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Gaggia Anima Prestige Review

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Last updated: December 28, 2023

Quick Answer: I do not recommend the Gaggia Anima Prestige. I instead recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo. Although the Magnifica Evo is $200 more expensive than the Anima Prestige it brews a better tasting espresso and will likely last you longer.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige is Gaggia’s most affordable espresso machine with an automatic milk frother (as opposed to a steam wand).

In this Gaggia Anima Prestige review, I’m going to explain why I don’t recommend this machine.

I’ll also put forward my case for why I think you should buy the Delonghi Magnifica Evo instead of the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

Let’s get started.

Should I Buy the Gaggia Anima Prestige?

I do not recommend the Gaggia Anima Prestige. The machine simply doesn’t make good espresso.

There are also far more complaints online of the Gaggia Anima Prestige breaking down compared to other, similarly priced, super-automatic espresso machines.

Put these together, and I just don’t think that the machine can be seen as a good value purchase, no matter how cheap you manage to get it for.

NOT RECOMMENDED
Gaggia Anima Prestige
$753.25 $703.29

The Gaggia Anima Prestige does not make good-tasting espresso because the holes in its brew basket are too large for proper extraction to occur. Its espresso is watery.

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04/03/2024 02:07 pm GMT
Espresso Quality
4/10
Milk Steaming Performance
8/10
Functionalities
5/10
User Friendliness
6/10
Design and Durability
4/10
Value for Money
6/10

Gaggia Anima Prestige Pros

It steams milk to a good texture for a latte.

It creates true double shots with two coffee pucks.

Gaggia Anima Prestige Cons

It has far more reports of the machine breaking down than other super automatics.

It makes weak, watery espresso.

Its milk tank is hard to take apart without knocking it over.

It has fewer drink options than similarly priced super automatic espresso machines.

I recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo instead of the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is around $200 more expensive than the Anima Prestige.  For a slight premium, you get:

  • Better tasting espresso
  • A more reliable machine with an extra year’s warranty

I generally don’t like recommending people more expensive machines than the one they searched for. However, I think that the Magnifica Evo is a much better purchase than the Gaggia Anima Prestige, especially if you plan on drinking plain espresso.

Better Value Than the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
Delonghi Magnifica Evo
$899.95 $649.95
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo brews better espresso and is more reliable than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 04:20 am GMT

If you’d like to find out more about the Delonghi Magnifica Evo please see my Delonghi Magnifica Evo review.

Gaggia Anima Prestige: Key Features

Here are the Gaggia Anima Prestige’s key features:

User Interface: Old Fashioned Looking But Does the Job

The Gaggia Anima Prestige’s control panel is made up of a monochrome digital display screen with labeled buttons on either side of it.

Well, this looks a bit old-fashioned, but having a screen is still a step up from most super automatics in the Gaggia Anima Prestige’s price range that have button-only user interfaces. This includes the Philips 3200 LatteGo and the Delonghi Magnifica Evo.

The Anima Prestige’s control panel is a step down in looks from the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s (its direct upgrade which currently retails at the same price):

Still, the Anima Prestige’s control panel works perfectly well, all its buttons are responsive and I could find no reports online of it breaking down.

Menu: Black Drinks are Poor; Milk Based Drinks are Decent

The Gaggia Anima Prestige offers four coffee drinks: espresso, lungo, cappuccino and latte macchiato.

I’ll give my thoughts on each of these now. Please bear in mind that my opinion is based on using my Gaggia Magenta Prestige which uses the exact same brewing system and milk frother as the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

  • Espresso: This is weak and watery. Closer to what you’d get from a moka pot than what you’d get from a traditional portafilter-driven espresso machine. A small step up from Nespresso. 4/10
  • Espresso lungo: This has a more balanced flavor than the espresso but it’s still too weak and watery for my liking. 5/10
  • Latte macchiato: This is decent. The Anima Prestige’s steams milk to a thin, silky texture which is perfect for a latte. The machine is able to produce the cool layering effect you expect from a latte macchiato. 7/10
  • Cappuccino: This wasn’t terrible, but the machine can only steam milk to quite a thin texture which is better suited to a latte than to a cappuccino. 6/10
Latte macchiato

In addition to this, the machine can also dispense plain hot water for Americano and plain hot milk foam that you can top a coffee with.

