Best Gaggia Espresso Machines Reviews In 2021 – Which Gaggia To Get?

As we return to work in the wake of a pandemic, it’s understandable that we try to minimize our contact not only with people but communal spaces. So if you want to have your own espresso machine and make specialty coffee drinks at home, Gaggia should be on your radar.

However, with more than 20 super-automatic and 12 manual coffee machines in their product catalog, choosing the best Gaggia coffee maker is not easy. With that in mind, we compiled some of our favorites and reviewed the Gaggia espresso machines lineup in this guide.

About Gaggia Espresso

Espresso aficionados will appreciate Gaggia’s origins. The story began in Milan in the 1930s when its founder Achille Gaggia set out in search of the perfect cup of espresso. Unable to find a satisfactory cup, he resolved to rectify the problem himself. 

His revolutionary patents replaced steam with hot water pressure and created ‘Crema naturale,’ and later added a lever piston mechanism to get a delicious creamy espresso within 30 seconds. This completely changed the espresso game and is also how the modern espresso began.

Today Gaggia is still manufacturing espresso machines, and customers still look to them for that elusive thing – the perfect espresso. 

Most Gaggia machines are designed and made in Italy. They produce a high-quality espresso that tastes professional, even when you brew it in your kitchen. But different models cater to different needs.

The Different Gaggia Product Lines 

The fact is that the perfect cup of espresso drink means something different to everybody. That’s why Gaggia has various product lines available to its customers. These include:

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’s Automatic Espresso Machines 

All Gaggia’s super-automatic machines have an integrated ceramic burr grinder. That means you just need to push a button, they grind coffee beans, brew coffee for you.

Designed to respond to a single touch, Gaggia has several automatic espresso machines for you to choose from. These include:

  • Magenta
  • Cardona
  • Amina
  • Velasca
  • Brera

The Magenta and Cardona espresso machine models are newer. They can do more than espresso and offer dozens of drinks options.  

The Anima and Velasca models are similarly multi-purpose machines. However, they’re older and don’t have the same flexibility as the Magenta or Cardona machines. But if you want a quality machine that produces espresso or cappuccino, then you’re in luck. 

Brera is Gaggia’s entry-level espresso machine. It’s more affordable than some of the more elaborate automatic machines they carry, and that makes it the perfect option for customers new to Gaggia. You can give Brera the proverbial college try, and if you enjoy it, consider upgrading to an automatic espresso machine that does a bit more than what it says on the tin. 

But it’s also worth noting that all Gaggia’s espresso machines come in different versions. The high-end ‘Prestige’ models come with a carafe for automatic milk frothing and more beverage options than less expensive automatic models. While other versions may have different names such as ‘Milk’, ‘Plus’, ‘Deluxe’, and they are equipped with a steam wand or automatic milk frother.

Gaggia’s Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines 

Gaggia also has several semi-automatic espresso machines. These require more involvement, but the barista has full control over the coffee brewing. It takes some practice, and if everything’s done right, you’ll have cafe-quality coffee. The semi-automatic models include:

  • Gaggia Classic Pro
  • Viva 
  • Carezza 

Of these, the Gaggia Classic Pro espresso maker is the most popular. It has basket options so that you can brew your espresso using a pressurized or non-pressurized basket. And, like other semi-automatic models, it’s also possible to use this machine for lattes. 

The Carezza and Viva are the more affordable models with a pressurized basket and Panarello wand instead of a commercial-style steam wand.

All three semi-automatic espresso machines make ideal entry-level coffee makers for espresso lovers searching for quality, affordable machines. However, they don’t come with a built-in ceramic burr grinder like the others. You’ll need to buy a decent espresso grinder for making perfect espresso drinks.

6 Best Gaggia Espresso Machine Reviews

1. Gaggia Cardona Prestige – Best Overall

gaggia-cadorna-prestige
  • Super-automatic espresso machine
  • Programmable brewing options: 14
  • Control: Color TFT Display
  • Brew settings: Coffee strength 5, temperature 3, coffee and milk amount
  • Grinder setting: 10
  • Milk Frothing: Integrated milk carafe, automatic
  • Dimensions: 26 X 38 X 44 CM

The Gaggia Cardona Prestige espresso maker seeks to bring the coffee shop experience to your kitchen. 

It’s a user-friendly coffee machine with an intuitive full-color display. Its combination of 4 user profiles and up to 14 programmable espresso brewing options allows you to find and save your favorite drink. 

The automatic milk frother takes extra care over the milk, ensuring it’s neither scorched nor overly aerated. For added convenience, you can remove the milk carafe and refrigerate it between uses. 

