Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Breville Barista Touch: In-Depth Review and Detailed Comparison

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Comparing the Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch:  I’ll cut straight to the chase: the latter gets my vote, and for solid reasons.

The Breville Barista Touch stands out with up to 30 grind settings and the ThermoJet fast-heating system, which can heat up quickly in just 3 seconds. Its milk system with a built-in temperature sensor is an added value as well since it helps you get exactly your desired temperature with ease.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige, on the other hand, can also quickly reach the right temperature to brew espresso or steam milk with the Thermoblock system. This one has a fully automatic milk frothing system, enabling you to whip up cappuccinos or latte macchiatos hands-free.

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Breville Barista Touch: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine BES880BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Dimensions/Weight
16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
Touchscreen Screen
One Touch Drink Options
8
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Panarello-Style Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$799.95
More Info
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine BES880BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Barista Touch
Dimensions/Weight
16.0 x 12.5 x 12.7 inches/26.8 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermojet Heating System
Interface
Touchscreen Screen
One Touch Drink Options
8
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 liter/0.24 liter
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Built-in Grinder
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
30
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Panarello-Style Steam Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$799.95
More Info

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Breville Barista Touch: Differences

The Breville Barista Touch defeats the Gaggia Anima Prestige with a 3-2 win. Let’s dig deeper into the differences between them to choose the one that works best for you.

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

Built-in Grinder

The good news is that you don’t need to buy a separate grinder to go with these machines since they already have built-in grinders. The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a ceramic burr grinder, whereas the Breville Barista Touch comes with a stainless steel one.

These burr grinders definitely deliver a consistent grind size since they crush the beans between two burrs (one stationary and one rotating) instead of chopping them up like their blade counterparts. An even grind ensures that water passes through the coffee grounds uniformly, leading to a balanced extraction.

Ceramic is less heat-conductive than metal, so it doesn’t transfer heat as quickly. This means that during extended grinding sessions, the ceramic grinder stays cooler than the stainless steel one, thereby not burning the grounds and resulting in less-than-perfect espresso. Not to mention, ceramic burrs generally maintain their sharpness longer than steel burrs.

But the Breville Barista Touch takes the lead with up to 30 grind settings, while the Breville Barista Touch has only 5 different settings. As any coffee aficionado knows, the precision of the grind size can make or break your ideal drink. Hence, a machine with a wider range of settings is always a plus.

gaggia anima prestige vs breville barista touch's grind settings
Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch’s grind settings

Contrary to the Gaggia Anima Prestige, the Breville Barista Touch demands manual tamping. Tamping is an art, and it takes some practice and can result in a messy countertop, which might irk those averse to frequent clean-ups. But it’s really a good way to hone your barista skills.

the breville barista touch comes with a 54mm portafilter basket
The Breville Barista Touch comes with a 54mm portafilter basket

Like most of its siblings, the Breville Barista Touch uses a 54-mm portafilter basket. I was very pleased with how well-built and robust this one feels, but it would be nice to have a commercial standard 58-mm portafilter, which comes with the Breville Dual Boiler. You will get four filter baskets with the Barista Touch, including both pressurized and non-pressurized versions for single and double shots.

the breville barista touch uses four filter baskets
The Breville Barista Touch uses four filter baskets

I also loved that the Barista Touch comes with a stainless steel tamper instead of the cheap and flimsy plastic one that I got when unboxing some Gaggia models. However, its weight is on the lighter side, likely to ensure it can securely attach to its magnetic onboard storage slot.

the magnetic tamper
The magnetic tamper

Heating System

Both the Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch are single-boiler machines, meaning they can’t perform dual tasks simultaneously. Instead, they dispense the espresso first and then froth the milk, and there is a wait time in between these processes. This interval could be as short as a few seconds or as long as it takes to pop over to a local coffee shop and grab a cup of Joe. Thankfully, these machines belong to the latter side.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige features a Thermoblock system, allowing it to heat up in roughly 20 seconds. Meanwhile, the Breville Barista Touch employs ThermoJet technology, hitting the right temperature in a mere three seconds. So when compared to many other automatic espresso machines, they are actually quicker.

pulling a blank shot
Pulling a blank shot

My only gripe about the Breville Barista Touch’s ThermoJet fast-heating system is that it doesn’t heat up the portafilter, but pulling one or two blank shots does the trick. Well, all you need to do is have the portafilter attached and pull a shot without coffee grounds. This one also has a built-in cup warming tray to pre-heat up to two cups before brewing.

cup warming tray
Cup warming tray

Brewing System

Like most semi- and super-automatic machines, they both have the “pre-brew” function, also known as “pre-infusion.” During this brief stage, the grounds will be moistened with an appropriate amount of hot water at low pressure so they can bloom for better aroma extraction. Additionally, pre-infusion helps prevent channeling, which leads to uneven extraction.

