Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine Review

Front view of the accademia gaggia
ItemGaggia Brera Espresso Machine
Dimensions17.5 x 10 x 12.4"
Weight18 lbs
Boiler TypeSingle Boiler/Dual Usage
Easy to use
Pre-Ground Coffee Support
Self-Cleaning Cycle
Overall Rating8.2/10

Overview

Originating in Milan, Gaggia was established in the 1930’s and has been in the business of cutting edge coffee makers in the decades since then. With such a rich history spanning nearly an entire century, it comes as no surprise that Gaggia has come out with some truly expressive and unique coffee espresso machines. One such machine is the Gaggia Brera Superautomatic espresso machine. Perfect for use in different settings, the Gaggia Brera is versatile enough that it can be cherished in the same way in your local coffeehouse and even within the comfort of your own home! To learn more about one of the most popular superautomatic machines of today, read our Gaggia Brera review to see whether or not it’s the right coffee machine for you.

The Design

Display

To make operation as easy as possible, the Gaggia Brera espresso machines hav a digital display with LED lights that alerts you of what exactly is going on with your machine. It notifies you of any maintenance that needs to be done so you won’t be stuck with an empty reservoir while trying to get your morning fix of espresso.

There are four buttons surrounding a screen and these buttons basically perform all of your functions. You’ll be able to program your Gaggia Brera to dispense your perfect amount of coffee anytime. It makes a beginner’s life much easier because of how clearly it functions, so don’t worry if you don’t know much about how to work them just yet.

You can adjust the strength of your coffee using the opti-close system and you are also able to adjust smaller details like how fine you want your coffee beans to be ground once they’re in the grinder. There are some settings you can fiddle with, but at the end of the day, you merely have to push some buttons to get a delicious cup of coffee!

Exterior

The Gaggia Brera espresso machines have a fairly traditional design in spite of their highly advanced features. While the Gaggia Brera has a lot to offer in terms of functionality, it is a very compact machine perfect for portability and fitting in your kitchen comfortably, especially since it is short enough to fit under most cabinets. In spite of its affordable price, it appears to be modern and sleek in design due to its stainless steel casing, which helps with keeping it usable for a longer period of time. To further accompany your tastes, there are two models offered: the Gaggia Brera espresso machine in steel and the Gaggia Brera espresso machine in black are available to fit your aesthetic.

Gaggia Accademia coffee machine design representation

Accessibility

The Gaggia Brera espresso machines are designed to be used in the most efficient way possible. Accessibility is a major component of the machine. To ensure ease of use, the Gaggia Brera lays out the drip tray, water reservoir, and drop drawer (used for coffee pucks, which are hardened coffee grounds that have already been used) in the front of the machine. This is useful when considering maintenance or even just daily use when thinking of the water tank’s smaller size. To refill it won’t be a huge hassle for you, should you need a few more shots of espresso.

You’ll also be able to tuck your Gaggia Brera in a tight space without having to pull it forward unless you’re accessing the brew group. The only sides that need to be exposed are the top and the front!

Steam Wand

With a Pannarello steam wand, the Gaggia Brera makes steaming and frothing milk a piece of cake. The wand itself is plastic with a steel coating, which could prove to be inconvenient in the future as it is not the most durable of materials. With that being said, it is replaceable and covered in a one to two year warranty (be sure to check upon purchasing). As for mobility, the wand can be moved left and right for your convenience. It is also removable and has a small rubber handle so you can maneuver it, and the wand likely won’t burn you as it doesn’t tend to overheat.

Gaggia Accademia coffee grinder

Grinder

The Gaggia Brera uses one of the top coffee grinders in the business. Instead of a metal grinder, which is great for lasting over the years while preserving the taste (and captivating smell!) of the coffee grounds, it uses a formidable 1400 watt motor Ceramic grinder which matches it in both sturdiness and taste preservation. While metal grinders can burn coffee grounds, ceramic grinders are far less likely to do so while still performing the same functions. The ceramic grinder is a definite plus, but keep in mind that the plastic components in the grinder will wear and tear over time, and drier coffee beans are your best bet to avoid trouble with oils messing with the machine.

However, this machine works really well with whatever type of coffee you prefer in terms of dark, light, etc. and as previously mentioned, will actually automatically adjust to fit those needs using the Gaggia Adapting System. Changes in the rotations per minute (rpm) and the actual amount of time spent grinding will be made with this function, which is very helpful for obvious reasons.

Bypass Doser (Pre-Ground Coffee)

If you aren’t up to going through the grinding process, you can simply press a button and use the bypass doser to put already processed coffee grounds into the machine instead of waiting for whole beans to be grinded.

Energy Saving Mode

Running a coffee machine can be quite expensive when you account for the water, optional water filters, electricity and not to mention the actual coffee! The energy saving mode on the Brera means it will use less than 1 kW/h, which will save you on electricity, and as a result save you money! This mode will kick in after being left on standby for an hour.

