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Are you in search of a coffee machine that can take you from zero to the next level? Your lean interest in coffee addiction can be catered by one fine product – espresso machine. However, being the amateur with first-ever rodeo, skepticism of doing well, and the urge of bringing creativity to the art, you will be in dire need of something special – Gaggia Brera.
Keeping that aside, Brera doesn’t have hundreds of options which makes it simple to use. Nevertheless, some settings are finely tuned.
Additionally, Brera is found to be doing justice to novice barista or coffee lover. It is considered the best automatic espresso machine for a reasonable price tag. If you ask about the level of the machine, I would definitely call it an “upper-level machine for apprentices”. In this review, I’ve covered everything about this super-automatic machine that you need to know before trying it out.
Let’s first explore the features of Gaggia Brera…
Gaggia Brera – Top Features
Gaggia Brera has an attractive stainless steel exterior and a sleek and streamlined design enhancing the interiors of your kitchen. The stainless steel front features an LED display with illuminated icons that makes it so easier to operate the appliance for pulling out a great quality shot.
Gaggia Brera is fairly easy to maintain and I do think it is fairly good looking machine despite being one of the affordable automated machines on the market.
Gaggia Brera features a user-friendly display that has the push-buttons control panel and an LED display with illuminated icons making it easier to optimize your brew settings.
The control panel also features a knob that you can use to set the ground settings from the coarsest to the finest grounds according to your beverage pick.
The strength button lets you choose from 3 espresso strengths so you can enjoy your coffee just the way you like it. The control panel ensures an easy and intuitive experience for all novice to expert baristas.
At 40-ounces, the water reservoir can hold enough liquid to brew coffee for 2-3 people. Compared to other coffee makers, Gaggia Brera has a smaller reservoir so you can pull out between 3-4 shots before the next refill.
The plastic water reservoir pulls out from the front making it easy to access for a refill and cleaning session.
This brewing unit feature comes in handy when you want to make the most of your grounds to produce the best quality coffee. How the pre-infusion technology works; it soaks the grounds or you can say pre-wets the grounds in the internal portafilter after tamping but right before pulling a shot pulling. Even saturation and extraction of the grounds is ensured at a lower pressure until it gradually reaches a 15-bar amount for the perfect espresso brew.
This results in an excellent taste of your coffee as pre-infusion extracts flavor and aroma out of every particle of your grounds. Incredible, isn’t it?
Brewing and Programmability
Firstly, when you will start using this espresso machine, the feel will not haunt you down the throat. You might feel intimidated at the start by taking a look at Brera but will loosen up the tight muscles of anxiety while making your first cup of coffee. Another reason for being relaxed while working around it is that you will not have to deal with too many PID controllers or options.
You would easily manage your brew thanks to Gaggia’s Optiaroma technology that lets you customize the strength settings from a strong, light or medium brew. Furthermore, you’re allowed to choose the volume as to how much coffee you require and also take a pick between a lungo and espresso.
An auto-off feature after one hour of inactivity proves to be a great feature as well. This is because it saves energy when you aren’t using the appliance and thus cuts down on added costs on your electricity bills.
The best thing I liked about this espresso maker is that this machine remembers the customized settings so you don’t need to reset it the next time if you need a similar brew and interestingly, its pretty simple to use as well.
The cup height ranges between 3.25” to 4.5” which means you can fit in your favorite coffee mugs and the spout’s height is adjustable as well.
Another great feature of this appliance is the grinder. This machine has a flat ceramic burr grinder with an airtight bean hopper of an 8oz capacity. This is useful when you want to choose from an array of brew styles, and in the case of Gaggia Brera, it has 5 settings refining your grounds to produce espresso of your taste.
The ceramic burr grinders are ideal for retaining heat and aroma of the coffee since they produce less heat so the flavor doesn’t evaporate. Moreover, the shape of the grinder is inert so it doesn’t affect the flavor of the grounds and the taste of the caffeinated beverage as a whole.
The UV proof bean hopper proves to be great for storing beans as it is airtight so your beans never go stale. The bypass doser comes in really handy when you want to use a pre-ground so the grounds are all ready before the next brew, and I can guarantee you that this integrated feature won’t let you go down.
Cup Warmer and Drip Tray
The cup warmer pre-warms your coffee, so no more waiting for it to get hot, your beverage is always going to be ready for you. The drip tray prevents messy counters; collecting any froth or dibbling from the spout or cup.
