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Best Gaggia Espresso Machine

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Last updated: December 20, 2023

Quick Answer: The best Gaggia espresso machine is the Gaggia Classic Pro. The best Gaggia automatic espresso machine is the Gaggia Cadorna Milk.

Gaggia makes two broad types of espresso machines: 

  • Traditional-style espresso machines with a portafilter.
  • Automatic espresso machines that grind, dose, and tamp your coffee for you.

In this roundup of the best Gaggia espresso machines, I’m going to give my recommendations for these two types of machines.

I’ll then give you some information on how to decide what type of Gaggia machine based on your budget and the type of drinks you want to brew.

If you just want to get straight to my recommendations then they are:

Top Picks

Best Overall
  • Makes the best espresso of all Gaggia machines.
  • You can make latte art with it.
  • The most durable of all Gaggia machines.
Best Automatic Espresso Machine
  • 13 available coffee drinks on its menu.
  • Automatic and manual milk steaming.
  • Unparalleled price/performance ratio.
Best Budget
  • One of only a handful of $500 super automatic espresso machines
  • Makes “true” double espresso
  • Panarello style steam wand
Best Premium/ Best for Offices
  • 19 available coffee drinks
  • Touch screen
  • Can steam milk automatically and make latte art

Best Overall: Gaggia Classic Pro

Best Overall
Gaggia Classic Pro
$499.00 $432.99

The Gaggia Classic Pro’s espresso quality and durability make it one of the best value espresso machines on the market (Gaggia or otherwise).

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Specification Gaggia Classic Pro
Description
Semi-automatic espresso machine
Milk System
Professional grade steam wand
Number of black coffee options
N/A (manual brewing)
Number of milk drink options
N/A (manual milk steaming)
Dimensions (width x height x depth)
9.1″ W x 9.4″D x 15″ H
Price Point
Affordable

Espresso Quality

The Gaggia Classic Pro is the only Gaggia espresso machine featured here that can brew espresso that rivals what you can get from a coffee shop.

This is because the Classic Pro is the only Gaggia machine that requires you to grind and tamp your ground coffee in a portafilter.

This manual puck prep is necessary for you to be able to brew with very finely ground coffee.

Brewing with very finely ground coffee is necessary to achieve the complex flavor and syrupy mouthfeel that typifies espresso.

More automatic espresso machines need to brew with coarser ground coffee, and so create watery espresso in comparison to the Gaggia Classic Pro.

Quite simply, if you’re used to drinking espresso at a coffee shop and want to recreate that at home, then your only option is the Gaggia Classic Pro.

Espresso Quality Rating: 9/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Gaggia Classic Pro has a professional-grade steam wand. This means that you can make silky microfoam for latte art with the machine.

The Gaggia Classic Pro’s milk steaming is second only to the Gaggia Accademia. 

The Accademia’s steam wand is powered by a thermoblock, rather than the Classic Pro’s boiler. This means that the Accademia’s steam wand can blow out steam for longer than the Classic Pro.

This longer steaming time is only important if you are steaming a large pitcher of milk, say for 3 + lattes. You’re unlikely to ever have to do this in a domestic setting.

So, for 99% of use cases, the Gaggia Classic Pro has the joint best milk steaming of all Gaggia espresso machines.

Milk Steaming Performance: 9/10

Functionalities

The Gaggia Classic Pro can only pull espresso shots and steam milk.

It’s a machine that focuses on doing a few things well rather than doing lots of things.

While you can make lots of different espresso drinks with the machine, it’s all down to how you pull your shot and steam your milk. The machine cannot make a latte macchiato and cappuccino at the touch of a button, unlike super-automatic espresso machines.

Functionalities Rating: 5/10

User Friendliness

The Gaggia Classic Pro is the most difficult-to-use Gaggia espresso machine.

This is in no small part because it’s the only Gaggia espresso machine featured here that requires you to dose and tamp your ground coffee manually.

However, the Gaggia Classic Pro is actually quite difficult to use by manual espresso machine standards.

The machine requires you to control its brewing temperature manually, something a lot of manual espresso machines (Breville machines, for example) do not require.

