An automatic espresso machine does everything for you from start to finish.
This machine will grind, brew, and clean to provide you with great espresso that rivals your favorite café.
But with so many options in the market, how do you choose the best one for you?
We’ve chosen two leading coffee manufacturers: Gaggia and Jura, to save you time.
In this article, we look at each brand and then provide a comprehensive review of their features.
Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.
Gaggia vs Jura: At a Glance
- Origin: Italy, 1930s
- Grinders: 100% Ceramic grinder
- Milk Frother: Pannarello steam wand and integrated milk carafe
- Display: Buttons with LED/LCD (entry-level models); capacitive/backlit button with TFT display (premium models)
- Price: From $300 to $1,850
Gaggia is an Italian company known for manufacturing coffee machines and small kitchen appliances.
In 1938, they applied for a patent for the first steamless coffee machine. This machine forced the water to flow over coffee grounds at high pressure. This resulted in the “crema naturale” layer on espressos.
They were acquired by their competitor Saeco in 1999. Ten years later, they became a subsidiary to Dutch electronics giant Philips.
- Origin: Switzerland, 1931
- Grinders: Stainless steel conical burr grinder
- Milk Frother: 2-stage frothing nozzle and fully automatic frother
- Display: Rotary switch button with TFT display (entry-level models); full color with touchscreen display (premium models)
- Price: From $800 to $9,000
Founded in 1931, Jura is a Swiss brand that produces high-end home appliances.
They’re one of the first to develop automatic coffee machines since the mid-1980s. From there, they became a main contributor to the household appliance industry.
By the end of 2008, they’ve stopped manufacturing other products, such as the irons and toasters. Instead, they became a global distributor of premium specialty coffee makers.
Today, they use their know-how to develop semi-professional appliances for household and commercial use.
What’s the Difference Between the Two Espresso Machines?
In this section, we provide an in-depth comparison of the two manufacturers using 7 categories:
- Grinding Settings
- Brew Options
- Brew Quality
- Milk Frother
- User Interface
- Cleaning & Maintenance
Heads up: It’s a tie between the two.
Read on to find out why.
Gaggia’s grinders are 100% ceramic.
Ceramic grinders are low maintenance and retain very little heat. This helps bring out the flavor of coffee beans without the burnt flavor.
It’s possible to change the grind’s fineness, which is useful for making a wide variety of drinks.
Depending on the machine, Gaggia’s products range from 5 to 15 grind settings.
Jura’s grinders are stainless steel conical burr grinders.
Called Aroma Grinders, these are fast and quiet grinders that optimize grinding time. It considers aroma and taste by freshly grinding coffee beans every time.
Since it has pre-programmed drinks, the espresso machine will adjust the beans’ fineness or coarseness according to your chosen beverage.
It’s also possible to change this in the settings to personalize according to your preferred fineness level. Select models feature self-adjusting grinders.
Gaggia’s product lines include both semi-automatic and super-automatic machines.
Given this, their entry-level machines offer as little as 1 brew option for espresso.
As you go up the models, the super-automatic machines can produce a minimum of 3 programmable drinks and a maximum of 14 beverages.
It’s also possible to adjust the flavor intensity, called the Aroma Strength. Gaggia’s products offer a range of 3 to 5 strength settings.
Jura produces automatic machines only. This means that all of their models have pre-programmed drinks with just a touch of a button.
The entry-level models can produce 3 to 6 drinks. The mid-range models produce 7 to 16 drinks. Premium models can produce over 22 to 28 drinks.
Their espresso machines also have a programmable coffee strength. They offer a minimum of 2 strength levels and a maximum of 10 intensity levels.
The majority of both espresso machines feature a dual spout. This allows you to brew two cups of coffee or espresso simultaneously.
High-quality espresso is arguably one of the most important factors for a coffee drinker.
As expected from coffee giants, both brands have state-of-the-art technology regarding brewing.
Both brands have a pre-brewing function. Jura even has a name for this, called the Intelligent Pre Brew Aroma System (IPBAS).
They both work the same way. The pre-brew system sends hot water to wet the coffee grounds. The coffee swells, developing the taste and aroma compounds.
Another shared feature is how fast they can heat water.
Gaggia’s products feature a Quick Heat Boiler. This boiler is made from aluminum and stainless steel that can increase temperatures fast.
