The Gaggia Brera espresso machine has quickly amassed a lot of cult following, and it has been rated highly among the users right from the word go. But how does it live up to all the hype, let’s find out!
The Brera is a semi-automatic machine that you can conveniently use in any environment, whether it is your home or your office. It is certainly one of the top choices when you talk about the price.
The Brera has a reasonable footprint and requires some space on your counter. However, it is slightly heavy to move, so you can’t move it around a lot.
The machine comes with an automatic burr grinder that you can use manually too. This feature is not commonly available in an espresso machine in this price range.
The Gaggia Brera has a very sturdy build, and it can satisfy a group of coffee lovers too. The capacity of its bean hopper and the water reservoir is enough to serve a small group of people. It has a simple interface paired with a Pannarello frothing wand.
So should you buy it or not? Continue reading this in-depth Gaggia Brera Espresso review to find all about it!
- Full stainless steel construction.
- Very easy to operate.
- Features an LCD display.
- Water level and declaring requirement indicator.
- Pannarello steam wand.
- Inbuilt coffee grinder.
- Less robust tasting coffee.
- Dry frothing.
Semi-automatic machine: To choose or not to choose!
Semi-automatic machines for espressos come with all automatic features, excluding the extraction pump. The Baristas love the manual pump because it gives them control over the coffee shot.
A fully automatic machine, on the other hand, has all its functions fully automatic, including the extraction pump. The advantage of this feature is that you don’t have to deal with any complications associated with your cup.
Just enter the settings for the type of cup you want to drink, and the machine will prepare it for you. But if you are looking to change the taste and aroma of your cup, forget about it.
Gaggia Classic Pro
Breville The Barista
Less flavorful and robust.
5 cups (40 fl oz).
9 cups (71 fl oz).
8 cups (67 fl oz)
Ease of use
Buttons, gauges, knob, and a quality steam wand.
Rockers, gauge, knobs, and commercial-grade steam wand.
Knobs, gauges, buttons, and easy-to-access steam wand.
Stainless steel construction with hints of plastic.
Stainless steel body, but the drip tray is made of plastic.
Stainless steel body with buttons and knobs made of plastic.
Simple descaling process but requires devotion.
Easy but requires some practice.
Simple descaling process but requires devotion.
Pannarello steam wand
Commercial-grade steam wand.
Swiveling angled steam wand.
Automatic and manual grinder.
Automatic and manual grinder.
Additional Useful Features
Single boiler, digital display, low water warning, and indicator for descaling requirement.
Single boiler, pressurized and non-pressurized filters, 3-way valve (solenoid), dual heating elements.
Double boiler, multi-user programming, auto-shutoff, and water tank indicator.
Value for money
Meets the value.
Meets the value.
The Gaggia Brera Espresso Review
When we talk about taste, Gaggia Brera produces an above-average taste. The quality of the shots is more watery and less full-bodied. We had to try and test all these machines under consideration to score all the machines without any bias. The taste itself was not bad, and you won’t have to deal with any metallic aromas coming in front of the coffee.
The steam wand of this machine is good enough to work for a dry cappuccino but not great for latte art. Not being too fussy about your cup, the results that this machine can produce are more than satisfying.
The Gaggia Classic Pro, on the other hand, is very much similar to what Gaggia Brera produces. If we focus on the more intricate details in a cup, then there is a certain amount of lack of robustness and flavor. But for a regular coffee drinker, this difference is not very much noticeable.
When we talk about the Breville Barista, there is a sudden boost in taste. The cup of coffee that this machine can produce is simply top-notch. And a lot of credit goes to what you can change in your recipe. You are in total control here.
The winner here is the Breville Barista by a fair margin because the taste and aroma that this machine provides to your cup are exceptional.
The Gaggia Brera comes with a water reservoir that can store 40 fluid ounces of water at a time. It means that the machine can conveniently make 5 cups of coffee until you need to refill. If there are some serious coffee drinkers around you, then you will be doing a lot of refills throughout the day. If there are not many, then maybe you are good with a couple of refills daily.
The Classic Pro by Gaggia comes with a water tank that can store up to 71 fluid ounces in it. Therefore, it can produce up to 9 cups, and you will have to deal with a lot fewer refills throughout the day. The tank capacity of the Breville Barista is not too far behind the Classic Pro with 67 fluid ounces. This machine can manage up to 8 cups with ease.
If you don’t consume coffee a lot and you are the only one around for this beverage, then this machine is the right choice for you. The other two options are more suitable for heavy drinkers.
Ease of Use
There is no doubt that, even with a glance, you will get accustomed to all its controls and operations. The buttons and knobs that are present on this device are very simple to use, and there is not much going on here.
The Gaggia Classic Pro also has a similar construction, and you don’t have to deal with any complications when it comes to controls. All the buttons and knobs are very easy to access, and the operations are very much self-explanatory.
However, simplicity is not the case with the Breville Barista. It has that classic look that comes from a cafe style espresso machine, and the controls are a lot more complicated as compared to the other two machines by Gaggia. The Barista Breville is designed for the true coffee aficionados who like to be in charge of their coffee and make their cup as complicated as possible for better taste and fragrances.
Therefore, the clear winner here is the Gaggia Brera, with a close runner up being the Classic Pro. Both these machines are far simpler to get used to by a coffee maker of any experience level.
Gaggia has used high-quality stainless steel in the construction of its Barera espresso machine. The entire body features stainless steel. Therefore, the machine is very durable, and it can stand the test of time.