After the “bloom” phase, their 15-bar pumps create the ideal pressure for espresso extraction. Considering the standard operating pressure is approximately 9 bars, these machines have the capacity to produce more pressure than is typically needed, ensuring consistent operation at the ideal pressure.

I must admit that the shots of espresso from these machines exceeded my expectations. They were rich and full-bodied, topped by a pleasing layer of crema, which is quite remarkable, especially considering they’re from entry-level semi-automatic machines.

Milk Frothing System

The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a totally automatic milk frothing system, allowing you to brew cappuccino and latte macchiato at the touch of a button. Meanwhile, the Breville Barista Touch features a Panarello-style steam wand, which is designed to be easier to use for home baristas and beginners.

gaggia anima prestige's automatic milk system and breville barista touch's automatic steam wand
Gaggia Anima Prestige’s automatic system and Breville Barista Touch’s steam wand

Instead of a separate cappuccinatore and messy hoses, the Gaggia Anima Prestige comes with a removable milk pitcher that clips neatly onto the left front of the machine. All you need to do is slide the large milk dispensing spigot over your cup, select your milky drink, and then the machine will automatically pull a shot and pour milk froth into the same cup. You can take it out of the machine and put it in your fridge.

The results? I found the Gaggia Anima Prestige to produce thick, velvety milk foam, not far from professional barista level. Of course, it can’t make latte art.

On the flip side, the Breville Barista Touch has an automatic steam wand that automatically introduces air into the milk for frothing. Admittedly, I approached this wand with skepticism at first. I mean, how could it possibly compete with my expert milk texturing skills? Then, in hindsight, I was pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness.

Of course, it is far from being able to match a manual wand in terms of giving a lot of control over how much froth is produced and the temperature of the milk, but it is certainly a considerable step up from older Panarello wands. There is a built-in temperature sensor on the drip tray that tracks the temperature of the milk and stops the wand once it reaches your desired temperature.

The Breville Barista Touch has a built-in temperature sensor
The Breville Barista Touch has a built-in temperature sensor

Creating the perfect frothy milk with the Barista Touch for a barista-quality cappuccino was within my grasp, but getting the silky microfoam essential for latte art was a steeper hill to climb. So if you are interested in the complex latte art, I’d suggest getting the Barista Pro and dedicating time to mastering its manual steam wand.

Design & Usability

Winner: Tie

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Gaggia Anima PrestigeBreville Barista Touch
Dimensions13.4 x 8.7 x 17 inches12.5 x 12.7 x 16.0 inches
Weight19.1 lbs26.8 lbs

If you’re expecting to get a futuristic spaceship-esque machine with fancy bells and whistles, neither of them is for you. I didn’t say they were ugly ducks, but they lean more toward practicality and performance than complementing your kitchen’s aesthetic. They both have a stainless steel casing, but much of their structure is plastic to keep the price point affordable.

Like other Gaggia entry-level machines, the Gaggia Anima Prestige made me chuckle with its slightly old-looking pixel screen. Well, I don’t mean to disparage it. But in our world filled with vibrant graphic displays, isn’t it a bit out of place?

Meanwhile, the Breville Barista Touch is the first Breville espresso machine with a touch screen. It’s evident that Breville takes a straightforward approach to product naming, much like their Breville Dual Boiler, which, true to its name, boasts two distinct boilers for steaming milk and espresso extraction at once.

gaggia anima prestige vs breville barista touch's  control panel
Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch’s control panel

Ultimately, they are on the compact side, and those with limited countertop space will definitely appreciate it.  Given that their bean hoppers are loaded from the top, ensure there’s enough clearance above if you want to fit your machine under any drawers or cabinets. They are somewhat heavy, so you might need to be a gym guy to comfortably lift each.

Pre-programmed Coffee Options

Gaggia Anima PrestigeBreville Barista Touch
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Milk Froth
Hot Water
Espresso
Latte
Flat White
Cappuccino
Americano
Hot Chocolate
Tea
Milk

These bean-to-cup machines offer some one-touch drinks – not much, but enough for home use. They grant you the flexibility to adjust various settings, such as coffee strength, espresso dosage, and brew temperature. Notably, the Breville Barista Touch adds the advantage of precision control over milk froth temperature and level.

Both have a hot water feature, giving you a quick way to get hot water to brew tea, make hot chocolate, or just make an Americano. But the Breville Barista Touch has a separate hot water spout, so you never have to worry about milk residue straying into your tea. As for the Gaggia Anima Prestige, you will have to remove the milk pitcher to install the hot water spigot, which can be a bit inconvenient.

the breville barista touch has a separate hot water spout
The Breville Barista Touch has a separate hot water spout

The Anima Prestige has a bypass chute for the use of pre-ground coffee whenever you run out of coffee beans. As for the Breville Barista Touch, you should use the pressurized filter basket.

