor do they deliver the same performance.
It's important to bear in mind that CHOICE testing regularly finds that the performance of different models from the same brand can vary quite significantly, so don't assume that one brand's products are the best purely based on the score of one of their other products. Different features and functions can all affect the performance of a machine.
You can find out more about individual models by checking CHOICE's detailed coffee machine reviews before you buy.
Jura automatic coffee machines boast features such as high-quality grinders and thermoblock heating systems, colour touchscreen displays and the ability to customise your coffee based on a range of different settings.
There are currently 10 different models of Jura automatic coffee machines available, ranging from the Giga 10, which retails at $5490 and the Giga 6 which retails at $6490, to the E4 which retails at $1499.
The newest model, the Giga 10, has two individual bean containers and grinders and 35 different coffee settings, including a cold-brew extraction option (this is the largest number of coffee options of any of the Jura automatic coffee machines).
Which one is right for you depends on factors such as your budget, the type of coffee you like to drink and how big you want the machine to be, taking into account not only how much space it will take up on your bench, but how big the water tank is (this relates to how many coffees it can make in a row before you have to fill it up).
Which one is right for you depends on factors such as your budget, the type of coffee you like to drink and how big you want the machine to be
There are a number of other features spruiked for each model. However, we put five currently available Jura coffee machines to the test in our CHOICE labs and tested them based on the flavour of the coffee they produce, how consistent the temperature of that coffee is, how easy they are to use and how well they froth milk.
The Jura machines we tested vary in performance. We recommend four of the models we've tested, and five of the six models score at least a "Good" in our blind taste test.
The models we tested
Jura E8 – $2490
This machine has 17 different coffee settings, a self-cleaning system, bluetooth connectivity, a digital display and the ability to set strength and volume with each cup.
Read the full Jura E8 review.
Jura Z10 – $4650
The largest and most expensive of the Jura machines we've tested, this machine has 32 different coffee settings and holds 2.4L of water. It automatically adjusts grind for each different type of coffee, has a touchscreen display, can make cold brew and has a removable group head for cleaning.
Read the full Jura Z10 review.
Jura E6 – $1999
This model makes 11 different types of coffee and holds 1.9L of water. It has an "expert mode" which allows users to select a personal profile that can be saved to memory, and is self-cleaning (but the group head can't be removed for cleaning).
Read the full Jura E6 review.
Jura ENA8 – $2199
This model makes 15 different types of coffee and holds 1.1L of water. As with other Juras, it allows users to change the strength and volume of each coffee. It has a 'one-touch' function, bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen colour display.
Read the full Jura ENA8 review.
CHOICE coffee expert Adrian Lini says the thing that differentiates Jura from other brands of automatic espresso machines is the fact that most of the models we tested can produce a great-tasting espresso shot with maximum ease. This makes them an attractive option for inexperienced or less confident coffee makers, or for people looking for a coffee machine for a communal office or retail space where you don't have time to fuss around making an espresso on a manual machine.
"Most Juras have a touchscreen display that makes it easier for the user to understand the controls than machines that only have button controls," he says.
"The downsides with Juras are that they don't all score amazingly in our taste tests, so it's important to check CHOICE reviews for the best ones before you buy. They're quite expensive as compared to other coffee machines and can take up a lot of bench space in your kitchen," says Adrian.
Cleaning a Jura coffee machine
Another downside to consider is how difficult automatic coffee machines can be to clean.
"Users have little control over cleaning these machines," says Adrian. "As most of the parts are built into the machine, except the drip tray and group head with some machines, users have to rely on the Jura prompting itself to clean rather than being able to take parts out themselves to clean them by hand. This can result in a lot of cleaning prompts popping up on the display."
One of our biggest tips to make your coffee machine last longer is to keep it clean, so the lack of control over this aspect is something to consider. Adrian advises rinsing the drip tray after each coffee and running hot water through the milk frother after you've used it, in addition to using the machine's self-cleaning systems.
CHOICE's expert coffee taste testers blind taste espresso shots produced by Jura coffee machines to assess for the colour and thickness of its crema, aroma, flavour, mouthfeel and aftertaste.
In addition to varied taste test scores, Jura models don't all perform similarly for milk frothing, with scores ranging from 45% to 80%.
But Adrian says generally you shouldn't expect cafe-quality frothed milk from an automatic coffee machine.
"Their foam will always be a little bit 'harder'," he says. This means it won't pour as smoothly or be able to create latte art like your local barista.
But for some people, this is offset by the convenience of being able to produce foamed milk at the press of a button.
Adrian doesn't necessarily feel the love for automatic frothing, though.
"I do wonder whether it's worth the time and effort. It tends to takes longer to clean the automatic milk frother compared with a manual steam wand, which is a quick spray and wipe," he says.
Jura coffee machine pros and cons
- some models score well in our expert taste tests
- easy to use with touchscreens or digital displays that include instruction prompts
- some models can make up to 35 coffee specialities, including cold brew
- milk is automatically frothed for you. Models vary in their milk frothing performance though – check out CHOICE reviews for individual scoring.
- inconsistent overall performance across models. Check CHOICE's individual model reviews before purchasing
- internal cleaning systems don't allow users to take out parts and have control over cleaning. This can result in a lot of cleaning prompts on the machine's display
- can take up a lot of bench space
- can be expensive with models ranging in price from $1499 to $6490.
Costing anywhere from around $1500 up to over $6000, Jura coffee machines are seriously pricey. If you are purchasing it for a business, you may be able to claim it as a tax deduction. However, it's a significant investment for personal use.
Adrian says, "You can buy a manual or semi-automatic machine that will help you make a very good-tasting coffee for much less than one of these Jura machines cost. However, you would likely need to spend more time learning how to use the machine and master the process in order to learn how to make a great coffee."
"Although they are tricky to clean and the milk frothing isn't as good as you can get from a manual or semi-automatic machine where you froth the milk yourself, these automatic coffee machines can be good for people who just want a hot coffee, fast, and our taste test results show that, depending on the model, Jura machines can indeed produce a good coffee.
"If you have the cash to spend, and you choose the right machine based on our test results and one that fits with your personal needs, a Jura machine can be a good buy."
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.