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Gaggia vs Jura:
Who Makes the Best Espresso Machines?

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Coffee may have started in Ethiopia and been spread globally by Arabic traders, but espresso came from Europe. So we’re putting two giants of the European espresso machine industry head-to-head in this Gaggia vs Jura battle to see which one reigns supreme.  

Generally speaking, Jura espresso machines are the better pick for sleek looks and the ultimate in easy coffee making. Whereas Gaggia machines give you more room to perfect your espresso-making craft. Plus they have a wider range to suit more budgets and preferences.

But there’s a lot more that separates these two great companies: technology, design, and the all-important price points. For starters, Gaggia makes an array of super and semi-automatic espresso machines. However, Jura only makes super-automatic coffee makers. As long-time fanboys of both brands, we’ve put their comparable machines to the test to give you a better comparison between espresso machines. So let’s get started:

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Key Differences Between Gaggia and Jura

Infographic comparing the key differences between Gaggia vs Jura

Milk Frothing

Jura takes the approach that either you want automatic milk frothing or you don’t want to froth milk at all. Steam wands aren’t something they’re interested in.

As you’d expect from such a high-end company, the Jura milk systems are excellent. But many of their cheaper machines forego milk entirely and focus exclusively on black coffee.

Gaggia takes almost the completely opposite approach:

Several of their super-automatic espresso machines have manual milk wands and automated milk options. In fact, Gaggia doesn’t make a single espresso machine that doesn’t at least have a manual milk wand – flat white lovers of the world unite!

Machine Variation

When it comes to making super-automatic espresso machines, Jura is King. They’ve built their brand around simplicity – pushing a button and getting great coffee. This means huge amounts of R&D to improve all aspects of the brewing process. But it also means there are no options for coffee lovers who want to get more involved in the brewing process.

This is in stark contrast to Gaggia with their extensive range from semi-automatic machines up to top-end super-automatic espresso makers. For example, the Gaggia Classic Pro is a much-beloved espresso machine. And it’s about as simple as it gets – just 3 switches, a portafilter, and a milk wand. But they also have high-end offerings to rival Jura in quality.

So comparing Gaggia vs Jura depends on the type of machine you’re after. You either get a full spectrum of coffee makers for any coffee lover, or a more specialized high-end offering.

Design

Jura has a very distinct style with its espresso machines. You can expect sleek lines and a minimalistic look with chrome accents. The aim is for something timeless that fits in any kitchen.

Nowadays, Gaggia is moving more towards large screens and sleek exteriors with their super automatics. But they still have several more old-fashioned-looking machines with backlit buttons, dials, LCD screens, and manual milk wands. These are a good compromise, bridging the gap between classic and modern.

However, they also have a range of semi-automatic and espresso machines with what we consider to be a “classic” espresso machine aesthetic. Think portafilters, buttons, and switches.

Price

The all-important price tag is one of the biggest differences between Jura and Gaggia machines:

There’s no getting around it – Jura espresso machines are expensive. Even the entry-level ENA 4 is around $1000. Then, once you get past the ENA and E series, it’s upwards of $2500 for a Jura espresso machine.

They also have the truly incredible Z and Giga series. Don’t get us wrong, the Jura Z10 is an incredible espresso machine (read our full Z10 review) but it’s around $3500. Then we come to the Giga series (arguably only for offices or professional settings) and you’re looking at over $5000.

Whilst Gaggia does have super-automatic machines pushing $2000 (like the Gaggia Babila), they also have more budget-friendly options. These start around $400 with a range of price points in between.

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Meet the Contenders

Close up of Gaggia and Jura logos on espresso machines

Gaggia, the Espresso O.G.

Gaggia was founded in Milan in 1947 by Achilles Gaggia – the man credited with inventing the first steamless coffee machine. His espresso machines were used in some of the first espresso bars in the world so he’s kind of a big deal.

In the beginning, all of Gaggia’s espresso machines were handmade and he quickly developed a reputation for the quality of his work. Then, in the 1950s Gaggia espresso machines started to be mass-produced and became very popular across Europe. Gaggia started selling espresso machines in the US in the 60s and they remain immensely popular to this day.