Drink Customizability Settings: Needs to Go Into MEMO Mode to Adjust Drink Size

Below are the following ways that you can customize your drink with the Gaggia Anima Prestige:

  • Coffee strength (how much ground coffee you brew with): 5 settings
  • Brewing temperature: 3 seconds
  • Coffee size: Can adjust to the nearest second of dispensing time by butting the machine in MEMO mode
  • Milk volume: Can adjust to the nearest second of dispensing time by butting the machine in MEMO mode

You access Memo mode by holding down the button of whatever drink you want to customize until the display screen says MEMO.

Once in Memo mode, you press the brew button to stop your espresso/milk dispensing. However much milk is dispensed at that point will then become the drink’s default size.

This is a similar system used by the Delonghi Magnifica Evo (they call it “my latte” rather than MEMO).

I personally prefer super-automatic espresso machines that just let you bump up your drink’s size by a certain amount with a button press. The Gaggia Magenta Prestige and Philips 3200 LatteGo do this, for example.

Brewing System: Its Brew Basket’s Holes are Too Big

The Gaggia Anima Prestige’s espresso brewing is powered by a removable brew group

Brew group in and out of the machine

This doses and tamps your ground coffee puck for you. Your brewing water runs through the ground coffee sitting in it.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige’s brew group does have one major flaw – the holes in its brewing basket (the basket where your coffee grounds sit) are too large.

You can see how large these holes are in the side-by-side of the Gaggia Anima and Delonghi Magnifica Evo’s brewing baskets:

These holes are meant to provide resistance to your brewing water when you make your espresso. Too large holes mean that your brewing water runs through your ground coffee too quickly for proper extraction to occur.

This is why the Gaggia Anima Prestige’s coffees are all weak and watery.

All Gaggia machines use the same brew group, so all have this problem (as do Philips super automatics as Philips and Gaggia are both owned by Saeco).

So if you want a super automatic espresso machine for plain espresso I’d always recommend going with a Delonghi or Jura espresso machine.

Milk Frother: Steams Milk Nicely but is Hard to Take Apart

The Gaggia Anima Prestige froth your milk to a nice silky texture. It’s the type of milk texture that you’d associate more with a latte than with a cappuccino.

Its milk frother is a bit annoying to take apart, however.

You have to squeeze two tabs on either side of the milk carafe’s lid to remove it.

The problem here is that the carafe is large so it’s hard to squeeze these tabs simultaneously with one hand. Squeezing it with two hands means you don’t have a spare hand to hold the carafe down as you remove its lid.

I really wouldn’t recommend trying to remove the milk carafe’s lid while there is any milk in the carafe. Your chances of spilling milk everywhere are too high.

It’s also worth noting that the milk system involves milk running through a small rubber tube. These rubber milk tubes are a nightmare to keep clean.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige’s milk carafe when taken apart – rubber tube on left

They don’t come out clean in the dishwasher because their holes are too small for the dishwasher water to run through them. I blow hot soapy water through them with my mouth to keep mine clean. 

They’ll also need to be replaced every few weeks. They start to smell like sour milk very quickly even if you clean them regularly.

Cleaning and Rinsing System: Not Too Rinsy (That’s a Good Thing)

The Gaggia Anima Prestige automatically rinses out its espresso spout when you turn the machine on and when you turn it off.

It will also prompt you to run a quick rinse cycle of the milk system after every milk drink you make. This is useful as it’s easy to forget to do this as you’re about to start enjoying your cappuccino.

The machine also requires a brew group degrease cycle and a descaling cycle once a month. Here’s how you do these:

  • Brew group decrease cycle: Fill your water tank with water and then put a brew group degreasing tablet (not included with the machine) into your bypass doser. Then set your machine to brew an espresso lungo with pre-ground coffee. This will run hot water through your degreasing tablet, dissolving it, and running that solution through your brew group. You then want to leave your machine for 15 minutes and the machine should rinse out the solution when you turn it back on.
  • Descaling cycle: Fill your water tank with water and Gaggia’s descaling solution (sold separately). Press the menu button and select “Descale”. The machine will run a descaling solution through your coffee brewing and milk steaming system. It will then run a rinse cycle after this.

The machine prompts you when it needs to be descaled by having the words “calc clean” show up solidly on its display screen. It will not prompt to run a brew group degrease cycle.

This type of maintenance is pretty standard for all super-automatic espresso machines. 

I do like that the machine doesn’t run a rinse cycle after every drink you make. Some machines do this and it invariably ends up flooding your drip tray and making a mess all over your counter (Delonghi machines are very bad for this, especially the older ESAM models).

Grinder: Hard to Pour Your Beans Into Without Making A Mess

The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a flat ceramic burr grinder with five grind size settings.

