The Gaggia Brera Coffee Maker Review – It’s All In The Beans, The Coffee And The Crema

by | Jul 9, 2019

Ah, Italy. Beautiful scenery, amazing fashion, stunning buildings, gorgeous food, friendly people – and truly great coffee in so many forms, from the most intimate coffee shops to the grandest. Cappuccino, latte, macchiato, espresso… Trying to recreate those coffees is one of my absolute favorite pastimes. So when I came across the Gaggia Brera I just had to give it a go.

Gaggia has been a market leader for a very long time and while the range may not change as frequently as with some other coffee machine companies, you know you are getting a well-crafted coffee maker that’s designed to last and move with the times. It’s one of those brands that I regularly see in coffee shops and restaurants around the world.

The brand itself has decades of expertise behind it. Gaggia was actually founded in the 1940s and has been going strong ever since. Every now and then another survey or comparison, article or report appears, and Gaggia Milano consistently gets high marks.

You could even argue that Gaggia founder Achille was actually responsible for what we now know as the distinctive crema that characterizes espresso. So it’s not surprising that Gaggia espresso makers are now held in such high regard.

The Gaggia Brera

Just one look at the Gaggia Brera tells you this coffee maker means business. Even its full name is pretty hefty – “Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine”. It’s a serious, sturdy, practical, yet stylish machine, with dozens of options and variables.

 

Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine 

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
450 Reviews
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
  • FROTHING FOR MILK BEVERAGES: Pannarello wand frothing for cappuccinos & lattes. Wand doubles as a hot water dispenser for americanos & tea.
  • EASY ACCESS: The dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank are all within reach and accessible from the front of the machine for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • USER-FRIENDLY DISPLAY: Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make for an easy and intuitive experience.
  • RAPID STEAM TECHNOLOGY: Quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. Coffee bean capacity : 250 gr
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY: Hassle free 1 year warranty handled by Gaggia directly

Achille Gaggia himself started his working life as a cafe owner in Milan, and you can see that expertise (and love of coffee) in every lovely feature. Most machines are still made in Milan.

Despite its compact size of just 12.4 inches, this machine has an astonishing range. You have the option to enjoy your best blend whether you prefer grinding whole beans or using already-ground coffee. Its front-loading mechanism means it’s super easy to fill, empty and maintain. You control the machine with a combination of push buttons and an LED display.

 

Pros & Cons

We absolutely love

The fabulous, authentic coffees, including double shot espressos

It heats up pretty quickly, usually in around 30 seconds (definitely less than a minute)

It’s incredibly compact

It’s front loading

It looks great

The frother

What we’re really not so happy with…

✗ Although it’s an investment, it’s not the cheapest machine out there

✗ There’s no timer

✗ The water reservoir is small

 

FAQ

Now you hopefully know a bit about the basic look and feel of the machine, and about the credentials of the company. What about the rest?

 

Who’s the target audience for a Gaggia Brera coffee machine?

This would be perfect for a single person household or workplace, or for a couple or small household, and it’s probably a little pricey for most student dorm rooms. Due to its small water reservoir, this wouldn’t really be suitable for a large family or a workplace where you drink a lot of coffee, unless you’re happy to keep refilling the reservoir and emptying the grounds or pucks.

 

Why the Gaggia Brera?

I love to know the meaning of the words used for coffee machine models, and I was curious about “Brera” since I couldn’t find a meaning for it in either Italian or Latin… It did make me think of words like “brave”, “brother” and “bravo”. The word can also mean “spreading” in Norwegian, apparently, and I really did like the implication that there’s breadth as well as depth to what you can make with this machine

 

What’s the Gaggia Brera made of?

It’s mainly made of plastic, with a stainless steel front. So the water tank and the other bits that come into contact with the coffee, milk and water are mainly plastic. The conical grinder is ceramic.

 

How big is the Gaggia Brera?

This Gaggia coffee maker is 12 inches high, including the coffee compartment. It has a depth of just under 12 inches without the tray and around 16 inches with the tray. It’s 10 inches wide.

 

What’s the water reservoir and coffee bean capacity?

This is one of the few areas where it’s less than perfect – the water capacity is pretty small, at around 40oz. You can usually brew around 3-4 average sized cups with one refill, and more espressos. The Gaggia Brero can take 8.8oz of beans at once.

 

Do I need any special skills to use this machine?

Making ordinary coffees, espressos, double espressos, milky latte style drinks, couldn’t be simpler. When it comes to cappuccinos, it depends on how you like them; we thought the frother made a pretty good cappuccino, but others might take a more purist approach.

 

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine 

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
450 Reviews
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
  • FROTHING FOR MILK BEVERAGES: Pannarello wand frothing for cappuccinos & lattes. Wand doubles as a hot water dispenser for americanos & tea.
  • EASY ACCESS: The dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank are all within reach and accessible from the front of the machine for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • USER-FRIENDLY DISPLAY: Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make for an easy and intuitive experience.
  • RAPID STEAM TECHNOLOGY: Quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. Coffee bean capacity : 250 gr
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY: Hassle free 1 year warranty handled by Gaggia directly

You might want to check out the guide suggestions on how to get your froth just right. You might also find if you’re using one of the lower fat vegetable-based milk options, like rice, soy or almond, it won’t foam as well as the higher fat varieties.

