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Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

The Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8 battle is one between two heavyweights of the super-automatic espresso machine market. Jura makes some of the best machines out there, and we believe the E8 is the best of the bunch in terms of functionality and price. But the new Gaggia Accademia is a tough competitor thanks to the slightly lower price, incredible looks, and marginally better milk system.

For me, the Jura E8 is the better espresso machine – it makes better espresso and is easier to customize. However, it can be as much as $400 more expensive. By paying less for the new Gaggia Accademia, you still get a superb espresso machine that’s also exceptionally pretty.

There’s a lot to like and quite a few differences between these espresso makers. Having spent a lot of time using both, we’ve reviewed and compared them in detail so you can pick the machine that best suits your coffee needs.

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Tl;DR Comparison of Accademia vs E8

Gaggia Accademia

Front view of the Gaggia Accademia whilst turned on

Design and Build Quality: 5/5

Ease of Use: 4/5

Coffee Quality: 4/5

Customization: 5/5

Ease of Cleaning: 4/5

Or read our full review

Jura E8

Jura E8 making a milky coffee drink

Design and Build Quality: 4/5

Ease of Use: 5/5

Coffee Quality: 5/5

Customization: 5/5

Ease of Cleaning: 5/5

Or read our full review

design and build quality icon

Design and Build Quality

I know looks aren’t everything, but when you’re putting a machine this big in your home, it’s going to draw the eye, so it matters. Equally important is how long it will realistically last, especially given the high prices. So let’s compare the two machines on looks and durability:

Gaggia Accademia

Having the Gaggia Accademia on your countertop makes a statement.

It’s available in two color options: black glass or stainless steel. They both look great but I’m a sucker for the glass design – it’s absolutely stunning and super sleek. The full glass front with chrome accents, touch screen, and the sleek red line is a step above almost every other automatic machine currently available.

Everything from the touchscreen to the buttons and dial has been well thought out and executed. So it not only looks great but is responsive and easy to use.

Just keep in mind that it’s a big machine (11.1 x 15.2 x 16.5 inches) that will dominate your counter space. But it will do it in the way a great painting would (sorry, am I gushing?!)

The old Accademia was a tank. I saw someone share a photo of theirs going to be serviced that had made over 30,000 espressos in its lifetime. Unbelievable from a bean-to-cup machine!

With the new Accademia only recently coming out, we obviously can’t know if it’ll be equally indestructible. But Gaggia has built its brand on reliability so we’re guessing it will and there’s a 1-year warranty if you get unlucky.

Front view of the Gaggia Accademia whilst turned on
Front view of the Accademia
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Jura E8

All Jura espresso machines are great to look at. They are minimalist with sleek designs and bright screens. They’re simplistic in the best possible way and yes, okay, they’re always made from plastic but they somehow never look cheap (which is good since they never are cheap!)

The E8 is available in piano black, chrome, or piano white. We’re always fans of the black models of Jura machines but that’s purely personal preference as they all look great.

Measuring up at 11 x 13.8 x 17.6 inches, the Jura E8 isn’t too dissimilar to the Gaggia Accademia. Width-wise, they’re pretty much the same but the E8 is 1.4 inches shorter and 1.1 inches deeper.

Jura has also built a great reputation for superior build quality. These espresso machines are built to last at least 10 years, at which point the grinder may start failing/ be blunt. All the fancy tech inside is built to the highest standard and you’ll find plenty of people with a decade-old Jura still going strong. Which makes the high price tag a little easier to swallow.

Jura E8 - Front view whilst turned off
Front view of the Jura E8
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The Winner

It’s rare for Jura to lose out on looks and build quality but the Gaggia Accademia might be the best-looking super-automatic espresso machine on the market right now.

The all-glass front (or the stainless steel) really is a cut above the plastic competition. And both Gaggia and Jura have incredible reputations for building very durable coffee makers.

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Which Machine is Easier to Use?

Being simple to use is the name of the game with super-automatics. So let’s see how the Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8 compare:

the Accademia

The new Accademia is a big step up in ease of use from the previous version. You can simply scroll through the menu by swiping on the touchscreen or by using the dial, whichever you prefer. Then touch the coffee you want, or push the start/stop button in the middle of the dial, and off it goes.

All the settings for each drink can be adjusted “on the fly” while it’s being made. Or choose your settings then save them to your user profile for later. Adjusting the temperature, strength, and length is simple and intuitive.

Currently, there’s no app for any Gaggia machine which would make things even easier. But as far as coffee customization from the screen goes, they really couldn’t make it any simpler.

The milk wand is similarly simple to use and has a detachable carafe. The steam wand doesn’t quite have the intensity of a professional one so those learning to make latte art have a little more margin for error.

Comparison of the user interfaces on the Gaggia Accaemia and Jura E8 espresso machines
Top: Responsive touchscreen & separate soft-touch buttons on the Gaggia Accademia
Bottom: LCD display operated by buttons on the Jura E8

the E8

Being easy to use is Jura’s calling card. Like the Gaggia, all your settings can be changed as the drink is being made or in advance and saved for later. The E8 also has user profiles so everyone can save their favorite drink recipes for easy ‘ordering’ whenever they want them.

