Are you interested in buying a Jura E8 coffee machine and ACTUALLY CARE about the espresso & coffee quality? Do you already own a Jura E8 and try to get better tasting coffee out of it? Then this review and guide is for you.
An Actual Review of The Jura E8
Three months ago my cravings for high-end coffee made me research different super-automatic espresso machines. I dreamed about making the perfect cortado in the mornings and maybe enjoying creamy chocolatey espresso after lunch.
I wanted to learn what experiences Jura E8 owners had and especially find out how the espressi and espresso-milk drinks (Cortado, Cappuccino) taste. I watched around 20 YouTube “reviews” of the Jura E8 and read every article on the first three pages in Google for “Jura E8 reviews”.
The information I got from these “reviews” were very disappointing. There are mostly two types of “reviews” out there:
First: Stores that sell coffee machines
reviewing advertising the Jura E8 and trying to sell you the machine.
Second: Stores that sell coffee beans “perfect for super-automatic espresso machines”.
In both types of reviews they NEVER talk in-depth about the actual taste of the espresso and coffee. These “reviewers” never share any details about the taste other than “good”, “notes of chocolate”. They barely touch the topic of how to PROPERLY SET UP the machine for great taste. They often use settings that don’t result in a great cup of coffee.
I am (unfortunately) not paid by Jura to publish this article but wanted to save time for other coffee connoisseurs to provide (probably) the only useful review and guide to the Jura E8.
Jura E8 – Pros & Cons
Here are the superficial Pros & Cons of the Jura E8 2023 version.
- Great consistent espresso quality with the right settings and beans (see guide for perfect settings below)
- Can make great “espresso” at a 1:3.5 to 1:4.5 ratio
- Can make balanced tasting milk drinks including presets for Cortado or Flat White
- Relatively quiet for a Super Automatic
- Easy to use User Interface / Display
- Same high-end brewing technology as highest-end Z10 model
- No “real” espresso at a 1:2 ratio possible (to be fair: no super automatic machine on the market can do this yet)
- Artificially limited software functions (can’t duplicate a setting/drink and have one “for Max” and one “for Alexandra”)
- No expert mode to understand variables better
- Chrome color option is plastic
You Need a Great Espresso for Every Drink
Without a great espresso any other coffee drink will suck. So the most important thing for a super automatic coffee machine is to produce a great shot of espresso.
If you plan to get a Jura E8 just to sip on Latte Macchiatos or Cappuccinos all day, you still will need a great espresso as a base.
So let’s talk a lot about espresso and espressi (Italian plural of espresso) and keep in mind that your “regular coffee” or cappuccino needs a great espresso to start with.
Barista Espresso vs. Super Automatic Espresso
We need to talk about Espresso again.
A traditional espresso is often made with a ratio of 1 gram of coffee that creates a drink of 2 grams weight. We call this a 1:2 brew ratio.
A traditional espresso is typically made with a brew ratio of 1:1.5 to 1:2.5, with a classic single shot using 8 g of coffee to produce an espresso that weighs 16 g
Most coffee shops today by default use 16 g of coffee to get 30 to 40 g of espresso. A double shot.
Why Super Automatic Coffee Machines Can’t Produce This
Super automatic coffee machines like the Jura E8 all have one down side. They can’t brew very fine grind well and can’t produce good tasting coffee at a 1:2 ratio.
You can set your Jura E8 to a quiet fine grind setting (Fineness 1 out of 6). The machine however can’t process it well enough. My assumption: The E8 doesn’t prepare the so-called “coffee puck” good enough.
If you use a setting for a super fine grind in the Jura E8 it will create a very unevenly extracted coffee that doesn’t taste good.
Can it make great Espresso?
It depends on a lot of factors as mentioned in this article but also on your expectation for an espresso.
Can it produce a great-tasting Italian style thick espresso at a 1:2 or 1:2,5 ratio?
