One of the things that makes Jura such a world-renown coffee company is that their machines are so easy to use. As long as you have beans, water, and milk in the container, all you have to do is push a button and wait for the perfect cup to arrive. In this case, the Impressa F8 is one of the more technologically proficient models, thanks to its TFT screen.
I have had a Capresso C3000 super automatic for many years that I was starting to have some minor problems with (small water leak, tray sensors corroding) and decided it was time to get a replacement. I work from home and tend to drink coffee most of the day so I'm looking for something that works reliably and for a very extend period of time. I started looking at the new super automatics from the Jura Capresso based on the longevity of the old C3000. I will admit, it's the TFT display that really caught my eye on this one. I started looking thinking that I'd end up with a Z series, but the TFT display was what veered me over to this one.
First, I really wanted to like this machine. The specs, design, functionality, were exactly what I was looking for in a super automatic espresso machine, however the machine failed to perform the basic task of making espresso. I found the display, programming, controls, and size of the water chamber to be good. The milk frothing system was cumbersome as it required you to attach tubes each time you wanted a milk drink. When the system worked, the steamed milk was hot and the consistency was great for cappuccinos and lattes. However, if the tube was not connected precisely (very little room for error) the consistency of the milk was poor. I ended up having to restart the process several times as the tubes were not connected properly or they came loose as the milk was pumped. The tubes also presented an issue with clean up in that they had to be cleaned after each use.
It comes pre-loaded with default recipes for latte macchiato, cappuccino, an espresso shot, a ristretto shot, coffee, coffees, hot water, and steamed milk. All of the recipes can be customized via "Expert Mode". You can adjust the strength (1 - 5 beans), volume in ounces or mL's), steamed milk amount (based on time in seconds). You can also adjust all of the parameters while making the drink without saving, which is great for guests. Basic operation is very simple and straightforward. The TFT display makes this super user friendly. Anyone can easily scroll thru using the wheel on top of the machine and pick whatever type of drink they want. Or, you can select most drinks directly from the TFT screen as well. For two shots or two cups of coffee, hit the button twice. You can also enter the recipe modification mode by holding the drink selection button as well. Grind adjustment is via a knob under the back right top cover. It also displays graphics of your drink while it's being made.
Jura machines differ greatly in size and weight. The smallest machines can be tucked into a corner inconspicuously, but the largest machines take up large amounts of space, and require some room to operate. We will be keeping track of the dimensions to make sure that you don’t end up with a 40-lb. tank for your streamlined, urban apartment. We know, everything looks smaller on the internet!
As an anecdote, I once failed one of my shots, it happens to everyone. The biggest problem with that cup was that it had almost no crema. I sipped it anyway, I wanted to see how it was. I was absolutely stunned by the taste of that shot. The unique combination of tamping and grind size made that cup more flavorful. It just didn’t have enough crema. Never judge an espresso by its looks. This is why some people hate Nespresso with a passion, it is very consistent, and it gives you a great shot with ample crema every time, but it is never fantastic. I love “fantastic”, but for the convenience, I settle for good, so Nespresso is one of my favorite coffeemakers. If convenience is what you are looking for mostly, take a look at our article that compares capsule-based espresso machines.
This is where a fully automatic espresso machine comes in handy. Once you have set up the machine and tweaked all the settings, you can’t go wrong anymore. All preparation steps are fully automated, the dosage, the tamping, the grind size, temperature, extraction time, etc… You can expect consistent results, a great espresso shot every time. Maybe that’s why many restaurants decided to go with super automatic machines.