You do this by developing a “temperature surfing” routine where you turn the machine’s steam wand on to increase the machine’s internal temperature and purge water out of the machine to lower its temperature (here’s a three-minute video demonstrating how to do this).

I do NOT recommend the Gaggia Classic Pro if you just want a machine that you can press a button and get a good espresso out of. You will have to learn how to temperature surf to get consistently good shots from the machine.

User Friendliness Rating: 3/10

Design and Durability

The Gaggia Classic Pro can last you a lifetime, especially if you are willing to open up and replace its more delicate components.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a heavy-duty machine with the vast majority of its components being made out of steel.

It’s a regular on r/buyitforlife, a subreddit dedicated to hardware that will last you a lifetime. You can find two threads singing its praises here and here.

The Gaggia Classic Pro’s durability is enhanced by the fact that the machine can be easily opened up and its internal components are amenable to replacing. There are plenty of online videos walking you through how to replace and modify all the Classic Pro’s components.

In addition to this, the vast majority of espresso repair technicians are happy to work on the Gaggia Classic Pro if it breaks down. The same cannot be said for Gaggia’s automatic espresso machines or even the majority of semi-automatic espresso machines made by the likes of Breville and Delonghi.

Design and Durability Rating: 10/10

Value For Money

The Gaggia Classic Pro is an excellent value purchase, mainly because of its durability.

A buy-it-for-a-life espresso machine for $500 can’t be matched.

If you assess value for money purely on how many coffees you can make over a machine’s lifespan/ its cost then the Gaggia Classic Pro is in a league of its own value-wise.

The Gaggia Classic Pro can also be modified to outperform its price tag in terms of espresso quality and milk steaming performance. This only increases its potential value for money.

Value for Money Rating: 10/10

Gaggia Classic Pro Pros

It is potentially a buy-it-for-life espresso machine, especially if you are willing to open it up and repair it.

It makes better tasting espresso than any automatic espresso machine (Gaggia or otherwise).

It can be modified to outperform its price tag.

Espresso machine technicians are more willing to work on the Gaggia Classic Pro than other semi automatic espresso machines.

Gaggia Classic Pro Cons

You will have to open the machine up and replace its over pressure valve to get the most from the machine.

You’ll need to buy a separate grinder for it.

It requires a temperature surfing routine to get the most out of it.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Gaggia Classic Pro then you might want to check out my Gaggia Classic Pro review.

Best Automatic Espresso Machine: Gaggia Cadorna Milk

Best Automatic Espresso Machine
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
$543.00

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers the best price-to-performance ratio of every Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine.

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Specification Gaggia Cadorna Milk
Description
Super-automatic espresso machine
Milk System
Milk frother attached by rubber hose and panarello steam wand
Number of black coffee options
5
Number of milk drink options
8
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
10.2″ W x 17.3″ D x 14.9″ H
Price Point
Mid Range

Espresso Quality

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk makes a thin, watery espresso. While it’s fine for a milk drink, I wouldn’t recommend the machine if you are only going to drink plain espresso.

Super-automatic espresso machines don’t make as complex flavored or as full-bodied espresso as semi-automatics. This is true of all super automatics regardless of their manufacturer or price.

Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines make poor-quality espresso even by super-automatic espresso machine standards

This is because their brewing unit uses a low-quality brewing basket and brews your espresso too quickly for proper extraction to occur.

This is true of all Gaggia super automatics – they all use the same internal brewing system to produce the same quality of espresso.

That’s why you’ll see that I score all Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines with the same espresso quality rating.

Espresso Quality Rating: 3/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers manual and automatic steaming. I like how you can choose whether to prioritize control over your milk texture or convenience when steaming milk.

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk steams milk using an automatic milk frother where your milk container is hooked up to the machine via a rubber tube and a plastic frother.

This automatic milk frother produces thick milk with average uniformity at the touch of a button.

However, if you remove the automatic milk frother then you are left with a panarello steam wand. You can use this if you want greater milk texture uniformity.

You’ll still struggle to get the silky microfoam needed for latte art with the Cadorna Milk’s panarello steam wand. You really need a professional-grade steam wand (like on the Gaggia Classic Pro or Gaggia Accademia) to do this.