No. No super auto machine can do this at the moment.
Can the Jura E8 produce a small, strong and well balanced “Lungo” with nice crema at a 1:4 ratio?
Can we call this Lungo, “espresso” from now on?
Typical Espresso Brewing Recipes
A typical barista with a semi automatic machine will roughly use a brewing recipe that includes the grams of coffee in, the grams of drink out, and the seconds it took to pull that espresso shot.
The semi automatic brewing recipes often look like this:
- 16 g coffee to 35 g espresso in 30 seconds
- 8 g coffee to 20 g espresso in 25 seconds
How do we translate this to our Jura E8?
To get great tasting and well balanced espresso with the Jura E8, you’ll need brewing recipes like:
- 10/10 coffee strength to 65 ml in 30 seconds
Jura is not really giving us the info we want like weight “grams in” for the coffee and grams out for the drink but talks to us in “strength” and “ml” or “oz” for the liquid out.
Hint: Go to your settings and switch the units from “oz” to “ml”.
Further down below, you will find the best brewing recipes for different types of coffee using the Jura E8.
With these brewing recipes you will get a nice balanced and great tasting coffee, espresso and more out of your Jura E8.
The Jura E8 is The Best Choice in 2023
Within Jura’s coffee machine range there are a lot of marketing tricks used to make people buy higher end models without any real benefit for most users.
Here’s why the 2023 Jura E8 has all the features you need to produce the same espresso quality as the high-end Jura Z10, without any unnecessary marketing tricks used to make people buy higher-end models
Must-have #1: 16 Gram Basket
The 16 gram basket of the E8 is very important. It’s much harder to get a balanced shot out with only a 10 gram basket that is built in the E4, ENA 4, and ENA 8.
Must-have #2: Brewing Temperature Settings
Different roast levels of coffee need different brewing temperatures.
Generally, lighter roasted coffee needs a hotter brewing temperature for a balanced and well-extracted coffee
So this was an important detail for me. Some machine have zero adjustment for the brewing temperature while the Jura E8 has three different temperatures..
Nice-To-Have: Milk System
For my decision to buy a super-automatic machine, the milk system was actually the least important feature. I only make one milk-containing drink a day.
If you are interested in the built-in milk system, it works great.
The foam it makes is very warm, fine, creamy and comes out quickly. It works well with regular fresh 3.5% full fat milk as well as oat or almond milk alternatives.
The E8 uses Jura’s HP3 / CX3 milk system and comes with an auto cleaning function. The cleaning takes about one minute to set up a container with water and some cleaning pills. The cleaning program rinses water with the cleaning soap through the system for about 3 minutes. You just need to empty the container after that.
I don’t use the milk system in the Jura E8 a lot.
I prefer to use a simple milk frother machine that only needs a 10 second rinse with hot water for cleaning. So for one or two milk-containing drinks, I use my separate frother
When making multiple cappuccini for guests, I’m happy about the E8’s built-in milk system. I guess that is somewhat the point of a “super automatic”.
Jura E8 vs. ENA 4
The Jura E8 is the clear winner. The ENA4 has three major downsides and doesn’t make any sense:
- No brewing temperature settings mean you can’t adjust the water temperature to different roast levels of coffee
- 10 gram basket (instead of 16 g basket in the E8) – This makes it more difficult to pull balanced shots.
- No screen
Jura E8 vs. E4
The E4 is the best lower budget alternative to the E8. The E4 comes with a 16 g basket like the E8 and 2 brewing temperatures.
Compared to the E8, the E4 is inferior due to:
- Only 2 brewing temperature settings instead of 3
- 8 coffee strength settings instead of 10
- No screen
The E4 also doesn’t have a milk system.
Jura E8 vs. ENA 8
The E8 is the winner due to the crucial 16 g basket that you need for more balanced espresso shots. The milk system HP3 / CX3 with auto cleaning is also better in the E8 and the price is nearly the same. So go for the E8.
