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Jura S8 Review

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Last updated: December 12, 2023

Quick answer: I’d only recommend the Jura S8 if you plan on drinking both black coffee and milk drinks regularly. If you are mainly going to drink black drinks then get the Jura E6. If you are mainly going to drink milk drinks then get the Gaggia Accademia.

The Jura S8 is Jura’s most “affordable” coffee maker with a touch screen.

I use scare quotes around “affordable” because the machine still costs around $2,500.

In this Jura S8 review, I’m going to answer the following questions:

  • Whether the Jura S8 worth the money (answer: only if you regularly drink plain espresso and milk drinks)?
  • Whether the S8’s touch screen makes it easier to use than cheaper, button-operated Jura coffee machines (answer: no)?
  • What drinks can you make with the S8, and how well each of these drinks is executed?

Let’s get started.

Should I Buy the Jura S8?

I only recommend the Jura S8 if you are going to drink both plain espresso and milk-based drinks (flat white, latte, cappuccino, etc) regularly.

The S8 makes better plain espresso than any other super-automatic espresso machine manufacturer. This is true of all Jura espresso machines.

The S8 is the only Jura machine that can steam milk to multiple textures. This makes it the best Jura machine for milk drinks.

The S8 also lets you save multiple versions of each of its menu items. This is ideal if there are going to be a lot of you using the machine. No need to overwrite someone else’s settings every time you make a drink.

Best if You Drink Black and Milk Drinks
Jura S8
$2,699.00 $2,284.77
The Jura S8 is the only Jura machine that can steam milk to multiple textures. This gives you much more variety in your milk drinks than with other Juras.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 01:23 am GMT
Espresso Quality
10/10
Milk Steaming Performance
9/10
Functionalities
7/10
User Friendliness
8/10
Design and Durability
6/10
Value for Money
5/10

Jura S8 Pros

It’s the only Jura espresso machine that can steam milk to multiple textures

It allows you to make a drink from scratch and then add it to its menu.

It makes better tasting espresso than any other super automatic espresso machine manufacturer.

Jura S8 Cons

Its touch screen can be a bit jumpy, especially when you need to swipe it.

It has fewer menu items than some cheaper Jura models (such as the Jura E8).

If you’ll only be brewing black drinks then I’d recommend the Jura E6 over the S8.

The Jura E6 is close to $1,000 cheaper than the S8 and only differs from it in the following ways:

  • It has a button-operated screen instead of a touch screen (I see this as an advantage for the Jura E6).
  • It only steams milk to one texture (this is not a problem if you only drink black drinks).
  • You cannot add different versions of a drink to its menu (this is less of a problem if there’s only one or two of you using the machine).
Best for Plain Espresso Drinkers
Jura E6
$1,699.00
The Jura E6 makes the same standard of espresso and has the same build quality as the Jura S8 despite costing almost $1,000 less than it.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/02/2024 11:39 pm GMT

If you’ll only drink milk drinks then I’d recommend getting the Gaggia Accademia instead of the Jura S8.

The Gaggia Accademia makes far better milk drinks than the S8 because of its use of a professional-grade steam wand in addition to an automatic milk frother.

Best if You Only Drink Milk Drinks
Gaggia Accademia
$1,999.00

The Gaggia Accademia’s use of a professional-grade steam wand means that it makes better milk drinks than any other super-automatic espresso machine.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 03:13 am GMT

So to quickly reiterate:

  • Get the Jura S8: If you are going to drink both black and milk-based drinks regularly.
  • Get the Jura E6: If you’ll mainly drink black drinks.

Jura S8: Overview and Features

Here I’ll go through the S8’s features along with my thoughts on how good they are.

User Interface

The Jura S8 is operated by a touch screen. I think that this touch screen is inferior to the Jura E series’s button-operated TFT screen.

The Jura S8 is operated by a 4.3″ full-color touch screen.

The touch screen is large enough so that you won’t mispress the wrong icon

While the Jura S8’s touch screen is well laid out, with a sufficient amount of space between each icon, it’s far from perfect.

The touch screen’s main flaw is that you select some options by tapping an icon, and other options by swiping your finger along an icon. Unfortunately, the touch screen is not good at registering whether you’ve tapped or whether you’ve swiped it.

