Quick Answer: I only recommend the Jura E4 if you drink plain espresso and drip-style coffee. If you only drink espresso then get the Jura ENA 4 instead of the E4, and if you’ll drink milk drinks then get the Delonghi Magnifica Evo instead of the Jura E4.
The Jura E4 is the most expensive super-automatic espresso machine that cannot steam milk.
In this Jura E4 review, I’m going to look at if there is any way that you can justify paying north of $1,000 for an espresso maker without a milk frother.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Jura E4?
I’d only recommend buying the Jura E4 if you are going to drink espresso and longer coffees, and you’re willing to pay a large premium for small gains in espresso quality compared to a Delonghi machine.
While the Jura E4 makes better-tasting espresso than other super-automatic espresso machine manufacturers, this difference is marginal.
Delonghi machines come especially close to making as good an espresso as Jura, despite costing much less than them.
So I’d only recommend getting the Jura E4 if you think paying a large premium for a small gain in espresso quality is worth it.
Bear in mind that you can find espresso machines that froth milk for less than half the price of the Jura E4, so you’re really not getting much functionality for your money with this machine.
Jura E4 Pros
Makes the joint best espresso of any super automatic espresso machines (along with other Juras).
Makes better drip style coffee than the Jura ENA 4.
It will likely last you longer than other fully automatic espresso machines due to its lack of a milk frother.
Jura E4 Cons
Has a terrible level of functionality given its price tag.
Its minimalist user interface makes it hard to customize your drinks.
If you’ll only drink espresso (so no drip-style coffee) then I’d recommend getting the Jura ENA 4 over the Jura E4.
The Jura ENA 4 can make as good an espresso as the Jura E4 and typically costs a couple of hundred dollars less than it.
If you don’t feel the need to pay a premium for slightly-better-espresso or want the ability to steam milk then I’d recommend getting the Delonghi Magnifica Evo instead of the Jura E4.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo can make almost as good an espresso as the Jura E4. It can also steam milk and costs around half as much as the E4.
This makes it a better value purchase for most people than the Jura E4 in my opinion.
Jura E4: Features
The Jura E4 allows you to make an espresso or long black coffee with the touch of a button.
Just fill the machine up with whole coffee beans and water, select your strength, and press the brew button.
No need to mess around with a portafilter- the machine doses, stamps, and pulls your shot for you.
The Jura E4’s user interface is too stripped back for my liking. You’d expect better from such an expensive coffee maker.
The Jura E4 is operated by a screen with backlit icons and four buttons.
This user interface is too minimalist for my liking.
I particularly don’t like how the machine relies on vague icons to give you troubleshooting messages rather than telling in plain English what its problem is.
These vague icons mean you’ll have to get out of the machine’s manual every time a problem arises.
The Jura E4’s minimalist design also makes adjusting your drinks unnecessarily difficult.
Take making a double espresso for example. To do this you need to press the espresso (“small cup”) button twice in quick succession.
The machine does nothing to tell you that it’s been set to make a double espresso when you do this. So you’re left wondering whether the machine has registered your double press right up until your drink is made.
A little light that indicated that the machine had been set to brew a double would make everything so much clearer here.
In short, a lack of information on the Jura E4’s user interface makes all of the machine’s programming frustratingly vague.
Espresso Brewing System
The Jura E4’s large brewing basket and Pulse Extraction Process means that it brews the joint best espresso of all super-automatic espresso machines (along with other Juras).
The Jura E4 makes better espresso than all non-Jura espresso machines for two reasons:
- It has a large brewing basket: The Jura E4 can brew up to 16 grams of ground coffee in one go. This means that its espresso is stronger than any non-Jura machine.
- It brews more slowly than other machines: The Jura E4 uses Jura’s Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.). This pushes hot water through your ground coffee in short bursts (pulses) rather than in one go, slowing down your brewing. This slower brewing results in a more complexly flavored espresso compared to other manufacturers.
The upshot of this brewing system is that:
- The Jura E4 makes a better-tasting espresso than non-Jura machines: This increased espresso quality isn’t huge, however. In particular, its espresso is only slightly better than what a Delonghi super-automatic machine can make.
- All Jura espresso machines make the same quality of espresso: Don’t think that a super expensive Jura, such as the Jura Z10 can make a better-tasting espresso than the Jura E4. They all use the same brewing mechanism so make the same standard of espresso.