While this is fewer settings than the majority of similarly priced super automatics, I wouldn’t be too concerned by this.

Since super-automatic espresso machines can’t properly tamp your puck, minute changes in grind size won’t actually make that much of a difference to your espresso’s flavor. 

Five grind settings are more than sufficient.

What annoys me more about the grinder is its lid. The grinder’s lid is made up of two pieces of plastic on a hinge. You can’t access the bean hopper without holding up the lid with one hand.

This leaves you with only one hand to pour your coffee beans in which makes it easy to spill beans everywhere, especially if you’re pouring from a full bag.

Water Reservoir: Tricky To Carry When Full

The Delonghi Anima Prestige has a 61 oz water reservoir. Its water reservoir is shallow and wide, making it hard to carry when full.

You have to carry the tank tight to your torso with two hands, so it’s very easy to spill water down your front.

The water tank has a plastic handle to help alleviate this problem, however, it’s so flimsy that I can’t see it supporting the water tank’s weight when full.

The water tank pulls out from the top, rather than from the front as with most super automatics. I think that this, combined with the water reservoir’s impractical design, means you’re best off filling it up with a separate jug.

A poorly designed part of the machine, all in all.

Drip Tray and Used Coffee Grounds Container: Would Be Nicer if You Could Take it Apart a Bit More

The machine’s drip tray has a weird system where you need to push together two tabs on either of its sides to remove it (what is it with the Gaggia Anima Prestige and tabs). Once you do that you can access its used coffee grounds container.

The machine’s drip tray comes apart into three pieces (one of which is the coffee grounds container) all of which can go in the dishwasher. The drip tray’s front piece does not come apart which makes it quite awkward to fit in your dishwasher.

The machine will prompt you when its used coffee grounds container needs emptying. 

I personally think you should empty and rinse out a super-automatic espresso machine’s used coffee grounds container every other day. Mould grows on warm wet coffee grounds very quickly…

Accessories: A Stingy Offering

The Gaggia Anima Prestige comes with:

  • A plastic scoop
  • A water hardness test strip
  • A tube of lubricant for your brew group

I think that this is quite a poor selection of accessories.

I’d have liked some degreasing tablets, some descaling solution, and a water filter since you need these to operate the machine.

Most other super automatics come with these as standard.

The table below shows the Gaggia Anima Prestige’s specifications:

Specifications Gaggia Anima Prestige
Description
Super-automatic espresso machine with automatic milk frother
Milk steaming system
Detachable milk carafe with rubber tubing
Available milk textures
1
User interface
Button controlled monochrome digital screen
Number of black drinks on menu
2
Number of milk drinks on menu
2
Strength settings
5
Coffee volume settings
To nearest second dispensing time
Milk volume settings
To nearest second dispensing time
User profiles
None
Grinder type
Flat ceramic burr grinder with bypass doser
Number of grinder settings
5
Maximum cup clearance
5.9”
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
8.7″ W x 16.9″ D x 13.4″ H

Now that I’ve gone through the Gaggia Anima Prestige’s key features I’m going to assess the espresso machine against the following criteria:

  • Espresso quality
  • Milk steaming performance
  • Functionalities
  • User-friendliness
  • Design and durability
  • Value for money

Espresso Quality

The Gaggia Anima Prestige makes bland, watery espresso.

As I said earlier, this is because the machine’s brew basket has too large holes in it to provide enough resistance for your ground coffee to extract fully into your brewing water.

This issue affects all the machine’s drinks. You notice it most in its black drinks, however.

It’s also worth noting that all Gaggia super automatics use the same brewing system, regardless of price. So even the most expensive Gaggia super automatic will brew a bland espresso.

Espresso Quality Rating: 4/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Gaggia Anima Prestige steams milk to a nice, silky texture.

I prefer this to the very stiff milk foam you get from Philips espresso machines.

The milk frother is a bit annoying to take apart, but as far as milk texture is concerned, I can’t complain.

The Anima Prestige only steams milk to one texture, so all your milk drinks are quite same-y. In fairness, the cheapest espresso machine that can steam milk to multiple textures is three times the price of the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

Milk Steaming Performance: 8/10

Functionalities

The Gaggia Anima Prestige has fewer menu items than most similarly priced super-automatic espresso machines.

The machine only offers four drinks. This is fewer than three similarly priced machines, namely:

  • Philips 3200 LatteGo: 5 drinks
  • Delonghi Magnifica Evo: 5 drinks
  • Gaggia Magenta Prestige: 10 drinks

The Anima Prestige also does not let you adjust your drink’s size and milk volume with a button press, which is something the Philips 3200 LatteGo and Gaggia Magenta Prestige can do.