The main difference here is that the Jura E8 doesn’t have a touchscreen. Instead, you use the buttons that line the sides of the LCD screen.

What it does have, however, is Jura’s J.O.E. app where you can adjust and save drinks to your phone and then order them to the machine. I love this anytime I’m making a few coffees in a row as you can send them all to the machine and it’ll make them one-by-one to my exact specifications. All I have to do is swap out the cups.

For this to work, you need to buy Jura’s Smart Connect. It’s a piece of plastic that slots into the machine and allows it to communicate via Bluetooth. Annoying that it doesn’t come as standard but well worth the extra cost.

This espresso machine is built for the coffee novice but equally for anyone who just likes things to be easy.

The Winner

Having app connectivity makes the E8 the winner in terms of ease of use. But it’s a very close race as they’re pretty much the same in terms of how all the settings are adjusted. We just really love having that extra option to use an app when possible so Jura just edges it for us. However, if you wouldn’t use the app then there’s not a lot between them.

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Customization Options

If you want to stick to factory settings and drink the “headline” drinks like cappuccino or latte, then both machines will perform admirably. But if you want to play around for your perfect drink, you need to understand what separates the Accademia and E8.

First up, let’s compare the list of drinks both machines are pre-programmed to make. If you’re favorite isn’t on your preferred machine, it might be a non-starter:

DrinkGaggia AccademiaJura E8
Ristretto
Espresso
Espresso x 2
Doppio
Lungo
Coffee
Coffee x 2
Americano
Cortado
Macchiatone
Melange
Cappuccino
Cappuccino XL
Cappuccino with Extra Shot
Flat White
Flat White with Extra Shot
Cafè au Lait
Caffè Latte
Latte Macchiato
Latte Macchiato with Extra Shot
Latte Caldo
Caffè Barista
Macchiato

Gaggia Accademia

The Accademia comes with a raft of options to customize your favorite coffee style to perfection. There are 5 strength settings between 6.5 and 11.5g, 3 pre-infusion settings, 3 temperature settings, 4 foam settings, and adjustable volumes for coffee, milk, and water. Then the built-in ceramic grinder has 8 settings.

And, if that wasn’t enough, Gaggia’s Flow Control system has 3 settings, and the “Coffee Boost” adds an extra shot of ristretto to any drink. You can also use the manual milk wand rather than the automated milk if you have specific preferences.

So, there’s a fairly wide range of options that cover pretty much everything you could possibly want to change about your coffee.

In terms of usefulness, I felt that the pre-infusion had to be on the highest setting to get the best flavor from the beans. Only the hottest brew setting was really workable for coffee, and only 6 of the 8 grinder settings were ones you’d actually want to use.

But this is a common issue across all super-automatic espresso machines. And, even with the useless settings removed, it’s a seriously impressive array of customizations. Plus, the flow control works exceptionally well and is a rare feature.

Jura E8

The Jura E8 also takes customization very seriously:

Many of the options are the same as the Accademia though the E8 does offer 10-strength options between 5 and 16g. There are also 3 temperature settings, a dial for adjusting milk foam, and the professional Aroma G3 grinder with 6 settings. Plus adjustable volume for coffee, milk, and water.

However, the E8 doesn’t have adjustable pre-infusion (it does this automatically.) In our eyes, this makes it the same as the Accademia which needs to be on max pre-infusion anyway. Jura’s E8 focuses more on grind, dose, and volume for nailing your espresso shots.

The Winner

This is tough as there are pros and cons to each in terms of customization:

Having 10 strength settings makes a big difference in nailing your dose. But the flow control is a great feature for changing between longer and shorter coffees without playing with the grind settings.

So we’re going to call this Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8 round a tie. They’re both fantastic machines for dialing in your personalized favorite drink and saving it to a profile for ease.

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Does the E8 or Accademia Make Better Coffee?

Whether you’re deciding between the Gaggia Accademia, Jura E8, or any other coffee maker, there’s nothing more important that how good that cup of joe will taste.

Gaggia Accademia

Making coffee is kinda the whole point of an espresso machine and, at this price, it needs to be good. So you’ll be glad to hear that the Accademia excels. The superb grinder, the new brewing unit, and the various settings such as pre-infusion and flow control allow for a very good quality espresso from the Accademia.

We just have one small, maybe big, issue:

The max dose is 11.5g but the minimum delivery volume for espresso is 1oz. This means it’s impossible to get the 1:2 ratio we prefer for excellent espresso. Now, you can program the ristretto option to get this ratio but all your other drinks will use the longer shot.

This makes it very much in the style of Italian espresso – it’s an Italian espresso machine after all. So maybe we’re being overly harsh here. But we feel the 1:2 ratio gives the kind of depth of flavor of truly great espresso and it’s a shame the Accademia can’t produce this considering the price.