In 1999 Gaggia was bought by Saeco, which has subsequently been bought by Philips. As a subsidiary of Philips, Gaggia still builds its espresso machines in Trevino, Italy, completely separate from Philips’ other operations.

Jura, the Young Pretenders

While Jura Elektroapparate AG may have been founded in the 1930s, it’s much newer to the espresso-making market. In fact, the first Jura espresso machine wasn’t released until 1986 – nearly 40 years after Achilles Gaggia started making them.

Whilst they weren’t the first in the race, they certainly caught on fast. They focus exclusively on high-end super-automatic espresso machines and are now world-renowned for the high quality of their products.

Aside from some supporting equipment like milk frothers and cleaning products, Jura pretty much only makes espresso machines. Their wealth of proprietary technology and focus on being easy to use while producing exceptional quality espresso has set them apart in an increasingly crowded field.

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Best Machine at Every Price Point

With the cheapest Gaggia starting at $300 to the most expensive Jura (for home use) at $4000, there is something to suit all budgets in the Gaggia vs Jura race.

BudgetGaggiaJura
Less than $999Gaggia Magenta PrestigeNone available
Around $1000Gaggia Cadorna PrestigeJura ENA 4
$1500-1900Gaggia BabilaJura ENA 8
$1900-$2500Gaggia AccademiaJura E8
More than $2500None availableJura Z10
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Top-of-the-Range: Gaggia Accademia vs Jura E8

The Jura E8 is our pick for the best Jura coffee machine when you look at the combination of functionality and price. This is obviously stiff competition for the new Gaggia Accademia (launched in 2022) which is ever so slightly cheaper than the E8, depending on current prices.

Gaggia Accademia

Gaggia Accademia on a wooden table
  • Espresso Quality: 4/5
  • Milk Quality: 5/5
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Dimensions: 11.1 x 15.2 x 16.5 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year

Jura E8

Jura E8 making a milky coffee
  • Espresso Quality: 5/5
  • Milk Quality: 5/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Dimensions: 11 x 13.8 x 17.6 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years (or 6000 coffees, whichever comes first)

Prefer 1st in Coffee? Buy Here

Who is the Gaggia Accademia for?

The Gaggia Accademia is aimed at people who want lots of options for their coffee. Or a household with lots of different coffee drinkers in it. But it’s also ideal for those who simply want a beautiful espresso machine to fit in with their modern kitchen.

Newly released in 2022, the latest version of the Accademia is absolutely stunning with the choice of an all-glass front or a glass and stainless steel model. Every aspect of selecting, customizing, and saving your favorite coffee has been vastly improved over the previous generation.

With 15 different specialty coffee drinks including global favorites such as flat white and cappuccino, to niche Italian options such as melange and macchiatone, the Accademia has everyone covered. The option to switch from the automatic to the manual steam wand means that even if your favorite isn’t listed, you can still make it.

There are 5 strength options, plus ‘Coffee Boost’ which adds an extra ristretto shot into any coffee. However, the maximum dose is only 11.5g so it’s very Italian in terms of coffee-to-water ratios – Gaggia is Italian, after all.

Plus you can play with 3 pre-infusion options, 4 milk froth levels, and 3 temperature levels. Once you’ve perfected your favorite drink, you can save the settings to a user profile for next time.

Who is the Jura E8 for?

The Jura E8 is best suited to anyone who wants top-quality coffee and milk for minimal effort. It comes kitted out with all the latest toys to get the best extraction, plus the interface is incredibly easy to use.

For those who prefer (and buy the separate WiFi Connect), there’s also the J.O.E. app that makes it even easier to get the perfect coffee.

While not as beautiful as the Accademia, the E8 is still a good-looking espresso machine.

It offers 15 coffee options but focuses on “extra shot” variations on the classics rather than more niche coffees like the Accademia. The only coffee of note missing on the E8 is ristretto. However, as the lowest volume output is 0.5oz you can manually set your E8 to brew ristretto if that’s your go-to.

The customization is pretty similar to the Accademia but you also get 10 strength settings between 5 and 16g. This larger dose makes a big difference as it allows you to get the golden 1:2 ratio for espresso and 1:1 for ristretto. Plus, it also means your coffee shots have a greater depth of flavor.

