Jura Coffee machines are available in a wide variety of sizes, formats, functionality and designs and at first, the choices can seem bewildering! This guide is intended to help clarify the options available and make the choices more relevant to the prospective purchaser. Whilst we have endeavoured to answer the questions we think, will be helpful in the decision-making process, there are doubtless more personal decisions of relevance to the individual.
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Jura Coffee Machines can be divided into two main categories - Commercial and Domestic units. The main differentiators between these being size and cost – the commercial units have larger water tanks and waste receptacles. Interestingly though, the Jura domestic units have gained their reputation for reliability due to the sharing of components from the commercial units, which is why these domestic machines are so robust.
The Jura GIGA 6 (below) for example, is actually the same machine as the Jura GIGA X8 commercial unit – same grinders, same brew unit, same pumps – it's all the same, but the commercial unit has a bigger water tank and waste receptacles and bean hoppers.
In this guide, though, we will focus on Jura domestic machines.
Jura A line
So, we will begin with the A series - the Jura entry level machines. These are the most compact/slim line units, so when width/space is at a premium, these little Jura machines are ideal.
If you only require black coffee and espresso, then the Jura A1 will produce equally good espresso as any other Jura machine. The Aroma G3 Grinder in the Jura A1 and the pump / brew unit / brewer motor etc. are the same as the Jura A7 and the Jura A9 ( Please note, A7 and A9 now discontinued in the UK and replaced by the Ena 8 ) and although the design of the brew units differs from the Jura E, J and Z series, and in fact all the other models, this is purely down to the requirement of a more compact brew unit for the smaller size of these coffee machines and has no effect on the espresso produced.
The Jura A1 is an espresso only unit, producing 3 programmable sizes of black coffee with two different strength options, and if the occasional cappuccino is required, then a separate milk frother like the Jura automatic milk frother could be used.
The Jura A1 does not have a screen and all information is conveyed to the user by means of flashing symbols on the touch control panel on the top surface near the front.
It may be worth noting, that if you have low overhead cabinets in your kitchen and the machine will be located under one of these, then the Jura A1 may not be suitable, as the water tank on all these units is at the rear of the machine and needs to be lifted about 4 to 6 inches before it can be moved back and around the side for filling.
The Jura A9 topped the A-series range has now been discontinued and replaced by the Ena 8 and Ena 8 Signature line, which feature a side mounter crystal carafe style water tank and an easy to use colour screen - which allows a far wider range of adjustment and programmability to the drink selection as well as more programmable specialities and more strength settings.
This is the pattern that we will see repeated throughout the Jura range, where for each model letter designation: A, C, E, F, J, S and Z the higher number will indicate wider ranging control of the speciality drinks.
Jura C, D & E line
So, the Jura A series is the most compact, but if we have just a little bit more space (only 11% more) then the Jura E,D and Jura C series machines provide larger water tanks, mounted on the left side -so a little easier to access, and larger waste receptacles - so less frequent emptying is required. Remember, however, that coffee waste is highly organic and as such, if left for long without emptying, can quickly become mouldy!
The New Entry-level D4 (currently only in Europe) is a basic black coffee only unit like the A1 only larger in size - Although Jura C series is the older design, it is very well thought out and therefore very reliable and long-lasting. It is based on the earlier C5 and C9 units from around 2007/8.
The last incarnation was the Jura C60 which was recently phased out, and had a separate milk frother located to the right of the coffee outlets, and so, will not provide "one-touch" function. ("one-touch" is the designation given to a machine that can produce a speciality drink, milk and espresso-based with a single button press and no movement of the cup). With the C60 we have to open the tap to place our milk in the cup and then move the cup to the coffee outlet to add the required amount of coffee, by pressing a button.
The Jura E6 moves this on slightly by having the milk outlet next to the coffee outlet, thereby removing the need to move the cup. But we still have a 2-stage method for milky drinks, as we manually open the tap for milk, then close the tap, which initiates the coffee pour. The machine is programmable for drink levels though, and the obvious improvement over the C series is the lovely TFT display, which conveys all the important information to the user – it has a total of 6 buttons (3 either side) set up to offer espresso, black coffee, cappuccino and milk at the touch of a button. Below this are two buttons - one on the left to access programming and maintenance, and one on the right to access the next page of the display, where more drinks can be found (a total of 7 specialities are available on the E6, and 12 on the E8).
Moving up again then, we have the Jura E8 (revised in early 2019 - lookout for fluted water tank, deeper chrome tray and the newer S8 milk frother to make sure you are getting the latest incarnation) and here we are given the true "one-touch" cappuccino or macchiato or flat white, where the volume of milk, the strength and volume of coffee are all programmed to a single button press and can be adjusted by the user on a per drink basis or permanently altered to the desired levels on the button.
Jura S Line
At the time of writing, a brand new machine - the Jura S8 has just been released, and if it were my money, this would be the machine I would choose. Using the E series chassis and loading it up with technology - an integrated "4.3” high-resolution colour touchscreen display, detailing and finish from the flagship machines makes this little Jura the one to beat, in my humble opinion, its like a mini Z8 for under £1500.
Jura J line
Next in line and last step before we reach the official flagship Z series, is the cool Jura J series.
Moving up from the E series, by having a separate programming button and rotary control on the top, we can now have 6 speciality drinks on the first screen, and by turning the rotary dial on top, you can scroll through 13 individually programmable specialities on the Jura J6. The J6 is the newer model, featuring a glass topped drink platform on the drip tray and a unique blue crystal lighting on the rotary dial.
Jura Z line
So now we come to the flagships of Jura’s domestic range - the Jura Z series and the Jura GIGA 5, plus the New GIGA 6 as of January 2020, which introduces touchscreen and adjustable milk temperature to the GIGA domestic machine.
The Jura Z6 and Jura Z8 are both very similar at first glance featuring striking modern design and materials - a solid 3mm aluminium finish with a blue-lit water tank for easy viewing of the water level. The Z8 obviously has a large touch screen control, which is a lovely and easy to use feature, and internally the Jura Z8 benefits from an additional thermobloc (water heater)
The Jura Z6 (above) manages just fine with one thermbloc for both hot water and steam, but the Z8 (below) has a thermobloc dedicated to each.
The Jura Z6 has 13 individually programmable specialities, and the Jura Z8 and Giga 5/6 both have 22 programmable specialities (though not the same 21). Both the Z6 and Z8 have a single aroma G3 grinder on board, where the Giga 5/6 has a pair of ceramic, electrically self-adjusting grinders. But interestingly the Giga 5 only has 5 programmable coffee strengths where both Z6 and Z8 have 10 programmable coffee strength levels.
The Jura Z6 and Jura Z8 can also adjust both the milk and milk froth temperatures through 10 pre-set levels. The Giga 5 is an earlier design than the Z and so it uses the earlier Claris Blue Filters, where the Z series (and in fact the E and S series) use the new Claris Smart Filter cartridges, which feature RFID technology, which identifies the filter to the machine. This means the machine knows when it has a filter fitted and so when removed, it will automatically switch to the decalcifying mode. Furthermore the RFID tag is individual, meaning it can identify a specific filter and will not accept a used one.