Profitec Pro 800 vs. Jura F9

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by wallenrod »

Hello all,

I have gone through a number of espresso machines over years. The last one I've been using for awhile is Jura F9 (superautomatic). It's old and it breaks every couple years but it produces great espresso. I decided to switch to a manual and after a long research I decided on Profitec PRO 800.

After three weeks and several pounds of beans I was able to make Profitec produce decent espresso but not as good as the one from Jura.
The main difference is in crema. It's not very strong and it dissipates quickly. After half a cup the remainder feels like just strong coffee - still the flavor is deep and yet not offensive so I enjoy it. However, while drinking espresso from the Jura it seems the crema stays to the bottom of the cup.

The photos below shows the difference between the two. The first pair (Profitec first) is taken when espresso stopped pouring (directly into the cup).
The second pair is taken a minute after it started extracting. I used a glass shot and waited to see what will happen to the crema.

In both cases I used the same beans (medium roast), 19g, ground by Eureka Atom 75 with the same settings. For Profitec the temperature is set to 248 F (120 C). I used a distribution tool and the double spout portafilter. The brew time (25s) and the yield (1:1.5) were comparable (though not identical) for both machines.

I need to mention that for Jura I need to cheat a bit: I'm bypassing the grinder putting into the chute 19g of ground coffee as the maximum amount in the fully automated mode for the double is less than that.

I was wondering if someone had a similar experience and if there is a chance I am able to get comparable results.


#2: Post by imp96 »

I think your Jura is aerating the coffee to make a good-looking fake crema. The equivalent would be taking your espresso shot from your Pro 800 and blending it. I would ignore how the coffee looks and focus on taste. The Pro 800 should get you a better tasting espresso than the Jura.

Little crema could also be a sign that your beans are too old, or you are using a very light roast (don't think the latter is the issue).

wallenrod (original poster)

#3: Post by wallenrod (original poster) »

Would aerating coffee result not only in increased the crema volume but also its strength?

Stale beans is not an issue as I roast regularly every week. The roast level is Vienna.


#4: Post by imp96 »

Yes aerating would increase the volume if you are measuring from the top of the crema. You would be better of measuring the weight.
Not sure what exactly you mean by strength, but the answer should be no. Aerating is really only changing the look and maybe the mouthfeel.

Regardless, you shouldn't be comparing the two because bean to cup machines fundamentally cannot make true espresso. I would expect any good result from the Jura to be a much weaker espresso that you can achieve from Pro 800. If you are just starting out you need to realize that espresso is a finicky thing, and it can take a while to get good results consistently. You should check the tips section to see what problems people have and how they are solved. I would also switch from double spout to a bottomless portafilter. The former is reducing the amount of crema and is preventing you from diagnosing your shots.

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#5: Post by Jeff »

I would focus on making good espresso with your beans and the Pro 800. I don't know how temperature management works with it, so I can't tell you if your settings seem too hot or too cool. Weight:weight for ratio is definitely the way to measure.

As mentioned my imp96, most bean-to-cup machines use a pressurized portafilter. This does a couple things, making fake crema and minimizing the dependence on grind level and quality. With your Atom grinder, you should be able to get very good grind quality, so that should not be an issue.

I'm confused on the roast level. At one point you describe it as "medium", yet another is "Vienna", which I consider a dark roast. While learning how to control more of the espresso-making process with your new gear, you might want to consider a commercial espresso blend for a couple of weeks.

Crema is not a sign of good espresso. It's actually a great bit of mid-20th century marketing that Caffé Crema was supposed to have that brown stuff on top. James Hoffmann takes a reasonably balanced view in his discussion of crema

wallenrod (original poster)

#6: Post by wallenrod (original poster) »

Thanks imp96.

To clarify the crema strength is really its density. It could be tested using so called sugar test. You drop a small amount of sugar on top and see how long it takes to sink. For me it was 1-2s for Profitec and 5-7s for Jura.

I used to own manual machines but it was long in the past. Hoping to perfect my espresso with Profitec soon.

wallenrod (original poster)

#7: Post by wallenrod (original poster) »

For me Vienna is still medium, definitely lighter than French or Italian. It's all continuum, though (I stop roasting a few seconds after the second crack).

I don't think I'm obsessed with crema. It just adds to the overall experience. For me, at least, like head on top of my beer.

Thanks for the tip and reference to James Hoffmann's video. Interesting and funny guy. I watched them all.

Team HB

#8: Post by baldheadracing »

FWIW, 25 seconds seems pretty short for a ristretto on a modern lever group machine like the Pro800. I'd be looking at:
- 10-30 seconds with the lever down until first drops from spouts (less time if bottomless pf);
- then lift the lever;
- another 30-40 seconds until the desired 1:1.5 yield (29g out on a 19g dose) extracts; and
- then pull the cup and let the spring run its course.
So ... maybe a finer grind? Or did I misunderstand what you meant by a 25 second extraction?
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada


#9: Post by maxbmello »

Another thing to consider is how long you are letting the new machine preheat. That group has a lot of thermal mass, and I usually have mine turn on at least an hour before I want to use it.

Hang in there - the first week or two with my p800 didn't have the results I was used to with my BDB, but adjusting dose size and grind for me to a place where I'd never consider a non-lever moving forward.

You have a great setup, you WILL make better coffee once you are familiar with everything.

Team HB

#10: Post by JRising »

Really quick answer, without explaining the check valves before and after the F9's brew unit... You're grinding way too coarse for your Profitec.

You need to dial in the grind to produce a proper pressure drop through the brew chamber in the portafilter basket.
In the F9, that is achieved by the un-balanced pressure drops of the check valves before and after brewing that produce that "Crema Look", but in a traditional portafilter, the coffee itself is the only significant pressure drop, you need it to resist flow to the point where that energy extracts the flavours and turns the oils into that crema.

Note: Don't feed the F9 the coffee you have ground fine enough for the traditional machine with the nice, full sized basket. It would only clog the sieve...
Don't feed the Profitec the coffee ground for the F9, it's not fine enough to produce decent espresso in a wide portafilter basket.