Breville Infuser Vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Which One Is Best For You?

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For those who love a good espresso but find daily trips to the café both tiring and costly and are also reluctant to spend a fortune on a high-end espresso machine, there’s a middle ground. Consider exploring entry-level espresso machines like the Breville Infuser vs Gaggia Classic Pro. And to my mind, and certainly yours after reading to the end of this post, the Breville Infuser is better.

There are many reasons why I declare the Breville Infuser a better choice than the Gaggia Classic Pro, even though they are quite similar in price. The Breville Infuser has a pre-infusion feature for espresso extraction, can accommodate taller cups, features a better steam wand, and comes with a filter to soften water. It’s also lighter than the Classic Pro despite the fact that it’s slightly larger.

Breville Infuser Vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia RI9380/47 Classic Pro Espresso Machine,1.3liters, Cherry Red
Model
Breville Infuser
Gaggia Classic Pro
Dimensions/Weight
13.1 x 12.3 x 10.2 inches/17 lbs
14.2 x 9.5 x 8 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Single Aluminum Boiler
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4.5 inches
Dual/3.3 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.8 L/None
2.1 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$599.95
$540.52
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Infuser
Dimensions/Weight
13.1 x 12.3 x 10.2 inches/17 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Thermocoil
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.8 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$599.95
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia RI9380/47 Classic Pro Espresso Machine,1.3liters, Cherry Red
Model
Gaggia Classic Pro
Dimensions/Weight
14.2 x 9.5 x 8 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Single Aluminum Boiler
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/3.3 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.1 L/None
Filter
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$540.52
More Info

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Infuser Vs Gaggia Classic Pro: Differences

The Breville Infuser won the Gaggia Classic Pro with a score of 4-1. Let’s take a closer look at what sets these two machines apart, examining their respective advantages and disadvantages in detail.

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Breville Infuser

Built-in Grinder

In the realm of espresso machines, some machines come with a built-in grinder, which is a great way to save money and counter space, while others require a separate grinder. The Infuser and Classic Pro belong to the latter group – they have no built-in grinder, so you’ll need to invest in the right one.

I’m particularly fond of options like the Baratza Sette 270Wi or Breville Smart Grinder Pro grinder. These grinders are not only space-savers but also performance beasts. The only problem with them is that they are exorbitantly priced, but trust me, they are worth it, and the flavor of your espresso will thank you for your generosity.

the gaggia classic pro and the breville smart grinder pro
The Gaggia Classic Pro and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Dosing & Tamping

I must say, discovering that both of these espresso machines come with four filter baskets, including two single-wall and two double-wall ones, feels like such a win. This variety is a nice bonus since the type of filter basket you use can dramatically alter the outcome of your coffee. Many models on the market just come with one type of basket, nudging you to spend extra for more options.

Now, let’s talk about why these baskets matter. The double-wall filter baskets are a godsend for beginners or those using a coarser grind. They’re more forgiving and help achieve a decent espresso shot without needing to nail the perfect grind size or tamping pressure. 

On the other hand, single-wall baskets demand more precision in both grinding and tamping, but the payoff is worth it. With these baskets, you get the opportunity for greater extraction, leading to a richer and more nuanced espresso.

The Infuser uses a 54 mm portafilter, which is a standard choice, whereas the Classic Pro leans more towards the commercial-grade side with its 58 mm portafilter. The lagger portafilter always allows for more even distribution of water through the coffee grounds, leading to better extraction with no ifs and buts.

Well, as much as I adore diving into the positive aspects of these espresso machines, it’s time to put on my critical hat, albeit somewhat reluctantly. 

The Classic Pro’s accessory set would definitely be perfect if it shipped with a stainless steel tamper rather than a plastic one, which is worse than the one that comes with the Infuser. If you’re just starting out or if you don’t already have an espresso tamper, it’s serviceable, but I always recommend upgrading to a stainless steel tamper when possible since it gives you a better feel and control over the tamping process.

the gaggia classic pro comes with a 58mm portafilter and plastic tamper
The Gaggia Classic Pro comes with a 58mm portafilter and plastic tamper

Heating System 

If you’re setting your sights on these machines with the hope of finding dual boilers that allow you to steam milk and brew coffee simultaneously, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere.

