Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Babila: Is the Babila Worth Its Higher Price Tag?

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Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Babila: The Babila is a more advanced product in Gaggia’s super-automatic machine lineup, and this workhorse actually outperforms the Anima Prestige in many ways.

In this post, I’ll dive deeper, but here’s a quick rundown. The Gaggia Babila offers a higher level of customization, with more grind settings and an adjustable pre-infusion. Additionally, it has two thermoblocks for brew and steak at once and offers a wider variety of programmable one-touch drinks.

Still, the Gaggia Anima Prestige is also an option worth considering if you’re in the market for a one-touch machine with an affordable price tag. It has all the tools you need to produce an impressive espresso shot and facilitates the preparation of several milk-based drinks with minimal effort.

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Babila: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
Model
Gaggia Babila
Dimensions/Weight
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
10
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
15
Heating System
Dual Thermoblocks
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-6 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 L/0.3 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,899.00
More Info
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
Model
Gaggia Babila
Dimensions/Weight
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
10
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
15
Heating System
Dual Thermoblocks
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-6 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 L/0.3 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,899.00
More Info

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Babila: Differences

The Anima Prestige was outperformed by the Babila, with a score of 4-0. This doesn’t imply that the Anima Prestige is terrible. This is just that the Babila is too great.

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Gaggia Babila

Built-in Grinder 

These machines can work right out of the box since they both have a ceramic burr grinder instead of the stainless steel one that you see in most machines. Why does this matter, you ask? Ceramic grinders are remarkably quiet, and crucially, they generate less heat. That way, they prevent the coffee grounds from burning, thereby preserving the coffee’s original flavor.

The Babila’s grinder has 15 size settings to choose from to crush the beans the way you prefer. Adjustments are easily made by turning a dial on the machine’s top while the grinder is in operation – just remember this!

the gaggia babila features 15 grind settings
The Gaggia Babila features 15 grind settings

Anima Prestige offers only 5 grind settings, and adjusting them is not as straightforward as with the Babila. You need to do this in an Allen-Wrench style using a special key on the end of the dosing spoon. I don’t know why Gaggia created this, while a single dial is enough.

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 Babila has two thermoblocks, while the Anima Prestige only has one. That means while the Anima Prestige heats up to brew, pause, and then steam, the Babila can do both tasks at the same time. 

Having a single thermoblock isn’t a big deal since it heats up super fast by only heating water on demand. This means you won’t face long pauses when switching from brewing to steaming. But when you’re lining up a series of drinks, those pauses can add up.

Brewing System

Both have a pre-infusion function, which is always highly beneficial for the extraction process. This involves moistening the coffee grounds with a small amount of water, allowing carbon dioxide to escape and aiding in the fuller development of the coffee’s aroma. The Gaggia Babila has three pre-infusion settings, each altering the duration of the process.

Design & Convenience

Winner:  Gaggia Babila

Dimensions & User Interface

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Babila
Dimensions8.7 x 13.4 x 17 inches10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches
Weight19.1 lbs20.7 lbs

These machines are somewhat narrow, so they will not take up much of the horizontal footprint. Still, their height is something to consider, which might pose a challenge if you want to tuck them under upper cupboards.

The Anima Prestige boasts a sleek stainless steel front panel and chic chrome accents, which give it a seriously classy vibe. I do wish the whole case was stainless steel, like the Brera, though. It surely bumps up the price a bit, but think about the durability boost it gives.

the anima prestige's control panel
The Anima Prestige’s control panel

Both also feature an old-fashioned blue LED screen and buttons, which are easy enough to use. Many people like to have a touch screen on their computer, but it’s not necessarily me. Oh, high technology is amazing, and it’s fascinating to see it integrate into our daily lives, but when it comes to my morning espresso ritual, I prefer keeping things straightforward.

the gaggia babila’s user interface
The Gaggia Babila’s user interface

Spout Type & Cup Clearance 

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Babila
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4.3-6.5 inches2.8-6 inches

Every super-automatic machine out there comes with a height-adjustable coffee spout, and these Gaggias have this feature too. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it’s super handy.