All this means that the Anima Prestige offers relatively few functionalities for its price tag.

Functionalities Rating: 5/10

User Friendliness

The Gaggia Anima Prestige is slightly harder to use than most similarly priced super-automatic espresso machines.

This lack of user-friendliness is due to:

  • Its water tank pulls out from the top rather than from the front and is hard to carry when full.
  • You only be able to adjust your coffee and milk volumes manually
  • Its grinder lid does not stay open without you holding it open.

These are all small things but they add up to make the Gaggia Anima Prestige slightly more of a pain to use than other super automatics.

User Friendliness Rating: 6/10

Design and Durability

The Gaggia Anima Prestige has some annoying design flaws and an alarming number of defective product reports online.

I mentioned the design flaws when talking about the machine’s user-friendliness, however more alarming than this are the online reports of the machine either being defective out of the box or breaking down within weeks of use.

You can find a lot of these reports here.

Design and Durability Rating: 4/10

Value for Money

The Gaggia Anima Prestige doesn’t offer terrible value for money, but I think you can spend a little bit extra to get something a lot, a lot better.

The obvious example of this is the Delonghi Magnifica Evo, which costs around $200 more than the Anima Prestige but is better than it in pretty much every facet (especially in espresso quality which is the most important facet of an espresso machine).

You also have the Philips 3200 which costs the same as the Gaggia Anima Prestige and is much more user-friendly than it.

All this means that the Gaggia Anima Prestige doesn’t offer brilliant value for money.

Value for Money Rating: 5/10

Product Alternatives

The three most popular alternatives to the Gaggia Anima Prestige are the Gaggia Magenta Prestige, Delonghi Magnifica Evo, and Philips 3200. I’ll now run through how these three machines compare to the Anima Prestige.

Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Delonghi Magnifica Evo

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige is better than the Gaggia Anima Prestige and the two machines cost the same.

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige has six more menu items and has a nicer user interface than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

Despite this, I still don’t recommend either machine. They both use the same flawed brewing basket so both make watery, bland espresso.

If you’d like to find out more about the Gaggia Magenta Prestige then please check out my Gaggia Magenta Prestige review.

Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Delonghi Magnifica Evo

The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes better espresso and is more durable than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

The Magnifica Evo’s superior espresso is mainly due to it having a better quality brew basket than the Anima Prestige.

The Magnifica Evo also has a year longer warranty than the Anima Prestige and I can find far fewer reports of it breaking down. The Delonghi Magnifica Evo seems to be a more popular super-automatic espresso machine than the Gaggia Anima Prestige, so the fact there are fewer bad reviews of the Magnifica Evo is pretty damning of the Anima Prestige’s reliability.

Put this together and I think you get much better value with the Delonghi Magnifica Evo than with the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

Better Value Than the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
Delonghi Magnifica Evo
$899.95 $649.95
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo brews better espresso and is more reliable than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.
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04/03/2024 04:20 am GMT

Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Philips 3200 LatteGo

The Philips 3200 LatteGo is easier to use and keep clean than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

This is mainly because the Philips 3200 Lattego’s milk system doesn’t use milk tubes. These tubes are a nightmare to keep clean.

I’d recommend the Philips 3200 if you are buying a machine for an office and you don’t want some poor soul to be responsible for decrusting a coffee machine’s milk tubes.

Best for Offices
Philips 3200 LatteGo
$999.99 $699.00
The Philips 3200 LatteGo’s lack of rubber milk tubes makes it super easy to keep clean. This makes it ideal for offices where you don’t want staff wasting time cleaning an espresso machine.
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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 03:37 am GMT

Gaggia Anima Prestige: Final Verdict

I do not recommend the Gaggia Anima Prestige as the machine brews weak, watery espresso.

I instead recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo which costs a similar amount but makes a far better tasting espresso.

Better Value Than the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
Delonghi Magnifica Evo
$899.95 $649.95
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo brews better espresso and is more reliable than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 04:20 am GMT

FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

Is Gaggia Anima Any Good?

The Gaggia Anima Prestige is not a good espresso machine. Its brew basket has too large holes in it for proper espresso extraction to occur. Gaggia does not make good super-automatic espresso machines in general.

Where is the Gaggia Anima Prestige Made?

The Gaggia Anima Prestige is made in Italy. Gaggia makes the majority of their super-automatic espresso machines at their factory in Bologna.

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