The flow control makes getting high-quality lungo easier without adjusting the grinder as it allows the water to move faster through the puck. This means no bitter notes and an excellent lungo.

The milk is also excellent and the different foam options mean you get the correct texture for a wide variety of drinks. From cortado to flat white to cappuccino, you get the correct steamed milk-to-foam ratio.

Reviewing the espresso quality from the Gaggia Accademia machine
Freshly made espresso from the Accademia – Shop Here

For the same great tasting coffee but a more stripped back (and cheaper) Gaggia model, see how the Accademia stacks up against the Babila:

Jura E8

Jura has spent a lot of time and acronyms on producing superb espresso from their machines.

Their pulse extraction process (P.E.P) uses short bursts instead of continuous extraction and it works really well. The E8 also has automatic pre-infusion and something they call “3D Brewing”. All this tech adds up to really good quality espresso.

One of the best things about the E8 is that the maximum dose is 16g. This delivers serious depth of flavor from each shot. Jura’s default setting for espresso is 2oz which is too long in our opinion. But you can change that to 1oz and get that perfect 1:2 ratio with the larger dose.

The milk foam is also excellent and there’s a dial on the milk dispenser to adjust the texture. It’s a little less convenient than being able to set it on the machine and you do get less control, but the quality is excellent nonetheless.

Jura E8 making a milky coffee drink
Making a flat white with the Jura E8 – Shop Here

The Winner

The Jura E8 takes this one almost entirely on the fact it can make espresso with the 1:2 ratio we prefer. (It’s also the ratio most commonly used throughout the US so comparable to what you’ll find in coffee shops.)

The Gaggia makes Italian-style espresso which tends to use a higher ratio. It’s not that it’s not good either. We just think the 1:2 ratio should be available on a machine at this price. Especially when they have the ristretto option which can do it, so it’s clearly possible.

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Ease of Cleaning

Gaggia Accademia

The Accademia automates as much of the cleaning process as possible.

It will auto-rinse after use and has step-by-step guides for the descaling process. The milk container will clean the dispenser after every use too so you can just put the carafe back in the fridge when it’s not needed.

One thing that annoys me, however, is the size of the drip tray:

It’s pretty small and because the milk container cleans after each use, flushing water into the drip tray, it gets full after 4 or 5 drinks. You then have to open the front of the machine, remove it, and empty it.

I know it’s not a lot of work but it’s still quite frustrating. Especially since they’ve made the drip tray smaller to accommodate more used coffee pucks. On a $2k coffee machine, we expect better.

One big plus of the Gaggia Accademia over the Jura E8 is that you can fully remove the brewing unit for cleaning. You just need to rinse it thoroughly and let it completely dry before putting it back in. Whilst not required, it’s good practice to do this weekly to help your machine last longer.

Jura E8

Just like the Gaggia Accademia, the Jura E8 also automatically cleans after use.

As the milk frother is just a hose, you can place it into whatever you like to keep your milk in. It annoys me that a milk container isn’t included but you can just use anything you already have at home or buy a branded milk jug. The benefit of this system is that it’s really easy to keep clean.

The water filter keeps descaling to a minimum, like once a year, and when you have to do it there are clear instructions on the screen.

The one possible annoyance with Jura is the inability to remove the brew group for cleaning. Jura claims their internal cleaning processes keep it in great shape and they’ve been making coffee machines for a long time so we see no reason to doubt this. However, some people don’t trust it and prefer to be able to clean it themselves. It’s really up to you and how you feel about this.

The Winner

Both machines keep cleaning and maintenance to a minimum and require the use of expensive branded cleaning products.

We don’t feel the brew group thing is an issue from Jura. Not only have we never had a problem with any Jura machine we’ve used but we spend a lot of time in the nerdy coffee corners of the internet and have seen no other evidence of people complaining.

The Accademia’s drip tray is really annoying. It’s just a weird oversight, similar to the espresso volume thing, so the Jura wins this round too.

They’re both really easy to look after though, it’s just the Jura E8 is ever so slightly easier.

Close-up of the name badges of Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8
Which is your winner? The Gaggia Accademia or the Jura E8
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Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8: The Verdict

Picking a winner between the Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8 is tough. The price of the Jura E8 really swings it either way:

If you can get an E8 for around $200 more than the Gaggia Accademia, I think it’s absolutely worth paying the extra for the higher coffee quality. It’s got just as good customization, it has the app (the dongle is extra), and it’s slightly easier to clean.

If, however, it’s closer to a $400 difference then we’d take the Gaggia Accademia’s superior looks and almost as good coffee. The small niggles aren’t big enough to spend $300+ more on an espresso machine.

So which one will you be enjoying coffee from?

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Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Matt's coffee obsession started in 2006 when working as a Barista. A tendency to turn up to work hungover kickstarted his coffee journey which quickly turned into a love affair. As he moved on to work as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, the obsession continued to grow. Now, his passion is helping others to enjoy better coffee at home.

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