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Gaggia Brera vs Philips 3200 LatteGo Review

For most coffee lovers, Gaggia coffee machines need no introduction. As know, the this company was founded in 1948 by Giovanni Achille Gaggia. Ten years earlier, he received a patent for a device that was the first to use pressure instead of steam to make espresso.

Espresso Machine History
Espresso Machine History

Since 1977, the company develops, manufactures and sells the household espresso coffee makers. Today they have evolved into fully automatic coffee machines with a built-in grinder, dispenser, milk frother, touch display, pre-instelled programs, etc.

As known, in 1999 Gaggia was bought by the Italian Saeco company. In turn, 10 years later, it was bought by the Dutch company Philips. Today Philips offers Philips / Saeco / Gaggia models. Gaggia coffee machines are produced on a separate production line and often use Saeco’s technologies.

The range of models under this brand is impressive. It almost completely covers all price segments. A partial list of the most popular models includes:


Gaggia Cadorna (Style / Plus / Milk / Prestige);

– Gaggia Classic (Pro/Acrobat);

– ‘- Magenta (Plus / Milk / Prestige);

– ‘- Naviglio (Deluxe / Milk);

– ‘- Besana;

– ‘- Brera;

– ‘- Velasca Prestige;

– ‘- Anima (Deluxe / Class One Touch / Prestige One Touch);

– ‘- Babila One Touch;

– ‘- Accademia One Touch;

– Gran Gaggia;

– Gaggia Viva / Carezza Deluxe.

At the same time, Gaggia offers many traditionally popular compact models, among which the Brera is probably one of the most successful. Formally, it can be positioned as an ‘entry level’ model, but this classification does not correspond to its functionality of fully automatic espresso machine.

Key features

Brera has stainless steel front panel (brushed chrome), and silver or black ABS side panels (SKU RI9305/11 or SKU RI9833/70 in UK). However, the body of model with silver plastic sides looks completely metallic. The rounded corners and a square form due to the low height give this model a softer aesthetic.

Gaggia Brera
Gaggia Brera

Platform


– single boiler;

– 15 bar pump;

– color LCD with buttons;

– (3.3 in – 4.5 in) or (8.4 – 11.4 cm) min/max cup height;

– 8.8 oz / 250g hopper capacity;

– 40 fl oz / 1,2 ltr water tank capacity;

– grounds discard container capacity – 8 shots;

– pre-programs – 2;

– controls include just four buttons, and one water dial for hot water and steam.

Gaggia Brera Controls
Gaggia Brera Controls

Options

– built-in ceramic flat burr grinder with 5 settings + bypass doser for pre-ground coffee.

Gaggia Brera grinder
Gaggia Brera grinder

Gaggia Brera bypass doser
Gaggia Brera bypass doser


Like other Gaggia models, Brera uses a grinder with ceramic burrs, which do not overheat the coffee beans during operation.

Traditionally for coffee grinders, it’s adjusted only during operation. This is prevents the risk of jamming the grains between the teeth of the fixed burrs.

– Pannarello steam wand.

Gaggia Brera Pannarello
Gaggia Brera Pannarello

– removable brew group.

Gaggia Brera brew group
Gaggia Brera brew group

– rapid steam (< 10 sec).

Despite the average power of the thermoblock, the Gaggia Brera delivers steam almost instantly. Perhaps this is due to the peculiarities of its design;

– 2-cup function for dairy-free drinks;

– Gaggia Adapting System.

During the first few shots of espresso, it optimizes pre-brewing for improved extraction based on the type of coffee bean used. Physically, the coffee maker monitors several parameters, including grinder voltage, brew unit gear pressure, etc, and optimizes the settings to the set values.

Settings

The model offers several basic settings, including:

– bean settings (coffee strength) – 1 (7g) / 2 (9g) / 3 (11g). For example, a double shot at 14g corresponds to pressing ‘1’ twice. Setting ‘2’ + double click makes a double shot from 18g, etc.

Gaggia Brera coffee strength
Gaggia Brera coffee strength

An additional button click after the ‘3’ level activates the mode of using ground coffee via the bypass chamber. It’s accompanied by a backlight of the spoon on the button. Of course, the use of ground coffee in ‘bean to cup’ model may seem controversial. But first, this option is handy when using decaf. Secondly, it will help out the owner of the ground coffee pack in the absence of coffee beans;

– grind settings.

