For those who enjoy a good cup of coffee, investing in an espresso machine can be a game-changer. It allows you to create delicious espresso-based drinks from the comfort of your own home, without having to wait in long lines at coffee shops. Two popular options in the market are the Breville Barista Express and the Gaggia Classic Pro. In this article, we’ll compare the two machines and help you decide which one is the right fit for you.
Overview of Breville Barista Express and Gaggia Classic Pro
The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine that has a built-in conical burr grinder. It’s designed for home baristas who want to have control over their espresso-making process. The machine has a sleek design and is made of high-quality stainless steel. It also comes with several accessories, including a tamper, milk jug, and razor dose trimming tool.
On the other hand, the Gaggia Classic Pro is a manual espresso machine that’s been around for over 30 years. It has a simple design and is made of commercial-grade materials, including chrome-plated brass portafilters and a heavy-duty stainless steel housing. It’s a great option for those who want to learn how to make espresso manually and have more control over the brewing process.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the key features of each machine.
Grinding and Brewing Capabilities
One of the biggest differences between the two machines is the way they handle grinding and brewing. The Breville Barista Express has a built-in conical burr grinder that grinds coffee beans directly into the portafilter. This ensures that the coffee is fresh and that the grounds are evenly distributed, which results in a more consistent espresso shot. The machine also has a pre-infusion function that wets the coffee grounds before extraction, which helps to extract the full flavor of the coffee.
The Gaggia Classic Pro, on the other hand, doesn’t have a built-in grinder. Instead, you have to purchase a separate grinder and grind the coffee beans before placing them into the portafilter. This can be a bit more time-consuming, but it also gives you more control over the grind size and consistency. The machine also has a manual pre-infusion feature that allows you to wet the coffee grounds before extraction.
If you enjoy milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, then the milk frothing capabilities of each machine are important to consider. The Breville Barista Express has a steam wand that allows you to froth milk manually. It also has a built-in frothing pitcher that makes it easy to create latte art. The machine also has a dedicated hot water spout that can be used for making tea or Americanos.
The Gaggia Classic Pro also has a steam wand for frothing milk, but it doesn’t have a built-in frothing pitcher. This means that you’ll have to purchase a separate pitcher if you want to create latte art. The machine also doesn’t have a dedicated hot water spout.
Ease of Use
Both machines have a bit of a learning curve, but the Breville Barista Express is generally considered to be more user-friendly. It has a digital display that provides guidance on the brewing process, and the machine has several automatic features that make it easy to use. For example, the machine has a grind size dial that lets you adjust the grind size based on the type of coffee you’re using, and it also has a dose control feature that allows you to adjust the amount of coffee that’s dispensed.
The Gaggia Classic Pro, on the other hand, is a bit more manual and requires more skill to use. However, many coffee enthusiasts prefer the manual process as it allows them to have more control over the brewing process and ultimately create a more personalized cup of coffee.
Another important factor to consider when deciding between the Breville Barista Express and the Gaggia Classic Pro is the price. The Breville machine is generally more expensive, with a price point of around $700. The Gaggia Classic Pro, on the other hand, is more affordable, with a price point of around $500.
Which One Should You Choose?
When it comes down to it, the decision between the Breville Barista Express and the Gaggia Classic Pro ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a machine that’s easy to use and has more automatic features, then the Breville machine might be the right fit for you. If you’re looking for a more manual process and want to have more control over the brewing process, then the Gaggia machine might be a better option.
Can the Breville Barista Express be used with pre-ground coffee?
Yes, the machine can be used with pre-ground coffee, but it’s recommended to use fresh beans for the best results.
Is the Gaggia Classic Pro difficult to clean?
No, the machine is relatively easy to clean. It’s important to clean the portafilter and group head regularly to ensure optimal performance.
Can you make latte art with the Gaggia Classic Pro?
Yes, you can make latte art with the machine, but you’ll need to purchase a separate frothing pitcher.
Does the Breville Barista Express come with a warranty?
Yes, the machine comes with a one-year limited warranty.
How often do you need to descale the Breville Barista Express?
It’s recommended to descale the machine every 3-4 months, depending on usage.
Both the Breville Barista Express and the Gaggia Classic Pro are great options for those looking to invest in an espresso machine. They both have their pros and cons, and ultimately the decision comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a machine with more automatic features, then the Breville machine might be the right fit for you. If you prefer a more manual process and want to have more control over the brewing process, then the Gaggia machine might be a better option. Whichever machine you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious espresso-based drinks from the comfort of your own home.