The iconic Gaggia brand celebrates an 80-year legacy of state-of-the-art coffee machine innovations that have contributed to the Italian passion for La Dolce Vita – The Sweet Life.
In honor of this festive event, we have selected five automated espresso machines from the acclaimed Gaggia lineup that we feel best represent the timeless fashion of the brand.
We’ve tested all five of these stylish stainless-steel bean-to-cup machines for hundreds of mugs-worth of specialty beverages to bring you the skinny on these Italian-crafted models.
Through a thorough in-house evaluation, and considering consumer feedback, we’re here to help you make the big decision: which Gaggia model should I get?
Here are the top 5 Gaggia espresso machines from $500 to $2000 selected for this review:
Comparison Table: Gaggia Brera vs. Anima Prestige vs. Velasca Prestige vs. Accademia vs. Babila
The following compendium of Gaggia super comparison table is to illustrate the features, customization options, and conveniences you’ll receive at each budget level.
- Built-in Ceramic Burr Grinder
- Bypass Doser for Pre-Ground
- Pre-Infusion Brew Method
- Fast Heat-up (10 seconds or less)
- One-Touch Espresso and Coffee Buttons
- Adjustable Coffee Length and Strength Settings
- Integrated Milk Solution for White Coffee Drinks
- Two-cup Beverage Option for Black Coffee Drinks
- Digital Screen Display
- Easy-to-Use Interface
- Heated Top Cup Warmer
- Removable Brew Unit for Easy Cleaning
- Water Filter Compatible
- Memo Function for Remembering your Preferences
Which Gaggia model should you get?
Now that you know what features these machines share, let’s examine what makes each model distinct to help you find your perfect match!
1. Gaggia Brera
As Gaggia’s entry-level option, the Brera offers one of the best values for money on the market for authentic Italian-made espresso machines in the super-automatic category. That’s part of what makes the Gaggia Brera such a great choice for beginners and first-time espresso machine owners.
- FROTHING FOR MILK BEVERAGES: Pannarello wand frothing for cappuccinos & lattes. Wand doubles as a hot water...
- EASY ACCESS: The dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank are all within reach and accessible from the front of the...
- USER-FRIENDLY DISPLAY: Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make for an easy and...
- RAPID STEAM TECHNOLOGY: Quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. Supported coffee types :...
Espresso and espresso lungo are one-touch options on the menu, but you can accomplish americanos, lattes, and cappuccinos as well by making use of the manual pannarello steam wand. Doubling as a hot water spout, you can create delicious tea lattes as well with the pannarello, and it’s easier to use for beginners compared to commercial wands.
This machine opens the gateway for at-home espresso making newbies to begin to experiment with customizing their beverages without being overwhelming.
You can adjust coffee volume among three options as well as three intensity settings, and you can even turn the pre-infusion on and off.
Our favorite things about this machine are its value for money and its easy access front-loading water.
Two weak points of the machine are that its adjustable drink spout only accommodates cup heights from 3.1 inches to 4.5 inches tall and the dreg box holds just 8 brew cycles.
The Brera has one of the smallest footprints on the list, so it’s great for those of you short on counter space. It has a rounded edge look that gives it an elegant retro style, which might be what you’re looking for.
2. Gaggia Anima Prestige
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is the best-in-class model of the Anima line, which has an increased focus on one-touch beverages and an automated milk solution. This makes the Anima Prestige an excellent choice for beginners (and beyond) looking for ultimate convenience.
- ONE TOUCH BREWING AND FROTHING: Bean-to-cup feature with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, macchiatos and...
- PROGRAMMABLE: Programmable brewing options for lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and espresso;Steam Wand:...
- TEMPERATURE CONTROL: 3 different temperature settings. Min/177.5 ?F, Med/182.9 ?F, Max/184.5 ?F
- EASY ACCESS TO WATER RESERVOIR AND BEAN HOPPER: Features a removable 60 oz water reservoir that can be accessed on...
The one-touch menu is expanded to espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, and hot water or frothed milk. The integrated milk carafe holds 17 ounces of milk (enough for 4 to 5 cups) and plugs right into the front of the machine, ready to use for delicious one-touch beverages.
This machine has all the standard customization options. It also has an upgraded number of intensity settings, offering 5 levels of “aroma.”
Another stand out feature of this machine is its automated cleaning cycles, which increase the convenience level of this machine.
Our two favorite points of this machine are its easy milk solution, which incorporates a handy quick clean, and the greater range allowed on the drink spout, which can be raised to accommodate up to 6-inch-tall mugs.
Some drawbacks on this machine include that we wish it had a few more points of customization. For example, we might have expected an expanded offering of grind settings or alternate profiles for the programming of multiple individuals in the household.
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is the narrowest of all the options, so if your counters are landlocked, this might be the best machine for you. The design is slender and square, which looks sophisticated in any kitchen.
3. Gaggia Velasca Prestige
The Gaggia Velasca Prestige is an upgraded version of the entry-level Brera machine, costing about double the price for some added conveniences; most notably of which includes its automatic milk solution and expanded customization.
- One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, baby cappuccinos,...
- Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo, cappuccino, and milk froth, with 3...
- Ceramic burr grinder and brew unit: ceramic burr grinder with 10 fineness settings, 5 brew strength settings, and...
- Front loaded water reservoir: features a 54oz capacity and pulls out from the front of the machine, ideal for low...
