Gaggia Anima Prestige Vs Velasca Prestige: A Detailed Comparison

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Are you looking for an espresso machine to taste barista-quality drinks right at home without too much babysitting or breaking the bank? In this article, we’re going to look at two low-priced offerings from Gaggia – the Gaggia Anima vs Velasca. 

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige comes out as the overall winner since it has more different grind settings, giving you more room to experiment, along with an integrated cup warmer. Meanwhile, the Gaggia Anima Prestige, the runner-up, is more compact and lightweight, can fit larger cups, and is more affordable.

Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Velasca Prestige: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 54 ounces
Model
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Dimensions/Weight
13.5 x 10.25 x 17 inches/20.72 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermoblock Boiler
Interface
LCD Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
6
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 liter/0.31 liter
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$649.00
More Info
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 54 ounces
Model
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Dimensions/Weight
13.5 x 10.25 x 17 inches/20.72 lbs
Heating System
Single Thermoblock Boiler
Interface
LCD Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
6
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 liter/0.31 liter
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
Pre-Infusion
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$649.00
More Info

Last update on 2024-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Velasca Prestige: Differences 

The Velasca Prestige takes a 3-1 lead against the Anima Prestige. Let’s scroll down and dive right into their similarities and differences.

Built-in Grinder 

Winner: Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Both the Gaggia Anima vs Velasca employ a ceramic grinder, expertly designed to pulverize the beans while keeping the heat at bay. This crucial feature helps preserve the essential oils that are the heart of the bean’s flavor.

Additionally, this type of grinder is not only swift and whisper-quiet but also boasts exceptional durability. The only potential hazard is that something harder than a coffee bean enters the bean feeder and the grinder crushes it.

The Anima features 5 adjustment settings, whereas the Velasca has up to 10 settings. Only adjust the grind during operation, which is common with espresso machines, and do so one level at a time. I also recommend using a coarser setting for longer coffees and a finer setting when brewing espresso.

the velasca prestige (right) has up to 10 grind settings
The Velasca Prestige (right) has up to 10 grind settings

Both also necessitate the use of a plastic key tool located on the underside of the provided coffee scoop to tweak the grind settings. This approach indeed makes it more difficult to play around with grinding levels, not to mention that you will be in big trouble if you accidentally lose the spoon.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Tie

Dimensions & User Interface

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Velasca Prestige 
Dimensions13.4 x 8.7 x 17 inches13.5 x 10.25 x 17 inches
Weight 19.1 lbs20.72 lbs

These Gaggias take up little counter space and are compact enough to easily slide under upper cupboards. They both have a plastic exterior with a brushed metal finish on the face.

The user interface on both is user-friendly, with a simple LCD panel and a few clearly marked buttons. The LCD panel isn’t colored or touch-sensitive, but it’s sufficiently functional and remarkably easy to use. It provides comprehensive details of the brewing process, alerts for water tank refills, coffee puck container emptying, and even signals when it’s time for descaling – all with a somewhat old-school pixelated graphic.

both feature an lcd screen
Both feature an LCD screen

Spout & Cup Clearance

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Velasca Prestige 
Spigot TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4.3-6.5 inches2.8-4.5 inches

As with most automatic machines, both have a dual coffee dispensing spout that can be moved up or down. The Anima’s spout can go all the way up to 6.5 inches, accommodating everything from a travel mug to a tall latte glass. Meanwhile, the Velasca’s dispenser can be lowered all the way down to 2.8 inches, greatly minimizing splashing and ensuring the delicate crema of your espresso remains intact.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Velasca Prestige 
Water Reservoir1.8 liter1.5 liter
Bean Hopper0.26 liter0.31 liter

The Anima comes with a 1.8-liter water tank, which is larger than the 1.5-liter tank on the Velasca. This higher capacity means a lesser frequency of refilling the tank and more coffee brewed per refill. Still, the water tank of the Anima is top-loading, which is less inconvenient than the Velasca’s front-loading reservoir. 

Both come with a water filter that removes chlorine and softens the water for reduced scale buildup and better flavor. Using the filter is optional, but I strongly advise its use, as filtered water not only improves the taste of the coffee but also plays a crucial role in protecting the machine from limescale buildup, thereby extending its lifespan.

The Velasca’s bean box is bigger, as you can see. It is also sealed to lock in the flavors and aromas of the beans, so you can fill them up without concern for the beans losing their freshness – at least not within a considerable duration.

