Gaggia Babila Vs Cadorna Prestige: Which One Is the Real Winner?

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Gaggia is an Italian manufacturer that has a reputation for its array of top-notch yet reasonably priced espresso machines, such as the Gaggia Babila vs Cadorna Prestige, and the former ultimately won my heart. 

These super-automatics are on the lower end of the price spectrum, so they might not rival the feature-rich models from brands like Jura. Still, they can still help you make various coffee-based drinks right from the comfort of your kitchen without any barista skills. 

In short, the Gaggia Babila stands out with a dual thermoblock boiler system and the ability to adjust the pre-infusion period. Meanwhile, the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige flaunts a more extensive array of drink options and comes with a lighter price tag. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Gaggia Babila Vs Cadorna Prestige: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Medium, 60.8 fl.oz. Anthracite
Model
Gaggia Babila
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
Dimensions/Weight
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
10.2 × 15 × 17.3 inches/21.2 lbs
Heating System
Dual Thermoblock Heating System
Single Thermoblock Heating System
Interface
LCD Text Display
Color Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
10
14
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.76-6.1 inches
Single/2.2–5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 liter/0.31 liter
1.5 liter/0.31 liter
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Burr Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
15
10
Pre-Infusion
Filter
AquaClean Water Filter (Optional)
Intenza+ Water Filter (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Auto Frothing System & Manual Milk Wand
Auto Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$1,762.76
$849.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
Model
Gaggia Babila
Dimensions/Weight
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
Heating System
Dual Thermoblock Heating System
Interface
LCD Text Display
One Touch Drink Options
10
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.76-6.1 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 liter/0.31 liter
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
15
Pre-Infusion
Filter
AquaClean Water Filter (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Auto Frothing System & Manual Milk Wand
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$1,762.76
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Medium, 60.8 fl.oz. Anthracite
Model
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
Dimensions/Weight
10.2 × 15 × 17.3 inches/21.2 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermoblock Heating System
Interface
Color Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
14
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Single/2.2–5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 liter/0.31 liter
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Intenza+ Water Filter (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Auto Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
What I Like
Price
$849.00
More Info

Last update on 2024-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Babila Vs Cadorna Prestige: Differences

The Gaggia Babila defeats the Cadorna Prestige with a 4-2 win.  Let’s read to the end of my comparison to decide which one is worthy of making your next super-automatic espresso machine.

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Gaggia Babila

Built-in Grinder

The Gaggia Babila comes with an awesome ceramic burr grinder, while the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige boasts a high-quality ceramic flat burr grinder. Having a built-in grinder saves you the hassle of buying a separate grinder and eliminates the need for extra space on your countertop for it. Also, the grinders themselves are amazing.

First, they are burr grinders, meaning they crush the beans between two abrasive surfaces instead of chopping them like their blade counterparts. That way, they can provide a more uniform and consistent grind, resulting in more even extraction during the brewing process and, ultimately, high-quality espresso.

Better yet, unlike stainless steel, ceramic can reduce heat buildup during grinding. This is a big selling point since excessive heat can burn the coffee grounds, which wreaks havoc on the aroma of your precious coffee beans.

To give you greater control to dial in the right grind size for your perfect espresso shot, the Cadorna Prestige only offers 10 grind settings, while the Gaggia Babila got me pumped with a wider range of 15 settings. Their number of grind size settings is generally remarkable for super-automatic machines at this price point, and as always, you should only change the grind size while the grinder is running.

gaggia babila vs cadorna prestige’s grind settings
Gaggia Babila vs Cadorna Prestige’s grind settings

The point is that you just need to turn a knob to change the grind size on the Gaggia Babila, while the Cadorna Prestige requires using a grind adjustment key mounted on the coffee spoon. Don’t misplace that spoon, or you’ll be on a wild goose chase all day searching for it before you can sip your go-to caffeinated beverage.

Heating System

The Gaggia Babila takes the lead with two thermoblock boilers, meaning it can simultaneously heat water to the ideal temperature for steaming milk and brewing coffee (If you ask me, these processes require different temperatures). This time-saving feature is a boon for large settings, such as coffee shops, offices, or even at home when entertaining guests, where you need to prepare multiple drinks quickly, especially milk-based ones like lattes and cappuccinos.

The Cadorna Prestige, on the other hand, only has a single boiler, so there is a delay for this one to switch back and forth between brewing and steaming modes. It might take more time to get your dink, but it’s not a big deal for home use, thanks to thermoblock. By rapidly heating only the necessary amount of water for each task, this technology indeed helps shorten the waiting interval to a mere 20 seconds.

Brewing System

Like most super-automatic and some semi-automatic espresso machines, these Gaggias don’t bypass pre-infusion before brewing. This is basically moistening your fresh coffee grounds with a little hot water before diving into the full extraction, allowing the coffee grounds to expand (or bloom) and ensuring a more uniform extraction.

