Gaggia Cadorna Prestige – An In-depth Review In 2021

With an increasing number of people working from home, trips to coffee shops for specialty drinks are becoming more sporadic for some coffee enthusiasts. So, if you want a coffee using fresh grounds, a cappuccino, latte, or any number of delicious coffees, your best bet may be to make them at home. To that end, automatic coffee machines are a great option.

We’ve tested and reviewed many fully automatic coffee machines to date (Check our best picks), so we know which ones stand out. However, this review concentrates on the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige, an impressive machine with some of the best features, convenience, value for money, and performance. Frankly, it’s the best value machine in its class. So, let’s go into greater detail.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review

Last update on 2021-11-30 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

Design And Build Quality

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is Italian-made, built with better-than-average materials for the price range.

The machine’s interface looks satisfyingly high-end, despite the housing being plastic. However, the machine has a premium metallic appearance and looks beautiful on a countertop.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Design

At the top of the Gaggia Cadorna espresso machine is a 10oz bean hopper. Inside is a ceramic flat burr grinder. It has 10 grind settings for micro adjustment. So, it’s perfect for using fresh whole beans for coffee shop-quality drinks. However, you can also use ground coffee in the additional chutes. This is great if you want to try different coffees or brew decaffeinated coffee occasionally.

At the front of the hopper is a stainless steel cup warmer that can warm two cups simultaneously.

Meanwhile, there is a TFT one-touch color display at the front of the machine that looks both convenient and elegant. The LCD is on a slight upward angle, too, making it easier to read. This is convenient when choosing your drink or making adjustments to the coffee amount, milk, brew strength, or even if you want to brew two coffees simultaneously.

Underneath the display is an adjustable coffee spout. The machine is compatible with many cup sizes, and a slide-out tray caters to smaller espresso cups. The tray also has an eye-catching hint of red, which we love. The adjustable spout offers six inches of clearance, which means your travel mug or large coffee to go will fit too.

On the right-hand side is a water reservoir with a capacity of 50.7 fl.oz. Meanwhile, it has a front-loading design, making filling it with water extremely convenient. To the left-hand side is a removable cup tray that holds 10 used coffee pucks. It’s also easy to empty and clean the puck tray.

Also on the machine’s left is an external hot water tap that you can unplug then plug into your milk jug for brewing milk-based espresso drinks.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige structure

The machine’s base has a drip tray with an 18oz capacity and a sturdy, stainless steel surface.

Overall, this is a well-made machine that looks beautiful. It is durable and should last for years. There’s also a two-year warranty for additional peace of mind.

Drink Options

14 delicious coffee drinks are available at the touch of a button. Like other fully automatic espresso machines, you can choose black coffee like espresso, espresso lungo, ristretto, and americano. However, if you prefer milk-based drinks, there are options for cappuccino, cappuccino XL, café cortado, café au lait, flat white, latte macchiato, latte macchiato XL, hot cocoa, frothed milk, and hot water.

Each coffee is freshly brewed using fresh ground coffee, meaning at the touch of a button, you can enjoy coffee-shop quality beverages.

Brew Performance

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige has a quick heat thermometer boiler that has excellent heat conductivity, thanks to its stainless steel-lined aluminum build. It also pre-heats extremely rapidly – from turning on to ready to brew in less than a minute. So, you can have a coffee within 60 seconds.

As we have explained before, grind size is vital for the perfect espresso shot. Unfortunately, many coffee grinders can’t grind finely enough for espresso or don’t have the adjustment room necessary for dialing in. With a premium espresso grinder, you can solve this issue, but there will be lots of wasted coffee as dialing in takes some perfecting.

Thankfully, the Gaggia Cadorna prestige super-automatic espresso machine removes those issues with its built-in ceramic grinder. There are 10 settings for customizing the coffee strength, with the finer producing stronger coffee and coarser for lighter flavors. However, whichever one you choose, it is perfect for espresso. Meanwhile, the ceramic burr is built to last and prevents overheating and burning the beans.

The pre-brewing feature pre-infuses your grounds with a little water before it brews. This is a feature normally reserved for premium espresso machines, so it’s a significant advantage of the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige.

The machine’s integrated milk carafe froths the milk twice to remove the bubbles and leave a gorgeous foam at the perfect temperature. Not only that, but it does this with the push of a button.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige integrated milk carafe

Finally, if you enjoy hot coffee, this machine won’t disappoint. It produces coffee around 180F (82C), while milk froth leaves the spout at around 155F (68C). These are the optimum temperatures for a professional barista-level coffee.

