This is my Jura S8 review. The S8 is one of Jura’s most expensive and high-end superautomatic espresso machines.
I own the Jura E8, a very similar machine to the S8, and spent half a day researching other users’ experiences with the S8 online to put together this review.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Jura S8 (Quick Verdict)?
You should not buy the Jura S8. Although the S8 is a very good machine, it is overpriced. Instead, I would recommend the Jura E8, which is a very similar machine for a significantly lower price.
You can find out more about the Jura E8 in my Jura E8 review.
The Jura S8 does have a couple of features that make it feel more luxurious to use than the E8 (a touchscreen for example).
This makes the Jura S8 an excellent choice if you want to treat yourself and are not too bothered about getting the best value for money possible.
The Jura S8 is a superautomatic espresso machine.
This means that all you need to do to make your espresso is put whole coffee beans and water in the machine, and press the button of the drink that you want.
The machine will grind the beans, dose up the coffee and water, and brew the coffee for you.
The Jura S8 also has an inbuilt milk frother. You do not put milk in the machine, but rather attach a container full of milk to the machine via a rubber tube.
The rubber tube comes with the machine, but you will need your own milk container.
My E8 uses the same system and I just put the rubber tube in a glass of milk. The other end of the tube is attached to the machine.
You can see an annotated image of the Jura S8 below:
The table below lists the specifications of the Jura S8:
|Machine type||Superautomatic espresso machine|
|Width||23.6 inches (60.0 centimetres)|
|Depth||17.8 inches (45.2 centimetres)|
|Height||16.3 inches (41.4 centimetres)|
|Number of black coffee presets||6|
|Number of milk-based drink presets||5|
|Number of other presets||4|
|Temperature settings||Yes – 3 settings|
|Strength settings||Yes – 8 settings|
|Serving size settings||Yes – to the nearest millilitre|
|Grinder type||Stainless steel conical burr grinder|
|Bean container capacity||9.9 oz / 280 grams|
|Bypass chute||Yes – can hold up to 5 servings of coffee|
|Active bean monitoring||Yes|
|User Interface||LCD screen with touchscreen operation|
|Water tank capacity||64 oz (1.9 litres)|
|Water filter||Yes – Claris|
|Maximum mug clearance||6.0 inches (15.2 centimetres)|
|Heating system||Dual Thermoblock|
|Used coffee container capacity||16 pucks|
|Hot water function||Yes|
|Available colors||Chrome, Moonlight Silver|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy the Jura S8 on Amazon|
What Coffees Can You Make With the Jura S8
The table below shows the coffee presets on the Jura S8. Descriptions are taken from Jura’s website.
|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|
|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|
Keep in mind that the Jura S8 gives you a huge deal of control over how much ground coffee you use in each drink, as well as how much water and milk goes into every drink that you make.
The above measurements just refer to what the machine will make in its default mode.
Personally, I think the machine would be better served if it ditched the hot water and hot milk, and offered a few more coffee types.
Double espresso and Latte Macchiato are glaring menu omissions in my book and are one of the reasons why I prefer the Jura E8 over the S8 (the E8 has these coffee presets).
Now we know the basics of the Jura S8, I am going to evaluate the machine across five criteria. These are:
- Quality of Coffee
- User Friendliness
- Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
- Build Quality
- Value for Money
Quality of Coffee
The Jura S8 makes good black coffee drinks and excellent milk-based coffee drinks. You can make a better espresso with a high-quality semi-automatic espresso machine than you ever could with the S8. However, for a superautomatic machine, the quality of coffee is very high indeed.
(Please note that I am basing a lot of my evaluation of the Jura S8’s quality of coffee on my experiences with the Jura E8. The E8 has the exact same grinder and brewing system as the S8 so it should make identical coffees. For more information on the Jura E8, please see my Jura E8 review).
Quality of Black Coffees
The Jura S8 makes a good espresso, especially by superautomatic machine standards.
You need to set the machine’s grinder to its finest setting to achieve a good shot, however.
If the grinder is any coarser than its final setting, then I find the S8’s espresso to be too sharp.
