Gaggia Velasca Vs Brera: Which Is Better for the Budget-Oriented Coffee Lover?

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For folks who adore espresso yet find the premium super-automatic machines from Jura beyond their budget, Gaggia has some excellent alternatives. Let’s delve into my detailed comparison of the Gaggia Velasca vs Brera to decide which is the perfect fit for your coffee preferences.

The Gaggia Velasca and Gaggia Brera are generally about the same in most respects, except the former allows more extensive modifications to the one-touch beverage settings with five strength levels and three brew temperatures. Additionally, its superior number of grind settings offers a greater spectrum of control over the coffee’s texture.

Gaggia Velasca Vs Brera: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Velasca Espresso Machine,54 ounces Black
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black, 40 fl oz
Model
Gaggia Velasca
Gaggia Brera
Dimensions
10 × 13.4 × 17.3 inches
10 × 12.4 × 17.6 inches
Weight
15.3 lbs
18.7 lbs
Heating System
Single boiler
Single boiler
Pre-programmed Drink Options
3
3
Spigot Type
Dual
Dual
Cup Clearance
2.75 - 4.53 inches
3.5 - 4.5 inches
Water Reservoir
1,5 liter
1,2 liter
Bean Hopper
0.31 liter
0.13 liter
Built-in Grinder
Flat Ceramic Grinder
Flat Ceramic Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
5
Milk-Based Drinks
Milk Frothing System
Steam Wand
Steam Wand
Bypass Dose
App Connectivity
Auto Shut Off
What I Like
Price
$599.00
$449.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Velasca Espresso Machine,54 ounces Black
Model
Gaggia Velasca
Dimensions
10 × 13.4 × 17.3 inches
Weight
15.3 lbs
Heating System
Single boiler
Pre-programmed Drink Options
3
Spigot Type
Dual
Cup Clearance
2.75 - 4.53 inches
Water Reservoir
1,5 liter
Bean Hopper
0.31 liter
Built-in Grinder
Flat Ceramic Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
Milk-Based Drinks
Milk Frothing System
Steam Wand
Bypass Dose
App Connectivity
Auto Shut Off
What I Like
Price
$599.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black, 40 fl oz
Model
Gaggia Brera
Dimensions
10 × 12.4 × 17.6 inches
Weight
18.7 lbs
Heating System
Single boiler
Pre-programmed Drink Options
3
Spigot Type
Dual
Cup Clearance
3.5 - 4.5 inches
Water Reservoir
1,2 liter
Bean Hopper
0.13 liter
Built-in Grinder
Flat Ceramic Grinder
Grinding Settings
5
Milk-Based Drinks
Milk Frothing System
Steam Wand
Bypass Dose
App Connectivity
Auto Shut Off
What I Like
Price
$449.00
More Info

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Velasca Vs Brera: Differences

The Gaggia Velasca knock out the Gaggia Brera with a score of 4-2. Immerse yourself in my detailed comparison to determine which one truly suits your needs!

Coffee Flavour

Winner: Gaggia Velasca

Built-in Grinder

The Gaggia Velasca and Brera share a flat ceramic grinder. I always give the pops to conical grinders for their speed and consistent performance, but the reality is that they are generally exclusive to top-tier machines like those from Jura. Anyway, the flat ceramic grinder also carries a multitude of advantages that allow it to deliver in its role effectively.

First and most importantly, if you have had any experience with a machine that uses a stainless-steel grinder, you’ll attest to the fact that it can heat up rapidly, leading to scorched coffee grounds and, subsequently, a subpar espresso flavor – an issue you won’t encounter with these machines. Their ceramic grinders operate without overheating, ensuring your beans’ aroma remains intact.

Furthermore, the ceramic grinder is known for its durability, which contributes to its long shelf life. It also operates silently, ensuring that it doesn’t become an unwanted alarm clock for your household if used at the crack of dawn.

In layman’s terms, the more grind sizes a superautomatic espresso machine has, the better because it empowers you and your loved ones with more space to experiment and find the best setting. And as a rule of thumb, a finer setting creates a richer taste, while a coarser one generates a lighter brew.

The Gaggia Velasca left me awe-struck with its extensive array of 10-grind settings! Until this, I didn’t think an under-1000 superautomatic machine offering more than five grind settings existed. Surprisingly, even some models carrying a lofty price tag of around four grand don’t boast such an impressive number of grind settings. On the other hand, the Gaggia Brera only has five settings, which is not much but is tolerable given its budget-conscious price.

grinding settings
Grinding settings

To toggle the grinding settings, turn a knob in the bean hopper, which should only be done while the grinder is operating. I found it a bit stiff, but this wasn’t a big deal.

Heating System

Regarding the heating system, a machine with a boiler is always best because it allows for brewing coffee and steaming milk at the same time – which is a must-have for these bustling settings, such as offices, coffee houses, and minibars. Still, these machines usually come with a hefty price tag. Thus, for such budget-oriented machines as the Gaggia Velasca vs Brera, you usually only get a single boiler system.