You can see a clip below of someone struggling with this when trying to swipe an option on the S8 (watch from 9:32 – 9:40):

I could also find a lot of people complaining about this problem on Reddit and on Amazon reviews of the Jura S8, you can see an example of this below:

And the UX of the interface.. oh god, took me 3 days to understand i have to swipe and not tap to change various settings. This is so counter intuitive.. If I were the PM or QA of this thing, every run I would do I would bring up this as a major UX pain point.

u/rabus

After playing around with the S8’s touch screen I agree with these complaints. I find my Jura E8, which is operated by a button-controlled TFT screen rather than a touch screen, easier to use than the S8.

I think Jura themselves have accepted that the Jura S8 is unnecessarily difficult to use. 

In their premium Z series (the Jura Z10 being the most popular example of this), they added a metal scroll wheel on top of the machine to scroll through settings instead of using the touch screen.

Arrow points to the scroll wheel

This helps remedy the fact that Jura’s touchscreen can’t register swipes well. They have not, however, added this feature to the S8 so you still need to struggle with its jumpy touch screen.

Espresso Brewing System

The Jura S8’s combination of a larger-than-normal brewing basket and its Pulse Extraction Process means that it makes better-tasting espresso than any other automatic coffee machine.

All Jura super-automatic espresso machines make better-tasting espresso than all other manufacturers for two reasons:

  • A larger brewing basket: Jura machines can brew with up to 16 grams of ground coffee. This is larger than the next manufacturer (Gaggia) which can only hold up to 12 grams. This means that Jura machines can make a stronger-tasting espresso than any other fully automatic espresso machine.
  • Jura’s patented “Pulse Extraction Process”: Pulse Extraction Process means that Jura machines pump hot water through your ground coffee in short bursts (“pulses”) rather than all at once. This slows down your brewing, increases extraction, and produces a more complex flavored espresso compared to other manufacturers. Jura machines can brew an espresso in 22 seconds whereas most super automatics struggle to top 15 seconds.

It’s worth bearing in mind that although the S8 makes better-tasting espresso than any other manufacturer, its espresso is no better than other Jura models.

So if you are only going to make black espresso drinks (espresso, ristretto, Americano) then you’ll probably want to get a cheaper model than the Jura S8.

You can see how all the Jura machines stack up in my roundup of the best Jura espresso machines.

Milk Steaming System

The Jura S8 can steam milk to multiple textures, and you can control this texture as milk comes out of the machine. The S8 is the only Jura machine that lets you do this.

The Jura S8’s milk system is made up of a milk frother built into the machine that attaches to a separate container via a rubber tube.

It’s the same basic design as the Jura E8’s milk frother which you can see below.

What makes the S8’s milk frother unique is that it has a dial on it which lets you control your milk’s texture. 

Turn the dial to the three o’clock position and you get thin foam for lattes, turn it to twelve o’clock and you get thicker milk froth to top a cappuccino with.

You can also put your dial at any position between 12 and 3 o’clock to fine-tune your milk texture.

The S8 is the only Jura machine with a milk texture adjustment dial. They used to have it on the Jura E8 but they discontinued it on newer versions of the espresso machine. 

It’s now very difficult to find E8 models with the milk texture dial (you can find out more about what the Jura E8 offers in terms of milk steaming in my Jura E8 review).

This makes the Jura S8 the best Jura machine for milk drinks. 

No other Jura machine gives you anywhere near as variety in your milk drinks as the S8 does.

Menu

The Jura S8 offers 11 coffee drinks on its menu. 

You can see the Jura S8’s menu below. Sizes are based on the machine’s default settings:

Name Description
Ristretto
0.9 oz (25 ml) of water brewed with pressure through one puck of coffee
2 x Ristretto
Two ristrettos brewed one after the other
Espresso
1.5 oz (45 ml) of water brewed with pressure through one puck of coffee
2 x Espresso
Two espressos brewed one after the other
Coffee
5 oz of water brewed without pressure with one serving of coffee
2 x Coffee
Two Coffees brewed one after the other
Cappuccino
Espresso topped with a large amount of foamed milk
Flat White
Espresso mixed with steamed milk and topped with a small amount of foamed milk
Caffe Latte
Espresso mixed with steamed milk
Macchiato
Espresso topped with a small amount of foamed milk
Latte Macchiato
Espresso topped with warm milk and milk foam
Hot Milk
5 oz of hot milk
Milk Foam
3 oz of hot milk foamed up
Hot Water
5 oz of water at 212 Fahrenheit
Hot water for green tea
5 oz of water at 180 Fahrenheit

Overall I really like the S8’s menu. It allows you to make all the common specialty coffee drinks.

