A cup of coffee can be a wonderful way to wake up a sleepy spirit and jump-start your day. In fact, statistics have found that over 150 million Americans kick off their morning with a hot cuppa Joe. And when you see the long lines that pierce through the doors of coffee shops across the country with each new day, it’s not hard to believe these numbers. Of course, that also means that if you want to get your hands on a premium blend, you’ll have to wait in line along with the rest of those 150 million coffee connoisseurs.
Fortunately, there’s no need to waste your time waiting for the perfect cup. Lots of brands have come out with next-level coffee makers that are designed to deliver barista-level brews at the push of a button. Particularly noteworthy is the Jura line of coffee machines that tout world-class performance and artisan blends that compete closely with coffees that come from high-end coffee shops.
The Jura Z8 is the brand’s creme dela creme, offering sublime performance, versatility, and build quality that’s well deserving of its premium price tag. All together, these features have earned the machine a great reputation throughout the coffee-drinking community since its release. On top of this, many of the people who use the Z8 have chosen to publish their own independent review of the machine sharing their experiences of using it on a daily basis for their cups of coffee and are well worth reading.
Performance and Functionality of the Coffee Maker
The Jura Z8 is perhaps the brand’s crowning glory, sitting pretty at Jura’s top-tier. The high-end machine is best known for its exceptional brew quality that mimics the aroma, flavor, and texture of professionally brewed coffee. Thus, it comes out as a suitable investment for coffee connoisseurs who want nothing short of excellent blends from the comfort of home.
To achieve this premium coffee quality, the Jura brand uses its patented Pulse Extraction Process. This system pushes water through ground coffee beans at the perfectly calculated pressure and timing to extract as much flavor as possible. This enhances the coffee’s aroma and draws out the perfect balance of flavor and bitterness to produce the groundwork for a variety of blend recipes.
But another thing that sets it apart from other Jura coffee makers is that this specific model also produces Americano coffee at the press of a button. The feature has been unavailable on most other Jura machines, requiring that you add hot water to your espresso to produce the light, aromatic specialty coffee. However, that’s not all the Jura Z8 brings to the table.
The machine brandishes the first-ever simultaneous milk and coffee preparation feature. This function speeds up the automatic coffee machine’s functions altogether, letting you concoct a range of creamy, milk-topped blends in record time. This is made possible by two Thermoblend heating elements and two pumps that work at the same time to combine your coffee and milk for the fastest ever bean-to-cup blend. Depending on your needs, the system also lets you produce single serve coffee or two separate cups at the same time.
Other than that, the Z8 touts pretty much the standard features you would expect from a Jura machine. That includes the Intelligent Water System that automatically detects the presence of a filter for safer operation. Its water reservoir holds up to 2.4L on a single refill, producing up to 12 cups of coffee with a single full tank. Then, of course, it boasts the programmable brew system, letting you concoct 21 different coffee recipes at varying coffee strength levels at the push of a button.
Versatile and sophisticated, the Jura Z8 combines excellent user experience with supreme coffee quality. Working hard to deserve its price tag, this machine is in a league of its own, leaving the average coffee machine in the dust. With all of these features brought together, there’s really no wonder how the Jura Z8 has earned for itself a bunch of great independent reviews.
User Interface and Control System
Unlike many of the other Jura coffee makers you’ll find, the Jura Z8 is the only one that comes equipped with a large 4.3 inch LCD touchscreen, doing away with the menu buttons that line the sides of the screens found on other models. This definitely adds a touch of sophistication, making the user experience easier and much more satisfying. The large panel sits on the face of the machine and displays all of your options for exceptional ease of use.
The interface showcases the various types of coffee blends that you can choose. These range from the deep rich espresso, to light and airy macchiatos. After selecting your blend, the machine then lets you designate temperature settings and coffee strength levels to let you customize your beverage to match your preferences. Altogether, the options total 21 different blends 16 of which are programmable based on your needs.
To make things even easier, the machine incorporates an instant milk to milk froth feature that lets you switch from a warm milk to warm milk froth with the press of a button. Compared to other machines that require manual adjustment and tool replacement, the feature is a definite added bonus, making the preparation process truly automatic.
During the brew process, the system lets you choose from 3 different brew temperatures, although it doesn’t state exactly what those temperatures are. This is a common issue found with most Jura machines, but it’s easy to determine what the specific measurements are the more you use the maker. Nonetheless, there are some people who find themselves hoping that there would have been more than just 3 levels of heat for the coffee itself.
Nonetheless, the system does incorporate 10 different temperature levels for its milk output. So if you were hoping to cool down or heat up your brew, the addition of milk at just the right temperature can be a great way to fine-tune the warmth of your cup. That said, the 3 level coffee temperature might not seem like such a big deal as long as you use it together with the milk feature.
