Looking for the best Gaggia espresso machine? Check out our top picks and a buying guide so you can choose the best machine for you.
Buying a new espresso machine?
You can’t go wrong with Gaggia.
With over 100 years of experience, the brand became a leader in making high-quality espresso machines.
But with so many models available, it’s hard to pick one.
Well, I researched all of them and tried most models.
And while it was a hard task, I’ve managed to choose the best Gaggia espresso machine and its close follow-ups.
So let’s jump straight to the point.
Top 11 Gaggia Espresso Machines
- Gaggia Anima Prestige (Best Overall)
- Gaggia Brera (Best Entry-Level Super-Automatic Machine)
- Gaggia Classic Pro (Best Semi-Automatic Machine)
- Gaggia Carezza De LUXE (Best Design)
- Gaggia Academia (Best for Office Spaces)
- Gaggia Velasca Prestige (Easiest to Use)
- Gaggia Magenta Prestige (Best for Customization)
- Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus (Best for Large Households)
- Gaggia Babila (Premium Pick)
- Gaggia Evolution (Budget Pick)
Gaggia Anima Prestige
Picking the best Gaggia machine is no easy task, given their number and amazing features they have. But Anima Prestige has a slight edge over other models from this brand.
Why is that, you may ask?
For a more than fair price, you get a coffee machine that offers features you typically see on the way more expensive models.
Anima Prestige has a huge water reservoir. With 60 ounces, you can make espresso-based drinks for days before it needs to be refilled. And since it’s top loading, you don’t have to move the machine around every time you need to add more water.
The control panel is intuitive and easy to use. There are four pre-made options available, but you can further adjust any of them. From coffee strength to brewing temperature, this coffee machine offers quite a bit of versatility.
Like any Gaggia coffee machine, this model features a ceramic burr grinder. There are only five grind settings available, which is slightly less than what most other models offer.
The difference between the grind sizes is tiny, and which one is best for your beans is something you’ll discover on the go.
- With 60 ounces of water tank capacity, you can make up to 5 dozen espresso without refilling
- Goes into standby mode after an hour of being idle, thus saving you energy
- It features a bypass doser, so you can use pre-ground coffee every now and then
- The milk carafe can be removed and stored in the fridge, so you don’t have to pour milk every time
- Only five grind sizes are available, which is less than most models
Super-automatic espresso machines are generally known for their pretty high price tags. But Gaggia Brera is definitely an exception. In fact, this is one of the more affordable Gaggia models, yet its features are at par with more high-end models.
Brera is a pretty compact model. With less than 12 inches of height, it can easily fit under low kitchen cabinets.
And given the size, I was actually quite surprised that this tiny espresso machine comes with a built-in grinder. Not only that, but it also has a bypass doser for when you want to drink decaf or any other pre-ground coffee.
This coffee machine offers three brewing options: espresso, espresso lungo, and hot water for making Americano.
But of course, you can also enjoy milk-based drinks, thanks to the Panarello-style steam wand. Unlike most super-automatic espresso machines, you have to froth your milk manually. But that’s pretty easy with Panarello, even if you’re a complete beginner.
The only thing I don’t like about this espresso maker is that there’s no descaling cycle. Not that doing it manually is that big of a hassle, but it’s something I’d expect from a super-automatic espresso machine.
- With a grinder and a bypass hopper, you can use either whole coffee beans or pre-ground coffee
- Very affordable for a super-automatic machine, meaning it’s suitable for beginners
- It has space for eight used pucks of coffee grounds, so you don’t have to empty it each time
- Very compact, so it’s suitable for small spaces
- No descaling program, so you have to do it manually
Gaggia Classic Pro
Gaggia Classic Pro is one of the best semi-automatic espresso machines out there. It’s very simple yet offers everything you need to make an excellent cup of coffee.
The first thing you notice is a classic control panel with traditional switch buttons. The first one is for turning the machine on and off, the second is for brewing, and the third is for steaming. And that’s it!
Given it’s a semi-automatic machine, it requires a bit of input from your side. By that, I mean you have to pull your own shot and steam milk. That requires a bit of a learning curve, but nothing you can’t master in a short amount of time.
One thing I’m really impressed with is the quietness of this coffee machine. So even if your family members are sleeping in the next room, you won’t wake them up when brewing coffee in the morning.