I particularly like the fact that the machine does not make too many non-espresso-based coffees. 

More expensive Jura machines like the Jura Z10 and GIGA 6 have non-espresso-based drinks like cold brew and iced coffee on their menu.

Super-automatic espresso machines just aren’t designed to make these types of coffees well, and I think that Jura’s most expensive machines tend to have bloated menus just to try and justify their price tags.

The only fault I have with the S8’s menu is that it does not have “extra shot” items. 

I like my milk-based drinks to be made with a double espresso. Many other Jura machines have menu items that are made with a double shot by default – “cappuccino double shot” for example.

The S8 requires you to add this extra shot of espresso manually by first brewing your milk drinks and then brewing another espresso shot into it.

Drink Customizations

The Jura S8 gives you huge control over how far you can customize your drink. This is particularly true of its milk-based drinks where you can adjust its texture with the milk dial.

Here are the different ways that you can customize your coffee with the S8:

  • Coffee strength: 10 strength settings, from brewing with five grams of ground coffee to 16 grams of ground coffee beans.
  • Coffee size: Adjustable to the nearest 0.5 oz (15 milliliters).
  • Milk volume: Adjustable to the nearest second of dispensing time.
  • Milk texture: Can be adjusted with the milk foam dial.
  • Interval between coffee and milk dispensing: Can be adjusted to the nearest second (longer interval creates a more layered drink)

This is a seriously impressive amount of customization options.

The Jura S8 even lets you make drinks from scratch and add them to its menu (you have to override an existing menu item to do this rather than expand its menu).

You can see a video below of someone doing this (watch form 12:05 – 15:05):

These available customizations make the S8 one of the most functionality-rich Jura machines.

Rinsings, Cleanings, and Maintenance

The Jura S8 is a bit more effort to keep clean than other manufacturers because you need to run a dedicated cleaning cycle for its milk system.

The S8 has the following rinsing and cleaning cycles:

  • Automatic rinsings on switching on and off: You might want to leave a cup under your cup as the machine has an auto-off feature and will run a rinse cycle when it turns off because of this.
  • Milk system cleanings: You’ll need to clean out the machine’s milk system at the end of every day that you use it. Here is a video on how to do this.
  • Deep cleaning: The machine will prompt you to run a deep cleaning with Juras cleaning tablets after every 80 drinks that it makes.
  • Descaling: The machine will prompt you when you need to descale every 3-6 months depending on your water hardness. Some Jura S8 reviews say that the machine does not need to be descaled but I have not found this to be the case. This video shows you how to descale the Jura S8.

You can access the Jura’s deep cleaning and descale cycles by pressing the “P” button at the top left of the machine’s touchscreen menu.

This is what you see when you press the “P” button on the menu. The icon on the left is for the deep clean cycle.

As well as these cleaning cycles you also need to empty the machine’s used coffee grounds container every few days.

The Jura S8 is a bit more effort to keep clean than the majority of super-automatic espresso machines.

In particular, its milk system is a pain to keep clean. 

Most super-automatic espresso machines with automatic milk frothers allow you to remove the entire milk system from the machine. You can then either put the milk system in the dishwasher or clean it in the sink.

The S8’s milk frother cannot be removed from the machine’s main body. So it requires you to run a daily cleaning cycle to keep it clean. 

This is more effort than just rinsing it off in the sink.

Grinder

The Jura S8 uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder with seven grind size settings.

The S8’s grind adjustment dial and bypass doser can be found just behind the grinder itself.

Bypass doser to the left, grind adjustment dial to the right

Always adjust the grind size when the grinder is running to avoid the blunting of the grinder’s burrs.

Although seven grind settings are fewer than what you’d get on premium Delonghi and Gaggia fully automatic espresso machines, the S8 still gives you plenty of settings within the ideal “espresso” grind size range.

I can’t fault the Jura S8’s grinder. 

It can grind finely and uniformly enough to brew a fantastic espresso with. It’s also quiet and durable – you can’t ask for much more than that.

