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Gaggia Magenta Prestige Review

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Last updated: December 28, 2023

Quick Answer: I don’t recommend the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. If you want a super-automatic espresso machine with a milk frother for under $1,000 I instead recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo.

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige is one of the most affordable big-brand super-automatic espresso machines on the market right now. 

With Gaggia having a reputation for making ultra-durable semi-automatic espresso machines, are their super automatics as reliable as their traditional machines?

In this Gaggia Magenta Prestige review, I’m going to explain why I do not recommend this machine and why I think it is far inferior to similarly priced Delonghi espresso machines.

Let’s get started.

Should I Buy the Gaggia Magenta Prestige?

I do NOT recommend buying the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. I instead recommend getting the Delonghi Magnifica Evo.

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige makes watery, tasteless espresso because it brews far too quickly.

Its milk steaming is ok, but no better than what you get on the Delonghi Magnifica Evo. 

This decent but not great milk frothing doesn’t do enough to make up for the machine’s dreadful espresso.

NOT RECOMMENDED
Gaggia Magenta Prestige
$699.00

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige doesn’t do a very good job of making espresso because of its poorly built brewing basket.

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04/03/2024 12:59 pm GMT
Espresso Quality
3/10
Milk Steaming Performance
8/10
User Friendliness
5/10
Ease of Cleaning
8/10
Design and Durability
4/10
Value for Money
4/10

Gaggia Magenta Prestige Pros

The machine makes good frothed milk by automatic milk frother standards.

The machine has an easy to use control panel.

Gaggia Magenta Prestige Cons

Its espresso is weak and watery.

Its water reservoir is much smaller than other similar machines.

Its grinder is hard to pour coffee beans into without spilling them everywhere.

Its milk carafe is hard to take apart.

A lot of their units come defective out of the box.

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

The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes way better espresso than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. Combine this with the fact that the Delonghi Magnifica Evo is far more reliable than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige and you have a much better machine for a similar price tag.

Better Than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige
Delonghi Magnifica Evo
$899.95 $649.95
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes better-tasting espresso than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. The two machines are similar in price.
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04/03/2024 04:20 am GMT

If you’d like to find out more about the Delonghi Magnifica Evo then you can check out my Delonghi Magnifica Evo review.

Gaggia Magenta Prestige Features

I’m going to run through the machine’s key features and components.

User Interface and Workflow: Very Well Designed and Thought Out

The Gaggia Magenta Plus’s button-controlled LCD screen control panel is easily the machine’s best feature.

The machine’s control panel is really well laid out with all its settings and options labeled in plain English (or a choice of five other languages) rather than through cryptic symbols or random sets of flashing lights.

I don’t see how anyone can struggle to make a drink with this machine. Its UI is foolproof.

I like that the machine’s control panel is tilted upwards. The machine is below your eyeline on most counters so this means that you don’t need to crouch over to see what the machine is saying.

Other super-automatic espresso machines can learn from this design.

Menu: Its Black Drinks are Terrible. Its Milk Based Drinks Are Fine

The two images below describe each of the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s available drinks:

I’m now going to give my thoughts on each of these drinks:

