Gaggia Anima Review

Overall Rating
87
Coffee Quality (40%)
82
Design & Features (20%)
89
Durability (20%)
88
Ease of Use (10%)
94
Brand Reputation (10%)
90

The Bottom Line

The base model of Gaggia's 3-machine Anima Series, the Anima is a stylish, functional super-automatic espresso machine that packs do-it-all convenience and a few premium features into an affordable package.
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Key Features of the Gaggia Anima

Key Features of Gaggia Anima

  • Integrated grinder: Conical ceramic grinder with 5 grind size settings and bypass
  • Bean hopper: 8.8 oz capacity
  • Water reservoir: 60 oz removable with water filter compatibility
  • Brew sizes: Espresso and lungo buttons, which can be programmed for custom size
  • Adjustable exit valves: Accommodates cups or mugs up to 6″ tall
  • Dose size selector: 6.5-11.5g
  • Temperature control: 177.5°F, 182.9°F, 184.5°F
  • Auto-Off: 15 min - 3 hours
  • Spent puck drawer: Holds up to 15 pucks
  • Frother: Manual Pannarello steam wand
  • Drip tray: Removable with 24 oz capacity and full tray indicator button
  • Removable brew group (internal assembly) for easy cleaning
  • Low-energy standby mode after 1 hour of idle time
  • Digital display
  • Plastic exterior
  • 2-year warranty

Gaggia Anima Overview

Easy to use? Yes.

Compact design? Yes.

Properly extracted shot? You bet.

The Gaggia Anima is the base model of Gaggia's 3-model Anima Series:

  • Gaggia Anima
  • Gaggia Anima Deluxe
  • Gaggia Animal Prestige

As a base model, it's a great option for anyone looking to get their feet wet on an introductory super-automatic espresso machine without breaking the bank on one of Gaggia's more premium models.

What's the benefit of a super-automatic espresso machine? It does absolutely everything. You push a button, and the machine does the rest:

  • Grinds your beans
  • Doses the portafilter
  • Extracts your shot
  • Empties the portafilter

You don't need another grinder. You don't need a tamper. You don't even need to do much cleaning (aside from regular maintenance).

And for specialty beverages, the Gaggia Anima's Panarello steam wand offers one-touch frothing for easy cappuccino and latte foam.

Overall, the Gaggia Anima is easy to use and has some handy features (such as Temperature and Strength Control), and pulls a quality shot, especially compared to similarly-priced machines.

The downside of a super-automatic espresso machine is what you may expect: Complete lack of manual customization, since everything is hands-off.

Depending on what you're looking for in an espresso machine, that may not be a downside to you.

Pros

  • Packs super-automatic features into a semi-automatic price
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive display
  • Simple custom shot size selector
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Semi-automatic means lack of control and customization, which puts a ceiling on how good your esspreso can be
  • Fully plastic exterior
  • Bean hopper lid isn’t airtight

Is the Gaggia Anima for you?

Is Gaggia Anima for you?

The Gaggia Anima is a great introductory super-automatic espresso machine if you're looking for easy specialty beverages without breaking the bank.

While the price tag may seem high, that's the bar for almost any quality espresso machine, both super- and semi-automatic.

But consider how much you actually spend on your daily (or twice daily?!) coffee habit:

  • $5 specialty drink every day
  • 30 drinks per month
  • $150 per month
  • $900 every 6 months
  • $1,800 every year!

Maybe you take a few days off here and there or pay $0.50 less per drink. Sorry, that doesn't change the math all that much. Your coffee habit is expensive. Investing in your own espresso machine is the economical choice.

And among hands-off machines, it doesn't get much more economical than the Gaggia Anima.

If you're looking for something a little more feature-rich than the Gaggia Anima, take a look at the Anima Prestige. The biggest upgrade? The Animal Prestige comes with an automatic frother and dedicated buttons for cappuccinos and latte macchiatos.

If you're looking for something in the Gaggia Anima's price range that's more hands-on, we recommend the highly-rated Breville Barista Express BES870XL, which also has an integrated grinder.

Gaggia Anima Review: An In-Depth Look

Design & Performance

With the Anima, Gaggia has packed every feature required on a super-automatic espresso machine into the least expensive package possible.

This has its pros and cons:

  • Pros: You get a super-automatic espresso machine for a great price
  • Cons: The machine a few obvious flaws

With the integrated frother, integrated grinder, adjustable grind size, 3 temperature settings, 5 dose size settings and easily programmable brew sizes, you can pull almost any kind of shot you want and make any kind of specialty beverage you desire.

