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:
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.
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.
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is the best of 3 models in the Anima series:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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!
The right side of the control panel features buttons for Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato.
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.
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.
Next to the water reservoir is the bean hopper, which holds 8.8 oz of whole bean coffee.
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.
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.
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.