Jura Z10 Coffee Machine Review (short version): if you like regular coffee and cold brew, this superb machine from Jura pulls double duty – and very impressive it is too.
We are arguably at the very peak of coffee snobbery, with fantastic coffee shops seemingly springing up on every street corner. But for those who like barista quality brews from home, there really is only one route to go down and that’s investing in one of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines.
Swiss manufacturer Jura has long been at the forefront of proper bean-to-cup technology - where you simply press a button and sweet tasting coffee is ground automatically and ends up in your favourite mug. As a result of its many years of expertise, the company now makes some of the most handsome and capable machines out there. Its latest Z10 is aiming to go one step further than the competition with a “world first” cold extraction process, which essentially makes espressos using a cold water high pressure method for a slightly sweeter espresso taste. It also means you can chuck some cold milk and ice in for a tasty iced coffee in the warmer months (or whenever the mood takes).
On top of this, it packs a fancy 4.3” touchscreen display with all manner for speciality drinks available. From here, it’s a mere stab at the screen to initiate the grind and espresso extraction process. All you have to do is make sure the water reservoir is full and pour your favourite beans into the hopper.
Jura also goes hard on its grinding and extraction process, with a Product Recognising Grinder (PRG) automatically adjusting in a fraction of a second to ensure the best consistency of a grind for the resulting drink. This is paired with the firm’s 3D being process that cleverly allows water flow over the ground coffee on multiple levels for a more impressive espresso.
In that respect, it does a great job of producing thick, inky black espresso with an enticing layer of caramel-coloured crema on top, time after time. Plus, it goes beyond this with the ability to make more drinks than I even realised existed.
Jura Z10: price and availability
The Jura Z10 is available in a number of on and offline outlets in the UK, with prices ranging from £2,145 to £2,245 depending on the colour and finish of the machine. It's currently not available to buy in the US but we found a few in Australia priced around AU$4,500.
Jura Z10: design and features
Although the Jura Z10 doesn’t have the imposing heft of our favourite Sage Oracle Touch coffee machine, nor does it pack the same kind of neo-industrial look, it’s still undeniably a very smart thing to have in a kitchen.
The curved frontage, metallic drip tray and large touchscreen on the front ooze premium quality, while the in-built white LEDs above the espresso nozzles and around the selector dial are a really nice touch and illuminate a fancy coffee glass nicely at night or in the early hours.
At 32cm wide, 45cm deep and 38cm tall, it isn’t exactly small and does have the potential to stick out like a sore thumb in smaller kitchens and dwarf fellow appliances. In fact, Jura sells more compact, slimline machines but they don’t quite boast the technological prowess of the Z10.
Other notable features include the large 2.4-litre water tank, which means you don’t have to constantly fill the thing up before every brew. There’s also a generous 280g bean hopper that will happily swallow the contents of a typical supermarket bag of coffee beans, meaning you own’t have to store the remnants of a bag like with many rival machines.
It’s a handsome piece of kit, but the model I tested for a few weeks was finished in very Essex-spec white and I couldn’t help thinking the black or metallic options would have better suited my kitchen. But maybe I’m just being a snob.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about the Z10 is that you will need to purchase a separate milk hopper if you want to take advantage of things like the cappuccino, flat-white and latte options that it provides.
This comes in the form of a £29.95 glass jug or a stylish Cool Control mini-fridge that costs £165 or £225 depending on its size. The clever unit can detect how much milk is in the metallic hopper and keeps it cooled to an ideal temperature of 4 °C for however long it is switched on for.
It’s a nice idea if you’re the kind of person to get up and down for speciality coffees throughout the day but can’t be bothered to fetch milk from a fridge and then fill up a little glass container. But be warned: there’s a lot of cleaning involved.
Granted, most of the Cool Control device can be taken apart and shoved in a dishwasher, but you’ll have to run special cleaning fluid through the pipes regularly to stop them bunging up. It’s a pain in the butt.
Aside from this, the Jura Z10 is probably one of the most advanced and programmable machines I’ve ever had experience using. It’s possible to alter any of the built-in speciality coffees to taste, or simply build your own recipe by inputting desired coffee strength, water temperature and even the amount and temperature of milk foam.
If you need even more caffeine-based nerdery, you can download the Jura J.O.E smartphone app and go bonkers with wireless control and management of your favourite drinks.
Jura Z10: performance
Overall, the Jura Z10 makes a mean cup of coffee and it’s especially good at producing potent espresso that look inviting and taste great. The speciality coffees, which suck and froth milk from an external reservoir, are a little more hit and miss.
You don’t have to be a professional barista to realise that simply squirting some frothy milk on top of an espresso is not the best way to make a flat white. It takes years to master the art of properly foaming milk and a machine can’t replace a human… not yet anyway. That said, the Z10 at least attempts a genuine latte or macchiato or whatever you want to call it with a process that layers different amount of milk foam and espresso shots for that Neapolitan coffee look. The fact that you just press a button and this appears is quite marvellous.
The overall UI experience can be a tad fiddly, with a swipe of the touchscreen often leading to inadvertently selecting a coffee you don’t want and it's awkward to halt the process once the beans exit the hopper and enter the jaws of the grinder. I found myself using the sleek silver rotary dial instead, but it would still be easier with a few physical buttons. Like a big one that says DOUBLE ESPRESSO for those bleary-eyed morning fixes.
And as for the cold brew coffee, I really wanted to like the experience but it just didn’t hit the spot for me. The extracted coffee is luke warm, rather than freezing cold, so you still have to throw in a lot of ice and/or cold milk to get that genuinely refreshing result. It’s definitely a hell of a lot better than the watery muck you get from pouring hot coffee directly over ice (and it saves the time of steeping grinds overnight if you are familiar with the old school method), but it’s not exactly iced coffee at the press of a button. When paired with the aforementioned milk cooler, it goes some way to make chilled milky coffees that bit more frigid, but you’ll still not as good as something you’d buy from a cafe and having to clean the mini milk fridge becomes a chore.
That said, some aficionados simply prefer the taste of cold brew coffee, which is said to be slightly sweeter, so if you fall into this camp, it’s likely you won’t be disappointed because all of the 30 (yes 30!) speciality drinks can be made using this cold brew method.
Plus, there’s hot water for tea, slightly less hot water for green tea and the option to dispense shots of hot milk. In fact, there’s not much the machine doesn’t do but if simplicity is what you are after, it can all be a bit overwhelming,
Jura Z10: verdict
There’s no denying the Jura Z10 is an extremely accomplished bit of kit and it makes kick-ass coffee without the utter faff of grinding beans, tamping them down into a portafilter, allowing water to reach the right temperature and all that jazz that proper baristas have to put up with on the daily.
It really is as easy as touching the fancy screen and watching in awe as a very, very good cup of coffee is made right in front of your eyes. Yet this machine goes beyond that with a dazzling array of speciality drinks and the ability to use a cold brewing method for those who prefer coffee over ice. It’s definitely not perfect but it’s good.
What’s more, there’s very little start up time, the water reservoir is massive and saves trips to the tap and it feels like the Z10 requires less maintenance than other machines I’ve tested, which constantly bleated at me to remove grinds, clean things and descale pipes.
It might feel like a hefty initial outlay but it’s easily good enough to replace shop-bought espressos and those simpler speciality coffees, which are rapidly becoming more expensive than a smoking habit. Plus, it negates the environmental impact of getting through thousands of little plastic or aluminium pods every year.
But overall, it makes a fantastic cup of Joe, even if the technological wizardry sometimes gets in the way a bit.