I have to give the Anima good marks for design — it really is simple to use and has a lot of features — but it loses some points for lack of control over your final shot. Ultimately, you're buying this machine for its convenience and high floor, not for its customizability and high ceiling.

Quality of Espresso

If you’re strictly a cappuccino or latte drinker, the Gaggia Anima will do just fine. Max out the dose size and water temp and go fine with your grind, and you’ll get something that’s properly extracted. It may be a touch bitter, but you’re going to be mixing it with milk, which will mask any imperfections.

But for pure espresso drinkers? No matter how much I messed with the settings, I always got something that was just shy of amazing.

Appearance

The Gaggia Anima looks great, though the machine is entirely cased in plastic. The black plastic front even has a chrome-like look to it. As always, appearance points are subjective.

Generally, I give the Anima very good marks, but I have to deduct a few points because, in my opinion, plastic just never looks as good as stainless steel or chrome.

Durability

With proper cleaning and maintenance, the Gaggia Anima will hold up for at least a few years. In this price range that’s pretty standard. Should anything happen Gaggia backs it up with a 2-year warranty.

Ease of Cleaning

Gaggia makes cleaning the Anima very easy, but there’s a good deal of cleaning to be done.

All of the typical stuff applies with this machine:

  • Wipe it down regularly
  • Monitor the drip tray for overflow
  • Empty the puck compartment
  • Soak the frother nozzle
  • Descale every 2-3 months

You also have to open the right-side service door weekly to clean out the brew group. This isn’t a huge deal. The brew group slides out effortlessly and just needs to be rinsed with lukewarm water and wiped down with a cloth, but you’ll also want to make sure the inside of the machine is properly wiped down and any ground coffee deposits are wiped away.

I can’t stress the importance of doing this as frequently as suggested. More often than not when someone complains that the machine isn’t working anymore, it’s because they weren’t up to snuff with their regular maintenance.

Standout Features of the Gaggia Anima

Easily reprogram brew size buttons to your custom size

I don’t like being confined to the default shot sizes by hard-to-reprogram espresso systems. That’s why I love the Anima’s custom size selector.

Simply press and hold the shot type you want to set, wait until the machine dispenses the desired amount of espresso, then press again to stop. The Anima will remember that size until you change it.

Overall, control panel is incredibly easy to use

The Anima doesn’t have any standout features that aren’t seen on other espresso machines. That’s not what Gaggia is going for with this model.

Instead, Gaggia’s goal is to take everything you expect to see on a super-automatic espresso machine and make it extremely user-friendly and intuitive.

The digital display and buttons are easy to navigate, and you’re never more than a couple clicks from easily adjusting a setting. You’ll figure out how to master the machine in just a couple uses.

Adjustable espresso exit valves provide clearance for cups/mugs up to 6″ tall

A lot of machines have a fixed height between the exit valves and the cup or mug tray below. Those that don’t typically use some sort of adjustable drip try on which the cup or mug sits.

The Anima goes about this a different way.

It has a telescoping exit valve, which can be adjusted up or down around 2″ to accommodate cups or mugs up to 6″ tall with minimal splashing.

Gaggia Anima exit value in the up position (left) and down position (right) for 4"-6" of clearance.

Potential Shortcomings on the Gaggia Anima

Bean hopper lid isn’t airtight

Freshly ground coffee beans are crucial for great espresso. With the built-in grinder and custom dose size selector you get the fresh grind, but the lack of an airtight hopper means the beans are a little more exposed to the elements than I’d prefer.

Drip tray fills up quickly with post-extraction rinsing water

You’re going to have to empty the drip tray frequently. I’d suggest doing it every couple days so it doesn’t fill up to the brim. At that point it’s difficult taking out the huge 24 oz capacity tray without spilling.

Check out the Gaggia Anima!

Check out Gaggia Anima!

Gaggia Anima
The base model of Gaggia's 3-machine Anima Series, the Anima is a stylish, functional super-automatic espresso machine that packs do-it-all convenience and a few premium features into an affordable package.

More Gaggia Reviews From The Coffee Maven

Gaggia Anima Prestige

Gaggia Anima Prestige
Overall Rating: 88
The flagship model of Gaggia's Anima Series, the Prestige super-automatic couldn't be easier to use. Want an espresso? Push the button. A latte? Push a different button. From grinding to frothing, the Prestige does the rest.

Gaggia Brera

Gaggia Brera
Overall Rating: 91
A super-automatic model with a price tag that's easier on your wallet, the Gaggia Brera has a 15 bar Italian-made pump, Pannarello frothing wand, and true, one-touch brewing for quality drinks.

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