The ENA 8 is inferior to the E8 because:
- Only 10 g basket instead of 16 g basket
- HP1 / CX1 milk system vs. HP3 / CX3 milk system with auto clean
Jura E8 vs. S8
Jura creates artificial differences between models to justify higher prices. The S8 is a great example of this.
The higher priced S8 (2020) actually lacks some features of the E8:
- Intelligent preheating
- Automatic milk system cleaning
The “advantages” of the S8:
- Made in Switzerland (vs. Made in Portugal)
- Bigger Screen (4,3” instead of 2,8”)
- Duplicate coffee settings and save with custom name
- Warning if bean cup is empty
So the S8 is not making any better coffee, missing intelligent preheating, 3D-brewing and the more automated milk system cleaning. The only real upside I see with the S8 is the software feature of duplicating and saving multiple presets for drinks.
For me the S8 is just a waste of money.
Jura E8 vs. Z10
Let’s compare the Jura E8 to Jura’s flagship home machine: The Z10.
The Z10 costs 67% more than the Jura E8 (in the US).
Does it make coffee that is 67% better? Absolutely not. You are paying for minor incremental upgrades and a fake ‘cold brew’ feature
The most important factors that determine the super automatics ability to brew a great coffee are nearly same between the E8 and the Z10. Both machines come with:
- 3D Brewing
- P.E.P. – Pulse Extraction Process
- 16 g basket
The “Product Recognising Grinder” of the Z10 may be better than the “Professional Aroma Grinder” of the E8.
“Advantages of the Z10”:
- Customize milk foam in 10 levels (vs. “only” good milk foam)
- 4.3” Display (vs. 2.8” display)
- “Cold Brew” drinks (which are not real cold brew drinks anyways)
Jura’s Z10 may be 10% nicer than the E8 for a 67% higher price (in the US). So if you want the best machine: Z10. For the best value-for-money choose the Jura E8.
Number of Specialities
Jura’s machines offer different numbers of specialities, but these are limited by software and do not reflect real differences in the machines’ capabilities.
Basically Jura machines can make 3 types of drinks:
- Espresso with more or less water (Ristretto, Espresso, Coffee, Lungo)
- Espresso with more or less milk-(foam) (Cappuccino, Cortado, Espresso macchiato, Flat White etc.)
- Espresso with Bypass Water (Cafe Barista, Lungo Barista)
That’s it! Besides extra functions like milk foam, hot water, or “Cold Brew” on the Z10.
So if you understand coffee, you can make a Cortado on a machine without a “Cortado” drink preset. You’ll just increase the amount of milk-foam in your espresso macchiato or lower the amount of milk(foam) of your cappuccino.
Jura E8: Artificially Limited Software
There is actually not much upside (if at all) to buying the higher-priced S8 or Z10 as described above. So Jura has to make up some features for the higher-priced models.
On Jura’s S8 you can duplicate a drink preset and save as a new drink. So you can have one preset “Cappuccino for Max” that uses 60 ml espresso and 5 seconds of milk foam and another preset “Cappuccino for Alexandra” that uses 60 ml espresso and 10 seconds of milk foam.
This feature is actually nice but not available on the E8. I don’t see any reasons why the E8 would not be capable of doing this if this feature would be allowed on the E8.
I’d like to create different espresso presets for different coffee beans. Same with the
Americano Caffé Barista preset.
Jura E8: No Expert Mode
Jura doesn’t offer certain useful information for people wanting to dial in the settings for the perfect espresso.
- What does water temperature “Low”, “Normal”, “High” mean in Celsius or Fahrenheit? That would be great to know to start with a better setting depending on the coffee.
- How many grams of coffee am I using for a brew? Instead of displaying “coffee beans” from 0.5 to 5 full beans. I assume that 5 out of 5 equal the maximum basket capacity of 16 g. Coffee YouTuber & Expert James Hoffman measured the grounds in the Z10 and found it was between 15 g and 16 g.
