Jura A1 Review: Is It Worth The Money?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it before. Jura machines are the king kongs of the coffee world. 

They’re super devices that brew a mean cup of coffee and allow you to personalize your beverage.

Now, while there are plenty of fantastic Jura machines out there, I’ve decided to hone in on the Jura A1.

Why? 

Because this brewer has provided me with tried and true, good cups of coffee. 

So, if you’re interested in learning about this machine from an honest perspective, keep reading. 

Here’s a complete Jura A1 review so that you can make the best possible purchase.

A Deep Dive Into the Jura A1 Machine Specs

Jura A1 Super Automatic Coffee Machine, 1, Piano Black
  • Design 3/5
  • Coffee Quality 5/5
  • Grinder 4/5
  • Durability 4/5
  • Ease of Use 5/5
  • Brewing System 5/5
  • Tank Capacity 3/5
  • Milk Frother 3.5/5
  • Drinks 2/5

The Jura A1 machine has some pretty outstanding design features all while being a compact device. It’s got a great grinder as well as a top-notch brewing system that combines to make delicious cups of coffee. 

The A1 leaves a bit to be desired in terms of beverage variety. Yet, it does still great some of the smoothest coffee of any at-home espresso machine I’ve tried. 

As a result, this super automatic coffee machine gets a solid rating from me. Take a look below to get a clearer picture of what the Jura A1 is like.

Coffee Quality

When I look into espresso machines the coffee quality is honestly the first thing I look at. The quality of the coffee really makes or breaks the machine. 

After all, if your machine can’t craft a good cup of coffee what’s the point in buying it?

The good news is that coffee quality is where the Jura A1 excels.

The Jura A1 features two pieces of proprietary Jura technology – the Pre-Brew Aroma System and the PEP. Both these systems let the coffee beans fully develop their flavor before you start brewing. 

The result is a cup of coffee that’s rich and truly decadent. 

This machine makes its shots of coffee fast, but without sacrificing quality, either. It’ll only take you a couple of seconds to get a gorgeous shot of espresso with silky-smooth crema.

In terms of strength, the Jura A1 gives you quite a bit of customizability. You can choose to pull either a 7-gram or 10-gram shot and can also adjust the amount of water you use. 

Note: even though the machine brews its shots quickly, you can only brew one at a time. You’ll have the choice to brew 7 or 10-gram shots but will have to wait a minute if you want to pour a second. 

Design & Features

side view of espresso machine

It’s not just coffee quality that matters when you look for a coffee machine. You also have to think about the design. 

The good thing about the Jura A1’s design is that it’s small. If you’re looking for an espresso machine that doesn’t take up a ton of counter space, this is a great choice. 

Another thing I love about the Jura A1 design is that it’s minimalist.

There are no fancy frills, odd attachments, or confusing buttons. Instead, you’ve got a sleek, stainless steel device that doesn’t feature much other than the pour spouts for the espresso. 

The great thing about this design is that it’s easy to use and easy to clean. The bad thing about this design is that you really can’t do much with it. If you were wanting an ironman-type coffee maker, this just isn’t it. 

When talking about the design I’ve also got to point out the touchpad programming. 

The touchpad (not touchscreen) is simple, but still allows quite a bit of customization. You can select your grind amount, water levels, and more. 

Plus, you can program your favorite drinks so they’re easier to repeat in the future. 

Grinder

top view of a1 jura espresso machine

Every good coffee machine needs a good grinder. And, thankfully, the Jura A1 has a built-in espresso grinder to help you get the perfect cup of coffee. 

The grinder on the Jura A1 features a 5-ounce hopper. That’s on the small side for a bean hopper, but it works considering the types of coffee you’ll be brewing. 

One thing I love about the grinder is that it has an aroma preservation cover. 

In other words, you can seal off the bean hopper if you add too many beans. That way, the beans won’t lose their fragrance and flavor when you are ready to whip them into a beverage. 

The grinder also features conical burrs that are manually adjustable. 

The reason that matters is that conical burrs actually provide you with a better grind. Conical burrs have much less grind retention, leaving little waste and making sure your espresso beans are fresh every time. 

Plus, the new grinder on the Jura A1 is super quiet. If you’re worried about noise levels, this coffee machine has got your back. 

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the A1 has a bypass reservoir. That means that if you prefer to purchase pre ground coffee, you can still use it on your device. 

With the bypass reservoir, you can add ground beans to the hopper without running the grinder. Not only does this save you a bit of energy, but it can also save a bit of time in the brewing process. 

Durability

Durability is another major factor that goes into choosing a coffee maker. That’s especially true if you’re making a large investment by purchasing a Jura machine!

There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to durability: 

  1. How long the machine should last 
  2. How long it does last. 

The truth is, many customers have complained in the past about their Jura A1 machine giving up the ghost far sooner than they expected. 

Luckily, Jura provides a minimum of a year warranty on their products. You can also purchase an extended warranty if you’re particularly concerned about your machine breaking down. 

In theory, however, the Jura A1 should give you about five years of good use. Some baristas claim that with the right care and maintenance, you can extend that lifespan by another couple of years. 

Ease of Use

Probably the biggest benefit of the Jura A1 is how easy it is to use. 

The Jura A1 is considered a super automatic espresso machine, meaning the machine does all the work for you.

It also means (as I’ve mentioned before) that it’s a pretty minimalist machine. 

There are no fancy touchscreens with millions of buttons to sift through here. Instead, you’ve got a sleek machine with a straightforward and simple touchpad. 

Although you can get pretty technical with customizing your drinks, you don’t have to at all. You can easily just choose a one-touch solution for your coffee. 

And, since you don’t have a milk frother to worry about, you’ve got one other complication off your hands. 