  • Espresso: Bland and has absolutely zero body. The machine brews espresso in 12 seconds which isn’t enough time for your coffee to extract into your brewing water. Thus the lack of flavor and body. 3/10
  • Ristretto: This was even worse than the espresso. It brews in about five seconds which gives you an undrinkably sharp shot. 2/10
  • Espresso Lungo: This was significantly better than the espresso and the machine’s best black drink. If you set it to the strongest setting and set it to use 120 ml of water then it brews in about 20 seconds for something dull but drinkable (similar to a Nespresso). 5/10
  • Coffee: This was like a bigger, blander version of the espresso. It brews in 30 seconds which is far, far too quick for a drip coffee (2 mins minimum). 2/10
  • Americano: The machine brews an espresso and then squirts some slightly brown hot water on top of it. This was truly terrible, tasting like slightly coffee-flavored water. 1/10
  • Cappuccino: This was decent, but not amazing. Its milk foam is slightly too thin for a cappuccino so you don’t get the frothy layer that you want at the top of the drink. 5/10
  • Latte Macchiato: You don’t quite get the defined layers of coffee and milk as you do with a Philips machine (see photo below). Still, this isn’t bad if you like a very milk-forward drink. 6/10
  • Cafe Au Lait: This is just a drip-style coffee with some milk added to it. Like I said earlier Gaggia’s drip-style coffee is tasteless and adding milk to it doesn’t change that. 2/10
  • Cortado: This is by miles the machine’s best drink. It dispenses coffee first, lets it settle, and then dispenses a small amount of milk (you can set it as low as 20 ml). The end result is a nice homogenous drink like a coffee-forward latte. The machine’s thin milk foam is ideal for a homogenous drink like this. 8/10
  • Flat white: This is just a cappuccino brewed with two shots of espresso. It grinds twice so you get a proper double espresso in your drink rather than just a watery lungo. This is the machine’s second-best drink after the cortado. 7/10

The machine can also dispense plain foamed milk and hot water.

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s latte macchiato wouldn’t settle any more than this

Drink Customizability Settings: Good Range of Settings and I Like How it Tells You Your Drink’s Exact Measurements

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige lets you adjust the following drink settings:

  • Coffee size: You can bump up/down your coffee’s length in increments of 10 ml.
  • Brewing temperature: The machine has 3 brewing temperature settings.
  • Drink strength: This controls how much ground coffee your drink is brewed with. You have five settings for each menu item.
  • Milk size: You can bump up/down the amount of milk in your drink by increments of 10 ml.
  • Double shot: This will grind and brew a second shot of whatever coffee you’re having (available on non-milk drinks only).

I like how the Gaggia Magenta Prestige tells you your coffee and milk’s size in milliliters. This gives you a far better idea of what you’re brewing than Philips espresso machines which measure all your drinks’ sizes in arbitrary notches.

While the machine doesn’t have any user profiles, it gives you the option to save your custom settings for each menu item.

Milk Frother: Steams Milk Nicely But Difficult to Assemble and Disassemble

I like the way that the Gaggia Magenta Prestige foams milk. Its milk froth is thinner and more silky than the overly bubbled foam you get from similarly priced Philips machines.

Its milk foam is very similar to what you’d get from the Delonghi Magnifica Evo.

While I like the Gaggia’s milk frother’s steamed milk, I don’t think the milk frother is designed very well.

I specifically don’t like how the frother’s lid is hard to remove from the carafe. 

You have to press two tabs on each side of the lid to remove it. Since its lid is bi I find it hard to press these both at the same time with one hand.

This means that if you have small hands you need to press each tab with one hand which will then just release the carafe. It’s very easy to spill milk doing this so be careful.

I also don’t like how the carafe needs to attach to the machine in a very particular way or it will spray milk everywhere when you turn it on. 

It’s hard to explain the specifics of how this works, but below is a video showcasing this quirk (watch from 6:59 – 7:54):

It’s easy to do this wrong and this can lead to milk and steam spraying everywhere – not what you want.

The Magenta Prestige’s milk frother uses a rubber tube to suck your milk up to be frothed. These are a nightmare to keep clean as water won’t get in the small hole in the dishwasher. I clean mine by physically blowing hot water through it with my mouth.

These rubber tubes also need replacing once a month. They cost around $5, which adds up if you need to pay that each month.

So in short the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s milk frother creates a nice milk texture but is annoying to use and clean.

Espresso Brewing System: Its Brew Basket Has Too Big Holes to Get a Good Espresso Extraction

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige uses the classic “brew group” that you find on pretty much every super-automatic espresso machine. You can remove this brew group for rinsing and lubricating, much like with Philips and Delonghi super automatics.