I was glad that the Gaggia Babila offers three options to change the pre-infusion duration: delicate (bypasses pre-infusion), balanced (about 2 seconds), and full body (approximately 4 seconds). That is a cool feature since you can choose how long the pre-infusion stage is according to the type of coffee you are making to achieve the best possible extraction.

the gaggia babila allows adjustment of pre-infusion duration
The Gaggia Babila allows adjustment of pre-infusion duration

Then, extraction takes place at a pressure of 15 bars on both. For the uninitiated, unlike drip coffee makers, all automatic espresso machines rely on high pressure to force hot water through the compacted coffee grounds, resulting in the rapid extraction of flavors, oils, and aromatic compounds. The pressure of 9 bars is considered the minimum level required for proper espresso extraction.

Milk Frothing System

If you want to enjoy a creamy cappuccino right in your kitchen instead of heading over to the nearest Starbucks, these Gaggia super automatics have got you covered. Both have an automatic milk-frothing system, bringing the café experience to your home and allowing you to indulge in milky drinks without barista-level skills. Still, the Gaggia Babila features a steam wand for manual frothing, giving would-be baristas greater control over the milk froth’s temperature and texture.

gaggia babila vs cadorna prestige's automatic milk-frothing systems
Gaggia Babila vs Cadorna Prestige’s automatic milk-frothing systems

Let’s start with the one-touch milk system of the Gaggia Babila, including a detachable milk carafe. Just pull it from your fridge, mount it to the machine, push over the milk dispensing spout, and you’re ready to whip up a flat white, cappuccino, and more. Then push the spigot back over to run a jet of steam through the circuit to purge the milk residue, and toss the carafe back in your fridge to keep the milk cold. I loved that it didn’t involve additional parts like tubes.

The Cadorna Prestige also comes with a milk carafe but follows the same approach as the Italian brand Jura. This requires attaching one end of the included tube to the machine and putting the other into the carafe. I was fine with this, but it’s definitely less straightforward than the Gaggia Babila, not to mention this setup increases the machine’s overall footprint, and having a tube means there is an extra part that needs to be cleaned after each user.

I found both produced frothy milk with some big bubbles – this is more suitable for cappuccinos than flat whites. If you want to create the smooth microfoam needed, practice latte art, or raise the eyebrows of many others with your hard-earned barista skills, you can turn to the Gaggia Babila’s manual milk frothing wand.

gaggia babila's manual milk steam wand
Gaggia Babila’s manual milk steam wand

Design & Usability

Winner: Tie

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Cadorna Prestige
Dimensions10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches10.2 × 15 × 17.3 inches
Weight20.7 lbs21.2 lbs

They’re among the most compact bean-to-cup machines I’ve ever gotten my hands on, but they can be pretty heavy beasts – that’s not a big concern as frequent kitchen reshuffling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Both have a premium and well-made metallic appearance, which I believe will look great on any countertop and last for years. They might not take home any design accolades, but from a construction standpoint, they’ve got my vote.

The Gaggia Babila features an LED text display surrounded by some outdated buttons, which seem to have sunk into the past with the game consoles of the 90s. It’s still super intuitive and easy to use, just a bit out of place compared to the rest of the realm of super-automatic espresso machines. On the flip side, the Cadorna Prestige boasts a one-touch color TFT display, which is tilted slightly upwards for a more comfortable viewing experience.

gaggia babila vs cadorna prestige’s control panels
Gaggia Babila vs Cadorna Prestige’s control panels

Pre-programmed Coffee Options

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Cadorna Prestige
Ristretto
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Caffè
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Flat White
Hot Milk
Milk Froth
Hot Water
Ristretto
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Coffee
Americano
Cappuccino
Cappuccino XL
Café Au Lait
Café Cortado
Latte Macchiato
Latte Macchiato XL
Flat White
Frothed Milk
Hot Water

Both bring to the table a variety of specialty drink options, including coffee favorites espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, and latte macchiato – all have coffee-shop quality and are brewed with fresh ground coffee at the touch of a button. Out of coffee beans? You can use the hot water feature for a quick brew of tea or pre-ground coffee for decaf via a bypass doser

bypass chute for pre-ground coffee
Bypass chute for pre-ground coffee

Both have various options for customizing and personalizing your favorite beverages, including 5 levels of coffee strength and 3 brew temperatures. The Memo function also allows you to set and recall your preferred milk froth or espresso amounts. I wish they could show the exact amount of coffee grounds used instead of vague bean symbols.