All these features combine to make a pretty easy-to-use coffee machine that whips up fabulous beverages. 

Brewing System

The brewing system is one of the main machine components that affect the flavor of the coffee.

Now, I’ve already stated that the coffee here is great. 

But what does that look like in terms of the brewing system?

Well, the Jura A1 uses a PEP extraction method. PEP stands for ‘pulse extraction process’ and is a technology that Jura came up with for its machines. 

The way this technology works is that it pulses hot water through the coffee grinds at short intervals. This helps pull the most possible flavor out of your espresso, which is part of what allows it to produce such a delicious brew. 

Pulse extraction process is especially helpful for short espresso drinks, such as ristretto shots. Since the Jura machine mainly focuses on short beverages, the PEP technology really helps the machine stand out.

In addition, the Jura A1 has a thermoblock heater. This warms up the water very quickly and applies 15 bars of pressure to the coffee to speed up the extraction. 

The result is that you’ll get rich and delicious espresso in a matter of minutes.

Cleaning and Maintenance

If you’re anything like me, cleaning and maintaining your espresso machine is about the only thing you don’t love about it. 

I mean, I love getting great cups of coffee. I just don’t love spending hours on end cleaning it out all the time. 

Luckily, the Jura A1 is pretty easy to clean and maintain. 

The system comes with built-in cleaning systems that take care of all the dirty work for you. This handles rinsing and descaling. 

On top of that, this machine has a system that alerts you when it’s time to change your filter. That makes it even easier to know when it’s time to clean out the machine!

One thing to note here is that you’ll need to purchase cleaning tablets separately. These can simply be run through your machine and clean out the filter. 

Despite the fact that you have to purchase something extra, it does make take away a lot of manual labor. So, if you’re trying to avoid spending hours cleaning (like me), I’d say it’s worth it. 

Water Tank Capacity

The water tank does leave something to be desired on the Jura A1. This is largely due to the fact that it’s a pretty small tank. 

If you live in a household where you frequently make coffee drinks, you’ll find that you’re constantly refilling the water tank. 

The water tank holds just 36 ounces of water. While that can make quite a few shots of espresso, it won’t last you long if you’re making coffee. 

Even though the water tank is relatively small, I wouldn’t let that put you off the machine. 

It still works great for one to two-person households. Just don’t expect this brewer to serve your entire office!

Milk Frother

We need to talk about the milk frother. Or, should I say, the lack thereof. 

The Jura A1 coffee machine actually doesn’t feature a milk frother at all. What that means is that if you’re planning on making lattes and cappuccinos, you’ll have to purchase a milk frother separately. 

Now, while there’s nothing wrong with this, it can be off-putting to those who want to make milk-based beverages. 

After all, you’re already spending quite a bit of money on the machine and now you’ve got to purchase a milk frother to go with it. In that case, it might be better to purchase another Jura coffee machine that does include a frother.

Still, if you don’t mind investing in a milk frother on the side, this is a great machine. The espresso from the A1 is so smooth that it tastes great if you do choose to add it to a latte or cappuccino.

The Drinks

Ah, the drinks. The drinks are probably the thing that most people care about when it comes to purchasing an espresso machine. 

Unfortunately, the drinks are where the Jura A1 is most lacking. 

The Jura A1 machine is truly a machine for those who love coffee. And when I say coffee, I mean regular, black coffee. 

The Jura A1 has a simplistic design that focuses mainly on crafting delicious espressos. You can also use it to make americanos and ristretto. 

In fact, the Jura A1 does not include a built-in milk frother. You can use a separate milk frother if you like, but that’ll be an extra purchase on your part.

FAQ

If you’ve still got lingering questions about the Jura A1, I hear you. There’s so much information to be found about these machines that it can be tough to feel like you’ve got all the answers!

To help you out, I’ve put together a quick FAQ. This should help clear up some of those lingering questions in your mind.

Who Should Buy Jura A1?

You should buy the Jura A1 if you’re a coffee purist. If you’re looking for barista-quality espresso from the comfort of home, this is a great machine. 

You shouldn’t buy the Jura A1 if you’re a die-hard milk-based beverage fan. You’ll wind up spending more money on extra tools and will lose out on the machine’s best feature – pure espresso shots.

What Are the Best Jura A1 Alternatives?

If you’re looking for coffee machines similar to the A1, I’d recommend the ENA 8. This is another simplified coffee machine that packs all the punch without having too many frills. It’s also one of the more compact Jura machines on the market. 

On the other hand, if you’re wanting something that can make milk-based drinks, you might be better off with the Jura Z6

This is another espresso machine great for purists but also has the benefit of letting you make the occasional latte. That’s great if you like to vary your drinks.

Is Jura A1 a Good Value for Money?

If you’re willing to make an investment in a good (and I mean good) coffee machine, the Jura A1 is a great investment. Sure, it will set you back a good chunk of cash but it’s a machine that lasts for quite a while and provides super smooth coffee. 

The Final Verdict

Despite the higher price tag that Jura machines come with, there are a couple of more affordable models. One of those models is the Jura A1

What the Jura A1 lacks in a variety of drinks it makes up for in coffee quality. If you’re looking for a no-frills coffee machine that produces a great brew, this is definitely the machine for you.

With this Jura A1 review, you should be able to buy the machine with no further qualms. And, if I haven’t sold you on the Jura A1, there are plenty of other Jura machines to investigate.

Photo of author
Jessica Ruth Lee Fleming
Jessica is a seasoned caffeine-addict who spent 3 years behind the bar. Her early coffee days took her from the commercial Starbucks scene in urban DC all the way to helping launch a craft coffee shop in California. Today she prefers sharing her years of coffee capers through media, although you’ll find she does it with a trusty cup of coffee by her side.