In fact, grinding affects the water flow rate through the ground coffee and, accordingly, the extraction. Fine grinding slowly passes water, increasing the extraction duration. Brewing for coarse grinding is faster. The optimal choice depends on individual preferences. Modern ‘bean to cup’ machines usually offer 3-5 settings, and Gaggia Brera with 5 steps is no exception. To be fair, the $ 750 Gaggia Velasca grinder has 10 grind settings. But for most coffee lovers, 5 settings is more than enough;

– Panarello.

Despite the popularity of the Panarello steam wand, many people prefer to make milk foam without it. Indeed, it’s very convenient for making thick foam for cappuccino and ideal for beginner ‘home baristas’. Unfortunately, it’s not very effective for the preparation of finely dispersed foam.
But it’s easily removed in Gaggia ‘bean to cup’ models. Curiously, the metal steam wand under Panarello is better for texturing milk. Its fine dispersed consistency is quite sufficient even for Latte Art.

Latte-Art
Latte-Art

Probably, this simple procedure can also be positioned as one of the settings.

Gaggia Brera vs Magenta Prestige

Of course, only a comparison with the closest competitors gives the most objective assessment of a particular model.

Gaggia Brera vs Magenta Prestige

Magenta Prestige is more expensive ($ 760 vs $ 485). For an additional ~ $ 300, it offers:

– more functional user interface with color TFT.

Magenta Prestige controls
Magenta Prestige controls

– 10 vs 2 pre-installed ‘one touch’ programs for specialty drinks.

Magenta Prestige makes all espresso drinks + four recipes with milk foam;

– integrated carafe vs steam wand;

– 60.9 fl oz / 1.8 ltr vs 40 fl oz / 1,2 ltr water tank capacity;

– 15 vs 8 shots – grounds discard container capacity;

– 1400 W vs 1250 W – power consumption;


– (4.3 in – 5.9 in) or (10.9 – 15.0 cm) vs (3.3 in – 4.5 in) or (8.4 – 11.4 cm) – min/max cup height.

Overall, the list is quite impressive, but it’s unlikely to convince the lone espresso drinker.

Philips 3200 LatteGo vs Gaggia Brera

The price, specs and functionality of the Gaggia Brera is also close to the ultra popular Philips 3200 LatteGo, which costs ~$ 660. This popular line also includes Philips EP 4300 and 5400, but their class and price are clearly higher.

Philips 3200 LatteGo vs Gaggia Brera

– plastic vs plastic + stainless steel front;

– integrated carafe vs Pannarello steam wand;

– touchscreen vs color LCD with buttons.

Philips 3200 LatteGo Controls
Philips 3200 LatteGo Controls

– 60.9 fl oz / 1.8 ltr vs 40 fl oz / 1,2 ltr water tank capacity;

– (3.3 in – 6.9 in) or (8.4 – 17.5 cm) vs (3.3 in – 4.5 in) or (8.4 – 11.4 cm) – min/max cup height;

– 12 vs 5 – grind adjustment levels;

– 9.5 oz or 270 g vs 8.8 oz or 250 g – bean hopper capacity;

– 12 vs 8 shots – grounds discard container capacity;

– 5 vs 2 – specialty drinks;

– 1500 W vs 1250 W – power consumption;

– 2 vs 1 year – warranty.

To be fair, the Philips 3200 LatteGo’s price-to-quality ratio is in line with its immense popularity. More power, more precise grinder, additional programs, integrated carafe, etc are more than adequate for their price difference.

Conclusions

Pros

– superb value for money with $ 485 price;

– ultra compact 12.4 x 10.0 x 17.5 in (31.5 x 25.4 x 44.5 cm) size, and 18.0 lb / 8.2 kg weight;

– almost instant heating a steam;

– easy control, operation and care are ideal for beginners.

Cons

– only 4.5″ (11.4 cm) max сup height;

– only 5 grind settings;

– many plastic components.

This model has been successfully competing in the market for about 10 years. Of course, the company improves its components, but the design and platform remain unchanged. Moreover, many reputable experts regularly position Gaggia Brera as one of the best modern ‘bean to cup’ machines.
It makes superb espresso, long black/Americano, milk foam for cappuccino, flat white, latte, and has a great value for money. Its ultra compact design is ideal for any small kitchen. Given its affordable price, the Gaggia Brera can be the perfect choice for students or honeymooners.


Although Gaggia is a Philips brand, this model competes with phenomenally popular Philips 3200 LatteGo. At a small price difference ($ 660 vs $ 485), both models offer a superb price-to-quality ratio. Perhaps Philips 3200 LatteGo can be positioned as an improved version of the cheaper Gaggia Brera.

This video demonstrates the Gaggia Brera in detail.

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