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It’s never been easier to get barista quality beverages made from fresh ground whole bean coffee. From Cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites to espresso, ristretto and coffees one or two at a time
Today an in-depth look at a bean to cup machine that sets a new bar for ease of use. Hey coffee lovers Marc here from Whole Latte Love with the JURA S8.
The big news with the S8? No buttons. All functions are controlled by a four point three inch high-resolution color touchscreen display. Select your drink by picture and well, the machine does the rest.
The S8 has JURA’s innovative pulse extraction process or P-E-P for short. PEP brewing pulses water through coffee, under pressure in short intervals allowing flavor to fully develop. With PEP you get richer flavor, more crema on your espresso and better in cup temperatures.
Making coffee starts with whole beans loaded into a 10 ounce hopper on top of the machine. The hopper lid has a gasket seal to keep beans fresh. Behind the hopper lid, 2 doors flip up. On the left is access to a bypass chute for loading pre-ground coffee - really handy for making an occasional decaf coffee. On the right, a lever to adjust grind size in seven levels. A tip on grind size: use a fine setting for espresso and set to coarser for regular coffee.
Now a couple of things I like about JURA’s Aroma G3 grinder. First, it’s fast and very quiet compared to other machines. JURA uses a heavy metal lid on the bean hopper for one of the quietest grinding machines on the market. Now less noise is nice, but the big deal for me is in the dosing. Like most other JURA’s the S8 doses up to 16 grams in a single grind cycle. Now that’s 4 or 5 grams more than most competing machines and about what pro baristas use for a double espresso in a cafe. That means a true double espresso or two cups of coffee on a single grind cycle. On most other machines making two coffees means waiting for a second grind cycle.
So the S8 can make it strong, but you do get control. With ten coffee strength settings dosing is a adjustable in a range of 5 to 16 grams. On many other machines you may only have three strength options and those cafe size coffee doses require waiting for two separate grind cycles when brewing. In addition to PEP the S8 uses a short pre-infusion to wet the coffee briefly prior to brewing. This swells the coffee before pressure is applied and helps to improve flavor extraction.
With pre-infusion, PEP brewing and large dosing capability Just add some quality whole bean coffee and the JURA S8 in my opinion produces some of the finest coffee and espresso of any available super-automatic machine.
Of course coffee is just the start. The S8 also makes lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and the flavorful flat white. All at the touch of a button without moving your cup and all easily programmable so you can have your favorite drink exactly how you like it. The S8 uses a pick-up tube system for milk. Now you can drop straight into a milk container or JURA has accessories like glass or thermally insulated containers on up to their cool control countertop units with built in refrigeration so you’re ready to make milk drinks all the time.
To make a milk based beverage just select the one you want on the touchscreen. A dedicated milk and coffee spout are height adjustable with up to 6 inches of clearance for taller glasses. My favorite feature is JURA’s fine foam frother. Using the lever you can adjust from a very fine froth for a latte to an airy froth for a cappuccino. The ability to adjust the type of froth like this is a rare and important feature if you’re into milk based coffee beverages.
Now when making milk based drinks hygiene is important. You want to keep things clean and the S8 has you covered. 15 minutes after making a milk based drink the S8 runs an automatic rinse of the frothing device. For deeper cleaning of the milk system JURA includes a handy container that holds their included milk cleaning solution and catches the rinse water.
The S8 comes programmed to deliver standard sized espresso, coffee and milk based beverages. But you can customize every drink to taste. You can do that through the menu but the simple way is to press and hold on the drink you want to customize. That brings up options where you can adjust drink settings, change the name, delete it, replace it or make a copy, make adjustments and save it as a new drink with a custom name. Under product settings you can program coffee strength in ten levels, drink volume in ounces or milliliters and coffee temperature in three levels. For milk drinks you have control of milk volume in time and can set a pause time after milk frothing which allows the milk to separate so you get the three level appearance of a proper latte macchiato.
And the S8 makes a flat white the right way by brewing the espresso first and then adding the milk froth. Other machines do flat whites - but if comparing to other machines pay attention to whether they steam the milk first or last. For a proper flat white it has to be milk last like on the S8.
So let’s cover ease of use. A few things to look at here including capacities and machine layout but I want to start with JURA’s intelligent water system. It’s not the water that’s smart but the filter. The water filter has a radio frequency ID chip built in. With that the machine knows when a filter is in use and when it gets changed. And the machine alerts you when to change the filter. One nice thing about JURA machines? use a filter properly and you never need to descale. That’s huge as scale build up can cause machine issues. In the past it was kind of a pain to use a filter properly. You had to go into menus and tell the machine you were using a filter and then remember to replace it at proper intervals. With the RFID chip in the filter there’s no going into menus when changing filters. The machine detects it automatically when installed or changed.
On to size and capacities. The S8 is 13.7 inches high so no problem under standard cabinetry. The water reservoir holds 64 ounces. It’s mounted to the side of the machine but with a tiny lift up it can be pulled out from the front. So no problem if there’s a wall to the left side of your S8. The substantial drip tray and used coffee box pull out from the front of the machine. The box holds the results of 16 brewing cycles and the tray is electronically monitored so you get an alert in the display when it needs emptying. With large capacities you’ll spend more time enjoying barista quality drinks and less time maintaining the S8 than competing machines
The spouts are adjustable with a maximum clearance of 4.5 inches under the dual coffee spouts and 6 inches under the milk and coffee spout to the right. The exterior of the machine is plastic with the exception of the hopper lid and metal surround in the drip tray. The E8 can be set to automatically turn off in a range of 15 minutes to 9 hours but uses only 6 watts of power per hour when on and idle.
The JURA S8 is super intuitive to use. With the touchscreen if you can operate a smartphone you will have no problem operating The S8. You will appreciate features like some of the largest coffee dosing available and the ability to fine tune with Ten strengths levels. The S8’s adjustable milk froth density is a desirable feature not found on many machines and it makes a flat white properly by brewing espresso first and frothing milk last—another rare feature. JURA makes hygiene hassle free with automatic rinsing and the milk cleaning container. The intelligent water system with RFID filters puts an easy worry free end to descaling maintenance and the machine layout is excellent with water reservoir and drip tray accessible from the front of the machine. The color touchscreen display is beautiful and while the menu systems on some machines can be difficult to understand the E8’s is simple, elegant and easy to use.