The Battle of Gaggias: Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Accademia

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I wouldn’t say the Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Accademia are among the finest super-automatics on the market, but they’re not without their positive aspects. And first of all, the Gaggia Accademia edges out as the overall winner as it has more features, leading to a significantly higher price tag.

Putting aside a few similarities between them for seconds, the Gaggia Accademia takes the lead with more boilers, grinding settings, and one-touch drinks. Plus, it has four user profiles for customized drink preferences and includes a cup warmer on top. As for the Gaggia Anima Prestige, the only advantage is that it is significantly cheaper.

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Accademia: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Accademia Luxury Italian Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with 19 Customized drink settings,0.5 Liters,RI9782/46 Brushed Stainless
Model
Gaggia Accademia
Dimensions/Weight
11.1 x 16.5 x 15.2 inches/30.2 lbs
Interface
LCD Touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
19
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Conical Grinder
Grinding Settings
8
Heating System
Double Thermoblock System
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.9-6.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.6 liter/0.36 liter
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,901.15
More Info
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Accademia Luxury Italian Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with 19 Customized drink settings,0.5 Liters,RI9782/46 Brushed Stainless
Model
Gaggia Accademia
Dimensions/Weight
11.1 x 16.5 x 15.2 inches/30.2 lbs
Interface
LCD Touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
19
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Conical Grinder
Grinding Settings
8
Heating System
Double Thermoblock System
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.9-6.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.6 liter/0.36 liter
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,901.15
More Info

Last update on 2024-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Accademia: Differences

The Accademia defeated the Anima Prestige with a strong score of 5-1, after all, and here is why:

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Built-in Grinder

These Gaggias both feature an integrated ceramic conical grinder. I consider it a major plus since the ceramic grinder excels at reducing heat build-up, ensuring the preservation of the coffee grounds’ flavorful oils. It’s also impressively fast, operates with minimal noise, and is built to last.

About the adjustment of the grind size, the Anima Prestige has 5 grind settings, which is fine, but the Accademia gives you more room to experiment with 8 settings. Only make grind size adjustments when the grinder is running, just remember that.

For some reason, Gaggia requires you to use a specialized tool on the end of the dosing spoon to change the grind setting, which is a somewhat clumsy approach in my opinion. It will be fine if you rarely change the grind setting. Still, it can become tiresome and less user-friendly in scenarios where multiple people use the machine or when you need to experiment with different grind levels regularly.

the anima prestige requires a special tool to change the grind size
The Anima Prestige requires a special tool to change the grind size

Heating System

The Accademia features a double thermoblock boiler system to simultaneously brew espresso and steam milk, which comes in handy when you’re preparing multiple milk-based drinks one after the other. Meanwhile, the Anima Prestige has just a single thermoblock boiler, which is the norm at this price range.

Thermoblock technology means these machines heat the water on-demand, only when it’s needed for brewing or steaming. That way, it takes a very short interval to switch from brewing to steaming (under a minute), and even though the Anima Prestige only has a single pot, it still meets the needs of most home users.

Brewing System

They are almost the same in terms of the brewing system, except that only the Gaggia Accademia allows you to change the length of the pre-infusion process. If you’re wondering, pre-infusion is a process where coffee grounds are briefly soaked with a bit of hot water prior to the main extraction, a method that helps in extracting a richer and more nuanced coffee flavor.

the gaggia accademia allows you to adjust the length of the pre-infusion phase
The Gaggia Accademia allows you to adjust the length of the pre-infusion phase

As for the Accademia, you can modify the pre-infusion length in four levels, as shown in the picture above. This allows you to step out of the safe zone and experiment with different pre-infusion times to find the one that suits your taste preferences best.

