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Gaggia Anima Prestige Review

A great choice for those looking for the easiest brew-at-home option and that don't mind spending a little extra
Gaggia Anima Prestige
Credit: Gaggia
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $1,100 List | $901.33 at Amazon
Pros:  Incredibly convenient and easy to use, good taste
Cons:  Expensive list price
Manufacturer:   Gaggia
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 16
  • Taste - 40% 7
  • Ease of Use - 30% 9
  • Ease of Cleaning - 15% 7
  • Milk Steaming - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Gaggia Anima Prestige does everything for you. All you have to do is make sure there are beans in the hopper and milk in the milk tank, and you can have a cappuccino with the push of a couple buttons. This foolproof convenience makes this model the one everyone in the office will naturally gravitate towards when they needed a quick caffeine fix. While the sticker price can seem a bit shocking, over the long run this machine will be cheaper than one that uses pods while still retaining much of the automation and general ease of use.

Want your cappuccino even faster?
Lean into the intellectual reputation of espresso and get the Gaggia Academia. It adds a second boiler so it can brew espresso and steam milk at the same time, reducing wait time for your caffeine fix.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Gaggia Anima Prestige
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $1,100 List
$901.33 at Amazon
$600 List
$636.99 at Amazon
$700 List
$592.95 at Amazon
$300 ListCheck Price at Amazon
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Pros Incredibly convenient and easy to use, good tasteExcellent espresso, can achieve near-perfect microfoam, relatively easy to use for a semi-automatic machineGreat taste, cafe quality lattes and cappuccinosGreat espresso, impressive milk steaming performance, compact designGood espresso and milk steaming, quite inexpensive
Cons Expensive list pricePricey, requires more effort/practice than fully-automatic machinesOn the pricier side, requires some effort and a learning curveNo built-in grinderDoesn't quite achieve cafe quality results, somewhat slow, no built-in grinder
Bottom Line A great choice for those looking for the easiest brew-at-home option and that don't mind spending a little extraA cafe-quality machine that manages to still be friendly towards beginner baristasA perfect choice for those that don't mind putting in a little work to get the best tasting shotOne of the smallest machines we've found that can achieve cafe-quality resultsOffers good taste and overall quality at a far below average price
Rating Categories Gaggia Anima Prestige Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista Ex... Breville Bambino Gevi
Taste (40%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Cleaning (15%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Milk Steaming (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Specs Gaggia Anima Prestige Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista Ex... Breville Bambino Gevi
Dimensions 16.9" x 8.7" x 13.4" 5.6" x 14.5" x 17.3" 13.2" x 12.5" x 16" 7.7" x 12.6" x 12.2" 13" x 10" x 16"
Milk Frother Automatic Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand Steam Wand
Water Tank Capacity 60 oz 94 oz 67 oz 47 oz 42 oz
Cost per Shot $0.38 $0.45 $0.47 $0.45 $0.45
Lifetime Cost per Shot $0.84 $0.70 $0.76 $0.58 $0.50
Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make Up List Price 420 235 277 118 51
Number of Cafe Replacement Lattes to Make Up List Price 253 141 165 70 30

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Anima Prestige can get you cappucino'ed and out the door in a matter of minutes. If automated convenience is what you're looking for, read on.

Performance Comparison


The intuitive Gaggia Anima Prestige produced the quickest and...
The intuitive Gaggia Anima Prestige produced the quickest and easiest cappuccino in our testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Taste


The Anima Prestige earned a very respectable score in our taste testing. Espresso from this machine is quite similar to the other super-automatic machines we tested that use fresh coffee beans. The espresso tastes fairly bold, but it tends to drip some water into the shot towards the end of the pour. This could be mostly fixed by setting it to pour a shorter shot, but out of the box, it was a noticeable issue.


