Review: Jura Z8 – Elegant Sufficiency
I’m sure you have heard the expression, “…you don’t know what you don’t know.”. Well, it turns out I don’t know an awful lot about coffee and coffee machines, as I learnt during my few weeks with the Jura Z8 coffee machine.
You see, I have a simple coffee machine at home and it produces beautiful coffee every morning without fail for my wife and I. She likes hers with cream, I like frothy milk. She has a punchy double expresso, and I like a good old-fashioned flat white.
At $4,690 the Jura Z8 is forty-six times more expensive than my every-day machine. This calculation didn’t enter my mind until the Z8 produced a coffee for me that was millilitre perfect – right down to the froth to milk ratio.
The Jura Z8 perfectly combines the entire coffee-making process into a beautifully designed 3-millimetre-thick aluminium and chrome body that is about the size of a case of wine.
Tip the beans in at the top and pop the lid on. Ease the grooved water tank from the side of the machine with the cleverly integrated handle and top it up with water. Pour a generous cup of milk into the milk jug that is connected to the Jura Z8 via another chrome tube.
Now select from the twenty-one different coffee combinations on the click-wheel and 4.3″, high-resolution touchscreen colour display or via the J.O.E. app (Jura Operating Experience). The coffee-making process is quite literally a performance with each part of the Jura Z8 playing its part like a caffeine powered orchestra.
As the beans are ground, the sweet smell of fresh coffee wafts throughout the kitchen. The pour from each of the height adjustable nozzles is silky smooth and almost any cup size can be accommodated. Now the steamer kicks in and the milk is irrigated from the milk jug into the Jura Z8, steamed to just the right temperature, and then into my cup. First 22mL of milk, then 5mL of foam. Perfection!
The J.O.E. app allows control via your Apple Watch or via Siri. This took a bit of getting right (like forgetting to leave a cup under the coffee nozzles one night), but being able to start the coffee machine from bed, so your morning coffee is ready for you as you enter the kitchen is the stuff of dreams.
This is more of a love-letter to a coffee machine than a review and I make no apologies for that.
Like any relationship, however, there are tough times.
The Z8 we reviewed needed the milk system to be cleaned every 3-4 cups of coffee and the entire machine needed a deep clean (which takes 20 minutes) every week. Thankfully Jura makes all of these solutions available from within the app and they can be shipped to you very quickly. The milk jug is too small, as is the water tank. The milk jug could also do with a plug to seal the irrigation pipe so it can be stored in the fridge.
If you are looking for performance art that is the pouring of your daily coffee, the Jura Z8 is for you.