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.
A great choice for those looking for the easiest brew-at-home option and that don't mind spending a little extra
A cafe-quality machine that manages to still be friendly towards beginner baristas
A perfect choice for those that don't mind putting in a little work to get the best tasting shot
One of the smallest machines we've found that can achieve cafe-quality results
Offers good taste and overall quality at a far below average price
Gaggia Anima Prestige
Calphalon Temp IQ
Breville Barista Ex...
Ease of Use(30%)
Ease of Cleaning(15%)
Gaggia Anima Prestige
Calphalon Temp IQ
Breville Barista Ex...
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"
Water Tank Capacity
Cost per Shot
Lifetime Cost per Shot
Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make Up List Price
Number of Cafe Replacement Lattes to Make Up List Price
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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