The Cadorna Prestige stands out with the user profile function, with four options corresponding to four distinct color-coded hearts. This means you and three fellow coffee lovers can tailor settings to your tastes without stepping on each other’s toes. Now, what’s the real challenge? Picking your heart color!

user profile function
User profile function

Spout & Cup Clearance

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Cadorna Prestige
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance3.5-5.5 inches2.76-6.1 inches

I particularly loved how their dual coffee dispensing spout can be adjusted to go up to fit jumbo-sized cups or down to preserve precious crema or prevent any messy spills during espresso preparation. The Gaggia Babila’s coffee spout assembly can be pushed back or removed entirely to free up more room.

gaggia babila vs cadorna prestige's dual spouts
Gaggia Babila vs Cadorna Prestige’s dual spouts

Like the rest of the Gaggia auto espresso machine lineup, they can brew two cups of coffee without sacrificing quality thanks to the double shot function. The thing is, they really use a double dose of coffee grounds instead of just increasing the amount of water as some cheap models do.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Cadorna Prestige
Water Reservoir1.8 liter1.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.37 liter0.31 liter

The Cadorna Prestige’s tank seamlessly slides out from the front of the machine, making it very easy to remove and refill. The water tank of the Gaggia Babila is located under the left cover of the machine, so you’ll need to ensure there’s enough space above to access it and take it out of the machine.

If you live in an area with high water hardness, it is highly recommended to use the included water filter (AquaClean filter for the Gaggia Babila and Intenza+ filter for the Cadorna Prestige). The filter will purge impurities present in the water and curb limescale accumulation. You’ll need a few bucks every month or two to replace it, but I personally find it a minor price to pay for the high-quality espresso and the privilege of descaling the machine less often.

They both also have an aroma preservation top lid to maintain the freshness and aroma of your coffee beans over an extended period of time. By creating an airtight environment when closed, they can prevent the beans from being exposed to the elements such as oxygen, moisture, and light – all of which can contribute to the deterioration of the beans’ quality.

the bean hopper
The bean hopper

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Tie

I know that the whole cleaning task is the least fun part of owning an espresso machine. But I firmly believe that how easy it is to maintain and clean these machines will put a smile on your face.

Some removable parts need to be emptied and cleaned with warm water, such as the drip tray, the used grounds container, and the water reservoir.  And a word to the wise – keep them far from your dishwasher. Don’t forget to keep the machine looking handsome all the time by giving it a daily wipe with a damp cloth.

Oh, I’d emphasize that their brew groups are removable. You would probably prefer a built-in brewing part that can be cleaned with an automatic cycle. But believe me, manual cleaning is the golden ticket to extending its lifespan.

the removable brewing part
The removable brewing part

As for descaling, these machines will notify you when it’s time to perform an automatic cycle. Gaggia recommends only using their dedicated descaler solution, and I encourage you to obey this. Also, if you use a water filter, descaling the machine won’t vanish from your lifestyle, but it’ll be an infrequent enough task to count on your fingers.

Regarding cleaning milk systems, both have an automatic program to blow away milk residue with steam. Their milk pitcher should be washed under the tap every few days.

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Gaggia Babila

Auto Off

These Gaggia machines share the auto-off function, which, once turned on, automatically turns off the machine after a programmed period of time, ranging from 15 to 180 minutes. Adding to the energy efficiency of the Gaggia Babila is the eco mode, which allows you to save energy further.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Babila

Sale
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature. Milk carafe includes automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, and milk froth. Manual steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 1 bottle of Gaggia Descaler, 1 AquaClean Water Filter, 1 Water Hardness Test Strip, 1 Tube of Brew Group Lubricant, 1 Brew Group Brush, 1 Coffee Scoop/Grinder Key
  • PROGRAMMABLE: 8 Programmable brewing options for espressos, espresso lungos, coffee, ristrettos, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, flat whites and milk foam
  • Easy access to water reservoir: features a top Loading removable 50.7oz water reservoir; Brew Boiler Wattage: 1400

Last update on 2024-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Ceramic burr grinder works great.
  • Has options of automatic and manual frothing milk.
  • Features two thermoblock boilers.
  • Has an adjustable pre-infusion stage.
Cons
  • Few one-touch drinks.
  • Outdated control panel.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

Sale
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Medium, 60.8 fl.oz. Anthracite
  • 14 Pre-Programmed Beverages|Build your home barista menu with 14 pre-programmed beverages including a ristretto, espresso, espresso lungo, coffee, americano, cappuccino, cappuccino XL, café au lait, café cortado, latte macchiato, latte macchiato XL, flat white, frothed milk, and hot water for tea, hot cocoa, or infusions.
  • Integrated Milk Carafe|An integrated milk carafe creates the perfect temperature and texture of milk foam to make a beautifully layered milk based beverage. It runs through an automatic rinse cycle to get rid of any residual milk so you won’t have to worry about a messy clean-up process.
  • 4 User Profiles|Create up to 4 user profiles on the Cadorna Plus and save your favorite drinks for everyday consistency.
  • Intuitive User Interface|A full color TFT display allows you to scroll through 14 specialty beverages with backlit buttons and experiment with a number of customizable settings to build your favorite barista-style beverage.
  • 1 YEAR : Hassle free 1 year handled by Gaggia directly.

Last update on 2024-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a long list of programmable drinks.
  • Has four user profiles.
  • Great integrated milk pitcher.
  • Heats up quickly with thermoblock technology.
  • Ease of Cleaning.
Cons
  • Only one boiler.
  • A little difficult to adjust the grind size.

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Rating 5/5 - (3 votes)