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Jura vs Gaggia

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Last updated: January 2, 2024

Quick Answer: I generally recommend getting a Gaggia machine over a Jura machine. The best machine that these two manufacturers make is the Gaggia Accademia. I’d only recommend getting a Jura machine if you’re only going to use your machine to brew espresso, in which case I recommend the Jura E6.

Jura and Gaggia both make super-automatic espresso machines. These let you make an espresso or latte at the touch of a button.

In this comparison of Jura vs Gaggia, I’m going to explain why I recommend the majority of people get a Gaggia machine, and why I’d only recommend getting a Jura if you just want to make plain espresso.

I’ll also give my picks for the best models that these two manufacturers offer at various price points.

Let’s get started.

Should I Get a Gaggia or Jura Espresso Machine?

I recommend that most people get a Gaggia machine instead of a Jura machine.

You get far more for your money with a Gaggia machine than a Jura machine. This is particularly true if you’re buying a machine to make milk drinks with.

Many Gaggia machines allow you to steam milk to a variety of milk textures and temperatures – you can get a Gaggia machine that does this for well under $1,000.

Only the highest-end Juras (costing upwards of $2,500) can do this.

I specifically recommend getting the Gaggia Accademia.

The Gaggia Accademia has a far greater range of functionality than any Jura machine because it has an automatic milk frother and a professional-grade steam wand. 

This means that you can make a cappuccino and a latte at the touch of a button, and make silky microfoam for latte art if you use its steam wand.

Best Overall & Best for Milk Drinks
Gaggia Accademia
$1,849.00
The Gaggia Accademia's automatic milk frother and professional-grade steam wand mean you have more control over your milk texture than with any other espresso machine.

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02/27/2024 10:20 pm GMT

I only recommend getting a Jura espresso machine instead of a Gaggia machine if you’ll mainly drink plain espresso and you’re willing to pay a significant premium for slightly better espresso quality.

Jura machines make better espresso than Gaggia machines because they use a higher quality brewing unit that uses Jura’s patented “Pulse Extraction Process” (P.E.P.).

This difference in espresso quality between the Jura and Gaggia machines isn’t huge, and I don’t think you’ll even notice this difference if you drink the two machines’ milk drinks.

If you’re mainly going to make plain espresso then I recommend getting the Jura E6 as it’s the most affordable espresso machine that has Jura’s top-of-the-line espresso brewing system.

Best For Plain Espresso
Jura E6
The Jura E6 makes as good an espresso as any super-automatic espresso machine - including those that are twice its price.
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So in short:

  • Go for a Gaggia machine if you’ll primarily drink milk drinks. The Gaggia Accademia is your best option here.
  • Go for a Jura machine if you’ll primarily drink plain espresso – the Jura E6 is your best bet here.
  • If you’ll drink a mixture of black and milk drinks, or you aren’t completely sure what you want then go for a Gaggia. Again the Gaggia Accademia is your best option.
  • If you want a machine for under $1,000 then get the Gaggia Cadorna Milk. You can’t get a Jura coffee machine for less than $1,000, and the Gaggia Cadorna Milk is the best Gaggia machine at this price point because it gives you the option to steam milk manually or automatically.
Best Under $1,000
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
$543.00
The Gaggia Cadorna Milk allows you to steam milk manually and automatically, meaning that you have a huge amount of control over your milk texture. It also typically costs well under $1,000.
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02/27/2024 04:45 pm GMT

What are the Differences Between Jura and Gaggia Machines?

Here are the differences between Gaggia vs Jura super-automatic espresso machines.

Value For Money

Gaggia machines are generally more affordable and give you far more functionality for your money than Jura machines.

For less than $1,000 you can get the Gaggia Cadorna Milk which has:

  • Five black drinks and three milk drinks are on its menu.
  • An automatic milk frother and a steam wand.
  • A digital display screen user interface.

By contrast, the most affordable Jura machine (the Jura ENA 4) costs $1,000 and only has:

  • The ability to make espresso and long black (so no milk steaming).
  • A basic lit-up icon and button user interface.

Even when we get to high-end models Gaggia machines far outperform Jura machines in terms of their price/functionalities.

