Here is the latest deluxe home coffee machine from Swiss maker Jura, which I’ve featured twice previously for the very good reason that the coffee it makes is fantastic. Jura is growing in popularity at the top bean-to-cup end of the domestic market. Its cool store on London’s Marylebone Road is a veritable coffee temple, and the knowledgeable staff a joy to talk caffeine with.
The previous Jura I tried, the £3,745 Giga 5, was a complex beast that could blend different beans, or produce a decaf and a regular coffee back to back. But it also had strange holes in its coffee knowledge – it was incapable, for instance, quite irritatingly, of making a flat white off the peg. The new Z8 doesn’t have the twin bean hoppers, but it does have a great touchscreen graphical interface – a bit awkward to master, but once done, superb. And it does flat white, along with 20 other pre-programmed styles, all to sheer perfection. This is real Swiss precision in action.
As with so much technology from the Germanic world, Jura machines have their quirks, which almost seem to be incorporated in order to make sure you are a serious user, and not a dilettante. The Z8, for instance, leaves a lengthy pause between coffee and milk, which makes you think it’s gone wrong, when it’s merely taking its time. The instructions are not great, but keeping the tricky milk system clean is much easier than on the Giga. A beautiful triumph overall, which looks superb in the finest kitchen. And, I repeat, the proof is in the taste.