It also uses Rapid Steam Technology. This lessens heat-up times and provides a more robust flavor.
Jura uses a Thermoblock Heating System that works the same way. Plus, the intelligent preheating technology ensures water stays hot even after each brew.
It also features a Pulse Extraction Process (PEP). This is when water passes through the ground coffee in short bursts. This results in enhanced aroma and optimized extraction time.
Both brands also allow you to change the water amount and temperature level to suit your preferences.
Gaggia’s product line has 3 types of milk frothers.
The entry-level models use a Pannarello steam wand. This professional steam wand is made from stainless steel.
Other models use a semi-automatic milk frother called the CAPPinCUP system. This has an external carafe connected via a small tube.
The machine draws the milk from the container and froths automatically for this system.
Premium models use an integrated milk carafe (Anima Prestige). This is an automatic milk frother that froths the milk twice to remove all bubbles and impurities.
Jura’s product line has 2 types of milk frothers.
The first type is a semi-manual milk frother. There’s a separate milk outlet, which is connected via a nozzle.
Another is the professional fine foam frother. These models have a built-in milk container and a fully automatic frothing system.
This milk frother features a fine foam technology, which creates light-as-air, creamy milk foam with a long-lasting consistency. This is achieved by frothing the milk twice in separate chambers.
Both brands use intuitive buttons with TFT displays.
The only difference is that Gaggia’s products use a backlit button for its entry-level models and capacitive (touchscreen-like) buttons for premium models.
Jura uses a Rotary Switch, which shows a full list of all programmable drinks.
Both brands also have a one-touch cappuccino system. As the name suggests, all it takes is just one touch of a button to prepare milk-based beverages.
They also allow you to personalize coffee drinks. Called the Memo Function in Gaggia’s products, you can edit, save, and copy pre-programmed recipes according to your taste.
They do have some differences, though.
For Gaggia, the more affordable models only use LED or LCDs (which aren’t as bright as TFT displays). Jura’s high-end models use a touchscreen display.
This Sensitive-Touchscreen Technology is combined with Artificial Intelligence in some models. This means it has a self-learning algorithm to identify each user’s personal preferences.
Jura also has Smart Connect. This is a Bluetooth transmitter that allows you to connect your coffee maker to your smartphone, tablet, or Apple Watch.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Both brands have a self-cleaning program. With a touch of a button, the espresso machine rinses and cleans itself after each brew.
Gaggia has a removable brew unit.
Brew group refers to the cleaning mechanism found inside your espresso machine. This allows users to clean the machine more thoroughly for a longer lifespan.
It is compatible with AquaClean Filter. This Saeco-patented water filter purifies water and prevents scale buildup.
Using the AquaClean Filter allows you to brew up to 5,000 cups without the need to descale the machine.
Jura has a fixed (non-removable) brew unit, which means it decides its own cleaning cycle.
It uses a CLEARYL filter with a CLARIS filter system. This anti-scaling technology filters and prevents limescale, heavy metals, and chlorine buildup.
With a regular replacement of the CLEARYL filter, these machines don’t require any descaling.
Plus, it features an Intelligent Water System (IWS). This system can automatically detect filter presence in the water tank. It also alerts you when the filter needs to be replaced.
Gaggia’s products start from $300, with their premium models priced up to $1,850.
Jura’s products start at $800 and can go up to $9,000.
Gaggia’s price point is attractive if you’re a home barista who’s just starting.
However, if money is no issue, consider Jura—it offers much more features and technology.
The Verdict: What’s a Better Automatic Machine?
We’ve come to the last part for comparing Gaggia and Jura. What brand has a better espresso machine?
Well, it’s a tie for us.
Why? We believe both brands cater to different home barista groups.
Confused? On the fence?
Here’s a quick rundown:
Get Gaggia If…
- You’re looking for a no-frills espresso machine with simple controls
- You’re a new home barista on a budget
- You don’t mind manually cleaning the espresso machine now and then
Get Jura If…
- You’re a seasoned barista looking for more features and technology
- You want the convenience of cleaning the espresso machine with a touch of a button
- You’re looking for an automatic machine with more espresso-based drink options
Both are reputable brands that will provide the best coffee experience at home.
At the end of the day, the question to ask yourself is: What features are important to me?
We hope this article helped you decide on your next automatic espresso machine.