Are you ready to take the plunge into the world of espresso machines? Or you’re looking to upgrade your existing coffee machine? You’re bound to come across Gaggia. After all, this brand of espresso machines comes from the same place espresso does — Italy. But, with 30+ espresso machines, how do you decide which one is best for you?
I’ve narrowed it down to the seven best Gaggia espresso machines. I’ve used some of these myself, checked other users’ Gaggia espresso machine reviews, and compared their features. My top three best Gaggia espresso machine choices are:
- Best Overall: Gaggia Anima Prestige
- Upgrade Pick: Gaggia Babila
- Best Semi-automatic: Gaggia Classic Pro
I’ll talk about these three and my other top choices in depth. I’ll also explain everything there’s to know about Gaggia and I’ll include a buying guide, so you can make an informed choice.
Gaggia’s origins go back to 1930s Milan when Achille Gaggia was on a quest to find the perfect cup of espresso. He invented a patent that replaced steam with hot water pressure. He then came up with a lever piston mechanism that created crema. He started his own espresso machine company, which operates to this day. So, espresso, as we know it today, began with Gaggia.
Nowadays, Gaggia is owned by Philips, but they have their own separate line of espresso machines. The company’s motto is good coffee without compromise. Their machines are manufactured in Italy. Since they were the first ones to patent the system that pushes water at high pressure through the coffee beans, you can count on excellent build quality and a device that will produce flavorful espresso. Each machine comes with a one-year warranty, so you’re covered if something goes wrong.
They also offer a good customer service network. This comes in handy when you need guidance with a new Gaggia machine or need help replacing a certain part.
Our Top 7 Gaggia Espresso Machines
Anima Prestige highlights:
- Built-in burr grinder with 30 settings
- Powerful steam wand
- 3 seconds heat-up time
My first pick is a super-automatic espresso machine, Anima Prestige. This was the first espresso machine Gaggia tried. They’ve refined the machine’s style and techniques over the years, so you get a top-notch device. This is a bean to cup machine, so all you have to do is press a button to get your caffeine fix.
It comes with a top-loading water reservoir of 60 ounces. It’s located next to the 8.8 ounces bean hopper, so it’s easy to reach and fill, especially when you’re half asleep in the morning.
Anima Prestige lets you brew up to six drinks, and you can modify each of these. This espresso machine allows you to choose between five levels of coffee strength settings and three levels of temperature, and adjust the milk length for milk-based drinks. Plus, there’s a hot water option when you’re craving some tea.
One of my favorite Anima Prestige features is the Milk Circuit Quick Clean. The machine comes with an automatic frother, which means you can also get lattes and cappuccinos with a press of a button. Best of all, it will automatically clean the frother, which means better hygiene and less work for you. One thing to note is that the machine gives you only 10 seconds to decide if you want the milk carafe to be cleaned after use. If you don’t press it in this timeframe, there’s no option to choose it later.
There’s also a ceramic burr grinder with five settings, which will provide fine grounds for your espresso.
Who is it for? If you want espresso, cappuccino, or a latte with a press of a button, this is the Gaggia espresso machine for you. It’s 100% automated, which means there’s little input required from you.
Gaggia Babila highlights:
- Automatic and manual milk frothing
- Ceramic burr grinder with 15 settings
- Brews and steams simultaneously thanks to dual boilers
Gaggia Babila espresso machine is Gaggia’s top-of-the-line device. This super-automatic espresso machine has a stainless steel build and has both automated and manual milk frothers. Use automatic frothing when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to froth milk yourself or use manual frothing when you want to improve your milk frothing skills and work on latte art. The manual milk frother doubles as a hot water outlet as well.
Babila can brew up to 11 different drinks, and you can use the 12 buttons around its screen to adjust the settings — choose the coffee grind, water stream, and temperature, and turn the flow rate knob to speed up or slow down the flow rate. Babila allows you to really customize your drink. Plus, the machine can remember your settings for future use.
I love that this Gaggia espresso machine has a dual boiler, so you can brew and steam at the same time. The dual boiler system produces different temperatures — one for steaming and one for pulling the shot.
