Gaggia Babila Vs Accademia: Which One Is Better?

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Gaggia started out crafting machines exclusively for commercial use, but over time, they’ve also become trailblazers in the realm of home coffee machines. The Gaggia Babila vs Accademia are perfect examples of this evolution. After personally testing both, I’ve found that the Accademia stands out as the better choice. 

The Gaggia Accademia impresses with its more compact and lightweight design, and it’s brimming with features that enhance the coffee experience. These include a built-in cup warmer, a sophisticated touchscreen, and up to four user profiles. However, it’s worth noting that the Gaggia Babila also holds its own with certain perks, such as offering a greater range of grinding settings.

Gaggia Babila 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
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium
Model
Gaggia Accademia
Gaggia Babila
Dimensions/Weight
11.1 x 15.2 x 16.5 inches/30.2 lbs
10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches/20.7 lbs
Interface
Touch Display
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
19
10
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
8
15
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.9-6.5 inches
Dual/2.8-6 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.6 L/0.35 Kg
1.5 L/0.3 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,999.00
$1,899.00
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 15.2 x 16.5 inches/30.2 lbs
Interface
Touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
19
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
8
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Auto-Frothing System & Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.9-6.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.6 L/0.35 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,999.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
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
Single Thermoblock
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 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Babila Vs Accademia: Differences

The Accademia defeated the Babila with a score of 4-1. Just keep scrolling down for a detailed comparison between them!

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Gaggia Babila

Built-in Grinder

Let’s talk about the biggest thing that sets Gaggia bean-to-cup machines apart. Most brands stick to stainless steel grinders, but Gaggia? They’re playing a different game with their ceramic grinders. And let me tell you, this does wonders.

First off, ceramic grinders stay sharp way longer than their stainless steel cousins, and they keep their cool better too. This means your precious coffee beans keep their delicious, volatile oils. 

Just a word of caution: Ceramic can be a bit fragile, so if you’re tossing anything harder than a coffee bean in there, you might end up with a broken grinder. You’ve been warned!

The Babila’s grinder has higher accuracy with up to 15 grind settings. Then there’s the Accademia, boasting 8 grind settings, which is pretty stellar for an automatic machine at its price.

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

Heating System 

Both have a double thermoblock system, meaning they can prepare espresso and froth milk at once. Talk about multitasking! 

Why is having two boilers awesome? Well, having two boilers isn’t just about speed, though. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting their coffee fix faster? It’s also about precision. 

That way, this setup also nails the perfect temperature for both brewing espresso and frothing milk. Faster brewing and temperature perfection. It’s, no doubt, a super win!

Brewing System

Both have a pre-infusion function. It is now somewhat common in super-automatic machines, but not many let you play around with the length of this pre-brew step.

And if you’re wondering what the hell pre-infusion is, it involves soaking the puck in hot water, which really amps up the aroma and flavor of the beans.

But guess what? These Gaggia machines let you tweak the pre-infusion settings across three levels, from no-infusion for a quick brew to the longest pre-soak.  And here’s my two cents: always, and I mean always, keep that pre-infusion on. Trust me, it’s a small step for your machine, but a giant leap for your taste buds!

Design & Convenience

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Dimensions & User Interface

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Accademia
Dimensions10.7 x 12.7 x 17.5 inches11.1 x 15.2 x  16.5 inches
Weight20.7 lbs30.2 lbs

At the object, I should mention that the Gaggia Babila is made from stainless steel with chrome accents, which is a nice thing compared to the Accademia’s plastic casing. Don’t get me wrong, the Accademia still looks very solid and well built. It’s just that stainless steel is always better!

Speaking of the control panel, it’s often said that there are two camps: the touchscreen passions and the button aficionados. Incidentally, the Accademia cleverly caters to both preferences.

The Accademia has a sleek, vibrant-color touchscreen and a couple of capacitive buttons thoughtfully placed around. I’m very intrigued by this hybrid approach, but I must admit, the touchscreen’s color icons are a tad small. Maybe I have hulk-sized fingers?

the gaggia accademia's touchscreen
The Gaggia Accademia’s touchscreen

On the other hand, the Babila features a text display and some buttons. It’s adorably old-fashioned, to the point where it almost feels like a nostalgic nod to the era of Pacman and arcade games. Now, I’ve got to say, using it is a breeze, but every time I use it, I can’t help but chuckle.

the gaggia babila's old-school text screen
The Gaggia Babila’s old-school text screen

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Accademia
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance2.8-6 inches2.9-6.5 inches

You know the struggle of fitting different cup sizes under a fixed spout? Well, these machines have totally got you covered. The spouts can be moved up or down, getting super close to your espresso cup. This is a game-changer because it means your precious crema is perfectly preserved. No more espresso art ruined by a long drop!

