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Jura J8 Review:
More to it than Meets the Eye

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Every time Jura releases a new machine, we take notice. Even if it’s an espresso machine that’s clearly not aimed at people like us (aka coffee nerds bordering on obsessives). While we may not be the target audience, the sweet milk feature is unique so we had to do a hands-on Jura J8 Review.

The J8 houses an updated grinder (the catchily named P.A.G.2+) which helps brew exceptional espresso that’s worth paying extra for. The sweetened milk foam feature works impressively well, opening up a whole host of delicious specialty drinks. It looks amazing, has great build quality, and is very easy to use. The only downside is it costs a lot to get all this… But it probably should.

It might be the headline feature but there’s much more to the J8 than sweet foam. We had fun trying all the new toys and seeing how good the “normal” coffee was from the J8 too. Let’s dive right in as we share what we found:

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At a Glance: Jura J8 Review

Jura J8, Midnight Silver - Review product image

First things first: the sweet foam feature works great. It mixes your favorite syrup into the milk, making delicious coffee drinks.

But it’s not the only great feature of the Jura J8. It also has a new grinder and is packed full of amazing Jura tech meaning the espresso is superb too.

The fantastic touchscreen makes customizing and selecting your coffee easy. And the WiFi Connect is included (for once!) I also think the “Coffee Eye” is a nice addition for those of us who are absent-minded and might put our cup in the wrong place.

Its another triumph from our favorite Swiss espresso machine manufacturer. Though it remains to be seen if sweet foam becomes a permanent fixture in their lineup.

If you’re happy to spend the money on a fantastic espresso machine that looks great and is a breeze to use, then you’ll love the J8.

Pros

  • Superb espresso
  • Adjustable milk foam
  • 25 specialty coffees
  • Upgraded professional aroma grinder (P.A.G.2+)
  • WiFi Connect is included
  • “Sweet” options on all milk drinks
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • No descaling

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No milk container
  • Sweet milk isn’t for everyone

Average Rating

  • Espresso Quality: 10/10
  • Milk Quality: 10/10
  • Drinks Options: 9/10
  • Value for Money: 8/10
  • Overall Rating: 9/10

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Key Features Review

1. Sweet Foam Function

Unique to the Jura J8, the “Sweet Foam Function” uses a small cartridge that plugs into the milk dispenser and mixes your favorite syrup through the milk as it pours. You can choose any of the Sweet Foam drinks from the menu, and you won’t have to stir to get a balanced sweetness throughout the milk foam.

Whether it is a vanilla cortado, hazelnut latte, caramel flat white, or grenadine cappuccino, you get a beautifully blended, sweet-flavored coffee. If you have a sweet tooth, there’s nothing else like it on the market.

Now, coffee with syrup isn’t usually my thing but my sister-in-law loves them so we taste-tested the drinks together. And we both gave the sweetened milk drinks a thumbs up.

Close-up of the Jura J8 syrup cartridge dispensing sweet milk foam into cup

2. Professional Aroma Grinder 2+

Jura grinders are some of the best you’ll find in a super-automatic espresso machine. So we were very excited to see they’d taken something superb and upgraded it to the Professional Aroma Grinder 2+.

It’s now faster and quieter than its predecessor and, according to Jura, it “features sound design inspired by Formula 1 technology”. What that means is anyone’s guess but it’s definitely a lot quieter than a race track!

It also preserves more flavorful oils in the coffee pick so you get a better tasting cup of coffee. Plus, it’s more accurate, delivers more even extraction, and pulls better-balanced espresso shots. So we’re a fan.

3. Coffee Eye

Coffee Eye is a strange but cool sensor that works out the height of your cup and where it is. Then the screen will only display the drinks that are suitable to your cup size and position. It removes the risk of accidentally pouring coffee straight into the drip tray or overflowing your espresso cup with an Americano.

Talking of cups, you can fit a pretty wide range:

The coffee spout is both height and width adjustable which I’m a big fan of when making 2 drinks at the same time. You can adjust the height between 4.4 inches and 2.6 inches (11.1 and 6.5cm). Going so low is pretty rare and great for preserving espresso crema.

