Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Best Budget Super-Automatic Coffee Maker

Why people love it
  • Ultimate espresso machine
  • You’ll fall in love and have a difficult time without it
  • Easy operation
Cons

There’s no control over the water temperature and it’s not hot enough for coffee extremists.

Details

This is a solid machine given the price. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s relatively inexpensive. The LED display is prepared to talk you through everything you need to know. And you’ll appreciate that because there are so many options – light or strong, long or short. And, it will save your preferences for the next cup too.

The water filter is powerful and works with four stages for super pure water for delicious coffee. Now it is on the noisy side, the water reservoir is small, and a lot of the machine is made with plastic. You also don’t have any control over water temperature. But, if you want a terrific cup of coffee on a budget, this is the (wonderfully compact) appliance for you.

Bean reservoir and grinding: The bean hopper offers slightly more than average space with 8 ounces. You can choose whether you want a strong or weaker cup of coffee and you can use a variety of beans. There’s also a doser bypass that allows you to work with pre-ground coffee. That’s a bonus if you need tp make a lot of cups in a short amount of time.

Water reservoir size: You may get a slightly larger bean hopper, but the water reservoir is smaller. It holds a mere 1.2 liters. That’s 40 ounces, in case you’re wondering. The water tank is removable, and you’ll need to do a lot of that since it’s so small. But, the multi-stage water filter is impressive.

Milk and frothing options: There’s a frothing wand, but no milk tank. This steam wand also doubles as a separate spout for hot water.

Cup warmers and water spouts: There is a cup warmer, a steam wand which doubles as a water spout, and you have the opportunity to brew two cups at the same time. That said, you are working with limited cup sizes. The max is just over 4.25”. Then again, you’ll probably work with espresso cups, so it's really not that big of a deal.

Energy use: It operates at 1400 watts and there is an auto shut-off feature. That makes this inexpensive machine just about average on the power front.

Maintenance requirements: There’s a self-rinse function that’s activated every time the machine moves between standby and operational phases. There’s an indicator on the display screen to let you know if you need to service and descale the machine. During the first 2 years, you’ve got a warranty to cover any replacement parts you need – and you can find replacements fairly easily after that point.

Bottom line: It’s a really good price for the function that you get. But there are design flaws, or rather, construction flaws. Too many parts are made with plastic. If you occasionally use the machine, you won’t experience too many issues. But if you use it daily, you will need to keep an eye on that. Most users don’t have problems and find the tradeoff between price and bonus features to be exactly what they're looking for.

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