I’m also fascinated by the commercial-grade steam wand Gaggia Classic Pro comes with. With a little bit of skill, you can make amazing microfoam and make some cool latte art.
The only thing that’s not so great is startup time. This model takes about five minutes to heat up. That’s not too bad – it’s just not as fast as other Gaggia models. But once heated, this machine can make a really fast shot of espresso.
- Comes with both pressurized and standard filter basket, so you can use either depending on your preference
- A dry-puck feature clumps up the grounds, allowing you to easily dispose of them
- A 3-button interface makes operation a piece of cake
- Features a stainless steel body, so it’s built to last
- Heats up in five minutes, which is longer than most models on this list
Gaggia Cardona Prestige
Tired of drinking the same type of coffee every single day? That’s hardly an issue when your machine offers more than a dozen pre-programmed drinks, like Cardona Prestige.
To be precise, this model offers 14 of them, including latte macchiato, café cortado, and flat white.
And as if that’s not enough, you can further adjust your coffee. These parameters include water temperature, brew strength, and volume. Once you’re satisfied with your choice, you can save the settings for future use.
This model comes with an auto-frothing milk carafe, which froths the milk twice to ensure ideal temperature and texture. What you get is a perfect, bubble-free foam. Once you’re done brewing, you can detach and store it in the fridge until the next use.
I really like the tall spout on this machine, as it allows you to brew directly into a tall mug. When you’re making an espresso shot, you can use a slide-out tray to prevent splashing.
But a tall spout comes at a price. By that, I mean the machine itself is rather tall, so it might not fit under low kitchen cabinets.
- There are 14 options to choose from, so you can enjoy a different drink every day
- The auto-frothing milk carafe froths twice, thus achieving a nice bubble-free foam
- Features a tall spout, so you can pour coffee directly into a tall cup
- You can save several drink preferences for one-button use in the future
- Rather tall, so it might not be suitable for low cabinets
- Very expensive, so it might not be for beginners
Gaggia Carezza De LUXE
There are many great things to say about this model. But the first thing anyone notices is definitely the retro design. It’s simple yet rather eye-catching, and it will definitely stand out in any kitchen.
This machine is also one of the most affordable Gaggia models, so it’s great for beginner baristas on a budget. For a rather fair price, you get everything you need in such a machine.
This espresso maker has a pre-infusion system. Basically, this system wets the grounds before pushing water with pressure, which allows an even extraction. That’s a feature you don’t often see in affordable espresso machines.
What makes this model great for beginners is a pressurized filter basket. This type of basket ensures you get properly extracted espresso each time, even if you don’t get the grind size just right.
This machine also allows you to use ESE pods instead of ground coffee for those days when you simply can’t bother with grinding.
Now, these features are amazing for beginner baristas. But if you’re experienced in making good espresso, then you won’t be much impressed by them. In fact, you might find them too lacking in your skill.
- Comes with a pre-brewing system, which ensures optimal extraction
- The water level meter allows you to keep track of when the tank needs refilling
- Features a steel cup warmer on top, so you don’t have to warm them manually
- Automatically shuts down after nine minutes, thus saving you energy
- Designed for beginners, so it’s too basic for experienced baristas
Academia is more of a commercial-grade machine, so it’s a great choice for your office. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make good use of it at home as well.
But what makes it great for the office is a large, 60-ounce water tank. It allows you to make about five dozen espresso shots before it needs refilling.
And thanks to the dual boiler system, you can brew and steam at the same time.
What makes Academia stand out is the ability to regulate the flow speed. Just turn the knob to lower the flow rate, and you’ll get a full-bodied espresso with a thick layer of crema. Or, you can increase the speed for a lighter cup.
As for the milk frothing, you have two options! On the right, there’s an auto-frothing milk carafe, which works with a single button press. But if you prefer making milk froth manually, there’s also a steam wand on the left.
Any bad sides? To be honest, I think the price is the only disadvantage of this machine. Not everyone is willing to spend half a paycheck on an espresso machine.