Brew group was removed and in the machine

The problem with the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s espresso brewing unit is that the holes in its brew basket are too large.

These holes are what’s meant to offer resistance to your water when brewing your espresso. If the holes in the brew basket are too large then water will run too quickly through your ground coffee puck your and your espresso will not extract properly

This is why all the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s espresso is weak and watery.

This problem affects all Gaggia super-automatic espresso machines, as well as all Philips espresso machines that use the same brew basket as Gaggia (probably because Philips owns Gaggia).

If you want a super-automatic espresso machine to predominantly make black drinks, I’d recommend a Delonghi or Jura over a Gaggia (or Philips).

Note the difference in hole size

Both Jura and Delonghi use better-quality brewing systems than Gaggia/Philips, meaning that they make better-tasting espresso.

Rinsing and Cleaning System: Not Too Many Auto Rinsings (This Is a Good Thing)

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige will run a rinse cycle when it turns on and when it turns off. 

This is standard for super automatics. However, it’s easy to leave the machine on and for it to run a “random” rinse cycle when its auto-off kicks in. Make a habit of leaving a cup under your spout to avoid potentially flooding your counter.

The machine does a lot less seemingly random rinses than Delonghi super automatics (they do this so much, unfortunately).

The machine also has dedicated basic and deep milk system cleaning, as well as brew group cleaning and descaling cycles. You can access these in the machine’s “clean” menu.

Bear in mind that the milk cleaning functions just clean the part of the milk frother that’s attached to the machine (the heating element, basically). You should still put your milk carafe and lid in the dishwasher or it will smell like sour milk very quickly.

The machine will prompt you when it needs a brew group rinse and descaling based on your water hardness and the number of drinks you’ve made.

Grinder: Works Fine But Is Annoying To Fill

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige has a ceramic burr grinder with 10 grind size settings.

While some reviewers say that this means the Gaggia makes a better espresso than machines that use a stainless steel grinder (Jura and Delonghi super automatics for example), I don’t agree with this.

A super-automatic espresso machine’s espresso quality is determined almost solely by its brew group. Its grinder material really doesn’t make a difference. 

While the grinder works well, it’s annoying to fill. 

Instead of having a lid, the grinder is covered by two sheets of plastic on a tight hinge. You need to hold this constantly to access the bean hopper, which leaves you only one hand to pour in your coffee beans.

This can easily lead to spillage, especially if you have a full-kilogram bag of beans.

The machine has a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee but I would not recommend using this. Steam rises up through it every time you brew which will almost certainly create blockages.

Water Reservoir: Too Wide and Has a Flimsy Handle

The machine’s water tank holds 61 oz of water. Unfortunately, it is short and wide which makes it hard to carry when full without water sloshing everywhere.

The water tank has a plastic handle which is supposed to make it less awkward to carry, but there is absolutely no way that such a flimsy handle can support the reservoir’s weight when full.

Its water reservoir is just poorly designed in its entirety.

Drip Tray and Used Coffee Container: Awkward to Put in the Dishwasher

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s drip tray and used coffee grounds container come apart into three pieces.

All of the drip tray’s components (including the used coffee grounds container) are dishwasher safe.

I do wish that the part of the drip tray that sticks upwards was detachable. This would make it a lot less awkward to put in the dishwasher.

Although the machine’s used coffee grounds container can hold up to 15 coffee pucks, I’d recommend cleaning this at least every other day. They get moldy very quickly (there’s a reason why used coffee grounds are often used as fertilizer.

Accessories: A Stingy Offering

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige comes with a plastic coffee spoon (which you’ll never use because the machine grinds with whole beans), a tube of lubricant, and a water hardness test strip.

No descaling solution, no brew group cleaning tablets, no water filter, and no spare rubber milk tubes.

That’s irritatingly stingy given the machine’s price tag, in my opinion.