They are single-boiler machines, so they’re not designed for multitasking in the way that dual-boiler systems are. But let’s not rush to judgment just yet, as there’s more to these machines than meets the eye.

The Gaggia Classic Pro uses an improved aluminum boiler and takes about three minutes for your first espresso shot. This isn’t bad at all, especially when comparing it to models that take up to 15 minutes to heat up. The Infuser is even faster with its thermocoil heating systems, allowing it to be ready to go in under 1 minute.

Brewing System

The Breville Infuser has the pre-infusion function, which earns the machine its name and is absent on the Classic Pro. This really is a game-changer in the espresso brewing process.

Pre-infusion is the first stage in the espresso brewing process. During pre-infusion, a small amount of water is gently introduced to the puck in the portafilter. This water is at a lower pressure compared to the high pressure used in the main extraction phase.

The benefits of this short step are twofold. First, it results in a slightly slower brew to unlock a more even and thorough extraction of flavors from the coffee grounds. Secondly, the pre-infusion method contributes to more consistency in your espresso shots. 

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Infuser

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville InfuserGaggia Classic Pro
Dimensions13.1 x 12.3 x 10.2 inches14.2 x 9.5 x 8 inches
Weight17 lbs18.7 lbs

The Infuser and Classic Pro are compact but heavy espresso machines with a solid and attractive stainless steel construction. Stainless steel not only looks sleek and modern, but it also offers durability and ease of maintenance, which is a truth universally acknowledged in the world of kitchen appliances.

And both the Infuser and the Classic Pro offer more than just the classic stainless steel look. These machines come in several different color options, so you can choose one that perfectly matches your kitchen’s style and color scheme. 

The Breville Infuser’s interface bears a striking resemblance to the Barista Express, albeit with a few fewer buttons, like the one for grinding. The real star of the show on the Infuser’s interface is still a pressure gauge, which enables you to monitor the extraction pressure in real time and provides invaluable feedback as you pull your shot. That way, the gauge is a fantastic tool for troubleshooting common espresso mistakes, such as using coffee grounds that are too coarse or overloading your filter basket.

the breville infuser's user interface
The Breville Infuser’s user interface

The Classic Pro’s user interface is also very straightforward. It features three chunky switches – one for power, one for brewing, and another for steaming. In addition to these switches, the Classic Pro is equipped with handy indicator lights that inform you when the machine is powered on, has finished preheating, or is ready for steam production. This straightforward design is refreshingly easy to navigate, making the machine accessible even for those new to espresso making.

the gaggia classic pro's control panel
The Gaggia Classic Pro’s control panel

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville InfuserGaggia Classic Pro
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4.5 inches3.3 inches

The Breville Infuser can literally accept large cups. One of the challenges with these semi-auto machines is the limited space under the portafilter, which can restrict the size of the cup you use. But if you find yourself wanting to fit a taller glass under the portafilter of the Breville Infuser, all you need to do is remove the drip tray. Well, I guess you never win ’em all!

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville InfuserGaggia Classic Pro
Water Reservoir1.8 liter2.1 liter
Bean HopperNoneNone

The machines feature water tanks that are detachable. Accessing the tank might require you to slide the machine forward from its position against the back wall, but you can refill the water tanks directly from the top of the machine, eliminating the need to remove them for refilling. Conveniently, these tanks include a clear maximum level indicator, and their transparent design allows for precise filling.

The Breville Infuser ships with a water filter, which plays a crucial role in reducing the need to descalize the machine and creating a more consistent and flavorful espresso shot by ensuring that the water used is optimal for coffee brewing. 

Still, it’s worth noting that the water softener filter isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. It requires regular replacement, which can add to the overall cost of maintaining the machine.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Breville Infuser

The Breville Infuser features a manual steam wand to give more control over the froth process. So if you’ve ever dreamed of creating those stunning latte art designs that you see in coffee shops, this machine gives you the perfect opportunity to dive into that world.

both use a manual steam wand
Both use a manual steam wand

One of the most impressive aspects of this steam wand is its 360-degree rotation, which is a hallmark of a professional-grade steam wand and a game-changer for home baristas. The ability to rotate the wand in any direction means you can position your milk pitcher just so, finding the ideal angle for steaming milk.