For around $2,000 you can either get the Gaggia Accademia or the Jura E8.

The table below shows these two machines’ functionalities. I’ve bolded the better functionality in each category to show you how these two machines stack up against each other:

Best if You Only Drink Milk Drinks
Incredible Versatility
3.5
3.5
$1,849.00
$2,399.00
Available Drinks:
14
Available Drinks:
15
Milk Steaming System:
Automatic milk frother & professional-grade steam wand
Milk Steaming System:
Automatic milk frother
Available Milk Textures:
4
Available Milk Textures:
1
Can It Make Microfoam For Latte Art:
Yes
Can It Make Microfoam For Latte Art:
No
User Interface:
Touch screen
User Interface:
Button-operated digital display screen
Best if You Only Drink Milk Drinks
3.5
$1,849.00
Available Drinks:
14
Milk Steaming System:
Automatic milk frother & professional-grade steam wand
Available Milk Textures:
4
Can It Make Microfoam For Latte Art:
Yes
User Interface:
Touch screen
Incredible Versatility
3.5
$2,399.00
Available Drinks:
15
Milk Steaming System:
Automatic milk frother
Available Milk Textures:
1
Can It Make Microfoam For Latte Art:
No
User Interface:
Button-operated digital display screen
02/27/2024 10:20 pm GMT

As you can see you get far more for your money with the Gaggia Accademia than with the Jura E8.

The table below shows what you can get from each manufacturer at different price points.

Available Gaggia Machine Functionalities Available Jura Machine Functionalities
~$500
Gaggia Brera
Makes single and double shots Panarello steam wand
None available
N/A
~$1,000
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
8 available drinks Automatic milk frother  Full-color display screen
Jura ENA 4
4 available drinks No milk frother Button and icon user interface
~$1,500
Gaggia Babila
8 available drinks Automatic milk frother and steam wand Full-color display screen user interface
Jura E6
9 available milk drinks Automatic milk frother Full-color display screen user interface
~$2,000
Gaggia Accademia
14 available drinks Automatic milk frother and professional-grade steam wand Touch screen user interface
Jura E8
15 available drinks Automatic milk frother Full-color display screen user interface
~$3,500
Nothing available
N/A
Jura Z10
28 available drinks Automatic milk frother with hot and cold foam functionality Touch screen user interface

The difference in the amount of functionality you get for your money is the most significant overall differentiator between Gaggia and Jura machines. 

Value For Money Winner: Gaggia

Espresso Brewing System and Espresso Quality

Jura machines use a higher-quality brewing system so make better coffee than Gaggia machines.

The big downside with Gaggia machines is that they don’t make quite as good espresso as Jura machines.

This is down to their brewing baskets (where your ground coffee sits during brewing). 

Gaggia Super Automatics uses a plastic brew basket with relatively large holes in it. These large holes mean that the machines do not offer enough resistance to your brewing water, so it passes through your coffee puck too quickly for proper extraction to occur.

Jura machines use better-quality metal baskets with smaller holes in them. You can see the difference between these two brew baskets below. Both manufacturers use the same baskets across all their models.

This better-quality brewing basket means that Jura machines brew your espresso more slowly than Gaggia machines. This creates a richer flavored and fuller-bodied espresso. Gaggia’s espresso is a little bit watery in comparison to Jura’s.

Admittedly this difference in espresso is marginal. 

If you’re going to use grocery store coffee beans in your machine then I don’t think you’re going to benefit from Jura’s superior brewing. However, if you’re going to buy specialty coffee and drink a lot of plain espresso then it’s worth paying extra for Jura’s superior brewing.

Espresso Quality Winner: Jura

Milk Steaming System

All Jura machines use the same automatic milk frother which steams your milk to one texture, regardless of what drink you make. Gaggia machines come with a variety of milk steaming systems depending on the model and give you far more control over your milk texture.

All Jura models use the same milk frothing system which involves an external milk container attaching to the machine via a rubber tube.

Jura machines steam your milk to the same texture regardless of what you drink you make. 

