Gaggia has been a trusted brand of coffee machines for years, even before Philips bought the brand. Released in January 2010, the Gaggia Brera was one of the first models launched after the acquisition of Saeco International Group, a division of Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips in 2009.

Unlike newer models that adapted Philips’ stainless steel boilers, the Gaggia Brera Bean to Cup Coffee Machine is equipped with a stainless steel-lined aluminum dual boiler. This coffee maker has a 15-bar pressure pump that grinds coffee beans, extracts its oils, and produces an espresso complete with a gorgeous thick crema on top. Since the Brera is mostly automatic, you won’t need pro-level barista skills to achieve great-tasting, always-perfect results for an espresso.

Gaggia Brera Features

The Gaggia Brera isn’t the newest bean-to-cup machine in the market, but it competes quite competitively with its programmable pre-sets, quality build and impressive parts.

Ceramic Burr Grinder

One of the most interesting parts of this machine is the integrated grinder with a ceramic-built burr. The Gaggia Brera has a ceramic grinder that is quieter than most bean-to-cup machines. It is fully adjustable, with 5 coarseness settings to help you find the best espresso taste. Out of the box, the dial is set to medium-grain, but you can test out each grind level to achieve the taste you’re after.

While the ceramic material doesn’t alter the coffee’s taste or improve performance, you’ll be at peace knowing that the ceramic blades featured on the Brera is highly resilient and won’t break down on you that easily.

The bean hopper accommodates up to 8 ounces of beans. The grinder also has a bypass doser, which means you can skip the grinding process and go with pre-ground coffee if you want. The separate compartment is a plus for coffee lovers who want both beans and pre-ground coffee on-hand, and ready to be used within the machine.

15-bar pump and Brewing Unit

At the heart of the Gaggia Brera lies the brewing unit that is equipped with a 15-bar pressure pump ensuring espresso is extracted as quickly as possible to retain freshness of the ground coffee.

The brewing unit is removable and is right beside the 1.2-liter water tank (with its own Mavea filter). It has a twin boiler system, which uses Thermoblock technology to reduce brewing time significantly and save power consumption by frothing milk while extracting coffee simultaneously. The brewing unit, water tank and drip tray can all be removed easily for quick cleaning.

Steam Wand

The stainless steel Panarello steam wand, located on the front panel, produces frothy milk for cappuccinos, and macchiato, or steamed milk for your preferred lattes. The wand can reach up to 5 inches down the milk jug or cup.

Pre-set Your Preferred Drinks

The best feature of the Gaggia Brera is the number of controls given to users to customize the machine. With the front dials, you can control the amount of water, brewing time, froth quality, coffee temperature, coffee dosage, and more. In addition, the machine will remember these settings for you, making it much faster to create your drinks with a push of a button.

Self-cleaning System

The Gaggia Brera cleans itself every time you turn on the machine. This auto maintenance feature ensures the machine’s optimal performance and long-lasting life. Do note that since the Brera also has an auto-off, power-saving function, you have to be prepared to dispose dirty water and empty out the drip tray each time you turn it on.

Gaggia Brera Specifications and Technical details

The Gaggia Brera Bean to Cup Coffee Machine is designed well to fit any modern kitchen. The bean hopper lies flat at the top of the machine, next to a cup warmer plate. At the front of the machine, you’ll see a small LCD display, where you can adjust controls and view reminders. Four push-button dials embrace the display. The front panel is made of stainless steel in an impressive slate-gray finish, but the black plastic parts looked cheap in contrast to the expensive-looking metal parts.

The coffee dispenser has a telescopic feature, which is quite a rare thing to see in machines like this. With such a feature, users can adjust the height of the dispenser to fit your coffee mug or jug. You can also brew two cups of espresso simultaneously, simply by pressing the button twice.

Out of the box, Gaggia’s Brera comes with a brewing unit, coffee scoop, lubrication tube and manual. It weighs around 9 kilograms and measures 44.7 x 25.6 x 31.5 cm. It is compact, compared to other machines, but because of ventilation requirements, you’d need an additional 6 inches all around the Brera.

This bean-to-cup machine operates at 1400 watts, but only consume 1 watt per hour when placed in standby mode (which happens every time the machine is left idle for about 60 minutes.

As for maintenance, the Gaggia Brera blinks an indicator light whenever it needs descaling. You can adjust the frequency of descaling, as well.

Editorial Reviews

KitchenGadgets.org.uk

5 STARS
  • The Gaggia Brera is incomparable to all other bean to cup coffee machines that will have you flabbergasted with the tantalizing aroma of freshly ground coffee, finished off with a thick reddish brown crema that you can taste the smoothness of, the instant it reaches your lips. Offering a truly stunning experience, every budding coffee connoisseur is going to fall in love with.

CoffeeTeaClub.co.uk

5 STARS
  • Feature-rich, energy efficient and user-friendly, there’s really not too much to complain about when it comes to the Gaggia Brera. It looks great, makes great coffee and is easy to clean. If you’re looking for an automatic bean-to-cup machine that affords outstanding convenience, the Gaggia Brera is definitely a solid buy.