This suggests that the machine struggles to get enough extraction from the coffee grounds when pulling an espresso shot.
A finer grind means that the ground coffee has a larger surface area, so it will extract more efficiently.
Since the quality of espresso gets better the finer you set the Jura S8’s grinder, it does beg the question of whether the machine’s coffee would be improved if its grinder could go even finer than it already does.
The S8 brews a single espresso in around 18 seconds.
This is slightly short of the recommended 25 seconds and explains why the machine can pull sharp shots (lower brewing times mean less extraction).
You should bear in mind that 18 seconds is actually quite long for a superautomatic machine (many brew shots in under 12 seconds).
The Jura S8’s brewing time is one of the key reasons why it makes better espresso than most superautomatic espresso machines.
Quality of Milk-Based Coffee Drinks
The Jura S8’s milk frother is excellent, meaning that it can make milk-based coffee drinks that rival a chain coffee shop.
The milk frother, and consequently the machine’s milk-based drinks, are one of the S8’s strongest points.
The cappuccino is my favorite drink that my E8 makes, and I am delighted to see that the S8 both have this drink preset and make it in the exact same way as the E8.
If you purchase either the E8 or S8 then make sure you give its cappuccino a go. You won’t regret it.
The Jura S8 allows you a lot of freedom over how much ground coffee, milk and water is used in your drink.
The amount of liquid coffee used in your drink can be adjusted to the nearest millilitre, and the amount of milk used in your drink can be adjusted to the nearest second of dispensing time.
You’re definitely not going to be disappointed with the level of customization the Jura S8 offers you when making your drink.
I find that the machine’s default settings create milk-based drinks with too little coffee and too much milk. Fortunately, you can change these default settings very easily.
Quality of Coffee Rating: 8/10
The Jura S8 is really easy to use, with its touchscreen control panel and Bluetooth functionality adding a touch of luxury to the machine.
Ease of Getting Started
The Jura S8 comes pretty much assembled out of the box.
All you need to do before brewing is plug the machine in, fit its water filter in the water tank and then fill the machine with coffee beans and water.
The machine will just do one rinse cycle and then you are ready to brew.
It will take you less than five minutes to unbox the machine and get it to a point where I could make a coffee.
Ease of Making A Coffee
You set which coffee you make the Jura S8 using a touch screen control panel.
The touchscreen is really responsive and not buggy in any way (even if you have damp fingers).
This touchscreen displays a menu of drinks with both an image of the drink and its name.
I really like the fact that the menus have the drinks’ names. My Jura E8 just has images of each drink and it took me a few weeks of using the machine to work out what coffee each image represented.
Once you have selected your drink, the machine then gives you programmable sliders for the coffee’s temperature, strength (how much ground coffee the machine will use), serving size of coffee, and amount of milk in your drink.
One slight issue I have with the Jura S8’s workflow is that you have to make your coffee customizations while the machine is brewing.
This gives you quite a small time window to make your customizations.
It might be quite difficult to do this if you have limited mobility in your hands.
Ease of Steaming Milk
The Jura S8 has a fully automatic milk steamer and frother.
All you have to do is attach the milk system to a container of milk. The machine comes with a rubber tube to do this.
The machine will automatically steam or froth your milk based on the type of coffee you select. You literally do not have to do anything.
The S8 does not come with a milk container, but Jura sells one separately. I think this is a bit tight on Jura’s part, especially considering what you are paying for the machine.
Ease of Use Rating: 9/10
Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
The Jura S8 automates a lot of its cleaning and maintenance, making looking after the machine very little work on your part.
You want to rinse out the machine after every coffee that you make.
This is really easy. The machine has a “rinse” mode which you can find in the settings section of its touch screen.
Rinse mode will flush out the machine’s coffee and milk lines with water. Just make sure you put a cup under the machine’s nozzles to catch the water.
The Jura S8 is not a messy machine to use.
All the coffee, water, and milk that it dispenses fall directly into its drip tray. Unlike inferior-built machines (like Nespresso machines) it does not sneeze and drips coffee after it dispenses.
The machine’s drip tray is fairly shallow. I find I need to change it every two weeks or so if I use the machine regularly.