The milk spout goes even higher – 6 inches (15.3cm) – so unless you’re filling a Stanley Quencher with coffee, your travel mug should fit.

Jura J8 touchscreen displaying 'Coffee Eye'

4. 5-16g Dose

To get great depth of flavor from your espresso, you need a large dose. So being able to use up to 16g per brewing cycle allows our fellow coffee fanatics to get syrupy espresso with real punch. Those who prefer a delicate touch can choose from one of 10 settings between 5 and 16g.

5. WiFi Connect Included

The J.O.E. app is a great way for everyone to save their favorite custom coffees and order them from their smartphone. Unlike other Jura coffee makers where connectivity is an optional extra, we’re a big fan of the Jura J8 for coming with WiFi Connect included. This way, multiple people can be connected to the machine at the same time (as long as they’re using the same 2.4GHz WiFi network) and queue up their favorite order to your “home barista”.

WiFi Connect inserted into the Jura J8 coffee machine

6. Easy to Use Interface

I’ve not always found Jura’s touchscreens to be the most reliable but the one on the J8 is large, beautiful, and very easy to use. Swiping through the coffee options, making customizations, and ordering drinks all work seamlessly and without some of the sensitivity issues of previous models (I’m looking at you, Z10.)

7. Custom Drink Creation

Rather than user profiles, the J8 allows you to create up to 20 custom drinks across the 4 home screens. You can choose any base recipe and customize the strength, length, coffee temperature, extra shot, sweet milk, grind size, and foam level (where applicable.) To help you access your favorite coffee at a touch, you can name your creation like “Matt’s Sweet Latte”.

Jura J8 custom drink creation screen

8. No Descaling

Unless you have insanely hard water (in which case, I recommend you use bottled water) then the Clearyl Smart+ filters mean that your espresso machine never needs descaling. Well, that’s what Jura claims anyway.

I’m a control freak when it comes to my espresso. So I still like to have some sort of input rather than trusting the inner workings of a machine I can’t get into.

Whether it completely eliminates descaling or just keeps it to a minimum, it’s still fantastic news. Descaling a Jura machine is never hard but it’s also never fun.

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Is the Jura J8 Easy to Use?

Yes, the touchscreen with large pictures and instructions makes the J8 a breeze to use. Or you can use the J.O.E. app to operate the J8 from your phone.

Touching the squares in the top middle of the screen allows you to filter the drinks selection based on certain features like sweet milk drinks or ones with extra shots. Plus, you can add your customized drinks to the home screens or press the carousel icon for the “classic recipes”.

Having tested and used a lot of Jura machines, my priority was to customize the coffees. You may prefer to try the factory settings first. But my go-to settings include reducing the espresso volume to 1oz (it’s 2oz as standard) and turning the dose up to “10 beans” (16g).

The large screen walks you through everything and is very straightforward.

For example, when making a sweet cappuccino, it first tells you to attach the sweet foam adapter. Then it says to set the milk frother to “foam” and the grinder to “intense”.

This last one is new.

Jura J8 display screen telling user to connect the syrup attachment

On previous models, the grind settings applied to all drinks and only changed when the grinder was in motion. So Jura has changed tac with drink-specific grind settings. It’s easy to change but not as slick as the Jura Z10’s “Product Recognizing Grinder” which does this automatically.

You can adjust the amount of coffee (in oz or ml) and milk (in seconds) on the fly. Or use the pre-programmed/ saved settings.

If, like me, you’re a little slow in the mornings the “Coffee Eye” is a useful feature. It detects which spout your cup is under and will only make the corresponding drinks. For example, the J8 won’t dispense a cappuccino if your cup isn’t under the milk spout.

The J.O.E. app lets you customize and save your favorite drinks in the same way as the machine. I find it easier to use the app than to scroll through the machine’s screens. However, you still need to ensure all the dials are in the right place so it’s not a “hands-free” option.

Using the touchscreen on the Jura J8

Using the Sweet Milk Function

You can filter the drinks for the “sweet milk” options (any that syrup can be added to) by pressing the 4 squares at the top of the screen and then pressing “S”.

To make them, you need to fill the little syrup adapter with your favorite flavored syrup (we used caramel). Then attach it to the bottom of the milk dispenser.