Below is a table of the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s key specifications:

Specification Gaggia Magenta Plus
Description
Super-automatic espresso machine with automatic milk frother
Milk System
Integrated carafe with rubber tubing
Available milk textures
1
User Interface
Button controlled LCD screen
Number of black drinks on menu
5
Number of milk drinks on menu
5
Strength settings
5
Size settings (per drink)
5
Milk size settings (per drink)
5
User Profiles
None
Grinder Type
Flat ceramic burr grinder
Number of grind size settings
10
Maximum cup clearance
5.9”
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
8.8″ W x 17.1″ D x 14.0″ H

Now that I’ve gone through the Gaggia Magenta Prestige’s features, I’m going to assess the machine along the following criteria:

  • Espresso quality
  • Milk steaming performance
  • User-friendliness
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Design and durability
  • Value for money

Espresso Quality

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige makes tasteless, watery espresso.

Like I said earlier, this is because of its poorly made brew basket. The holes in its brew basket are too big to offer sufficient resistance to your water during brewing.

This makes your espresso brew too quickly for sufficient extraction to occur.

The Magenta Prestige’s espresso has zero mouthfeel and tastes like a weaker-than-normal drip coffee. It’s really bad.

Espresso Quality Rating: 3/10

Milk Steaming Performance

The Gaggia Magenta Prestige steams milk to a nice silky consistency.

Its steamed milk is a bit too thin for a cappuccino but is perfect for latte-type drinks. This is why the machine’s cortado is by far its best menu item.

It steams milk to a nicer texture than Philips super-automatic espresso machines and is about on par with the Delonghi Magnifica Evo and Delonghi Dinamica.

Although the Gaggia Magenta Prestige steams milk to a nice consistency, I do find its milk carafe finickity to take apart for cleaning.

Milk Steaming Performance: 8/10

User Friendliness

Although the Gaggia Magenta Plus has a super intuitive control panel, its poorly designed grinder and water reservoir make it harder to use than other super automatics with an LCD screen control panel.

The Gaggia Magenta Plus is very easy to make a coffee with – once you have filled it up with beans and water.

Filling the machine up with beans and water is more difficult than with other super automatics because:

  • Its water tank is wide and shallow: This makes it easy to spill when full. It also doesn’t pull out from the front which is annoying if you have low cabinets.
  • Its grinder requires you to hold its lid open when you fill it: This makes it easy to spill coffee beans as you only have one free hand to pour the beans in.

While its control panel is well designed, it’s not miles ahead of what you get on similarly priced machines that also have LCD screen control panels.

So compared to the competition, the Gaggia Magenta Plus is less user-friendly than most.

User Friendliness: 5/10

Ease of Cleaning

The Gaggia Magenta Plus is averagely easy to keep clean by super-automatic espresso machine standards.

The machine has a dedicated milk system and brew group cleaning cycles, and all its parts that come into regular contact with coffee and water are removable and dishwasher safe.

It’s slightly harder to keep clean than Philips espresso machines because its milk system uses rubber tubes. These need to be cleaned by hand after every use.

Ease of Cleaning Rating: 8/10

Design and Durability

The Gaggia Magenta Plus has a lot of annoying design issues and appears to often come defective out of the box.

Here is a list of the annoying design/UX flaws that the machine has:

  • The bean hopper’s lid needs to be held open when you pour the beans in.
  • Its water tank is shallow and wide and pulls out from the top rather than from the front.
  • It sneezes a bit of coffee water before every drink you make.
  • Its milk carafe’s lid is stiff and hard to take off with one hand.
  • The machine doesn’t have enough cup clearance for a travel mug
The travel mug in this photo is 7 inches tall

In addition to this, there are a lot of Amazon reviews complaining about the machine being defective out of the box. You can see them here.

Although most coffee machines have one or two reports like this, the Gaggia Magenta Prestige has far more than normal. This leads me to believe that Gaggia has quality assurance issues with this model.

Design and Durability Rating: 4/10

Value for Money

I don’t think that the Gaggia Magenta Prestige offers great value for money.