Fortunately, their boilers are aluminum lined with stainless steel, which can heat up quickly and retain heat well, minimizing the delay between brewing and steaming. Hence, you can swiftly prepare an espresso, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, or any other beverage to kick off your day, probably in under two minutes.

Brewing System

Both of these machines integrate pre-infusion functionality that moistens the coffee grounds with hot water ahead of the main extraction to ensure the extraction process is as even as possible. Consequently, you will have a rich, full-bodied espresso in hand. This appears to be a standard attribute in the brewing processes of super-automatic machines – Jura even fancifully dubbed it the “Intelligent Pre-Brew Aroma System.”

gaggia velasca vs brera's 5 coffee strengths and 3 brew temperatures
Gaggia Velasca vs Brera’s 5 coffee strengths and 3 brew temperatures

While the Gaggia Brera provides customization with three levels of intensity for their pre-programmed beverage choices, the Velasca extends more control with five different coffee strengths and three distinct brew temperatures. After discovering and finessing your unique recipe, you can save it, allowing your ideal beverage to be recreated effortlessly at the press of a button on all subsequent occasions.

gaggia brera's 3 coffee strengths
Gaggia Brera’s 3 coffee strengths

Milk Frothing System

I hate to break it to you, but these machines can do almost everything themselves, except for making milk-based drinks. If you’re a novice, this aspect could be quite intimidating. They come equipped with a manual Panarello steam wand instead of an automatic milk frother, which dispenses steam to prepare soft milk foam. So unless you are willing to splurge on expensive models that can automate this process, you’ll need to tap into your inner barista and practice whipping up lattes or any other espresso-based milk drink the traditional way.

panarello steam wand
Panarello steam wand

So does this mean that these models are unsuitable for beginners? Well, not really! But it does require you to put in extra effort and be comfortable with the fact that your initial attempts may not yield the best results!

Utilizing this wand couldn’t be easier: For the Gaggia Velasca, you initiate the “steam” mode by pressing a button; for the Gaggia Brera, a switch flicked to the left does the job. Next, ensure the wand is plunged into the milk stored in a metal milk carafe, and leave the system for roughly 10 seconds to boot up. Then, keep going until the metal cup becomes too hot to hold comfortably (around 65 °C), and top your espresso with that velvety milk foam.

It sounds easy, right? But in reality, obtaining the perfect milk froth for latte art is a difficult skill to acquire, and pouring the latte art is even more daunting. Testing countless espresso machines has offered me ample opportunities to play around with this traditional steam wand, but admittedly, I didn’t always get what I expected. But trust me, once you get the hang of it, you’ll consider it a real treasure and love the control over the milk foam it empowers you with, which an automatic milk frothing system just can’t. 

Design & Usability

Winner: Tie

Dimensions, Footprint, & Weight

Gaggia VelascaGaggia Brera
Dimensions10 × 13.4 × 17.3 inches10 × 12.4 × 17.6 inches
Weight15.3 lbs18.7 lbs

If you were anticipating a futuristic gadget that would cause guests who unintentionally meander into your kitchen to raise their eyebrows, unfortunately,  I’m afraid these models won’t fulfill your aesthetic desires. No, I don’t mean they’re ugly ducks, but unless you figure out how to time travel and bring them back a decade ago, they’re unlikely to win any design awards.

However, while many brands go all out in an attempt to make their machines visually stunning, the simple and unostentatious design of these Gaggia coffee machines seems to convey a clear message from the maker, “Hey, these machines are engineered to produce delicious espressos, not just to be eye candy.”

Setting aesthetics aside for the moment, these machines predominantly comprise stainless steel, a material choice that’s unusual in the world of super-automatic espresso machines (most of which are primarily constructed from ABS plastic). This explains why Gaggia models consistently garner a reputation for their durability and robustness. 

These “bean-to-cup” machines are also not bulky at all, allowing them to fit easily into the smallest spaces. They’re not too heavy as well, and that shouldn’t matter unless you intend to carry your coffee machine around daily as part of your workout!

Pre-Programmed Coffee Options

Gaggia VelascaGaggia Brera
Espresso
Espresso lungo
Hot water
Espresso
Espresso lungo
Hot water

Again, I don’t want to see your sad face, but both have a short list of pre-programmed drink options, including hot water, since making milk-based drinks is a DIY task, as mentioned earlier. So if you are looking for something that can satisfy many people’s caffeine cravings as quickly as possible, I highly recommend the Jura Giga 10, which features 35 one-touch drinks and a double bean hopper.

All preset beverage options can be customized according to coffee strength. And fascinatingly, their wands can double as hot water dispensers, which comes in handy if you require hot filtered water to brew tea or dilute an espresso to whip up a Caffè Americano.

