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 eight 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 Evo
I’ll talk about my Gaggia machine choices, explain everything there’s to know about the brand, 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 made in Italy. The company’s motto is good coffee without compromise. Since Gaggia was the first one to patent the system that modern espresso machines use to make coffee, you can count on excellent build quality and flavorful espresso.
Our Top 8 Gaggia Espresso Machines
Anima Prestige highlights:
- Built-in burr grinder with 5 settings
- Powerful steam wand
- 3 seconds heat-up time
My first pick is a super-automatic espresso machine, Anima Prestige, or as the Gaggia calls it “the soul of espresso“. 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-ounce bean hopper. I love the front-loading system. 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. You can choose between five levels of coffee strength settings, 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
The 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 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 a one-year warranty make it worth it.
Gaggia Academia highlights:
- 19 preset drinks
- Both manual and automatic milk frothing
- Espresso plus function, which adjusts the espresso body and crema
Gaggia updated the Academia in late 2022. The machine’s design got a makeover, so it looks much more modern and stylish now, but the internals remained largely the same.
The Academia comes in two versions: steel and glass. There’s a large touchscreen display on top. You swipe to choose which drink you want. The Academia also has rotary knobs with a texture that improves the grip. Finally, there are backlit buttons for turning the machine on and off, cleaning, and purge options.
The Academia has a wide range of programmable options. You can adjust the grind, volume, pre-infusion, aroma, temperature, and flow rate.
Similarly to Babila, Academia has both 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 dial on the dispensing spout that you turn to regulate the flow speed. You turn it to get a full-bodied espresso with thick crema or to 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.
The upgraded Academia can make up to 19 drinks and has four user profiles, so it’s a great option if you have to share your machine.
Who is it for? Academia is a good option if you want a high-end machine with a stunning design. It’s also a great choice for a workplace, or if you have a household of coffee drinkers with various preferences. Finally, it’s a good machine if you like to try out various coffee drinks.
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 with an automatic frother. 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. On the positive side, 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 — (28 oz, 8.8 oz, and 40 oz). 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 Evo
Gaggia Classic Pro highlights:
- Commercial portafilter and steam wand
- Semi-automatic espresso machine
- Noise-dampening design
The Gaggia Classic Evo, an upgraded version of the Classic Pro, is Gaggia’s best semi-automatic espresso machine.
One of its standout features is the 58mm stainless steel portafilter, which sets it apart from many other semi-automatic machines. This larger portafilter allows for more coffee grounds and a flatter puck, resulting in a rich and flavorful espresso shot.
The user interface is intuitive, with new rocker buttons and indicator lights that make operation a breeze. You’ll always know when the machine is ready for action. Plus, the Classic Evo boasts a large water reservoir (2 L), reducing the need for frequent refills.
Inside, the machine has an upgraded brass group, in contrast to the chrome-coated brew head of the Pro. The upgraded brew group enhances longevity and performance. A three-way solenoid valve ensures a clean and dry puck after each use, eliminating mess and simplifying cleanup.
The boiler provides steadier heating and also reduces noise levels during operation. Its internal non-stick coating prevents scaling and buildup, further contributing to ease of maintenance. Another change is the machine’s pump, which is now 9 bars instead of 12. This is another good change, as 9 bars is optimal for espresso extraction.
The professional steam wand, featuring two holes, is a barista’s dream. It delivers high-pressure steam for creating the perfect microfoam, ideal for crafting latte art.
The Classic Evo also boasts a redesigned stainless steel bodywork that improves water-level visibility and a new drip tray for enhanced stability. The frame allows you to monitor the water reservoir’s level, ensuring you don’t run out of water in the middle of brewing.
However, there are a few drawbacks to note: there’s no adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser, limiting the size of containers that can fit under the spout. Additionally, the machine lacks an integrated grinder and includes only a plastic tamper, which means separate investments for these.
Who is it for? Gaggia Classic Evo is a great choice for those looking to hone their espresso-pulling and latte art skills. It’s a compelling blend of Italian craftsmanship, high-quality components, and user-friendly features at an attractive price point. Just be prepared to invest in a grinder and tamper for the best results.
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Gaggia Velasca Prestige highlights:
- Ceramic burr grinder with 10 settings
- Front-loading water tank and puck box
- Integrated milk carafe
The 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.
The 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.
The 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? The 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.