- Both manual and automatic frothing options are available, depending on how involved you want to be
- The bypass dozer allows you to switch between beans and pre-ground coffee
- The flow knob allows you to adjust the level of extraction depending on your preference
- A dual boiler allows you to brew and steam simultaneously, so you don’t have to wait in between
- Very expensive compared to most picks on this list
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
What I hate the most are kitchen appliances that require you to learn a manual by heart to use it. But this Gaggia model is quite the opposite. The user interface is simple and intuitive, with large buttons featuring icons. You’re just a few clicks away from a delicious coffee.
This model comes with an ample 10.5-ounce coffee bean hopper, as well as a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee. The grinder is ceramic and offers 10 settings, which is more than enough for making a great espresso.
This machine offers three drink options on a single button, but you can definitely make more by changing the parameters. From brew strength to temperature and volume, you can make pretty much any espresso drink you want.
Of course, that wouldn’t be possible without a milk frother. This model features an auto-frothing milk carafe, which is removable, and you can store it in the fridge when not in use.
I hate when coffee splashes, but that’s easily avoidable, thanks to the movable dispensing spout. You can move it all the way down when pouring coffee in a demitasse.
But for some reason, it doesn’t go any higher than 4.5 inches, so your travel mug might not fit underneath.
- Heats up in a minute, so you don’t have to wait long before brewing
- Rather affordable for a super-automatic espresso machine
- The Optiaroma feature allows you to adjust the intensity and flavor of your drink depending on your preference
- A movable dispensing spout prevents spillage
- The spout is somewhat low, so it’s not suitable for travel mugs
Gaggia Magenta Prestige
This model is perfect for those who prefer modern-looking kitchen appliances. One thing that caught my eye right away was the slightly upward-angled display. Given that it will probably sit on your counter and the height of your shoulders, the angled display is a nice touch.
The display also allows you to easily navigate through the control panel and choose your drink. You have a bunch of pre-programmed beverages, including cafe cortado, latte macchiato, and Americano.
Of course, you can further customize your drink. From temperature and strength to volume and aroma intensity, you can tweak it to suit your preference. Then, you can save the settings for future use.
For making milk-based drinks, the machine uses a front-loading auto-frothing carafe. It’s removable, so you can store the whole thing in the fridge when you’re not using it.
The cup riser is a nice touch. You can use it to place a demitasse closer to the spout and avoid splashing.
The grinder on this machine is the same as with other Gaggia machines – a ceramic burr grinder. The quality is great, although it only offers five grind settings. That’s not bad, but I expect a bit more from a super-automatic espresso machine.
- It offers several customization options, so you can fine-tune your drink how you like it
- Only nine inches wide, so it’s suitable for small kitchen spaces
- The control panel is easy to navigate, so you don’t need to study the manual beforehand
- The cup riser allows you to pour coffee into a small cup without splashing
- Only five grind settings, which is less than most Gaggia machines
Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus
If you prefer the convenience of a super-automatic espresso machine but prefer making your own froth, then this model is for you.
Cadorna Barista Plus comes with a commercial-grade steam wand. That means there’s a slight learning curve to making a nice foam layer. But once you master the skill, you can make your froth just how you like it.
As for the drinks, there are six pre-programmed options available. But, of course, you can adjust each drink’s strength, volume, and temperature.
Once you find what you like, you can save it for future use on four user profiles.
This model has a rather quick-heating boiler. Within a blink of an eye, the machine is ready to brew. While you can’t brew and steam simultaneously, there’s practically no wait time between the two options.
See that red part? That’s a slide-out tray for pouring coffee directly into a small cup. When you’re using a tall travel mug, simply slide back the tray and place the mug onto the drip tray.
The only bad thing about this machine? It’s freaking loud. Don’t use it when everyone’s sleeping.
- Large, full-color TFT screen display makes using the machine rather simple
- With six pre-programmed options, you can brew coffee with a single button press
- Quick-heating boiler allows you to brew cup after cup without waiting
- A slide-out tray allows you to pour coffee into a cup without splashing it around
- It is rather loud compared to other models on this list
Let me tell you right away – this machine is a beast. It does everything you need it to do and more. It does cost an arm and a leg, but if you’re willing to splurge, it’s money well spent.
Starting with the grinder, you have as many as 15 grind settings. That’s more than enough, even if you’re constantly trying out new beans and roasts. Of course, there’s also a bypass doser for when you need to make decaf every now and then.