All your settings can be saved to a user profile on the E8 or on your phone if you’re using the app.

When it comes to cleaning, Jura has made this easier than Gaggia’s Accademia which has a very small drip tray that needs to be emptied frequently.

So Which Should you Choose?

Picking a winner here is a tricky one. Mostly because it depends on what price you get the E8 for it can vary quite widely throughout the year:

If the E8 is priced around $200 more than the Gaggia Accademia, we would say it’s worth the extra spend. The coffee is better, it’s just as customizable, you get app connectivity (though the dongle is extra), and cleaning is easier.

If, however, you’re looking at more of a $400 difference then we’d take the better-looking and almost as good Gaggia Accademia. The slightly less good espresso and annoyingly small drip tray aren’t big enough deal breakers to warrant spending that much more on an espresso machine.

close up of Jura E8 automatic espresso machine
Our top pick… for the right price.
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Want to take a deeper dive into what separates these two incredible espresso machines? Check out our full comparison guide by clicking here:

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Mid-to-Top: Babila or ENA 8?

The Gaggia Babila is one of the best Gaggia espresso machines, just narrowly passed by the excellent new Accademia. The Jura option at the same price is the ENA 8, which is the “budget” version of the superb E8. So let’s see how they compare:

Gaggia Babila

Gaggia Babila on wooden table
  • Espresso Quality: 5/5
  • Milk Quality: 4/5
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 14.2 x 16.5 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year

Jura ENA 8

Front view of the Jura ENA 8 coffee machine
  • Espresso Quality: 4/5
  • Milk Quality: 4/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Dimensions: 10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years (or 6000 coffees, whichever comes first)

Prefer 1st in Coffee? Buy Here

Who is the Gaggia Babila for?

The Gaggia Babila is for anyone who wants excellent coffee at the touch of a button and is willing to spend time playing with settings. Dialing in the grinder, dose, volume, and flow control takes a little time to perfect. But once you’re there, the rewards are great.

There are 8 drink options on the Babila with espresso, lungo, coffee, cappuccino, and latte macchiato all available at a touch. Then ristretto, macchiato, and flat white are available from the drinks menu. While not extensive, this covers all the big hitters and the Babila also has a manual steam wand so basically every espresso variation is possible.

Then there are 15 grind settings, 3 temperature, 3 pre-infusion, and 5 strength options which, whilst good, are not spectacular at this price.

Where the Gaggia Babila really excels is the Flow Control system. Being able to adjust the flow rate (the speed at which water flows through the coffee puck), allows you to get richer, deeper espresso and more balanced lungo. A rare feature and a superb one.

The self-cleaning milk carafe is also excellent – it’s simple to attach and operate. Plus there are two boilers (one for espresso, one for milk) which is increasingly rare thanks to speed improvements in thermoblock boilers these days.

Who is the Jura ENA 8 for?

The Jura ENA 8 is ideal for someone who wants a beautiful espresso machine to make great coffee with minimum effort. It may not have all the features of the more expensive Jura series, such as the E and Z series, but it does still provide serious quality with great looks and usability.

Most of the cafe favorites still appear like ristretto, espresso, doppio, coffee, macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, and latte macchiato. Then there are 10 strength options, 3 temperature settings, and the excellent Aroma G3 grinder so you can nail your favorite coffee.

The ENA 8 only has a maximum dose of 10g, compared to 16g on E and Z series machines, which does make a difference to the flavor. But it also means it’s pretty similar to the Babila, which has a maximum of 11.5g. Sadly, it’s also missing Jura’s pre-infusion technology.

Overall, the ENA 8 will consistently deliver excellent espresso, excellent milk, and it looks great too. It is incredibly easy to use and app-compatible when you buy the Bluetooth Smart Connect accessory. It excels at what Jura is known for – great coffee made easy.

So Which Machine is the Mid-Range Winner?

This round of the Jura vs Gaggia fight is a tough pick and it really depends on what you prioritize:

If you’re willing to put in the work, you can get better coffee from the Babila.

But ultimately, the Jura ENA 8 is easier to use and is much better looking. So if you don’t want to spend time fiddling with settings, you will get great tasting coffee straight out the box.

For me personally, that makes the Babila the better choice but I’m a nerd that loves these things. Maybe you fall into the ENA 8 camp.