Drink Quality

As we have mentioned, the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige offers the perfect grind size, brew temperature and ratio, and pre-infusion. Put together that means it’ll brew authentic coffee-shop quality espresso shots.

However, what about milk-based espresso drinks? Do they compare with the specialty drinks you’d expect from your local coffee shop? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Indeed, milk-based drinks are where this machine excels over its rivals at similar prices. That’s because the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige alters the milk and coffee preparation order according to the drink it’s brewing.

For example, if it’s brewing a latte macchiato, it froths the milk first, then pulls the espresso shots for a beautiful-looking three-layer drink.

Alternatively, if you select a cafe au lait, cortado, or flat white, it pulls the espresso shot first, then pours milk and foam over it. This is crucial to creating the perfect mouthfeel, flavor, and visual appeal for each drink.

This ordering system mimics how a barista would manually brew each drink, which is extremely impressive for a machine in this price range. Other similarly priced machines will almost always create the milk foam first, then brew the espresso.

If you opt for two espresso shots for your beverage, it will pull two authentic espresso shots using a separate grind cycle for each shot. That means you’ll get a double espresso shot using between 13g and 23g of coffee, depending on the coffee intensity you require.

Programming

The preset of each drink is a typical cafe recipe, which you don’t need to alter. However, if you’d like to customize them, you alter the amount of coffee or milk, change the coffee temperature (selecting from three options) and coffee strength (between five levels). Once you’re happy with your selections, just press the start button and the coffee machine will take care of the rest. In other words, you control the finished beverage depending on whether you want it hotter, taller, or stronger.

If you want to use pre-ground coffee for a decaffeinated beverage, you can use ground coffee instead of the grinder.

Finally, you can save your preferences to one of the four user profiles by pressing the “heart” button and choosing a color. So, if there are four coffee drinkers in your home, they can each get customized drinks at the touch of a button. It’s so hassle-free that the biggest issue will be deciding who gets which colored heart!

Ease Of Use

We have experimented with many super-automatic espresso machines, many of which have a TFT color display or touchscreen. However, the one on the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is particularly good.

So, what makes it stand out? Well, the display only offers the information relevant to your needs. So, every time you select your drink, it presents the current parameters. Meanwhile, altering the setting is easy and intuitive, guiding the user through brewing, personalization, and cleaning options.

When it’s time to add more water or coffee, empty the coffee bin, and perform other tasks, you’ll get an alert on the display. Meanwhile, there is a pop-up indicator to indicate when you need to empty the drip tray.

To brew coffee, pour your whole beans on the top and pour in the water at the front. Then, choose your beverage on the display and press the “start” button. The machine will do the rest. Milk drinks are just as straightforward. Attach the integrated milk carafe, choose your drink, and leave the machine to brew it. It’s like having an automatic barista in your home to do all the work for you!

Maintenance And Cleaning

So, what’s the catch? After all, if the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige brews such beautiful coffee without any hassle, surely it’s difficult to clean and maintain, right? Well, no! It’s just as easy to take care of the machine as brew coffee with it.

The color display has a set of icons that appear when certain things need tending to. So, you just need to follow the alert to know when to replace the INTENZA+ filter or descale the machine.

Also, after brewing, the used grounds move into the spent coffee drawer that only needs emptying every 10 brewing cycles.

After choosing specialty coffee drinks, you can either make more or run quick milk clean of the items that collect milk residue. Then you simply store the milk carafe in the fridge until you next need it.

The access door at the side reveals the removable brew group (where brewing takes place). From here, you can remove it around once a week and rinse it with lukewarm water before thoroughly drying it.

Value For Money

The cost of the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is significantly less than other super-automatic machines with similar features and capabilities. However, if it’s still too costly, you can also consider the Gaggia Cadarno Milk and Barista Plus. We will compare the two in the next section.

Many automatic coffee machines at this price range offer fewer programming and drinks options. Therefore, the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige will be the best coffee machine if that’s what you were anticipating.

Bean-to-cup machines are undoubtedly an up-front investment. However, if it replaces the coffee you would otherwise buy in a coffee shop, that outlay soon pays for itself. According to research undertaken by the National Coffee Association in 2020, the average American consumes three cups of coffee a day at $2.70 per cup. This amounts to around $3000 annually.