Milk Steaming Performance Rating: 8/10

Functionalities

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers an impressive 13 coffee drinks on its menu. This combined with its two milk-steaming systems means that it has a huge amount of functionalities for its price.

Although 13 coffee drinks seem like a lot, it’s worth bearing in mind that two of these (cappuccino XL and latte macchiato XL) are just larger versions of existing drinks.

The machine doesn’t actually grind any more coffee when making these drinks, so they are just diluted versions of the standard cappuccino and latte macchiato.

Despite this, the Cadorna Milk still offers a larger menu than any other espresso machine in its price range. 

When you combine this with the fact that the espresso maker allows you to steam milk manually and automatically, you have a machine whose functionalities far outperform its price tag.

Functionalities Rating: 9/10

User Friendliness

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk’s automatic milk frother and TFT display screen user interface make it incredibly easy to use.

The machine allows someone who has never made a coffee before to make a latte with just a couple of button presses. 

Its digital display screen makes it clear how to access all the machine’s features, and will even guide you through maintenance tasks like running rinsing and descaling cycles.

The Cadorna Milk has four user profiles meaning you can make your custom coffee drink with a couple of button presses even if a whole household of you are using the machine. No need to go back and override someone else’s settings each time you make a drink.

User Friendliness Rating: 9/10

Design and Durability

While the Gaggia Cadorna Milk isn’t as durable as the Gaggia Classic Pro, it should still last you a few years at least.

Super-automatic espresso machines will never be as durable as manual machines because there are far more moving parts in a super-automatic. More moving parts means more potential points of failure.

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk also cannot be opened up and repaired as easily as the Gaggia Classic Pro.

Still, the Cadorna Milk can be reasonably expected to last 2-4 years, especially if you run regular descale cycles and keep its brew group lubricated.

This isn’t a bad level of durability, especially when you take into account the machine’s relatively low cost compared to other super automatics.

Design and Durability Rating: 7/10

Value For Money

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige offers a good level of functionality and user-friendliness for its price tag.

It has the best price/performance ratio of any Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine and has more functionalities than similarly priced super automatics from Philips and Delonghi.

This makes it one of the best-value automatic espresso machines on the market right now (Gaggia or otherwise).

Value for Money Rating: 9/10

Gaggia Cadorna Milk Pros

Has a wide range of available drinks for its price.

Its four user profiles make it an excellent machine for larger households.

If you remove its automatic milk frother you’re left with a steam wand that you can froth milk manually with.

Gaggia Cadorna Milk Cons

Its XL drinks only use one dose of ground coffee so are very weak.

Its grind size dial can only be adjusted with a scoop that comes with the machine. This is needlessly complicated.

Budget Pick: Gaggia Brera

Value Pick
Gaggia Brera
$449.00
The Gaggia Brera is one of only a few decent super automatic espresso machines available for around $500.
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02/28/2024 11:58 am GMT
Specification Gaggia Brera
Description
Super-automatic espresso machine
Milk System
Panarello steam wand
Number of black coffee options
4
Number of milk drink options
N/A
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
10″ W x 15.5″ D x 11.5″ H
Price Point
Affordable

Espresso Quality

The Gaggia Brera doesn’t make great espresso.

Like I said earlier, no Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine makes great espresso because they all use a poor-quality brewing basket.

The Gaggia Brera is no exception here.

Its espresso is fine for milk-based drinks and for an Americano, however, if you want to drink plain espresso then I really would recommend the Gaggia Classic Pro over any Gaggia super automatic.

Espresso Quality Rating: 3/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Gaggia Bera uses a panarello steam wand. So you can steam milk with a more uniform texture than with super automatics that just use an automatic milk frother.

The downside of a steam wand is that you have to steam your milk manually, so no one touches lattes with the Brera.

A panarello steam wand pumps additional air into your milk, leading to a very thick foam. This means that the Gaggia Brera is not the best machine if you want to make latte art (this requires a thin milk foam).

While you can make latte art with a panarello, it’s unnecessarily difficult and you tend to get worse definition than if you use a professional-grade steam wand.

Milk Steaming Performance: 7/10

Functionalities

The Gaggia Brera only offers two menu options, plus the ability to steam milk manually.

