Gaggia vs. Breville: Specs, Price, Review
As a caffeine freak that does not seem to get enough of espressos, you need to invest in a good espresso machine to ensure you not only get your fix when you want but also get a good dose.
And as you shop for a good espresso machine, the chances are you will always end up having to pick between Gaggia and Breville as the two easily top the list despite there being dozens of other brands in the market.
The two brands have several models in the market but many coffee lovers find it hard to pick between them. However, this is often due to lack of adequate information, and in this piece, we aim to change this by explaining what Gaggia and Breville are all about and also comparing two of their top brands to help make it clear how they differ.
While both Gaggia and Breville have several models in the market, below we compare them using two of their most popular models which are Gaggia’s Classic Pro and Breville’s Barista Express.
Gaggia vs. Breville
You cannot go wrong with an espresso machine from either Gaggia or Breville as the two have invested a lot in their brands to ensure they always produce the finest quality machines that will guarantee you always get a fantastic brew.
But to make sure you make a more informed pick between them, you need to know what sets them apart starting with the origin.
1. Overview and Origin
Both Gaggia and Breville have been making coffee makers and other appliances for more than half a century now and are among the oldest brands in the coffee sector. However, they have different origins and different business models which is what makes their coffee makers quite distinct.
Gaggia is an Italian home appliance brand founded by Achille Gaggia in 1947 and now specializes in the manufacture of regular coffee makers and espresso machines. The company is currently owned by Saeco International another popular coffee maker brand under the large Phillips brand.
And while several things make the Gaggia machines special, they are mostly known for being the first ones to put a lot of emphasis on giving espressos a beautiful crema at the top.
Although most of their coffee makers are now built-in Milan, Italy, the Gaggia Classic which is their most popular and successful models is made in Romania. And since the company was incorporated by Saeco, they started making coffee makers with the more durable stainless steel boilers and housing.
Breville prides in being one of the few highly successful coffee appliance manufacturers that are not from Europe, China or the USA which is where a huge chunk of the main brands come from.
The company is Australian and one of the oldest coffee maker brands given that it started operation in 1932. And although they started by making radios before later transitioning to toasters, at the turn on the 21st century they got their big break into the espresso machine market, and they have been making some top quality models like the Barista Express since then.
But, for those that it matters to, most of their coffee makers are now made in China, and the company has bases in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, but it is still headquartered in Australia.
Note: Both Gaggia and Breville have several models of espresso machine and coffee makes in the market but for comparison sake, on the points below we will use Gaggia’s Classic Pro and Breville’s Barista Express as they are the most popular models from the two brands
One of the main differences between these two top brands is that the Gaggia coffee grinder will not have a built-in grinder while Breville comes with a stainless steel conical burr grinder.
The built-in grinder on the Breville coffee maker makes it quite convenient as it allows for beans to brew coffee making without having to grind your beans separately which besides speeding up the coffee-making process also ensures consistency.
If you have a Barista Express coffee maker by Breville, you can set your preferred grind size and save it for feature use which is not something you can do with the more expensive Classic Pro by Gaggia.
3. Built Quality
For the built quality, both coffee maker brands seem to put a lot of emphasis on the material used and have higher quality standards to ensure consumers only end up with the finest quality products.
But since most Gaggia coffee makers are made in Italy under strict quality regulations and their Classic Pro is made in Romania where there are equally strict standards to adhere to, their coffee makers tend to be of more superior quality. Also, Gaggia uses stainless steel boilers and housing in most of their coffee machines which makes them even more durable.
With Breville, on the other hand, their coffee machines are mostly made in China and will feature more plastic components and while they are still top quality and durable, they are not as long-lasting as what Gaggia has to offer.
4. Pump Pressure
Gaggia and Breville also differ on the pump pressure that you get on their Classic Pro and Barista Express coffee machines respectively and also among their other comparable models.
With Gaggia, you get more pump pressure as the high-voltage boiler on the Classic Pro delivers up to 17.5 bars of pressure while Breville’s machine has a dual boiler that will provide 15 bars of pressure.
But while the high pressure on the Gaggia coffee machines looks more favorable, in reality, there is negligible difference between the two machines since both will heat up super-fast to ensure little wait between shots. Furthermore, you will only need around 9 bars of pressure to make an espresso, and so the extra pressure does not make a lot of difference.
5. Reservoir Capacity
When it comes to the water reservoir capacity, Gaggia always seems to have an edge over most brands as they tend to give their machines relatively larger tanks. The Classic Pro, for example, will come with a 72-ounce water tank which is larger than the 67-ounce reservoir you get on the Barista Express.
And while for some users, the 5-ounce difference might not look like much, it can be significant for many others as it will mean with the Gaggia machine, you can make one extra serving of double shot espresso before you need to refill the reservoir.
Programmability is another more obvious difference between Gaggia and Breville. While Breville seems to pay a lot of attention to programmability, Gaggia does not prioritize it because despite their espresso machine being pricier, it is not programmable.
Barista Express allows you to program your brew time and length at the push of a button, and you can also customize your brew further. However, the Classic Pro can also allow you to control the brew length using the rocker switch which is not as tedious as it might sound.
Weight always matters when choosing a coffee machine as you will not want to end up with a machine that you cannot easily move around your kitchen counter.
Given that Gaggia uses heavier materials like stainless steel to make their coffee machines, it is obvious that they will be quite heavy. However, the good news is that the stainless steel does not add significant weight to the machine because the Classic Pro weighs in at around 20 pounds which is even lighter than the 23-pound Barista Express.
But overall, most Breville machines tend to be more lightweight given that they are mostly made with plastic components.
Given the overall quality and brand reputation, Gaggia coffee machines tend to be relatively pricier when compared to Breville.
Using our Barista Express and Classic Pro comparison, the latter costs upwards of $1,000 which is around double of what you would pay for Breville’s machine whose price starts at around $500 in most online retail stores.
Which One is Better?
Gaggia and Breville are top-notch coffee maker brands and are a class higher than most others out there. What this means is that you will still have a good coffee machine regardless of what you choose between the two. However, each brand has both its positive and negative aspects which are what sets it apart from the others.
For Gaggia it is all about high-quality materials and construction, larger water reservoir, ease of use and it is also a brand that has been tried and tested for a long time. Hence, if you do not mind spending some extra bucks to get a reliable high-end espresso machine, Gaggia Classic Pro is the way to go.
With Breville, on the other hand, you get quality at a more affordable price tag, and it also offers other nice features like programmability, built-in grinder, and more customization. For the espresso lovers that do not want to spend a lot of cash on their coffee machine and also want something with some fancier features, Breville Barista Express will be a good buy.