The E6 is a bean to cup coffee and cappuccino/latte machine from high-end machine makers Jura. The model is actually one of the cheaper machines Jura sells – but to most casual coffee drinkers there is very little about it that is cheap – look, feel or even price-tag. With prices for the E6 starting somewhere north of £600 the E6 is competing on the market with machines from more established household names like DeLonghi, Gaggia, Miele and Melitta.
But as ever, the key question is – is it worth it? Not knowing too much about the Jura range we thought we would take a closer look at the features of the machine, putting it through its paces at The Coffee Bazaar HQ and giving it an in-depth review.
The E6 scores really well in terms of the quality of coffee it produces, as well as its excellent build-quality and beautiful aesthetic. It has a couple of useful and desireable features such as a full colour LCD display, built in water filtration system, and adjustable nozzle height and width for accomodating taller cups or glasses.
The machine is fairly expensive and doesnt come with a milk tank included, instead requiring you use your own milk carafe and the included milk nozzle, or alternatively you can purchase a seperate Jura ‘cool control’ milk tank – which will set you back an additional £150 or so. Also, this machine probably isn’t a good choice for the small minority of people who would like to use a lot of pre-ground coffee, as you can only add two scoops at a time.
But this is a really solid purchase at this price point and is better than many similarly priced units from competitors.
What’s in the box?
Well first and most obviously – the coffee machine itself. The E6 weighs in at a hefty 9.8 kilos, but is not really a behemoth from a size point of view and boasts fairly modest dimensions, measuring 35 x 28 x 44 cm. Jura has managed to make a machine that is smaller than its rivals, partly because it has left off the separate milk tank. In its place, you’ll also find in the box a small hose that attaches to the milk nozzle on the machine. You need to place the hose in your own carafe of milk when making lattes, cappuccinos etc.
The unit comes with a water filter as part of Jura’s “Intelligent Water System”. Part of the filter is a paper strip you use to test out your tap water and put into the machine which will calculate how hard the water is and tell you when to replace the filter. These filters are easy to find and order online but – are not the cheapest, so bear in mind before committing to the E6.
With coffee being 98% water – water quality really is a big issue affecting the flavour of your brew. It also goes without saying that having the filter will radically extend the life of your machine, especially if you live in an area with hard water. Jura have put their money where their mouth is here, providing a 25-month manufacturer’s warranty in every box. The box also includes some cleaning tablets and an instruction manual.
As already stated, the E6 does not take up too much room thanks to its omission of a separate milk tank. People will have their own thoughts on this and it is really personal preference, but this was a design feature we really appreciated. Given that on most machines the milk tanks are designed to be detached and kept in the fridge anyway, there is really nothing lost by just using a separate container for the milk altogether. It also makes cleaning easier as you don’t have to faff around washing a separate tank and it also saves space in your fridge.
The machine’s black and chrome exterior and smooth lines are easy on the eye and would not look out of place in any kitchen. The centrally positioned 3” colour display at the control panel is really easy to read and makes operation simple. It has a nice tall 1.9 litre water tank that is straightforward to remove and fill and a 280-gram bean hopper, which has a rubber seal on the lid to keep those beans fresh! The height of the pouring spouts for the coffee can be adjusted up to 11.3 centimetres too so the machine can accommodate tall mugs with ease.
What we liked
The machine is easy to set up operate and comes apart easily to clean. The cleaning on the machine is automatic and the machine will prompt you when to do this, so you won’t forget. It is possible to programme up to 13 different drinks, and this is not complicated to do at all. The machine’s LCD display and central computer is also fairly intuitive – for example, to get a double you just press the drink you want twice in quick succession.
The coffee is made using Jura’s patented ‘Pulse Extraction System’. This flushes water through your coffee in short bursts to obtain maximum flavour and aroma, and the quality of the coffee produced is admittedly excellent. Many bean to cup machines have a tendency to flatten whatever beans you put in, to the point where all coffee’s taste somewhat the same, but the E6 really brought out the individual characteristics of everything we put into it.
One fairly unique feature is that, as well as having the 11.3 cm cup clearance discussed above, the coffee spouts can also be widened, which means it is easy to pour coffee into two very wide or very narrow cups at the same time. You can of course also pour off a portion of hot water for teas or to lengthen drinks. The milk frother contains a dial to increase or decrease the foaminess of the froth. Turned up to full it is thick and full-on, making lovely creamy coffee.
What we didn’t like
While the lack of a separate milk tank is a good space saver, the awkward plastic nozzle does ruin the sleek looks of the machine somewhat. You can, of course, buy Jura’s separate ‘cool control’ milk tank (see image below) which will keep a refrigerated container for milk hooked up to the machine – but it will cost you upwards of £150. On top of the machine price, which is already getting towards the high end, this would probably be an unwelcome added expense.
Ground coffee can only be added via a bypass doser, which only lets you add two scoops of coffee at a time, meaning you cannot stockpile any ground coffee in the unit. Cleaning of the unit is straightforward, but tablets and cleaning fluids cost around 50p a wash, which is another cost you need to bear – in addition to the filters.
Finally, the milk is not piping hot. This is a common complaint on a lot of bean to cup cappuccino machines. Long milky coffee’s come out at the perfect drinking temperature, which is great if you’re in a hurry – but you can’t leave them too long or they will go cold rather quickly.
This is a sleek and effective machine that produces very nice coffee. It does not have the range in terms of variety that some more expensive machines may have – but it does what it does very well, better than most machines at this price point. It is compact, sturdy and has a high build quality – with many users reporting their machines have lasted years and produced tens of thousands of drinks.
If you are looking at a mid-range bean to cup cappuccino machine – the Jura E6 should really be on your final shortlist.
4 Stars out of 5