On top of that, their dispensers are not just adjustable – they’re completely removable. Yes, you can take the dispenser right off and brew directly into something as giant as an insulated travel cup.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Accademia
Water Reservoir1.5 liter1.6 liter
Bean Hopper0.3 kilogram0.35 kilogram

The generous tank size of these machines is certainly impressive, but what really gets me buzzing is the inclusion of water filters. With these filters, your coffee’s taste reaches new heights of deliciousness, and there’s an added bonus: less frequent descaling of your coffee maker. 

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Both of these machines come with an amazing automatic frother and a manual wand. This means you can either get that perfect, silky microfoam with just a touch or channel your inner barista and use the manual wand to craft some latte art. The power is totally in your hands!

the automatic frother
The automatic frother

I love their auto-frothing systems. Both machines feature this nifty carafe that you can just grab straight from the fridge and clip onto the machine. So there’s no more fiddling with any pesky hoses or pipes. The carafe‘s handle even doubles as a milk spout that elegantly swings over your waiting cup when you’re whipping up a milk-based concoction.

Additionally, the milk system is self-cleaning. Once you’re done, the spout swings back, and the machine runs hot water through the system, saying goodbye to any milk leftovers!

They also have manual steam wands, meaning you can get hands-on and froth up your milk the old-school way and impress your friends with your latte art skills. The Accademia steps up its game with a wand mounted on a ball joint, offering that extra bit of flexibility you need for the perfect angle. 

the manual steam wand
The manual steam wand

These wands might not be as powerful as the ones you find on commercial espresso machines. You might not be hitting the heights of competition-level microfoam, but you’ll still be churning out rosettas and swans like a pro in no time. Who knows? You might just surprise yourself with your frothing finesse!

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Drink Options

Gaggia BabilaGaggia Accademia
Ristretto
Espresso
Espresso Lungo
Caffè
Cappuccino
Latte Macchiato
Flat White
Hot Milk
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

The Accademia has up to 19 one-touch drinks. Compared to Babila’s list of 10 drinks, this is a serious upgrade. Honestly, I’m not sure if there are enough days in a lifetime to savor each and every one of those 19 options, but isn’t it thrilling to have the choice? It’s nice to have a barista in your kitchen, minus the apron and the hipster beard!

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsGaggia BabilaGaggia Accademia
Coffee StrengthYesYes
Coffee TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoYes

You’re able to make tons of adjustments to every drink on these machines. You can adjust the aroma intensity, shot volume, brewing temperature, and pre-infusion setting. The Accademia offers a wider range for experimentation, not to mention you can tweak the froth level as well!

Other Features

Winner: Gaggia Accademia

Flow Controller

Both machines come equipped with a feature that truly revolutionizes the espresso-making experience: a flow controller, or, as Gaggia likes to call it, the Espresso Plus System. This is a dial right on the dispensing spout, giving you the power to adjust the flow rate of your espresso in real time. This feature, combined with the various other control options these machines offer, provides a playground for coffee lovers to experiment and unleash their creativity.

Built-In Cup Warmer

The Accademia boasts a handy cup warmer, ensuring your cup is perfectly pre-heated for your coffee. What’s even more impressive is that you can program the cup tray to start warming at three different times throughout the day. The Babila may not have a dedicated cup warmer, but you can still heat your cup using its hot water function.

the cup warming tray
The cup warming tray

User Profile

You’ve dedicated hours to meticulously tweaking and experimenting with settings to craft your perfect coffee recipes. But then, the next morning, it’s as if gremlins played with your machine overnight, and everything’s changed. Frustrating, right? Well, don’t fret, because I totally get you, and so does the Accademia.

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

The Accademia is equipped with up to 4 user profiles. This means you can save your personalized settings, safeguarding your carefully honed recipes from the mischievous hands of change. 

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Accademia

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 2024-05-19 / 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 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 2024-05-19 / 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.

Product Videos

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References

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