“Ah coffee. The sweet balm by which we shall accomplish today’s tasks.” – Holly Black, Ironside
The Gaggia Brera is an Italian-engineered, high performance super automatic espresso machine. As someone who loved traditional Italian espresso, I must say that this machine is one of the most convenient espresso maker I have had the pleasure of testing. And, for that matter, it makes espresso that tastes just as good, if not better than some high end espresso machines. You are getting your money’s worth with the Gaggia Brera!
- Stainless steel pannarello steam wand
- Ceramic burr grinder with adjustable grind settings
- Front loading water reservoir and dregs drawer
- Programmable strength and volume
- Removable brew group
- Rapid boiler
Gaggia Brera is an affordable superautomatic espresso machine that offers convenience, accessibility and programmability with one-touch features. It’s small size and sleek profile make it a perfect choice for kitchens with limited countertop space. The stainless steel front panel also gives it a sleek look.
Gaggia Brera is made of metal and has a brushed stainless steel housing. My favorite feature is the rapid steam technology. I’ve used other espresso machines that take forever to get up to temperature. Not the case with Gaggia. It’s quick heating means you can get to brewing faster. The Gaggia Brera is part of Gaggia’s Gourmet Specialty Coffee line, which also includes Gaggia Titanium models that specialize in high quality espresso brewing.
This machine has a modest sized drip tray that is removable, easy to clean and accommodates even the largest cup height for espresso or Americano coffee drinks. This super automatic espresso machine also features an adjustable ceramic burr grinder, allowing you to adjust the grind coarseness depending on personal preference. Use a coarse grind size to create traditional coffee or fine grind size for espresso coffee drinks.
- Small and light espresso machine
- The brew group (side panel) is easily removable, allowing for simple cleanup and maintenance
- The quality of this user manual is superb
- We made an Italian pump
- Drip tray is easy to remove and has small baffles that help prevent spilling
- There are plenty of plastic pieces; the only one that is metal (stainless steel) is the milk frother
- Water hardness cannot be compensated for
- There isn’t a water filter included
- Because of the tiny size, all storage compartments are small and must be refilled/emptied on a frequent basis
What makes the Gaggia Brera special compared to a manual espresso machine?
Stainless Steel Pannarello Steam Wand
A stainless steel milk frother textures milk for any specialty drink you could want. For more variety, use the hot water dispenser through the pannarello wand to make tea, hot chocolate, and infusions.
Simple User Interface
The multi-color iconography provides a quick overview of your settings and machine activities at a glance. The Gaggia Brera has great one touch features that allow users to select from various pre programmable drinks such as espresso, lungo, cappuccino or latte — all at the touch of a button.
For easy access, the water reservoir and dregs drawer on the Gaggia Brera slide open towards the front. This makes it great for fitting in tight spaces.
Built in Grinder – From Bean to Cup
The Gaggia Brera comes with a built-in ceramic burr grinder, there is no need to purchase a separate grinder for super automatic espresso machines. The Gaggia Brera comes equipped with adjustable grind settings for fine to coarse grounds. This allows the user a total control over their espresso’s flavor profile! Just fill the top with your favorite coffee beans end let the machine do the rest.
Versatile Brewing Options
Programmable strength and volume allow the Brera to take note of your preferences and prepare drinks just the way you like them. The Gaggia Brera allows for espresso, espresso lungo, and can whip up frothy cappuccinos and lattes with Gaggia’s notable pannarello wand. The wand can also dispense hot water to create Americanos from your favorite coffee beans.
Removable Brew Group
The brew group is where the magic happens. It can be removed for simple maintenance, giving you optimal results in every cup. All espresso machines require some maintenance, so Gaggia created this special brew group that makes removal quick and simple, with no tools required.
The rapid boiler is fully heated in a matter of minutes, allowing you to begin your day with a delicious cup of Joe.
Pre Ground Coffee Option
A small bypass doser allows for pre-ground coffee to be loaded directly for espresso brewing. This is ideal for preparing decaf coffee, which is sometimes difficult to come by in whole bean form.
Removable Drip Tray
The Brera has a non-stick removable drip tray that is easy to clean and accommodates even the largest cups for a Latte or Americano. The tray does not stick to finely ground coffee grounds that may spill over during brewing, unlike other super automatic espresso machines.
Who Should Buy the Gaggia Brera
This espresso machine would be best for espresso drinkers who are looking for an affordable espresso machine with high-end stainless steel features and one-touch brewing features.
This machine can be customized to create espresso, espresso lungo, and cappuccinos or lattes with one-touch ease. Coffee strength can be adjusted to accommodate those early mornings.
Unlike other espresso machines that can be a pain to maintain, the Gaggia Brera has a brew group (side panel) that is easily removable allowing for regular cleaning. The Brera espresso machine is the perfect option for the espresso lover on a budget!
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Gaggia Brera
If you’re looking for an espresso machine with all the bells and whistles, the Gaggia Brera may not be what your looking for. The espresso machine would not be best for espresso drinkers who are looking for a espresso machine with a sturdy aluminum frame or espresso machine that has a water filter that is built-in.
You cannot adjust for water hardness, so if you have really hard water, the machine will need to be descaled regularly. This espresso machine is on the cheaper end, so some sacrifices were made in the construction materials.
This espresso machine is it uses a tiny water tank which needs constant refills. There is no way to adjust water temperature, so if you are looking for a professional espresso machine, you may want to look elsewhere.
In conclusion, authentic Italian espresso lovers searching for an affordable espresso machine with high-end stainless steel features and one-touch espresso, espresso lungo, or latte features should purchase the Gaggia Brera. While this espresso machine will not offer many of the features that some espresso machines on the higher end may have, it will work well for those espresso drinkers who are searching for an affordable option. I give the Gaggia Brera espresso machine 4 out of 5 stars. It’s low price and high-quality features both make this espresso machine stand out from the rest!
How to Descale the Gaggia Brera
To minimize the chance of lime scale formation on espresso machines, descaling is required. Scale will not only affect espresso quality, but it can also lead to costly espresso machine repairs. So how do you descale the Gaggia Brera espresso super automatic espresso machine?
Empty the drip tray and dregs drawer, then set a big cup beneath both the brew spout and steam spout.
While in Stand-By Mode, press and hold both small and large coffee button simultaneously. The triangle symbol will flash, followed by the one bean light staying on while the descaling light flashes, signifying phase 1.
There will be a few droplets of water from the group head of the Gaggia Brera. It will sit for a full minute before dispensing any more. During the procedure, it does drip. It will repeat until the tank is approximately half empty.
When the symbols on the screen turn to the hot water sign and the flashing triangle, select the hot water function by turning the selector dial to the right. The water dispensing procedure will resume..
The screen will go to displaying the two bean symbol continuously on it (indicating phase 2), with two cups (small and large) and the descaling symbol flashing-close the selector knob. The water tank symbol will show. Refill the water tank with clean, fresh water. Replace the vessels beneath the steam arm and brew spouts after emptying them.
The priming symbol (triangle and little cup sign) will appear. After the symbols change to a triangle and two cups, prime the machine as usual before closing it as normal for the priming process. The group head will then dispense water rapidly..
The machine will show the hot water symbol on the screen halfway through the rinse cycle. Set the selector dial of the Gaggia Brera to the hot water function. It’s possible that it’ll request you to refill during this time. Fill up the tank, close the knob, and then continue with your program.
As soon as the rinse phase is completed, the descaling symbol will be gone, and the machine will go back to standby mode. You are ready to start brewing!