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Gaggia Brera Review: A Not-So-Humble Bean to Cup Espresso Machine

Grind, brew, froth, enjoy! If you’re after a smooth bean-to-cup experience, the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine should definitely be on your radar. 

While this type of machine isn’t known to be cheap, the Gaggia Brera is actually one of the most affordable options and great value for money, especially when you consider all the features that are packed inside this compact model.Read our Gaggia Brera review to discover if it can improve your morning.

Quick Summary: 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.

Compact bean-to-cup machine made in Italy and featuring a reliable burr grinder as well as a professional steam wand for frothy drinks

  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 10 x 17.5 in
  • Grind settings: 5
  • Hopper capacity: 8.8 oz
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Gaggia Brera review & features: is this the right bean-to-cup machine for you?

The Gaggia Brera offers interesting features that can simplify every stage of your bean-to-cup experience.

Burr grinder

Let’s start with the grinding side of things since it’s not only the first part of your bean-to-cup brewing process but one of the most important, too (1):

“Only a reliable burr coffee grinder can offer you the full-flavored and fresh coffee you want.” Raj Jana, JavaPresse 

Luckily, the Gaggia Brera features a flat ceramic burr grinder that helps you make the most of your beans’ flavor and aroma

It includes 5 grind settings which, while they might look like a humble number compared to other grinders, is actually a great starting point for espresso: after all, you won’t need to grind your beans coarse or medium like you would for other brewing methods!

The Gaggia Brera also features an Adapting System that learns the properties of different types of beans and adjusts its settings automatically to cater to them. How cool is that?!

PRO TIP: should you ever be gifted some pre-ground coffee or wish to brew a decaf shot, don’t worry. The Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine includes a bypass doser that lets you use ground coffee, too.

For added practicality, you can store your beans in its 8-oz hopper before grinding them. 

The only small problem that we’ve encountered with the Gaggia Brera is that it’s fairly loud, but nothing that you won’t get used to.

Brewing & espresso quality

With your Gaggia Brera needing only one minute to heat up and another to brew, you won’t have to worry about wasting precious time in the morning… nor about quality!

First of all, it brews at 15 bars of pressure, which is 6 more than the industry standard of 9 bars (2).

It also includes a pre-infusion cycle to let your coffee grounds bloom (de-gas) before brewing them: this helps you unlock more flavors and ensure a perfect extraction.

The Gaggia Brera is a fantastic machine when it comes to customizability, too. Its Optiaroma feature includes 3 brew strengths (light, medium, strong) and you can even tweak your desired coffee quantities

Found the perfect recipe? Awesome! Just use the Memo function to replicate it with the touch of a button.

In fact, the Gaggia Brera has 2 programmable sizes, one for espressos and the other for taller lungos.

Should you wish to brew a double shot, this machine won’t compromise on freshness: it will grind them separately to give you the best espressos… always topped with an aesthetically pleasing layer of crema, of course.

Milky & espresso-based drinks

The Gaggia Brera doesn’t only reward you with delicious espressos and lungos: you can use it to craft americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, and other frothy drinks, too.

This is because it features a professional Pannarello wand that achieves different textures as well as doubling as a hot water dispenser.

Thanks to the rapid steam technology, it heats up in less than 10 seconds, so your morning latte won’t keep you waiting.

Design

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.

The Gaggia Brera is a beautiful, slightly nostalgic example of made-in-Italy design. Plus, this company is a renowned name in the coffee world since it’s also thanks to Achille Gaggia if we have modern espresso machines (3):  

“Gaggia transformed the Jules Verne hood ornament into a chromed-out counter-top spaceship with the invention of the lever-driven machine.” Smithsonian Magazine 

The Gaggia Brera is currently available in either black or silver, perfect to match most kitchens.

We especially love the practicality of its front-loading design, both when it comes to the dreg drawer and its 40 oz water reservoir: not only does it make it easier to clean it and maintain it, but it means that the Gaggia Brera will easily fit underneath most cupboards (it’s only 12.4” in height!).

The buttons and LED display of its interface are also user-friendly and easy to operate.

Finally, its practical design includes an adjustable spout to let you fit the right drinking vessel for different drinks, from the smallest espresso cups to the tallest latte glasses.

Who should buy the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine

The Gaggia Brera is a great-value-for-money, super-automatic espresso machine for anyone looking to grind and brew fresh beans in one go as well as froth some milk to make lattes and cappuccinos.

It’s especially a good fit if you’re hoping for some decent levels of customization without ending up with a ridiculous price tag.

As well as being one of the best super-automatic espresso machines, the Gaggia Brera is particularly a godsend if you haven’t got plenty of countertop space left and were initially put off by bulkier or taller models.

Who should NOT buy the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine

If you’d rather focus on espresso since you’re not a fan of frothy drinks, then we think that the more minimalist Jura A1 Ultra Compact Coffee Center could be a wiser choice for you.

If, on the contrary, you’re super-excited about enjoying frothy drinks but not so much about using the steam wand yourself, the Gaggia Anima Prestige will let you start the day right. 

Finally, we don’t recommend investing in the Gaggia Brera or any other super-automatic espresso machine if you already have a separate grinder that grinds fine enough for espresso. In that case, the Breville BES870XL or one of the best espresso machines will do.

THE GOOD

  • Ceramic burr grinder with 5 settings
  • Adapting system to make the most of different beans
  • Programmable recipes
  • Professional steam wand & hot water dispenser
  • Compact design

THE BAD

  • Fairly loud
  • Not as customizable and automatic as more expensive models

Final verdict on the Gaggia Brera: is it a good bean-to-cup machine? 

The moral of our Gaggia Brera review is that this fairly affordable super-automatic espresso machine is great value for money. Compact but packed full of features, it’s especially ideal for nostalgic souls who prefer a more traditional design and approach to brewing.

It’s easy to use, features a reliable grinder and wand, and gives you tasty customizable espressos as well as americanos and a variety of frothy drinks.

Unless you’re happy to spend a few more hundred bucks for even more features, the Gaggia Brera is the right machine to start your day with a quick espresso that looks and tastes just as if it had been brewed in an Italian cafe. 

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FAQs

1. Is Gaggia a good brand?

Yes, Gaggia is a very good brand when it comes to both traditional espresso machines and automatic bean-to-cup models. 

It’s been in business since 1947 and was founded by the inventor of the first modern steamless espresso machine, so it’s basically a staple when it comes to Italian coffee culture.

2. Where is Gaggia Brera made?

The Gaggia Brera is both designed and manufactured in Italy. Except for an older Gaggia Classic model that used to be produced in Romania, most Gaggia espresso machines are still made in Italy.

3. How do you make cappuccino with Gaggia?

To make a cappuccino with your Gaggia machine, you must simply brew a shot of espresso in a larger cup, steam some milk with its Pannarello wand, and pour it onto your coffee. Easy!


References 

  1. Jana, R. (n.d.). Why Your Grinder Is The Most Important Piece of Coffee Gear. Retrieved from https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/grinding-coffee/grinder-best-coffee-gear 
  2. Kilbride, D. (2017, June 8). How Does Pressure Affect Espresso Quality?. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/how-does-pressure-affect-espresso-quality/ 
  3. Stamp, J. (2012, June 19). The Long History of the Espresso Machine. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-long-history-of-the-espresso-machine-126012814/
Avatar for Dennies John

Dennies is the founder and editor-in-chief of Dripped Coffee. He is a trained barista who knows coffee like the back of his hand. When he's not brewing coffee, you can find him fishing or swimming.

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