Their maximum clearance is enough to fit a tall latte glass or even a travel mug. And for those times when you’re just craving a shot of espresso in a small cup, you can lower the spout right down to prevent messy splashes.

Right on the Babila’s dispensing unit, there is a small knob that allows you to finely adjust the espresso’s flow rate as it’s being extracted. This is called the Espresso Plus System and is a welcome addition to the machine’s already extensive collection of adjustable settings.

the flow controller
The flow controller

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Babila
Water Reservoir1.8 liter1.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.25 kilogram0.3 kilogram

The water tanks in these machines are quite large and have a slot for attaching a water filter, which is always my recommendation to improve the taste of your coffee and to reduce sediment buildup in the machine.

These tanks can be easily detached and refilled at the sink. I particularly appreciate how the Anima Prestige’s tank smoothly snaps into the front of the machine, which makes it more accessible and easier to remove compared to the Babila’s top-accessed tank.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Gaggia Babila

In the world of espresso machines, milk frothing falls into two categories. There are manual steam wands, perfect for creating latte art but requiring some skill to master, and there are automatic systems, which steam milk effortlessly with one touch but typically struggle to produce the fine microfoam necessary for latte art.

both have an automatic milk frothing system
Both have an automatic milk-frothing system

Here, the Anima Prestige falls into the automatic category, whereas the Babila brings the best from both worlds. 

I love their auto-frothing systems, truly. They both come with an integrated milk carafe that attaches directly to the front of the machine, eliminating the need for cumbersome tubes. This design is a real space-saver on kitchen counters and allows you to prepare drinks without having to move your cup. The carafe can also be conveniently placed in the refrigerator to store any leftover milk.

Their automatic milk frothers can help you easily make nice foam for a cappuccino, but they can’t, and never can’t, achieve the creamy steamed milk topped with a delicate layer of microfoam for a killer latte. Well, you’ve got to compromise a bit to enjoy the convenience!

The Gaggia Babila also boasts a manual steam wand on the left for those who love a hands-on approach. Sure, it can’t compare to commercial-grade wands, but it’s nice to have the option to impress your friends with your hard-earned barista skills.

the gaggia babila has a manual steam milk wand
The Gaggia Babila has a manual steam milk wand

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Gaggia Babila

Drink Options

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Babila
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Milk Froth
Hot Water
Ristretto
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Caffè
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Flat White
Hot Milk
Milk Froth
Hot Water

The Babila boasts a greater number of pre-programmed coffee options than the Anima Prestige, yet it’s somewhat restricted compared to other super-automatic machines. 

However, the limited pre-set choices don’t constrain your ability to craft unique specialty beverages. The available settings in the menu open up a world of possibilities for concocting specialty drinks, so just think outside the box and try to unleash your creativity!

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsGaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Babila
Coffee StrengthYesYes
Coffee TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

Apart from the grind settings, both of these machines offer a ton of customization settings. Once you’re done with the experimentation, the machine will remember your settings for your next brew.

We’re talking about adjusting the coffee strength on a 5-bean-icon scale, tweaking the water temperature across three levels, and playing around with the amount of water, milk foam, and even the shot volume. Don’t forget that the Babila also allows you to fine-tune the pre-infusion duration. 

For those who are totally into coffee, having this level of control is impressive for such budget espresso machines.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Babila

Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature. Milk carafe includes automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, and milk froth. Manual steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 1 bottle of Gaggia Descaler, 1 AquaClean Water Filter, 1 Water Hardness Test Strip, 1 Tube of Brew Group Lubricant, 1 Brew Group Brush, 1 Coffee Scoop/Grinder Key
  • PROGRAMMABLE: 8 Programmable brewing options for espressos, espresso lungos, coffee, ristrettos, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, flat whites and milk foam
  • Easy access to water reservoir: features a top Loading removable 50.7oz water reservoir; Brew Boiler Wattage: 1400

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Ceramic grinder doesn’t overheat.
  • Both automatic and manual frothing milk.
  • Two thermoblock boilers.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion step.
Cons
  • No app.
  • No user profiles.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Anima Prestige 

No products found.

Pros
  • Great ceramic burr grinder.
  • 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)