Babila espresso machine has a 50-ounce water reservoir, which is somewhat smaller than Anima Prestige, but you’ll still be able to brew plenty of espresso drinks. There’s also a 10-ounce bean hopper, and you can also use pre-ground coffee with the bypass doser.
The ceramic burr grinder is top-notch and one of the reasons why Babila comes with a high price tag. It has 15 grind settings, which allows you to better dial in the espresso for the best extraction across different kinds of beans.
Who is it for? Gaggia Babila coffee machine is a good choice if you want to have both automated and manual milk frothers. Plus, it allows impressive customization, particularly for a super-automatic espresso machine. There’s a high price tag, but all the features and one-year warranty make it worth it.
Gaggia Academia highlights:
- Both manual and automatic milk frothing
- Espresso plus function, which adjusts espresso body and crema
- Ceramic burr grinder
Academia is another of Gaggia’s high-end espresso machines that are great for commercial settings and homes. This Gaggia espresso machine can brew up to seven programmable drinks by pressing one of the preset drink options. Similar to Babila, the drinks are customizable. You can adjust the brew length, temperature, or strength either before or during the brewing. It can accommodate different tastes, which makes it a good option for an office where many people use a coffee machine.
Another feature similar to Babila is that it has both an automatic and manual milk frother. The milk carafe is removable, so you can place it in the fridge when you’re done brewing, so the milk doesn’t spoil. There’s also the self-cleaning function which makes life easier for you. However, you’ll still have to wipe down the machine, as it blasts steam everywhere during the cleaning.
There’s an adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser, so you can fit travel mugs. However, the drip tray has a less-than-desired capacity. It has to be emptied after every five coffees, which means you’ll have to do it every day if several people use the espresso machine.
Same as Babila, Academia also has a dual boiler, which means simultaneous brewing and steaming. There’s also the espresso plus feature. Academia has a knob that you turn to regulate the flow speed. You can lower it to get a full-bodied espresso with thick crema or increase the speed for a lighter flavor.
One feature where Babila and Academia differ is in the ceramic burr grinder settings. Academia has 8 compared to Babila’s 15, which is almost half, and it means less chance to get the perfect ground level. On the positive side, the Academia has a slightly larger water tank at 54 ounces and a bean hopper at 12.3 ounces.
Who is it for? Gaggia Academia is a good choice if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line machine that can brew drinks with a touch of a button but still give you plenty of customizable options. This espresso machine is cheaper than the Babila while also having the same high-end features like a dual boiler.
Gaggi Brera highlights:
- Stainless steel Panarello wand
- Rapid steam function
- Compact size
Brera is an entry-level super-automatic espresso machine. It has a ceramic burr grinder and a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee. The grinder has five settings, which is noticeably less than the Gaggia espresso machines I’ve mentioned above, but Brera also has a friendlier price tag.
Brera has a manual milk frother. This means you can’t get milk-based drinks with a touch of a button like an automatic one, but you’ll have to steam the milk yourself. If you’ve never used a steam wand before, expect there to be a learning curve. You’ll be able to get decent foam with Brera’s wand, but not the microfoam needed for creating latte art.
Brera is a very quiet machine, which comes in handy when you get late-night coffee cravings. There are also two coffee spouts, so you can make two espressos at the same time.
One thing to keep in mind is that its rinsing and descaling cycles take a while. Overall, a thorough cleaning process means your espresso machine will last longer, but it can be annoying when you have to wait for it to finish cleaning. However, Brera has a rapid steam function. This espresso machine is ready to steam in 10 seconds, which can save time.
Brera is a compact machine (10 x 15.5 x 11.5 inches), so its drip tray, bean hopper, and water reservoir are on the smaller side — 40 ounces. Keep in mind that it can’t serve many people before having to refill the reservoir and hopper and empty the drip tray.
This espresso machine has an easy-to-use interface and gives plenty of customization. You can specify how many beans you want in your espresso, pick between three coffee strength options, and program the cup size.