Any time you choose a “sweet milk” drink, the J8 will prompt you to do this step. Then it dispenses the drink as normal but with the syrup blended through the milk.

So, when we made a caramel latte, we got a perfect distribution of caramel syrup through the milk. It’s seriously impressive though only great if you actually enjoying drinking coffee with syrup. Which is a niche crowd. But the J8’s other features will keep serious coffee lovers happy so it’s far from a “gimmicky” espresso machine.

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Grounds or Whole Beans?

With the excellent new grinder (the P.A.G.2+), it would be a waste to use anything but top-quality whole beans with the J8.

When you’re spending just shy of $3k on an espresso machine, I’m going to assume great-tasting espresso is a priority. So I recommend starting with good quality beans that are well-suited to espresso (find our favorites, here).

If you use old, stale, or over-roasted beans, you’ll get anything from uninteresting to unpleasant coffee. So why bother?

Also, be wary of overly oily beans that look super shiny. These can damage the grinder if used long term and, once that’s broken, there’s not much you can do. So you definitely want to keep the grinder in pristine condition.

The J8 has a 10oz (280g) bean hopper with a plastic lid and rubber seal. It’s not transparent which is good for stopping direct sunlight from ruining your coffee beans. And the rubber seal helps keep them fresh.

There is also the option to use the pre-ground coffee bypass chute, Jura even provides a coffee scoop. But we always say this should only be used for an occasional decaf or a one-off; not for your day-to-day brewing.

The new grinder is noticeably quieter than the previous Professional Aroma Grinder. Currently, you’ll only find it on the J8 so it’s an upgrade over almost every other model other than the Z10 or Giga 10 grinders.

Grind adjustment dial and pre-ground coffee chute on Jura J8
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Design & Build Quality Review of the Jura J8

The Looks

This is another fantastic-looking Jura super-automatic espresso machine.

The large display is bright and colorful and you get chrome accents on the spouts and milk dispenser.

Depending on your preferred color scheme, the J8 is available in Piano Black, Piano White, or Midnight Silver. I like the “Midnight Silver” (the color in all our pictures of the J8) as it’s a grayer silver than some of their other machines. That said, the black option goes with just about everything.

Yes, it is mostly made of plastic (all Jura machines are) but since it looks so good, we don’t really care. It’s not like we need the housing to survive being dropped – at 22.5 lbs (10.2 kg), I’m not moving it anywhere!

Jura J8 super-automatic espresso machine

The Build

The J8 is built in Switzerland to the same extremely high standards as all Jura espresso machines. All the parts fit together nicely – the bean hopper lid, water tank, and combined drip tray/ puck container.

You’ll need a good amount of space though as the J8 is a pretty large coffee machine. It’s 12.5 inches wide by 13.7 inches high and 17.6 inches deep (31.8 x 34.8 x 44.6cm). Very few super-automatic machines are “compact” but this is a couple of inches wider than most.

The water tank is detachable which is great for cleaning. However, since it holds 64oz of water, I find it easier to use a bottle or jug for refills rather than carrying it from the sink when full.

The used puck container is also a good size – it holds 16 spent pucks before needing to be emptied. The J8 will also prompt you when the puck container or drip tray is full. Just be warned that carrying a full drip tray across your kitchen is a recipe for coffee water all over the floor. So I prefer to empty it more often.

These machines are built to last, I’ve seen people posting pictures on Reddit of old Jura machines that have done 30,000 coffees and are still working. So it’s not unreasonable to expect at least 10 years out of your Jura machine as long as you look after it.

In the unlikely event that you have any issues, the Jura J8 comes with a 2-year warranty (or 6,000 brew cycles, whichever comes first).

Close-up of the Jura J8 branding and syrup attachment

Connectability

You get the WiFi Connect as standard with the J8. This isn’t the case with several Jura coffee machines which annoys us that such a premium brand doesn’t include premium features as standard. So this is a welcome change.

The WiFi Connect only works on 2.4GHz WiFi. So if everything in your house works on 5G, you’ll have to swap your phone to the 2.4GHz network before you can connect to your espresso machine. This is irritating and frequently leads to people thinking their machine won’t connect.