Moreover, you can experiment with different settings to adjust the aroma and flavors until the taste suits you. If you prefer a cup of decaf at night, you can use pre-ground coffee instead of coffee beans. There’s a chute in most Gaggia machines.

Another feature we appreciate is the espresso tray. It’s a minor thing on paper, but in practice, it works with the machine to give you the best cream-to-coffee ratio with no splashes. So, you come away with the perfect espresso and minimal mess, always appreciated first thing in the morning. 

Customers say it’s not only easy to use but straightforward to clean. You can remove the drip tray, brew unit, spent coffee bin and wash them if necessary. 

The different profiles were also a favorite in households with more than one coffee drinker because it made it easy to curate individual drinks. There’s no hassle with adding or removing unnecessary parts. Instead, Gaggia does the work for you, just as a barista would if you were ordering your coffee to go. 

2. Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Most Budget-Friendly

gaggia-brera
  • Super-automatic espresso machine
  • Programmable brewing options: Espresso & Lungo
  • Control: Led Display
  • Brew settings: Coffee strength (3), coffee amount
  • Grinder setting: 5
  • Milk Frothing: Pannarello Wand, manual
  • Dimensions: 25,6 X 31,5 X 44,7 CM

Gaggia’s Brera Super-Automatic machine is a more affordable version of some of its higher-end prestige models. 

Brera makes the ideal introduction to the Gaggia espresso machine, so first-time users can get a taste of Gaggia’s capabilities without experimenting with the more elaborate machines. 

The Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine has stainless steel as its main component, and the result is a stylish, classic look that never goes out of fashion. 

It has a user interface that customers say is easy to navigate. And even as one of Gaggia’s more streamlined models, there’s room for variations. Users can specify how many beans they want to use for espresso, for instance. Also, you can start frothing milk right after pulling a shot, thanks to the rapid steam technology.

The water reservoir and coffee pucks containers are accessible directly from the front of the machine. And for further ease of use, you’re warned when you need to descale the machine, ensuring the coffee it produces is always the high standard people expect from Gaggia.

The compact footprint and affordable price tag make Gaggia Brera one of the best home espresso machines in the past decade.

3. Gaggia Classic Pro – Best Semi-automatic Espresso Machine

gaggia-classic-pro
  • Semi-automatic machine
  • Control: Rocker buttons
  • Built-in Grinder: No
  • Pressure: 15 bar
  • Commercial steam wand and 58mm portafilter
  • Dimensions: 23 X 38 X 24 CM

Gaggia Classic Pro is the best semi-automatic machine for coffee lovers who want to make the perfect espresso drinks at home without breaking the bank. It’s one of our favorite semi-automatic espresso machines.

It provides everything you need to make delicious coffee drinks like those commercial espresso makers in coffee shops. In addition to a commercial-sized 58mm portafilter, the machine comes with a commercial steam wand. With some practice and experience, you can make stunning latte art with it.

Also reimagined is the look of this espresso maker. The new and improved Classic Pro espresso machine includes a three-way solenoid usually found in expensive commercial machines. It also has better stability than the older model, a visible water level, and a sleek, steel body. 

These accessories combine to create a professional standard of home-brewed coffee. This is the best Gaggia machine if you are new to home brewing and want to become a better home barista.

You can find more details about this Gaggia Classic Pro espresso machine review.

4. Gaggia Anima Prestige – Best for Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato

gaggia-anima-prestige
  • Super-automatic espresso machine
  • Programmable brewing options: 6
  • Control: LCD screen
  • Brew settings: Coffee strength (5), temperature (3), coffee and milk amount
  • Grinder setting: 5
  • Milk Frothing: Milk carafe, automatic
  • Dimensions: 22,1 X 34 X 43 CM

Unsurprisingly, the Anima espresso machine prides itself on capturing the heart as well as the flavor of true espresso. It was the first espresso maker Gaggia tried, and its longevity means there have been years to refine its style and technique. 

Although marketing labels it as the machine that cuts to the heart of espresso, the Anima Prestige does more than that. It can make six different kinds of beverages, including cappuccinos and latte macchiatos. 

Better than that, it makes all or any of these with one touch. You can modify each drink according to your taste preference. It offers five levels of coffee strength settings, three levels of coffee temperature, and you can also adjust the coffee or milk length for each drink. They’re not all for the coffee drinker, either. There’s a hot water option that gives tea drinkers the boiling water they need to start steeping their tea.

Moreover, if you’re using the Anima to brew a milky drink, an option to clean the milk circuit after use guarantees excellent hygiene as well as taste. 

The menu is a combination of easily-read LCD options and press buttons. Like most Gaggia automatic coffee machines, Anima also comes with an adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser. The clearance is large enough for most travel mugs.

