Gaggia Brera vs Classic: Should We Choose Semi or Fully Automatic Espresso Machines?

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Gaggia Brera vs Classic is a tough debate that puts a cutting-edge, fully automated coffee maker in opposition to a more traditional version. Should you still buy the Brera super-automatic machine or go with the more conventional and reasonably priced Gaggia Classic?

For me, Gaggia Brera is the clear winner. The sturdy and adjustable grinder, dedicated brew group, rapid milk frother, and effective operation are all combined into one body in this machine. In addition, I enjoy its nuanced espresso flavor and airy milk foam. I suggest this kind of equipment to any household.

The Gaggia Classic is reasonably priced, and as implied by its name, it provides traditional brewing options. Although it doesn’t have many extra functions, the Classic has a sizable 71oz water tank and reliable espresso extraction. So if you are looking forward to setting up a machine in your home or small office, this one shall suffice.

Gaggia Brera vs Classic: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
Model
Gaggia Brera
Gaggia Classic
Dimensions (LxWxH)
10.1 x 17.6 x 12.4 inches
9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches
Color / Material
Silver / Stainless Steel and plastic
Silver/ Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
40.6 oz
71 oz
Weight / Power / Voltage
18.7 Pounds/ 1250W/ 120V
20 Pounds/ 1450W/ 220-230V
Bean Hopper Size
8.8 oz
None
Grinder type
Ceramic burr grinder
No integrated grinder
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
Up to 8 servings
None
Grind Settings
5 settings
None
Heating system
Single boiler
Single boiler
Adjustable spout height
Cup warmer
Clean/ descale indicator
Front-access water tank
Milk frother
Pannarello Wand
Pannarello Wand
Programmable Drinks
2
None
What I Like
Price
$447.98
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black
Model
Gaggia Brera
Dimensions (LxWxH)
10.1 x 17.6 x 12.4 inches
Color / Material
Silver / Stainless Steel and plastic
Water Tank Capacity
40.6 oz
Weight / Power / Voltage
18.7 Pounds/ 1250W/ 120V
Bean Hopper Size
8.8 oz
Grinder type
Ceramic burr grinder
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
Up to 8 servings
Grind Settings
5 settings
Heating system
Single boiler
Adjustable spout height
Cup warmer
Clean/ descale indicator
Front-access water tank
Milk frother
Pannarello Wand
Programmable Drinks
2
What I Like
Price
$447.98
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
Model
Gaggia Classic
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches
Color / Material
Silver/ Stainless Steel
Water Tank Capacity
71 oz
Weight / Power / Voltage
20 Pounds/ 1450W/ 220-230V
Bean Hopper Size
None
Grinder type
No integrated grinder
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
None
Grind Settings
None
Heating system
Single boiler
Adjustable spout height
Cup warmer
Clean/ descale indicator
Front-access water tank
Milk frother
Pannarello Wand
Programmable Drinks
None
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Brera vs Classic: Differences

Gaggia Brera wins 4-1 and ties once against Gaggia Classic. Brera is a more modern machine, so it’s easier to pull espresso with it. The device also boasts a better milk texture performance. I get to enjoy quite airy foam with its classic steam wand, which is something Gaggia Classic hasn’t yet delivered. I will reveal more below!

Automation grade

Winner: Gaggia Brera

Gaggia Brera is a fully-automatic machine that brews from beans to cups. It has a dedicated grinder that automatically doses and grinds according to the recipe that you choose (espresso or lungo). The only manual step that you have to handle is the milk frothing. Other than that, users get to enjoy a hands-free coffee experience in the comfort of their homes.

Gaggia Brera is a fully-automatic machine
Gaggia Brera is a fully-automatic machine

As for Gaggia Classic, it’s a semi-automatic machine, which is almost the lowest level of automation for today’s espresso makers. It requires users to manually grind, dose, tamp, and flow stop. It’s not too complicated for me since I’m already used to this type of machine. On the good side, I get to play around with the extraction. But on the bad side, it can be inconvenient for users who can’t stand by the device the entire time it operates.

Espresso flavor

Tie

These models are for you if you want an espresso machine to brew rich, nutty, and balanced coffee. I have brewed with this pair many times and rarely get bitter or watered-down beverages. They also deliver a decent layer of coffee crema, not the thickest and creamiest of all the espresso machines I have tested, but good nevertheless. All of these benefits are products of the 15 bars pump pressure.

Temperature-wise, they also do a standard job with their single boiler elements. I usually get coffee around 160-165°F with the pair, depending on whether I preheat the cups beforehand and leave the machines to warm up longer. I highly recommend using the cup warmer or running hot water through the cups before pouring coffee into them. This should help maintain the heat longer. Of course, nobody likes drinking lukewarm coffee anyway.

