Jura Z8 Automatic Coffee Machine
Ease of Use
The Jura Z8 Automatic Coffee Machine is an expensive model that dazzles with its features, including the PEP system, dual-boilers, and snazzy touch-screen color display. We recommend this model for passionate coffee drinkers who can afford it.
Semi-automatic espresso machines give you complete freedom to learn the ropes of espresso alchemy, but not everyone has the time and skills to perfect their brew every morning. Until now…
Superautomatics are designed for convenience and quality, and the Jura Z8 shines in this regard. It offers passionate coffee drinkers an impressive array of features that’s hard to beat. We take a closer look at our detailed Jura Z8 review.
Jura Z8 Automatic Coffee Machine Design Overview
The Jura Z8 is like entering the lair of the great and powerful Oz. By just looking at the thing, you know there’s wizardry afoot, and by looking at the $4000 range price tag well, you feel incredibly small.
This Swiss-engineered superautomatic is a sight to behold. It’s large and in charge, flanked by a 3-mm thick aluminum casing on the front and top of the machine.
An extra-large water tank peeks out from the side while the bean hopper sits strategically on top. Just above the adjustable chrome-plated coffee spout is a contemporary touch screen color display, which connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone.
As we said- it’s a behemoth. The Jura Z8 dimensions are 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches, and it weighs a whopping 40.2 pounds.
Are you up for a coffee machine that weighs as much as a toddler? Now, put that toddler on your kitchen counter. Some counters might not be able to spare the room.
Still, we’d say here in our Jura Z8 review that it is packed with world-class features that we feel make the lofty price tag and cumbersome size worth it. The dual-boiler Thermoblock system guarantees fast heating, and the P.E.P. system makes a noticeable difference in the quality of the coffee.
And that’s just the beginning. If you love your coffee, then you’re going to love what the Jura Z8 can do.
Jura Z8 Coffee Machine Features
81-oz Water Tank
It’s rare to find an espresso machine with a reservoir of this capacity, but is it necessary?
It comes down to how much coffee you drink. Smaller water tanks are great for personal use or small families, but large groups mean constant refilling.
Larger tanks ensure that you won’t be jumping up and filling the tank regularly, so that’s a good thing. But on the flip side, you don’t want to leave stagnant water sitting for too long because this invites bacteria.
Jura covered the basics with the Z8’s reservoir by making it removable and top-loading for easy access. The extra-large capacity makes it suitable for large households and office environments.
10-oz Bean Hopper
There are 3 things to consider when it comes to the bean hopper design.
1. Does it hold enough beans?
2. Can it be sealed to preserve the aromas and flavors?
3. Is it easy to access for refills?
The Jura Z8 automatic coffee machine checks the box on all three. The bean hopper is on top of the machine, with a wide berth that allows you to pour the beans without hassle. There is also a special aromatic lid to keep the beans from going stale.
The hopper has Active Bean Monitoring tech built-in, which senses when the beans need to be refilled to ensure the grinder has enough for proper brewing.
If you’re one of the rare coffee aficionados that like to use pre-ground coffee instead of whole fresh beans, then you’ll find the powder chute easily accessible and capable of holding enough grounds for 20 servings of coffee.
Professional Aroma Grinder
The integrated grinder on the Jura Z8 coffee machine is a phenomenal device that is unique to what you’ll find on the market.
It features a steel conical burr grinder, which isn’t as savvy as the ceramic variety but still grinds the beans with finesse.
Jura lovingly calls it their new Professional Aroma Grinder, which promises “12.2% more aroma and consistently high grind quality,” according to their website.
This just means that there is a higher proportion of fine particles, and the finer they are, the more the aromas and flavors are released.
But what truly sets this grinder apart from other superautomatics is that it’s a stepless grinder. You won’t find a set number of grind settings. Instead, you have unlimited freedom to tweak your grind until you find exactly what you like.
The more customization, the merrier, but keep in mind that with a stepless grinder, you’ll need to finetune your grind skills to go from one drink to another and get it just right. For families with multiple coffee drinkers who each have their preferences, this could be tedious.
Milk Frothing System
One piece of equipment that might strike you as old-school is the awkward plastic milk hose that runs into the (not included) milk carafe.
Milk foam enthusiasts- don’t despair. You won’t be disappointed by the quality of the Z8’s Fine Foam technology.
Sure, on top of the thousands you pay for the machine, you have to spend extra on a milk jug, but you get an interchangeable milk spout that is automatic and adjustable for easy, flawless foam every time.
All you have to do is browse through the colorful graphics on the high-resolution display and choose your milk volume and drink preferences then the machine does the rest.