Water Reservoir

The Jura S8 has a 67 oz water tank which takes Jura’s CLARIS smart water filter.

The S8’s water filter pulls out from the front. This is useful if you have low cabinets above your machine and you don’t want to bend over it to access its water tank.

The S8’s water tank uses Jura’s patented CLARIS smart water filters.

These are “smart” in the sense that the machine will prompt you when its water filters need changing. This is a nice feature as it’s very easy to forget to change your water filters and this can cause your machine to scale up unnecessarily.

I don’t, however, like how regularly these CLARIS water filters need to be changed. 

They typically need to be changed once a month, which is far more often than most machines whose filters need changing around every three months.

This cost adds up over time.

Some reviewers claim that their use of CLARIS water filters means that the machine never needs to be descaled. I have not found this to be the case and my Jura machines always prompt me to descale around every three months.

Brew Group

You cannot take the Jura S8’s brew group out of the machine.

No Jura coffee machine allows you to open up the machine and take its brew group out.

This annoys me because a lot of the common technical issues you get with super-automatic espresso machines can be solved by removing and lubricating its brew group.

In fairness to Jura, people who have opened up their machines and inspected their brew group said they came out clean, well-lubricated, and in good working order.

But I still can’t help but feel that being able to remove the machine’s brew group will lessen the number of times that you’d have to send it in for repair.

App Connectivity

The S8 has an app that allows you to operate it with your phone via Bluetooth, however, you need to buy a separate Jura smart connect adaptor to get this feature.

While the Jura app is good, allowing you to control your machine with your phone and adding extra user profiles to it, I really don’t like how Jura requires you to pay extra for it.

The S8 is already very expensive compared to most super-automatic espresso machines. It’s far more expensive than premium Delonghi super automatics which come with the equivalent Delonghi app as standard.

This, combined with the fact that the machine does not come with a milk container of any sort, indicates that Jura doesn’t have to give you the best value for money as their top priority.

The table below shows the Jura S8’s specifications:

Specification Jura S8
Description
Super-automatic espresso machine with automatic milk frother
User Interface
4.3 inch color touchscreen display
Number black coffee menu items
6
Number of milk based coffee menu items
5
Available strength settings
10
Available coffee sizes
Increments of 0.5 oz (15 ml)
Available milk sizes
To the nearest second dispensing time
Brewing temperature settings
3
User Profiles
None
Grinder Type
Stainless steel conical burr grinder
Bean hopper capacity
9.9 oz
Water tank capacity
67 oz (1.9 litres)
Used coffee container capacity
16 pucks
Water filter
Yes – CLARIS smart water filter
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
App Compatible
Yes – need to buy a separate adaptor
Available Colors
Chrome, Moonlight Silver, Piano Black
Maximum cup clearance between coffee spout and drip tray
6.0 inches
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
17.3” W x 13.8” D x 11” H

Now that we’ve gone through the S8’s basic features, I’m going to assess the espresso maker along the following criteria:

  • Espresso quality
  • Milk steaming performance
  • Functionalities
  • User-friendliness
  • Design and durability
  • Value for money

Espresso Quality

The Jura S8 makes excellent espresso by super-automatic espresso machine standards.

The S8’s combination of a large brewing basket (so it can brew with a lot of ground coffee at once) and slower brewing due to its Pulse Extraction Process means it can make a better-tasting espresso than any non-Jura super-automatic espresso machine.

Bear in mind that its espresso is equal to every other Jura machine (other than Jura’s ENA series which has smaller brew baskets), so if you are only going to drink plain espresso then you may want to go for a cheaper model than the S8.

Espresso Quality Rating: 10/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Jura S8 is the only Jura espresso machine to offer multiple milk textures. This makes it the best Jura machine for milk-based drinks like latte and cappuccino.

The S8’s milk texture adjustment dial gives you more control over your milk texture than any Jura or Delonghi automatic espresso machine.

The only super automatic espresso machine that outdoes the S8 in this regard is the Gaggia Accademia which has a professional-grade steam wand in addition to an automatic milk frother.

Milk Steaming Performance Rating: 9/10

Functionalities

The Jura S8 offers a decent, but not mind-blowing variety of drinks for its price.

Critics of the S8 may point to the fact that it has a smaller menu than the Jura E8.

While this is true, you should bear in mind that the E8 only steams milk to one texture. 