The Classic Pro also features the same materials. Still, it is sturdier and has a compact footprint. It weighs slightly better than the Brera in terms of rigidness. The Breville Barista’s stainless steel construction with a few hints of plastic for the buttons and knobs are there. But this machine is not designed to be tossed around.
Backflushing is not a big deal with Gaggia’s Barera. Just a simple swipe of damp rags will be quite sufficient. The internal components of this machine are all dishwasher safe provided that you get rid of the fluid and clean it with hot water in the end.
The descaling process of this machine is a real bummer, and you will have to be very devoted to getting through it. You will need a descaling solution for this process. The descaling process should be done every few months.
It is very much the case with Gaggia’s Classic Pro as well. The only advantage that this machine has over the Brera is that it is lighter and more compact in design. Cleaning the Breville Barista is also as difficult because you need to be very attentive in cleaning all those small components.
The milk steaming capabilities of the Gaggia Brera are not too great, especially if you compare it with the likes of Breville Barista. You are not going to get that creamy texture that you expect from a frother. But the latest that this espresso machine can produce is not that bad either. The froth that it produces is a bit airier.
If you are looking for a great quality latte, then you need to choose Breville Barista. With this machine, you can truly unleash the barista inside you. The frothing is extremely creamy, and you won’t feel any dryness in it.
The Classic Pro’s frothing ability is very much similar to Gaggia’s Brera. And you will feel some dryness in the milk steam. But just like the Barera espresso machine, it is something that you can’t refuse. But if you are really into latte arts, then you should go for the Breville Barista.
The Gaggia Brera espresso machine comes with a burr grinder installed in it. You can use the grinder either manually or go with its automatic features. With this espresso machine, you can use ground coffee or whole coffee beans.
Use high-quality coffee beans. The espresso machines that come with inbuilt grinders are truly a blessing in disguise. You don’t have to buy a grinder separately, which is a huge money and space saver.
The Breville Barista also comes with an inbuilt grinder, and you can alter the coarseness of the coffee grounds with ease. The Classic Pro, however, doesn’t come with an inbuilt grinder, and you will have to purchase a grinder separately to use with it.
If you choose coffee beans for your coffee, then the Gaggia Brera and the Breville Barista are the right choices for you. Nevertheless, if you are not too concerned about using whole beans and are good to go with ground coffee, then the Classic Pro is the right choice for you.
Additional Useful Features
The handy digital display provides you with all the information about the current status of the machine. There is a water level indicator and a descaling indicator.
Similar features are available in the Barista Breville too. There is a water level indicator along with a light that will turn on when your machine requires descaling. And the machine is a double boiler where you can brew coffee and steam the milk at the same time.
The Classic Pro is a single boiler machine that comes with pressurized filters along with non-pressurized filters. There is a three-way valve (solenoid) that pairs well with the dual-heating element on this machine.
Value for Money
The Gaggia Brera is a well-built espresso machine and effortless to use. This machine is designed not to be moved around a lot. There are some delicate parts present in it, and you have to be careful while using them. The machine itself is simple to operate, and it can produce a decent cup of coffee too. At this price, you are getting what you are paying for.
The Classic Pro is the same in price and performance, and it also comes with very easy-to-operate controls. So it is a good investment as well considering the price tag. The Breville Barista is slightly more expensive than both these machines, but you get to control the cup entirely. Therefore, you have more options to explore here.
If you are looking for a high-quality machine with total control over your cup of coffee, then prepare yourself to pay the price for it. However, if you want a decent cup of coffee with enough controls too, then the Gaggia Brera is a great choice.
Gaggia Brera espresso machine is for you if
- You are looking for a machine with a normal footprint.
- You are looking for a semi-automatic espresso machine with a single boiler.
- An inbuilt grinder is a must-have for you.
- You are not an avid coffee drinker.
- The machine comes with easy preset controls for pressure and temperature.
Gaggia Brera espresso machine is not for you if
- You consume a lot of coffee.
- You are not alone when it comes to coffee drinking.
- Latte art and milk steam mean a lot to you.
- You want more control over temperature and pressure along with the water content in your shots.
FAQs for Gaggia Brera
These two machines are very close to each other if you compare them both head to head. The Classic Pro comes with more water reservoir capacity, whereas the Gaggia Brera features an inbuilt grinder. The Classic Pro is more designed for heavy coffee consumption.
In contrast, the Gaggia Brera is designed to put you in some control of your cup. You can use whole coffee beans, and in this way, you can fine-tune the tastes and fragrances in your come while using Gaggia Brera.
The choice is up to you whether you should go for an espresso machine with a grinder or not. If you already own a coffee grinder, then you don’t need an espresso machine with its inbuilt grinder.
Again if you prefer to use ground coffee, then an inbuilt grinder will be useless for you. But if you like to grind your coffee before you consume it (and this is the best practice for better-tasting coffee), then you should choose a machine with a grinder.
If you are a true espresso lover, then you need to go for dark roast coffee beans. These beans come with the richest aromatic natural oils. These beans are at least acidic. Dark roast beans can produce thick golden crema, and being an espresso lover, it is all that you crave for.
The Gaggia Brera is the right choice for anyone who is looking to taste some good espressos. It gives you some freedom to do some latte work too. But you don’t expect too much in that department. The coffee that this machine produces will be slightly less robust too.
Therefore, you should go for some high-quality coffee beans that pack a lot of flavor and aroma. The cup that this machine produces will be very rich in taste. For the price that you are paying, you are getting a lot out of it as this single boiler semi-automatic espresso machine. It is a great option for regular coffee lovers.