What You Need to Know at a Glance
The Gaggia Brera Super espresso machine is a great entry-level espresso machine for individuals who want to enjoy a good espresso without the learning curve required to work with other espresso machines out there.
Gaggia is a brand known for quality, and they also understand that some entry-level users of espresso machines want a machine that makes it easy for them to get the results they want without the learning curve. This is how the Gaggia Brera Super espresso machine can give beginners everything they need. Over the years, Gaggia has transitioned from an exclusively commercial coffee machine maker to a manufacturer of some of the best domestic products on the market,
The Gaggia Brera is ultimately a great entry-level espresso machine, with a perfectly user-friendly design that will help you learn more about the basics of brewing before moving on to a more advanced machine. Some of the components that make this espresso machine stand out from the rest are the programmable settings, rapid steam and bean-to-cup tech, LED screen, and compatibility with water filters.
To put it plainly, if you’re looking for a reliable competitively-priced espresso machine to get you started, this is the machine for the job.
The Design of the Gaggia Brera Super
Overall, the Gaggia Brera Super’s design is compact and sleek, measuring 12.4″ H x 10″ W x 17.5″ D, which gives it a thinner front while the back is thicker. You can fill cups ranging from 3.1″ to 4.5″ in height.
Some of the key functions that make this design great include the programmable clock and timer, automatic shut-off, digital display, low water warning, and the handy “Decalcification Needed” indicator.
When it comes to the design of the individual parts, it should come as no surprise that an espresso machine at this price—which is low for a super-auto machine like this—comes with some plastic parts. While some parts are constructed with stainless steel, parts such as the cup warmer and drip tray, bean hopper, ground container, housing, steam wand, brew unit, and water reservoir all feature plastic designs that make them flimsier and less reliable. Keep in mind that while these plastic parts don’t necessarily mean this machine will produce an inferior brew, it does mean that it’s not designed to last as long as other more durable machines out there. However, this machine does come with a one-year warranty to help you get the most out of this product.
Another element of the Gaggia Brera’s design that makes it unique is its bean-to-cup grinding feature. This machine features a flat ceramic burr grinder along with an 8-ounce bean hopper that’s airtight. The grinder features five settings to allow for some experimentation to get that ideal brew.
The “smart system” is another great feature you’re likely to find useful, as it adjusts the grind time and speed to meet your specific roast preferences. Simply indicate what type of roast you’re using and the machine will be able to handle it. This helps eliminate any concern over potential blockage when using the machine.
The fact that the hopper is airtight is another benefit. This design keeps your beans fresher for longer.
How It Works
If you want to brew the perfect espresso, this machine can give you the results you want with every use. The first aspect to control is the brew strength, which allows you to select from light, medium, and strong options. You can also specify the volume between Lungo and espresso. If you know precisely which settings you prefer, you can even save these settings to make the process even faster. When brewing, the LED display also gives you a clear indication of which function does what based on simple icons.
One more added benefit of the Gaggia Brera is the pre-infusion feature, which uses the portafilter post-tamping and pre-shot pulling process to soak coffee grounds before brewing. This process helps make sure the extraction and saturation are consistent and full. The feature also eliminates the hassle of having to pre-infuse manually, which you can’t do using this machine.
A majority of espresso machines will also benefit from the implementation of a water filter, which can remove any impurities in the water and improves flavor and scaling. The Gaggia Brera Super works with many filters to keep the water clean and pristine.
You’ll also find that the Gaggia Brera makes frothing easy using the Pannarello frothing wand, which is sufficiently maneuverable to accommodate many container sizes. However, it’s not the most well-constructed frothing wand, which we’ll get into when discussing the few issues we experienced with this machine.
Regarding the cleaning process, Gaggia’s easy-to-remove components makes cleaning simple. The sleek construction also eliminates a lot of crevices that you might otherwise need to clean on the machine’s exterior. The machine also features a self-cleaning cycle that cleans it when you turn the machine on or off. Other than that, you’ll only need to descale the espresso maker once a month or so and change out the water filter when needed.
Issues with This Machine
While this espresso maker is great, there are some downsides that you can expect with the lower price tag.
One of the biggest issues we have is the use of plastic parts, which will break more easily over time. The plastic construction of the Pannarello steaming wand is covered in steel, but this design makes it somewhat flimsy.
The water tank is also somewhat small if you want to brew more at one time, and the grinder is a bit on the loud side at around 63 to 72 decibels, which makes it less than ideal if you don’t want to disturb your apartment neighbors or sleeping family members at home in those early morning hours.
VoltageCoffee Final Take
If you’re looking for a great espresso machine that’s suitable for beginners without breaking the bank, this machine will do the job. Like other Gaggia products, it’s built to give you the results you want, and this model can serve as a nice stepping stone to even better machines.