So the Jura S8 offers you far more variety in its milk drinks than the E8. This is why I’d say that the S8 has a greater range of functionalities than the Jura E8 (you can find out more about how these two machines compare in my comparison of the Jura E8 vs Jura S8).

That being said, the Jura S8 still offers fewer drinks than the similarly priced Delonghi Dinamica Plus or Gaggia Accademia.

So while it’s got a good level of functionality by Jura standards, you can get more for the same price with other manufacturers.

Functionalities Rating: 7/10

User Friendliness

Although the Jura S8’s touchscreen can be a bit jumpy, I do like how it lets you save your own custom drinks to its menu.

This custom drinks feature allows a household of people to all make their favorite coffee with one press of the touch screen.

No need to worry about overriding someone’s settings when you make a new custom drink.

Although swiping on the S8’s touch screen is annoying, it is something that you will get used to so it becomes less of a problem the longer you own the machine.

User Friendliness Rating: 8/10

Design and Durability

The Jura S8 has a low build quality considering how much it costs.

These low-quality aspects are its jumpy touch screen and the fact that it is powered by a single thermoblock heating system.

Having one thermoblock powering both your espresso brewing and milk steaming system will wear it down faster than a machine that has a dedicated heating system for each of these functions.

A lot of super-automatic espresso machines that cost significantly over $2,000 have separate heating systems for their coffee brewing and milk steaming – the Gaggia Accademia being an example of this.

This makes me think that the S8 won’t last as long as the Gaggia Accademia.

Design and Durability Rating: 6/10

Value for Money

The Jura S8 doesn’t offer great value for money.

I think you get better value for money with the Gaggia Accademia if you drink milk drinks (they’re both a lot cheaper than the Jura S8) and I think you get better value from the Jura E6 if you mainly drink black drinks.

A big part of the Jura S8’s price tag is based on its having a touch screen. Since its touch screen is a bit jumpy and annoying to use, it just doesn’t live up to its price tag.

Value for Money Rating: 5/10

Product Alternatives

The two best alternatives to the Jura S8 are the Jura E6 and the Gaggia Accademia

Jura E6 – Better For Black Espresso Drinkers

The Jura E6 is almost $1,000 cheaper than the Jura S8 and makes the same standard of espresso as it.

The Jura E6 is only inferior to the S8 in that it has a few less menu items and doesn’t have adjustable milk textures.

Both machines produce the same (very high) quality of espresso, so if you’ll mainly drink black drinks then the Jura E6 offers far better value than the S8.

Best for Plain Espresso Drinkers
Jura E6
$1,699.00
The Jura E6 makes the same standard of espresso and has the same build quality as the Jura S8 despite costing almost $1,000 less than it.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/02/2024 11:39 pm GMT

Gaggia Accademia – Better For Milk Drinks

The Gaggia Accademia makes better milk drinks than the Jura S8 because it has a professional-grade steam wand as well as an automatic milk frother.

This inclusion of a professional-grade steam wand allows you to make the silky microfoam needed for latte art with the Gaggia Accademia. You cannot do this with the Jura S8.

Even if you don’t want to use a steam wand, the Gaggia Accademia can still automatically steam milk to three textures, so its lattes and cappuccinos are on par with the S8 in automatic mode.

The Gaggia Accademia uses a separate heating element for its espresso brewing and milk steaming so I’d expect it to last longer than the Jura S8. It’s also typically cheaper than the Jura S8.

Best if You Only Drink Milk Drinks
Gaggia Accademia
$1,999.00

The Gaggia Accademia’s use of a professional-grade steam wand means that it makes better milk drinks than any other super-automatic espresso machine.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 03:13 am GMT

Jura S8 Review: Final Verdict

I only recommend the Jura S8 if you are going to regularly make both black espresso and milk drinks with your machine. The S8 is one of few super-automatic espresso machines that makes both these types of drinks well.

Best if You Drink Black and Milk Drinks
Jura S8
$2,699.00 $2,284.77
The Jura S8 is the only Jura machine that can steam milk to multiple textures. This gives you much more variety in your milk drinks than with other Juras.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 01:23 am GMT

If you’ll mainly drink black espresso drinks then get the Jura E6 instead of the Jura S8.

If you’ll mainly drink milk drinks then get the Gaggia Accademia instead of the Jura S8.

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