Both are equipped with a 15-bar pump to create the right pressure to extract espresso. And if you didn’t know yet, once again, the magical number for espresso extraction pressure is typically just around 9 bars, which means these machines have more than enough power to pull those perfect shots of espresso.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Accademia
Dimensions8.7 x 13.4 x 17 inches11.1 x 16.5 x 15.2 inches
Weight19.1 lbs30.2 lbs

Most of their bodies are plastic, but they’re very sturdy, and I feel like there’s nothing about them that would break under normal use. The Anima Prestige boasts a stainless steel front, complemented by plastic on the back and sides. The Accademia I tested was the black version, which is made of plastic and features a sleek mirrored glass finish, but it is also available in a brushed stainless steel variant, which is a bit more expensive.

These machines generally take up little counter space and can easily slide under upper cupboards. Anyone with a small office or kitchen, where every inch is crucial, will undoubtedly appreciate this.

Speaking of the user interface, the Accademia features a 5-inch color touchscreen display, which is certainly sleeker and more modern than the old-fashioned LCD screen and clunky-looking buttons on the Anima Prestige. But if we set aesthetics aside for a moment, the Anima Prestige’s button-operated LCD screen is easy to navigate.

the gaggia accademia has a pretty nice touch screen
The Gaggia Accademia has a pretty nice touch screen

Spout & Cup Clearance

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Accademia
Spigot TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4.3-6.5 inches2.9-6.5 inches

The coffee dispensing spouts on both machines are height-adjustable and can accommodate cups up to 6.5 inches in height. The one on the Accademia can be lowered even further, bringing it closer to your cup’s rim for creamier espresso. By the way, both can prepare two cups of coffee at the same time.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Accademia
Water Reservoir1.8 liter1.6 liter
Bean Hopper0.26 liter0.36 liter

Their water tanks are top loading, which is a bit less convenient than front-loading ones. This isn’t a major drawback, but it is worth considering when deciding where to place the machine, especially if you intend to situate it under kitchen cabinets.

Another important note here is that these two machines come with water filters, possibly built into their reservoir tanks. Some people prefer to use the filter, while others aren’t thrilled with it. The filter helps you cut down on the frequency of descaling the machine, but regular filter replacements will add to the overall cost of your machine.

My advice? The filter is an unnecessary addition if you are using distilled water since it is already free of minerals and impurities that can build up in the machine. But if you’re using tap water, the filter can be beneficial.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Both the Anima Prestige and Accademia have a fully automated frothing system, but unique to the latter is the addition of a traditional frothing wand.  So the Accademia gives you the best of both worlds – the ease of one-touch milky drinks and the ability to craft intricate latte art with precision, all in one machine.

The fully automated system on both comes with a removable milk jug. Just pour the milk into the jug, put it in front of the machine, press a button, and the machine will do all the rest. The milk jug fits snugly on the drip tray, connecting directly to the machine without any cumbersome tubes, saving a lot of kitchen space.

the anima prestige's automatic frothing system
The Anima Prestige’s automatic frothing system

The carafe’s clever design ensures you don’t have to move your cup during the process. Just slide the dispensing spout over your cup below, select your drink, and voilà, a stream of velvety milk is poured straight into your cup.  Any leftover milk? Simply remove the carafe from the machine and store it in the fridge, so you will find that you never have to decant the milk out at the end of the day.

the accademia's automatic frothing system
The Accademia’s automatic frothing system

Home baristas, purists, or anyone who wants to take their coffee crafting skills to the next level will certainly appreciate the fact that the Gaggia Accademia comes equipped with a professional-grade steam wand. Mounted on a versatile ball joint, it offers flexible maneuverability and is adept at producing silky microfoam to help you perfect latte art.

the accademia has a manual steam wand
The Accademia has a manual steam wand

Pre-programmed Coffee Options  & Programmability

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Accademia
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Milk Froth
Hot Water
Coffee
Cafe Cortado
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Ristretto
Americano
Cappuccino
Cappuccino XL
Macchiatone
Melange
Flat White
Caffelatte
Cafe au Lait
Latte Macchiato
Frothed Milk
Hot Milk
Hot Water
Water for Black Tea
Water for Green Tea

Along with the usual specialties, like espresso, latte macchiato, and cappuccino, the Gaggia Accademia’s 19-drink repertoire features some Italian specialties.  Personally, I wasn’t overly thrilled by these additions, as the Anima Prestige already fulfills my coffee needs, but it’s good to have a wide array of options at my fingertips anyway.