The Jura E4 offers four drinks: a single espresso, double espresso, small drip-style coffee, and long drip-style coffee. The machine can also dispense hot water for an Americano.
The Jura E4’s small coffee button makes it dispense an espresso which is set to one ounce (30 ml) as default.
Its large coffee button makes it dispense a drip-style coffee which is set to 4 oz (120 ml) as default.
The machine uses the same amount of ground coffee (from 5-16 grams depending on your strength setting) for both its espresso and drip-style coffee.
The machine can also make two servings of each drink, so either a double espresso or a large drip coffee. It will grind two doses of ground coffee when it makes a double so these drinks don’t come out watery.
Finally, turning the dial on the right to the three o’clock position will make the machine dispense hot water out of a spout behind the coffee spouts. This allows you to make an Americano by brewing an espresso and then topping it up with hot water.
The Jura E4 does not make any milk drinks.
The Jura E4 gives you a good deal of control over your coffee’s strength and size. Making these customizations is quite fiddly though.
The Jura E4 lets you customize your coffee in the following ways:
- Strength: Strength refers to how much ground coffee you brew with. The Jura E4 has three strength settings which you control using the bean button. The lowest strength is 5 grams of ground coffee and the highest strength is 16 grams.
- Volume: You can adjust your coffee’s volume by holding down the drink you want to adjust until the bean icons on the control panel flash. Then when you brew the Jura E4 will continue to dispense coffee until you press the brew button again. However much coffee you dispense when brewing will be the default volume going forward.
You can see a video of someone explaining how the Jura E4’s coffee volume customization works below (watch from 6:00-7:17):
The Jura E4 only lets you customize its single drinks. Doubles will just be 2x whatever you set as its singles.
Although I like the Jura E4’s level of drink customization, it’s more fiddly to make these customizations than with other similarly priced espresso machines.
It would be nice to just be able to bump up your coffee’s length by a small amount with a button press (just like how you can customize your drink’s strength).
This ties in with my earlier complaint that the Jura E4’s stripped-back user interface makes it unnecessarily difficult to use.
Rinsing, Cleaning, and Maintenance
The Jura E4 requires less cleaning and maintenance than the majority of super-automatic espresso machines because it does not have a milk system and does not need to be descaled.
The Jura E4 requires the following to keep it clean and well-maintained:
- The machine will run a quick rinse cycle when it turns on and off: Every super-automatic espresso machine does this. If they didn’t then they’d squirt stale espresso into your drink. I keep a cup under my spouts after I’m done making my drink because the machine can turn off automatically and will run a rinse cycle when it does this.
- You’ll need to empty the machine’s drip tray and used coffee grounds container every few days: Again, all super automatic espresso machines require you to do this. The Jura E4 will prompt you when you need to do this.
- The machine needs to run a deep clean cycle after every 160 coffees it makes: You do this by putting a Jura cleaning tablet in its ground coffee bypass and then having it brew a drip coffee using “pre-ground coffee”. This will force the machine to mix hot water in with your cleaning tablet and then eject it out of its coffee spouts, cleaning the machine in the process.
Crucially, the Jura E4 does not require you to run any milk system cleaning cycles (as it has no milk system), nor does it require you to descale the machine if you use Jura’s smart Clearyl filters (more on what these are in a second).
These are the two most time-consuming parts of keeping an espresso machine clean. So the Jura E4 is ideal if you want an espresso machine that requires little maintenance (if you’re buying it for an office, for example.)
You can’t remove the Jura E4’s brew group. This is something that sets Jura machines apart from other fully automatic espresso machines.
Although tests suggest that the Jura E4’s cleaning system keeps the machine’s brew group clean even after years of use, being able to lubricate the machine’s brew group should help extend the machine’s lifespan so it’s a shame you can’t do this.
Design and Looks
The Jura E4 is larger and more stylish looking than the majority of super-automatic espresso machines.
The Jura E4 is a few inches wider than Delonghi, Philips, and Gaggia espresso machines, so if you’re tight for counter space then you might want to consider these other manufacturers.
I do like the machine’s minimalist design. I think that most super-automatic espresso machines look cheap and goofy, but the Jura E4’s all-black looks anything but that.
The machine is available in black or white. I think that black is a far better-looking option (and it hides coffee stains much better as well).