Great Coffee – Step 1: Great Coffee Beans
If you put shit in, you’ll get shit out. If you put great coffee beans in, you can get great coffee out. With the right settings (See next chapter).
Why Most Coffees Sucks
Most coffee beans you find in grocery stores is bad coffee.
You want to avoid mass market industrial brands mainly for 3 reasons:
- Mass roasted coffee at high temperatures
- High in pesticides, toxins, acrylamide
- Not fresh
Requirements For Great Coffee Beans
This usually applies to all coffee methods. You wanna buy and use whole beans only in your Jura E8. Never use the “ground coffee” function.
You need to use coffee that:
- Certified Organic or Direct Trade “pesticide-free”*
- Roasted in small batches (usually around 10 to 30 kg per batch)
- Roasted slowly (usually 12 – 20 minutes)
- Fresh roasted within last 2 weeks to 3 months
- Stored properly (specially after purchase)
- Not too fresh**
*Coffee is one of the most sprayed plants in the world and you want to avoid toxins as much as possible.
**This becomes a problem once you buy freshly roasted coffee from your local roaster. The coffee takes 2 weeks after roasting before tasting balanced.
Specially for super automatic machines like the Jura E8 avoid very dark and oily roasts. These can be sticky inside your machine and leave a sticky residue that is difficult to clean.
Places to Buy Great Coffee
Light roasts are generally more suitable for longer coffees (i.e. “Caffé Barista” = 70 ml Espresso + 90 ml hot water) and have a more “modern” coffee taste with floral and fruity notes. Medium roasts can taste more fruity, (pleasant) acidic and nutty. Darker (max. 4 out of 5) roasts will bring a more traditional nutty chocolatey taste and be very suitable for espresso drinks.
You’ll find great coffee beans here
- Local roasters that offer direct trade & organic coffees
- My recommendation list below
Coffee Recommendations for Jura E8 & Super Automatics
I take great care of my health and longevity and prefer these longevity / biohacking coffee brands that go the extra mile.
These coffees taste great in the Jura E8 and provide additional health benefits.
They are tested for aflatoxins, mycotoxins, mold and roasted slowly to avoid acrylamide as much as possible.
Checkout the Brewing Recipes below that work best with the recommended coffees.
The basic settings are always: Grind level 3/6 and full strength (5 full beans = 16 g). Set your machine to ml instead of oz.
Kion – Medium Roast
Kion’s Medium Roast is a health-optimized coffee. It’s great for black coffee and as biohacking coffee blend. Notes of almonds, chocolate, and a fresh citrus kick.
Use Kion coupon code MAXHUG at checkout for 10% off your Kion Coffee!
My Kion Medium Roast Brewing recipe is as follows:
- Grind setting 3/6
- Drink: Espresso
- Strength: 10/10 (= 16 g)
- 75 ml
- 72 g in 30 seconds
- Balanced acidity, fresh citrus kick, chocolate and almond comes through as the coffee cools down
- For a black coffee:
- Add 75 ml of Hot Water
Purity Flow Original Medium Roast
Another biohacking coffee with hints of blueberries.
Save 20% off when using Purity Coffee coupon code MAXHUG at checkout!
For Europeans: NoordCode Medium Roast
Europe has some biohacking coffee brands too. This one is my favorite and they ship across Europe. The NoordCode Medium Roast received a cupping score of 88.5 by some people who know more about coffee taste than me.
Notes of bittersweet orange appear first and as the coffee cools down flavors of nuts come through. Very smooth.
Use coupon MAXHUG for a 5% discount at LiveHelfi.
My NoordCode Medium Roast Brewing recipe:
- Grind setting 3/6
- Drink: Espresso
- Strength: 10/10 (= 16 g)
- 70 ml
- 65 g in 30 seconds
- Balanced acidity, bittersweet orange, nuts
- For a black coffee:
- Add 80 ml of Hot Water
Rast – El Diamante (Switzerland only)
This is my favorite sweet chocolatey coffee. Great as espresso and with some milk foam. Currently available only in Switzerland.