While this texture isn’t bad (although you can do much better with a steam wand), it does mean all your milk drinks are quite samey. They only vary in the quantities of coffee and milk used in them rather than in their texture.

Gaggia machines, on the other hand, come with one of four milk systems:

  1. Panarello steam wand: This is a steam wand with a plastic sleeve around it. The plastic sleeve has a hole in it that pumps air into your milk. While you have to steam milk manually (it’s not hands-free), it doesn’t really matter how you position your steam wand in your milk. You’ll always end up with thick milk foam because of this additional air being pumped in. Think of this as an “assisted manual” system.
  1. Detachable carafe: This is a carafe that attaches to your machine’s body and sits on your drip tray. You just press a button and the machine will steam and dispense your milk for you. A bit like with Jura machines, your milk texture won’t be as good as with a steam wand. On more affordable models (such as the Cadorna and Velasca machines) this will only steam your milk to one texture. On the Accademia, it can steam milk to four textures.
  1. Cappuccinatore system: This is a carafe that attaches to the machine via a rubber tube (again, a bit like Jura). However, when you remove the carafe you are left with a panarello steam wand. If you’re going for a machine between $500-$1,500 I recommend getting a model with this system as it’s basically two milk systems in one and can let you steam milk manually or automatically.

Professional grade steam wand: This is a steam wand without a sleeve around it. Although it has a bit of a learning curve to it, it’s the only system that allows you to make the microfoam needed for latte art. If you want to make latte art then this is your only good option.

The table below shows the different milk systems that each Gaggia model has:

Name Milk System
Gaggia Brera
Panarello steam wand
Gaggia Anima
Panarello steam wand
Gaggia Magenta Plus
Professional grade steam wand
Gaggia Magenta Milk
Cappuccinatore system
Gaggia Magenta Prestige
Detachable carafe
Gaggia Cadorna
Panarello steam wand
Gaggia Cadorna Plus
Panarello steam wand
Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus
Professional grade steam wand
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
Cappiccinatore system
Gaggia Velasca
Panarello steam wand
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Detachable carafe
Gaggia Naviglio
Panarello steam wand
Gaggia Naviglio Deluxe
Cappuccinatore system
Gaggia Naviglio Milk
Cappuccinatore system
Gaggia Accademia
Professional grade steam wand and detachable carafe

Gaggia’s ability to steam milk to multiple textures and allow manual steaming makes it a better option if you’re going to drink a lot of milk drinks than Jura.

Milk System Winner: Gaggia

Long Term Maintenance

Gaggia machines have easier long-term maintenance than Jura machines because you can open up the machine when something goes wrong with it.

Gaggia machines allow you to open up the machine from the side and take out its brewing unit. You cannot open up a Jura machine like this.

Opening up a machine and removing its brewing unit lets you troubleshoot the machine in the following ways:

  • You can clean and lubricate the brewing unit: This will usually save your machine if it grinds your beans but then fails to brew. This is usually caused by the brew group becoming stiff, so greasing up its hinges often sorts this problem out.
  • You can unblock the grinder with a long pointy object: Once you remove the brewing unit you can access the grinder chute from the bottom with a pointy object like a pen. This can fix the machine if it’s struggling to grind enough beans for a proper dose.

If a Jura machine has one of these problems then you’ll have to have it serviced by a Jura technician. All this Jura technician is likely to do is open up the machine and rinse and lubricate its brewing unit (and charge you for the privilege of doing so).

Jura machines also have an annoying habit of not letting the machine brew a coffee when its warning light goes off.

So if the machine hits its deep clean warning trigger (every 180 drinks it makes) and you don’t have cleaning tablets on you then the machine is basically useless until you get these tablets and perform a rinse cycle.

Gaggia machines don’t do this, and you can still use the machine as normal even when it says it needs to be cleaned or descaled.

Long-Term Maintenance Winner: Gaggia

Which Machine Should I Get Based on the Types of Drink I Want to Make?

Here are my recommendations for a Jura or Gaggia machine depending on the types of drinks you want to make.

Get the Gaggia Accademia If You’ll Mainly Drink Milk Drinks Or You’re Not Sure What You Want

The Gaggia Accademia’s combination of an automatic milk frother and a professional-grade steam wand means it can make a greater variety of milk drinks than any other Jura or Gaggia machine.