While this doesn’t seem like a lot of functionality, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Brera is the only automatic espresso machine at its price point that makes “true” double espresso with two doses of ground coffee.

Most affordable super automatics say they offer a double shot, but just brew this drink with twice the amount of water and the same amount of ground coffee. This makes these other machines seem like they have more functionality than they actually do.

So while the Gaggia Brera has relatively few functionalities compared to the Cadorna Milk and Accademia, it’s actually got a relatively good amount of functionality for its price.

Functionalities Rating: 6/10

User Friendliness

The Gaggia Brera’s stripped-back user interface can make it frustrating to troubleshoot.

The Gaggia Brera’s control panel is made up of buttons and lit-up icons.

This stripped-back UI is fine for your daily brewing, but it gives you frustratingly little information when it comes to accessing the machine’s more obscure features and troubleshooting.

A display screen that told you in plain English what the machine’s specific problem was would not go amiss here (although I appreciate it would make the machine more expensive).

Still, the Brera can make an espresso at the touch of a button so I can’t complain too much.

User Friendliness Rating: 6/10

Design and Durability

The Gaggia Brera feels cheaply made. Don’t be fooled by its silver paint job, the machine is made entirely out of plastic.

When you touch the Brera it becomes apparent why the machine is so affordable. It’s made entirely out of plastic and its steam wand, drip tray, and bean hopper all feel quite flimsy.

There’s a worrying number of reports online of the machine’s grinder breaking down which makes me think it might have reliability issues.

I’d recommend keeping your warranty details for this machine (it should come with a one-year warranty at least).

Design and Durability Rating: 4/10

Value For Money

The Gaggia Brera is one of the most affordable super automatics on the market right now.

You struggle to find an automatic espresso machine for around $500.

Of these, the Gaggia Brera is one of the best, not least because it’s the only machine at this price point that makes true double shots of espresso.

Value for Money Rating: 9/10

Gaggia Brera Pros

One of the most affordable super automatic espresso machines on the market.

Its manual steam wand gives you a more consistent milk texture than an automatic milk frother.

It makes double shots with two doses of ground coffee (most affordable super automatics do not do this).

Gaggia Brera Cons

Its grinder has durability issues.

Its metallic finish hides how much flimsy plastic is used in its exterior.

If you’d like to find out more about this machine then please see my Gaggia Brera review.

Premium Pick/Best For Offices: Gaggia Accademia

Premium Pick & Best for Offices
Gaggia Accademia
$1,849.00
The Gaggia Accademia is one of the most feature-rich espresso machines on the market. Its touch screen and extensive menu give it a real wow factor.
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02/27/2024 10:20 pm GMT
Specification Gaggia Accademia
Description
Super-automatic espresso machine
Milk System
Automatic detachable milk frother and professional grade steam wand
Number of black coffee options
4
Number of milk drink options
11
Dimensions
11.1″ W x 15.5″ D x 19.9″ H
Price Point
Premium

Espresso Quality

The Gaggia Accademia doesn’t brew great-tasting espresso.

Like the other two super-automatic espresso machines featured here, the Accademia’s poorly built brew basket means that its espresso is lacking in flavor and body.

This is particularly disappointing when you take into account how much the machine costs. The fact that this ~$2,000 can’t brew as good an espresso as machines that cost a quarter of its price is, quite frankly, laughable.

Espresso Quality Rating: 3/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Gaggia Accademia is the only espresso machine that can make latte art and steam milk with the touch of a button.

The Gaggia Accademia has a detachable carafe automatic milk frother on its right side and a professional-grade steam wand on its left side.

The automatic milk frother allows you to make a milk drink at the touch of a button, and its professional-grade steam wand allows you to manually make microfoam for latte art.

The Gaggia Accademia is the only espresso machine I know of that can steam milk in both these ways. This makes it one of the best espresso machines for lattes and cappuccinos.

Milk Steaming Performance: 10/10

Functionalities

The Gaggia Accademia has 19 menu items and can steam milk to three automatic textures + manual steaming.

Not only does this give it greater functionalities than any other Gaggia machine, the Gaggia Accademia has more functionalities than any other super-automatic espresso machine (with the exception of the Delonghi Eletta Explore).