Jura ENA 8 making a fresh shot of espresso
For ease of use, you can’t go wrong with the ENA 8
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Still not sure whether the Babila or ENA 8 is right for you? Check out our in-depth comparison article here:

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Entry-Level: Gaggia Cadorna Prestige vs Jura ENA 4

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige sits around the $1000 mark (though it sometimes fluctuates higher than this). While the Jura ENA 4 sits a little under $1000.

Whilst it’s the budget option of the Jura range, the ENA 4 is a vastly different machine to the Cadorna Prestige. At the end of the day, Gaggia and Jura are looking to target very different coffee lovers when selling these two excellent machines.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige against a white wall
  • Espresso Quality: 4/5
  • Milk Quality: 4/5
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 15 x 15.7 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year

Jura ENA 4

Jura ENA 4 Black, sitting on wooden table
  • Espresso Quality: 5/5
  • Milk Quality: 0/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Dimensions: 10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years (or 6000 coffees, whichever comes first)

Prefer 1st in Coffee? Buy Here

Who is the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige for?

Like the Accademia, the Cadorna Prestige is designed for coffee lovers who like espresso and milk coffee drinks. People who want a one-touch latte or cappuccino and would prefer the option to have lots of different espresso drinks.

With 14 pre-programmed drinks to choose from, every coffee fan will be satisfied. There are even 4 user profiles to allow everyone to tailor their preferred drink to their exact tastes. To do so, you can play with the programmable coffee quantity, temperature, and length options for all drinks.

The milk carafe is also really good. Microfoam is silky and though not professional level, it’s still very impressive.

If you’re in a house with a few coffee drinkers who like espresso and milk drinks then the Cadorna Prestige is a great option that won’t break the bank.

Who is the Jura ENA 4 for?

The Jura ENA 4 is aimed exclusively at black coffee drinkers.

It’s a stripped-back version of the Jura E4 (compare them both here). So it doesn’t have the same level of technology – there’s no 3D Brewing or Intelligent Pre-Infusion (proprietary Jura tech). It also has the old Aroma G3 grinder, which is still superb, and a smaller brew group offering a 6-10g dose.

Is the coffee still amazing, absolutely. Is it as good as the E4? Not even close.

Psst.. Check out the following review for everything you need to know about the E4:

Visually, the Jura ENA 4 is eye-catching with its faux crystal carafe and minimalist screen. It also has app connectivity which is incredibly simple to use. But just like the other Juras, you need to buy the WiFi Connect dongle separately.

If you love black coffee, love Jura, love the looks but maybe can’t stretch to the E4 then the ENA 4 will do a stand-up job of delivering delicious coffee.

Which is Best?

For the same money, the Cadorna Prestige gives you so much more in terms of options and functionality. Without the larger dose and clever internal workings, the ENA 4 doesn’t deliver better coffee than the Cadorna Prestige either.

However, the Jura ENA 4 is better looking and if you only want black coffee from a gorgeous machine then you’ll really enjoy it. For everyone else, the Cadorna Prestige is the best choice.

Close-up of the drink options screen on the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
Our pick: the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
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Overall Winner: Gaggia vs Jura

It’s a tightly run race as both are incredible espresso machine manufacturers.

Gaggia machines often offer more functionality and more control than the Jura machines at the same price point. So if you love espresso with milk then a great Gaggia is cheaper than a Jura with equivalent milk-based options. Plus the Gaggias often have manual milk wands.

Using flow control you can almost get the same espresso quality as with the Jura machines. Though the larger dose size on the E8 is hard to compete with when looking at depth of flavor and intensity.

But Jura still rules the roost when it comes to quality combined with ease – it’s just so effortless to get incredible espresso.

The ENA 4 makes superb coffee if you can handle no milk options. The ENA 8 may have limited milk options but those shots of black gold will taste amazing with almost no tinkering. However, the Jura E8 is still, probably, the best super automatic espresso machine you can buy in terms of value for money.

Ultimately, the Gaggia vs Jura winner depends on what you’re looking for. If you want great looks, ease, and possibly the best coffee experience, Jura is the brand for you. If you want more options and flexibility for the same money then grab a Gaggia.

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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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