Who is it for? The Brera espresso machine is an excellent entry point to super-automatic espresso machines. It’ll give you a taste of how Gaggia espresso machines work while keeping it simple and easy to use. It’s quiet and compact, so it’s a good choice if you don’t have a lot of space.
Gaggia Classic Pro
Gaggia Classic Pro highlights:
- Commercial portafilter and steam wand
- Semi-automatic espresso machine
- Noise-dampening design
Classic Pro is Gaggia’s best semi-automatic machine. It’s 100% Italian made, and it features a brushed stainless steel body, commercial steam wand, and a 58mm portafilter.
The 58mm portafilter on the Classic Pro is larger than most semi-automatic machines and actually similar to commercial espresso machines. The 58mm portafilter allows you to add more coffee grounds and make a larger, flatter puck for a really flavorful espresso shot. It’s a key feature on the Classic Pro.
Classic Pro is easy to use. It has only three buttons with indicators that tell you when the espresso machine is ready for use, so there’s not a steep learning curve. It has the biggest water reservoir on this list, so you can brew quite a few drinks without refilling.
This Gaggia coffee machine has a single-boiler for dual-use heating. It’s not the fastest espresso machine on this list — you’ll have to wait up to five minutes before brewing. Luckily, it’s ready to steam quicker — in 30 seconds.
One of my favorite parts about this Gaggia espresso maker is how quiet it is. It has noise dampening technology, which is especially significant when brewing first thing in the morning.
Classic Pro’s steam wand is top-notch as well. It has a two-hole tip that creates high pressure and can create good microfoam, which means you can work on your latte art.
There are a few things I didn’t like. There’s no adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser as the automatic machines have, and you won’t be able to fit a mug under the spout.
Most importantly, this Gaggia espresso machine doesn’t come with an integrated grinder and only has a plastic tamper. This means you’ll have to invest in a standalone burr grinder to have fresh beans, and I recommend upgrading to a better metal tamper.
Who is it for? If you want to learn how to pull espresso and create latte art, the Classic Pro is the espresso machine for you. It comes at a really affordable price for the internal components. However, you’ll need a grinder and tamper to get the most out of it, but it’s an excellent choice
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Gaggia Velasca Prestige highlights:
- Ceramic burr grinder with 10 settings
- Front-loading water tank and puck box
- Integrated milk carafe
Gaggia Velasca espresso machine is for espresso lovers with several customization options. This espresso maker has six drink options, with four available one-touch. You can choose between three temperature settings and five coffee strengths. Velasca comes with a ceramic grinder that has 10 settings to choose from. There’s a bean hopper with a 10.5-ounce capacity and a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee.
Gaggia Velasca espresso machine also has automatic milk frothing and a “Carafe Quick Clean” option, which means the machine rinses the milk circuit itself.
One of my favorite Velasca Prestige features is its fast heating time. It’s a single boiler machine, so you won’t be able to brew and steam simultaneously. However, the machine heats up quickly, pulls espresso in minutes, and there’s hardly any wait time between brewing and steaming.
Gaggia Velasca espresso machine is front-loading. This makes its use easier, especially when you have to refill the water tank or take out various parts, such as the puck container.
One thing to note is that the Velasca has to be turned on when you empty the used grounds container. Otherwise, the espresso maker won’t register that it’s been cleared, and the indicator light will continue to be on.
Overall, Velasca Prestige is easy to use. It has intuitive controls and a simple one-touch LCD display.
Who is it for? Velasca Prestige espresso maker is for users who want customizable options, simple use, and easy maintenance. If you want espresso with a push of a button and want to be hands-off with your coffee machine, this could be the Gaggia espresso machine for you.
Gaggia Carezza Deluxe
Gaggia Carezza Deluxe highlights:
- Semi-automatic espresso machine
- Pressurized crema perfetta filter holder
- Stainless steel cup warmer
Finishing off the list of best Gaggia espresso machines is Carezza Deluxe. This is another semi-automatic espresso machine, and it’s the most affordable on this list.