The Gaggia Magenta Prestige has 12 preset drinks to choose from. This espresso machine caters to a wide range of tastes, ensuring that you’ll never be disappointed. It also comes with plenty of adjustability options, such as temperature, strength, volume, and aroma intensity. Moreover, you can save your settings and make the drink according to your preferences with a press of a button.
One of the standout features of the Magenta Prestige is its user-friendly interface. The wide, full-color display not only looks impressive but also makes navigating through the various options a breeze. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic espresso or a frothy cappuccino, this machine has you covered.
The integrated milk carafe froths the milk twice, eliminating all those pesky bubbles and ensuring your froth is always at the perfect temperature with just one touch. Plus, the automatic cleaning cycle and the option to store the carafe in the fridge make it both hygienic and efficient.
The Magenta Prestige has 100% ceramic adjustable grinders with five settings, allowing you to fine-tune your coffee. A stainless steel espresso tray adjusts for optimal cup height, so you’ll always get the perfect pour.
The pre-brewing function is another great feature that gives your espresso a unique body and taste. It introduces a brief pause between the first shower of hot water and the actual brewing process. It’s a small detail, but it makes a world of difference in the final flavor.
Who is it for? The Gaggia Magenta Prestige is a top-tier espresso machine that combines convenience, customization, and quality. It’s perfect for anyone who appreciates a great cup of coffee and wants a machine that’s easy to use and maintain. It’s also a good choice if you like tech and want a machine with a full-color display.
The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige has a staggering 14 preset drinks and the ability to create four user profiles.
I loved the integrated milk carafe on this espresso machine. It effortlessly froths milk to perfection. Plus, it performs an auto rinse cycle after every use, which means no complicated steam wand cleaning with the Cadorna Prestige.
The machine’s wide screen and sleek modern design give the Cadorna Prestige a contemporary, upscale aesthetic that will enhance any kitchen. This is one of the most modern-looking Gaggia machines. I’d even say it resembles high-end Jura espresso machines.
When it comes to grinding your coffee beans, you won’t have any issues with the Cadorna Prestige. Like other Gaggia espresso machines, it has 100% ceramic grinders. It has more grinding settings than most other machines with 10 settings. This level of precision ensures that your coffee is ground to your exact specifications, whether you prefer a fine espresso or a coarser grind for a robust cup.
Like the Magenta Prestige, the Cadorna Prestige has the pre-brewing function, which allows a brief pause between the initial hot water shower and the brewing process for a more flavorful espresso.
The quick heat boiler is another standout feature, ensuring your beverages are hot and ready from the very first cup, eliminating any tedious waiting. This speedy performance is thanks to its lightweight aluminum and stainless steel construction, which can rapidly reach high temperatures.
Who is it for? The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is perfect for coffee enthusiasts who appreciate a wide range of flavors and customization options and busy individuals seeking both convenience and quality in their coffee preparation. It’s also a good option for households with varied coffee preferences, thanks to its user profiles. Finally, it’s great for those who want a modern-looking coffee machine.
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.
Semi-automatics 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.
Overall, 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. Brera is the entry-level super-automatic, and Academia and Babila are the high-end machines with plenty of drinks and customizable options.
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 with some models.
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.
Gaggia has a few series of three super-automatic models, usually labeled as Milk, Plus, and Prestige. The Milk models use an auto-frothing wand, the Plus (or Deluxe) a cappuccinatore, and the Prestige use an automatic frothing system in the form of a detachable milk carafe.
Integrated Grinder or No Grinder
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.
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.
What Is the Difference Between the Gaggia Models?
The difference between the Gaggia models is whether they are semi or super-automatic. Gaggia has a few semi-automatic models, such as Classic, Carezza, Viva, and Gran Gaggia. With these, you need to do most of the work. However, the majority of Gaggia models are super-automatics. Gaggia has a few super-automatic series with up to four models, named Milk, Plus, Deluxe, and Prestige. The main difference between these is how they froth milk, and how many grinding and programmability options they have.
Which Gaggia Espresso Machine Is Best for Beginners?
The best Gaggia espresso machine for beginners is Classic Evo if you want a machine to learn and improve your barista skills. If you want to do minimum work and are looking for a compact entry-level machine on a budget, the best choice is Gaggia Brera.
All eight machines I’ve listed are the best Gaggia espresso machines. However, my top choice is the Anima Prestige. Gaggia has manufactured this machine 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 Evo is the best semi-automatic Gaggia espresso machine and a great value buy.