Both allow adjustment of coffee strength (5 levels), shot length, milk dosage, and brewing temperature. With the Gaggia Accademia, you can fine-tune the texture of your milk foam with four distinct settings.

the accademia allows you to adjust the level of milk foam
The Accademia allows you to adjust the level of milk foam

Other Features

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Cup Warmer

There is a built-in cup warming plate on top of the Accademia, which is a valuable addition to any espresso machine. Warm cups help maintain the espresso’s temperature, ensuring that the coffee doesn’t cool down too quickly once it hits the cup. This helps preserve the flavor and aroma of the espresso until the end of the brewing process.

the cup warmer on top of the gaggia accademia
The cup warmer on top of the Gaggia Accademia

Auto-Start Feature

With the Accademia, you can set it to automatically turn on and preheat at specific times on designated days of the week. Additionally, you have the flexibility to activate or deactivate the cup warmer feature as per your preference.

The auto-start timer of the Gaggia Accademia
The auto-start timer of the Gaggia Accademia

User Profile

From the Academia’s control panel, you can access one of four profiles. This functionality is particularly useful for households with multiple coffee drinkers because it allows each person to create and save their customized drink preferences without affecting others’ settings.

the gaggia accademia has 4 user profiles
The Gaggia Accademia has 4 user profiles

Flow Controller

You can turn a knob on the front of the Accademia’s spout to control the water’s flow rate. It’s not a common feature on most espresso machines, so it might be new to you.

the water-flow controller on the accademia
The water-flow controller on the Accademia

 By slowing down the flow, you effectively increase the extraction time, which can lead to a more intense and robust flavor profile in your espresso.

Conversely, speeding up the flow rate results in a shorter extraction time. This is more suitable for drinks like lungo, where a larger volume of water is passed through the coffee, yielding a milder, more balanced flavor.

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Accademia: Similarities

Bypass Doser

Both have a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee, allowing you to use pre-ground coffee instead of whole beans. This feature is handy when you want to prepare a different coffee blend without emptying the bean feeder or for making decaffeinated coffee.

both have a bypass doser
Both have a bypass doser

Stand-By Mode

Both machines can be programmed to turn off automatically after a variable period of time, which helps conserve energy and minimizes the risk of the machine overheating or causing any electrical issues. This is really helpful for forgetful people.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Both have the same removable parts that need periodic attention and cleaning, including the drip tray, coffee grounds basket, water container, and brew group. I highly recommend washing dishes under running water and saying no to entrusting the job to your dishwasher.

Descaling these machines is almost completely automatic, and you should use Gaggia’s own descalers – at least that’s what the manufacturer recommends. Their milk systems are automatically cleaned after each frothing cycle by running hot water to remove milk residue and you should also occasionally remove their jugs for a thorough cleaning under running water. As for the Academia’s wand, a simple wipe after each use is sufficient to keep it clean.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Accademia

Sale
Gaggia Accademia Luxury Italian Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with 19 Customized drink settings,0.5 Liters,RI9782/46 Brushed Stainless
  • Steel Housing, Made in Italy
  • Glass Touchscreen Display
  • Commercial Steam Wand
  • 19 On-Demand Beverages
  • Massive Beverage Customization

Last update on 2024-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Up to 19 specialty drink options.
  • The ceramic grinder doesn’t heat up during operation.
  • Has 4 user profiles.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • Dual boiler.
Cons
  • Milk can splash when dispensing.
  • Small drip tray.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Anima Prestige 

No products found.

Pros
  • The ceramic burr grinder wroks well.
  • Space-saving footprint.
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • One touch espresso.
  • Not expensive.
Cons
  • Bean feeder lid isn’t airtight.
  • Only one boiler.

Product Videos

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References

5/5 - (4 votes)