You can buy it here: Rast Online Shop
- Grind setting 3/6
- Drink: Espresso
- Strength: 10/10 (= 16 g)
- 65 ml
- 62 g in 30 seconds
- Almonds, Dark Chocolate
Great Coffee – Step 2: Jura E8 Brewing Recipes (Settings)
Here you’ll find an overview of settings for great espressi and milk-drinks with the Jura E8.
You need to understand how to adapt these settings to your personal machine, coffee beans and taste. Below you will also find some tips on how to adjust the espresso taste in general.
Dive Deeper With James Hoffmann:
The grind setting you wanna use with your Jura E8 is 3 out of 6.
Important: We are speaking about the current models with the Professional Aroma Grinder, not the old models with a G3 grinder.
At first this doesn’t seem to make sense to use such a coarse grind because on a semi-automatic machine you would grind much finer for Espresso.
On the Jura E8, you can grind finer and the machine won’t be able to evenly extract from that finely ground coffee. Trust me. I tried everything from 0.9 to 3.0 and 3.0 creates the most evenly extracted and well balanced coffees.
What’s odd is that when I used the grind setting 2.5, the E8 would automatically change the grind setting to 3.0 after 2 – 3 shots.
Only adjust the grinder while it is grinding to prevent damaging the grinder.
You wanna use the Smart Claris Water Filter. High quality water is important for a great coffee.
Use Metric Units
You wanna use “ml” instead of “oz” to be more precise. You can change the units in your settings.
Starting Recipe For New Coffees
This is the starting recipe I use for all new coffees.
- Grind Setting: 3 out of 6
- Strength: 5 out of 5 beans (= 16 grams)
- Volume: 65 ml
- Temperature: Normal
- The shot should be pulled in about 25 to 30 seconds and yield 62 to 65 g of liquid
If you are adding new beans to the machine or just changed grind settings, you also need to get rid of the remains of the previous coffee/grind settings. So you pull an in-between shot to throw-away.
Adjust Your Brewing Recipe
You’ll probably wanna play around with the settings to dial-in the coffee perfectly. Only change one variable at a time and only go one step further i.e. from 65 to 70 ml.
Is the coffee too sour? Too much acidity?
- Try a increasing the volume (ml) for a longer extraction time
- For lighter roasts: You might wanna try the temperature setting “High”
Is your coffee too bitter? Too harsh?
- Try decreasing the volume (ml) for less extraction
- Try a lower temperature
When do you start measuring the brewing time? Once you hear the pump start pumping water into the coffee puck. Usually around 5 – 6 seconds before you see the first drips coming out. You stop the time once the pump stops, usually 2 seconds or so before the last drops come out.
Since you already went through all the hassle of dialing in the perfect espresso, you wanna make an espresso and add hot water.
Don’t use the “Coffee” or “Lungo” function. The defaults will give you a bitter tasting cup. I don’t understand why Jura did this, but when you use the “Caffé Barista” drink it will brew the espresso shot quicker at the same volume settings compared to using the “Espresso” drink. So it will actually taste different and less balanced.
Jura E8 Conclusion
The Jura E8 is a great super-automatic machine once you figure out the perfect brewing recipe for your coffee beans. You can and must set up all your favorite drinks correctly within the user interface.
It can produce great espressi and make pretty good milk drinks as well. The consistency of shot after shot is very high.
It saves a lot of time and mess compared to a portafilter semi automatic setup and has much better tasting coffees than a capsules machine, a French press or 90% of all hotels and restaurants that use super automatics.
The value for money is outstanding as the Jura E8 has all the necessary technology for great coffee of the highest end Jura Models.
The only downside of the chrome version is that it is plastic and not metal.