I particularly like how the Accademia offers you four automatic milk texture settings. This means that there is a real difference between the machine’s latte, cappuccino, and flat white. 

One criticism of more affordable super automatics with automatic milk frothing (like the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige) is that all its milk drinks are quite same-y.

The Gaggia Accademia’s multiple milk settings remedies this problem

Functionalities Rating: 10/10

User Friendliness

The Gaggia Accademia’s touch screen and four user profiles make it as easy to use as an espresso machine can get.

The Accademia’s touch screen is well laid out and is responsive without being jumpy.

The machine has buttons in addition to its touch screen, which lets you access things like global settings (think brew temperature and the like) as well as the machine’s various cleaning cycles.

Crucially the Accademia’s touch screen will let you know in plain English when there is an error with the machine and how you should troubleshoot it. 

This makes the Gaggia Accademia far easier to use than the Gaggia Brera, for instance.

User Friendliness Rating: 10/10

Design and Durability

The Gaggia Accademia is sleekly designed and looks like it justifies its large price tag.

Although the Accademia’s exterior is made out of plastic, it’s not cheap, flimsy feeling plastic-like with the Gaggia Brera (and the Cadorna Prestige to an extent).

Its touch screen feels very well made and I could find no complaints online of it losing responsiveness or breaking down.

Although I don’t think the machine has bought it for life potential (no super-automatic espresso machine does), the Accademia’s double boiler heating system (dedicated boilers for brewing and steaming milk) should make it last longer than more affordable super automatics.

One design flaw that a lot of Accademia users complain about online is that the machine’s used coffee ground container isn’t very big. 

It’s actually the same size as other Gaggia super automatics, but since the machine is primarily designed for office use you would want a larger used coffee grounds container than other models.

Design and Durability Rating: 9/10

Value For Money

The Gaggia Accademia offers good value for money so long as you aren’t going to drink a lot of plain espresso.

As I said earlier, the Gaggia Accademia is the best super-automatic espresso machine on the market for milk drinks thanks to its dual milk-steaming system and four automatic milk textures.

Since no other super automatic offers this level of milk steaming performance, the Gaggia Accademia offers good value if you are buying a machine primarily to make milk drinks with.

If you are buying a machine primarily for black espresso, then the machine massively disappoints, being outdone by espresso machines a quarter of its price tag in this regard.

Value for Money Rating: 7/10

Gaggia Accademia Pros

Can make pretty much any espresso drink you can think of.

It’s the only espresso machine that can allow you to make latte art and froth milk automatically.

One of a few espresso machines that offers multiple automatic milk textures.

Its touch screen user interface is really well done.

Gaggia Accademia Cons

Its plain espresso isn’t great which is disappointing for such an expensive machine.

What to Ask Yourself When Buying a Gaggia Espresso Machine?

Here are the questions that you should ask yourself when choosing a Gaggia espresso machine.

Do I Want a Manual or (Super) Automatic Espresso Machine?

Gaggia makes two broad types of espresso machines: manual and automatic.

Manual Espresso Machine

This requires you to dose and tamp your ground coffee using a portafilter. 

While manual espresso machines require a bit more work to make an espresso with, they can brew better-tasting espresso than an automatic espresso machine.

If you want to make an espresso at home that’s as good as what you’d get in a coffee shop, then you will want a manual espresso machine.

Manual espresso machines are often called “semi-automatic” espresso machines. I use the two terms interchangeably in this article.

The best Gaggia manual espresso machine is the Gaggia Classic Pro

The Classic Pro is the only Gaggia manual espresso machine with a professional-grade steam wand that you can make latte art with.

Best Overall
Gaggia Classic Pro
$499.00 $432.99

The Gaggia Classic Pro’s espresso quality and durability make it one of the best value espresso machines on the market (Gaggia or otherwise).

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Automatic Espresso Machine

You fill these machines with whole coffee beans and water and the machine will grind, dose, tamp, and brew your espresso for you. 

You can make an espresso with these with one button press, and if you have a model with an automatic milk frother you can make a latte with one push of a button too.

These don’t make as good a tasting espresso as you can make with a manual machine. But they still make a better espresso than a Nespresso machine.