Carezza Deluxe pulls consistently good espresso shots thanks to the pre-infusion (what Gaggia calls the “pre-brewing” system) and pressurized (double-wall) Crema Perfetta filter holder. The pre-brewing wets the beans before the water is pushed through them at high pressure, which helps you have better espresso flavor and even extraction. The pressurized portafilter provides good crema, and you can also use it with ESE pods.
This espresso machine doesn’t have an automatic frother like a super-automatic espresso machine, but a Panarello one that can create good foam. The Panarello can be removed, so you get more control to create microfoam and work on late art.
It doesn’t have an LCD display, but there’s a boiler temperature gauge. However, you can’t control the temperature like on many other Gaggia espresso machines, so there’s not much value to it.
Carezza Deluxe does have a stainless steel cup warmer on top, so your espresso will be hot for longer. This coffee machine is ready to brew in about one minute. It has an automatic power-down, so the espresso machine will turn off after nine minutes of inactivity, which saves energy consumption.
Finally, it has front-loading components, such as the 47-ounce water reservoir. Because the water tank is located at the front, you’ll always be able to see the water level. However, there’s a fair bit of cleaning involved. For example, you’ll have to wash the portafilter, milk pitcher, and milk wand after every use, which isn’t the case with a super-automatic espresso machine.
Who is it for? The Carezza Deluxe is a good starting point espresso machine for a beginner barista. If you’re fine with not being able to tweak every single component but still want to be hands-on, this is the espresso machine for you. It’s also a good choice if you’re on a budget. It’ll provide authentic espresso for a fraction of the price a super-automatic espresso machine goes for.
What To Consider When Buying A Gaggia Espresso Machine
Manual or Automatic
Espresso machines go from super-automatic, where you get espresso with a push of a button, to the manual, where you have to do all the work. Semi-automatic machines are in the middle, where you have to load the machine, which then brews the espresso.
Many baristas believe semi-automatic espresso machines make better espresso. It’s not so much that semi-automatics are built better, but they are more hands-on and give more customizability, which allows you to better dial in the extraction. Also, a semi-automatic coffee machine is cheaper than a super-automatic.
A super-automatic espresso machine is a better choice for users who are busy or don’t want to do all the work involved in pulling an espresso shot: measuring, grinding, tamping, steaming, and cleaning.
A super-automatic is easier to use but comes with a higher price tag.
There are more Gaggia automatic espresso machines — 21, compared to semi-automatic — 12.
Many Gaggia machines, especially super-automatic ones, come with an automatic milk frother, which means the machine does all the work for you. This even includes the cleaning.
However, there are a fair number of devices that come with a manual steam wand. Gaggia usually uses a Panarello steam wand, which can make thick foam for cappuccinos but isn’t best suited for latte art. But on some machines, such as the Carezza Deluxe, you can remove the Panarello and get more control.
Integrated Grinder or None
Each Gaggia automatic espresso machine comes with an integrated grinder. These are ceramic burr grinders, which are among the best grinders available. They have minimal heat transfer, which means the flavors in the beans won’t be destroyed by the heat. In general, integrated grinders mean less work for you. All you have to do is select the grind setting.
On the other hand, Gaggia semi-automatic espresso machines don’t include a grinder. This is an additional expense, and it’s a big one, as high-quality grinders don’t come cheap. Or, you might already have a high-quality burr grinder and can save by buying a semi-automatic.
Check out our Best Espresso Machine for Beginners.
Frequently Asked Question
How long do Gaggia machines last?
Gaggia machines can last between five to fifteen years. Each machine has a warranty of one year, but you can expect them to last longer if properly maintained.
All seven machines I’ve listed are the best Gaggia espresso machines. However, my top choice is the Anima Prestige, which Gaggia has manufactured for a long time, and they’ve perfected its cappucinatore system and customization options. The Babila is a top-of-the-line espresso machine with both automatic and manual frothing, while the Classic Pro is the best semi-automatic Gaggia espresso machine and a great value buy.
If you’re looking into other manufacturers as well, you can’t miss Breville. Check out our round-up of the best Breville espresso machines.