When you compare the Gaggia Magenta Prestige to similarly priced super automatics you see that:

  • The Magenta Prestige doesn’t create anywhere near as good espresso as similarly priced Delonghi Machines

Combine this with the number of reports online of the machine being defective out of the box and I just don’t see how it offers good value for money.

Value for Money Rating: 4/10

Gaggia Magenta Prestige Alternatives

Three espresso machines that I often see compared to the Gaggia Magenta Prestige are the Delonghi Magnifica Evo, Gaggia Magenta Plus, and Gaggia Cadorna Prestige. I’ll now run through how I think each compares to the Magenta Prestige.

Gaggia Magenta Prestige vs Delonghi Magnifica Evo

The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is far better than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige.

The Magnifica Evo makes a better-tasting, fuller-bodied espresso than the Magenta Prestige because of its higher-quality brew basket.

The Magnifica Evo also does not seem to have the quality assurance issues that plague the Magenta Prestige.

I would recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo over the Gaggia Magenta Prestige especially if you plan to drink a lot of plain espresso.

Better Than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige
Delonghi Magnifica Evo
$899.95 $649.95
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes better-tasting espresso than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. The two machines are similar in price.
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

Gaggia Magenta Prestige vs Gaggia Magenta Plus

I’d recommend the Gaggia Magenta Plus over the Gaggia Magenta Prestige if you want to make latte art.

The Gaggia Magenta Plus has a professional steam wand instead of an automatic milk frother. This steam wand has a bit of a learning curve to it, but once you’ve mastered it you can make the silky microfoam needed for latte art.

You will never be able to make latte art with the Magenta Prestige.

Best if You Want to Make Latte Art
Gaggia Magenta Plus
$608.34
The Gaggia Magenta Plus’s professional-grade steam wand means it's the only super-automatic espresso machine that you can make latte art with.
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04/03/2024 09:44 pm GMT

Gaggia Magenta Prestige vs Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

I don’t recommend either the Gaggia Magenta Prestige or the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige.

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is just a bigger version of the Gaggia Magenta Prestige with a few more menu items.

Although the Cadorna Prestige has more menu items than the Magenta Prestige, both machines brew espresso and steam milk in the same way. This means that you can recreate every menu item on the Cadorna Prestige with the Magenta Prestige by adjusting its coffee and milk size settings.

So I don’t recommend spending an extra $200 to get the Cadorna Prestige instead of the Magenta Prestige.

Gaggia Magenta Prestige Review: Final Verdict

I don’t recommend the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. The machine cannot make a good espresso and has far more technical problems than most similarly priced super-automatic espresso machines.

I’d instead recommend the Delonghi Magnifica Evo which actually can make a good espresso and is far more reliable than the Magenta Prestige.

Better Than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige
Delonghi Magnifica Evo
$899.95 $649.95
The Delonghi Magnifica Evo makes better-tasting espresso than the Gaggia Magenta Prestige. The two machines are similar in price.
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

Gaggia Magenta Prestige FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about the Gaggia Magenta Prestige

Is the Gaggia Magenta Good?

The Gaggia Magenta is not a good espresso machine. It creates inferior espresso to similarly priced machines from Delonghi because its brew group has too small holes to give enough resistance to your water when brewing.

What’s the Difference Between the Gaggia Magenta Plus and Prestige?

The difference between the Gaggia Magenta Plus and Prestige is that the Plush has a professional steam wand whereas the Prestige has an automatic milk frother. You can make latte art with the Gaggia Magenta Plus but not the Prestige.

How Long Does the Gaggia Magenta Prestige Take to Heat Up?

The machine takes about 20 seconds to initially heat up – it runs a rinse cycle while it does this.

Once you select a drink the machine takes about ten seconds for its espresso brewing system to heat up and about 20 seconds for its milk heating system to heat up.

Is Gaggia Still Made in Italy?

Gaggia makes all their super-automatic espresso machines in Italy. Their main manufacturing plant is in Bologna.

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