The process of steaming milk properly requires a bit of practice, and the Breville Infuser’s steam wand allows you to create beautifully silky microfoam quite easily. And when you finally pour that perfectly steamed milk into your espresso and start creating your own latte art, it’s incredibly satisfying. It’s almost like painting, but with coffee and milk.

the classic pro's wand can't rotate 360 degrees
The Classic Pro’s wand can’t rotate 360 degrees

As for the Gaggia Classic Pro, it’s interesting to note that Gaggia includes “Pro” in its name, perhaps in part because of its commercial steam wand. This might sound like a promising feature, especially for those stepping up from the more basic steam wands of small, manual espresso machines.

However, in my experience, it might not live up to the expectations set by its name, especially when compared to the Breville Infuser’s wand. I couldn’t help but notice that the steam wand on the Gaggia Classic Pro felt a bit flimsy. This was somewhat disconcerting, as you almost get the feeling that you need to handle it with extra care to avoid any damage.

Another point to consider is the Gaggia Pro’s wand limited mobility due to the lack of a ball joint. This restriction in movement can be a bit of a setback, especially if you’re used to the versatility of wands like those on the Breville Infuser. Furthermore, the fact that the machine doesn’t come with a milk jug means an additional expense for those who don’t already own one.

Most importantly, the steam wand on the Classic Pro falls short of delivering café-quality results. It can create a fluffy foam, which is fine if you’re more into espressos, but latte lovers might find themselves a bit let down since it struggles to produce the finely textured, creamy microfoam that’s essential for a good latte.

In my attempts, I also noticed that the Gaggia Pro’s wand tends to run out of steam (quite literally) before a full pitcher of milk reaches the ideal temperature. This resulted in a drink that was not as hot as it should be.

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Tie

Drink Options

Breville InfuserGaggia Classic Pro
Espresso
Hot water
Espresso
Hot water

Speaking of pre-installed drinks, these machines just make espresso for you, leaving the rest to you if you crave a milky drink. Both have a cup warmer to pre-heat your cups with the residual heat of the heat-up process to keep your drinks at the perfect temperature longer.

the cup warmer on top of the classic pro
The cup warmer on top of the Classic Pro

Well, I’m also happy to see that they both have a hot water dispenser for Americanos, tea, and other hot beverages. Many entry-level machines dispense hot water and milk through their wand, but these ones don’t.

both features a hot water dispenser
Both features a hot water dispenser

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBreville InfuserGaggia Classic Pro
Coffee StrengthNoNo
Coffee TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

You can manually control the volume of your shot with these machines, a feature that gives you a degree of personalization in your coffee-making experience. But that’s all you can control because these machines don’t offer the ability to adjust the brewing temperature, which is common among entry-level semi-automatic machines.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Infuser 

Breville Infuser Espresso Machine BES840XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Pre-infusion function applies low water pressure at the start of the extraction to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
  • 1600w thermocoil heating system with integrated stainless steel water coil accurately controls water temperature
  • Auto purge function automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature.15 bar Italian pump provides complete volumetric control - preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable volumes
  • Accessories: single & dual wall filter baskets, coffee scoop, stainless steel jug, cleaning disc & tablets, cleaning tool, water filter with holder. Please note: There is a "Black Plastic" insert inside the stainless steel bowl of the portafilter, th
  • Please review the trouble shooting steps under product details for remedies for common faced for hustle free of the product

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Thermocoil fast heating system.
  • High-quality steam wand.
  • On the compact side.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • Not expensive.
Cons
  • One boiler.
  • No grinder.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Classic Pro

Gaggia RI9380/47 Classic Pro Espresso Machine,1.3liters, Cherry Red
  • Solid Steel Housing, Made in Italy
  • 9 Bar Espresso Extractions
  • Stainless Steel 58mm Commercial Portafilter
  • Commercial Three Way Solenoid Valve
  • Commercial Steam Wand

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Solid stainless steel construction
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Compact footprint.
  • Both single- and double-wall baskets are included.
  • Hot water function.
Cons
  • No PID control.
  • Not good steam wand.

Product Videos

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References

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