Overall this is one of the best Gaggia espresso machines that provide a combination of value, performance, convenience, and flexibility.

5. Gaggia Magenta Prestige – Most Compact Coffee Machine

gaggia-MAGENTA-PRESTIGE
  • Super-automatic espresso machine
  • Programmable brewing options: 12
  • Control: Full Color TFT Display
  • Brew settings: Coffee strength 5, temperature 3, coffee and milk amount
  • Grinder setting: 5
  • Milk Frothing: Integrated milk carafe, automatic
  • Dimensions: 22,4 X 35,7 X 43, 5 CM

There’s a lot of reasons to like the Magneta Prestige coffee maker. Its compact design stops it from taking up prohibitive amounts of counter space, making it ideal for apartment-dwellers and small kitchens. 

But don’t let the size deceive you. The other reason we like the Magneta machine is the readability of its display. Compared to other models, this layout is significantly easier to read and navigate. It also comes with an adjustable coffee dispenser for a taller coffee cup.

The Magenta espresso maker has 12 preset drinks for you to choose from, but like many prestige models, the possibility exists to customize your espresso to suit your particular palate. 

If that palate tends towards milkier coffees, the Magenta Prestige includes a milk carafe that produces excellent froth for your drink of choice. Afterward, it automatically cleans the frother, keeping it clean and running smoothly. 

You can also adjust the fineness of your coffee grounds by choosing from five different options. Options vary from fine to coarsely ground and accommodate everyone from the full-bodied coffee drinker to the person with a taste for lighter, milder espressos. 

6. Gaggia Velasca – Best for Espresso Purists

gaggia-velasca
  • Super-automatic espresso machine
  • Programmable brewing options: Espresso & Lungo
  • Control: LCD
  • Brew settings: Coffee strength (5), temperature (3), coffee amount
  • Grinder setting: 10
  • Milk Frothing: Pannarello Wand, manual
  • Dimensions: 25,6 X 34 X 44 CM

If you enjoy an espresso that is an espresso, this is the Gaggia espresso maker for you. Like other models, Velasca has a Prestige option at a higher price and with more features. 

However, there are newer and more improved prestige Gaggia models with those same features at the same price range, and for that reason, we’re focusing on Velasca’s standard model. 

It’s similar to the entry-level Gaggia Brera but with up to ten grind settings and more adjustable brewing options. The Velasca allows you to choose between three different coffee temperatures and five levels of coffee strength. The Pannarello wand can give you excellent milk foam for a cappuccino or latte.

And even though this isn’t a prestige machine, it still has several points in its favor. It has a boiler that heats quickly and produces coffee in minutes but never scalds the water. 

It also gives you direct access to the water tank, so ensuring the machine is full is efficiently done with minimal effort. Moreover, you can remove and wash the various parts in the kitchen sink without difficulty. Rinsing and descaling are automatically handled by the machine, leaving you to worry about how you prefer to brew your espresso.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Gaggia Espresso Machine 

When you’re trying to find the perfect Gaggia coffee machine for your household, there’s more to it than budget and counter space. Of course, these things are important, but it also helps to consider:

Milk Frothing 

This is a must if you or anyone in your house likes their coffee white. While it’s possible to froth your own milk, getting it right can be a challenge. 

Most Prestige Gaggia models on our list come with an inbuilt milk frother, and it not only does the work for you but does it perfectly. No more scorched milk or excess foam. Instead, you can enjoy professionally frothed milk without having to leave your house to get it. If you don’t mind steaming milk manually for more control, you can choose the more affordable models. 

Size 

While size isn’t your only consideration when choosing a coffee and espresso machine, it’s an important one. Also, you should consider the capacity of the water tank and bean hopper.

Counter space makes a difference since not everyone has the room to have their appliances out all the time. As you look into what Gaggia espresso machine suits you best, take a moment to consider how much kitchen space you have available and what you need it for. 

Drinks Options

Finally, not all Gaggia models have the same number of pre-set drinks. Some, like the Gaggia Velasca espresso machine, only cater to a handful of drinks. However, if you’re a purist who only drinks espresso or cappuccino each morning, that may be a non-issue. 

However, other models, like the Cardona Prestige, offer many options, which may work better for a household where several people need to share an espresso machine. 

Conclusion 

While all of Gaggia’s espresso machines are excellent, our favorite is the Cardona Prestige. It offers a wide selection of drink and customization options that ensure you get the perfect cup of espresso or milk-based espresso drinks every time. The price point on the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is below super-automatic machines from other manufacturers with similar capabilities. If you want to bring the cafe home, this is the coffee machine for you.