As a devotee of freshly ground beans, I, like many, still keep a stash of pre-ground coffee on hand just in case. I was, therefore, delighted to discover that these machines are fully compatible with pre-ground coffee. This handy feature is not just an advantage for us contingency planners but also a blessing for those who prefer decaf drinks or refuse caffeine for whatever reason.

bypass dose
Bypass dose

Spout & Cup Clearance

Gaggia VelascaGaggia Brera
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance2.75 – 4.53 inches3.5 – 4.5 inches

These machines have a dual coffee dispensing spout that can be raised and lowered to fit cups of various sizes as well as preserve the crema (which is a rich, tan-colored layer on top of an espresso) and minimize spills. While the Gaggia Velasca theoretically could pair well with a wider range of cup and mug sizes, neither machine aligns perfectly with my insulated coffee cups or taller glasses. 

These dual spouts also facilitate brewing two espressos at once (by double-tapping the button corresponding to the selected drink). So you and your companion can swiftly get your hands on beloved drinks to usher in a new day.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia VelascaGaggia Brera
Water Reservoir1,5 liter1,2 liter
Bean Hopper0.31 liter0.26 liter

Unless you are part of an extended family or drink coffee as a refreshment, their water reservoirs just require filling up at the end of the day, so your brew cycle for the next day will begin with fresh water. They have a handle and are really easy to access, remove, and put back in.

Their water reservoirs also have room for an Intenza Mavea water filter, which is designed to reduce water hardness by removing minerals that can scale when heated inside the machine. Utilizing this filter involves a recurrent cost, but I assure you, my friend, it’s a worthy investment. The benefit? It enables you to craft countless tantalizing espresso shots, potentially in the thousands, without descaling the machine. Isn’t that one stone that kills two birds?

intenza mavea water filter
Intenza Mavea water filter

Gaggia Velasca vs Brera’s bean holders can hold 300 and 250 grams of coffee beans, respectively. That’s also where you can find the bypass grinder chute and grind setting dial. You can rest assured to leave your beans here without worrying about them going rancid since the lids are sealed.

gaggia velasca vs brera's bean hoppers
Gaggia Velasca vs Brera’s bean hoppers

Cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Tie

Gaggia machines are engineered for longevity, but diligent maintenance is crucial for ensuring they consistently perform at their best and deliver great-tasting espresso. Neglecting this could allow bacteria and mold to take up residence within the machine, which is detrimental not only to your coffee experience but also to your health. So, believe me and regular upkeep is a non-negotiable for preserving both your machine and your well-being.

These models lack a built-in milk system, which simplifies the deep cleaning process. All it involves is descaling the machine and cleaning the brew group. Both of these tasks are straightforward and won’t eat up too much of your precious time!

Regarding descaling the machine, the process is almost completely automated, and I’ll let you Google it. Gaggia Descaler Solution is the only thing that can be used for this process, or at least that’s what the manufacturer wants you to believe in. Despite the temptation to opt for a cheaper alternative, it’s probably best not to gamble on potentially compromising the integrity of your machine.

gaggia descaler solution
Gaggia Descaler Solution

Their brew systems, which are their heart and soul, are removable for deep cleaning. While this might seem to elongate your maintenance routine, the rewards for your efforts are undeniable. The manufacturer recommends cleaning the brewing unit once a week, but I strongly recommend rinsing it at the end of each day. Show this component the care it deserves, and it will reciprocate by serving up endless cups of delectable espresso.

In addition, there are small but vital chores that should be done daily, including draining the drip tray, clearing out the coffee grounds basket, replenishing the water reservoir, and giving the machine’s exterior a good wipe-down. 

Utilities & Other Features

Winner: Gaggia Velasca

User Interface 

Gaggia Velasca vs Brera have no fancy or high-tech digital displays. Their control panels are simple, reminding me of console games from a few decades ago, but still very functional. Selecting specialty drinks and making the necessary customizations is easy via the surrounding physical buttons. For such low-featured coffee machines, equipping a touch screen is, in my opinion, overkill.

gaggia velasca vs brera's user interfaces
Gaggia Velasca vs Brera’s user interfaces

Power Saving Feature

Gaggia Brera will automatically turn off after one hour of inactivity, and this is unchanged. I know this is Gaggia’s attempt to help users reduce power consumption, but it would be nice to have the option to change the interval or disable the feature.

The Gaggia Velasca is better with the “Energy-Saving Standby” mode. It will automatically go into standby mode when inactive for a period of time (which can be changed by 3 levels). In this mode, the machine consumes only -1w of energy.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Velasca

Gaggia Velasca Espresso Machine,54 ounces Black
  • Manual frothing for milk-based drinks: Pannarello steam wand for frothing milk
  • Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo 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

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Affordable price.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Has 10 grind settings.
  • Cut down on power consumption with Energy-Saving Standby mode.
Cons
  • No double boiler.
  • Few pre-programmed drinks.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Brera

Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black, 40 fl oz
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Affordable price.
  • Beginner friendly.
  • Auto power off after one hour.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • The brew group is removable for deep cleaning.
Cons
  • The steam wand has some learning curve.
  • Few specialty coffees.

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Rating 5/5 - (6 votes)