What you’re paying for with the Jura Z8 espresso machine is exceptional coffee at home with the swipe of a finger.
The quality of the drinks is barista-standard, it offers a wide variety of options, and the brewing technology is top-notch.
That’s all thanks to the Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.), which focuses on optimal extraction. The system shoots water through the grounds in several successive bursts instead of a single shot like other espresso machines.
Then, two pumps and a dual-boiler Thermoblock heating system quickly fires up the machine, allowing you to simultaneously brew and froth without any of the wait time.
With that kind of equipment to back you up, you can make any specialty coffee drink your little heart desires. The Jura Impressa Z8 wows with a 21 drink menu that offers 2x eight different specialties.
This is what the menu looks like:
- 2 x Ristretto
- 2 x Espresso
- 2 x Coffee
- Caffè latte
- Caffè Barista
- 2 x Caffè Barista
- Lungo Barista
- 2 x Lungo Barista
- Latte macchiato
- Flat white
- Portion of milk foam
- Portion of milk
- Pot of coffee
- Hot water
- Hot water for green tea
- Hot water for black tea
Cutting-edge brew technology combines coffee and hot water during extraction to perfectly balance the aromas for long drinks such as the pot of coffee and the lungo Barista.
If you’re picky about your espresso crema, note that the Z8 will produce a thick layer of crema with the espresso option, but we found that you can get a similar brew with less crema by choosing the Ristretto option.
Jura Z8 Espresso Machine Accessories
Unfortunately, while the Z8 Jura Coffee Machine comes with a few accessories, it doesn’t include the ones we’d like to see.
It’s disappointing to pay such an expensive price and not get a milk carafe or the CLEARYL water filter, let alone any maintenance supplies.
Granted, the Z8 cleans itself for the most part, but unless you have the filter, then you’ll need to descale.
Here’s what comes in the package:
- Container for cleaning the milk frothing system
- Measuring spoon for ground coffee
- Plastic funnel for ground coffee
Z8 Jura Setup & Operation
Despite all its features and customization options, we found the Jura coffee machine Z8 surprisingly easy to use, thanks to the touch screen color display and well-written user manual.
The 4.3″ touchscreen is one of its highlight features that sets the pace for coffee machine interfaces. It features a clear layout with colorful graphics that appeal to visual learners.
We are all accustomed to swiping on our smartphones to navigate, and the Z8 is no different. You can control everything from the display, with pictures to guide you each step of the way.
Select your drink choice from the menu and adjust the preferences to create your own recipes. The customization settings are excellent, and you can choose from:
- 10 coffee strengths
- 10 milk/milk foam temperatures
- 3 brewing temps
- 3 hot water temps
- Adjustable volume
Jura goes further with its high-tech setup by letting you save user profiles. You can arrange your personal menu, deleting certain drinks, and adding new ones, so next time you just have to pick your drink and go.
But what puts the Z8 on the top rung of the espresso machine ladder is Smart Connect, which allows you to connect the machine to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Download the user-friendly J.O.E. App, and you can control the machine from your bathtub if you wish.
Compared to other luxury espresso machines with phone control, we found Jura’s app to be one of the best designed, softening the overall learning curve for the machine instead of making it steeper.
As far as setup goes, you have to fill the water tank and bean hopper, then toggle with the grinder adjustment to find your setting before the machine grinds up the fresh beans.
As soon as you’ve finalized your drink preferences on the interface, just hit the rotary button. In seconds you have a steaming cup of espresso in your hands.
Initial Setup Process
The first time you use the machine takes a bit longer because you have to “awaken the sleeping giant,” so to speak. Thankfully the user manual gives you step-by-step instructions easy enough for a kid to follow. There are also video tutorials you can watch through the app.
Here’s a brief overview of the steps to take before you launch your first brewing session.
- Test the water hardness: Use a water hardness strip to gauge the levels of minerals in your water.
- Install the CLEARYL filter: This is optional, but know that using a filter purifies the water, clearing out minerals that negatively affect the taste of your coffee.
- Fill the water tank: Once you’ve filled the tank and snapped it into place, the interface will direct you on the next steps to take, which includes flushing the filter system and the entire machine with water.
- Ready to brew: Once the rinse cycle has finished, you’re ready to brew delicious espresso!
How to use the milk frother
This is a standard automatic milk frother. Don’t expect crazy foam art, as this hands-free operation is designed for convenience.
You can learn how to use the milk frother by following the prompts on the color display and make your milk temperature and volume adjustments here as well. The milk frother is controlled by the touchscreen, like everything else on this smarty-pants appliance.