Once you’re connected though, the app works really well for customizing and saving your drinks. I also like that you can queue up 4 or 5 coffees for the machine to make in a row which saves time when you have friends over.

That said, you do still need to set the grinder and milk foam dials to the right place and touch the screen to confirm. So it’s not possible to make your coffee from the next room. Instead, it’s just another way to save your favorites in an easily accessible place.

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How Good is the Coffee from the Jura J8?

When doing our Jura J8 review, I wasn’t sure what to expect flavor-wise.

I love the quality of Jura espresso but I’m not usually a sweet coffee drinker. So I roped in my sister-in-law who loves anything syrup-based and lives for PSL season. Ultimately, the coffee has to be good or there is no point in buying a coffee machine so I wanted to see how it measured to both our expectations.

Straight out the box, I find the espresso from Jura to be a little weak – it’s too long and lacks the intensity I’m looking for. (This is true of all their machines and not unique to the J8.)

But, once I reduced the volume to 1oz, turned the strength up to 10 beans, and grind setting to “intense”, we were rewarded with a really good espresso shot. It had great balance, a nice level of sweetness, and the rich syrupy depth that espresso should have.

The J8 wants you to adjust the grinder to “mild” when you make a latte and other drinks. But we left it on “intense” for anything that doesn’t need a longer extraction time like a lungo. I want great espresso to be the same base unit for all drinks. But you do you when it comes to your espresso strength settings.

The larger grind size does help to get nicely balanced lungo shots so is not worth fully ignoring. However, I’d take the advice of the J8 with a pinch of salt.

We’ve come to expect good quality milk foam from Jura’s and the J8 didn’t let us down. They don’t include a milk container though (just a hose) which is frustrating at this price point.

With the syrup blended through the milk, the results were impressive – even I thought so. But my sister-in-law was blown away.

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Bells and Whistles

There’s more hiding in the Jura J8 than the sweet milk feature which I don’t think it gets enough credit for.

We’ve talked a little about the new Professional Aroma Grinder 2+ and the sweet milk system. But the Jura J8 is also full of all the usual Jura goodies for excellent extraction.

  • There’s the Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) which pulses water through the puck.
  • It also has intelligent pre-heating for top pre-infusion.
  • Plus 3D Brewing for a more even flavor extraction throughout the puck.

The “Coffee Eye” is also new for the J8. Despite sounding distinctly Sauron-esque, this fun feature is designed to stop you from over-filling or missing your cup. By sensing where the cup is, and how tall it is, the J8 will only let you pour drinks that can go into the cup. (So no milk drinks when it’s under the coffee spouts and no non-milk drinks if it’s under the milk spout.)

Theoretically, it will only let you make drinks that will fit into your cup too. However, I doubt it can work out the volume of your glass/cup so an odd-shaped or tall thin one could still result in spills. We didn’t have any sufficiently weird cups to test this theory though.

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Ease of Cleaning

Much of the cleaning on the J8 is automated meaning less work for you.

The J8 will run hot water through the system when heating up and before turning off. It will also blast steam through the milk hose to clean that out. This all drains into the drip tray and, to avoid spillages, I recommend emptying it more frequently than the machine prompts you.

Every month, you need to clean the brew group by putting Jura branded cleaning tablets in the ground coffee chute. Don’t ignore this – you want the brew group to be spotless. They also provide a container that sits on the drip tray when you’re doing this.

There are some other manual cleaning jobs like emptying and rinsing the drip tray and spent puck container. But these things take seconds.

You can access all the cleaning cycles through the little cog symbol on the screen. This lets you manually clean the milk hose or run any other cleaning programs. It also tracks the status of your filters.

Jura boldly claims that if you use the Clearyl Smart Filter+ you’ll never need to descale the J8. Descaling is the least fun job on any espresso machine so I’m a fan of avoiding it. But I’m also not sure I’m willing to 100% hand over the reins so, for me, it’s still worth doing every 3-6 months.

