While many reviewers were wowed by the bells and whistles, we were somewhat underwhelmed by this offering from Jura. A good super-automatic that falls short of excellence in our view.
Recommended for: If you love the latest tech, this one will leave you dazzled. But in our view, it’s only got an average price to performance ratio.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Jura J9 One Touch TFT
- 2 How Easy Is It to Use & Clean?
- 3 User Manual and Warranty
- 4 Pros & Cons of Jura J9 Coffee Machine
- 5 The Jura J9 TFT Conclusion
- 6 Other Jura J Series Super Automatic Espresso Machines
An Overview of the Jura J9 One Touch TFT
Are you in the market for a top quality super-automatic coffee machine that utilizes all the latest tech?
If you’ve been considering a Jura, you may want to read our detailed Jura J9 review before making your final purchasing decision. Our findings might just change your mind if you’ve been considering this particular model.
As you’ll see in the sections that follow, while this machine has a proud lineage, being part of the Impressa line, and it looks great on paper, it’s got some issues you should be aware of before jumping to conclusions.
For the right user, this one may be close to perfect, but we found some of the feature implementations to be lacking, and in our view, there are other options in the J9’s price range that offer better value for the money.
We’ll cover it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and give you everything you need to make the right decision for you and your family.
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The J9 is relatively compact, being 11.2” wide, 17” deep, and 13.5” high, and weighing in at 24 pounds. If you live in a small apartment or have a tiny kitchen with very limited counter space, it may be too big to fit comfortably. Nonetheless, most people can find room for it with relative ease.
One thing our Jura J9 review would not be complete without mentioning is the fact that by any reckoning, it’s a very pretty machine. Some home appliances are just so striking to look at, and the J9 is one of these. With its brushed silver finish, black accents and bright, colorful TFT screen, it’s pleasing to look at and blends well with most home décor schemes.
One drawback is that it’s made mostly of ABS plastic. It’s durable, but it’s still plastic, and pretty or not, we’d expect more from a machine at this price point.
We were very pleased with the size of the water tank in the Jura J9 One Touch. It holds a hefty 72 ounces of water, making it ideal for medium to large sized families, power coffee drinkers, or even for use in small office settings.
Note that this model cannot be hooked up to a dedicated water line, requiring you to manually fill the tank each time the water level gets low. That goes without saying in cheaper machines, but it bears mentioning here since you do occasionally find models in this price range that feature a dedicated water line.
The reservoir includes a built-in Clearyl Blue water filter, which many people like because it helps minimize scaling.
We’re not as impressed, though. You can minimize scaling by using distilled water in your machine, no filter needed. As it stands, it’s just one more thing you’re on the hook for buying at regular intervals, and we’re not especially fond of that.
One of the best aspects of super-automatics, in general, is the fact that they’re comprehensive “beans to brew” systems and incorporate built-in grinders into their designs.
In the J9’s case, the grinder holds almost 9 ounces (8.8-ounce capacity), and has six different grind settings from coarse to fine.
Six is an average number of grind settings, but not exceptional. You can find cheaper machines with as many as 18 different grind options. For the money, we were expecting to see more, so this is an area that left us feeling slightly underwhelmed.
For a big percentage of users, having six settings is more than sufficient, but if you’re a true coffee aficionado, you’ll find yourself wishing for a greater degree of control, given how important grind quality is to your finished product.
It’s also worth mentioning here that the J9 offers a bypass doser (with a convenient scoop) that’s capable of holding enough ground coffee for up to two shots. Very handy for those evenings when you want a quick cup of joe.
Note that if you open the bypass doser and don’t fill it with enough coffee, the machine will let you know by flashing a message to that effect on the display panel at the front of the unit.
Boiler and Frothing System
The Jura J9 coffee machine is a single boiler system, so you can’t simultaneously steam milk and brew coffee. But given the design of the unit, that’s not really a negative. Additionally, the J9 utilizes a built-in auto-frothing system so there's no steaming/frothing wand.
One thing to note here is the fact that many customers have complained that even on the highest temperature setting, the milk doesn’t get hot enough for their liking, which is problematic, especially given the price of the unit. This is also due to the fact that this unit only uses a single thermoblock unit, instead of two. If it used two, the output would be hotter (both coffee and milk).
This is important because one of the biggest changes people notice when moving from a drip-brew, coffee-by-the-pot world and into the “by-the-cup” specialty brew world of super-automatics, the coffee tends to be of a lower temperature, even when set to max temperature settings.
That can range from being a minor annoyance and thing to get used to for some users, to being an absolute deal breaker for others.
Telescoping Coffee Spigots
The Jura J9 TFT has two different coffee spigots: one is attached to the frothing system, basically for making cappuccinos and latte-style drinks; and the other for use when making espresso and related drinks.
Note that there are two espresso spigots, and in a later section, when we talk about the TFT display, the function of those two spigots will become apparent. For the moment, we just want to note of their existence.
In both cases, the spigots can be height adjusted to accommodate cups ranging in size from 4.33” to just over 6”. Additionally, the two espresso spigots can be moved to the left and right (butterfly action) to accommodate a broad range of cup diameters when preparing two shots of espresso drinks.
Ordering a Specialty Coffee Drink
If we had to pick a single aspect of the J9 TFT as our favorite, this would be it. The presence of the brightly colored, power-sipping TFT (Thin Film Transistor) is superb. This is, for all intents and purposes, a compact computer, wedded to a super-automatic coffee machine.
