The battle between Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8 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. This is obviously stiff competition for the new Gaggia Accademia which is ever so slightly cheaper, depending on current prices.
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. So, if you want to pay a little less, the new Gaggia Accademia is a superb espresso machine that is also exceptionally pretty.
There is a lot to like and quite a few differences between both these espresso makers. Having spent a lot of time using both, we’ve reviewed them in detail so you can pick the perfect machine for your coffee desires.
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Design and Build Quality: 5/5
Ease of Use: 4/5
Coffee Quality: 4/5
Ease of Cleaning: 4/5
Or read our full review
Design and Build Quality: 4/5
Ease of Use: 5/5
Coffee Quality: 5/5
Ease of Cleaning: 5/5
Or read our full review
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 for us, the glass design is 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.
The old Accademia was a tank. Someone shared a photo online of one going in 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.
All Jura espresso machines are great to look at. They are minimalist with sleek designs with great touchscreens. They are simplistic in the best possible way and whilst they’re always made from plastic, they never look 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 is 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 but 1.1 inches more deep.
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 to get a bit 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.
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 of all the competition. And both Gaggia and Jura have incredible reputations for building very durable coffee makers.
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 while it’s being made “on the fly”. 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 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.
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 own 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 LCD display.
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. This is really good if you’re 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 the exact specifications. All you 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 like things to be simple.
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.
First up, let’s compare the list of drinks both machines are pre-programmed to make:
|Drink||Gaggia Accademia||Jura E8|
|Espresso x 2||✓|
|Coffee x 2||✓|
|Cappuccino with Extra Shot||✓|
|Flat White with Extra Shot||✓|
|Cafè au Lait||✓|
|Latte Macchiato with Extra Shot||✓|
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” setting adds an extra shot of ristretto to any coffee. You can also do fully custom milk with the manual wand too if you’d prefer this to the automated milk.
So, a fairly wide range of options that cover pretty much everything you could possibly want to change about your coffee.
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.
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.
The E8 doesn’t have adjustable pre-infusion but it does do this automatically. In our eyes, this is the same as the Accademia which should be used on max pre-infusion anyway. Jura’s E8 focuses more on grind, dose, and volume for nailing your espresso shots.
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 for your coffee. 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 Accademia vs E8 round a tie. They’re both fantastic machines for dialing in your personalized favorite drink and saving it to a profile for ease.
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.
It should be mentioned that this is 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 right steamed milk to foam ratio.
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 called 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 can deliver a 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. This is a little less convenient than being able to set it on the machine, but the quality is excellent.
The Jura E8 takes this one pretty much 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, obviously, which tends to have 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.
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 annoyance, however, is the size of the drip tray:
It’s pretty small and because the milk container cleans after each use, flushing the water into the drip tray, it’s full after 4 or 5 drinks. You then have to open the front of the machine, remove it, and empty it.
This isn’t a lot of work. But it’s 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 to clean it out. This just means rinsing it thoroughly and then letting it completely dry before putting it back in. Whilst not required, it’s good practice to do this weekly to give you added peace of mind and help your machine last longer.
The Jura E8 also automatically cleans after use, just like the Gaggia Accademia.
As the milk frother is just a hose, you can place it into whatever you like to keep your milk in. (You can use any container or buy a branded milk jug). But it does make it 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.
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 an issue with any Jura machine 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.
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, absolutely pay 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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