Full used puck container for the Jura J8
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Competition

If you’re weighing up this Jura J8 review with some of the competition, what else should you be considering? These are our favorites that put up a strong fight:

Big Brother: Jura Z10

Side view of the Jura Z10 on a wooden table

Espresso Quality: 10/10

Milk Quality: 10/10

Drinks Options: 10/10

Value for Money: 7/10

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Or read our Complete Jura Z10 Review

No other espresso machine has the J8’s “sweet foam” function. But the Z10 does have its own party trick:

It has a unique collection of “Cold Brew” coffees to choose from. They have a slightly sweeter, creamier taste that’s reminiscent of cold brew (though is room temperature) thanks to the longer brewing time (around 2 minutes) at lower temperatures.

This is an amazing feature and one of the reasons we think the Z10 is one of the best super-automatic espresso machines money can buy.

The “Product Recognizing Grinder” on the Z10 is like an automatic version of the grinder on the J8. You also get milk temperature controls to go with the coffee temperature ones that the J8 doesn’t have.

It’s got more drink options, better control over your coffee and milk, and the unique cold brewing. But it’s around $500 more expensive and doesn’t have the sweet foam function. So all comes down to what you value most:

If you prefer sweet drinks to cold ones then the J8 is the best choice.

If you’re not that bothered by the sweet foam feature then the Z10 will give you more great coffee options.

For a more in-depth comparison of the two machines, check out our full Jura J8 vs Z10 guide, here.

Ice (Coffee) Queen: DeLonghi Eletta Explore

Side view of the DeLonghi Eletta Explore

Espresso Quality: 8/10

Milk Quality: 7.5/10

Drinks Options: 8.5/10

Value for Money: 9/10

Overall Rating: 9/10

Or read our In-Depth DeLonghi Eletta Explore Review

“Over Ice” coffees now appear on most new DeLonghi espresso machines. The idea is that the coffee is still brewed hot, but not as hot, and the machine will tell you how many ice cubes to use to cool it down. It works surprisingly well and you get the choice of “over ice” versions of basically every coffee.

You also get cold foamed milk from the Eletta Explore. This is done from a separate milk container to the hot milk and means you get a huge choice of drinks.

Considering the Eletta Explore is under $2000, this is quite an impressive set of features. Certainly enough to entice any iced coffee lover.

There has to be a catch right? There is – the quality from the Delonghi isn’t as good as the Jura.

Your espresso isn’t as good, your milk foam (hot and cold) isn’t as good, the customization isn’t as in-depth, and it doesn’t look as nice.

It’s harsh calling the Eletta Explore a “one trick pony”. It’s more of a “horses for courses” machine. It will suit someone who loves drinking iced coffees and is willing to sacrifice a little quality for value.

Prettier Sister: Gaggia Accademia

Front view of the Gaggia Accademia whilst turned on

Espresso Quality: 9/10

Milk Quality: 9/10

Drinks Options: 9/10

Value for Money: 8/10

Overall Rating: 9/10

Or read our Gaggia Accademia Review

This is probably the most beautiful espresso machine we’ve ever tested.

The new Gaggia Accademia is gorgeous, it’s easy to use and has 17 drinks to choose from plus a manual steam wand so you can make any others.

It can’t match the Jura J8 for espresso quality, even with the excellent flow control dial which does an amazing job. It’s mostly because the max dose of 11.5g isn’t enough to get the same depth and complexity.

The Accademia is a brilliant espresso machine though. And being a few hundred dollars cheaper really helps in the head-to-head between Gaggia and Jura. But in terms of pure coffee quality, the J8 is the better option.

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Final Thoughts on our Jura J8 Review

The J8 has a lot going for it: it’s so much more than the sweet foam feature.

We were guilty of initially writing off this machine as a bit gimmicky due to the sweet foam. So it had a big hurdle to get over to impress us during our Jura J8 review. Thankfully, the superb new grinder and all the usual tricks that make Jura espresso so darn tasty worked.

The touchscreen is beautiful and easy to use. Customizing and saving your drinks is simple, as is finding them again. So, coffee purists will really enjoy the J8 even if they never use the unique milk feature.

As it’s a Jura, it is expensive.

If you’ll never use the sweet foam, maybe splash out a little for the Z10 to get all those delicious cold coffee options instead. Or save a little and get the Gaggia Accademia.

Overall, this is another superb espresso machine from Jura. The drawback might be the price but you pay for quality.

Don’t forget to buy your Jura J8 On Amazon | On 1st in Coffee

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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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