Jura Z8 Cleaning Process
As you would expect with a superautomatic of this caliber (and price), the cleaning process has been simplified to make life with a coffee machine an utter dream.
No messy coffee grounds? No descaling? No manual cleaning? It looks like Jura has thought of everything.
Well, almost everything. To nix descaling, you need to use the CLEARYL Smart Water Filter, which must be bought separately.
As well, we were surprised to discover that the brew group is non-removable. That means you have to get deep in there to clean it, and even then, you may not be able to clean as thoroughly compared to a removable brew head.
Despite those minor inconveniences, the Jura Z8 fully automatic espresso & coffee machine has a fully automated rinse and steam system that flushes the entire machine, including the milk tubes, with 176°F heated water. It will initiate the rinse cycle on its own after each use.
The main thing to know with cleaning is that every process is done through the control panel. You don’t have to remember when or how- the interface will alert you when it’s time to descale, clean the milk frother, or change the filter.
Once it alerts you to what it needs, it will give you step-by-step instructions on how to complete each process.
Jura Coffee Machine Z8 Pros vs. Cons
- Attractive & functional design
- Ample customization settings
- Personal recipes/ user profiles
- User-friendly J.O.E App
- User-friendly interface
- Makes excellent coffee drinks with PEP
- Automated cleaning
- Extra-large water tank
- Can’t remove brew group for cleaning
- Need to buy more accessories, like the milk jug & filter
- Large machine takes up ample space
The verdict is in, and the Jura Z8 Espresso Machine is as impressive as it is expensive. So expensive in fact that some might call it over-the-top.
The main point is that this high-performance espresso maker is extremely user-friendly and includes all of the bells and whistles.
You get an attractive design that looks good in any kitchen, although it will take up a ton of space. The water tank and bean hopper have an above-average capacity, making this ideal for large households or offices.
What’s exceptional is the brewing capabilities. The Z8 gets a resounding A+ for its coffee. It’s tough to beat a 21 drink menu with a bounty of customization options.
The P.E.P. system and dual-boiler Thermoblock system allow you to brew and froth simultaneously and quickly. If you’re after convenience, it doesn’t get any better than that.
You can connect your smartphone to the user-friendly interface, which gives you the luxury of controlling the machine from anywhere. There are only a handful of superautomatics on the market that can do this, so that’s one reason for the high price.
It is a cool feature, but truth be told, it’s not necessary. You can find plenty of other exceptional espresso machines for a fraction of the cost.
If you love how the Jura line brews coffee, then you might want to consider the Z6. It’s cheaper but gives you the same delicious P.E.P. extracted coffee experience.
When it comes down to it, we recommend the Z8 for passionate coffee drinkers who can afford it. It’s a hobbyist espresso maker all around, catering to those who want to experience all of the aromas and flavors of a perfectly balanced coffee drink without any fuss.
Jura Z8 Fully Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine Warranty
Jura offers a 2-year limited warranty from the date of purchase.
Comparable Products to Consider
The Jura Z8 may not be for everyone due to the expensive price. In this section, we’ve included some comparable products tailored to different users’ needs.
If you’re not concerned with fancy features such as Bluetooth connectivity, but you love the brewing technology, and variety Jura offers, such as the P.E.P. system and 21 specialty drink menu, you might like the Jura Z6 or the Jura E6.
Both offer the same attractive design and features as the Z8, except they utilize one Thermoblock instead of a dual-boiler system. The key takeaway here is that they cost substantially less than the Z8.
Some users may love the latest coffee tech, such as app connectivity, but may not want to spend thousands for the Jura Z8. A more affordable model with Bluetooth is the De’Longhi Dinamica Plus.
Though some reviews have stated that their Coffee Link App is not very user-friendly, once you master the learning curve you can personalize your drinks and control the machine from anywhere.
Jura Z8 Review Conclusion
Is the Jura Z8 the world’s best superautomatic? It’s hard to say since every coffee drinker has their own preferences.
This is an expensive machine, as in a few thousand dollars. Sure, it cleans itself, has an impressive drink menu, and the brewing technology is as good as it gets, but honestly, you can find way cheaper espresso makers that brew just as good.
To conclude this Jura Z8 review, you must ask yourself, “how much do I love coffee?” That’s because the Jura Z8 is a luxury superautomatic with well-implemented features, but only if you can afford it- and not everyone may be able to.
References & Resources:
- Jura, Official Brand Website.
- Jura Z8 Automatic Coffee Machine User Manual.
- 14 Ways You’re Using Your Coffee Machine Wrong, Reader’s Digest.
- How Espresso Machines Work, HowStuffWorks.
- How to Choose an Espresso Machine, wikiHow.