15 Bar Pressure

Get that perfect espresso shot every time thanks to the Brera’s 15 bar pressure. Espresso relies on hot water being forced through espresso grinds to make the espresso shot. The higher the bar pressure, the higher the quality of espresso. 15 bar is considered the perfect pressure for creating espresso, making the Gaggia Brera espresso machine ideal for creating that amazing espresso, latte, cappuccino etc.  every time without the manual work and tweaking needed for other machines.

The Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine’s Additional Features

  • 8 oz bean hopper is airtight and made out of rubber so beans stay fresh before going through the grinder
  • Rapid steaming allows the machine to switch from brewing to steaming quickly as well as initially heat up faster
  • Cup warmer (tray will be warmed only when other parts of the machine are in use because it does not have a separate heater)
  • Adjustable coffee dispensing spout that accommodates small to larger cups which will avoid splashing
  • Pre-infusion system that tamps and soaks the grinded coffee before actual use to maximize flavor
  • Water reservoir has a place to connect the Mavea water filter (prevents scale buildup and has a filtration system that consists of four stages to purify the water) should you decide to purchase it separately
  • Fit under most kitchen cabinets at about 12-12.4 inches tall
  • Plastic scoop and bottle of grease for brew group included

Maintaining Your Gaggia Brera

The Gaggia Brera espresso machines make maintenance much more doable, especially for an entry-level barista. The parts are removable, which means you can really clean your machine thoroughly without having to reach into tight areas. Because of the plastic features, it will be your job to ensure that everything is kept clean or else you may wear out your machine prematurely. You shouldn’t worry too much about this, though, because your Gaggia Brera will notify you with a light in the corner of the screen when it’s time to clean up your drop tray and as for your drip tray, there is a little red piece of rubber underneath the top of the drip tray that gradually rises with the runoff liquids. This will show you when it’s time to empty it out and give it a nice clean.

Maintenance on the gaggia accademia espresso machines

When too much buildup has occurred in the machine, you will get a descaling notice and you must use Gaggia’s descaler for this process. For your brewing group, you simply have to pop off the back, pull it out, and give it a good little rinse. The Gaggia Brera also goes through a rinse cycle after non-use, which helps to keep the quality of your coffee to standard.

Because the Gaggia Brera espresso machines feature an automatic circuit cleaner just like the Gaggia Accademia, your machine should continue running smoothly and hygienically for a longer period of time than what you would expect out of a machine so affordable.

Easier cleaning means a more hygienic and better-tasting espresso without the need to spend hours trying to clean every crevice of the machine. A cleaner machine is a longer lasting machine, which will save you money in the long run after your initial investment into this espresso coffee machine. Nothing is worse than having to descale a coffee machine so the feature of having the descaler and circuit cleaner is a great addition to the Gaggia Brera.

Pros

  • Very affordable, especially for a super-automatic machine
  • Easy to use – only a small amount of knowledge required
  • Easy to discern LED display
  • Stylish with different color options and steel casing
  • Lots of settings to play around with including presets and coffee strength
  • Ceramic grinder useful for preserving flavor
  • Adjustable spout for different sized coffee cups
  • Steaming, hot water, and dispensing functions
  • Cleaning/maintenance alerts
  • Compact size
  • Easily accessible water holder and coffee drop drawer
  • Energy-saving mode
  • Rapid Steaming

Cons

  • Plastic parts will eventually need to be replaced, and will not last as long
  • Small water reservoir and drop drawer due to compact size
  • Not particularly durable
  • Doesn’t come with a water filter
  • Not ideal for oily or flavored coffee beans

Specifications

  • 17.5 x 10 x 12.4″
  • 18 lbs
  • 1400 Watts
  • 37″ power cord
  • 40 oz water reservoir
  • 1300 Watt single boiler
  • 8 oz bean hopper
  • 47 second time to heat

Conclusion on The Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine

To wrap up this Gaggia Brera espresso machine review, the Gaggia Brera can handle most tasks you throw at it with ease. It is a highly rated and versatile espresso machine perfect for people just beginning to involve themselves in the world of higher end coffee makers. It is a cost-friendly machine and very affordable when compared to other super-automatic espresso machines. The quick heat and brew time makes this ideal for those with limited time but still looking for barista quality coffee, and the stylish exterior with two color options is sure to fit your tastes. The plastic parts mean that they machine may not last as long as others, but that’s just to be expected when considering how cost-friendly the machine is. If you are a simple coffee drinker and want something to start with or merely something that won’t break the bank while still making high quality coffee, consider the Gaggia Brera espresso machines because they may just be the perfect fit!

Other Gaggia Espresso Machines & Reviews

If you enjoyed this Gaggia Brera review then be sure to check out our other Gaggia reviews: