CLICK HERE to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive promotions and regular updates on everything coffee!
So the purpose of a super-automatic espresso machine is to make you coffee, espresso, and milk-based beverages like lattes and cappuccinos quickly and easily.
Today an in-depth look at a bean to cup machine that sets a new bar for drink quality, ease of use and value: the Jura E8. It incorporates 3 new features previously only available on Jura machines which cost nearly twice as much.
The big news with the E8? It includes Jura’s innovative pulse extraction process, or P-E-P for short. This new process forces water through coffee under pressure in short intervals, to optimize extraction timing and allowing flavor to fully develop. So when making espresso you want it quick, but not too quick. Professional baristas making espresso manually shoot for extraction timing in a range of 20 to 30 seconds. Using PEP, that’s what you get from the E8. In my tests, a 2 ounce double had a total extraction time of about 24 seconds. That timing is something few other machines get right. With PEP you’ll have deeper flavor, more crema, and better in-cup temperatures. Really a new level of quality in coffee from a super-automatic machine.
Making coffee starts with whole beans loaded into a 10 ounce hopper on top of the machine. The hopper lid has a gasket seal to keep beans fresh. Behind the hopper lid, 2 doors flip up. On the left is access to a bypass chute for loading pre-ground coffee — really handy for making an occasional decaf coffee. On the right, a lever to adjust grind size in 6 levels. A tip with that, use a fine setting for espresso and set to coarser for regular coffee.
Now a couple of things I like about that grinder. First, it’s relatively quiet compared to other machines. But the big deal for me is in the dosing. Like most other Jura’s the E8 doses up to 16 grams in a single grind cycle. Now that’s 4 or 5 grams more than most competing machines and equivalent to what pro baristas use for a double espresso in a cafe. That means you can have a true double espresso or 2 cups of coffee on a single grind cycle. On most other machines, 2 espressos or 2 cups of coffee means waiting for a second grind cycle.
So the E8 can make it strong, but you do get control. With 8 coffee strength settings, dosing is adjustable in a range of 5 to 16 grams. On many other machines you may only have 3 strength options, and those cafe size coffee doses require waiting for 2 separate grind cycles when brewing. In addition to PEP, the E8 uses a short pre-infusion to wet the coffee briefly. This swells the coffee before pressure is applied and helps to improve flavor extraction.
With pre-infusion, PEP brewing and large dosing capability the Jura E8 in my opinion produces some of the finest coffee and espresso of any available super-automatic machine. And it’s a real value — it uses the same brewing technology and brews the same way as more expensive Jura machines.
Of course coffee is just the start. The E8 also makes lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and the increasingly popular flat white. All at the touch of a button without moving your cup, and all easily programmable so you can have your favorite drink exactly how you like it. The E8 uses a pick-up tube system for milk. You can drop straight into milk or Jura has accessories like glass or thermally insulated containers to their cool-control countertop units with built in refrigeration.
To make a milk based beverage, just select the one you want from the color display and press a button. Dedicated milk and coffee spouts are height adjustable with up to 6 inches of clearance for taller glasses. My favorite feature is the dial for adjusting the milk froth. With that control you can adjust from simply heating the milk — to fine froth for a latte or an airy froth for a cappuccino. The ability to adjust the type of froth like this is a feature not found on many machines.
Now when making milk based drinks, hygiene is important. You want to keep things clean and the E8 has you covered. Ten minutes after making a milk based drink, the E8 runs an automatic rinse of the frothing device. It’s a feature that can be turned off if desired or you can run a rinse cycle at any time. For deeper cleaning of the milk system, Jura includes a handy container that holds their included milk cleaning solution and catches the rinse water.
The E8 comes programmed to deliver standard sized espresso, coffee, and milk-based beverages. But you can customize every drink to taste. There are two ways to do this. The easy way is the press and hold method. For this one, press and hold the button for the drink you want to program until the display reads either enough coffee or enough milk. The machine begins dispensing and once you have the amount you want in your cup, press a button again and that amount is saved. For milk based drinks the machine will continue to dispense either milk or coffee depending on the drink, and once again when you have the amount desired press a button and that amount is saved.
Drinks can be programmed in a simple menu system as well. Just enter the expert mode and select the drink you want to program. For coffee beverages you can program volume in ounces or milliliters, coffee strength in 8 levels and temperature of normal or high. For milk based beverages you can program the same coffee parameters, plus the amount of milk dispensed based on time and an interval time that allows milk to separate to produce more distinct layers in finished drinks.
So let’s cover ease of use. A few things to look at here including capacities and machine layout, but I want to start with Jura’s intelligent water system. Who knew water could be smart? The E8 makes use of a new smart filter which has a radio frequency ID chip built in. With that, the machine knows when a filter is in use and when it gets changed. And the machine alerts you when to change the filter. One nice thing about Jura machines? Use a filter properly and you never need to descale. That’s huge, as scale build up is the leading cause of machine issues. In the past it was kind of a pain to use a filter properly. You had to go into menus and tell the machine you were using a filter and then remember to replace it at proper intervals. With the RFID chip in the filter, there’s no going into menus when changing filters. The machine detects it automatically when installed or changed and alerts you when it’s time to change. It’s total peace of mind! And amazingly, the new smart filters cost the same as the old dumb ones.
On to size and capacities. The E8 is 13.5 inches high so no problem under standard cabinetry. The water reservoir holds 64 ounces. Now, it’s mounted to the side of the machine but with a tiny lift up it can be pulled out from the front. So no problem if there’s going to be a wall on the left side of your E8. The drip tray and used coffee box pull out from the front of the machine. The box holds the results of 16 brewing cycles and the tray is electronically monitored so you get an alert in the display when it needs emptying.
The spouts are adjustable with a maximum clearance of 4.5 inches under the dual coffee spouts, and 6 inches under the milk and coffee spout to the right. The exterior of the machine is plastic with the exception of a metal surround in the drip tray. The E8 can be set to automatically turn off in a range of 15 minutes to 9 hours but uses only 6 watts per hour when on and idle.
To wrap things up, the Jura E8 is a fantastic value and super easy to use. It has the same brewing technology found in more expensive Jura machines matching their cup quality at a much lower price. You will appreciate features like some of the largest coffee dosing available, and the ability to fine tune that with 8 strength levels. The E8’s adjustable milk froth density is a desirable feature not found on many machines, and Jura makes hygiene hassle free with automatic rinsing and the milk cleaning container. The intelligent water system with RFID filters puts an easy, worry-free end to descaling maintenance. The machine layout is excellent, with a water reservoir and drip tray accessible from the front of the machine. The color display is beautiful and while the menu systems on some machines can be difficult to understand, the E8’s is simple, elegant, and easy to use.
That’s the Jura E8 super-automatic with PEP brewing technology. It’s available now at Whole Latte Love. If you have any questions about this machine or anything coffee use those comments and I’ll get you the answers. Thank you for reading, and be sure to come back soon for more of the good stuff on everything coffee.