 

How do I keep it in tip-top condition?

While it’s easy to clean, you do need to keep it clean and well maintained for it to work effectively. It can be a little messy – the grounds have been known to escape… And as with all coffee machines, descaling your Gaggia Brera is essential.

The water you use will also make a difference to the frequency with which you’ll need to carry out the Gaggia Brera descaling challenge! One unexpected advantage of the small water reservoir size is that it does mean you pretty much use fresh water each time. Check out the Gaggia Brera manual and user guide for more instructions.

 

Anything I shouldn’t do?

There are suggestions online that you shouldn’t put oily coffee beans in this coffee maker as they really have caused problems for some users. Oh, and please don’t use pods – it’s not that kind of machine.

 

Anything else I need to know?

Don’t worry if it sounds a tiny bit squeaky sometimes when it’s brewing (although obviously if it gets so loud and squeaky it hurts your ears, you might want to check the manual and/or get in touch with customer service, who by all accounts are a very responsive lot). Oh, and this Gaggia espresso maker comes with a one year warranty.

 

Is the Gaggia Brera much loved or much loathed?

We always like to see what other people think before we finally commit, and when we looked for Gaggia Brera reviews online we found far more happy Gaggia users out there in Internet-land than dissatisfied customers. Obviously a few fell into the latter category but they really were in the minority.

For most, it was a long-term relationship – once a Gaggia user, it seems, always a Gaggia user. Many people said the small water reservoir, for instance, and slight messiness, were small compromises – the coffee itself was consistently so good.

 

What if I really don’t want to buy the Gaggia Brera?

Gaggia RI8263/47 Velasca Prestige 

If you’d rather move up a model or two, and being able to program your machine is particularly important, then one great alternative is the Gaggia RI8263/47. You get a choice of three temperatures, and a two year warranty. With this model, you get one-touch brewing and frothing. You still get the ceramic burr grinder with ten different settings for fineness; the bean hopper takes up to 10.5oz of coffee. The water reservoir has a capacity of 54oz and it’s also front loading.

Sale
Gaggia RI8263/47 Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
33 Reviews
Gaggia RI8263/47 Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, baby cappuccinos, and milk froth
  • Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo, cappuccino, and milk froth, with 3 different temperature settings
  • Ceramic burr grinder and brew unit: ceramic burr grinder with 10 fineness settings, 5 brew strength settings, and bean hopper with 10.5oz capacity
  • Front loaded water reservoir: features a 54oz capacity and pulls out from the front of the machine, ideal for low hanging cabinets
  • 2 year warranty: hassle free 2 year warranty handled by Gaggia USA directly. For Gaggia usa's call center, call 888-389-4123

It generally runs around twice as expensive as the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine.

 

Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine 

You can also choose the Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine, mid-way in price between the Gaggia Brera and the Gaggia RI8263. It’s programmable; you still get to make the lovely frothy bits – although on this machine you use a manual wand rather than an automated feature. You still get three choices of brewing temperature. The water reservoir is larger on this coffee machine, at 60oz but the bean hopper has a lower capacity than the RI8263/47, at 8.8oz of beans. You still get the two year warranty.

Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine, Includes Steam Wand for Manual Frothing for Lattes and Cappuccinos with Programmable Options
72 Reviews
Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine, Includes Steam Wand for Manual Frothing for Lattes and Cappuccinos with Programmable Options
  • MANUAL FROTHING FOR MILK-BASED DRINKS: Pannarello steam wand for frothing milk
  • PROGRAMMABLE: Programmable brewing options for espresso and espresso lungo
  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL: 3 different temperature settings. Min/177.5 °F, Med/182.9 °F, Max/184.5 °F
  • EASY ACCESS TO WATER RESERVOIR AND BEAN HOPPER: Features a removable 60 oz water reservoir that can be accessed on the top left of the machine, and an 8.8 ounce capacity bean hopper with access from...
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY: Hassle free 2 year warranty handled by Gaggia USA directly. For Gaggia USA's call center, call 888-389-4123.

 

Would we recommend this machine?

CoffeeGearSpy.com Rating: (4.5/5)

The Gaggia Brera may seem expensive on the surface, but it is well-made, with decades of expertise behind its design. There are a few niggles, but overall this versatile, easy-to-use, good-looking machine produces authentic coffee that smells great and, even more importantly, tastes delicious.

If you want to move away from the single-serve pod machines for environmental or other reasons, this is also an excellent model to choose. We’re not entirely sure about the slug thing, but used coffee grounds can be very beneficial in your yard. The Gaggia Brera is also ideal if space is a little limited, or you just want to make the most of the kitchen space you have.

Don’t just take our word for it though – find out more about the Gaggia Brera here, and bottoms up!

 

Gaggia Coffee Machine 

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
450 Reviews
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
  • FROTHING FOR MILK BEVERAGES: Pannarello wand frothing for cappuccinos & lattes. Wand doubles as a hot water dispenser for americanos & tea.
  • EASY ACCESS: The dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank are all within reach and accessible from the front of the machine for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • USER-FRIENDLY DISPLAY: Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make for an easy and intuitive experience.
  • RAPID STEAM TECHNOLOGY: Quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. Coffee bean capacity : 250 gr
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY: Hassle free 1 year warranty handled by Gaggia directly

  Last update on 2019-11-13 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

  Last update on 2019-11-13 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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