Spout & Cup Clearance

Gaggia Anima PrestigeBreville Barista Touch
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4.3-5.9 inches4 inches

I loved that the Gaggia Anima Prestige features a height-adjustable dual spout. So it can fit most cup sizes, and its dispensing spout can always sit as close to your cup as possible to minimize splashes and maintain the integrity of the lovely crema layer on top of your espresso.

gaggia anima prestige vs breville barista touch's cup clearance
Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch’s cup clearance

The Breville Barista Touch’s cup clearance, on the other hand, is fixed at 4 inches. Yes, there’s limited space beneath its portafilter, but it still works well with various mugs. You can partially remove the drip tray to house larger insulated mugs, but it isn’t a recommended option – there are some plastic lumps under there, making it nearly impossible to place your cup securely. Also, it would be better if it had a part to somehow lift the espresso cup, like the Delonghi La Specialista.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia Anima PrestigeBreville Barista Touch
Water Reservoir1.77 liter2 liter
Bean Hopper0.26 liter0.24 liter

Their water tanks are removable and equipped with convenient handles for easy refilling at the kitchen sink. But given that they are lifted out from the top of the machine, once again, consider carefully if you’re going to put your machine underneath any overhead structures.

I was really relieved to know that their water tanks can accommodate a water filter. It not only enhances the flavor of the espresso by removing impurities, chlorine, and other contaminants from tap water but also reduces the potential for limescale, thereby extending the machine’s life. And, yes, you guessed it, it cuts down on maintenance, leaving you more moments to savor your favorite caffeinated beverages.

The Breville Barista Touch has an airtight lid on its bean hopper, which helps keep the coffee beans fresh by limiting their exposure to the elements. It’s unfortunate that the Gaggia Anima Prestige doesn’t incorporate this crucial feature.

gaggia anima prestige vs breville barista touch's bean hopper
Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch’s bean hopper

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Gaggia Anima Prestige 

Let’s be honest. Most of us home baristas, including me, aren’t too keen on cleaning our espresso machines. Still, I bet you will appreciate how easy it is to maintain these bean-to-cup machines.

Let’s start with descaling. Using the water fitter will eliminate the need for frequent descaling of the machine, but you’ll still need to run an automatic cycle from time to time. These machines possess a superior memory compared to us, or at least they can remind us when descaling is due. Keep in mind that you should exclusively utilize the manufacturer-provided or -recommended descaler for this.

After every time you craft a milk-based drink, you should have the Barista Touch’s wand wiped and run hot water to purge all milk residue. As for the Gaggia Anima Prestige, it uses an automatic cleaning program, and its milk carafe should be washed under running water every few days.

After all, I’m inclined to favor the Gaggia Anima Prestige in this round since its brew group can be taken out for a thorough cleaning. Automatic cleaning cycles are convenient, but they may not always get into every nook and cranny. Manual cleaning allows you to ensure every part of the brew group is clean. Of course, if something goes wrong with the brew group, being able to remove it can make troubleshooting and repair more straightforward.

the gaggia anima prestige has a removable brew group
The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a removable brew group

Oh, and don’t neglect some removable components, such as the used coffee grounds bin, drip tray, portafilter, water tanks, etc. The casing of the machine isn’t immune to splashes and spills either, but a simple wipe-down with a damp cloth and a mild cleaner will do the job.

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Breville Barista Touch

User Profile

Both the Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Breville Barista Touch have no user profile function, but the latter lets you save up to eight different favorite recipes and name them. It’s certainly not as convenient as letting you create your own profile where you can save your own recipes for all drinks. Anyway, half a loaf is better than none, right?

the breville barista touch allows you to save up to 8 different recipes
The Breville Barista Touch allows you to save up to 8 different recipes

Auto Off

While the Breville Barista Touch will automatically turn off after a constant period of 30 minutes, the Gaggia Anima Prestige allows you to change the non-use interval from 13 to 180 minutes (Standby Mode).

Quick Rundown Of Breville Barista Touch

Sale
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine BES880BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Item Package Dimension: 17.39L x 16.19W x 16.19H inches
  • Item Package Weight - 28.25 Pounds
  • Item Package Quantity - 1
  • Product Type - COFFEE MAKER

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers up to 30 grind settings.
  • The ThermoJet system heats up quickly.
  • The Panarello steam wand is easy to use.
  • Allows saving up to 8 different recipes.
  • Easy to use and clean.
Cons
  • Limited cup clearance.
  • Has a single boiler.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Anima Prestige 

No products found.

Pros
  • Features a sleek design and feels durable.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Descaling and cleaning processes are automated.
  • The ceramic grinder doesn’t overheat during operation.
  • Affordable price.
Cons
  • Few grinding settings.
  • Only one boiler.

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References

Rating 5/5 - (4 votes)