The short, removable carafe has a stainless-steel handle and black plastic lid. The milk frother produces nice, hot milk foam that is smooth in texture. The carafe is dishwasher safe and can be stored in the fridge when you’re not using it.
Espresso, long coffee, cappuccino, and baby cappuccino are one-touch options on the menu that can be customized in all the standard ways plus temperature and a new “maximum” pre-infusion button on top of the on and off options.
You get 10 grind settings with this machine for deeper customization of your coffee’s flavor.
We love the front access water reservoir and dreg box, which have slightly larger capacities than the Brera by a couple of brew cycles. We enjoy its short height too, but we wish that you could fit slightly taller glasses underneath the spout. With a maximum cup height of 4.5 inches, you certainly won’t be able to fit travel mugs.
The design of the Gaggia Velasca is a slightly plumper look that is smaller in size and weight than the Brera, making it the smallest overall machine on this list.
4. Gaggia Accademia
The Gaggia Accademia is one of our all-time favorite super-automatic espresso machines. It has a multitude of features that you won’t find on any other machine. At the higher end of Gaggia’s pricing, it might not be for coffee newbies who aren’t sure if they’re going to use it. We recommend this for coffee lovers who feel they deserve an elite automated experience and are ready to invest in that.
- Adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser with a maximum height of a little over 6-1/2-inch to accommodate a wide...
- Milk carafe capacity 0,6 L.Ceramic burr grinder with integrated bean hopper and double lid aroma saver
- Integrated coffee grounds container, removable from the front
- Programmable coffee quantity - from 7 to 10-cup
An astounding seven one-touch buttons are beautifully featured on the sides of the stylish display screen: espresso, coffee, long coffee, cappuccino, latte macchiato, steamed milk, and hot water. The Accademia has two amazing milk solutions: a commercial grade steam wand and an integrated automatic milk carafe.
The Accademia includes our most favorite automated milk system on the market. It’s extremely easy to use and has a top-of-the-line dual self-cleaning feature using steam and the handle port for a mess-free experience.
The milk carafe itself is sleek and attractive with a chrome handle compared to other machines which are mostly black plastic. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice pouring latte art when you have time to with the addition of the commercial steam wand.
When it comes to customization and convenience, the Gaggia Accademia can’t be beat.
This is the only model in the Gaggia lineup to include a clock with the unique ability to set your auto-startup time by day of the week. The machine automatically cleans itself and offers an eco-friendly mode. It even has 8 grind settings offering more versatility in your beverages.
With the vast variety of programming options, you’ll get all the standard customizations like three intensity levels and adjustable milk and coffee length plus new features like three milk and coffee temperatures, three levels of pre-infusion, and three levels of foam density.
The real game changer of this machine though is the flow control function allowing you to decrease the flow for true to form American Coffee or increase the flow for thick luxurious crema on espresso.
Our favorite points of this machine include its milk carafe and the customization features, particularly the automated startup by day of the week, and the unique pushback style adjustable spout that allows for an astounding 6.5 inches of clearance. The weakest point of the machine is probably it’s size and weight, being the heaviest in the lineup, but that means it doesn’t have to be emptied as often with a 15-puck capacity dreg box.
5. Gaggia Babila
The Babila model is an upgraded, modern take on the classic Accademia, coming in at approximately $400 more with added size options, 15 grind settings, and the addition of the flat white, ristretto, and espresso macchiato to the drink menu. It offers the same features we love like the addition of a manual steam wand for latte art and the incredible and innovative flow dial that the Accademia also sported.
- One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature. Milk carafe includes automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos,...
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 1 bottle of Gaggia Descaler, 1 AquaClean Water Filter, 1 Water Hardness Test Strip, 1 Tube of...
- PROGRAMMABLE: 8 Programmable brewing options for espressos, espresso lungos, coffee, ristrettos, lattes,...
- Easy access to water reservoir: features a top Loading removable 50.7oz water reservoir; Brew Boiler Wattage: 1400
The Babila’s extended drink menu is great for convenient selection of a multitude of beverages, but it’s important to remember the Accademia also has the potential to make these same drinks, just not one-touch or with a pre-programmed recipe. The Babila has a similar, yet slightly different intensity feature than the other machines, that it calls programming for taste, which lets you select delicate, balanced, or full bodied.
The Babila borrows the same pushback adjustable spout design, accommodating travel mugs of up to 6.5 inches in height, and the milk carafe system from the Accademia, which we love. However, it did not retain the ability to change foam density, which is a feature we miss compared to the classic Accademia.
Our favorite part of this Babila is that it has 5 coffee strengths compared to the Accademia’s three. We also love that it has a sleeker, slimmer design compared to the Accademia, weighing 11 pounds less. It’s also about an inch shorter and two inches less wide.
We think the design would fit will in any kitchen, with unique circular buttons that give it a futuristic style.
As far as drawbacks on the Babila, it’s pricey at just under $2000. And, we wish that it had user profiles allowing you to adjust the drink preferences for multiple people or something more standout for all the extra cash you’ll spend on it compared to the Accademia.
With any of these Gaggia machines, you won’t go wrong. It’s all about what kind of drinks you like to make and what lifestyle conveniences you’re looking for within your budget to decide on your perfect match. We can’t wait to hear what Gaggia model your favorite is!
Happy 80th Anniversary to the iconic Gaggia Milano.