Milk system

Winner: Gaggia Brera

Despite sharing the same Panarello wand design, I notice a slight difference in these machines’ milk foam texture. At first, I thought Gaggia Classic would deliver finer foam with airier texture, but it turns out Gaggia Brera has the upper hand.

With Gaggia Brera, I can get an airier milk foam texture than Gaggia Classic, which makes latte art a whole lot easier. But can these models froth microfoam? No. Both machines’ milk foam can be described as creamy. It’s mostly steamed milk with a bit of foam. But Brera’s has more foamy bubbles to it.

Gaggia Brera can froth quite airy milk foam for latte art
Gaggia Brera can froth quite airy milk foam for latte art

Water tank capacity

Winner: Gaggia Classic

Gaggia Classic boasts a 71oz water tank, which is quite common in commercial machines. Also, it comes with a 58mm portafilter that offers more diversity in coffee ground dosing. The 58mm portafilter is a frequent standard for commercial espresso makers also. So we have an interesting case here.

Despite various features resembling those of a commercial-grade device, Gaggia Classic is unsuitable for commercial purposes. It won’t do well in a bustling coffee shop where baristas brew over 40-50 cups of espressos and lattes daily. At the same time, the milk system needs to be more potent to froth over 10-20 lattes per day, too. Overall, I recommend you don’t pick this for your coffee shop unless you want to cut some clients off.

Gaggia Classic boasts a 71oz water tank
Gaggia Classic boasts a 71oz water tank

As for Gaggia Brera, it comes with a 40.6 oz, a lot smaller than Gaggia Classic. It will do well for couples or a maximum of 3 users. The tank should last 2 days before requiring a refill if you pull about 8 double espressos before it.

Interface and operation

Winner: Gaggia Brera

In the case of both personalized and basic beverages, the Gaggia Brera’s straightforward, user-friendly interface is more appreciated since it has an LED display and simple-to-use controls to streamline your brewing procedure.

Although simple to use, the Gaggia Classic’s controls come in the form of snap rocker switches. You must turn them to begin brewing, steaming, and performing other similar tasks. It’s fairly clear that the Brera experience is more modern and efficient than Classic, which is just regular old commercial brewing.

Advanced Technology And Extra Features

Winner: Gaggia Brera

Of course, compared to a semi-automatic espresso machine, a super-automatic espresso machine like the Gaggia Brera has greater automation than Gaggia Classic. Brera boasts a fantastic Adapting System, Rapid Steam, and an integrated ceramic burr grinder that function smoothly, a tad noisy, but smoothly.

Thanks to the built-in grinder, users don’t have to purchase an extra one to brew whole-bean coffee with Brera. After that, the Adapting System enters the scene with its automated capability to modify the grinding process according to your coffee bean. Finally, the Rapid Steam feature can froth a whole milk pitcher in 10 seconds.

Gaggia Brera's grinder comes with an Adapting System
Gaggia Brera’s grinder comes with an Adapting System

As for Gaggia Classic, there is no advanced feature to comment on. The machine doesn’t come with a built-in grinder either, so it’s a bit inconvenient, and users have to manually handle the process with an external grinder that they purchase. For me, as a barista, it’s not a huge drawback. But if you are looking for a machine that can grind and brew from A to Z, Gaggia Classic might not suit your need.

Quick Rundown of Gaggia Brera

Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Silver
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • 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.Volts:110V-120V
  • USER-FRIENDLY DISPLAY: Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make for an easy and intuitive experience.Watts:1250 W
  • RAPID STEAM TECHNOLOGY: Quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. Coffee bean capacity : 250 gr

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • LED display and simple, straightforward interface
  • Less than 30 seconds for incredibly quick heating
  • Even for novices, the UI is straightforward and easy to use.
  • Hot espresso is created at a constant temperature.
  • A rapid method for foaming milk
Cons
  • More frequent water tank refilling

Quick Rundown of Gaggia Classic

Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino Frothing. Brews for Both Single and Double Shots.
  • Rugged brushed stainless steel housing
  • Commercial three-way solenoid valve
  • Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portafilter and Brew Group
  • Easy-to-use Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment
  • Easy-to-use Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • A conventional, portable semi-automatic espresso maker
  • The Pannarello wand delivers hot water while producing thick, creamy foam
  • Tough, cafe-standard portafilter
  • Quick heating despite the single boiler system
  • A substantial 72-ounce water tank
Cons
  • The design is too minimalistic and doesn’t offer many convenient features

Product Videos

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5/5 - (2 votes)