Other Features

Winner: Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Passively Heated Cup Warmer

The Velasca sports a cup plate on top to pre-warm your cup before brewing. It is passively heated, which partly helps maintain the temperature of the espresso, ensuring that the flavors and aromas are preserved from the machine to your mouth. As for the Anima, you have another option, like pre-warming your cup with hot water.

Gaggia Anima vs Velasca: Similarities

Heating System

Both only have a single thermoblock heating system, which is more than enough to deliver piping-hot espresso cups at home quickly. But if you need something that can brew and steam at once, consider one with two boilers, such as the Breville Dual Boiler

The advantage of a thermoblock system over traditional boilers is its ability to reach the optimal brewing temperature in about a minute. It heats only the required amount of water for each brewing session, rather than maintaining a large volume of water at a high temperature at all times. It can also swiftly transition from brewing to steaming temperature, which is particularly useful when making milk-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.

Brewing System

Immediately after the beans are ground, the grounds are showered with water for a short interval before pressurized extraction begins. This is known as “pre-infusion,” helping to release carbon dioxide to prevent channeling (where water finds the path of least resistance, leading to uneven extraction) and prepare the coffee puck for even extraction. It would be better if the length of this step was adjustable.

These machines are also on par in terms of pump pressure – they have the capability to reach up to 15 bars of pump pressure, which is commonly regarded as the ideal pressure for extracting espresso. Any more than 15 bars can lead to over-extraction, while any less than that may not extract enough flavor from the grounds, leading to a weak, under-extracted shot.

Milk Frothing System

Rather than a manual wand or a separate carafe with pesky tubes, these Gaggias feature a removable 0.5-liter carafe that clips onto the front. The ingenious design allows you to not have to move your cup during drink preparation. All you need to do is align the spout and pick your drink, and at the press of a button, voilà, a delightful one-touch specialty is ready.

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

This design is wonderfully accommodating for first-time espresso brewers. Using a wand to froth milk is intimidating to those without experience. One ends up with a simple mix of espresso and hot milk rather than the desired frothy texture since achieving the perfect froth requires both technique and experience.

In my testing, I found that the Velasca’s milk froth was a little hotter at 155°F than the Gaggia Anima’s, which reached about 152°F. There was a small discrepancy here, but both were generally in the ideal range of 140 to 155°F. As always with low-end machines, it is impossible to fine-tune the milk’s temperature.

Drink Options & Programmability

Gaggia Anima PrestigeGaggia Velasca Prestige 
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Milk Froth
Hot Water
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Cappuccino
Baby Cappuccino
Milk Froth
Hot Water

These espresso machines can make a few programmed beverages. There really aren’t many options, but you can completely customize each one, including the coffee strength (5 levels), the shot length, the brew temperature, and the milk texture and volume. For a double shot, simply press the button twice in a row, and the machine will automatically dispense back-to-back cups. The Memo function allows you to save customized espresso and milk froth settings for next time.

Another thing they also have in common is a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee. I’m not a fan of this feature, but it really is a lifesaver for those mornings when you suddenly realize you are out of coffee or your guests love decaffeinated coffee.

bypass doser for pre-ground coffee
Bypass doser for pre-ground coffee

Cleaning & Maintenance

Maintaining these machines is a breeze. Their drip trays are pulled out from the front and need to be emptied daily or when prompted. Regularly rinsing the coffee ground bin and water tank with soapy water is also advisable to prevent mold growth, which, trust me, will negatively affect your coffee’s taste.

And when prompted, you need to descale these machines using the Gaggia Descaler Solution. They both have an automatic function to rinse their milk jugs, but you should take the whole thing apart and deep clean them on a regular basis. 

Their brew groups can be removed. A removable brew group isn’t common in all super-automatic espresso machines, so this is a very big plus for these Gaggias. By taking the brew group out, you can give it a thorough rinse and lubricant, which will help keep your machine in peak condition for a long time. What’s more, you can easily replace this important component if any issues develop.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, 54 ounces
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, baby cappuccinos, and milk froth
  • Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo, cappuccino, and milk froth, with 3 different temperature settings
  • Ceramic burr grinder and brew unit: ceramic burr grinder with 10 fineness settings, 5 brew strength settings, and bean hopper with 10.5oz capacity
  • Front loaded water reservoir: features a 54oz capacity and pulls out from the front of the machine, ideal for low hanging cabinets

Last update on 2024-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • The ceramic grinder operates smoothly and heat-free.
  • Intuitive and easy to use.
  • One touch milk frothing.
  • Fast thermoblock heating system.
  • Affordable price.
Cons
  • Only one boiler.
  • Few one-touch drinks.

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.

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