Many novice baristas have little or no idea on how to froth milk. This is where Gaggia Brera’s Pannarello frothing wand comes into the rescue. Its pretty simple actually, it can accommodate several cup-sizes thanks to its maneuverability and create a thick foam in no time. The intake hole makes a silky rich foam while you hold the container in place.
I feel it looks like any typical steaming wand out there but wait till you see how well it takes care of the frothing department.
Quality of Coffee
Gaggia Brera features various customization options to make the restaurant quality coffee and even beyond. The quality of the coffee is good but I do suggest you should always use good quality grounds for the perfect brew. Moreover, when talking about frothing milk beverages, the Pannarello wand really does the job well frothing for cappuccinos and lattes and it doubles as a hot water dispenser for Americanos & tea.
Super automated machines are pretty expensive but luckily Gaggia Brera is less costly from the price point and is fairly durable as well. It comes with a 1-year warranty so, in case of cracks or leaks in any part of the appliance, it can be replaced.
Most components are made of plastic, for instance, the water reservoir, brew unit, bean hopper, and the cup warmer tray, this means the appliance may last you a lifetime and you may have to replace it in 3 to 4 years depending on your usage.
The appliance isn’t entirely durable but it isn’t bad either if you are looking for quality caffeinated beverages in an affordable price range.
Ease of Descaling and Cleaning
Gaggia Brera is neatly designed with minimum crevices to minimize the cleaning hassle for you. Most components like the dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank are accessible from the front of the appliance and can be easily detached for quick and easy cleaning.
Moreover, the removable brew group can be easily detached too for regular maintenance and rinsing to prevent any dirt from settling in. The self-cleaning cycle runs every time you turn the machine on and off and notifies you when the appliance needs descaling.
More Awesome Features
The dreg box is located on the front of the machine which is accessible and comes in handy for ground coffee waste which is emptied quickly from the front of the machine once it is full. The drag box is easy to clean also hence preventing any mess on the kitchen counter.
Brera’s adapting system quickly learns once you adjust your ground setting and the beans you prefer. Furthermore, you can easily switch between ground coffee and beans without having to remove the beans.
An on-demand feature that serves you a cup of piping hot cup of coffee in under 10 seconds. The system rapidly heats up to the optimal temperature so you don’t need to wait much for your favorite caffeinated beverage to brew.
- Dimensions: 10 x 15.5 x 11.5 inches
- Weight: 18 pounds
- Follow the manual for best instructions
The plastic components do make the appliance lighter in weight and reduce the price of the machine however, it also reduces the durability and life span of the machine as well. Stainless steel components would have enhanced the unit’s durability to a whole new level.
Smaller Water Tank
The water tanker is slightly smaller than most automated coffee makers in the market, I wish the capacity of the water dispenser would have been bigger.
The machine is loud and might cause a disturbance in the morning if you don’t like loud appliances!
Video Review: Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Check out this video to learn better how Gaggia Brera works to brew quality shots every time.
The Bottom Line
Gaggia Brera is a stepping stone machine for beginner baristas who aim to brew fine tasting espressos. Super automated machines are quite costly but the price point and advanced features offered by Brera stand no parallel.
If you are looking for features such as energy-saving mode, easy customization settings, and user-friendly control panel as well as a budget-friendly appliance then Gaggia Brera might be your best bet to make a quality cup of coffee.
If maintained well, the machine can prove to be an excellent espresso machine that can last for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Gaggia Brera a super automated machine?
Gaggia Brera is a super-automatic espresso machine that means you can experience some functionality beyond the basic shot pulling. You can pre-program this appliance with minimal input and your coffee's taste will be great. Specialty brewing is something this machine masters, so you won't need to put much effort into this super-automatic espresso machine.
2. Is it a durable Machine?
The appliance does come with a hassle-free 1-year warranty handled by Gaggia directly so you can take the repair burden off your plate in case any mishap happens during that duration. The appliance does have plastic components that deplete the lifespan of the appliance, but if you are maintaining your appliance properly, it can last you longer.
3. How do I clean the appliance before my first cup of coffee every morning?
Fortunately, you don't have to do it yourself! As soon as you turn on the appliance, it goes through a cleaning cycle which takes about one minute.
4. Can you specify the cup clearance area and the actual distance between the spout and drip tray?
It can easily adjust a coffee cup and mug, and the distance between the spout and drip tray is enough to accommodate a travel mug too if it isn't too long. You can fill two cups of coffee and then pour it in your travel mug as well, it's easier that way.