The only thing I don’t like about the machine design-wise is its lack of cup clearance. The machine only gives you 4.4 inches of cup clearance, which means that you can barely squeeze a standard-size coffee cup in there.
You’ll want to buy espresso cups to go with the machine if you get the Jura E4.
The Jura E4 uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder with six grinder settings and a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee.
The Jura E4’s grinder is more than adequate for what it needs to do.
This might sound a bit “damning with faint praise” but in all honesty, grinder quality isn’t all that important on a super-automatic espresso machine.
Since the machine can’t tamp your coffee puck all that precisely, you won’t get the full benefit of being able to grind super fine or super evenly.
So you just want a grinder that’s durable and gives you some control over your grind size, and the Jura E4’s grinder ticks both boxes here.
The bypass doser is also useful if you want the occasional decaf coffee.
Water Reservoir and Claris Smart Water Filter (Intelligent Water System)
The Jura E4 has a 67-ounce water tank that attaches it’s left. If you use Jura’s Clearyl smart water filters then you don’t need to descale the machine.
The E4’s water tank pulls out from the top which is a bit annoying if you have low cabinets.
Jura coffee machines are compatible with Jura’s Clearyl smart water filters (also called Claris water filters).
These water filters are “smart” in the sense that they tell your machine:
- When the water filter needs changing (an icon will flash on your control panel when this needs to happen).
- That your machine doesn’t need to flash its descale warning light.
Yes – this means that if you use Jura’s water filters with the Jura E4 then you never need to descale it. This puts it a step ahead of other manufacturers as far as ease of maintenance is concerned.
You need to change Jura filters every two months on average, which is only a bit more often than the majority of espresso machine filters which need changing every three months (and even then you still need to descale).
The Jura E4 can be controlled with your phone via Jura’s app. You need to buy a separate adapter for this, however.
Having to pay extra for this feature is pretty outrageous given the Jura E4’s already terrible price/functionality ratio.
Although the app works well (better than the Delonghi app in my opinion) I still wouldn’t get this adapter out of principle.
Still, if you want to control the machine from your phone then the option is there (at a price).
The table below shows the Jura E4’s key specifications:
Super-automatic espresso machine
Milk steaming system
Buttons and lit up icons
Available black coffee drinks
Available milk based drinks
Coffee length settings
From 0.1 oz to 8 oz per drink
Coffee strength settings
3 (5 grams – 16 grams ground coffee per drink)
None (but you can save length settings)
Stainless steel conical burr grinder
Grind size settings
Bean hopper capacity
9.8 oz (280 grams)
Water tank capacity
67 oz (1.9 litres)
Yes (you need to buy a separate adaptor)
Maximum cup clearance
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
13.8 W x 17.6 D x 11.0 H
Now that I’ve gone through the Jura E4’s features, I’m going to assess the coffee machine along the following criteria:
- Espresso quality
- Milk steaming performance
- Design and durability
- Value for money
The Jura E4 makes the best-tasting espresso of any super-automatic espresso machine (along with other Juras).
This superior espresso is because of the Jura E4’s larger brew basket and slower brewing compared to other manufacturers.
The Jura E4’s espresso is on par with all other Jura espresso machines – they all use the same brewing system.
Its drip-style coffee is better than the Jura ENA 4 (a machine that’s similar to the E4 in many respects) because the ENA 4’s brewing basket is too small to brew larger servings of coffee.
So if you’ll drink drip-style coffee then I’d recommend getting the Jura E4 over the Jura ENA 4.
Espresso Quality Rating: 10/10
Milk Steaming Performance
The Jura E4 cannot steam milk.
This is pretty poor considering the machine’s cost. Obviously, if you want to make lattes and cappuccinos then you shouldn’t go for the E4.
However, this lack of milk steaming does have a couple of upsides:
- The machine should last longer than espresso machines with milk frothers: Not having to steam milk puts less strain on the machine’s thermoblock heating system which should make the Jura E4 last longer than models that can steam milk.
- The machine is easy to keep clean: Cleaning the milk system is the most time-consuming part of keeping a Jura machine clean. So not having a milk system makes the Jura E4 easier to keep clean than other models.
Milk Steaming Performance Rating: 0/10
The Jura E4 has a poor level of functionality for its price tag.
This is because it doesn’t steam milk. You can find espresso machines for less than half the price of the Jura E4 that steam milk.