Its used ground coffee container holds fifteen pucks of coffee.
The machine will tell you when its drip tray and used coffee container need changing.
Deep Cleaning and Descaling
The Jura E8 should be deep cleaned once every couple of months.
This deep cleaning is all automated, and all you have to do is put a cleaning capsule in the machine’s full water tank and set it to clean mode. The Jura S8 comes with two of these capsules.
The machine will then flush out the machine over a twenty-minute period.
Again, make sure you have some cups under the machine’s nozzle as the amount of water flushed out of it exceeds the capacity of its drip tray.
The Jura S8 uses Claris water filters in its water tank.
If you use these filters then the machine never needs to be descaled.
These filters need to be changed once every 2-3 months, and the machine will tell you when this needs to be done.
The filters are around $25 each, which is more expensive than one portion of the descaling solution.
This makes the Jura S8’s “no descaling system” actually costs you more in the long run, however you do save the effort of having to descale the machine.
Troubleshooting Technical Issues
One thing that I do not like about the Jura S8 is that you cannot easily open up the machine.
The most common cause of technical issues in superautomatic machines is a blocked group head.
If you can open up the machine, then you can unblock the group head yourself, just by running it under water and applying lubrication to it.
You cannot easily do this with the Jura S8, so many technical problems that you could fix yourself require a professional.
That being said, there are very few reports of the Jura S8 having internal technical issues, meaning that your inability to open up the machine is unlikely to have any real negative effect on your enjoyment of the machine.
Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance Rating: 9/10
Design and Build Quality
The machine looks and feels expensive and has a high level of internal build quality.
Quality of Grinder
The Jura S8 uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder. This is one of the better grinders that you can buy, however, I’d prefer it if the machine used a ceramic grinder rather than a stainless steel one.
Stainless steel can get very hot when grinding your beans, and this heat can kill off some of the flavorful oils in the coffee.
Internal Build Quality
The Jura S8’s consistently high quality of coffee combined with the fact that it rarely succumbs to technical issues suggests that it has a very high internal build quality.
Jura is generally known for their high build quality, and the S8 is no different in this regard.
Look and Feel of Machine
The Jura S8’s metal finish and high and crisp image of its LCD screen give it an expensive look and feel.
Some parts of the machine are clearly made out of plastic, but none of it feels flimsy.
The machine’s touch screen is very responsive, even if your fingers are a bit wet.
Any Design Flaws or Known Issues?
The Jura S8 is very smartly designed.
It overcomes one big issue that affects superautomatic machines, namely that it can accommodate a large travel mug.
I searched for people’s experiences with the Jura S8 on Reddit, Facebook and Amazon to see if there were any recurring technical issues with the machine.
While I could find the odd one-off issue, I couldn’t find any issues that were reported regularly by users of the machine.
This suggests that the Jura S8 is free of any known issues.
Build Quality Rating: 8/10
Value For Money
The Jura S8 is overpriced, especially compared to other similar Jura machines.
The Jura S8 is significantly more expensive than the Jura machine most similar to it – the Jura E8.
For the additional cost of the S8, you are essentially getting a touch screen (rather than a button-operated screen) and less coffee options.
I just don’t see the value here, and that is why I recommend the Jura E8 over the S8.
Value for Money Rating: 5/10
What Users Say About the Jura S8
As of August 2022, the Jura S8 has been reviewed 163 times on Amazon with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
You can find a full breakdown of the machine’s reviews here.
Positive reviews of the machine mention its aesthetics and ability to make excellent coffee:
June 2022 Amazon review: The machine is beautiful, and I was able to set it up with minimal reading of instructions. This new machine makes two true espressos, super strong -the way we like it.
The (rare) negative reviews of the machine say that it is overpriced.
This reviewer one-star review sums it up nicely:
October 2021 Amazon Review: “Price”
Final Thoughts – Good Machine but the Jura E8 is Much Better Value
The Jura S8 is a fabulous machine if you are happy to spare no expense.
However, it just does not have enough advantages over other, similar machines to justify its huge price tag.
I would instead recommend the Jura E8 over the Jura S8 as it offers far better value for money.