Automatic espresso machines are often called “super automatic” espresso machines or bean-to-cup machines – I will use the phrases “automatic espresso machine” and “super-automatic espresso machine” interchangeably here.

Gaggia has a wider range of super-automatic espresso machines than manual ones, so if you’re looking for a super-automatic then you’re going to have to ask yourself a few more questions.

The next four questions only apply if you want an automatic espresso machine.

How Much Money Do You Want to Spend?

Gaggia super automatics range from around $500 to around $2,000.

Paying more will get you:

  • A better user interface: The most affordable machines have a button-only control panel, and the most expensive machines have a touch screen. Mid-priced ones have a button-controlled digital display screen.
  • More automated milk steaming: The most affordable super-automatic espresso machines have a steam wand. The most expensive machines have a professional-grade steam wand and a detachable milk frother. I’ll talk more about the different milk steaming systems in the next section.
  • A larger menu: The most affordable Gaggia super automatic has two menu items (plus manual milk steaming). The most expensive has 19 menu items. 

The table below shows how the three Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines featured compare in the aforementioned criteria:

Machine Name User Interface Milk Steaming System Number of Menu Mtems Cost
Gaggia Cadorna Milk (best overall)
Button controlled TFT screen
Separate milk frother and panarello steam wand
13
Mid price
Gaggia Brera (best affordable)
Button with lit up icons
Panarello steam wand
2
Affordable
Gaggia Accademia (best premium)
Touch screen
Detachable automatic milk frother and professional grade steam wand
19
Premium

I think that the best value-for-money Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine is the Gaggia Cadorna Milk.

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk has a huge amount of functionality for its price tag, especially given that it can steam milk automatically and manually.

Best Automatic Espresso Machine
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
$543.00

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers the best price-to-performance ratio of every Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine.

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02/27/2024 04:45 pm GMT

What Type of Milk Steaming System Do You Want?

Gaggia automatic espresso machines have one or two of four milk steaming systems. They are:

  • Panarello steam wand: This is a steam wand with a plastic sleeve around it. This sleeve has a hole in it which helps pump additional air into your milk. You can only steam milk manually with a panarello steam wand, and since it creates relatively thick milk foam, you cannot make latte art with it.
  • Professional steam wand: This is a steam wand without a sleeve around it. A professional-grade steam wand is the only milk-steaming system featured here that you can consistently make latte art with.
  • Detachable milk carafe: This is a carafe that attaches directly to the machine. Just fill it with milk, select a milk drink and the machine will steam your milk for you hands-free. Your steamed milk will not be as uniform in texture as you can get with a steam wand, and you cannot make latte art with it. 
  • Separate milk frother: This is a carafe that attaches to your machine via a rubber tube. It works the same way as the detachable milk carafe (hands-free milk steaming), but when you remove the carafe you are left with a panarello steam wand. So it’s essentially two milk steaming systems in one.

The table below shows the milk steaming system(s) that each of the super-automatic espresso machines featured in this article have:

Machine Name Milk Steaming System(s)
Gaggia Cadorna Milk (best overall)
Separate milk frother (panarello steam wand when removed)
Gaggia Brera (best affordable)
Panarello Steam Wand
Gaggia Accademia (best premium)
Professional grade steam wand and detachable milk carafe.

The best Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine for steaming milk is the Gaggia Accademia as it is the only machine that can both make microfoam for latte art and which can make one-touch milk drinks.

Premium Pick & Best for Offices
Gaggia Accademia
$1,849.00
The Gaggia Accademia is one of the most feature-rich espresso machines on the market. Its touch screen and extensive menu give it a real wow factor.
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02/27/2024 10:20 pm GMT

Do You Want to Be Able to Make Latte Art?

The only Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine featured in this article that you can reliably make latte art with is the Gaggia Accademia.

You need a professional-grade steam wand (rather than a panarello) to consistently make latte art with.

You can make latte art with a Panarello, however, it’s not going to be as easy, consistent, or defined as with a professional-grade steam wand.

I’d also recommend the Gaggia Magenta Plus if you want to make latte art. It’s the cheapest Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine with a professional-grade steam wand.