Overall the espresso from the Anima tasted noticeably stronger than any pod machines, but couldn't match the richness of some of our other top-scoring models. Combining the espresso with milk from the automatic milk frother produced good cappuccinos and macchiatos with a nice ratio of milk to espresso. Considering how easy it is to make all of these drinks we found this level of tastiness to be great. If you really want cafe quality taste at home you'll have to sacrifice the convenience of superautomatic machines like this one and get a little more involved in the process.

This compact machine is hyper convenient. If getting caffeinated in...
This compact machine is hyper convenient. If getting caffeinated in mere minutes via the push of a couple buttons sounds like your jam, consider the Anima Prestige.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


The Anima Prestige shined in our ease of use testing, earning top marks. A big part of the convenience is the clean, intuitive interface. All of the buttons are clearly labeled and the small LCD screen displays what settings are currently dialed in. This was by far our favorite interface and one of the few that houseguests would be able to use without a tutorial.


Initial setup is really the only place the Prestige lost points. While the setup isn't too complex and the instructions are very detailed, there isn't a simple quick start guide. This left us jumping all around the manual to get things up and running. This process ended up being a full 30 minutes of tinkering and head-scratching.

With clear labels and a nice display, even a novice can make what...
With clear labels and a nice display, even a novice can make what they'd like on the first go around.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Prestige was one of the fastest machines in our timed cappuccino test, serving up a drink in just under three minutes. Not only does it make drinks fast, but it's a totally hands-off process, so you can butter your toast whilst your cappuccino is being made. This is in stark contrast to more manual machines that required nearly six minutes of undivided attention to make a milk and espresso drink. On top of all this, the Prestige has a large capacity 60-ounce water tank that is easy to refill but negates the need to refill too often.

The Prestige's automatic milk frother makes cappuccino prep a breeze.
The Prestige's automatic milk frother makes cappuccino prep a breeze.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Cleaning


The Prestige does respectably in this category as well, with a fairly relaxed short-term cleaning schedule. The milk tank holds enough milk for about five drinks and can easily be removed and stored in the fridge to avoid the need for daily cleaning. You'll probably want to clean it at least once a week. All of the parts of the frothing unit are dishwasher safe but the tank itself must be cleaned by hand. The drip tray is a bit smaller than those on other models and thus will most likely need to be emptied about once a week. This doesn't feel like a hassle as it's easy to remove and empty. Spent coffee grounds are deposited as consolidated pucks into a small bin that's also easy to empty. You may need to periodically rinse this bin out, but generally, the spent grounds are so tightly packed that they don't leave much of a mess.


We wouldn't call descaling the Prestige easy, but it wasn't the worst experience we had either. The machine does not include a descaling solution, so it must be purchased separately. The actual descaling process took us 30 minutes, but it wasn't quite as involved as some of the other machines in our lineup.

The Prestige spits out clean, dry coffee pucks like this, which are...
The Prestige spits out clean, dry coffee pucks like this, which are easy to dispose of.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Milk Steaming


Here too the Prestige performed well. The automatic milk frother makes nice foam for cappuccinos, though it is far from the rich microfoam we were hoping for. Like all but one of the models we tested, it couldn't make the creamy steamed milk with a small layer of foam required for a top-notch latte. If you want that you'll have to get a less automatic machine and learn the fine art of using a steam wand.

The Prestige makes both nice steam milk and fluffy foam, though both...
The Prestige makes both nice steam milk and fluffy foam, though both are a notch below what you'd get at a coffee shop.

Value


The Anima Prestige is among the most expensive models we tested. However, because it uses coffee beans rather than pods, it actually ends up being less expensive over the long haul than some of the capsule machines. It also has a built-in grinder, so you won't need to purchase that separately. If you value the unparalleled convenience of the Prestige then this is a good value, but if you don't mind steaming milk yourself, or just drink espresso straight, you can find a better value.


Conclusion


The Gaggia Anima Prestige is an incredibly convenient, easy-to-use machine that can add a cappuccino to your morning routine without slowing you down. If you can get past the high list price it provides a fairly good value in the long run.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata