Like other bean-to-cup machines, the Jura E6 is a pricey piece of caffeine kit, but if you want your coffee fast and freshly ground, it’s good value and worth the investment.
It’s tempting to say that the Jura E6 is a coffee vending machine for a kitchen, but such a statement would betray the sheer quality of the coffee it dispenses.
Yes, the Jura E6 will make you six different types of coffee direct from the bean at the push of a button. Offering espressos to cappuccinos, with americanos, lungos, macchiatos, and plain coffees along the way, there’s also a hot water option for teas, and a milk foam option for hot chocolates.
But is it a fuss to set up and clean? We give it a test run to find out.
Design and build
2.8” colour display
1.9 litre water tank
280g coffee bean holding capacity
The first thing you notice about the Jura E6 is that it is a sizeable machine. Standing at 36cm, with a depth of 45cm and a width of 29cm, it takes up a good patch of your countertop, so galley kitchen owners should double-check they have the space.
That said, Jura has cleverly employed curves for the design frontage, so the effect is softer than a sharp rectangular black box. We tested the silver model and found that the lighter colour substantially mitigated its impact.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
The main body of this 9.1kg machine is black, with access to the 280g coffee bean hopper at the top and the water tank to the left side with a flip-up lid. The water tank takes 1.9 litres, enough for approximately 63 espresso shots, but the dark tint of the tank side makes it hard to judge where the water level is when the machine is in situ.
The coffee spout, boasting the Jura logo on a badge, is adjustable up and down by 5cm, fitting espresso shot glasses and 250ml mugs, although not a traditional latte cup. The chrome style drip tray pulls out to reveal the used coffee grinds container, holding up to 16 servings, and you get a healthy 1.2 metre power cable, which gives you flexibility over potential power points.
But it is the display that’s most surprising – because it features images. Once you’ve set up the machine, the E6 control panel will illuminate with pictures of coffee cups featuring the various drinks you can choose by pressing the six side buttons, though a milk-based drink requires also turning the knob at the side, as do the rinse and clean processes.
Jura states that the machine uses 58.4kWh per year (and is energy class A), but we suppose this depends on how often you use it.
How to prepare the machine
Not plug and play
Manual can be confusing
Water hardness test requirement
At first glance, the instructions for preparing the E6 for use look intimidating. You need to find an appropriate place for the machine, fill the bean feeder, plug in the machine, set your language, test your water hardness (strips are supplied) and tell the machine, fit the filter cartridge extension, rinse and fill the water tank, run the filter rinse process, empty the drip tray and then run the machine rinse process.
The manual’s use of bullet points, rather than 1-2-3 steps, makes this harder to follow than it needs to be, as the control panel prompts you for the next step.
If you want to then connect milk, again, the process seems more daunting than it actually is. You have to use an appropriate milk container with a Jura connector pipe. We used a Jura glass milk container (retailing for $50/ £37.74), which you purchase separately, with the metal intake pipe that fits into the lid. It’s a much more attractive option that the plastic tanks that come with some bean-to-cup machines.
You’ll also need the correct Jura milk system cleaning products to clean the mechanism daily after use.
Once you have these, however, it is simply a question of fitting the two pipes to the glass container, rinsing the mechanism, and filling the container with milk.
Making coffee in the Jura E6
Intelligent preheating and auto rinse
15 bar high-performance pump
10 levels of programmable and adjustment strength
After you have set the machine up, you simply switch the machine on, it preheats very quickly and runs through an auto rinse, then you put your cup under the spout and press the button for the coffee you want.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
The E6 gives you already programmed options for espresso, plain coffee, cappuccino, macchiato, caffe barista, lungo barista, hot water and milk foam. For a milk drink, it will prompt you to turn the dial to start and stop the milk foam, but it dispenses everything else automatically.
If you wish to alter these presets, you can. Expert mode, found in the settings menu, will allow you to change the coffee, hot water and milk dispensing times, and give you the option of three levels of brewing and hot water temperature.
You can also adjust the grind settings to suit the roast of your coffee through turning the dial by the side of the bean feeder while the grinder is in operation. Jura claims its inbuilt grinder achieves an aroma release that is 12% better than conventional grinders, and our taste test suggested a notable difference.
And, if you find yourself out of coffee beans, you can use ground coffee with the filter funnel next to the bean feeder. The process requires more steps though. You can’t add more than two measuring spoons of ground coffee, and you need to go through the settings menu to find the ground coffee button (it will prompt you when to add the coffee to the funnel).
So what’s the coffee like?
We started with a bean-to-cup espresso. The result was a quick-dispense mini-Guinness coffee with excellent aroma and a good crema. The taste was dynamite in the mouth: a real shot of adrenaline – so much so, we didn’t know whether we could cope with another.
The cappuccino was a revelation. The machine dispenses twelve seconds of milk foam first (it will prompt you to turn the knob on and off) and then adds the 60ml espresso shot, resulting in a smooth, luscious cappuccino that was light and airy.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
Indeed, a real standout of the Jura E6 is the milk foam. We tested it for a child’s long drink and the result was like a warm cloud in a cup: a result we’ve never been able to achieve using a conventional steam wand.
The E6 will tell you on screen, either through messages or icon lights, whether you need to refill the water tank, empty the coffee grounds or the drip tray, refill the bean container, or whether you need to replace the filter, clean or descale the machine, or rinse or clean the milk system.
If you purchase the optional Jura WiFi Connect ($60 from Jura US/ £45 from Jura UK), which plugs into the coffee machine, you can control the E6 remotely over Wi-Fi via Jura’s smartphone or tablet app, J.O.E. This enables you to prepare speciality coffees, set and store personal preferences and send coffee orders directly to the machine from your smart phone. The E6 manual supplies a QR code to download the J.O.E app.
Price and availability
The E6 is expensive, sure – but in terms of bean-to-cup machines, it’s at the lower end of the price range. If you want a high quality bean-to-cup machine, this is good value, particularly if you’re in the UK.
It’s available worldwide. In the US, it’s priced at around $1,599 and it’s available from a number of retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy. There’s a similarly wide range of stockists in the UK, including John Lewis and Currys, where it’s available for around £865.
The E6 is also at the lower end of the Jura’s own bean-to-cup machine range, which you can browse on its US website or in its UK online shop. At the top end is the Giga 6, which boasts two grinders, two heating systems and two pumps that can deliver caffe lattes, flat whites and cortados – for roughly four times the price of the E6.
For something a little cheaper than the E6, you would be looking at the ENA4, a compact one-cup, bean to cup machine that comes in Full Metropolitan Black and Full Nordic White.
Jura makes a lot of accessories too: from cool control containers to cup warmers and branded espresso glasses and cocoa dusters. The maintenance products are about an average price: for $25/ £14.50 for the milk system cleaner mini tabs to $20/ £15.50 for the 2-phase descaling tablets.
It also does a range of coffee, including a decaffeinated and, interestingly, a single origin arabica from India that it claims has been moistened and dried by monsoon rain and wind.
The E6 is a terrific machine that takes all the stress out of making a speciality coffee. Okay, it’s an expensive appliance for the home, but it’s well priced for a good bean-to-cup machine and will make a huge difference if you’re a household of serious coffee lovers.
Bear in mind that if you want smart features, you’ll need to purchase a separate add-on. And don’t forget that, even in coffee heaven, someone will still need to clean out the milk system on a daily basis.
To browse the top coffee makers we’ve tested, have a look at our best coffee machines round-up, which features the pros and cons of each machine we’ve tested and links to full reviews.