From this panel, you can control every aspect of the unit’s functionality. Everything from system maintenance to ordering coffee drinks. The pre-programmed drinks you can order are as follows:
It gets even better, though. When you start using your brand new machine, it will remember your preferred settings as you make these various drinks. This does take some time in your first days and weeks with the unit. But once you’ve programmed your preferences, you can replicate them any time you like, with the touch of a single button.
From the control panel, you can adjust every aspect of your coffee creation, from coffee strength, water temperature, amount of shot, and even water hardness. Grind settings can be adjusted via a dial next to the bean hopper.
The Jura J9 Coffee Machine control panel isn’t just functional, though. It comes with extras like the ability to change from one language to another, set an attractive background image, and more.
Note that the screen isn’t touch sensitive. There are two columns of buttons that flank the screen to make selections, and the dial at the top of the unit is a “Master Control Switch,” which allows you to jump from one menu to another (Settings, Maintenance, Coffee, and so on).
One intriguing thing to mention about the onboard computer display is that it tracks and keeps a running tally of the number and kind of drinks you have brewed, so you’ve got stats on how you’re using the machine, which you can also use to get a better estimate on how much money you’re saving. Simply check “your numbers” from the stats screen and compare the costs of those drinks had you purchased them from your favorite coffee shop.
Pro Tip: It’s worth taking the time to save all your preferences and settings the first time you make any new drink on the machine. Sure, that first time through will take a bit longer, but every time thereafter, your preferred settings are saved and you can enjoy hassle-free coffee.
The Milk Frothing System
Okay, we admit it, we don’t especially like the suction tube approach. While it’s nice that the J9 features an insulated 20-ounce milk container, we just don’t like the tube that runs from it to the frother. We prefer machines that have a more seamless milk system integration.
We get that it’s fairly common. But in our view, on a machine that will set you back a couple thousand dollars or more, this could have been better implemented. Many people won’t share this view, so we didn’t deduct any points for it. For us, it’s an annoying aspect of the design.
We’ve talked before about the fact that one of the more common complaints with this unit is that it doesn’t get the milk hot enough. Again, for a machine at this price range, we expected more where this feature is concerned.
Final Note: The milk dispenser operates at 3 bars of pressure, while the coffee is dispensed at 15 bars, which is more than enough to make an excellent espresso.
Cup Warming Tray
While this is a feature common to many super-automatic espresso machines, sadly, the J9 does not offer a cup warming tray. This is unfortunate because as we mentioned earlier, specialty coffee drinks tend to be served at a temperature lower than drip-brew machines that make coffee by the pot.
The presence of a cup warming tray helps to get around this problem by preheating the cup, resulting in less temperature loss when the drink is dispensed. If the temperature of your coffee creations is problematic, you’ll want to find some alternate method of heating your cup before creating the drink of your choice.
How Easy Is It to Use & Clean?
Here’s where the Jura J9 loses serious points, in our view.
Yes, the technology is cool. That’s undeniable. And with the number of features this unit offers, it goes without saying that there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve here.
That said, this machine can be a bit of a beast to set up and start using effectively, not because any one aspect of its operation is challenging, but rather, because when you’re starting out, there will be a gazillion different settings to save and program, so it can record all your preferences.
Once those things are done (and the exact timeframe will vary, depending on how many different kinds of drinks you like to make), it’s a dream, and a snap to use. Getting to that point, however, can be a daunting prospect.
Cleaning & Maintenance
In a similar vein, the system has a brilliant and exceptionally thorough series of mostly automated cleaning routines. So big portions of the cleanup process are fairly simple but they do take time to learn and master.
There are a few pieces that can’t be automated or that are automated but require some other form of intervention. For example, if you stick with using the filters in the water reservoir, you shouldn’t need to ever descale the machine, or if you do, you’ll only need to do so very rarely.
This, however, puts you on the hook to buy more filters at regular intervals, and keep track of when they need changing, which the TFT display helps you do.
You still need to perform other bits of routine maintenance yourself, however, such as making sure the milk hose is properly cleaned at regular intervals, emptying the used grounds bin (which can hold 30+ pucks, so you won’t have to worry about emptying it all the time), and of course, keeping the drip tray clean.
The mix of automated cleaning routines blended with hand-on maintenance is a time saver, but there’s a bit of a learning curve here too, and it may be a while before you’re comfortable with the process and confident that you haven’t forgotten something.
While we give the J9 high marks for the wow factor and capabilities of the TFT display, we took points off because unless you’re fairly tech savvy, to begin with, this machine can feel daunting. It’s not hard to use, but it can be a little overwhelming for those not already comfortable with technology.
User Manual and Warranty
The J9’s user manual is well-written and pretty straightforward. Should you encounter any problems either during initial setup or sometime down the road, you’ll find it to be a genuinely helpful resource, which can’t be said of all user manuals and is a nice perk.
The machine is also Swiss-made an
d carries a two-year warranty, which is twice the industry average and speaks volumes about its overall quality.
Pros & Cons of Jura J9 Coffee Machine
At this point in our Jura J9 Review, you can tell that this machine has a lot going for it. It’s biggest strengths are easy to identify:
But it does have some drawbacks. In our view, the most noteworthy are these:
The Jura J9 TFT Conclusion
The Jura J9 is a solid piece of engineering and a great looking machine. For some people, that’s enough to give it high marks. And, if you’re fairly tech savvy, those high marks are completely understood and well-deserved.
Having said that, this is an expensive piece of technology. For the price, we’d have expected stronger feature implementations and something not made out of plastic. Swiss-manufactured or not, materials matter. And while the J9 looks beautiful, it’s just not as robust or durable as it should be at its price point.
While we don’t have a problem recommending the unit, we do believe that there are other machines on the market today that deliver better value for the money.
Sources & Resources
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