You can buy 2lbs of coffee for around $20, which will brew around 60 cups of coffee. That means each cup costs less than 40 cents or around $1000 a year in savings.

Meanwhile, the coffee quality is far better than coffee brewed by cheaper models or coffee pod machines. As long as you grind whole coffee beans and use fresh milk, you can have coffee shop-quality beverages at the push of a button at home.

Gaggia Cadorna Milk vs Barista Plus vs Prestige

There are five models in the Gaggia Cadorna line – Prestige, Milk, Plus, Barista, and Style. The Gaggia Cadorna Style and Plus models are older. These have the Pannarello steam wand and offer only six drinks options. We will concentrate mainly on comparing the newer models in this section.

The Prestige, Milk, and Barista Plus have identical sizes, color displays, capacities, and customizations. They also have similar appearances. Another crucial similarity is they all brew great beverages at the touch of a button. So, how are they different?

Gaggia-Cadorna-Models-Comparison

The primary differences concern how they work with milk, leading to different milk and coffee based drinks.

The Barista Plus has a manual foaming steam wand allowing you to make barista-level microfoam on milk-based espresso coffees. However, like a semi-automatic espresso machine, this requires some effort and expertise. Therefore, the machine allows you to make whatever drink you like, but no pre-programmed beverages exist. In contrast, the Cadorna Milk and Prestige take care of the milk frothing automatically.

The Cadorna Milk attaches to the milk carafe via a tube, and froth reaches your cup through a spout. However, there are not as many drinks options. For example, you can’t make cortado, flat white, or the XL versions of cappuccino and latte macchiato.

The Cadorna Prestige has an integrated milk carafe that is more automatic and convenient. For a truly hands-off machine that offers coffee shop-quality beverages, it’s the best option. However, if you want more control over the brewing process and to manually froth milk, the Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus is ideal. If you don’t drink cortado, flat white, or some other milk-based espresso drinks, the Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers exceptional value.

Last update on 2021-11-30 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Alternatives

Jura E8 Automatic Espresso Machine

Jura E8 Automatic Coffee Machine

Jura is a high-end brand that concentrates on fully automatic coffee machines. The build quality is second-to-none, while the coffee quality is outstanding. However, the Jura machines are not cheap.

One of the most similar Jura models to the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is the Jura E8. Like the Prestige, it has an easy-to-use TFT color display, while it has up to 17 drinks options. You can also customize each coffee or milk beverage, and there is an automatic cleaning cycle after each brew. Finally, the machine has a smart filter that means you don’t even need to descale it. This may sound even more feature-heavy than the Prestige, and it is, but as a result, the price tag is also higher.

Last update on 2021-11-30 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

We have previously selected our best 8 Jura espresso machines, and you can find an in-depth Jura E8 review here.

De’Longhi Dinamica With LatteCrema

De'Longhi ECAM35075SI Dinamica with LatteCrema

De’Longhi is another brand with an established and renowned reputation in the espresso machine world. The De’Longhi Dinamica LatteCrema machine has 18 coffee drinks options and isn’t particularly expensive.

However, the eye-catching and easy-to-use color display of the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige and Jura E8 is absent on the De’Longhi Dinamica. In its place is a text-based LCD, which is still easy to navigate but less convenient. There are also fewer options for customizing your drinks.

Another significant disadvantage of the De’Longhi Dinamica over the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is that it froths the milk first for every drink. As we mentioned earlier, the automatic optimization of the brewing order is a major advantage of the Prestige over competitors in a similar price range. If you’re serious about getting professional barista-quality coffee at home, this is an important distinction.

Overall, despite its limitations, the De’Longhi Dinamica is still an attractive alternative to the Gaggia coffee machine for those on a budget, particularly considering its capabilities and impressive range of drinks options.

Last update on 2021-12-01 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

Our Verdict – One Of The Best-Value Automatic Espresso Machines

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is a seriously impressive machine for anyone hoping for high-quality coffee at the touch of a button. With ample drinks options, a sturdy build, and ease of use, it towers above many competitors in a similar price range. Indeed, its optimized brewing order capability is on a par with many other significantly more expensive machines.

Depending on your budget and requirements, other machines both in the Gaggia Cadorna line and competitors are worth considering, too. However, if hands-off, hassle-free, beautiful coffee is what you’re looking for, we doubt you’ll find a better option for the price.