There are eight pre-programmed drink options available, including latte macchiato and flat white. But Babila goes above and beyond to offer full customization. From temperature and volume to flow rate, you can really fine-tune coffee to your liking.
When it comes to milk frothing, you have two options available. If you’re feeling lazy, there’s an auto-frothing carafe that does all the work for you. If you want a bit more involvement, you can use the Panarello-style wand.
The wand also doubles as a hot water spout, so you can use it to make Americano.
Babila features a dual boiler system, so you can brew and steam at the same time. You can really make cup after cup without a second of wait time in between.
- With eight pre-programmed drinks, you can make coffee with a single button press
- A 50-ounce water tank allows you to brew four dozen espresso shots without refilling
- A dual boiler system allows you to brew and steam simultaneously, so you don’t have to wait in between
- There are 15 grind settings available, so you can use different grind sizes for your coffee
- Very expensive, so it’s not for those on a budget
Buying Gaggia doesn’t necessarily mean splurging. This model is one of the most affordable ones in the brand’s range, but it’s definitely not a bad pick. The housing is plastic, but that doesn’t mean it won’t last you a long time if you take proper care of it.
For a more than decent price tag, you get everything you need in an espresso machine.
The dual-heating element boiler provides almost instant heat-up time. That means you can enjoy your coffee as soon as you wake up.
The water tank is pretty decent. With a capacity of 44 ounces, you can make a bunch of shots before it needs refilling.
What’s also great about it is that you don’t even need to remove it to refill it. Simply slide it to the left and add water – that’s it.
Like most espresso machines at this price range, Evolution allows you to switch between ground and ESE pods. That’s great when you’re in a rush and can’t be bothered with tamping and cleaning grounds.
This model features a standard, Panarello-style steam wand. This is great for beginners, as it allows you to make a nice foam without much skill.
- Very compact, meaning it’s suitable for small kitchen spaces
- Rather affordable, so it won’t break your bank
- Features a Panarello-style steam wand, which makes it easy to achieve a nice foam
- With just a few buttons, the control panel is intuitive and simple to use
- Limited options compared to other models
Buying Guide to Gaggia Espresso Machines
Just because you’re set on a brand, that doesn’t mean your job is any easier. With so many models available, picking one is hard, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
In this section, we’ll discuss the most important features you need to consider when making your choice.
Manual vs Automatic
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a manual or an automatic espresso machine.
If you were to ask a pro barista, they would probably tell you that a semi-automatic espresso machine is the way to go.
But it’s not that this type of espresso machine is better. Simply, it requires more input from your side, meaning you have more control over your brew.
Of course, not everyone wants that kind of involvement.
For those who want a cup of coffee without much effort, super-automatic is the way to go. This type of machine does everything, from grinding to frothing.
Just keep in mind that this type of machine comes with a much higher price tag.
Do I need a grinder?
Not every Gaggia features a grinder. Most super-automatic do, but that’s rarely the case with a semi-automatic grinder.
Gaggia uses ceramic burr grinders, which are high-quality, quiet, and have minimal heat transfer. And because of that, machines that come with this kind of grinder cost a lot more compared to those without.
If you already own a grinder at home, there’s really no need to buy a machine with a built-in one. But if you don’t, you won’t go wrong, as Gaggia grinders are top-notch.
Types of frothers
Most semi-automatic models feature a Panarello-style steam wand. This type of wand is designed to make a nice foam without much effort. This is thanks to small holes which insert air into the foam while foaming.
Panarello-style wands are great for beginners, but they’re still not better than standard steam wands in terms of foam quality.
Most super-automatic Gaggia models have auto-frothing carafes. You simply fill them with milk, and the machine takes just the right amount and turns it into a froth in your cup.
You can remove the carafe and store it in the fridge after use, so there’s no need to constantly transfer the milk to and from it.
To be honest, I really like the carafe system. It makes a nice foam, and it’s quite simple to use. But is it better than a wand? It’s hard to tell.
To Sum Things Up
Gaggia has a large range of excellent espresso makers.
But Anima Prestige definitely stands out from the crowd.
For a rather affordable price, you get a machine that’s at par with most high-end espresso makers.
It’s easy to use yet offers quite a bit of customizability. So no matter how you like your espresso, you can achieve it to be up to your liking.
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