As for accessibility, both the water reservoir and the bean hopper are perfectly easy to reach and fill, thanks to the machine’s intuitive design and layout. The removable drip tray also comes out as an effortless addition, letting you clean up and get rid of spills without too much of a fuss.
Build Quality and Design
The build quality arena is a variable that Jura almost always perfects. Their machines are designed with precision and attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of the coffee maker adds to the user experience. Their Z8 is no different. The burly machine weighs 41.9 pounds, built with premium materials that give the machine a premium feel that’s well deserving of its price.
Unlike more affordable models from the Jura brand, the Jura Z8 coffee machine uses a brushed steel exterior that’s exceedingly easy to clean. The matte finish means that sticky fingers and spills won’t leave stains on the casing, so your machine can look clean and pristine even after multiple uses. Chrome accents cover the nozzles and the warm milk and milk froth dispensers. These add more depth and dynamism to the machine’s overall appeal.
On the left of the machine, the 2.8-liter water reservoir sits against the machine’s body, encased in a reinforced ABS plastic casing that’s dense and smooth for easy cleaning. The entire machine itself hopes to minimize any nooks and crannies where grime, moisture, and dirt might hide, to help you keep your coffee maker looking clean and tidy despite frequent, heavy use.
Other than the Z8 coffee maker’s exterior, the internal workings are also relatively easy to keep in check. The machine prompt’s the user when it’s time to perform a routine rinse, cleaning, or descaling, helping you keep track of your maker’s status through its LCD screen. Of course, users have the option to postpone the cleaning schedule to a more convenient time. But executing the cleaning whenever prompted can help extend the lifespan of your machine and prevent any issues down the line.
If anything, some users do complain that cleaning prompts can be frequent. But it’s important to keep in mind that the Z8 is a premium machine, and thus requires constant, routine maintenance to achieve top-level performance.
Jura Z8 FAQs
How long can the Jura Z8 go without cleaning?
Technically speaking, your Jura Z8 should work for months without a cleaning. But that doesn’t mean that you should take the gamble and see how long it will last. Routine cleaning removes sediments from the inside of the machine, and helps keep everything in proper working order.
Allowing accumulated grounds and other contaminants to stay inside the machine for prolonged periods of time can cause them to harden, and may foster the growth of bacteria. In the end, this may cause reduced coffee quality, and may even impair the functionality of your machine.
According to the manufacturer, your machine should inform you to perform a cleaning after 180 brews or 80 on-and-off cycles. In many cases however, your machine will prompt you to perform cleaning more often than that, depending on the unique conditions inside the machine. Executing the cleaning whenever prompted should protect your coffee maker from damage and may help extend its lifespan.
What happens if I don’t descale my coffee maker?
Descaling is the process of removing accumulated, mineralized material from the heating element. This happens as a result of the reaction between molecules in water and the high temperature of the heating coil inside the coffee maker. Even filtered or bottled water contains trace amounts of minerals, and over time, recurrent exposure to these minerals can coat your element in a dense cake of hardened material.
Without descaling, your coffee machine will suffer in terms of performance. The areas covered by thickened mineral deposits will fail to properly heat your water, and will thus reduce the temperature of your brew. In many cases, a mineralized heating element will not be able to maximize the flavor of your ground coffee, especially since the Pulse Extraction Process relies on water temperature for optimal aroma and flavor.
That said, you should consider descaling your machine as often as necessary. Machines that see daily use should be descaled every 2-3 months. Those that are used less frequently should be able to operate just fine with descaling every 4 months.
Can I use vinegar and baking soda to descale my Jura Z8?
There are dozens of online resources that outline how you can use vinegar and baking soda – among other household ingredients – to descale your coffee machine. And while these might work just fine on a run-of-the-mill coffee maker, it’s important to remember that the Jura Z8 is anything but run-of-the-mill.
As a premium appliance, the Z8 requires unique, specific descaling methods to ensure the protection of its internal parts. That said, the manufacturer highly recommends that owners use only Jura brand descaling and cleaning products to care for their machine. Not only will this prevent damage down the line, but it should keep your warranty intact.
Is the Jura Z8 Worth It?
All things considered, the Jura Z8 is a coffee maker that works hard to impress – and it does just that. Equipped with versatile function, seamless operation, beautiful symmetry, and sublime convenience, this machine promises to bring you coffee blends that easily trump out the work of a master barista.
Certainly, it does have a few kinks. The biggest issue we found is its temperature setting that doesn’t completely eliminate guesswork. Nonetheless, there are workarounds, and you can get a hang of the brew warmth the more that you use the machine.
So is it worth it? Based on our Jura Z8 review, absolutely. It’s hard to find a machine that delivers performance as seamless and effortless as the Jura Z8. With lightning speed, this coffee maker delivers premium quality artisan brews that can impress even the most discriminating of drinkers which is how it earned a bunch of great independent reviews in the first place. So if you’re looking for an investment that can bring world-class blends from bean to cup right within the comfort of your home, the Z8 might be for you.