The Accademmia’s automatic milk frother can steam milk to four textures at the touch of a button. No other Jura or Gaggia espresso machine can do this. They all only steam milk to one texture.

It also has a professional-grade steam wand which means that, if you’re willing to put in the practice, you can make latte art.

So you’ve got a super convenient milk drink option and then a higher work but higher quality milk drink option. 

Again, no other espresso machine gives you this level of control over your milk drinks.

I also recommend the Gaggia Accademia if you’re not sure what drinks you’re going to make. Its excellent functionality and build quality make it the best Gaggia or Jura espresso machine for the price.

Best Overall & Best for Milk Drinks
Gaggia Accademia
$1,849.00
The Gaggia Accademia's automatic milk frother and professional-grade steam wand mean you have more control over your milk texture than with any other espresso machine.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/27/2024 10:20 pm GMT

Get the Jura E6 If You’ll Only Drink Black Drinks

The Jura E6 makes better plain espresso and longer black drinks than any Jura machine and makes these drinks as well as any other Jura machine (even ones double its price).

The Jura E6 is Jura’s most affordable espresso machine that combines a 16-gram brewing capacity with Jura’s latest espresso brewing technology.

This means that it can make better-tasting espresso and drip-style coffee than any Gaggia machine and that it makes these drinks better than more affordable Jura machines (such as the Jura ENA 4).

So the Jura E6 is the best option for the price if you’re only going to drink plain espresso, drip-style coffee, and Americano.

The machine also has a milk frother if you want to make the odd latte or cappuccino every now and then. It only steams milk to one texture, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re mainly going to drink these types of drinks.

Best For Plain Espresso
Jura E6
The Jura E6 makes as good an espresso as any super-automatic espresso machine - including those that are twice its price.
Get it on Amazon Jura E6 Review
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Get the Gaggia Cadorna Milk If You Want To Spend Less Than $1,000

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk is the most affordable Gaggia espresso machine with a cappuccinatore system.

Like I said earlier, I recommend getting Gaggia machines with their cappuccinatore system as it’s essentially two milk systems in one – an automatic milk frother and a panarello steam wand.

So you can make one-touch lattes, and get more precision over your milk texture if you want to take the time to steam milk manually.

All Gaggia espresso machines make the same standard espresso, so you are basically paying for functionality. And the Cadorna Milk’s cappuccinatore system gives it greater functionality than more expensive Gaggia machines with just a steam wand or automatic milk frother.

Best Under $1,000
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
$543.00
The Gaggia Cadorna Milk allows you to steam milk manually and automatically, meaning that you have a huge amount of control over your milk texture. It also typically costs well under $1,000.
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/27/2024 04:45 pm GMT

Jura vs Gaggia: Final Verdict

I generally recommend you get a Gaggia espresso machine over a Jura machine. Gaggia machines offer far better value for money than a Jura machine. 

You often have to pay 3x the amount to get a Jura machine compared to a Gaggia machine of equivalent functionality.

The best Gaggia machine is the Gaggia Accademia, mainly because it has an automatic milk frother and a professional-grade steam wand so you can make one-touch milk drinks and microfoam for latte art (although not at the same time).

Best Overall & Best for Milk Drinks
Gaggia Accademia
$1,849.00
The Gaggia Accademia's automatic milk frother and professional-grade steam wand mean you have more control over your milk texture than with any other espresso machine.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/27/2024 10:20 pm GMT

Jura machines make marginally better espresso than Gaggia machines so I recommend a Jura if you’re mainly going to drink plain espresso.

In this case, I recommend the Jura E6 as it offers the best price/performance ratio of any Jura, being able to brew as good espresso as a machine over twice its price.

Best For Plain Espresso
Jura E6
The Jura E6 makes as good an espresso as any super-automatic espresso machine - including those that are twice its price.
Get it on Amazon Jura E6 Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

If you’d like to find out more about what these two manufacturers have to offer then please check out my roundup of the best Jura machines and the best Gaggia machines.

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