Bean to cup machines create espresso-based coffee drinks at the touch of a button. Fully automatic machines such as the Jura JX8 also froth milk to create a full range of barista drinks. The major benefit of these machines is simplicity and convenience.
Why do we favour the Jura machines for the office environment?
Most importantly they create a great cup of coffee. Some clever proprietary engineering freshly grinds the coffee beans into a brew system that forces water through the ground coffee, extracting an espresso with a decent crema and full flavour.
Well designed: Jura is a Swiss company established in the 1930s with strong design and engineering credentials. The machines not only look great in an office but will provide many years of reliable service. In the unlikely event of a problem in the future, they have a UK network of engineers who can get you back up and running.
Simplicity of operation. From creating a drink with a single touch of a button to the daily cleaning requirements Jura couldn’t make it easier. Historically bean-to-cup machines that use fresh milk came with onerous maintenance regimes. Not so with Jura – it just requires a few minutes at the end of each day to rinse the milk system.
We wouldn’t recommend the Jura machines for the hospitality or bar environment. There are other manufacturers who build more robust machines better suited to heavy duty use. As a guide the Jura range is appropriate for office kitchens, reception areas or coffee stations
Which model is right for you?
Jura supply a range of top-end domestic machines and their brand ambassador is Roger Federer; but our focus is their fully automatic commercial range, which comprises around four machines at different price points. The internal systems are beefed up from the domestic models to handle higher daily coffee volumes. Here we’re going to review the JX8 model, which is second up in their range and is appropriate for most smaller office environments.
How many coffees will be served per day?
This is a very important question as it will be one of the first factors that will define which model is right for you. The JX8 is suited for up to 80 cups per day. The model below is rated for up to 30 per day and the top model is up to 250. It’s best to get the right model for your requirements to avoid putting the machine under too much stress, which may create problems down the track.
Speed of coffee service
The Jura JX8 can produce two of the same style of coffees at the same time, which will halve the speed of service. However any espresso style drink does take some time to prepare so no bean-to-cup machine will be a great option if you have regular large meetings and want to serve multiple coffees at the same time – here filter coffee will always be the better option.
The milk chiller is actually a separately powered unit that is only connected to the coffee machine with a pipe but it is very simple to top up with milk and it does provide a fully automatic service for preparation of lattes and flat whites. You will find this is a big improvement Vs something like a Nespresso system where you need to froth milk separately to the preparation of the espresso.
Set-up and installation
This is where the JX8 really excels as it is almost ‘plug and play’ out the box. This model carries everything on-board with a 500g bean hopper, 2.5L water reservoir that lifts out for convenient filling from a tap and a separate 1L milk chiller. All you need is 2 x standard 13A 3-pin sockets; one of the coffee machine and one for the milk chiller.
This machine actually doesn’t need to be in a kitchen environment, it could be positioned anywhere within your office. All the parts that require cleaning can be removed and taken to a sink. It’s a very clean machine and shouldn’t create any mess.
When you switch the machine on for the first time there is a little set-up required to programme the water hardness, language etc. But amamus will undertake this set-up for clients.
Quality of coffee Vs a manual barista machine
When a beverage is set at full strength the Jura JX8 will grind 16g of coffee beans per serve. This is slightly less than a barista would use which is usually 18g. The water in a Jura machine is pressurised using a vibration pump as opposed to a rotary pump, which develops a more stable pressure system. The milk in the Jura is flash heated and frothed with steam as it passes through a heat exchange system, which is different to a barista who will use a steam want to heat a batch of milk in a jug. But actually the results are pretty similar – you just won’t get latte art with an automatic machine! So, in short a manual espresso machine with a trained barista will create a drink with more strength and greater depth of flavour. But the Jura has some significant advantages that make it the better option for most office environments: It’s cheaper, it’s more consistent and it’s simple to use for anyone.
What’s it like living with a Jura JX8?
Well the first thing you’ll notice is that the machine does a lot of rinsing throughout the day. There are two systems – the milk and coffee systems – both of which need to regularly rinse with hot water to keep the machine clean. This is all done automatically but it can be a little noisy. However you’ll soon enjoy the absolutely simplicity of having freshly ground espresso coffees at the touch of a button. Once you’ve got the drinks setting programmed just the way you like them you’ll appreciate the consistency of serve.
The machine heats up quickly in the morning – just a few mins. Shut down at night again takes a couple of minutes to clean the milk system with a capful of cleaning fluid into the plastic cleaning tray. Once this is in place the process is once again automatic. Everything else to do with operation and maintenance is either automatic or you’re guided through the process on-screen. So there is no technical know-how required.
Which coffee beans are best in a JX8?
Of course you should be using Speciality grade coffee for both ethical and taste reasons. We would’t recommend a high roast coffee as beans these tend to be very oily and may create problems with your grinder system in the future. Plus the oils will coat the bean hopper and turn rancid over time. The particular style of coffee will be down to your own personal preference. Most of our customers tend to favour an espresso blend for which we have a few different taste profiles.
This machine represents great value for money and would be a great option for most office environments where perhaps your team are regularly nipping out to buy high-street coffees. Or when you want to create a better client / team working environment. It looks smart, it’s reliable and it makes great tasting coffee