Gaggia Anima Prestige Review

Overall Rating
88
Coffee Quality (40%)
84
Design & Features (20%)
93
Durability (20%)
88
Ease of Use (10%)
96
Brand Reputation (10%)
90

The Bottom Line

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.
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Key Features of the Gaggia Anima Prestige

Key Features of Gaggia Anima Prestige

  • Integrated grinder: Flat 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
  • Specialty beverage buttons: Additional buttons for cappuccino and latte
  • 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: Automatic frother with attached milk carafe
  • 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
  • Stainless steel paneling on front with plastic body
  • 2-year warranty

Gaggia Anima Prestige Overview

With true one-touch brewing and myriad options for full customization, this impressively compact and slick-looking super-automatic espresso machine from Gaggia is truly deserving of its best-in-class status among the 3 models in Gaggia’s Anima series:

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 Prestige's attached Milk Crate an Automatic Frother takes care of all of your specialty beverage needs.

That's the biggest difference between the Animal Prestige and the other 2 Anima models. While both the Anima and Anima Deluxe froth your milk with the push of a button, neither has programmed specialty beverages that automatically combines your espresso and milk for you.

That's right.

  • Both the Anima and Anima Deluxe have a button for Milk Froth that steams your milk in a separate container. You need to combine them.
  • The Anima Prestige has buttons for Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato. One push and the machine goes through the whole process of extracting your freshly ground shot, steaming your milk, and combining the two into a perfectly balanced beverage.

Overall, the Gaggia Anima Prestige couldn't be easier to use.

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

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

Pros

  • Push one button for everything from short espresso shots to full-sized cappuccinos
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive display
  • Simple custom shot size selector
  • Compact design
  • Makes better espresso than any other model in the Gaggia Anima series

Cons

  • As a semi-automatic machine with no manual operation, the ceiling is capped on how amazing your espresso can be
  • Bean hopper lid isn’t airtight
  • Grinder doesn’t handle oily beans very well and requires frequent cleaning if that's your bean of choice

Is the Gaggia Anima Prestige for you?

Is Gaggia Anima Prestige for you?

The Gaggia Anima Prestige is a great introductory super-automatic espresso machine if you're looking for easy specialty beverages and have a little extra room in your budget compared to the base model Gaggia Anima.

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 any more hands-off than the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

If you're looking for something a little more basic at a lower price point, take a look at the regular ol' Gaggia Anima. Essentially, it's the same basic espresso machine. You just have to do the extra work of portioning out your milk, pressing an extra button to froth it separately, and combining the two. You can't just push a button, walk away, and come back to a latte, but it isn't that much extra work.

If you're looking for something in the Gaggia Anima Prestige'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 Prestige Review: An In-Depth Look

Design & Performance

The Gaggia Anima Prestige is the best of 3 models in the Anima series:

  • Base Model: Gaggia Anima
  • Mid-Tier Model: Gaggia Anima Deluxe
  • Top Model: Gaggia Anima Prestige

While that makes it the most expensive of the 3, it also makes it the best.

Its compact design makes it user-friendly in the kitchen, the built-in automatic frother makes steaming milk a cinch, the myriad combinations of extraction parameters gives you a fully customized shot, the self-cleaning cycle takes most of the worry out of routine maintenance, and the straightforward menu display diffuses any frustration you may have toggling between options.

Quality of Espresso

I said it above and I'll say it again: Super-automatic espresso machines put a ceiling on how good your espresso can be, but they also put a high floor on how bad it can be.

And no matter what, the Gaggia Anima Prestige won't make bad espresso.

(Well, unless you never clean it. But that's on you.)

In fact, it'll make very good espresso!

Choose between 5 grind size settings, 5 dose sizes, 3 water temperatures, and the volume you like to pull an espresso shot make exactly for you. Add in the customizable frothing settings, and you’re left with a great cup of pretty much anything!

Appearance

Most of the Gaggia Anima Prestige is made of plastic, but the exterior does have stainless steel paneling. Aesthetics and appearance are highly subjective, but I think the Gaggia Anima Prestige is an attractive machine.

Durability

With proper cleaning and maintenance, the Gaggia Anima Prestige will hold up for at least a few years. Should anything happen Gaggia backs it up with a 2-year warranty.

Ease of Cleaning

After every brew the Gaggia Anima Prestige will give you a button to press to initiate the automatic cleaning cycle.

This feature is great because the automatic cleaning cycle does everything you need.

It’s also terrible because you only have a 10 second window to initiate the cycle. If you miss the window, you have to wait until your next brew.

Otherwise, 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 need to regularly remove and the clean the brew group, which can be accessed through the right-side panel. The brew group detaches easily and can be rinsed/wiped in just a few seconds, but please don’t skip this step. You’re investing in this espresso machine. Treat it right!

Notable Features of the Gaggia Anima Prestige

One-touch brewing, even for cappuccinos and lattes

The right side of the control panel features buttons for Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato.

Buttons for Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato give you one-touch access to two popular specialty drinks.

Press the one you want and stand back.

The built-in automatic frother will steam your milk properly and automatically dispense it into your cup. Then the machine pulls your shot and extracts it into the same glass. No additional button-pushing required.

Removable 60 oz water reservoir has convenient top-side access

No more struggling with rear-sitting water reservoirs. The Gaggia Anima Prestige’s 60 oz water reservoir is decent in volume and can easily be removed, refilled and replaced from a panel on the top of the machine.

Choose 5 different grinds or use your own pre-ground coffee beans

Next to the water reservoir is the bean hopper, which holds 8.8 oz of whole bean coffee.

What I like about this hopper/grinder:
  • Easy access
  • Easy to change grind size
  • Pre-ground coffee bypass is right there
What I don’t like about this hopper/grinder:
  • Doesn’t seal completely so beans are a little exposed to the elements
  • 8.8 oz volume is only decent
  • Doesn’t handle oily beans well, so be ready for frequent issues if you use them

See that yellow thing in the bean hopper with the black handle attached to it? That yellow thing is the top of the flat ceramic burr grinder, and the handle is the attachment that allows you to tune the grind size to one of five different settings.

A look inside the 8 oz bean hopper on the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

Easily switch between 5 different dose sizes (6.5-11.5g) or pre-ground coffee

The bottom-left-most button (where the finger is in the picture below) controls the dose size.

If you press that button you’ll see the image on the screen shown below, which has 5 coffee beans. Press the button to cycle through the 5 dose size settings. The sixth time you press it you’ll see an image of a coffee scoop, which you can see on the button. That’s for the pre-ground coffee bypass.

Super simple, super easy, works really well.

Potential Shortcomings on the Gaggia Anima Prestige

Easy to miss the post-brewing cleaning cycle

I mentioned this in the Ease of Cleaning section above, but it bears repeating: You only have 10 seconds after completion of your brew cycle to select the cleaning button.

Honestly, it’s totally OK to miss this occasionally. Just don’t make a habit of it.

Check out the Gaggia Anima Prestige!

Check out Gaggia Anima Prestige!

Gaggia Anima Prestige
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.

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