Best for Latte Art
Gaggia Magenta Plus

The Gaggia Magenta’s professional-grade steam wand makes it the most affordable super-automatic espresso machine that you can make latte art with.

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What Type of User Interface Do You Want?

Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines have one of three control panels:

  • Button and lit-up icons: Only the most affordable Gaggia super automatics have this. These can be frustrating to troubleshoot as the user interface doesn’t actually tell you what a machine’s specific problem is. Instead, it tries to represent these through combinations of flashing icons. You can see how frustrating this can get in this YouTube short of someone trying to troubleshoot the Gaggia Brera.
  • Button Controlled TFT Screen: This is a big step up from the icons as it gives you information about what your machine is doing in plain English. This can save you a world of frustration when trying to access some of the machine’s less common functionalities or when it comes to troubleshooting.
  • Touch screen: This looks snazzy and Gaggia makes really good quality touch screens. However, I can’t help but feel that the inclusion of a touchscreen inflates an espresso machine’s cost more than it boosts its usability.

As you can probably tell, I think that a button-controlled TFT screen offers the best balance between cost and ease of use. This is one of the big reasons why I think that the Gaggia Cadorna Milk is the best Gaggia automatic espresso machine.

Best Automatic Espresso Machine
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
$543.00

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers the best price-to-performance ratio of every Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine.

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02/27/2024 04:45 pm GMT

What Do All Gaggia Super Automatic Espresso Machines Have in Common?

Below is a list of features that all Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines have in common. I’m listing these so you don’t get sold on a more expensive machine than necessary based on a feature that a more affordable machine has:

  • They all make the same quality espresso: All Gaggia espresso machines use the same brewing unit and so all make the same quality of espresso. If you are buying a Gaggia super automatic and plan on just drinking plain, black espresso then I’d recommend the Gaggia Brera as you won’t reap the benefit of going for a more expensive model.
  • They all make “true” double espressos: All Gaggia super automatics make double espressos with two doses of ground coffee. A lot of more affordable super-automatic espresso machines do not do this. However, don’t be convinced to go for a more expensive Gaggia model because it makes true double espresso – they all do this.
  • They all use a ceramic burr grinder: All Gaggia automatic espresso machines use a ceramic flat burr grinder. Gaggia models do vary in their number of grinder settings, however having more grinder settings doesn’t make anywhere as big a difference to your espresso quality if you’re brewing with a super-automatic vs a manual espresso machine.
  • Cleaning and descaling requirements: All Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines require you to empty their used coffee container when full, need descaling every couple of months, and need to have their brew group rinsed and lubricated every few weeks.
Gaggia’s poor quality brew basket compared to ones used in Delonghi machines

Best Gaggia Espresso Machine: Final Verdict

The best manual Gaggia espresso machine is the Gaggia Classic Pro. Gaggia only makes a small handful of these types of machines, so there’s only one clear winner here.

Best Overall
Gaggia Classic Pro
$499.00 $432.99

The Gaggia Classic Pro’s espresso quality and durability make it one of the best value espresso machines on the market (Gaggia or otherwise).

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02/27/2024 04:05 pm GMT

The best Gaggia automatic espresso machine is the Gaggia Cadorna Milk. The Cadorna Milk offers the best price-to-feature ratio of any Gaggia super automatic.

Best Automatic Espresso Machine
Gaggia Cadorna Milk
$543.00

The Gaggia Cadorna Milk offers the best price-to-performance ratio of every Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine.

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02/27/2024 04:45 pm GMT

FAQs

What is the Difference Between the Gaggia Models?

Gaggia models differ in their milk frothing system, as well as the number of drinks on their menu and their user interface. Crucially, they do not differ on how well they brew espresso, with the cheapest model matching the most expensive model in terms of brewing quality.

Which is Better Delonghi Or Gaggia?

Gaggia makes better semi-automatic espresso machines than Delonghi, with the Gaggia Classic Pro being the best model of the two manufacturers.

Delonghi makes better super automatics than Gaggia however due to their brewing with superior baskets.

How Long Do Gaggia Machines Last?

The Gaggia Classic Pro can last you a lifetime, especially if you are willing to open up the machine and replace its internal components. Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines typically last 2-4 years, with more expensive models generally lasting longer.

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