The Jura E4 very much prioritizes doing a few things well rather than doing a lot of things.
Functionalities Rating: 4/10
The Jura E4’s minimalist user interface makes it harder to use than it needs to be.
I really don’t like how the machine uses icons rather than words to tell you what all its buttons mean.
I also don’t like its workflow for customizing your drinks.
You’re buying a fully automatic espresso machine for its convenience, and having to put a machine in “customize mode” every time you want to change your drink’s size isn’t convenient.
Admittedly, a lot of super automatics (especially those made by Delonghi) have this workflow issue for customizing your drinks.
However when you take into account the Jura E4’s lack of functionalities for its price, then this lack of user-friendliness becomes even more frustrating.
Quite simply, for a machine at well over $1,000, I’d want a digital display screen user interface and the ability to change your drink’s size with one button press.
User Friendliness Rating: 5/10
Design and Durability
The Jura E4 will likely last you longer than other espresso machines.
Although it’s difficult to know this for certain, my reasoning behind this is that not having to steam milk puts less strain on an espresso machine’s heating system.
An espresso machine’s heating system is usually the first part of a machine to break down (this is particularly true of machines that use a thermoblock heating system, which all super automatic machines do).
Steaming milk requires a thermoblock to reach a higher temperature than brewing espresso.
The higher the temperature a thermoblock has to reach, the more strain is put on it (switching quickly between steaming milk and brewing espresso will put even more strain on a thermoblock).
Generally speaking, the fewer components and functionality an espresso machine has, the less likely it is to break down.
So I really think the Jura E4’s lack of functionalities increases its durability.
Design and Durability Rating: 9/10
Value for Money
The Jura E4 doesn’t offer enough functionalities to make it a good value given its price tag.
You can buy a machine for over $500 less than the Jura E4 that brews espresso 90% as well as it and can steam milk.
The only situation where I’d say the Jura E4 will offer you decent value for money is if you want to drink espresso and drip coffee. The Jura E4 is the most affordable machine that makes both these types of coffee extremely well.
But this is quite a rare use case and, even then, the machine still isn’t cheap. A more affordable espresso machine and a French press will be a cheaper solution if you want to drink espresso and filter coffee.
Value for Money Rating: 5/10
The espresso machines that I think are good alternatives to the Jura E4 are the Jura ENA 4 and Delonghi Magnifica Evo.
Jura E4 vs Jura ENA 4
I recommend the Jura ENA 4 over the Jura E4 if you’ll only drink espresso. While the Jura E4 makes drip coffee better than the ENA 4, their espresso is on par.
The main difference between the Jura E4 and Jura ENA 4 is that the E4 has a larger brewing basket than the Jura ENA 4.
The Jura E4 holds up to 16 grams of ground coffee, whereas the Jura ENA 4 only holds up to 10 grams.
Espresso is traditionally brewed with 9 grams of coffee, so the Jura ENA 4’s brewing capacity is fine for espresso.
You get the benefit of the Jura E4’s larger brew basket when you make drip-style coffee. As this is a longer drink you need to brew with more ground coffee for it to not be watery.
So I’d only recommend paying more for the Jura E4 than the ENA 4 if you will drink the machine’s drip coffee.
If you want more information on the Jura ENA 4 then please see my Jura ENA 4 review.
Jura E4 vs Delonghi Magnifica Evo
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is a better option than the Jura E4 if you want to make milk drinks.
Delonghi super-automatic espresso machines make the next best espresso after Juras. Delonghis makes espresso about 90% as well as Juras.
So I think that Delonghi machines tend to offer better value for money than Juras.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo costs around half what the Jura E4 costs.
As well as making nearly as good espresso, the Delonghi Magnifica Evo also has a milk steaming system and can make a cappuccino and latte macchiato at the touch of a button.
This makes it a better value-for-money purchase for most people.
For more information on this machine please see my Delonghi Magnifica Evo review.
Jura E4 Review: Final Verdict
I only recommend the Jura E4 if you will drink espresso and drip coffee.
The Jura E4 makes both these types of coffee better than any other machine in its price range.
The big downside of the machine is that it doesn’t steam milk. If you’ll drink milk drinks then I recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo instead of the Jura E4.
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo can make espresso about 90% as well as the Jura E4 and also makes one-touch milk drinks. It’s also significantly cheaper than the Jura E4.