ExpertReviews.co.uk

4 STARS
  • The quality of the espresso it produced couldn’t quite match that of the best manual espresso machines, but it was close. It’s also a compact and good-looking machine, and there’s nothing like a beans-to-cup machine when it comes to cutting down on mess. If you’re after the ultimate in coffee convenience, it’s a good buy.

BlackHeartsCoffee.com

5 STARS
  • Taking the time to enjoy excellent coffee has never been so easy! With a dual boiler system, this Gaggia bean to cup coffee machine not only produces hot water and steam within seconds, it allows enables you to froth milk while it’s brewing the coffee. Cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos have never been so simple.

User Reviews

  • Steve Benson (5/5) – “If you take the time to read the manual properly, it’s easy to set up and makes fabulous coffee really quickly. You have to spend some time tweaking the various options (grind, strength, short/long, single/double shot) to get it just how you want it, but really the quality of the coffee is amazing!”

  • Mr. C. J. Harvey (5/5) – “This machine was a big and important purchase for myself, as I absolutely love my coffee and after owning it for two months I can safely say this did not disappoint.”

  • Reg Sport (5/5) – “The machine is easy to operate, you can make a “long” or a “short” coffee that is “weak”, “medium” or “strong”, it rinses itself when you take it off or put it on standby, it has a wand to quickly heat milk, highly recommended affordable luxury, worth it just to smell the aroma given off when the coffee is being made, I use it just about every day to make the best cup of coffee I have had from a domestic machine, it has quickly become a “treasured possession”.”

  • Leeg (5/5) – “Bottom line, I got this for a decent price, and for all its quirks and design flaws, this machine makes absolutely fantastic coffee, to the point where friends don’t want to serve me coffee at theirs now after tasting the coffee from this machine, as they now think I am a coffee snob…”

  • JSZ1066 (5/5) – “Lovely coffee, easy to use. No problems so far in cleaning etc. Coffee strength adjustment instructions clear. Basically it does what it should and much easier than expected. Makes house smell nice is a side benefit.”

  • Ted (5/5) – “User-friendly and produces excellent coffee. Having owned previous coffee machines, this is the first automatic one I’ve bought. Very impressive. Highly recommended.”

  • Angel (5/5) – “It does all I require it to do, efficiently and fast was used to having the Gaggia Classic, but this is much better. I would recommend this to everyone.”

  • Mrs. W Williams (5/5) – “Great little machine, better than more some more expensive machines I have had the misfortune to own!”

  • Andrew (5/5) – “this hits all of the “yay’s” on my list and none of the “nay’s”! It’s sized just right, grinds quietly, works without an issue and just makes really good espresso for me every morning.”

  • Peter Orrell (4/5) – “Have had this machine or about 6 months. Love it. Great value. The only con is the small water tank but that is a minor thing given the overall performance of this machine.”

  • Will (5/5) – “I went with a refurbished Gaggia Brera last year and couldn’t be happier with it. I think the quality of espresso is about as good as you’re going to get with a one touch, fully automatic machine like this.”

  • Damian FitzRoy (5/5) – “Makes outstanding coffee – truly makes my mornings a joy. Easy to use, buit for the inexperienced user of automatic machines, it takes a bit of learning.

  • Andrew S (5/5) – “As a newbie to Espresso machines, the Brera fit all of my needs without taking up the large amount of space my older Syncrony Logic did. everything fits neatly into place and is accessible from the front or the top. I also love the metal accents.”

  • Jameson Smith (5/5) – “Good machine for the money. I came from a semi auto machine and couldn’t be happier!!! It completely takes the guess work out of the grind and tamp because the machine does it all for you. I am very satisfied with this product and would most definitely recommend it.”

  • By Byron (5/5) – “This super automatic espresso machine makes the best cup of coffee with crema I have ever had. My Uncle Paul loves black coffee. He was making his coffee his way and I challenged him to a throw down. I bragged that my Brera could make the fastest smoothest crema black coffee and he conceded. No machine made any where with any beans can make a better cup of black coffee than this jewel of an Italian espresso maker.”

  • Arthur Exeter (10/10) – “Easy once you’ve digested the instructions, with grinding control and aroma control, and choice of beans or ground coffee.”

  • Anonymous (9/10) – “Makes excellent coffee”

  • Ros Shaftesbury (8/10) – “compact enough to stand on work top, but small water container and a small access for ground coffee”

  • Dave (8/10) – “Very quick. Easy to understand symbols especially if something goes wrong, which isn’t very often.”

Pros

  • Easy-to-make long or short coffee
  • No-fuss cleaning
  • No special skills needed to make lattes and cappuccinos
  • Auto-shutoff feature
  • Extract coffee and froth milk simultaneously
  • Compact design
  • Programmable and customizable settings with “memory” function

Cons

  • Cheap plastic parts
  • Frequent emptying of drip tray (due to self-rinsing)
  • Steam wand won’t reach extra-tall cups

Conclusion

Gaggia machines never compromise quality, so you can have high expectations for the Brera bean-to-cup machine. It boasts of a user-friendly operation and no-fuss maintenance, but with barista-quality coffee at every brew. The Brera performs above average because of its powerful pump and dual boiler system, while the external parts milk frother and easy interface allow users to brew their preferred drink with their ideal volume, coffee strength, temperature, and milk.